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Is the kernel development process broken?

Is the kernel development process broken?

Posted Mar 10, 2005 16:12 UTC (Thu) by bluefoxicy (guest, #25366)
Parent article: Is the kernel development process broken?

I've posted many, many times on the LKML and on IRC channels and kernel trap about moving to a new development model (blog has rough, light touches only; find my posts on LKML). Apparently my ideas aren't good enough even to look at for improvement; hardly anyone ever comments.

I like the 2.6 model because it produces continuously near-stable releases. NEAR stable, not stable. It produces something you could release reasonably, as we've seen; but as we all know the first "stable" release of any software needs some bug fixes. The 2.6 model gives you that perpetual "fresh release" feeling, complete with perpetual bugs and security concerns.

What I repetedly propose is that the 2.6 model become the "Volatile" model for odd-number kernels (2.7, 2.9, 3.1). Because it can be considered a fresh release whenever, it can be released at any point. A 6 month release cycle and 18 month support cycle would produce kernels stabalized over 3 releases. The "Support Cycle" would have to be strict bug fix only to improve stability and security; new code should not be introduced.

Use of the "Volatile" branch would still be encouraged because it is apparently good enough right now anyway; however, cautious users such as businesses with critical servers who need a real guarantee could use a stable branch.

Drivers should not be merged back because they introduce new code and add too much maintainer overhead. I haven't mentioned this before, but putting the UDI in the kernel would allow core and driver development to be separated on many fronts, which would possibly facilitate a new development model much less taxing on developers and on kernel.org mirror space.

But whatever, you know? Nobody's gonna listen to me ever, so these ideas will probably never make it to discussion for improvement and assesment on if they're actually viable; or if they do they'll be accredited to Linus or something.


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Is the kernel development process broken?

Posted Mar 10, 2005 22:23 UTC (Thu) by giraffedata (subscriber, #1954) [Link]

Maybe I can give a clue as to why there's so little discussion of your idea: We can't figure out what it is.

I read over your description a few times, and was not able to figure out what sort of process you have in mind and how it would differ from what's in place now and from alternatives that have been proposed.

I have trouble following the syntax. If there were more words and consistent, defined terms, or I were a lot smarter, maybe I could see what you're proposing.


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