Linus Stresses GitHub

Back in 2005, Linus Torvalds created Git to be his revision control system for the Linux kernel. In 2008 GitHub started as a small business running Git to provide revision control and repositories for software projects. Today GitHub has a million developers/users and 40 employees. One of the users is Linus Torvalds because kernel.org is temporarily down being rebuilt after the big intrusion.

No wonder GitHub broke under the load…

“SEPTEMBER 05, 2011 – MAJOR INTERRUPTION OCCURRED
06:58 AM PST

Our DB and the frontend are friends again. The site is back up.
06:45 AM PST

Our DB has blacklisted one of our frontend hosts due to connection errors. We’re looking into it.”

Coincidence? Is it because Linux is one of the most active software projects in the world? These events show how fertile an ecosystem FLOSS is when the creator of Git unintentionally spawns a business serving the whole world and eventually “saving his bacon” by mirroring Linux. There’s no telling what will happen when you plant a seed.

Actually, GitHub holds quite a few very active repositories like Ruby on Rails and Twitter’s CSS Tools

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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5 Responses to Linus Stresses GitHub

  1. oiaohm says:

    “The projects I mentioned have more developers in terms of total manhours per period than Linux kernel, you can be sure of that. A contribution of one hour does not count as a full-time developer, you know.”
    In fact no none of the projects you mentioned have the same number of full time developers as the Linux kernel. All are less. A single patch set to get accepted into the linux kernel might be 200+ man hours. That is not uncommon for major changes in fact.

    “Speaking of user base, linux kerner still lags behind. The recent versions of Kernel seldomly make it forward in many devices. Servers get updated very seldomly. Tablets, embedded devices, etc, usually cannot be updated further than a very minor software update, locking them forever in the past. It is the desktop, which benefits from software updates, but Linux there is a joke.”

    Of course the last release does not go into devices your a twit. Every year there is kernel picked for long term support. Long term support kernels make it into Servers, Tablets, embedded devices. Of course they come long term support kernels after hardware makers have tested that they work. So its basically 3 months development. 6 to 9 months testing then devices.

    So 12 months down the track if 3.0 was chosen as long term support it will turn up in Servers.

    Lot of android devices can be updated a lot more.

    Really Linux kernel updates for Servers are far more common. Than you are making out. Reason for delay between release and kernel being placed on a server is to give time for possible critical bugs to be located.

    Roadmap for the Linux kernel is always hazy. In the early days it was simple. As Linus puts it like herding cats.

    184 competiting bosses requiring 184 different things does making writing a roadmap hard.

    “Anyway, an active software project is a project, which is being under development towards a new version with adequate resources to meet the timeframe and/or the roadmap.”

    There are roadmaps. In the Linux kernel world about 184 of them. Release about every 3 months. So yes there is a timeframe.

    Linux kernel meets all the requirements of a active software project. Exactly why does there have to be only 1 roadmap?

    Each maintainer in the Linux kernel has a roadmap of stuff they wish to get done.

    Each contributor has a roadmap of what they want todo.

    Yes it gets all really hazy really quickly. Linux kernel is true bazaar development.

  2. oiaohm says:

    Phenom one of the scary fact is the Linux kernel project is about the largest development team on earth doing a single project of anything. Only thing that might be bigger a project cern.

    Yes thousands of active developers. On top of that many thousands of at staff companies who just download to run test to make sure there hardware still works.

    Adobe Creative Suite full development team is less than 200 people. Same with most Adobe programs.

    This is the simple truth of the Phenom none of the development teams connected is even close to the scale of Linux kernel development.

    http://lwn.net/Articles/451243/ Time you take a good read and wake up 3 month time frame. 1110 developers contributed something in the 9000+ change sets.

    184 employers. This is shock horror to most. Most commercial projects don’t have as many coders as the Linux kernel has known companies employing people.

    Of course the 1110 only counts developers who have submitted code that has been accepted. Not the ones who code is knocked back and they will have redo for future releases.

    Really GitHub or any other hosting have some trouble taking 1 branch of the Linux kernel would be expected. Of course once it can handle it result is a better quality server.

    Please Linus is only displaying his branch on GitHub. Each subsystem maintainer has their own branch. The load did get shared around a bit with other git service providers.

    Interesting fact is each release the percentage of developers without an official company working for is dropping.

  3. Phenom says:

    “Define active”

    That would be up to you, Pogson, you started using that term first.

    Anyway, an active software project is a project, which is being currently under development towards a new version with adequate resources to meet the timeframe and/or the roadmap. That definition does not imply the size of the project, and relative measures like more, most, less, and least do not apply.

    Since you use “most active”, obviously you want to bring in some additional meaning to the term. In software development, that would be either number of developers involved, or number of users involved.

    The projects I mentioned have more developers in terms of total manhours per period than Linux kernel, you can be sure of that. A contribution of one hour does not count as a full-time developer, you know.

    Speaking of user base, linux kerner still lags behind. The recent versions of Kernel seldomly make it forward in many devices. Servers get updated very seldomly. Tablets, embedded devices, etc, usually cannot be updated further than a very minor software update, locking them forever in the past. It is the desktop, which benefits from software updates, but Linux there is a joke.

  4. The downtime may be totally unrelated to Linux. It could be just a coincidence…

    Define active. There are many more installations of Linux around the world than all of the products mentioned combined. Embedded, mobile and desktop are thriving with Linux. More ARMed CPUs shipped this year than x86 by a large margin and many of them run Linux. Linux also has more releases in a year than those projects so more interactions with developers and so on.

  5. Phenom says:

    Quote:
    “Linux is one of the most active software projects in the world?”

    This is a statement without any real support. Just think of any larger proprietary software project – Adobe Creative Suite, Autodesk Autocad, ESRI ArcGIS, and you will have a project, MUCH more active than Linux Kernel.

    The news you share tells a few things:
    1. GitHub is not designed to scale nicely to sustain the high load, or at least not designed to fail graciously.
    2. Linus did poor job in finding a new host.

    There is no fame to host a large and famous project, when you cannot sustain it.

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