Make no mistake about, the Linux 2.6.x kernel is a *large* undertaking that just keeps getting bigger and bigger. Apparently it’s also getting harder to maintain as well in terms of ensuring that regressions don’t occur and that new code is fully tested.
That’s where the new ‘Linux Next’ effort comes in.
Linux next started off as a ‘dream’ of kernel maintainer Andrew Morton who has noted that few kernel developers are testing other kernel developers’ development code which is leading to some problems.
Morton has proposed a “linux-next” tree that once per day would merge various Linux subsystem trees and then run compilation tests after applying each tree. While that may sound simple enough, in practice it’s no small task.
Kernel developer Stephen Rothwell has stepped up to the plate and has announced that he will help to run part of the Linux next tree. While the effort could well serve to make the Linux development process more complicated, its goal clearly is to ensure a higher overall code quality by making sure code merges actually work before Linus Torvalds actually pushes out a RC (release candidate).
The way i see it from my simple laypersons point of view, Linux next forces code to be a whole lot cleaner before it gets submitted and forces more testing, earlier and more often – which ultimately is a great thing.
There has been some very ‘healthy’ discussion on the Linux Kernel Mailing List (LKML) about Linux next with perhaps the most colorful language coming from non-other than Linus Torvalds himself.
If you’re not confident enough about your work, don’t push it out! It’s
that simple. Pushing out to a public branch is a small “release”.
Have the [EXPLETIVE DELETED]back-bone to be able to stand behind what you did!
It sure will be interesting to see how Linux-next plays out over time, I for one am very optimistic.