Kernel hacker Greg Kroah-Hartman looks
at the problems with Android's kernel modifications, which aren't in the mainline—nor headed that way. He does hold out hope that the situation will eventually change, as well as offering his help to get there. "Now branches in the Linux kernel source tree are fine and they happen with every distro release. But this is much worse. Because Google doesn't have their code merged into the mainline, these companies creating drivers and platform code are locked out from ever contributing it back to the kernel community. The kernel community has for years been telling these companies to get their code merged, so that they can take advantage of the security fixes, and handle the rapid API churn automatically. And these companies have listened, as is shown by the larger number of companies contributing to the kernel every release.
But now they are stuck. Companies with Android-specific platform and drivers can not contribute upstream, which causes these companies a much larger maintenance and development cycle.
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