Re: 2.0.31 : please!

Daniel G. Link (
Wed, 16 Jul 1997 00:40:00 +0200 (MSZ)


I find the handling of criticism in this thread disturbing.

The way some people handled the opinions of others is more reminiscent of
some political party than a free exchange of thoughts.

IMHO, is just as justified to call someone a whiner who threatens to stop
doing something for a community because some people are criticising some
aspect of it.

Of course, Linux is great. Of course, people are making great efforts to
make it as good as possible. But how are programmers going to be made
aware of conceptual weeknesses if it is only allowed to praise them?

To put it very bluntly: In order for it to flourish, it has to be possible
to point out weaknesses in free software without the programmers
threatening to commit suicide and hundreds of yes-men jumping to their
defense, shouting "kill the whiner".

What good is free software if you aren't supposed to criticise it because
it's free?

There are users out there. These people will get the concept that there
are 2.0.X and 2.1.X kernels out there, but they will not understand why
they shouldn't use the newest of the "stable" kernels.

At least for me and some other people, 2.0.30 and 2.1.[28-42] have been
especially bad kernels. My first kernel was 0.99.12. Never before the
above mentioned kernels have I had kernels that don't even compile or
freeze the system within the first five minutes.

I think a "stable" kernel should be tested by some ten people with
reasonably average configurations for about 24 hours.
A "production" kernel should at least compile.

Otherwise people will get frustrated and ask themselves "why should I
bother downloading this kernel if the last twelve didn't even compile with
ISDN <or whatever>?".

I would be willing to test-drive kernels here on several computers.

On Mon, 14 Jul 1997, David S. Miller wrote:

> If we don't have a stable kernel, we don't have a prayer.
> Yes, indeed, so all of us should go screw themselves.
> Thanks a lot.
> I think someone else should work on furthering the eventual 2.0.31
> release. I don't have the stomache for it anymore. Any volunteers?

Two critical voices (who are not even criticising you personally), and you
are going to stop what you are doing? If you see any sense in it, you
should be able to handle that.

> Does anyone have any clue what makes any of us hack on this thing at
> all? It's pretty simple, whats fun, interesting, and enjoyable to
> work on, that is what we're going to hack on. Straight forward. I
> happened to enjoy making a system solid, but not nearly as much as I
> enjoy designing and implementing the latest and greatest.
> But to hear someone go "HEY! That's not it, don't be sympathetic to
> the developers, whats wrong with you! We need a stable kernel so that
> we don't get ripped apart in the trade rags!", sorry that kills all my
> desire to work on it.

Sorry, but I think that's a pathetic reaction. It's as if the president of
a country resigns because there are some 5% of the population who don't
like his policy.

> I refuse to work on something in my spare time for people who berate
> me and my fellow developers.

No matter what you do, these people will always be there. The key is to
either ignore them or even better answer them and tell them why you are
doing things your way and not their way.

Keep on doing what you're doing for your convictions and the people who
appreciate it, not for those who dislike it.


Curly says "GO"!