By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2004-12-06 Print this article Print

The new approach is working for vendors as well. Sam Greenblatt, chief architect of Computer Associates International Inc.s Linux Technology Group, in Islandia, N.Y., said CA is pleased with the decision to make 2.6 a better release before moving to 2.7.

"There is new functionality that will be included in 2.6, such as our KGEM [Kernel Generalized Event Management] product, which is still focused on Version 2.7 but is now targeted for the 2.6 kernel with back-porting to 2.4," Greenblatt said. KGEM is a generic facility that enables kernel events to be communicated to user applications.

Scott Collins, an evangelist for software company Trolltech Inc., in Palo Alto, Calif., said he is "pleased with where Linux is now and confident in where its going. The absence of a 2.7 tree hasnt stopped development. I look forward to what we get when 2.7 comes, but in the meanwhile, we still benefit from all the work. It just happens to be in a kernel named 2.6.x. With an average of 10MB a month of patches going into 2.6.x, plainly work is being done. And if its good enough to be accepted, plainly its good work."

CAs Greenblatt agreed, citing the fact that the 2.6.9 version of the kernel already includes a lot of NTFS (NT File System) updates, block I/O barrier support, a patch allowing unprivileged processes to lock small amounts of memory in RAM, a new USB (Universal Serial Bus) storage driver, clusterwide file-locking infrastructure and AMD dual-core support, as well as a bunch of latency-reduction work and lots of fixes.

While no 2.6.10 prepatches have been released yet, the floodgates have opened, with several hundred change sets already finding their way into Torvalds BitKeeper repository. These include a set of SCSI updates, a big rework of the IRQ subsystem and some software suspend fixes, scheduler tweaks, switchable and loadable I/O schedulers, a big USB update, Version 17 of the wireless extensions API, the kernel events notification mechanism, and many fixes, Greenblatt said.

Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest open-source news, reviews and analysis.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel