Linux in the news
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See also: last week's Kernel page.
Stable kernel version: 2.2.13. That will probably be true for some time to come. Note, however, that 2.2.14pre2 has been released, so 2.2.14 is hovering out there.
The fun stuff is now going into Alan's ac patches, of which we are now up to 2.2.13ac2. Here are the release notes for the ac patches released this week:
Development kernel version: 2.3.23. This was apparently released on Saturday, October 23rd. It appears to have slipped out without any fanfare. Several pre-patches for 2.3.24 have shown up since then.
Why is the Tulip ethernet driver in the kernel so old? And why are Linus and Donald Becker yelling at each other? A disagreement over how kernel development should happen is creating difficulties between two of our most productive developers and has resulted in very old code running in the kernel.
The driver for ethernet cards based on the Digital "Tulip" chip is widely used - many such cards are deployed out there. 2.2.13 currently contains version 0.89H of this driver, dated 5/23/98. This driver was written, like so many Linux network drivers, by Donald Becker; a look on his Tulip page shows that the current stable version is 0.91; there is also 0.91g for those who want to live on the edge.
So why is the mainline Tulip driver so old? It turns out there is a major disagreement over how pieces of the kernel should be developed:
However, for someone else to become the kernel maintainer for Donald's drivers, Donald will have to open up some of his development process, such as his CVS archives. Hopefully, he will be amenable to this. In the end, one way or another, Linus has a way of winning these battles. Hopefully the resolution, whatever it is, can come about without alienating a crucial Linux kernel hacker (any one around who could get Donald onto the list for one of the upcoming Linux-related IPOs?).
Other patches and updates released this week include:
Section Editor: Jon Corbet
October 28, 1999