Re: Request for 2.4.20 to be a non-trivial-bugfixes-only

Ruth Ivimey-Cook (
Fri, 29 Mar 2002 21:32:02 +0000

At 16:27 29/03/2002 +0000, Alan Cox wrote:
>Its somewhat naiive. If you have a hole in a bridge and someone tells you
>that for stability you can only paint the bridge and tighten bolts you will
>still have a very broke bridge. Ditto with software.
>2.2.20 is stable because its been slowly refined to that and is now at the
>point where on the hole the painting and bolt tightening is all that needs
>doing. The 2.4 tree suffered serious earthquake damage in 2.4.10 which
>hasn't entirely been fixed yet.

Please note I didn't say .20 *and all future versions*. I asked because it
just seems to me that while kernel 2.4 is definitely improving, it is being
pulled hard in 2 directions -- towards stability and towards 2.5.

I was hoping that, if we had a release that was focused on stability, the
current code base might get a longer testing phase, resulting in a better
code base overall.

I have been involved in professional software engineering for many years --
I know how things go and how basic structure affects things. However, I
also know (from my own experience) that bug fixing is not nearly as
exciting as developing some new feature, or getting a chunk of code "just
right", when it worked ok to begin with. My commercial experience is that,
at the end of a project, introducing significant changes of any type is
something you do rarely and with great care; even the best engineer
sometimes misses an important side-issue and messes up.

I guess I might be digging a hole here, but I'm trying hard to make Linux
better for us all.


To unsubscribe from this list: send the line "unsubscribe linux-kernel" in
the body of a message to
More majordomo info at
Please read the FAQ at