Why do kernel updates break stuffs?

I have had this question for a long time and this just gave me an excuse to ask it..

I want to ask why do kernel updates break things? What is the reason that hardware support that already existed breaks in the recent release? Shouldn't a kernel update bring support for newer hardware rather than breaking support for other hardwares?

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Sadly, the answer is a bit complex.

Personally, I like to take the complex and reduce them to simplicity whenever possible. Sometimes, it is not so easy - or even possible.
While factors like "Tired devs cutting corners" or "making mistakes" are certainly valid factors... In this case, they are probably not the main factor.
One of the things that Torvalds is pretty severe on with Kernel development is the reduction and simplifying of the kernel; alongside with improved structuring. While these words are accurate, they really do not convey what they mean.

A bit of length- with the following article, should provide some better insight into it:

After reading that; it may be a little easier to understand how regressions can happen that are not due to a simple mistake; but due to an evolving structure that needs corrections even on the furthest smallest branches of the tree.
The kernel can be some millions of lines of code... and that is a lot of data to suss out any lines that would conflict with a new addition or a change in structure. While the attempt is made - bug reports cover the bulk of finding them.
It is for this reason that the latest and greatest kernel - is beta. Always. And not the best kernel to use for stability - much less for a distro to try to use across a large variety of hardware.
Because New Hardware makes up a small portion of a distros users- but users that have had older reliably working hardware can be quite upset when a new kernel breaks what has been working for years without problems.


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