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Revamped Linux Kernel Numbering Concluded

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the finer-grained-kerneling dept.

Linux 272

kernel_dan writes "Following on the heels of a prior discussion about a kernel numbering scheme, KernelTrap has the conclusion. From summary: "Linus Torvalds decided against trying to add meaning to the odd/even least significant number. Instead, the new plan is to go from the current 2.6.x numbering to a finer-grained 2.6.x.y. Linus will continue to maintain only the 2.6.x releases, and the -rc releases in between. Others will add trivial patches to create the 2.6.x.y releases. Linus cautions that the task of maintaining a 2.6.x.y tree is not going to be enjoyable.'" Torvalds suggested specific guidelines to alleviate burn-out of the .y maintainer and Greg KH volunteered to begin maintainership."

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wow, linux is cool (-1, Offtopic)

hornyasiancoeds (864069) | more than 9 years ago | (#11850993)

Twin ninja girls stood next to each other, clad in tight-fitting, and revealing outfits. Their clothing was almost as identical as their beautiful features, the only difference being in the colors. The girl on the right was dressed in purple, while her counterpart was Their outfits gripped their luscious curves, accenting their large breasts and round asses. The fabric was almost completely missing from their chests, showing off a great deal of cleavage. Although they allowed their female assets to practically hang out for all to see, the one area of their body they both covered, almost protectively, were thmoutmouths. Each wore a cloth mask, totally covering their sensous lips along with the tips of their noses. These twin beauties were known as Kitana and Mileena. They each were very deadly opponents by themselves. Together, they were thought to be unstoppable. That was, of course, if they could keep their sibling rivalry under control. It was their main weakness and something that after years of work, still got the better of them. But they knew there could be no arguing today. No screw ups. If they didn't concentrate one-hundred percent on defeating their opponents, then they wouldn't have to worry about working out their rivalry ever again, because dead sisters couldn't fight with each other. Standing across from the two women were a pair of men, simularly dressed, only in blue and gold. Sub-Zero and Scorpion were the deadliest pair the two had faced yet and it was going to take the two of them working together to bring them down. The four fighters stepped into the arena, eyeing each other coldly. Only one team would leave alive. And even then, it might only be one of them. They stopped five feet apart from each other and squared off. Kitana and Sub-Zero across from each other, while Mileena glared Sco Scorpion's blank eyes. There was a brief nt nt when everything was completely still, but it ended quickly. "Fight!" The command came from everywhere and nowhere. Incredibly simple and impossible to disobey. Before the monosylabic word even fades, the combatants have begun their battle. The twin ninja girls catch their opponents off guard at first, with their fast and powerful synchronized strikes. The men are beaten back, badly, almost entirely out of the circular arena. The girls are going to win, they know it. But then, it all goes horribly wrong. They had practiced their attacks and maneuvers for hours, making sure that they wouldn't get in each other's way and that their attacks would help the other as much as possible, but somehow, even after all the practice, something got mixed up. Kitana kicked a long, muscular leg up high, intending to smash Sub-Zero's face in with her foot, while Mileena dropped low and swung her own leg out, spinning it to catch Scorpion's feet and trip him up. The move worked splendidly, only instead of Scorpion, Mileena tripped up her sister. Kitana fell forward into a painful split, one leg stretched out in front of her, the other behind. She grimaced as she felt pain shoot through her crotch. Scorpion had taken a quick hop back to avoid being tripped and let loose a counterattack. He extended his arm and with a flash of movemnet, his harpoon extended and shot towards Mileena, who was still trying to figure out what went wrong. The harpoon stabbed into her slender gut and tore through her body. It exited her back and latched into her skin as Scorpion pulled back violently on the harpoon's cord. She screamed in pain as she was dragged across the floor to her opponent. Scorpion began to pummel her with kicks to the gut and chest. Kitana moved quickly, sliding her outschedched leg back to meet the one behind her and got onto her hands and knees, ready to push herself up and unleash a volley off attacks onto both her enemies. But as she gave a hard shove to the floor, which should have lifted her back to her feet, she remained completely still. Confused, she looked down to see that her hands were quickly being encased in thick, blue ice, which was creeping up her arms. She turned her head back and saw that her legs, too, were being frozen to the ground. She looked up at Sub-Zero with hatred in her eyes but was unable to do much more. Mileena was far from the ice cold, tough as nails bitch she was trying to be mere moments before. She had been broken down quickly both mentally and physically as Scorpion ruthlessly beat her. Tears streaked down her cheeks and she continually cried out in pain as she felt her ribs crack and break and her internal organs bruise. Finally, the horrible beating came to an end and Mileena was left on the floor to weep. Scorpion and Sub-Zero paced around her, glaring down at the broken woman. With both their opponents incapacitated as they were, the men had a chance to take their victory and spare the women's lives, but neither of them felt like doing that. To leave them alive would only give them a chance to come back later and try again. Better to elminate them permanently. But first, some fun was to be had. Sub-Zero reached down and took hold of the front of Mileena's costume and tore it away sharply. There was the sound of fabric ripping and then Mileena's large tits were bare and bouncing from being released so suddenly. The men eyed her mounds of flesh with lust. Scorpion lashed out at her with a swift kick to her shoulder. Mileena cried out as she felt her should pop out of its socked and she fell back onto her back. She lay there, trying to stay as still as possible, panting and crying. She looked up in time to see Scorpion pulling his massive erection out as he stepped over her. He sat down on her chest, the weight of him on her broken ribs causing her to cry out loudly. Scorpion placed his cock between her huge boobs and squeezed them roughly before pushing them around his member. Kitana was forced to watch as Scorpion starto bro brutally titfuck her sister. He thrust into her cleavage hard, his hands squeezing her breasts harder and harder. Her titflesh was pushing out between his fingers and her nipples her tight and straining against the pressure. He was grunting with every thrust between her breasts. He gripped her tits as hard as he could, his fingernails digging deep into her, drawing blood. Mileena whimpered and cried harder but was unable to do anything to stop her assailant. Without warning, Scorpion released her jugs and stood up. The imprints of his hands were left on her flesh, in large red marks. His harpoon was still going through her body and he decided to retrieve it. With just as much force as it had entered her, the harpoon retracted. The barbs which had secured it into her skin now ripped through her body, leaving a much larger hole then she'd started with. Mileena screamed as the harpoon was ripped out of her and looked down at herself, seeing a string of her intestines had spilled out of her torn gut. Blood came spilling out of Mileena's mouth as she tried to scoop her guts back inside herself. Meanwhile, Scorpion was paying no attention to her desperate effort to keep herself in one piece and was instead, looking over her long legs, and more specifically, where they joined together. He reached down and grasped the bottom half of her outfit and tore it away as well, leaving her very much nude. Blood continued to spill out of her mouth and stomach as Scorpion kicked her legs apart and moved between them. He thrust into her hard, ramming his entire length into her in one move. He pulled out and slammed back in, even harder. Mileena cried and her tits shook as he pounded into her cunt with a fury she'd never experienced before. As her sister was being raped and tormented, Kitana could only think one thing. The bitch deserved it. If she hadn't fucked up their routine, none of this would be happening. She deserved all the pain they gave her and more. Her loathing quickly faded, however, when she felt Sub-Zero rip her own garments away from her. Her hands and feet had been completely frozen by now and the freezing had continued halfway up her arms and to her knees. She'd felt very cold for a brief period, but now her frozen parts were totally numb. She suspected that if they ever thawed, they'd have to be amputated. Sub-Zero reached underneath her, gropping her hanging tits. His hands felt rough and cold on her sensitve skin. She gasped as she felt his other hand start to finger her cunt. The chill there was even worse and it flowed straight through her body. Mileena lay flat on her back, her hands laid out beside her, not even bothering to try and hold her blood inside. It was useless and she knew it. She was emitting a high pitched squeel with every thrust Scorpion gave her. Her tits were bouncing and jiggling rapidly and her body was pouring sweat. It felt as though her body was heating up tremendously. Scorpion's pace picked up and shortly he let out howl and blasted her insides with his scorching hot cum. The high pitched wailing was gone, replaced by an even higher pitched scream of agony as Mileena felt her insides start to burn intensely. As Scorpion pulled out of the screaming woman, her crotch burst into flames. The ethereal fire quickly engulfed her entire body. The cold sensations from Sub-Zero's hands were totally forgotten as Kitana watched her sister burn to death. She flopped around on the floor, screaming, as her skin blacked and charred. Her cloth mask was gone in instants, along with her hair. She thrashed wildly for several more minutes, then finally stopped and was silent. The fire died down slowly and once it had, there was nothing left of Mileena other then blackened ashes. Despite her recent anger, Kitana felt sadness well up inside her at seeing her sister die in such a horrible way. She wasn't allowed to dwell on it for long, though. Sub-Zero was behind her, spreading her asscheeks open and getting ready to violate an orifice which had never been penetrated before. "No! Please!" she begged him. But he didn't bother to listen to her and shoved his cock into her virgin asshole. Kitana cried out, feeling her sphincter stretch to accomodate his large girth. She clenched her teeth, feeling him pushing inch after inch into her. Working his way in and out of her the first few times was tough for both of them. It soon got easy for Sub-Zero, although Kitana was still in a great deal of pain. In a matter of minutes, Sub-Zero was pounding into her ass with as much fury as Scorpion had slammed into Mileena. Kitana heard a sound, like glass cracking. It confused her at first, but then she looked down at her frozen limbs. Cracks her splintering up from her hands. The force of his fucking was shattering her frozen parts. With a crashing sound, Kitana's arms and legs broke apart, leaving her with stubs. She fell forward to the ground, smashing her tits between the rough floor and her chest. She whimpered, groaned, and cried as her butt was thoroughly reamed. Kitana's ass was bleeding from Sub-Zero's rape. The blood acted as lubricant, allowing him to fuck her harder and faster. With a grunt, he let loose his own load of cum into her bowels. As soon as she felt his seed enter her body, she knew her fate would be the exact opposite of her sister's. Her insides burned, but not from any amount of heat. The coldness started at her bowels and worked its way out from there. She felt it engulf her midsection and she grew stiff there. It quickly worked down the last bit of her legs as it creeped up her stomach and slowly overcame her magnificent tits. It reached her shoulders and split three ways there. Down what was left of both her arms, and up her neck. Kitana could see little puffs of her own breath in front of her, coming quickly as the ice reached the top of her neck and entered her jaw. Kitana stared at the world through frozen eyes. Her entire body had been turned into a beautiful ice sculpture. Looking closely enough, twin tears could be seen, trapped halfway down her cheeks. It was easy to forget that the frozen statue had once been a living wom Peo People would become mesmerized by the perfectness of the statue, if they were allowed to see it. Raising his foot over the prone frozen form of his utterly defeated opponent, Sub-Zero decided that no one would get the chance to view his artwork. His foot came down hard on Kitana's frozen head, shattering it into a million pieces. The broken ice chunks of her body slowly began melting, while her sister's ashes were swiftly taken away by the wind. In a matter of hours, there would be no sign that Kitana and Mileena had ever existed. (-1, Offtopic)

EatCheesyPoofs (863956) | more than 9 years ago | (#11850995)

gay fost you slut frustab duck duck GOOOOSE1! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11851007)

Thine art the impotence and the obscutrity and the failing of it all throughout eternity forever and ever. Amen. (0, Offtopic)

EatCheesyPoofs (863956) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851018)


Someone else wanted to hold the toy (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11851003)

The new numbering scheme seems to be designed to give various junior-Linus types the chance to run the show, if only for a .short time.

Just one question: (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11851004)

The *.x.y kernels are unstable.
The *.x only kernels are stable.

Won't there be a 28 day cycle for
stability on the *.x only kernel?

Re:Just one question: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11851028)


talk about missing the point mods!!!

Yes. (4, Funny)

ggvaidya (747058) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851030)

And all bets are off if you try compiling more than one *.x.y kernel on the same computer ...

Re:Yes. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11851041)

It depends on the computer's location.
This may soon be legal in Canada.

BSD (3, Funny)

ari_j (90255) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851240)

So you're saying that OpenBSD isn't dead, but that it will probably not procreate after it becomes legal for it to marry a same-sex operating system?

Ummm (-1, Redundant)

zoloto (586738) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851056)

much like a woman and her stability cycle?

I know my girlfriend has this cycle, outside of that 28 day period (no pun indended) she becomes quite unstable for 3-5 days...

Re:Ummm (4, Funny)

Zorilla (791636) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851102)

The preceding post has been brought to you by the Automated Joke Destroyer 5000.

Re:Ummm (0, Flamebait)

John Pliskin (769478) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851207)

You have a girlfriend, ha, that's a good one. Man keep those joke commin'!


Burnout (3, Funny)

philovivero (321158) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851008)

Torvalds suggested specific guidelines to alleviate burn-out of the .y maintainer
Did he say anything about the .NET maintainer? That'd take a serious toll on your sanity.

How *DO* you write a Linux device driver in C#?

Re:Burnout (2, Interesting)

Mark_MF-WN (678030) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851071)

Hey, don't laugh. If Java can be used for both realtime systems and driver development, anything's possible.

Besides, Mono can probably compile to machine code, just like anything else.

Re:Burnout (1)

DiscoOnTheSide (544139) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851119)

Java driver development!? I was pretty sure Java couldn't TOUCH hardware... At least, thats what I ran into coding something that needed the MAC address of the machine it was running on...

Java OS (2, Interesting)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851236)

Checkout JNode []

Their goal is to write a complete operating system in Java.

Re:Burnout (1)

iabervon (1971) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851074)

Writing Linux device drivers in C# is merely pointless. It causes nowhere near the brain damage that would be caused by trying to maintain the yacc.NET version.

Gregkh already made one point release (5, Informative)

Xpilot (117961) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851011)

You can find it in his own subdirectory on at: kh/v2.6.11/ []

It includes tiny fixes such as a Dell laptop keyboard fix and a raid6 compilation fix for ppc.

Numbering... eek. (4, Insightful)

Faust7 (314817) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851015)

Others will add trivial patches to create the 2.6.x.y releases. Linus cautions that the task of maintaining a 2.6.x.y tree is not going to be enjoyable.


Kind of a Zeno's Paradox, isn't it?

Re:Numbering... eek. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11851274)

You're not seeing it - once they reach 2.6.x.y.z.z.y the solution to all the kernel's problems will appear.

fuck i wish i wasnt banned from modding (0, Offtopic)

mnemonic_ (164550) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851313)

+1 old school reference

GregKH! is the man (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11851024)

Torvalds suggested specific guidelines to alleviate burn-out of the .y maintainer and Greg KH volunteered to begin maintainership.

Well thank FUCK for GregKH! If it were not for GregKH! then we would be totally FUCKED.

Here's an idea... (3, Interesting)

rekoil (168689) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851033)

Why not do 3.x, 4.x, ... like every other software developer in the world (well, except Microsoft and Apple...)?

Honestly, I don't understand the insistence on keeping everything at 2.x, 2.x.y, etc. If someone can explain the rationale to me, I'd be quite interested.

Re:Here's an idea... (4, Interesting)

MarcQuadra (129430) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851055)

Because bumps to the major version number indicate HUGE-scale rewrites, while the minor (.6 in this case) define feature-complete stable branches, and the trailing number at the end is for bugfixes and minor enhancements.

This is the way software SHOULD be versioned. It's the way Apple is versioning now, and it's the way Microsoft versions it's core systems (Windows XP SP2 = NT 5.1.2600).

Personally, I'd like for the odd-minor devel releases to go away and find some better way of versioning those, but everything else to-date has been sensible and sane, and I've been compiling my own kernels since the 2.1 series.

Re:Here's an idea... (1)

Mad Merlin (837387) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851133)

Now I'll admit that I've never actually used XP, but wasn't the original also build 2600? (after the Atari 2600 I'd imagine, since Win98 SE was build 2222 and the original was 1998, they like their build numbers to be "special") If that's so, and I'm reasonably sure it is, then wouldn't that mean that they didn't do any increment in the "core" version for the 2 SPs on XP?

Re:Here's an idea... (3, Interesting)

Keeper (56691) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851308)

The build numbers are based off of the number of months/days that have elapsed from build 0.

Re:Here's an idea... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11851321)

No, you're right. The build numbers go up during the RC/Betas, but never after it has been released, even with service packs that replace every file on the system.

Re:Here's an idea... (1)

mageofchrisz (836089) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851135)

Whoa. 5.1.x? Windows is still in development??

Re:Here's an idea... (4, Funny)

NitsujTPU (19263) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851161)

Windows XP SP2 = NT 5.1.2600

Funny. Someone HAS to have planned that one.

Re:Here's an idea... (1)

TravisWatkins (746905) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851180)

Windows is ...

Re:Here's an idea... (1)

TravisWatkins (746905) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851191)

err, <major version>.<minor version>.<build number>

stupid html

Re:Here's an idea... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11851206)

Don't blame HTML for your oversight.

Re:Here's an idea... (1)

globalar (669767) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851115)

Consistent and straightforward versioning is the only solid rationale. If you can explain a system in a few sentences and things don't get hairy, it's probably good enough. Beyond that, the choice of versioning scheme, as you know, is arbitrary.

Linus has his preference. As long as I don't have to start maintaining the kernel, this won't affect me at all. I will sort of miss the old even/odd dichotomy though ;)

Re:Here's an idea... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11851121)

I don't know the answer, but if you're interested in figuring it out, I'd compare the 2.x and 1.x for major foundational differences. If it turns out there was a paradigm shift between 1 and 2, then perhaps they're waiting for the next paradigm shift to move onto 3

Re:Here's an idea... (3, Insightful)

MidnightBrewer (97195) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851304)

I suspect the recent trend over the years to stay attached to point-point-point releases, especially for those projects that take forever and a day to hit 1.0, isn't so much an honesty thing as a sub-conscious desire to avoid responsibility for mistakes. I'm not referring to legal liability so much as professional pride. "Of course it has bugs, it's still not 1.0!" I'm sorry, but that's not realistic. People don't get paid to be perfectionists; that's a conceit to be enjoyed on your own time.

You do your best, you release it as 1.0, and then you start all over again to fix bugs and work towards the next full release. Making the numbers smaller doesn't change the quality of your software, it just helps a programmer live with the perceived embarrassment of not writing the perfect piece of code. In the final analysis, the numbers are all arbitrary; any sense of pride in your work or shame about your mistakes is a personal issue. Take Apple as an example. You could strip the 10 off of 10.3.8 and say that they are on version 3.8 of OS X. That means that version 4.0 is just around the corner, and that makes their turn-around cycle sound that much more impressive. To those who protest that a full point release demands unbelievable innovation and "drastic code re-writes," I have to ask, "Where is that written?" In the final analysis, versioning is all in your head. :)

Well, we appreciate it (0, Redundant)

nate nice (672391) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851037)

"Linus cautions that the task of maintaining a 2.6.x.y tree is not going to be enjoyable."

Thank you.

Re:Well, we appreciate it (1)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851179)

Since when is maintaining a development tree and branch enjoyable?

What was wrong with the old way? (3, Insightful)

AdamHaeder (798675) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851045)

What was wrong with .4 being stable and .5 being test? Why not start a .7?

I haven't been following the kernel mailing list, but as a regular linux user from way back, I'm not clear on why the old way was dropped. This way seems a lot more confusing to me.

Re:What was wrong with the old way? (4, Insightful)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851067)

The developers just felt there is no urgent need for 2.7 yet and also that 2.6 can accept more features in a semi-stable state than it would be truly a need for 2.7.

Re:What was wrong with the old way? (2, Insightful)

Zork the Almighty (599344) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851338)

Well, eventually you have to lock it down and call it stable. Their problem stems from trying to get too much milage out of each version. Just because 2.4 and 2.6 were huge leaps doesn't mean that will always be the way to go. They should lock down 2.6, put the "semi-stable" features into 2.7, and release 2.8 in a year or a year and a half. Save the big changes for 3.0. Unless they have some secret plan to konquer the world, nothing good will come from the current process.

Re:What was wrong with the old way? (4, Insightful)

Atzanteol (99067) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851118)

They're trying for a more rapid development cycle. 2.6 hasn't feature frozen like in the past.

It seems to be what the vendors want. RedHat 2.4 kernels have so much 2.6 stuff back-ported they're barely 2.4 anymore.

Re:What was wrong with the old way? (1)

mr_tenor (310787) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851120)

As Linus said and others have elaborated on (eg. .0/0512.html), having to juggle and review hundreds of incmoing patches which needed to be ported to/from a stable and development branch was apparently great pain and suffering in ways that they have probably explained better than I can.

Re:What was wrong with the old way? (4, Insightful)

Malor (3658) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851263)

I've only ever had one comment modded down as Flamebait.... this may be #2.

As near as I can tell from reading recent comments on this particular decision, the single biggest reason they don't want to do 2.7 is because not enough people will test it. Only by calling it 'stable' can they get enough testers. Of course, the fact that it will now never really BE stable, seems to have been lost on them.

This is better than what they have been doing, but only slightly. What Linus seems to really want is for everyone in the whole world to be using the very most recent kernel. He wants, in essence, everyone in the world to be beta testers. By putting out new code and calling it 'stable', he gets hundreds of thousands of testers, and is able to shake out bugs much faster.

Apparently, the possibility that it might be banks and hospitals that are discovering these bugs didn't occur to them. Discovering a bug is an EXTREMELY PAINFUL PROCESS for someone who isn't expecting one. So instead of doing the nasty hard work of maintaining separate stable and development branches, they push that pain onto everyone else in the world.

Personally, I want software that works more than I want the latest whizbang feature. That's why I got onto Linux in the first place, a decade ago... I was frustrated with Windows. It was such a delight to run software that never, ever crashed. It was crude, it was simple, but it was *incredibly* reliable, and that more than any other single thing is why I switched.

I find it quite ironic that Windows 2003, in the hands of capable admins, with all its design flaws and warts, is substantially more stable than is Linux. There's a reason Ars Technica switched from Linux to Windows, and stayed there. If anyone on the planet is competent, it's those guys. And from the sound of it, they're very happy with the results.

At this point, I'm so disgusted with this state of affairs that I'm running a test installation of FreeBSD. Their development cycle is much saner. They don't have as many features, but the ones they DO have, seem to work. Maybe they should add a new motto: "Software by Adults, for Folks Who Could Lose Their Job if it Breaks".


Re:What was wrong with the old way? (1)

m50d (797211) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851337)

They thought there was too much back-and-forth, patches for .5 that were accepted to go into the stable tree .4 and then had to be almost completely rewritten.

Re: Active Directory (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11851051)

Microsoft tastes funny [] .
The entire fucking thing relies on one piss-ant log file. I had like 3 naughty transactions and THE WHOLE FUCKING THING IS GONE.


please update your c:\winnt\ntfs\edb.log.FUCKINGPIECEOFSHITLOGFILE transactions


bye. i'm off to visit my gentoo box. [] /

I for one... (3, Funny)

pergamon (4359) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851052)

...welcome our new many.version.levels.over.lor.ds.

Re:I for one.1.0 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11851084)

...welcome our new many.version.levels.over.lor.ds.1

This should help, if disciplined (3, Interesting)

SpaceLifeForm (228190) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851064)

The key is to make sure that the patches for the .y version are clean and really make sense from a stability standpoint *ONLY*. New functionality does not belong here.

Right now, I consider 2.6 not stable enough for my own use. If I cannot compile and boot a Linus kernel on a simple install of GNU/Linux (whether SuSE or Debian) without major headaches and/or chasing down patches, well, that's not stable enough for me. YMMV.

Back in 2.4, I wasn't really happy until 2.4.18, and with all of the changes in 2.6, I won't be surprised to see it meet my definition of stable until 2.6.20 at the current pace.

So, I'm hoping that this new approach will really help.

Yeah, I agree, LinuS kernel is not good for prod. (2, Funny)

melted (227442) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851092)

Yeah, I agree, Linus kernel is not good for production use. Give Linus a good thwack on the forehead and he may die. Or he may not. It's unpredictable and unacceptable.

Now back in my day, kernels were only found in nuts.

Re:Yeah, I agree, LinuS kernel is not good for pro (2, Funny)

fbjon (692006) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851300)

If you give your nuts a good thwack, you'll find those kernels are equally unstable.

Re:This should help, if disciplined (2, Insightful)

MarcQuadra (129430) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851095)

What exactly are you doing that 2.6 isn't cooked-enough for your needs yet?

I'm really curious because I felt that after the disaster that the early 2.4 series was, the kernel team really pushed a good 2.6 release out and it's been quite smooth from 2.6.5.

Are you running strange hardware or binary-only drivers or something?

Re:This should help, if disciplined (3, Interesting)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851201)

"Are you running strange hardware or binary-only drivers or something?"

I have had severe problems with consoles on the Radeon framebuffer device (fixed since 2.6.10),
and also serious trouble with IDE CD writers (which is partly a kernel issue, partly client software).

In 2.6.11, I can get a CD writer to work if I put it as Master as /dev/hdc, on it's own ide bus with no hdd. The same configuration is never a problem under 2.4.

Other than these specific issues, 2.6 has not been a problem for me, but both these issues have been showstoppers. (The console on the framebuffer on a Radeon card is an absolute requirement of mine, as is CD writing to an ATAPI device.)

Re:This should help, if disciplined (1)

MarcQuadra (129430) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851303)

severe problems with consoles on the Radeon framebuffer device

I did too, but once I switched to VESA framebuffer, everything was fixed, much less of a headache to use VESA unless you have the need for hardware-accelerated framebuffer. I just use FB for the console, so hardware acceleration seeemed like it wasn't worth the headache.

As for CD burning, mine's much better since 2.6 came out. I particularly like that I no longer have to emulate SCSI over IDE to get my burner up-and-running. Have you tried another brand burner, just for kicks? I've had several devices/configs work in Windows, but not Linux, and vice-versa.

What are you doing on the framebuffer that requires the accelerated driver, and what ancient burning software are you using that doesn't handle 2.6 packet-writing?

Re:This should help, if disciplined (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11851305)

my cd writers all worked since 2.6.0.. I just made sure I used atapi mode instead of the old scsi emulation mode. As a result of this change all of my cd burning has been fairly smooth and flawless. I even gained 2x on dvd burning speed.

Re:This should help, if disciplined (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11851307)

If I'm not mistaken the ATAPI issue isn't a bug but rather changed functionality. As it is now (good or bad) this can happen i the stable kernel tree.

Are you being too conservative ? (1)

anti-NAT (709310) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851294)

Right now, I consider 2.6 not stable enough for my own use. If I cannot compile and boot a Linus kernel on a simple install of GNU/Linux (whether SuSE or Debian) without major headaches and/or chasing down patches, well, that's not stable enough for me. YMMV.

I have the same philosophy regarding kernel stability, yet I've been running comping and installing 2.6, in the manner you describe, since 2.6.0, and have had no issues at all. No patches, purely the major 2.6 releases.

If you aren't running it, and aren't even trying to, what criteria are you using to judge that 2.6 isn't stable enough for you ?

limits (1)

JW Troll (607432) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851068)

is this why we learn calculus for software engineering?? see what number we're approaching in the infinite series

I wonder... (4, Informative)

Anonymous Cumshot (859434) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851072)

If this will make Andres Salomon security & bug fixes patchset [] obsolete since it pretty much focuses on the same things that Linus wants to see for the 2.6.x.y releases..

FYI, Andres Salomon's patchset provides the foundation for Debian's kernels and has been discussed recently on kerneltrap here [] and here [] .

Hopefully Andres Salomon will keep on going (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11851174)

Hopefully Andres won't stop.

Linus only wants to put security patches and patches to bugs which cause a kernel hang or oops or compile failure to get into the 2.6.x.N patches:

- some very _technical_ and objective rules on patches. And they should
limit the patches severely, so that people can never blame the sucker
who does the job. For example, I would suggest that "size" be one hard
technical rule. If the patch is more than 100 lines (with context) in
size, it's not trivial any more. Really. Two big screenfuls (or four,
for people who still use the ISO-ANSI standard 80x24 vt100)

Also, I'd suggest that a _hard_ rule (ie nobody can override it) would
also be that the problem causes an oops, a hang, or a real security
problem that somebody can come up with an exploit for (ie no "there
could be a two-instruction race" crap. Only "there is a race, and
here's how you exploit it"). The exploit wouldn't need to be full code
that gets root, but an explanation of it, at least.

Andres also patches things that are plain broken, e.g. "sound doesn't work any more". By the law Linus established above, those kind of patches are forbidden to go into 2.6.x.N.

So the 2.6.x.N patches are extremely minimalistic. They are not sufficient for the average joe who wants to run a vanilla kernel. Those of us who want to run a vanilla kernel (with official patchset) and maybe some self chosen patches still need the -as patches badly! There are many people out there who are their own kernel distributors (i.e. have their own personal patchset and want to apply it to the latest stable kernel.) It does not make sense that thousands of kernel distributors are all trying to do the job Andres does now for all of them officially.

So I hope Andres will keep up with his good work.

Why use x-y? (5, Funny)

J_Omega (709711) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851075)

I'd have preferred r-theta polar coordinates.

Re:Why use x-y? (2, Interesting)

aliasptr (684593) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851198)

Having been doing a lot of complex analysis lately, I enjoyed this comment! Totally off topic and all but cartesian coordinates are "overrated" granted they are the most "natural" but anyone doing any kind of math/science/engineering has no doubt seen the incredible usefulness of other coordinate systems. "Alternative" three dimensional coordinate systems prove very useful for lots of integrals becasue of the symmetry. Anyway yeah... moving on.

Re:Why use x-y? (2, Funny)

fbjon (692006) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851323)

I'd have preferred r-theta polar coordinates.

True, they are much better for the development cycle

Dunno (2, Interesting)

ThisNukes4u (752508) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851076)

I don't know what's up with the kernel devs, but I for one just want a stable kernel without having to resort to specific distro kernel patches. They have not been able to provide that on the mainline since 2.6 has been released(in my opinion, from my observations). They should have forked 2.7 awhile ago if they were going to be pulling this and put the new code in there. Hopefully this new way of distinguishing between stable and unstable releases will help a bit, but I'm not keeping my hopes up. It may be time to switch to a BSD if they can't get their act together.

Unavoidable (4, Interesting)

Mark_MF-WN (678030) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851105)

I think this is the unavoidable result of the Linux kernel's versatility. It's designed to be able to run on such a wide variety of hardware, from wee little embedded chips to multiprocessor monstrosities. It's able to run with some much old, obsolete hardware, cutting edge hardware, specialized hardware, etc. There's constantly new hardware coming out that needs to be supported, specific security requirements, etc. There's no way for the Kernel team to have it be everything to everyone at once. The natural result is the it's up to a distributor to put it all together, and choose appropriate combinations of patches.

There's nothing that wrong with depending on an organization (be it commercial like Mandrake or non-profit like Debian) to put together an appropriate Kernel for you. That's not to say you shouldn't give BSD a crack (diversity encourages vigour after all), but I don't think there's anything wrong with the way Kernel development is taking place. Those who needs a rock-solid unfliching kernel can always use a 2.4 series kernel, or use BSD (as you suggested).

Re:Unavoidable (1)

Strolls (641018) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851318)

I think this is the unavoidable result of the Linux kernel's versatility. It's designed to be able to run on such a wide variety of hardware...
The Linux kernel is designed?!?!?!?

Re:Dunno (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11851160)

You want them to stop letting new features into the 2.6 kernel just so you can say are running a 2.6 kernel and it's stable or what??

Hell the only unstable kernel I've had since 2.6.0 can be blamed on bad interaction of the nvidia-kernel driver when the system was at 100% load for a couple of hours and that could have even been the result of a hardware glitch.

If you want stable and don't have new unsupported features or hardware that you need to use then there's not much point in updating your kernel unless you have a feature you use that has a security update. If it works, does what you need it to do, and it's stable, DON'T UPGRADE TO THE NEWEST KERNEL!

It just drives me nuts when people think that things have to be the way they've "always were" or that's how it "used to be". If you sit in one place too long you gather dust, get damp, and mold grows and I'd rather believe that Linus doesn't want mold growing on his kernel.

Re:Dunno (1)

Brandybuck (704397) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851185)

It may be time to switch to a BSD if they can't get their act together.

It may be time. The old odd/even strategy was a bit goofy at times, but it at least had some semblance of stable/development branches. Its main problems were Linus' late branching and the propensity to add new features to the even branches.

But now even that has been blown to the wind. They're doing development work on their stable branch, because they only have one branch. Expect major disruptions if they ever decide to revamp some kernel component like paging or smp.

The ONLY sense I can make of this is that Linus is viewing it all as a single development branch, and it's up to the distros to actually get something stable in front of the users.

Re:Dunno (2, Interesting)

LnxAddct (679316) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851223)

Linus has openly stated that stock kernel's are not what they used to be and never will be. He said the responsibility now lies in the hands of distributions. Personally this doesnt change much for most, but its important to note that Linus's goal is no longer to make a kernel that is easy to use straight from the souce through compilation to actual usage, that burden is now distrbuted amongst the distros.Linus still attempts to achieve it, but it is no longer a priority, his goal is to simply advance the kernel's capabilities.

release numbering ad absurdum (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11851085)

/me anxious awaits the release of kernel

Re:release numbering ad absurdum (3, Funny)

koreaman (835838) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851231)

Only when Donald Knuth takes over the Linux kernel...

Re:release numbering ad absurdum (1)

Luke-Jr (574047) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851261)

...502884197169399... (that's as far as I can go from memory)

Re:release numbering ad absurdum (1)

koreaman (835838) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851299)

This is offtopic, but I have an idea for your Utopios project.

Make a graphical frontend to the package manager that shows a little picture or logo of every app. In the ebuild (or whatever) you would have a PICTURE_URL=whatever variable. This, I think, would make it much easier for less experienced people to use Gentoo, because they are much more comfortable with a GUI.

it wasn't until 2.6 .. (4, Interesting)

Hohlraum (135212) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851090)

that i regularly have seen breakages with stable hardware upon upgrading from one "stable" kernel release to the next. Granted most of them have been ACPI .. which is just a joke. All I gotta say in 2.7 please.

For us laptop users... (1)

gotr00t (563828) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851183)

ACPI is very important. I had to use a hack to get the screen to reload on my laptop every time I made it sleep, as none of the drivers support the new acpi model very well.

This was fixed recently in 2.6.11

Kernel enthusiasts (4, Funny)

Dragon Rojo (843344) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851110)

I just have finished compiling this kernel. Damn is out, time to recompile.

Re:Kernel enthusiasts (4, Funny)

ThisIsFred (705426) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851242)

Don't bother. All they fixed were some spelling errors in the comment lines.

Not a good idea (1)

eggnet (75425) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851123)

So when you're following the stable 2.6.x.y and 2.6.(x+1) comes out, you potentially have to immediately switch trains to get security patches. Doesn't sound stable to me.

For this idea to work, more than the current 2.6.x needs to be supported as stable.

Re:Not a good idea (1)

Vince (4999) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851296)

What if there were two of these maintainers, who would switch off each 2.6.x release. Then, each release would be maintained until 2.6.(x+2) comes out, by which time 2.6.(x+1) will be stable enough.

You know (4, Insightful)

mcc (14761) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851131)

Linus Tourvalds keeps insisting he's just a coder and nothing more, and Alan Cox and everybody keep insisting he's just a coder and nothing more, but watching him in situations like this... he really is is disturbingly competent as a project manager. Like, to a degree that betrays a large amount of talent. I think he and others really sell him short... but of course one of the reasons he's so effective is because the relatively unassuming way in which he approaches things means people's attention is diverted elsewhere, thus allowing him to actually get stuff done :P

Honestly (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11851220)

Could you suck him off any harder? "He's not only a great coder, he's a great manager, and nobody gives him credit for it, and I just love him so much and think he's effective, and he approaches things a certain way, and he does this, he does that, he, he, he."

The hero worship around here is sickening. "Disturbingly competent?" That doesn't even really make sense.

Re:You know (2, Funny)

marcushnk (90744) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851228)

I'll agree with that.. I've watched a few of the lkml threads and his skill at herding cats in scary...

why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11851252)

Because he proposed (or accepted a proposed) numbering scheme? One that merely uses all the same techniques everyone else has always used (bugfixes get a .X added). One we don't even know is going to work well, let alone solve the problems of the current system?

It'd be one thing if you said this in a year after all this went really smoothly.

Re:You know (1)

Soko (17987) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851302)

Linus has, thus far, been abso-fucking-loutely scary in choosing what and who is relevant in regards to the Linux kernel.
I'm rather frightened by this, but I trust Linus is not a n00b, and realises the implications of his decisions.

There comes a time when the one who wears the crown is forced to realise that the kingdom is better off with a new leader, and ignores this fact to his peril. I pray that Mr. Torvalds has the wisdom and humility to pass on the torch when that time comes.


Re:You know (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11851324)

So, Linux 2.4 had a completely fucked up "stable" track, Linux 2.6 is also fucked up in different ways, and Linus is a god because he just figured out that standard software engineering techinques might help? okeydokey.

Linus should adopt my method, explained here (2, Funny)

aendeuryu (844048) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851141)

Okay, you've got your x.0 release. These are for major releases of the software. 1.0, 2.0, etc.

Then you've got your x.x.0 release. Basically, you subdivide your release schedule according to the major tasks needed to get there. So, for instance, if you're creating a video player, 0.1.0 would be to get something proof-of-concept running some basic video codec. 0.2.0 would be for major GUI additions, 0.3.0 would be for extra codeces, etc. These should adhere to a strict roadmap.

Next, you've got the x.x.x release. So, let's say that you're at the GUI stage above, if you've added the player buttons, you're at 0.1.1 (0.2.0 should be reserved for completion of the GUI stage -- are you writing this down?). A menu means 0.1.2, a status bar, 0.1.3 etc. Once more, this should also adhere strictly to the roadmap.

However, you might run into situations where a bug might creep up, and you want to do an extra release between x.x.x releases. This is where you incorporate the a/b/c etc. releases -- for minor changes that occur between the smallest parts of the roadmap. So, if you had an eject button that wasn't working, and you wanted to fix that before moving onto the menu bar, you release 0.1.1a. Small video glitch that arose because of this? 0.1.1b.

But then there are situations in which, well, if you're like myself and consider CVS use to be a waste of time, you'll need to upload release candidates on the above. Hence, the need for a "_rc" suffix. So, if you're checking to see if the fix you made to the eject button is working, you'll have to upload 0.1.1a_rc. If someone wants to add a small change, you get 0.1.1a_rc2, and so on. You might find it easier to add the initials of the developer just so you know who is doing what. So, a 0.1.1a_rc2_fg might not be out of the question.

(By the way, it's a good time to mention that it's best to have any project you're working on include the year that it was started. Why? Just because. Trust me. With all the projects out there right now anyway, we're starting to have to recycle names. So anyway, we're working on vid2004-0.1.1a_rc2_fg at this point.)

Now, and most developers will agree with me on this, every now and then you're going to get sick of the roadmap and want to deviate from it. Maybe add a feature or something ahead of time, just because you find that more motivating than doing extra testing on some module that's probably going to be obsolete by version 0.3.4a_rc3_fg_rt anyway. For these special instances, a descriptive "_plus" is in order.

If you want to see this versioning system in action, check out the latest release of my own project: dml2xml2004-0.4.12aq_plus_rc3.5_a_mdc_ls.tar.gz.

What? Too confusing you say? Just try it. I've found that all three users of my project have no trouble following this extremely clear numbering system.

Two things I neglected to mention (2, Funny)

aendeuryu (844048) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851189)

1) Some people might suggest that it's a good idea to put the md5 sum in the version. I couldn't agree more. In these days of rip-offs and trojans, you can't be too careful. I haven't been doing this with dml2xml2004 just yet, but it should become standard in one of the upcoming 3 1/2 releases.

2) Others might think that based on the way debian does things, you might want to put "stable" or "unstable". With all due respect to the folks at debian, I personally find this overkill.

Re:Two things I neglected to mention (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11851216)

Wow, your post most mostly a really lame attempt at humour, but your point "1)" made me laugh for about a minute... you need to make it a bit snappier in future though.

Sounds a lot like tla (1)

tetromino (807969) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851280)

Was your naming convention inspired by tla (Tom Lord's Arch) [] ?

There, you get {archives}/2005-foo/2005-foo--mainline/2005-foo-ma inline--0.1/ for the 0.1 version of the trunk of project "foo" as developed in 2005. Version 0.33 of the experimental gui branch would be {archives}/2005-foo/2005-foo--expgui/2005-foo-expg ui--0.33/ etc.

Re:Linus should adopt my method, explained here (1)

lord sibn (649162) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851319)

I like this approach so much I started to write my own kernel using these very steps to keep track of versioning. But I have one question:

I cannot figure out why a kernel needs to support even one video codec, or have to support a GUI on its own (among a few other things).

How can I tie these features in with my roadmap in a relevant way? (;

(yes, I was kidding)

I don't like it (2, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851175)

I think Linus is very right that it will create a lot of headache for a lot of well-meaning people. It will also create a bunch of little dictators whose mark in Linux history will be more important to them than the continual growth and evolution of the one main kernel progression.

I think instead, it is better to identify any kernel branch by the maintainer or distribution it comes from... pretty much as it already is. When I first started using Linux, I thought nothing of compiling a new kernel and getting things all tweaked out, installing patches and stuff like that. But lately, I see value in following structure in systems such as seeking out RPMs rather than compiling new things. It is far more simple and a lot less frustrating at times trying to keep up with my own set of kernel patches. (Oh, I cannot upgrade to the newest kernel because the So-n-so patch hasn't been updated yet) While the same is true or even slightly worse when it comes to RPM dependency, there is at least some structure and predictability to be found.

I predict that the change will be short lived as it will be found that people will become frustrated with keeping up with all these kernel revisions.

wheres the update process? (1)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851190)

or do I take a chance and mangle my current stuff? hello 2005 calling!!!

Linus rox (2, Interesting)

capn_buzzcut (676680) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851222)

No kidding, even Linus's most offhand comments are so well thought out and plain spoken that it's a pleasure to read. Wanna know why he's in charge of the Linux kernel? Just read. He's so common sense and matter-of-fact about everything that it's easy to see why everyone gravitates to him. And no, I'm no kernel hacker, just a Linux geek. But just reading his occasional emails is more than enough to make me want to convert everything on the network. Sometimes I get caught up in the issue du jour, but Linus's plainspoken sense of reality always reels me back in. Again, I'm no kernel hacker, but I'm constantly aware of the huge debt I owe to Linus, and every other open-source developer. You guys make things possible, I just use your work. Thank You.

Re:Linus rox (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11851264)

But just reading his occasional emails is more than enough to make me want to convert everything on the network.

I feel the same way. Whenever I read any of his rantings it makes me want to convert everything on the network - to Windows Server, BSD, Solaris, or anything but Linux, that is.

Great, more mess for the 2.6 series (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11851230)

Honestly, the 2.6 series has been one of the worst, most unstable "production" series kernels ever. Now we we're changing the numbering scheme AGAIN? I'm sorry, but it feels like this project doesn't know what it's doing. What a mess!

Ursula le Guin version numbering?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11851268)

Can't the current version of the Kernel always be called 1.0 with future verions called 2.0 depending on how many revisions into the future they are and, conversly, have past verions called minus x.y.z depending on how far in the past they are??

So that everyone knows that the current stable version of the Kernel is 1.0 while any number plus 1 is alway a beta verions and any number minus one is always a past verion??.

Or better yet have the kernel alway at 0 with a minus being past version and a plus being a beta - with the unfortunate consequence of sounding a bit communist.

IMHO - This linear progression of version numbers is stupid; since, it implies an end to development - being; not a realistic paradigm for an open-source effort (since it is always an ongoing effort and as such best represented by a curve), While a commerical project, as a counter example, has to be finished by a certian date (even if that date is constantly pushed back - hense being the orginal reason for using version's). And the, obvious, problem of running out of version numbers like Apple have done with OSX. Or Skipping verion numbers just to be a version ahead or equal to another projuct, like Netscape did. Or just giving up and using dates with funny code names.

Just a thought...

Re:Ursula le Guin version numbering?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11851278)

Wow, your brain certainly seems to be at 2.0.


Re:Ursula le Guin version numbering?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11851287)


Meltdown 4.00 Am.

Stuff like this... (-1, Offtopic)

meme_police (645420) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851281)

...makes me very grateful that I use OpenBSD on my FOSS systems.

Really stable? (2, Interesting)

GrouchoMarx (153170) | more than 9 years ago | (#11851290)

Does this mean that 2.6.x releases will actually be stable and reliable again? After getting burned by 2.6.8 and 2.6.9 (both of which had show-stopping bugs that, for instance, kept my CD burner from working or various USB-based devices, all of which worked again magically in 2.6.10), I'm now very wary of new "stable" kernel versions. On the one hand I'd like to stay up to date to get the latest security patches, but on the other I really don't need my USB ZIP drive to stop working every other kernel version. Handling individual security patch files is more trouble than it's worth for a home system, frankly (I'd rather have a life), so that's out. So what's a moderately security-minded user who wants a reliable system to do?

If going down another point level for bug fixes will help the problem, then I'm all for it. Just make it clear what people like me should be downloading. :-)
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