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Linux Kernel 3.1 RC 2 Released

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the thank-you-linus dept.

Operating Systems 209

sfcrazy writes "Linus Torvalds has announced the release of Linux kernel 3.1 rc2. He said '300+ commits for -rc2 is good, but please make me even happier for -rc3 by ONLY sending me real fixes. Think of it as "fairly late in the -rc series," because I really want to compensate for the merge window being fairly chaotic.'"

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version inflation (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37089830)

I think he's got mozilla disease. 10 year at 2.6, then 3.0, now 3.1.

Re:version inflation (4, Informative)

SilverHatHacker (1381259) | more than 3 years ago | (#37089914)

Remember that he dropped the last number from the version, so the difference between 3.0 and 3.1 is the same as something like 2.6.24 to 2.6.25, not 2.4 to 2.6.

Re:version inflation (5, Funny)

formfeed (703859) | more than 3 years ago | (#37090134)

.. the difference between 3.0 and 3.1 is the same as something like 2.6.24 to 2.6.25

Plus after 3.1 there will be "3.1 for Workgroups".

Re:version inflation (0)

mug funky (910186) | more than 3 years ago | (#37090222)

where are modpoints when i need them?

Re:version inflation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37090572)

You mean 3.1(.)1 :p

Re:version inflation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37090812)

“Mopping Up can be a lot of fun. In the Mopping Up phase, Evangelism’s goal is to put the final nail into the competing technology’s coffin, and bury it in the burning depths of the earth. Ideally, use of the competing technology becomes associated with mental deficiency, as in, “he believes in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and Linux on the desktop.” Just keep rubbing it in, via the press, analysts, newsgroups, whatever. Make the complete failure of the competition’s technology part of the mythology of the computer industry.”

–James Plamondon, Microsoft

Re:version inflation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37090936)

Better yet, there will be Linux 3.1 "Millennium Edition"

Re:version inflation (1, Troll)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#37090450)

Sounds like version inflation to me.

Re:version inflation (1)

webnut77 (1326189) | more than 3 years ago | (#37090976)

Sounds like version inflation to me.

They make a salve for that.

Re:version inflation (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#37091000)

Well, yeah, if you happen to live in the land of Apshai.

Re:version inflation (1)

Reality Master 301 (1462839) | more than 3 years ago | (#37089960)

Less than eight years, actually. "A Linux kernel by any other version would smell as sweet".

Re:version inflation (1)

CheShACat (999169) | more than 3 years ago | (#37089964)

Aren't the odd decimal places development branches? Hence 2.4 -> 2.6. Ergo 3.1 is the ongoing development branch that will one day be released as 3.2.

Re:version inflation (1)

migla (1099771) | more than 3 years ago | (#37090000)

Some in Internet terms distant year called and wanted their way of numbering Linux back :)

Re:version inflation (1)

CheShACat (999169) | more than 3 years ago | (#37091098)

I had a feeling that was going to be the case, which is why I put the question mark in; I haven't been keeping up on the minor details for a long time.

Re:version inflation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37090014)

Not anymore.
1st digit replaces 1st and 2nd of the old numbering.
2nd is old 3rd (minor number)
3rd is the old 4th (for stable maintenance numbering)

Re:version inflation (2)

LordNimon (85072) | more than 3 years ago | (#37090060)

Aren't the odd decimal places development branches?

Linus stopped using that method back in 2004. Where have you been?

Re:version inflation (5, Funny)

JustOK (667959) | more than 3 years ago | (#37090150)

compiling

Re:version inflation (5, Funny)

KermitJunior (674269) | more than 3 years ago | (#37090196)

seven years compiling... oh, you must be using gentoo.

Re:version inflation (4, Funny)

Professor_UNIX (867045) | more than 3 years ago | (#37090304)

Ha Ha Ha. Laugh it up Mr. Funnyman. The extra 5% boost I get out of these optimizations is going to blow your god damn socks off.

Re:version inflation (1)

migla (1099771) | more than 3 years ago | (#37089980)

I think he's got mozilla disease. 10 year at 2.6, then 3.0, now 3.1.

I'm guessing they just dropped the unnecessary middle number. It used to be that the major number was more like 2.6 not 2. They just finally did some garbage collection of the name, sort of?

Re:version inflation (1)

jamesh (87723) | more than 3 years ago | (#37091170)

I think he's got mozilla disease. 10 year at 2.6, then 3.0, now 3.1.

I'm guessing they just dropped the unnecessary middle number. It used to be that the major number was more like 2.6 not 2. They just finally did some garbage collection of the name, sort of?

A problem they might not have had if they hadn't stuck the 4th number on the end in the first place...

Re:version inflation (1)

rudy_wayne (414635) | more than 3 years ago | (#37090588)

I remember a few years ago Linus said there would never be a kernel 3.0

Re:version inflation (3, Informative)

Inner_Child (946194) | more than 3 years ago | (#37091014)

I think what he said was that if he ever went to 3.0, it would mean he had gone insane and rewritten the entire thing in Visual Basic [lkml.org] .

Re:version inflation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37091018)

In this case it makes sense

They were using the 3rd digit for what the second one should do. It really was 3.x 3-5 years ago...

Could you take a 2.6.5 and drop it in for a 2.6.29? Not with out breaking half the system I bet...

So many quotation marks (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37089838)

Looks like a party at the end of that submission.

Damn, this feels like Firefox. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37089854)

What's with all of these software projects, especially open source ones, going fucking stupid with version numbers all of a sudden?

We get a new major version of Chrome every few weeks. Mozilla, apparently being unable to act individually, have decided to imitate Chrome as best as they can. Of course, they manage to fuck it up like they usually do, and now major Firefox releases are outdated mere weeks after they were initially released.

Now we see the same thing happening to the Linux kernel.

At least we have sensible projects like FreeBSD and Python, which only increment the major version number when there's a good reason to. Hopefully these other projects come to their senses soon enough, and return to version numbers that reflect actual major feature changes. Incrementing the version number for no good reason just causes confusion.

Re:Damn, this feels like Firefox. (1)

ChrisMP1 (1130781) | more than 3 years ago | (#37089912)

Actually, the 3 series is really quite different from the 2 series. It's not like they're suddenly spewing majors like Firefox &c - they just decided it's about time to move on to 3. It's been a while, and there have been a lot of changes between. Unlike Firefox (I can't even tell 4 and 5 apart, and now 6 is coming), and Chrome (it moves so fast, I don't even know which version I have anymore), Linux has been at 2 for quite a while.

Re:Damn, this feels like Firefox. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37090032)

Yeah, the *2.6* SERIES is quite different even from itself. Meanwhile the 2.0, 2.2, and 2.4 series had at least mostly had stabilized API/ABIs during the time of their existance, occasionally getting features backported (Thinking about USB,Wifi, and a few filesystem module primarily there). 2.6 however was having constant and incompatible changes ever 5-10 minor numbers. Devfs droppage, incompatible udev changes (Ever tried updating a system only to have it temporarily hosed because you had the wrong udev version running and all your device entries are now wrong??), constant gfx abi breakage (see nvidia/ati drivers constantly being 2-5 minor nums behind, and then having to drop older support for maintainability).

While a jump to 2.8 for the aforementioned features stabilizing would make sense, with a 2.9 dev branch started to restandardize 'stable' versus 'experimental' changes the jump to 3.0 was entirely unwarranted and just more of the me-tooness that linux seems to be have been heading towards for a good 5 years now. Honestly the only thing holding me to linux at this point is a lack of desire to have to repartition my disks using bsd slices, and a lack of alternative open source OSe that are actually robust enough to boot on all my hardware. (I have reference spec dual processor 440FX systems, the same chipset emulated by qemu, and despite being developed on it, ReactOS, Haiku, Solaris, and a few others never make it out of their first stage bootloaders, on IDE, SCSI, or SATA. Disappointing to say the least.)

Combined with the current Gnome BS (Which anyone who has tried running it on an system dated '04 or earlier will attest to.), there's not a lot of motivation to use linux over alternatives such as Windows, or a Mac/Hackintosh OSX box. The latter two might be slow, but nowadays with a 'desktop' GUI, so is the former. And it seems like the bureaucratic messes running these 'foundations' are so focused on 'features' and 'moving forward', that they've forgotten that one of great strengths of UNIX has always been it's long term compatibility.

For another example of this fubar'ing, Go look at GNU coreutils, and as an example, try running the old Loki linux game demos on it. Gee, don't work too well? They decided to deprecate and remove the - feature of head and tail, leading to breakage of numerous scripts dating back how many decades? Additionally, while I may be wrong, the line number feature they replace it with hadn't even EXISTED back in those days, and so for the sake of (whatever rationale was used) they broke it, knowing full well it would cause lots of peoples software to break in unexpected and possibly silent manners.

Would you trust this sort of mentality with YOUR long term software needs?

(And no, contrary to the belief set forth I am not a shill for MS or Apple. In fact I have a rather low opinion of both. I just happen to also hold many of the unilateral development decisions pushed by 'benevolent dictators' (not just Linus! Go look at glibc for another example!) in utter contempt due to their throwing the baby out with the bathwater, especially given the ever increasing bloat in many of the applications, libraries and kernel (C'mon, seriously, removing backwards compatibility while adding *10* extra features that add a meg of code 9/10s of people will never use while removing the one feature they will?!?!).

I'll just end this rant by asking: 'How many of you have been bit by one of the aforementioned issues, and what is your take on the modern 'MBA' mentality that seems to be creeping it's way into the open source ecosystem?'

Re:Damn, this feels like Firefox. (2)

Ster (556540) | more than 3 years ago | (#37090358)

... Honestly the only thing holding me to linux at this point is a lack of desire to have to repartition my disks using bsd slices, ...

Don't let that stop you - FreeBSD at least has supported GPT partitioning for some time, so you don't have to mess around with slices if you don't want to.

-Ster

Re:Damn, this feels like Firefox. (1)

dissy (172727) | more than 3 years ago | (#37090714)

... Honestly the only thing holding me to linux at this point is a lack of desire to have to repartition my disks using bsd slices, ...

Don't let that stop you - FreeBSD at least has supported GPT partitioning for some time, so you don't have to mess around with slices if you don't want to.

Oh thank {$deity} and praise {$baby_deity} ! That was one huge learning curve I was NOT looking forward to getting over.

Re:Damn, this feels like Firefox. (2, Insightful)

atomicbutterfly (1979388) | more than 3 years ago | (#37091336)

I'll just end this rant by asking: 'How many of you have been bit by one of the aforementioned issues, and what is your take on the modern 'MBA' mentality that seems to be creeping it's way into the open source ecosystem?'

My take? It's been enough for me to completely abandon any further attempts to convert to Linux until they stop fucking with things. I'm sticking with Windows 7 for now because it's proven to me to me a mature, very solid and surprisingly stable platform to run all of my software (both proprietary and open-source, so I get the best of both worlds). I can also count on plenty of older software still working in Windows 7, as well as much of my ingrained habits still working in the new Windows alongside all the new functionality, as opposed to GNOME 3's method of forcing the user to relearn nearly everything about how to use an interface.

Funny you mentioned the Loki installers. They are definitely broken, and I'm not the only one who's had issues with this. Not to mention more modern games like Doom 3 and Quake 4 have issues with Pulseaudio, which results in a noticeable sound lag unless you find out (via Googling) how to use the pasuspender command. Or still popular games like Wolf:ET in which you'll have absolutely NO audio in modern versions of Ubuntu which have removed OSS entierly from their versions of the kernel, unless you either recompile the kernel or find an ALSA wrapper a kind Ubuntu forum member was able to write.

And yet... you don't get these problems with Windows 7. I know I don't enjoy the unnecessary stress/effort of getting things to work the way they should, so that's why I don't bother with Linux anymore. Believe me, I feel happier now too.

Re:Damn, this feels like Firefox. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37089942)

>Now we see the same thing happening to the Linux kernel.

Not quite. Chrome and FF release major versions often. According to wiki, this is the first major version change of Linux since June 1996.

And linux still has some significance in the numbers after the three numbers, but the x.x.x don't matter, really. They might as well be doing linux 4 and 5 and so on in the coming months. It's because of the way they develop (and, as in the case of linux have been developing for years) - they just do their thing and increase the numbers as they go, like chrome/FF.

Re:Damn, this feels like Firefox. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37090090)

No, Chrome and Firefox don't release major versions often. Yes, they increment the version number at a stupid pace, but the changes themselves are quite minimal. It's difficult to tell Firefox 4 from Firefox 5 from Firefox 6 from Firefox 7 from the Firefox 8 nightlies, for example. Although they represent five "major" versions, there are no major changes between them.

The same goes for this Linux 3.x nonsense. No major changes happened relative to the most recent 2.6.x releases, yet they major version number was increment. It's pointless.

At least when FreeBSD increments its major version number, for instance, we know full well that there are major changes involved. We know that there'll be game-changing new features, or the removal of certain very outdated functionality, or new APIs. But we also know that compatibility will be maintained within the major release. That's something we can't be sure of when it comes to the Linux kernel.

Re:Damn, this feels like Firefox. (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 3 years ago | (#37089976)

At least we have sensible projects like FreeBSD and Python, which only increment the major version number when there's a good reason to.

And Debian. Let's not forget Debian.

Actually, infrastructure projects shouldn't be evolving that fast. At the risk of confusing matters somewhat, they're like elephants carrying a gaggle of mice. If they move too fast, the mice will just fall off, and have you ever tried to recompile a box of rodents during a bull run?

Re:Damn, this feels like Firefox. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37090004)

Please go back to whining about whitespacing rules. Petty complaints are more annoying when they aren't consistent.

Re:Damn, this feels like Firefox. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37090018)

Shut the fuck up. Seriously. Stop filling every article with the same ignorant bitching about arbitrary numbers, as if it fucking matters.

Slashdot readers are becoming unbearably ignorant.

Re:Damn, this feels like Firefox. (2)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | more than 3 years ago | (#37090340)

I consider it a praise to a piece of software if the only thing people can bitch about is its release numbering system.

Re:Damn, this feels like Firefox. (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 3 years ago | (#37090442)

I consider it a praise to a piece of software if the only thing people can bitch about is its release numbering system.

Indeed, but even better when they don't even bitch about version numbering. Even weird versioning, like that of TeX [wikipedia.org] , is forgiven when the product is exceptionally good.

Linux has being releasing this fast since 2.6 (1)

pavon (30274) | more than 3 years ago | (#37090082)

Linux 2.6.1 was released only three weeks after 2.6.0. By my count there were 10 releases in 2004, and then 4-5 releases every year after that. This works out okay for the kernel since the "official" kernel is treated as the beta kernel for most distributions, which update less frequently and with more testing, and about once a year, they designate a kernel for long-term support, and it receives bug patches.

Firefox releases are user facing, however and I have yet to hear any plan for long term support of versions in this new scheme. Both those factors make it more problematic IMHO.

Secondly, the Linux version bump is a good thing. The first number in the version was meaningless anyway these days, so merging it with the second so it only has 3 parts, not 4 is just good house keeping. I would be fine with Firefox doing the same thing; many of their .5 releases in the past have had enough new features to justify a .0 release, and then the point releases could be reserved for bug-fixes only.

QUERY !! WHAT HAPPENS WHEN LINUS MEETS BUS ?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37089986)

Will the kernel die with him ?? Just wandering !!

Re:QUERY !! WHAT HAPPENS WHEN LINUS MEETS BUS ?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37090006)

Never happen! Linus wouldn't be seen dead in a bus!

Re:QUERY !! WHAT HAPPENS WHEN LINUS MEETS BUS ?? (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 3 years ago | (#37090036)

dead _under_ the bus.

Re:QUERY !! WHAT HAPPENS WHEN LINUS MEETS BUS ?? (1)

QCompson (675963) | more than 3 years ago | (#37090232)

Never happen! Linus wouldn't be seen dead in a bus!

Ha!

he is sent to kamino and cloned (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37090410)

then with 2 million of him linux really takes off

Re:QUERY !! WHAT HAPPENS WHEN LINUS MEETS BUS ?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37090062)

Will the kernel die with him ?? Just wandering !!

No. Linux can carry on. He isn't a in any way any kind of irreplaceable technological genius in the development. He may be a genius, but not uniquely so among the developers. And nowadays he's mostly coordinating/overseeing the development, not actually writing code.

I'm sure there are plenty of people around him that know the ways of the community and could do the coordinator thing.

Re:QUERY !! WHAT HAPPENS WHEN LINUS MEETS BUS ?? (1)

Sinthet (2081954) | more than 3 years ago | (#37090740)

Wait!! Don't panic, I'll start looking through the dbus man pages for an answer.

Linus should just use Git Commit Object IDs (4, Funny)

mikelieman (35628) | more than 3 years ago | (#37090010)

Problem solved.

We now return you to your discussion of version 322a8b034003c0d46d39af85bf24fee27b902f48, currently in progress...

Re:Linus should just use Git Commit Object IDs (5, Funny)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | more than 3 years ago | (#37090356)

Nah, Linus is smarter than whatever idiot created git . . .

Re:Linus should just use Git Commit Object IDs (1)

sydneyfong (410107) | more than 3 years ago | (#37091188)

There can't be a <hash> version in progress because the hash is generated by all the contents (and history) of the commit.

Unless you're actually hardcore enough to modify code without changing the hash......

Damn, this feels like Slashdot (5, Insightful)

JustTech (1961012) | more than 3 years ago | (#37090058)

What's with all the slashdot users recently, going fucking stupid about version numbering? Who cares what the versions are called: 3.10, 3.11.30 3.A03930. As long as the software works and the users (developers and end users alike) are able to interact with the software, what's the big issue?

Re:Damn, this feels like Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37090094)

Some of us actually care about things like semantic versioning

Re:Damn, this feels like Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37090114)

Exactly his point.

Re:Damn, this feels like Slashdot (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37090108)

What's with all the slashdot users recently, going fucking stupid about version numbering? Who cares what the versions are called: 3.10, 3.11.30 3.A03930. As long as the software works and the users (developers and end users alike) are able to interact with the software, what's the big issue?

Its evidence an underlying problem whereby projects are focusing their attention more on PR gimmicks and the 'gee-whiz' factor of version numbers than actually producing good software.

In the case of the Linux kernel I don't think that applies, after all the 2.6 kernel lasted many years and it is highly probable that 3.x will now do the same. With Firefox (and some others) however, the versioning itself is absurd and the new features being added in each version reflect the aforementioned attitude: "Hey lets rewrite the UI again instead of fixing longstanding problems". Not to mention that when these things are brought up to the powers-that-be at Mozilla they're summarily ignored showing a growing distance between the people running FF and the everyday devs and addon writers who have made it successful.

Re:Damn, this feels like Slashdot (1, Insightful)

rudy_wayne (414635) | more than 3 years ago | (#37090610)

In the case of the Linux kernel I don't think that applies, after all the 2.6 kernel lasted many years and it is highly probable that 3.x will now do the same.

But it hasn't been that long since 3.0 was released and now they are already getting close to 3.1. At that rate they'll be up to 4.0 by the end of the year.

Re:Damn, this feels like Slashdot (1)

aardvarkjoe (156801) | more than 3 years ago | (#37090626)

But it hasn't been that long since 3.0 was released and now they are already getting close to 3.1. At that rate they'll be up to 4.0 by the end of the year.

If the 3.x series follows the same pattern as the 2.6.x series, we could expect kernel 4.0 around the beginning of 2019.

Re:Damn, this feels like Slashdot (0)

LighterShadeOfBlack (1011407) | more than 3 years ago | (#37090738)

In the case of the Linux kernel I don't think that applies, after all the 2.6 kernel lasted many years and it is highly probable that 3.x will now do the same.

But it hasn't been that long since 3.0 was released and now they are already getting close to 3.1. At that rate they'll be up to 4.0 by the end of the year.

Presumably you're thinking of the point releases as decimal fractions, ie. that after 3.9 comes 4.0. It's important to realise that's not the case, the periods in the version number just separate integers, so after 3.9 comes 3.10, then 3.11, 3.12, and so on. In other words there are as many point releases as necessary until a major number increase is appropriate, which as mentioned will probably be 5-10 years away.

Re:Damn, this feels like Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37090768)

No, it's evidence that people on Slashdot are entitled whiners who like to shit on the accomplishments of others. Your sense of neatness doesn't make you an unrecognized genius, it just makes you a pain in the ass to people who are actually DOING things.

My bosses care (1)

a2wflc (705508) | more than 3 years ago | (#37090130)

After a change, I'm either going to get a few "why don't we have the latest patches" or why did you install the latest major change without the proper approval. Teaching upper management is not easy and I've got a dozen reading summary reports daily and "know" what the monthly patch changes "look like"

Some of us work in IT. We aren't students like you (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37090234)

I hate to break it to you, but there are many of us here who work professionally in the IT field. We don't have the luxury of being students such as yourself.

When you have to manage 80,000 or more desktops and servers, spread around the world, things like version numbers become very important. It's not so much the numbers themselves, but the expectations and facts that they should convey.

Responsibly using version numbers lets the software developers convey to us, the software administrators and users, important knowledge about the software they have created, and how it relates to earlier and future releases.

A major version number increase should signify massive changes. It should indicate to us that we should disregard any previous knowledge we have, and learn the software product from scratch. It indicates to us that we may need to provide extra assistance to the employees using the software we're tasked with administering. Do you get the idea? Are you beginning to follow what the real world is like? Yeah, it's not like what your computer science professors may have caused you to believe.

When projects start changing major version numbers without good reason, it makes us unsure about such projects. We lose the ability to predict how much of an impact upgrading will have, for instance. Worse, it gets executives asking questions. Even though Linux 3.0 is only slightly different from the last 2.6.39, the major version number jump makes some executives worry unnecessarily. They start to think that what's nothing more than a routine upgrade is more risky than it is.

I have colleagues in IT who have experienced similar problems with the recent Firefox debacle. They have to deal with users who don't want to upgrade from Firefox 4 to Firefox 5, thinking there will be major changes and adjustments, while there's almost no noticeable difference between the two "major" releases!

It hurts the adoption and acceptance of open source software when major projects start playing dumbass games like these with their version numbers. It does indeed create the so-called "FUD" for those who make decisions regarding the use of open source software.

Re:Some of us work in IT. We aren't students like (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37090460)

Do you get the idea? Are you beginning to follow what the real world is like?

I'm beginning to follow the idea that you think you're a lot more impressive than you really are.

Re:Some of us work in IT. We aren't students like (2, Funny)

drater (806171) | more than 3 years ago | (#37090462)

Okay. Cool. We get it. But you don't manage 80k Linux desktops. Get over yourself.

Re:Some of us work in IT. We aren't students like (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37090758)

Care to point out where that comment says anything about "80k Linux desktops"?

It merely mentions "80,000 or more desktops and servers". If it's like most enterprises, it's probably a terrible mix of various versions of Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, HP-UX, Solaris, AiX, and maybe even legacy mainframe and microcomputer systems.

Managing a heterogeneous infrastructure like that does take many resources. Any confusion brought about by bad version numbering will have an impact. Work a few years in I.T. and you'll begin to see what he's talking about. He doesn't have to "get over" anything. It's children like you who need to realize how things actually work.

Re:Some of us work in IT. We aren't students like (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37091122)

He needs to "get over" his hangup about versioning choices in the open source community, since most of his grief about versioning choices arises from software in the Windows community.

He can start telling us kids (heh) to grow up when he manages 80k Linux desktops...

Re:Some of us work in IT. We aren't students like (2, Insightful)

c0d3g33k (102699) | more than 3 years ago | (#37090540)

Or perhaps ... just perhaps ... the many of you that work professionally in the IT field got lazy. Really, really lazy. Rather than actually evaluating the merits of a new software release for yourselves (as one would expect an actual professional to do), you lazily shirked your responsibility and expected someone else to do your job for you. For software you very likely didn't pay for, because it was provided to you free of charge, with full source code, access to the entire history of the code repository, development mailing lists, a detailed changelog etc. It doesn't get more transparent than this.

Quit whining. Seriously.

Re:Some of us work in IT. We aren't students like (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37090556)

Hey fuck face. As many others have pointed out, Linux is not as free as you fanbois make it seem. I'm in the industry and I know the truth of the matter. You're either a liar or an outsider with false ideas on how the enterprise IT industry works.

Either way... Go fuck yourself in the ass. Cunt.

Re:Some of us work in IT. We aren't students like (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37090620)

It sounds to me like the GP and his colleagues are trying damn hard to perform that evaluation themselves, but that these stupid version numbering games are preventing that from happening as easily as it should.

That post is full of quotes like:

Responsibly using version numbers lets the software developers convey to us, the software administrators and users, important knowledge about the software they have created, and how it relates to earlier and future releases.

A major version number increase should signify massive changes.

We lose the ability to predict how much of an impact upgrading will have, for instance.

They start to think that what's nothing more than a routine upgrade is more risky than it is.

That's not "shirking responsibility". That's due diligence. They're trying to judge the impact that upgrades will have, but doing a poor job using version numbers interferes with their evaluations.

If anyone isn't behaving professionally, it's those who are improperly using version numbers.

Re:Some of us work in IT. We aren't students like (2, Insightful)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | more than 3 years ago | (#37091088)

That's not "shirking responsibility". That's due diligence. They're trying to judge the impact that upgrades will have, but doing a poor job using version numbers interferes with their evaluations.

I'd suggest that using version numbers for such a thing is an inherently poor way of doing it. I can't believe that someone in 'enterprise' would upgrade to a new Linux kernel without appropriate testing and fallback positions even if that kernel update was a same-version distro update that only contained a few backported security fixes. You don't look at a version number and guess, you assume an update will fuck things up until testing shows otherwise.

I think Mozilla can be faulted for not providing security fixes for relatively recent releases but I don't think their version numbering scheme matters at all.

The kernel version number matters even less. Most people will only come across a kernel version change when updating to a new distro version at which time the quantity of change must require a significant amount of testing even from lazy admins.

Re:Some of us work in IT. We aren't students like (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37090682)

You are so ignorant you must be another student. Not the grand parent but some of us *do* pay for open source software. Out side of academia most people don't have the liberty of seat of your pants forum and IRC support when shit goes seriously wrong. Got a linux kernel bug? Your Redhat support contract may (if its serious enough) get Alan Cox on the phone (did some years ago, I realize he has now left Redhat). Got a table that is being completely mis optimized? Your Maria contract will get you Monty. I could go on and on. Open source software isn't just about free software for kids who think patents are yucky and everything should be free, its about quality software through open community development. Version numbers matter, they matter to executives, they matter to ignorant users who fear upgrades. They matter to those who pay those support bills and vendor contracts that fund open source software development.

-- Don't have 80k Linux desktops, but I do have 35k and growing Linux servers

Re:Some of us work in IT. We aren't students like (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37090592)

You're making excuses for IT departments becoming bogged down in bureaucratic nonsense. Project maintainers are slowly realizing the issues with supporting corporate software cycles and they are deliberately challenging complacent relics like yourself.

Re:Some of us work in IT. We aren't students like (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37090658)

The procedures you're talking about aren't there for shits and giggles. They're in place to ensure that upgrades go smoothly, and that critical systems continue to function properly.

We aren't talking about some shitty PHP blog or some lousy Ruby on Rails site you made for your neighborhood hairdresser. We're talking about systems that are directly involved with allowing billions upon billions of dollars worth of business to occur each day. We're talking about real software systems here.

Re:Some of us work in IT. We aren't students like (1)

The Dawn Of Time (2115350) | more than 3 years ago | (#37090786)

Those procedures are in place because the vast majority of IT workers are simpering script-monkey morons laboring under bureaucracy put in place by self-important CYA management types who wouldn't know how to make an actual decision to save their kids' lives.

There just isn't enough actual talent to go around. You work in a system designed (poorly) to compensate for that fact. The fact that you posted AC tells me you already know to be ashamed of it.

Re:Some of us work in IT. We aren't students like (1)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | more than 3 years ago | (#37091100)

The procedures you're talking about aren't there for shits and giggles. They're in place to ensure that upgrades go smoothly, and that critical systems continue to function properly.

If those procedures involve people making guesses based on version numbers then they are shitty procedures.

Obviously some are not as experienced as they pret (2)

dbIII (701233) | more than 3 years ago | (#37090632)

Obviously some are not as experienced as they pretend. Version numbering schemes vary wildly sometimes within the same product or project over time. If the above extremely condescending poster actually had the sort of experience they pretend they have they would know that versioning schemes vary very widely from place to place no matter what we would like to see as a standard.
Nearly every time somebody brings up "the real world" it's a sign they live in a insultated bubble themselves. A cube in a city office building is "the real world"?
Sorry kid, being a year or two out of school does not give you the right to bully the younger kids.

Re:Obviously some are not as experienced as they p (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37090688)

I've got over 30 years experience working with various mission-critical systems in a number of industries. What the grandparent wrote is absolutely true, and what you've written in very short-sighted. When I compare the very real scenarios and problems that he describes, versus the idle speculation and insults that you've spouted out, the grandparent's post will win every time. What if you try replying again, this time arguing against the actual points in that comment, rather than tossing out one feeble ad hominem after another?

Look around and you will see (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 3 years ago | (#37090824)

Consider some examples on say ten different products/projects from various sources and you will see exactly what I mean if you have somehow managed to forget in those thirty years. Version numbering is all over the place whether we like it or not and it depends on trends, whims and changes of management more than any sort of standard.
As for "ad hominem", you are misusing it that term badly since it was instead a case of pointing out "a pot calling a kettle black". The GP post above was a pathetic attempt at bullying another poster over an issue they appeared to have no grasp of themselves - the final line of my post was to make that very clear to the casual readers here that may not have bothered to fully read or comprehend the lines above it.

Re:Some of us work in IT. We aren't students like (4, Insightful)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 3 years ago | (#37090764)

Question:
Why is it easier to manage them when theres an extra, superfluous, unchanging "6" in between the major and minor version numbers?

I mean, linux was at 2.6 for like 8 years. And the time difference between Linux 1.0.0 and 1.2.0 was a measly 1 year. Linus apparently concluded that hanging onto a number in the middle for several years makes no sense (which it doesnt), and that it makes even less sense to have the major version contain 2 numbers punctuated by a dot.

He has reverted to the exact same system that most other software has used for ages, MAJOR.minor. What is your beef?

Re:Some of us work in IT. We aren't students like (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37090850)

Yeah the GP has a point when it comes to what Firefox has been doing but the new versioning for the Linux kernel isn't going down that route. As the parent said, it's just merging the first two numbers and there's no better time to do that then the next "major version" number switch (which would otherwise have been "2.8"). Even better in this case to start it at 3.0. So in reality this actually is a GOOD thing in terms of what the GP was posting about. It's a very clear line both in terms of when this change is taking place (3.x versus 2.6.x) and simplifies things going into the future.

Re:Some of us work in IT. We aren't students like (1)

Bengie (1121981) | more than 3 years ago | (#37090900)

It will be hard not to take this as negative, but I really mean it as an inquisitive question.

Shouldn't IT be looking at what's changing between patches and not worrying about version numbers? Also testing patches?

I've worked in IT, but not the part for the general day-to-day work, just the hard to solve problems. I know the other people at my work would test all Windows patches before pushing live.

Again, I haven't ever had to worry about these things, so I find it curious about "version numbers" being and issue.

Re:Some of us work in IT. We aren't students like (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37091068)

In the past, I've had to explain to managers the difference between Solaris 7, Solaris 2.7, and SunOS 5.7 to PHB types.

Numbering schemes can be arbitrary, but it would be nice to see some consistency across the board. Major number means groundbreaking features and potentially face-shattering bugs. Minor numbers mean some new features added or revised, or some depreciated stuff dropped. Revisions mean bug fixes, security updates, etc.

I just don't get version number inflation. Even Windows doesn't do this on the internal level (do a "ver" for example.) Of course, the names of Windows can't really be put in order other than 3.11, 95, and 2000, but the Windows kernel has been relatively orderly and sane when it comes to updates on it.

Re:Some of us work in IT. We aren't students like (2)

styrotech (136124) | more than 3 years ago | (#37091082)

Even though Linux 3.0 is only slightly different from the last 2.6.39, the major version number jump makes some executives worry unnecessarily. They start to think that what's nothing more than a routine upgrade is more risky than it is.

This confuses me. Why would executives care about the Linux kernels version number?

Surely you are using Foobar Enterprise Linux 5.x and whatever kernel they are supporting as stable? And you and your executives only need to worry about big disruptive changes when you move to Foobar EL 6.0?

Isn't that the whole point of distros and support contracts?

Would your executives care what the NT Kernel version number is, or would they just look at the actual Windows version being released (2000, XP, Vista, 7 etc)?

Obviously that Windows versioning example is so much more helpful than these "dumbass games" (your words) the open source projects are playing. How about both Windows and SQL Server have had versions numbered 7 and 2000, but they both came out in a very different sequence.

Or when Solaris/SunOS dropped the first digit from its version number. Or how about Java? We have 1.6.0 meaning Java 6 or vice versa in different contexts - JRE vs JDK etc. And 1.2 being known as Java2, then subsequent versions being known as J2SE 1.3, 1.4 (is this still Java2?), then J2SE 5.0 (huh? Is this Java 2 still or Java 5? The internal bits are still 1.5.0_x), then Java SE 6 (no .0 anymore, and inside it is still 1.6.0_x) etc. Yikes - no wonder enterprises stayed away from Java.

Your company must really struggle with those kind of games going on with proprietary or 'enterprise' software version numbers. It makes most open source projects look far more meaningful. I'm not sure how this is an example of the importance version numbers are to an enterprise.

Anyway, the new Linux versioning is correcting the misleading numbering the previous system had. Each new release was in no way a very minor patch on the 2.6.0 release. 2.6.29 bears very little resemblance to 2.6.0, and large chunks of it have been rewritten in that time. So the kernel is moving towards the kind of system you want - not away from it.

Re:Some of us work in IT. We aren't students like (2)

Rutulian (171771) | more than 3 years ago | (#37091096)

Extremely good points...except for the fact that almost no commercial software versions this way. Let's see....

Endnote 8 9 X X1 X2 X3 X4 X5 (all new major versions every year with mostly insignificant changes)
Office 2003 2007 2010 2011 (the 2003 -> 2007 was a pretty big UI bump, but otherwise mostly the same)
Photoshop CS3 CS4 CS5 (some significant new features for sure, but not "learn the software product from scratch")

Those are some examples I can come up with in five minutes, but there are lots more. Let's face it, version numbers are for marketing. If you want to actually know something about the software, you have to read the changelogs and/or install it on a pilot box.

Re:Some of us work in IT. We aren't students like (1)

CanEHdian (1098955) | more than 3 years ago | (#37091344)

Office 2003 2007 2010 2011 (the 2003 -> 2007 was a pretty big UI bump, but otherwise mostly the same)

Internally, version numbers are used:

Office XP = 10.0; Office 2003 = 11.0; Office 2007 = 12.0; Office 2010 = 14.0

There is no Office 13.0 (yes, superstition).

Also (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#37091218)

If you aren't going to have some consistency in terms of version numbering, why bother with point releases at all? If shit is just going to be a "whatever" situation, then why have a divided number? Just have a single number that gets incremented each time you release an update, for any reason. That'll work if you what to have an indicator of what is newer, but don't want to bother deciding what kind of release it is.

If you are going to do point releases, then make that shit mean something. Have some consistency as to what qualifies as what. It is up to you how big a change qualifies for various point releases, but whatever you decide, stick with it so that people can use them and understand them.

I'll give you a couple examples of it done right:

1) World of Warcraft. Each time a paid-for expansion comes out, that is a major version number, since they often make large changes to the function of the game. So currently it is on 4.X, meaning that 3 paid expansions have been released. The next numbers indicate patches that bring new content and/or major changes, but are not part of an expansion. So 4.2 means that since the 3rd expansion, there has been two major content updates. The final number, after another point, is for minor patches. Mostly just bug fixes and balance tweaks. Also sometimes you will get a letter release like 3.0.8a, that signifies a hotfix to the previous patch.

It is extremely easy to tell what kind of a change one can expect with that system, and it has been quite consistent. So the gamers know if "5.0" is coming out, that means huge changes in preparation for a new paid expansion. If 4.2.2a is coming out, they know that there will be no real changes, just a hotfix of something messed up in 4.2.2.

2) Windows internal versioning (not the marketing names). There isn't much to Windows versioning since customers want a release that doesn't change all the time. Major version numbers are reserved for big changes, like a rewrite to how the kernel works, new driver models, and so on. The last major version was 6.0, which is Vista and Server 2008. It got a major increment because of substantial changes to how things worked, like the WDDM graphics model, for example. Point releases are for new, paid, versions that keep the same basic low level as the previous version. Windows 7 and 2008R2 are examples of that, they are 6.1. While they introduce new features, make some changes, and are paid updates, they are fundamentally very similar to the previous versions. Drivers are almost always cross compatible and so on. There are then service packs, which are roll-ups of fixes, but also can introduce new functionality of a greater level than a normal patch.

Patches don't get versioning, because they are independent, you can apply them out of order (unless a given patch happens to require an earlier one) and not apply specific patches if there's a reason to not want a given one.

Again, very easy to tell what you are getting in to. If a new Windows release is a major number change, you can expect that some fundamental changes have been made. You will probably have to look at new drivers and so on so compatibility could be an issue. With a point release changes are more superficial. Good chance if something ran X.0, it'll run X.1 no problems. With Service Packs, it is not a big deal generally, you can expect everything to be the same, and just do a quick test to make sure no problems result with software compatibility.

Both are different in how they go about things (in part because of their different designs and markets) but both share the feature that they are real consistent in what their versioning means. I can look at either and tell what is going on easily, and it has remained consistent for a long time.

In the case of OSes, I really think MS has it right. Deploying a new OS, with big changes, can be a pain in the ass and enterprises are loathe to do it. So, keep big changes infrequent. Don't do a X.0 release unless there are changes to support that, and even then don't do one that often.

Re:Damn, this feels like Slashdot (1)

slasho81 (455509) | more than 3 years ago | (#37090796)

It's called bikeshedding [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Damn, this feels like Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37091212)

The number/version actually means something. If it isn't standard, intuitive, and above all consistent: it worries people.

It can also convey the fact the devs feel it is more important to imitate others and try to catch up to rival programs numbers as in the case of Mozilla.

Get over the version numbers people.. (3, Insightful)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 3 years ago | (#37090154)

FFS this site is getting pathetic with the whining about version numbers. Does it really matter that damned much if it's 2.26.41, or 3.1? Does it make any difference if it's called Firefox 3.8 or 6.0? I tell you, I wish I could get back to a place in my life where my biggest issue was worrying about what the version number on open source projects was.

Re:Get over the version numbers people.. (2, Insightful)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#37090476)

Yes, the version numbering matters. Because people with Cs in their titles make deployment decisions based on potentially false assumptions about the versioning. For example, there are going to be organizations stuck on firefox 4 for years because their CTO/CIO thinks that firefox 5 obviously represents a major upgrade and serious risk to their organization.

Re:Get over the version numbers people.. (4, Insightful)

chromatic (9471) | more than 3 years ago | (#37090528)

Because people with Cs in their titles make deployment decisions based on potentially false assumptions....

I can easily imagine that such organizations have much more dramatic problems than Mozilla's numbering scheme.

Re:Get over the version numbers people.. (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 3 years ago | (#37091166)

I can easily imagine that such organizations have much more dramatic problems than Mozilla's numbering scheme.

As long as they also have a large revenue and long term profitability, that is rather irrelevant.

A good CxO has to make decisions based on flawed or ill understood information. Often, the best decision is to try to avoid rocking the boat.

Re:Get over the version numbers people.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37091268)

That's why they make assumptions about version numbers, rather than reading the release notes.

Re:Get over the version numbers people.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37090846)

Then you should stop working in organizations where the C*Os are paranoid about version number changes. Take you talents elsewhere.

It is precisely because of tech-phobic, ignorant luddites like them that many workplaces still use IE6. Stop supporting these individuals.

Let them run like headless chickens when servers need a fix over a weekend... and no one is around to do it for them.

Re:Get over the version numbers people.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37091050)

The engineer in charge of the offices I once worked at kept the thermostat at 65 degrees "to save energy". Didn't matter that it was the middle of the summer with the AC going full blast and all the secretaries wearing sweaters. He was exactly that fucking stupid and nobody wanted to deal with arguing with him.

My point is just that version numbering /doesn't/ matter because incompetent jackasses will screw you over anyways. If you've got a git in charge that you cannot educate, then don't bitch to the rest of the world for not pandering to him.

Re:Get over the version numbers people.. (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 3 years ago | (#37091176)

The engineer in charge of the offices I once worked at kept the thermostat at 65 degrees "to save energy". Didn't matter that it was the middle of the summer with the AC going full blast and all the secretaries wearing sweaters.

It is hypothetically possible that he's correct. I recently learned that several buildings on the University I go to have what's called a "reheater" system. All air entering the building is cooled to 55 degrees in order to drop the humidity -- then is reheated back to whatever the thermostat setting is. Lowering the temperature on the thermostat doesn't cost any extra A/C, and saves on heating.

Probably not what was going on in your case, but theoretically possible, and an interesting tidbit in any case.

Re:Get over the version numbers people.. (1)

rudy_wayne (414635) | more than 3 years ago | (#37090622)

FFS this site is getting pathetic with the whining about version numbers. Does it really matter that damned much if it's 2.26.41, or 3.1? Does it make any difference if it's called Firefox 3.8 or 6.0?

It makes a difference because version numbers are supposed to give you a clue about how much has changed. Now, suddenly after all these years, people are jacking up the version numbers while making only minor minor changes.

Re:Get over the version numbers people.. (1)

willoughby (1367773) | more than 3 years ago | (#37090742)

At least Linus is still using numbers. Thank the stars! Linux version numbers still make sooo much more sense than calling one "wacky walrus" & the next "tall timber" or some goddamn thing.

Really ? (1)

Chuby007 (1961870) | more than 3 years ago | (#37090236)

ok to all the drama queens discussing that they changed the version numbers and whatnot, just remember to use kernels bigger than whatever you use now if available... who cares if they jump versions on increments of 0.00000001 or 1000000000 ... geez, if he wanted this could be kernel 398828811.000000002 and you would still use it and like it !

When is a number not just a number (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37090294)

I'm waiting for the 3.11 release, just for shits and giggles.

300+commits (2)

jginspace (678908) | more than 3 years ago | (#37090478)

Did a quick scan, one of them is: "Update e-mail address of Jarkko Nikula". Also noted lots of work related to the gma500 driver lately, thanks Alan Cox.

fairly chaotic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37090708)

"fairly chaotic"

Pretty much sums up Linux kernel development. It's a wonder it's as good as it is (and it's damn good).

How version numbers SHOULD be. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37091248)

Ok, I'll pretty state the obvious. It was already told, but with different words and point of view - as end user, since IANAP (I am NOT a programmer).

1. Yes, software numbering matters. If consistent, it's a great way the end user can have some info about the version without even testing it.
IMHO, it should follow strictly the formula X.Y.Z, where:
* When X changes, it's telling the user - "Code was bleached, interface was throughly rethinked. It's brand new. You'll need to relearn how to use this software."
* When Y changes, it's telling the user - "Here are some small improvements. You'll notice them, but it's the same old software."
* When Z changes, it's telling the user - "You won't notice the difference, it's just some bug fixes."
THIS is what the user expects. [Or at least, what I expect.]

3. "Lets put soem big nunbars for teh marketin cuz ppl liek dem maeks feel moar modern" fever was already WAY BEFORE Mozilla caught it.
Slackware mocked it in 1999, jumping from 4.0 to 7.0. Yeah, 1999. This is as old as floppies, if not even older.
Who started it? I DON'T KNOW. I only know it's both in FOSS and proprietary software. Winamp, Firefox, Chrome, Windows, lots of GNU/Linux distros...

3. Now, about Linux. Obviously, you all noticed that kernels were being released with a #.#.##.## numbering pattern (like, 2.6.33.17).
Changes made from 2.4 to 2.6 were not just improvements, but weren't enough to make a major version.
The third number is a mix of improvements and bug fixes. The fourth is bug fixes that SHOULD be released with the third number.
As I told before, I'm not a programmer. But I've observed that every number in software versions "spawns" branches, except the last one.
Every number spawns branching, Linux included. I remember that 2.4 was STILL being maintained and branching until few time ago!
Does this works? Well, check kernel.org and see how much different kernel versions are being maintained at the same time.
They're reinventing the same wheel, like, 10 times?
Seems like Torvalds is, actually, trying to simplify this whole mess that became maintaining lots and lots and lots of Kernel versions.
If so, great, even 3.0 being almost identical to 2.6. It means less kernel upgrades while, at the same time, quicker improvements - since workforce isn't being wasted reinventing the 10th wheel.

Or Torvalds just got bored of the big numbers and decided to troll us.

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