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Linus Torvalds Will Answer Your Questions

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the ask-away dept.

Linux 460

Linus Torvalds was (and still is) the primary force behind the development of the Linux kernel, and since you are reading Slashdot, you already knew that. Mr. Torvalds has agreed to answer any questions you may have about the direction of software, his thoughts on politics, winning the Millenial Technology Prize, or anything else. Ask as many questions as you'd like, but please keep them to one per post. We'll send the best to Linus, and post his answers when we get them back. Remember to keep an eye out for the rest of our upcoming special interviews this month.

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460 comments

The Absolute Death of Software Copyright? (3, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | about a year and a half ago | (#41586685)

Recently you spoke out about software patents and the patent process [muktware.com]. But I was interested in what you said about how "nasty" copyright issues could get. You use SCO as the obvious nightmare case but what about violations against open source licenses like the GPLv3 [slashdot.org]? Would you care if someone forked the Linux kernel and made major modifications to it and started selling it without releasing the code to the customers? What does your ideal situation look like for open source and commercial closed source? Would you just copy the Finnish model and aren't you afraid American experts are just as daft as American juries?

Re:The Absolute Death of Software Copyright? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41586987)

I would hope he is wise enough to understand that without exclusivity over distribution of the forked kernel, there is little to no advantage in violating GPL. We can take the fork and do the same, and distribute it as we see fit. Without copyright, there is no 'closed'. It's all open. Everything would become public domain, which is the best of all possibilities.

Re:The Absolute Death of Software Copyright? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41587497)

Linus: What's your tool of choice for giving eldavojohn the severe beatdown he deserves?

Your 2007 Comments on C++ (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | about a year and a half ago | (#41586707)

In 2007 [gmane.org] you made some rather polarizing remarks about C++. Coincidentally, Slashdot absolutely loves language wars and I seem to only find evidence that you use C based on the lack of malice and contempt I can find you publicizing on it. Do you find anything terrible about C? Conversely, do you have anything nice to say bout C++, Java, Ruby, Perl, JavaScript, Lisp, Prolog, Microsoft's languages or any other language you feel particularly vehement about at the moment?

Re:Your 2007 Comments on C++ (2, Insightful)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year and a half ago | (#41587075)

In 2007 you made some rather polarizing remarks about C++.

If by polarising, you mean astonishingly ignorant and chock-full of logival fallacies, then sure, polarising.

See http://warp.povusers.org/OpenLetters/ResponseToTorvalds.html [povusers.org] for an excellent picking apart of some very silly remarks by Torvalds.

don't get me wrong: I loce Linux, the kernel is excellent and Torvalds is a great engineer and a much better C programmer than me. However, his knowledge of C++ seems to centre around 25 year old information, FUD, bigotry and some very odd opinions about C programmers.

C is the epitome of a programming language. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41587211)

C doesn't suffer from engineering envy that many of the overly complicated languages do and it's plenty powerful and flexible and fast - unlike scripting languages.

It's the only compiled language where there WILL be a compiler for your hardware and your code will work.

Its simplicity is its beauty.

C++ is the spawn of Satan.

Java is a disappointment.

Scripting languages are for fags.

Assembly is for masochists and others who are mentally unstable.

And in this day age, the fact that we're still typing to program computers just seems silly. There is no natural law that says computer code has be in the form of ASCII text at some point. Why not visual directly to machine code? I don't see any reason why it can't be done.

Re:C is the epitome of a programming language. (-1, Offtopic)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about a year and a half ago | (#41587593)

41 6e 64 20 69 6e 20 74 68 69 73 20 64 61 79 20 61 67 65 2c 20 74 68 65 20 66 61 63 74 20 74 68 61 74 20 77 65 27 72 65 20 73 74 69 6c 6c 20 74 79 70 69 6e 67 20 74 6f 20 70 72 6f 67 72 61 6d 20 63 6f 6d 70 75 74 65 72 73 20 6a 75 73 74 20 73 65 65 6d 73 20 73 69 6c 6c 79 2e 20 54 68 65 72 65 20 69 73 20 6e 6f 20 6e 61 74 75 72 61 6c 20 6c 61 77 20 74 68 61 74 20 73 61 79 73 20 63 6f 6d 70 75 74 65 72 20 63 6f 64 65 20 68 61 73 20 62 65 20 69 6e 20 74 68 65 20 66 6f 72 6d 20 6f 66 20 41 53 43 49 49 20 74 65 78 74 20 61 74 20 73 6f 6d 65 20 70 6f 69 6e 74 2e 20 57 68 79 20 6e 6f 74 20 76 69 73 75 61 6c 20 64 69 72 65 63 74 6c 79 20 74 6f 20 6d 61 63 68 69 6e 65 20 63 6f 64 65 3f 20 49 20 64 6f 6e 27 74 20 73 65 65 20 61 6e 79 20 72 65 61 73 6f 6e 20 77 68 79 20 69 74 20 63 61 6e 27 74 20 62 65 20 64 6f 6e 65 2e

because humans have a problem reading that quickly. (i would have posted it binary but slashdot filters won't let me?

Re:C is the epitome of a programming language. (-1, Offtopic)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about a year and a half ago | (#41587629)

because humans have a problem reading that quickly. (i would have posted it binary but slashdot filters won't let me?

typo noted after post please no grammer nazi

Re:Your 2007 Comments on C++ (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41587375)

He was absolutely, 100% right on this. The number of people who write "good" C++ (if you can get people to agree on what that means, which you can't) is very, very small. The number of unqualified people writing bad C++ is huge and vastly outnumbers the good code out there, and I can tell you that it's frustrating to work with the code bases that these people produce.

This is probably true of every language, and there is also a lot of bad C out there. But writing your code in C with a sane set of styles and conventions is a good shibboleth to keep those people out. (Like the troll in the thread you linked to.) As a simpler language C is also easier to audit and spot bad practices in.

With C++ it is far too easy for bad programmers to build crappy, memory-inefficient abstractions that have no place in a project like a kernel. In practice this is what most people do. I suppose there's nothing wrong with that per se - even if they don't pass my snobbery test such a programmer can still come up with workable solutions that people are happy to use. But I'd be happier if those folks were more honest with themselves and just used Java or C# exclusively, because they are using none of what C++ can do well.

Re:Your 2007 Comments on C++ (1)

iggymanz (596061) | about a year and a half ago | (#41587621)

are *any* operating systems (the kind that run on real bare metal) written using C++ or similar language? just saying there might be good reason most are written in assembly, C, Forth, Pascal, etc.

A Helsinki Finn in King Dubya's Court (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | about a year and a half ago | (#41586731)

Despite your accomplishments and some of your public comments about the dire state of American politics, you remain a resident of the United States of America. Clearly you have the clout to live where you please, why do you continue to reside in the United States [siliconflorist.com]? Assuming your answer is simply "work", if there was one thing you could change in the United States what would it be and are you doing anything to move toward that accomplishment (aside from procreating and trying to help us out that way)?

Re:A Helsinki Finn in King Dubya's Court (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41586889)

Having lived in Helsinki, I suspect the answer is "Weather" rather than work.

When I'm designing a processor for Linux.... (5, Interesting)

Art Popp (29075) | about a year and a half ago | (#41586733)

I spend some time designing things in Verilog and trying to read other people's source code at opencores.org, and I recall you did some work at Transmeta. For some time I've had a list of instructions that could be added to processsors that would be drastically speed up common functions, and SSE 4.2 includes some of my favorites, the dqword string comparision instructions. So...

What are your ideas for instrructions that you've always thought should be handled by the processor, but never seen implemented?

Books, Books, Books (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | about a year and a half ago | (#41586743)

As a software developer, I have a coveted collection of books. A few of said tomes -- both fiction and non -- have fundamentally altered the course of my life. Assuming yours aren't just man pages and .txt files, what are they?

First impressions of Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41586771)

When did you first hear/learn about Slashdot, and what were your thoughts? As we commemorate 15 years, how has that changed?

Skivvies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41586777)

Boxers of briefs?

What do you mean "was"? (2)

Dishwasha (125561) | about a year and a half ago | (#41586781)

Isn't Linus still the primary force behind the development of the Linux kernel or did I not get the memo?

Re:What do you mean "was"? (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about a year and a half ago | (#41587407)

Well, when he made comments about US politicians and the complaints rolled in about how it makes Linux appear in the eyes of the public and the future willingness of government to adopt OSS software, Linus was described like an insignificant "has been" that isn't a key player in Linux unlike the CEO of Chik-Fil-A who is actively involved with making your chicken sandwich at every store and donates money to others who do not like gays being married.

Obviously, this is because Linux is such a diverse culture of communities and groups who are not forced to carry the same opinion about everything or everyone. But yes, the memo was sent, whether it was or is accurate or not is another story altogether.

What do you think about Haskell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41586791)

Subject says it: What do you think about Haskell?

Aging and low-level programming... (5, Interesting)

jasno (124830) | about a year and a half ago | (#41586797)

Hi Linus! Thanks for everything!

How has getting older and raising a family changed the way you look at kernel work and programming in general? Do you see yourself still being involved in the kernel in 20 years? Do you ever just want to take a break for a few years, or do you feel like your time working on the kernel is a rest from the real world?

Avoiding the Unix Wars (5, Interesting)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year and a half ago | (#41586817)

Why do you think Linux has been able to (mostly) avoid the fragmentation that plagued the competing Unixes of the 1980's? What would you say helps keep Linux a unified project rather than more forked system like BSD?

Re:Avoiding the Unix Wars (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41587067)

Well, IANAL (I Am Not A Linus), but... I think this one is obvious.

In terms of DISTROS, Linux is more fragmented than BSD.
In terms of KERNELS Linux is less fragmented.

I think, generally, the reason would be: Linux was built as a Kernel. You can add whatever you like for your userland, so there was no need to fork the kernel. Instead you pop on whatever userland setup you like, hence all the distros.
BSD was build as an aggregate of both, and when someone wanted to change some focus of the system, involving huge changes either userland or kernel, then they had to fork it.

It may also be that the leadership for the various BSDs are too inflexible, and therefore to get certain changes in place, forking is needed, whereas there is more flexibility in Linux.

general-purpose computing (5, Interesting)

Type44Q (1233630) | about a year and a half ago | (#41586837)

Linus, what are your thoughts re: the coming war on general-purpose computing?

PS: Thank you for everything you've done, and continue to do (the world is actually full of heroes but the vast majority of them - at least in this day and age - have limited spheres of influence. You on the other hand...) ;)

Linus at work (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41586849)

How can you work at home without getting distracted? I tried and I failed. Any tips?

Is there a goal to unify Linux? (1)

na1led (1030470) | about a year and a half ago | (#41586871)

Considering how fragmented Linux is with so many different distributions, shouldn't you, or the community take a stand and pick a distribution that everyone can work together on? Everyone seems to have their own favorite flavor, but this makes developing software for Linux a problem.

Re:Is there a goal to unify Linux? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41586991)

Everyone seems to have their own favorite flavor, but this makes developing proprietary software for Linux a problem.

FTFY.
This is a feature, not a bug.

Re:Is there a goal to unify Linux? (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | about a year and a half ago | (#41586999)

No, no it does not make it difficult at all to develop software for linux. And anointing asingle distro is impossibly stupid. How many different ways are there to use linux? Should they all be shoe-horned into one distro? The same distro for desktops, servers, phones, routers, tablets, toasters and wall warts? What difference would it even make if one distro were so anointed, given the freedom the Free software licenses grant? How different would Linux be today if he had made that decision in 1994? Do you really like slackware that much?

Re:Is there a goal to unify Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41587107)

He probably refers to the desktop and over there the fragmentation is a real problem.

Re:Is there a goal to unify Linux? (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about a year and a half ago | (#41587559)

Or perhaps having a compliance layer added so people who want to write software for several distros can write to the compliance layer and the the distributions worry about making it work. I'm think something like what DirectX did for games interacting with video, sound and network drivers instead of have to configure a game itself to use the devices on windows. Perhaps this concept could be expanded to other aspects of the operating system and components so it is a write for one run for all scenario?.

steam (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41586895)

How do you feel about steam coming to linux? one of my friends is actually the one working on porting it.

The obvious question: the binary blobs in linux (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41586937)

What is his stance on the subject today and why did he allow them in the first place? When will he kick them out?

Frustrations (4, Interesting)

Bogtha (906264) | about a year and a half ago | (#41586973)

What frustrates you most in the GNU/Linux ecosystem?

Re:Frustrations (3, Insightful)

Alter_3d (948458) | about a year and a half ago | (#41587157)

What frustrates you most in the GNU/Linux ecosystem?

I can answer that for him.

People who insist on using the name GNU/Linux
Naming controversy wars!!

Personality Conflicts (1)

claytongulick (725397) | about a year and a half ago | (#41586985)

You are an inspiration to many in the geek world, and have pretty much reached the pinnacle of what any geek could aspire to. That being said, you are frequently accused of having an abrasive personality, and many of your public comments (euphemistically) "lack tact." Do you ever suffer negative repercussions from this? Have you ever considered trying a different approach, or reading Carnegie? (That last bit wasn't a snark, I was "laid off" from a job once for similar issues, I turned to Dale Carnegie, and it had a profoundly positive effect on my professional and personal life)

I grew idolizing you (2)

junglee_iitk (651040) | about a year and a half ago | (#41587023)

Hi Linus,

I have grown idolizing you and what you have done, probably as a side effect, in making accessible my passion to me. I am deeply interested in system level programming but I am confused about its current status. Linux is stable. Unix is unix. And windows might become less popular due to UI changes. Most people haven't even heard of Plan 9.

Do you see any exciting new problems facing the academic area of computer systems? Any itch that Linux kernel is not good enough to scratch (due to pristine design decisions, for example)?

I am not hinting towards Hurd, in case you thought so.

Company Politics (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41587027)

How has the rise on Android and embedded devices affected the development of the kernel? Have you noticed more support from bigger players or is the development still a lot of smaller players?

What's your smartphone today? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41587031)

Just out of curiosity, what's your smartphone today (considering you have one), and why did you choose it?

Dear Linus why are you such a hater? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41587035)

What do you know about economy and/or politics that you think you have to share with rest of the community?

OS challenges for the next 20 years? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41587041)

Hi, Linus. Thank you for your amazing work! I'm wondering what you think the big challenges will be in OS design for the next 20 years.

What... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41587045)

...is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow? (Bonus points for an answer in Ells per Moment)

Dear Linus (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41587049)

Will you marry me?

Re:Dear Linus (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41587235)

How can he marry you if you're staying anonymous? You'd better leave an email or a phone number.
So that Tove can come kick your ass :)

(Posting AC because I modded already.)

What would you have done differently? (4, Interesting)

Rob Kaper (5960) | about a year and a half ago | (#41587063)

It's been over twenty years since the inception of Linux. With 20/20 hindsight, what you have done differently if you had had today's knowledge and experience back in the early days?

Any wisdom for students and early-career techies? (5, Interesting)

davidwr (791652) | about a year and a half ago | (#41587079)

If you could give one piece of technical advice and one piece of non-technical advice to students seeking a technical career and/or early-career tech professionals, what would it be?

Drivers (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41587083)

Do you still see a lot of problems with misbehaving drivers in the newer kernel versions? Are you seeing more support from hardware vendors?

So, Microsoft Windows... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41587101)

Great operating system or the greatest operating system?

Recordings for developers (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41587115)

Would you consider doing recordings (e.g. on youtube) where you'd talk about a specific commit submitted on the mailing list? As a developer wanting to get into the kernel dev space, I would find it beneficial. It would give a feel about what aspects of the code a maintainer is looking at and how the whole thought process works.

Saami? (0)

Yoik (955095) | about a year and a half ago | (#41587117)

Is your cultural heritage Saami, and has that culture had any influence on your development efforts?

gnu laptop, desktop, graphic card and hardware (1)

Faisal Rehman (2424374) | about a year and a half ago | (#41587119)

Why don't you invest your money and take initiative in GNU hardware for desktop, graphic card and hardware and break the monopoly in this area too. I don't want a reply of consulting RMS for that. I need a serious initiative reply.

Linus First/Last (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41587123)

If/Have you/ever get/had first/last post?
What will/did you post?

Sorry my scripting is bad.

Favorite restaurant (1, Interesting)

Nkwe (604125) | about a year and a half ago | (#41587133)

Assuming that you are still living here in the Beaverton, OR area (or I guess even if you are not), what is your favorite restaurant?

OT: Everyone should be able to mod this (3, Interesting)

davidwr (791652) | about a year and a half ago | (#41587137)

Every registered with halfway decent karma should get several free mod points for Q&A threads like this.

Future influences on Linux? (1)

techmuse (160085) | about a year and a half ago | (#41587149)

Hi, Linus. What do you think the big challenges in OS design will be over the upcoming years? Will Linux be influenced more heavily by mobile devices, servers, or something else? What do you foresee coming along that will have the greatest impact on Linux?

Most exciting features (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41587153)

I'm very enthusiastic about the recent advances in the opensource drivers movement, and new work to replace ancient low level services (IE Systemd, Wayland etc). Are there any particular features/programs/projects in the Linux ecosystem that you find especially exciting?

Claim your Slashdot UID? (1)

chalker (718945) | about a year and a half ago | (#41587163)

Linus:

In light of the recent anniversary of Slashdot, are you willing to go ahead and claim the Slashdot UID that was reserved for you since day one? (I believe UID#2)

micro like kernel (1)

Faisal Rehman (2424374) | about a year and a half ago | (#41587175)

i don't know much about this but want just for my education that is it possible to shrink your kernel and make it smaller and smaller while keeping it monolithic.

Monolithic vs. Micro-kernel architecture (5, Interesting)

NoNeeeed (157503) | about a year and a half ago | (#41587179)

Has there ever been a time in the development of the Linux Kernel where you've wished you'd gone the Hurd-style micro-kernel route espoused by the like of Tannenbaum, or do you feel that from an architectural standpoint Linux has benefitted from having a monolithic design?

Linux has been massively more successful than Hurd, but I wonder how much of that is down to intrinsic technical superiority of its approach, and how much to the lack of a central driving force supported by a community of committed developers? It always seemed like the Hurd model should have allowed more people to be involved, but that has never seemed to be the case.

Requirements and Design in Linux (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41587187)

You've said many times that not having a specific direction or goal for Linux has been a huge advantage and is the main reason it's flexible enough to run on everything from smart phones to super computers. Do you believe that this is a philosophy suited to all projects or is it unique to the kernel? How do the requirements and design phases with formal planning fit into the open source model?

IP&IT&ROW ("serious question") (1)

Coeurderoy (717228) | about a year and a half ago | (#41587199)

Intellectual Property issues plage the IT field in many different directions....
at the risk of going out of your comfort zone, how relevant do you think "our" issues are to other fields ?
- pharma, health care
- business
- industry (particularly 3D printing driven next gen industries ...)

Never seem to see an actual reply to one of these. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41587203)

This isn't actually aimed at Linus. It's aimed at the concept itself. Lately there have been a few of these "Ask them anything" threads. There are plenty of questions. Plenty of comments to those questions by other users. Seldom an actual comment from the person being asked or should I say, if there is a response from the person being asked, it is so buried in the BS that it can't be found.

Linus on Kickstarter (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41587207)

Have you ever thought that if you go on Kickstarter to propose whatever project you want you would be able to get millions and millions of dollars in a few days?
Why don't you ask 50 million of dollars to produce and sell computers with Linux pre-installed?

Joker question (4, Interesting)

Coeurderoy (717228) | about a year and a half ago | (#41587209)

What question was not asked or not transmitted to you and you'd really wish it was so that you can answer it ?

Tell Us About Your Linux Rig (Setup) (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41587217)

Hi,

a) What distribution do you run on your main desktop/laptop?
b) What software do you depend upon with this distribution?
c) What kind of hardware do you run it on?
d) Will you share a screenshot of your desktop?
e) What is your ideal Linux setup?
f) Finally, what kind of mobile devices (phone and tablet) do you use?

Thanks!

Re:Tell Us About Your Linux Rig (Setup) (1)

walshy007 (906710) | about a year and a half ago | (#41587617)

a) fedora 17

f) he has a nexus 7 and was very pleased with it. not sure about his phone.

This information was gathered from his recent g+ posts.

developer (1)

Faisal Rehman (2424374) | about a year and a half ago | (#41587247)

how will you ensure the running and development of your kernel project after you and how you will increase the no of kernel developers.

My little pony (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41587253)

If I wanted to ask anything technical I'd go for the mailing list.

What do you think of my little pony: Friendship is magic?

A break from techie questions! (2, Interesting)

Antipater (2053064) | about a year and a half ago | (#41587287)

I feel it would be awesome to be married to a national-champion level karateka. What's the most badass thing you've ever seen your wife do?

Visual Studio + C# (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41587303)

What do you think of the productivity optimized development environment as Visual Studio and C#?

Could Linus ever love UnixWare ? (1)

freejack74 (97055) | about a year and a half ago | (#41587319)

In a post SCO vs IBM world, can you now find it in your heart to say something good about SCO ?

Linux Plumbers Wishlist items (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41587327)

For as long as mankind has roamed the Earth Linux on the desktop has been right around the corner, some of us would really like to finally uncover this cryptozoological animal.
Would you consider e.g. pushing harder for someone to pick up items on the Linux Plumbers Wishlist, personally I am most interested in seeing the fsnotify items being handled as that will finally make applications such as Tracker viable.

https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1RmJrtIoTnivkmR9KCqfJNBnEll4X9Jtu0xj5w6hFGs8

What are your thoughts on NVidia? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41587337)

:D

Crowd sourcing democracy (2)

SinisterEVIL (2661381) | about a year and a half ago | (#41587349)

What do you think of using "Git" and crowd sourcing for shaping politics on the global and local level?

Should everyone program (1)

theRunicBard (2662581) | about a year and a half ago | (#41587367)

You mentioned at a talk that you gave in a university that you didn't think everyone should be a programmer. At the time, I agreed, however, I'm starting to notice that a lot of people with not technical knowledge still expect computers to work for them. When I hear this, I'm reminded of a time when Microsoft tried to write a program that programmed for the user (it didn't work out so well, since it was very limited). As technology starts to be present everywhere, do you think people will have to become savvy or not use it? An intro (CS101) course, even if the student never applies it, can still de-mystify a lot of the tech world.

fuck fuck fuckity fuck fuck (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41587389)

who else would you say 'FUCK YOU!' to?

Politicization and Blind Spots (1)

RomSteady (533144) | about a year and a half ago | (#41587429)

One of the biggest issues I see with the politicization of software licensing is that often advocates of software on a certain license will mentally gloss over major holes in the software/ecosystem, while at the same time gloss over major advantages of competing software/ecosystems.

In your opinion, what are the biggest holes/"areas for opportunity to improve" in Linux at the moment?

GIT (5, Interesting)

vlm (69642) | about a year and a half ago | (#41587431)

If you had to do GIT over again, what, if anything, would you change?
VERY closely related question, do you like the git-flow project and would you think about pulling that into mainline or not?

Android (5, Interesting)

Jacek Poplawski (223457) | about a year and a half ago | (#41587441)

What is your current opinion on Android? Do you consider Android as a "Linux", "Linux type" or "Linux child"? Are you connected somehow with Android development?

Command Line Dependence (1)

mpccornwall (2747969) | about a year and a half ago | (#41587447)

Linus, My question is: Why hasn't the community placed a larger emphasis on removing the need to use the command line input in basic OS setup and day to day operations? The reason that Microsoft got so huge was because they streamlined operations for the masses. The reason that Apple got so big was because they streamlined operations for the masses. Usability is the key. If my grandfather can install Linux and have a functional OS in a reasonable amount of time without have to pour through forums for hours because his video card had a hang-up and he can't revert the drivers in an intuitive way then he will come back. If the latter happens, he's gone... forever. I'm likely going to get endlessly flamed by the community for this post but a command line interface is archaic. In a world of LabVIEW and angry birds, text on a black background just doesn't cut it anymore. I want to use the OS too and I cannot do anything more than dual boot Linux and Windows because I just don't have the time to dump 8+ hours into a simple issue that just won't exist Windows. I don't mind fixing things. I mind the time involved because I have an endless list of documentation or junk to dig through to find the correct commands and options instead of an intuitive interface.

Windows 8 (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41587531)

What are your opinions on Window 8? Have you tried it?

Windows 8 has a "fast boot" feature: AFAIK on shutdown it closes all userland apps and hibernates just the kernel + drivers (which has a small memory footprint and is fast written to disk). On boot the kernel is loaded from the hibernation image, the drivers initialize all the devices and userland boots normally. This makes Windows 8 to boot in just 2 seconds with a SSD (and I think the UEFI also bypasses the system checks).

New motherboards like "Asus Crosshair Formula V - Z [asus.com]" include a hardware switch to enable "fast boot".
Are there plans to include such mechanism in Linux?

Also, what are your thoughts on UEFI in general?

Endless rotations of the IT wheel (2)

vlm (69642) | about a year and a half ago | (#41587537)

As the IT wheel endlessly rotates and noobs think they're the first to invent old ideas like tokenization or virtualization or storing stuff on the network, what is your favorite IT trend/fad that's NOT currently popular that you're looking forward to its inevitable rotation back into the limelight...

Why the political / Religious stuff? (2)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year and a half ago | (#41587577)

I obviously have a great deal of respect for you. The world would be worse off without your contributions. Your insights into technology and software is unquestioned. But you've recently started speaking out publicly regarding politics, religion, and any number of issues are certainly not your area of expertise. In these subjects I often agree with you, some times I don't, but that's not really the point. Often we see those who achieve a certain level of fame get to the point where they are only surrounded by people that will agree with them simply based on their fame.

Now, you are certainly entitled to your opinion, and I don't want to tell you what to say or not to say. But don't you think that by speaking publicly on subjects that you have comparatively little experience in (politics for example) you degrade your own integrity as an advocate for Linux and open source? It would be one thing if you simply said "I'm voting for so and so" or "This is my religion" but you're coming across like a rabid dog and slinging offensive language. I'm certainly guilty of the same from time to time, but then again, I'm not the leader of the open source software movement either.

Pressure from contributors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41587601)

A lot of the development which goes into the Linux kernel is backed by commercial companies, some of which are competing with each other. Red Hat, Canonical, Samsung, Microsoft, etc. Have any of these companies ever tried to push the Linux kernel is a direction you didn't want? Have they ever tried to introduce changes which you vetoed?

Realtime (2)

vlm (69642) | about a year and a half ago | (#41587607)

To define my question, people would think it weird or bizarre to have a kernel that does NOT have ext3 or ipv4 compiled in or at least available as modules. Pretty much everyone expects to see a linux kernel with loop, or sg available. When or if or should people expect to see realtime extensions compiled in by default on pretty much any linux box? As a guy running CNC machines for a LONG time under linux using emc, I've always figured the sound, or video guys would demand realtime "soon" making life a little easier for me, but it never happens.

What would get you to move to the GPLv3 (or 4)? (3, Interesting)

gQuigs (913879) | about a year and a half ago | (#41587625)

I understand that you are completely fine with Tivoization (in that you don't want a license to restrict that), but the GPLv3 does do some other important things. As a user, I really like ending Tivoization, but I understand your position.

More compatible with Apache and other licenses
New ways to provide source (torrenting, the internet)
Better path to compliance (if someone doesn't initially)
Much stronger patent language

More here: http://www.gnu.org/licenses/quick-guide-gplv3.html [gnu.org]

Storage advancements in the kernel? (2)

ScuttleMonkey (55) | about a year and a half ago | (#41587635)

Now that Ceph is gathering momentum since having been included in the mainline kernel [techcrunch.com], what other storage (or low level) advancements do you see on the horizon?

(full disclosure: I work for Inktank [inktank.com] now, the consulting/services company that employs most of the core Ceph [ceph.com] engineers)

Predictions: Right, Wrong, New. (1)

Pirulo (621010) | about a year and a half ago | (#41587645)

Dear King of us all Geeks: What are the favorite tech predictions that you got right and that you got wrong? Do you have any new to venture?
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