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SubjectRe: Take a deep breath...
>> Does anyone have any clue what makes any of us hack on this thing at
>> all? It's pretty simple, whats fun, interesting, and enjoyable to
>> work on, that is what we're going to hack on. Straight forward. I
>> happened to enjoy making a system solid, but not nearly as much as I
>> enjoy designing and implementing the latest and greatest.

>Understood and agreed. From my own point of view, I'd love to contribute
>more to the kernel development efforts. Problem is, I can't read code
>like the Sunday newspaper. You and Linux, Alan, Eric, etc. seem to absorb
>overall design changes by osmosis. The mere mortals among us would be
>greatly inspired to pitch in by the presence of, umm, maybe just a wee bit
>more profuse documentation and commenting? I don't think I speak just for
>myself on this subject.

>I'm a professional developer in my "real" life, and quite comfortable with
>complex systems and concepts. However, kernel-level hacking brings me to
>my knees when trying to fix even the simplest things - primarily due to
>any almost complete lack of any provision or forethought for code
>maintenance. Not that I expect to have my hand held, but even a pointer in
>the right direction is better than nothing. Often there is not even that
>much to be had. Combine this with the fact that the core developers ARE
>quite busy and generally can't/don't answer direct questions and it's no
>wonder that folks get frustrated.

>I almost guarantee that 10% more effort put into documentation and
>commenting would reap great rewards in terms of contributed input from the
>community at large. Then, you CAN go off and design and implement the
>"latest and greatest" - AFTER having paved the way for others to maintain
>and fine-tune the previous "latest and greatest".

So go and write some documentation then. There is a lot of useful
material that appears in this mailing list which is not adequately
categorised. If you could just sort it out, put it into web pages for the
KHG, or man pages or something then you would achieve what you want (a
better documented kernel). Complaining here will not gain you (or anyone
else) anything.

Much of the documentation work doesn't require a really high IQ, just
time and persistance. Sure Linus, David, and Alan could spend more time
writing documentation, but that would mean less time writing code.
Why ask someone to spend their time doing something that you're capable
of doing yourself when they could be doing something you're not capable of?

>If you choose to read the frustrations of others as personal affronts, you
>are causing yourself needless aggravation. Please take my remarks in the
>spirit they are offered: A suggestion and another point of view.

The fact is that when people work for free the amount of harassment they
are willing to put up with is quite low. I've worked on some corporate
projects with very high stress levels, but as I was getting paid reasonable
amounts of money it didn't bother me that much.

I've quit non-profit projects with comparatively low levels of stress...


Russell Coker

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