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A fork of the Linux kernel

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    I’d be interested in working on a fork of Linux where developers treat each other like human beings.

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      Not being glib here, but you could always take a look at one of the BSD’s. It seems that for whatever reason (median age? enterprise influence? licensing ethos? smaller size?) the various communities seem a bit more civil. I say seem because it could just be my own perception here.

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        The BSD communities are less in the limelight. They have similar problems, too. See for example here or here. Both these tweets were reactions to Sarah’s post & mjg’s fork.

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          A “tweet” is by nature pretty one sided. “Threatening lawyers” is generally fairly serious though! Will certainly be interesting to read more about it if it ever comes to light.

          edit: Thanks for the links – I would probably have never run across them otherwise.

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            Randi Lee Harper is the girl who cried wolf. She has a history of joining groups, vocally advocating for them, and when something doesn’t go her way, she makes the biggest stink that she can across the internet. I had sympathy for her the first time.

            Times #2 and #3 I did not.

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              There’s so much disinformation that I’m not prepared to condemn her. I mean, yes, the story of contemporary civilization, and of online arguments in particular, is “this is disputed so bitterly that it’s impossible to decide, so we might as well believe the people we like”. But understanding that pattern doesn’t defeat it, which is why it’s had so much success in every corner of politics and online life.

              It sounds like you’ve been following what she says and does closely, in which case you may actually be in a position to have an opinion. I haven’t and am not; I don’t think it’s worth the spoons in this particular case.

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                Feel free not to read this if you think it will cost you too many spoons. It contains descriptions of online bullying.

                I found out about her autoblockbot when I was added to the “sjwautoblocklist” because I followed too many “SJWs”. This is of course correct, since I am an SJW, born and raised.

                My experience with her was that I very politely suggested that maybe autoblocking people based on who they listen to might have some corrosive effects on online discourse, so maybe we should explore other criteria, and that my understanding was her autoblocking software worked by blocking people based on who they listen to, although I was happy to be corrected if I had misunderstood. She responded by flaming me; the note about how I was happy to be corrected if I had misunderstood yielded an accusation of not bothering to read and understand before criticizing, but no actual corrections. As far as I know, my understanding was exactly correct at the time. Then she sicced her followers on me, and Twitter was unusable for me for several days; every day brought new accusations of all manner of uncouth behavior upon me, based, as far as I can tell, upon nothing at all.

                And make no mistake: this was not “you are doing something objectionable” criticism I was receiving, right or wrong; this was “you are a repulsive person” toxic abuse.

                I would not be willing to be involved in any project where the opinions of people like Randi are treated with respect, because my experience has shown me that their opinion can go from zero to witch-hunt in a matter of minutes, in retaliation for the mildest of criticism. Nobody can be safe in a place like that. It creates a Game-of-Thrones-like environment where your friends could turn on you at any moment.

                Even posting this here now, I was afraid because I don’t know what kind of reaction it’s going to provoke. Am I going to get flamed for it? Will Irene, whose opinion I value, decide that I’m propagating “disinformation”? Are people going to read it and stop talking to me? Will I ever know? But I feel that it’s worth the risk.

                Hopefully this episode will make me think twice in the future before harshly criticizing people based on my fallible interpretation of their behavior, which is something I’ve been guilty of myself many times in the past.

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                  I need spoons…for my eyes…because of the use of random bolding in your post. :)

                  Sorry about that other nonsense though–hope things get better!

                  What’s the sjwautoblocklist? I wasn’t aware of a blocklist against SJWs…the noise has typically been from the opposite direction.

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                    It was a fork of Harper’s code with a different seed list. It was banned from GitHub fairly rapidly.

                    I didn’t mean to damage your eyes! My best wishes for a speedy recovery.

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                  Spoons…as in the “daily supply of spoons” theory?

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                    Yes, as in spoons theory. It’s an accurate description of many people’s experience, especially those of us with serious mental health conditions. I find it to be an amazingly helpful vocabulary that abbreviates what would otherwise be a lengthy explanation about the real need to balance the costs of emotionally intense activities. Especially because it’s now widely enough used that people can discover what I mean if they haven’t heard it before, which wasn’t always the case. :)

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                      The only thing I dislike about that theory is that it seems to imply that you’ll never get more spoons.

                      We should all try to get more spoons. :)

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                          As an autist, I deal with both spoons and having to reticulate splines: Splines Theory: A Spoons Metaphor for Autism. But yes, everybody’s brain works differently and it does make sense to talk about these different kinds of mental and emotional resources. :)

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                          You get a new allotment of spoons after you sleep, but the problem is that you can end up with spoon debt and then sleeping does not completely recharge you.

                          Living with someone with a disability, she considers spoon theory a good description of what happens to her.

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                    If it’s true that FreeBSD has 0.5% female participation below the 2% average for other free projects, this doesn’t sound like crying wolf to me.

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                      Do we have any sources for those numbers?

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                        Have a go at counting: https://www.freebsd.org/doc/en/articles/contributors/staff-committers.html

                        I know some people hate it at a source, but actually, the geek feminism wiki is full of links to sources and quotes 3%: http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/wiki/FLOSS

                        Also note that while there is a tremendous upswing, the Linux community is lagging behind.

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                  OpenBSD was forked from NetBSD because of a disagreement within the community. Theo De Raadt, the OpenBSD dictator for life, is famous for his controversial and sometimes aggressive and anti-social comments. His Wikipedia page has “Known for: …, his personality, …” in the sidebar.

                  Despite their conflicts with a handful of the hunderds of developers they interact with, they have both managed to steer an open source project towards progress and success for decades, and have built a community around those projects.

                  I’m not sure you’ll find a big, long-lived project that hasn’t had these kind of conflicts in its history.

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                    Ruby is very well known for having a considerate, thoughtful and friendly leadership.

                    The argument that it wouldn’t be possible to steer a project of that size without that personality stands on very poor footing - it only works by picking the right examples and ignoring all others.

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                      And yet if you asked me “community most likely to give presentations featuring pictures of pornstars”, ruby would top the list. But I suppose at least they’re nice about?

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                        I think that was Rails, wasn’t it? Granted, the two are pretty closely grouped in the larger software community and Rails is famously bad, so I think it’s pretty fair for Ruby to catch some splash damage from the flak that Rails gets. Nevertheless, it’s better to keep our criticisms on point and precise where possible.

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                          When we’re talking projects, I don’t think the splash damage is warranted. When we’re talking community, I’m on your page.

                          Still: where’s the Linux projects teaching network for marginalized spanning 160 chapters and raising enough from community members to pay ~20 full time positions for a summer? Where are the Linux people trying to get new things running, like mentoring every speaker at a conference?

                          Oh, right. That’s @outreachy - which is in a tough spot now, sadly.

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                          1) we’re talking projects, this person wasn’t part of the Ruby project at any point

                          2) this will stick around forever, will it? I don’t want to down-talk the incident (or any other), but currently, the Ruby community doesn’t seem better or worse then any other in that regard.

                          3) the fact that Ruby is one of the rare communities where the number of 40% non-white-male attendance (not speakers) can be reached falls a bit under the table

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                            All fair. My comment was about perception, not reality, and community, not leadership. Maybe that was too far afield? (And a bit of a cheap shot.) I guess the question (which I don’t know the answer to) is “can I become a contributing ruby developer without engaging with these people?” Or, rephrased, how much difference does it make whether it’s coming from “leadership” or others?

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                              Or, rephrased, how much difference does it make whether it’s coming from “leadership” or others?

                              In my experience, a lot. That’s a tough pill to swallow once you advance to those positions, but sadly (or luckily?), it changes the frame of reference people perceive you in. If you appreciate that, it can be a very powerful motivator.

                              People in “higher” places can convince people or drive them away very easily, sadly.

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                            You’re thinking of Rails, which is founded by the famously narcissistic David Heinemeier Hansson. That’s most of the Ruby community at this point, but not the leadership.

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                    This post is great. The comments on it are a great example of why comments should go away.

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                      This is the way open source is supposed to resolve disagreements. I hope the forks will run and after a few years the more effective style will triumph, á là GCC/EGCS.

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                        This is the way open source is supposed to resolve disagreements.

                        The fork, or the blog post? In my mind, both are required, but to what extent someone finds them important is probably food for thought (note: not judgement, consideration).

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                          The fork. I think a lot of people want particular policy changes that they believe will be good for ideological reasons, and are trying to push them through politics. Which is fine as far as it goes. But I’m skeptical of how well those policy proposals will work in practice (in the other thread I mentioned not wanting to mess with whatever it is that makes linux successful; also as a primarily scala programmer my direct experience of codes of conduct has been overwhelmingly negative). I don’t think there’s enough data to hash it out through discussion; I think it’s time for an objective comparison between different approaches, which a fork will hopefully provide.

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                        Heh. As somebody who’s never not had securelevels, I’ve never found them all that useful. Most of the things they supposedly ban have various loopholes so that the system remains usable. Which then results in users regularly announcing they found an “exploit” and projects that only pretend to be secure should crawl off and die. Have fun with that. :)

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                          Is that a hint that openbsd is going to drop it like it did loadable kernel modules and sendmail? :D

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                          Please move this kind of thing to HN. Please. Pretty please.

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                            Let’s see who wins. My prediction is, that the majority of contributors doesn’t really care about issues like this. And I don’t see SJW’s writing about patriarchy in Linux as contributors. And this the most important point of this conflict. People are generally rude in software development, live with it! And girls, you are the minority here, live with it! Crying like a sissy about it won’t make me respect you. It’s about technology god damnit! Not what it surrounds it. Choose the community you are comfortable with. If you are not masocistic enough to contribute to Linux, nobody stops you from leaving. Here, there’s the door!

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                              You’re the same guy who was trolling about the GPL a few weeks ago, aren’t you?