Tuesday, July 25, 2006

GK-H on "Myths, lies and truths about the Linux kernel"

"Myths, lies and truths about the Linux kernel" is the title of Greg Koah-Hartman's closing keynote at OLS 2006. Fascinating read, especially when Greg talks about the apparently chaotic Linux kernel development process, which turns out to be amazingly flexible and evolutionary. I was also impressed by the arguments for open-source drivers that are maintained and modified at the same time with the kernel -- this make a stable internal kernel API unnecessary, and allows the kernel to evolve.

Titus sent me the link to the keynote, and he also underlined this paragraph related to testing:

"Now, this is true, it would be great to have a simple set of tests that everyone could run for every release to ensure that nothing was broken and that everything's just right. But unfortunately, we don't have such a test suite just yet. The only set of real tests we have, is for everyone to run the kernel on their machines, and to let us know if it works for them."

It's pretty amazing to me that the Linux kernel manages to be that stable without a regression test suite. Imagine how much better it would be with such a regression suite. Clearly, a community project waiting to happen.

In the mean time, back to my pybots.... also waiting for that to happen -- but at least it's a bit more realistic from my perspective, and I hope to be able to give you more details as the PSF is working on getting a server to configure the buildmaster on.

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