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Re: How to work with Linux-Mips ?

To: Jonathan Day <imipak@yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: How to work with Linux-Mips ?
From: Franck Bui-Huu <vagabon.xyz@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 28 Sep 2006 10:45:16 +0200
Cc: Peter Popov <ppopov@embeddedalley.com>, Franck <vagabon.xyz@gmail.com>, Ralf Baechle <ralf@linux-mips.org>, linux-mips@linux-mips.org
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Hi

Jonathan Day wrote:
> Whilst I agree entirely, I think we need to put a
> little more perspective on this. The Linux kernel is
> big. Very, very big. By my estimate, it would take an
> army of 10,000+ full-time software engineers skilled
> in "Extreme Programming" and formal methods to be able
> to verify something of the complexity and intricacy of
> the Linux kernel within a single year, excluding any
> changes made during that time, which will likely
> replace so much of the code that the verification
> won't tell you much anyway.
> 
> If every company and every University involved in
> Linux - not just every consortium - were to
> contribute, you might be able to amass that kind of
> manpower. One full-time coder for the entire of the
> MIPS side of the tree is valuable and it's doubtful
> any branch could now survive long without at least
> that, one person is simply not capable of replacing
> ten thousand, no matter how brilliant they are.
> 

Well, I'm not sure about that. Now knowing that Ralf is not
maintaining/developing on linux-mips tree full time is a good
information to keep in mind. I think he's able to take care of any
MIPS specific code if he had time. The current number of patches sent
to linux-mips is not so big. Look at how Andrew Morton is maintaining
the mm branch. This branch is far more active and patches included in
this tree are far more complex than those sent to this mailing list.

> This isn't to say MIPS Tech should necessarily throw
> in more manpower, although I certainly wouldn't argue
> with that. It's that there's simply no realistic way
> to get enough manpower together to do code reviews in
> the kind of timeframes that people are asking for.
> 

Well IMHO MIPS Tech may be under-estimating its Linux kernel port. I
think it's a real advantage to sell some hardwares and to give some
softwares that is already running on that hardware, specially if this
software is a full operating system like Linux. But if MIPS' customers
don't know on how fast this software will involve, will be fixed, it's
a bit scaring to rely on that software.

It would be interesting to know how well Linux is supported on the
different arches keeping in mind the market that they are targeting
(embedded, huge server...).

                Franck

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