Linux in the news
All in one big page
See also: last week's Kernel page.
The current development kernel release is 2.3.35. The patch includes the usual large set of fixes (271 files changed), a driver for Quicknet Internet PhoneJACK and Internet LineJACK cards, more Sparc fixes, a reorganization of the Arcnet driver, lots of Adaptec SCSI driver changes, USB updates (including a new HID (human input device) driver), and a number of other changes.
The current stable kernel version is (finally!) 2.2.14. This release has been long in coming, and should be well received - it contains a lot of important and useful fixes. See the release notes for the full scoop.
The first 2.3.x "things to fix" list has been posted by Alan Cox. The list covers a lot of ground - one wonders how all of that stuff is going to get done anytime soon. But, of course, the posting of a list like this causes an immediate flood of additions... The most popular items which did not appear on Alan's list would appear to be:
Linus had wanted to get a pre-2.4 series going before the end of the year. Not only did that not happen, but it appears that it is still rather distant at this point. Some things can not be rushed; 2.4 will come out when it is ready.
Now that Y2K has wimped out, it's time to worry about the year 2038 problem. 2038, of course, is when the 32-bit time_t value that Unix systems use to represent times overflows. Some people want to try to deal with the problem now; others feel less urgency.
One point of view says that we'll all be using 64-bit systems by then; at some point we just redefine time_t to be a 64-bit value, recompile everything, and the problem goes away. There are, however, a couple of problems with that approach:
The solution would seem to be to design a migration path now. With almost forty years in which to make things work correctly, one would assume the a reasonably painless transition could be made. In practice, many of us may well find ourselves being called out of retirement in 2037 to deal with the last-minute fixes...
A beta version of RealTime Linux V3.0 has been released. This version is based on the 2.3 kernel series, and does not (yet) contain much that is new at the API level. Note that RTLinux 2.x is still under active development as well...
A programming guide for Linux USB drivers has been released by Detlef Fliegl. It documents the structure of the Linux USB subsystem, and should be a valuable resource for those wanting to write USB drivers.
Other patches and updates released this week include:
Section Editor: Jon Corbet
January 6, 2000