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The Linux Kernel SABOTEURS.

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  • #91
    It is a good thing that there is close scrutiny of all code and also is there a way for code to be certified free of malicious intent? I thought developers who submit their code to the Linux tree need to certify their code in order for it to be considered for acceptance. Linux's reputation is staked on being free of malicious code...

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    • #92
      You're correct that all code submitted for inclusion in the kernel has to be signed off by both the submitter (no anonymous contributions) and a senior developer who "monitors" the branch to which the code applies.

      Once accepted, the code goes into the release-candidate pre-releases where it is both available for anyone's inspection and (allegedly) rigorously tested under real-world conditions (i.e., by thousands of wonks working in basements and garages around the world).

      The system is not perfect, as the regression list testifies, but any malicious code would have to be pretty damned obfuscated to get by...and obfuscated code is usually something that gets people's attention.

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      • #93
        Originally posted by rbmorse View Post
        You're correct that all code submitted for inclusion in the kernel has to be signed off by both the submitter (no anonymous contributions) and a senior developer who "monitors" the branch to which the code applies.

        Once accepted, the code goes into the release-candidate pre-releases where it is both available for anyone's inspection and (allegedly) rigorously tested under real-world conditions (i.e., by thousands of wonks working in basements and garages around the world).

        The system is not perfect, as the regression list testifies, but any malicious code would have to be pretty damned obfuscated to get by...and obfuscated code is usually something that gets people's attention.
        So then we should not fear sabotage as any piece of code is checked rigorously for any unusual or strange behavior. Security holes are easy to spot with many eyes checking code

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        • #94
          Many ways to sabotage linux ...

          There have been documented cases of kernel sabotage in the past. The old ext2 filesystem in 2.2.17 was found to cause "massive filesystem corruption" and some of the "developers" (rumoured to be ex or even *current* micro$oft employees) were promptly sent packing.

          Then we have the ongoing saga of ALSA sound. Anyone who works with or, more to the point, on sound apps knows that ALSA is a dog's dinner of a mess. And the lead developers work for Novell ...

          But admittedly, "traditional" OSS sound was pretty bad too. Many people use the "new" OSS from Forefront, as it does software mixing, thus obviating the need for a pesky desktop sound server.

          And what about graphics huh ? The Big Two, ATI & nvidia have both promised micro$oft never to release a fully working linux driver. This is a matter of public record.

          I think we can safely say that linux is *constantly* being undermined by corporate interests. And when both the sound and video are hobbled, then it is hard to see how linux will ever penetrate the desktop - short of micro$oft senior executives being jailed for fraud and corrupt practices, and the whole Evil Empire being flushed down the toilet ...

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          • #95
            Originally posted by gordboy View Post
            And what about graphics huh ? The Big Two, ATI & nvidia have both promised micro$oft never to release a fully working linux driver. This is a matter of public record.
            That's about all you need for a good "restraint of free trade" action under EU rules. Citations, please. Unless you're talking about restrictions imposed to protect IP. If that's the case, that's nothing ATI/AMD or nVidia controls.
            Last edited by rbmorse; 01-25-2009, 09:59 AM.

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            • #96
              Originally posted by gordboy View Post
              And what about graphics huh ? The Big Two, ATI & nvidia have both promised micro$oft never to release a fully working linux driver. This is a matter of public record.
              I would be really interested in any references to this as well.

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              • #97
                I think he's just talking out of his bum :P

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                • #98
                  Several Antitrust Suits Already Being Heard

                  Confession time : I posted that last post to see who would crawl out of the woodwork.

                  I really didn't think anyone would show their allegiance to their corporate overlords quite so brazenly here.

                  Just in case anyone is in any doubt : there are *several* pending antitrust suits against AMD/nvidia both jointly and severally as defendants. And they have been repeatedly criticized for price fixing and anti-competitive practices, including "lock-in" with micro$oft.

                  Only corporate stooges shout "give us citations" when google is absolutely full of apposite material. The number of complaints in the California courts alone, would be enough to fill this forum ten times over. Then we have damning testimony to the EU from micro$oft themselves, which led to unprecedented fines and prohibitions from tendering.

                  I think it's about time that members of this forum who work for the companies concerned, remembered that misrepresenting the facts about their company policies and practices is a criminal offense in most jurisdictions.

                  Of course, no-one here is stupid enough to go down that road. Instead they obfuscate, deflect and parry with depressingly predictable ad hominem attacks. But the end result is still the same - they end up as pariahs, unable to even get a job selling water in a desert.

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                  • #99
                    It says "AMD Linux" on every post I make; I can't get much more brazen than that

                    I would still be interested in any information related to your previous post where you said "The Big Two, ATI & nvidia have both promised micro$oft never to release a fully working linux driver. This is a matter of public record.".

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                    • Originally posted by gordboy View Post
                      Only corporate stooges shout "give us citations" when google is absolutely full of apposite material. The number of complaints in the California courts alone, would be enough to fill this forum ten times over. Then we have damning testimony to the EU from micro$oft themselves, which led to unprecedented fines and prohibitions from tendering.
                      I'm not sure how to describe how weak of a response this is. Hmm...

                      Originally posted by gordboy
                      obfuscate, deflect and parry with depressingly predictable ad hominem attacks.
                      That works.

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                      • Interesting

                        Very interesting indeed.

                        I wasn't actually referring to bridgman, but she felt she had to pipe up. Well I'm all for greater inclusivity and free speech, so please feel free, my dear.

                        Then we have the issue of "turning the tables". Suddenly, I am a defendant who is obliged to answer spurious calls for evidence. I'm not the one who has paid out MILLIONS in out-of-court settlements to complainants.

                        Well here's the thing : the Linux drivers both for nvidia & ATI are an absolute disgrace. They are *so* much worse than their Windows counterparts that only a muppet or a paid apologist would find this acceptable.

                        Let's have an explanation for that, guys. Instead of fulminating and posturing, let's have the full details as to why the Linux drivers are so awful. When you do that to my satisfaction, then I might consider commenting further.

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                        • My apologies. You referred to people asking for citations in the plural, and only two of us asked, so it seemed that I was one of the stooges under discussion. I put RealNC in the <ad hominem> bucket, hope I got that right

                          re: turning the tables, you stated that something none of us had heard of was "a matter of public record"; it seems reasonable to me that we would ask for specifics. Why do you feel that is inappropriate ?

                          As far as the relative driver quality between Windows and Linux, the core issue is the resources we are all able to allocate relative to the needs of the current Linux graphics environment. The best market share numbers we can find all indicate that Linux non-server market share is just under 1 percent, compared with 8-ish percent for MacOS and 90-ish percent for Windows. We allocate relatively more resources to Linux than the market share justifies, and we all try to leverage common code across multiple OSes where possible, but that still doesn't mean Linux gets the same resources as Windows.

                          If it were easier to write Linux drivers than Windows drivers that would certainly help the Linux experience, but if anything Linux is actually *more* difficult to support than Windows in most ways. The key factors seem to be (a) the large number of slightly different distributions we need to support, (b) the ability (and tendency) for users to mix and match subsystem versions, and(c) the fact that the graphics subsystems are constantly evolving as opposed to the "new release every few years" model used by Windows.

                          With a tiny fraction of the market share and a relatively more challenging environment than Windows I think everyone involved will admit that providing consistently satisfying Linux drivers is hard work. The good news is that the massive changes of the last year or two should start to settle down by the end of 2009, and hopefully we will all be able to deliver an excellent user experience from that point on.

                          Our hope is that by actively supporting open source driver development we can give you a better experience with the newest X servers and kernels, while the proprietary driver gives you performance and features closer to what you would see on other OSes, on a "supported" subset of distributions and hardware.
                          Last edited by bridgman; 01-25-2009, 07:01 PM.

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                          • My fault. I didn't look to see who made the post before replying.

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                            • Thanks bridgman

                              Thanks, I am grateful for a carefully considered, well thought out reply. You neatly avoided the obvious trap of "either you are incompetent, or the management are deliberately holding you back. Either way, you are guilty as charged". And you are quite right, the pesky users are partly to blame ...

                              I take it that we can expect driver expenditure and resources to increase as the Linux market share overtakes Windows. It will be nice to get the full benefit of the synergistic heart of ATI drivers, which comprise a holistic quintessence that redefines the interactive boundaries of the object-oriented user experience, while leveraging an admixture of legacy and bespoke paradigms, to enhance the inclusivity and response of the user-oriented workflow.

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                              • Let's be fair. Neither ATI nor NVIDIA have consistently released good drivers for Windows either. If Microsoft ARE in fact colluding with them they are getting a pretty shitty deal.

                                I agree with bridgman in that the state of X or the graphics stack so to speak has alot to do with driver quality. Our "next-gen" graphics stack is yet to settle. The TTM/GEM saga is an excellent demonstration of that fact. Or look at hardware video decoding, with a number of APIs and proposed solutions. At the moment alot of dev work is going into getting the infrastructure "right". Once that's done I'd expect drivers to get more love.

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