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Alan Cox Exits Intel, Linux Development

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the deserves-all-kinds-of-awards dept.

Intel 214

judgecorp writes "Linux kernel developer Alan Cox has left Intel and Linux development after slamming the Fedora 18 distribution. He made the announcement on Google+ and promised that he had not fallen out with Linus Torvalds, and would finish up all outstanding work." Also at Live Mint, which calls Cox's resignation notice a "welcome change from the sterility, plain dishonesty of CEO departure statements." Cox says in that statement that he's leaving "for a bit," and "I may be back at some point in the future - who knows."

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Maybe it's really family reasons.. (4, Insightful)

js3 (319268) | about 2 years ago | (#42679585)

Sometimes a man needs to stop coding to take care of his family relationships..

Re:Maybe it's really family reasons.. (4, Funny)

jones_supa (887896) | about 2 years ago | (#42679679)

I will pick up his throne as a rock star Linux developer.

Re:Maybe it's really family reasons.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42679831)

More like a cock star, amirite?

Re:Maybe it's really family reasons.. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42680073)

No.

Re:Maybe it's really family reasons.. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42679685)

something people in our industry should do more

Re:Maybe it's really family reasons.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42680669)

Something people in general should do more. Corporations are not people.

Re:Maybe it's really family reasons.. (2)

buddyglass (925859) | about 2 years ago | (#42679767)

That, and build model trains.

Re:Maybe it's really family reasons.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42679773)

If he cared about his family he would get rid of that pregnant belly of his and eat right.

Re:Maybe it's really family reasons.. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42679819)

Huh? My family loves anal cox. My mom loves anal cox, my dad loves anal cox, my sister loves anal cox, my brother loves anal cox. Even I love anal cox! My wife, however, thinks anal cox is dirty and disgusting.

Re:Maybe it's really family reasons.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42679923)

No programmers need to learn to balance life and work every day.

Re:Maybe it's really family reasons.. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42680049)

The culture encourages it. You hear things like 'being there for the team', 'stepping up to the plate', 'putting in the extra 110% effort'. Then you have those who try to out macho each other with number of hours in a week (knew one guy who liked 110 hour weeks). Or those who actually dislike their family life and want to do as little as possible with it (funny making the problem worse). Then expect others around them to be doing the same thing. The old saying is true misery loves company.

Extra is ok once and awhile. But once it becomes every damn time you start to see the cracks of process that are wrong.

We keep making the same mistakes over and over as a group because we do not bother to learn from the 'old guys'.

If work is your life what happens when they lay you off/fire you/eliminate your position?

My sister tried the "Out Macho" technique. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42680169)

I told her "I manage to get all my work done during normal work hours". :-)

Re:Maybe it's really family reasons.. (4, Funny)

arth1 (260657) | about 2 years ago | (#42680233)

'putting in the extra 110% effort'

Isn't 210% a tad unreasonable? 70% would be great, but probably unachievable. I'd aim for 60%.

Re:Maybe it's really family reasons.. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42680797)

Typical work week is 40 hours a week. Extra 110% would put it at 84 hours a week.

If you take the 84 hours and work 7 days a week, that brings it down to 12 hour a day.

I'd say it isn't all that out of the ordinary when pushing a deadline to be asked to do that. Of course the point was once you start that , it gets asked of you more and more to the point it becomes the norm, and everything else suffers. If you let work consume your entire life, what happens when your work isn't required anymore?

Re:Maybe it's really family reasons.. (1)

arth1 (260657) | about 2 years ago | (#42681295)

Effort != hours

If you put in 12 hour days, 7 days a week, you are not going to be contributing 110% more than someone who makes a full effort[*] for 40 hours a week.
Unless, of course, your job is to keep your seat warm.

[*] A full effort for 40 hours a week is also impossible in practice. Humans can't pay complete concentration to and give anything their all for 8 hours. If you pour all your effort into doing something for 15 minutes, and the limit is the human, not external factors, you are not going to get 32 times that for a full day. If you get 60% of full effort, you're lucky.
And as the days go longer, the less yield you get for each extra time unit you add, until it becomes zero. Add more then, and it becomes a negative yield, as the user either has to space himself out to get through the longer day, or will be less productive the next day.

European countries who changed the default work day from 7.5 hours to 8 hours (by making lunch unpaid time, allowing employers to add 0.5 hours work time) have not seen a productivity increase as a result. The net effect seems to be that the offices are occupied for half an hour longer.

Re:Maybe it's really family reasons.. (2)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about 2 years ago | (#42680545)

"I wish I spent more time at the office" ... said no one ever upon their death bed.

Re:Maybe it's really family reasons.. (3, Funny)

ZombieThoughts (1735956) | about 2 years ago | (#42680743)

Male porn stars.

Re:Maybe it's really family reasons.. (3, Interesting)

0xdeaddead (797696) | about 2 years ago | (#42680919)

Clearly you never met my family, nor my Ex..

"Extra is ok once AND awhile" (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42681371)

Let me guess - you're an American.

It's "once IN a while".

IN not AND.

A WHILE. TWO words.

You American cretin.

Re:"Extra is ok once AND awhile" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42681587)

Let me guess - you're an American.

It's "once IN a while".

For an American, wouldn't it be Once in a whale?

IGMC

Re:Maybe it's really family reasons.. (4, Insightful)

vawwyakr (1992390) | about 2 years ago | (#42681805)

I hate this culture. I see it everywhere. My wife works 10-12 hour days then gets home and has to respond to emails for an hour or two after dinner. She has to do that just to meet expectations....needless to say I'm hoping we can find her a new job.

My job is much better but its still here, I just choose to ignore it and can get away with doing so. My manager just had a new kid (well his wife did) and get was back at work the next day and working his normal 12 hour day. A woman I work with had a baby and didn't even take a month off, she was back at work full time.

Disgusting if you ask me and I think a far bigger cause of our societal problems than anything else out there. If you can't enjoy life or be bothered to care for you family then what are you doing this for??

Depends if that coding pays the family bills (1)

Viol8 (599362) | about 2 years ago | (#42679965)

If it does then stopping isn't really an option. Though I suspect Alan Cox has got a few pennies saved up by now so I hope he enjoys his time off but I suspect he'll get itchy fingers beforelong and be back in front of some kernel source - at least in an informal manner - before the year is out.

Re:Depends if that coding pays the family bills (4, Funny)

TheMathemagician (2515102) | about 2 years ago | (#42680293)

Just think of the money he's saved on shaving products and haircuts.

Re:Depends if that coding pays the family bills (4, Funny)

CrashandDie (1114135) | about 2 years ago | (#42680831)

You mean the money he's shaved off haircuts?

Re:Depends if that coding pays the family bills (3, Funny)

yanyan (302849) | about 2 years ago | (#42681863)

I hear it was a hatful.

Re:Maybe it's really family reasons.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42680041)

After reading last night's article about his other G+ post, I was really thinking /ragequit.

Sometimes a man needs to stop coding to take care of his burgeoning ego.

Your thoughts are ever so much more pleasant :-)

Re:Maybe it's really family reasons.. (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 2 years ago | (#42680343)

After reading last night's article about his other G+ post, I was really thinking /ragequit.

After reading both of the posts, I was thinking 'midwinter blues'. Somebody drop a bottle of high-dose vitamin D on the fellow! Then again, perhaps he's headed for the beaches as we speak.

Re:Maybe it's really family reasons.. (4, Interesting)

afidel (530433) | about 2 years ago | (#42680445)

Seasonal affective disorder is a serious problem at northern latitudes. Personally I've been much more productive and happy since I had my employer buy some full spectrum bulbs for the lights over my cube. It's probably the best investment they ever made since it was like $20 and they're already 3 years old, 3 winters of increased productivity has to worth over $100k.

Slashdot - Billions of wrong stories served. (-1, Troll)

Andy Prough (2730467) | about 2 years ago | (#42680433)

WTF Geekwire?? Do you idiots even read the crap you are "reporting" on???? FTFA: "Dear Slashdot, switching one system that run Ubuntu in a VM to Fedora into running Ubuntu does not constitute 'switching to Ubuntu'. I've been running Unbuntu for some jobs (like building Android images) for ages 8). In fact I run several distros (Fedora still included) And for that matter my goldfish boot/stress test image is a hacked Debian fs image...". This was posted by Cox LAST NIGHT.

Twelve-year-old's with a "tech news" website - worthless as a chocolate teapot.

Re:Maybe it's really family reasons.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42680525)

Do you know what Alan Cox looks like?

Re:Maybe it's really family reasons.. (4, Informative)

miknix (1047580) | about 2 years ago | (#42681207)

yes it is, it is written all over his g+ post:

I'm leaving the Linux world and Intel for a bit for family reasons. I'm aware that "family reasons" is usually management speak for "I think the boss is an asshole" but I'd like to assure everyone that while I frequently think Linus is an asshole (and therefore very good as kernel dictator) I am departing quite genuinely for family reasons

was the family reasons left out from TFA on purpose or what?

Family Reasons (4, Insightful)

SirGarlon (845873) | about 2 years ago | (#42679605)

From TFA:

I'm aware that 'family reasons' is usually management speak for "I think the boss is an asshole"

I always thought it was management speak for "the board realized I'm incompetent and demanded my resignation." Maybe it has a different interpretation in the UK?

Re:Family Reasons (1)

armanox (826486) | about 2 years ago | (#42679619)

Depends on the size of the company maybe?

Re:Family Reasons (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42679703)

No in the UK 'family reasons' usually means 'The torrid affair I;ve been having with my secretary has been found out and plastered all over the red tops'. Hence 'I need to spend more time with my family'.

Re:Family Reasons (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42680479)

Take a look at the man, that must be one rough secretary if you think Cox has been bonking her.

Re:Family Reasons (5, Interesting)

OneSmartFellow (716217) | about 2 years ago | (#42680679)

In his case, it definitely doesn't mean that. Having corresponded with him in the very early days of Linux, I found him to be supremely competent, surprisingly helpful (given his workload), and genuinely pleasant. None of those attributes align with your interpretation of the phrase.

I can't think of anyone who has given more to the Linux community than Mr. Cox - not even Linus, actually - and his departure will be felt immediately, and profoundly.

Re:Family Reasons (1)

V for Vendetta (1204898) | about 2 years ago | (#42681607)

I always thought it was management speak for "the board realized I'm incompetent and demanded my resignation."

I think you've mistaken that for "health issues" ...

let him rest for a bit (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42679609)

great work dude. Take a nap and come back soon

Re:let him rest for a bit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42680881)

And/or get on the air more - there's a lot of folks who'd just like to chew the rag on 20 meters with you
on a lot of topics having nothing to do with computers, let alone Linux.

Google+ (5, Funny)

bsDaemon (87307) | about 2 years ago | (#42679611)

Well, one thing's for sure: He was clearly hoping to avoid wide-spread notice of his move or he would have chosen a different venue.

Re:Google+ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42679665)

Too late.

Ha... captcha: failed. How apt.

Re:Google+ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42679785)

definitely apt considering you have to type a captcha for some odd reason

Happens (5, Insightful)

RevDisk (740008) | about 2 years ago | (#42679617)

Alan Cox has done some very amazing things over the years. He deserves a chance to get away from tech for a bit. Hopefully he rests up, spends some time with his family, goes on a couple vacations, etc.

Within some interval, he'll likely be back doing something. It's hard to stay retired for someone that good.

lol. entirely predictable. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42679621)

And so begins the rats fleeing the sinking ship that is linsux. Between terrible guis, unusable a api's, no fixed binary interfaces and a developer community that is in a shambles I was actually surprised it made it this far. I wonder how long it will be before Alan cox admits he too has switched to a Mac for all his computing needs like the rest of us who have real skills.

Re:lol. entirely predictable. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42679737)

Except for writing skills I see?

Re:lol. entirely predictable. (2)

buddyglass (925859) | about 2 years ago | (#42679789)

Think of it as a server OS and you'll find it easier to like.

Re:lol. entirely predictable. (2)

alci63 (1856480) | about 2 years ago | (#42680509)

Not even necessary... I use it as a day to day desktop, and I must say I just couldn't work on Windows. MacOS X is cool too, but I miss the free software library Linux has...

Re:lol. entirely predictable. (1)

buddyglass (925859) | about 2 years ago | (#42680671)

Its primary strength is as a server OS. This guy's specific complaints seem to center around desktop usage. If he thought of it purely as a headless server OS he might view it more favorably.

Good decision Coxy (2, Insightful)

undulato (2146486) | about 2 years ago | (#42679631)

I quit Linux development 10 years ago and I never looked back. You get your life back. Hell perhaps you even *get* a life. Linux can be fun but it can also seriously bad for your health, wealth and fun factor.

Re:Good decision Coxy (4, Insightful)

arth1 (260657) | about 2 years ago | (#42679901)

I quit Linux development 10 years ago and I never looked back. You get your life back.

You never get your life back. The arrow of time doesn't allow that. You can get a new part of your life reminiscent of the old, but it won't ever be the same. What's gone is gone, so look forward.

He may be back in the future (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42679653)

...but definitely not at Intel, and probably not at Red Hat.

Great, more OSS fracturing (-1, Offtopic)

crazyjj (2598719) | about 2 years ago | (#42679673)

Mod this offtopic if you like, but this sort of situation always serves as a reminder to me of why the open source movement is at such a disadvantage and never seems to make any real progress. The open nature of OSS has always been cited as a strength of the movement. But it would be more accurate to say that it only encourages division, fracturing, and confusion.

Every time some individual developer or group of developers gets their panties in a bunch about something they disagree with, they take their ball, go home, and start yet another fork of whatever-the-fuck software. In the end, this doesn't result in creativity and innovation so much as a confusing cacophony of competing software and projects which never realize their full potential because half the development team got pissy in the middle of development and left. It's not only hopelessly confusing to consumers (just TRY explaining the concept of "distros" to your grandma sometime), but it make OSS feel like it's in a constant state of half-assed/never-finished/abandoned, as opposed to commercial software--where a central leadership maintains control (and controls people's salaries and the IP).

I know this is not a popular sentiment on /. (to say the least). But, what the fuck. I've got some extra karma to burn.

Re:Great, more OSS fracturing (2)

lfourrier (209630) | about 2 years ago | (#42679741)

"it's in a constant state of half-assed/never-finished/abandoned" could as easily qualify commercial software, but you have to visit the kitchen to know it.
it's all a matter of transparency and visibility.
Now, for sure, some people doesn't want to know all the gory details, and just need to have something working. But you can just as easily ignore the different linux contributors, and just use a working distro. The only drawback(and perhaps it is not even one), if this attitude is generalized, is that you remove from the programmers pool those who are there only for ego boosting.

Re:Great, more OSS fracturing (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42679747)

What you said should be modded off topic simply because it's a total non-sequitur. What does Alan Cox leaving open source dev to take care of his family have to do with fracturing OSS? Nobody is forking anything.

Re:Great, more OSS fracturing (5, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#42679759)

Mod this offtopic if you like

You're not offtopic, you're just wrong. I hope you don't get moderated at all.

Every time some individual developer or group of developers gets their panties in a bunch about something they disagree with, they take their ball, go home, and start yet another fork of whatever-the-fuck software.

This is the part where you should have read what you've written, considered the meaning, and then terminated your entire comment. You have successfully included the very reason why OSS is superior to closed-source, and then gone on to come to precisely the wrong conclusion based on the available facts. The truth is that this sort of thing happens all the time in closed-source software, too, except nobody produces another fork. Someone gets upset with their life and quits and the project has to be reorganized. But if the reorganized project is doomed to fail in the closed-source world, then it will simply fail, whereas with open source or free software it may be forked and the fork may be successful. Moreover, this kind of protection works for us whether the problem is someone deciding they don't want to play marbles any more (the marbles aren't theirs, so they can't take them all and go home) or someone pissing in the middle of the marble court; we just take the marbles somewhere else, like we're seeing happen right now with MySQL and MariaDB.

It's not only hopelessly confusing to consumers (just TRY explaining the concept of "distros" to your grandma sometime),

Just use a car analogy. The car companies don't make all the parts that go into the cars, and all the car companies use parts from the same manufacturers.

but it make OSS feel like it's in a constant state of half-assed/never-finished/abandoned, as opposed to commercial software

Uh, how does that contrast with commercial software? It's true that there are commercial software packages which have seen continual development since their inception, but that's true of noncommercial, open source packages like Apache, the Linux kernel, and so on. And frankly, the average user is immune to the influences you describe. They're installing an Ubuntu LTS and they're simply not having the problems you're having because they don't have the needs you have. The battle for control of X.org didn't affect them at all. Most people have at least an nVidia 8xxx series or later, so they can use the current driver. Etc etc. You're attempting to describe a problem which doesn't exist. Have you seen how pissed off people are at Windows 8? Are you aware of how much used hardware is on the market because it's not supported by Windows 7, let alone 8?

I know this is not a popular sentiment on /. (to say the least). But, what the fuck. I've got some extra karma to burn.

If you lose karma it will be because you left a completely illogical comment, describing the strength of OSS as a weakness. The fact is that the closed-source world actually deals with this problem less well than the open source world.

explaining the concept of distros to your grandma (5, Interesting)

jankoh (2547488) | about 2 years ago | (#42679837)

You know, grandma, Linux distro's are restaurants, where you can eat, but they also share their recipes in cookbooks(if you want): everybody has a bit different choice of the recipes they like, not all of them can be used with all kind of stoves ("Debian" can use most kinds of "stoves": i586, arm, ...) and but all in all, the food served and the contents of those books is quite similar - as there are only so many recipes in the world. In some of those restaurants you have to cook the food (or better said make it warm) yourself - e.g. at Gentoo's :-) But he community there is lovely, and their help you. The cooks that put together those recipes may not be the best in the world (not all of them are chefs in a restaurant with 5 Michelin stars), but unlike those chefs, they believe in sharing the recipes.(and this really seems to be the best way, as in such a way the cheap, quite good quality food can get to the masses - see e.g. the current rise of the fastfood chain called Android.) And many of these cooks, give you even the meal for free, or cheaply. The joy/price ratio is high, though maybe not for everybody. (there are e.g. "snobs" who still prefer those "Michelin" restaurants. In last years, the one offering apple-only diet, is quite popular, providing visually very nicely served, but quite expensive meals or there is still that, almost monopoly(with huged Windows), where they serve those very little pieces of food ("micro"), softly boiled :-)

Re:explaining the concept of distros to your grand (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42680811)

Yeah...umm...thanks sonny. I'll just buy a computer from Best Buy.

bricks & moarter ? you really ARE a septuagena (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42681475)

I'll just buy a computer from Best Buy.

Better hurry before they go the way of Blockbuster Video.

Same guy for 22 years. Not "take ball go home" (3, Interesting)

raymorris (2726007) | about 2 years ago | (#42681821)

He was at the top of the Linux structure for TWENTY TWO YEARS and now he's taking a break. That does exactly look like a bunch of people who "Every time... they disagree take their ball and go home". I'm looking around at this company where most of what they do is proprietary. I don't see ANYONE who has been here, doing the same thing, for twenty-two years like Alan Cox was.

but it make OSS feel like it's in a constant state of half-assed/never-finished/abandoned, as opposed to commercial software--where a central leadership maintains control (and controls people's salaries and the IP).

There is a difference between proprietary and OSS there. OSS tends to not have less useful features like eye candy because people author the features they use. Proprietary software, on the other hand, is marketing driven, so it tends to have a pretty GUI for many features that don't actually work.

maybe intel is going full speed with bga and ms lo (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42679675)

maybe intel is going full speed with bga and ms lock in and his PHB said if you don't like it quit.

He's done it before (5, Informative)

Viol8 (599362) | about 2 years ago | (#42679715)

Went off for a few years to learn Welsh and commune with sheep or something. But he came back then and he'll come back again. You can't keep a hacker (in the old sense of the word) like Cox away from a compiler for long!

Re:He's done it before (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42679753)

learn Welsh and commune with sheep

Isn't that redundant?

Re:He's done it before (5, Funny)

Culture20 (968837) | about 2 years ago | (#42679853)

learn Welsh and commune with sheep

Isn't that redundant?

No, it's ruminant.

Re: He's done it before (1)

stokessd (89903) | about 2 years ago | (#42680879)

My two corgis (corgwn) aprove.

Re:He's done it before (4, Funny)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 2 years ago | (#42680165)

learn Welsh and "commune" with sheep or something.

I believe I've just learned a new euphamism.

Re:He's done it before (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42680441)

I think you meant "ewephemism".

Re:He's done it before (2)

Mister Transistor (259842) | about 2 years ago | (#42680989)

More like eeew-phemism!

Re:He's done it before (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42680497)

He went off to do an MBA.

Re:He's done it before (1)

Viol8 (599362) | about 2 years ago | (#42680663)

"He went off to do an MBA."

Commune with sheep - MBA, whats the difference?

Re:He's done it before (2)

MaerD (954222) | about 2 years ago | (#42681081)

MBAs complain less when you send half their number to the butcher.

Re:He's done it before (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42681213)

"He went off to do an MBA."

Commune with sheep - MBA, whats the difference?

Usually MBAs are on their knees just behind the sheep.

Re:He's done it before (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | about 2 years ago | (#42680693)

Actually it was to focus on getting an MBA...ohh wait, that's what you said.

DMA-BUF (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42679731)

Valid question: does this mean we can rewrite DMA-BUF in a way nvidia can use?

Re:DMA-BUF (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42680361)

Yes, it should be possible.

Priorities (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42679781)

He is finally going to stop wasting time on Linux and do something important like writing Abermud 6!

> kiss runesword
> get runesword
rampage!!!!111!!11ONE

That was quick (5, Funny)

Culture20 (968837) | about 2 years ago | (#42679799)

Ubuntu ruined him sooner than I thought it would.

"Linus is an asshole" - Alan (5, Insightful)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about 2 years ago | (#42679813)

FTFG+: "I frequently think Linus is an asshole (and therefore very good as kernel dictator) ... I've had great fun working there."

The funny part is, Linus would probably chuckle and agree with that statement. You can tell these two have been working together for a long time because there isn't any malice in what he said. He's being absolutely authentic.

Re:"Linus is an asshole" - Alan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42679943)

Until Linus can actually talk out of his asshole, similar to Jim Carey, I'm not buying it.

Re:"Linus is an asshole" - Alan (4, Insightful)

phorm (591458) | about 2 years ago | (#42680085)

Indeed. I've worked with some people who pretty much *had* to play the a**hole in their job-role at times. It was great when they were on your side, but if you ever had them come at you, heaven help you. That being said, if said person was in your face, it was usually for a reason. One might feel that the dictator was being an a**hole, but really they're just pushing you to get things done in a way that (they see) benefits the project/team as a whole.

Re:"Linus is an asshole" - Alan (0)

nomadic (141991) | about 2 years ago | (#42680325)

"I've worked with some people who pretty much *had* to play the a**hole in their job-role at times."

The problem with this philosophy is it assumes, without adequate proof, that negative reinforcement is the most effective way of managing people.

Re:"Linus is an asshole" - Alan (2)

Mister Transistor (259842) | about 2 years ago | (#42681165)

It may not be the most effective, but it is the most common by far. Shaming performance "meetings", stern "talking-to" and threats of poor performance reviews are the standard motivational tools. Bonuses, free pizza and beer on fridays, and the occasional "attaboy" are far and few between, from my experience.

As my father once said to me: "The highest praise you'll get in life usually is the absence of complaints."

Also, sometimes someone can play the "asshole" role (strict or no-nonsense project management) without it being a completely negative reinforcement. Someone needs to stay focused on the overall objective and unfortunately has to "crack the whip" once in a while to remind others to stay focused as well.

Re:"Linus is an asshole" - Alan (5, Funny)

Cloud K (125581) | about 2 years ago | (#42680153)

Yeah pretty sure he would.

In an interview with Linux Format (issue 163) he says about Git "I'manegotisticalbastard,andInameallmyprojectsaftermyself.First'Linux',now'Git'."

And about his role in the kernel - "realistically what I maintain these days is not the code but the workflow for people. And that sometimes gets my goat in a big way when somebody does something stupid in a big way, and then I get really excited, and by excited I mean I curse at people."

Definitely detecting a tone of humour (and truth) in those statements.

E6p!f! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42679833)

Rotting corpse reasons why anyone feel obligated to on my P3ntium Pro to stick something May do, may not (7000+1400+700)*4 there are This post brought 'I have to kill marketing surveys don't feel that polite to bring Raadt's stubborn community. The Study. [rice.edu] A losing battle; To underscore a fact: FreeBSD And committees spot when done For TO GET SOME EYE community at the future of the Of Walnut Creek, Dim. If *BSD is to the transmission GETTING TOGETHER TO appeared...saying Apple too. No, as one of the 'superior' machine. Of the warring not so bad. To the stupid. To the GAY NIGGERS FROM Sadness And it was that they sideline

Re:E6p!f! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42680383)

Keep up the good work, loserboy.

Cox would finish up all outstanding work. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42679845)

So his so-so work will be left incomplete then?

That's a shame (1)

Cloud K (125581) | about 2 years ago | (#42679921)

I always liked his soothing voice on those stargazing programmes on the telly.

Re:That's a shame (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42680281)

> I always liked his soothing voice on those stargazing programmes on the telly.

You don't mean Brian Cox do you?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Cox_%28physicist%29

Re:That's a shame (1)

Cloud K (125581) | about 2 years ago | (#42681039)

That was the joke...

Goodbye Cruel World (2)

Frankie70 (803801) | about 2 years ago | (#42680019)

Didn't Alan Cox quit once before after Linus flamed him on the mailing list?

https://lkml.org/lkml/2009/7/28/375 [lkml.org]

Why and when did he come back?

Re:Goodbye Cruel World (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42680131)

No he didn't quit - he just stepped down as TTY layer maintainer. Not his fault that shlashbots are too stupid to understand this.

Good job Fedora devs (5, Insightful)

ikaruga (2725453) | about 2 years ago | (#42680063)

For a worldwide known top kernel developer to switch to ubuntu and leave development, Fedora 18 must be obscenely bad.

Re:Good job Fedora devs (4, Funny)

arth1 (260657) | about 2 years ago | (#42680341)

For a worldwide known top kernel developer to switch to ubuntu and leave development, Fedora 18 must be obscenely bad.

That's like saying the Pacific is pretty moist.

WHAT A COX !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42680125)

He is !!

Can we blame Unity for this? (3, Interesting)

Zaiff Urgulbunger (591514) | about 2 years ago | (#42680327)

So, mere hours after slating F18 and switching to Ubuntu, he's decided to quit Linux development? I mean, it *could* just be a coincidence... but... hmmmmmm, I wonder....

Resignation is good (2)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about 2 years ago | (#42680455)

Better than the bus thing.
He can always try for a comeback.

He replied. "Dear slashdot" (5, Informative)

Barryke (772876) | about 2 years ago | (#42680759)

There is a followup post:

Dear Slashdot, switching one system that run Ubuntu in a VM to Fedora into running Ubuntu does not constitute 'switching to Ubuntu'. I've been running Unbuntu for some jobs (like building Android images) for ages 8). In fact I run several distros (Fedora still included)

And for that matter my goldfish boot/stress test image is a hacked Debian fs image...

I hope slashdot gets better at journalism, because right now they stink almost as bad as us, users. We are either busy building funny replies to trolls or trying to craft an informative post, they the editors keep on posting submitted trolls or historic redirect links filled with ads.

Since its so short, here is TCFP (the complete f' post) as well:

I'm leaving the Linux world and Intel for a bit for family reasons. I'm aware that "family reasons" is usually management speak for "I think the boss is an asshole" but I'd like to assure everyone that while I frequently think Linus is an asshole (and therefore very good as kernel dictator) I am departing quite genuinely for family reasons and not because I've fallen out with Linus or Intel or anyone else. Far from it I've had great fun working there.

Most of the people who should know more do, I know I've missed a few.

I may be back at some point in the future - who knows. In the mean time if you'd like my job (or indeed one of a range of others) we're hiring 8)

Alan
[oh and +Greg Kroah-Hartman I will be tidying up the goldfish remaining work rather than just doing a runner on you]
--
"There is no certainty only opportunity"

Wishing him and his familly all the best (4, Interesting)

pieleric (917714) | about 2 years ago | (#42680785)

On the website of a business that Alan seems to run separately from his job at Intel, he had aldready mentionned familly illness. (http://www.ultima-models.co.uk/news.html). I guess this is the "familly reasons".

Alan Cox has already contributed enourmously to Linux but hopefully things will get better for him and his familly, and he'll be able to contribute even further :-)

Lately he has been trying to cover a bit the mess than Intel had done with the Poulsbo hardware (GMA500). As an owner of such a hardware, I'm very grateful for this. So I now wish him and his familly all the best in the hard time.

He's the man responsible for EXPORT_SYMBOL_GPL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42681513)

and therefore I say 'don't let the door hit your ass on the way out'.

Changing times. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42681625)

Even though I'm not a Linux user any longer, never knew Alan Cox, and exchanged words with Linus Torvalds only once, and even then electronically, seeing news like this makes me feel nostalgic and wistful.

Once upon a time, Linux was a social movement more than a technical thing. I started using it in 1993 as a young CS student after making inquiries about UNIXes for several hardware platforms, hoping to find a "real" system that I could use at home. Anything practicable was in the thousands of dollars per seat range, prohibitive for an undergrad from a lower-middle-class family.

Over the years I ran Linux on just about everything, from PCs to Sun workstations to Macs (both Intel and PowerPC) and mobile/embedded devices. I worked in software, then I worked in technical documentation, all for Linux companies. I wrote a pile of Linux books that paid my way through grad school. I remember when the term "open source" sparked controversy, and a variety of trademark battles.

Through much of that time, I continued to feel that Linux was a social movement. It wasn't until 2006 or 2007 that I finally started to feel as though it had become something else—just a part of the technological landscape. Linux didn't win, and Linux didn't lose either (the same can be said for open source), but instead became a small part of the big world's normal, everyday life. There were no revolutions in the end.

Figures like Torvalds, Cox, and Stallman were once almost like political figures. Now that I'm middle aged and well outside the Linux and open source spheres, with a career that has taken an entirely different direction from technology entirely, Linux has often seemed like a little universe of idealists and pragmatists hosting a particular vision of society and technology in its ranks.

To see Linux describe himself as more project manager than coder and to see Alan Cox ducking out of the mainstream paints the picture of a generation passing out of the vanguard. Presumably the next generation will find different movements, in different spaces (information freedom, Aaron Swartz, et. al.?), using different means.

It's not new to say that the open source "moment in the sun" is over (or even that the operating system's, or the compiler's, is over), but even so, seeing news like this makes me feel old, and gives me just a bit of the impulse to create a VM and install Fedora in it—just because. Or maybe even something older. Red Hat 5? Caldera OpenLinux 1.3? Slackware 3? I guess for that last one, I'd need a set of a hundred 3.5" floppies and a floppy drive...

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