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    SubjectRe: Over 4-way systems considered harmful :-)

    > > I'm going to weigh in here in favor of limiting effort on SMP development by
    > > the core Linux team to systems with 4 processors and under. And not just
    > > because I'd like to see those developers freed up to work on my M-Audio
    > > Delta 66 :-). The economics of massively parallel MIMD machines just aren't
    > > there. Sure, the military guys would *love* to have a petaflop engine, but
    > > they're gonna build 'em anyway and quite probably not bother to contribute
    > > their kernel source on this mailing list. *Commercial* applications for
    > > supercomputers of this level are few and far between. I'm happy with my
    > > GFlop-level UP Athlon Thunderbird. And if Moore's Law (or the AMD equivalent
    > > :-) still holds, in 12 months I'll have something twice as fast (I've had it
    > > for six months already :-).
    > Two things.
    > 1) If a company (say, IBM) pays people to work on 8 / 16 way scalability
    > because that's what they want out of Linux, then stopping development
    > on that isn't going to get effort redirected to fixing your soundcard (yes,
    > I realise you were being flippant, but the point's the same), the headcount
    > is just going to disappear. AKA your choice isn't "patches for 8 way
    > scalablilty, or patches for subsystem X that you're more interested in",
    > your choice is "patches for 8-way scalabity, or no patches". Provided that
    > those patches don't break anything else, you still win overall by getting them.
    > 2) Working on scalability for 8 / 16 way machines will show up races,
    > performance problems et al that exist on 2 / 4 way machines but don't
    > show up as often, or as obviously. I have a 16 way box that shows up
    > races in the Linux kernel that might take you years to find on a 2 way.
    > What I'm trying to say is that you still win. Not as much as maybe you'd
    > like, but, hey, it's work you're getting for free, so don't complain too
    > much about it. The maintainers are very good at beating the message
    > into us that we can't make small systems any worse performing whilst
    > making the big systems better.

    Making it perform better, while not hurting up, and *not making code
    messier* is good thing. Messiness of code might be as importnat as
    performance, or even more important.
    "I do not steal MS software. It is not worth it."
    -- Pavel Kankovsky
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