Comment 80 for bug 121653

Nice writeup - thanks.

Yes, path a) seems to be the current stance. I'll be more cynical than Charl and assert that this is probably deliberate, in part to punish ATI, in part to make a statement about closed source drivers in general and in part to punish users that didn't choose 100% FLOSS compatible hardware. There might be another part in that Ubuntu developers might not have any affected hardware due the last point, so aren't aware how widespread this hardware is. The irony of course is that ATI is now opening up, so they should be encouraged, not punished. These things take time.

I proposed path c) somewhere above, and I agree that it seems to be the least painful path that makes everyone happy (except for the kernel devs, perhaps). I have seen NO adverse effects to running a SLAB-enabled kernel, and no reports from anyone else about problems. Everything seems to work as it should. I could see hesitation over this approach if it had the potential to introduce serious bugs, but the allocators seem to be pretty interchangable without serious side effects. I'd still like to understand the justification for the headlong rush to SLUB. It doesn't solve any crucial issues that have a real visible impact - it just makes things slightly better and makes the kernel code cleaner. Good things to be sure, but things that can wait until absolutely stable.

Path d) was never a serious alternative, IMHO, since it's unreasonable to expect anyone, open-source or not, to make it a priority to support a brand new kernel option if it significantly alters their existing development schedule. Just because Linus pushes it out doesn't mean it's intended to be adopted right away, because sane people take a little care to ensure there are no unexpected site effects before jumping on the "ooh, shiny" bandwagon. The fact that the Canonical kernel devs expect the world to dance to their tune (we chose SLUB, so *you* have to support our decision) is a little disturbing, even if ATI is a popular scapegoat at present.

All in all, this is a nice reminder of the Faustian bargain that we strike when allowing people to develop essential tools for us. I chose Linux more than a decade ago as my OS of choice because I want control over what's important to me. I'm willing to trade some of that control for the convenience of not having to code or configure everything from scratch, but I'm also quite willing to walk away when developers get too full of themselves and forget that cooperation is a 2 way street.