The Effects of Salty Language & Rude Behavior on Linux Development
Perhaps one way of looking at it is to ask a simple question: How has the current level of interaction on the LKML affected the development of Linux?
I wonder if it has helped or hurt Linux. My worry is that overtly abusive language might turn off some talented developers from contributing to Linux. That's a real loss for all of us, and it might mean that some behavioral changes are needed on the part of Linus and other developers.
However, it may also have helped Linux development by cutting through the crap quickly and efficiently. And it may have encouraged Linux developers to think carefully before submitting ideas to the list. Who wants to be pilloried for making a stupid suggestion?
Linus' Response to Sarah's Message
Linus had his own response to Sarah's post that focuses on the libertarian angle I mentioned before. Like Sarah, he uses a profanity in his message. This seems to indicate that perhaps the two of them are more on the same page than they think? Heh, heh.
The thing is, the "victim card" is exactly about trying to enforce
your particular expectations on others, and trying to do so in a very
particular way. It's the old "think of the children" argument. And
it's bogus. Calling things "professional" is just more of the same -
trying to enforce some kind of convention on others by trying to claim
that it's the only acceptable way.
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.
Linus in Action on the LKML
Here's an example, in an unrelated LKML thread, of Linus dealing with another developer. I'll let you make your own judgement about it. Was he right in how he handled it, or should he have been more...er...diplomatic?
Mauro, SHUT THE F--K UP!
To make matters worse, commit f0ed2ce840b3 is clearly total and utter
CRAP even if it didn't break applications.
More at Mailing List Archives
Final Thoughts: A Tempest in a Teapot?
It's quite possible that all of this is just a tempest in a teapot, and that most people could not care less about any of it.