Monday, June 1, 2020

Big changes could be coming to Linux programming

After recently making the switch from Intel to AMD, Linus Torvalds has come out against 80-character-lines as a de facto programming standard.

As reported by The Register, Torvalds shared his thoughts on the topic of line lengths in a recent Linux kernel clean-up post where he argued that limiting lines to 80 characters makes for lots of line breaks. Others have argued that 80-character lines are a long-standing convention that should remain in place due to the fact that large monitors can handle many small windows when column width is limited. 

In his post, Torvalds explained how excessive line breaks can lead to numerous problems, saying:

“Excessive line breaks are BAD. They cause real and every-day problems. They cause problems for things like "grep" both in the patterns and in the output, since grep (and a lot of other very basic unix utilities) is fundamentally line-based. So the fact is, many of us have long long since skipped the whole "80-column terminal" model, for the same reason that we have many more lines than 25 lines visible at a time.”

Torvalds also made the point that wrapping lines after 80 characters may be good for those with restrictive hardware but is ultimately inconvenient for developers with more resources. 

Linux 5.7

In another post, Torvalds provided details on new features and changes coming to Linux 5.7. 

These include a new exFAT driver from Samsung that will improve SD card performance, a fix for Intel graphics bug CVE-2019-14615 and support Intel's Tiger Lake graphics. There will also be a driver for Apple's fast-charging tech and greater support for Arm devices.

With the release of Linux 5.7, Torvalds is hoping to avoid the problems that occurred when the previous version of the Linux kernel shipped with a flawed Wi-Fi driver.

The Linux 5.7 kernel is available now but it will still take some time for the kernel to find its way into popular Linux distros such as Ubuntu, Arch Linux and Linux Mint. 

Via The Register

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