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30 July 2009, 09:53

Dispute between Linux gurus Alan Cox and Linus Torvalds

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After a dispute with Linus Torvalds, the long time developer and Linux kernel maintainer Alan Cox has stopped development of the Linux TTY subsystem. A debate took place on the Linux kernel mailing list over the question of whether changes in the TTY code should, or could, affect the operation of existing programs. In this particular case, it was over the kdesu program, the KDE project's su utility which became unusable after a patch from Cox.

Cox said that breaking faulty application code is often inevitable, but Torvalds disagreed. Saying he was unhappy that Cox was blaming everything but his own patch, even though this is what caused the error, Torvalds concluded "The fact is, breaking regular user applications is simply not acceptable. Trying to blame kernel breakage on the app being 'buggy' is not OK. And arguing for almost a week against fixing it - that's just crazy."

In response, Cox said "If you think that problem is easy to fix you fix it" and announced that he was giving up maintaining the TTY subsystem.


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