Originally Published: Tuesday, 27 June 2000 Author: Matt Michie
Published to: featured_articles/Featured Articles Page: 1/1 - [Std View]

Diary of a Madman: Day Three

As I let my mind wander and my legs carry me onward, I considered dropping the entire project. Maybe it wasn't too late yet. Even though we haven't opened up our CVS to the public, word must already be beginning to spread. Someone had been attempting anonymous access to grab the code.

Tomorrow is the day.

I decided to get out of the house and take a walk. It had been awhile since I've been outside. Even though the smell of a storm hung in the air like a tiger about to strike, I needed some time to relax. The breeze wafting across my forehead was just what I needed to cool down.

As I let my mind wander and my legs carry me onward, I considered dropping the entire project. Maybe it wasn't too late yet. Even though we haven't opened up our CVS to the public, word must already be beginning to spread. Someone had been attempting anonymous access to grab the code.

Even as thunder began to boom across the sky and rain began to pelt my neck, all I could think about was the e-mail that mysteriously appeared in my mailbox earlier today.


Delivered-To: jake@kernelkrusaders.org
Date: 26 Jun 2010 02:50:11 -0000
From: root@respite.kg (joe root)
To: jake@kernelkrusaders.org
Subject: Back Off

Word is starting to spread on what you guys are planning on doing. Rest assured that there are some of us that aren't going to stand by and watch you fragment the kernel and our community. I am giving you fair warning, because of your past contributions. However, if you insist on pursuing this dangerous and destructive course of action, we will have to stop you...

Please don't bother trying to figure out who I am or where this message is really coming from. I truly hope you don't consider that I actually am writing this from Kyrgyzstan, or that my compatriots there will give you any leads.

We have the resources to make your project and if necessary your life wretched. Consider yourself warned and please stay the hell away.


Yours in Peace,
Joseph


My first response to the e-mail was to laugh it off. I had been bracing myself for the potential flamefests for weeks now. I'd never considered the fact that I would have received threats like this. The author seemed too confident and cocky. This worries me, because he isn't fitting into the mold of a script kiddie.

I am wondering if this "Joseph" character had something to do with the probes on the CVS server. Further, how had anyone even found the address of the server to begin with? Only our core developers have access. It is going to be difficult enough to manage our split from the mainstream without our own developers leaking information before it is ready. I have some suspicions of who the person is, but I can't be sure yet.

I hate this. Part of the reason for this split was to avoid the kind of political crap that has been rampant throughout the kernel mailing list. Now it just seems like we are creating even more strife. Sigh. It isn't supposed to be happening like this. I still don't quite know how I got involved in all of this.

Part of the freedoms embedded in the GNU General Public License is the right to fork software. I suppose I understand at a gut level why everyone fears a kernel fork, but there has been too much stagnation lately. Some competition is sorely needed. Besides, our stuff can be integrated back into the main kernel whenever the maintainers deem it worthy enough.

I've put in too much work to back down now. I will release the code.

This is a work of fiction. All the characters and events portrayed in this are fictitious, and any resemblance to real people or events is purely coincidental.

Matt Michie lives in New Mexico. He maintains a Web site at http://daimyo.org.