"While the Linux kernel is only a tiny piece of what most of us
think of as a Linux system, it's the features and characteristics
of the kernel that set the limits of what an entire Linux system is
capable of. As such, the kernel, the foundation of Linux, and the
process that drives its development, is of great interest to
"A year ago, at the beginning of 2002, kernel development was in
an odd state. At that time, there had been no development kernel
for almost a full year as the 2.4 kernel was slowly stabilized...
With no development kernel widely available, 'patch
pressure'--pressure to integrate new features into the kernel--was
building, with no relief in sight, frustration levels running high,
and progress seemingly at an all-time low.
"A year later, at the beginning of 2003, the outlook is much,
much brighter. New code is going into the kernel, the development
process as a whole is working smoothly, and the anticipated release
of Linux 2.6 in just a few months seems very achieveable.
"However, the past year has not been without its ups and