Martin Michlmayr
Martin Michlmayr

I'm a member of Debian, and I work for HP as an Open Source Community Expert. The opinions expressed here are mine.

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Linux kernel

The Linux kernel project has seen major changes to its development and release strategy in the last few years, in particular since the first stable release of the 2.6 series in December 2003. This series was opened almost three years after the 2.4 series in January 2001, which many felt was too long. A problem that resulted from the long interval between major releases was that vendors had to back- and forward-port a lot of patches. Nowadays, major development happens on the 2.6 series and new releases are published every three to four months. This new development model has faced much controversy. While some people, in particular developers of the kernel, claim that the new model is working very well, some users are worried about the number of significant changes and lack of stability in the kernel. Andrew Morton, a lead developer, has expressed several times that he believes the kernel is getting buggier.

VersionDateMonths
1.01994-03-14
1.21995-03-0712
2.01996-06-0915
2.21999-01-2531
2.42001-01-0423
2.62003-12-1735

Past problems

Solutions

Outstanding problems

Thu, 15 Mar 2007; 16:31 — phdpermanent link

GNOME

GNOME provides a complete desktop environment that is easy to use. The project experienced major problems, such as delays, during its 1.x series and in particular during the preparation of its 2.0 release. GNOME introduced time based releases after its 2.0 release and has significantly improved release management. The project has published time based releases every six months for a number of years now and is considered as the reference model for a good implementation of time based release management. They have shown that it's possible to set and meet deadlines in volunteer projects and to release on time.

VersionDateMonths
1.01999-03-03
1.22000-05-2515
1.42001-04-0210
2.02002-06-2715
2.22003-02-067
2.42003-09-117
2.62004-03-317
2.82004-09-156
2.102005-03-096
2.122005-09-076
2.142006-03-156
2.162006-09-066
2.182007-03-146

Past problems

Solutions

Outstanding problems

Thu, 15 Mar 2007; 08:21 — phdpermanent link