Cox Quits as TTY Maintainer

Jul 30, 2009

A dispute between Alan Cox and Linus Torvalds on the Linux kernel mailing list has led to Cox standing down as TTY subsystem maintainer.

The argument was triggered by a patch from Cox for the TTY subsystem. The patch caused a regressions problem which led to a kdesu malfunction.

Cox denied his patch was the problem, blaming other components in the subsystem. Following a rebuke from Rafael Wysocki that user space should not be broken, even if it was "buggy" Cox countered quite casually, "I don't know where you got that idea from. Avoiding breaking user space unnecessarily is good but if its buggy you often can't do anything about it."

This in turn brought an even sharper retort from Linus Torvalds, who asked Cox what he (Cox) was thinking breaking user space on purpose and it was definitely Cox's patch that caused the problem. Apparently insulted by the remarks, Cox announced his resignation, saying "If you think the problem is easy to fix you fix it."

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    Sure the dialog got a little sharp, but it was resolved much more amicably than it is portrayed in this article.
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