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Subject[PATCH] MAINTAINERS: Remove from module & paravirt maintenance
It's been 20 years since I became a kernel maintainer, so despite how
much I'm loving my new career, this patch elicits deep feelings[0].

I went to 1997 USENIX, my first conference. I remember[1] standing
around with Alan Cox, Linus, Ted Ts'o and David Miller as they wrote
the code for the BKL on a napkin. I listened in awe as this
homeless-looking guy described porting Linux to the Ultrasparc, and
then described how he then proceeded to beat Solaris on *every single*
lmbench microbenchmark.[2]

A lot of it I didn't understand, but I got home knowing that I had to
work with this random bunch of hackers. I had some firewalling hacks
which I turned into ipchains, and sent it to DaveM with a config
option to switch between the old ipfwadm code and my new code. He
liked it so much he replaced ipfwadm entirely, and I woke up one day
as kernel firewall maintainer[3].

I found someone to fund my work the next year, and suddenly I was
doing my dream job full time. I flew myself around Australia visiting
every LUG to convince them to come to the first Australian Linux
conference. And of course, DaveM was top of my list for speakers.

There was so much work to do on the kernel; everywhere you'd look
there was code which could be simplified, improved. I read the module
code and was so horrified at its complexity that I rewrote it, not
realizing how epic that would be. Of course I broke lots of things;
halfway through the patch series I broke SCSI, so Linus applied up to
that point and we had half a module subsystem for a while; I was
literally in the airport in Tokyo on my way to Spain when he applied
it, too. Every arch maintainer woke up to find they had to implement
a whack of complex relocation code, and I got a lot of grumbling.[5]

But one person disagreed with my approach so much and so continuously
that I developed a dread of reading my mail every morning: eventually
I wrote a filter to send their mail to a separate mbox, which I've
still never read and don't intend to.

But mainly, it was a huge amount of fun. I got to hack, and geek out
with hackers all around the world. When I flew into San Jose for the
first time, DaveM offered to pick me up: turns out he had a two seater
so I rode squashed under the rear glass on the overside parcel shelf
to see the sights (Sun campus, Berkeley). Back home, I moved to
Canberra to join the legendary group of hackers at OzLabs.

The mailing list changed: I gradually learned not to be an asshole
(unless, y'know, it was *really* funny, and eventually not even then).
Most of my peers trended the same way. The kernel itself became more
formal, more complex, and giant overarching changes became far, far
fewer. There are still horrible APIs (the return value of
copy_to/from_user, using the same type for list heads and elements, to
name two[7]), but the modern calculus of disruptive changes means
sometimes we simply step over the broken paving stones instead of
repairing them.

I built a team around netfilter, then handed maintenence off to Harald
Welte and ceased contributing: I wanted him to own it entirely. I was
more nervous handing module maintenance over to someone I've never
even met or spoken to, but it's clear now that with Jessica Yu I have
scored 2 for 2. I'm as proud of choosing them as of any individual
piece of kernel code[8].

To my fellow maintainers: stay harsh on code and don't be afraid to
say "No" or "Why?"; there really are more bad ideas than good ones,
and complexity is such a bright candle for us hacker-moths. But be
gentle, kind and forgiving of your peers: respect from people you
respect is really the only reward that sticks[9].

Farewell all, and I look forward to crossing your paths again!

[0] Which means I'm now going maudle for NINE paragraphs! And no TLDR, bwahaha!
[1] OK, I remember this. Reality may differ.
[2] There's no recording of this talk, but it was the best technical
talk anyone has ever given on anything[1].
[3] On the internet, nobody knows you barely passed Computer Networking![4]
[4] OTOH I topped COBOL/Database programming, so I have no idea what happened.
[5] Except DaveM. I'd written test reloc code for sparc/spac64, but
he didn't know that so he just cheerfully reimplemented it.[6]
[6] Those reading this post closely may suspect that I have a massive
hackercrush on David S. Miller. Those reading the code closely, of course,
already feel that way themselves.
[7] But set_bit finally takes a long! Seriously...
[8] Though the ARRAY_SIZE macro and the poetry in lguest are a close second.
[9] Actually, bitcoin is a nice reward too; it's like crystalized machine

Signed-off-by: Rusty Russell <>
1 file changed, 2 deletions(-)

index 6f7721d1634c..df2ae7621226 100644
@@ -8841,7 +8841,6 @@ F: drivers/media/dvb-frontends/mn88473*

M: Jessica Yu <>
-M: Rusty Russell <>
T: git git:// modules-next
S: Maintained
F: include/linux/module.h
@@ -9949,7 +9948,6 @@ PARAVIRT_OPS INTERFACE
M: Jeremy Fitzhardinge <>
M: Chris Wright <>
M: Alok Kataria <>
-M: Rusty Russell <>
S: Supported
F: Documentation/virtual/paravirt_ops.txt
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