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IBM developerWorks: Meet the 2.4 Linux kernel, Part 1 - When will we get it and what will we get?

Aug 29, 2000, 18:30 (9 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by TW Burger)

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"This first of two articles describes the birthing pains of Linux 2.4, along with the anticipation and frustration of waiting for the new functionality. TW Burger discusses what Linux users will get with the new kernel release 2.4 and offers an educated guess as to the upcoming release date. Part 1 describes how we might estimate the release date, what the general functionality of the new release will be, and what to expect in terms of new extensions to the main hardware capability...."

"First it was promised in the fall of 1999. Then it was spring 2000. On May 25, 2000, Linux Kernel 2.4.0.0-test1 was released as a prototype and on June 23, 2000, 2.4.0.0-test2 was posted to the Linux Kernel Archives."

"The frustration of waiting for the much-anticipated Linux kernel 2.4 release has spawned the latest communal wave of anxiety in the open source world. Linux enthusiasts want to replace the Windows operating systems so badly that Linux version releasing is starting to emulate other operating systems' vendor patterns. Typically these include long waits, missed deadlines, and major changes that may not be backward compatible. Happily, there are efforts afoot to correct this trend in Linux development. With the release of Linux 2.4, more control will be placed on changes, and upgrades will be available in smaller time intervals."

"To get right to the point, Linus Torvalds announced in a keynote speech (delivered Tuesday, June 13, 2000, at a San Francisco banquet benefitting the Linux Debian Project) that the next Linux release (2.4) will be out in the fall of 2000. Linux version 2.2 came about thirty months after the last major release, Linux 2.0. The Linux 2.0 release was posted eighteen months after version 1.2 was released. Torvalds said that long delays between releases would be eliminated through a policy of limiting the changes made in each release. To meet this release target date, planned changes and additions which cannot be completed by the required date will be placed in the following release, 2.5. The idea is to eliminate the large and often painful upgrade problems that have happened in the past. Torvalds started adopting the small modification release philosophy late last year."

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