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what is patched and what is not?

I'm trying to pick a kernel for ext3.

Looking at the web page (http://www.zip.com.au/~akpm/linux/ext3/), I see
little that clues me in to the fact that "most" of ext3 is already in
(some|most|all) of the 2.4 series kernels.

Am I correct that most of the patches listed on the web page now are
actually bug fixes to the existing ext3 code, as opposed to previous
patches that actually added ext3 functionality to the stock kernels?
New arrivals to the page will want to know that, especially given all
the out-of-date documentation floating around the Net saying you have
to patch to add ext3 to the kernel.

As best I understand what I see on the web page, patches get put there
because of the time lag in getting them into the actual kernel.  A patch
put on the web page for kernel X.Y is eventually rolled into kernel X.Z
(for some Z > Y) and the patch is unneccessary for anyone running kernels
X.P for all P >= Z.

What is *not* at all clear is how newcomers can determine the value of
"Z".  Is the patch ext3-2.4-0.9.16-2417p2.gz against 2.4.17-pre2 already
incorported into the next kernel version 2.4.17-pre3, or did it hang
around until 2.4.17-pre4, or -pre5, or -pre999?  Did it make it into
the kernel at all?  How can we know?

Could the web page be updated to contain the information about in
which kernel version the listed patches have actually been applied?

Merci and thank you to all doing this excellent work.

-IAN!  Ian! D. Allen   Ottawa, Ontario, Canada   idallen ncf ca
       Home Page on the Ottawa FreeNet: http://www.ncf.ca/~aa610/
       College professor at: http://www.algonquincollege.com/~alleni/
       Board Member, TeleCommunities CANADA  http://www.tc.ca/

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