This. Right here. The fanatics in the OSS world (and Tech at large) seem to have forgotten that Silicon Valley != The World. This is not 1984 with a standardized society defined by the Big Brother in Menlo Park.
You will find that most of these "cultural/offensive" flame wars in tech are fought because someone forgot to step out of the silicon valley bubble they reside in. Take what happened with Redis. The Master/Slave terminology does not raise much eyebrows outside of USA simply because these parts of the world did not have large scale slavery of black people. And yet some SV people expect to everyone to know American history and culture. They seem to live in a dream world where only the American culture exists and then get violent when the reality hits them.
And before someone comes with a respect and work with my culture shtick, please remember that it is a two way street. We are not under any obligation to respect only your culture and mannerisms. You also have a responsibility to understand other cultures and respect them and understand their mannerisms and way of thinking.
When it comes to attitudes and languages, Silicon Valley is sometimes quite different than tech in the rest of the US. As a developer in the northeastern US, one of the adjustments I've had to make in working for an archetypal Silicon Valley company is to the way people express themselves and particularly how they express disagreement or criticism (i.e. in a way that can be interpreted either as more gentle or more passive-aggressive depending on context). You raise a good point, but I think the differences are even greater than you (or the OP) think.
Of course, talking about this on extremely SV-centric Hacker News might not achieve very much.
One of the biggest cultural things I struggled to get used to when I moved out to the Bay Area for work (originally from the northeast too), was the extent to which I needed to constantly self-censor and water down my wording to the point of meaninglessness, simply to avoid offending someone or coming across as too harsh. People out here have such thin skin, and you're always walking on eggshells when you need to disagree with something. It's a kind of newspeak, where it colors every interaction with people and makes it impossible to deliver certain messages effectively, without sugar-coating or couching with "probablys" and "maybes". When you take this culture and these rules and assume the entire world plays by them, you're likely to end up looking totally out of touch.
EDIT: Self-censored a little. :-)
> What is this person's equivalent of "F you"?
For a typical east-coaster or northern European it's likely to be exactly as in the question. ;) For some people, "I'm not sure I 100% agree" is about as close as you'll ever get. The left-coast average seems to be much closer to the second option. I'm not saying it's a bad thing - in fact I find it quite pleasant - but it can trip you up until you get used to it. At my last job, it took me years to figure out how to interpret my Indian colleagues' responses correctly (if indeed I ever did). This kind of calibration is an under-appreciated skill.
That said I couch my words with "maybes and probablies" all the time by habit. I suppose it just feels more precise? I save hard assertions for when I mean them.
Disclaimer: Bay native.
This is a good thing, eventually, after an adaptation period where you think that missed the memo on being nice.
HN users are about 10% from SV (5-14%, depending on what exactly you count). And about 50% from the US.
When I read your comment I can't help but hear it as taking a step away from the numbers and back into preconceptions (i.e. real numbers would show what you already know). One thing I've noticed from years of doing this is that people's preconceptions about HN are amazingly strong and often not open to change. Sorry—I know that sounds condescending; in case it helps, I don't think I'm any different.
That's a far cry from weighting by comment instead of by user, not to mention the other factors I mentioned. Maybe it would help if you could provide a link where people could look at the raw data (properly anonymized of course) and do their own analysis instead of relying on yours.
> people's preconceptions about HN are amazingly strong
Indeed. As you point out, nobody's exempt. Of course, there are ways around that. The proof's in the pudding. There are probably many people here who could do a real sentiment analysis and compare the result to other sites. I'm as sure as you are of what that would show, even though we make different predictions.
The corpus of HN comments is public and available to anyone who wants to do a sentiment analysis on them. I've not seen any compelling-enough examples of sentiment analysis to want to do it.
If you think someone is wrong very often, I believe saying why the person is wrong on every occasion will provide them with actionable information much better than calling them an imbecile. The goal is not to make the person go away, but to help them produce better ideas.
If someone verbally assaults me, I'll defend my point or, when provided with valid reasons, I'll behave like an adult and correct it. If I ever come across as abusive, let me know and I'll try to be a better person in the future.
Is that really too much to ask?
>Examples of unacceptable behavior by participants include:
>Other conduct which could reasonably be considered inappropriate in a professional setting
Following which country professional setting? The US?
>Maintainers have the right and responsibility to [...] ban temporarily or permanently any contributor for other behaviors that they deem inappropriate, threatening, offensive, or harmful.
Ok, not too abusable.
>This Code of Conduct applies both within project spaces and in public spaces when an individual is representing the project or its community.
>Representation of a project may be further defined and clarified by project maintainers.
And that's from where abuse will be coming. Using your blog not associated with Linux but with your name to tell things some "maintainers" don't like? Go work on another project. Because for this case your name is enough to check the "representation of a project" clause.
- the kernel community is comprised entirely of people who will never be abusive, so it doesn't need a code of conduct
- the project is surrounded by people who are so dangerous that they will abuse any kind of process, even a code of conduct
Please explain how an anti-abuse system normalises abuse?
> If someone is abusive without a CoC thryvcan ve easily removed.
It has long been argued that Linus was abusive, and he wasn't removed at all let alone "easily".
Plenty of friend groups cuss each other out in good fun.
As you and @kingofhdds pointed out, it's OK to call someone that if you are a close friend or somehow trusted not to literally mean it, but we are talking about a mailing list that's a professional exchange for one of the most important software projects in history, that's read by thousands of people and its messages will be archived probably forever.
We can do better than that.
What I also saw is basically 3 different type of camps. The one I mentioned above. The second group which think the code of conduct is good, needed, and will change the kernel maintainers so it has more diverse group. Last the group that is supposed to enforce the code of conduct and who has consistently proclaim that that isn't their job and that the code of conduct is more of a guide in mediation. The group I have not seen is those who say they need the code of conduct to feel safe as developers.
Open Source values will still remain - working in a transparent, open (not always nice) way.
More with CoC, harassing people will not be tolerated
Notice the people making a stink about Linus do it by taking out of context, lying about what he said and have managed to get people to think he should step down.(and are putting in place a “code” that lets them do it even though he’s the kindest non-bigoted person you could think of.)
It’s completely political and it’s discriminatory.
So there is a lot of people peripheral to these projects, that want nothing more than to disrupt by harassing people completely unknown to them, under a veil of anonymity? And that's the point of these CoC's?
Who are these people you speak of? Some secret cabal of "SJW's"?
You are saying the point isn't to codify some ground rules for collaboration and communication, which are then in rare cases abused by some individuals, the abuse is the point? Please.
If I ever need to add a feature to one of them I’ll have to fork it.
But I think that it needs a “no CoC” license.
That list, by the way, is a list of projects run by people who bowed to pressure and didn’t really think it thru or believed the lies pushed by those pushing the CoC.
I know this first hand for the projects I was involved in. It vaguely sounded good, the maintainers were leftists too and everybody opposes harassment, right?
Are you implying that those who support a CoC are lying or somehow not "strong" enough to oppose it? You've stated elsewhere  your objection that people who oppose a CoC are implied to be bigoted. And yet here you are assuming that those who have no problem with a CoC are weak and have bowed to pressure or believing some lie. It works both ways my friend.
 > If you don’t understand, maybe Consider the objections, instead of ( unintentionally) writing as if the people who object are presumed abusive or bigoted.
But then as the original agreement says there is no racism against whites people and no sexism against men.
Where does it say that? Here is the full text of the CoC: https://www.contributor-covenant.org/version/1/4/code-of-con...
Like, I don't really love it, but I don't really hate it either, and after reading it I find it hard to see what the LINUX IZ DED ZOMG kerfuffle is about.
> Project maintainers are responsible for clarifying the standards of acceptable behavior and are expected to take appropriate and fair corrective action in response to any instances of unacceptable behavior.
That’s it. If it’s acceptable to the maintainers, it’s acceptable. If it’s unacceptable to the maintainers, it’s not.
Whether or not it is based on the Contributor Covenant is irrelevant -- the language is roughly the same broad brush strokes with which you appear to have ideological differences. Do you take issue with the "Enforcement" section?
I suppose this means you (and anyone else that has a problem with COCs, I guess) will only contribute to small-to-medium open source projects where the maintainer does it as a hobby?
That sentence probably needs some adjustment for time dependence. There were plenty of open source projects with proper governance models in the 90s (e.g. GNU, Debian) but AFAIK CoCs are a relatively recent thing.
But a governance model that relies on a couple of hundred self-policing contributors needs to evolve with scale, right?
You can see how you not noticing it is incompatible with your comments about CoCs being the end of the fucking world, right?
The apparent blandness of the CoC may exactly be the problem.
Either way, it's a clear case of mismanagement and miscommunication.
Nothing to do with a software project CoC.
You know, in many places confronting management about the changes they introduce is not something that is generally practiced, and if you do that, especially in a semi-public way (even if that means Cc:-ing a few coworkers), you're simply at risk. This applies to small mom-and-pop shops, and equally applies to Google.
That wasn’t your intention because you meant to just say you have no problem accepting criticism. But that’s the implication.
And the idea of guilty until proven innocent, but you can’t defend yourself because you will never hear the accusation and your attacker can remain anonymous while you are drummed out of a job based on lies without a chance to defend yourself should be offensive to all reasonable people.
That’s what these “CoCs” do and that’s how they are used.
Look at drupal- the guy attacked for being kinky (really he was attacked because someone didn’t like him and the CoC gave them power to vindictively gee back at him.). Look at the numerous attacks the author of the CoC has perpetrated. Look at the listing of the head of Mozilla for the “crime” of not being a Marxist.
This is an age where people are being reported to HR for the “hate crime” of bringing Chik-Fil-a in for lunch!
Following one of these CoCs to the letter, I could levee infringements against practically anyone, even if I only made minor contributions.
I don't think either that or Linus' excessive swearing belongs in a software project, but CoC makers clearly aren't interested in maintaining a civil society, they're just interested in maintaining their particular brand of ideology.
This means you haven't read the article.
The truth is a maintainer can eject someone without a CoC. The purpose of CoC, as stated by its author in her very bigoted and hostile twitter feed is to eradicate meritocracy.
CoC lets some random person with a political axe to grind derail a project with accusations about things done outside the project (Eg a disagreement on twitter) backed up with a gang of people accusing the project maintainers of being bigots if they don’t eject their intended victim.
This is bullying.
I won’t invest time in projects where the contributors are not respected and maintainers will listen to a politically motivated mob over reason.
Since the proponents of CoCs seemingly are always people who violate them constantly (under the CoC its own author should be kicked from every project that adopts it based on her twitter comments) it’s clear the intention is not to protect anyone.
The intention is to force their politics into open source projects.
 This means I get to see abuse from straight bigots as well as SJWs who hate me for being male and apparently think preferring men is discrimination against women! (Or so they have told me on twitter.). I only mention I’m gay here so you understand I’m not some neonazi. I’ve been jumped outside a bar and called a faggot in Oklahoma, but I don’t feel these “codes of conduct” do anything to protect me, quite the opposite. So they don’t address the key case that I’m guessing HN users will assume they do. Gay men are considered highly privileged these days, and thus subhuman.
 There are many examples, check the reddit threads in /r/Linux of the abuse of CoC.
For the sake of clarity, it's important to note here that "meritocracy" is a deeply contentious word. What "merit" is being rewarded? True technical ability/contribution? Measured how? Or access and privilege (for which it's a misnomer but still often used)? Which definition does the author of the CoC oppose? Which definition do you defend? You obviously intend "eradicate meritocracy" as a condemnation, but some might see eradicating pretend meritocracy as a good thing.
Please forgive me the scepticism, but this sounds like a standard far-right caricature of liberal beliefs rather than anything that actually happened. People don't actually think like this. If I have to assume good faith here, then another possibility is that you were being trolled.
(Edit: bearing in mind your antipathy towards anonymous complainants, would you be willing to submit a link to the Twitter thread in question?)
But being called a faggot in Oklahoma rings true to you, right?
Think about that. That example is more specific because it’s the only time a right winger has been mean... straight leftists being abusive has happened an uncounted number of times.
My crime is I’m not a leftist, therefore I’m not a person.
Oh shit, I admitted it. Now I can expect to be deplatformed from HN.
Anyway apparently it’s not just me who feels this way. Lots of examples but here’s one: https://www.reddit.com/r/TiADiscussion/comments/3daeft/tired...
You're assuming he's contributing privately and can stop at leisure.
"He didn't step down. He's taking a break. It's not the first time he takes a break either. Let's not be too alarmist."
I do agree that it's somehow worrisome, but I tend to think that open discussion, and slowing down is a sign of health rather than the opposite. Time will tell.
Time will tell how things will change in the Linux development world, but on a personal level, I think it is kind of admirable to face such an issue and be so open about it.
I don't think this is going to kill Linux. As for Linus's vacation/break/whatever, it's good that they're practicing giving the reins away. It is bound to happen at some future anyway. It's equally good that they're practicing behaving well, because it's quite possible that the next project lead will not have the history and personality to make bad communication work -- and that could destroy Linux.
There is absolutely no proof a CoC
drives "inclusiveness", whatever it means, however there are multiple examples where codes of conducts were used to exclude contributors because they said something someone did not like in a setting completely unrelated to the project community.
CoC are political tools to eliminate diversity of ideas and impose an "intersectional" mindset on all contributors, under threat of exclusion.
Larry did not harass anybody in the Drupal community yet was kicked out of any official Drupal related conferences and cannot contribute to the project anymore, just because he shared a fetish with his wife someone did not approve of.
This is always a difficult line to draw. If you find out someone is a nazi (and thus would like to see you dead or preferably never born) it's hard to just look past that fact and colllaborate constructively just because the behavior was "unrelated to the project". The simple rule would be- would you be fired on the spot from your workplace if these comments were discovered? Then it's not so strange you might face issues in a collaborative project either.
> eliminate diversity of ideas
I think that's reading a bit much into the CoC to be honest.
It's not difficult at all. What contributors are doing privately has nothing to do with the project.
That is not a simple rule at all: there are all kinds of workplaces out there in the world, some of which allow drunk naked people cursing while puking at the same time.
Also, how is the Code of Conduct to blame? The official position seems to be that he didn't violate it.
There was a dispute which was being handled privately, and in consultation with Larry, but he decided to attack the project in public over it.
Perhaps I understood this wrong... are you saying that discriminating against somebody because they're gay is exactly the same as discriminating against somebody because they sexually harassed someone?
Right. Let's see Klabnik accept a PR from Curtis Yarvin. The "inclusiveness" of Rust, and projects like it, only applies if you hold the correct opinions.
The definition of "inclusive" as viewed by most of these CoCs is extremely narrow.
Politics discussion is off-topic, and so it’s geneally a non-issue. I don’t discuss my political beliefs, and neither does anyone else.
That is, of course, a complete lie.
Just to balance that statement out: any projects with discourse sounding like the LKML of the past I'm completely uninterested in helping. I think I represent a larger group of developers than those scared off by a CoC.
I really wonder where the great fear that CoCs will be abused to shut down disagreement comes from. I am not a fan of policing language, but there just aren't many real examples of such abuse out there.
Here is the actual list of examples from the CoC. Which of these do you need to do in order to feel happy to contribute to Linux development?
+Examples of unacceptable behavior by participants include:
+* The use of sexualized language or imagery and unwelcome sexual attention or
+* Trolling, insulting/derogatory comments, and personal or political attacks
+* Public or private harassment
+* Publishing others’ private information, such as a physical or electronic
+ address, without explicit permission
+* Other conduct which could reasonably be considered inappropriate in a
+ professional setting
Fight overreach, by all means. Make sure that the CoC contains means to fight overreach. That's all good. But the whole "I can't contribute to this project anymore because I find SJWs offensive" whinging strikes me as deeply hypocritical.
This is a personal attack, very thinly veiled.
If Hacker News had the same code of conduct, your account would have to be banned at worst.
Edit: Too late, I can't edit anymore unfortunately. Let me rephrase:
"Behaving like a decent human being isn't that hard. It's work that anyone who wants to work in a collaborative project can reasonably be expected to do. If this is objectionable to you, then maybe this collaboration isn't for you."
It can be quite hard to live up to everyone's standards of "decency". You just failed to do it.
> I shouldn't respond to hyperbolic language with the like.
Write that on the chalkboard one hundred times and maybe we'll let it slide. This time.
What point are you trying to illustrate? Are you saying I shouldn't have been called out on it? Because I disagree. The fact was, I found the post I replied to annoying, and I replied in a tone that was stronger than it needed to be. It's a good thing that was called out. Next time I'll take a breather before replying and we'll have a more constructive exchange.
That said, this chilling effect seems to come more from companies and public institutions in the UK/US than CoCs in the OpenSource community. I agree that this is something to clearly position against.
And I believe a well written CoC can help here by making this explicit: For example: By refering to behaviour in an official capacity. There is some subtlty with OpenSource projects and less formalized roles here. So that's a discussion worth having.
> Because behaving like a decent human being is that hard, isn't it?
By pointing out that you weren't able to live up to that standard even when trying to champion it. How hard will it be if you're in a heated argument with someone when your work is at stake?
I don't know, this is the topic I get most heated about, I successfully lead pretty diverse teams, this definitely wouldn't happen to me in that context. After all discussion message boards like this are also a different context than a professional mailing list (and I strongly believe that context is important and not always appropriately taken into account).
Just because something isn't that hard, doesn't mean we don't slip up sometimes. So I'd stand by my assessment. It isn't that hard. I expect it of myself and my team. I still sometimes fail. Then a CoC, being called out on it, and given constructive criticism helps me.
Code of Conduct that you are defending doesn't mention it. It allows to state someone guilty right after first "slip up". Now I can take your comments and present them to the pretty diverse teams you successfully lead and you may be expelled from them due to your heated arguments on HN. But I wouldn't do that. I'm just making an example how exploitable Contrubutor Covenant's policies are.
To me this is roughly analogous to: If we let a maintainer decide what code to accept into the Kernel, they can just take malicious or suboptimal code and merge it!
I have seen attempted overreach in using statements made in different contexts against individuals, but overall it seems that these overreach situations were mostly corrected.
In fact a well written CoC should protect against this sort of stuff as well. It should make explicit this defence: This is my personal handle, not associated to my professional career, thus I am not representing my employer or an open source entity when I argue here.
The arguments I've encountered here in this thread are not for better CoCs, or for how we should behave towards each other, but just blanket rejections of CoCs.
See, that's what I disagree with. To me that reads like almost pathological conflict-avoidance, or maybe it's the urge to not be a hypocrite. Either way, it's unnecessarily submissive and it's making you weak.
I don't. Aggressiveness, especially passive-aggressiveness (like in your original reply) is usually a sign of weakness.
> not admitting mistakes with strength
You ceded to an overly pedantic and uncharitable interpretation of the CoC that, if applied, would be disastrous. People can't live up to that standard, applying it would be counter-productive even to your own goals. My goal was to make you realize that, not cave in. You had not made a mistake.
> and bullying with commanding respect
Asking people to live up to an extreme interpretation of an already highly subjective CoC, that is bullying in my book. If you actually commanded respect, you wouldn't need such a document in the first place.
> ...that need to be opposed.
You're opposing a straw man.
Who gets to decide what's "decent"? Do you not realize that what you just wrote can be considered [inappropriate], a [personal attack] and/or [trolling]? Do it once more, perhaps unwittingly, and you're a repeat offender. Three strikes and you are out. If I like you (or rather your politics align with mine), I won't use that weapon against you, but it's in my power to do so.
Look into what led to the Ayo.js/node.js fork, it was basically caused by R.V. posting on his personal twitter something against CoCs. He wasn't in line with the politics of certain other members. In that case, sanity prevailed, but only narrowly.
For another example where that weapon was turned against the very person who brought it to the table, look into what happened with J.K. and Lerna.
> But the whole "I can't contribute to this project anymore because I find SJWs offensive" whinging strikes me as deeply hypocritical.
Nobody actually is saying that. You're just misrepresenting the argument in a [derogatory] manner. That's pretty [insulting], isn't it?
Also the CoC explicitly gives a list of examples on what is decent/indecent behavior. It's a good one to me. Ultimately the answer is the same as with anything in a collaborative group: The group has to come to a consensus on what is and isn't decent. What we are experiencing right now is that this consensus is shifting.
Also, yes, there are examples of CoCs being used to bully people, or people making stupid decisions. These have usually been quickly reverted. 
But overall I have seen a lot more whinging reactions along the lines of "how dare you put your politics here!" than actual examples of abuses. And remember the information asymmetry here. Every abuse of a CoC is by definition public, and therefore also ultimately the community has a lot of options to correct such abuses. On the other hand, people who drop out because they find the atmosphere in a group toxic rarely go public. I've certainly dropped out of groups for that reason without mentioning it anywhere.
 Remember the "fork their repository" and dongle jokes debacle from a few years back? The outcome of that was that the accused was initially quickly fired (institutional overreaction to a ridiculous accusation), but ultimately got a new job immediately. The accuser on the other hand got a whole ton of abuse, lost her business, and last I checked was still out of a job. The idea that on balance the social power has shifted too far into the direction of the accusers is absurd to me. It just does not fit the world I observe. Every public accuser still get's harassed a lot. There are still plenty of incentives to not publicly accuse.
That is untrue.
> But overall I have seen a lot more whinging reactions along the lines of "how dare you put your politics here!" than actual examples of abuses.
That is besides the point.
>  Remember the "fork their repository" and dongle jokes debacle from a few years back? The outcome of that was that the accused was initially quickly fired (institutional overreaction to a ridiculous accusation), but ultimately got a new job immediately. The accuser on the other hand got a whole ton of abuse, lost her business, and last I checked was still out of a job.
Well, okay, what do we actually learn from that unfortunate turn of events though? If you ask me, it's that CoCs cause more problems than they solve, for everyone involved. I actually gave you the example where the person who introduced the CoC got thrown out via the CoC.
> The idea that on balance the social power has shifted too far into the direction of the accusers is absurd to me. It just does not fit the world I observe. Every public accuser still get's harassed a lot. There are still plenty of incentives to not publicly accuse.
I'm not sure what your argument is here. I'm not making a "power balance" argument myself, your argument couldn't be that it all evens out because everyone's life will be ruined.
Fight the abusers, fight the bullies, but don't pretend that we can't have written down norms of decency because of the potential for abuse.
You presumably wouldn't accept blanket "potential for abuse/harm" arguments in other contexts either.
I don't pretend that we can't have written norms of decency. But I know for sure that it's not the norms written in "Contributor's Covenant". It should be another covenant.
> You presumably wouldn't accept blanket "potential for abuse/harm" arguments in other contexts either.
A couple of month ago I made a teardown of 17 pages long bill that was pushed in Ukraine and had a lot of abuse potential. It was (and is) my main concern. I see it as a major issue of laws, rules, covenants and other legal or semi-legal documents. You may not see it as big issue, but I do. I see this potential abused every single day by corrupt governments of Ukraine and other ex-USSR governments. Vague rulings as in previously mentioned "Contributor's Covenant" are used to prosecute people for stupid reasons and for personal profit by ones who have power.
> Fight the abusers
It's very unlikely that witchhunt victim will return to community. I'd rather have rules better written than someone expelled from the community because someone likes to abuse the power.
That said, your link also just peddles various conspiracy theories as "proven", and imagines a vast conspiracy of SJWs who specifically target powerful men. Which, BTW, should it exists, is clearly utterly ineffectual.
Why add something to a project that begins an endless spiral of fighting? Does this seem productive to you?
I also don't think this rejection of PC culture is as silly and as small of a movement as you think. But time will tell.
How about not taking the term I used, "PC culture", and using it to passive aggressively disparage me as someone petulant who frame everything in terms of "sjw's"? (the term "sjw" in quotes although I never wrote that, but assuredly, this is how you believe I think.)
Yes, gamer gate settled down, because the media couldn't keep a controversy going and generate clicks forever. But this is not what I'm talking about. It's people like me, other developers, and now the developers of the linux kernel as well speaking up and trying to reign in this insanity, which you seem blind to.
Yea, so I don't believe that your conclusion that this is just a flash in the pan, and will be forgotten in the historical context, is correct, but instead just further evidence that the pot is starting to boil, and will eventually be the beginning of actual correction to this high-handed bullshit that we have been fed from those supporting crap like this CoC.
Oh yea? What about?
It looks like the only plausible way to undo the addition of the CoC is if enough contributors rescind the license to use their contribution. Given that the kernel is licensed under GPL v2, this seems to be a real possibility (GPL v3 prevents this scenario).
The moderation team claims that many of the people arguing against the CoC appear to be new to /r/linux.
> We have noticed a large influx of accounts this past week that have never commented or posted in /r/Linux before. We have also seen a large number of accounts being created just to comment on these posts.
(Not directed at anyone specific, but I notice some green text in this thread too)
Now, for once, Linus Torvalds thinks it's time for change and maybe everyone could be a little nicer to everyone else, and suddenly we hear doom and gloom and how yielding to the American "SJW" culture will ruin Linux for everyone.
I wonder what choice words Linus-of-yesteryear would have uttered to see the shenanigan.
Automatic assumptions that what is good for Redhat or Google is good for everyone do not hold. These companies have real power, thousands of employees, media and industry support, funding, and lots of people reluctant to go against them or keen to curry favour so they can overwhelm any decision or discussion with resources. This must be recognized.
Linus is obviously not easy to replace but there should be some kind of succession planning and also thinking in detail about how to retain the independence of the development process from powerful interests.
This latter is something that not enough attention has been paid to in open source. Security fud is often used to raise complexity and indirectly encourage corporate interests and monopoly. The control of standards is also used to push complexity and raise barriers.
In the long term its only the ability of smaller groups to develop software that can ensure users are not held hostage by vested interests. The Linux kernel is hugely important to open source and it needs to be managed well to encourage and motivate the next generation of contributors.
If you cross someone privately, apologize privately. If you cross someone publicly, especially a subordinate, you owe them a public apology. Because you burned all their relationships.
You were rude to me on a bug tracker? I'll dox you and find something you said 5 years ago which is offensive and report it to the committee to get you banned.
The relevant snippet is here:
Examples of unacceptable behavior by participants include:
The use of sexualized language or imagery and unwelcome sexual attention or advances
Trolling, insulting/derogatory comments, and personal or political attacks
Public or private harassment
Publishing others’ private information, such as a physical or electronic address, without explicit permission
Other conduct which could reasonably be considered inappropriate in a professional setting
i.e. the CoC explicitly mentions doxxing as against the CoC.
I find the phrase "I am
excited" used in almost every business announcement to be offensive, because it is not genuine, nor does it indicate what type of excitement is being felt - excitement merely means an elevated state of emotions, could be good, could be bad
Have a look: https://www.reddit.com/r/linusrants/
It's particularly interesting to contrast this with the relatively smooth process of the Python community. They adopted a code of conduct a while ago, and more recently Guido van Rossum - he for whom the term "Benevolent Dictator For Life" was invented - stepped down. There was some contention, but nothing like what we're seeing for Linux. I don't think it's because of the two projects' prominence. I think it's because Guido was never as polarizing as Linus. Again, the lesson is perhaps that nobody should be allowed to drive a project of that size toward such a cliff.
Many people seem to want to paint Linux as having this terrible internal culture because mean ol' Linus was always randomly insulting people for no good reason, and I just haven't seen any proof of that myself. The idea that Linus had to change strikes me as odd--he wasn't hurting anyone, and nobody thought he was, until recently.
I have a feeling this will get dragged down into hair-splitting over what "hurt anyone" means, but I've known or known of several people whose careers were negatively affected. Sage Sharp comes immediately to mind. Some of the people who have tried to get security or real-time-scheduling patches in, only to met with a wall of invective, also come to mind. Sure, they probably went on to do their work elsewhere or maintain it as private patches, and were content doing so, but I'd still say that denied them recognition they deserved and also represent missed opportunities for Linux itself. I've personally stayed away from working on the Linux kernel, despite having worked on kernels since before Linux existed and thus knowing both the technical and cultural issues involved, because I just didn't want to be around him or Al Viro or some of the others I'd have to work with to get patches in.
So I have a different perspective than you. How is that "revisionist"? Couldn't that label be applied to your "nothing bad ever happened" version just as easily?
> The idea that Linus had to change strikes me as odd
Whether he had to or not, he felt it was beneficial to do so. Maybe those who idolize him should consider that he might have been right this time too.
Is this really what happened? To me it appeared like a bunch of Linus's close friends told him he was acting like a jerk, and he agreed. Building this into some kind of global movement out to punish wrongthink smacks of conspiracy theory to me.
I also think I'm reading the notion that perhaps Linus' apology and temporary stepping-down to reflect introduces hesitancy about the authority/legitimacy/validity of his position and views.
Maybe so. I don't think this will have a negative impact on Linux itself though. For all the chaos it's wrought, the GPLv2 kind of saves things somewhat here; even if Linus steps down, we'll be fine: the whole world is Linux-specific, and while Linux is just a syscall interface it's also a rather important thing that initializes and maintains the state of your hardware and peripherals for you, and this rather important thing happens to be under this license that doesn't let you proprietary-ify it in certain ways.
This is awesome.
Until someone makes a perfectly Linux-compatible kernel with a different license model.
The idea makes sense. Notwithstanding whatever ideas you might associate with Lennart Poettering, I remember him saying (although I can't find it right now...) that Linux is pretty much the future and that nothing else (translation: BSD) really matters. I think this was regarding GNOME and/or systemd BSD support. Some may think FreeBSD (at least) might want to have a word with Lennart, but still...
So far Microsoft have a partially complete UNIX^HLinux reimplementation. Honestly quite an amazing 360° there... they currently seem to be trying to lure "modern developers" to Azure. I can't say I quite get the rationale there, but okay, cool. (Not dissing it, I genuinely don't "get" it.)
FreeBSD's quiet use in things like the PlayStation 4 is similar to MINIX's use in Intel CPUs: the fact that it's a UNIX is a throwaway implementation detail. Linux is completely different - compatibility encapsulates everything from the syscall table to the location of specific files, to the existence of /proc, /sys and similar, to the fact that graphics and windowing are (for now...) X11 based, to the fact that the shell works the way it does (read: that the shell uses the GNU coreutils).
Google decided to avoid the UNIX thing altogether, instead opting to create their own new thing. This makes sense: Google have server-side, client-side, and everything in between to think about, and it's going to simplify a lot of subsystems, infrastructure, tooling, design, architecture, etc, if they can hand the same kernel to wearable device OEMs, phone/tablet OEMs, server OEMs, IoT device OEMs, "nonexistent"/internal network equipment OEMs, consumer network device OEMs; etc etc. This is a stretch and perhaps I'm looking ahead more ambitiously than Google is here, but I'd be _very_ surprised if this concept hasn't been floated. It's too attractive and makes too much sense.
I've been scared about Linux's future for a long time. It feels... too successful, like things are going suspiciously well. I mean, right now I'm typing this on a machine running an OS I didn't have to pay anybody for, and if something breaks and makes me mad enough to want to do something about it, there's more things I can take apart and things I can open and shut that will fit in my attention span. And here's the bit that I'm suspicious about: that's the status quo, what we've come to expect. We have it ridiculously easy!
I guess the reason I'm suspicious is because, I'm afraid the nice status quo changing isn't a matter of if but when, and when things fall apart, I don't want to be taken by surprise.
It would be utterly foolish for me to try to envisage how this would happen; the bazaar is WAY too big, sociopolitically speaking, for me to mentally model it. Nope. But I feel (hand-wavily) that something's gotta give, eventually. Not because of some concept of "where on earth is the fuel for all of this free stuff coming from, and when will it run out" but more in terms of the integrity of the fabric holding everything together, and how vulnerable that is to change.
Now if Linux came to an end (I don't think so) or Linus started some new OS project it wouldn't be the end of the world but the opportunity to start over and create something new. Eternal recurrence and all that ..
That an admittedly mediocre tech-wise, and really quite odd person who publicly hates meritocracy will now presume to sit in judgment of others who have skills far greater than his, grates.