'Greg Kroah-Hartman, the Linux Foundation fellow currently responsible
for stable Linux kernel releases, shared the lessons he's learned as a
kernel developer that are applicable to other developers at this
year's Linux App Summit. He started by showing how he could succinctly
distill the essence of the talk into a single five-word slide:
"Don't make your users mad...."
Kroah-Hartman explains that one of Linus Torvalds' most deeply-held
convictions: don't break userspace. "Other operating systems have this
rule as well — it's a very solid rule — because we always want you to
upgrade. And we want you to upgrade without worrying about it. We
don't want you to feel scared. If you see a new release, and we say,
'Hey, this fixes a bunch of problems,' we don't want you to feel
worried about taking that. That's really really important — especially
If you do make a change, make sure there truly is a compelling reason.
"You have to provide enough reason and enough goodness to force
somebody to take the time to learn to do something else. That's very
His example of this was systemd, which unified a variety of service
configurations and initialization processes. "They did it right. They
provided all the functionality, they solved a real problem that was
there. They unified all these existing tools and problems in such a
way that it was just so much better to use, and it provided enough
impetus that everybody was willing to do the work to modify their own
stuff and move to the new model. It worked. People still complain
about it, but it worked. Everybody switched... It works well. It
solves a real problem.
"That was an example of how you can provide a compelling reason to
move on — and make the change."'
-- source: https://linux.slashdot.org/story/20/11/28/0714229
Dept. of Computer Science
University of Waikato, NZ
+64 (7) 577-5304