The Open Source Development Labs (OSDL) is looking to raise awareness about the processes behind the Linux kernel's development.
The pro-Linux consortium of technology companies hopes that by demystifying the kernel's development process it can increase customer confidence in Linux.
The move coincides with the imminent release of the final Linux 2.6 production kernel.
A simplified graphical model illustrating how software code is contributed to the Linux kernel is available on the web at www.osdl.org.
Stuart Cohen, chief executive of the consortium, explained: "Recent public criticism of the Linux development process shows a lack of understanding as to the rigor imposed by Linus [Torvalds] and the development community at large. It is a process built on the scientific method of peer review."
Thousands of software developers contribute to OSDL, with their work self-organised into specific subsystems defined by a developer's interests and technical expertise.
Each of these subsystems is overseen by a subsystem maintainer, who reviews the code submitted to them and orchestrates broader peer reviews to ensure quality control.
All Linux code is also available online for public examination. When a subsystem maintainer accepts software code it is passed to one of the two developers at the top of the Linux hierarchy: Torvalds or Andrew Morton.
Torvalds maintains the 'development kernel', where features and bug fixes are tested, while Morton maintains the 'production kernel' which is the version release for public use. Torvalds has the last word.
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