Linus Books Wrong Flight So Conference Moves
Written by Lucy Black   
Sunday, 09 September 2018

Yes it's true. It could only happen in a movie, but it happened in real life. Linus Torvalds got confused and booked a flight to Edinburgh (UK) instead of to Vancouver (CA), so Linux really did move the conference to Edinburgh.


The story appears to be a little more complicated than the headline suggests - after all what's a miss-booked plane, just move the booking. It seems that Linus had arranged a family holiday in Edinburgh to overlap with the conference. Moving a family holiday is a lot more difficult than just a plane ticket.


There were two obvious choices - to run the conference without Linus or to move the conference. It seems that Linus suggested running the conference without him, but there was a strong consensus that moving the conference was the better option.


Poor Linus, he goes to all this trouble to get one year off the maintainer's conference and it follows him to his attempted escape destination! After all, have you ever considered a holiday in Edinburgh in October - I can't smell the rain, hear the wind and feel the cold. Of course, this mental image might have been what made Linus make a genuine mistake. Apologies to both Edinburgh and Vancouver I'm sure they both get their warm October days. Of course to a Finn, even one currently living in Oregon, both must still seem almost sub-tropical destinations and easily confused.

There is a serious side to this - Linus really is that important to the Linux project. The Maintainer's Summit, the conference that has moved, only has 30 people attending, and by invitation only. And given it is on management and procedure rather than technical issues, which will be dealt with in the Kernel Summit taking place in Vancouver with a much larger number of attendees, it seems fairly pointless without Linus attending.


Then there is the "Truck Index" - how many members of an open source project can be incapacitated before the project is in trouble. For an extreme example, Git has a Truck index of only 8.

Back in 2015 the Truck index of Linux was estimated to be around 90, but the Linux project without Linus would be in a bit of trouble, even with the other 89 important devs. 



More Information

CHANGE OF PLAN: Maintainer Summit will be in Edinburgh

The Linux Kernel Summit

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Linus Torvalds interview - the early years       

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Last Updated ( Sunday, 09 September 2018 )