back to article Linux kernel's Torvalds: 'I am truly sorry' for my 'unprofessional' rants, I need a break to get help

Linux kernel firebrand Linus Torvalds has apologized for his explosive rants, and vowed to take a break from the open-source project and seek help. In a mailing list message on Sunday, Torvalds admitted his "flippant attacks in emails" to fellow Linux programmers and project contributors "have been both unprofessional and …

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    1. whitepines Silver badge
      Linux

      Re: That's right Linux community... bend over...

      I'll take and/or ignore the CoC and keep my full rights to use the full source over any of your Orwellian, consumer-focused, data-mining, privacy-invading, disastrously buggy crap any day.

      What happens when Microsoft gets sued for letting one of its cloud renters offend the crowd you seem so convinced will destroy Linux?

      1. Snow Wombat
        Trollface

        Re: That's right Linux community... bend over...

        You really think the new Rainbow haired management will have the same commitment to privacy and security?

        They are the first ones to bend over for their corporate overlords.

        Well, I guess if the OS is a buggy, broken, dysfunctional toxic mess, like say... the Node.js and freeBSD communities are right now, that's a KIND of security I guess.

        If you can't get the machine up and running, can't get the data off it.

        1. whitepines Silver badge

          Re: That's right Linux community... bend over...

          What bearing does that have on anything? If the technology gets sloppy someone else will step up and fork it. Too much relies on Linux actually working well for that not to happen.

          Obviously I hope it doesn't come to that, but even if it does, most of the OSS userspace is somewhat kernel-agnostic. At least the sane parts of it.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: That's right Linux community... bend over...

            "Obviously I hope it doesn't come to that, but even if it does, most of the OSS userspace is somewhat kernel-agnostic. "

            Too much of it on the IoT side is also quality, security and privacy agnostic.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: That's right Linux community... bend over...

      from article: "vowed to take a break from the open-source project and seek help."

      Damn. I wonder who it was that got to him...

      LINUS! DO NOT LISTEN TO *THEM*! Be YOURSELF, because BEING COMMITTED TO QUALITY and letting those who deserve it have BOTH BARRELS with FULL PROFANITY is actually a GOOD thing!

      That, and it's entertaining when it hits the news.

      1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

        1. 45RPM Silver badge

          Re: That's right Linux community... bend over...

          @Snow Wombat

          Partly right. I agree - he’s done a terrific job, and he does sound mentally exhausted. I know how he feels - I feel something similar when I see a bad or incompetent job done and, unfortunately, I react in much the same way. It’s miserable and I know that the problem is partly mine - a gentle word will probably achieve more than the f-bomb. I need a break. But…

          I disagree utterly with your assertion that the rainbow haired pronoun crowd will burn everything to the ground. You seem to be suggesting that tolerance of other people’s identity, whether sexual, gender, religious, and anything else, is a bad thing. Live and let live. Provided that they’re not spoiling your day by telling you that you’re living your life wrong, do them the courtesy of letting them live their lives as they choose - and never forget that some of the best engineers in this computing game are gay / transsexual / female / black - and don’t conform to the heterosexual white male stereotype.

          1. Grikath

            Re: That's right Linux community... bend over...

            "Provided that they’re not spoiling your day by telling you that you’re living your life wrong,"

            Which is exactly what they are doing... but hey..

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "a gentle word will probably achieve more than the f-bomb"

            Sometimes, but not always. I tried that approach with a developer (a Linux one, BTW), who were often at odds with his former team. I tried to "empower" him and encourage him. He just took advantage of it. He kept on being late on delivering code, and what was delivered was barely working. I tried to be kind and encouraged him to deliver better code on time, for himself and the team. He didn't.

            One delivery would have been a failure if I didn't rewrite, fixed and finished his code in time. Of course, that made him even lazier, because he got away with it. I warned management about it, but nothing happened. The delivery was OK, so why take action?

            The next cycle I didn't fix his code - until in a meeting it was discovered - despite my several warnings before - in three months his code wasn't finished and buggy. Just, after listening to his excuses, and be asked how to deliver in time (aka "please write you the code in time"), I lost my temper - and yelled at him.

            I got a reprimand by HR, but at least he asked to be moved elsewhere, where probably he's attempting the same tricks.

            I think Torvalds is luckier and works with far better developers, but sometimes you encounter people who makes you steam, and you need to let the steam go out for your health's sake.

            1. SolidSquid

              Re: "a gentle word will probably achieve more than the f-bomb"

              Yeah, or maybe you could have just held him to the deadlines you'd both agreed to without the yelling or letting things escalate? I mean, it sounds like he was pretty bad as a developer, but also seems you weren't any better as a manager

              1. 45RPM Silver badge

                Re: "a gentle word will probably achieve more than the f-bomb"

                @SolidSquid. Exactly this. The F-Bomb isn’t necessary, and its use is indicative, perhaps, of a nervous breakdown. And yes, have an upvote, it’s use is very bad management.

                But, after recognising the problem, and fixing it, it should be possible to come back from the brink - and be good at the job again.

                1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

                  A gentle word will achieve more than any f-bomb. And Real Gentle Words are Almighty

                  ........ with Immaculate Stringing

                  But, after recognising the problem, and fixing it, it should be possible to come back from the brink - and be good at the job again. ... 45RPM

                  Amen to that Almighty Jewel, 45RPM, and Good to XSS is the Sweetest of Redemptions for the Exercising of Greatness.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                "but also seems you weren't any better as a manager"

                The issue is it was impossible to held him to the deadlines. He agreed on them - and often I allowed him more time than a skilled developer needed - and then utterly ignored them, producing different excuses. Being kind and remembering him how important it was for him, the team and the company to deliver good code in time was utterly useless.

                He knew someone else would have done his job to avoid issues, as I later discovered his previous team did as well.

                Unluckily I had no power to force him to met deadlines in other ways, because while I was in charge of the technical aspects of the project, I had no power on people because their management was assigned to a "business" manager, not to the team leader. As long as he didn't have "business" troubles, everything was fine.

                And HR didn't want to manage issues, as long as nothing really bad happens, so troublesome people were just assigned to a different team. And incredibly, someone losing his temper is for them worse than someone getting a salary for doing nothing - because in the latter case they can assign the fault to someone else, while a confrontation needs to be addressed by them.

                IIRC he was once kindly asked to work better, but once again, it was useless. Some people as soon as they understand they can get away with it without consequences, they won't change habits.

                I came to a point where I had only two choice: A) Keep on making other team members do his work B) Let things escalate.

                Just, when I saw they weren't going to address the real issue, and just hoped someone would have again written and fixed the code, and nothing else, I lost my temper.

                1. AdamWill

                  Re: "but also seems you weren't any better as a manager"

                  "The issue is it was impossible to held him to the deadlines. He agreed on them - and often I allowed him more time than a skilled developer needed - and then utterly ignored them, producing different excuses. Being kind and remembering him how important it was for him, the team and the company to deliver good code in time was utterly useless."

                  You're sort of posing a false dichotomy here, though. There aren't only two choices: 1) scream abuse at people, 2) be kind to them and work around them at all costs for fear of upsetting their precious sensitivities. (In fact, ironically, in my experience it tends to be the case in broken situations that important people get to yell and scream all they like, while everyone else has to bend over backwards to not step on their precious toes).

                  It's perfectly possible to point out that the developer in question is not doing the job properly, and to progress from there to formal performance review measures and ultimately disciplinary measures if there really is a long-term problem, all without being abusive, hurtful or personally disrespectful. Millions of people manage to be involved in processes like this every day. It's not rocket science.

            2. jake Silver badge

              Re: "a gentle word will probably achieve more than the f-bomb"

              "He kept on being late on delivering code, and what was delivered was barely working. I tried to be kind"

              Kind? Why? I'd have fired his useless ass.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                "Kind? Why? I'd have fired his useless ass."

                In a big company, you may not have the authority to fire people. And those who have it, not always have to suffer the issue those people bring, as long as someone shields them to keep the boat afloat.

                Also, in some countries, firing people is not so easy as in the US - especially where unions blindly protect even the most useless ass - usually because they are from the same category. And who cares if those damages all the people who work hard and conscientiously, and are paid the same.

                Anyway, I can understand someone may have temporary issues and an hard time working properly - so I can try to be kind and wait for the issues to be resolved. But when I find it's just a lifestyle, well, I'm not someone who can accept it.

                1. jake Silver badge

                  Re: "Kind? Why? I'd have fired his useless ass."

                  Oh, horseshit. The useless ass was hire to code. He refused to code. He's thus useless to the company, and no longer on the payroll. Unless you can point me at a company that will happily keep me on the payroll for not doing the job I was hired to do, of course. Note I said "company" not "government" ...

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    "Unless you can point me at a company that will happily keep me"

                    There's a reason why Dilbert has a character like Wally. In large enough company, you can find people who know how to game the system.

                  2. Someone Else Silver badge
                    Pint

                    @jake -- Re: "Kind? Why? I'd have fired his useless ass."

                    Unless you can point me at a company that will happily keep me on the payroll for not doing the job I was hired to do, of course. Note I said "company" not "government" ...

                    Dammit, jake, you just pre-empted my response....

                  3. ryokeken

                    Re: "Kind? Why? I'd have fired his useless ass."

                    "Unless you can point me at a company that will happily keep me on the payroll for not doing the job I was hired to do, of course. Note I said "company" not "government" "

                    UBER?

                    Dunno, I was always under the impression that's how Microsoft made Windows.

                    That I know personally Xerox most definitely does/done that, UBS Warburg it whatever was called in the 00's. can't mention others because NDAs, I've also witnessed this in a few business units where if you're bringing a few millions in sales the person on the receiving end is fired for provoking the bully.

                    I worked as a low end tech for a few years and in catering for a couple more. It's amazing the shit you can witness if you make yourself small and keep your ears open.

            3. oiseau Silver badge
              Thumb Up

              Re: "a gentle word will probably achieve more than the f-bomb"

              I think Torvalds is luckier and works with far better developers, but sometimes you encounter people who makes you steam, and you need to let the steam go out for your health's sake.

              +1

              Exactly ...

              Sometimes DHs will be and behave like the only thing they know how or want to be: DHs.

              And the more responsibility you have on you as theiir supervisor, the less you can afford to tolerate them as it will all eventually reflect on you.

              Cheers,

              O.

            4. AdamWill

              Re: "a gentle word will probably achieve more than the f-bomb"

              "I lost my temper - and yelled at him.

              I got a reprimand by HR, but at least he asked to be moved elsewhere, where probably he's attempting the same tricks."

              So, er, you're saying that yelling at him didn't actually solve the problem at all, but just moved it away from where you had to care about it? And that's a reason why it's a good thing?

              "sometimes you encounter people who makes you steam, and you need to let the steam go out for your health's sake."

              ah - so that's the *real* benefit. It was a benefit purely to you, never mind the consequences for anyone else. And hey, maybe you do need to let off steam sometimes. But why not let off steam at the wall, or a sympathetic colleague of choice, rather than yelling at someone, especially if it's not actually going to do them or the project any good at all? Why not consider not just "your health", but the health of the person getting yelled at, and the health of everyone who has to work in the context of the yelling?

              If someone's constantly acting in a way that's a problem for the project, there are practical ways of actually addressing that problem. "Scream abuse at them" is not one of those ways. Also, AFAIK, in most of the cases where Linus lost it at someone, they weren't an ongoing source of problems in the way you describe in your scenario, they were just some poor rando who happened to get their commit reviewed when Linus needed to "let the steam go".

            5. russmichaels

              Re: "a gentle word will probably achieve more than the f-bomb"

              I can relate to that.

              Everyone makes mistakes now and then, but there are a lot of people out there who do sloppy work and simply cannot be bothered to check it properly and do not care what problems it causes for others.

              I have worked with such people, and I cannot think of any instances were asking nicely has helped at all, I can, however, think of several instances where losing my temper and delivering an f-bomb did make a difference.

            6. TG2.2

              Re: "a gentle word will probably achieve more than the f-bomb"

              @anon coward .. :-) reminds me of when I got a Cert'd Network Engineer dismissed because not only did I find him posting our network config on-line and asking if stuff I suggested would work, but then he had the nerve to tell me I couldn't publish *internal* DNS records for facebook, myspace, and other time-wasters that our employees were on at the time.

              I got tired of arguing with him in a meeting about it, went back to my desk, created said zones for internal DNS distribution, sent an email to our boss asking him to go to www.facebook.com on his work computer and waited. Boss called me in, asked me to explain what I did .. I created zones in our Active Directory domain, saying only to our internal offices that *we* were authoritative for "facebook" and set it to a 1 page IIS site on the intranet with a big red stop sign - "Facebook is no longer an allowed destination for company users due to chronic productivity loss" ... I then rolled it out to 35 satellite offices along with 15 other domains we found too many people wasting time on. The following day the "Engineer" was no longer with us, adding one more entry to his 15 jobs in 3 years CV.

          3. Jedipadawan

            Re: That's right Linux community... bend over...

            I do not sense the Linus is exhausted. He makes it clear he is up and ready to keep on with the Linux kernel.

            Putting side the rainbow nature of the CoC - which I hope gets modified for the Linux world - it sounds more like a wake up moment.

            I spent many years in IT and it is true that those that prepfer to commuicate with machines tendto lack empathy and social skills when it comes to other human beings. I think it's partly personality. Using the Myers-Briggs typology as an indicator - just an indicator for reference purposes - the description of the INTP is virtually THE description of the generic coder. I describe this type as; "You think I'm weird, I think you're stupid. Now let me talk to this machine that is more intelligent than you." I'm at the reverse end of the spectrum (INFP) and had to become less co-dependent and more results focused. There is a need to work on the reverse for others!

            Linux has realised he CAN hurt people and it DOES matter after a while. Programmers might well have rhino hides and have a "if you can't take the heat get out of the kitchen approach" but that rarely works in a management role long timer - which is the position Linus is in. The last company I worked for in the UK I understand has moved to a total rule by fear regime and all the old staff have walked out... some of them literally walked out the door, redundancy pay, leave period be stuffed! Even hard nosed, non-people people developers need some recognition and to be treated as human beings.

            Also not that super-ego Steve Jobs had to learn a little humility through his NeXT disaster in order to come back stronger than before. It does not take a lot of humility to leaven the person!

            I hope the CoC is adapted, Linus only said "will be based" not "will be the CoC" and I hope that he stays in and stays code ruthless! But there are ways of doing it and it's best to act nice and move to nasty in a scale when there is a repeated pattern of bad behaviour rather than going straight to asshole! You save that one for last warning before dismissal!

            1. Tom Paine Silver badge

              Re: That's right Linux community... bend over...

              Sorry to break this to you, but Myers-Briggs is widely recognised (at last!) as baloney.

          4. Snow Wombat

            Re: That's right Linux community... bend over...

            yes cos things are going just swimmingly over at Node.js, FreeBSD, Python project.....

          5. bombastic bob Silver badge
            Devil

            Re: That's right Linux community... bend over...

            " You seem to be suggesting that tolerance of other people’s identity, whether sexual, gender, religious, and anything else, is a bad thing. Live and let live."

            I don't think he meant intolerance. When I read the phrase 'rainbow haired pronoun crowd', I see those who seek to foist their version of morality upon the rest of us through political correctness, "all about feelings", yotta yotta.

            'Live and let Live' works _BOTH_ ways, ya know. It's the "force" part that I dislike about the 'rainbow haired pronoun crowd'. [they can be as gay or straight or religious or not, whatever they want, freedom. Just don't take MY freedom away in the process].

            In any case, the 'rainbow haired pronoun crowd' seeks to create chaos, not solve problems. They whine if you don't use the correct term of the day and add "phobe" to many of the adjectives they use about you (and also add 'mis' as a prefix), always a pejorative accusation, always shrill, always irritating and disruptive, and RARELY correct.

            THAT, I am pretty sure, is what Snow Wombat meant when he said 'rainbow haired pronoun crowd'. It's why I like the term. It's perfect.

            (falling into the 'I am offended' or 'he might be offended' trap is too easy. it's best NOT to even go near it. And I chose to use 'he' because it's grammatically correct. HAH!)

            1. Cavanuk

              Re: That's right Linux community... bend over...

              "'Live and let Live' works _BOTH_ ways, ya know."

              No, actually it doesn't. If you have one side calling for tolerance of diversity and another calling for conformity to their idea of normality then it is the latter that has a problem, not the former. Races in a minority did not have to just live and let live with racially offensive words, for example. Rightly, they objected and attitudes changed. The same logic applies to gender and sexuality. If you don't recognize the right of every individual to be who they truly are then it is you that is not following "live and let live".

          6. bussdriver

            Re: That's right Linux community... bend over...

            Sometimes people need to be shaken up. The reason you don't swear all the time is because it has no shock value or meaning if you do. But when you do it shouldn't distract completely from the added emphasis it is supposed to create. These PC fools have a Pavlovian response which brings out their inner Stasi .

            Culture. you have a group of nerds with thick skins who communicate by text; getting the seriousness across requires something different over that medium and to that type of person. This was a community of volunteers who are strong willed to be there in the first place. It has grown large and diverse so it's not the same situation as before. Sticking to the past makes sense because it worked and everybody bitching has zero success at building a world changing volunteer project. At this phase, it's a different game - maybe Linus will decide to go start up new community projects which is where his strongest talent is. What keeps him and many other founders from doing that is because TIME is equated to value. He invested his life into it so letting it go is incredibly hard because of the perceived value to him. There will be other people better suited to be in charge of what it has become; however, I do not expect those to rise to that position if we keep allowing the PC bullies to eliminate all forms of meritocracy.

        2. Justthefacts

          Re: That's right Linux community... bend over...

          “Rainbow-haired pronoun people”

          He finally looked in the mirror and realised that he created and enabled *people like you*. That’s what this is about.

          In your view, bullying people for their gender and sexuality is not just OK but somehow morally *necessary* as a badge of belonging.

          That’s why most women don’t want to be software engineers, and most gay engineers are *still* afraid to come out in their workplace long after the world changed. How many are there in yours? Don’t know? Because *you* are the problem.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: That's right Linux community... bend over...

            This line of argument is really fucking stupid. Nowhere have I ever seen Linus berate anybody over their sexuality, gender, (etc. etc.), the only thing he gives a fuck about in this context is the Kernel.

            1. kain preacher Silver badge

              Re: That's right Linux community... bend over...

              The OP did not mean Linus but was a shot at Sniw

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: That's right Linux community... bend over...

              Bravo. Torvalds might be an excitable, immature and somewhat autistic individual, but he's never gone around making homophobic comments. (Mods, do your stuff please. Not ok.)

          2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: That's right Linux community... bend over...

            "In your view, bullying people for their gender and sexuality is not just OK but somehow morally *necessary* as a badge of belonging."

            I think the objection is to those who bully others who are simply using long-accepted parts of the English language. Personally, as a male, I suppose I would be entitled to object to "my" gender-specific pronouns being used as non-specific* but it's been that way for a long time so I just accept it. And should my wife object if a customer service person (as like as not female) address us as "you guys"? Personally I find the latter a little over-familiar in most contexts but again it's a generally accepted modern usage so I have to take it in my stride.

            The real problem as I see it is the like of the master/slave row. Trying to rewrite much-used technical terminology is just asking for trouble. The next step in that direction would be to argue about the terms used for handedness of threads - or even the very concept of them being handed.

            *They/their seems fairly natural to me, especially used in a context where the gender or even number of those referred ti is unknown. It was in fairly common use when I was young but I think the grammar zealots consider it an incorrect use of the plural although they seem to consider what has now become standard use of the plural for 2nd person. Actually I think so-called plurality in English is rather more complex than the grammar zealots realise but over the years I've dropped they/their but I'm tending to use it more.

            1. AK565

              Re: That's right Linux community... bend over...

              Grammar zealots frequently have poor control of grammar. Asking them to explain the difference between 'who' and 'whom' is frequently quite entertaining.

          3. bombastic bob Silver badge
            Meh

            Re: That's right Linux community... bend over...

            @Justthefacts - if you are offended by the term 'rainbow-haired pronoun people' and simply assume it means 'anti-gay' or 'anti-woman', then you just don't get it. It has nothing to do with sexuality nor discrimination.

            It has *EVERYTHING* to do with being a shrill, irritating, chaos-promoting pain in the butt and "political correctness brownshirt" to those that don't conform to your preconceptions of how other people should behave. Saying "Because *you* are the problem" is an example for why so many of us (Linus included, probably) are so EXASPERATED by political correctness. Unwelcome amateur psychology is only an irritant.

            Like I said earlier, "live and let live" works BOTH ways. And if you and people _LIKE_ you plan on disrupting any office you work at with political correctness fascism, please do not apply where I work. thank you. I like getting WORK done.

            [as for race, sex, behavior, religion, and politics, none of those matter to me. just don't be a pain in the ass with any of it. Consider that religious proselytizing at work has been frowned on for decades. Political correctness should be, too. It's about getting work done. Check your feelings at the door (you can stuff them into your coat pocket).]

            1. This post has been deleted by its author

          4. Ronbo13

            Re: That's right Linux community... bend over...

            Wow that's a lot of hate and blame... and a lot of hypocrisy too. Maybe you're the guy who would benefit from a mirror?

        3. anothercynic Silver badge

          Re: That's right Linux community... bend over...

          @Snow Wombat,

          What's your problem with the rainbow-haired crowd? You won't believe how many rainbow-haired people are excellent and vital contributors to the open source community. And judging people on their hair-colour choice is just... hairist. And why are you so hung up on pronouns? If you want to be known as 'he', fine, or as a 'she', fine... don't apply your binary choices on others who would prefer to be referred to as 'they', or 'it'. Open Source has for a long time been "Live and let live", as long as your code contributes something positive and complies with the rules of the community that you're contributing to. How has it changed?

          As for Linus, it's just about time he realised that he cannot go on like that. If he steps back and takes a breather, then that can only make Linux better. Being a control freak is exhausting... and it's clearly taken a toll.

        4. JDX Gold badge

          Re: That's right Linux community... bend over...

          It doesn't matter how smart or valuable you are to a project, there is no excuse for being a bully. You can be utterly committed to quality while remaining professional and not resorting to personal attacks.

          Nobody who had a boss like Linus would enjoy it. Anyone who was like Linus at work should be fired.

          This whole "genius Aspergus" trope is a tired view of computer programmers from 90s movies. We like watching Dr. House on TV but we don't actually want to work with him or be treated by him. We think Sheldon Cooper is funny because it's a joke.

          It's amazing that one man has remained central to Linux for so long, especially someone like Linus. An OS underpinning the entire internet and technology sector, partly under the dominion of one foul-mouthed, very smart jerk.

          The guy at the top sets the tone for the whole ecosystem. Linux has never managed to shake its reputation of impatient, arrogant nerds attacking new users' questions and that's a)probably why it has never made it to the desktop b)arguably all trickling down from Linus' behaviour. A more human Linus could set a far more pleasant culture by example, which could be great for the OSS community and the world in general.

          As for the "rainbow pronoun" comments - sheesh get a grip.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: That's right Linux community... bend over...

            "Nobody who had a boss like Linus would enjoy it. Anyone who was like Linus at work should be fired."

            But that's just it ... Linus is NOT the boss of the kernel developers. And they are not "at work" in the conventional meaning of the phrase. Applying so-called "normal" standards to FOSS development simply doesn't work. It really is a whole new paradigm. (I shall now refrain from posting for a couple hours, in penance for using the P word.)

          2. TechDrone

            Re: That's right Linux community... bend over...

            One man might have be central to the the linux kernel, but the kernel is not everything.

            He says, typing away on a Linux desktop machine running a GUI by someone who never seems to make the headlines for anything other than delivering a pretty stable and reliable product that just works. I'm looking at you Clem.

            And, incidentally, I spend a lot of time reading various Linux forums and lists and most posts are from people genuinely trying to help others and putting a lot of time into their answers and suggestions.

            By your argument, if the guy at the top is such a jerk, why did Windows become so widespread?

          3. HieronymusBloggs Silver badge

            Re: That's right Linux community... bend over...

            "Nobody who had a boss like Linus would enjoy it."

            I guess it depends on how thin-skinned you are. I've worked for talented but grumpy people whom I have liked and respected. In those cases it was obvious that any swearing wasn't intended as a personal attack, rather an expression of frustration when things weren't going as well as they should.

            Are most people really so sensitive to perceived criticism that they can't tell the difference?

        5. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: That's right Linux community... bend over...

          "rainbow haired pronoun crowd"

          You know, THAT is such a concise and self-descriptive term that I'm going to have to remember it.

          And yeah I hope Linus just needs a break away from THEM, and not from Linux itself. "They" are EXHAUSTING aren't they? Maybe that's their plan, a form of passive-aggressive BULLYING, wearing down the STRONG individuals until they're too tired to continue, with their constant yapping and nipping at your heels.

        6. fidodogbreath Silver badge

          Re: That's right Linux community... bend over...

          I hope he steps away, gets healthy, then kicks back and watches the whole thing burn to the ground as the rainbow haired pronoun crowd destroy it.

          Only abusive straight people can 'do things right?' There's no {point | fun} in even doing something if you can't abuse people in the process? If an abusive straight person is not in charge, Snow Wombat wants the project that runs most of the world's IT infrastructure to crash and burn?

          Lots of bigotry and stupidity to unpack in that statement...

          1. Mark 110

            Re: That's right Linux community... bend over...

            Theres been quite a lot in this thread about the "rainbow haired pronoun crowd". Not sure why. Must have been in the original article somewhere.

            Anyway, as an out of the box WASP, could I just say that anyone that says anything derogatory at work about my gay, trans, black, asian whatever colleagues gets put in their box quite quickly by me. If they don't like it they can deal with HR/union. If their work is crap its nothing to do with the colour of their skin, their gender identity, or their sexuality so why the fuck bring it up.

            Out of work I'd be much less tolerant of intolerance. My god kids are mixed race. Family members aren't straight. Watch who you are insulting.

            1. Updraft102 Silver badge

              Re: That's right Linux community... bend over...

              My interpretation of "rainbow haired pronoun crowd" doesn't imply anything about bigotry against women, gays, transgenders, racial minorities, etc. Straight, white males (who identify as such) can be (and often are) part of the "rainbow haired pronoun" crowd, while a lesbian mixed-race woman often isn't. It's about the people who put identity politics and virtue signalling in front of actually making a good product (*cough* Mozilla *cough*). That's the thing-- the "rainbow haired pronoun" crowd is the most intolerant group out there. Tolerance, in their view, only flows toward people they favor, not to those they don't... and there are LOTS of people they don't favor.

              I'm all in favor of "live and let live." What kind of person you are attracted to, what you think about your physical sex, where your ancestors came from, etc., are not my concern. Are you a good person? Are you conscientious? Can I trust you? If it is a work context, are you qualified? Above all, do you do your job well?

              Notice how being a straight white male doesn't even factor into that? It doesn't. I am prepared to judge the fitness of a given worker on the basis of their work-- a meritocratic approach. The thing is, that's not what the RHPC want or work toward. They'd rather put out a shit product but have all the right kinds of people working on the sinking ship as it slips beneath the waves.

      2. Insert sadsack pun here

        Re: That's right Linux community... bend over...

        "That, and it's entertaining when it hits the news."

        Ahh...so you're saying it's a feature, not a bug?

      3. Ian Joyner Bronze badge

        Re: That's right Linux community... bend over...

        Is Linus really committed to quality?

        If so, he would have adopted a microkernel approach for security, rather than the monolithic kernel for speed. That is speed over quality and security.

        He seemed to use the same tactics in the argument with Andrew Tanenbaum.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanenbaum–Torvalds_debate

      4. Updraft102 Silver badge

        Re: That's right Linux community... bend over...

        I've read a lot about Linus' outbursts, and he's pretty much always right in his rants. It's true that his bombastic (ahem) style of delivering this feedback may be offputting to some (well, to all, if you happen to be the target), but I would imagine that those who work within the kernel project understand that if you try to submit shit to the project, you're going to get called on it, so maybe they won't be inclined to try it. He demands excellence, and if you aren't able to deliver, maybe you could go work for Microsoft, where excellence is not only not demanded, but apparently not permitted.

        I know there are a lot of critics of Linus' style, and it's not the style I would use if I were in his place, but if I or any of Linus' critics were, would the kernel be as good as it is now? I can't say. No one can, including the critics who assure us that the product would be even better if he hadn't scared away talented programmers who happen to be a little less thick-skinned. It's possible that's true, but it's also possible that he's made the product better by accepting nothing that is not up to his standards.

        Linus strikes me as someone who's probably on the autism spectrum, given his obsessiveness, his reclusive nature, and his social difficulties (not understanding or being concerned for the feelings of others is textbook). If so, whatever therapy he gets will have to be tailored to this reality, and trying to make a normal or neurotypical person out of a spectrumite is not going to yield good results.

      5. GayChimera

        Re: That's right Linux community... bend over...

        This.

      6. mutin

        Re: That's right Linux community... bend over...

        Agree. There are A LOT OF MEANS of checking code before sending as a patch. So, sending crap is simply ignorance and wasting of other people's valuable time. Read this humor/anecdote below:

        Doctor looks at a contractor head in emergency room covered with blood. Doctor: What happened, man? Contractor: Well, John dropped his hammer on my head from the roof. Doctor: What did you say? Contractor: I said - You are not entirely right, John!

        Do we expect Torvalds' comment on crap like that? As the center point of HUGE development effort, how much crap he gets for each release?

        Mr. Torvalds, you do not need help. You were 90% right. May be you've been a bit over. But I would not blame a person who gets a dozen of hammers on his head daily!

      7. mutin

        Re: That's right Linux community... bend over...

        My finding after a lot of thinking and re-thinking is: Underlying basic human instinct is not Aggression but Ignorance. How is it related to the matter in question? Ignorance in code development triggers Linus' aggression. Simple like that. No need to consult any doctor or analyst. But he needs some rest definitely. Better where there is no people but sharks. Easier to deal with.

    3. Afernie
      Meh

      Re: That's right Linux community... bend over...

      "RIP Linux... It was nice knowing you.

      Mines the coat with the Microsoft logo on it. I'd be happy to help any of you escape the SJW gulag if you want."

      So... are you saying that if you were to post in Microsoft-related forums with expletive-packed rants (and in your case not-particularly veiled homophobia) nobody would object? I suspect you are incorrect, and I suspect your post tells us more about you than any issue with the Code of Conduct for the Linux Community.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: That's right Linux community... bend over...

        Compare Linux 'code of conduct' with "subjective whatever 'we' FEEL at the moment" which is more like what Micro-shaft forums are like. I've seen it first-hand, especially with the Win-10-nic 'insider' forum at the time Win-10-nic released.

        I'm sure this 'code of conduct' is just a reaction. It'll be modified into something reasonable at some point, assuming that the political correctness nazis aren't the ones behind it.

        I'd just say it in a single statement: "Don't be a pain in the ass". Sorta like "do no harm".

        The FreeBSD code of conduct was a little "rainbowy" but nothing seriously bad enough to stop using the OS nor stop submitting changes/fixes/bugs/etc..

        The code of conduct you should fear should be the SUBJECTIVE kind, which is at the whim of whatever brown-shirted political correctness fascist "feels" at the moment. Otherwise, just interpret some common sense into it, assume that the PC Nazis had their chance to 'contribute' and have some pink liquid to quell the nausea. It'll pass eventually, like a bowel blockage.

    4. Oh Homer
      Meh

      Re: That's right Linux community... bend over...

      Meh, there was a time that I'd have been deeply offended by that sort of comment, but actually I'm now at the stage where I too am sick of PC culture, and that's coming from a proud socialist who believes in equality above all.

      I think I'd have used the "Stasi" analogy rather than "Gulag", though, which makes more sense. Or better yet, "thought crime". There comes a point where the pursuit of fairness actually crosses the line and becomes, ironically, unfair, due to overcompensation. And PC culture today is unquestionably overzealous, in my opinion. But it's difficult to be too critical of something that was initially justified and started out with good intentions.

      It sorely needs to be tempered with some common sense, though. The fact is that we absolutely need the explosive Linus Torvalds' and Gordon Ramsay's of this world, without whom we'd be a much poorer society, in the important cultural sense. You need to balance equality against mediocrity, or else the whole point of equality becomes meaningless.

      I guess I'm just becoming more centrist and less socialist in my old age. I suppose it's the inevitable consequence of hindsight.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: That's right Linux community... bend over...

        "Oh Homer"

        If I could give you 1000 thumbs up I would... I try to remind people that quota's no matter how good the intent is, is communism but hey instead of taking the most talented when you can look like a good ideologue... Ideology rarely make things happen (usually for a special interest only, not everyone), it more often stops things from happening.

        Misunderstand if you want, I don't care anymore I only want equal rules to everyone, no special rights for anyone just equal rights. Remember it is spelled "justice" not "just us", you can't replace bigotry with bigotry no matter how good it feels.

        As for Linus and his language I have always felt that expletives are a great way of instantaneously getting your point across. Whether you like it or not, if you have ever been in a technical meeting you will know this for a fact. There are always people who like to hear them self talk, they like to poke holes in everything (even though there is no, "perfect" solution) without ever having a solution. At one point this kind of passive aggressive behavior needs to be squashed. And yes this does require stern language because most of the people who play these "waist time in board room" games are usually higher on the sociopath spectrum and this is their game. Exploding on them in front of everyone tells them the game is up, stop wasting time, don't say something is done when it clearly isn't. Don't puke crap and call it pure gold, there is way too much of that today.

        That said I will say when you make it personal that is where the problem is, I see absolutely no problems calling something a steaming pile-o-"enter expletive" and say that it is moronic to think this is anywhere near ready, do you think everyone is a fool, stop playing this game or your cut off.

        I have been in IT for almost 30 years and I can say comfortably that at least 1/3 of IT should not be working in the domain, they cause more problems than they are worth. If I was a kernel developer I would consider a Linus rant as a right of passage nothing more. To geniuses we are all stupid, accept it and move on. I would also like to say that every rant I have read (although entertaining) I think was warranted to emphasize that this is serious, not a assignment in university but real world stuff.

        1. Cavanuk

          Re: That's right Linux community... bend over...

          "I try to remind people that quota's (sic) no matter how good the intent is, is (sic) communism"

          If you have a company with a large enough workforce, and they are predominantly of one gender or race with no valid reason, then it indicates a racist environment. It simply is. Numerous studies have shown that racism exists in the recruiting process, intentional or otherwise.

          Quotas are "equal rights". They force companies to resist bias.

          Cue the down-votes. I didn't realize how many bigots actually followed El Reg until seeing the comments and votes here today. And we wonder why women receive so much flak from the IT community and stay away.

  2. swm Bronze badge

    Congratulations

    It is rare for someone to admit their faults and do something about it. I hope this is a success for Linus Torvalds and linux.

    1. Ole Juul

      Re: Congratulations

      This is a good step. Congratulations indeed.

    2. Mayday Silver badge

      Re: Congratulations

      Totally agree.

      Good on him for actually being able to realise and get help for it. Not everyone can of course and it isn't always that simple.

      Others in similar positions should hopefully be able to do the same. I'm looking at you Mr Musk.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Congratulations

        Absolutely.

        If there's one thing that History shows us, it's that focussed leaders who will not compromise on quality or security and who have headed revolutionary products for decades create bad products compared to teams of management graduates who understand team-building because they went on a course about it once.

        So yeah, Elon. You'd better stop giving your all to working towards your dreams, or else!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Congratulations

          " it's that focussed leaders who will not compromise on quality or security and who have headed revolutionary products for decades create bad products compared to teams of management graduates who understand team-building because they went on a course about it once."

          If you look at really big projects like CERN, or mainstream car builders, Boeing or Airbus, that's pretty much correct (except that European managers tend to be much,much better trained than Anglophone ones.) Then there's the armed forces, also highly trained in management and co-operation. Part of Eisenhower's genius was applying management techniques to invading Europe.

          Every project tends to need a Type A person or three to kick it off and establish the outlines. But when it becomes an essential part of a lot of people's work, it needs the skilled administrators to keep the edifice functioning. The difficulty is usually for the founder to let go, while experiencing growing frustration because there are things outside his (or her, in some cases) control. One startup I worked for, the wife of the founder demanded he take a month off in the West Indies away from the phone. It probably saved his sanity.

          Unfortunately there are always people like you about, willing to worship the Type As and validate their view of the world when you should be whispering in their ear "Remember, O Caesar, that thou art mortal".

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "Part of Eisenhower's genius was applying management techniques to invading Europe."

            Yet it had to remove Patton because his habit of yelling at people. Just, he was one of his most skilled generals.

            Maybe Clark yelled less to subordinates, but he was an arrogant too - he lost the opportunity to cut the German withdrawal because he wanted to enter Rome first, and be crowned "Caesar" there.... just his glory dreams were cut short because of D-Day two days after...

            Eisenhower also made big mistakes once in France - as attacking on a too broad front - which probably prolonged the war, albeit a lot was also due to British and US generals unable to look beyond their petty career...

          2. Terry 6 Silver badge

            Re: Congratulations

            And..

            He's not going to be around forever. At some point the great ctl-alt-delete will get to him too. If the project is balanced on the single point of one person bullying it along it is doomed.

        2. Stork Bronze badge

          Re: Congratulations

          I don't have a problem with Mr Musks dreams. I am just not convinced of the public subsidies for them.

        3. Orv Silver badge

          Re: Congratulations

          Elon Musk's problem is not that he won't compromise. It's that he won't delegate. Maybe he sees the two things as the same, which is a serious problem. You just can't run a company the size of his companies while micro-managing every detail on the ground; you have to learn to hire smart people and trust them to make the right calls. Otherwise you become a choke point for the whole operation, as Elon is now. While a lot of people saw him pulling all-nighters at the factory as heroic, I saw it as a serious warning sign.

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Congratulations

      "I hope this is a success for Linus Torvalds and linux."

      I also hope normal service is resumed as soon as someone tries to slip some nonsense into the kernel and won't take a polite "no" for an answer. The Code of Conduct referenced includes something about accepting constructive criticism. AFAICS the outbursts have followed failures of that..

    4. GayChimera

      Re: Congratulations

      Nah, he is cowering before the diversity industry. He is a remarkable person who did something amazing and he is giving in to the will of the unremarkables. This will eventually kill Linux if the course isn't corrected or an alternate course isn't forged.

  3. ZenCoder
    Thumb Up

    Good for him.

    The man has taken a good hard look at the toxic way he sometimes communicates and plans on taking a break so that he can come back with a more positive and productive attitude.

    I agree with him on his technical points but I'm sure over time he can learn to communicate those in a respectful and professional way.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Good for him.

      I sort of know this behaviour - not as strong, but I get really p'd off at people who are plain and provably wrong, and really have the urge to tell them they are morons (they are, to me, at that point). Time taught me not to do this. And the whole social interaction / emotion stuff is... tough. I have some colleagues that are really good at that (and still great in what they are doing), and that sort of showed me where my skills are lacking. Self awareness is the first step to improving things. I hope.

      And to those who now go "boo-hoo, he is now all PC and bowing to the pressure of $(group)":

      He is not (and your ID should be 10-t for starting this "discussion"). Telling people publicly they are idiots and insulting them and their family tree is not "free speech", it is not "talking true". Your freedom stops where mine starts - and vice versa. Plus you just cannot have a civilised discussion based on facts in an environment like this.

      Linus Torvalds is not going to stop complaining about bad code or admitting bad code into the kernel. He is going to be (hopefully) a bit more civilised and no longer doing an ad hominem when pointing out mistakes.

      1. SolidSquid

        Re: Good for him.

        Well, technically it would probably fall under free speech, and doesn't inherently infringe on your rights, but it certainly is being a dick. Good to see he's willing to learn and improve himself

    2. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
      Linux

      Re: Good for him.

      The man has taken a good hard look at the toxic way he sometimes communicates and plans on taking a break so that he can come back with a more positive and productive attitude.

      I can't help but think that this may be partly why he decided to holiday in Edinburgh while the Linux kernel dev summit was happening in Canada.

      Unfortunately the organisers deciding to move that to Edinburgh may have thwarted his plans for getting the break away from it all he desired and deserved.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Good for him.

        "Unfortunately the organisers deciding to move that to Edinburgh may have thwarted his plans for getting the break away from it all he desired and deserved."

        That's the way it looked to me. I wonder that Mrs. T made of it all.

  4. Randall Shimizu

    My guess is that Linus is to isolated in his work and need to get used to working with other people.

    1. baud

      Linus has been working with other people since the Kernel's start, he's used to it. But perhaps he just want to take a break to deal with prima donna and dimwits who want to push crap in the kernel.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So when they bifu it,

    [because fork may be taken as offensive over a noisy line] will it be the Code of Conduct Kernel, or HEBIRD for short?

    FWIW, I tried to look at the link, and the meta frills were bigger than the entire document should be. Has anybody made it to the end of the thing and can tell me if it has the "assume good faith" it desperately needs?

    What's wrong again with "Don't be a dick. Don't be a pussy.", other than the wording?

  6. jake Silver badge

    Don't let the namby-pambys run the Kernel, Linus!

    From my perspective, Linus only gets bent out of shape after all other methods bounce off cloth ears. Contributors get plenty of warning when they are messing up. Really. I've been contributing to the kernel for a quarter century now on and off, and have made a couple very stupid mistakes along the way. Yet I've never even been growled at. Because I figure out where I went wrong, acknowledge the issue, fix it, and move on. The only people who get yelled at NEED yelling at, IMO.

    If Linus gives in to the holier-than-thou "I'm offended on the behalf of others" set (see the master/slave bullshit elsewhere), it'll be the beginning of a long, drawn-out slide into mediocrity. It is precisely his abrasive style WHERE NEEDED that has kept the kernel on track all these years.

    On the other hand, devs could get "time outs" instead of being yelled at. They could have "do overs" when they break something. Every dev should get a trophy. Yeah, that's it. Treat the developers like a bunch of spoiled rotten children, I'm sure that'll make things all better.

    1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

      Re: Don't let the namby-pambys run the Kernel, Linus!

      I don't think the argument is that Linux needs to stop telling people off: It's that he needs to do it in a less aggressive/abusive/bullying manner. I can't think of any environment where being so abusive to your subordinates is allowed.

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
        Linux

        Re: Don't let the namby-pambys run the Kernel, Linus!

        He could still do the telling off but in private rather than on the kernel mailing list.

        1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

          @Steve Davies 3 Re: Don't let the namby-pambys run the Kernel, Linus!

          He could still do the telling off but in private rather than on the kernel mailing list.

          Even if he does that, he still needs to do it in a less aggressive manner. Bullying in private is still bullying.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: @Steve Davies 3 Don't let the namby-pambys run the Kernel, Linus!

            One wonders how many folks who consider Linus a "bully" have actually worked alongside him on the kernel for any length of time ... and how many are simply reacting to what they think they know as "fact" based on a couple of cases reported here at ElReg and other places, primarily as click-bait.

            Speaking from experience, he starts with private email, asking something along the lines of "Are you sure you want to do ::that::? Because ::this:: will result, which isn't good". It's only after the idiot ignores the hint, takes it public, and then continues after getting a gentle smack or five, that the full blown bollocking commences.

            And it only happens a couple times per year. You lot seem to think it's a daily (or hourly) occurrence. It ain't. Because most folks on the KML are both smart and reasonable, and NOT prima-donnas. The Poetterings and Sievers of the world are (thankfully) few and far between.

            Frankly, I think Linus has shown incredible restraint, given the extremely large herd of cats that he is trying to keep in the worm can beyond the open stable door ...

            1. SolidSquid

              Re: @Steve Davies 3 Don't let the namby-pambys run the Kernel, Linus!

              See, that seems like a much more reasonable approach, and if he was doing that when he moved to a more public forum as well I don't think anyone would have an issue with it. I think I'd agree he isn't actually a bully, but he does seem to have a temper which gives him a bad name and discourages people from contributing to the kernel in case they set him off

            2. Terry 6 Silver badge

              Re: @Steve Davies 3 Don't let the namby-pambys run the Kernel, Linus!

              Sounds like a fair point. He's got the results. Ultimately his developer community will do what it does because it wants to. And what will happen will happen.

            3. JLV Silver badge
              Thumb Up

              Re: @Steve Davies 3 Don't let the namby-pambys run the Kernel, Linus!

              +1, but, IMHO, you can achieve the same results more dispassionately.

              "Your code is inadequate, badly designed, has repeatedly caused problems and we will not accept your contributions anymore"

              (feel feel to prefix with, "Dear Mr. Poettering,".)

              If you add a few F-bombs, even if they are well-justified, that detracts from the message. "Oh, yeah, Joe, he's always a bit colorful, ain't he?". The polite version is a more effective professional-level torpedo, because it is all about the code and the person delivering it, not about the gatekeeper's conduct. Note that it is not even "only about the code", but also about the person's work. As it should in egregious cases.

              In the case of Poettering, Linus has never hidden his dislike of P's contributions but has still not managed to keep it from creeping into, and coupling (tech-wise) heavily with much of Linux. Perhaps a more stick-to-the-point approach, less liable to be brushed off as temperamental, might have kept systemd in its place (i.e. limited to being a _humble_ service manager). I don't know. I do know even Linus' uncompromising position did not avoid this regrettable outcome.

              The new CoC is pretty short and quite fluff-free. It would be refreshing to see something like it replace many other projects' tedious CoC.

              However, I do wonder one particular line of the CoC, under the examples section:

              "Trolling, insulting/derogatory comments, and personal or political attacks"

              "insulting/deregatory" seem well-aimed at Linus' occasional outbursts and liable to whack him if he steps out of line again. I wonder if we, as Kremlin-watchers of old, can infer a palace coup.

              Linus is probably among the top dozen or so people that have achieved major technical changes in the last 20 years. He's shown, with git, that he isn't a one trick pony and can truly innovate. I hope that he can take this gentle remonstration, remain intransigent when needed while remaining polite and continue his excellent work.

              If he gets sidelined, then I fear we've lost more than we've gained, despite the kernel contributors' right to be treated in a civil manner.

          2. HieronymusBloggs Silver badge

            Re: @Steve Davies 3 Don't let the namby-pambys run the Kernel, Linus!

            "Even if he does that, he still needs to do it in a less aggressive manner."

            If I made a stupid mistake and someone punched me in the face I'd consider it aggressive. A bit of swearing? Not so much.

            It sounds to me like Linus is feeling burned out.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Don't let the namby-pambys run the Kernel, Linus!

        "I can't think of any environment where being so abusive to your subordinates is allowed."

        But can you also think of any other product on such a scale developed in that way? From TFA "10,000 developers from more than 1,200 organizations worldwide" all of whom are self-selected and over whom Linus has none of the conventional managerial options: he doesn't hire or fire (although he does have the option of refusing patches which isn't quite the same thing). He doesn't write annual reviews, recommend or withhold raises or promotions or award bonuses.

        One has to conclude that having held that process together over so many years to produce a successful product he might be doing something right.

        1. Someone Else Silver badge

          @ Doctor Syntax -- Re: Don't let the namby-pambys run the Kernel, Linus!

          One has to conclude that having held that process together over so many years to produce a successful product he might be doing something right.

          One can to the right thing the wrong way. I'm not sure the ends justify the means, even in Linux kernel-land. I mean, why not simply state, "Your fix is not going into the kernel, period.", as opposed to a 15-paragraph rant with f-bombs and s-bombs and a paragraph on the back of each one to be used against them in a court of law?

          1. Orv Silver badge

            Re: @ Doctor Syntax -- Don't let the namby-pambys run the Kernel, Linus!

            Yup. Telling someone "no" is what matters. Unloading all his personal angst onto them in the form of profanity may make him feel better, but it's not going to result in better code. "The beatings will continue until morale improves" rarely works as a management strategy.

            1. Charles 9 Silver badge

              Re: @ Doctor Syntax -- Don't let the namby-pambys run the Kernel, Linus!

              ""The beatings will continue until morale improves" rarely works as a management strategy."

              What happens, usually? A crewless ship (as I tend to see this most often associated with ships where options are...few)?

          2. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: @ Doctor Syntax -- Don't let the namby-pambys run the Kernel, Linus!

            "One can to the right thing the wrong way. I'm not sure the ends justify the means, even in Linux kernel-land. I mean, why not simply state, "Your fix is not going into the kernel, period.", as opposed to a 15-paragraph rant with f-bombs and s-bombs and a paragraph on the back of each one to be used against them in a court of law?"

            AFAIK, there's only ONE justification for going into a tirade: because they just won't take NO for an answer. And even then there's the risk of getting into a shouting match. At least with online there's no chance of it immediately escalating to fisticuffs which is what usually happens in a shouting match between two parties who each believe he/she is in the right.

      3. Jedipadawan

        Re: Don't let the namby-pambys run the Kernel, Linus!

        >I don't think the argument is that Linux needs to stop telling people off: It's that he needs to do it in a less aggressive/abusive/bullying manner.

        That's my take on it too.

        > I can't think of any environment where being so abusive to your subordinates is allowed.

        Oooohhh, I know lots of places where that has been the case. My last two employers for a start. It does not end well.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Don't let the namby-pambys run the Kernel, Linus!

      Unless there was a Magna Carta moment and the senior staff (those just under Linus) threatened a coup of some sort.

    3. Nick Kew Silver badge

      Re: Don't let the namby-pambys run the Kernel, Linus!

      Jake, I think I can identify with what you're saying.

      The other side you need to look at is how you feel and act in your own niche. Where you're in charge and taking contributions from others. Some good, some dodgy, and some bloomin' impossible to evaluate. And differing attitudes from the contributors, with attitudes having no correlation with quality. When someone's quality is suspect and their attitude insistent, you might feel the need to put them down, right?

      Now for most of us, our own God niche is small, and the amount of contributions coming our way is manageable. Linus, by contrast, is God in a very big world. That's a lot of pressure to deal with. Perhaps he does sometimes deliver put-downs beyond where they're well-deserved?

    4. Chronos Silver badge

      Re: Don't let the namby-pambys run the Kernel, Linus!

      @jake: This. A thousand times this. The last thing we need is some touchy-feely commune with yurts, natural fibres and tofu-based nutritional snacks where nothing gets done but ever so politely and ecologically.

      While I do feel that profanity should be more seasoning than sauce, the result of cooking without seasoning isn't exactly something you'd want to eat.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Checks Calendar...

    ...nope, not April 1st. Hmmmm.

  8. Nick Kew Silver badge

    Takes one to know one

    Re your last paragraph. Garrett himself is not immune to some pretty strong rants, including passive-aggressive (that I wouldn't like to be on the wrong side of) and in-your-face SJW. But following his blog (which I do via Planet Debian) is worth it for the good stuff that, for me, clearly outweighs the bad.

    Birds of a feather there?

  9. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. TonyJ Silver badge

      Re: For fucks sake

      "...Next - let's make sure that kernel code is following some visual basic coding standard to make it more accessible, draw up the mandatory female, trans and other queers quota in the commits history, ensure that community is friendly with other major ecosystem competitors and do not ignore attempts by respected community members like Oracle and Microsoft to add their compatibility layers and APIs for the benefit of the ecosystem...

      What a drivel. Linus has joined the loonie bin :(..."

      What a charming individual you aren't.

      1. Nick Kew Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        Re: For fucks sake

        Erm, the post TonyJ quoted was pretty unpleasant, but did it really need to be moderated away?

        I thought my downvote was an appropriate level of reaction!

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: For fucks sake

          Concur, Nick.

        2. Havin_it

          Re: For fucks sake

          Nah. All the downvotes in the world don't tell the poster that throwing around homophobic slurs (thanks for the repro, @TonyJ) is not OK with the Reg. For a lot of such specimens it only emboldens them. Nuking their post (with presumably a ban-warning given behind the scenes) tells them they're in a place that won't stand for that shit.

  10. Matthew Taylor

    His own idea?

    In these paranoid times, one can't help but worry that Linus is withdrawing at gunpoint. Hopefully the impetus for this change came from within, and just reflects Linus wishing to mellow out and manage his blood pressure as he gets older.

  11. Warm Braw Silver badge

    I blame the source code management...

    Typing "git" constantly can't to anything for the civility of your general demeanour.

    Perhaps it could be rebranded "pet" or "luv"?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I blame the source code management...

      Is that before or after GIMP gets a rename?

      (Though I'm still waiting on an open source JS project for applying filters to social network based in Shoreditch called wankr or some such...)

      As for swearing... Linus is on the same level as my manager. You very quickly learn to be good enough not to induce his ire. So I'm farely nonplussed by it.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Trollface

      Re: I blame the source code management...

      We could always move to Mercurial.

      1. Nick Kew Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: I blame the source code management...

        Mycho, I hereby charge you with subversion.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I blame the source code management...

          Still, it's worth remembering that Git was absolutely written in anger. Linux was developed using BitKeeper as the version control system until the sudden announcement that all versions of BitKeeper would now have to be paid for. Days later Linus released the first version of Git.

          He has later claimed that it was a light-hearted bit of self-deprecation and, like Linux, it is named after him. I don't believe him.

          1. JLV Silver badge

            Re: I blame the source code management...

            He, he, it's a bit more involved than that. I don't recall seeing whether Linus thought the kernel community had acted in good faith or not, but he's the one who had advocated Bitkeeper so he worked out an alternative.

            https://www.infoworld.com/article/2670360/operating-systems/linus-torvalds--bitkeeper-blunder.html

            and, yes, this article was written before git came out.

          2. Havin_it

            Re: I blame the source code management...

            As I recall, the main target of Linus's anger at the time was Andrew Tridgell, for coming out with the reverse-engineered BK client that provoked BK's owner to withdraw the free-beer client license for kernel devs. If git was named for any one person at that time it was probably Tridge.

            However, the very swift appearance of git in the wake of BK's move did make me wonder whether Linus had already been working towards dumping BK for some time, having tacitly acknowledged the complaints from many around him about the risks of adopting it in the first place.

    3. Paul 75

      Re: I blame the source code management...

      I reckon he chose the word "git" since it is one character quicker to type than "twat" :D

  12. VikiAi Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Seriously people? (the whiny ones, that is). I had to do exactly the same thing as Linus a few months ago. The only difference is I'm not famous, so no-one noticed. And it had nothing to do with what other people thought of me: I don't even have a peer group to pressure me. I simply noticed one day that the real me had some rather jarring disparities with the me-as-I-imagine-myself and had to take a long moment to correct my reality back towards my self-image.

  13. simonb_london

    The cure

    Nothing a good few doses of Aya can't fix.

  14. rjed

    thank you Linus .. to say the least

    Well done with the apology. But please do maintain the ZEAL.

  15. Anonymous IV

    Comparison

    Linus's [former] behaviour would never have been tolerated at Microsoft, would it?!

    Oh, wait...

  16. LDS Silver badge
    Joke

    Lots of punny El Reg headlines and readers clicks going away...

    ... just let's hope keeping all that steam inside won't hurt Linus...

  17. Giovani Tapini Silver badge

    I must say that sometimes he seems to have a point

    Although describing even minor mistakes with crackling vituperation does seem a bit on the er, emotional side.

    I wish more developer leads had the vision and balls to stick to it instead of asking to implement a new technology every 6 months instead of having a strategy.

    Keep the steel Linus, just moderate the language a bit!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I must say that sometimes he seems to have a point

      "just moderate the language a bit!"

      Why moderate the language? There can't really be words that make folk blush or collapse into an offended heap once past 12 years old?

      By all means don't make it personal - but if you're of working age and a swear word makes you blue screen, maybe it's time to pass your job onto a grown-up.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I must say that sometimes he seems to have a point

        "By all means don't make it personal - but if you're of working age and a swear word makes you blue screen, maybe it's time to pass your job onto a grown-up."

        I once worked for a US corp where public swearing by exempt staff was likely to be a career terminating experience. Cultures vary. Implying that this is a matter of being grown up or not is, simply, unhelpful - and wrong.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: I must say that sometimes he seems to have a point

      "Although describing even minor mistakes with crackling vituperation does seem a bit on the er, emotional side."

      As has been pointed out here a number of times the vituperation only comes in the most egregious situations where the developer hasn't responded to more gentle persuasion. Oddly enough neither el Reg nor anyone else posts regular articles on the lines of "Linus politely rejects a patch". Or maybe not oddly because it would quickly get boring.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Linus moving the Linux Kernel Maintainers' Summit

    Umm, Mr Williams? The very El Reg article you have linked this to says that a) it was the summit organising committee and not Linus that changed the location, and that b) it was done *in spite of* Linus's suggestion to go ahead without him.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Linus moving the Linux Kernel Maintainers' Summit

      Isn't it the worst thing when you just want a holiday to get away from it all but they still won't leave you alone?

      I guess he realised he was just a step away from a Musk-style meltdown after the travelling circus announced it was following him and decided that if he wasn't going to be allowed a holiday then outside help would be the best way to manage the pressure he's under. Lucky him, at least he's got that option.

      It also strikes me as a very American solution, you ask for holiday but we'll still badger you anyway because we don't actually know what a holiday is, but a shrink is wonderful and we'll let you have some time off for that. All he needed to do was turn off the phone and see a bunch of castles and some scenery in Scotland and come back refreshed.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Linus moving the Linux Kernel Maintainers' Summit

        "see a bunch of castles and some scenery in Scotland"

        Don't be mean. Allow him a few distilleries as well.

  19. seskin

    Well that's depressing. I'm with the author of: https://medium.com/@infiltrator7n/deconstructing-coraline-ada-ehmke-s-contributor-covenant-and-why-it-s-foolish-801e1564afe4 on why these CoCs are a load of unnecessary drama. Linus... don't do it. Continue being as brutal as needed when it comes to your opinion of other peoples code. The kernel would be a real mess by now if you didn't care as much as you do about the quality.

    1. Nick Kew Silver badge

      these CoCs are a load of unnecessary drama

      Are they?

      Perhaps they serve a useful purpose. Give the idiots something to argue incessantly, while the rest of us get on with our work.

      If the hot air is filling your developer forum, you may want to exercise a little diplomacy. Give them a new forum, and make it clear that's where Really Important Things happen. Or create your own new forum, with a name that makes it look a bit too specialist for them.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        "Give them a new forum, and make it clear that's where Really Important Things happen."

        The B ark solution. I like it.

  20. Christian Berger Silver badge

    I'm worried

    Although treating each other well is a great thing to do, CoCs have been abused over and over again both with and without intention.

    We need strong gatekeepers to the Linux kernel, because bugs in it can habe terrible consequences. Considering we currently have an oversupply of people who want to program in "Open Source" projects with most of them not yet being good enough for kernel code, we already see a presure of bad code getting into the kernel.

  21. Terry 6 Silver badge

    From the outside looking in..

    The man's behaviour, over the years, has been appalling by normal standards.

    But since he's in a reasonably safe place, society wise, being neither a politician nor a businessman (as such), maybe his behaviour is just something that has to be accepted. You don't have to work alongside him. But that's like seeing the development world as a kind of digital Wild West.

    The above comments that say in effect "if you get abused it's your own fault" can only apply if abuse is at least proportionate. And. If too many good programmers choose not to work alongside him, then he is damaging the project. Also if people argue, as they would out in the rest of the world, that no abuse is appropriate ( as would I) then that has to be taken into account too.

    The danger is that otherwise you get into the "If you don't want to sleep with the producer don't go into acting" kind of argument.

    1. DropBear Silver badge

      Re: From the outside looking in..

      By definition, by keeping out anyone who would be deterred by what he does, he was doing the project a priceless service. So nope.

  22. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Nice One, Linus ..... Onwards and Upwards to Further Leading Areas of Virtual Expertise

    more than a few folks have questioned whether or not flipping his lid and launching, in their opinion, abusive tirades is the best way to encourage programmers to join the effort and foster good engineering.

    Good programmers would realise the pressures which build and simply ignore all frustrated rantings and just wait for SMARTR ACTivity [that which Torvalds is now undertaking] to kick in and appear.

    And just in case you still don't yet know ...... SMARTR Mentored Analysis Reporting Titanic Research Advanced Cyber Treatment is where IT is All at Nowadays? :-)

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Nice One, Linus ..... Onwards and Upwards to Further Leading Areas of Virtual Expertise

      Careful there. I managed to parse of it.

  23. _LC_ Bronze badge
    Coat

    Linux has become too big

    Linux has become too big. If he were amongst coders only, this wouldn't even be an issue. I'm used to language far worse than that. It's not a problem when you know that those people don't mean you any harm. It's even funny quite often.

    I haven't met that many 'faint-hearted' programmers. I wouldn't know even one who would get aggressive, if you insulted his mother. They can see the wink in there. That's how it should be.

    But ... this is different now. Linux has grown. You have to deal with 'certain polished personalities' now. Good luck Linus!

    1. Christian Berger Silver badge

      Re: Linux has become too big

      Well yes, but Linux being big, in terms of LoC is one of the reason we need a good gatekeeper.

      Every line of code is dangerous. Therefore we need to weigh the benefits against the problems. Inexperienced programmers often underestimate the problems and overestimate the benefits of new code.

      It's in a way like in a surgery room, you don't want to many unqualified people in there.

      1. _LC_ Bronze badge

        Re: Linux has become too big

        There's no contradiction between that and what I'm saying. The tone in which he rejects code will not be particularly relevant. Besides, I'm more worried about all those people who smuggle in back doors professionally. The monolithic core and the innumerable drivers are almost an invitation to do so.

      2. oiseau Silver badge
        Stop

        Re: Linux has become too big

        ... you don't want to many any unqualified people in there.

        I think it reads much better now.

        Yes?

        Cheers.

  24. sabroni Silver badge

    So sad

    That people seem to genuinely feel that there's no way to be strict in software development without being an arse. Linus seems to have finally realised that the two are unrelated, when will his religious followers?

  25. DropBear Silver badge
    Devil

    Classic strategy...

    ...catch someone on the wrong foot in a moment of weakness (such as that whole conference snafu), actually more or less at fault for something, then throw your entire little black book of personal grievances at them together with whatever agenda you may feel like pushing to get them to cave and feel like they've been doing something horribly wrong. Just make sure to fully harness that delicious, delicious guilt and look as righteous as you can while attacking your victim as savagely as possible, so as to not ruin the illusion.

    You may have fallen but you shall not be forgotten, Linus. And all the fucking perkeleen vittupää in the world are welcome to go suck raw eggs, through a very thin straw (substitute at your discretion with whatever you reckon I'm actually thinking of).

  26. Vanir

    Code reviews are for

    analysing and assessing code for quaility and fitness for purpose; to be accepted into the production codebase.

    There's more to it of course. The reviewer usually knows the capability and experience of the coder and this has to be taken into account. The review can also act as a learning experience for both parties.

    Although I have enjoyed Linus Torvalds rants I feel he does not use his programming talents to the full in his reviewing of submitted code. Critque the code, suggest improvements, help the coder understand your reasoning for any perceived 'poor coding'.

    Keep calm and carry on coding Linus. :-)

    1. Christian Berger Silver badge

      Re: Code reviews are for

      An interresting question here would be if we should have "anonymous" code reviews. Under such a CoC people could complain about being treated unfairly if they code gets a really bad review.

      1. Orv Silver badge

        Re: Code reviews are for

        Considering that it's been shown (although not necessarily in the kernel) that the same code submitted with a female name is more likely to be rejected than code submitted with a male name, anonymous reviews may not be a terrible idea.

    2. Ian Joyner Bronze badge

      Re: Code reviews are for

      Code reviews in C are often to manually do what a compiler can automatically pick up. Code reviews really should be at a higher level of abstraction.

      As for reviewing for style - style should be provided by an editor.

  27. ForthIsNotDead
    Meh

    Aspergers

    If you spoke to people at work the way he does you'd get fired.

    If you spoke to people in the pub the way he does, you'd get your nose broken.

    Why is he so special?

    If he Aspergers to such an extent that he truly cannot empathise with other humans, then he shouldn't be doing the job he is doing.

    Does he treat his wife the way he treats his developers?

    What about his children?

    Why should anyone have to put up with such behaviour?

    1. DavCrav Silver badge

      Re: Aspergers

      "Why should anyone have to put up with such behaviour?"

      They don't have to put up with it. If they don't like it, then off they can fuck.

      What is the problem here? He doesn't pay them, he isn't running a business, he's not a politician. He's a guy with a really large computer package to maintain, and you are sending him shit code. Hand-crafting an e-mail that tells you your code is shit and you must be shit for submitting it at this stage, while making sure not to offend your delicate sensibilities, takes a lot longer than writing "Your code is shit. Sort it out or get bent." And he doesn't have the time to run after other people's feelings.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Aspergers

        > If they don't like it, then off they can fuck.

        That's what's called libertarianism by fascists.

        1. HieronymusBloggs Silver badge

          Re: Aspergers

          "That's what's called libertarianism by fascists."

          It's a voluntary software project, not a society. Please grow up.

        2. DavCrav Silver badge

          Re: Aspergers

          "That's what's called libertarianism by fascists."

          It's his Linux. If you don't like it, you have three options:

          1) Fork it;

          2) Fuck off;

          3) Moan incessantly on social media and lead a hate campaign to try to force him to resign for the sake of his own health.

          Which one is the intolerant, illiberal one, do you think?

          1. Orv Silver badge

            Re: Aspergers

            If he's free to yell at people, other people are free to ask him not to because they think it's hurting a project they care about. He's also free to tell them to take a hike, and they're free to stop contributing or make their own fork. But there's nothing inherently wrong with saying, "Hey, dude, take it down a notch."

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Aspergers

      If you spoke to people at work the way he does you'd get fired.

      Where do you work that is devoid of people like this? At my last job a senior staff member punched me and people thought it was funny.

    3. jake Silver badge

      Re: Aspergers

      "Will no one think of the chillllllllldren?"

      Can you please point out all the children actively working on the kernel, and getting treated like the chattel they obviously are by Linus? No? Then what the fuck are you babbling about?

      "Why should anyone have to put up with such behaviour?"

      Nobody has to. It's not obligatory. No arm twisting or other coercion is involved. Get this: they actually choose to participate, of their own free will. And they can come and go as they see fit. If you don't like it, that's OK, nobody asked you to join in on the fun anyway.

      Hope this helps, have a nice day.

      (Does the word "perspective" even exist anymore? That's rhetorical.)

    4. Lusty

      Re: Aspergers

      @ForthIsNotDead that's a pretty intolerant view you have there.

      Aspergers is a mental condition and is not something you can choose to do or not do. It's like any other disability except is not visible. What you are suggesting is akin to demanding those lazy wheelchair users just get up and walk. They aren't lazy, they just can't walk.

      If he truly does have Aspergers then I'll be surprised if what he's trying to do will make a real long term difference. The issue isn't just acting differently it's perceiving the world differently. As an Aspie myself (I have a diagnosis) I've been in many situations where people I trust are telling me I'm in the wrong yet when I review all the facts I still don't see an issue. Linus is likely the same, as he said in the note that he's gone for years sometimes without reading the situation the way others do. His reactions are perfectly reasonable for his perception of the situation, and that's the part that's almost impossible to fix.

      He will ALWAYS see these people as incompetent morons. Some of them probably are. Others just aren't communicating in a way that an Aspie can understand.

      "If you spoke to people at work the way he does you'd get fired."

      Not if you have a diagnosis, that would be illegal in most countries as disability discrimination. More likely your company would have to help you in day to day life, for instance by providing a mentor to discuss reactions before responding. We can recognise inflammatory wording, so it's possible to train ourselves to get a third party perspective before hitting send. Of course, just because we can spot it, doesn't mean we think we need another opinion - another issue!

      1. Orv Silver badge

        Re: Aspergers

        Not if you have a diagnosis, that would be illegal in most countries as disability discrimination.

        One interesting question that's starting to come up for employers is "if you have an employee with Asperger's that's stalking another employee, which wins, the right to not be fired for a disability or the right to not have a hostile work environment?"

        I've faced this issue in my own personal life, with people who make my life difficult by stalking me and my friends but that I know are doing it because of mental illness, not malice. At what point is it OK to close the door?

    5. Paul 75
      Angel

      Re: Aspergers

      He's not got Aspergers, he's just Finnish

    6. HieronymusBloggs Silver badge

      Re: Aspergers

      "If you spoke to people at work the way he does you'd get fired."

      In a lot of cases the person being sworn at would have been fired for incompetence or a disruptive attitude long before Linus' outburst in any conventional workplace. It's almost like context isn't a thing, judging by many of the comments here.

  28. Dabbb Bronze badge

    Time for Linus to retire.

    Kernel will be largely irrelevant once Lennart reimplements it in systemd.

    1. _LC_ Bronze badge

      Re: Time for Linus to retire.

      *lol* YMMD

      Indeed. Poettering is far worse. I've seen him "kicking down" another coder during a presentation, while holding a beer bottle in his hand and feeling like god. He was mean in way that was meant to hurt, lacking every substance. Linus is in no way like that.

    2. stiine Bronze badge

      Re: Time for Linus to retire.

      I had the same thoughts, remembering PulseAudio, zeroconf, and of course, systemd. He's going to take over and make popcorn out of Linux.

  29. Chairman of the Bored Silver badge

    Good on you Linus

    Nothing is so hard as to change our own behavior at middle age. It's taken me decades to move past some of the sharper uses of my tongue, and I still f$ck up routinely, but I'm a more effective engineer when I have self control.

    Where it gets difficult is when something happens that requires the strongest possible condemnation, and when working with former NCOs who speak entirely in acronyms and curses...

  30. WotNoMems

    Correction: Linus didn't have the summit moved to suit his holiday plans.

    https://lists.linuxfoundation.org/pipermail/ksummit-discuss/2018-September/005308.html

  31. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

    I'll get flamed for this...

    ... but should I switch to Windows now that nobody's at the helm of Linux?

    1. stiine Bronze badge

      Re: I'll get flamed for this...

      No, there's always openVMS.

    2. Jedipadawan

      Re: I'll get flamed for this...

      Probably not. :-)

      Linus had made very sure that Linux development can carry on without him. He ensured that long ago.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Joke

      Call that flamebait?

      You could always try Solaris.

  32. Steve Evans

    You would have hoped...

    Given his reputation as a stickler for quality, devs would actually do their best quality work when submitting things that Linus will see.

    When they don't they get shouted at.

    I really can't see the problem. Some people devs really do need shouting at, or to be kept away from critical things like kernel code until they learn to think about what they are doing.

    There are way too many devs, some of them incredibly talented, who head immediately for the keyboard and start hammering away instead of taking a careful look at issues and thinking about solutions and what issues those might cause.

    As for his use of language, the guy is Finnish, those guys can really swear!

    1. Orv Silver badge

      Re: You would have hoped...

      My opinion is it's possible to tell someone they wrote bad code without going on to tear them down as a person.

      Linus needs to come to terms with the big shadow he casts. Him telling someone "no" now carries more emotional weight than telling them "fuck you" did two decades ago, because he's looked up to. He doesn't need to resort to profanity. He's bigger than that now.

  33. a pressbutton

    Best of luck to him

    He may not be as rich as Bill G (who was reportedly also v. foul mouthed at times), but should have as much or more respect.

    The only thing he should have done imo is to have a named 'understudy' in place a couple of years ago.

    You need something like that- after all he could (literally) have fallen under a bus etc and on a project like this you cannot really just stop while the new person learns the ropes.

    Hope the new person understands that.

    1. Jedipadawan

      Re: Best of luck to him

      >"The only thing he should have done imo is to have a named 'understudy' in place a couple of years ago."

      Linus has made it very clear that is not Linux and that kernel development would run on if/when he is ever run over by that bus. I do not know who the understudy is/would be but there is a management process in place.

      There should be no interrupting the Kernel development though I just the next RC release might be delayed a bit or... Linux just take a few days off and a morning or two to see a counselor or something.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Best of luck to him

      "The only thing he should have done imo is to have a named 'understudy' in place a couple of years ago."

      You think he didn't?

  34. EnviableOne Bronze badge
    Linux

    Fair Cop

    Linus has always rulled with an iron fist and to be fair, the critisism is usually waranted, and some on the reciving end have even admitted, bit harsh, but i deserved it.

    Oh and since when has linus been bothered with security? He has reserved special places in hell for it on several ocasions.

    His two priorities are clean code, that runs, no BS, no fluf.

    1. sabroni Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: His two priorities are clean code, that runs, no BS, no fluf.

      Quality counting!

  35. steelpillow Silver badge
    Flame

    Rainbow haired

    FUCK YOU, Snow Wombat and co. Some of my best friends are rainbow-haired and your kind of prejudice and persecution is still rife in society. Opinions like yours need to be kept out of sight. Since you like Linus so much the way he used to be, I am sure that you will take this flame in the spirit it is given.

    1. Dabbb Bronze badge

      Re: Rainbow haired

      "Some of my best friends are rainbow-haired and your kind of prejudice and persecution is still rife in society. "

      We all really sorry for you.

      However.

      Prejudice and persecution of people with rainbow-colored hair ? Really ? Is that a thing now ?

      1. DavCrav Silver badge

        Re: Rainbow haired

        "Prejudice and persecution of people with rainbow-colored hair ? Really ? Is that a thing now ?"

        Well, prejudice and persecution of red-headed men, yes. Orange-haired men are on the giving end of the prejudice and persecution at the moment. Not sure about yellow-haired people, and so on down the list.

        1. Dabbb Bronze badge

          Re: Rainbow haired

          What if someone told you that you don't need bring your TDS to every conversation ?

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Rainbow haired

      Some of us are very grateful for whatever hair we have left.

      1. sabroni Silver badge

        Re: Rainbow haired

        And if Linus had posted the OP you'd be saying how justified it was?

  36. theOtherJT

    This makes me nervous

    Not that I think Linus is a paragon of virtue, or that his behavior is exemplary or anything. It's just un-nerving when someone suddenly changes their behavior with what appears to be no warning. Sudden dramatic personality changes are usually the result of something bad happening to them, and despite never having met the man, I'm rather fond of Linus. He's done a lot for us all, one way or another.

  37. Pete4000uk

    If he needs help

    Then the first step is to admit it.

    May Linux live on.

  38. Joe Harrison Silver badge

    It's not about the job

    In my experience people who yell at other people all the time do it because they like yelling at people. "Bad coding", "poor customer service", "failing to hand in homework", whatever, the ostensible reason for yelling at people is just fluff and cover to "justify" the real business at hand which its... yelling at people. They are a breed apart for sure.

    1. Orv Silver badge

      Re: It's not about the job

      "Never trust someone who's nice to you but rude to the waiter."

  39. Snorlax

    He's Not Sorry...

    The guy's a dick. He needs psychological help.

    Let me know if anything changes.

    1. ForthIsNotDead

      Re: He's Not Sorry...

      I'm inclined to agree. You'll get down-voted, because everyone thinks Linux is really great (and it most certainly is) and conflate liking Linus with liking Linux.

      To me, it's perfectly possible for Linux to be really really awesome, and its creator to be a fucking massive cock of the most hideous proportions.

      The guy's a massive dick.

      Linux is cool though.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: He's Not Sorry...

      "The guy's a dick."

      Is this an observation based on extensive observation of him or just of headlines?

      1. ForthIsNotDead

        Re: He's Not Sorry...

        @Doctor Syntax

        I've watched quite a lot of his lectures, and he reminds me a little of celebrities. You know, famous actors or pop stars, who have become used to being looked up to by sycophants and have actually come to believe that their own shit doesn't stink.

        To be fair, I wouldn't put him in the same category as the out-and-out divas that we see in the pop world, but I get a sense of it. The star-struck sycophancy is there for all to see in the Q&A parts of the various lectures.

        Still, he's better than Stallman. With Stallman, EVERYONE thinks he's a dick, except for Stallman himself. At least with Linus, some people genuinely believe he's a great guy.

        Whatever, I guess. Some people think I'm a great guy. Some people think I'm a dick.

        I am, of course, a dick.

        Does any of it matter?

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: He's Not Sorry...

          "The star-struck sycophancy is there for all to see in the Q&A parts of the various lectures."

          That would be coming from others not him wouldn't it? Clearly there are a good number who don't agree with you.

          1. ForthIsNotDead

            Re: He's Not Sorry...

            Doctor Syntax: "That [sycophancy] would be coming from others not him wouldn't it?"

            Yes, sure. But my point is, when everyone looks up to you, when nobody takes you to task for a particular thing you say, when nobody flat out comes out and says "No, you're wrong", then you start to believe that you're right all the time, and that everybody agrees with you. But in reality, you're often completely wrong, but no one wants to contradict you because THEY want you to like THEM. That's sycophancy.

            Here's an example (just over a minute long) where Linus professes Java to be a "horrible language", and the interviewer, instead of asking him why, asks him for his autograph. Sigh.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aa55RKWZxxI

            When you don't question somebody on their opinions, you de-facto validate them in the mind of the person proffering the opinions.

            Furthermore, when you look at the mailing lists, you'll see that when Linus rejects some code or something or other, he'll often start out quite amiably, and only when questioned will he explode into a tirade of sociopathic abuse. How dare His Word be questioned. It's the classic symptom of believing that your own shit doesn't stink. There may also be some burn-out in the mix, the dude's been working his ass off, herding cats for years. I say take some time off with the wife and kids; make love with your wife, cook with her, talk to her, build a tree-house with the kids, and get some perspective.

            Cheers

      2. Snorlax

        Re: He's Not Sorry...

        @Doctor Syntax: My opinion is based on my observation of his childish (or some would say sociopathic) abuse of others in any number of exchanges on mailing lists for one.

        So yeah, he's a dick...

      3. Geoffrey W Silver badge

        Re: He's Not Sorry...

        @Doctor Syntax

        Is your defense of Linus based on extensive observation of him, or just your angry emotions reacting to his detractors? Come to that, are your attacks on his detractors based on extensive observations and knowledge of his detractors?

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: He's Not Sorry...

          "Is your defense of Linus based on extensive observation of him, or just your angry emotions reacting to his detractors?"

          I made the point in an earlier posts that business as usual doesn't make headlines. We thus get a reaction based not on business as usual but from the exceptions.

          Having spent a good many years dealing with some members of the human race at the worst I've learned not to judge the general by the worst exceptions.

          1. Geoffrey W Silver badge

            Re: He's Not Sorry...

            We're not judging the general here, but the specific - Linus' apology for his own bad behaviour. Many here are saying Linus is wrong in his apology and was right in his previous behaviour. You placed your self among them by questioning disapproval of Linus' rants with a questionable accusation of your own.

    3. naive

      Re: He's Not Sorry...

      This type of comments exactly identifies the "rainbow" people, who probably never got screamed at by their drill sergeant for doing something dumb that would get others killed in combat.

      Kernel programming is like combat, where a single mistake may kill others. But I guess that is something people giving this type of qualification to a great man will be incapable to understand.

  40. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. dbastianello

      "ah umaway"

      You've eluded to one thing that should be thought of:

      State sanctioned hacking

      Now if you are in the security world it is not unreasonable to suspect that code commits to open source projects could be intentionally designed to allow certain hacking techniques to be successful. Now Linus is arguably one of the best coders out there (especially where code meets the hardware) and I am thankful that he is guarding this code.

      Look to a government paying someone's tuition is pennies if he agrees to integrate this "code" to his commit for this debt to disappear. To this poor programmer with flexible morals, they would easily do this for much less than tuition but hey, this is the world we live in, and welcome.

      We live in much less certain times especially when it come to technology, there are things going on that most people have a hard time accepting is happening and the country you are living in is probably one of the worst perpetrator of this.

      Like many have mentioned, this outburst does not happen without many warnings before hand. His approach is truly needed, he just needs to learn how to make it not personal that is all call what you see as shit, not the person who wrote it, unless they have a habit of doing so on a regular basis. At that point have-at-him, they've earned it and hopefully the shame keeps them from doing so in the future. But we often forget what sociopathy or psychopathy really mean, they don't feel shame or any guilt at all they will not understand why. They will continue and as some have mentioned they should be given a time out and ignored from future contributions until they understand they can't play games, this is real life with real consequences.

      1. HieronymusBloggs Silver badge

        "Like many have mentioned, this outburst does not happen without many warnings before hand."

        Spoilsport.

  41. Jim 59

    Ridiculous culture war nonsense going on in this thread. It started with "rainbow haired" name calling, and progressed in a few short pages to all-out homocidal rage, typified by this from steelpillow:

    "FUCK YOU, Snow Wombat and co. Some of my best friends are rainbow-haired and your kind of prejudice and persecution is still rife in society. Opinions like yours need to be kept out of sight. Since you like Linus so much the way he used to be, I am sure that you will take this flame in the spirit it is given."

    Sigh

    1. Orv Silver badge

      The culture wars in the US have been cranked up to 11, with LGBTQ people (the ones "rainbow" references usually refer to) having legitimate reasons to fear for their well-being. Being under that stress day and night, checking the headlines to see if your group's going to be the one having their passports yanked next, that makes people edgy.

      I don't like that it's come to this either, but I understand it. Some jokes just aren't funny anymore.

      1. RancidRodent

        Well, the LGBTQs will have plenty to squeal about when the left's new favourite minority group start lopping their heads off or chucking them off mountains - all in the name of peace of course...

        1. Orv Silver badge

          Never heard of an American Muslim lopping off heads.

          Meanwhile the Christian right jokes about killing transgender people in bathrooms.

          I know which group I fear more.

      2. EnviableOne Bronze badge

        I think you'll find they added some letters

        LGBTQIA+

        would be the current vernacular, providing they haven't added alphabet since, personally I thought the + was a greedy catch all, but someone wanted the I and A too

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Idiots need to be told directly, such as "don't put that lighter near that open can of petrol you fucking idiot."

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It would seem a few people here have quite the superiority complex.

  44. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Linux

    I can understand

    Why he loses his temper sometimes

    Imagine you're in charge of a very large codebase, with contributions from all over

    You get some bad code and you write the following e.mail to him/her

    Dear contributor

    Thank you for the code submission of 20-09-18.

    However in attempting to integrate your code with the rest, one or 2 failures became apparent.

    1. you exceeded your memory bounds

    2. you exceded your stack allocation

    Please resubmit your code with the 2 above flaws corrected

    Yours

    The head honcho

    After 250 of these on a monday morning, number 251 lands in your e.mail

    And without a moments thought you write back

    "FOR FUCKS SAKE WILL YOU PEOPLE IMPLEMENT SOME FUCKING BOUNDS CHECKING!!!"

    And number 251 replies with "Whaaaaaaaaaa he hurt my feelings"

  45. dmacleo

    be true to yourself

    thats all I would say. if that means cussing a lot so be it.

  46. fredesmite

    I've dealt with assholes and bullies in software dev for decades

    Torvalds is no different ; people think their shit don't stink until you smear it in their faces

  47. RancidRodent

    I feel for Linus

    I've had to put up with 20+ years of truly awful Dewelopers doing the needful badly - it's lucky there's thousands of miles between us because I would be doing time by now if some of them were in the same room as me - lies and deceit don't even begin to cover some of the problems I've faced – and they blatantly, unashamedly lie – it’s a cultural thing. Cheaper? Yeah right. Not after their crap code has been rewritten 10 times before it works. Yeah, there’s a handful of good-un’s but boy-o-boy do you have to wade through the crap to find them. Still, as long as the knobs at the top get their bonuses for “saving” money – all’s good eh?

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If only he got so passionate about Linux freezing when it runs out of memory...

    The disk light comes on and stays on permanently. All mouse and keyboard interactions stop working, so alt-sysrq RIESUB doesn't work and you generally end up having to manually power down resulting in orphaned nodes when rebooting.

    It has been a problem for 20 years.

    When is someone going to <expletive deleted> fix it?

    1. Orv Silver badge

      Re: If only he got so passionate about Linux freezing when it runs out of memory...

      I found on systems I managed that turning off memory overcommit helped, but your mileage may vary.

      Normally malloc() always succeeds on Linux, whether there's enough memory to handle the request or not. Turning off overcommit causes it to return NULL if there isn't enough memory, as God intended. ;) Most processes don't trap this very well (because malloc() always succeeds, right?) and will crash, but the system will stay up.

      1. fredesmite

        Re: If only he got so passionate about Linux freezing when it runs out of memory...

        Libc malloc should never return NULL until you have exceeded the heap size of your process. This could happen in x86 32bit world where the malloc/process space is around 3GB ; libc malloc should sleep infinitely until a memory page is made available via virtual memory reclaim steps. An 64b process would behave the same, although the process address space is match larger. What really causes system hangs in the kernel's inability to alloc vmalloc space; that is when system calls start failing and Out of Memory process starts killing off random memory hogs.

  49. tcmonkey
    Joke

    Blimey

    Is it April already? Where does the time go?

    In all seriousness, I'm not surprised that it eventually came to this. I will more surprised if anything actually changes though.

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Future of Linux

    For the first time,

    for the first time ever,

    I fear for the future of Linux.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Future of Linux

      If your beloved depends on a jerk living forever then it's already doomed.

  51. Stuart Halliday

    Authisic?

    Being Aspers myself, sounds like he's got Aspers....

    1. Cavanuk

      Re: Authisic?

      Being an Aspie myself, that was my first thought too.

  52. kneedragon

    Opinion

    Hmph. I like my Linus feisty & cantankerous.

    He held up the Penguin in 92 or 93, here in Australia, and made it the once and future symbol of Linux, because it was small and wild and feisty and cantankerous. It looked cute, but it had serious attitude. I need a Linux kernel project maintainer who sounds cute but has serious attitude. Don't mess with us or we'll page fault you.

    A Linus who admits that he's grumpy and makes public promises that he is "seeking help" is not the Linus I've followed for nearly 30 years.

    A proper wild Linus would type (in caps) "Who said I was grumpy old fart? Fkcu you and fkcu them and fkcu the whores you rode in on!" I don't want a Linus who's humble and agreeable. That's not the animal I've followed for so long.

    I think it's Spectre that's done it. He never apologised to anyone until the waft & the weft of his world went funny. A man should be able to trust his CPU.....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Opinion

      You're living in a dream world and need to shave your neck beard and go outside.

  53. avidal

    FactoryFactoriesFactoryFactory

    Don't worry Lennart Poettering will take over and "fix" it.

  54. johnmc

    Yes Torvalds needs a break, but not for what many think. The project can't afford to lose the man to a heart attack.

    I retired from IT after 40 years of development and project mgt. When I screwed up I got my a$$ royally chewed up. IT is not a business that runs on unicorns and rainbows. Its dog it dog the higher up you go. Torvalds chews on a few people? Get used to it.

    It will get worse. When IT was confined to numbers, checks and invoices it was all fixable. Just a bug. But IT is now well on the way to interfacing with the physical. Bugs could get people killed. That is bugs are quickly becoming the basis for legal torts. There will be no margin for error. Don't be surprised some day when the equivalent of a PE stamp is required to release critical software components.

    1. ForthIsNotDead

      johnmc: "Don't be surprised some day when the equivalent of a PE stamp is required to release critical software components."

      We already have it. It's called SIL (safety integration level) and applies to critical software as well as hardware! See IEC-61508 for more info.

      Cheers

  55. kraftdinner

    Programming

    I truly believe programming makes you mad.

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Programming can make you madder .... but it is not cast iron guaranteed

      I truly believe programming makes you mad. ....kraftdinner

      You might like to realise, kraftdinner, not all programmers are the same and created equal, for some are immune and protected from certain vices and weaknesses/crashing overloads and exploitable vulnerabilities. And there is mad and there is bad with one being intolerably insane and as much a clear and present danger to themselves as to everything/anyone else.

      1. Geoffrey W Silver badge

        Re: Programming can make you madder .... but it is not cast iron guaranteed

        No, Mr Mars, we're all quite mad. I present the posters in this thread as evidence that some are madder than others. There seems to be a sizable group that equates programming with other manly pursuits such as Warrior! and Predator! and Hunter! Pasty faced neck beards with overlarge sugared and caffeinated bellies lit by sleazy blue monitor light in dark rooms. We're over compensating for not being outside running in the jungle killing things with our bare teeth and sharp hands, and sacrificing virgins. Real men do not program kernels - they crunch them with their mighty teeth! We're all very sad. We write magnificent words in forums like we're Terminators, but look like Wally from Dilbert except more ineffectual. A mob of angry penguin nerds is a beautiful thing to behold. See!, See them waddle!

    2. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Programming

      Quote

      I truly believe programming makes you mad.

      I'm as sane as the previous occupant of my seat who got himself sectioned for wearing his underpants on his head and sticking 2 pencils up his nose.

      My boss told me "I'm not falling for that one again... get back to work"

      <<currently thinking about unbolting the robots from the floor and programming them to drag themselves towards the manglement offices.....

  56. Paper

    I understand Linus. I too want to shout at many people every day! I too have done therapy to anethetise my sensitivity to stupidity.

  57. This post has been deleted by its author

  58. A Dark Germ

    Linus Torvalds please drop this bloatware fat baby in a puddle and take a long holiday.

    Linus Torvalds

    Hats off to your initial idea.

    Shame it's gone the same way as all commercial O/S

    Everyone has fed the baby on high carbs now you find you have a obese child that is emotionally out of control.

    Like many parents you thought you where doing the right thing.

    Stop feeding it.

    Stop it

    Move on man, get a life.

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    yo, arseholes, there wouldn't be a need for a CoC if you weren't going around making people feel uncomfortable.

    lets get this straight, this isn't about bad developers. or dumb developers. this is about Linus recognising that his language and behaviour were inappropriate and unproductive. that's seperate to whether bad developers deserve it or dont.

    there're ways of interracting with people that doesn't resort to name calling. It's good that Linus recognised that. sounds like some of the commenters on here could do with recognising that too.

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Linus

    Ok,

    This is BS. Linus is the only reason that Linux has prospered. He won't tolerate bad/stupid programming/programmers/people. The PC police have gotten their little pointless feelings hurt... F'Them...

    If I was Linus I'd flip them the bird and go write a new OS and only give it to folks that have a GD clue.

    To quote the immortal Forest Gump.... "Stupid is as Stupid does...".

    1. Geoffrey W Silver badge

      Re: Linus

      RE "If I was Linus I'd flip them the bird and go write a new OS and only give it to folks that have a GD clue."

      So that's about 5 people huh? How do I get certified for this unique and exclusive club of elite people with clues? Damn! Wheres my clue? How am I supposed to be a cool dude if I can't find my clue? I've still got my towel (I'm sitting on it : It stops my bare bum messing the chair) - Does that count?

  61. ryokeken

    Open Source but Closed Minded?

    Interesting

  62. PaulFrederick

    Does Everest appologize to climbers?

    I'm sorry I'm such a tall and cruel mountain where your bones may bleach on my flanks. Yeah no that doesn't happen. Yet climbers still assault the mountain every year. Never apologize! Then the cretins smell blood in the water and attack. If Linus didn't blow his stack there would be people that don't get the message. There are people that thick. They have extremely thin skin though. When Linus flips out on people they should just say, Thank you sir. May I have another?

    1. Geoffrey W Silver badge

      Re: Does Everest appologize to climbers?

      Look! Look! Here we go again! Proving my point made above that kernel programming is manly and magnificent like mountains and warriors and eating raw meat! Uncompromising death and terror and merciless kaos, showing no mercy for the meek and hopeless, and the pathetically clueless. Look at the size of that programmers libido! How on earth did you end up with a cuddly penguin as your mascot?

  63. lakawak

    Wow..did people whine over that really? Thank god time machines don't exist. If today's working class were transported to 50 years ago, they would all quit an cry

  64. Roboiii

    Stop F#cking Apologizing

    People should take a cue from Trump and quit apologizing. Linus, we like you the way you are. Your rants are likely completely justified. As a God in the industry you are likely just so far superior that the peons beneath you and those working for other companies simply pale in comparison. Keep in mind however that this is why you are where you are. No need to apologize. You don't need help. Keep ranting. I for one find it refreshing and amusing simultaneously that your passion for perfection causes these explosions.

    1. Orv Silver badge

      Re: Stop F#cking Apologizing

      I'm not sure Trump's management style has really been shown to provide good results. He's driven six companies into bankruptcy and, on the whole, has gotten a worse return on his money than if he'd passively invested it. Good talent leaves both his companies and his administration on a regular basis.

      The "yell at people, never apologize, make everyone cower in fear of you" attitude may win elections but doesn't actually work that well as a business strategy. You rarely see it in CEOs today. Boards of directors rarely care about political correctness, but they do care about returns.

  65. don__canard

    speaking almost entirely as an observer of the linux community and consumer of its product rather than producer (I pushed a few driver changes upstream about 5 yrs ago) and having spent 32 happy years pushing -ix systems and code on them around - if I say that a piece of code (my own or someone else's) is broken, then that's not because I don't like the author or have constipation that day. It's because I can show the concrete ways in which it's broken, i.e. fails in some functional way. If I say that a piece of code (mine or someone else's) has bad style, then that's different than broken and we can agree to disagree. Up to a point: if the style is bad enough, it may well fail to function, particularly as re: maintainability. The same goes for poor but not explicitly broken design, failing extensibility or integration.

    The very fabric of our computing lives anno 2018 exists because of the rigor of the -ix community - the current one and the ones that preceded it. That includes an insistence on objective fact, as opposed to all views being nothing more than equally valid opinions. And objective fact being prioritized over social dynamics, including both power hierachies based on fiat assignment of power, and people's personal agendas, whether those are about not being offended when their professional capabilities are shown to be lacking, or placing self-aggrandizement and advancement ahead of technical merit and selling content of dubious quality via propaganda and politicking.

    If this new set of social rules ("code of conduct") is instrumentalized to end or even dilute this ethos, then the Linux community will stop being a guarantor of technical quality in computing, as it currently is (and yes, we are all fallible and pursue perfection while knowing that we can never do more than approach it asymptotically... individually and as a community. nevertheless...).

    That ethos will however not end until its last practicing proponent leaves the stage. I suggest that there's a fair number of us, and we're not leaving anytime soon.

    (footnote/coda: it is always remarkable how the dynamics of human existence, both subjective relativistic social phenomena, as well as substantive questions of objective functional merit, reflect basic processes in the natural world, notably in the realm of natural selection. This is about evolutionary success or failure. My resources are not available to be wasted on failed paths; I work hard to identify those as well as better ones. I propose that as a reasonable daily working approach... If someone is offended because that involves questioning the quality of their work product, that's happened plenty of times to me, so maybe they should get around more. Find something else to bind their ego and self-worth to, and meanwhile in their professional life, try to learn from the experience and fail less the next time.)

  66. jelabarre59 Silver badge

    I do wonder though if it might have been brought up by family, not fellow developers. His kids are old enough that their friends will know who Linus is, and they might have asked dad to tone it down for *their* sakes.

  67. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Any word on the people threatening to use the terms of the GPLv2 (which the kernel is under) to pull their code from the repository?

  68. rmstock

    Linus : your doing just fine.

    Without Linux there would not have been the Internet as we know it today. Many have cursed you over its GPL license, because then conventional business plans become impossible. IT Sharks during the Millennium bubble took down or have taken over many good and reputable software companies, where then only 2 or 3 years later all was vanished including these IT Sharks themselves. You and Linux are still here today, which is a blessing. Don't get mad, your code has the largest installed platform base in the Universe.

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