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Linus Torvalds: Linux is too complex

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  • Linus Torvalds: Linux is too complex

    So what do you say about this? How can Linux be shaped up?


    http://www.tomshardware.com/news/Lin....html#comments
    "The Linux kernel source code has grown by more than 50-percent in size over the past 39 months, and will cross a total of 15 million lines with the upcoming version 3.3 release.

    In an interview with German newspaper Zeit Online, Torvalds recently stated that Linux has become "too complex" and he was concerned that developers would not be able to find their way through the software anymore. He complained that even subsystems have become very complex and he told the publication that he is "afraid of the day" when there will be an error that "cannot be evaluated anymore."


    "Is this a problem?" he asked.
    "We're getting bloated and huge. Yes, it's a problem," said Torvalds.
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/09..._bloated_huge/

  • #2
    What's the alternative? Nobody has said how you get rid of the bloat/complexity without ditching tons of features and performance optimizations. Maybe Linux could be refactored into something a bit more NetBSD-like, but that would be more along the lines of making the complexity manageable rather than genuinely reducing it.

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    • #3
      For the lazy:
      http://www.zeit.de/digital/internet/...alds-interview
      (I am lazy too and would have liked that link in your post)

      Comment


      • #4
        i wonder if linus..

        I have to wonder how Linus feels about micro-kernels, now.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by jltyper View Post
          I have to wonder how Linus feels about micro-kernels, now.
          ISTR that he was asked about this and still pretty much denounces microkernels, something to the effect of: Linux's problems don't prove Tanenbaum right; if Linux were a microkernel it would just have microkernel-specific problems on top of the problems it has now.

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          • #6
            I guess I'll just have to try out L4-Linux and find out myself. Of course, to meet up to Linus's standards I would have read the source of both kernels line by line. Yea right.

            Whatever happened to if it boots, its perfect? One of the smartest programmers is complaining about complexity. You know its not good. Linus better fix this soon, lest we
            accidentally create SKYnet.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by ChrisXY View Post
              For the lazy:
              http://www.zeit.de/digital/internet/...alds-interview
              (I am lazy too and would have liked that link in your post)
              This link is in my post, if you read it.

              Regarding this complexity of Linux. Well, complexity is not a good thing. KISS is a much better principle, as Einstein said "it must be as simple as possible, but not simpler than that". It seems that Linux needs to be refactored big time and cleaned up. If you just add features without thinking, then it will end up as a mess.

              Linus has said that "Linux has no design, will never have. I use evolution instead of design, just like life. Humans have evolved from a mess, and for every iteration humans has become better. Linux have the same evolution, we rewrite it all the time until it becomes superior". This leads to a mess, and soon we will see the result: bloat. Linux needs a design.

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              • #8
                What if he allowed some drivers to live externally... Like for instance graphics drivers... That could save him half a million lines of code quickly, and if those drivers then had some compatibility between the last few kernel versions, then finding problems would become much much easier, not to mention, the easier time users have getting their crap fixed...

                Oh wait, i am playing that same tune again, ain't i... Darn.

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