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DATE 2014-10-01

HANGOUT

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MESSAGE
DATE 2014-10-18
FROM Ruben Safir
SUBJECT Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] SystemD development hostility towards the GNU/Linux community
From owner-hangout-outgoing-at-mrbrklyn.com Sat Oct 18 19:18:08 2014
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Date: Sat, 18 Oct 2014 19:18:05 -0400
From: Ruben Safir
To: hangout-at-nylxs.com
Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] SystemD development hostility towards the GNU/Linux community
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http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/10/06/poettering_says_linux_kernel_community_is_hostil/

https://plus.google.com/app/basic/stream/z13rdjryqyn1xlt3522sxpugoz3gujbhh04

Much of the Open Source community tries to advertise the community as
one happy place to the outside. Where contributions are valued only by
their technical quality, and everybody meets at conferences for beers.

Well, it is not like that. It's quite a sick place to be in.

I don't usually talk about this too much, and hence I figure that people
are really not aware of this, but yes, the Open Source community is full
of assholes, and I probably more than most others am one of their most
favourite targets. I get hate mail for hacking on Open Source. People
have started multiple "petitions" on petition web sites, asking me to
stop working (google for it). Recently, people started collecting
Bitcoins to hire a hitman for me (this really happened!). Just the other
day, some idiot posted a "song" on youtube, a creepy work, filled with
expletives about me and suggestions of violence. People post websites
about boycotting my projects, containing pretty personal attacks. On
IRC, people /msg me sometimes, with nasty messages, and references to
artwork in 4chan style. And there's more. A lot more.

I am used to rough discussions on mailing lists, and yes, when I was
younger I did not always stay technical in flamewars, but nowadays I am
pretty good at that, I am sometimes articulate, but never personal. I
have a thick skin (and so do most of the others involved in systemd,
apparently), and I figure that plays a major role why we managed to
bring systemd to success, despite all the pressure in the opposite
direction. But from time to time, I just have to stand back and say
"Wow, what an awful community Linux has!".

The Internet is full of deranged people, no doubt, so one might just
discount all of this on the grounds that the Open Source community isn't
any different than any other community on the Internet or even offline.
But I don't think so. I am pretty sure there are certain things that
foster bad behaviour. On one hand there are certain communities where it
appears to be a lot more accepted to vent hate, communities that attract
a certain kind of people (Hey, Gentoo!) more than others do. (Yes, the
folks who post the stuff they do usually pretty clearly state from wich
community they come).

But more importantly, I'd actually put some blame on a certain circle of
folks that play a major role in kernel development, and first and
foremost Linus Torvalds himself. By many he is a considered a role
model, but he is quite a bad one. If he posts words like "[specific
folks] ...should be retroactively aborted. Who the f*ck does idiotic
things like that? How did they not die as babies, considering that they
were likely too stupid to find a tit to suck on?" (google for it), than
that's certainly bad. But what I find particularly appalling is the fact
that he regularly defends this, and advertises this as an efficient way
to run a community. (But it is not just Linus, it's a certain group of
people around him who use the exact same style, some of which
semi-publically even phantasize about the best ways to, ... well, kill
me).

But no, it's not an efficient way to run a community. If Linux had
success, then that certainly happened despite, not because of this
behaviour. I am pretty sure the damage being done by this is quite
obvious, it not only sours the tone in the Linux community, it is also
teaches new contributors to adopt the same style, but that only if it
doesn't scare them away in the first place.

In other words: A fish rots from the head down.

I don't mind using strong language, I don't mind the use of words such
as "fuck", I use the word all the time too, it's really not about that.
I must simply say that I wished it would stay at that, because what
actually is happening is so much worse, and and so much more hateful.

If you are a newcomer to Linux, either grow a really thick skin. Or run
away, it's not a friendly place to be in. It is sad that it is that way,
but it certainly is.

The Linux community is dominated by western, white, straight, males in
their 30s and 40s these days. I perfectly fit in that pattern, and the
rubbish they pour over me is awful. I can only imagine that it is much
worse for members of minorities, or people from different cultural
backgrounds, in particular ones where losing face is a major issue.

You know, I can deal with all this shit, and I guess in a way with the
energy we are pushing the changes we propose with we are calling for
opposition, so this post is really not intended to be a call for
sympathy. The main point I want to make with this is to correct a few
things about our communities, and how their are percieved. Open Source
isn't a kindergarten. Open Source is awful in many ways, and people
should be aware of this.

Not everybody in the Linux community is like this, the vast majority
isn't. Not even all our different communities really have a problem with
this at all. But many do, and the most prominent one, the Linux
community as a whole certainly has.

I am not the one to fix any of this, I cannot tell you how one could do
it. And quite frankly, I really don't want to be involved in fixing
this. I am a technical guy, I want to do technical things.

My personal conclusion out of all this is mostly just that I don't want
to have much to do with the worst offenders, and the communities they
run. My involvement with the kernel community ended pretty much before
it even started, I never post on LKML, and haven't done in years. Also,
in our own project we are policying posts. We regularly put a few folks
on moderation on the mailing list, and we will continue to do so.
Currently, the systemd community is fantastic, and I really hope we can
keep it that way.

And that's all about this topic from me. I have no intentions to ever
talk about this again on a public forum.

  1. 2014-10-02 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] opensuse 13.1
  2. 2014-10-02 Chris Knadle <Chris.Knadle-at-coredump.us> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] opensuse 13.1
  3. 2014-10-06 mrbrklyn-at-panix.com Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] HW 1
  4. 2014-10-07 einker <eminker-at-gmail.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Rant of the Day
  5. 2014-10-07 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Rant of the Day
  6. 2014-10-07 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Installfest
  7. 2014-10-07 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Installfest
  8. 2014-10-08 einker <eminker-at-gmail.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Rant of the Day
  9. 2014-10-12 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] News from Israel
  10. 2014-10-12 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] [ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com: new programming language]
  11. 2014-10-12 mrbrklyn-at-panix.com Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] [tetris4-at-gmail.com: Re: chakra installation and fdisk]
  12. 2014-10-12 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] system D is out of fucking control
  13. 2014-10-12 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] some none systemd chocies
  14. 2014-10-12 mrbrklyn-at-panix.com Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] [info-at-meetup.com: Tomorrow: Join 10 Python Programmers and Users at
  15. 2014-10-12 mrbrklyn-at-panix.com Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Arts and Crafts
  16. 2014-10-12 Chris Knadle <Chris.Knadle-at-coredump.us> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] system D is out of fucking control
  17. 2014-10-12 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] system D is out of fucking control
  18. 2014-10-12 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Apache Security tips
  19. 2014-10-18 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Microsoft Key Logging built into OS
  20. 2014-10-18 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] SystemD development hostility towards the GNU/Linux community
  21. 2014-10-18 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Objecting to SystemdD useless even for Linus
  22. 2014-10-18 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Theodore Ts'o on systemd - almost on target
  23. 2014-10-18 mrbrklyn-at-panix.com Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] [rickmoen-at-gmail.com: systemd fallacies debunked]
  24. 2014-10-18 mrbrklyn-at-panix.com Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] [csconnection-at-computer.org: Must-Attend Data Event: We're Saving
  25. 2014-10-18 mrbrklyn-at-panix.com Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] [csconnection-at-computer.org: Stay Ahead of the Curve. Come to the
  26. 2014-10-18 mrbrklyn-at-panix.com Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] [enews-at-pharmacytimes.com: Breaking News: Practice Brief on Ebola]
  27. 2014-10-18 mrbrklyn-at-panix.com Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] [hpwebos-at-news.hpwebosnewsletters.com: HP webOS User Newsletter]
  28. 2014-10-19 mrbrklyn-at-panix.com Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] [brian.gupta-at-brandorr.com: [nylug-talk] Fwd: The Debian Outreach
  29. 2014-10-22 mrbrklyn-at-panix.com Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] [ianseeks-at-yahoo.co.uk: Re: [opensuse] System D: Debian Fork]
  30. 2014-10-22 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] system D is out of fucking control
  31. 2014-10-23 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] The Dingo-OS manifesto
  32. 2014-10-23 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] The Dingo-OS manifesto
  33. 2014-10-25 Elfen Magix <elfen_magix-at-yahoo.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Anybody munching on Raspberry Pi?
  34. 2014-10-30 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] =?windows-1252?Q?Fwd=3A_=5Bisoc-ny=5D_VIDEO=3A_Protecting_?=
  35. 2014-10-30 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Fwd: nixCraft Linux / UNIX Newsletter
  36. 2014-10-30 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Fwd: nixCraft Linux / UNIX Newsletter
  37. 2014-10-30 mrbrklyn-at-panix.com Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] VIDEO: NYC Social Infrastructure & Tech Ecosystem: Are We At An
  38. 2014-10-30 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] thin clients
  39. 2014-10-30 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Fetch Execute Cycle
  40. 2014-10-30 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Fwd: Invitation: Experience with C++11 in ArangoDB
  41. 2014-10-31 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Computer Archotecture Quiz
  42. 2014-10-31 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Fwd: Architecture Homework - Review Questions

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