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The kernel column #92 with Jon Masters

Oct 05, 2010, 15:33 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jon Masters)


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"This month Linux kernel legend Jon Masters talks about the release period of 2.6.35 and the opening of the merge window. Also this month: old security vulnerabilities, AppArmor, SELinux and the ongoing suspend blockers debate continues…

"The release last month of the 2.6.35 kernel brought with it the implicit opening of the 'merge window', the time following a kernel release during which Linus Torvalds will accept intrusive changes for what will become the 2.6.36 kernel, in another month or so.

"The merge window began life as a loosely defined concept, back in the days when it was still assumed that there might be a 2.7 or 3.0 kernel release not too far down the line. As time went on, increasing numbers of changes fed into the 2.6 kernel and Linus (as well as others) sought to add quality controls aimed at reducing the quantity of regressions in functionality experienced by end-users.

One way to reduce regressions was to refuse to take intrusive changes once the merge window had been closed. Following a few releases in which Linus tested the waters, he came down hard on those who attempted to push big changes late into 2.6.35. And Linus was very satisfied with the results, so we can only expect to see more of this going forward. That's actually a great thing for the Linux community."

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