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SubjectRe: Some thoughts about stable kernel development
Date
On Sunday 09 November 2003 13:50, John Bradford wrote:
> Hi Linus,
>
> [Off-list]
>
> Quote from Krzysztof Halasa <khc@pm.waw.pl>:
> > Such a scenario is real and that way we might
> > end up with official kernel being unusable for any Internet-connected
> > tasks for weeks.
>
> This does highlight a real issue - I am concerned by the number of
> posts on sites like lwn.net saying things like, "Oh, I'm using 2.6 as
> my standard kernel now", when it is clear that a lot of those users
> simply do not understand the issues.

At the same time, you _want_ as many testers as you can get finding the
strange bugs where burning cd's on an ACPI-powered laptop interacts strangely
with 3D acceleration. And now that we're in the -test series, we want _more_
of them.

We know it's not safe. There's a very real risk of a data-eating bug that
could take out our filesystem (especially if we're using things like software
suspend). Of course those of us dragging laptops around have a very real
risk of getting the suckers rained on, dropped, stolen, etc. Very few
non-laptop computers get run over by one's own car. There's a larger than
average chance of unintentional beverage interaction too, since the vital
components are right under the keyboard in the beverage equivalent of ground
zero. (And don't tell me the hard drive enjoys being right under the
keyboard, either. Thump, thump, thump...)

So we have to back up a lot anyway. :)

99% of computer users don't understand the "issues" of connecting Windows XP
to the internet, yet they do it anyway. (Well, about 20% of them do. More
than that use W2k, and more than _that_ still use 98!) I'd say there are a
lot more issues with XP than 2.6. (For one thing, 2.6 doesn't dial home to
Linus and tell him what software packages you've installed. :)

I don't see what point is served by warning people away from a beta, pre-.0
release. I think we know. Security considerations are just one more element
of the party mix, and most of these are local (they've got to have broken
into the box ANYWAY, it just potentially lets 'em crack root once they're
in).

I'm still a lot more worried about what the kernel's doing to my filesystem
than what some malicious twit on the internet is likely to do. That's the
main reason it's still -test...

Rob
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