[arch-dev-public] Kernel - vanilla vs patched?

Paul Mattal paul at mattal.com
Fri Nov 9 10:57:26 EST 2007

Simo Leone wrote:
> On Fri, Nov 09, 2007 at 12:28:43PM +0000, Tom K wrote:
>> Well, this kicked itself off in IRC this morning (timezone GMT+1), and
>> as it seems most people didn't see it and/or didn't participate, we
>> should probably do it here.
>> Here's the question, as I see it - what do we patch kernel26 for?
>> Bugfixes? Stability? Enhancements? New features? Other?
>> Specific case under discussion: http://bugs.archlinux.org/task/8500 -
>> a request, from a single user so far, for a new feature in the kernel.
>> We also have, or had, a request for fbsplash (closed, of course) and
>> there are probably others - Romashka?
>> My understanding of The Arch Way, as it applies here, is that we patch
>> for bugfixes e.g. ipw2x00, and for enhancements to existing
>> functionality e.g. alsa. In the referenced bug report, there are
>> differing dev views expressed - as I'm posting this, I'll include my
>> view, which is that we should not add new features to kernel26.
>> I'll also include a possible compromise:
>> /me grabs big can of worms, opens it, pours it out onto DevLand :)
>> Two kernels - a strictly as-vanilla-as-possible kernel26 in Core, and a
>> more let's-try-new-features-here kernel26extra in Extra. It could be in
>> Community either, but I would see it as an official Arch package,
>> supported by the dev team. I would be happy to maintain it if necessary,
>> along with the usual array of external module packages -  in
>> cooperation, of course, with the current kernel maintainers.
>> Right now, anyone who has read the IRC log knows how Tobias P and Aaron
>> feel about it, but I expect others have views on this topic too, so
>> let's hear them.
> At the risk of sounding like an ass for a minute, I really don't
> understand how this is even an issue/discussion. We've pretty much
> always advertised packages "as vanilla as possible". I don't really see
> the need to be re-dicussing it.

The problem is that we never really said what "as vanilla as 
possible" meant. In fact, we have tried to maintain vanilla behavior 
while still allowing the kernel to be flexed enough to support a 
full-featured distro.

But I think I still agree with Simo on this one.. no need to change 
anything, but we should continue to scrutinize patches we add and be 
prepared to defend any patches we currently include, as we have been 
doing in one form or another for years.

- P

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