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SubjectRe: Aix7xxx unstable in 2.4.21-rc2? (RE: Linux 2.4.21-rc2)
On Mon, May 26, 2003 at 03:42:42PM -0300, Marcelo Tosatti wrote:

> Splitting up the work with someone is senseless, IMO. As I said before,
> 2.4.22-pre should be better in that aspect. In case it doesnt, I'm giving
> up 2.4.x maintenance.


Reading your words, I have the sad feeling that you take no interest in doing
this job, and that you do it only because people ask you to. What a shame :-(

Although it sure can be annoying, aren't you proud of each new release ?
Usually, kernel integrators are proud of their new kernels when they get
something rock solid ! People like Con Kolivas, J.A.Magallon, Marc-Christian
Pettersen are often proud to announce us the few bits they changed in their
tree and which stabilized it. It seems you only do this as an obligation,
which is sad, really.

I understand that maintaining the stable tree, the one which MUST NOT FAIL,
may be frustrating, not being as excitant as playing with kernels which try
to get the most of every piece of hardware, as others do (although nobody
prevents you from developing your own Wolk). But you don't seem to share much
about your feelings, ideas or doubts with others. Alan, for example, exchanges
a lot with people testing his kernels, suggesting a few tweaks to help them
workaround their problems, and integrating the tweak in the next release if it
succeeds. This fast feedback allows him to release more often. It also makes
his work more intersting for others. People often prefer "here is -rcxx-acxx,
which my EPIA now fully supports" to "here is -rcxx, please test it

Perhaps you don't feel assurance when you have to blindly integrate hundreds
of patches from people you don't always trust, and that may explain why you
suddenly announce a new pre-release and keep silent, hoping for patch authors
to reply to questions if any ? If this is the case, jump into the train,
there's no risk, except of being caught by Rik's troll-o-meter, or having Viro
or hch insult you ! And then ? What's the matter ? Every one has his turn. I
even risk it with this OT mail. When you started with 2.4.16, you said that you
were afraid you lacked some skills, but you proved to be very capable, because
the kernel has moved since, and 2.4.21 should be far more stable than 2.4.16 !

This mail is not intended to give you any lesson, but to give a feedback from
a Linux 2.4 user who, as many others, feels more and more forgotten by his
maintainer. Unfortunately, what David wrote is what many people currently think
of 2.4 :-( You threatened to give up, but that would be bad for your image
and for Linux. Giving up means no maintainer for a certain amount of time, then
a self-proclamed new maintainer (or worse, several ones with a tree fork).
Being replaced is cleaner, since you do the job until the new maintainer is
ready to start.

If you don't have enough time to do everything, send a source quench, or apply
one of David's proposed solutions : ask for some help so that only subsystems
maintainers feed you as some already do (eg: David, Jeff, Greg), or ask for a
pure replacement. If you're bored, that I could understand, because having to
deal with arrogant and sometimes even selfish users is not always pleasant,
ask for a replacement. If you're fed up with patches that you don't understand,
reject them LOUDLY asking for more documentation. And if you plan to have a
rest for two weeks, say it, so that people don't send you patches that will be
lost in a full mailbox at your return. Yes, this may be what Linus did before
you, when people already complained. But there should be a middle line between
how he managed his kernel and how you manage it, and BTW, Linus clearly stated
that maintaining 2.4 bored him.

I've just read your mail about -rc[45]. I'm happy we start to see the light at
the end of the 2.4.21 tunnel. As others people, I'm now impatient to both 2.4.21
and 2.4.22-pre1. BTW, as discussed perhaps a year or two ago, you could have a
preview of 2.4.22-pre1 in parallel with 2.4.21-rc, to feed the impatients,
although that may be double work, which you don't necessarily need at the

And remember, please communicate, communicate, communicate. You and only you
know what problem you have at a given time. If you don't communicate, people
always imagine the worst.


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