Linux Seeks Help From More (And More Diverse) Coders

Speaking at a Linux user conference, held in New Orleans and streamed over the web, Sharp sidestepped any controversy, but she did tell her audience that the Linux project needed to find new ways of hanging on to people who contribute to “the kernel,” the software at the heart of the operating system.

“We bring a lot of new people into the kernel and people do one-off patches,” she said, referring to small software contributions. “But there really needs to be a way for people to get a larger, beefier project within the kernel and to get some one-on-one mentorship.”

Torvalds conceded that although the kernel process may seem difficult in some respects, it’s still pretty easy to write some code and have it accepted. “People talk about how hard the kernel is, but at the same time, just look at the numbers. It can’t be that hard to get involved.”