On upstreaming code
Fedora or more specifically Fedora Engineering Steering Committee which itself is a elected body of Fedora contributors voted 8-1 on a proposal to remove separate kernel module packages and patch the main kernel package in some exceptional cases with the general goal of not deviating from the upstream kernel. The kernel modules interface is fluid and considered internal to the kernel and generally unsuitable for maintaining modules separately despite some clever hacks like DKMS.
In the recent 2007 Linux kernel summit, Linus has claimed that anytime a distribution ships a out of tree driver, the process has failed and he is in favor of making it easy on developers to merge their patches upstream. From my understanding, this was also a key motivation for Fedora’s decision.
Apparently people aren’t generally very happy with that decision however. Quite a few people repeatedly spread misinformation that the Fedora kernels are heavily patched while in reality other distribution kernels like Ubuntu or whatever tend to go along that path much more than Fedora does. Go check for yourself.
I do understand that not everyone might view what is called as a upstream bias as a benefit for end users. So I write up a general set of guidelines explaining why upstreaming code is a good idea and make a case for valid exceptions too.
I am still puzzled on why people consider Slackware not patching the kernel to be a good thing and Fedora not doing it to be a bad thing however. Either you want Red Hat to patch their kernels heavily or you don’t. Which side is your bread buttered today?