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Lennart Regebro
Works at Red Hat
Attended Royal Institute of Technology
Lives in Kraków, Poland
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Lennart Regebro

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Supporting old releases of infrastructure software becomes more and more expensive over time. Thats why upstream generally set time limits. E.g. Python M.N will be supported for X months. And then we'll review. The higher up the stack you go, the smaller the user base, the less resources to do long term support, and often the smaller the codebase - so it hard to draw a predictive line... but nearly everyone eventually says 'No, I won't fix that bug in that old release: you can use a new release.'

The challenge then, is when that new release depends on a lower layer component that is not available to the user. For instance, recent Sphinx no longer runs on Python 3.2. There are four things a user can do: 1) suffer the bug they wanted fixed. 2) Fix it themselves [perhaps by backporting from a fix in the new release]. 3) Upgrade the dependency (e.g. from Python 3.2 to 3.3). 4) Complain at upstream that this change has occurred.

Red Hat provide engineering services to their users to do 2) for them for a range of software that typically goes about half way up a stack. E.g. Linux, libc, Python, not-Django, not-sqlalchemy etc etc.

Customers of Red Hat then will have one of two discussions with the top of the stack: a) We're willing to help support our old dependencies, please just keep it in CI and we're there with you. E.g. 2) above. Or b) we're using your software but we need Python 2.6 [Now, until recently it was 2.4 :).] - e.g. 4) above.

Now a) isn't all sunshine and roses - supporting 2.6 means not using anything new introduced since it was frozen, unless there's a backport of it... if a backport can even be done. I support backports of The Python stdlib modules traceback. linecache and unittest - and for all of them I support 2.6 because users tell me they still use 2.6. Thats a bit of column a) and  bit of column b) - I don't deeply care about 2.6, but I'm willing to ensure at least syntax compat and tests passing: deeper analysis or effort I'll push onto folk that directly care.

I think Alex intends to take aim mostly at b) above, but he appears to blame RH for that existing. RH are not the only organisation offering long term support for infrastructure, merely the most successful (AFAICT). Aiming at RH specifically is IMO unreasonable: they're merely enabling folk to ask the question about the next layer up. AIUI all RH's patches are publically accessible. We can and should criticise RH for how readily accessible they are: See https://lwn.net/Articles/430098/ for context on that.

There is no onus on open source projects to say 'yes' to a) above: its entirely reasonable to say 'hey, your dependency is no longer supported upstream, we're not going to try and support it downstream.' There's also a half-way house: "If you have a patch that doesn't detract from our code base, sure we can incorporate it." Or "You're welcome to run a branch of off master for your needs, and to share the bugtracker."
And for b) projects need to learn to say "no" more. Supporting unsupported dependencies has real costs that hold code bases back: they make them unclear, hard to support and fragile. Upstream can't take on the job of supporting everything that once was.

So - push users towards the half-way house a: a branch of their own... and if thats too much effort, and there's not enough interest to spin up a consultancy around it... well thats a pretty clear sign that its not really needed.

https://alexgaynor.net/2015/mar/30/red-hat-open-source-community/
Red Hat has a pretty interesting business model, which is offering support for software that is a decade old, and which its maintainers want nothing to do with. This post isn't about whether maintaining old software is a good or a bad idea. It's about the effect it has on the community.
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Lennart Regebro

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"Some say mass immigration to the USA can help reduce world poverty," Oh really? Who exactly? I have never heard anyone say this. This whole video is nothing but a big straw man. The people arguing for immigration is not claiming that it will end world poverty.
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I like this new way of showing event photos, but I hate that they call them "Stories".
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Much of the Open Source community tries to advertise the community as one happy place to the outside. Where contributions are valued only by their technical quality, and everybody meets at conferences for beers.

Well, it is not like that. It's quite a sick place to be in.

I don't usually talk about this too much, and hence I figure that people are really not aware of this, but yes, the Open Source community is full of assholes, and I probably more than most others am one of their most favourite targets. I get hate mail for hacking on Open Source. People have started multiple "petitions" on petition web sites, asking me to stop working (google for it). Recently, people started collecting Bitcoins to hire a hitman for me (this really happened!). Just the other day, some idiot posted a "song" on youtube, a creepy work, filled with expletives about me and suggestions of violence. People post websites about boycotting my projects, containing pretty personal attacks. On IRC, people /msg me sometimes, with nasty messages, and references to artwork in 4chan style. And there's more. A lot more.

I am used to rough discussions on mailing lists, and yes, when I was younger I did not always stay technical in flamewars, but nowadays I am pretty good at that, I am sometimes articulate, but never personal. I have a thick skin (and so do most of the others involved in systemd, apparently), and I figure that plays a major role why we managed to bring systemd to success, despite all the pressure in the opposite direction. But from time to time, I just have to stand back and say "Wow, what an awful community Linux has!".

The Internet is full of deranged people, no doubt, so one might just discount all of this on the grounds that the Open Source community isn't any different than any other community on the Internet or even offline. But I don't think so. I am pretty sure there are certain things that foster bad behaviour. On one hand there are certain communities where it appears to be a lot more accepted to vent hate, communities that attract a certain kind of people (Hey, Gentoo!) more than others do. (Yes, the folks who post the stuff they do usually pretty clearly state from wich community they come).

But more importantly, I'd actually put some blame on a certain circle of folks that play a major role in kernel development, and first and foremost Linus Torvalds himself. By many he is a considered a role model, but he is quite a bad one. If he posts words like "[specific folks] ...should be retroactively aborted. Who the f*ck does idiotic things like that? How did they not die as babies, considering that they were likely too stupid to find a tit to suck on?" (google for it), than that's certainly bad. But what I find particularly appalling is the fact that he regularly defends this, and advertises this as an efficient way to run a community. (But it is not just Linus, it's a certain group of people around him who use the exact same style, some of which semi-publically even phantasize about the best ways to, ... well, kill me).

But no, it's not an efficient way to run a community. If Linux had success, then that certainly happened despite, not because of this behaviour. I am pretty sure the damage being done by this is quite obvious, it not only sours the tone in the Linux community, it is also teaches new contributors to adopt the same style, but that only if it doesn't scare them away in the first place.

In other words: A fish rots from the head down.

I don't mind using strong language, I don't mind the use of words such as "fuck", I use the word all the time too, it's really not about that. I must simply say that I wished it would stay at that, because what actually is happening is so much worse, and and so much more hateful.

If you are a newcomer to Linux, either grow a really thick skin. Or run away, it's not a friendly place to be in. It is sad that it is that way, but it certainly is.

The Linux community is dominated by western, white, straight, males in their 30s and 40s these days. I perfectly fit in that pattern, and the rubbish they pour over me is awful. I can only imagine that it is much worse for members of minorities, or people from different cultural backgrounds, in particular ones where losing face is a major issue.

You know, I can deal with all this shit, and I guess in a way with the energy we are pushing the changes we propose with we are calling for opposition, so this post is really not intended to be a call for sympathy. The main point I want to make with this is to correct a few things about our communities, and how their are percieved. Open Source isn't a kindergarten. Open Source is awful in many ways, and people should be aware of this.

Not everybody in the Linux community is like this, the vast majority isn't. Not even all our different communities really have a problem with this at all. But many do, and the most prominent one, the Linux community as a whole certainly has.

I am not the one to fix any of this, I cannot tell you how one could do it. And quite frankly, I really don't want to be involved in fixing this. I am a technical guy, I want to do technical things.

My personal conclusion out of all this is mostly just that I don't want to have much to do with the worst offenders, and the communities they run. My involvement with the kernel community ended pretty much before it even started, I never post on LKML, and haven't done in years.  Also, in our own project we are policying posts. We regularly put a few folks on moderation on the mailing list, and we will continue to do so. Currently, the systemd community is fantastic, and I really hope we can keep it that way.

And that's all about this topic from me. I have no intentions to ever talk about this again on a public forum.
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Gregory P. Smith's profile photoSimone Deponti's profile photo
 
Poisonous people exist everywhere. Shunning them is appropriate for the health of the community. All projects of any size and significance face this issue.
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Amazingly catchy.
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Hahahahahahahaha! Oh boy, this is so stupid... Ouch ouch ouch, my stomach.... Oh cheese and fries. "Another einstein", I can't take any more.
"If I make a bomb and I encase it in a bomb". Haaaaaaaaaaahahahah. "If that explodes, it releases energy, that's what we can do with homeopathy!"

Hahah. And Homeopaths a few days ago ridiculed me when I linked to a page about homeopathic bombs.
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Lennart Regebro

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Weirdly catchy.
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Apparently Google makes GIF's of images too. Sometimes it's good.
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Elegant, elegant, elegant, elegant, ZOMBIE!!!
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I don't find this funny at all. I understand she is upset that they laugh, but she reacts by threatening them with violence, actually. And it's pretty damn obvious that she is only repeating what they tell her when they are angry at her.

The only thing I see here is a kid reacting to bad parenting.

Obviously, I don't have the context, so this could all be wrong. I'm just saying that's what it looks like, and that's not funny.
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I agree, not funny at all :|
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Stockholm is a pleasure to get around in except when it's cold, raining or snowing. Which is pretty much all the time.
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Rain is the best weather.
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Här är en bra översikt över dagens Slussen och förslaget, när det gäller just trafik och motorvägar i centrum.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10203623731419442&set=a.2192412935447.2130364.1400874953&type=1
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Have him in circles
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Work
Occupation
Web development and strategy
Employment
  • Red Hat
    Developer, 2014 - present
  • Colliberty
    Owner, 2007 - 2014
  • Nuxeo
    Expert developer, 2003 - 2007
  • Torped
    CTO, 2001 - 2003
  • Cybercom
    Consultant, 1998 - 2001
  • Svensk Aktuell Elektronik
    Developer, 1996 - 1998
  • Traffic Software
    Support manager, 1995 - 1996
  • Edvina
    Support, 1996 - 1996
  • Scandinavian Communication Systems
    Technical product manager, 1993 - 1995
  • Technology Partners
    IT and support, 1991 - 1993
  • Roche Produkter AB
    IT, 1989 - 1991
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Currently
Kraków, Poland
Previously
Paris, France - Reykjavik, Iceland - Oslo, Norway - Stockholm, Sweden - Visby, Sweden - Växjö, Sweden - Moheda, Sweden - Alvesta, Sweden - Lau, Gotland, Sweden
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Introduction
I can tell you why copyright is bad and freedom is good; why the world is becoming a better place; what whiskey to drink and I can give you recommendations of awesome music you have never heard about.

But if you can tell me why people are so desperate to believe what has been proven to be wrong, I'll pay for the whiskey.

I have a "Friends" circle which gets baby pictures, angry exclamations about the weather, music recommendations and other trivial stuff. Ask and you will be added.

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Developer, Author, Speaker, Dad
Education
  • Royal Institute of Technology
    IT, 1988 - 1989
  • Teknikum, Växjö
    Electronics, 1981 - 1986
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It's a good sports pub or your typical "Irish" variety, meaning that the only Irish thing about it is the Guinness. Big place in three levels, big screens, decent food, loads of visiting people from UK and Ireland.
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