A recent lkml thread explored an interesting tangent when Jeff Garzik asked about what was to follow the 2.5 development kernel, "is it definitely to be named 2.6? Maybe it's just my impression from development speed, but it felt more like a 3.0 to me :)". Linux creator Linus Torvalds first suggested that there was no reason to skip from 2.5 to 3.0, qualifying it with, "But hey, it's just a number. I don't feel that strongly either way."
Ingo Molnar reflected on the significant improvements we've seen to the VM and the IO subsystem, going so far as to say, "I think due to these improvements if we dont call the next kernel 3.0 then probably no Linux kernel in the future will deserve a major number. In 2-4 years we'll only jump to 3.0 because there's no better number available after 2.8."
Linus agreed that if the VM is as good as it seems to be, indeed the upcoming release deserves to be called 3.0. But he also pointed out that there are many silent users who tend not to speak up until there is an official release. He asks, "people who are having VM trouble with the current 2.5.x series, please _complain_, and tell what your workload is. Don't sit silent and make us think we're good to go.. And if Ingo is right, I'll do the 3.0.x thing."
When Linux creator Linus Torvalds began using the BitKeeper (BK) source control tool for managing the 2.5 Linux development kernel [earlier story], one of the big fears people put forward was that all Linux kernel developers would eventually be forced to use this tool. (The BK license is a major source of contention.
Linus recently returned from a two week vacation, announcing the release of "a largish 2.5.8-pre1 patch". Following the announcement, he commented on the earlier April Fool's message. He says, "PS.
Linus' earlier decision to test the BitKeeper source management tool with the 2.5 kernel tree has continued to create wakes of dissent. One group went so far as to start a petition against the usage of the tool, saying "We, the undersigned members and officers of the Open Source Club at the Ohio State University, are unhappy with the advocacy of the proprietary BitKeeper software for use in maintaining the Linux kernel." Details on the BitKeeper licenses that so many are opposed to can be found here.
The posting of this petition led to a frenzy of replies, in a thread that continues to grow. Many pointed out that the time spent protesting this tool could be much more productively invested into writing an open source alternative of at least equal caliber. All seem to agree that such an alternative does not currently exist.
Towards the end of the many samples from this thread that follow is a reply from Linus, making it clear that he is content using BK himself, but will in no way force it upon anyone else. In his email, he says, "And I personally refuse to use inferior tools because of ideology. In fact, I will go as far as saying that making excuses for bad tools due to ideology is _stupid_, and people who do that think with their gonads, not their brains".