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SubjectRe: Linux 4.19-rc4 released, an apology, and a maintainership note
On 16.09.2018 21:22, Linus Torvalds wrote:



> One was simply my own reaction to having screwed up my scheduling of
> the maintainership summit: yes, I was somewhat embarrassed about
> having screwed up my calendar, but honestly, I was mostly hopeful that
> I wouldn't have to go to the kernel summit that I have gone to every
> year for just about the last two decades.

IMHO, if you - for whatever reason - want to skip a conference, it's
your right to do so. You've done so much for us, you deserve a break.

> This is my reality. I am not an emotionally empathetic kind of person
> and that probably doesn't come as a big surprise to anybody. Least of
> all me. The fact that I then misread people and don't realize (for
> years) how badly I've judged a situation and contributed to an
> unprofessional environment is not good.

I, personally, never felt the Linux kernel community was anything like
an unprofessional environment in any way. Quite the opposite.

Certainly, there's room for improvement here and there, but IMHO, the
general situation is the best of all projects I've been involved in.

Don't be so hard on yourself.

> This week people in our community confronted me about my lifetime of
> not understanding emotions. My flippant attacks in emails have been
> both unprofessional and uncalled for. Especially at times when I made
> it personal. In my quest for a better patch, this made sense to me.
> I know now this was not OK and I am truly sorry.

Maybe I've missed these mails you're referring to, but I didn't see
anything which IMHO wasn't justified. Even if you'd call a patch of
mine "the greatest bullshit i've ever seen", I wouldn't consider this
a personal attack for a ns. Because I know I would have come from a
completely different perspective than mine.

> The above is basically a long-winded way to get to the somewhat
> painful personal admission that hey, I need to change some of my
> behavior, and I want to apologize to the people that my personal
> behavior hurt and possibly drove away from kernel development
> entirely.

I don't know anybody of these people personally, so I won't judge on
that. I've just seen some blog posts, which looked pretty subjective
to me and didn't tell what exactly happened. My theory is that people
took things personal, which haven't been personal at all. But that
seems to be a general problem, which is far out of scope of any
professional software project.

> This is not some kind of "I'm burnt out, I need to just go away"
> break. I'm not feeling like I don't want to continue maintaining
> Linux. Quite the reverse. I very much *do* want to continue to do
> this project that I've been working on for almost three decades.


> And yes, some of it might be "just" tooling. Maybe I can get an email
> filter in place so at when I send email with curse-words, they just
> won't go out. Because hey, I'm a big believer in tools, and at least
> _some_ problems going forward might be improved with simple
> automation.

In that case, I doubt it's a matter of tooling. It would require a kind
of artificial intelligence, that hasn't been invented yet. NP complete

If you really feel, your reactions on certain things, your way of
communication was a problem, then I'd raise the question why such
feelings, that trigger these reactions, come into your mind in the
first place.

I've been through something similar. I easily got angry about by bad
code and people not understanding things I considered self-evident.
And in my case, it actually escalated onto the personal level.
My approach was self-monitoring of my feelings and behaviour. Whenever
I felt my blood presure reasing, I took a cigarette break and thought
about why I'm thinking that way now. Usually, I came to the conclusion
that these folks who did some crap again, just don't know better, they
never seen what I've seen. And it's my job to train them.

This way of thinking helped me a lot, maybe it could help you and all
there other, too.

> I know when I really look “myself in the mirror” it will be clear it's
> not the only change that has to happen, but hey... You can send me
> suggestions in email.

Unfortunately, I have no idea, what exactly you've seen in the mirror.
I can only judge on what I've seen here in the last decades. And I like
you exactly that way. Especially the rude part, eg. when it's about
corporations like NVidia, or people who try to refit the Kernel for
their broken userland stuff.

If I may propose a patches to your /dev/brain, the only issue would be
100% strict GPL enforcement ;-)


Enrico Weigelt, metux IT consult
Free software and Linux embedded engineering -- +49-151-27565287

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