Important kernel update should not break stuff

Adam Williamson awilliam at
Wed Jun 13 18:22:19 UTC 2012

On Wed, 2012-06-13 at 12:51 +0200, Roman Kennke wrote:

> I cannot believe that I am the only one
> on an Intel Wifi chip.

I haven't yet read the rest of the thread, but I just wanted to point
out this common fallacy. As a general rule, all $VENDOR_$DEVICETYPE
devices do not act the same. You cannot assume that all Intel wifi
adapters are subject to the same bug you saw. You can't even assume that
the same adapter _in another system_ would be subject to the same bug.
This goes for everything: you can't assume all Intel video adapters
behave the same, or all AMD video adapters, or all Broadcom wireless
adapters, or _anything_.

I wish it _were_ true, believe me. It'd make testing (and I'm sure
development) a lot easier if all we had to do was have one of each type
of device from each manufacturer and then we could happily say 'okay,
this kernel works with every piece of hardware in existence'. Boy,
that'd be nice. Sadly, it just isn't the case at all.

Practical extensions from this rule:

1. Just because your NVIDIA graphics card doesn't work, don't assume
that the developers / testers are such idiots they didn't test (whatever
it is) on _any_ NVIDIA graphics cards at all.

2. Just because your Intel bluetooth adapter doesn't work, don't go
around telling people on forums, IRC etc that they can't use any Intel
bluetooth adapter with Fedora, because it's perfectly likely that lots
of others work just fine.

(Both of these are real-life examples I've seen more than once).

The only good grounds for acting as if you're subject to a bug which is
affecting a very broad class of hardware is if you have detailed reports
from multiple other people with devices in the same class of hardware,
detailed enough that it is clear they are all suffering from the same
bug. Your own personal experience is _never_ sufficient grounds for
concluding that the bug you're experiencing affects a much broader class
of devices.
Adam Williamson
Fedora QA Community Monkey
IRC: adamw | Twitter: AdamW_Fedora | adamwfedora

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