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    SubjectRe: starting with 2.7
    On Sun, Jan 02, 2005 at 04:30:11PM -0800, William Lee Irwin III wrote:
    > Adrian Bunk wrote:
    > >> The main advantage with stable kernels in the good old days (tm) when 4
    > >> and 6 were even numbers was that you knew if something didn't work, and
    > >> upgrading to a new kernel inside this stable kernel series had a
    > >> relatively low risk of new breakages. This meant one big migration every
    > >> few years and relatively easy upgrades between stable series kernels.
    > >> Nowadays in 2.6, every new 2.6 kernel has several regressions compared
    > >> to the previous one, and additionally obsolete but used code like
    > >> ipchains and devfs is scheduled for removal making upgrades even harder
    > >> for many users.
    > On Sun, Jan 02, 2005 at 05:49:08PM -0500, Bill Davidsen wrote:
    > > And there you have my largest complaint with the new model. If 2.6 is
    > > stable, it should not have existing features removed just because
    > > someone has a new wet dream about a better but incompatible way to do
    > > things. I expect working programs to be deliberately broken in a
    > > development tree, but once existing features are removed there simply is
    > > no stable set of features.
    > The presumption is that these changes are frivolous. This is false.
    > The removals of these features are motivated by their unsoundness,
    > and those removals resolve real problems. If they did not do so, they
    > would not pass peer review.

    The netfilter people plan to remove ipfwadm and ipchains before 2.6.11 .

    This is legacy code that makes their development sometimes a bit harder,
    but AFAIK ipchains in 2.6.10 doesn't suffer from any serious real

    > Adrian Bunk wrote:
    > >> There's the point that most users should use distribution kernels, but
    > >> consider e.g. that there are poor souls with new hardware not supported
    > >> by the 3 years old 2.4.18 kernel in the stable part of your Debian
    > >> distribution.
    > On Sun, Jan 02, 2005 at 05:49:08PM -0500, Bill Davidsen wrote:
    > > The stable and development kernel model worked for a decade, partly
    > > because people could build on a feature set and not have that feature
    > > just go away, leaving the choice of running without fixes or not
    > > running. Since we manage to support 2.2 and 2.4 (and perhaps even 2.0?)
    > > I don't see why the definition of "stable" can't simply mean "no
    > > deletions from the feature set" and let new features come in for those
    > > who want them. Absent that 2.4 will be the last stable kernel, in the
    > > sense that features won't be deliberately broken or removed.
    > I can't speak for anyone during the times of more ancient Linux history;
    > however, developers' dissatisfaction with the development model has been
    > aired numerous times in certain fora. It has not satisfactorily served
    > developers or users. Users are locked into distro kernels for
    > incompatible extensions, and developers are torn between multiple
    > codebases.

    At least on Debian, kernels work fine.

    > This fragmentation of programmer effort is trivially recognizable as
    > counterproductive. A single focal point for programmer effort is far
    > superior for a development model. If the standard of stability is not
    > passed then the code is not ready to be included in any kernel. Then
    > the distinction is lost, and each of the fragmented codebases gets a
    > third-class effort, and a spurious expenditure of effort is wasted on
    > porting fixes and features across numerous different codebases.

    My impression is that currently 2.4 doesn't take that much time of
    developers (except for Marcelo's), and that it's a quite usable and
    stable kernel.

    > -- wli



    "Is there not promise of rain?" Ling Tan asked suddenly out
    of the darkness. There had been need of rain for many days.
    "Only a promise," Lao Er said.
    Pearl S. Buck - Dragon Seed

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