In a long, rambling outburst, Poettering, who is well known for being precious, has squarely put the blame for the negative feedback he has received — which, he claims, extended to death threats — "on a certain circle of folks that play a major role in kernel development, and first and foremost Linus Torvalds himself".
Describing the open source community as being full of a***holes, Poettering (pictured above wearing a T-shirt to rile Ubuntu chief Mark Shuttleworth who likened his critics to the US Republican offshoot, the Tea Party) does not touch in any way on aspects of his own behaviour that may have given rise to the opposition to his projects, the chief of which, systemd, has now been adopted by many major Linux distributions. It has generated a tremendous backlash since its adoption, particularly in the Debian community.
The amount of criticism is obviously getting to Poettering, despite his claims of having grown a thick skin. He writes: "The Linux community is dominated by western, white, straight, males in their 30s and 40s these days. I perfectly fit in that pattern, and the rubbish they pour over me is awful. I can only imagine that it is much worse for members of minorities, or people from different cultural backgrounds, in particular ones where losing face is a major issue."
Poettering, of course, does not mention that this outburst came about when Sievers indulged in some stupid behaviour as far as his coding was concerned. And Sievers is a pretty senior developer.
Despite all his justifications, Poettering comes across as a cry-baby. And he has not heard of the old saying that people in glass houses should not throw stones. He has had plenty of memorable things to say on mailing lists himself. He appears to think he is without fault.
And his claim that the success of Linux is despite Torvalds is false. If Poettering can't stand the heat of being a prominent open source developer, then he would be well advised to get out of the kitchen.
Image courtesy boycottsystemd.org