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Linux Kernel 2.4 out by this Fall?

CmdrTaco posted more than 15 years ago | from the but-I-want-it-now dept.

Linux 145

Skeezix writes "Linus says that he aims to make kernel upgrades more incremental instead of cramming tons of features into each major upgrade. The net result? The next major kernel upgrade might be out by Fall." I still haven't worked out all my kinks with 2.2 yet, at this rate 2.4 will be out before I sort it out!

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Calm down :-) (1)

Daniel (1678) | more than 15 years ago | (#1847602)

I think he was talking about the other reply :-)

Daniel

Re:Still on 2.0.X (1)

Josh Turpen (28240) | more than 15 years ago | (#1847603)

I have a few friends that are still on 1.2.13 and have no plans to upgrade. For them there is no reason to. All of the devices they use are supported, all of the features they want are already there, and 1.2.13 has a much smaller memory footprint.

Linux says he's ready for another 8 1/2 years (1)

gavinhall (33) | more than 15 years ago | (#1847604)

Posted by kenmcneil:

In the article they quoted Linus as saying:

I feel like going for another eight-and-a-half years.

Though I'm sure this has been talking about before but what would happen if Linus did hang it up? Do any of the other core kernel developers have what it takes to fill his shoes or is it likely that the kernel would fork in different directions under different leadership. Or maybe it would move to a more democratic development model like Debian has. Just something to think about :^)

Bah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1847612)

Windows is already at version 98! Obviously it is a much more mature product than a simple version 2.2 product! Wait until version 2000 comes out next year... it will be MUCH more stable and have many thousands more features than any OS that exists today has. We need LinuxOS 4, then Linux 2.3, then Linux 2.4, then Linux 2.5, Linux 2.5.1, Linux 2.6, and then of course, the next logical version number would be Linux 7. ;-) (this is all tongue in cheek of course so calm down :-)

Woohoo! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1847613)

Time to upgrade my Linux 1.2.8 kernel based system! This is awesome! Next you're going to tell me there is SMP support! Woohoo!

Re:Until Merced is release, it is under NDA. (1)

Gog_Magog (14833) | more than 15 years ago | (#1847614)

Once it is released, I am sure things will work at quite a furious pace. Cygnus has signed the NDA and will make the compiler for Merced. Linux has always said Linux can be ported to any platform that gcc can run on, so don't sweat it.

RTLinux merge... (1)

krynos (1706) | more than 15 years ago | (#1847615)

From An RT-Linux Manifesto (in Proceedings of the 5th Annual Linux Expo), page 195:
6. What next and acknowledgements:
[...]
Linus Torvalds once said the the RTLinux core would become integrated with the standard kernel in 2.3, but the availability of pre-patched kernels makes this a less pressing issue.

Re:Still on 2.0.X (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1847616)

He probably means security updates?

Well, there's Alan Cox for starters (1)

LizardKing (5245) | more than 15 years ago | (#1847617)

(see subject line)


Chris Wareham

'Twas just a joke (2)

DonkPunch (30957) | more than 15 years ago | (#1847618)

It was pure silliness -- inspired by the "version-number-as-marketing-tool" conditions you just described.

I think the original "somebody already has" comment was actually directed at the AC who called the idea "absurd".

I added the comment because people sometimes assume that slashdot posters are trying to contribute serious, well-thought-out insights and ideas to the forum. That would be OTHER posters, not me. :)

Don't you get it? Most Linux users's ARE Avg Jo's! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1847619)

Where do you think all the users are coming from for Linux's exponential growth?

Re:Alan Cox probably. (1)

Gog_Magog (14833) | more than 15 years ago | (#1847620)

Alan would probably take over. As for democratic development model, that might be good for some thing, but I don't think the kernel is a good idea. Things designed by comitee bloat at the drop of a hat.

Think about it, how many of the programs of your distribution do you really use? The kernel isn't a place to play political games and democracy encourages compromise and horse trading.

solaris (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1847621)

Yeah ! even solaris jumped from 2.6 to 7.0 !
Why not do the same ?!

no problems here (1)

josepha48 (13953) | more than 15 years ago | (#1847622)

I have not had any real problems with 2.2.9. My machine has been doing okay with it. Any problems that I have had were there in 2.0, but I found out they were BIOS related... first?

Sanity. Good. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1847623)

I think this is what more users expect. I've encountered some confusion from folks on 2.2: "if it's so much better, why isn't it 3.0?"

It would have been nice to have had a 2.4, 2.6, 2.8 somewhere in between.

Burnout (1)

Isaac-Lew (623) | more than 15 years ago | (#1847624)

I hope this doesn't lead to burnout. Linus does happen to have a life (i. e., wife, kids, job).

Re:Sanity. Good. (1)

taliesen (5280) | more than 15 years ago | (#1847625)

And did you explain to them that unlike some
software companies who shall remain nameless
we believe in actually progressing through
version numbers as opposed to incrementing
them at random for marketing reasons ;-)

Linus (1)

Brian Knotts (855) | more than 15 years ago | (#1847626)

You talk as if he's a mere mortal...

:-)

--
Get your fresh, hot kernels right here [kernel.org] !

Not Much Difference (1)

manitee (2974) | more than 15 years ago | (#1847627)

I really would'nt expect to see too much difference once the new cycle takes effect. It's either called 2.2.17 or 2.4.0, but you are still going to get basically the same feature set. Quicker kernel release cycles means that major version increments will not necessarily tie to majot feature injections.

1.2 -> 2.0 Major changes
2.0 -> 2.2 Major changes
2.2 -> 2.4 Minor changes
2.4 -> 2.6 Minor...

I would'nt look for anything huge until 3.0. But I suppose that could be a month away ;-)

About time! (2)

lar3ry (10905) | more than 15 years ago | (#1847628)

Open Source: Release early. Release often.

Much better than MicroSoft: Promise early. Release maybe. Patch occasionally.

This is good news indeed.
--

At this rate (1)

theJeff (13638) | more than 15 years ago | (#1847629)

At this rate, 2.4 may be out before I switch to 2.2. I was working on it, but I munged my system badly, trying to upgrade to glibc by hand. I've installed Debian this time, and am still playing with configuration. Don't have much time to work on it.
thejeff

This is a good thing (1)

Stiletto (12066) | more than 15 years ago | (#1847630)

This means that there will be fewer "experimental" changes in each major release, much to the pleasure of us joe users.

Alan Cox All the way (1)

gavinhall (33) | more than 15 years ago | (#1847631)

Posted by unpHEAR:

Who's gonna maintain linux kernel developpement if Linus hang it up? Alan Cox for 3 imaginatives reasons.

1-)We always heard about kernel 2.2.xacx ...
2-)He was a good looking guy :)
3-)Linux will be called Lincux

Here is my 2 cents...
Iam not a Geek
It was my opinion

Sorry for my english
emman

Re:Still on 2.0.X (2)

Aaron M. Renn (539) | more than 15 years ago | (#1847632)

-- Security Updates

-- New devices (I do have USB, but nothing on it currently)

-- Ensuring that 2.0.X users don't get forced to upgrade. (What? You want to run Gnome 2.0? That requires gtk1.4 which only support glibc 2.2.3 which requires Linux 2.6)

Transmeta Anyone? (1)

ggoebel (1760) | more than 15 years ago | (#1847633)

Piecing together one groundless rumour with another:

  • Expect something from Transmeta this fall (Current hardcopy issue of the Linux Journal)
  • Expect a new kernel this Fall ( ZDNet [zdnet.com] )
  • Transmeta's first product will have something to do with portable DSP and Telephony ( TBTF [tbtf.com] )
  • Expect to see Linux in telephones (Linus in the same ZDNet article [zdnet.com] )

Maybe Transmeta's first product is going to something that'll make both the Palm Pilot and Isty look big, clunky, and out-dated.

specifics (1)

MenTaLguY (5483) | more than 15 years ago | (#1847634)

Check out the history of the clone() system call. I might be wrong about the specific patchlevel, but I know it was added sometime in the 1.3 series (the number 1.3.19 keeps coming to mind now).

I have absolutely no idea about SMP support. Was primitive SMP availible in 2.0.0?

---

MS Marketing and Version Numbers (1)

irix (22687) | more than 15 years ago | (#1847635)

You have to love this kind of thinking. To the general public, even for technical products, Microsoft has given up all pretense of having the version numbers actually mean anything.

Visual Interdev jumped from 1.0 to 6.0. What happened to the other numbers?

Still, when you get down to brass tacks, you still have proper version numbering, even from MS... "Oh, asp.dll 2.37.2.2 leaks memory - you need asp.dll version 2.39.17.4 to fix that!"

Ugh :)

Re:What's new in 2.4? (1)

Le douanier (24646) | more than 15 years ago | (#1847636)


That is something i was wondering since the Mincraft benchmark. Is there some kernel level thread.

If there wasn't up to now and if we add it and modify some part of the kernel to use it efficiently this could be a considerabvle boost in SMP performances.

Hope this will become true.

Imagine Linux kicking Nt's ass on high level harware (something like 16+ CPU's). that is one thing I would want to see (the sooner the better ;) but this isn't the most important thing either).

just some of my dreams ;)

Know the process. (1)

Dastardly (4204) | more than 15 years ago | (#1847637)

First, as others have pointed out 2.4 will be the stable release of the 2.3 development kernel. Second, as no one else has pointed out, part of the kernel release process includes a feature freeze. There is a point during the 2.3 development when Linus will stop accepting new features, and only be accepting bug fixes. Essentially, what Linus is saying is that the feature freeze will occur sooner with fewer new features to debug resulting in more stable, but less featureful(sp?) stable kernel releases. This is probably a good thing.

Pure humor with no contribution to discussion (1)

EngrBohn (5364) | more than 15 years ago | (#1847638)

Just think -- if Windows 2000 had a two-digit date, then it'd report itself as Windows 00, a pre-alfa version =)
Christopher A. Bohn

yeah sure (1)

zifnab (7590) | more than 15 years ago | (#1847639)


I say, "yes sure", why not ?


version 2.2 was out just before summer 1998 and the 2.4 will be out before the end of the year ?
ok. He can say so, as usual, but we're talkin' about software, don't forget it.

seb.
--

Stability (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1847640)

It's also MUCH more stable after it's been locked up by any of the numerous DOS bugs that have been fixed in the last 300 kernel versions. ;-)

Marketing or maturity? (2)

IIH (33751) | more than 15 years ago | (#1847641)

There are several good reasons I can think of of having more regular, but less dramitic, major version releases

Maturity: the kernel has setted down quite a lot at 2.2, and hopefully there won't be as much major upheavals as from 2.0 to 2.2, and it should me more an adding drivers/tweaking, rather than a redesign.

Marketing: or more accuratly, exposure. As the user market for linux gets more and more widespread, the impact of a major change will cause greater ripples. Most users (and distributions) will only run "stable" releases, so it makes sense to take lots of incremental upgrades (little steps) to that population, rather than on big jump (and possible fall over)

As the market of Linux increases, so does the potential interia to change. Take libc5-glibc for example, The linux bandwadgon hadn't really started rolling then, but if it had before the change, I think it would have been a lot more hassle to get people to migrate, because of all the apps that would have been released for libc5 systems.

As a result of this increasing inertia, I think companies will slowly drft from releaseing bleeding edge releases, "first with linux v x.y!!" to releasing "burnt-in" versons. For the end users, that's good, for the developers, that's bad, as there is less people to feedback bugs. Hence, the release stable versions of kernel often, will help allieviate this problem.


--

Re:Bah (1)

copito (1846) | more than 15 years ago | (#1847642)

Don't forget that LinuxOS 4 is also Linux 1 and runnig uname on Linux 7 reports "LinuxOS 5.7".

Sun's a great company and Solaris is a nice OS but the marketing people need to take a break.
-Mike
--

Re:Not sure (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 15 years ago | (#1847643)

That's possible. I hope that's how it turns out. What I'm afraid of is that as soon as the jump is made to 2.4.x, the work on 2.2.x will pretty much stop, except for fixing major security bugs (just like Alan Cox says that no more work will be done on 2.0.x unless some really major bug crops up). If you release 2.4.0 after 15 or so 2.2.x kernels, that means 2.2.x is the latest "stable" kernel for a lot shorter period of time, so you could conceivably have less testing and optimizations. The big bugs will still be fixed, but things may not be as smooth or well-optimized as with the 2.0.x series's long run.

Re:Pure humor with no contribution to discussion (1)

Noel (1451) | more than 15 years ago | (#1847644)

And that's pronounced "Windows [pause] Oh-Oh!" (just like it is for earlier versions)

Re:Still on 2.0.X (1)

sterwill (972) | more than 15 years ago | (#1847645)

And 1.2.13 is much slower on anything newer than a 486, too. Can't beat that.

Re:Don't you get it? Most Linux users's ARE Avg Jo (1)

shine (1502) | more than 15 years ago | (#1847646)

I am an average Joe and it makes me so mean :-P

Re:Transmeta Anyone? (1)

Chexum (1498) | more than 15 years ago | (#1847647)

Yep, funny; it looks like Linus plans to have more time around the fall, that may mean the hard, secret work is over by then :) Also, while he says nothing "big" about the release, he's sure of it; that could also mean support for the Transmeta chip, whatever it does, will be big news, but he doesn't want to say just now.

OTOH, I don't think telephony is a "big thing", it should be a fading business; the Neon (?) chip will IMHO be just a cheap one, which is way more efficient for special tasks (DSP, 3d accelator) than the current general CPU's. Hopefully able to run everything efficiently, but many doubt that :)

Another lesser know transmeta leak is here [deja.com] .

2.3 kernel development has accelerated! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1847648)

Even though the 2.3 kernel has been around for only 1 month, 5 _major_ features have been added already: A) waitqueues (used by all kernel subsystems) have been rewritten to get simpler and scale better on SMP. B) the new waitqueues enabled to implement 'wake-one' semantics for accept(): the 'thundering herd' Apache problem mentioned is thus 100% solved. C) David Miller (the main Linux networking guru, working for Red Hat) has rewritten the networking code to scale as good as it gets on SMP - this was apparently a major rewrite of the networking code. D) the pre-2.3.7 kernel has extensive NFS client-side changes written by David Miller - he mentioned on linux-kernel that these changes if finished will improve Linux NFS-write and read performance alot. D) The pre-2.3.7 kernel appears to have very 'daring' changes to the page-cache and ext2-fs, the changelog says that the buffer-cache and page-cache has been 'unified' so that data is only cached once, and that all file IO is parallel and
constrained by the 'big kernel lock' anymore. Has anyone here tried 2.3 on a big SMP box? The development pace of 2.3 is really high, apparently with a _HUGE_ focus on SMP scalability. I bet that the 2.3 kernel if stabilized will blow NT away in even the most unfair benchmark setups! Kudos to everybody involved, especially to David Miller and Linus!

Re:No marketing savvy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1847649)

> Redhat 5.2 and Redhat 6.0 aren't that much
> different. The installer is different, the
> packages have been updated, but this is not
> really something to warrant a whole revision.
> yes, the kernel went up to 2.2.5 or whatever,
> but that doesn't make it a completely Revised
> Redhat release.

The debut of Gnome as the main desktop environment, the inclusion of KDE, a 2.2 series kernel (first new kernel series in 2 1/2 years), the final stages of switch to egcs, the switch to glibc2.1 (first major update in over 2 years), etc, etc.

These are not minor differences.

Likewise, 4.x to 5.x marked the change from libc5 to glibc, which in itself was a MAJOR change.

Re:Bah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1847650)

Think of it this way:

Linux 2.2 is to Red Hat 6 as SunOS 5.7 is to Solaris 7.

In other words, there are a variety of things, other than the core stuff, that goes into Solaris; and those things are not versioned 5.7 at all (CDE 1.3 for instance).

Re:Good Thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1847651)

The only drawback I see is that bleeding-edgers will have to compile much more often and that the already
light-speed trend of kernel suffix escallation will only get worse. But is that really bad?


Easily solved--stealing from another company we now have Linux99.06.16. Current stable version will always be Linux3.1, bleeding edge LinuxNT, current development Linux98. Next major upgrade Linux2000 (due out Sept.).

Oh lighten up.

Re:Marketing or maturity? (1)

Chad Page (20225) | more than 15 years ago | (#1847652)

For instance, Debian 2.1 spent 6-months in freeze before release.

Read between the lines (2)

jelle (14827) | more than 15 years ago | (#1847653)

If you read between the lines, you'll see that Linus wants more projects like the PCMCIA, isdn4linux, e2compr, etc, that develop separate (in parallel) from the kernel, and that go from proof-of-concept to kernel feature without especially being included in the development kernels untill they have become stable and popular patches, at which point it should not take much time to integrate it into Linus' release.

Such parallel development is necessary considering the amount of people working in parallel on kernel-related issues. In the old days, thing were tried out in the development kernels, nowadays people like andrea, rick, and the isdn4linux and pcmcia groups make their patches, and then ask on the mailing lists for people to test the patches. Such things start as hacks, tryouts, or proof-of-concept without hampering the development of any other part of the kernel. Once their patches, or sometimes just their idea's have been tested by some people and proven to be good, then Linus may decide to put the patch, or sometimes just the basic concept behind it, in the kernel.

You say 'unless everybody starts coding a lot faster', for which you assume that the number of people stays the same... which is not the case. There are a lot more people working on the kernel, or kernel-related projects right now then there were at the beginning of 2.1.x, and especially when compared to the old 1.3.x days.

With the patch archives maturing(kernelnotes, the patches at rock-projects, kernel traffic, and others), and with the support of Alan's -ac patches, such parallel developments will still be available to many for the testing and using, even before Linus decides to include it.

No more 2+ years of waiting for new stabilizing kernels, it's going to be great!

Definitely a good thing (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1847654)


It's definitely a good thing, for a number of reasons.

The first is that the new features will get "to market" more quickly. That means more people using them, which in turn means more bugs found, which in turn means they get working more quickly.

A second, and important, reason in terms of World Domination(tm), is that it takes away a lot of the nay-sayers ammunition. For example, for a long time they said "Linux has poor SMP support", which of course was true for 2.0.x but not for 2.1.x. Now they are going to say the same thing about USB, but given the rate of USB development on 2.3 right now, a 2.4 in the fall should have fully-functional USB.

Finally, it should make each small upgrade much less painful, since they are more incremental.

PnP support? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1847655)

Will PnP cards be supported? This is long over due. FreeBSD already has a PnP driver! I don't want to use the crufty isapnp anymore.

Re:Not sure (1)

samiladanach (6136) | more than 15 years ago | (#1847656)

That is an interesting take on it. I guess I assumed the opposite, that is that we might have fewer major feature changes per minor version than we do now. I mean, 2.0.x to 2.2.x was a humongous leap, and it seemed to me that releasing a minor every 6-12 months would maybe force better feature discipline.

As far as bugfix / optimization, I would assume that, for example, 2.2.x + (some features) + (2.2.x bugfixes) + (2.3.x bugfixes) = 2.4.0, in the cycle envisioned. This means that the 2.4.0 codebase should not be too far away as far as, e.g., filesystem or network drivers are concerned, but maybe 2.4.0 has features X, Y, and Z that comprise the main diff between 2.2.x and 2.4.x. I think that it could, therefore, turn out to enhance the stability of the system as a whole by integrating useful features into the stable branch when they are ready, rather than basing the stable branch on certain features.

-Chris

AKA How To Beat MSFT at their own game (1)

WillAffleck (42386) | more than 15 years ago | (#1847657)

Seriously, especially since they're pushing WinNT vs Linux on WinNT-optimal machines as "the benchmark", we can just say:

"Oh, but that was version 2.0. We're already at version 2.6, which is five times faster at multi-processor static page hurls and still won't crash like IIS does..."

If it's got a higher version number, it must be better - Bill Gates law of increasing profits


Will in Seattle

What's needed... (1)

_damnit_ (1143) | more than 15 years ago | (#1847658)

Here's a few things that were noted in a comparison of linux vs Solaris. I assume these are valuable traits (I am not a guru):

Journalling File System
Swap File System for /tmp
Real Time Scheduling
Intelligent Kernel Thread Scheduling (where threads of a process are spread among all CPUs)
Kernel Asynchronous I/O (KAIO)
Large file support (2GB)

I know SGI is going to opensource a journalling filesystem. That could be in a module I suppose. The others are of various importance, but I suppose they should be considered.

Any thoughts?

Re:Bah (1)

samiladanach (6136) | more than 15 years ago | (#1847659)

Well, there seems to be some misunderstanding about Sun's choice of versioning, which is actually symbolic of some things that they have been changing in the core OS. As you may (or more obviously, may not) recall, SunOS4.x was BSD based. Sun decided to change to a more SysV based style, so they decided to start calling it Solaris and change the versioning scheme to 2.x (SunOS being 1.x, I guess), but lots of things still come up as SunOS5.x on a Solaris box. Solaris 2.7 actually completed their changeover, so instead of 2.7, which symbolizes the changes, they called it Solaris 7, symbolizing the completion of the change. Of course, it is still Solaris 2.7 and SunOS 5.7, but it makes more sense than M$ Winblows 9x or NT or 2000.

I do not work for Sun. I do not work for M$. This is hearsay ;).

-Chris

Re:Still on 2.0.X (1)

Blue Lang (13117) | more than 15 years ago | (#1847661)

-- Ensuring that 2.0.X users don't get forced to upgrade. (What? You want to run Gnome 2.0? That requires gtk1.4 which only support glibc 2.2.3 which requires Linux 2.6)

Argh.. no. Glibc compiles on AIX, IRIX, etc, etc, etc.. Things like that have nothing to do with the kernel. (- generalization for sake of clarity.)

The things that DO matter as far as 'upgrading' a kernel are exactly what the previous person mentioned, support for hardware and features. If you want really GOOD NFS support, you're 'forced' to upgrade. Some programs might use, for instance, features of a newer kernel, (the new procfs comes to mind) but that is hardly a forced upgrade.

So, you make a choice. Live with your old kernel, or learn to use methods other than rpm to install software. No one's forcing you to do anything.

And, hell, if you don't like it, learn C.

--
blue

What is Alan and Linus die in a car crash? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1847663)

Right now we have a ready replacement for Linux.
Alan. Great guy.

But what if they both die? Do we have an obvious
third person?

I know it wont be ESR or the GNU guy (mental block).

VA ? HP more like (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1847670)

HP were demoing their port at Linux Expo, into user space, on a simulator (obviously). They had built it with egcs (kernel messages said so). VA had nothing on show, and HPs marketing guy floating around their stand said it was their work and had no VA code in it.

Re:Not Much Difference (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1847671)

I wish you would read the kernel mailing list before blasting off nonsense like this.

There are some BIG changes taking place between 2.2 and 2.4, most of them in the memory management subsystem. ext3 FS is due to be implemented soon as well. All of these will mean BIG changes for higher end machines and powerful workstations, extending Linux's reach to where only UNIX and NT can go right now.

Re:solaris (1)

styopa (58097) | more than 15 years ago | (#1847672)

If you really look at Solaris 7 you will see that it is really Solaris 2.7, they didn't just decide to make such a leap to go from 2.6 to 7.

Re:What's needed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1847673)

>Journalling File System

Most likely will be in 2.4. Stephen Tweedie is working on it.

>Swap File System for /tmp

There are probably already patches to do this.

>Real Time Scheduling

Already available as patches (SCHED_FIFO and SCHED_RR are soft realtime, but hard realtime requires some mods to the kernel)

>Intelligent Kernel Thread Scheduling (where threads of a process are spread among all CPUs)

It's already in 2.2 if you use glibc 2.1 with kernel thread support

>Kernel Asynchronous I/O (KAIO)

Work is underway to support this

>Large file support (2GB)

It'll be in 2.4.

Re:What is Alan and Linus die in a car crash? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1847674)

Toss up between David Miller and Stephen Tweede.

Re:What's new in 2.4? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1847675)

Journalling FS extensions, boucoup VM system changes (mostly efficiency things, like merging the page cache with the buffer cache to prevent an extra copy), 4GB of RAM support for x86(finally), large file support, better demand-mode paging (which is how programs are loaded incrementally, instead of with a WHUMP, a big deal for servers forking off lots of processes) and whatever minor fixes get put in (quotas, fast NFS-3 support, which will be back-ported around 2.2.14, etc)

Re:MS Marketing and Version Numbers (1)

styopa (58097) | more than 15 years ago | (#1847677)

Another good one from MS is from Word 3.0 to Word 95. If you look at the headers there is a string that says Word 6. And one of the patches for Word 97 changed a string in the headers from Word 7 to Word 8. Funny how a patch can constitute a whole new release number in the header. :) or perhaps MS's release numbers in Word are for tracking when they released something to fix the "bug" of WordPerfect being able to convert the files over?
Just a thought.

Re:Marketing or maturity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1847678)

Hehe. I agree, especially looking at RedHat 6.0's filesystem corruption bugs with its shipping kernel. OOPS they said. tehehe.

Re:No marketing savvy (1)

Azul (12241) | more than 15 years ago | (#1847681)

Redhat seems to like the 5.0->5.1->5.2->etc->6.0 without going to minor numbers. That's their perogative. However, they must realise that they are going to be on version 15 in 2 or so years. That's what I find silly about the whole notion.


Heheh. Sounds as if you were implying there is a problem with being version 15. They must realize that they are going to be version 15? Why? What's relevant of being in version 15? *grin*

Alejo.

Re:What is Alan and Linus die in a car crash? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1847683)

GNU Guy = Richard M Stallman

Merced? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1847690)

Can we ever expect Merced support? If so, when? Intel has already released the insruction sets. I think if linux is to work on any computers manufactured in 2000, Merced support is nessisary. In what kernel will this be available? Who's working on it?

Good Thing (2)

clump (60191) | more than 15 years ago | (#1847691)

When its all said and done, I believe this to be a good thing. With the recent talk of the Mindcraft benchmarks, Linux will be able to mature faster and get fixes and improvements in quicker.


The biggest point that I agree on with Linus is that upgrading to 2.2 was a big deal for some people when it should not have been. Just look at how many distros drastically changed their products.

The only drawback I see is that bleeding-edgers will have to compile much more often and that the already light-speed trend of kernel suffix escallation will only get worse. But is that really bad?
-Clump

Intel is... (1)

MatriXOracle (33400) | more than 15 years ago | (#1847692)

As part of their investment in Red Hat a while back, I remember one of the side-deals was that Intel was either going to work on or fund an effort to have Linux 64-bit on Merced as soon as it comes out, which shouldn't be much of a problem since we're already 64-bit on Alpha.
Look at it this way: Linux is gonna support Merced a lot sooner than MS is.

Re:Merced? (1)

Kamelion (12129) | more than 15 years ago | (#1847693)

I believe it has been demonstrated to run on one of the Mercid simulators on HP. I'm sure the Mercid port will be available and more stable before Monterey takes off. Lets just home the IA64 chip sets will be cost effective or the who platform will die.

"Done deal" -- Torvalds (1)

Russ Nelson (33911) | more than 15 years ago | (#1847694)

Linus said that it was a "done deal". A friend of mine who works on support chipsets told me that it's already running on the Merced simulator. I think that's why our fearful leader can say that with such confidence.
-russ

Not sure (3)

Trepidity (597) | more than 15 years ago | (#1847695)

I'm not sure how good of an idea this is. Unless everybody starts coding a lot faster, the development is unlikely to speed up. All you're doing is taking what would've been called 2.2.25 and calling it 2.4.0 instead. However, this fiddling with the version numbers could lead to a decrease in overall quality, as moving from 2.2.x to 2.4.x will tend to tempt people to add more features, while keeping in the 2.2.x series leads to a bunch of bugfixes and optimizations, but few features added (i.e. 2.0.37 doesn't have that many more features than 2.0.0, but it is a lot more stable). More new features added and a shorter bugfix/optimization period leads to a more full-featured but less stable kernel. I suppose this is both a good and bad thing.

Re:Merced? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1847696)

I believe Intel is already funding some linux people (either directly or through a linux-oriented company) to work on compliers for the new chip.
We'll probably see it when the chips start coming out en-mass, or a little later.

VA Research (1)

luge (4808) | more than 15 years ago | (#1847697)

VA has a team of five working on the merced portm (mainly kernel, IIRC), with support from Intel. The EGCS team (through Cygnus) are working on the compiler, again with Intel support (since an NDA is required to get any access to emulators, and until recently, specs.) It'll be done on time, don't worry.
~luge

VA's working on it (1)

MatriXOracle (33400) | more than 15 years ago | (#1847698)

This press release [intel.com] from March says that VA Research is working on the port and that "VA Research will deliver the optimized port, in synch with Merced-based system availability in mid 2000." Apparently, HP, SGI, Caldera, Debian, RedHat and SuSE are all working on it as well.

What's new in 2.4? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1847699)

Does anyone know what new features are set to
appear in 2.4? Kernel threads? Real time services? Anything worth salivating over?

This is good. It's not irrelevant. (1)

Azul (12241) | more than 15 years ago | (#1847700)

Some persons have pointed that whatever they call the versions is irrelevant. It is not, since odd version numbers such as 2.1.X or 2.3.X are experimental while even version numbers such as 2.0.X or 2.2.X are stable code.

It is a good thing, considering there are many persons stuck in 2.0.X, unwilling to switch to 2.2.X because of the big effort it takes:

Someone posted:
Question: Has anyone stepped up and said they will take over maintenance of 2.0.X if Alan and Linus don't want to anymore?


I believe this is exactly why they are going to change version numbers more often. Why bother mantaining 2.0.X?!

I understand your point of view, the effort related with switching is big and 2.2.X are not as stable as 2.0.X (or so it seems). But from another point of view, its like saying: I am running 2.0.36, will someone release 2.0.36.1? I don't want to update 2.0.37...

I know, there are no big differences between 2.0.36 and 2.0.37 so updating is not as big a pain as updating from 2.0.X to 2.2.X.

And that's what Linus is trying to fix, I suppose. He doesn't want to have people stuck with 2.2.X when he releases 2.4.X, so he's going to release stable kernels more often, hoping people will update their systems and distributions to stable kernels more often (but with less hassle).

Alejo.

Version 2.4 - Why not? (2)

Maclir (33773) | more than 15 years ago | (#1847701)

Well, I think all things considered, this is *a good thing*. A couple of comments, though.

First - consider the open source development approach - it works well when there are a large number of people involved in the development and testing, and all the little dot releases and patches and pre releases are part of this process. In the traditional "closed shop / source" model, the same often happens - but only those in the development team sees it. Having the "stable / public" stream, and the "(b)leading edge / development" stream helps. As others have said many times - "release early, release often". That way, we all benefit from each others contributions, and can build on other's work sooner.

What is required, though, is a way to make kernel upgrades easier and simpler for the "average joe" - and i imclude myself here. I still have 2.0.36 on my machine at home - partially because personal circunstances at hame have prevented me from doing too much - but I also have a sneaking suspicion that if I dont take extra caution, I may trash something. Sure, if I spent the time reading and experimenting, I would have greater confidence. I upgraded my Win 95 to Win 98 in under and hour - and no damage was done (assuming that you don't class wunning Windoze as being of irrepairable damage in the first place). Kernel upgrades should be able to be run as fairly simple and painless activities - and with a suitable "backout" capability. maybe that is already there - but I haven't discovered it yet. (yes, I know - RTFM).

There is a fine line between showing a product is under active support, with new features being added quickly, improvements to security and performance coming all the time, and these enhancements being in response to what the users of the system want and need (and not just some market-droid's idea of how to sell more stuff); compared to having a product appear to be too experimental, with new versions released constantly without proper testing and quality control. I think that a major revision (2.0 => 2.2 => 2.4, etc) each 9 to 12 months is about right.

Ken

Re:Sanity. Good. (1)

raka (17481) | more than 15 years ago | (#1847702)

I think the problem is that even though
v2.0->2.2 might have been a big enough
increment to warrant a new major number,
that would have seemed evil, so it only
got the minor. In effect we have the
opposite problem: Linux version numbers
are misleading because they are too timid.

Anyway a fast release cycle is the real fix.

it made sense when he said it... (4)

peterjm (1865) | more than 15 years ago | (#1847703)

the article doesn't really go into this, so (with out trying to show off the fact that I was there) I will.
according to linus, he was very un happy with the "pain" that people went through upgrading from 1.2-2.0 and then from 2.0-2.2 . he wants to avoid this as much as possible, (also stating that people shouldn't "have" to upgrade, but realizing the unmitagated joy in doing so). also, there was the time issue, something like 1.5 years from 1.2-2.0 and then like 2.5 years for the next jump.
in the future, the plan as linus stated it, was to implement less "major" changes between code-freezes in order to get the newer stuff out there quicker. that's all.

Re:No marketing savvy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1847704)

They must realize that they are going to be version 15? Why? What's relevant of being in version 15?
I guess we'll have to ask AutoDesk about that. AutoCAD 10, 11, 12, 13, 13a, 13b, 13c, ..., 14, 14a, ..., 2000. 15 must be an unlucky number or something. (This disregards the big leap from 2.x to 10, of course. Everyone already knows that 3 through 9 are all unlucky.)

Don't get me started on Meagersoft. "We'll build a new OS and call it... VERSION 3! No, no, better yet: 3.1! The perfect way to bypass the point-oh bugs... mu-ha-ha-ha-ha!"

Knowing how to count is obviously for sissies.

Re:Definitely a good thing (1)

Your Pal Dave (33229) | more than 15 years ago | (#1847705)

USB is the key here. As more iMac-alikes come out (i.e. expansion via USB only), Linux is in danger of becoming superfluous if there isn't good USB support in a stable kernel release.

Re:VA Research (1)

chrisd (1457) | more than 15 years ago | (#1847707)

Yep, we have the merced simulator here as well.

Chris DiBona
VA Linux Systems.
--
Grant Chair, Linux Int.
VP, SVLUG

Mindcraft dictating Linux kernel development (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1847708)

Actually, all these features sound pretty cool. But they only affect people with big budgets who can buy the type of hardware that this stuff shines on! I'd rather see the kludginess of our graphics system finally get cleaned up (programs have to handle sharing of graphics resources themselves unless you're using fbdev..the kernel should be mediating this)

Daniel

e2compr! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1847710)

This is an excellent example of what you were describing. Anyone know if it's going to make it into 2.4?

Daniel

Re:No marketing savvy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1847713)

AC said: Don't get me started on Meagersoft. "We'll build a new OS and call it... VERSION 3! No, no, better yet: 3.1! The perfect way to bypass the point-oh bugs... mu-ha-ha-ha-ha!"


I'm assuming you're speaking of Windows 3.1

Well....

Actually, there _was_ a Win 3.0. I know because I actually saw it a while back, and somewhere around the storeroom here at work is an _upgrade_ kit for Win3.1 from 3.0

But inflated version numbers still strike me as stupid, ie Solaris 2.7 == 7.0

Only distros and 'average joes' (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 15 years ago | (#1847720)

I mean, Linux _development_ isn't going to go any faster. Linus can't mandate that all the developers start working harder.

All this means is that the stable kernel cycle time will be shorter, meaning less features per cycle, but distros will be able to incorporate these new changes sooner. I think this is a good thing.

A user who wants the newest and hottest kernel can just use that, like always. The kernel patches will probably be released at the same rate as always, so the 'bleeding-edge' user will have the same number of compiles as before.

Re:Not sure (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 15 years ago | (#1847721)

It probably is a good idea. The development kernels are supposed to contain fundamental changes that are likely to do very bad things (TM, pat pend.). You don't want to do too many of those all at once or you'll likely miss a lot of bugs.

Bug fixes and stability issues are moving very fast in 2.2.x. 2.2.10 is a lot better sorted out that 2.0.10 was. By tearing up less code in 2.3.x, 2.4.x will probably have less introduced bugs to fix.

Re:Not sure (1)

drendite (3) | more than 15 years ago | (#1847722)

Well, the kernel code has "forked", basically. From the 2.2.x code came 2.3.x.. Updates to 2.2.x will not contain new features, and will only contain bugfixes etc. The new features are tested out in the 2.3.x series (where stablity is not much of an issue -- until the jump to 2.4.x approaches)

Re:Not sure (2)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 15 years ago | (#1847723)

The idea is to take the long cycle of 'development' kernels, and chop them up into smaller bite-size increments. IE - instead of having over 120 kernel releases in the 2.1 series, have far fewer in 2.3. Then, like always, the development kernels will be frozen and stabalized into the next stable kernel release, 2.4. 2.4 will _not_ be the same as '2.2.25', it will be '2.3.40' or whatever. the 2.2 series and the 2.3 series are divergent, remember.

This will probably result in _more_ stable kernels, since instead of having to bugfix some huge amount of new features to get it stable (like was needed for 2.1 series), there will be a more modest list.

No marketing savvy (3)

DonkPunch (30957) | more than 15 years ago | (#1847724)

Is Linus nuts? It's 1999 and he's still only releasing version 2.x? Look around, man! The Red Hat distro is up to version 6.0. SuSE is up to 6.1 (clearly, it's more up-to-date).

And Microsoft? Their development environments will all be 7.0 soon (clearly more up-to-date than any of those Linux products). Why, that's why MS renamed NT 5.0 to Windows 2000! Why buy NT 5.0 when I can have Red Hat 6.0 -- it's a bigger number, man!

For the sake of marketing, I propose a MASSIVE jump in kernel major numbers. Then all the distros can fall in line.

This fall, Linux 2.4 should be released as Linux 2001.0.0. Red Hat, SuSE, and everyone else can release with the same version and clear up all this confusion. Dev kernels can use the same system as now (2001.1.0, etc.)

/* Someone will take me seriously. Watch. It happens every time. Bunch of literalist geeks.... */

Re:At this rate (1)

mwillis (21215) | more than 15 years ago | (#1847725)

I considered doing this too. But I balked, and bought the Cheapbytes Redhat 6.0 and let it do all that for me. It was really easy.

I am pretty sure that the Debian 2.1 cd, at $2.49, is easier to install afresh, than to do it all by hand. It has Glibc 2.07 I think.

Still on 2.0.X (2)

Aaron M. Renn (539) | more than 15 years ago | (#1847726)

I'm still on 2.0.X and don't have any plans to upgrade. Things are running well for me and all of my devices are supported.

Question: Has anyone stepped up and said they will take over maintenance of 2.0.X if Alan and Linus don't want to anymore?

Re:No marketing savvy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1847727)

what?

How does increasing the version number make software better? This is an absurd proposal.

Re:No marketing savvy (1)

angelo (21182) | more than 15 years ago | (#1847728)

Is Linus nuts? It's 1999 and he's still only releasing version 2.x? Look around, man! The Red Hat distro is up to version 6.0. SuSE is up to 6.1 (clearly, it's more up-to-date).


The crazy thing is that people will think this way.. They did it with Word/Wordperfect, and it will happen again.

Re:Sanity. Good. (1)

EngrBohn (5364) | more than 15 years ago | (#1847729)

...unlike some software companies...
And some hardware companies !!!
Christopher A. Bohn

Re:No marketing savvy (1)

Suydam (881) | more than 15 years ago | (#1847740)

/* Someone will take me seriously. Watch. It happens every time. Bunch of literalist geeks.... */

Someone already has! That's great! (look up 2 comments)

Re:Not sure (1)

slambo (10757) | more than 15 years ago | (#1847741)

Gee, Trepidity, you make it sound like a certain software publisher that I know of from Washington State...

--
Sean

Re:Still on 2.0.X (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1847742)

umm... not to sound like a dick... but if 2.0.X supports all of your devices and works fine... why would it need maintenence??

Re:No marketing savvy (1)

EngrBohn (5364) | more than 15 years ago | (#1847743)

And Solaris 2.7 --> 7 and JDK 1.2 --> 2
Christopher A. Bohn

Re:No marketing savvy (1)

angelo (21182) | more than 15 years ago | (#1847744)

I think he meant "take it seriously..." "...and flame me" or something to that effect. I was commenting on the truth of the matter, not a reaction to his comments. It is unfortunate, but a lot of people think that the higher major number, the more advanced the system.

Redhat 5.2 and Redhat 6.0 aren't that much different. The installer is different, the packages have been updated, but this is not really something to warrant a whole revision. yes, the kernel went up to 2.2.5 or whatever, but that doesn't make it a completely Revised Redhat release.

Redhat seems to like the 5.0->5.1->5.2->etc->6.0 without going to minor numbers. That's their perogative. However, they must realise that they are going to be on version 15 in 2 or so years. That's what I find silly about the whole notion.

Mickeysoft liked to do this version pull, making windows 3.0 3.11 4.0 and 4.00.95 for win95. Then they decided to start on pure year numbers. So their products are essentially yearly releases. I believe this is a weakness, and they have to do stupid things like releasing Special Edition 2 of windows 98. They released it in 99. Why not call it Windows 99, and let everybody know what a fraud version jumping can be!

Linux has had kernel threads since 1.3.9! (1)

MenTaLguY (5483) | more than 15 years ago | (#1847745)

We could use some better kernel support for some thread-related things like shared POSIX semaphores (SYSV semaphores don't count) and things, but we do already have kernel threads themselves.

We've had soft realtime since I don't know when, but certainly in 2.0... (I still run 2.0.36, and I'm the maintainer of some shell utilities for dealing with the realtime scheduler (check out rt-utils on Freshmeat); I should know that it's there). For hard realtime, we just need the rtLinux merge.

---

Re:Still on 2.0.X (1)

GrenDel Fuego (2558) | more than 15 years ago | (#1847746)

Who does the maintenance of 1.2? or 1.0 for that matter?

Alan has already said that this 2.0.37 will be the last of the 2.0 series barring any security holes found. Unless they find a security hole, what sort of maintanance would they need? I mean, they're not about to add new features to the last generation of kernels.
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