At the virtua conferencel Open Conference Summit & Embedded Linux from last week, Linus Torvalds discussed the present and future of the Linux kernel in an introductory conversation with Dirk Hohndel of VMware.
During the discussion, the issue of generational change was raised in the development environment. Linus noted that despite almost 30 years project history, in general, the community is not that old: there are many new people among developers who are not yet 50 years old.
Veterans get old and gray, but those who have been involved in the project for a long time, as a rule, have stopped writing new code and are engaged in tasks related to maintenance or administration.
Searching for new maintainers is seen as a big problem. There are many active developers in the community who are happy to write new code, but few are willing to spend their time maintaining and verifying someone else's code.
In addition to professionalism, maintainers must enjoy full confidence. Maintenance managers are also required to be constantly involved in the process and work continuously; the maintenance manager should always be available, read letters and respond to them every day.
Working in such conditions requires a lot of self-discipline, so there are few and no maintainers, and finding new maintainers who can review other people's code and forward changes to top maintainers becomes one of the main problems in the community. .
When asked about experiments in the core, Linus said the development community core You can no longer afford some of the crazy changes that were made before. If the previous development did not force anything, now many systems depend on the Linux kernel.
When asked about kernel processing in languages like Go and Rust, Since there is a risk that in 2030 C developers will become the current similarity of developers in COBOL, Linus replied that C remains in the top ten popular languages, but for non-core subsystems such as device drivers, it is the Consideration is given to providing development links in languages like Rust.
In the future, expected to provide different models to write those child components, not limited to the use of C language.
Apple's intention to use ARM architecture processors on desktops and laptops, Linus commented hoping this step will help make ARM more accessible for workstations. For the past 10 years, Linus has complained about the inability to find an ARM system that is suitable for the developer's system.
By analogy with the way Amazon's use of ARM made it possible to promote this architecture In server systems, Apple stocks may make available powerful ARM PCs that can be used for development within a few years.
Regarding his new AMD processor-based PC, Linus mentioned that everything works fine except 'for a very noisy refrigerator.»
About the main classes, Linus said that it is boring and interesting. It's boring, because you have to deal with the routine of fixing bugs and tidying up the code, but it's interesting, because you constantly need to deal with new technology, interact with low-level teams, and monitor everything that happens.
On COVID-19, Linus mentioned that pandemic and isolation modes did not affect development, as Interaction processes are based on email communication and remote development.
Of the core developers Linus interacts with, no one was injured by the infection. Anxiety caused the disappearance of one of the associates for a month or two, but it turned out to be associated with the onset of tunnel syndrome.
Linus also mentioned that during the development of kernel 5.8, you will have to spend more time preparing the version and releasing an additional test version or two, as this kernel turned out to be unusually large in terms of the amount of changes.