[Ksummit-2012-discuss] [ATTEND] stable kernel stuff and grumpy maintainers

H. Peter Anvin hpa at zytor.com
Tue Jun 19 15:28:57 UTC 2012

On 06/19/2012 07:46 AM, Ted Ts'o wrote:
> Part of the problem is that for some of the contributors, English
> isn't their first language.  I've very often had to rewrite the change
> log for that reason; in some cases, it was so mangled that even though
> it was a paragraph full of text, I couldn't parse it at all, and I had
> to send back a "huh?  Is this what you meant?" message.

As much as I hate to point it out, we also have had developers whose
first language isn't English hide behind it to justify their lack of
communication and/or to get the upstream maintainer to do part of their
work (writing their change log.)

This is often very hard to distinguish for the maintainer, and sometimes
one thing leads to another (if you start writing the change logs for a
contributor, they may very well get used to it, or much worse: their
*boss* might get used to it.)  Also, again, if their *code* doesn't
communicate, either, then it's not an English issue, it's a
communications issue and that is a skill that I really do feel we have a
right to ask contributors to pick up; as is English, quite frankly.
Now, English is a hard language to learn and will take time; however, we
have non-native English speakers from *many* parts of the world
contributing to the Linux project -- kernel and userspace -- in
perfectly comprehensible if not always grammatical English.


H. Peter Anvin, Intel Open Source Technology Center
I work for Intel.  I don't speak on their behalf.

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