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    SubjectRe: RFD: Kernel release numbering
    On Thu, Mar 03, 2005 at 05:32:03PM -0500, Jeff Garzik wrote:
    > On Thu, Mar 03, 2005 at 10:15:46PM +0000, Alan Cox wrote:
    > > We still need 2.6.x.y updates on a more official footing and with more
    > > than one person as the "2.6.x.y" maintainer. I think that is actually
    > > more important.
    >
    > That appears to be the consensus conclusion we've arrived at.

    FWIW I'm still unconvinced changing the 2.6.x naming scheme in any way
    is needed to accomplish the goal of having more time to develop some
    significant feature.

    Another thing I'm unconvinced is that any numbering scheme could change
    the amount of testing of the non-final stuff. The thing is that a lot of
    users are just users, and they're not willing to test experimental
    things, they've no time and no money to do that, they only need the
    kernel running stable and fast. So I wouldn't even try to change the
    release numbering if the object is to increase the testing userbase.

    Comparing the number of people downloading the 2.6.11 compared to the
    number of people downloading 2.6.11-rc5 is just like comparing apples to
    oranges. We've to work with the oranges and we shouldn't expect
    the apples to help with that. (this ignoring that lots of apples runs
    the distro kernels anyways, I do too in my productive environments)

    I don't see why we don't start with a very short 2.7.0/2.7.1/2.7.2
    semi-stable cycle then after a few months we call it 2.8.0? What's the
    point of that 2.6 number, just to waste network bandwidth, disk space,
    pixels and keypresses?

    This way would be backwards compatible with the old numbering habits.

    Perhaps one day we could even get a 3.0 kernel that way ;)

    This still requires somebody taking care of a 2.6.12 if a security issue
    showup, but 2.6.12 should not be developed any further since after a few
    months 2.8.0 would be there already, so perhaps you can take care of the
    security issues yourself without handing it off to a maintainer
    dedicated to it.

    This is very similar to what is being suggested except you want to
    change the numbering scheme to do that, and that seems an unnecessary
    complication to me.

    The median number could go up to 255 without problems IIRC the limit is
    256, like 2.200.0/1/2/3. So if Linus make a new release every week and 3
    relases per stable/unstable cycle, we'll get 3.0.0 in another 14 years.

    Still you can stack -pre/-rc on top of that.

    So in short I don't really see the point of breaking the number scheme
    to achieve your plan (whatever your plan is ;), 3 numbers + -pre/-rc
    seems more than enough for whatever you're planning doing with the new 4th
    number. You've just not to get emotional about 2.6/2.7 being magical and
    unchangable, and to "unblock" them since now there seems to be need of
    them for the first time (since 2.6 is getting mature but still we don't
    want to slow down the development or wait years for the new features to
    be usable and get stuck in heavy backports). You should just make clear
    the semantics of 2.7 will not be the ones that 2.5 and 2.3 had.

    I recall I made the example last year at KS that the 4th level ptes was
    something that could open up 2.7, as Dave agreed that kind of stuff needs
    a bit of time to settle, and 2.7 would have been ok for that, and a few
    days ago you could have shipped a 2.8.0 instead of a 2.6.11! But at the
    same time if a super security bug in the firewall code would showup
    you'd be lined up to issue a 2.6.11 immediatly with only that bugfix in
    it.

    This will allow people to stay with the old rule, i.e. that if they use
    the *.\..*[02468]\..* releases they're safe. No need to break this rule
    established by decades to achieve your goal IMHO. Breaking rulings for
    no good reason will only bring _more_confusion_ to the end user IMHO.

    I've no idea if BK fits this, but (besides the fact I don't actually
    care about that) it should pose you exactly same technical SCM troubles
    that a fourth number would introduce, even ignoring the internal kernel
    breakages with KERNEL_VERSION in include/linux/version.h.

    Even with 2.6.8.1 I never got why it's called 2.6.8.1 and not 2.6.9,
    what's the cost of a minor number, why to break the numbering? (even
    ignoring that even 2.6.8.1 has an unstable VM that can underflow while
    valuating the "min" value in alloc_pages due a NUMA patch, fixed by Nick
    in 2.6.9-pre of course and is a more serious bug than what was fixed
    between 2.6.8 and 2.6.8.1 IMHO ;)
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