KDE and the Linux Kernel.
Just returned from a break-out session with some kernel developers who are here at Google where we discussed a couple of things that can be improved in the current Linux kernel for a better user experience. We, that is a group of KDE people from different areas, among which aseigo, Dirk, Thiago, Will, Zack -- in randomly alphabetical order. Kernel people in this session include Natalie Protasevich, Andrew Morton, Daniel Phillips and Gary Greene.Issues that have been discussed are limitations in inotify where we'd like to be able to watch more files at once for changes, the most notable use case being desktop search and indexing. Another interesting issue we're facing is bad guessing when trying to keep interesting things (such as a maildir with lots and lots of small files in cache) when dealing with large I/O. This is actually something we can improve ourselves by using fadvise to tell the kernel what makes sense -- the kernel cannot reasonably be expected to know the purpose and usage of data, so we need to tell it somehow. Of course, my pet-peeve and the ever-interesting issue of suspend is another big issue with the Linux kernel we currently have. While it is on the radar of the kernel devs, we made sure that they know how important that is to us. In my opinion, the solution to this is two-fold. As it's mostly drivers that are responsible for the rather bad user experience currently, drivers need to be improved. Open drivers can obviously be fixed much easier for the kernel developers, but it also helps if large companies can kick each other when they're screwing up suspend and hibernate. Most important outcome of this meeting has probably been the opening of communication channels. Andrew told us that the best way to get our issues addressed is filing bugs (as emails), voting for them to justify resources put into them. Andrew also told us that sending such a bugreport from a @kde.org email address will prioritise it, which is I think important to know for us. Kernel people really want to help us, getting them the information they need will make it easier to fix problems we face when using the Linux kernel. Such a bugreport ideally includes a testcase (code!) which shows the problem. Needless to say that I'm very happy we got the chance to exchange. Thanks everybody involved! Also, I should probably pass on Daniel's "Thank you for creating KDE!" to you all.
[ Sat, 19 Jan 2008 01:54:46 +0100 ] permanent link
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23-11-2007, 18:44 h
© Sebastian Kügler