Monday, November 26, 2007

Torvalds speaks on Linux progress, plans

In an emailed interview with Information Week, Linux founder Linus Torvalds spoke about where development of the Linux kernel was headed for 2008.Asked his opinion on whether the development of the Linux kernel was proceeding faster than that of Windows Server, he tactfully dodged the question, saying that his lack of interest in Microsoft products combined with his obvious bias meant that he could not give a fair opinion.With those caveats in place, he said that he believed that Linux development tends to be a lot more efficient than the alternatives, by which he meant all forms of proprietary, closed format development models.In the interview, Torvalds repeatedly mentioned the benefit of Linux's open source development model being that the multiplicity of individual interests among the developers led to a wide variety of focuses.Asked what lay ahead for the Linux kernel, he said that they were "all over the map", but he specified graphics and wireless networking devices as being a current area of weakness that would be worked on. Acknowledging that he personally had no interest in virtualisation, he said that it would likely be another area of developmental focus in the year ahead.His particular interest at the moment lay in solid state drivers, an area that he said had been limited due to the high cost of the hardware. He anticipated that as costs were driven down through the course of next year, this particular area would grow.He made mention of the fact that the vast majority of improvements would be minor changes, which together create a far better product. Rather than any individual "silver bullet" that would make a drastic change, he predicted that there would be "just more of the same, and that's really the important part."On the issue of whether or not Microsoft and other patent holders could impede the process of developing the Linux kernel, he admitted that this was not his area of expertise, but said he did not believe there was "anything real behind that whole intellectual property FUD machine".However, Torvalds cautioned: "But nearly infinite amounts of money certainly goes a long way."

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