"All communities develop rituals over time. One of the enduring
linux-kernel rituals is the regular heated discussion on
development processes and kernel quality. To an outside observer,
these events can give the impression that the whole enterprise is
about to come crashing down. But the reality is a lot like the New
Year celebrations the author was privileged enough to see in
Beijing: vast amounts of smoke and noise, but everybody gets back
to work as usual the next day.
"Beyond that, though, discussions of this nature have real
value. Any group which is concerned about issues like quality must,
on occasion, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Even if
there are no immediate outcomes, the ideas raised often reverberate
over the following months, sometimes leading to real
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