Forking Linux? Fugettaboutit!
Posted Apr 22, 2008 1:15 UTC (Tue) by pr1268
In reply to: Yup. The only working model
Parent article: ELC: Morton and Saxena on working with the kernel community
You don't even need 50% of votes to fork the kernel: 10-15% of developers will be enough.
I just can't see the Linux kernel forking anytime soon. As long as Linus still maintains a presence, it would be impossible from a marketing perspective (not to mention a complete loss of credibility) to fork the kernel. After all, Linus wouldn't go "both ways" and actively maintain divergent forks, and having the "Kernel supported by Linus himself" as a sales/market pitch would certainly do little for the competing fork. Not that it couldn't happen legally (I'm thinking GPLv2 here), nor that it hasn't happened before (the aforementioned BSDs).
As for the parent comment by Frej, please understand that regardless of any "loaded" comments in the article with respect to how Linux is managed, the management style works because (1) Linus plays a big part of kernel development, even after almost 17 years of hacking Linux; (2) he is unusually skilled and talented at many aspects of operating system theory and kernel hacking, software engineering, and, most importantly, people skills (arguably the most difficult of these), and (3) he commands a great deal of respect because of (1) and (2). Whatever you (or the article) call it, the management style is what it is due to 17 years of continuous development. And, besides, ELC keynote speaker Andrew Morton works with Linus on a daily basis, so I suppose they know each other quite well.
Forgive me for all the Linus "gushing"; I've done it here on LWN.net before. But I still firmly believe that Linux owes much of its success to Linus' positive attributes mentioned above.
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