The FOLK project, over
on Sourceforge, is collecting a lot of patches to the Linux kernel.
Schedulers by the dozen, drivers for a wide variety of devices,
support for VME and real-time hardware, more debuggers than you can
shake a stick at, a bunch of file-systems and assorted low-latency
The idea of FOLK was always to show-case technologies by
developers, in a combined environment, so that side-effects can be
detected and that people's imaginations can play with the
possibilities, without having to first play with the reject
However, there has been one very unexpected side-effect, so far.
The most recent FOLK patches exceed a third the size of the entire
kernel. That suggests that there is a LOT of unknown/unused/dead
code out there, for Linux. And I don't believe I've even found a
fraction of what's out there.
Does this mean that there is a problem with how the Linux kernel
is developed? No. I don't believe so. The approach followed by
Linus Torvalds of including only patches of sufficient quality and
which have already received ample testing seems to work jusrt
This begs some questions, though: the patches I've found are no
toy gimicks. They undoubtably -have- been tested. So, why are they
still floundering around the edges of nowhere? Why aren't they
being announced? How can something so GPLed be so invisible?
This, finally, brings me to the insanity of this piece. It is
insane to imagine that programmers and software engineers can ever
be taught to communicate outside of their niche, or that showcasing
alone can ever achieve any real level of integration. As the FOLK
maintainer, I can tell you what others have done. But I can't get
those others to tell you themselves. That is beyond me.
And this is why I'm writing this. I hope that someone can fill
in that missing piece. If communication were adequate, these
projects might still be "niche", but they'd be known, tested,
maintained, current, and as easy to install as the lm_sensors2
code. As it is, the best I hope for, on finding new work, is one or
two out of the five. Most often, it's "none at all". Please, if
anyone out there can convince the coders of the world to speak, do
so! Cure the insanity at the FOLK's home!
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