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A critical look at sysfs attribute values

Mar 25, 2010, 18:33 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Neil Brown)

"One of the many memorable lines from Douglas Adams's famous work The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was the accusation, probably leveled by supporters of the Encyclopedia Galactica, that the Hitchhiker's Guide was "unevenly edited" and "contains many passages which simply seemed to its editors like a good idea at the time." With small modifications, such as replacing "edited" with "reviewed", this description seems very relevant to the Linux kernel, and undoubtedly many other bodies of software, whether open or closed, free or proprietary. Review is at best "uneven".

"It isn't hard to find complaints that the code in the Linux kernel isn't being reviewed enough, or that we need more reviewers. The creation of tags like "Reviewed-by" for patches was in part an attempt to address this by giving more credit to reviewers and there by encouraging more people to get involved in that role.

"However one can equally well find complaints about too much review, where developers cannot make progress with some feature because, every time they post a revision, someone new complains about something else and so, in the pursuit of perfection, the good is lost. Similarly, though it does not seem to be a problem lately, there have been times when lots of review would simply result in complaints about white-space inconsistency and spelling mistakes -- things that are worth correcting, but not worth burying a valuable contribution under."

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