Passion is one thing
But why do people believe it's ok to cross the line into abusiveness?
You don't make your point any clearer, you just come over as a loud-mouthed bully and something of an idiot.
A Linux developer has blasted the kernel's chief Linus Torvalds, taking him to task for his famous potty mouth and brutal putdowns of his lieutenants. It's time for Torvalds to stop "verbally abusing" his programmers, Sarah Sharp told the fiery Finn, warning him she’s "not taking it any more". The USB 3.0 driver maintainer …
Except Torvalds is obviously not an idiot.
And, tbh, he's right about 'On the internet, nobody can hear you do subtle'
As I see it the problem with big OSS projects like Linux is exactly the back stabbing LT is describing, and perhaps being a dictator is one of the best ways of handling the disparate group of people working on it. Being nice simply won't work - people will just continue doing exactly the wrong things again and again. Although it seems to me that even shouting at people hasn't stopped them committed code that simply shouldn't be committed!
"And, tbh, he's right about 'On the internet, nobody can hear you do subtle'"
I strongly disagree. The people who matter and value the things you say will hear you loud and clear, even if you do things subtle. I'm getting the feeling that it's not so much the people who matter who should hear him, it's the rest of the world too.
Lets face it: would some of the kernel mailinglist posts have made it to El Reg if it wasn't for the shouting and swearing? For example when he told RedHat off about code signing? Sure, in my opinion he was right on that call, but you can bring a message across without making it look as if you feel better than everyone else.
And there's something else to consider: what would happen if someone forks the Linux kernel, starts a new Linux-like project and actually treats people as they want to be treated? I know no one has done this (there'd be holy wars) but for the sake of argument lets say it happens.
How long before Linus' "lieutenants" bail out? On the other end of the mountain they may still end up in discussions and people disagreeing with them, but they could count on the respect they deserve.
I think this is a liable risk presenting itself right now. People representing RedHat will remain on board no matter what, there's money involved. But hobbyists may reach a point where they no longer think its cool anymore. And then a ship can sink really fast.
Are you now suggesting Linus Torvalds should be scared and kneel in front of his lieutenants just because they might fork the kernel ? I don't remember ever seeing Steve Ballmer apologizing or being concerned about what people at Microsoft might feel. Sorry, mate, but if Linus allows himself to be blackmailed by his developers then Linux kernel is toast. He knows damn well that the kernel can be forked because he designed it like that.
"Are you now suggesting Linus Torvalds should be scared and kneel in front of his lieutenants just because they might fork the kernel ?"
No, but there's a big difference between saying someone wrote horrible code and someone is a horrible person. Because this can only spiral out of control and go out with a bang, unless someone comes to his senses.
Let's assume Linus is right and that no one listens to him if he says (quote:) "please don't do that". Has no one ever stopped to wonder why that may be so?
If you start raising your voice to get your point across you will reach a point where people eventually ignore that shit ("there he goes again"). So you'll have to come up with other ways to get your point across in a way where people know you really meant it.
Let's start swearing..
Yet now you only started a new cycle. Eventually you reach a point where people get fed up again and will ignore it ("here we go again").
Let's start swearing.. in Finnish!
So where does all of this end? Don't forget that most people who tolerate that shit don't necessarily do so because they agree, but because they can't back out. There is only one Linux kernel. But take that prestige or the need away and I think things will come crumbling down, and fast too.
"Except Torvalds is obviously not an idiot."
Well I don't know. He commits code that he assumes (i.e. doesn't check) to be bug free. Then blames someody else for introducing the bug into the kernel. Hmmm. Who committed the code?
Let's face it, if Linus was so great as the Linux fanbois like to pretend he is, there would never have been a single bug in the whole history of the Linux kernel.
Speaking of top dogs - Joel Spolsky has written an awesome story about code reviews at MS.
"In my BillG review meeting, the whole reporting hierarchy was there, along with their cousins, sisters, and aunts, and a person who came along from my team whose whole job during the meeting was to keep an accurate count of how many times Bill said the F word. The lower the f***-count, the better."
""Four," announced the f*** counter, and everyone said, "wow, that's the lowest I can remember. Bill is getting mellow in his old age." He was, you know, 36."
Except that he isn't necessarily the one who committed the changes: they may have arrived via one or more git repositories (even if also posted to lkml). Also, commits tend to have at least one sign-off by various system or subsystem maintainers, and they should be checking patches and commits too. It works, but things will slip through sometimes.
(Linus is known to have learned the hard way about last-minute what-could-possibly-go-wrong changes…)
But there's more than one way to get your point across. So what if the Internet doesn't do subtle? Whatever happened to "civil but firm"? Torvalds' rant could easily have been rephrased on the lines of:
"You committed bug-ridden code to the project such that others mistakenly assume it to be stable. In future, warn us beforehand when submitting unstable code. Otherwise, do not submit the code until it is in a stable state."
See? No profanity at all, and no "fake politeness" either. But also pretty cut-and-dry in what's being mentioned and requested: no subtlety at all.
"You committed bug-ridden code to the project such that others mistakenly assume it to be stable. In future, warn us beforehand when submitting unstable code. Otherwise, do not submit the code until it is in a stable state."
Yeah - sure. That will do the trick. Clearly all those devs had no idea and were never told that code marked "stable" shouldn't be, well, err, unstable. A bit of nice and polite talking to is all that is required. My a*se! Without knowing the full details - people who ask to be told politely what to do many times ignore it completely when they are being told politely. And then they complain when "polite" has run out. They would like to be treated "politely" so they can keep on ignoring you and do what they want.
Sometimes people just do crap until somebody puts some pressure on them. Be it that it's a "nice" (but subtly threatening) meeting with your boss or HR people in your company - which is what LT is referring to as tie-wearing back stabbing. Or in LT's case, being told to f*ck off and do things properly.
On many occasions people know exactly what should be done, but can't be a*sed for one reason or another to do things properly. On one hand harsh verbal manners are not exactly cool - but I think I prefer being put in my place that way (if I deserve it) instead of one of those "nice talking to's" after which you feel all creeped out. Sometimes there is no nice way to get things done - your choice - being shouted at or being subtly threatened.
Pushing shit into the kernel expecting roses and then making fuss about it, is something else. Yes, I know men can, and have done the same earlier. But now, silly woman, try to understand your responsibility or fuck off. It is not about you but about, apparently, shit code you try to push.
" Passion is one thing
But why do people believe it's ok to cross the line into abusiveness?"
And submitting crap code ISN'T abusive? You need to examine your priorities. Linux is used in a wide range of very critical applications from core networking to military. Sharp's "you shouldn't be mean to me" attitude glances aside form the fact that she and her people are quite literally making life harder for - abusing that is - numerous others, thousands, in fact. By that standard, Linus isn't even intemperate, and Sharp ought to go into politics where she can do more harm more efficiently. It's evident that she is not "leading" her team, or holding them to any kind of quality standard.
No one has seemed to notice that you posted as A.C., which means you won't even back up your own passive identity. I think the Linus management style would work very well with you.
Since when did being vulgar in detail about work become associated with personal feelings? Maybe "Sarah" needs to learn to deal with multiple personality types, instead of pressing her own as being correct for everyone and not just hers alone.
If having to *read* vulgar comments about me was the worst part of my day, I'd be smiling right now.
Someone committed unstable shit as stable code and wasted the guy's time. He has to deal with a myriad of commits and keep the project rolling forward. What he doesn't need is some fucking idiot wasting time that he probably has very little of. To then come back with a series of "speak to me nicely" missives probably made the Finnish volcano blow its top. If you act like an idiot and show utter contempt for somebody else's time then don't expect their reaction to contain please or thank you. Simply - do your fucking job.
If I screw up, I expect to be told exactly how, and how badly. If I've screwed up badly, I expect to be told in the bluntest possible terms. Profanity evolved because it serves a purpose.
Let me put it this way - when I am in the navigator's seat of a rally car, and I call a bend wrongly so that it risks the integrity of the car and/or the occupants/spectators, I expect to be told in no uncertain terms that I was very, very silly. Equally, if my driver doesn't listen to me with the same results, I am going to use an appropriate amount of Anglo-Saxon on him/her.
The cruellest tellings-off are the ones that are apparently polite, but play on emotion. I've never wanted to kill anyone that swore at me, but I've spent hours plotting the demise of someone who used the latter.
exactly. I've had committers to projects I've been involved in submit crap, break many many tests and obviously never run the tests, then ask them politely to fix their "work" asap, them do nothing, so I have to spend my time backing it out. The blunt and direct approach gets more results IMHO (though the level of the searing necessary to be "blunt and direct" is open to debate)
Judging by many open source projects, what you actually end up with is contributions coming only from arrogant arseholes who always believe they're in the right and are too thick skinned for even the blunt abrasive comments made by the likes of Linus to have any effect. Meanwhile lots of nice, polite and extremely capable coders are put off by the unnecessarily rude behaviour of the minority.
If you honestly think that approach makes for better software, then you're an idiot.
Acting professional is something quite different from being professional. What seems to set him off is amateurs NOT being professional and then demanding to be treated professionally.
I once tried to walk this line in a volunteer organization. I thought we needed to treat our supporting members (aka customers in standard business speak) professionally. Others in our organization argued that professionalism would degrade into the sorts of corporatist behavior none of us like in big organizations. Without yielding on the point that we needed to treat our supporting members with respect, I must admit that while we were able to maintain the balance I expected for a short time, in the end those who argued against me were correct about the direction the group eventually went.
I personally would give Torvalds seven kinds of shit back if he took that approach. I respond well to calm, concise explanations as to where I made a mistake. If it's made into a piss-take based joke, even better. I get onto the problem with a smile, eager to resolve it. Much better than through gritted teeth and a fuck you for raging at me attitude.
But that approach works for me, others possibly not. That's where management skills come in, so you can identify which approach works for each person. You can't use a hammer for all the jobs!
Good luck with that, your code would get rejected and not integrated into the kernel and if you are submitting it on behalf of a hardware vendor I think you would be out of a job.
Linus is trying to manage all of the code that people are sending him, why shouldn't he be angry if he is being sent rubbish? your manager would shout at you if you sent them rubbish. You would fail any exam or degree if you submitted rubbish, so why should Linus accept it?
You are assuming that I am making a mistake every time. You are also assuming that shouting works because someone doesn't like something.
Like any human being I make the occasional mistake, certainly within normal expected parameters because I have had the same coding job for over 6 years. Shout at me and you WILL get worse results because I want to rip your head off and shove it up your own ass. Treat me with respect and I'll move heaven and Earth to get it right. I'll say it again: You can't use the same hammer for every job.
You are assuming that I am making a mistake every time. You are also assuming that shouting works because someone doesn't like something.
How many times has Torvalds gone off like this when someone didn't make a mistake? That's the key question here, in my book.
"when was the last time you had an examiner call you a fucking idiot?"
Personally I've never had it happen, but I saw it happen to other people when I was at university. And I will be frank, they deserved it.
(not the AC for the record, just a guy who was smart enough to not be called a fucking idiot)
"when was the last time you had an examiner call you a fucking idiot?"
So it would have been better if instead of calling her (and her team) on submitting untested code as STABLE... they should've all gotten a pink slip and be fired?... that's what happens on tests, you get almost no feedback and failing grade
Submitting untested code as stable is a HUGE problem, it is not a difference of opinions, it is not a difference in programming styles... it is serving rotten fish hoping the sauce will cover the stink and THAT is unprofessional...
"when was the last time you had an examiner call you a fucking idiot?"
We aren't allowed to any more. It apparently reflects badly on the organisation to be honest.
To my mind, calling someone a "fucking idiot" is fine, as long it is proportionate to the error, you explain why you said it, and how it can be avoided next time. Torvalds ticked all these three boxes, and it is his organisation so he sets the rules. What is the problem with being hones and clear.
So many delicate little flowers in positions of responsibility - no wonder Western civilisation is on the skids.
More to the point, in the grand scheme of things I expect that someone will occasionally check in the wrong segment of code. (Oops, I sent the code dated 6/30 instead of 7/30.) At which point the manager of the code base should be the one noticing and taking the corrective action with the coder. In this instance not only did the coder check in untested code, the manager (whose job it is to check for that so Torvalds doesn't have to) just forwarded the untested code for inclusion as part of the final build.
Disasters are rarely the result of single mistake and almost always the result of a chain of mistakes.
> “You may need to learn to shout at people,”
Personally, I've been shouted at by experts: people who do it professionally and can verbally abuse you for 5 minutes, fluently, without hesitation, repetition or deviation (although some of the deviations you get accused of would make your hair curl and IIRC, that was one of them!). So some guy shouting at me, either in person, over the phone (ineffective: you just quietly lay the receiver down 'till they've fininshed - it's hard to argue with someone who won't answer back) or by email (even more ineffective and with the added disadvantage that it leaves evidence to be used against the shouter) might make them feel better but it will have zero effect on me.
At best you suffer from raised blood pressure and fear. Although fear is a great motivator in the short term, it's effect needs to be continually escalated to continue achieving results. At worst you get someone like me who ignores it all and just thinks of the shouty git as a complete 'hole and ends up with an even lower opinion of them.
If you want to motivate someone, someone who you have no real control over as FOSS developers can stop FOSS-ing and just walk away, you need to adopt an air of professionalism, gain respect and lead by example.
Sounds like Linus has pretty much lost it.
There are two problems in volunteer organizations.
The first is that you can't go out and hire somebody to do the tough jobs or work on the crap ones that still need to be done. This is the problem everybody is aware of and on which most of us focus. It's the fuel behind the sweet talk argument.
The second is that you can't fire the incompetent people. These are the ones you have to drive away from the organization by whatever means necessary. This problem is generally ignored because of the first problem and exacerbated by certain people who think they can find a job for anybody.
It just might be that Torvalds has been bitten by this second problem in the past. His technique is tuned to this problem.
"If you want to motivate someone, someone who you have no real control over as FOSS developers can stop FOSS-ing and just walk away, you need to adopt an air of professionalism, gain respect and lead by example."
Agreed. However there is another option: "You need to lead a project known and used world-wide, favoured by by millions of people. Then it automatically becomes a prestige for some to actually work on that project. After which you can more than often treat them like shit, because they'll still revel in their prestige".
That is what's happening here in my opinion.
But it's still a dangerous situation, because if people reach a point where the shine wears off and the abuse doesn't things can go down hill very fast. Often it only takes one person to stand up to it and gain some followers.
> where the shine wears off and the abuse doesn't
I agree completely (there, I'm sure that made you feel better than if someone had criticised your post). And in my experience, when a project starts to lose its shine, that's when the pressure gets racked up and the blame starts flying around.
Given that the number of stories about Linus and his lack of (temper) control have been on the increase in recent years, AND that Linux hasn't really innovated much since 64 bitness and multi-processors arrived - apart from bug fixes, support for new hardware and a bunch o' stuff under the hood that users neither see nor care about. So you have to wonder how long there is until Linus' shine does get rubbed through, and whether there's just the proverbially unpolishable underneath?
You don't seem to be reading the same release notes I am.
To pick only the most recent 3.11 release notes, zswap *by itself* constitutes a significant feature at the kernel level. Yes, the end-user will never know it is there -- the system will just be faster when under memory pressure.
ok, ill bite here
AND that Linux hasn't really innovated much since 64 bitness and multi-processors arrived - apart from bug fixes, support for new hardware and a bunch o' stuff under the hood that users neither see nor care about.</quote>
So what else do you want other than a stable, well supported system?
Especially as this is the kernel and not Linux itself. i.e stuff the user doesn't see until it breaks
Would you rather they spend all their time creating new icons instead.
"as this is the kernel and not Linux itself."
The GNU folks would give you a hard time over this. For them, Linux is *the*kernel*, and *nothing*else*. The overall total operating system including all the utilities etc. is GNU/Linux, or so they say. And the more, um, enthusiastic ones will go on about GNU/Herd and other silliness.
Now I'll get off my duff and catch you all later.
According to you, Linus Torvalds should be working on Linux kernel all alone by now since as you say, he has pretty much lost it. Interestingly, this reminds me of my days back in the 80's when our communist leaders were telling us capitalism is all dead because of how bad members of the society were being treated. Three decades after that, I'm amazed there is still no communist state member of G20.
> Sounds like Linus has pretty much lost it.
No. You just sound like an uniformed idiot. This has been his management style from the beginning. He hasn't "lost" anything. He never had it to begin with and it didn't seem to do him or his project any harm at all.
You may want to be a a whiny little b*tch but it's hard to argue with success.
"> Sounds like Linus has pretty much lost it.
> No. You just sound like an uniformed idiot. This has been his management style from the beginning. He hasn't "lost" anything. He never had it to begin with and it didn't seem to do him or his project any harm at all.
>You may want to be a a whiny little b*tch but it's hard to argue with success."
Is shouting at a woman here any worse than say shouting at a man? Nope. Definitely not.
Is shouting, swearing and demeaning people in general acceptable? In certain situations and environments, definitely. But this is not one of them.
Does this instance demonstrate good management skills? No.
Does this instance demonstrate poor management skills. Not necessarily.
Is Linus perfection incarnate? Absolutely not. He has his failings and his stresses like the rest of us. He's only human and is certainly not omnipotent.
Maybe he's a just perfectionist with anger management issues. Whatever he is, if he can dish it he should be able to take it.
Would he tolerate the same 'abuse'? If not, he's a twat - move on. If he can, not a problem just shout back and be done with it, or just flutter the eyebrows, smile politely and dish a little feminine sarcasm.
It's a storm in a teacup.
but she could try working for Balmer.
As for AC 'Passion is one thing' - "But why do people believe it's ok to cross the line into abusiveness?" in an ideal world we wouldn't but its an expression of frustration and I think I can honestly say I've only met a couple of people who dont do it*. It doesn't make it right but its a human response and sometimes more so amongst geek spectrum humans - as is taking offence at being criticised and trying to change the point - and from the messages given in the article adding a threat of violence where one doesn't exist.
* but they did go behind your back when they felt threatened.
OK, so he is the godfather of Linux, but he acts like he is the only one who has ever put time and effort into it. Don't expect people to work for free AND have to bear your demented rantings. Y'know he could just go back to doing it all himself and see how much he knows about all the different strands of modern kernel development, sound like an idea Linus?
Actually she's not a volunteer and she's not working for free, she is in fact being paid by Intel.
Sure, the man is no diplomat. But on the other hand, his occasional habit of letting loose when people who should know better make stupid mistakes has probably saved us (as in the many people in the world who depend on linux one way or another) from a lot of grief and annoyance.
In short: "Boo Hoo, someone shouted at me over the internet because I messed up". These people presumably have never been on xbox live, they would have a breakdown in minutes.
Personally I like the fact that Torvalds is human and not just some faceless corporate drone.
"But on the other hand, his occasional habit of letting loose when people who should know better make stupid mistakes has probably saved us (as in the many people in the world who depend on linux one way or another) from a lot of grief and annoyance."
I think that had more to do with not accepting the commit(s) than his ranting and swearing.
Again, the confusion over who got shouted at and who's complaining about it.
Kees Cook wrote the patch in question and submitted it via Thomas Gleixner (who is the maintainer for the part of the kernel affected by the patch).
Thomas Gleixner did something like not properly test it or assume that it would be fine (presumably based on the past record of the submitter). He forwarded it, via a git pull request, to Linus.
Linus saw it, found a problem, and went into full technical flame mode.
Sarah Sharp saw it and evidently decided that it's one too many or a step too far or something like that. Result: complaint. Much coverage, click-bait and discussion follows.
I'm surprised to see myself actually favoring mr Torvalds, but i am. Political correctness has shown just how damaging it can be throughout society and there's nothing wrong with being brutally honest.
Just call it like you see it and if someone is offended, then that's their problem. If you can't stand Linus' rants, then either make REALLY FUCKING SURE your shit is stable, or don't be a linux DEV.
Can't be simpler then that and i say Go Linus!
And for the record, i'm the opposite of Linus, i'm always watchign what i'm saying and try to be political correct. Oftentimes i find myself on the border of lying, just to be nice and that's not the way to go. I wish i was more like him tbqf
There is nothing wrong with being brutally honest, no, but there is something wrong with balling out juniors in an abusive manner, in a public forum. If you think that this is a problem, or political correctness gone mad, so be it, I think it's just basic politeness and common decency.
Linus is correct, some people need to be taken down a peg and made to confront their poor practices.
Genuinely competent (but lazy) people who are shouted at will fight back by demonstrating their skill. The rest will bugger off and won't be missed. You need to work with people you can depend on and whose words you can trust.
Just because this is open source it doesn't mean bad buggy code is allowed, if anything people tend to expect open source to be better.
The thing is, while all of us us probably agree with Torvalds' REASONS, many of us have a beef about his TONE. If one is competent but lazy, it shouldn't take much more than a, "This code isn't up to snuff. Show us what you can REALLY do." to motivate them: a good punch in their pride. If the contributor really can't cut it, a firm, "Come back when you can really bring something to the project." can put a firm end to the conversation. Tirades can take you over a precipice and actually cause a BACKFIRE. People might take tirades the wrong way and, instead of hunkering down or leaving, decide to declare war on you and start slinging mud BACK. I would think that's the LAST thing you want in a mailing list: lots of off-topic sniping.
While I agree that cursing and yelling is not the only way to motivate... the case here is not one where he found a little innocent bug and he is looking for perfection... Sharp and her team submitted code that would not compile as "stable" i.e. ready for deployment...
If your house burnt down because some untested kitchen device made it to the production line... would you go back to the person who labelled it as "safe" knowing it wasn't and tell her... "Show us what you can REALLY do..." ????
If a manager yelled at me I would quit on the spot.
I wouldn't quit. But what I would do is have a quiet little word with him to tell him that under no circumstances will I tolerate being spoken to like that by anyone, and if it happens again I'll be having a little chat with his manager!
The real question is why do people feel its ok to commit incomplete, untested, non compiled code.
I've had to manage devs in the past who feel its ok to commit code which plainly won't compile, has debug statements in, or just doesn't pass even a basic run through, let alone the standard tests. Somehow they think it's ok, that somehow they have completed the task and that when I review code I'll sort it out for them.
You can forgive this a few times, but once its the nth iteration I understand why linus is losing his rag, sadly in my 'professional' world I couldn't do that, but clearly the developers were far from being 'professional' and couldn't care less so why should I be 'professional' to them or care what they think?
It's a two way street.
I can understand where he's coming from: He doesn't want fake platitudes, or monotonous management-speak. That's fine. It's kinda how geeks, et al work.
But there's a very fine line between being direct & assertive, and being rude (or even bullying). I don't read LKML, so the quotes may all have been taken out of context, but he does seem as if he's stepping over the line, IMHO.
Being top dog isn't just about being the best or being in charge. It's also about setting an example. Unfortunately, I sometimes feel Linus sets an example where publicly abusing & insulting people is considered OK.
I grew up in highly aggressive environments where yelling and cursing were the way it was. If you got your feelings hurt or felt 'abused' you just didn't belong there and most people who felt that way ended up moving on to other pastures or got used to it.
I don't let myself or my guys make personal attackes but if they want to yell and call someone's decision 'fucking stupid' I don't stop it. I do it myself. I know they're not a bunch of pussies and they'll yell and curse right back. They're being passionate and they are well paid for that passion. The idea that business is supposed to be impassionate is just stupid.
That being said, I don't yell at the receptionist or the operations people. They've got no vested interest in the company and no decision making power. They're there to fill a seat and fulfill a predefined role. They are obviously satisfied with that and so am I. If however you want to have some control and make decisions bring your passion and leave your whinging at home.
It seems to work pretty well.
"I grew up in highly aggressive environments where yelling and cursing were the way it was. If you got your feelings hurt or felt 'abused' you just didn't belong there and most people who felt that way ended up moving on to other pastures or got used to it."
So you grew up in pretty shitty environments, who were happy to lose staff, rather than behave in a decent and polite manner to each other. You lost out. The companies you worked for lost out. It's not something to brag about.
I don't feel anyone lost out. The environment simply wasn't right for some people. I've been in places where I was the square peg, I moved on to an environment where I could thrive, which is what anyone should do. Changing a whole company's operating dynamic to sooth a few workers is not only ineffective, it doesn't teach the worker anything about being adaptive, they just expect everyone to bow to their wishes. Nobody benefits from that.
It's about time someone took Torvalds to task over his attitude. Bullying is bullying and it should not be accepted. Ever. If this was a professional company he'd have been fired by now (and rightly so).
It's no wonder people don't take Linus' little toy seriously. He seems to be a bit like RyanAir - anything for the column inches and free PR. I've said it before, but it's high-time the Linux Foundation removed him if they ever want to be seen as a reputable outfit and not a jumbled collection of neck-beards and fanatics.
> If this was a professional company he'd have been fired by now (and rightly so).
There are worse things going on at "professional" companies than shouting. Then the people responsible get promoted out of trouble.
I have found that shouting may help get the stream lined right, until the manager comes in and tells one that one has to be "careful" lest the programmer who just wrecked the source tree "leave us".
Seriously, have you ever had a job?
Whilst you are entitled to your opinion on Linus' rants, you really need to realise that 'Linus's little toy' is used in every Android phone, in many webservers, in supercomputers, in desktops, in TV's in routers etc.
Not bad for a toy, so one has to assume, with that level of market penetration, it is taken seriously. Very seriously indeed.
It must be nice sipping tea and shouting and swearing at people all day long and being handsomely paid for it, one probably feels like an outstanding manager.
But perhaps Linus should think about who for years really contributed to Linux - in many case with 0 bucks earned for hundreds or thousands of hours offered. If he demotivates open source devs just for the pleasure of being his sorry self, he may someday well have nobody to scream at but himself . Anger management courses, a punching ball and a fps or two could help for him.
If there are recurring quality problems then perhaps processes or organization, even if unformal, may need a little fine tuning. It may in fact be all that is needed.
On Mon, Jul 15, 2013 at 8:52 AM, Sarah Sharp
> I'll roar
> right back, louder, for all the people who lose their voice when they
> get yelled at by top maintainers. I won't be the nice girl anymore.
That's the spirit.
Greg has taught you well. You have controlled your fear. Now, release
your anger. Only your hatred can destroy me.
Come to the dark side, Sarah. We have cookies.
I was all set to go on a massive rant about how this wasn't passion, it was simple abuse, and that anyone pulling that kind of shit in a work environment would find themselves in front of a diciplinary hearing so fast their head would spin.
And, of course, the stuff where he seems to think that there's either shouting and swearing or there's lying office politics and backstabbing with no middle ground for people to be passionate but civil...well, that's just so much bullshit.
But I would then have gone on to say that I wouldn't put up with that, and if I encountered that doing volunteer work, I'd simply tell him to go fuck himself and do something else. And that was when I realised that Tom13, above, might have a point. If the objective was to get the people who screwed up their commit to go away and never screw his codebase up again, I think he's pretty much nailed it. And that's a valuable thing in a situation where the only way to get rid of scewups is to make them not want to contribute.
But I think he's misjudged things this time, because it appears he has not figured on the collateral damage from this approach. Everybody screws up now and then, no matter how competant they are, and if that's the response you're likely to get, I think people are unlikely to bother.
I was never going to be contributing to the linux kernel, its not my field. But if this sort of thing is considered the right way to run a FOSS, then its put me right off the idea of contributing to any such project.
It's one of the ways to manage a FOSS project -- a VERY large FOSS project. You're likely to find the vast majority more welcoming than what you're seeing from this discussion. And remember, you'll have many closer interactions with the lead of whichever area you're working on (even if you do go kernel) than the release notes and discussions from the top.
The problem is that everyone is viewing his rants out of context.
Even the article that states "Torvalds tore into Sharp’s kernel boss" . He didn't actually tear into him. He tells him that he needs to stop letting people use him to commit code that they know shouldn't be committed.
His rants are always about experienced people doing things that they know damn well they shouldn't be doing.
Maybe its not the right way to deal with it but bloody hell people just love to jump up and down, I wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry at the indignant rage that was spouted when he 'threatened' to kill peoples pet hamster that were submitted bloated features to what should be a fix-only kernel patch.
I guess the people here who are offended are the type to mark code stable that hasn't been compiled ;)
Thank-you for considering my point above.
Your analysis of Torvalds is similar to what I hear in other forums where I explain organizational problems.
I'd like you to consider the following:
1) Is Torvalds really trying to get rid of the coder who made the bad commit?
2) Or is he more pissed off about the manager who didn't run a cursory check to make sure the commit was good?
3) Or is Torvalds telling the manager who screwed up that he's getting on his last nerve?
If it's #1, yes Torvalds is probably following a bad strategy.
If it's #3, we've got a 50/50 split and would need more information about past interactions.
If it's number 2, he's probably using the only option available to him.
Taking the kind of abuse Torvalds is dishing is tough, but I've been through worse in a volunteer structure. Torvalds is only going for the coarse language and an industrial grade humiliation. In my case both of those were combined with charges of embezzlement (funneling money to friends in a profit sense from a non-profit org) and wound up having the group meet several times with a lawyer because they were sent via email to the entire support organization. After the dust settled I'm still reasonably good friends with the guy who made the charges (he agreed the person was providing non-group purpose professional services at a huge discount to the group and was uniquely qualified to do so). Oh, and on a later occasion I had to take a similar tongue lashing from the vendor described in this exchange because I had to wake him at 7 in the morning on a nite when he'd gotten to bed around 3 with a simple question to which I didn't know the answer. (I do helpdesk, not databases).
I am torn too, but with somebody who delivers something that cannot even be compiled. Did she say "sorry" for this fuck up. There is no room for any "kindergarten" stuff with Linux any more. And poor Linus has to try to prevent shit from happening. I can understand him and as far as yelling is concerned, in my experience, women yell more often and higher and for less reason.
I think that's what Linus is doing and it seems he doesn't even realize it.
The problem here is that in general Linus is completely right about everything he says, at least I think so. You should be able to tell people what you think about them and their work. But the thing is; there is a huge difference if you speak amongst equals or people over who you have some power.
Many people put up with the way Linus treats them not because they want to, but because they have to. And it creates a very dangerous situation, because you can forget about any loyalty or such from them.
That may suit Linus just fine, but if the Linux hype blows over then I think he may be in for rough times ahead. Let's say Google manages to push Chrome OS forward even more, and actually treats its developers with some respect. Sure, you can call someone's work rubbish. That's hardly the same as calling him an idiot.
How long before developers would move on?
"Do you really think that someone that created the kernel that is used in millions of machines around the world (data centers etc) is ever going to be out of work for long?"
I don't know, but it could very well be. Because what kind of a job?
I don't think that with his attitude you'd easily make it into management. Because as I mentioned in my post; take the power basis away and I think it remains to be seen how much people would put up with the verbal outbursts.
And that leaves me wondering if Linus would actually ever accept a job as a regular programmer any longer?
Sorry to get you off of your high horse but Chrome OS is nothing but a browser based thin client. If you figure out how to run it on a server you'll beat Linus at his own game. For your further enlightenment, cloud computing does not mean server-less computing.
"So you have to ask yourself, what kind of code do you want in your computer? Wrong stuff made by nice people, or stuff that actually works?
Yes, it would be lovely if everyone was polite and cheesy all the time, but someone has to shout when it's not up to scratch."
he'd be right if he was addressing some repeat offenders or people who simply don't get it.
What exactly does it get him calling people names? A guy made a mistake. Please explain how calling him names makes him a better coder?
From my experience, people react better when someone takes the time to explain what was wrong with what they did and what is the right way.
At the very minimum, skipping through abstract concepts like respect and leadership, ranting like an idiot forces the "victim" to filter the crap in order to pick the helpful information that he can use to make it better.
So considering the guy is already incompetent from your point of view, why exactly would you make his work harder (since he failed already and now you're making him filter crap)? Especially when you're on a deadline, this behavior really doesn't make sense. It's actually at the bottom of the pit, *after* simply getting rid of the guy.
Let the ship sink with the captain. Abuse and harassment is not tolerated in office environments, so why is it ok here? Time for all the lieutenants and devs to jump off. Life is too short to treat people like shit. There are bigger problems to solve in this world.
Shouldn't idiocy always provoke anger? Should genius be labotomised or sterilised so as not to hurt peoples feelings?
Idiocy is defined as submitting shoddy code to LT, the whole planet knows what to expect if you do. It isn't idiotic to send in crap anyway?
Maybe they're just playing a game amongst themselves to make him swear in Finnish, points per syllable?
Mr. Torvalds comes across as a foul-mouthed control-freak with delusions of adequacy.
Now, he may well be highly intelligent, and very well educated and qualified, but then so were a lot of - without invoking Godwin's Law here - other bullies and megalomaniacs throughout history. Mr. Torvalds has a massive project on his hands, and has, I will agree, done wonders with the project thus far. But there comes a time when a man MUST realise that he's stepped over the line, and start behaving as society expects: With civility.
For without civility, we're all just savages with nice clothes.
"Why the hell was this marked for stable even *IF* it hadn't been complete and utter tripe? It even has a comment in the commit message about how this probably doesn't matter. So it's doubly crap: it's *wrong*, and it didn't actually fix anything to begin with."
why is anyone who would make such a submission even allowed to wok on 'maintaining' the code?
Erm. You lost me there.
Me saying it? - I never do.
The boss? - He's an engineer too, so he'd never say it either.
a) say it and I've never known them to be right yet.
b) are simple, which means the 'it' has to be bloody complicated to protect them.
Much as I'm a fan of Linux, she's right. If he has to treat people like this to succeed then he should really take a good look at himself.
I can understand going off on one when you've said something many times and just been ignored, but Linus appears to be much too eager to reach for English Swear Words for Dummies. I suggest he emails this person with a polite, specific request and see if it gets him where he wants to be.
Hmm. Must be nice to live in that kind of world.
The maintainer screwed up by marking something as "stable", the subsystem maintainer allowed the screwed up code to be passed up as "stable". Very public, last time I checked. And now, they want the guy that has to stitch up _all_ of the submits from how many different areas to be nice to them for something they publicly did?
Might work in a corporate environment where everything is done in private, but when every little detail (good and bad) is listed publicly for the world to see, and you want private communications. Nice.
Now firstly has anyone here worked in a busy kitchen?
You have the ehad chef, in charge of the menu, organising things, keeping order, hands in all the pies etc. It's a high stress job because you have goals of time and quality.
Below him are the various lower chefs, pastry, sous, fish etc etc.
In a resteraunt kitchen if you fuck up (adding sugar instead of salt) you won't get a polite "everyone makes mistakes" or a "we can just remove it and try again" that meal took 15 minutes to cook, you messed up and now the customer is waiting another 15 minutes. You'll get reemed.
I think Linus manages the kernel like a head chef manages a kitchen.
Wow, you really think that's reality? Kitchens don't work like that.
(Now that the non-disclosure agreements have expired, the explanation for participant behavior was found to be simple and obvious: sleep deprivation and alcohol. Yeah, real professional set-up you're filming there.)
And in the engineering game too.
Like my dumb ass apprentice who assured me all 4 work station positions on a robotic cell were set....
Well after loading the job program into the robot, it went for somewhere in space the other side of station 3 and trashed 3's fixture because he'd had not done all 4 as promised.
I think If I'd done the following days discussion with him via a mailing list, I would have run out of the day's supply of the word 'fucking' by about the 15th paragraph.
And now he's got 2 operators of his own to look after, he said he knows exactly why I was so abusive sometimes.
And wheres the head bashing against a brick wall icon?
"...In a resteraunt kitchen if you fuck up (adding sugar instead of salt) you won't get a polite "everyone makes mistakes" or a "we can just remove it and try again" that meal took 15 minutes to cook, you messed up and now the customer is waiting another 15 minutes. You'll get reemed...."
Funny, but that's not the case in many, many good restaurants. I had the good fortune to have a meal at the Chef's table in L'ortolan in Reading (Michalen starred), I was chatting to the head chef about this sort of thing and observed that the kitchen was quiet, but bustling and that I hadn't heard a single person swear, except for someone who dropped a pan. He said that they (any many other restaurants) strive to keep the "macho bullshit" out of the kitchen. "Macho bullshit" is responsible for more accidents and less thought about well cooked food, it's a hallmark of a kitchen hanging on to the edge, rather than one that's well organised and prepared - does this mean they just let it go if someone under-performs? No. But it does mean that it's an efficient kitchen, it's safe and produces very, very good food.
You shouldn't believe everything you see on the TV.
Michalen(sic) starred restaurants are not eateries. They are performance art. The one time the Wife and I had a meal at "The French Laundry" in Yountville, CA, we immediately walked the three blocks home to prepare a proper meal ... we were HUNGRY! The prix fixe menu ($240/seat, +wine) is pretentious, contrived and boring, with tiny portions. We had both the chef's menu & the vegetarian menu and shared. It did look pretty, the prep folks are quite gifted. Everything was perfectly cooked. The 9 course meal, spread out over several hours, consisted of about 30 small bites of food. The wine was hideously over priced, and even the corkage fee is astronomical, at $50/cork. I would not recommend eating there, unless someone else was paying for it. I will say that the staff were the best I've ever seen, very attentive and yet not obtrusive. If you need anything, they are there in an almost telepathic manor ... but you can't see 'em otherwise. We could have gone to Compadres down the street and saved about $700 (Compadres lost their lease and had to move, Compadres Rio Grill is now on the river in Napa and well worth a visit if you are touring Wine Country).
Ramsey is a one-trick pony ... and his food is pedestrian, at best. Ignore him.
In the middle, some of us feed people. And yes, idiots get yelled at, and ultimately fired. No time for morons when prepping 500+ covers, three times per day. I was sous-chef at The Hotel St.George in Harrogate for about three years in the late '70s-early'80s.
If someone pays me to do a job and it's below standard, then get mad, get angry and I *MAY* put up with a little abuse, but will not be called a fucking idiot (heck I've had a director drgged in front of HR for verbal abuse).
If I'm doing it for free. Go fuck yourself and get someone else to do your dirty work for you.
"So if you're doing it for free you think you are allowed to blow it up ? Nice attitude!"
Not really what he was saying. Or implying. It's interesting how people calling Torvalds out on his bevjour are being accused of supporting bad coding practices. It appears to me this missing the point (deliberately or not,) is stemming from idol worship, sadly.
Let me see if i got it right - someone committed marked for stable code to one of the most important kernel subsystems without test-compiling it?! And people responsible got yelled at? And some of them didn't like it? In the project with boss having no other mean (reprimand, cut the bonus, fire, etc.) way of punishing but publicly humiliate them in front of their peers? F*ck, yeah he should do it! Linux is everywhere! Your buggy code may hold someones life hostage - compare to that your feelings mean f*ck-all to me.
I would be very surprised if it were the case, not even compiling the code to see if it works, that's beyond amateur, literally wouldn't expect that of a novice student, let alone someone working on the Linux kernel. Seems more likely to be Linus bending the truth so he feels a bit more justified about his foul mouth ranting.
Vgrig, Torvals certainly can fire volunteers.
And he can refuse specific employees companies try to donate him as staff.
Business life is not like a Hollywood movie. We don't carry on like the 13 year-old teenagers who are the intended audience for most Hollywood products.
In the grown-up world you don't yell and insult your employees because if you do, nobody learns and the better ones quit.
Absolutely spot on. Only difference is the trade I work in; if a manager treated us with that level of abuse, he'd wind up (1) likely as not needing a massive amount of dental treatment, and (2) getting a rep for being a twat of the highest order than to-one wanted to work for.
The dev is right that no worker should have to put up with a ranty dick head. But Linus is also right with his point about "professionalism" b.s., politics and back-stabbing, where people try to get their own way by being passive-aggressive.
A little bit of the stick is no bad thing, but if LT becomes so obnoxious that people walk, he will be left with just the worst devs, ie. those who can't get a job anywhere else. Bad for all of us.
The whole email thread?
It's very good natured and various other people interject with their own opinions on the whole situation and agree to discuss it at the next 'local' face to face - Kernel Summit.
Especially if Sarah brings cookies, as she said she would. Although whether she'd include the pot was debated a lot due to legality.
It's not like he's kicking her (or her managers) door in demanding the blood of his first born; he let a bad bit of code slip through when he's supposed to keep his devs in line to the degree where they don't push sloppy code in; he finds sloppy code which should have been dealt with well before it reaches him, he goes on a rant.
Hardly the crime of the century, and from the look of that mail list, it hardly looks like bullying at all, unless you wish to interpret that way, in which case that's your own lookout.
I've worked with abrasive personalities before - I love it, it means I *really* have to be on my toes and defend my ideas. Keeps me sharp.
To be fair if you think that was a 'good natured' thread, I have to genuinely enquire as to whether you actually read the whole email thread? Yes, they're going on about Brownies at one point (perhaps you stopped reading there?) the rest of it wasn't civil in the slightest.
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Fix it now you stupid cocksucking noobs. Why should anyone read your stupid noob website if it has a known bug?
One of the first principles of criticism in supervisory management is to focus on the issue not the person.
'You did this wrong, let Bob show you how to do it right' instead of the childish 'You're an idiot.'
<< There is no nice way to tell someone they suck. >>
That is the crux of the matter -- the incorrect concept of what a human being is and what it would take for a human being to actually suck.
You can be a terrible programmer and/or a terrible tester -- those things just mean you are a terrible programmer and/or a terrible tester.
Programming and testing are just things people do -- not what they are.
A person is a lot more than just what they do at work or for a hobby.
So there is NEVER EVER A LEGITIMATE REASON TO TELL SOMEONE THEY SUCK.
Worst case, if you've tried coaching them, if they still don't get it, you can tell them, "You just are not working out at this job. But I'm sure you will find success in some other career.
Linus Torvalds does not suck big time. But he is simply not working out as a project leader and "front man" for Linux.
Look at Windows -- thousands of people have been lead by Linus Torvalds to create an OS to replace the pathetic product Windows -- and he can't take market share from Windows. That is a hallmark of marketing and front-man FAILURE (true, one shared by Apple). Linus is doing a really piss-poor shitty job at his own job.
But that does not make Linus a failure, a looser or an idiot.
It does not mean Linus Torvalds sucks big time.
I'm sure Linus would have great success in some other career, perhaps coding or backroom QC guy.
The world is full of people who hide behind exactly the sort of whining that Tovalds is talking about. I am no great fan of his but the world moves on and I have had to wander away from the wonderful world of OpenBSD's deraadt and his similar approach - which again, gets results.
"Professional politeness" is very much a vehicle for faked mutual respect and exactly the passive aggressive "we have a problem which we need to talk about" crap that stop things getting done.
From Sarah's e-mail:
"Let's discuss this at Kernel Summit where we can at least yell at each
other in person."
Or better yet: hire a wrestling arena where lots of people can watch, make sure you provide a live stream of the event, and try if you can sell some of the rights to the WWE.
I'm sure it would catch on :-)
Then we might eventually get to see the main event too: In the right corner, Torvalds armed with a living penguin. And in the left corner Ballmer, armed with his trusty office chair.
Management-ese tries to take precedence and dumb us all down again.
If you slam into a car, and the guy gets out and calls you an idiot, it's because you're an idiot. You'll nod, say sorry, walk away if you have any brains.
If you slam into a car, and the guy gets out and calls you a fucking idiot, it's because you're several steps ABOVE an idiot and he needs you to know that. You might disagree. You might reciprocate. But you know he's not mocking you and he takes it seriously.
If you slam into a car, and the guy gets out and says you should all get around a table and discuss the issue - HE'S GOING TO SUE THE PANTS OFF YOU, but doesn't want you to know yet. Your input is important to him, and he'll act on feedback. Of course. RUN A FUCKING MILE.
The fact is that it's a word. If you're offended by a word, there's something wrong. Sure, it's not nice, but it's not nice for a reason - you committed shite when you should know better. The fact that you're a professional coder makes it even more vital that you understand this. You may not experience it in a corporate bubble but - guess what - Linux isn't a corporate bubble. Nor is the Internet. Go look at the page for any sub-standard brand on Facebook - someone in the corporate bubble has to take the comments and read them and deal with them because that's how humans communicate in their natural state. You don't retaliate in the corporate bubble because of consequences unique to that bubble.
I am genuinely shocked that there's ANYONE in the world who is actually offended by swearing rather than wishes to use use of it as some moral high ground. And I work in schools. Guess what, the kids swear, the teachers swear, and if you're in the staffroom you will hear choice phrases that could - in the wrong context - get someone sacked on the spot. I have called my boss a git. Well, he was. He took it exactly as intended. We often have people come into my office with the opening words of "FFS" and following it up with much harsher and more personalised comments.
The swearing is there for shock and emphasis. You're not just an idiot. I'm an idiot on a regular basis. He's an idiot. You're an idiot. We're all idiots. If you're offended by abuse, you should be offended by that too - but the fact is that you don't take it seriously (like when our mothers said they'd kill us).
However, if you're a fucking idiot, it's somehow offensive? Somehow more personal? No. Not really. It's there for emphasis on the scale of idiocy. A similar thing is at work here.
Honestly, the nuts and bolts of it is that Linux isn't a corporation. It doesn't have one voice. It has obnoxious geniuses and polite idiots and vice versa. There is no "manager". There is no "corporate policy". There is no "health and safety representative". As such, dealing with it is like dealing with the public. And you know what? The public swear at corporate representatives every day. Hell, I have an email from a supplier that called my boss a "fucking idiot", hence we blocked the supplier. Of course. That's not the point. The point is that if you're employed to be in that environment, outside the control of the corporation you're part of, you will be exposed to things outside of the corporate bubble.
And, sorry, but I ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS start politely when complaining to corporations. I give them every chance in the world to rectify the situation. I get rebuffed quite often. And you know how - when all other measures are exhausted and the situation isn't panning out as it should because of corporate bullshit - you get action? You find someone, shout at them, and make them do what they are supposed to, and this often involves swearing at the higher end too.
This is from someone who spent two hours jamming the phone lines of a letting agency to make them come and fulfil their legal obligations and being as polite as pie for the whole time. I have almost infinite patience. But the way that gets through that last piece of the corporate bubble to burst it and get some action (even when it's legally REQUIRED) - to shout, and swear. Additionally, I'm not swearing AT THAT PERSON, I'm swearing AT THE CONCEPT that the person is exposing me too. It's not his fault my flat-pack bed arrived with 36 missing pieces, but it's damn well his company's problem and - absent escalation of my reasonable complaint - he's the one I'll shout at and hold responsible to get it fixed, as he's the company representative.
If a company representative tries to post crap to my repository when they OBVIOUSLY know better - yes, they will, eventually, get shouted at. The more severe the failing, the more they will be shouted at. Doesn't mean I wouldn't buy them a beer in the pub afterwards, though. It's not PERSONAL. It's an interface to a CORPORATE. And you're the corporate representative hired to deal with the public / that project. Deal with it, or find another job.
"If you slam into a car, and the guy gets out and calls you an idiot, it's because you're an idiot."
Or you t-boned the other guy due to him being a poor driver.
Or you're brakes failed, or you were drunk, you're coming back from the vet after putting your dog down, or a hundred other things, including being a poor driver.
But someone who is truly an idiot will not actually have a drivers license.
"you committed shite when you should know better."
But usually in the workplace the person didn't know better. In the workplace rules and interfaces are constantly changing. The person who was supposed to show you may have done a lousy job. In addition, many of those reasons people sometimes get into car accidents also apply at work, the person's been diagnosed with cancer, sick kid at home, etc.
"If a company representative tries to post crap to my repository when they OBVIOUSLY know better - yes, they will, eventually, get shouted at"
Except that it might have been a different guy, or some automated system, or it was their first day on the job.
You might go down to a pub and have a beer with them, but you'll still be emotionally immature until you eventually realize that other people have entire lives they're going though that you know nothing about.
A lot of people are under a grave misconception here. It's been mentioned a few times but people seem to be missing it:
90% of kernel development is _not_ done for free. It is usually done by well paid individuals working on behalf on hardware/software companies.
When Linus speaks like this, he is _not_ picking on random people. He is usually shaming people who are mutiple offenders and have missed previous signs that they need to buck thier ideas up.
While it is not pleasant to be shouted at or given an earful, I would only be upset if it was unjust; I am sure that he ensures his more aggressive comments do not go out lightly.
If you think about it, this bloke probably sends out ~100 emails a day. If there is an impolite one maybe once or twice a month when someone is consistently not listening to what is being said, or is being purposfully ignorant then so be it.
There is no surprise that Linux is falling apart. I have found that quality of Linux is dropping, this applies to all of the distros I have tested and the one I am currently using (Gentoo Linux).
There is also rush to push out more new releases, rather then to fix bugs and keep things stable in the software. Currently Linus is killing Linux and he doesn't even know it him self. It is his own fault. I am currently moving to *BSD since it is more stable, has less bugs and there is no such bullshit like this taking place there.
I have moved my server to FreeBSD a while ago and it works great. I plan on moving my desktop to PC-BSD soon, since it is desktop friendly and easy to set-up as such.
With the people who leave to escape this nonsense that Linus puts them through with his bad manners. While I do not take part in Linux development (not currently a programmer), this rush for new versions rather then quality has brought in range of security and bugs that are often major issues.
Due to fast new releases, many of this bugs and issues do not get solved in time and are carried on between versions. That is a real issue, a big one.
How many times does it need to be said. The kernel != Linux.
And you moaning about new versions highlights Linus' previous rant perfectly where devs were trying to sneak features into a patch that was meant to be for fixes only.
So basically he's trying to get everything stabilised and fixed while people constantly keep trying to submit new features and buggy/uncompiled code. And for this service that he is performing everyone keeps slinging shit at him for not being polite.
Give me a fucking break!
Why do people think they can tell other people how to be? I would immediately tell her to go and get stuffed.
I refuse to put on airs of professionalism for anyone. My customers all like me for the work I do and don't care about my "potty mouth" and they appreciate my bluntness. Those who don't can learn to like the taste of my ass.
Torvalds is a real person too.
Linus is a man of passion, a man through whom we have the best operating system on the planet.
I employ coders and techies. In the most part, they're lazy and cut corners unless you let them know exactly how bad it will get if they screw up. There's no excuse for sloppiness or laziness, and in an environment where so many systems rely on robust, well tested, well thought out and well written code, Everything from your laptop to nuclear power stations rely on gatekeepers who look after the quality that is produced by the varied bunch of programmers who, lets face it, are everything from quiet geniuses to unwashed pillocks who should not be allowed to code a pong game...
Politeness has its place, of course, but if someone produces sh*t they should expect sh*t in return... that's life, deal with it, improve your code and whine less, and everyone will be happy!
What an odd bunch of programmers you've managed to assemble.
Most of them are dedicated and love the puzzle that is the work.
I'm not there. Maybe it is where you're located. Maybe it is the industry you support.
But it wouldn't hurt to read over some books on supervisory management just in case. You might find easier ways to motivate and retain staff.
Outside of Hollywood movies, anyone who shouts and swears either looses their job or all the good members of their staff.
I've been reading all your posts and they make sense now. You learned management in school and/or books. That is fine as far as it goes, but it is like so many other 'formal styles', it fails to teach you how to handle anything outside the flow chart and it encourages the 'best practice' fallacy which never works on all, even most, Humans.
If it is your style to build and manage in a docile workplace that's perfectly fine. However for you to say that aggressive, loud and full of pirate talk workplaces are any less effective is dead wrong. I've got guys that were too over the top for many of their previous employers but they thrive here. It is all about the environment you build, as the leader, for your employees, then you find employees that fit well within that environment. You don't go trying to change the employees, that means you failed in your hiring selections.
If you've got the right employees they know what to expect from you and it is fine, even if you yell at them, it is when you get outside those expectations that things go wrong.
I could use your same arguments flipped 180 and say that if you're not yelling at your employees they're taking advantage of you and your group or company is underperforming. I won't say that though because I'm going to assume you've built a workplace with an environment and employees that suit you. You really should recognize there are many styles and they can all be successful, stop being afraid of things you don't understand.
"Linus is a man of passion, a man through whom we have the best operating system on the planet."
No. Linux is most certainly not the best operating system on the planet. It is demonstrably not the most secure and it is definitely not the most stable. What is is however is the best of the 3 popular operating systems in use, but that is all it is.
Linux will never be accepted as a grown-up adult corporate operating system all the time Linus Torvalds is running off at the mouth using language and insults that would make a company loose a human rights lawsuit.
Linux may well be ready for the corporate world. We may see Linux finally being accepted as a corporate operating system mere months after Torvalds eventually one day dies.
It will be sad that Torvalds won't get to see that, but then he has brought this on himself.
"accepted as a corporate operating system". I suppose you have a MS desktop and that is all you can see and perhaps know about. But lets have an other look. Google, Facebook, Twitter, The Stock Exchange. NASA. ISS, CERN, Garmin, TomTom, The internet, 95% of the top500 supercomputers. Android, routers and modems, cars and so on and so on. Linux has become an industrial standard more than any other "OS" to day. And I am not surprised at all. Unix was well designed from the very start.
"Moving parts in rubbing contact require lubrication to avoid excessive wear. Honorifics and formal politeness provide lubrication where people rub together. Often the very young, the untraveled, the naive, the unsophisticated deplore these formalities as “empty,” “meaningless,” or “dishonest,” and scorn to use them. No matter how “pure” their motives, they thereby throw sand into machinery that does not work too well at best." -- Robert A. Heinlein; "Time Enough for Love"
You can lubricate a square cog all you like - if you don't fit in the machinery, you're still getting make grinding noises and get fired out, maybe taking some others on the way, before you're replaced by a cog that doesn't need that amount of lubrication to work well in the system.
If you can't take criticism on a public forum for a publicly-developed project that's NOT part of the corporate world except by accident (and the ability to make money from it), AND THAT'S YOUR WHOLE JOB then maybe you shouldn't be part of that front-end. Get someone else to interface, the same as you wouldn't want people who break down and cry manning your complaint phones lines, and you carry on at the backend somehow.
Fact is you submitted junk, after a history of similar events, and got called out on it. Your reaction wasn't "Alright, I know it's wrong, I won't do it again" (and certainly wasn't as such early enough), but "Why swear at me?". It's a side-issue to detract from the fact that you allowed shite into one of the world's largest public development projects with your company's name all over it, despite being trusted and warned not to do that.
I fail to believe that, in the privacy of manager's offices the world over, people aren't getting told that they won't have more of their crap tolerated in a similar manner. Lord Sugar's attitude, Ballmer and chairs, all these sorts of things aren't fiction - and some of those people are at the top of their game.
Can you imagine for a second what it's like to man the complaint lines at a dodgy company? Multiply by a million frustrated users. In comparison, this is NOTHING in the corporate world, but maybe this person thinks she's "above" that kind of level when clearly she shouldn't be managing a public interface to a non-commercial entity that her company relies on.
Every time I've heard people go on about Linus' behaviour, when looking at who he's criticising and why, it seems to me that they are indeed behaving like total idiots and richly deserve getting verbally abused. It is absolutely clear to me that Linus is totally committed to keeping the kernel at the highest standard possible. Some of these others don't seem to think that's very important.
A few months ago we had a kernel maintainer changing a return result to one that was invalid. WTF! How do senior people think this is acceptable even for an instant? Now we have untested code. Where is the professionalism here? How does this person think they have any grounds to demand 'professionalism' from Linus?
I wouldn't want the responsibility he carries on a 24/7 basis, not even for an instant. I'm sure I'd rapidly get far more shouty than he does.
Of course we don't hear about the hundreds of thousands of commits he's accepted without a murmur, or the times he's given someone a pat on the back - of course not. That's not news is it?
...need well-tested patches for upgrades. The Linux kernel is probably the most wide spread and ultimately most important piece of kernel code in the world. It *should* be stable.
If I were Linus and got sent improperly tested patches for such an important product, hell yeah, I would be angry too.
Linus' rants have been well known for ages now and serious developers know very well they get blasted if they fuck up things they are responsible for. It keeps them in check and they know it. I even think they depend on it.
I think it's a good thing. And nice to read about too... :)
for many years, on many different machines I've tried to run Linux and join the happy chanting brethren. Server hasn't been too bad, but desktop... well, that's never been a smooth path so I've reached out for help on various distro forums - in the getting started and after reading and spending several times longer that I'd have to struggle with Windows. what do I get for my troubles? abuse, told I'm a noob and that I should be able to sort it out or pointed to esoteric instructions which after I waste more time deciphering don't help... and which point I'm told that either I'm stupid and can't follow simple instructions or that I obviously hadn't asked the right question.
why do I raise this? because that attitude seems to stem from Linus down. So now my servers are either Windows VPS or Google AppEngine, and my home machines are Windows or Mac ... every machine I've attempted to run a Linux distro on has reminded me why I don't like some aspects of that community
I've been contributing to the Linux kernel for about 21 years now. (I have a dozen or so more years in BSD.) Most of my code is simple patches (I have a life outside coding), but I did contribute to early TCP/IP code, and i you're reading this now, you are using my code.
I've never been yelled at by LT. But then, I never submitted code that was untested/b0rken.
Think about it. It ain't rocket science.
I would say a lot of people are overlooking the medium of the communication. Written mailing list is different to one-one emails and utterly different ballpark to verbal face to face.
Personally Linus's first email came across as frustration and also fairly obvious that he wouldn't have used the same language if he were speaking to someone face-to-face, it wasn't even directed at a *person*. Also it was fairly obvious that this wasn't the only time or patch that had these issues.
Also his follow up mailings were clear, calm and precise, he gets angry (though he still explained what made him so in the first email) when there's something to be angry about, that's not abusive or unprofessional.
This sound like a product of recent time's "buh-buh-but aren't we all human? Are we not allowed to make mistakes...?!?" huggy-feely bullshit. Sure we are, sunshine. We are also allowed to STFU and face the consequences and the scolding when we screw up royally - including but not limited to being called "fucking idiots" when fucking idiots is what we are, instead of getting all butt-hurt about it and even trying to yell back.
Good thing these folks don't run the military, we would all be in chains.
Ever notice that the military STARTS OUT by degrading and stripping individualism from people? Why?
BECAUSE IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD NO WAR WAS WON BY INDIVIDUALS.
Sometimes people are like old tube TV's, they need a GOOD SLAP to get their FOCUS back.
There is a line from the "Course in Miracles" that says, "I am never upset for the reason I think". There is already too much negativity in the world. Adding to it does not benefit Linux. Linus could maybe find some stillness within, and know that the fuckedupness he sees outside himself is really just his mind making up stories to explain the disturbance he feels inside.
There is nothing personal in this. It is merely human ego. We all have it. It is time to bring awareness to it, and begin its dissolution, both individually and collectively.
It is possible to do Linux and the consciously evolve. The time is NOW.
He's right, "professionalism" leads to the bullshit any one who has worked in a corporate environment should be very familiar with. It leads to meetings with no real point other than to take up time and make it seem like things are happening. It leads to backdoor alliances a la "Survivor" where people plot and scheme behind each others backs and kiss ass to each other's faces. It is a soul sucking, productivity destroying, creativity crushing hell in which no man or woman ever deserves to be in.
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