Kernel Anniversary Marked by "Without Linux" and Resignation

by Ostatic Staff - Oct. 06, 2015

Today marks 24 years since Linux Torvalds released version 0.01 of the Linux kernel to the benefit of humanity. The day was marred by the resignation of Sarah Sharp saying, "I am no longer a part of the Linux kernel community" due to "blunt, rude, or brutal" communication. The Linux Foundation today announced a new video series titled World Without Linux that will highlight the vast ecosystem spawned from that original 10,239 lines of code. featured a story on Linus Torvalds and the "collaborative value" of the Linux kernel he founded. Version 0.01 of Linux contained 10,239 lines of code and today that's grown to over 19 million. It takes nearly 12,000 developers to maintain the code base representing an average of 185 commits a day. Over 1200 companies have contributed.

The Linux Foundation today unveiled a new video series dubbed World Without Linux. It's a "six-part series that follows two characters and their feline named String through a variety of scenarios that illustrate in a fun and entertaining way how incredibly ridiculous a world without Linux would be." The first depicts our heroes trying to find the name of a certain Michael Jackson song. Without Linux there wouldn't be an Internet, so our heroes would have to spend hours blowing the dust off books at the traditional dead-tree library to find the answer. It's hard to imagine a world without Linux, but thanks to those 12,000 developers we don't have to, according to the Linux Foundation.

On a related note, Sarah Sharp, Intel employee, former kernel contributor, and recent Red Hat Women Open Source Community Award winner blogged her resignation from Linux kernel development today. She's actually been distancing herself for a year and a half now having "quietly transferred the maintainership of the USB 3.0 host controller driver in May 2014" and gave her last kernel presentation December 2014. She's turned down other Linux posts since and her Linux Foundation Technical Advisory Board term in winding down. She said today, "I am no longer a part of the Linux kernel community." Sharp cited "a community where I was technically respected, but I could not ask for personal respect." She continued:

I did not want to work professionally with people who were allowed to get away with subtle sexist or homophobic jokes. I feel powerless in a community that had a “Code of Conflict” without a specific list of behaviors to avoid and a community with no teeth to enforce it. Linux kernel maintainers are often blunt, rude, or brutal to get their job done. Top Linux kernel developers often yell at each other in order to correct each other's behavior. That’s not a communication style that works for me.

Sharp has been unhappy with the kernel development process for a while asking Torvalds to "keep it professional" over two years ago. She added at the time, "Linus Torvalds is advocating for physical intimidation and violence. Ingo Molnar and Linus are advocating for verbal abuse. Violence, whether it be physical intimidation, verbal threats or verbal abuse is not acceptable. Let's discuss this at Kernel Summit where we can at least yell at each other in person. I'll roar right back, louder. I won't be the nice girl anymore."