Linus Torvalds, the creator and maintainer of the Linux kernel, announced on Sunday that he was releasing Linux 4.19 release candidate 4 and more importantly that he was stepping back from his maintainer responsibilities for a while so that he can work on his character. In the statement, he apologised for his “lifetime of not understanding emotions” and launching “flippant attacks in emails” that were “unprofessional and uncalled for.”
After remarking on the mistakes he has made over the years with regards to his attitude, he said:
“The above is basically a long-winded way to get to the somewhat painful personal admission that hey, I need to change some of my behavior, and I want to apologize to the people that my personal behavior hurt and possibly drove away from kernel development entirely.
I am going to take time off and get some assistance on how to understand people’s emotions and respond appropriately.”
In the interim, Torvalds asked Greg Kroah-Hartman, one of the leading kernel developers, to take over his responsibilities while he takes his break. Luckily for Kroah-Hartman, Torvalds thinks that Linux 4.19 is looking good so far and that things have gotten to the so-called “calm” period. Linus also reiterated that he’s not burnt out and that he does want to come back to maintaining the project.
In addition to temporarily signing off on his duties, Torvalds also committed a new Code of Conduct to replace the Code of Conflict (both can be read here, the new Code of Conduct is in green and the Code of Conflict is in red). The commit states that the Code of Conflict was not achieving its goal of fostering civility, and that guidelines similar to those found in the Code of Conduct have been successful in other projects and other areas of the kernel.