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SubjectRe: [RFC] 2.5/2.6/2.7 transition [was Re: Linux 2.4.16-pre1]
On Sun, Nov 25, 2001 at 07:58:41PM -0800, Linus Torvalds wrote:
> On Sun, 25 Nov 2001, Mike Fedyk wrote:
> >
> > Personally, I think that 2.4 was released too early. It was when the
> > Internet hype was going full force, and nobody (including myself) could be
> > faulted for getting swept up in the wave that it was.
> That's not the problem, I think.
> 2.4.0 was appropriate for the time. The problem with _any_ big release is
> that the people you _really_ want to test it won't test it until it is
> stable, and you cannot make it stable before you have lots of testers. A
> basic chicken-and-egg problem, in short.


> You find the same thing (to a smaller degree) with the pre-patches, where
> a lot more people end up testing the non-pre-patches, and inevitably there
> are more percieved problems with the "real" version than with the
> pre-patch. Just statistically you should realize that that is not actually
> true ;)

Unless you look at the *very* small amount of time between 2.4.15-pre9 and
-final. As noted by Rusty (first one to come to mind)... But what is done
is history.

> > 1) Develop 2.5 until it is ready to be 2.6 and immediately give it over to
> > a maintainer, and start 2.7.
> I'd love to do that, but it doesn't really work very well. Simply because
> whenever the "stable" fork happens, there are going to be issues that the
> bleeding-edge guard didn't notice, or didn't realize how they bite people
> in the real world.
> So I could throw a 2.6 directly over the fence, and start a 2.7 series,
> but that would have two really killer problems
> (a) I really don't like giving something bad to whoever gets to be
> maintainer of the stable kernel. It just doesn't work that way:
> whoever would be willing to maintain such a stable kernel would be a
> real sucker and a glutton for punishment.
> (b) Even if I found a glutton for punishment that was intelligent enough
> in other ways to be a good maintainer, the _development_ tree too
> needs to start off from a "known reasonably good" point. It doesn't
> have to be perfect, but it needs to be _known_.
> For good of for bad, we actually have that now with 2.4.x - the system
> does look fairly stable, with just some silly problems that have known
> solutions and aren't a major pain to handle. So the 2.5.x release is off
> to a good start, which it simply wouldn't have had if I had just cut over
> from 2.4.0.
> The _real_ solution is to make fewer fundamental changes between stable
> kernels, and that's a real solution that I expect to become more and more
> realistic as the kernel stabilizes. I already expect 2.5 to have a _lot_
> less fundamental changes than the 2.3.x tree ever had - the SMP
> scaliability efforts and page-cachification between 2.2.x and 2.4.x is
> really quite a big change.

Thank you.

Now all we need is a road map for the next ten or so dev kernels and many of
the questions will be answered... What patches will go in what version, and
in what order?

> But you also have to realize that "fewer fundamental changes" is a mark of
> a system that isn't evolving as quickly, and that is reaching middle age.
> We are probably not quite there yet ;)

Yep. It looks like there are some rather large changes in the works for 2.5
though. Time will tell, and a LWN news story in about 1-2 years will be very
insteresting indeed.

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