OSDL reveals Linux development

OSDL reveals Linux development

By Stuart Finlayson

The Open Source Development Labs (OSDL) has sought to improve customer confidence in Linux through an initiative that will raise awareness of the Linux kernel's development.

The OSDL, which is a consortium of Linux developers, hopes that by making the processes that have gone into developing Linux more transparent and available, will help dispel fears that SCO's argument that Linux contains large chunks of its proprietary Unix code has any merit.

"Recent public criticism of the Linux development process shows a lack of understanding as to the rigor imposed by Linus (Linus Torvalds – creator of the Linux O/S kernel) himself and the development community at large," said Stuart Cohen, CEO of OSDL. "It is a process built on the scientific method of peer review."

The Linux operating system kernel is the result of the efforts of its creator, Linus Torvalds, and thousands of software developers from around the world. These developers are self-organised into specific subsystems defined by a developer's interests and technical expertise (for example, I/O, storage, networking). Each of these subsystems has a domain expert developer, called the subsystem maintainer, who oversees the work of others. Subsystem maintainers review the code submitted to them and orchestrate broader peer review of code to ensure its quality.

All Linux code, both the current version and that submitted for future inclusion, is also available on-line for public examination. When a subsystem maintainer accepts software code is it passed along to one of the two developers at the top of the Linux hierarchy: Torvalds himself or Andrew Morton.

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