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LinuxWorld: Not everyone's open to Linus - Torvalds defuses tension in an occasionally hostile crowd

Aug 09, 2000, 23:48 (34 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Joe Barr)

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"Not everyone loves Linus Torvalds, and some FreeBSD supporters aren't very fond of him at all. Many of Torvalds's detractors turned up the heat during the Q&A of his BOF session at USENIX."

"Linus Torvalds's BOF (birds of a feather) session on Linux at USENIX in San Diego this year was unlike any other speech I have seen him give. For one thing, he spoke to a partially hostile crowd; ordinarily, he speaks before crowds that adore him. Also, this wasn't a keynote address on opening day, but a BOF session at 8:15 p.m. on the next-to-last day of the conference. One constant, however, was Torvalds's ability to calmly address touchy "red button" issues, which he did time and again."

"FreeBSD dominated the FREENIX track at USENIX. Ill will between fans of the two free Unix siblings (Linux and FreeBSD) was evident in the room. I sat in the second row of the audience and watched the room slowly fill up. Two BSD supporters sat down in front of me, less than 20 feet from the small platform where Torvalds would be speaking. The first thing they did after getting settled was mime blowing darts at the platform. Actually, mime is not the right word --they also added the "phhhhhhhhhft. . . thud!" sound effects."

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