Re: People need to say "no"

Charles Cazabon (
Thu, 25 Feb 1999 15:43:13 -0600

Larry McVoy <> wrote:
> That's not the point at all. The point is whether we are learning
> anything or are we just counting on Linus to catch every bad idea we
> want to put into the kernel. We should be working smarter every day,
> not just working and hoping it is right. That means we should understand
> /why/ Linus says yes to some things and no to others.
> The last thing we need is to start learning how to do good work the day
> Linus disappears.

I think Larry's point here is good; even if it turns out that Linus is an
immortal, the growing use of Linux may make a single arbiter of good taste
impractical or undesirable for kernel development.
However, we can't argue with the fact that the current development model has
worked well, and is currently working.

I think a few semantic changes would allow the current model to continue in
use, and make it easier to cope with the possibility of a non-Linus-arbited

As an example, instead of writing a patch and posting to l-k with the comment
"How about this one, Linus?", posting with a "all knowledgable persons with
the time and inclination to do so, please forward comments to me" could help.
Sort of a mini-RFC process if you will. It would encourage others to
consider the larger issues of the design of the kernel and future direction
when writing patches, or when commenting on others work.

Once a concensus is arrived at, it can then be submitted to Linus for approval.
In the event that Linus is unable or unwilling to sit in judgement over
patches, a loose panel of experts could serve in his place. The mini-RFC
process serves to help people work together to moderate as a group.

Just my $0.02.


Charles Cazabon           <>
Any opinions expressed are just that -- my opinions.

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