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.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.
"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.