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Ask New 2.4 Maintainer Marcelo Tosatti Anything 308

Linus keeps hinting (declaring, even) that he's nearly ready to work full-time on the 2.5 development branch of his kernel, and hand the 2.4 kernel off to Marcelo Tosatti. Marcelo's graciously agreeed to answer questions (you might want to read some of his mailing list contributions first), so here's your chance to ask him what he'll do in the famous footsteps of Linus and Alan Cox, and how he got there. Please only put one question per post; we'll pass along the top-rated comments to Marcelo for his answers, and hear back from him shortly.
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Ask New 2.4 Maintainer Marcelo Tosatti Anything

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  • My Question (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ekrout ( 139379 ) on Wednesday November 14, 2001 @01:19PM (#2564251) Journal
    Will Alan Cox's choice to not unveil security changes in the kernel changelog potentially affect other developers?
    • Will Alan Cox's choice to not unveil security changes in the kernel changelog potentially affect other developers?

      Once again a valid question modded as "Troll." Moderators that moderate based on personal vendettas rather than proper moderation protocol should be taken out back and shot. If you moderated the parent as "-1, Troll" you sir are an idiot. Go read the moderators guide and make sure you know the facts before you moderate based on your inexperience. Allan Cox did choose to keep certain security fixes to the kernel out of the US change log due to potential conflicts with the DMCA. He made the decision. Now other people want to question it. Wise up moderators.
  • background (Score:5, Interesting)

    by -tji ( 139690 ) on Wednesday November 14, 2001 @01:20PM (#2564258) Journal
    For those of us not part of the kernel community, can you give us an overview of your background and past work done in the Linux world?
  • by bnatale ( 532324 )
    Will you merge XFS into the mainstream kernel?
    • I want this feature too !!
      I think XFS is more mature than Reiserfs which is already include.

      PS : ext3 seems just to be included
  • Coup (Score:3, Offtopic)

    by ksw2 ( 520093 ) <> on Wednesday November 14, 2001 @01:22PM (#2564271) Homepage
    Do you ever have strange, murky dreams about launching a major coup against the established leaders of the Linux kernel, surmounting their positions and establishing yourself as the all-time evil maniacal leader of Linux? (mwuhahaha)

  • 2.4 and 2.5 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 14, 2001 @01:22PM (#2564275)
    How much do you expect to be backported from 2.5? Obviously there's a lot of stuff people are interested in putting in the kernel, but should probably refine in a development kernel first (e.g. XFS, JFS, preemption, lowlatency, etc.)
  • Ok, if I can ask anything, I'll take a shot. If you were a fish, what kind of fish would you be?
    • i think this is a valid question, if the answer is creative enough it will offer some insight as to his overall maintenence methods, albeit abstract (but we all deal with massive abstraction on the internet anyways, so why complain)
  • Money (Score:4, Interesting)

    by bnatale ( 532324 ) on Wednesday November 14, 2001 @01:24PM (#2564289)
    Does someone pay you for working on linux, do you have another job where you can earn some money to buy food or do you have to beg on the mainstreet in your spare time?
  • Hit by a bus (Score:5, Interesting)

    by moonboy ( 2512 ) on Wednesday November 14, 2001 @01:25PM (#2564296) Homepage

    I'd hate to stray from the status quo where standard interview questions are concerned, so in keeping with it, I ask:

    What's it like knowing that, if (God forbid) Linus and Alan were hit by a bus, you might be "The Man"?

    Hey, someone had to ask.
    • no you shouldn't have asked, b/c now he might die of a heart attack and then he wouldn't be there just in case.
    • Yes, I think we should tell Linus and Alan that they should never travel together!
  • ... (Score:1, Troll)

    by BrianGa ( 536442 )
    Whats your favorite color?
  • by Lumpish Scholar ( 17107 ) on Wednesday November 14, 2001 @01:27PM (#2564314) Homepage Journal
    What hardware do you think will need additional support in the 2.4 branch? Big (>150G) hard disks? KT266A and/or nForce chipset motherboards? USB 2.0?
  • Expectations (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MikeBabcock ( 65886 ) <> on Wednesday November 14, 2001 @01:28PM (#2564320) Homepage Journal
    In the time you've been aware of or been using Linux, how have your expectations for what it ought to be or eventually become changed? I know in the time I've used it I'd never expected it, for example, to become a desktop OS but rather a good server or embedded product. What did you expect when you first started with Linux, and what do you expect now?
  • Age a question (Score:5, Interesting)

    by debrain ( 29228 ) on Wednesday November 14, 2001 @01:28PM (#2564323) Journal
    If what I've read is correct, you are the youngest maintainer for this kernel. Do you have any feelings on a social level, regarding much of the peer review and critism will come from people who are older? (and very possibly set in their ways, and potentially intimidating)
  • Preemptile (Score:4, Interesting)

    by bnatale ( 532324 ) on Wednesday November 14, 2001 @01:29PM (#2564330)
    Ok, here comes the question that everyone wants to have answered: When will the patches to make linux fully preemptile be included in the official kernel?
    • What says they should is a more reasonable question. Being fully preemtible means that while user-level processes will be more responsive the over all throughput of the system will decline. As a server you want more throughput, as a user you want your user-level processes to come back to life quicker.

      The real question is what area is the kernel headed into? Or, is it possible that a compile-time option can be set to chose from the two different schemes?
  • by LMCBoy ( 185365 ) on Wednesday November 14, 2001 @01:29PM (#2564336) Homepage Journal
    Will you be following Alan Cox's lead by withholding security patch information from the kernel Changelogs?
  • Threads (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Exmet Paff Daxx ( 535601 ) on Wednesday November 14, 2001 @01:29PM (#2564340) Homepage Journal
    What are your thoughts about threads? Specifically, do you support Linus's "Context of Execution" generality with clone() or are you going to focus more on plain POSIX pthreads compliance?

    Any chance of Alan Cox's multi-threaded post-mortem debugging patch which dumps multiple core files for each lightweight process (LWP) making it into the kernel? How about support for post mortem debugging of multithreaded core files in general (right now there is zero support).

    Any rants about threading as a general topic would work.
  • by cperciva ( 102828 )
    While linux has a tradition of giving stable kernels even subversions and unstable kernels odd subversions, the history of the 2.4 kernel has been far from stable so far.

    Wouldn't it make more sense to take 2.4.14 (or 2.4.15 whenever it comes out) and call that 2.5.0, while moving the unstable kernels over to 2.6? While it would break the even/odd numbering paradigm, that seems a better option than having a subversion which starts out unstable and partway through morphs into a stable form.
  • by azaroth42 ( 458293 ) on Wednesday November 14, 2001 @01:30PM (#2564345) Homepage
    How do you intend to decide which new patches should be added to 2.4, the stable tree, and which are not to be included as being more appropriate to just 2.5, the unstable development tree?
    For example, do new or updated device drivers rank more highly than VM updates?

    -- Azaroth

  • by hansendc ( 95162 ) on Wednesday November 14, 2001 @01:31PM (#2564353) Homepage
    As all of us know, many large companies are putting large amounts of resources toward Linux. 2.4 will continue to be important to these companies because it is the version currently being shipped with the distributions, and will continue to be shipped for at least a year or two.

    How are you going to deal with the submissions from people like IBM and SGI who are going to want to make significant changes to 2.4?
  • vi or emacs? (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by bnatale ( 532324 )
    vi or emacs ?
  • VM and EXT3 (Score:1, Redundant)

    by scharkalvin ( 72228 )
    Which VM code will you keep in the kernel? Will you use what Alan has been using in his AC kernels or keep the new VM touted by Linus? Will EXT3 be built in or do you prefer a different journaling file system?
  • Sound drivers (Score:5, Informative)

    by BlowCat ( 216402 ) on Wednesday November 14, 2001 @01:31PM (#2564358)
    The sound drivers are very poorly written. A lot of code is duplicated. Not all drivers support some ioctls. Every driver has its peculiarities, e.g. some drivers reset dsp to mono, 8bit on DSP_RESET, some don't. Some support /dev/audio, some don't.

    Not having ALSA in 2.4.x means no good sound support in the stable kernel for another year of two. Do you plan to integrate ALSA into the 2.4 branch? If yes, will it happen after it's done on the 2.5 branch?

    • Have you actually followed what happend when Linus replaced the VM in the 2.4.x kernel? everyone and their dogs started to shout about replacing such a critical part in the middle of stable kernel..

      Of course - the people who use Linux on their server doesn't give a damn about the sound OSS vs. ALSA, and others who do - can simply install the RPM and get over it. I can hardly belive that ANYONE will seriously consider replacing OSS with ALSA at this stage.
  • 1) Maintain Linux's kernel
    2) Date Daisy Fuentes [] (or any one person of your choice)
    3) Get to play around with a bat and various people from Microsoft
  • by martinde ( 137088 ) on Wednesday November 14, 2001 @01:32PM (#2564367) Homepage
    If you use a distribution, which one and why? How about a GUI environment? VI or emacs?
    • by bfree ( 113420 ) on Wednesday November 14, 2001 @03:29PM (#2565428)
      To rewrite the above question the way I'd like it asked:

      What operating systems and platforms do you personally use and which ones do you also use (and why)?

      Do you run a common environment on all your machines (in as far as possible) or do you run different things in different places and which environments do you prefer for what?

      What development tools do you use (especially for the kernel), would you do anything differebtly for the kernel (like make it compile with other compilers) if you could (or will you) and would you like to (or will you) place the Linux stable kernel into CVS or another version control system?

      Do you feel any personal preferences for anything might actually be in anyway reflected in your work as the stable kernel maintainer?

      Do you have a good lawyer? Are you planing on travelling to the U.S.A. (for all I know you live there, excuse my ignorance:-)? Have you experience dealing with politicians, business leaders and large groups and do you see this as a part of your job description?

      When you stop maintaing the stable kernel, what would you like people to be saying about your reign?

      Linux or BSD :-)
  • by melquiades ( 314628 ) on Wednesday November 14, 2001 @01:34PM (#2564377) Homepage
    Alan Cox's stand on the changelog is clearly not only a matter of personal protection, but a political statement. He has chosen an issue that is tremendously important to Linux, free software, and software developers everywhere, and certainly it's right for him to be pursuing it.

    But is the Linux kernel the right forum for politics? Do you feel that it's a bad idea to involve the kernel in politics -- a slippery slope in which the software itself becomes a political pawn? Or would you say that the kernel -- and all software -- has already become a political pawn, and Cox's actions are entirely justified given that free software's existence is under increasing threat?
  • Human interest (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ChrisJones ( 23624 ) <cmsj-slashdot @ t e n s h u . n et> on Wednesday November 14, 2001 @01:34PM (#2564379) Homepage Journal
    What scares you the most about taking on this fairly hefty responsibility?
  • by Zeio ( 325157 ) on Wednesday November 14, 2001 @01:35PM (#2564383)
    This is a mixed question/comment.

    What is going on here?

    It seems that Alan has stopped doing his -AC series...

    Linus is finishing up 2.4.X after making some deep changes to the VM (Adrea's new VM), and thankfully adding EXT3, but form what I have been reading, 2.4.15 is the end of the stable kernel series (with no XFS or JFS support which is upsetting).

    Andrea has a plethora of experimental/tweaked patches in What is interesting/worrisome to me is that Marcelo's directory there is empty.

    Marcelo must be a great guy, I've seen a lot of banter on newsgroups with him, and a few chages in the stable changelog here and there, but to me it looks like a lot of talk. Alan used to release (past tense, it seems it has stopped) AC patches on a near daily basis, to me, Marcelo is vapor.

    Is the maintainer's jobs simple to make small changes to the kernel when errata is found? Or is it, as Alan has done, to integrate and merge a LOT of stuff to produce a useful and robust hybrid kernel and then suggest that maybe the unbroken things should be merged in.

    I wish Marcelo luck in this endeavor, but also wish to see loads of "maintainence," Linux really, really needs feverish active development, and there a lot of people, Like Alan and Linus, who put out quite a bit. I am hoping Marcelo will set a new precedent for uber-feverish maintenance - maybe even see XFS and JFS and other things that the distributions have to waste huge amounts of time tinkering and adding various enterprise-ish things to make the Linux kernel stand up for, as they put it, prime time.
    • You are speaking of two separate things here. The first is that Alan Cox, among other things, is the maintainer of the 2.2.x series kernel. Maintainance entails fixing bugs, updating drivers, and possible backporting features from the next kernel series where determined to be appropriate. This is what Marcelo will be doing as maintainer.

      In addition to maitaining the 2.2.x series, Alan also has his own, more experimental tree knows as the -ac tree. This is where a lot of developers submit their patches for initial testing for a few reasons: Alan can get them in his tree sooner because his tree is more experimental than the main kernel tree; Alan is a direct link to Linus so if Alan approves of your patch, he will eventually submit it to Linus (all those merging comments in the kernel change logs).

      If you want to compare Marcelo's position to Alan's, your question would have to be, do you plan to start an -mt tree for the 2.6.x kernel series while maintaining the 2.4.x kernel?
  • Money (Score:4, Interesting)

    by bribecka ( 176328 ) on Wednesday November 14, 2001 @01:39PM (#2564402) Homepage
    I'm assuming that maintaining the kernel is a volunteer, non-paying position. And since it takes money to live in this world, how do you find time to actually earn a living while keeping up with the kernel?
  • by iamsure ( 66666 ) on Wednesday November 14, 2001 @01:47PM (#2564448) Homepage
    If during the course of your maintainership CML2 proves very successful (as I beleive it already has) would you consider using it instead of CML1?

    Also, would you consider moving crypto into the main tree in the near future? Debian has, Redhat will "soon"..

    Would you consider using bitkeeper, cvs, or even complete changelogs with proper attribution of WHICH merges took place?

    And finally, would you consider FINALLY bringing kdb into the main kernel? Linus doesnt want it, but he doesnt want it because he doesnt see the value. He didnt say he banned it..
  • Patches (Score:5, Interesting)

    by return 42 ( 459012 ) on Wednesday November 14, 2001 @01:50PM (#2564469)
    Linus likes very small patches, everything broken down into little chunks of functionality. Alan is ok with bigger patches. What do you like and dislike in the patches people send you?
  • by The Bungi ( 221687 ) <> on Wednesday November 14, 2001 @01:50PM (#2564470) Homepage
    I know you work for a Brazilian company (Conectiva), though your name seems more Italian than not. Regarless, you are (along with Miguel de Icaza, who is from Mexico) probably the most visible non-european/american member of the Linux kernel development community. Do you have any plans to promote or push Linux as a viable alternative to government agencies or companies in Brazil or other Latin American countries?
  • Why you? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by CmdrPinkTaco ( 63423 ) <emericle@c[ ] ['hub' in gap]> on Wednesday November 14, 2001 @01:56PM (#2564518) Homepage
    This is not intended as a flame or a troll, more of an interview style question. I figure since we are the people who are putting our trust in this person to handle *our* kernel, that this should also be our chance to learn about the person responsible.

    What makes you think that you can handle maintaining the Linux Kernel? What qualifications do you have and why should we (the people) trust you with the Linux kernel.

    I realize that this is actually two questions, but they more or less go together in one answer.
  • by DaoudaW ( 533025 ) on Wednesday November 14, 2001 @01:56PM (#2564519)
    A number of distros are already using 2.4.x. I am curious how much of the maintenance of the 2.4 kernel will be simply incorporating changes already made by the different distros, how much will be making changes in response to distro requests, and how much of the process is independent from the distros?
  • by archen ( 447353 ) on Wednesday November 14, 2001 @01:57PM (#2564528)
    How do you view Linux in the scheme of things? Mainly where do you think the niche of Linux is now, and where will it be years from now. How do you view the direction Linux tends to be taking compared to other OS's (Windows XP, FreeBSD, etc) - ["direction" is up to what ever you personally interpret it to be BTW]
  • by Carnage4Life ( 106069 ) on Wednesday November 14, 2001 @02:02PM (#2564572) Homepage Journal
    Currently the Linux kernel is filled with functions that are either poorly documented or completely undocumented. One of the purported benefits of Free Software is that many developers can jump in and help yet when you have functions like __free_pages_ok [] in page_alloc.c that are important, complex yet the only comment is

    Buddy system. Hairy. You really aren't expected to understand this.

    doesn't this somehow defeat the point of the source being available in the first place? Basically the question I have to ask is this, "I have flirted with the thought of sending comment only patches to the kernel to further help people understand certain subtleties (e.g. why the pprev and next pointers in user_struct are not what they seem) in the source code especially CS students who are learning about the kernel in operating systems classes. If someone were to start such a program would such patches be accepted into the kernel?
    • Buddy system. Hairy. You really aren't expected to understand this.

      Heh. This is very similar to the comment in the original Unix sources. The idea was that it was completely obscure until one understood something magical that couldn't be documented, at which point it didn't need commenting. A lot of really low-level stuff can be pretty obscure and mind-bending - it's just a fact of life when dealing with such things and documenting it doesn't help.

      By the way, the Buddy System is a memory allocation strategy given by Donald Knuth in his book "Fundamental Algorithms". It's pretty obvious once you've seen how it works, but I'd have never thought of it independently. I would assume that understanding the code requires one to understand the algorithm first - e.g. by reading Knuth's excellent description that is unfortunately too long to stick in a comment.

  • Are you Ready and psychologically prepared to become one of the Linux head Honchos? I mean in about a year or so, people will be throwing your name around places like /. and Linux today as freely as they do now with Linus and Alan.....Do you think it will be difficult for you to handle the sudden fame?
  • code control (Score:5, Interesting)

    by brer_rabbit ( 195413 ) on Wednesday November 14, 2001 @02:05PM (#2564603) Journal
    Have you thought about putting your changes under some sort of version control software? If you started putting the kernel/patches under CVS, maybe the rest of the kernel crowd would follow.
  • National biases. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by saintlupus ( 227599 ) on Wednesday November 14, 2001 @02:08PM (#2564643) Homepage
    In your experience, is the kernel development genuinely international and multilingual, or are there tensions between developers from different regions or who speak different native languages?

  • A question (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jd ( 1658 )
    Will you replace the VM system, the first chane you get? :)

    No, the -real- question is whether you will be treating 2.4.x as a "maintained but dead" branch, or whether you'll be actively beating the code senseless with a (plank *) twoByFour?

    (Quick followup: If you -are- going to actively develop 2.4.x, will you be restricting that to merging in 2.5.x code, or will you be seeking out new patches, boldly coding where no kernel has gone before?)

    • Er... I'd be inclined to think that this would be a Bad Idea -- after all, that's what the 2.5 branch is for. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that this would essentially be creating a code fork and if I was Linus I'd reject out of hand anyone as a maintainer anyone who would do this.

  • by GdoL ( 460833 ) on Wednesday November 14, 2001 @02:30PM (#2564855) Homepage
    As a brazilian citizen (and Conectiva employee), will you be free to publish anything on the changelogs?
  • by feldkamp ( 146657 ) on Wednesday November 14, 2001 @02:32PM (#2564881)
    Who would win in a fight? You, Alan Cox, or Linus?
  • What kind of support for non-x86 architectures do you envision (PPC, Sparc, Alpha, etc..)?
  • When do you see yourself taking over 2.4 from Linus? has he told you when he plans on opening up 2.5?

    Also how do you see yourself handling issues like that in 2.4.11 and 2.4.14 where simple drivers would not compile or would not run, because of obsolete function calls in the kernel? I.E. Wait till 2.4.15 to fix this or release 2.4.15 with just that fix?

  • by connorbd ( 151811 ) on Wednesday November 14, 2001 @02:41PM (#2564982) Homepage
    While I am a passionate Linux supporter, I have also come to the conclusion that kernel bloat is likely to be a major issue fairly soon. It appears to have been the case for some time that =486 systems Need Not Apply, and Red Hat in particular has become a rather memory-hungry distro (it won't even install on my 16MB Pentium system, though I doubt this is really a kernel issue). The end result is that Linux seems slowly to be growing out of the lower-end used-server-in-a-closet market that helped it get so big in the first place.

    My question: I presume kernel bloat, both in terms of code size and resource demands, can impact heavily on maintainability. Do you see this as a significant issue for the future, how much of a problem is it, and is it something that can be easily addressed without tearing apart the code base and reorganizing it from the ground up?

    • No, I shouldn't think it is. After all, you can just not compile in the stuff you don't want. By that method I keep my closetful of '486 servers running perfectly happily on recent kernels.
    • If you look at the growth of the kernel you'll see that the main parts have basically stayed the same size (in terms of lines of code) since 2.2.

      By the main parts I mean everything except drivers. The largest parts of this are the file system and network code. The file system grew a bit when Rieserfs was include into the kernel but it's a tiny increase compared to the rest of the code.

      Drivers make up more than 75% of the Linux source code. And this driver code is growing rapidly.

      People talk about the fact that you can cut things out of the Linux kernel if you don't want to use them. This is true. But it's even more true to say that if you did want to use everything in the Linux kernel you would have to buy a lot of hardware. :)
  • diary (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Lennie ( 16154 ) on Wednesday November 14, 2001 @02:43PM (#2565006)
    Do you have a diary, like Alan Cox we can read ?

    Because we all like to know, if you'll actually be doing what your gonna promise now :)
  • by e40 ( 448424 ) on Wednesday November 14, 2001 @02:48PM (#2565064) Journal

    One thing that is really missing is a list of changes in each kernel release that is meant to be consumed by the masses. The "changelogs" that are offered up are sorely lacking for us non-kernel hackers. What I'd like to see is a prose description of the changes in each version. Something like Release notes for 2.2.18 by Alan Cox [] is a step in the right direction, but some of it is even a little too technical. For example, in the above document,

    • Fixed potential SMP race
    means little to me and probably a lot of other people. Under what condition does this occur? The question why should I care about this change? should be answered for each entry.

    How do you feel about doing something like this?

    • You are confused. Linux kernels aren't for the masses. The masses should rpm -U or apt-get a new kernel.

      I'm not trolling. I'm serious. Don't install a kernel if you don't know what you're doing. The kernel is the base of your system so you shouldn't toy around with it.

      The changelogs are quite readible to the indented audience.
  • How often (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Cro Magnon ( 467622 )
    Lately, Linus has been releasing a new 2.4 version every month (sometimes more). Will you continue at that pace, or slow it down?
  • Age (Score:3, Interesting)

    by FreakOfTheWeek ( 415378 ) on Wednesday November 14, 2001 @02:58PM (#2565176)
    How will you respond to criticism from the corporate world (most of whom don't understand what linux is, let alone a kernel), that "linux" is being maintained by an 18 year old?
    Do you think this will reflect badly on the image of linux? (as seen from IT decision makers)
  • I've used FreeBSD exclusively for servers due to the fact that each release marked as 'stable' is in fact, very stable. Will the 2.4 branch fill this role, of stability, and provide a path for me to switch? What policies will you use to determine if something is worthwhile for the 2.4 branch?
  • Recently there was a post on /. that asked for a stable and fast kernel. (I'm too lazy to look it up.) The poster cited older kernels' stability and speed and the trend toward recent kernels having too many bugs to be worth all of the new features they have.

    What will be your main focus while maintaining 2.4, stability or backported extra functionality. It is doubtless that there will be some backports. But what will you focus on stability and speed or features?
  • While browsing through the kernel mailing list a while back... I noticed a post [] that went unanswered about some specific problems Google was having with 2.4 kernels and the new/old VM.
    It seems obvious from this post that Google can't use 2.4 until this gets worked out, and Google is one of Linux's big success stories...

    How does that weigh in on the todo scale versus my problem with the Visor driver? What if it was Connectiva that had the problem? (Or Redhat?)

    (and a quick second question: How can any human read teh 7000 posts a month to the mailing list and still get any coding done?)
  • Last I checked (which was a while ago), Linux kernels included only DRI support for XFree86 4.1, whereas Alan kernels included DRI support for both (or, rather one or the other, selected at compilation time). What will be the case with future official 2.4.x kernels?


  • After the interview is all said and done. That's only ~10 questions. I'm seeing a lot more than 10 very important (IMHO) questions. Some of these questions being unanswered is a big contributor to why Linux is not so readily accepted in the corporate world.

    Where can we get the questions answered? I think that there ought to be a Linux kernel documentation project to bring the docs up to speed and answer questions like this. I have not the knowledge of the kernel for this, but such a project would be invaluable to the Linux community.
  • African or european?
  • Boot Messsages (Score:3, Interesting)

    by x00 ( 82065 ) on Wednesday November 14, 2001 @04:15PM (#2565699)
    Linus has stated that he'd like to get rid of a lot of the "non-informational" messages on boot and with this I have to agree with him.

    Do you plan on furthering this cause, and helping make our boot times a simpler, less complicated read?
  • by danpbrowning ( 149453 ) on Wednesday November 14, 2001 @04:24PM (#2565752)

    I must say that you are an amazing yet rare individual, to have commanded that much respect at the age of 18. Wow. I can't handle OS design now, let alone when I was 18. Would you be so kind as to share some about your upbringing, environment, faith, or other factors that were beneficial to you in making you who you are today?

    Thank you,
  • by 2Bits ( 167227 ) on Wednesday November 14, 2001 @04:29PM (#2565783)
    Now that you are suddenly famous, do you see a lot of girls flocking to you yet?
  • by spudgun ( 39016 ) on Wednesday November 14, 2001 @04:34PM (#2565818) Homepage
    Do you intend to bend to popular demand for features at the price of stability or is stability king in the stable kernel ?
  • Am I too late? (Score:3, Redundant)

    by GauteL ( 29207 ) on Wednesday November 14, 2001 @04:39PM (#2565866)
    I looked over some questions, and there are a couple of pretty obvious ones that either aren't their, or hidden due to that pesky moderation.

    For instance:
    1. The "lousy magazine"-question: Who would you rather be stuck with on a desert island?

    2. The "bitter old sysadmin"-question: You are 18, do you punk even know what Multics or VMS is?

    3. The "trick"-question: what do you prefer, emacs or vi? (trick question because we all know emacs is superior).
  • Conectiva issues (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Stonehead ( 87327 ) on Wednesday November 14, 2001 @04:43PM (#2565895)
    Is Conectiva going to let you spend all your time to the 2.4 kernel?
    I read that you live in the same house as Rik van Riel, who wrote the first Linux 2.4 VM and who also works for Conectiva. Rik wrote in his not-that-very-often updated diary that he travelled a lot in Brazil, to help customers anywhere. That takes a lot of time. Is your job going to be different once Alan Cox passes the maintainership?
  • stuff&life.... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by rarruda ( 464686 )
    Hi Marcelo,

    I have grown to respect quite a bit you as well as some of the other folks who work in kernel development at conectiva in Brazil (Rik, Arnaldo..).

    I have been wanting to try to read more and more about the linux kernel, and maybe(?) try to get involved, so i must ask how did you start out? Any pointers that i should follow to get to understand more deeply the kernel? I mean you are not in heavy kernel hacking and you are a few years younger than me... (My guess is that it wasnt in college, since by now you should be doing the infamous college entrance exams... aka vestibular =P)

    Also it seems that you value your privacy, since there isnt much public information about you out there... Would you elaborate a little on how you got where you are? =)

    Just one more thing... I feel i must say that all Brazilians and young people in general are very proud and happy to see where you are now! Thanks a lot and keep up the good work!
  • by Apostata ( 390629 )
    Not that I wish to put you in an uncomfortable situation, but would it be possible to get your reaction to Eric S. Raymond's comment about the state of kernel development:

    "I've been examining the existing kernel configuration system, and I have about concluded that the best favor we could do everybody involved with it is to take it out behind the barn and shoot it through the head."

    For someone as persuasive and influential as Raymond to make such a statement, it begs for a response, if not a rebuttal.
  • Alan says: it is a great but academic project.
    linus says: Don't do drugs. (Or "i don't care")
    what is you opinion about this?

The other line moves faster.