this sounds like exactly the way major things like this work best in kernel development.
people initially propose a big, complex, intrusive patch. there is push back from kernel developers. time passes and people think more. a simple, minimal patch is created that implements a large portion of the desired functionality at a minimum impact.
the next steps are to see this added and let people build on it.
almost the exact same process happened with visualization (between Xen as the big patch, and KVM as the minimal starting point.
people wanting to get major things added to the kernel should pay attention, even if you did develop a big massive patchset, once you know where you want to end up, go back and look for the minimum that can be done to get something useful, get that accepted and build on that.
not coincidently, this looks very similar to the 'release early, release often' mantra of the bazaar development model.