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Kernel Dev Tells Linus Torvalds To Stop Using Abusive Language

Unknown Lamer posted 1 year,8 days | from the cool-to-hate dept.

Linux 1501

darthcamaro writes "The Linux Kernel Development Mailing List can be a hostile place for anyone. Now Intel developer Sarah Sharp is taking a stand and she wants the LKML to become a more civil place. Quoting her first message: 'Seriously, guys? Is this what we need in order to get improve -stable? Linus Torvalds is advocating for physical intimidation and violence. Ingo Molnar and Linus are advocating for verbal abuse. ... Violence, whether it be physical intimidation, verbal threats or verbal abuse is not acceptable. Keep it professional on the mailing lists.'" The entire thread is worth a read, but Linus isn't buying it: "Because if you want me to 'act professional', I can tell you that I'm not interested. I'm sitting in my home office wearing a bathrobe. The same way I'm not going to start wearing ties, I'm *also* not going to buy into the fake politeness, the lying, the office politics and backstabbing, the passive aggressiveness, and the buzzwords. Because THAT is what 'acting professionally' results in: people resort to all kinds of really nasty things because they are forced to act out their normal urges in unnatural ways.' He also offered cookies in exchange for joining the dark side. An earlier reply by Linus further explains why he thinks it is OK to be mean: most of the time, he's only yelling at people who should know better (cultivating a crew of lead developers bound to him by Stockholm Syndrome?).

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1501 comments

We'd rather ban them females (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#44290687)

from speaking in the LKML.

Titty bearers always killing bearded wizards mood.

Political Correctness has no place in Kernel Dev (4, Insightful)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | 1 year,8 days | (#44290769)

I know this has to happen sooner or later.

For past few decades, political Correctness has been steadily encroaching into all aspects of our lives, and now, even the Linux Kernel Development is not spared.

I hope sane minds within the KD will prevail, and stop the PC disease from spreading further, or else, they would start to cherry-picking for some of the more exotic labels within the source codes and make a mountain out of a molehill.

Re:Political Correctness has no place in Kernel De (4, Insightful)

murdocj (543661) | 1 year,8 days | (#44290807)

Not being a dick != political correctness

Re:Political Correctness has no place in Kernel De (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#44290889)

I find that language offensive. Please use the word 'appendage'.

Re:Political Correctness has no place in Kernel De (5, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | 1 year,8 days | (#44290911)

Not being a dick != political correctness

There are few things more dickish than 'you must behave the way I tell you to' political correctness.

Re:Political Correctness has no place in Kernel De (1, Insightful)

fredprado (2569351) | 1 year,8 days | (#44290921)

"Not being a dick" depends highly on the opinion and the sensibilities of the people affected. Trying to not be a dick to everyone regardless of their arbitrary sensibilities is called being politically correct, and it is a great disease of our time.

Re:Political Correctness has no place in Kernel De (2)

Oligonicella (659917) | 1 year,8 days | (#44290995)

Being a dick is a purposeful act. Simply don't be a dick and the uber thin skinned self-reveal.

Re:Political Correctness has no place in Kernel De (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#44290929)

What some people call "political correctness," others call "having some fucking consideration for people other than themselves."

Re:Political Correctness has no place in Kernel De (1, Troll)

0123456 (636235) | 1 year,8 days | (#44290993)

Then those others are morons. How much consideration do the politically correct have for anyone but themselves?

The world would be a much better place if more people were willing to tell others to fuck off.

Re:Political Correctness has no place in Kernel De (4, Insightful)

exomondo (1725132) | 1 year,8 days | (#44290969)

What's this got to do with political correctness?

Re:Political Correctness has no place in Kernel De (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#44291017)

What's this got to do with political correctness?

Nothing at all. That is just the "PC Card" that is played whenever rude or abusive people don't like to be told they are acting like wanton children. It's their excuse to act as rude as they like for the sake of the attention it brings them.

Torvalds being foul-mouthed again? News at 11. (5, Insightful)

lvxferre (2470098) | 1 year,8 days | (#44290689)

Torvalds was always like that and whining won't change him.

Re:Torvalds being foul-mouthed again? News at 11. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#44290747)

What kind of cookies?

Re:Torvalds being foul-mouthed again? News at 11. (2)

lvxferre (2470098) | 1 year,8 days | (#44290955)

Evilicious butter cookies.

Re:Torvalds being foul-mouthed again? News at 11. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#44290779)

He's turned into the Justin Bieber of developers.

Re:Torvalds being foul-mouthed again? News at 11. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#44290979)

Torvalds was always like that and whining won't change him.

Maybe it's time to eject him from the LKML and give the reigns to someone else ?

Linus management technique works (4, Insightful)

cheesybagel (670288) | 1 year,8 days | (#44290695)

If someone else managed to do his job better than him it would be trivial to do a fork. That this has not happened is a testament that his way doing things works. Simple as that. So what if he is verbally abusive.

Re:Linus management technique works (4, Insightful)

ISoldat53 (977164) | 1 year,8 days | (#44290799)

Sounds like MS in the early days. Management by screaming. I guess it was successful too.

Re:Linus management technique works (5, Insightful)

quantaman (517394) | 1 year,8 days | (#44290867)

If someone else managed to do his job better than him it would be trivial to do a fork. That this has not happened is a testament that his way doing things works. Simple as that. So what if he is verbally abusive.

The fact Linux is awesome and Linus is an abusive and profane manager doesn't mean the profanity and abuse is necessary to make Linux awesome. It could be it helps cut through the BS and makes things more clear and efficient, it could also be being clear and direct would be just as effective and the profanity actually makes people emotional and irrational.

The fact it's working doesn't mean it can't be improved.

Re:Linus management technique works (0)

fredprado (2569351) | 1 year,8 days | (#44291031)

That is part of what he is, and he won't change. You accept this or not, it is your choice. If you do not you can fork your own Kernel and live your life away from him.

Re:Linus management technique works (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#44291035)

Why fix what ain't broke?

Re:Linus management technique works (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#44290963)

Bullocks. Forking is not a simple procedure even if you have the stones to be an effective leader. You need to be at least as popular as the guys doing the doing the original project or there needs to be something fundamentally wrong with the direction of the project. Otherwise you're just another fork no one asked for.

Victim Card (3, Insightful)

Zaelath (2588189) | 1 year,8 days | (#44290699)

How can you not be playing the victim card when you self-identify as a minority, join a community and demand that it change it's standards to match your own?

Re:Victim Card - Power Play? (5, Interesting)

crmanriq (63162) | 1 year,8 days | (#44290903)

Is it really a chance to grab power? If she can assert her will in this, does she become "a voice to be reckoned with"?

I saw a really mediocre movie once where it was asserted that when guys have an argument, they get it right out in the open, do a lot of chest beating, and then get to working together. Women on the other hand will play everything behind the scenes - cloaking it all in an air of civility while they sharpen their knives.

Since I saw that movie (ashamed to say I saw it, but if you happen to remember the reference go ahead and out yourself), I've notice that it's actually a very true statement.

Re:Victim Card (5, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | 1 year,8 days | (#44290933)

It all derailed when it started referring to "verbal threats" and "verbal abuse" as "violence". Sorry, but unless a dev is at my door with a baseball bat, it's just words. Additionally, we've all dealt with people who are crude, terse, mean, or just flat out obnoxious prima-donas. It only impacts you if you give a shit. I've dealt with some of those in my career and all that matters to me is whether they are productive and talented. Telling me "you made a stupid fucking mistake" isn't any worse than "Please don't take this too harshly and please don't think I am picking on you. I like you and you are a swell fellow and all. However, I feel it is necessary that I impress upon you that this isn't really a bug and having this trivial and non-broken thing filed as a bug has consumed a little bit of our time that we would rather not be wasting on things like this. Also, here is a pat on the back and an atta-boy so you don't feel I am being mean to you, okay?".

Granted, it might be a little unprofessional to use crude language with people. CEOs and other muckety-mucks do it all the time, however. It's also a little different between using crude language and lashing out at people with crude language to insult them and put them down. But, again, that's just the way things are and it is just the way some people are. It really does not have to impact you in the slightest if you don't want it to (and it doesn't hurt to learn to give it back - especially if you can do so cleverly, with wit, and without the matching vulgarity).

I don't doubt this sort of thing does put some people off from contributing and participating. I sure as hell wouldn't participate in anything that involved Linus and other well-known and super-smart guys, because I know I'm not at their level and I would just constantly be on the receiving end of "how fucking stupid can you be?!". But you know what? Maybe that's okay. Maybe it weeds out people who don't have the spine to deal with it or who take everything so personally that everything has to become a drama rather than just getting work done.

Of course, Linus could be less of an asshole (even when his points are very fair). But I don't see why he should feel he *has* to be less of one. *shrug*. I also think it's a little different than if he was someone's direct boss in a workplace and he was walking outside of his office to constantly berate, ride, ridicule, and harass his employees for being totally incompetent.

hes right (5, Insightful)

luther349 (645380) | 1 year,8 days | (#44290703)

if you ever worked well any job you know what hes talking bought. people nice to your face wile they back stab you in backroom office talks.

Re:hes right (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#44290835)

yeh rather get yelled at once and then that is it, than forever nagging and snark remarks

maybe it is a male/female thing going back to the schoolyard

Re:hes right (5, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | 1 year,8 days | (#44290959)

Yep. I used to sit about five feet from a guy who was in management (but not my management) who for some inexplicable reason disliked me. Not only did he dislike me, but he talked shit about me to other managers and employees behind my back. He was very nice to my face, though. I would never have known any of this if it weren't for a colleague and another manager who clued me into what this guy was saying. And, fortunate for me, these people always countered his comments, told him he was wrong, and otherwise stood up for me in his non-sense rally to bash me to people.

I would have rather he had just been an asshole to me and lay it out, so we knew where we stood.

linus is frank (5, Interesting)

n Rahimi (2983451) | 1 year,8 days | (#44290709)

i love this guy (linus). he is kinda zen master ,he says what he think, without any fear

Re:linus is frank (4, Insightful)

ifiwereasculptor (1870574) | 1 year,8 days | (#44290815)

As long as he doesn't dabble in hypocrisy, by complaining when someone is rude to him (and I have not heard of that kind of behavior, so I assume he doesn't mind), and as long as he has a point, I think it's both effective and entertaining. What's not to like?

Linus is just a mean old asshole... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#44290713)

He seems to really enjoy being a complete dick in a 'Look at me I invented Linux and I'll be a complete asshole if I want to' way.

Does he have assbergers or something?

Re:Linus is just a mean old asshole... (4, Insightful)

mdenham (747985) | 1 year,8 days | (#44290785)

From one of the more recent things he engaged his primary flame-cannon over, the person he aimed it at did screw up pretty badly and for no apparent reason (I mean, seriously, submitting code that you don't know if it works and you admit is probably not necessary? Don't do that).

So no, I don't think he's a dick for the sake of being a dick - he's a dick because people shouldn't be submitting things that are broken and that kind of person deserves to be told off.

Re:Linus is just a mean old asshole... (3, Interesting)

redmid17 (1217076) | 1 year,8 days | (#44290883)

I thought his rant on OpenSuse and needing root access for connecting a new printer or wireless network was pretty funny.

Re:Linus is just a mean old asshole... (2)

lvxferre (2470098) | 1 year,8 days | (#44290787)

I guess he does enjoy being a dick, but he doesn't associate his bad temper with being Linux's creator, this can be easily checked in his first answer, here: http://marc.info/?l=linux-kernel&m=137392506516022&w=2 [marc.info]

Re:Linus is just a mean old asshole... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#44290857)

But it's ok if "shit gets done", however there aren't many people who have that excuse.

Jobs got fired for something similiar.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#44290721)

...and, if it were possible, I'd say it's time to do the same to that kid Linus. Someone should find a way to dethrone the BDFL since he no longer deserves the "B".

This just in (3, Insightful)

redmid17 (1217076) | 1 year,8 days | (#44290723)

Deal with it. No one is forcing you to work with him. The great thing about FOSS and the Linux kernel is you can fork it all you want. You can take your ball and go home.

Re:This just in (4, Informative)

RobinH (124750) | 1 year,8 days | (#44290839)

Or, you can take a copy of the ball and go home. Thankfully this doesn't prevent the other people from playing. :)

Will some please slap her (-1, Flamebait)

alen (225700) | 1 year,8 days | (#44290727)

Ass and tell her she is on the team

Re:Will some please slap her (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#44290961)

If you work with me, prepare to get harassed
When you’re standing at the copier, I’ll pinch your ass
I don’t care if you’re ugly, don’t care if you’re old
You’re still a woman and I want to make your life miserable

I’m gonna make you quit, I’m gonna make you quit, I’m gonna make you quit because you’re a woman

I’m gonna spread rumors that you’re easy
I’m gonna threaten to rape you on your email
I’m gonna leave a dildo on your desk
So everyone can see it you stupid cunt

I’m gonna make you quit because you’re a woman
I’m gonna make you quit you fucking cunt
I’m gonna make you quit you fucking bitch
I’m gonna make you quit you stupid cunt

Losenix (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#44290735)

If you're middle aged, working from home in your bathrobe, holding on to your "precious" the same way you've been doing for decades, and being verbally abusive to people who dare question you..... you're a loser.

Re:Losenix (1)

mcrbids (148650) | 1 year,8 days | (#44290777)

Ha ha! That's rich!

I mean, that's rich, and so's Linus, but you aren't. Rich, that is. Working from home in your bathrobe and getting rich doing it providing something of such valuable that it's used practically everywhere you turn is hardly the hallmark of a loser.

Now, if what he primarily produced was sarcastic Starcraft II commentary videos, that'd be a different story...

polite - yet cutting and informative (4, Informative)

canadian_right (410687) | 1 year,8 days | (#44290739)

The English have mastered delivering withering insults very politely. Simply being polite does not make you "nice". Is it more "professional" to wrap your disdain for an idea in language that is courteous on the surface? Maybe. Is the emperor going to change? Unlikely.

Re:polite - yet cutting and informative (0)

JustOK (667959) | 1 year,8 days | (#44291005)

Yes, many can bescumber another in a most eloquent manner, eh what?

Attaboy (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#44290743)

It's real simple. Linux is a good product. If being abrasive is part of his process, let it happen.

Re:Attaboy (0)

murdocj (543661) | 1 year,8 days | (#44290845)

It's real simple. Linux is a good product. If being abrasive is part of his process, let it happen.

And if being abrasive costs him the efforts of people who don't want to deal with his shit, and as a result development is slower than it could be? What about that? Has anyone ever noticed a flame war improving speed or quality of a product?

What about new talent? (5, Insightful)

blankinthefill (665181) | 1 year,8 days | (#44290745)

I just recently graduated with a degree in mathematics, and a minor in computer science. I can program well, for the amount of experience I have, and I would love to get better. I, personally, think that one of the best ways that I could get better is to contribute to OSS projects. However, I can't lie, reading stories about the abusiveness of the community is a huge turn off. Now, I realize that I am probably not one of those people who 'should know better,' and I realize that really extraordinary outbursts are rare (which is why they get reported on, obviously), but I still have enormous trepidation about joining the OSS community. I feel I may have talent and ideas to contribute, but when I see stories about the way that people get treated when they make mistakes, it makes me want to avoid the whole thing. I wouldn't be doing it for money, I would be doing it for fun, and to learn. And as far as I'm concerned, if I'm going to be abused for making mistakes, I am not having fun, and I am likely not learning much either. Now, again, I understand that this is not usually the case as far as OSS development, but I'm just relaying my gut reaction to hearing about behavior like that.

Re:What about new talent? (5, Insightful)

blankinthefill (665181) | 1 year,8 days | (#44290817)

Also, I know it's rather passe to reply to your own comment, but there were 13 other comments posted while I was reading and writing my post, and in that time 9 comments were posted supporting that kind of harsh, abusive, abrasive technique. I think I couldn't sum up any better myself why I fear getting into OSS. With this behavior so acceptable to the community, why should I even try to get into it? I wouldn't put up with it at a job for money, yet I'm expected to just ignore it, or quit the game, when I am contributing my own effort, free time, and enthusiasm?

Re:What about new talent? (3, Insightful)

bmo (77928) | 1 year,8 days | (#44290895)

I think I couldn't sum up any better myself why I fear getting into OSS.

Your problem is thinking that this any different in a closed software shop or any other workplace where work is actually being done.

Good luck with that thin skin.

--
BMO

Re:What about new talent? (5, Insightful)

Nemyst (1383049) | 1 year,8 days | (#44291021)

Respect, even when faced with inexperience or incompetence, does exist in workplaces "where work is actually being done". If you have never experienced this, I'd suggest taking a good hard look at your own attitude. You reap what you sow, as they say.

Re:What about new talent? (2)

redmid17 (1217076) | 1 year,8 days | (#44290841)

Try it. If you don't like it or it's too abusive, no one is forcing your hand. There are also a ton of projects out there with people who don't run their OSS develop like Linus. To be honest, you probably wouldn't be in a position to work on something that would get you yelled at for a good chunk of time. In their eyes you would be unblooded and inexperienced. You'd have to work you way into the kind of trust where one is given important stuff to work on. I mean you can obviously take their code and try to improve it on your own to resubmit, but that might not endear you to them as much as working your way up.

Re:What about new talent? (0)

malakai (136531) | 1 year,8 days | (#44290859)

If you are not willing to stand by your conviction and defend it with impassioned argument, then no, you probably shouldn't try to contribute.

This may be a unintended natural "Darwinian hurdle" that the kernel team has thrown up in front of new patches, and selection seems to be working well due to it.

Re:What about new talent? (1)

blankinthefill (665181) | 1 year,8 days | (#44290949)

I'm sorry, but at this point in my programming life, I don't have the knowledge to be able to stand up to some dev with 10 or 15, or hell, even 5, years of real experience, and tell them why they're wrong, and I'm right. And what you've just told me is that because of that, despite whatever passion for the project I'm working on I may bring, and whatever willingness I may have to learn, I'm not worth having as a contributor? Natural selection is a terrible method by which to grow a community of people and keep it healthy. (Keep in mind here, I'm not talking about kernel development in particular, I'm talking about the picture this paints on all OSS, since these are the big, visible projects that people hear about.)

Re:What about new talent? (1)

mirix (1649853) | 1 year,8 days | (#44290891)

You'll be fine. Just don't develop for OpenBSD until you've developed a thick skin... or ever.

I've helped out on a few different projects, things tend to be fairly civil for the most part. Stupid questions with no effort invested do tend to get fitting answers, show some effort and people are generally nice and helpful.

Often the later direction of a project leads to conflict though. Like all things in life...

Re:What about new talent? (1)

The_Revelation (688580) | 1 year,8 days | (#44290899)

Reading comments like this only make Linus\ position all the more relevant. His methodology ensures he gets only experienced developers. I think we all appreciate blankinthefill's desire to contribute, but Linux Kernel development is a very technical project, and requires the best of the best. If you want to get your feet wet, find a non-mission critical OSS project, and leave the experts to developing core OS components.

Re:What about new talent? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#44290913)

Then go and fuck off. This is a free world. You do what you want, I will do what I want. I will NOT capitulate to your personal bullshit.

Do whatever the fuck you want. I owe you nothing. You owe me nothing.

Now, politely, go and fuck your self.

Re:What about new talent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#44291023)

Congratulations: You've just proved his point.

Re:What about new talent? (1)

ThorGod (456163) | 1 year,8 days | (#44290917)

If you're volunteering for work, then you get to shop around and find what you want to participate in developing.

I'm sure one of the BSDs would love another developer. Or KDE, GNOME, and the list goes on from there...they can't all be ran by Linus-types.

Find a community that *DOESN'T* have that then. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#44290927)

The number of OSS projects are great, and the odds of finding one that suits your development style moreso.

Recommendations:
  Find people who actually know and follow the license you're interested in. (SWGEmu project for instance claims they're LGPL'd them immediately below that place restrictions that are completely counter-LGPL).
Find a community that is both knowledgable in the subject you're interested in and tolerant of occasionally 'dumb' questions.
coreboot, flashrom, the dri-developers, etc are pretty good about this. But it's really up to you getting out there and associating.
  Find the method of communication that works best for you. Be it mailing lists, thus giving yourself time to better compose a reply, or IRC for quick turnaround and day to day discussions. Lurk a bit, read the archives/backscroll. See how they react to regulars and newbies alike.

Sooner or later you'll find the right project for you. It's most a matter of balancing your interests with the more like-minded or tolerant development staff.

It may be a huge turnoff for you ... (1, Flamebait)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | 1 year,8 days | (#44290931)

However, I can't lie, reading stories about the abusiveness of the community is a huge turn off.

The Kernel Dev Mailing List isn't for people who are without strong will.

You need to have the skin of a thousand rhino and the determination of the super-est of all supermen to push your idea across the many seasoned, and equally thick-skinned developers.

The so-called "abusive languages" is but a mechanism to weed out ideas which are not fully thought-over.

The very thing that has become a "turn off" for you to others is a challenge that they must overcome.

If you can't stand the heat, dear Sir, I suggest you to get out of the kitchen.

Obviously you are not made for the Kernel Development for Linux.

Re:What about new talent? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#44290935)

This is a major reason I stopped trying to become a better developer or learn unix/linux better.

Most of the community is made up of people who's egos revolve around feeling intelligent. Ask a reasonable question? You'll be terribly mocked or told to RTFM.

I consider myself a smart guy and could have made my way through it, but the smugness of all the bitter anti-social geeks really turned me off.

Re:What about new talent? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#44290983)

The "abuse" you'll suffer at the hands of the OSS community will be trivial to the soul-grinding existential dread that will be inflicted on you in a corporate or academic environment. Somebody on a forum doesn't like your code? Somebody calls you out on your bad idea?

Boo hoo!

At least you have your dignity. The first time you have to deal with a sleazy middle manager who wants nothing more than numbers for his quarterly bonus you'll wonder why you don't quit and become a street worker. At least prostitutes know what to expect in their line of work.

gotta be honest (5, Interesting)

phantomfive (622387) | 1 year,8 days | (#44290751)

I once read a study of string quartets and communication methods. Some quartets were nice to each other and polite and tried not to hurt each other's feelings. Others insulted each other and said just what they thought.

The quartets that were willing to insult each other, and even sometimes get into fights, ended up playing music much more as a team, whereas the 'polite' quartets played poorer music, because instead of resolving disputes, they ended up each playing their own way.

Linus doesn't insult people, he insults what they do, when they do stupid things. Don't break the build/submit poorly written patches/etc and there isn't a problem. It is not personal at all.

About time (1, Insightful)

CptPicard (680154) | 1 year,8 days | (#44290759)

For as much as I respect Linus for the work he's done, his outbursts are getting old and are not funny anymore. I dislike political correctness and bullshit as well, but if you really have a point to make in this regard, it can be made with less rhetorical aggression, even when being blunt about it.

Why doesn't she change project (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#44290761)

to become an OpenBSD developer ?

Wait 'til Linus hears me (-1)

ErnoWindt (301103) | 1 year,8 days | (#44290765)

Unload about what a piece of crap Git is. I bet he'll get very pleasant, very fast...once the ringing in his ears subsides.

Re:Wait 'til Linus hears me (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#44291025)

I'm pretty sure judging by the language he uses on kernel dev that Linus gives less than a shit about what you think of Git.

ha! "not acceptable" (2, Insightful)

rubycodez (864176) | 1 year,8 days | (#44290791)

As soon as someone uses the phrase "not acceptable" they've admitted they've lost, they're merely trying to impose something between their ears on another person, it is not a reason to do anything. Someone will always object to any action you care to take or plan to take. "A man who has no enemies is no good, you can't move without making friction"

Re:ha! "not acceptable" (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#44290897)

As soon as someone claims that someone else has lost an argument by using a particular turn of phrase, they've automatically lost the argument. They'e just demonstrated that they don't care about an argument's merits, only whether someone happens to hit their particular pet peeve buzzword.

Re:ha! "not acceptable" (4, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | 1 year,8 days | (#44291037)

Saying something is "not acceptable" is not an argument. It's a demand. Or, at best, a whine.

And demanding that people 'act professionally' is demanding that they shut up and do what they're told, because that's what 'acting professionally' means.

She is one to talk... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#44290795)

Anyone who has worked with her in her capacity as the USB3 driver majordomo knows what a PITA she can be.

I don't think she is in any position to offer advice on professional behavior.

quote (5, Funny)

phantomfive (622387) | 1 year,8 days | (#44290797)

This exchange is brilliant:

Sarah:
> Let's discuss this at Kernel Summit where we can at least yell at each
> other in person. Yeah, just try yelling at me about this. I'll roar
> right back, louder, for all the people who lose their voice when they
> get yelled at by top maintainers. I won't be the nice girl anymore.
>
Linus:
That's the spirit.

Greg has taught you well. You have controlled your fear. Now, release your anger. Only your hatred can destroy me.

Come to the dark side, Sarah. We have cookies.

Who's this intel person? (1)

atari2600a (1892574) | 1 year,8 days | (#44290809)

& why haven't they hit this realization yet!? You add walls, you lose efficiency. Half the reason office politics like this bullshit exist is liability. On the internet, everything's either anonymous or traceable to a single person so liability is a moot issue. & if Torvalds verbally assaults you, you don't bitch about it, you absorb his neckbeardy wisdom & graciously add it to your being. Hasn't anyone been to nerd church!?

Neutral point of view approach (2)

rsborg (111459) | 1 year,8 days | (#44290811)

Though I may sympathize with Sarah's viewpoint, I think that it's counter-productive to antagonize (whether justtfied or not) the founder/leader of the largest open source project (equivalent to CEO of Fortune50 company). Instead the better move would be to appeal to the benefits of changing the culture, and attempting to play to the founder's strengths and beliefs to empahsize and lend validity to your point. e.g: "For a better, more productive environment, we should avoid verbal put-downs and taunts, as this would improve cooperation and involvement"

When I try to do this - sometimes I find myself talking myself out of what I was about to say - because I find a rationale for the undesirable conditions that I can't accommodate with my idea, e.g.: "Linus doesn't have time to be worry about being nice without sacrificing timeliness, efficiency and efficacy".

Of course, framing your argument with the neutral point of view doesn't make waves or make the /. frontpage.

Re:Neutral point of view approach (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#44290953)

This may actually show how HEALTHY the Linux kernel developers community is. Where else can a junior person tell the CEO he's being an asshole in front of the whole company? You'd be fired.

Re:Neutral point of view approach (1)

phantomfive (622387) | 1 year,8 days | (#44291033)

Where else can a junior person tell the CEO he's being an asshole in front of the whole company?

Well said.

Short version (5, Funny)

oldhack (1037484) | 1 year,8 days | (#44290821)

Sarah: Hey assholes, let's not be so mean, ok?
Linuz: bitches, please.

Don't be mean (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#44290825)

be honest, with logic

Linus is damaging the reputation of Linux (1, Insightful)

djl4570 (801529) | 1 year,8 days | (#44290827)

Linus is damaging the reputation of Linux one profane outburst at a time. His conduct towards the developers, abusive language and such would get you fired in any Fortune 500 environment. CIO's will read about the petulant profane behavior in industry rags and ask themselves if they want to build an enterprise around software controlled by someone who cannot control his own emotions. Professional behavior is not about fake politeness or passive aggressive behavior. Professional behavior is about engaging your peers in civil discourse. You can say something is broken or the code is wrong with critical analysis and without angry profane screeds.

Re:Linus is damaging the reputation of Linux (5, Insightful)

MrEricSir (398214) | 1 year,8 days | (#44290881)

His conduct towards the developers, abusive language and such would get you fired in any Fortune 500 environment.

Honestly I can't tell if you're serious, but that's the funniest thing I've read all day on Slashdot.

Re:Linus is damaging the reputation of Linux (1)

rubycodez (864176) | 1 year,8 days | (#44290987)

You are are full of worthless advice, Linus' kernel runs on IBM mainframes, servers, supercomputers, mobile devices, and adoption is only growing. He doesn't need to change, "professionalism" is all about bullshit made-up standards of communication in lieu of accomplishment, excellence or personal responsibility.

Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#44290829)

... took'em long enough!

Abusive speech is not good (0)

moonwatcher2001 (2710261) | 1 year,8 days | (#44290847)

Verbally abusing someone indicates a lack of verbal skills in the sense that the abuser can't express yourself properly. It also shows a lack of respect for other people.

Re:Abusive speech is not good (1, Insightful)

lvxferre (2470098) | 1 year,8 days | (#44290943)

Verbally abusing someone indicates a lack of verbal skills in the sense that the abuser can't express yourself properly.

You're implying two things here:
1. The person who verbally abuses does so because they can't express themself in another way (this is false), and
2. Verbal abuse isn't "proper" - define "proper".

Fork The Kernel? (1)

tgetzoya (827201) | 1 year,8 days | (#44290863)

What's to stop anyone who doesn't want to deal with the violence just fork the Kernel and do their own thing? If you don't like the abuse, fork it!

Having read some of Linus' posts (2)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#44290865)

I would say he isn't really that mean. Sure it comes off as a bit like he lost control, but that's the point. In the "professional" world, people have consequences for losing control so they just bottle it up and act out in other non-obvious ways. Either way you got to let the reality out.

Facts:
1) Coding is stressful.
2) Meeting deadlines is stressful.
3) Managing competing personalities is stressful.

Solutions:
1) Duke it out in the open and understand that at the end of the day you are rated on your work or
2) Go into CYA & backstabbing and end up getting judged on personalities.

Re:Having read some of Linus' posts (3, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | 1 year,8 days | (#44291009)

2) Meeting deadlines is stressful.

Since when does Linux have deadlines?

-jcr

Not acceptable? (5, Interesting)

TsuruchiBrian (2731979) | 1 year,8 days | (#44290873)

Violence, whether it be physical intimidation, verbal threats or verbal abuse is not acceptable. Keep it professional on the mailing lists.

Not acceptable? By who's standards?

It's seems acceptable by the law in most countries that matter for the development of the linux kernel.

It seems acceptable by the main dude (Linus)

It seems acceptable by the developers, as they could have forked and started their own project with a more acceptable mailing list policy.

Who is it not acceptable to? and why can't those people make their own fork or simply not participate in the mailing list? (besides Sarah Sharp) If we were losing lots of talented developers because they just couldn't bear the mailing list, that would be a different story.

There is no absolute morality of the way things should be. There is what works. If you have a way to make something work better, no one is stopping you.

I'm sitting in my home office wearing a bathrobe. (4, Insightful)

Culture20 (968837) | 1 year,8 days | (#44290909)

Okay, that's nice. Do you talk that way to your wife while at home in your bathrobe? Your mother? Neighborhood children? It's not "fake politeness" to stop using abusive language, it's normal politeness. You're just being an asshole.

Ties that bind (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | 1 year,8 days | (#44290939)

In this case, it's the Helsinki Syndrome.

Anyway, judging by the summary alone, Linus is right. Phony politeness will not result in real respect.

IT IS HIS LIST... start your own polite version (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#44290941)

Sure... he is an asshole... but it is HIS LIST... piss off

All the pretty little birds (3, Funny)

morcego (260031) | 1 year,8 days | (#44290947)

Linus becoming polite on his e-mails is going to happen right after the Linux kernel gets ported entirely to C#.

My standard reply for this kind of issue is, simply linking this 3sec video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UmnN3eVMWgA [youtube.com]

Political Correctness? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#44290957)

How about just stop being an abusive dick? You're talking to human beings. There is no political correctness involved. It's simply being civil to other human beings. Human beings trying to help you improve something you both care deeply about.

linus is right... (1)

brian mullan (2892229) | 1 year,8 days | (#44290971)

want civilized work... join a corporation... then you can find out that despite "words" not being said ... there's often times much more wickedness all around you... they just do it all with a smile on their faces while planting the daggers in your back.

Tough call (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#44290989)

On one hand, a passionate, brilliant person with a vision can be a powerful force. When opposing opinions are almost always wrong, sugarcoating it wastes time for all involved. Many who have changed the world were not very nice people in a variety of ways.

On the other hand, nerds of all people should know the danger of cliques and being abused by others. Any modern software project is an effort by many people all of whom are different and all of whom must get along well enough to get the job done. One toxic individual can destroy a team.

I think Linus has done enough to be viewed as the former.

So, the guy's a bit of a douche. (1)

jcr (53032) | 1 year,8 days | (#44290997)

It's his prerogative to behave badly if he wants, but he doesn't get to choose how other people react to it. If Sharp doesn't like it, she's free to choose more mature people to collaborate with.

-jcr

Professional != Tantrums (4, Insightful)

nanotech (34819) | 1 year,8 days | (#44291007)

I've worked with people like Linus many times; brilliant, know it, and abuse those who suggest ideas that don't align with their world view. They are usually correct when they shoot down an idea. However, I avoid them at all costs, both from a hiring and from peer perspective, because they are a cancer in most organizations, and the long term cost of dealing with their anti-social behaviour greatly outweighs the benefit they bring.

Abuse does not solve problems. Belittling others does not benefit anyone. It's fine to be blunt and explain why the idea proposed will not work, it saves time and energy. It is sign of a deeply flawed personality to attack the person who proposed the idea that won't work.

How is this front page 'news'? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#44291013)

Sounds like a flame war that overflowed the list. Posting this here is only further abuse via intimidation. How about linux devs keep their infighting to themselves? Nothing to see here.

How does he treat his wife and kids? (4, Interesting)

HockeyPuck (141947) | 1 year,8 days | (#44291027)

Does he use "violence, whether it be physical intimidation, verbal threats or verbal abuse" to get his wife and kids to do something?

I'm guessing he does not.

Wow, the anti-OSS platoon is out... (5, Insightful)

bmo (77928) | 1 year,8 days | (#44291029)

...with their faux outrage at Linus' "tantrums." They're not, if you read context, but this isn't about context. This "controversy" is all about slamming Linus personally and Linux by implication by comparing his management style against a non-existent ponies-and-rainbows environment. And this isn't the first time it's happened here.

Such bullshit.

--
BMO

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