In an interview with German newspaper Zeit Online, Torvalds recently stated that Linux has become "too complex" and he was concerned that developers would not be able to find their way through the software anymore. He complained that even subsystems have become very complex and he told the publication that he is "afraid of the day" when there will be an error that "cannot be evaluated anymore."
What's the alternative? Nobody has said how you get rid of the bloat/complexity without ditching tons of features and performance optimizations. Maybe Linux could be refactored into something a bit more NetBSD-like, but that would be more along the lines of making the complexity manageable rather than genuinely reducing it.
I have to wonder how Linus feels about micro-kernels, now.
ISTR that he was asked about this and still pretty much denounces microkernels, something to the effect of: Linux's problems don't prove Tanenbaum right; if Linux were a microkernel it would just have microkernel-specific problems on top of the problems it has now.
Regarding this complexity of Linux. Well, complexity is not a good thing. KISS is a much better principle, as Einstein said "it must be as simple as possible, but not simpler than that". It seems that Linux needs to be refactored big time and cleaned up. If you just add features without thinking, then it will end up as a mess.
Linus has said that "Linux has no design, will never have. I use evolution instead of design, just like life. Humans have evolved from a mess, and for every iteration humans has become better. Linux have the same evolution, we rewrite it all the time until it becomes superior". This leads to a mess, and soon we will see the result: bloat. Linux needs a design.
What if he allowed some drivers to live externally... Like for instance graphics drivers... That could save him half a million lines of code quickly, and if those drivers then had some compatibility between the last few kernel versions, then finding problems would become much much easier, not to mention, the easier time users have getting their crap fixed...
Oh wait, i am playing that same tune again, ain't i... Darn.