NEW ORLEANS - Developing the Linux kernel, according to some of the community's leading lights, is a difficult, complicated process \u2013 but it's also one that's moving forward at some speed.The final keynote at this year\u2019s LinuxCon North America event featured a panel discussion with Linux creator Linus Torvalds, stable branch maintainer Greg Kroah-Hartman, and fellow maintainers Sarah Sharp and Tejun Heo.[MORE LINUXCON: Linux evangelists: Every time you build a client-server app, the Internet dies a little bit]One of the central issues, the panel agreed, in present-day kernel development is created by the proliferation of Linux-based mobile devices, making the embedded development branch far more important than it had been.\u201cEmbedded today is what enterprise was years ago,\u201d said Kroah-Hartman.Torvalds concurred, citing his own recent workload. \u201cIf you look at just the last merge window, most of the actual code was on the embedded side,\u201d he said. \u201cThat\u2019s maybe because the embedded side has all these wild and wacky devices, and most of the kernel code these days is device drivers.\u201dHowever, while kernel development may still be somewhat divided in this respect, the overlap is becoming more pronounced, according to Kroah-Hartman.[MORE FROM LINUXCON: Every time you build a client-server app, the Internet dies a little bit]\u201cAll the changes that you make have to work on all the things,\u201d he said. \u201cSo the enterprise guys didn\u2019t care about power management \u2026 but it turned out that other people got power management into the kernel and all the enterprise people said \u2018wow, this just saved us a couple million dollars in our data center, thank you!\u2019\u201dThe kernel is still likely to be central to future embedded and mobile development, as well, according to Torvalds.\u201cThe reason Linux runs really well on cell phones is that cell phones grew up,\u201d he said. \u201cThey\u2019re already thousands of times more powerful than the original machine that Linux came to be on.\u201dThe pace of change, however, may be starting to slow, as Moore\u2019s Law begins to run out of steam. Sharp referenced that in a comment about one of the latest and greatest pieces of modern gadgetry.\u201cIf you look at something like Google Glass, the hardware\u2019s really not that advanced,\u201d she said. \u201cBut what you do with it is very interesting.\u201dThe panel lacked the acrimony some predicted after a contentious public spat between Torvalds and Sharp over the former\u2019s aggressive and frequently profane tirades this summer. Sharp did reference a need for inclusivity and tolerance in the kernel community, though the subject of general civility wasn\u2019t discussed at length.\u201cI\u2019d like to make sure that our community is inclusive to all people that want to contribute,\u201d she said. \u201cGetting more diversity is something I would like to see.\u201dOne aspect of kernel development that could aid in bringing in new blood, according to Torvalds, is the diverse nature of the work itself\u201cThere are so many things you can do,\u201d he said. \u201cThe kernel, in many respects, has more opportunities for new people to come in than any other open-source project.\u201dEmail Jon Gold at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter at @NWWJonGold.