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Nikolai Bezroukov. Portraits of Open Source Pioneers
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Phil: How much of the code in the kernel is still yours?
Linus: Umm.. Very little when it comes to the number of lines. What's still ``mine'' is the mm/*.c, kernel/*.c, fs/*.c (only the BVFS code, not the specific filesystem stuff) and parts of the x86 and alpha-specific low-level architecture files.
Even those parts have much of the code contributed by others, but the basic stuff is still pretty closely under my control. It's essentially all of the really basic stuff---things that everything else depends on.
There are lots of things I haven't really even touched: most of the device drivers are totally written by others, and while they sometimes are based on stuff I have written they really aren't mine any more. Same goes for a lot of the filesystem code.
The networking has been completely written by others, although I've touched some of it.
In lines of code, I probably am responsible for about 10% these days. That's just a rough guess, I haven't really taken a look.
Phil: How (or maybe why) does project management work? That is, Linux is a huge effort and it continues to progress very well. How is this cooperation possible?
Linus: Most of it happens automatically---people who are doing things for fun do things the right way by themselves. That said, I do work 8 hours a day (and that's just about minimum) on Linux, and most of the time goes to administrative things, mostly email. And it's not as if I'm the only ``manager''---there are others who manage their own subsystems and then send me already cleaned-up patches (notably when it comes to networking).
Phil: Is there any expertise lacking? Is there something or someone that, if available, would make development go better?
Linus:I think we're doing pretty well. I need longer days (and nights!), but there isn't anything specific we really need. Lots of areas needing work, and lots of developers that don't have enough time, but we can't really complain.
Phil: We asked this before, but the answer may have changed. What, if anything, did you do wrong in Linux development. (When Ken Thompson was asked this about Unix he said he left the ``e'' off the ``creat'' system call. Is there something that you would do different?
Linus: I'll be arrogant and say ``nothing''. I think that's the same answer as last time. I've made lots of mistakes, but that's okay and normal, and the kernel is the better for it---it tends to only help make the corrected version more robust. And I've obviously conned a lot of people to work for free on this project!
Gena: What keeps you motivated (i.e., why do you keep on doin' what you do)?
Linus: It's a very interesting project, and I get to sit there like a spider in its web, looking at the poor new users struggling with it. Mwbhahahhaaahaaa..
No, seriously, what kept me going initially after I had ``completed'' my first test-versions of Linux back in '91 was the enthusiasm of people, and knowing people find my work interesting and fun, and that there are people out there depending on me. That's still true today.
And it really is technically interesting too---still, after these five years. New challenges, new things people need or find interesting. But the community is really what keeps me going.
Groupthink : Two Party System as Polyarchy : Corruption of Regulators : Bureaucracies : Understanding Micromanagers and Control Freaks : Toxic Managers : Harvard Mafia : Diplomatic Communication : Surviving a Bad Performance Review : Insufficient Retirement Funds as Immanent Problem of Neoliberal Regime : PseudoScience : Who Rules America : Neoliberalism : The Iron Law of Oligarchy : Libertarian Philosophy
War and Peace : Skeptical Finance : John Kenneth Galbraith :Talleyrand : Oscar Wilde : Otto Von Bismarck : Keynes : George Carlin : Skeptics : Propaganda : SE quotes : Language Design and Programming Quotes : Random IT-related quotes : Somerset Maugham : Marcus Aurelius : Kurt Vonnegut : Eric Hoffer : Winston Churchill : Napoleon Bonaparte : Ambrose Bierce : Bernard Shaw : Mark Twain Quotes
Vol 25, No.12 (December, 2013) Rational Fools vs. Efficient Crooks The efficient markets hypothesis : Political Skeptic Bulletin, 2013 : Unemployment Bulletin, 2010 : Vol 23, No.10 (October, 2011) An observation about corporate security departments : Slightly Skeptical Euromaydan Chronicles, June 2014 : Greenspan legacy bulletin, 2008 : Vol 25, No.10 (October, 2013) Cryptolocker Trojan (Win32/Crilock.A) : Vol 25, No.08 (August, 2013) Cloud providers as intelligence collection hubs : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2010 : Inequality Bulletin, 2009 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2008 : Copyleft Problems Bulletin, 2004 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2011 : Energy Bulletin, 2010 : Malware Protection Bulletin, 2010 : Vol 26, No.1 (January, 2013) Object-Oriented Cult : Political Skeptic Bulletin, 2011 : Vol 23, No.11 (November, 2011) Softpanorama classification of sysadmin horror stories : Vol 25, No.05 (May, 2013) Corporate bullshit as a communication method : Vol 25, No.06 (June, 2013) A Note on the Relationship of Brooks Law and Conway Law
Fifty glorious years (1950-2000): the triumph of the US computer engineering : Donald Knuth : TAoCP and its Influence of Computer Science : Richard Stallman : Linus Torvalds : Larry Wall : John K. Ousterhout : CTSS : Multix OS Unix History : Unix shell history : VI editor : History of pipes concept : Solaris : MS DOS : Programming Languages History : PL/1 : Simula 67 : C : History of GCC development : Scripting Languages : Perl history : OS History : Mail : DNS : SSH : CPU Instruction Sets : SPARC systems 1987-2006 : Norton Commander : Norton Utilities : Norton Ghost : Frontpage history : Malware Defense History : GNU Screen : OSS early history
The Peter Principle : Parkinson Law : 1984 : The Mythical Man-Month : How to Solve It by George Polya : The Art of Computer Programming : The Elements of Programming Style : The Unix Haterís Handbook : The Jargon file : The True Believer : Programming Pearls : The Good Soldier Svejk : The Power Elite
Most popular humor pages:
Manifest of the Softpanorama IT Slacker Society : Ten Commandments of the IT Slackers Society : Computer Humor Collection : BSD Logo Story : The Cuckoo's Egg : IT Slang : C++ Humor : ARE YOU A BBS ADDICT? : The Perl Purity Test : Object oriented programmers of all nations : Financial Humor : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2008 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2010 : The Most Comprehensive Collection of Editor-related Humor : Programming Language Humor : Goldman Sachs related humor : Greenspan humor : C Humor : Scripting Humor : Real Programmers Humor : Web Humor : GPL-related Humor : OFM Humor : Politically Incorrect Humor : IDS Humor : "Linux Sucks" Humor : Russian Musical Humor : Best Russian Programmer Humor : Microsoft plans to buy Catholic Church : Richard Stallman Related Humor : Admin Humor : Perl-related Humor : Linus Torvalds Related humor : PseudoScience Related Humor : Networking Humor : Shell Humor : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2011 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2012 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2013 : Java Humor : Software Engineering Humor : Sun Solaris Related Humor : Education Humor : IBM Humor : Assembler-related Humor : VIM Humor : Computer Viruses Humor : Bright tomorrow is rescheduled to a day after tomorrow : Classic Computer Humor
The Last but not Least
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Last modified: September 12, 2017