Linus Has Something on His Mind

Linus Torvalds — founder, creator, and general master of all things Linux — is not exactly known for being bashful or slow to share his thoughts. To quote the man himself: "I'm a bastard. I have absolutely no clue why people can ever think otherwise." This week, though, he's gotten an extra share of attention.

The Linusmania — which quickly became a bubbling brouhaha — began with a message to the Linux kernel mailing list as part of an ongoing discussion of the way senior kernel developers like Torvalds handle security bug disclosure. Torvalds began by suggesting that "security people" are motivated by a desire for the glory associated with discovering vulnerabilities, and that this devalues the contributions of those committed to fixing "boring normal bugs." He then went on to identify the "OpenBSD crowd" as typifying this position, and described them — rather curiously — as "a bunch of masturbating monkeys."

The message sparked an interesting response from the OpenBSD community, by and large ignoring their onanistic animalization, taking issue with the characterization of OpenBSD developers as placing undue emphasis on security to the exclusion of other bugs. A number of individuals associated with OpenBSD commented that the project places strong emphasis on fixing all bugs, and described it as an accuracy-focused, rather than security-focused, project. By the end of the day yesterday, it appeared that both sides had been in contact, and were able to "ha[ve] a laugh about it."

The autoerotic alliteration didn't end there, though. Wrapping up a note to the same mailing list on Thursday, the Developer-in-Chief — presumably in a lighthearted nod to the earlier incident — tacked on this pervicacious postscript:

PS. And to get wider distribution for this message: Digg users – you're all a bunch of Wanking Walruses. And you can quote me on that.

All we can say is, it's obvious Linus has something on his mind, and we suspect it's not hacking.

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