> but I'm convinced that quality is going down (and that observation is from reading code).
> The linux development style tends to promote compromise rather than quality (Linus wont resolve your dispute, he'll just ignore both of you until you resolve it yourself).
Perhaps it's true that the addition of new features is driving the average quality down, but I also get the impression that, as features stabilize and mature, their quality improves over time again.
One clear case is the mess that was Wi-Fi support back when it got started; how the crappy "code drop" drivers got cleaned up, duplicate Wi-Fi stacks got merged into one, and gained uniform support for features and a uniform configuration interface.
Another example is the ARM cleanups and unifications in recent releases.
I would say that these are a sign of increasing quality and elegance, and a direct result of "the Linux development style", and Linus in particular.