Linux kernel developer has had enough

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by Mickey Mouse, Jul 25, 2007.

  1. Mickey Mouse

    Mickey Mouse Guest

    Why Linux continually fails to be considered as a mainstream desktop
    solution. After years of struggling to get performance issues fixed, leading
    kernel developer gives up.


    I was horrified. The names of all the kernel hackers I had come to respect
    and observe were all frantically working away on this new and improved
    kernel and pretty much everyone was working on all this enterprise crap that
    a desktop cares not about.

    Even worse than that, while I obviously like to see Linux run on 1024 CPUs
    and 1000 hard drives, I loathe the fact that to implement that we have to
    kill performance on the desktop. What's that? Kill performance? Yes, that's
    what I mean.

    If we numerically quantify it with all the known measurable quantities,
    performance is better than ever. Yet all it took was to start up an audio
    application and wonder why on earth if you breathed on it the audio would
    skip. Skip! Jigabazillion bagigamaherz of CPU and we couldn't play audio?

    Or click on a window and drag it across the screen and it would spit and
    stutter in starts and bursts. Or write one large file to disk and find that
    the mouse cursor would move and everything else on the desktop would be dead
    without refreshing for a minute.

    I felt like crying.

    I even recall one bug report we tried to submit about this and one developer
    said he couldn't reproduce the problem on his quad-CPU 4GB RAM machine with
    4 striped RAID array disks... think about the sort of hardware the average
    user would have had four years ago. Is it any wonder the desktop sucked so

    The developers were all developing for something that wasn't the desktop.
    They had all been employed by big name manufacturers who couldn't care less
    about the desktop (and still don't) but want their last 1% on their database
    benchmark or throughput benchmark or whatever.


    If there is any one big problem with kernel development and Linux it is the
    complete disconnection of the development process from normal users. You
    know, the ones who constitute 99.9% of the Linux user base.

    Just trawl the normal support forums (which I did for Gentoo users as a way
    of finding bug reports often because the users were afraid to tell me) and
    see how many obvious kernel related issues there are. I'd love to tell them
    all to suddenly flood lkml with their reports of failed boots with various
    kernels, hardware disappearing, stopping working suddenly, memory
    disappearing, trying to use software suspend and having your balls blown off
    by your laptop, and so on.

    And there are all the obvious bug reports. They're afraid to mention these.
    How scary do you think it is to say 'my Firefox tabs open slowly since the
    last CPU scheduler upgrade'? To top it all off, the enterprise users are the
    opposite. Just watch each kernel release and see how quickly some
    $bullshit_benchmark degraded by .1% with patch $Y gets reported. See also
    how quickly it gets attended to.

    Get all the details here:
    Mickey Mouse, Jul 25, 2007
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  2. Mickey Mouse

    Peter Guest

    There are thousands of people contributing to the Linux kernel. It is a
    vigorously active community, with many different points of view. There are
    individuals leaving and joining every day.

    Even Microsoft employees occasionally leave, sometimes saying various
    negative things about their ex employer. Do your think this means the end
    for Microsoft? No? (I didn't think so either.)

    This guy is a practicing doctor, with a young family and who finds time for
    some kernel coding as a hobby. (Goodness knows how he fits it all in.)
    Does he have some valid points? probably
    Can the open source community do better? certainly
    Is it the end of Linux on the desktop? certainly not

    Peter, Jul 25, 2007
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  3. Mickey Mouse

    thingy Guest

    I used to think you were confused, I dont think that any more, I
    know....Kernel developers often work on areas that interest them...if
    someone is interested and wants to improve the kernel for the desktop,
    let him code. You seem to be constantly confusing the OSS model for a
    commercial model, it is not the same beats and thank god never will be.

    I for instance really dont care about Linux desktops, not one bit...I do
    care about the Enterprise ie the server side issues....and multiple cpus
    scaling is one of them. Not to mention running 16Gig+ memory boxes

    So yippe carry one with the Enterprise work....


    thingy, Jul 25, 2007
  4. ... you forgot ... should you listen to a mouse for advice about anything
    (except possibly cheese) ? no :)
    Bruce Sinclair, Jul 26, 2007
  5. Mickey Mouse

    E. Scrooge Guest

    One of the staff that has left Microsoft over the years wasn't it's founder
    Bill Gates.
    Good try in comparing the founder of Linux to the pawns of Microsoft.

    Besides Linux has been going from backyard to backyard for years.

    E. Scrooge
    E. Scrooge, Jul 26, 2007
  6. Mickey Mouse

    Peter Guest

    Why do you think Con Kolivas is the founder of Linux?
    And what on earth has Bill Gates got to do with it?
    Peter, Jul 26, 2007
  7. Mickey Mouse

    E. Scrooge Guest

    Gates financed a guy to create Linux and keep it very limited to make
    Windows look better than ever with the 1,000s of software that Windows can
    run from a huge number of different companies.
    Linux was a great little idea for Bill Gates to get someone working on.

    E. Scrooge
    E. Scrooge, Jul 26, 2007
  8. Mickey Mouse

    Jennings Guest

    PMSL ..........

    Jennings, Jul 27, 2007
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