Hot Grits & First Patches: Coming Soon To A Kernel Near You

Fake News written by James Baughn on Saturday, January 20, 2001

from the a-horrible-terrible-nightmare dept.

Today marks the end of the Linux kernel as we know it. In an effort to speed up kernel releases, reduce stress, and put an end to Microsoft's ongoing denial of service attack, Linus Torvalds has shifted kernel development over to a self-adjusting, self-moderating code-sharing system not unlike Slashdot.

In a statement to linux-kernel, Linus explained, "Even a benevolent dictator needs his free time. Hopefully I'll now have the time to drink more beer, sign autographs for the teeming millions of groupies, and finish off that flame war with Andy Tanenbaum."

With the new system, code-named "Karmix", moderators will assign points to submitted code patches. Those patches that reach "Score 5, Nice Hack" will automatically be included in the next kernel release.

Well, that's the theory at least. The system has been online for a few hours already, and things aren't looking good. Nearly 2,000 people have submitted "First patches!" (Score -1, Redundant), and another 1,000 or so Anonymous Cowards have posted patches that display nude pictures of Natalie Portman when the kernel boots (Score -1, Get A Life).

The only patch to reach "Score 5, Interesting" is a piece of code that translates the string "www.nytimes.com" into "partners.nytimes.com" so that New York Times articles can be read online without registration.

"Now if this patch isn't karma whoring," one anonymous Karmix user wrote, "I don't know what is."

Indeed, many people have expressed criticism of the new system. "This is awful. Now the kernel will be filled with bad haiku, lame Microsoft jokes, and endless references to hot grits and Beowulf clusters. If this goes on, I might have to do the unthinkable -- switch to FreeBSD."

Somebody else commented, "According to Sturgeon's Law, 90% of everything is crap. Well, under this new system, 99.9% of kernel patches are crap. And that number is asymptotically approaching 100% as we speak."

Nevertheless, Linus defends the moderation scheme, saying, "Hey, it works for me!"

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