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

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

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.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019