Friday, April 22, 2005

Paranoia

There's something about linux kernel developers that puts them in a completely different league with all the aura around them. And, mind you, they really deserve every bit of that. They look upon their work as a divine creation and seldom tolerate the kernel being meddled around with in ways that are deemed unacceptable. The GPL is the most sacred thing that they look upon.

It is said that there are two categories of kernel developers.

1) Paranoid
2) Really paranoid (!!)

For guys writing linux device drivers, this might have beome evident. Any person who writes driver code without going under GPL, will have no support whatsoever from the kernel developers. More so, the kind of mockery you get when you load your module onto a running kernel - "tainted" - that's the word! The kernel would complain that its got tainted by a non-GPL module! And if your module crashes the kernel either due to a bug in the module or a bug in the kernel things would get even more troublesome. Suppose that a guy suspects that a kernel bug caused the crash, a bug filed against the kernel would not get more than a glancing eye by the "paranoid" group. And you might actually be flamed for filing a bug by the "really paranoid" gang!

Everyone's for a free world

Not alone with a dream
Just a want to be free
With a need to belong
I am the clansman
Freedom! Freedom!

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