Hacker News points to this Linux kernel patch, done by a 4-year old. With some assistance, of course, but still impressive. And while the story is cute, the comments are even better. In particular, a link to this email from Linus Torvalds, talking about the importance of the small and trivial contributions.
To me, the biggest thing with small patches is not necessarily the patch itself. I think that much more important than the patch is the fact that people get used to the notion that they can change the kernel – not just on an intellectual level (“I understand that the GPL means that I have the right to change my kernel”), but on a more practical level (“Hey, I did that small change”).
A friend sent me a link to this email from Linus Torvalds to the Kernel Summit Discussion mailing list. The subject of the conversation is the General Public License (GPL) and whether or not it should be enforced in courts. Read the whole thing – it’s quite interesting. Here are a few snippets just to get you started:
Let’s be clear about this: lawsuits destroy. They don’t “protect”.
Lawsuits destroy community. They destroy trust. They would destroy all the goodwill we’ve built up over the years by being nice.
And then this:
Because lawsuits – and even threats of lawsuits – makes companies way less likely to see you as a good guy. Even when you’re threatening
somebody else, everybody else around the target starts getting really
I talked to an Oracle lawyer a few months ago, and told him their
lawsuit just makes Oracle look bad. The lawyer was dismissive, and
tried to explain how it’s silly how people take lawsuits personally,
and talked about how layers _understand_ that lawsuits aren’t
personal, and that they are still friends outside the court.
I’m sure a lawyer can “understand” how lawsuits aren’t actually
something personal at all, but lawyers really seem to be the *only*
people who “understand” that.
The fact is, lawsuits (and threats of lawsuits) do not make for
friends. You just look like a bully.
Slashdot links to this CIO article, which quotes Linus Torvalds on the importance of the General Public License (GPL):
“FSF [Free Software Foundation] and I don’t have a loving relationship, but I love GPL v2,” said Torvalds. “I really think the license has been one of the defining factors in the success of Linux because it enforced that you have to give back, which meant that the fragmentation has never been something that has been viable from a technical standpoint.”
“The GPL ensures that nobody is ever going to take advantage of your code. It will remain free and nobody can take that away from you. I think that’s a big deal for community management.”
Slashdot links to the story that quotes Linus Torvalds’ address of the LinuxCon 2015:
“2016 will be the year of the ARM laptop”
For those who’s rusty on the CPU hardware side, he’s a very easy to follow article, describing the key difference between ARM and x86 architectures.
A few weeks back, there was this story about Sarah Sharp quitting Linux kernel development due to some issues she had with communications on the Linux kernel mailing list (aka LMKL). I never cared much about this sort of things, so I skipped the story altogether (people disagree, no big deal).
Today I was catching up with my RSS feeds, and the story came up again (via this post and discussion thread in Russian), which linked to this Slashdot comment nicely summarizing the story.
Among all the other comments, there was a link to the related email from Linus Torvalds, where he opens up a bit about the “professional” behavior and communication. I think it’s absolutely brilliant and everybody should read the whole thing. But I’ll leave this small quote here for myself:
Because if you want me to “act professional”, I can tell you that I’m not interested. I’m sitting in my home office wearign 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.