The kernel evolution speed

Apc quotes Jonathan Corbet on his “The Kernel Report” talk in LCA 2008:

“We are adding about 2000 lines of code to the kernel every single day of the year, without exception,” Corbet said. “Nobody can really keep up with this [on their own] any more. It’s an amazing process, and it seems to be working.”

Although I didn’t (and probably can’t) contribute a single line to the kernel, reading this made me a prouder Linux user… you too ?


Filed under Proud to use free software

5 responses to “The kernel evolution speed

  1. JW

    That depends if they are _good_ lines of code. Bloat is bad too.

    In the optimistic view, it makes me happy to see contribution to this. I’m a convert on the border of becoming a zealot.

  2. I don’t think the addition of a lot of lines of code can say much about the quality of the kernel by itself. Linus himself has recently expressed his worry that – although new code going into the kernel to improve it is a good thing – it’s just not getting tested and bugfixed at a similar speed. It is to be expected since writing new kernel code is more fun than fixing bugs in existing code but it’s nonetheless a potential problem. I’d like to see a huge push in the area of testing and patch review, perhaps with a more structured and concerted approach.

  3. This looks like another proof that the kernel development model is broken. When it takes more full-time developers to maintain the kernel than what is needed to develop GNU + KDE + GNOME and all their dependencies – and these are the pieces of software that really matter to users – something must be really wrong somewhere.

  4. Ben Hutchings

    I’ve been working to get a 23,000 line driver (only partly my work!) into the kernel, and that’s actually quite tough. Most of the 2000 lines per day are instead in small chunks that are relatively easy to review. We got very little feedback on our new code, though apparently the appropriate maintainer will review it soon.

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