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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 @09:49AM (#42679585)

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

    • by jones_supa (887896) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @10:01AM (#42679679)
      I will pick up his throne as a rock star Linux developer.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 24, 2013 @10:02AM (#42679685)

      something people in our industry should do more

    • That, and build model trains.
    • If it does then stopping isn't really an option. Though I suspect Alan Cox has got a few pennies saved up by now so I hope he enjoys his time off but I suspect he'll get itchy fingers beforelong and be back in front of some kernel source - at least in an informal manner - before the year is out.

    • by miknix (1047580) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @01:14PM (#42681207) Homepage

      yes it is, it is written all over his g+ post:

      I'm leaving the Linux world and Intel for a bit for family reasons. I'm aware that "family reasons" is usually management speak for "I think the boss is an asshole" but I'd like to assure everyone that while I frequently think Linus is an asshole (and therefore very good as kernel dictator) I am departing quite genuinely for family reasons

      was the family reasons left out from TFA on purpose or what?

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

      Agreed, but he probably shouldn't go to the pub and announce he's going to hack his family.

  • Family Reasons (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SirGarlon (845873) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @09:53AM (#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 armanox (826486)

      Depends on the size of the company maybe?

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

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 24, 2013 @10:04AM (#42679703)

      No in the UK 'family reasons' usually means 'The torrid affair I;ve been having with my secretary has been found out and plastered all over the red tops'. Hence 'I need to spend more time with my family'.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Take a look at the man, that must be one rough secretary if you think Cox has been bonking her.

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

      by OneSmartFellow (716217) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @12:12PM (#42680679)
      In his case, it definitely doesn't mean that. Having corresponded with him in the very early days of Linux, I found him to be supremely competent, surprisingly helpful (given his workload), and genuinely pleasant. None of those attributes align with your interpretation of the phrase.

      I can't think of anyone who has given more to the Linux community than Mr. Cox - not even Linus, actually - and his departure will be felt immediately, and profoundly.
      • by SirGarlon (845873)
        Sorry, I was remarking on Mr. Cox's statement about the usual business-speak meaning of the phrase, not about what he meant when he said "family reasons!" I guess I assumed everyone was taking it at face value, as I think they should. (This is clear from TFA)
      • Re:Family Reasons (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 24, 2013 @05:11PM (#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.

    • I always thought it was management speak for "the board realized I'm incompetent and demanded my resignation."

      I think you've mistaken that for "health issues" ...

    • by _Shad0w_ (127912)

      Sometimes it actually does just mean "I would actually like to see my family a bit more often".

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 24, 2013 @09:53AM (#42679609)

    great work dude. Take a nap and come back soon

  • Google+ (Score:5, Funny)

    by bsDaemon (87307) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @09:53AM (#42679611)

    Well, one thing's for sure: He was clearly hoping to avoid wide-spread notice of his move or he would have chosen a different venue.

  • Happens (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RevDisk (740008) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @09:54AM (#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)
    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 arth1 (260657) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @10:32AM (#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.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        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.

  • He's done it before (Score:5, Informative)

    by Viol8 (599362) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @10:06AM (#42679715)

    Went off for a few years to learn Welsh and commune with sheep or something. But he came back then and he'll come back again. You can't keep a hacker (in the old sense of the word) like Cox away from a compiler for long!

  • Priorities (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 24, 2013 @10:16AM (#42679781)

    He is finally going to stop wasting time on Linux and do something important like writing Abermud 6!

    > kiss runesword
    > get runesword
    rampage!!!!111!!11ONE

  • by Culture20 (968837) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @10:18AM (#42679799)
    Ubuntu ruined him sooner than I thought it would.
  • by sl4shd0rk (755837) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @10:20AM (#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 phorm (591458) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @10:56AM (#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 Cloud K (125581) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @11:03AM (#42680153)

      Yeah pretty sure he would.

      In an interview with Linux Format (issue 163) he says about Git "I'manegotisticalbastard,andInameallmyprojectsaftermyself.First'Linux',now'Git'."

      And about his role in the kernel - "realistically what I maintain these days is not the code but the workflow for people. And that sometimes gets my goat in a big way when somebody does something stupid in a big way, and then I get really excited, and by excited I mean I curse at people."

      Definitely detecting a tone of humour (and truth) in those statements.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 24, 2013 @10:26AM (#42679845)

    So his so-so work will be left incomplete then?

    • "So his so-so work will be left incomplete then?"

      Technically you are correct, since he's Alan Friggin' Cox. All his work is outstanding.

  • I always liked his soothing voice on those stargazing programmes on the telly.

  • by Frankie70 (803801) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @10:44AM (#42680019)

    Didn't Alan Cox quit once before after Linus flamed him on the mailing list?

    https://lkml.org/lkml/2009/7/28/375 [lkml.org]

    Why and when did he come back?

  • by ikaruga (2725453) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @10:52AM (#42680063)
    For a worldwide known top kernel developer to switch to ubuntu and leave development, Fedora 18 must be obscenely bad.
    • by arth1 (260657) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @11:28AM (#42680341) Homepage Journal

      For a worldwide known top kernel developer to switch to ubuntu and leave development, Fedora 18 must be obscenely bad.

      That's like saying the Pacific is pretty moist.

    • "For a worldwide known top kernel developer to switch to ubuntu and leave development, Fedora 18 must be obscenely bad."

      Or you could have read the article and avoided such a ridiculous conclusion. Note that the statement may be true, but it becomes a ridiculous conclusion because you arrived at it by accident, not logic.

  • by Zaiff Urgulbunger (591514) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @11:26AM (#42680327)
    So, mere hours after slating F18 and switching to Ubuntu, he's decided to quit Linux development? I mean, it *could* just be a coincidence... but... hmmmmmm, I wonder....
    • "So, mere hours after slating F18 and switching to Ubuntu, he's decided to quit Linux development? I mean, it *could* just be a coincidence... b"

      Right. Because Ubuntu isn't one of the thousands of distributions that use the Linux kernel he helped develop ... oh wait.

  • by Mister Liberty (769145) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @11:40AM (#42680455)

    Better than the bus thing.
    He can always try for a comeback.

  • by Barryke (772876) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @12:26PM (#42680759) Homepage

    There is a followup post:

    Dear Slashdot, switching one system that run Ubuntu in a VM to Fedora into running Ubuntu does not constitute 'switching to Ubuntu'. I've been running Unbuntu for some jobs (like building Android images) for ages 8). In fact I run several distros (Fedora still included)

    And for that matter my goldfish boot/stress test image is a hacked Debian fs image...

    I hope slashdot gets better at journalism, because right now they stink almost as bad as us, users. We are either busy building funny replies to trolls or trying to craft an informative post, they the editors keep on posting submitted trolls or historic redirect links filled with ads.

    Since its so short, here is TCFP (the complete f' post) as well:

    I'm leaving the Linux world and Intel for a bit for family reasons. I'm aware that "family reasons" is usually management speak for "I think the boss is an asshole" but I'd like to assure everyone that while I frequently think Linus is an asshole (and therefore very good as kernel dictator) I am departing quite genuinely for family reasons and not because I've fallen out with Linus or Intel or anyone else. Far from it I've had great fun working there.

    Most of the people who should know more do, I know I've missed a few.

    I may be back at some point in the future - who knows. In the mean time if you'd like my job (or indeed one of a range of others) we're hiring 8)

    Alan
    [oh and +Greg Kroah-Hartman I will be tidying up the goldfish remaining work rather than just doing a runner on you]
    --
    "There is no certainty only opportunity"

  • by pieleric (917714) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @12:29PM (#42680785) Homepage

    On the website of a business that Alan seems to run separately from his job at Intel, he had aldready mentionned familly illness. (http://www.ultima-models.co.uk/news.html). I guess this is the "familly reasons".

    Alan Cox has already contributed enourmously to Linux but hopefully things will get better for him and his familly, and he'll be able to contribute even further :-)

    Lately he has been trying to cover a bit the mess than Intel had done with the Poulsbo hardware (GMA500). As an owner of such a hardware, I'm very grateful for this. So I now wish him and his familly all the best in the hard time.

  • That's got to be the coolest avatar I've seen in a long, long time....

  • 1. Must work for free
    2. Must be willing to write tons of extra code to insure you dont break others incorrect code in their applications
    3. Must be willing to listen to your egotistical boss act like he doesn't understand rule 1.

    Maybe I am not seeing the ocean from the beach here but why the fuck would anyone want to do that sort of work?

APL is a write-only language. I can write programs in APL, but I can't read any of them. -- Roy Keir

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