Re: Kernel Geeks Unite?

Jon M. Taylor (
Tue, 9 Sep 1997 10:40:39 -0700 (PDT)

On Mon, 8 Sep 1997, Robey Pointer wrote:

> Rob Hagopian wrote:
> >
> > Should someone really have to upgrade to 2.1.x to use the ThunderLan
> > driver [pof: the tlan driver hasn't been backported to 2.0.x yet]? I don't
> > think so. Should someone really have to upgrade to 2.1.x to get better SMP
> > performance and IPv6? I do think so.
> Stability and new features are mutually exclusive goals.

Features and drivers are not the same thing in this context. I
still get Win31 drivers with new printers even today. Making a general
practice out of backporting drivers to the previous stable kernel release
would go a LONG way towards keeping people from *having* to use
potentially unstable development kernels just to get access to a needed

I suppose some drivers may depend on features in the development
kernels to a sufficient degree that this would be prohibitively difficult
in those cases, but I can't say for sure. Where this is NOT the case,
the authors of those drivers should backport them and the production
kernel series should occasionally be updated with new backported drivers
for as long as the development series continues. The fewer people using
unstable kernels in a production environment, the happier they will be
and the better Linux's image will be.