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SubjectTake a deep breath...


On Mon, 14 Jul 1997, David S. Miller wrote:

> From: Michael Harnois <mharnois@sbt.net>
> Date: 14 Jul 1997 01:14:47 -0500
>
> If we don't have a stable kernel, we don't have a prayer.
>
> Yes, indeed, so all of us should go screw themselves.
> Thanks a lot.

David,

I'm not sure why you are overreacting to the above comment. How in the
world can you read an insult into one person's point of view?

> I think someone else should work on furthering the eventual 2.0.31
> release. I don't have the stomache for it anymore. Any volunteers?
>
> I'll dump whatever the latest is that I have, but you'll have to clean
> it up a bit, and also Eric Schenk is gone for a while so there'll be
> nobody to beat up the remaining networking problems past the fixes in
> my tree right now.
>
> 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".

> But to hear someone go "HEY! That's not it, don't be sympathetic to
> the developers, whats wrong with you! We need a stable kernel so that
> we don't get ripped apart in the trade rags!", sorry that kills all my
> desire to work on it.
>
> I refuse to work on something in my spare time for people who berate
> me and my fellow developers.
>

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.

Respectfully,

Steve





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