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Intel Open Source Linux

Alan Cox Exits Intel, Linux Development 214

Posted by timothy
from the deserves-all-kinds-of-awards dept.
judgecorp writes "Linux kernel developer Alan Cox has left Intel and Linux development after slamming the Fedora 18 distribution. He made the announcement on Google+ and promised that he had not fallen out with Linus Torvalds, and would finish up all outstanding work." Also at Live Mint, which calls Cox's resignation notice a "welcome change from the sterility, plain dishonesty of CEO departure statements." Cox says in that statement that he's leaving "for a bit," and "I may be back at some point in the future - who knows."
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Alan Cox Exits Intel, Linux Development

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  • by js3 (319268) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @08:49AM (#42679585)

    Sometimes a man needs to stop coding to take care of his family relationships..

  • Family Reasons (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SirGarlon (845873) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @08:53AM (#42679605)
    From TFA:

    I'm aware that 'family reasons' is usually management speak for "I think the boss is an asshole"

    I always thought it was management speak for "the board realized I'm incompetent and demanded my resignation." Maybe it has a different interpretation in the UK?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 24, 2013 @08:53AM (#42679609)

    great work dude. Take a nap and come back soon

  • Happens (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RevDisk (740008) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @08:54AM (#42679617) Journal
    Alan Cox has done some very amazing things over the years. He deserves a chance to get away from tech for a bit. Hopefully he rests up, spends some time with his family, goes on a couple vacations, etc.

    Within some interval, he'll likely be back doing something. It's hard to stay retired for someone that good.
  • Good decision Coxy (Score:2, Insightful)

    by undulato (2146486) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @08:56AM (#42679631) Homepage
    I quit Linux development 10 years ago and I never looked back. You get your life back. Hell perhaps you even *get* a life. Linux can be fun but it can also seriously bad for your health, wealth and fun factor.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 24, 2013 @09:02AM (#42679685)

    something people in our industry should do more

  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Thursday January 24, 2013 @09:13AM (#42679759) Homepage Journal

    Mod this offtopic if you like

    You're not offtopic, you're just wrong. I hope you don't get moderated at all.

    Every time some individual developer or group of developers gets their panties in a bunch about something they disagree with, they take their ball, go home, and start yet another fork of whatever-the-fuck software.

    This is the part where you should have read what you've written, considered the meaning, and then terminated your entire comment. You have successfully included the very reason why OSS is superior to closed-source, and then gone on to come to precisely the wrong conclusion based on the available facts. The truth is that this sort of thing happens all the time in closed-source software, too, except nobody produces another fork. Someone gets upset with their life and quits and the project has to be reorganized. But if the reorganized project is doomed to fail in the closed-source world, then it will simply fail, whereas with open source or free software it may be forked and the fork may be successful. Moreover, this kind of protection works for us whether the problem is someone deciding they don't want to play marbles any more (the marbles aren't theirs, so they can't take them all and go home) or someone pissing in the middle of the marble court; we just take the marbles somewhere else, like we're seeing happen right now with MySQL and MariaDB.

    It's not only hopelessly confusing to consumers (just TRY explaining the concept of "distros" to your grandma sometime),

    Just use a car analogy. The car companies don't make all the parts that go into the cars, and all the car companies use parts from the same manufacturers.

    but it make OSS feel like it's in a constant state of half-assed/never-finished/abandoned, as opposed to commercial software

    Uh, how does that contrast with commercial software? It's true that there are commercial software packages which have seen continual development since their inception, but that's true of noncommercial, open source packages like Apache, the Linux kernel, and so on. And frankly, the average user is immune to the influences you describe. They're installing an Ubuntu LTS and they're simply not having the problems you're having because they don't have the needs you have. The battle for control of X.org didn't affect them at all. Most people have at least an nVidia 8xxx series or later, so they can use the current driver. Etc etc. You're attempting to describe a problem which doesn't exist. Have you seen how pissed off people are at Windows 8? Are you aware of how much used hardware is on the market because it's not supported by Windows 7, let alone 8?

    I know this is not a popular sentiment on /. (to say the least). But, what the fuck. I've got some extra karma to burn.

    If you lose karma it will be because you left a completely illogical comment, describing the strength of OSS as a weakness. The fact is that the closed-source world actually deals with this problem less well than the open source world.

  • by sl4shd0rk (755837) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @09:20AM (#42679813)

    FTFG+: "I frequently think Linus is an asshole (and therefore very good as kernel dictator) ... I've had great fun working there."

    The funny part is, Linus would probably chuckle and agree with that statement. You can tell these two have been working together for a long time because there isn't any malice in what he said. He's being absolutely authentic.

  • by arth1 (260657) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @09:32AM (#42679901) Homepage Journal

    I quit Linux development 10 years ago and I never looked back. You get your life back.

    You never get your life back. The arrow of time doesn't allow that. You can get a new part of your life reminiscent of the old, but it won't ever be the same. What's gone is gone, so look forward.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 24, 2013 @09:50AM (#42680049)

    The culture encourages it. You hear things like 'being there for the team', 'stepping up to the plate', 'putting in the extra 110% effort'. Then you have those who try to out macho each other with number of hours in a week (knew one guy who liked 110 hour weeks). Or those who actually dislike their family life and want to do as little as possible with it (funny making the problem worse). Then expect others around them to be doing the same thing. The old saying is true misery loves company.

    Extra is ok once and awhile. But once it becomes every damn time you start to see the cracks of process that are wrong.

    We keep making the same mistakes over and over as a group because we do not bother to learn from the 'old guys'.

    If work is your life what happens when they lay you off/fire you/eliminate your position?

  • by ikaruga (2725453) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @09:52AM (#42680063)
    For a worldwide known top kernel developer to switch to ubuntu and leave development, Fedora 18 must be obscenely bad.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 24, 2013 @09:53AM (#42680073)

    No.

  • by phorm (591458) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @09:56AM (#42680085) Journal

    Indeed. I've worked with some people who pretty much *had* to play the a**hole in their job-role at times. It was great when they were on your side, but if you ever had them come at you, heaven help you. That being said, if said person was in your face, it was usually for a reason. One might feel that the dictator was being an a**hole, but really they're just pushing you to get things done in a way that (they see) benefits the project/team as a whole.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 24, 2013 @11:31AM (#42680797)

    Typical work week is 40 hours a week. Extra 110% would put it at 84 hours a week.

    If you take the 84 hours and work 7 days a week, that brings it down to 12 hour a day.

    I'd say it isn't all that out of the ordinary when pushing a deadline to be asked to do that. Of course the point was once you start that , it gets asked of you more and more to the point it becomes the norm, and everything else suffers. If you let work consume your entire life, what happens when your work isn't required anymore?

  • by vawwyakr (1992390) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @01:08PM (#42681805)
    I hate this culture. I see it everywhere. My wife works 10-12 hour days then gets home and has to respond to emails for an hour or two after dinner. She has to do that just to meet expectations....needless to say I'm hoping we can find her a new job.

    My job is much better but its still here, I just choose to ignore it and can get away with doing so. My manager just had a new kid (well his wife did) and get was back at work the next day and working his normal 12 hour day. A woman I work with had a baby and didn't even take a month off, she was back at work full time.

    Disgusting if you ask me and I think a far bigger cause of our societal problems than anything else out there. If you can't enjoy life or be bothered to care for you family then what are you doing this for??
  • by Jmc23 (2353706) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @01:15PM (#42681903) Journal
    Why are you asking the question. You are the one living the life you don't want to live. Why?

    Either be a role model or take your fear somewhere else.

  • by Martin Blank (154261) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @01:32PM (#42682089) Journal

    In a recent PaulDotCom podcast about burnout in IT, Jack Daniels brought up a good point. We IT people love the 40-hour work week. It's why we never settle for just one.

    There's a fairly serious problem within the general IT realm that has to do with burnout. A lot of professions (firefighters, air traffic control, medical field) have people watching out for those burning out and have ways to help them cope. Because we just deal with computers and sit at a desk most of the time, it's presumed that we have a cushy job and we're not really at risk. We also, as Jack mentions at about that same time, are often hit by a hero complex: only we can do this particular job right now. That might be arrogance--only we can do it--or it might be justification--it will take longer to show someone else how to do it than for me to just do it myself--but it still can stack up until something in our life breaks. That something might be our job when we can no longer do it right or we blow up at the wrong person, it might be our career when we come to hate the work in general, it might be our family or friends because we're not spending time with them, or it might be ourselves when our health suffers. Of course, if we do try to balance it, we face the wrath of our peers who become convinced that we can no longer cut it. Whether real or imaginary, that adds stress, too, and in general there are few mechanisms to catch someone pushing the edge.

  • by Kjella (173770) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @01:33PM (#42682113) Homepage

    This is the part where you should have read what you've written, considered the meaning, and then terminated your entire comment. You have successfully included the very reason why OSS is superior to closed-source, and then gone on to come to precisely the wrong conclusion based on the available facts.

    Oh please, like constant fracturing and duplication of effort is always a benefit. Branching is one thing but full blown forks start with one issue and the rest of the code start drifting apart too leading to situations where you can have feature X in fork A and feature Y in fork B but not both and it has no connection to issue Z that caused the fork. Or your fork doesn't have the bugfix that other fork fixed and it doesn't even apply cleanly if you can cherry-pick it in git. Most forks don't fail because their solution shows itself to be so superior or inferior, but by who can attract the other developers and keep up the maintenance of everything else. It is far more a game of attrition than most would admit.

    Analogy time, say you're 10 people who want to move a big rock. In the cathedral version, the leader supplies a rope and tell everyone to pull in the same direction and the rock moves. In the bazaar version they could all work out their differences and submit to a benevolent dictator in the same way, but 99% of the time they don't so they each fork off and try their own one and two-men solution except for the people who people who decided it wasn't their itch to scratch so they went home and those who didn't want to move the stone because they now assumed the stone was there and so absolutely nothing happens. Or for that matter, OSS developers are like herding cats so what would you rather have, a dog sleigh or a cat sleigh? Of course the downside of the cathedral model is that one person can lead everyone into the abyss.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 24, 2013 @02:12PM (#42682597)

    In this case, the idiom "you get your life back" has the meaning "there are many fewer demands on your time, thus freeing you up to live your life".

    Nobody actually thought it meant reversing the arrow of time.

    +5, huh? Sheesh.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 24, 2013 @02:15PM (#42682639)

    Hmm.. Sounds like you're not too bad off then. My company couldn't care less about me.

  • Re:Family Reasons (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 24, 2013 @04:11PM (#42683887)

    Cox has always been extremely helpful to those contacting him directly. He used to work for NTL (broadband supplier in the UK that gobbled up local smaller outfits until Virgin ate them up), after dealing with support drones you could get put through to the real admins, and I ended up with him once because I was using that strange thing called "leenoox" and the first genuine tech I got knew he was "into that stuff". Chatting away, he grilled me on databases once he learned I worked on AS/400s. A few years later after I jumped ship, he was very helpful with dell server drive controller driver woes.

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