On Sarah Sharp leaving Linux development

By Abhijit Menon-Sen <ams@toroid.org>

2015-11-05

A month ago, Sarah Sharp posted to say I'm not a Linux kernel developer any more and I am no longer a part of the Linux kernel community.

She added USB 3.0 support to Linux (via the new xHCI host driver) and contributed in many other ways to the USB stack. She also did her best, in the face of an absurd level of outright hostility, to ask the kernel development community to adopt a more personally respectful tone of communication (which has nothing to do with political correctness, but is just about basic human decency).

It's a real shame that Linux has lost a valuable contributor and member of the (newly-formed) Technical Advisory Board. A shame, but hardly a surprise. If anything, it's surprising that she stuck around long enough to achieve as much as she did.

Incidentally, a Documentation/CodeOfConflict file was added to the kernel in February 2015. Among other (fairly vague and conciliatory) things, it says:

If however, anyone feels personally abused, threatened, or otherwise uncomfortable due to this process, that is not acceptable.

I'm sure the people who wrote this had good intentions, but I wish they could have found wording to make it clear that it's the personal abuse, threats, and other such behaviour that are unacceptable, not feel[ing] … abused, threatened, or otherwise uncomfortable.

Or maybe the wording is fine. Hard to tell, really.