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Calling Bullsh*t in Open Source communities
Posted Tuesday Jul 16th, 2013 12:44pm
by Joshua Drake
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We are all human. We all lose our temper. We all have our moments of, "I really wish I could take that back". Of course not if you are not Linus Torvalds. Now everyone knows that Linus has a temper, that he is a foul mouth, lacks certain social graces and is generally one of the, if not the most important developers to surface in the last 20 years. Does that mean he gets to be a jerk? In his mind, yes.

In some ways I agree with Linus. If you are a donkey butt and you don't pay attention to your community and follow its guidelines, then just leave. We don't have time for you anyway. We are trying to solve problems here. In other ways I don't agree with Linus because he exhibits a distinct lack of grace and grace will always get you further than angst. I have been taught this over and over through the years. Sometimes I get it right, sometimes I call out half the Postgres hackers in a room of 200+ and upset lots of itty bitty sensitive egos. So grace it is and grace I try to exhibit although sometimes fail.

Linus could learn from this. Although he sits upon a high perch, he is greatly flawed in his thinking and there are some developers that are calling him on it.

http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.linux.kernel.stable/58049/focus=1525074

Linus excuses his behavior by stating it is just who he is:

http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.linux.kernel.stable/58049/focus=1525074

I once said that the days of Cowboy Open Source is over. Linus apparently didn't see that talk. People are going to tire of the, "I am a socially inept geek and therefore have an excuse to be a jackass excuse". In fact I would argue that most have already tired of it.

Linus I would suggest you look at the -hackers community at Postgresql.org. There you will find a wide disparate group of hackers from dozens of different cultures who all manage to get the job done without juvenile threats, and foul language. They almost are always able to do it professionally too. Have a nice day.



Categories: Business, OpenSource, PostgreSQL, Python, SQL

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