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SubjectRe: Linux v2.6.27-rc1


On Tue, 29 Jul 2008, Jesse Barnes wrote:
>
> I think linux-next has been a *huge* help. It's been great at catching merge
> conflicts and build bugs (though not so much when you don't use it[1]!), and
> Stephen is really easy to work with. So I, for one, would love to see it
> continue.

I don't think anybody wants it to go away. The question in my mind is more
along the way of how/whether it should be changed. There was some
bickering about patches that weren't there, and some about how _partial_
series were there but then the finishing touches broke things.

I don't personally really think that it's reasonable to expect everything
to be in -next (but hey, I'm willing to be convinced otherwise). And don't
get me wrong - it certainly wouldn't bother _me_ to have everything go
through next, since it just makes it likelier that I have less to worry
about.

BUT. I do think 'next' as it is has a few issues that either need to be
fixed (unlikely - it's not the point of next) or just need to be aired as
issues and understood:

- I don't think it does 'quality control', and I think that's pretty
fundamental.

Now, admittedly I don't look much at the patches of people I trust
either (that's what the whole point of that 'trust' is, after all - to
make me not be the part that limits development speed), but that's
still different from 'largely automated merging'.

So I _do_ check the things that aren't obvious "maintainer works on his
own subsystem" or are so core that I really feel like I need to know
what's up. I seldom actually say "that's so broken that I refuse to
pull it", but I tend to do that a couple of times per release.

That may not sound like much, but it's enough to make me worry about
'next'. I worry that 'it has been in next' has become a code-word for
"pull this, because it's good", and I'm not at all convinced that
'next' sees any real critical checking.

- I don't think the 'next' thing works as well for the occasional
developer that just has a few patches pending as it works for subsystem
maintainers that are used to it.

IOW, I think 'next' needs enough infrastructure setup from the
developer side that I don't think it's reasonable for _everything_ to
go through next. And that in turn means that I'm not entirely thrilled
when people then complain "that wasn't in next". I think people should
accept that not everything will be in next.

But I don't think either of the above issues is a 'problem' - I just think
they should be acknowledged. I think 'next' is a good way for the big
subsystem developers to be able to see problems early, but I really hope
that nobody will _ever_ see next as a "that's the way into Linus' tree",
because for the above two reasons I do not think it can really work that
way.

Linus


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