Torvalds again

Another Linus Torvalds interview, interesting as allways.

Yes, I’m a fan.

LT: Of course, if we had a marketing department that had a strong say, they’d make us call it some sexy name (“Panther” or “Vista” or whatever), but as it is, the technical people are in charge of version names, and the sexy naming is up to the distribution makers that can call their offerings whatever they want (“Fedora” or “Feisty Fawn”).

LT: So I don’t think such project forks are bad at all, it’s how a lot of development is done. Obviously, most development is about “micro-forks” and people don’t even think of them as real forks at all, but I actually think it’s good to encourage experimentation – and by keeping it friendly, if some experimental kernel shows that it was actually the right direction, we don’t end up having psychological road-blocks to switching over or to merging the code…

May the best code win.

APC: Out of curiosity, do you have anything to say to hardware manufacturers who refuse to release datasheets or specifications about the functioning of their hardware so it could operate with the Linux kernel?

LT: Is “I hope you all die a painful death” too strong?

The good news is that a lot of hw manufacturers are actually doing the right thing. Intel in particular has improved wrt open source a lot, and for that reason I tend to suggest that when buying a machine, just make sure that you buy one with Intel graphics and wireless. That takes care of the two biggest annoyances right there.

Before Fedora had PowerPC support, I ran YDL for a while, and before that I had SuSE. Funnily enough, the only distributions I tend to refuse to touch are the “technical” ones, so I’ve never run Debian, because as far as I’m concerned, the whole and only point of a distribution is to make it easy to install (so that I can then get to the part I care about, namely the kernel), so Debian or one of the “compile everything by hand” ones simply weren’t interesting to me.

Keep in mind that those quotes come from the Linux kernel Project Leader. An Important Dude. At least as VIP as most C*O’s.

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