The famous Linux creator created the surprise by announcing that he would temporarily withdraw from the development of the Linux kernel because of its inappropriate character! Linus Torvalds has indeed become publicly aware that his behavior, especially with the developer community, was unacceptable and that he needed to change.
A computer scientist of genius and a man of conviction, Linus Torvalds is still at the forefront of the development of the open-source Linux operating system he created in 1991. After nearly 30 years of excellent and loyal service, the man decided to do his introspection. In a post published on the Linux kernel mailing list, he acknowledged that his behavior towards other developers and certain people was unacceptable and that he needed to change. An angry man, he has never had his tongue in his pocket, and the list of his slip-ups is as long as his brilliant career.
One of his most famous outbursts of anger occurred at a lecture he gave at Aalto University in Finland in 2012. At the time, he was upset with the graphics card manufacturer Nvidia, which he criticized for not delivering drivers so that his chips would work with the latest version of Linux. Within the developer community, his mocking, often accompanied by hurtful and sexist words about developers, has become infamous. Following many departures due to his attitude in 2015, the developer community had established a code of ethical conduct that Linus had signed.
An astonishing challenge
Although Linus Torvalds still retains control over the development of the Linux kernel, recent confrontations with developers seem to have caused real electroshock. In the same post, he acknowledges his differences and promises to change his behavior, declared that he is not an emotionally empathetic person and this will probably not surprise anyone. Linus Torvalds misunderstood people and realized how (for years), misjudged a situation and contributed to creating an unhealthy non-professional environment.
This week, people in the Linux community confronted him with the fact that he never took into account the emotions of others. His casual email attacks were both unprofessional and unjustified. Especially when it came to personal attacks. In his quest for a better patch, this seemed reasonable to him. Now he knows it wasn’t right and he is sincerely sorry.
Linus Torvalds concludes this long confession by explaining that he will take leave with the aim of getting help to better manage his emotions and those of others in the future.