[linux-elitists] New Kernel Dev model...

Aaron Sherman ajs@ajs.com
Thu Jul 22 12:05:11 PDT 2004

On Thu, 2004-07-22 at 13:36, Greg Folkert wrote:

> I know, this has been discussed in detail (not enough IMHO) and I just
> would really like a direct view from someone involved in the mess.
> (where mess == project)

I think this is great.

In a traditional company with a product even approaching the size of the
Linux Kernel, you have a development mainline and a release branch and
then various R&D and active development branches.

In the Linux Kernel world, since there are now enough projects that are
separate, it's no longer reasonable to say "we'll hold off on everything
until we cut a development tree." Instead, letting the distribution
vendors be the release branches and letting the developer-released
"stable" kernel be the development mainline opens up the path for all of
these projects to work in much deeper harmony.

It's long been the case, just for one example, that Red Hat has released
a fairly old kernel revision with the most stable and urgent of the
patches from later kernels merged in. If Red Hat relies on devfs,
there's no reason they can't keep it, but now they know that in future
kernel's they're going to have to migrate away from it. That's fine.

Developers win. Distributions win. Users win. Everybody wins.

Aaron Sherman <ajs@ajs.com>
Senior Systems Engineer and Perl Toolsmith

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