Wednesday, October 11, 2006

So Long As You Have Your Priorities Straight

Hans Reiser has been arrested on suspicion of Murder.
The estranged husband of an Oakland woman who has been missing for more than a month was arrested today on suspicion of murder.

Hans Reiser, 42, was taken into custody at 11 a.m., hours after Oakland police and FBI technicians searched his home in the Oakland hills. His estranged wife, Nina Reiser, 31, has been missing since Sept. 3, when she dropped off the couple's son and daughter at his home on the 6900 block of Exeter Drive.

This is big news in the OSS/Linux world. Hans Reiser led the team that released one of the first stable journaling file systems built into the Linux kernel. However, when news broke on Slashdot, tacked onto the article summary this comment from a user:

While the disappearance (and possible murder) of his wife is tragic, Linux users will wonder where this will leave Reiser 4. If Reiser is found guilty, will Novell or IBM pick up the pieces and finish up Reiser 4 for inclusion in the kernel or is this the end of the Reiser filesystem project? Will there be any future for the Reiser filesystem, and if Hans is found guilty and the project is continued, will the project be renamed to avoid notoriety?

Slashdot has ceased to amaze me. Geeks truly are socially maladjusted.

Of all things to be concerned about... This blows my mind. While there are probably people concerned about this, I would say this was in poor taste, to say the least, to include this in a report about his alleged involvement in murder. The inclusion of this in the summary seems to equate the the concerns of the state of the latest version of the file system as nearly, if not more, equal to the murder of a human being. A more appropriate way to do this would have been to create a completely different article summary that addressed these concerns.

Of course, comment threads being as they are on Slashdot, they devolved quickly into the morality of the death penalty, how many people are truly psychopaths, punishment vs. rehabilitation in prisons, and, strangely enough, Scott Peterson (started with a comment in his defense, no less).