LM: From your perspective, where is the SCO v. IBM case?
TORVALDS: Oh, these days I just worry about how long it drags out. I always was of the opinion that there was no case . . . . The bright spot has been IBM obviously being very careful about it (even if it does seem painfully slow), and especially how the open source community has reacted to it, with sites like Groklaw debunking all the SCO lies and innuendos. . . .
LM: A little while ago, OSDL and the Linux kernel team announced some changes to how code could be submitted for use in the kernel. How is that methodology working out?
TORVALDS: I'm personally very happy with it. Not only has the patch sign-off been less contentious than I thought it might be, I actually really enjoy having the participants be better documented. While the bogus SCO claims were a big impetus for actually doing the documentation in the first place, it's been good to see that the documentation is actually useful.
Now when we have a patch that turns out to have some technical problem, the developer sign-off that carried through all the way to the source control means that it's easy to contact everybody who was involved and ask them to think about the problem that came up.
So while that hasn't been a huge change, it's turned out to be quite useful. And I think people also enjoy seeing everybody involved be better recognized. On the whole I think everybody is actually pretty happy about it.
LM: Is the kernel contribution processes and policies adaptable to others' open source projects? If so, how?
TORVALDS: I'm sure it is, but at the same time, I'm not sure it's a "one size fits all" process, or if we even want it to be that way.
The fact is, different people work different ways, and what works for me may not work for some other maintainer or project. It's really about a small 'culture' that you build up around the project, and there's nothing fundamentally wrong with having different cultures.