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The first rule of kernel maintenance: YOU DO NOT BREAK USER SPACE!

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To be honest, that sounds like a bit of a silly comment. I can see how that would set someone off. What APIs an application accesses isn't really relevant - only that it DOES access the API.-Renegade (December 28, 2012, 11:30 PM)
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Yes, that comment is somewhat silly and unprofessional (even if I do think it sounds strange that PulseAudio should be calling V4L APIs...). But at any rate, it's not something that deserves the reply it got. If you look through the full thread, Mauro seems pretty reasonable and level-headed.

Being straightforward and avoiding sugarcoating is fine, but IMHO you can do so in a respectful manner.-f0dder (December 28, 2012, 11:11 PM)
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Sarcasm, f0dder; just sarcasm!-J-Mac (December 28, 2012, 11:48 PM)
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Yeah, I got that :) - that line wasn't directed at you, but at the slashdot comments... those guys seem to equate rudeness with directness, and applauds Linus' way of behaving O_o

If you look through the full thread, Mauro seems pretty reasonable and level-headed.
-f0dder (December 29, 2012, 12:00 AM)
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No argument there. I did read through it, and he was certainly much nicer than Linus there.

Not to sidetrack, but I think this ties directly into my main hold backs from switching to Linux full time. It is not the available software, lack of features, or anything like that; it is the support and my fear of asking "the wrong question" without reading 200 different pages first. This has gotten far better over time, but as someone who frequents several Linux IRC support channels (what better way to learn, right?), I can say I still see new users attacked quite frequently in a very similar manner. IT folk in general have a tendency to have a "My answer is always right" mentality, but I think it gets worse when you move to platform specific debates (Apple, Linux, Microsoft (to a point), or the web browsers).


^I think the degree of harshness in Linus's response is due to the fact that this happened in the kernal maintainer's space where everybody involved is expected to be on the same page and at ninja ranking when it comes to coding ability.

Not to excuse the rudeness factor (even if all these guys have thick skins and substantial egos from what I've seen over the years) but the point about never breaking userspace has been an ongoing refrain by Linus for many years now. And it's something I'm sure he (and most of the other maintainers) had thought was a settled issue and a done deal by now. So when it unexpectedly raised it's ugly head, I think that's what provoked Linus's outburst. And I'm guessing it was probably more in the interest of dramatically reinforcing that directive rather than a simple show of temper. (Linus knows how to play the game and use the bully pulpit when he has to. There's almost always an agenda behind his occasional tantrums and flames.) And seriously, how many times do you need to repeat something before you stop saying it politely and just smack someone over the head with it a few times? You do not break userspace. As was said below "It's not how we work."


Seriously. How hard is this rule to understand? We particularly don't
break user space with TOTAL CRAP. I'm angry, because your whole email
was so _horribly_ wrong, and the patch that broke things was so
obviously crap. The whole patch is incredibly broken shit. It adds an
insane error code (ENOENT), and then because it's so insane, it adds a
few places to fix it up ("ret == -ENOENT ? -EINVAL : ret").

The fact that you then try to make *excuses* for breaking user space,
and blaming some external program that *used* to work, is just
shameful. It's not how we work.

Fix your f*cking "compliance tool", because it is obviously broken.
And fix your approach to kernel programming.
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I'm not even a kernal maintainer and I can grok clearly what's being said here.

It's pretty simple:


Ever. Period.

Maybe it wasn't the most polite way to send a message. But I'm sure Mr. Chehab "got" the message that was being sent.


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