sorry for the long reply, I had some login problems.
I explored a bit the linux-zen project and tried to get what the changes in the code are.
Going to the website I couldn’t even find a list of patchsets or a list of changes they made. Only thing I discovered is that the changes are all desktop focused to improve latency and general experience.
I didn’t do a performance comparison and to be honest the linux-zen project would probably win. They have years of experience and more manpower behind that I personally don’t have.
The only real reason why I would suggest my work over theirs is that mine is basically a stock kernel with configuration changes, especially now that BFQ is being integrated in the mainline code. This means that understanding what are you modifying is much easier to understand and the code is more protected by bugs.
By the way I just checked and the BFQ scheduler is not the default on the linux-zen project. Maybe I should maintain a different package in which I set the BFQ as default.
I want to state the what I think is the biggest improvement here is the BFQ disk scheduler, the other ones are just cherries on the top of the cake.
Probably the linux-zen is performing better, but it doesn’t have BFQ as a default (which I personally think is game changing).
The real improvements is that I can state the list of changes from mainline in a small description, while the linux-zen project doesn’t even provide one.
I’m the creator and official maintainer of that package. The reason for this package is that I wanted a kernel lightly patched with some improvements on daily compute tasks and games as well. I was compiling it for myself and I thought it would be nice to share it also to friends and others.
So far the BFQ is the most interesting thing. 1000Hz is for faster switching on programs with multiple threads/processes, hipotetically resulting in a lower latency. xpad integrated is because I already wait too much for dkms every time I update a kernel
About trusting issues I totally understand you. I did as little modifications to the official linux ARCH package so that comparison should be as easy as possible. I encourage you to check the PKGBUILD and compile it on your own.
The repo was mostly for easily share the compiled kernel with my computers and friends. It’s signed with my key and you are free to use it if you want.