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SubjectISDN and the feature freeze (was: no driver change for 2.4?)
On Thu 05 Aug 1999, Linus Torvalds wrote:
> On Thu, 5 Aug 1999, Carsten Paeth wrote:
> >
> > I have a 2.3.12 running with the current isdn4linux cvs tree.
> > I will get crasy if my work again will not find the way into
> > the main stream kernel.
> >
> > Why is it a problem to put this stuff into the kernel ?
> I don't know why the ISDN people just do not ever GET IT.
> I refuse to get huge patches every time two weeks before a feature freeze.
> How hard is that to understand?

Well, it's happened just once AFAIK, with the 2.2.0 release. It it also
happened with 2.0, apologies, I barely knew what ISDN was at that time.

> I will continue to ignore the ISDN CVS tree. If the ISDN people cannot get
> their act together and actually start sending their fixes to the standard
> kernel in a timely manner, I cannot be bothered with it. This has
> continued for something like five years now, and every time I explain it
> to people my explanation gets lost or ignored.

As this has gone on for such a long time, at some point there isn't much
alternative to biting the bullet at some stage, and actually _having_ to
accept a major patch. Way too much has been changed since the time
2.1 was branched off 2.0 (which is basically the state of the existing
ISDN code in 2.3.x as I understand it, if you ignore a couple of pretty
minor patches. Feel free to enlighten me if I got that wrong)>

> > What is the actual way to put changes into the actual kernel
> > for isdn4linux ?
> > What can I do to fix that problems ?
> > Should I sent a patch to 2.3.12 to you or someone else ?
> It's not about sending "a patch".
> It's about being a responsible programmer, and making sure I get MORE than
> just a patch every f*cing time I anounce a code freeze. I should have been
> getting patches for the last half year, and I have gotten ZERO. And I'm
> irritated at the ISDN peopl, because this is not the first time. In fact,
> I have never EVER gotten a single responsible ISDN developer that stands
> up and says "ok, I'll be the maintainer of this, and I'll make sure it
> gets fed to Linus in a timely manner".

OK. About biting the bullet: I've been slowly getting into the ISDN
development over the last year. I don't consider myself much of an
expert on the internals of the ISDN state machine etc, but I think I'm
competent enough to be able to generate patches that have a chance of
working. Would you consider me as your sole contact with the ISDN
developers? If so, I'm afraid that we'll have to start off with you
accepting a megapatch at some stage (perhaps it's best to simply start
off with a completely new drivers/isdn tree). Once that has been done,
I can take care of feeding you incremental patches whenever there's a
stable state in the CVS.

> You still wonder why ISDN is not there? Do you still wonder why I'm fed up
> with ISDN people who think they they can just force-feed me one huge patch

I'm with you there. However, you yourself mention ISDN in your message
<>, and give
the impression that they (the ISDN people) have the chance to do just that
(as long as they don't "futz around").

> and completely avoid any QA in the meantime?

I have to disagree there. QA is *not* being completely avoided. In fact,
I think that the majority of people using ISDN in kernels later than
2.0.36 are using the CVS code. SuSE for example have it in their
standard kernel; the rest find out they need it when the existing code
simply doesn't work for them. Hence IMHO the "CVS" code (or at least
certain snapshots of it) has been tested quite thoroughly. I use it at
work to control a dial-on-demand link to the internet, and offer
callback links from home to about 10 people. It's been up since I booted
2.2.9-ac4 + ISDN CVS code 59 days ago now, it's made 2674 calls with 302
hours of connect time since then. I'd say it's pretty stable :-)

BTW, have you considered completely *removing* all the current ISDN
code? IMHO that would be better than including the outdated stuff...

> WHY, oh why, is the ONLY time I ever hear from ISDN people when I have
> publically announced a code-freeze? Explain that,

My opinion is: All the core ISDN developers are german, and are perhaps
not that fluent in english. That may be the reason why they're
hesistant to contact you directly; understandable, I have a mental block
to overcome whenever I have to write a german email, for example.
When you announce a code-freeze, urgency overcomes their hesitance.
Don't see this as an attempt to excuse it, however. It should have been
avoided. On the other hand, I hadn't quite expected the code-freeze for
a couple of months... (I haven't been able to keep up with linux-kernel
the last month, so apologies if you've reasoned your timing in some
thread elsewhere).

In conclusion, I understand your frustation at the situation (and thus
at the people involved). However, would you for this one time consider
accepting a jumbopatch (or a new drivers/isdn tree) to bootstrap a
period of hopefully happy cooperation?

Paul Slootman
debian: isdn4linux:
work: Murphy Software, Enschede, NL

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