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SubjectRe: [ck] Re: Linus 2.6.23-rc1


On Sat, 28 Jul 2007, Jonathan Jessup wrote:
>
> Linus, there is a complaint about the Linux kernel, this complaint is that
> the Linux kernel isn't giving priorities to desktop interactivity and
> experience. The response on osnews.com etc have shown that there is public
> demand for it too.

No, the response on osnews.com only shows that there are a lot of armchair
complainers around.

People are suggesting that you'd have a separate "desktop kernel". That's
insane. It also shows total ignorance of maintainership, and reality. And
I bet most of the people there haven't tested _either_ scheduler, they
just like making statements.

The fact is, I've _always_ considered the desktop to be the most important
part. And I suspect that that actually is true for most kernel developers,
because quite frankly, that's what 99% of them ends up using. If a kernel
developer uses Windows for his day-to-day work, I sure as hell wouldn't
want to have him developing Linux. That has nothing to do with anything
anti-windows: but the whole "eat your own dogfood" is a very fundamental
thing, and somebody who doesn't do that shouldn't be allowed to be even
_close_ to a compiler!

So the whole argument about how kernel developers think that the desktop
isn't important is totally made-up crap by Con, and then parrotted by
osnews and other places.

The fact is, most kernel developers realize that Linux is used in
different places, on different machines, and with different loads. You
cannot make _everybody_ happy, but you can try to do as good a job as
possible. And doing "as good a job as possible" very much includes not
focusing on any particular load.
And btw, "the desktop" isn't actually one single load. It's in fact a lot
of very different loads, and different people want different things. What
makes the desktop so interesting is in fact that it shows more varied
usage than any other niche - and no, 3D gaming isn't "it".

> Maybe once or twice Con couldn't help or fix an issue but isn't that what
> open source software is all about anyway?

That's not the issue.

Con wass fixated on one thing, and one thing only, and wasn't interested
in anythign else - and attacked people who complained. Compare that to
Ingo, who saw that what Con's scheduler did was good, and tried to solve
the problems of people who complained.

The ck mailing list is/was also apparently filled with people who all had
the same issues, which is seriously the *wrong* thing to do. It means that
any "consensus" coming out of that kind of private list is totally
worthless, because the people you ask are already in agreement - you have
a so-called "selection bias", and they just reinforce their own opinions.

Which is why I don't trust mailing lists with a narrow topic. They are
_useless_. If you cannot get many different people from _different_ areas
to test your patches, and cannot see the big picture, the end result won't
likely be very interesting to others, will it?

The fact is, _any_ scheduler is going to have issues. I will bet you
almost any amount of money that people are going to complain about Ingo's
scheduler when 2.6.23 is released. That's not the issue: the issue is that
the exact same thing would have happened with CK too.

So if you are going to have issues with the scheduler, which one do you
pick: the one where the maintainer has shown that he can maintain
schedulers for years, can can address problems from _different_ areas of
life? Or the one where the maintainer argues against people who report
problems, and is fixated on one single load?

That's really what it boils down to. I was actually planning to merge CK
for a while. The _code_ didn't faze me.

Linus
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