April 1, 2002

Torvalds says Linux needs new leadership

Fellow hackers,

For some time I have felt unappreciated by some members of the Linux
community. Far too many of you like to whine and cry, saying "My patches
aren't being accepted by Linus, but they are by Alan or Michael!"
It seems that some of you are too stupid to follow the simple
instructions that I have made clear on more than one occasion.


This, combined with the fact that today is my last day at Transmeta, 
has prompted me to consider rediscovering that balance I had in my life 
before you all took my hobby and made it into a mass movement. I have 
not decided who should take over maintenance of the kernel myself, for I 
believe that this decision should be made in a quasi-democratic 
fashion. While democracy has not worked well with this group of people 
before, I am willing to give it one last chance. 

However, I do have some opinions on who should succeed me as leader 
of kernel development. I will provide my opinions below as I am 
entitled to do so. Below is an alphabetical list of my nominations. 
I include a brief explanation of why I nominated them and any concerns 
I may have. You all should do the same for your nominations. 

Alan Cox: Alan has done a spectacular job of maintaining the 2.2 branch 
  ever since I embarked on the development branch. He would have been an 
  automatic choice for this job, except for his childish refusal to 
  travel to the US, where all the real kernel hackers hang out. 
  Marcello has proven to me, however, that you do not need to live 
  in a technology-rich country such as the US to be a leader of 
  kernel development. 

Matt Dillon: Whenever someone moans about the 2.4 VM fiasco, 
  I think to myself, "I wish Matt hadn't left the Linux kernel 
  development for FreeBSD!" I believe that if Matt were to be chosen 
  as leader, we would have had a sane and working VM on par with 
  FreeBSD's months ago. While he has little leadership experience, he 
  is a member of FreeBSD-core, a position which certainly demands 
  respect. 

Eric S. Raymond: Being leader of kernel development involves 
  fielding a significant amount of media attention. ESR has shown 
  on many occasions that he can talk shit and still sound just as 
  convincing as anyone on this list, all the time being completely 
  oblivious to any contrasting viewpoints. While his 
  kernel-configuration-adventure-game contribution to Linux just 
  screams out "worthless bloat", I must admit to having enjoyed 
  many a lonely night playing the game. If he could lay a similar 
  interface over gdb, I'm sure that more kernel hackers would 
  actually debug their work before submitting it. 

Richard M. Stallman: RMS has an exceptional track record in the 
  open-source field, being largely responsible for my favorite text 
  editor, compiler, and debugger. No other open-source hacker has 
  come as close as he has to replicating the integration available 
  with Microsoft Visual C++ 6 years ago. I fully endorse him as a 
  candidate, assuming he's willing to drop his puerile "GNU/Linux" 
  ego stroking. 

Theo de Raadt: Theo is an exceptional candidate. Not only is he a 
  more than adequate hacker; he attracts exactly the type of people 
  to OpenBSD that he wants, and will jettison those who are not up to 
  the task. While purging out all the less-than-adequate hackers 
  in the Linux project will inevitably attract negative publicity 
  from Slashdot and other "community" sites where these feeble hackers 
  hang out, it will no doubt strengthen Linux in the future. Just 
  look at what Theo's strong leadership has done for OpenBSD! He 
  turned around the worthless "research project" that was NetBSD and 
  made it an enterprise-class firewall system. I can only imagine 
  the effect his Midas touch could have on the Linux kernel. 

You have until the end of April 1, 23:59 Pacific Time to submit your 
nominations to the list. The most nominated person will become the leader 
of kernel development. I will examine the list of nominations and, 
assuming that the winner wants the job, I will hand full control over to 
them. I know that this is short notice, but knowing how obsessively most 
of you check your inboxes, I figure you should have more than adequate 
time to submit your recommendations. The decision will be final and no 
discussion will be considered after it has been made, so choose 
carefully. 

Thank you. 

                Linus 

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