Who Reads the Source Code Anyway?

by Ostatic Staff - Aug. 03, 2015

Today's new feeds were just chock full 'o interesting articles. The first up came from Ole Tange who set up a little experiment to see how long it took for someone to read his source code. Bryan Quigley commented on "The Mozilla We've Got" and OpenSource.com interviewed Linus Torvalds' daughter, who is building a career in computer science and engineering. Elsewhere, Brook Kidane reviewed Point Linux 3.0 and Laurent Montel ran down KDEPIM 5.0.

Ole Tange maintains GNU Parallel, a tool for starting scripts in parallel, and wondered who actually reads the source code available. That's the whole point of Open Source software - anyone can read (modify and re-release) the source code. Ole Tange isn't the only one who wondered who actually does, but he's the only one who's (recently) posted an answer.

In order to find out, Tange put a "rot13'ed" comment in a section of the source probably of little interest to those wishing to modify the code, a "dusty corner." He said two and a half months later an email arrived at Tange's having found and deciphered the message. In a second trial, he inserted a ROT14 ciphered message. It took almost 18 months for that one to be answered. Tange concluded that folks do read the source code and not necessarily those working on it - well, maybe not too often, but they do.

KDEPIM components have been indispensable to me for 15 years as a large part of my business. Perhaps that's why Laurent Montel's post on what's new in KDEPIM 5.0 today caught my eye. He said the PIM team began porting KDEPIM to QT5 in May 2014 and today they have a stable version ready for KDE Applications 15.08. Knode (the newsgroup reader), KTimeTracker, and KDEPIM-Mobile is no more and KMailCVT was merged into the import wizard. But KMail, KAddressBook, KOrganizer, Kontact, KAlarm, Blogilo, AccountWizard, and KNotes made it in.

New to KDEPIM 5.0 is a new KMail composer with a search and replace feature, KContacts and KAddressBook have vcard support, social media posting support, performance improvements in Akonadi, and "a lot of others features that I don’t remember." 5.1 will bring KAddreebook gravatar and image from url support and lots more code clean-up and "optimization." Now I'm ready for Plasma 5!

Linus Torvalds' children are growing up and at 18 one daughter is pursuing a career in computer science and engineering. Patricia is currently interning at Puppet Labs and heading to college in the Fall. She said, "I hope to major in either Mechanical or Electrical and Computer Engineering as well as Computer Science, and minor in Women's Studies. After college, I hope to work for a company that supports or creates technology for social good, or start my own company."

Growing up, Torvalds kept a close eye on his young daughters' Internet use and had a tracker that logged them off after an hour. Patricia always said she wanted to grow up to be just like her dad, even when she wasn't sure what he did. She just knew he had "a pretty cool job." Be sure to catch the full interview at OpenSource.com.

Elsewhere today:

* Point Linux 3.0 (Agni) Review, 7 Reasons to Use Xfce

* OS showdown: Windows 10 vs Linux, How to dual-boot

* Korora 22 (Selina) available, Korora 22 Flash Update

* Linux Distro: Your Best Choice?

* The Mozilla We’ve Got