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Linus Torvalds
Works at Linux Foundation
Attended University of Helsinki
Lives in Portland, OR


Linus Torvalds

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Ugh. I despise systems that allow others to register your email for anything.

GitHub - today I'm looking at you. 

For some reason (probably just courtesy) people end up giving me write access to their github repositories. These people probably don't even realize that that makes GitHub spam me with their repo data, their commit notifications etc. I assume they do it as a gesture of "hey, I trust Linus with my repo", knowing full well that I won't actually do anything, but doing it as a funny courtesy.  I can't really blame them for the gesture.

But I can blame GitHub for turning that gesture into a source of spam.

Sure, the emails are easy to delete (and I do - sorry guys, I get too much email as-is), but it's an example of a deep flaw in the system. Letting others sign you up for things is really very annoying.

I shouldn't need to unsubscribe to things I don't need filling up my inbox: you should check at registration point whether the email is willing and able to be contacted.

I'd much rather get  the occasional email saying "So-and-so has invited you to watch his repo xyzzy, please follow this link to activate, or ignore this email if you aren't interested". That kind of verification email I do not mind at all, because it shows that the service understands about this whole opt-in and email verification issue. It would also just be a once-per-repo thing.

Of course, GitHub is by no means the only offender. Lots of places are perfectly fine taking any random email address and registering that email address to their mailing lists etc, with no verification of "do you actually own that email" at any point.  

I generally mark all such email as spam. Because if you have a mailing list that allows others to sign up as me, you aren't a mailing list - you're an internet menace and a spam provider. If you are running a mailing list, please check that your subscription process has that kind of verification stage. Ok?
Kartik Singhal's profile photoTAO Yuichi (taoy)'s profile photoRufeng Xie's profile photoPaul Beeler's profile photo
I can agree with that sentiment. I wonder if bitbucket (the guys I use for my repos) ask for your permissions before I invite someone to watch my repos...
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I really like the updates on what went wrong.  With updates like this, even the failures are entertaining.

[ Side note: and how they name their barges by Iain M Banks culture ship names.. If you haven't read the novels, you're missing out. ]
Some of you may have been following our recent attempts to vertically land the first stage of our Falcon 9 rocket back on Earth.
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I'm not a fan of traditional AI (rule building and LISP/prolog etc), but am just waiting for neural nets to take over. 

This is a great example, and training on the Linux kernel sources just explains so much.

This is wonderful; neural network setup producing wonderful results; one example is training it on wikipedia and it ends up producing valid XML pseudo articles.  Another is training it on Linux kernel source, and it ends up producing C code that looks appealingly complex until you try and figure it out (even with bogus comments).
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+Robert Reppel  this is the article I was mentioning yesterday.
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So I think this talk is interesting (well, if you're a kernel developer) for a couple of reasons.

First off, I just like how Arnd says that I take everything they send me these days.  It's true, and it's a good thing. The ARM situation has just improved tremendously over the last several years. It used to be a major pain to me, it has gone to almost being entirely painless.

The other (somewhat related) point is how this is a talk about a big subsystem that has both an upstream and a downstream, and talks about keeping upstream happy - with a part being about keeping me happy, but most of it being about keeping the ARM SoC maintainers happy.

And they end up being similar issues, and related to the above point. Arnd talks about how the most stressful part is the pull request you reject - or come close to rejecting. And yes, I'm really happy that ARM has gone from that "reject or come close to rejecting" state to that "Linus just puills everything we send him". Because yes, it really is a lot less strssful.

And finally - Arnd may have a picture of me flipping a finger, but then he talks about problems he has had with submaintainers. I guess he didn't want an "Arnd flipping the finger" picture to become as widely spread as the one of me. But yes, the problems he mentions are very much problems I have had too and that make me grumpy, so I think my finger is not irrelevant.

That in itself is, I think, important. The way we've handled scaling of development is by having multiple layers of maintainership. And the thing that really helped with ARM in particular (and x86 before it) was to have the submaintainers really be not just funnels to me, but do exactly what I do.

I think it's good to see how being a maintainer in the middle isn't really any different from being a maintainer at the top. 
One of the two presentations I did at ELC 2015 is now available as video. Slides have been public for a while already at

The other presentation was scheduled at short notice, maybe the video got lost on the way.
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Ilya Yanok's profile photoMilo Casagrande's profile photoHoang Tran's profile photoPaul Thompson's profile photo
There are people who come by car to the program also on a computer or tablet you may face and they sometimes enter private developments I sometimes faced but quickly hide the tablet.
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Ever wonder about the habits of kernel developers? Who is a night-owl, and who has a 9-5 job? Who has kids?

Never fear, you can just ask 'git' (let's see how badly G+ screws up the formatting here - there seems to be no "block quote" formatting thing):

    git log --merges --committer=Torvalds --pretty="%cd" v3.19.. |
        cut -d' ' -f4 | cut -d: -f1 |
        sort -n |
        uniq -c

and there it is.

Now, look out a bit: my merge history says that I'm more active in the mornings, then take a breather around noon (recently that's my swimming) and then come back in the afternoon.

But if you skip the "--merges", it looks very different, and it looks like I do most of my commits in the afternoon, then take a break for dinner, and come back after 9pm.

Why? My non-merge commits are hugely skewed by the patch-bombs from Andrew, which seem to happen in the afternoon. While a fair amount of my merge activity in the morning is because of all the pull requests that came in overnight from other parts of the globe.

Also note that the best statistics really depend on committer times, since author dates are often skewed by who forwards the emails and where in that sequence people added a date to it. So I wouldn't trust author dates to show the authorship dates as much - they might instead be showing the email patterns of people in the chain.

I'm sure you could make something cute with gnuplot and show different patterns of the top developers.

And if you're a developer and don't want the world to see how you seldom get up before noon, you might want to be aware of just how much these things can tell people about your work habits.. Although among sw people, I suspect the "not up before noon" is a badge of honor (as well as a indication that you don't have kids ;)

[ Edited to replace the sed-script with the 'cut' lines that G+ formatting won't eat ]
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Not even halfway through the merge window, but I suspect that by the end of day today I will have merged more commits for 4.2 than we had during all of the 4.1 release.

4.0 was pretty small (by our modern standards, which is to say it was still a lot of changes), 4.1 was about average, and it looks like 4.2 may end up being the biggest release (in number of commits, at least) we've ever had.

So much for the summer slowdown (and no, it's not the Aussies and other southern hemisphere people picking up the slack).

[ Update: I don't think I'll beat the 4.1 numbers today. Partly because Greg's pull requests were smaller than I expected, but partly because I'm slowing down my merges because I think I just hit a jbd2 bug introduced in this merge window ]
David Erdman II's profile photoBonnie King's profile photoFerdinand Thommes's profile photoThomas Fischer's profile photo
A lot of people are making a lot of noise about 4.2 rc1 on my stream today. Do you think they have the stomach to handle that much code in a release candidate? They're getting nervous … :0)
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So Google photos seems to want to make odd videos of the random movie clips I uploaded from last week.

And apparently, with dramatic music, some color tinting, and by making the cuts be frequent enough, you can make even my blurry fish butt videos entertaining.

There is a shark in there. And Daniela, who got certified last year and did very well as a dive buddy. But the real star is definitely Google photos.
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Damn. I love this google photo feature. 
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I may have mentioned before that C++ isn't my favorite language. But for various reasons, it's what subsurface is written in these days. And it seems to trigger an annoying gdb bug.

Are there any gdb people out here that have a solution to this "feature" of gdb:

 - a C++ program that uses idiomatic C (because it started out that way):

    struct test test;

 - compile as C++, run under debugger, try to show the value of 'test':

    (gdb) p test
    Attempt to use a type name as an expression

Yeah, gdb, you're badly confused. I want the variable test, not the type test. And yes, it's confusion caused by silly C++ "improvements"  to C syntax, but still..

How do I disambiguate this to gdb?
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I love python.
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I've lived in the US for over eighteen years now, and it took me that long to realize that bitter lemon is just tonic water with lemon juice.

Seriously, how could I not have realized? Every time I flew to Europe or Australia, one of the highlights would be how I could finally find bitter lemon again. I would binge on the stuff, because I knew that when I got back to the US I wouldn't be able to find it any more.

No more. I always have lemon juice in the fridge anyway (not the disgusting stuff in plastic bottles: Santa Cruz organic lemon juice actually tastes like lemons). So now I can just buy tonic water when I get the craving.
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Douglas doesn't know what he's missing. :)
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+Jon "maddog" Hall points out that today is the 21st anniversary of one of my early public talks about Linux (at DECUS in New Orleans). That trip (and maddog in particular) ended up then resulting in Linux being ported to the alpha, which is where we got the multi-architecture portability from.

(Yes, there was the earlier m68k port, but that one wasn't trying to actually support multiple architectures side-by-side from the same code base).

How time flies.
Taras Shevchenko's profile photoOussama Taoufik's profile photoEmma Yun's profile photoPaul Thompson's profile photo
+Ivo Clarysse
Thanks Ivo for giving the correct  date.
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Both my tablet and my phone suddenly and for no obvious reason stopped syncing email for me yesterday. And after 24 hours of more or less being useless to me, the only way I could fix it was to completely remove my google account from the device, and then add it back in.

Which causes the phone/tablet to pretty much act as if you switched phone hardware (although app data doesn't go away). So it re-installs all the apps I had deleted (it's "backup", you know), and causes all my pinned music to go away and need to be re-downloaded.  Etc etc stupid small annoyances.

Am I the only one this happened to? It's not like it was a huge annoyance (ok, it was, but mainly because I spent 24 hours waiting for google to "fix" sync, until I just gave up blew my account away and signed in from scratch).

But I do have a request for the +Android team as a result of it: can you make things like managing your music (and apps, but that's actually less painful) on the device be something you could do from somewhere else?

I've had this issue before when switching phones: it's just a pain to pin your music on the device (and yes, I really do want to pin it, and not stream over the data connection all the time).

I'd really prefer to manage my phone remotely from a big screen and with a good mouse and keyboard, rather than fat-fingering it directly..
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Unfortunately it would be good for the Linux Foundation and +Linus Torvalds  were also responsible for the Kernel used in Android as it is on the computer, so we could upgrade to the latest version. +Eric Curtin
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Any watch geeks out there?

I'm looking for a replacement for my Skagen 817LBXC that I really liked, but the ceramic band ended up being too brittle.

My simple requirements are apparently a bit too simple for most watches:

 - Last forever (years). No winding. Something like Citizen's Eco-Drive is great, but I guess I can get a battery changed if it only happens every three years or so.

 - Thin, with a good metal band and buckle. We're talking 5-8mm case thickness.

 - Tasteful and "not shiny". So no polished stainless steel. But darkened steel, or just matte titanium, or whatever.

 - Show the time. Legibly. Nothing else matters.

An example of something that comes so close that it almost hurts is the Citizen "Stiletto". Except for that last point. The whole "black on black" thing is too cool for me, but more importantly, it means that the watch doesn't actually work as a watch

That thing would be beautiful with bright orange (or green) arms. They'd be an interesting accent on a beautiful watch, and would make it actually work as a watch. But no. Some emo designer person decided that black-on-black is too cool for words.

Anybody? And I'm serious about the "thin and tasteful". Minimalistic. Tell the time, don't play games.

It can't be that hard, can it? But I'm not having much luck finding anything.
Yijun Yuan's profile photoGustavo Córdova's profile photoDean Georghiou's profile photoPaul Thompson's profile photo
I just stumbled upon ChapterTen Watches that are running a campaign on Indiegogo ( and thought that might be what you are looking for.
<8 mm thick and pretty tasteful, IMO. The band is not metal though and I have no idea what’s with the battery (but they seem to be getting tons of money so you might try suggesting a metal band as a stretch goal). It’s not clear from the pictures how badly black is the black/black version, but anyway the silver/tan also looks fine.
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Creator of Linux and git
  • University of Helsinki
Basic Information
SW Engineer
  • Linux Foundation
    SW Engineer, present
  • OSDL
  • Transmeta Corp
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Portland, OR
Helsinki, Finland - Bay Area, CA
I've been to Fish 'n fins twice now, once during off-season (June), and once during high season (November). Very professional. They clearly get very crowded during high season, but seem to successfully juggle having multiple boats out. Good diving, good people.
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