Author Topic: After Years of Abusive E-mails, the Creator of Linux Steps Aside  (Read 4557 times)

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Offline Melissa

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After Years of Abusive E-mails, the Creator of Linux Steps Aside.


The e-mails of the celebrated programmer Linus Torvalds land like thunderbolts from on high onto public lists, full of invective, insults, and demeaning language. “Please just kill yourself now. The world will be a better place,” he wrote in one.

Torvalds has publicly posted thousands of scathing messages targeting programmers who submit what he deems flawed code to the Linux computer-operating-system kernel, which he brought to life more than twenty-five years ago and now administers as a collaborative, open-source project. Today, the Linux kernel is famous, running the enormous computers of Google, PayPal, Amazon, and eBay, and the two billion mobile phones using the Android operating system. Torvalds, though, retains final say over each precious line of code, just as he did when he first started working on the system as a graduate student at the University of Helsinki. For years, he has been known as Linux’s “benevolent dictator for life.”
More here:

https://www.newyorker.com/science/elements/after-years-of-abusive-e-mails-the-creator-of-linux-steps-aside

Oh dear this is pretty damning and I hope it doesn't do harm to Linux's reputation. I'm no mad femo type but looks like women have not been well treated in the Linux working environment. I'm not PC mad and into "recruitment quotas" as much as some people are- the best person for the job is the one most skilled with decent behaviour- whatever their sex, ethnic group etc. If there are excellent women IT specialists then they should be given the same opportunities as blokes.
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Offline Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec)

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Re: After Years of Abusive E-mails, the Creator of Linux Steps Aside
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2018, 03:12:15 pm »
Linus is not sexist (at least I've never read anything he's posted that paints him that way), in fact there has never been any suggestion that gender has entered into things, he appears to be catching the flak simply because he puts MERIT above all else (and some people who bandy about words like "inclusion" don't like that), and takes no bull**** from bad coders who submit badly coded patches, sometimes VERY publicly berating them.

His daughter is an outspoken feminist, so he'd not dare be sexist ;) .. but as I said, AFAIK there's never been any suggestion that code submitted by women is treated any differently than that from males .. good code gets in, rubbish or self serving code does not (and may get you shouted at).

He's probably gone a bit over the top a few times in his public condemnation of people submitting bad code, bordering on (or overstepping) personal attack .. so he's taking a bit of time off in an attempt to modify that behaviour.

Personally I've always seen him as the guy with the biggest responsibility in software (Linux being used on BY FAR the VAST majority of computing devices in the world), so if he gets "shirty" with people who try to push self serving or crap code so be it.

In any case this is no big deal, it's being blown out of all proportion be the press and both extremes of the social justice warrior fraternity, not so much be people with a "real" interest .. don't panic, it'll all blow over the minute they find something else to act all outraged about ;)

He's simply trying to tame his sometimes public flaming of bad code submitters and learn to ignore them .. but that must be VERY difficult, I'd assume that if you ignore someone who regularly pushes rubbish or self serving kernel patches I'll bet they just keep on submitting .. so rock and a hard place.

The main issue here is not sexism (never suggested), or even **really** his public shaming of a handful of people and organisations (who probably deserved it in a meritocracy) .. the issue started off as a discussion by a few (with no evidence one way or the other) about whether this was an agenda driven atempt (big business?) to "squeeze out" Linus (IMHO probably impossible) .. it was then hijacked be SJW extremists on both sides who've spread a TON of unsubstantiated drivel.

My advice .. ignore it, and it'll go away .. feed it, and.......
(but it is NOT about gender .. it never was)
« Last Edit: October 04, 2018, 03:20:43 pm by Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec) »
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Offline Melissa

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Re: After Years of Abusive E-mails, the Creator of Linux Steps Aside
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2018, 02:56:21 pm »
I can understand that coders need to be spot on Mark! I take your points about SJWs- they are really getting annoying and extreme. However the article does give the  name of a woman who described her account of not being treated on the same equal footing as men and being groped. Now whether she is telling the truth or not I cannot say as I was not there.

Quote
Aurora told me that she was groped at a Linux conference and that a senior administrator belittled her and told she lacked the talent to be a key developer. It never occurred to her to report the groping, she said. In 2007, Aurora began to withdraw from Linux programming. She is now a consultant to tech companies working on issues of inclusion and diversity.

Maybe the admin believed she wasn't capable enough, but her subsequent job indicates otherwise. The groping is inexcusable.

This is promising though:

Quote
Mariatta Wijaya, a software engineer who was born in Indonesia and now lives and works in Vancouver, said that she attended her first Python conference in 2015, in Montreal, out of curiosity. During van Rossum’s keynote address, he admitted that there were no women among its core developers. “He said he was willing to mentor women personally, if that is what it takes to improve the diversity,” Wijaya recalled, “but I didn’t reach out to him.” The next year, she attended the same conference. “He gave another keynote and admitted that there were still no women,” she recalled, and made his same offer of mentorship. This time, Wijaya contacted van Rossum and he agreed to help. A year later, Wijaya became the first woman with core-developer privileges, which gives her the power to help decide how Python will grow and change.

My take on it is if a woman can do the job give her the opportunity to apply for it on equal footing to a man. If she isn't then not- same as it would be for a man who hasn't got the skills. The sex of a person should not come into it when he or she can do the job. However I will say it is a bit silly when a small slight woman wants to apply to be brick layer or some job that requires the physical strength of a man: as hard as it is to face, we women are not as strong. No amount of identity politics and non binary movements can change that fact! My Mum thinks it's silly as well. She even thinks women should not be front line soldiers, police in dangerous situations ( but be supportive officers for women victims) and firefighters. I said I agree about the soldiers and the police up to a point  but firefighters- well I think a brave well trained woman firefighter can be an asset as due to the generally smaller size she might be able to get through windows and into spaces men might not fit and a terrified little child trapped in a burning house might be more willing to go to a woman to be rescued.


Any reasonable person should be able to tell the difference between poor work performance being criticised fairly, not having the capabilities to do a particular job and a bit of good hearted banter and out and out insults and sexism. SJWs however cannot it seems.

P.S I had a job in a store recently where we had to set it up, so lots of lifting boxes and putting items on shelves. I found that when us women could lift a box we would but when they were too heavy male colleagues were more than willing to lift them- there was no problem on either sides. SJWS should just leave well alone.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2018, 03:15:56 pm by Melissa »
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Offline Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec)

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Re: After Years of Abusive E-mails, the Creator of Linux Steps Aside
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2018, 11:41:06 pm »
I swore to myself when this story broke I wasn't going to get sucked into this subject .. it's become politically charged by outside extremists with an agenda that have nowt to do with Linux, and furthered by some opposing extremists from the Linux fringe .. but every group has fringe nutters right?

Sure there are dumb-asses everywhere, and I doubt Linux conventions are any different .. that crap should be stamped out wherever it occurs but it's a social issue (or just a numpty issue) not a "Linux" one.

But it's not the focus (or shouldn't be) of the subject at hand, which was purely about Linus taking a self imposed time out to basically stop publicly flaming people who submitted badly coded or self serving kernel patches .. it has nothing to do with third hand anecdotal stories of a woman being mistreated and where the only link is the word "Linux".

How did Linus (or Linux for that matter) become responsible for the odd twit attending a Linux conference ?
(which was highly unlikely organised by or only attended by people from the Linux foundation .. remember Linux is developed by thousands of unconnected "contributors" from all walks of life .. and really the reason for Linux "conventions" in the first place)

Is Linux a toxic environment for women .. personally I've not seen that beyond the fact it's full of blokes (and some women feel intimidated by that alone), it's not by design or by exclusion but just the way it is .. luckily women have ALWAYS been part of software development (including some of the leading lights), just up to this point not in great numbers .. hopefully that was just a leftover remnant of the old gender role bull sh*t that women are quite rightly forcibly shirking now.

In truth there is very little "work environment" in Linux at all .. it's mainly done by home developers at the end of a phone line, and people hired by and working at other companies such as IBM, Intel, and even Microsoft .. so is that where this "toxic environment" is ?

Yep, when you get a few thousand of them together in an "away from home" environment with drinks there's gonna be the odd d*ckhead .. d*ckheads are a social problem, Linux is a socially developed OS.... if there's a problem (which I don't believe) it'll be with the fact that there's nobody "in control" of Linux developers (anyone can call themselves one), only what code gets in.

Here's the thing - When you ask disparate people/companies from all over the world to submit code freely, and where the only oversight is Linus saying whether it gets in or not, which "environment" is there to blame for the occasional fringe tosser with zero connection to Linus except submitted code ?
(in reality there is no "Linux work environment" .. yet SJW's want you to somehow blame "Linux" to further their agenda when "Linux" is just a piece of code)



Damn I did get sucked in after all.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2018, 12:30:14 am by Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec) »
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Offline Melissa

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Re: After Years of Abusive E-mails, the Creator of Linux Steps Aside
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2018, 01:14:56 am »
Quote
I swore to myself when this story broke I wasn't going to get sucked into this subject .. it's become politically charged by outside extremists with an agenda that have nowt to do with Linux, and furthered by some opposing extremists from the Linux fringe .. but every group has fringe nutters right?

You are correct there on all points Mark.


Quote
Sure there are dumb-asses everywhere, and I doubt Linux conventions are any different .. that crap should be stamped out wherever it occurs but it's a social issue (or just a numpty issue) not a "Linux" one.

Agreed!


Quote
But it's not the focus (or shouldn't be) of the subject at hand, which was purely about Linus taking a self imposed time out to basically stop publicly flaming people who submitted badly coded or self serving kernel patches .. it has nothing to do with third hand anecdotal stories of a woman being mistreated and where the only link is the word "Linux".

Well you know how it is these days- identity politics brought into everything. Sure, what happened to her ( going on the premise she was not making it up) is wrong but unfortunately gropers and creeps pop up in all places.


Quote
How did Linus (or Linux for that matter) become responsible for the odd twit attending a Linux conference ?
(which was highly unlikely organised by or only attended by people from the Linux foundation .. remember Linux is developed by thousands of unconnected "contributors" from all walks of life .. and really the reason for Linux "conventions" in the first place)

Well twits and creeps etc abound in all sorts of groups. Linus can't be everywhere watching to see if they appear!


Quote
Is Linux a toxic environment for women .. personally I've not seen that beyond the fact it's full of blokes (and some women feel intimidated by that alone), it's not by design or by exclusion but just the way it is .. luckily women have ALWAYS been part of software development (including some of the leading lights), just up to this point not in great numbers .. hopefully that was just a leftover remnant of the old gender role bull sh*t that women are quite rightly forcibly shirking now.


Well I was the only woman who went to my local LUG group and the fellas were friendly to me when I first went and brought my Dell inspiron mini that had Ubuntu on it back in 2011 and one put Mint on it for me as it was an older version of Ubuntu. I went to a few meetings but it was all way over my head the lectures and presentations they gave lol. I did ask a few questions after to try and understand some of what they were talking about. These guys were IT geeks ( I mean this in the nicest way) who created programmes, so very clever guys. I didn't need to know the stuff they were doing, so I stopped going after about 5 meetings as, well I am not at that high level of IT ability. I'm sure if I had been that level and wanted to keep going they would  not have cared about me being female.

It  is noticeable to me though that few women are IT/computer geeks. I don't quite know why that is- some people will say it is because men are more interested in IT/computing and women are not as much, not that women in general have not the capability but that generally they are not as interested in the subject.  I am quite interested in computer history and the development of them though. I told my mate Paul and he told me there is a museum that has old Amstrads in it so we are gonna go soon.

I do remember a woman I went to college with back in the late 1990s who went to another university afterwards than the one I went to and I saw her in the street and she told me she had to do IT as part of her degree and she didn't want to do it, but the next time I saw her she told me discovered that she loved IT and was surprised she found it so interesting. I haven't seen her since, so I dunno what level of IT she got to.

It seems I'm the only woman on this forum as well lol.

And of course there was Ada Lovelace who was a mathematician who worked with Charles Babbage and she did not get her abilities from her father Lord Byron but her own mother. Byron was a good poet but not that clever- he was a bit nuts lol.

Regarding "gender roles"- well as I said before- if a person can do the job well it should not matter what their sex is. That's what the first feminists in the 19th century wanted to change, but the "third wave feminists" we have these days are a bit nuts. I saw on the news online that one was ranting about the way men sat on trains.  :o


Quote
In truth there is very little "work environment" in Linux at all .. it's mainly done by home developers at the end of a phone line, and people hired by and working at other companies such as IBM, Intel, and even Microsoft .. so is that where this "toxic environment" is ?

Yes, well as we have both said there are always odd bodds to be found in work places.


Quote
Yep, when you get a few thousand of them together in an "away from home" environment with drinks there's gonna be the odd d*ckhead .. d*ckheads are a social problem, Linux is a socially developed OS.... if there's a problem (which I don't believe) it'll be with the fact that there's nobody "in control" of Linux developers (anyone can call themselves one), only what code gets in.

Here's the thing - When you ask disparate people/companies from all over the world to submit code freely, and where the only oversight is Linus saying whether it gets in or not, which "environment" is there to blame for the occasional fringe tosser with zero connection to Linus except submitted code ?
(in reality there is no "Linux work environment" .. yet SJW's want you to somehow blame "Linux" to further their agenda when "Linux" is just a piece of code)


SJWS want to infiltrate everywhere and get people riled up Mark with their virtue signalling, guilt trips, non binary politicking and so on.

Quote
Damn I did get sucked in after all.

Sorry, it's only me though and you just "said" your piece and it seems we agree on the points.  :)
« Last Edit: October 28, 2018, 01:22:23 am by Melissa »
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Offline Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec)

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Re: After Years of Abusive E-mails, the Creator of Linux Steps Aside
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2018, 12:53:51 pm »
Yep, SJW's and d*ckheads are everywhere .. they create each other, so deserve each other .. I wish just they'd go find their own space to whinge at each other in private and leave the rest of us alone.

Kinda remind me of leeches the way they're attracted and attach to everything 'normal', then suck the vitality out of it.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2018, 12:58:09 pm by Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec) »
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Offline Melissa

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Re: After Years of Abusive E-mails, the Creator of Linux Steps Aside
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2018, 01:43:36 pm »

Quote
Yep, SJW's and d*ckheads are everywhere .. they create each other, so deserve each other .. I wish just they'd go find their own space to whinge at each other in private and leave the rest of us alone.

They are very annoying and need to get a life! But I saw a video on you tube of someone poking fun at femos and SJWs and one lot was accusing another of being "racist" and it was hilarious.

Quote
Kinda remind me of leeches the way they're attracted and attach to everything 'normal', then suck the vitality out of it.

LOL.
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Offline davidmichaels

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Re: After Years of Abusive E-mails, the Creator of Linux Steps Aside
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2018, 09:38:52 am »
I think this issue should have been addressed at very early stage as it impacted the reputation globally.

 


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