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Linus Torvalds Says Linux 4.0 Could Be Out In Three Years

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the next-step-only-got-to-3.3 dept.

Operating Systems 174

darthcamaro writes "The wait between Linux 2.x and 3.x was a long one, but the wait to Linux 4? Well, that will only be a matter of three years, according to Linus Torvalds. '"It's just mentally much easier for people to remember the small number," Torvalds said during the LinuxCon conference in San Diego [Wednesday]. "We'll do 4.0 in three years maybe when the sub numbers have grown in the 20's and our feeble brains can't handle it."'"

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174 comments

Firefox (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41177149)

Firefox will be up to 1,376,265.1 by then.

Re:Firefox (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41177167)

chrome will be 1,376,270.0.1246.0-1349675

Re:Firefox (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41177429)

No, Chrome will have reached version googol by that time.

Re:Firefox (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41177293)

I love the smell of burning mod points in the morning.

Re:Firefox (5, Insightful)

ThePhilips (752041) | about a year and a half ago | (#41177479)

This is an factually incorrect statement.

3 years, at 52 weeks per year, is 156 weeks. With a version bump every 6 weeks, in 156 weeks, FireFox would reach version: current version + 156/6 = 15 + 26 = FireFox 41.

What I'm trying to say here: one doesn't even have to exaggerate...

Re:Firefox (4, Insightful)

Filip22012005 (852281) | about a year and a half ago | (#41177863)

Your mistake is linear extrapolation. Firefox' versioning seems to be exponential.

Re:Firefox (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41177935)

Now waiting for Asa Dotzler to announce new millisecond rapid release schedule to overcome the challenges of ever evolving standards and timely bug fixes...

Re:Firefox (3, Funny)

Robert Zenz (1680268) | about a year and a half ago | (#41178371)

I'm pretty sure someone at Mozilla/Google is planning to put the Browser into the Web as Web 2.0 application.

Re:Firefox (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41178223)

FireFox 41.

By then, it should be renamed as EmberFox, or even AshFox.

Re:Firefox (4, Funny)

magpie (3270) | about a year and a half ago | (#41178019)

Meanwhile debian will be on 6.0.6 (though they might still be on 6.0.5).

Also (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year and a half ago | (#41177189)

Also, not covered in the summary, just like the GCC 4.X series, it will finally compile in C++.

</joke target="for the impaired">

Re:Also (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41177277)

Closing tags do not take attributes
/wooooooosh

Re:Also (1)

RoccamOccam (953524) | about a year and a half ago | (#41177557)

Closing tags do not take attributes /wooooooosh

I think they do in SCML (Slashdot Comment Markup Language).

Re:Also (2, Funny)

mwvdlee (775178) | about a year and a half ago | (#41177753)

Nor do closings of sentences take punctuation marks, apparently.

Re:Also (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41178271)

The rimshot character is implied.

Operating Systems research is dead (3, Funny)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | about a year and a half ago | (#41177197)

These days it's all about dumb terminals and VAXclusters.

Re:Operating Systems research is dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41177233)

Dumb terminals are the wet dream of microsoft and apple, no doubt. Full control over everything but the input and output devices, what's not to like?

Re:Operating Systems research is dead (4, Funny)

Teresita (982888) | about a year and a half ago | (#41177349)

When the Linux kernel reaches version 4.0 it will be the Year of the Linux Desktop. Real Soon Now.

Re:Operating Systems research is dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41178329)

And we'll all be using Perl 6....
and children will play merrily in the fields and drink lemonade in the sunshine.

internet links are to slow for that and caps will (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year and a half ago | (#41177633)

internet links are to slow for that and caps will kill that idea.

Re:Operating Systems research is dead (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year and a half ago | (#41177299)

These days it's all about dumb terminals and CLOUDS

FTFY

Re:Operating Systems research is dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41177991)

These days it's all about thin clients and CLOUDS.

FTFTFY. "Dumb" doesn't have such marketing appeal (and, probably, not politically correct to boot).

If you're gonna ruin joke by explaining it, at least don't stop halfway.

Re:Operating Systems research is dead (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41177303)

No it isn't.
Just a couple of years ago I saw an interesting talk about an experimental OS for multicore where the kernel is distributed over the different cores.
Just because the commercial sector isn't doing shit, doesn't mean research isn't happening.

Re:Operating Systems research is dead (0)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | about a year and a half ago | (#41177635)

I know the BSDs are a little behind [youtube.com] but I could have sworn they'd solved the Giant Lock problem.

Re:Operating Systems research is dead (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41177767)

FreeBSD in particular has granular (i.e. different subsystems can run on different processors), explicit locking in the kernel.

DragonFly avoids locks by switching to message passing, which is why the fork occurred (from the 4.X family, before pushing the Giant lock down into the subsystems). They didn't believe explicit locking was a good way to handle the SMP (and massively SMP) case.

OpenBSD is still under a Giant lock.

Can't say anything about NetBSD.

Not dead. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41177357)

Focusing on parallel execution and efficient scheduling of large number of processors.

Scheduling is now a rather complex item requiring more than just memory+ready to run.

Memory (where is the memory in a distributed system).
ready to run (where is the available processor)
scheduling additional constraints such as communication delays between memory and processor, between processor and peripheral, between peripheral and memory (DMA).
How to compute appropriate weighting efficiently, and fast.
Detecting complex distributed deadlocks, and determining recovery strategy with a minimum of computation time lost.

It gets much more complicated with such poorly designed architectures such as the X86.

What would be a better design for distributed systems? What kind of network should be used? What kind of granularity in scheduling is needed? What should be doing the scheduling ? Hardware, as in torus designs? or bus switch now that multimode fiber makes serial computing fast again?

What kinds of OS for a serial processor (or a optical processor where inputs strictly come from an input stream and continue to a separate output stream) should be used?

Lots of questions.

Re:Not dead. (0)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | about a year and a half ago | (#41177535)

The post you have just made could have been made to Compuserve around the time said service was running on VAXclusters.

Just numbers (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41177221)

Judging from 3.0 which didn't have any breakthrough features included, this is just silly numbers talk.

Re:Just numbers (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41177237)

I hope they will at least break backwards compatibility in order to justify the change.

Re:Just numbers (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41177945)

As weird as it sounds, I don't think there would be much complaining. The only time I ever see Linux users smiling is when they get to fix something that went wrong, all the while telling me how much better their OS is than the corporate crap that I run on my machine. The changelog will look something like:

* 4.0 changelog *
- changed version number
- changed algorithm that controls randomness of the "holy shit my printer is actually working" function; is now even more random.
- backward compatability broken. enjoy!

Re:Just numbers (2)

olau (314197) | about a year and a half ago | (#41178259)

I hope they will at least break backwards compatibility in order to justify the change.

They did that in a clever way with 3.0. See, many scripts were relying on the 2.6.x numbering scheme, or at least a triple scheme of x.y.z, so just by changing the version number they broke a lot of stuff. Clever!

Re:Just numbers (2)

mspohr (589790) | about a year and a half ago | (#41178473)

How stupid do you have to be to assume a specific number scheme will exist in the future?

Re:Just numbers (3, Insightful)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year and a half ago | (#41177307)

Judging from 3.0 which didn't have any breakthrough features included, this is just silly numbers talk.

that's exactly what he said, it's just a number.

An arbitrary perspective (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41178583)

In other words, the number is arbitrary. But there is nothing to be gained by changing something which is arbitrary, by the very definition of arbitrary. Therefore, they could have simply kept with the old versioning plan, which would be equally as arbitrary as the new plan, and saved themselves the effort.

If anyone would have recognized this, it would certainly be a programmer. (D'oh!)

ala OpenBSD (2)

aNonnyMouseCowered (2693969) | about a year and a half ago | (#41178837)

I'm sure "new" features will be added, but they won't be tied to any particular major number upgrade. This has been the way OpenBSD has been numbering its releases. OpenBSD 4.9 is simply the version that came before OBSD 5.0, which is the version that came before the current 5.1 release.

Maybe Linus wants to catch up to Theo? Linux kernel releases occur twice as fast as OpenBSD releases, so who knows. I kind of prefer the Ubuntu numeric versioning scheme that lets you know at a glance how old a release is. The animal names though are just plain silly.

For comparison look at the way Microsoft numbers its OS products, and you have to wonder what series they are using: 1, 2, 3, 95, 98, 2000, 7, followed by 8. Maybe they'll call release 9, Windows 2020?

Apple has been stuck at OSX for over at decade now. Two more decades and they'll be triple X.

Does it matter? (5, Insightful)

CadentOrange (2429626) | about a year and a half ago | (#41177225)

They're merely version numbers, after all.

Re:Does it matter? (2)

tapspace (2368622) | about a year and a half ago | (#41177393)

Well, the style or philosophy of verioning really shouldn't matter all that much, but one should have a consistent philosophy, rather than just "well, we are all tired of being stuck on version 3." If the linux kernel is changing philosophy, it should do so with purpose and intention IMO. It's a very big, stable project, and it's versioning system should be as respectable as the product.

Re:Does it matter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41177807)

What you are saying holds true for a product. Luckily, the Linux kernel isn't one.
I for one welcome the sober deviance from superficiality and "marketing".

Re:Does it matter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41177401)

Version numbers matters. A lot.

Hal Pawluk, who handled marketing for the nascent company, decided to change the name to the more business-like "dBase", and suggested calling it version two to suggest it was less buggy than an initial release. dBase II was the result.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DBase#Ashton-Tate

Linux 4.0 is obviosly a more mature product than Linux 1.0, hence a better product. Version numbers matters.

Re:Does it matter? (1)

Nimey (114278) | about a year and a half ago | (#41178657)

To some people it certainly does, to judge by the panty-twisting about Chrome's and Firefox's version numbers.

Small number? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41177231)

It's just mentally much easier for people to remember the small number,"

How about 0.00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001?

.

Captcha: impudent - is Slashdot trying to tell me something?

Re:Small number? (1)

fibonacci8 (260615) | about a year and a half ago | (#41178765)

It's just mentally much easier for people to remember the small number,"

How about 0.00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001?

.

Captcha: impudent - is Slashdot trying to tell me something?

Or as we like to call it, Charles.

Eh... (3)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | about a year and a half ago | (#41177241)

Most Linus users don't know their kernel version anyways. They just know their distro, and maybe distro version, and never care to look at what is under the hood.

Usability be damned, I would prefer they encode the version number in I's,N's, and U's. Running kernel version Liiinnnnnnuuux.

Re:Eh... (1)

Urza9814 (883915) | about a year and a half ago | (#41177449)

Most Linus users don't know their kernel version anyways. They just know their distro, and maybe distro version...

My distro doesn't have versions, you insensitive clod!

Seriously though, HUGE fan of Arch, and as far as I can tell if you're going to give one number to indicate what "version" your entire system is on Arch, it's probably gonna be the kernel version. Then again, I suppose Arch and "Most Linux users" may be mutually exclusive sets...

Re:Eh... (4, Funny)

Hatta (162192) | about a year and a half ago | (#41177565)

There are only two versions of Arch. Up to date and out of date.

Re:Eh... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41177625)

No, up to date is now out of date.

Re:Eh... (1)

Nimey (114278) | about a year and a half ago | (#41178683)

...and now your system is broken because you didn't read Arch's web page religiously.

Fuck that noise. I want a building-block system, I'll run Debian Testing or Ubuntu Server.

Re:Eh... (1)

zoloto (586738) | about a year and a half ago | (#41178515)

Gentoo users have been replaced by Arch users for the most annoying "groupies" in the linux world.

Re:Eh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41177509)

>Most Linus users don't know their kernel version anyways.
That'd be, presumably, his wife and wives and husbands of all the other Linuses of the World.

Re:Eh... (2)

fph il quozientatore (971015) | about a year and a half ago | (#41177831)

Usability be damned, I would prefer they encode the version number in I's,N's, and U's. Running kernel version Liiinnnnnnuuux.

I am old enough for this to recall scary LILO error messages to my mind. Aurgh!

Re:Eh... (1)

Robert Zenz (1680268) | about a year and a half ago | (#41178415)

Bwahaha...I needed to look that up as I never used LILO, but that's awesome*!

Awesome as in "awesome idea" not as in "awesome usability".

Re:Eh... (4, Funny)

Nimey (114278) | about a year and a half ago | (#41178703)

LILO had error messages? If you call getting to LIL a message, I suppose.

Do it earlier, after 3.9 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41177243)

If the issue is remembering the various subversion numbers, just stick with the familiar decimal system. 3.9 -> 4.0

Re:Do it earlier, after 3.9 (1)

hobarrera (2008506) | about a year and a half ago | (#41177397)

FYI, Linux uses git, which uses a SHA-1 as a commit number, not incremental revision numbers.
Also, it's just as easy to remember that 3.26 -> 4.0.

3.20's? (3, Insightful)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | about a year and a half ago | (#41177259)

We'll do 4.0 in three years maybe when the sub numbers have grown in the 20's and our feeble brains can't handle it.

If your numbers are going to be arbitrary, why not roll them over at 3.9?

Re:3.20's? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41177445)

what about 4.20

Re:3.20's? (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about a year and a half ago | (#41177463)

"If your numbers are going to be arbitrary, why not roll them over at 3.9?"

Probably because that wouldn't be arbitrary [merriam-webster.com] .

Re:3.20's? (1)

Calindae (1256922) | about a year and a half ago | (#41177537)

Yes, yes it would.This definition -- "marked by or resulting from the unrestrained and often tyrannical exercise of power " -- from your link would define old Torvalds quite succinctly.

Re:3.20's? (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about a year and a half ago | (#41177881)

Even if your absurd comment about Torvolds were true it wouldn't change the fact that agreeing to move to 4 after 3.9 would completely remove the arbitrary nature of the revisiting system as the decision would no longer be made by Linus, but rather by the convention of mathematics.

Re:3.20's? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41177579)

If you look at whats special about this number [stetson.edu] , you'll clearly see that the number 20 is the number of rooted trees with 6 vertices, while 21 is the number of squares needed to tile a square, which isn't necessary within the kernel. Now back to those rooted trees, endor has trees and chewbacca is a wookie...

Re:3.20's? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41177613)

Because there is a new kernel version each couple of months, so with your option the major version of the kernel would increase too rapidly.

Holding off... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41177377)

I'm waiting for version 5, maybe 5.1. 4 doesn't seem mature enough for me.

LOOK MA !! OUR BABY IS GROWING UP !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41177389)

Four already !! My how the numbers fly !!

who cares? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41177409)

If this site really were "news for nerds" Wed have a lot more Apple stories and a lot less linsux stories. I mean com on Amiga os was interesting for a while but it too lost to Apple's superior engineering and design skill. So could we get some stories around here for an os that nerds actually use rather than for one they don't?

Think different.
Think BETTER.
Think Apple.

Re:who cares? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41177519)

Sorry, but nerd != design fetishist.

Re:who cares? (0)

collet (2632725) | about a year and a half ago | (#41177571)

Eh, good effort, could be better.

Personally I'd have 4 paragraphs of text just for that extra troll-iness.

What? (2)

fa2k (881632) | about a year and a half ago | (#41177441)

So they went to 2.6 for the previous major version and now they're going to 3.30? How is that not a longer wait?

Re:What? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41177671)

Because it was 2.6.39, and Linus basically changed 2.6 into 3 as version. The version change is an acknowledgement of the change in development methodology which makes the kernel development continuous, thus making major versioning mostly redundant.

Even Torvalds now? (3, Funny)

Urza9814 (883915) | about a year and a half ago | (#41177467)

When will this quick versioning madness end?!!?

Re:Even Torvalds now? (4, Funny)

Hieronymus Howard (215725) | about a year and a half ago | (#41177691)

Exactly. Why don't they just copy Apple's current system and call it 'The New Linux Kernel'?

Re:Even Torvalds now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41178055)

Not before the "Linux Kernel Extreme" phase.

Re:Even Torvalds now? (3, Interesting)

GeekWithAKnife (2717871) | about a year and a half ago | (#41178233)

Exactly. Why don't they just copy Apple's current system and call it 'The New Linux Kernel'?

Rest assured, if you call it iLinux you will be sued. Especially if this is software run inside a rectangular device. P.S. You might be safe for the fact it may not run on a given processor though.

Re:Even Torvalds now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41178441)

Rest assured, if you call it iLinux you will be sued. Especially if this is software run inside a rectangular device.
P.S.
You might be safe for the fact it may not run on a given processor though.

You are joking on that, but there used to be a distribution called "(Future Technologies) Os X".

Re:Even Torvalds now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41178439)

Exactly. Why don't they just copy Apple's current system and call it 'Alley Cat'.

There, FTFY.

Re:Even Torvalds now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41177915)

Lets say I release something every month. Any new features I have added are in this months version. With any that are not done disabled until they are ready. With the occasional breakage fix. I do not back port fixes.

After 10 years I would have released ~120 versions. Would that not the last one released after 10 years be version 120? Or do you want something like ver 4.93.7? Would 0.120 make you more comfortable?

If you stop and think about it. What do version numbers tell you? I have 'these features' and 'these fixes'. Sub version number quickly get out of hand as *NO ONE* can agree what they mean. I have seen version numbers get 8 levels deep with letters and numbers. When it was really just a point release.

Many of these projects I moved to 'released on day xyz'. If I need more than one in a day I call it the PM release. So todays version number would be 2012-08-31.

"Linus Torvalds" (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41177615)

The primary reason Linux will never be a mainstream "Linus Torvalds".

I don't even have to think about the kernel (2)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year and a half ago | (#41177669)

The kernel has been in a very good shape for a long time already. It's already a "It Just Works(TM)" thing. The aspects that I am interested seeing advancing are in the userspace: desktop environment and games.

Re:I don't even have to think about the kernel (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#41178607)

The kernel has been in a very good shape for a long time already. It's already a "It Just Works(TM)" thing

You must not be waiting for bcache or for serial wacom.

And this is news because ? (1, Insightful)

Foske (144771) | about a year and a half ago | (#41177705)

Linux 5.0 could be out tomorrow. Linus just has to say "this is 5.0". What does that tell us ? Absolutely nothing. Sorry Slashdot, I expected a bit better from you.

Re:And this is news because ? (1, Offtopic)

Asgerix (1035824) | about a year and a half ago | (#41177841)

Sorry Slashdot, I expected a bit better from you.

You must be too old here.

Version nonsense (3, Interesting)

GeekWithAKnife (2717871) | about a year and a half ago | (#41177785)

Does this make any sense really? We thought there will be a move from 2.6 to 2.8, all-of-a-sudden we had version 3.0 (Where are my .4 worth of upgrades BTW?) How much time did it take to move from 2.6 to 3.0? Considering the current, latest kernel is 3.5, it could be decided tomorrow that the next update will warrant a version 4.0. What does this version business equate to? how can you measure how much better it is based on this "version"? Would it not make more sense to date stamp the release? At least that way you'd know that X development time was put in between 3.5.1 & 3.5.2. I think we need a better system than "version".

Re:Version nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41177869)

Thanks for your input GeekWithAKnife

Rasta Kernel (0)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about a year and a half ago | (#41177929)

...when the sub numbers have grown in the 20's

So we should eventually reach 4.20 ?

Re:Rasta Kernel (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41178023)

So we should eventually reach 4.20 ?

and 6.66 and 9.11 won't be far behind.

Numerology aside, all hail Tengil.

Re:Rasta Kernel (3, Funny)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year and a half ago | (#41178613)

But something tells me getting from 4.20 to 4.21 will take a really long time, man.

Yeah, but this one goes to 11... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41178429)

Honestly, who cares about the version number? What's more important is what critical new capabilities it'll have...

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