Linus Torvalds has been rather notorious when it comes to the use of verbal abuse. The guy has said a lot of mean things to others in public forums. But this, he says, is simply because he is being honest and can’t drape in fake politeness. Intel developer, Sarah Sharp, has now instigated a debate about civility on the Linux Kernel Development Mailing List, and Torvalds is in the center of the talk.
In her first message, Sharp wrote, “Seriously, guys? Is this what we need in order to get improve -stable? Linus Torvalds is advocating for physical intimidation and violence. Ingo Molnar and Linus are advocating for verbal abuse. … Violence, whether it be physical intimidation, verbal threats or verbal abuse is not acceptable. Keep it professional on the mailing lists.”
The examples she has cited are quite valid. However, Torvalds has been quite frank in discussing as to why he often uses verbal abuse when making his point. On the thread too, he has responded by citing a very fair argument.
He wrote, “Because if you want me to ‘act professional’, I can tell you that I’m not interested. I’m sitting in my home office wearing a bathrobe. The same way I’m not going to start wearing ties, I’m *also* not going to buy into the fake politeness, the lying, the office politics and backstabbing, the passive aggressiveness, and the buzzwords. Because THAT is what ‘acting professionally’ results in: people resort to all kinds of really nasty things because they are forced to act out their normal urges in unnatural ways.”
The entire thread, which makes for some really interesting read, can be accessed at the link below.
Source: Kernel Dev thread