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It would break many of the programs which rely on 2.6.x naming scheme. Linus always was on the side of not breaking things if they do work. It seems that he changed his views for this particular case.



He's also a huge proponent of "Don't be stupid". I think that applies to developers who did what you mentioned.


I don't know if that's fair. I mean, if you have a program that needs to parse out the Linux kernel version then you could very plausibly have assumed the format vX.X.X[-something|.X], given it's been that way consistently for 15 years (since 2.1.0 in '96). Even the kernel's own scripts do that, as Linus mentions in the email. Now it's going to have format vX.X for the first time since 2.0.

I can't actually think of the use case for needing to parse the complete version string outside the kernel, but it doesn't sound stupid to me that you'd assume a canonical format that's been there for a decade and a half. Apparently wrong, and decidedly unimportant & bikesheddy, but not necessarily stupid.


Kia specifically mentioned '2.6.x' naming. Obviously expecting three parts is AOK, expecting the kernel to remain at 2.6 forever is not.


Well he said the '2.6.x naming scheme', which I took to mean the 3 part versioning scheme (as used in 2.6 kernel versions.)

I agree with you that assuming the kernel would always be 2.6.x is not OK, I'd just assumed noone would be that shortsighted and stupid. :)


"Linux 3.0-rc1... except there are various scripts that really know that there are three numbers, so it calls itself "3.0.0-rc1".

Hopefully by the time the final 3.0 is out, we'll have that extra zero all figured out."

Source: http://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/torvalds/linux-2.6...


Ultimately, you get the worst you're willing to put up with. When the Windows dev team bends over backwards to keep buggy applications working, they signal that those bugs are acceptable and turn them into the accepted way to develop Windows application software.

When Torvalds bumps the major version number with little warning, he signals that anything which depends on it always being '2.x.x' or, worse, '2.6.x', is not acceptable and will not be tolerated.

I've lived in both worlds. I prefer Linux. I'm not alone.




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