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ZDNet: That (other) f-word

Sep 27, 2000, 07:27 (25 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Evan Leibovitch)

"Here's the problem: Some current solutions geared toward making Linux more usable on very large systems exist, and they've even been offered to the kernel development group. But they've been rejected, mainly because they demand tradeoffs that would hamper Linux performance on small systems. (A scheme that might allocate a bunch of megabytes of RAM for a special caching technique wouldn't run too well on a box that only has a couple of megabytes of RAM, period.)"

"So, when code containing solutions to some big-iron problems was offered to the kernel group by a well-known three-lettered hardware vendor, it was rejected. Compounding the problem was that some in the kernel group didn't even like said solution for large systems, and other opinions held that SMP-type multiple-processor systems were a poor answer to the issue of high performance in the first place. Whether you can guess the three-lettered hardware vendor or not doesn't matter, because the same problems apply to all big iron vendors...."

"Last week I was presenting at a conference where I met up with an executive of the previously mentioned three-lettered company, who felt stuck between rocks and hard places. The company wanted to get the most out of its hardware but also wanted to keep in the good graces of the open source community. The company was concerned about what to do with its big-iron code that had been rejected. Most importantly, the company wanted to avoid the use of that awful four-letter word beginning with "f":

Fork."

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