As said in the article, since there's no good measurement of how buggy the kernel is (or what BUG() macros that trigger) the kernel's bugginess can't be neither quantified nor measurably improved.
Currently, when I've seen Linux systems panic, they have printed a bunch of information to screen and then given me the option to re-boot.
What *should* happen IMO, to make these things measurable, is to store that information somewhere it can survive the re-boot. At a convenient point in time, the up-and-running re-booted system should ask the admin if (s)he wants the bug to be registered in some central repository.
This way we'd have *a lot* more statistics on what usually goes wrong inside the kernel. And what parts need fixing the most.
That said, for me, Linux kernels usually work very well. But just because I don't have any problems doesn't mean nobody has them...
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