back to article Community Linux support for Penguin phones floated

Plans are afoot to establish a long-term support system for new versions of the Linux kernel to help slide the penguin into more smartphones. One of the Linux kernel's top maintainers has suggested that the Linux community each year picks a version of the kernel that they will commit to maintain for a period of two years, before …

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WTF?

titles are for free

So google and their partners in the mobile device industry do not want to develop something by themselves (they re-use linux, without giving much back), but because of that they still want the community to maintain something for them??? Hilarious, really...

If HTC, Motorola (well, google), etc want google to maintain longterm android, they should ask google... if google then wants longterm kernel support, tough luck: do it yourself... You can backport fixes into your own kernel version, for sure....

Does everything have to be for free nowadays????

Guus

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Ru
Meh

This isn't about google

As the article stated, they release kernel updates for android. This is about everyone else, the sorts of people who *cannot afford to maintain their own kernels* because that's a particularly hard task and one that is not necessarily rewarding or financially viable compared to buying a commercial OS with guaranteed product lifetimes.

This is about promoting linux in consumer electronics land. Personally, I feel that anything shorter than 5 years probably isn't going to fly, but I've had relatively little experience in consumer electronics. Maybe mobile phones are ephemeral enough that 2 years is considered their working lifespan; certainly plenty of smartphone manufacturers and mobile phone companies feel that way.

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Anonymous Coward

@Guus

Cost is not mentioned anywhere in the article

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Meh

5 years

2 years doesn't fly as you are going to need time to develop the product and keep it in the market for a while.

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They re-use linux, without giving much back?

According to my reading of the article the push is coming from Greg Kroah-Hartman, one of Linux kernel's top maintainers. Just how many developers (Google and others) contribute to the kernel, either code or bug fixes?

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Gold badge
Flame

Oh yeah?

Of course if they shipped the damned OS updates in a timely manner, they wouldn't need long-term support of earlier versions.

Why would the community want to help these bastards screw their customers into buying a new device, purely to get an update that they should be bloody well entitled to anyway?

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Coat

Wow...

Wow, actual official long-term maintenance branches of Linux that are created deliberately and not just kinda by accident? What a great idea! Shame it took 20 years!

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Knock Knock, its experience...

Having worked in a cellphone store the last few years, I can honestly say that while there are some people who keep their smartphones in tip-top shape for a very long time, the average user is lucky if they can make it last until their upgrade opportunity.

Many people treat their smartphones just like they always did their old Nokias and Motorola flip-phones, which is to say: shove it in a pocket, and go.

A 2-year projected lifespan is probably about right, on average, with a lot of people taking the option to upgrade after one year, many breaking their phones through carelessness before their upgrade window even arrives, and hence having to get a cheap replacement until such time as they can re-up.

Smartphones used to be the province of the tech elite and the rich. Now every Jim-Bob and Joe Schmoe has one, and sad to say it, but they're tough on their equipment.

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Not only phones...

Phones may be upgraded every couple of years, but how often do you upgrade the 42" HDTV with Internet connectivity, or the various cable/satellite/pvr boxes?

If the manufacturers can have a bit of common ground and stability to work with then if an issue is identified in their version of Linux, it would hopefully be rectified across many more products & manufacturers. After all, would you like to find out that your Wi-Fi'd fridge is actually a backdoor into your home network?

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good idea

lets start with the N900 power kernel for long term support

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Silver badge
Stop

Waste of effort

99% of users *never* update their phone firmware.

The other 1% are geeks and they are always wanting the latest and greatest.

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huh?

wait a minute,

Linus can't even get simple "AUDIO" to work properly in a PC, so now they wanna go into smartphones. ???

HA ha ha ha :)

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Re:Waste of effort

Or you could always offer an upgrade utility with the phone, so you don't have to bugger around so much.

Most people probably don't even know their phones can be updated. Those who do probably take one look at the instructions that involve messing with USB cables and downloads, and make sure you get the right one or you knacker your device, and decide it's too complicated and they don't want to screw it up.

Just include a "check for updates" button somewhere, possibly also an option to automatically check once a week turned on by default. When an update is known to be available have a discrete notification somewhere. The key is to make sure it is as painless as possible, let it be something you can set running over night while your phone is probably on charge anyway. I believe Apple plan this for iOS 5, it's definitely something that is of benefit to users.

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Rolling updates

Why maintain old kernels when you can do rolling updates like PCLinuxOS does.

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