"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."