"Things really _have_ calmed down, and hopefully we've also resolved a lot of the regressions in -rc3," began Linus Torvalds, announcing the 2.6.27-rc3 Linux kernel. He noted that much of the patch size was from the inclusion of the new ath9k wireless driver, with much of the rest of the patch size due to the renaming of many arch include files in the ARM, AVR32 and m68lnommu architectures. Linus continued:
"All the small changes are where the regression fixes are, and other random improvements. And they're all over. The ShortLog (appended) probably gives a taste of it."
"This time around, we have 60+% of the changes in drivers, notably drives/video and drivers/media, with some infiniband, networking and usb lovin' to fill things out," began Linux creator Linus Torvalds, announcing the 2.6.26-rc3 kernel. "The rest is (as usual) mostly arch updates," he continued, "this time mostly mips, m68k and uml." Linus noticed that Linux kernel development has been managed with git now as long as it was managed with BitKeeper, a little over three years for both tools. He explained, "the most striking difference has nothing to do with git or BK (the switch-over timing was just the reason I decided to take a look), but with the fact that we're not just continuing to develop, but we're developing faster and with more people," adding:
"So during the three years 2002->2005, we had 63,428 commits, attributed to 1,560 different authors (caveat: misspellings etc will mean that some people get counted more than once). During the last three years, we've had 96,885 attributed to 4,068 distinct authors (with the same caveat, obviously).
"I didn't do a lot of per-commit statistics yet, but from the little I've done it also seems like we've gotten increasingly better at doing small commits (which is probably one of the reasons we have a larger number of them, but also why we have more authors - small commits is how people get into doing kernel development)."
"Ok, it's out there, ready for your enjoyment," Linus Torvalds said, announcing the 2.6.25-rc3 kernel. He summarized the changes:
"As usual, most of the updates are in architecture and drivers, with the dirstat showing about 37% in arch (and that's with rename detection: there's some file movement in arch/xtensa that would bring it up to 43% if you looked at it as a traditional diff) and almost 50% in drivers. Much of the include file stuff is also architecture-related updates. The driver updates are mostly fairly spread out, but some of it comes from a couple of new drivers: the mvsas SCSI driver, a new adt7473 driver, and a couple of new watchdog drivers."
Linus continued, "if you ignore the architecture-specific stuff and drivers, the rest is mostly in networking, some Documentation updates, and a few filesystem updates (mainly efs and xfs). Anyway, the upshot of it all? Quite frankly, it's all over the place. The changes in -rc3 are bigger than -rc2, probably mostly because we had some more time (-rc2 was a couple of days early because of the long weekend in the US), but hopefully also because people have started to find regressions." Among the bug fixes, he highlighted, "we had a nasty SLUB corruption issue in -rc2 that is fixed (not that very many people probably saw it), and we've hopfully fixed a number of regressions in networking and suspend/resume."
Linux creator Linus Torvalds announced the third release candidate for the upcoming 2.6.24 kernel summarizing, "hmmm.. Lots of small fixes, some cleanups, and a few things like the cris updates that aren't really either, but which won't affect any normal user, and will hopefully make it easier to sync up in the future. Network driver fixes, some IDE and infiniband updates, some late cpufreq updates, and a hwmon update." He continued:
"On the architecture side, in addition to the afore-mentioned cris updates, there are some sh, arm, powerpc and mips updates, and also one final x86 unification cleanup (and I really mean it - the rest can wait until after 2.6.24, but with this one the x86 configuration really is fairly merged, and both i386 and x86_64 are really just special cases of the 'x86' architecture in the configurator)."
"Either people really are calming down, and figuring out that we're in the stabilization phase," Linus Torvalds began in announcing 2.6.23-rc3, "or it's just that it's the middle of August, and most everybody at least in Europe are off on vacation." The actual source-level changes can be browsed via the kernel.org gitweb interface. Linus went on to summarize:
"Regardless of why, -rc3 is out, and doesn't have the tons of changes that -rc2 did. But there's some scheduler updates, sparc64 and powerpc changes, and random driver updates (the lpfc SCSI driver kind of stands out in the diffstat).
Shortlog appended, I don't know what I can add to it.. Please do give it a good testing, unless you're on a beach sunning yourself (and who are we kidding: you're pasty white, and sand is hard to get out of the keyboard - beaches are overrated)."
With the release of the 2.6.18-rc3-mm1 kernel, Andrew Morton [interview] included a brief note stating, "fwiw, I recently took a position with Google." He then linked to a Linux Today article which details the reasons behind his recent move. The article begins, "Andrew Morton has started working for a new company, but his day job as the Linux 2.6 kernel maintainer will remain exactly the same." In the article, Andrew discusses one of the reasons Google was a good fit, "in my position as kernel maintainer I feel that I should not be employed by a company which has a direct interest in the kernel.org kernel because this would put me in a position of making decisions which are commercially significant to my employer's competitors. As Google maintains their own kernel variant for internal use, their interests are largely decoupled from what happens in the kernel.org kernel."
Linus Torvalds released the 2.6.7-rc3 release candidate kernel which
contains a few cleanups. He notes:
"Ok, let's calm down for a while before the final 2.6.7.
-rc3 does a lot of sparse type cleanup, mainly thanks to Al Viro (but his
work ended up getting some other people involved too, since the list of
sparse warnings isn't as daunting any more). Some of that has unearthed
real bugs which Al fixed.
But there are DRM, AGP, cpufreq, sparc64, and input updates there too."
Read on for the full changelog.
Andrew Morton [interview] has released 2.6.2-rc3-mm1, including a new debug patch to detect when a process calls i_size_write() without holding the inode's i_sem. Andrew explains, "It generates a warning and a stack backtrace. We know that XFS generates such a trace. It will turn itself off after the first ten warnings. Please don't report the XFS case." Also appearing in this kernel is Rusty Russell's CPU hotplug code, recently discussed on the lkml. It is pointed out that 2.6.2-rc3-mm1 is broken on the ppc64 architecture, "something to do with the sched-domains patch although at this stage we do not know whether the problem lies with that patch or with the ppc64 code."
The desire to merge reiser4 [story] into the -mm kernel was again raised. Andrew responded favorably enough, requesting the necessary patches and complete documentation. He does caution, "be aware that the barriers for a new filesystem are relatively high: each one adds a significant maintenance burden to the VFS and MM developers. It will need cautious review." This comment is evidently in reference to 2.6 inclusion, not -mm inclusion, as he goes on to add, "but that doesn't mean we cannot get it out there, get you some more testing and exposure."