That's long ago been handed over, but I like to think that it did expand the developer base. Not just for Linux, but for FOSS generally.
This is an awesome example of someone being encouraged to participate when they were starting out, and then helping to make it easier for other newcomers to participate.
Probably less with the kernel and more with smaller FOSS it is a way of serving your own needs and also giving back.
But there has to be an expectation that the maintainer isn't under any obligation to merge or even evaluate it.
More importantly, I have benefitted so much from senior devs "wasting time" on me, I am obliged to help others now I'm senior.
Very similar to Gordon Ramsey being very nice and gentle to kid chefs, but very demanding to "professional" chefs.
As professional as reality TV allows
If you stop to think about it for a minute, it's impossible that one of the most creative, complicated, and successful projects in the planet could be controlled by a simple asshole or troll. There has to be enough good stuff within that leader to overcome the negativity and create the positive result we all rely on every day.
As another comment alludes, we end up perceiving the stereotypes in others. Anyone who reads his writing closely should see that his answers are almost always pragmatic and from a "nothing but the best for my baby" perspective, even if they are somewhat abrasive.
Great, so how has the developer evolved? Do they still contribute or have they moved on?
Super cool exchange.
We are always trying to get in new developers, and we have a masssive and often confusing codebase. Easy Hacks give newbies a way of getting their feet wet, in a way that actually helps improve the codebase.