With all due respect to Linus, I don't think it's the tty layer that claimed this victim... I think it's Linus.
Sure, this is the NFL, wear your pads, and all that crap.
As several people just pointed out to me, rather strenuously, in the sexism thread, that's really not a good enough answer. My experience of Alan is not that he's a shrinking violet; perhaps Linus could have approached that in a... slightly more mellow fashion?
I happen to be on the "if there's really a 'right' way for the kernel to do it, and that breaks user apps that made questionable assumptions, then break them" side, myself, but I don't think it's black and white, either.
Particularly in this case, where the odds of that kernel getting into distributions are effectively non-existent, I don't think this was resolved in the best way for all concerned. Though perhaps that observation is obvious enough to be puerile...