too much untested code in new kernels

Michael Elizabeth Chastain (
Thu, 2 Jan 1997 12:28:14 -0600

Hello hackers,

I see a lot of new code in recent kernels which has not been tested first.

The top-level MAINTAINERS file says:

1. Always _test_ your changes ...

2. Try to release a few ALPHA test versions to the net. Announce them
on the kernel channel and await results.

The new module code was not tested in this manner.

The watchdog driver has not been tested in this manner. In fact,
drivers/char/pcwd.c has not even compiled since 2.1.15! This is not a
subtle CARD_REV configuration-dependent bug, and it's not a case of some
other kernel interface changing and this driver needing to catch up. It
is an outright mismatched open brace in the middle of pcwatchdog_init!

When I see things like this, it makes me very hesitant to run new
kernels. I see 1400 of lines of changes in the 2.1.18 VFS and EXT2
code. Have these changes been tested? I don't know! Are they getting
tested right now? Not very much, because everyone who uses modules is
struggling with the incomplete module code that was also introduced in

So the results is that I'm not going to run 2.1.18 or any later kernel
on my machine for several weeks.

Please, code authors, test your patches before you send them to Linus.
And please, Linus, if a patch has not been tested to your satisfaction,
tell the author to test it some more before you accept it.

Michael Chastain
"love without fear"