Linked by Eugenia Loli on Wed 10th Oct 2001 16:20 UTC
Original OSNews Interviews Today we have a special guest in the series of interviews we conducting here at OSNews. Linus Torvalds, the well known Linux founder, is with us to discuss everything about the kernel, Microsoft, the naming of GNU/Linux and the future. Read on!
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Linus's Magic
by kagato on Wed 10th Oct 2001 21:30 UTC

Truthfully, Linus is just extremely unassuming. He doesn't provide "solid answers" to the questions because there aren't any. I mean, if he lays out a clear road, he would be bound to follow it. I don't know how many times I see Linux and Windows zealots bash each other because "Microsoft didn't do this thing they said" or "Linux nerds did this other thing". It's pathetic (especially some of the threads lately about the IP theft in the Linux kernel which I believe is resolved now). Linus got flamed a few years back because he missed a "if things go well" release date he mentioned for 2.4 (admittedly, he missed it by 6 months, but it was an offhand comment at a convention!). Now he just doesn't give solid answers where there aren't any. Anways, Linux was not built by a coherent design goal or roadmap--but rather a coherent design *philosophy*. Linux was built by stringent evaluation of which code was good and which code was bad. It's that simple. Put simply, followers need directions. Linux is not written by followers. It's written by those who take their own initiative. If you follow linux-kernel, you'd laugh if you heard someone say "Linus will tell Alan to handle this and Andrea to handle this and Rick to handle this, and ..." It doesn't work that way. They just do it. The magic of Linus is that he has an exceptional talent at putting the pieces together. It's wierd, but sometimes he accepts a patch mailed directly to him from a nobody because he thinks it's good, but someone who's a known kernel-coder sends a patch to the list instead because "Linus said to send it there". He just knows how things fit together. Linus actually pushes very few things in the kernel. The major coders push themselves. To be honest, he doesn't answer because he doesn't really know. He'll know while it's being developed. One of the most exciting times I spend each week is going to http://kt.zork.net/kernel-traffic/latest.html and reading the latest Kernel Traffic (I used to subscribe to linux-kernel but don't have the time anymore). He just works on some core stuff and mediates well (the most influential thing in the history of Linux has been 'patch').