Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

2.4 Maintainer Marcelo Tosatti Answers Your Questions

timothy posted more than 12 years ago | from the succinct dept.

Linux 287

Now that Linux kernel 2.5 is under development by Linus and others, the all-important job of maintaining and updating the "old" kernel series (the one that people rely on in day-to-day use) has fallen to 2.4 maintainer Marcelo. You asked Marcelo about everything from the influence of politics (age and otherwise) to his working enviroment and approach to maintainership; his answers are below.

1) list of changes for the common folk
by e40

One thing that is really missing is a list of changes in each kernel release that is meant to be consumed by the masses. The "changelogs" that are offered up are sorely lacking for us non-kernel hackers. What I'd like to see is a prose description of the changes in each version. Something like Release notes for 2.2.18 by Alan Cox [linux.org.uk] is a step in the right direction, but some of it is even a little too technical. For example, in the above document, set_current_state

* Fixed potential SMP race

means little to me and probably a lot of other people. Under what condition does this occur? The question why should I care about this change? should be answered for each entry.

How do you feel about doing something like this?

MT: I agree on that the changelog is "not for end users."

As I've seen several requests, I'll try to do more extended changelogs.

However, please note that right now I'm giving higher priority to fixing problems than to writing extended changelogs.

2) diary
by Lennie

Do you have a diary, like Alan Cox we can read?

Because we all like to know, if you'll actually be doing what your gonna promise now :)

MT: No I don't, sorry...

3) Kernel growth -- is it a problem?
by connorbd

While I am a passionate Linux supporter, I have also come to the conclusion that kernel bloat is likely to be a major issue fairly soon. It appears to have been the case for some time that =486 systems Need Not Apply, and Red Hat in particular has become a rather memory-hungry distro (it won't even install on my 16MB Pentium system, though I doubt this is really a kernel issue). The end result is that Linux seems slowly to be growing out of the lower-end used-server-in-a-closet market that helped it get so big in the first place.

My question: I presume kernel bloat, both in terms of code size and resource demands, can impact heavily on maintainability. Do you see this as a significant issue for the future, how much of a problem is it, and is it something that can be easily addressed without tearing apart the code base and reorganizing it from the ground up?

MT: Core kernel bloat is a _very_ bad problem. However, I'm pretty confident Linus is not going to allow that on 2.5, though.

About more drivers/fses being added to the kernel, well, thats a bad problem for maintenance.

All we can do about it is to make sure all accepted code to the kernel is clean, simple, and well designed to make maintenance easier later...

4) code control
by brer_rabbit

Have you thought about putting your changes under some sort of version control software? If you started putting the kernel/patches under CVS, maybe the rest of the kernel crowd would follow.

MT: I'm releasing pre patches now pretty often. However, I could export my local CVS, yes.

I might do that in the future.

5) Any plans to improve documenting the kernel?
by Carnage4Life

Currently the Linux kernel is filled with functions that are either poorly documented or completely undocumented. One of the purported benefits of Free Software is that many developers can jump in and help yet when you have functions like __free_pages_ok [linux.no] in page_alloc.c that are important, complex yet the only comment is:

"Buddy system. Hairy. You really aren't expected to understand this."

Doesn't this somehow defeat the point of the source being available in the first place? Basically the question I have to ask is this, "I have flirted with the thought of sending comment only patches to the kernel to further help people understand certain subtleties (e.g. why the pprev and next pointers in user_struct are not what they seem) in the source code especially CS students who are learning about the kernel in operating systems classes. If someone were to start such a program would such patches be accepted into the kernel?

MT: Yes, I would accept such patches as long as I agree with the documentation _and_ as long as I have time to read all patches :)

6) A pretty generic question
by archen

How do you view Linux in the scheme of things? Mainly where do you think the niche of Linux is now, and where will it be years from now. How do you view the direction Linux tends to be taking compared to other OS's (Windows XP, FreeBSD, etc) - ["direction" is up to what ever you personally interpret it to be BTW]

MT: Linux has a lot of "niches": the embedded market, the home users market, the enterprise market: Handling all of those "niches" in the best possible way is a very nice challenge.

I don't see any "direction" to Linux, though: It can work well on several niches.

7) Why you?
by CmdrPinkTaco

This is not intended as a flame or a troll, more of an interview style question. I figure since we are the people who are putting our trust in this person to handle *our* kernel, that this should also be our chance to learn about the person responsible.

What makes you think that you can handle maintaining the Linux Kernel? What qualifications do you have and why should we (the people) trust you with the Linux kernel.

I realize that this is actually two questions, but they more or less go together in one answer.

MT: I think they chose me because I can deal with different people without ego fights. I usually avoid conflicts and instead I try to solve problems.

About qualifications: I've been working at Conectiva for some time (4 years) as a software developer. I'm working together with technical support, which makes me have an idea of usual end users problems/needs.

8) Patches
by return 42

Linus likes very small patches, everything broken down into little chunks of functionality. Alan is ok with bigger patches. What do you like and dislike in the patches people send you?

MT: I prefer patches which touch specific things only: what I really hate are patches which touch several kernel parts.

9) CML2, cvs, kdb, crypto and more
by iamsure

If during the course of your maintainership CML2 proves very successful (as I beleive it already has) would you consider using it instead of CML1?

Also, would you consider moving crypto into the main tree in the near future? Debian has, Redhat will "soon" ...

Would you consider using bitkeeper, cvs, or even complete changelogs with proper attribution of WHICH merges took place?

And finally, would you consider FINALLY bringing kdb into the main kernel? Linus doesnt want it, but he doesnt want it because he doesnt see the value. He didnt say he banned it ...

MT: About CML: Sure, I may consider including it in the future. Not now, though.

About crypto: I want to be out of legal problems. Sorry.

kdb: Maybe. Not now, though.

10) Alan Cox and politics
by melquiades

Alan Cox's stand on the changelog is clearly not only a matter of personal protection, but a political statement. He has chosen an issue that is tremendously important to Linux, free software, and software developers everywhere, and certainly it's right for him to be pursuing it.

But is the Linux kernel the right forum for politics? Do you feel that it's a bad idea to involve the kernel in politics -- a slippery slope in which the software itself becomes a political pawn? Or would you say that the kernel -- and all software -- has already become a political pawn, and Cox's actions are entirely justified given that free software's existence is under increasing threat?

MT: I'll try to avoid involving the kernel in political questions.

11) Sound drivers
by BlowCat

The sound drivers are very poorly written. A lot of code is duplicated. Not all drivers support some ioctls. Every driver has its peculiarities, e.g. some drivers reset dsp to mono, 8bit on DSP_RESET, some don't. Some support /dev/audio, some don't.

Not having ALSA in 2.4.x means no good sound support in the stable kernel for another year of two. Do you plan to integrate ALSA into the 2.4 branch? If yes, will it happen after it's done on the 2.5 branch?

MT: I do not plan to integrate ALSA on 2.4.x.

12) How do you plan to handle the big companies?
by hansendc

As all of us know, many large companies are putting large amounts of resources toward Linux. 2.4 will continue to be important to these companies because it is the version currently being shipped with the distributions, and will continue to be shipped for at east a year or two.

How are you going to deal with the submissions from people like IBM and SGI who are going to want to make significant changes to 2.4?

MT: If their changes are non intrusive and I agree with the way they are coded, sure I'll apply them. Why not?

13) Stability vs Features
by azaroth42

How do you intend to decide which new patches should be added to 2.4, the stable tree, and which are not to be included as being more appropriate to just 2.5, the unstable development tree? For example, do new or updated device drivers rank more highly than VM updates?

MT: I'm really trying to avoid new features which are intrusive: Those ones are for 2.5.

New features which are non intrusive are OK.

14) Threads
by Exmet Paff Daxx

What are your thoughts about threads? Specifically, do you support Linus's "Context of Execution" generality with clone() or are you going to focus more on plain POSIX pthreads compliance?

Any chance of Alan Cox's multi-threaded post-mortem debugging patch which dumps multiple core files for each lightweight process (LWP) making it into the kernel? How about support for post mortem debugging of multithreaded core files in general (right now there is zero support).

Any rants about threading as a general topic would work.

MT: I do support Linus's "Context of Execution" idea, yes.

About Alan's multi-threaded post-mortem debugging patch: I haven't read it yet. But I might apply it.

15) Age a question?
by debrain

If what I've read is correct, you are the youngest maintainer for this kernel. Do you have any feelings on a social level, regarding much of the peer review and critism will come from people who are older? (and very possibly set in their ways, and potentially intimidating)

MT: I don't have any feelings wrt age. I just hope that older people don't take that into account.

16) Expectations
by MikeBabcock

In the time you've been aware of or been using Linux, how have your expectations for what it ought to be or eventually become changed? I know in the time I've used it I'd never expected it, for example, to become a desktop OS but rather a good server or embedded product. What did you expect when you first started with Linux, and what do you expect now?

MT: I expected it to be a server system when I started using it.

Now I expect it to be a Unix system which can work in a lot of different environments. :)

17) Hit by a bus
by moonboy

I'd hate to stray from the status quo where standard interview questions are concerned, so in keeping with it, I ask:

What's it like knowing that, if (God forbid) Linus and Alan were hit by a bus, you might be "The Man"?

Hey, someone had to ask.

MT: I don't know, dude.

18) Re:Do you use a distribution?
by bfree

To rewrite the above question the way I'd like it asked:

What operating systems and platforms do you personally use and which ones do you also use (and why)?

MT: I use Linux for work and sometimes I use Windows to play games.

Do you run a common environment on all your machines (in as far as possible) or do you run different things in different places and which environments do you prefer for what?

MT: I do run Linux on all of my machines. I like to take a look at other OSes when I have time...

What development tools do you use (especially for the kernel), would you do anything differebtly for the kernel (like make it compile with other compilers) if you could (or will you) and would you like to (or will you) place the Linux stable kernel into CVS or another version control system?

MT: I use vi for editting source code and gcc to compile the kernel. :)

No, I'm not going to put the kernel in any kind of version control system because I have to know what goes into the kernel.

One thing which I'm going to do, and which matters, is the use of STP in each -pre release of the kernel.

I hope the SGI guys can get STP stable and working well soon.

Do you feel any personal preferences for anything might actually be in anyway reflected in your work as the stable kernel maintainer?

MT: No.

Do you have a good lawyer?

MT: No. Actually, I don't have a lawyer at all and I hope I'll never have to use one on Linux related issues.

Are you planing on travelling to the U.S.A.> (for all I know you live there, excuse my ignorance:-)? [Note: Marcelo lives in Brazil.]

MT: No. I may go to some congress, though. Not sure yet, though.

Have you experience dealing with politicians, business leaders and large groups and do you see this as a part of your job description? MT: I do not have experience dealing with politicians, business leaders or large groups. I see that as part of my job description, yes. I hope I can learn that with time...

When you stop maintaing the stable kernel, what would you like people to be saying about your reign?

MT: That it works well. ;)

cancel ×

287 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

FP (-1)

CmderTaco (533794) | more than 12 years ago | (#2683795)

Hi! I am gay!!!

Interesting, but I feel a bit differently (-1, Offtopic)

GrnHrnt (134291) | more than 12 years ago | (#2683797)

FP?

The Slashdot Staff: Editors or Janitors? (-1)

The Turd Report (527733) | more than 12 years ago | (#2683800)

Slashdot claims to have several editors on its staff. This is not true. Editors are people who edit. What does it mean to edit? Well, according to 'm-w.com' to edit means: to prepare for publication or public presentation. Does the Slashdot staff do this? Hardly. The readers who submit stories do this; they prepare the stories for slashdot. The staff just cuts and pastes them onto the front page. Editors also check for spelling and grammar. Editors also try to show both sides of a story; the Slashdot staff is some of the most biased people on the net. Just look at the icon for Microsoft posts to see this bias in action.
So, if they are not editors, what are they? They are janitors. Janitors clean up and put things back in place. The Slashdot staff cleans up troll vomit and crap floods. The janitor at my old high school was a big track star 'back in the day' but now he is just an old fool that the kids made fun of. He never really got it. He thought he ran the school just because he had the keys to the front door. It is the same with the Slashdot staff, they used to be important, but now they are just old fools who can't even remember what stories they posted just a few days back. The Slashdot staff also believes that they run the site, but it is OSDN that runs the show. The Slashdot staff doesn't see or hear the kids laughing behind their backs.

Please discuss

Re:The Slashdot Staff: Editors or Janitors? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2683825)

Cool Troll dude! But you forget one thing. The geeks at /. love linux, and linux sux. Oh, and the geeks that run /. are gay.

Re:The Slashdot Staff: Editors or Janitors? (-1)

The Turd Report (527733) | more than 12 years ago | (#2683851)

Cool Troll dude! But you forget one thing. The geeks at /. love linux, and linux sux. Oh, and the geeks that run /. are gay.
Thanks! But, i really didn't forget anything. It just seems silly to state the obvious. It is like saying that the sky is blue, or that grass is green. It is common knowledge.

Re:The Slashdot Staff: Editors or Janitors? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2683864)

Insightful and hilarious. I still like my +1 posting bonus though. Good work.

Whelp... (5, Funny)

ManualCrank Angst (541890) | more than 12 years ago | (#2683808)

..if his code is as terse and to-the-point as this interview, the kernel's gonna shrink by at least 75%.

Questions that didn't make the cut (5, Funny)

abe ferlman (205607) | more than 12 years ago | (#2683974)

Marcelo actually answered a few more questions that didn't appear in the main article, and were cut to save space. Here they are:

What do you think is an appropriate length for interview answers?

MT:17

Can you elaborate?

MT:no, sorry

Do you think that people who write long interview answers are compensating for other shortcomings?

MT: Yes, definitely

Re:Whelp... (1)

applejacks (536591) | more than 12 years ago | (#2683998)

Maybe if his (N)asm is as good as his C. - Screaming Kramer [pimpworks.org] guitar instruction heheh

B side questions (4, Funny)

nehril (115874) | more than 12 years ago | (#2684035)

Marcelo, please discuss what exactly this great responsibility means to you in terms of your childhood and your relationship with your parents.

MT: it's groovy...

Tell us your psychological approach to kernel development vis-a-vis great 19th century philosophers.

MT: not now. maybe later. sorry...

Some people have likened coding to a visual-perceptual dialectic where the dynamic energy of structure versus entropy result in communal "oneness." What are your thoughts on this?

MT: Code is green...

Is there anything else you'd like to add to this interview, given that you now have a chance to speak to the large slashdot community? Any particular issues you feel strongly about?

MT: ...

Re:Whelp... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2684069)

I like this guy already... I think he has the potential to do a pretty darn good job.

vi vs emacs (5, Funny)

Unknown Bovine Group (462144) | more than 12 years ago | (#2684168)

After this interview, I'm convinced he uses vi instead of emacs because with vi he saves 3 characters....

Short and to the point answers? (1, Interesting)

Squeezer (132342) | more than 12 years ago | (#2683816)

Not trying to flame or troll, but is it just me, or are his answers short and to the point, unline a lot of other Slashdot interviews where the interviewer would give a paragraph or two answer on every question?

Re:Short and to the point answers? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2683832)

Take a break, he's 18 and English is his second language.

age? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2683819)

Um. How old is this guy?

Ask JonKatz Anything! (-1)

CmderTaco (533794) | more than 12 years ago | (#2683823)

I will be conducting an interview with JonKatz [goatse.cx] and I would like you the readers of Slashdot to ask the questions.

Now JonKatz [goatse.cx] is very busy(Sucking off Hemos and all that), so he will only have enough time to answer about 10 questions.

You should know the routine. The questions that get modded down the most will be asked. Fire away!!!

Re:Ask JonKatz Anything! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2683865)

You should know the routine. The questions that get modded down the most will be asked. Fire away!!!

Ok, Mr Katz, Do you still enjoy your nightly Taco-Snorting session with the rest of the /. fags?

Re:Ask JonKatz Anything! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2684001)

Snotting & snorting are different things, you disgusting bastard. How dare you lower the tone with your snorting suggestions?

Interesting interview but... (-1, Offtopic)

SlaveTroll (535702) | more than 12 years ago | (#2683834)

Linux is dying
Yet another crippling bombshell hit the beleaguered Linux community when last month IDC confirmed that Linux accounts for less than a fraction of 1 percent of all servers. Coming on the heels of the latest Netcraft survey which plainly states that Linux has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. Linux is collapsing in complete disarray, as further exemplified by falling dead last [slashdot.org] in the recent Kreskin test.

You don't need to be a Kreskin [slashdot.org] to predict Linux's future. The hand writing is on the wall: Linux faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for Linux because Linux is dying. Things are looking very bad for Linux. As many of us are already aware, Linux continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood. Mandrakeis the most endangered of them all.

Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers.

Debian leader Theo states that there are 7000 users of Debian. How many users of Corel are there? Let's see. The number of Debian versus Corel posts on Usenet is roughly in ratio of 5 to 1. Therefore there are about 7000/5 = 1400 Corel users. Redhat posts on Usenet are about half of the volume of Corel posts. Therefore there are about 700 users of Redhat. Arecent article put Mandrake at about 80 percent of the Linux market. Therefore there are (7000+1400+700)*4 = 36400 Mandrake users. This is consistent with the number of Mandrake Usenet posts.

Due to the troubles of Walnut Creek,abysmal sales and so on,Mandrake went out of business and was taken over by SuSE who sell another troubled Linux. Now SuSE is also dead, its corpse turned over to another charnel house.

All major surveys show that Linux has steadily declined in market share. Linux is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very dim. If Linux is survive at all it will be among Linux hobbyist dabblers. Linux continues to decay. Nothing short of a miracle could save it at this point in time. For all practical purposes, Linux is dead.

Linux is dying

Hahahahah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2683917)

Very witty and original stuff!

Haha! I don't know where you guys come up with your ideas. Please I've been wanting to go into comedy can you spare a moment of your time and give me insight into your comedic genius?

THANKS!

Re:Interesting interview but... (2)

SirSlud (67381) | more than 12 years ago | (#2683935)

Man, someone out there sure feels threatened .. hard to believe someone is so worried as to spend the time pasting this form-post in /. threads.

One wonders what this guys trying to defend. I wish this guy who let us know for whom he works, and what he does ...

Mod this troll as it is (1)

goldspider (445116) | more than 12 years ago | (#2683942)

This is a troll. I know this, not because the poster's name is SlaveTroll (though that adds a reasonable amount of suspicion in itself) but because the logic he uses to obtain his figures is so absurd, his post can be nothing other than a troll.

Don't get me wrong; I love trolls. And I love it even more when they get past the Mods ;)

Re:Mod this troll as it is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2684123)

Troll Spotting is dying
Yet another crippling bombshell hit the beleaguered Troll Spotting community when last month IDC confirmed that Troll Spotting accounts for less than a fraction of 1 percent of all posts. Coming on the heels of the latest Trollcraft survey which plainly states that Troll Spotting has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along: Troll Spotting is collapsing in complete disarray.

You don't need to be goldspider to predict Troll Spotting's future. The hand writing is on the wall: Troll Spotting faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for Troll Spotting because Troll Spotting is dying. Things are looking very bad for Troll Spotting. As many of us are already aware, Troll Spotting continues to lose market share. Offtopic moderations flow like a river of blood, discouraging those who seek to join the ranks of the Troll Spotter guild.

Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers.

Troll-hater Taco states that there are 7 regular Slashdot posters, counting only those who consistently make intelligent comments that are on-topic. How many troll posters or crap-flooders are there? Let's see. The number of 'quality' versus 'crap' posts on Slashdot is roughly in ratio of 1(quality) to 17000(crap). Therefore there are about 17000*7 = 119000 troll posters.

Due to the troubles of freeBSD, abysmal sales, constant trolling and so on, *BSD will soon cease to exist. This will further damage to signal:noise ratio on Slashdot, as BSD users tend to have the intelligence that Linux users lack. Troll Spotting will become ever more pointless as the Troll Proportion (TP) increases.

All major surveys show that Troll Spotting has steadily declined in market share. Troll Spotting is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very dim. If Troll Spotting is survive at all it will be among Troll Spotting hobbyist dabblers. Troll Spotting continues to decay. Nothing short of a miracle could save it at this point in time. For all practical purposes, Troll Spotting is dead.

Code style? (4, Interesting)

Pyrosz (469177) | more than 12 years ago | (#2683848)

How are you going to deal with the submissions from people like IBM and SGI who are going to want to make significant changes to 2.4?

MT: If their changes are non intrusive and I agree with the way they are coded, sure I'll apply them. Why not?


Whats he mean by "... and I agree with the way they are coded"? If it works and has nothing bad in it, why would he reject it?

Re:Code style? (4, Informative)

pbur (88030) | more than 12 years ago | (#2683877)

If you were on the Linux Kernel Mailing List the past two weeks, you would have seen how much email your simple question can generate. The flame war about style lasted for at least 3 days. Check the thread at:

http://www.uwsg.indiana.edu/hypermail/linux/kern el /0111.3/index.html

Search the page for "Coding style - a non-issue" (subject of the thread) and read for a while.....

Pbur

Re:Code style? (5, Funny)

Chainsaw (2302) | more than 12 years ago | (#2683889)

/* Not accepted */
int fuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuck = 2;
int fuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuck = fuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuck + 2;

/* Accepted */
int min_value = 2;
int max_value = min_value + 2;

Re:Code style? (2, Insightful)

big.ears (136789) | more than 12 years ago | (#2684006)

Don't you mean:

/* Accepted */
int min_value, max_value;
minvalue = 2;
max_value = min_value + 2;

Re:Code style? (1)

Chainsaw (2302) | more than 12 years ago | (#2684149)

Sorry for that... Too much C++ lately. It takes a few compiler errors before realizing which language you are using again.

Re:Code style? (1)

Woko (112284) | more than 12 years ago | (#2684161)


Why 2? Whats so special about 2?

One of the things that ticks me off most while maintaining code is magic numbers that just get added into a complex calculation with no explanation or obvious reason.

Re:Code style? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2683899)

what do you mean by "has nothing bad in it" ?

do you think maybe he means the same thing as you do?

vagaries.

Interview suggestion... (1, Insightful)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 12 years ago | (#2683854)

...How about we start a couple interviews of the slashdot staff (CmdrTaco, Michael, Hemos, Roblimo, JonKatz, timothy)?

That gives you guys an easy interview, and we get our questions answered straight up.

Anyone else interested?
Mods that are interested, mod me up (don't worry, I'm at the cap).

FIRST ON THE LIST!!! (5, Informative)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 12 years ago | (#2683902)



"Do you guys read your own site?"

-no.

Re:Interview suggestion... (-1, Offtopic)

bytes256 (519140) | more than 12 years ago | (#2683959)

What a fucking suck up!

Can CmdrTaco kiss my ASS?

Note:This will be modded as low as possible and parent will be modded WAY up

Re:Interview suggestion... (5, Informative)

Otter (3800) | more than 12 years ago | (#2683969)

Several of these have already happened: Taco and Hemos [slashdot.org] , CowboyNeal [slashdot.org] , Jon Katz [slashdot.org] . They've led to informative, straightforward answers like this:

OlympicSponsor: Seriously, can you give us a breakdown of how much time each editor spends actually reading the site they nominally run? Like, time spent clicking on user comments?

CowboyNeal: I know from our internal discussion lists and channels, that all of us are constantly reading the site, but as for a detailed breakdown, I'd have no idea where to start.

Segmond: Have you ever used "super moderating power" to mod down posts attacking slashdot editors...?

CowboyNeal: As for "super moderating power", I know I could go into the database and moderate like crazy, but my ethics won't allow me to do so. Also, I don't usually read comments attached to stories.

Truth is, most of the editors seem to have gotten completely bored with the site but for whatever reasons feel compelled to keep plugging on. They've long since given up caring about it and seem mystified that any of the readers would care either.

Re:Interview suggestion... (2)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 12 years ago | (#2684090)

T&H interview: 23 months ago
CNeal: 9.5 months ago
JK: 22 months ago

Okay, CowboyNeal probably has nothing new to add, but the other interviews are so old that it's worth revisiting. Hell, there are nearly duplicate "Ask Slashdot" questions that are only six months old (and answerable via gg:ask slashdot).

Nice try (1)

roystgnr (4015) | more than 12 years ago | (#2683988)

You're just trying to trick them into listening to all our bitching, aren't you? God knows they've all been too bored/disgusted with the comments pages to read them for years.

No bloat (1, Redundant)

Compuser (14899) | more than 12 years ago | (#2683856)

I hope his code is as unbloated as his answers.
Coolest interview to date.

Priorities... (5, Insightful)

[amorphis] (45762) | more than 12 years ago | (#2683857)

However, please note that right now I'm giving higher priority to fixing problems than to writing extended changelogs.

Poor/Incomplete/Out of date documentation is the Achilles Heel of open source.

Re:Priorities... (1)

Pyromage (19360) | more than 12 years ago | (#2683898)

In the general context I am inclined to agree with this. However, this is not exactly correct.

The Achilles Heel of open source is software that does not work or cannot be gotten to work. What good is software that's documented well but that doesn't work?! Documentation is good, but if the features are not there or are not stable, well then, what's the point?

Re:Priorities... (1)

nether (221468) | more than 12 years ago | (#2683919)

Where the hell did he say that he wasn't going to write doco? He just said that he was going to give priority to fixing problems ... not EXTENDED changelogs.

jeez .... you are a putz.

Re:Priorities... (5, Interesting)

CoolVibe (11466) | more than 12 years ago | (#2683987)

Not really... The real 'heel' is the tedious/irritating work that needs to be done. Documentating stuff is irritating and tedious and thus is a part of that problem. It is not *the* heel, but one of the heels :-).

One thing is writing user manuals, which is something that can be done by non-developers and is much easier solved But documentating APIs and code is something that needs to be done by developers, who rather spend time writing working code than writing up to date docs. Somehow the documentation process always gets the lowest priority.

If you were developing in your free time, what would you rather do? Write code or write docs? I guess you know the answer :-) Guess what gets done last (or when there's some time to waste)?

Same btw, goes for code reviews and bugfixing of lower priority bugs (bugs which are kind of irritating but not critical).

What people will say (4, Insightful)

Syberghost (10557) | more than 12 years ago | (#2683871)

The best thing a maintainer of a stable kernel tree can hope will be said after his reign is:

Nothing. The less that ends up being said, the better a job he's done.

The Web of Hate (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2683875)



"Whites are forbidden to think in terms of racial identity unless it is to think of ways to promote the interests of other races." (1)


THERE IS A WEB OF HATE THAT HAS BEEN WOVEN ABOUT US! It has us bound and gagged, and we appear to be almost done struggling against it -- ready to give up and await the final and fatal sting, which will end our race for good. How is it that this great people have been overcome? How is it that we have had our strength turned to weakness and our hopes turned to bitter despair? At the end of the Second World War our nation was the strongest on earth and perfectly capable of withstanding any invasion by any other country. Yet within 20 years after the close of that great world conflict we were defeated from within. Our borders were opened to invaders from without and our military was commanded to ignore the invasion. Our society was dismantled and alien cultures were put in the place of honor for our children. Let's look at how this web of hate is held in place, and what techniques are being used to hold White Americans in their passive state as they wait for their extermination.

You are FORBIDDEN to think in racial terms! Think of it. In the United States of America your government and those who control it forbid you to think in terms of White racial identity. At the same time you are not only allowed to think of the racial identity of Nonwhites, you are commanded to do so! Such an outrage should bring White America to arms, eager to overthrow the villains who have brought such a situation to pass. But our White brothers are so afraid of losing the bit of comfort that is offered to them in compensation for their silence, that they are just letting it happen unopposed. If they were able to back away from their television propaganda drug for a while and look at what was happening they would become angry enough to rise up and right the wrong that has occurred in this country.

All-White organizations and institutions have been attacked and/or outlawed. At one time, all pro sports were all-White. Golf courses had all-White membership in their clubs. There were all-White businesses, movies and schools. Many Whites went through their days without ever seeing a Nonwhite face. Today that appears somehow wrong in most people's eyes. Wrong, not because these people have thought it out, and come to the conclusion that it is inherently wrong to have a White society, as America always did, but wrong because that is what their media outlets have told them is so. If they used their heads to think for themselves they would realize that Japan is all-Asian. (It is over 99% native born, Asian, Japanese!) Where is the outcry for Japan to diversify? Where are the outcries because that nation is racist? There are none because it is not a White nation. Only White nations can be racists according to the enemies of our people who have taken over our media and our government. Only White organizations can be evil, merely for existing.

At the same time, all-Nonwhite institutions are completely supported, many with tax dollars, or tax-free status. "A mind is a terrible thing to waste." Do you remember that advertisement slogan for the Negro College fund? Miss Black America, Black alumni associations, Black faculty and staff associations at nearly all universities, are all strongly promoted by our government and by those who are fighting for the destruction of Whites and their nation. There are Black, Hispanic, and Asian groups, which are subgroups of all political organizations and nearly all religious organizations. Police and Fire departments often have fully sanctioned racially Nonwhite organizations. All of these organizations and associations exclude Whites and are still viewed as not only acceptable, but as laudable! This, while White organizations of a similar type are banned, and even the discussion of them is considered taboo.

As our White organizations and institutions have been taken from us, we have been slandered at the same time. In the media, nearly all White cross-racial crime is given national coverage. Whenever some White heterosexual male criminal chooses to attack a Nonwhite or homosexual, the media makes a complete circus of the coverage. All of the negative details are brought out that would make the White race look bad. If the perpetrator has any racial awareness at all, that is highlighted as a factor in the crime. If the crime was brutal, all of the little details are laid out for the nation to view over and over again, until each of them is burned into their minds. At the same time, no detail that might explain the crime from any other perspective is allowed to be presented. If the White perpetrator was a criminal, drug addict or otherwise shown to be an outcast from White society already, that is covered up by the media. If the Nonwhite victim was a criminal also or otherwise disreputable, that fact will never be brought up in the national coverage. The net result is that the White race has been unjustly painted with a criminal, hateful brush, and that process will generate hate in the Nonwhite community for Whites, as well as self hate in Whites. Both of these things were intended by those who own the media, and that is why they covered the crimes in the way that they did.

Contrast that with the fact that very little of Nonwhite cross-racial crime is given national coverage. Nonwhites attack and brutally murder Whites many times more often than the reverse happens. Per capita the murder rate for Whites is one tenth that of Blacks. Rape and burglary are also disproportionally high for the Nonwhites in our society. But that is nothing when compared with the extremely lopsided numbers for cross-racial crime. Blacks are 22 times as likely to kill a White as a White is to kill a Black, according to the FBI figures (which are distorted by including Hispanic minorities as being White for counting White perpetrators of murder, but not as victims). While at least 22 Whites are murdered for every Black in cross-racial crimes, our media almost never mentions the crimes committed by the Nonwhites. If it does mention one of them, it is seldom mentioned as a racial crime, even if the perpetrator was clearly anti-White. Unlike White cross-racial crime, if it is brought up at all, stories about Nonwhite cross-racial crime are quickly ended. They never drag on and on, night after night. The net results of cross-racial crime coverage in this nation is to make the Whites appear to be the racial haters, attacking other races, while Nonwhites are perceived to be the victims. The reality is just the opposite of what is being portrayed in the media. In other words, if you gather your information about what is going on in our country from the media you will be worse off than if you remained totally ignorant on the subject of race crime. You will have the idea that the opposite of what is really happening is what is the truth. You will be worse than ignorant, because you will not know you are uninformed. You will think that you know what is happening and therefore your natural curiosity will be dampened. (Why research something that you already know about?)

The way the subject of race is handled in our society today is another strand of the web of hate. The White race alternately is said not to exist, or it does exist but it is the most evil of all races and it has always been oppressive to other races. If you argue that the White race has done more to feed the Nonwhite peoples of the earth than any other race, then you are told that the White race does not exist. If you point out the tremendous number of doctors Whites have sent to Nonwhite countries, and the enormous amount of medicine that Whites have created, paid for, and then donated to Nonwhite nations, you will be faced with a blank look and the question, "What White race?" If on the other hand you point out that there are Black organizations, and Hispanic organizations, and even Asian organizations which promote their racial people over and above all others, you are told that the White race has always oppressed these peoples and they therefore must organize in order to fight that oppression. So, we do not exist, however we are oppressive. There is no White race, but it is evil nonetheless. Such a lying sham would be impossible to impose upon even an idiot, let alone an intelligent and powerful people, without something going on that is confusing the issue greatly. What is that source of confusion? The lying media of course is that source. White folks expose themselves to the lies everyday from the media, which they mistakenly believe is there to inform them. When you trust the word of a liar, you are going to be deceived, ill informed, and ignorant on whatever subjects that he talks to you about.

As the White race is alternately bounced back and forth between non-existence and being slandered, the Nonwhite races are said to be oppressed, benevolent and honorable. As presented by the media, they have no faults and they should be promoted ahead of the White race in all matters. Effectively we are being told that Nonwhites are superior to Whites and that Whites have only reached their level of technical expertise and high standard of living by holding down the superior Nonwhite races. The net psychological effect of this is to drain the energy from any pro-White cause by making the very idea of being pro-White and attempting to maintain your White nation appear to be nothing but pure oppression of the poor, innocent Nonwhite people who are today invading our land. This strand of the web of hate is very powerful. A race of people can only survive as long as they have lands in which to breed with each other. When those lands are gone, the race will be gone. Asians, Blacks and Hispanics are in no danger of losing their homelands. Only the White race is in danger of extermination from this deceitful manner of attack. Only White nations are expected to treat other races as being superior and to give up their lands, heritage and future to other peoples.

In our media and our schools the accomplishments of the White race are always diminished, and never specifically credited to the White race. When a great White inventor or scientist is mentioned in school or in any media outlet, he is never called out as a great White inventor, or a great White scientist. The Whites who accomplish things are talked about as if they were race neutral. The White race is never praised for what it has done. It is almost as if what they accomplished is a given, like the sky and the ground. These cars, airplanes, computers, telephones, heart transplants and other miracles of today, originally created by the White race, are great but who cares what race created them? There is nothing in our schools or our media that will promote the idea that White people have anything to be proud of. There is nothing there, from which to create emotional glue, by which we can join our people together into a racial whole.

At the very same time that our media and our schools are crushing the historical basis for White pride, they ensure that the accomplishments of all Nonwhite races are always amplified and specifically credited to the respective Nonwhite race. Our children know the race of Martin Luther King, Jr. and George Washington Carver. Beyond that, the children know many things that are simply not true. While Black Africans never invented a written language, a wheel or even woven cloth, our children are taught that they invented mathematics and many other things, things that never even crossed a Black mind before the White man introduced the Blacks to them. It is not enough to merely distort reality, these web weavers must actually create falsehoods to brainwash our children with. And because White parents are so wrapped up in the web of hate themselves, they never take the time to find out what lies their children are learning in school, and then to give their children the facts which would expose the lies. Today's parents went through the same process in school, so they probably would not be able to even identify the lies themselves anymore. The Nonwhites, on the other hand, are bolstered by this process. They have their racial awareness nurtured and watered by constant referral to their race's accomplishments. They are made to feel special because of whom they are. They grow proud and strong, ready to do battle for their race.

So, we have discussed the following aspects of the web of hate:

All-White organizations and institutions have been attacked and/or outlawed.

All-Nonwhite institutions are completely supported, many with tax dollars, or tax free status.

Nearly all White cross-racial crime is given national coverage.

Nonwhite cross-racial crime, which is far more prevalent, is given very little national coverage.

The White race is said not to exist, and yet to be evil, racist, and oppressive.

All Nonwhite races are said to be oppressed, benevolent and honorable.

The accomplishments of the White race are always diminished, and never specifically credited to the White race.

The accomplishments of all Nonwhite races are always amplified and specifically credited to the respective Nonwhite race.
All of these things can have only one purpose. It cannot be altruism, for altruism would be as interested in saving the White race as in promoting other races. It cannot be love for your fellow man, when destroying the United States of America will harm far more people than it will help. So, what is the purpose of what is going on?

The entire process is completely disruptive. If you are being disruptive in a classroom at least in the ones that I have attended or taught in, you will either have to stop or you will be ejected. Why? Because disruptive conduct makes constructive learning impossible. In society, terrorism is effective because it disrupts daily routine and makes people feel uncomfortable with the way things are. Disruption will always harm the society or organization that it is occurring in. If you wish to destroy any organization or country, merely create effective disruption and you will achieve your wish. That is what our enemies are doing to America today.

Nothing positive can come of suppressing Whites and promoting Nonwhites in America. The only thing that comes from these tactics is the destruction or our great nation, and the extermination of our race. As the Third World people move into our land and become the majority in it, this country will become a Third World county, with the associate standard of living. This simple fact must be faced, if our people are to act in time to save themselves. But with the web of hate wrapped tightly around them they are going to just sit still and wait for the final sting of extermination.

It is up to us to break that web. We can do it with information, intelligently presented, and emotionally presented. To begin with, we must insist that there be all-White organizations and institutions at least everywhere there are Nonwhite ones. We must spread the truth about the fact that the vast majority of cross-racial (hate) crime is done to Whites not by Whites. We must spread the obvious and scientific truth that the White race does exist, and the historical truth that the White race has done more to help other races than any other race. We are not hate filled oppressors. Also we must point out that other races have recently done far more to harm Whites than the reverse, and it is time that it is acknowledged. We also must see that our race is given the credit that it is due for its great accomplishments, and to the degree that is appropriate to their quality. When you speak of walking on the moon, it must stand head and shoulders above anything any other race has come close to accomplishing. Giving credit where credit is due is a fine ideal, but it will always make the White race look very good if you do it fairly and that is exactly what we must insist upon.

Once this is done, it will break many of the strands of the web of hate that is holding our people today. Then we can begin to rebuild this nation as it was intended to be by our forefathers, and as it was when I was born in the early 1950s. The only real obstacle to fixing what the disrupters have done is the web of hate wrapped around our people. Our task is to awaken these White folks to the fact that the problem really exists. One of the great methods of doing that is to pass around David Duke's book, My Awakening. I am hearing about people buying the book in quantity and passing it out to their friends. It sounds like a mighty good idea to me. That book is like a sharp pair of scissors that will cut through the web of hate like a hot knife through butter. It is time to act. Waiting is no longer an option. What could we be waiting for anyway? It is not going to get better, until we act.

America is worth it. The White race is worth it. Can you say that the Founding Fathers were fighting for anything more important or holy than that which we are forced to fight for today? Their existence was not threatened, only their freedom. We have both our freedom, and our existence threatened by the weavers of the web of hate. And we had better fight back with all of our might or we will have caused both the blood of our ancestors and the existence of our descendants to have been sacrificed for absolutely nothing, except the agenda of our enemies. Can you live with that? I certainly hope not!

1. American Renaissance November, 1990; The New Racism: Excluding Whites by William Robertson Boggs

Remember the Anagram (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2683887)

'Storm a toilet, AC' = 'Marcelo Tosatti'.

Spread the word.

"Worst... Interview... Ever!" (2, Insightful)

Spoons (26950) | more than 12 years ago | (#2683888)

I don't know, dude.

Come on! This guy is the kernel maintainer? I know I will probably get modded down as flamebait because I am not singing his praises about being concise and to the point, but that interview was awful! I can't believe he is suppose to be the point of contact of anybody (read IBM, HP etc) that want to submit patches to be in the 2.4 tree. It looks like he spent about 10 minutes answering these questions, I can only hope he takes his job maintaining the kernel seriously. This interview certainly doesn't instill confidence in his ability to maintain the tree.

Re:"Worst... Interview... Ever!" (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2683916)

Yes, exactly, this guy sucks. He should be replaced with someone who cares about Linux and its community. What a flip asshole.

Re:"Worst... Interview... Ever!" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2683941)

Ten minutes is longer than I'd give a /. interview, and I don't have the task of maintaining the worst 'stable' series ever.

Nice job of criticising his non-answer to one of the most moronic interview questions ever, though.

Re:"Worst... Interview... Ever!" (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2683954)

So you don't like the fact he only diverted only 10 minutes from busily maintaining the kernel to answer questions from The Great And Mighty Slashdot?

I hope I don't need to spell it out any more clearly for you ;).

Re:"Worst... Interview... Ever!" (4, Insightful)

Rydian (29123) | more than 12 years ago | (#2683962)

Marcello is not a professional interviewer, if he was, I would expect some great wordy response, which would leave me standing speachless. Instead, he seems to have more of a "cut-the-crap" kind of attitude that will bring the kernel to a new level of stability (which really wouldn't take much for the 2.4 series).

Why judge the guy's ability to maintain a complex technical work like the linux kernel based on an informal non-technical interview?

I am willing to bet that if he was asked to explain how various parts of the kernel work together, that he could give a very reasonable answer, that would leave you with no problem understanding how it works. Now that would be a good base for his ability to maintain a kernel.

Re:"Worst... Interview... Ever!" (3, Insightful)

bribecka (176328) | more than 12 years ago | (#2684038)

Marcello is not a professional interviewer, if he was, I would expect some great wordy response, which would leave me standing speachless. Instead, he seems to have more of a "cut-the-crap" kind of attitude that will bring the kernel to a new level of stability

But it would be nice if he could show that he is, oh, *human*. With guys like him giving representing Linux, no wonder computer ppl have the image of humorless, socially awkward children. I mean, a simple lighthearted question about how it "feels" to be in the position he is in, and he has no idea? WTF?

Believe me, I'm not looking for a friggin dissertation coming from him, but it might be nice to see that a computer person can speak and act like a human.

Probably too much to ask for though.

Re:"Worst... Interview... Ever!" (2, Informative)

CoolVibe (11466) | more than 12 years ago | (#2684067)

I agree...

I bet if you meet him in person and talk over a beer or something he can explain things in more detail. Another thing that plays is that English is not his native language (nor is mine).

Most developers/hackers I know are real short and direct in their answers and explanations when they're in deep-hack mode, including myself. Why say more than needed?

People, instead of critisizing(sp?) his interviewing his interviewing skills, one should try reading his posts on LKM. That's where he's in his element (or natural habitat). I find no fault with Marcello. I hope he does a good job and I wish him success with it (and of course a lot of fun)

Re:"Worst... Interview... Ever!" (1)

_w00d_ (129045) | more than 12 years ago | (#2683972)

Come on! This guy is the kernel maintainer? I know I will probably get modded down as flamebait because I am not singing his praises about being concise and to the point, but that interview was awful! I can't believe he is suppose to be the point of contact of anybody (read IBM, HP etc) that want to submit patches to be in the 2.4 tree. It looks like he spent about 10 minutes answering these questions, I can only hope he takes his job maintaining the kernel seriously. This interview certainly doesn't instill confidence in his ability to maintain the tree.

Look at it this way, maybe he was preoccupied with kernel updates (or a game of CS) at the same time he attempted to answer the interview questions. If that is the case, he has good concentration at the very least.

Re:"Worst... Interview... Ever!" (1)

TRyanC (37547) | more than 12 years ago | (#2684083)

Ten minutes is apparently longer then the slashdot editors spend proofreading this article.

Re:"Worst... Interview... Ever!" (2, Funny)

TRyanC (37547) | more than 12 years ago | (#2684106)

...and much longer than I spent proofreading my post.

I meant to write "...longer than the slashdot editors spent proofreading..."

Re:"Worst... Interview... Ever!" (3, Insightful)

roca (43122) | more than 12 years ago | (#2684101)

He answered directly, concisely, and precisely to every question. What more could you ask for? Are you so used to evasion and dissembling that anything else is intolerably shocking?

If I was submitting code this is exactly the sort of response that I'd most appreciate.

Re:"Worst... Interview... Ever!" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2684116)

I thought his answer to such stupid question was fitting. I wouldn't know either, dude.

Re:"Worst... Interview... Ever!" (1)

_Bean_ (128235) | more than 12 years ago | (#2684132)

The one answered "I don't know, dude" to was a stupid and pointless question with no bearing on anything.

Re:"Worst... Interview... Ever!" (1)

yoshi_mon (172895) | more than 12 years ago | (#2684154)

I would have to agree here. While I understand that a majority of the hardcore kernel geeks that get down in the code and make it work are not the most social of animals, this interview left me feeling like the guy just did not care.

Considering how linux is no longer just a nitch OS that is used by geeks, but rather one of the only viable alternatives to a desktop OS, I would have hoped that the maintainer of the current stable kernel would have shown a bit more intrest in what was being asked of him.

It may be asking a lot of some ppl to have social skills in addition to programming skills, but even if the former is lacking, when faced with something of this magnatude, they should at least try.

Worst interview? Yes. Bad point of contact? No. (1)

Kenneth Stephen (1950) | more than 12 years ago | (#2684156)

The function of a kernel maintainer should be to make the best possible technical decisions for the kernl. It doesnt matter that he is terse in his communication with other developers. As long as the core of the technical ideas are communicated, it shouldnt be a problem. He is not being expected to deal with management types - just the technical ones.

Now, it wouldnt hurt if he also had an extroverted character to supplement his technical capabilities. But this is not essential for doing what he has to do.

spreading rumors about me (2, Funny)

nomadic (141991) | more than 12 years ago | (#2683891)

You asked Marcelo about everything from the influence of politics (age and otherwise) to his working enviroment and approach to maintainership

No I didn't.

Formatting (1, Offtopic)

Spy Hunter (317220) | more than 12 years ago | (#2683893)

Geez, can't the Slashdot editors spend 5 minutes looking over the article to make sure they didn't miss any <P> or <BR> tags or closing brackets? I mean come on, the formatting errors are really annoying and could only take 5 minutes to find and fix.

Re:Formatting (0, Offtopic)

copec (165453) | more than 12 years ago | (#2683993)

word!

Re:Formatting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2684109)

Nonono, star office!

Re:Formatting (0)

boxless (35756) | more than 12 years ago | (#2684102)

I've complained on numerous occasions about the editing on Slashdot, either for formatting, grammar, or spelling.

The complaints are ignored, so I've stopped.

No use even complaining anymore. The Slashdot editors have shown by their actions that they believe that web-based discourse does not require careful editing, and that it's more important to get the story live.

Of course, I tend to think differently. I believe that the presentation, clarity, and absence of grammatical and formatting errors are very important (almost as much as the story itself).

When a story is written that is essentially absent of basic errors, the reader can concentrate on the information at hand. Otherwise, the reader is confused, concentrates on the wrong things, questions the writer's intelligence, etc.

Online journals are no less subject to this notion than print journals!

Why Even Bother (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2683904)

This was the lamest 'interview' I have ever seen. The questions were ok, if mediocre. But the answers -- why not just cancel the interview?

Responses like "no" and "I don't know, dude" are worthless and a waste of time. If this fuck can't be bothered to answer the community he serves, perhaps he should be stripped of the job. And certainly, he doesn't deserve recognition on Slashdot.

Jesus, this guy sucks.

Mixed (0, Flamebait)

MicroBerto (91055) | more than 12 years ago | (#2683911)

This guy's really good at answering interview questions.

That is, if his name is Bill Clinton.

This interview definitely kept him out of trouble, but that's not really what we wanted..

Kernel bloat is inevitable. (i.e.: Stop whining.) (4, Insightful)

Wakko Warner (324) | more than 12 years ago | (#2683915)

Does anyone really expect to be able to run the latest kernel on their 386/486 machines? Let's think about it: Your system was built and purchased probably between 1989 and 1992. It is now almost 2002. That's really not a bad run for something so antiquated. Should the people who work on the modern 2.4 (and now 2.5) kernels really have to bend over backwards to support such ancient hardware? If you want a kernel for your 10-year-old hardware, use 2.2 or 2.0. If you want to take advantage of new hardware, use 2.4 or 2.5. Why is it that people can't understand this?

- A.P.

Re:Kernel bloat is inevitable. (i.e.: Stop whining (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2683973)

modded to Troll? Sounds like whoever did that is using an old 486 LMAO!

Re:Kernel bloat is inevitable. (i.e.: Stop whining (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2684008)

They probably moderated it as soon as it was posted, too, but it took mozilla running in GNOME running in XFree 4.0 running on 2.5.0 running in 8 megs of ram on their 486-33 about 15 minutes to actually register the -1 Troll. :)

Re:Kernel bloat is inevitable. (i.e.: Stop whining (4, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 12 years ago | (#2684039)

One of the features of Linux has always been you won't need a hardware upgrade every 5 years for your servers.
being able to say it runs on a 386/486 has always been a great way to get the point across. Sure we can say 'it runs on a p90! but that just doesn't have the same kick.
Personally I don't have a problem with slow obsolence 10 year old hardware support in the 'newer' kernels, as long as its only with hardwaare at least 10 years old. To do obsolence of support any quicked pputs us in the samw league as MS. meaning we can't point our fingers t MS and say "See they made you buy new hardware, AGAIN"

Re:Kernel bloat is inevitable. (i.e.: Stop whining (5, Insightful)

JabberWokky (19442) | more than 12 years ago | (#2684159)

being able to say it runs on a 386/486 has always been a great way to get the point across

It does run fine on 368/486 - if you run the software appropriate for that system. KDE2 is gonna suck goat balls, but so is XP. The difference is, you can trim down Linux to work great. On a 486, you can use Blackbox, on a 386, I'd stick with textmode apps - there are plenty of good editors, browsers, etc, still in active development for textmode in Linux. Significantly fewer for XP (and many of them are "Unixy" things like shells and telnet clients).

Use a setup appropriate to the hardware, and Linux works fine... the Jailbait distro (so named because it's under 16 megs, haha), is very full featured, and there are "routers on a disk". Also, don't forget that 2.0.36 and kin are still out there, downloadable and usable. Unlike Win98, which just went unsupported and realistically unavailable, old *and* stable kernels are available. And then there are specialty forks - I think the one for the 16 Mhz Dragonball processor is an amusing example (a.k.a., Linux on Palm).

--
Evan

Re:Kernel bloat is inevitable. (i.e.: Stop whining (3, Insightful)

garett_spencley (193892) | more than 12 years ago | (#2684044)

Man get with it!

The thing is that I would never dream of using a 486 to surf the net, send/receive e-mail, play games etc. But I DO use a 486 as the router for my network.

Why would I want to put a fairly modern machine in charge of something that doesn't require it?

I love the fact that I can install slackware on my old 486 and have it forward packets for me. If Linux didn't run on it I would have to have used one of my celeron boxes that I instead gave my kid. What a waste that would have been!

--
Garett

Re:Kernel bloat is inevitable. (i.e.: Stop whining (1)

scorcherer (325559) | more than 12 years ago | (#2684047)

What about the embedded market?

Re:Kernel bloat is inevitable. (i.e.: Stop whining (1)

Wakko Warner (324) | more than 12 years ago | (#2684080)

What about it? Can you even consider Linux a player in the real embedded market? Sure, there's "real-time" patches for it, but does it even begin to compare to operating systems which are designed from the ground-up to be real-time? Is Linux even a player in the embedded RTOS market? So far, the only win for Linux has been Tivo, and it's basically a PC in a VCR case.

- A.P.

Linux embedded is a player in the embedded market (2)

statusbar (314703) | more than 12 years ago | (#2684189)

Yes

Level Control Systems Matrix 3 [lcsaudio.com] has a embedded linux ppc system with 100baseT and UW-SCSI for real time audio system.

--jeff

Re:Kernel bloat is inevitable. (i.e.: Stop whining (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2684089)

all of my firewalls are 486's running OpenBSD 3.0 (the latest release). they range from 12-20 mb ram, 170-700 mb drives and work 24/7 without a problem.

Why shouldn't modern OS's work on yesterday's hardware?

Re:Kernel bloat is inevitable. (i.e.: Stop whining (3, Interesting)

RelliK (4466) | more than 12 years ago | (#2684127)

I'm running Linux on my 486 which I bought in 95. It serves just fine as a firewall, proxy server and a small scale mail/web/ftp server.

I have not noticed *any* kernel bloat (and I've been running Linux for a loooong time). All the bloat is in the apps (especially the GUI gizmos). I'm surprised this question was even asked (but then again this is slashdot...)

old machines just becoming supported today (2, Insightful)

ChristTrekker (91442) | more than 12 years ago | (#2684139)

I have an active interest in Linux on Nubus PowerMacs. They were new in the 1994 era. Support for Linux on these machines is still spotty, and you have to jump through hoops to get something to work. However, it is a perfectly adequate machine once you get done.

One might have to build a custom kernel to fit within the limitations of the hardware. But it's a case of only the newest kernel being able to run on the old hardware at all. I'm glad that people are actively developing for it, otherwise I'd be unable to learn to use Linux because I don't have new hardware available.

Re:Kernel bloat is inevitable. (i.e.: Stop whining (2)

Breace (33955) | more than 12 years ago | (#2684181)

Although I largely agree with you (I mean, 512MB of RAM is now 40$ @ Frys), an other reason for keeping the kernel small is cache.

L2 cache is still fairly small, and the more you can do inside it the better. The performance hit of a cache miss is bigger than you think.

But, yeah, if the reason would be to keep it running on 10-20 year systems, that's wrong.

Re: Agree with the way it's coded (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2683924)

What is meant you say that you agree with the way something is coded, it means that the implementation is sound. For example, I teach CS at my high school (Yes, I'm still a student there) and when we discuss the Fibonacci sequence, the only view we focus on is the supposedly apparent recursive nature to it. However, for myself, the single-iteration method seems more obvious. The latter would be preferable in most situations because it is a simple one-line algorithm. In other words, people would agree with the way I code an implementation of the Fibonacci sequence.

Inconsistent answers re: revision control? (4, Insightful)

Emil Brink (69213) | more than 12 years ago | (#2683925)

I can't seem to make sense of the answers to questions #4 and #18, about putting the kernel in CVS or similar system. Marcelo wrote, in response to Q#4:
However, I could export my local CVS, yes. I might do that in the future.
And then, to Q18:
No, I'm not going to put the kernel in any kind of version control system because I have to know what goes into the kernel.
Last time I used it, CVS was a version control system. So, am I the only one to think this question can't be answered with "yes" and "no" at the same time and still make sense? To me, this is just plain weird, and if this was a "real" interview, I'd think bad thinks about the interviewer. Now I guess I'll have to settle for the editors, as a few others in the thread already have. Heh. ;^)

Re:Inconsistent answers re: revision control? (2, Insightful)

JourneymanMereel (191114) | more than 12 years ago | (#2683981)

Random guess, but I think in the answer to question 18 he was saying that he wouldn't give anybody commit access to the CVS repository he might export from question #4. Of course, I'd know for sure if he was a little more verbose...

Obvious (4, Insightful)

Srin Tuar (147269) | more than 12 years ago | (#2684005)

He puts his work in cvs so he can see the changes he made, and have the added security of cvs so he can review a series of changes.


What he said is that hes Not going to make a writable cvs available to anyone else: all contributions will have come come as patches in email.


In summary he gets cvs and you dont.

Re:Inconsistent answers re: revision control? (1)

tlockney (17958) | more than 12 years ago | (#2684015)

Well, he didn't word it very well, but his meaning was pretty clear to me. He uses a local CVS server for his own activities, but will not be setting up a public server of any sort for other people to use.

Re:Inconsistent answers re: revision control? (1)

muffel (42979) | more than 12 years ago | (#2684019)

I beleive what he meant was that he would allow people to download snapshots from his 'private' CVS, but he wouldn't allow people submitting changes through CVS.

So: CVS, yes---but read-only.

Re:Inconsistent answers re: revision control? (1)

markaa (311298) | more than 12 years ago | (#2684032)

Last time I used it, CVS was a pharmacy.

-Mark

Re:Inconsistent answers re: revision control? (1)

Migrant Programmer (19727) | more than 12 years ago | (#2684055)

It means he uses CVS to keep track of changes to the kernel by himself; he doesn't want other people to have the ability to commit changes without going through him.

Re:Inconsistent answers re: revision control? (1)

Ivan Raikov (521143) | more than 12 years ago | (#2684058)

I'm also confused by the reason he gives for not putting the kernel source under version control: he "[has] to know what goes into the kernel."

Well, CVS, and I'm sure most other version control systems, allow for locking of files, and provide ability for setting up "hooks" -- scripts which are executed prior to check in and after check in, so that very precise control can be established over the source tree.

Re:Inconsistent answers re: revision control? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2684062)

read access (the first) vs. write access (the second)

damn "you must wait 20 seconds to post a message" filter

Re:Inconsistent answers re: revision control? (1)

Ramses0 (63476) | more than 12 years ago | (#2684105)

The big question with regards to version control and the kernel is that some people want an open system where many people can check code into a central location, but from reading kt.zork.net [zork.net] for a while, it seems that many of the develepors use CVS for their own trees, but don't want to start down the slippery slope of letting just anyone grab/checkin/checkout cvs copies of their current working copies (not guaranteed to keep your HD safe).

I can't find any example links right now, and I might be mis-remembering it, so somebody more knowledgeable should add their thoughts.

--Robert

I don't care what kernel people eat for breakfast. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2683931)

I just want a working, stable kernel.

For some reason, though, I like this guy.

Maybe it's because of his short and to the point answers. :) After hearing 'fluff' from both commercial and non-commercial developers for so long, it's nice to hear a one-sentence answer that doesn't leave one puzzled.

LTP not STP (5, Informative)

modus (122983) | more than 12 years ago | (#2683955)

I think he meant he wants to use LTP [sgi.com] , not STP.

STP isn't much use for testing kernel pre-releases.

Ask JonKatz Anything! (-1)

CmderTaco (533794) | more than 12 years ago | (#2683978)

JonKatz [goatse.cx] is our latest interview victim. Best known here as "The Pedophillic Fag from Slashdot", Jon has a history doing guys both young and old. His favorite of which is me, CmdrTaco [slashdot.org] . His current project is hiding and denying his homosexuality. Post your questions for him here, one per post, and we'll forward a few of the most modded down ones to Jon.

Re:Ask JonKatz Anything! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2684023)

Jon, what is that liquid goo inside Vienna Sausage cans?

Question for Marcello (-1, Flamebait)

Phil Linngood (220427) | more than 12 years ago | (#2683979)

Do you think it's a good idea to be a kernel maintainer at your age? I mean, do you actually realise how incredibly unlikely you are to get laid?! Chicks really don't dig this sort of thing.

Wonder when he'll change his mind? (2, Interesting)

WillSeattle (239206) | more than 12 years ago | (#2683982)

What operating systems and platforms do you personally use and which ones do you also use (and why)?

MT: I use Linux for work and sometimes I use Windows to play games.


Man, sounds kind of like why I still have the Win box at home - to play games. I'm wondering if/when he'll finally decide to switch - I'm expecting to dump my last Win box when I get the Mandrake 8.1 with The Sims bundle (WINE plus DirectX support).

I know that people believe we should all play Linux games, but the reality is that most of us still have Windows cause of the games. We don't really care why we can finally get rid of it, but we need something workable.

-

Changelogs should answer the 5 Ws (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2683996)

Ideally, every changelog should answer the following questions:
  • What was done
  • Who did it
  • When
  • Where (i.e., file, routine, etc)
  • Why (i.e., what was the problem)

Big Bus (5, Funny)

Mr. Fred Smoothie (302446) | more than 12 years ago | (#2684021)

What's it like knowing that, if (God forbid) Linus and Alan were hit by a bus, you might be "The Man"?

Linus lives in Silicon Valley, Alan in Swansea, Wales. That's one monster bus.

Kernel changelogs (4, Interesting)

cr@ckwhore (165454) | more than 12 years ago | (#2684111)

I really like the idea of better changelogs explaining fixes and problems to the "end users". Granted, the "end users" compiling their own kernels are generally not typical computer users... some changelog lines are easy to understand while others aren't. The understanding is based solely on the users knowledge of the inner workings of the system.

I don't necessarily think that end user style changelogs should be of much concern to core kernel developers. Obviously, they should be concentrating on fixing problems. However, I have an idea that should make everybody happy...

A group of kernel savvy & knowledgeable systems experts should get together and form an open changelog review project. This project could work alongside the core kernel team for the sole purpose of documenting kernel changes, answering the questions of why, where, how, etc.

This would achieve great kernel documentation, and avoid putting that added stress on the kernel team. Thoughts?

Why doesn't Linux run on my 8088? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2684170)

Marcelo, could you please patch Kernel 2.4 so that it compiles and runs on my 8088? I recently upgraded to 16MB EMS RAM, and an 80 MB hard drive, RLL! I'd like to put Linux on it, but obviously that's not an option. Yet.

Unless Linux runs on my 8088, the terrorists have already won.

P.S. In any case, good luck on 2.4 and everything!

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>