You Say “Fragmentationâ€, I Say “Differentiationâ€

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Oct 4, 2010.

  1. Funny how the use of an (in)appropriately-loaded word can make a good thing
    sound bad <>:

    Linus noted that he has often been surprised at how others have used
    Linux for things which do not interest him personally at all. For
    example, he always found the server market to be a boring place, but
    others went for it and made Linux successful in that area. That, he
    says, is one of the key strengths of Linux: no one company is interested
    in all of the possible uses of the system. That means that nobody bears
    the sole responsibility of maintaining the kernel for all uses. And
    Linus, in particular, really only needs to concern himself with making
    sure that all of the pieces come together well. The application of a
    single kernel to a wide range of use cases is something which has never
    worked well in more controlled environments.

    From there, Jim asked about the threat of fragmentation and whether it
    continues to make sense to have a single kernel which is applicable to
    such a wide range of tasks. Might there come a point where different
    versions of the kernel need to go their separate ways?

    According to Linus, we are doing very well with a single kernel; he
    would hate to see it fragment. There are just too many problems which
    are applicable in all domains. So, for example, people putting Linux
    into phones care a lot about power management, but it turns out that
    server users care a lot too. In general, people in different areas of
    use tend to care about the same things, they just don't always care at
    the same time. Symmetric multiprocessing was once only of interest to
    high-end server applications; now it is difficult to buy a desktop which
    does not need SMP support, and multicore processors are moving into
    phones as well. Therein lies the beauty of the single kernel approach:
    when phone users need SMP support, Linux is there waiting for them.

    In other words, underestimate the synergies of a variety of applications of
    a common code base at your peril.
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Oct 4, 2010
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  2. There are no double standards from Lawrence D'Oliveiro… Yeah, right…
    Lawrence D'Oublespeak, Oct 5, 2010
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  3. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    Gordon Guest

    Point is that the human Lawrence was discussing the article he refered to.
    The terms of reference have been taken way out of field by your response.
    Gordon, Oct 6, 2010
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