[linux-elitists] Stable distro kernel rant

Rick Moen rick@linuxmafia.com
Tue Jan 27 01:23:54 PST 2004


Quoting Jason Spence (jspence@lightconsulting.com):
> On Sun, Jan 25, 2004 at 06:13:41PM -0800, Rick Moen wrote: 
> > 
> > Maybe it's just me, but calling 2.4.24 "bleeding edge" strikes me as
> > exaggeration to the point of polemics.  
> 
> I intended "bleeding-edge" in this context to refer to the 2.5.x
> series, not the 2.4.x series.

Hold on just a second, there.  I entered this discussion because of
something triggering my bullshit detector, and it was related to your
statement and fallout from it:

   Unfortunately, Debian doesn't support USB 2.0 in their stock kernel,
   and at one site I deal with they're so heterogenous that it's not cost
   effective for me to maintain custom kernels for all their machines.

I pointed out that recent packaged, binary 2.4.x kernels for Debian most
certainly _do_ support USB 2.0.  Your answer was -=not=- "Well, I was
referring to 2.5.x", but rather (paraphrasing) "Well, my boxes are on
Debian-stable, not -unstable [or -testing]."

So, _huh_?  If indeed the following related to 2.5.x...

   Some people made very convincing arguments that running development
   kernels may not be such a bad thing, and that the dip may not have
   been so bad this release cycle, so running the bleeding-edge may be a
   valid solution to this problem for many people.

...then it was at best utterly non-sequitur to the preceding discussion,
since neither I nor anyone else had spoken of 2.5.x kernels, but rather
later-then-2.4.18-type 2.4.x ones.  

To recap:  You lamented the unavailability of USB 2.0 kernel support for
Debian.  I gave counterexamples.  You said, yes, but it runs  -stable,
not -unstable [or -testing].  I pointed out it's ridiculous to say you
can't have 2.4.4 on -stable when you have make-kpkg.  You then changed
topics completely to (rather bizarrely) discuss 2.5.x.

I may have missed something, but that's what I saw.  If this is simple
miscommunication of some sort, never mind.

> The problems I'm concerned about don't involve the actual installation
> of a kernel from scratch; they can be summarized as maintainability.  
[...]

Aw, c'mon, now:  You suddenly automatically become the sole means of
site help for (alleged) kernel bugs iff you compile one for the site,
whereas you weren't _before_ you did so?  

>  - Doing build maintenance for problems discovered. 

What "build maintenance"?  You compile it once, copy it to the site,
"dpkg -i" it, it runs.  How is this worse than running an ancient 2.4.18
kernel and then standing around bitching about the lack of USB 2.0
support?

>  - Integrating the entire thing with the network boot diagnostic
>    system, the network booted workstations, the re-imaging software,
>    vmware, the OS X machines running virtual PC, etc.  It's just not
>    practical to do a source based install on some of these platforms
>    :(

"dpkg -i".

>  - Would probably have to maintain a local repository for the
>    packages, something we currently don't do; we only cache.

Put a copy in /usr/local.  You make this sound like a big deal. 

>  - Having to fight the urge to implement better maintenance tools.

Better to sit around complaining about the lack of USB 2.0 support?

-- 
Cheers,                     "All power is delightful, but absolute power
Rick Moen                    is absolutely delightful."  - Kenneth Tynan
rick@linuxmafia.com



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