Shrinking the kernel with gcc
Posted Jan 22, 2004 19:32 UTC (Thu) by dw
In reply to: Shrinking the kernel with gcc
Parent article: Shrinking the kernel with gcc
I'm by no means a kernel developer either, but I do believe the effects of such a fundamental change to the kernel is very important. I am a developer by day and by night, I also spend a hell of a lot of time supporting very cutting-edge uses of Linux in IT.
This is the sort of crap that gives Linux a bad name.
Why do we need this change? I mean, really. I can see uses for it in the embedded sector, but in the real world (read: the world where the average server comes equipped with 2gb RAM) this has very little benefit.
I am fully aware of the potential correlation between size and performance, but I remain unconvinced that any more than 0.001% of the real world users of Linux would find this change enabling, or even useful. I think it will find the most popular acceptance among nerds who spend day and night trying to squeeze just that last 1kb of free memory.
This change is the sort of thing geeks masterbate over at night, but has very little real-world gain. Nice idea guys [Redhat], but why the hell break binary modules? 2004 is meant to be the year of the Linux desktop, yeah right.
If Redhat go ahead and release broken-without-a-cause kernels on the world, we can be sure that there is a higher probability that the average Linux beginner will throw his hands up in horror when he discovers he has to build and replace a core operating system component just in order to get OpenGL to work.
"Linux compatible" peripherals will become splintered yet more. Now not only must you match up your kernel major version (yes, there are still 2.2-only devices), but now you have to match up procedure calling strategies too. Do you think the average desktop user cares about this?
The reactions to the proposed patch sickens me slightly too, I see that some people still have trouble accepting that Linux is indeed used commercially and in environments where diehard open source fundamentalism does not go down well.
If it weren't for the fact that I'm earning money from Linux, I'd have probably found an alternative with a more realistic community. Maybe even a commercial operating system.
As ever, my opinions are my own, of limited scope, and potentially (probably) naive.
Life? Don't talk to me about life.
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