Why I quit: kernel developer Con Kolivas

As a follow up on my comments in “Five crucial things the Linux community doesn’t understand about the average computer user”, I saw a reference to this interview with [stag]Con Kolivas[/stag] on /., who until recently was the maintainer of the -ck tree (linux kernel patch tree).

Even though people are already trying to bash each other with nifty comments about why, or why not Con is right in his statements.

There is one thing in this interview with stands out, and make the whole thing interesting. He did try, and he failed, for me (well I'm just a nobody) it looks like some of the kernel developers (sorry I'm not one of them, and I have to admit that most of them are very good at what they do) lack the perspective to be able to understand that they might not be doing the right thing - even if they actually are.

Many yeas ago I got my diploma as a software developer, and one of the things I learned doing that, is that the end user is always right (could also be the customer), that is as long as they do not want something which is obviously stupid.

Now we have a bunch of desktop users who would like to use GNU/Linux, but find that they a) lack support for their hardware b) they have the latest and brightest (which works), but still they don't get the bang for their money. Well in that case, maybe the people who are responsible for what ever part of the kernel should have a look at it - yes the user might be wrong, and will be told off, but what if there is something wrong, can we afford that it does not get fixed?

In my humble opinion, we cannot afford to ignore the end user no matter how annoying it can be annoying to be told that ones code is rubbish by someone who doesn't even know anything about programming......


Alphast said…
I agree with you in principle. This said, isn't it also true that the kernel developpers are not really working for the end user? I mean they are obviously working first for the guys who are making the graphic interface and the various programs that the end user will use. So isn't it more a problem that should concern these guys first?

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