[personal profile] mjg59
Paolo Bonzini noticed something a little awkward in the Linux kernel support code for Microsoft's HyperV virtualisation environment - specifically, that the magic constant passed through to the hypervisor was "0xB16B00B5", or, in English, "BIG BOOBS". It turns out that this isn't an exception - when the code was originally submitted it also contained "0x0B00B135". That one got removed when the Xen support code was ripped out.

At the most basic level it's just straightforward childish humour, and the use of vaguely-English strings in magic hex constants is hardly uncommon. But it's also specifically male childish humour. Puerile sniggering at breasts contributes to the continuing impression that software development is a boys club where girls aren't welcome. It's especially irritating in this case because Azure may depend on this constant, so changing it will break things.

So, full marks, Microsoft. You've managed to make the kernel more offensive to half the population and you've made it awkward for us to rectify it.

Re: get real

Date: 2012-08-31 09:34 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
You know just because you think it is politically correct bullshit (whatever that actually is) doesn't mean that others aren't offended or discouraged to CONTINUE to contribute and take part in the free software world.

Get with the program. This is not an individual problem where everyone can just walk away, this is a STRUCTURAL problem which will not go away if we don't do something about it.

Re: get real

Date: 2012-09-01 05:29 am (UTC)
marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
From: [personal profile] marahmarie
If it's such a big problem then explain Marissa Mayer to me. Specifically, explain why she keeps saying sexism isn't a problem at all among engineers/in programming or at Google. Has she been eating too many cupcakes, causing her to continuously spout nonsense while all the sugar rushes to her head, or might she have somewhat of a point that as a woman, your attitude toward working with men can sometimes make you or break you?

I'm not denying there's a problem. I suffer though the effects of sexism directed at me routinely in my line of work, which believe it or not is not street-walking, and I'm as hurt and angered by it as any other self-respecting woman would be. I'm tired of being the voiceless decoration who will annoy men by her very presence if she ever stops smiling for a moment, because the whole point of having a woman around is she should never stop smiling for a moment regardless of how bad anyone treats her, so if she ever does stop smiling, boy, she better watch the fuck out.

I certainly don't work with the flawlessly sexism-less men Marissa has apparently been surrounded by all her working life. Neither do most women.

Problem is, in the real, non-cupcake-fueled world, to "get with the program" you will almost invariably put yourself out of a job if by getting with the program you mean "start coming back at men who harass and bother you". Most of them are our bosses or just higher up in the food or brown-nosing chain, so what program did you want us to get with, exactly, since that one's not gonna work?

The one where we wander the streets looking in vain for all-female workplaces in order to safely stop being harassed for the first time in our fucking *lives*, or was there another program you haven't been kind enough to mention yet?

Oh wait, you don't have an answer for that because that's not why you're up in my face. You're up in my face because you want me to feel a more tender compassion for the women, whomever they are, who are upset by an overlooked and arguably off-color line of code buried in some obscure source that Matt highlighted in order to start exactly the discussion that we are having here. I think women have bigger things to worry about than than particular line of code, though, and if you haven't gotten that message by now, you're never going to.


Matthew Garrett

About Matthew

Power management, mobile and firmware developer on Linux. Security developer at Google. Ex-biologist. @mjg59 on Twitter. Content here should not be interpreted as the opinion of my employer.

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