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Linux Kernel Design Patterns - Part 1

Jun 19, 2009, 13:33 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Neil Brown)

"One broad approach that has found some real success is to increase the visibility of various aspects of the kernel. This makes the quality of those aspects more apparent, so this tends to lead to an improvement of the quality.

"This increase in visibility takes many forms:

* The checkpatch.pl script highlights many deviations from accepted code formatting style. This encourages people (who remember to use the script) to fix those style errors. So, by increasing the visibility of the style guide, we increase the uniformity of appearance and so, to some extent, the quality.

* The "lockdep" system (when enabled) dynamically measures dependencies between locks (and related states such as whether interrupts are enabled). It then reports anything that looks odd. These oddities will not always mean a deadlock or similar problem is possible, but in many cases they do, and the deadlock possibility can be removed. So by increasing the visibility of the lock dependency graph, quality can be increased."

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