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SubjectRe: RFD: Kernel release numbering
Greg KH wrote:
> On Wed, Mar 02, 2005 at 05:15:36PM -0800, Linus Torvalds wrote:
>>The thing is, I _do_ believe the current setup is working reasonably well.
>>But I also do know that some people (a fairly small group, but anyway)
>>seem to want an extra level of stability - although those people seem to
>>not talk so much about "it works" kind of stability, but literally a "we
>>can't keep up" kind of stability (ie at least a noticeable percentage of
>>that group is not complaining about crashes, they are complaining about
>>speed of development).
>>And I suspect that _anything_ I do won't make those people happy.
> That single sentence sums it up perfectly. When I have given talks
> about how our current development cycle works, and what's happening with
> it, people just feel odd seeing all of this change happen and get upset
> at it. Perhaps it's because they never paid attention before, or that
> they are new to Linux and like to believe that old-style development
> models were somehow "better", and that they know we are doing something
> wrong.
> But when pressed about the issue of speed of development, rate of
> change, feature increase, driver updates, and so on, no one else has any
> clue of what to do. They respond with, "but only put bugfixes into a
> stable release." My comeback is explaining how we handle lots of
> different types of bugfixes, by api changes, real fixes, and driver
> updates for new hardware. Sometimes these cause other bugs to happen,
> or just get shaken out where they were previously hiding (acpi is a
> great example of this issue.) In the end, they usually fall back on
> muttering, "well, I'm just glad that I'm not a kernel developer..." and
> back away.

The pertinent question for a point release (2.6.X.Y) would simply be
"does a 2.6.11 user really need this fix?"

> Like I previously said, I think we're doing a great job. The current
> -mm staging area could use some more testers to help weed out the real
> issues, and we could do "real" releases a bit faster than every 2 months
> or so. But other than that, we have adapted over the years to handle
> this extremely high rate of change in a pretty sane manner.

I think Linus's "even/odd" proposal is an admission that 2.6.X releases
need some important fixes after it hits

Otherwise 2.6.X is simply a constantly indeterminent state.

We need to serve users, not just make life easier for kernel developers ;-)


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