Torvalds’ letter to the community

From Linus Torvalds

Date Wed, 26 Sep 2018 11:05:24 -0700

Subject New Kernel Patch Submission Process

I am back from my break feeling _refreshed and ready_ to focus on kernel development again. 4.19 looks like an exciting release and includes more Spectre migration work for IBM power processors and a bunch of good stuff for 64-bit ARM.

Now that the CoC is in place our community finally knows how to act and communicate appropriately. However – I realized I have not done much to address how our development process *needs* to change.

Starting with 4.20 all changesets will be evaluated to ensure diversity in the kernel development process. I’ve extended git to support new author metadata, including ethnicity, sex characteristics, gender identity / expression and sexual orientation. I will be sharing my work on this soon.

Proposed kernel changesets will now be rated in IP (Inclusivity Points). Patches sent without author metadata will be rejected.

Subsystem maintainers will be required to calculate IP for changesets before submitting them upstream. They are tallied like this:

  • ethnicity:

– Asian or White: -2 IP

– Hispanic / Latino: 1 IP

– Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 1 IP

– Black or Other: 2 IP

  • gender identity:

– male: -1 IP

– female: 1 IP

– transgender / other: 2 IP

  • sexual orientation:

– heterosexual: -1 IP

– homosexual / bisexual / asexual / other: 1 IP

  • technical merit: subsystem maintainer/reviewer will assign from 1-5 IP.

[ All changesets _must_ be 5+ IP to be considered candidates for merging! ]

With this new system we should be able to make our kernel development process more inclusive and shift our emphasis from technical excellence to more of a balanced approach with community involvement an equal priority.

I am eager to begin work on the new release and hope the development process will be more harmonious and joyful for everyone involved.

Linus