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SubjectRe: Coding style - a non-issue
This is my last post on this topic, I don't think I can say more than I have.

On Fri, Nov 30, 2001 at 10:54:39PM +0100, Daniel Phillips wrote:
> On November 30, 2001 08:05 pm, Larry McVoy wrote:
> > Huh. Not sure I agree with that either. It's definitely a dicey area
> > but go through the archives (or your memory if it is better than mine)
> > and look at how the various leaders here respond to bad choices. It's
> > basically public humiliation. Linus is especially inclined to speak
> > his mind when he sees something bad. And people stick around.
> There's an additional pattern, you'll notice that the guys who end up wearing
> the dung are the ones with full time Linux programming jobs, who basically
> have no option but to stick around. Do that to every newbie and after a
> while we'll have a smoking hole in the ground where Linux used to be.
> A simple rule to remember is: when code is bad, criticize the code, not the
> coder.

Your priorities are upside down. The code is more important than the
coder, it will outlive the coder's interest in that code. Besides,
this isn't some touchy feely love fest, it's code. It's suppose to
work and work well and be maintainable. You don't get that by being
"nice", you get that by insisting on quality. If being nice worked,
we wouldn't be having this conversation.

> > I think the thing you are missing is that what I am describing is a lot
> > like boot camp. Someone with more knowledge and experience than you
> > yells at your every mistake, you hate it for a while, and you emerge
> > from boot camp a stronger person with more skills and good habits as
> > well as a sense of pride.
> Thanks, but I'll spend my summer in some other kind of camp ;-) I'm sure it
> works for some people, but mutual respect is more what I'm used to and prefer.

The problem here is that you are assuming that yelling at someone means
that you don't respect that someone. Nothing could be further from the
truth. If you didn't respect them enough to think you could get good
results from them, I doubt you'd be yelling at them in the first place.
Don't confuse intense demands for excellence with a lack of respect,
that's not the case.

> > If there was a way to "lead by example" and
> > accomplish the same goals in the same time, don't you think someone
> > would have figured that out by now?
> Somebody did, and as hard as it is for some to fit it into their own model of
> the universe, there is somebody leading by example, not running a command
> economy but a self-organizing meritocracy. Do we achieve the same goals in
> the same time? Sometimes it doesn't seem like it, but because this thing
> just keeps crawling relentlessly forward on a thousand fronts, in the end we
> accomplish even more than Sun does.

Bah. Daniel, you are forgetting that I know what Sun has done first hand
and I know what Linux has done first hand. If you think that Linux is
at the same level as Sun's OS or ever will be, you're kidding yourself.
Linux is really cool, I love it, and I use it every day. But it's not
comparable to Solaris, sorry, not even close. I'm not exactly known for
my love of Solaris, you know, in fact I really dislike it. But I respect
it, it can take a licking and keep on ticking. Linux isn't there yet
and unless the development model changes somewhat, I'll stand behind my
belief that it is unlikely to ever get there.
Larry McVoy lm at
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