Gentoo Wiki


How to love linux with love-sources!

By joecool (love-sources historian and former contributer)


What *was* love?

Love-Sources was a Linux kernel patchset maintained by a variety of people. It was started by Robert Love. (AND NOT LOVECHILD!!)

Although the patchset is gone, the community still lives on at ##unixlove (formerly #love-sources) on the Freenode IRC network. The spirit of the patchset is continued through no-sources.

This page will be kept because love was a great patchset and will be missed.

Early Days

Love-sources became a notable patchset in the 2.6.0-test series (perhaps even earlier, unfortunatley many in the current community don't date back further then that) for its stability (being more so then the vanilla tree). Its maintainer Robert Love would go on to become a key developer for the 2.6 kernel and with that the patchset passed down to Dave Nielsen (Lovechild). Robert Love is referred to as Mr. Love around the community to distinguish him from Lovechild (who everyone seems to think founded the patchset, when he really only founded the community)

The Lovechild Era

Lovechild proved to also be an excellent maintainer and formed the love-sources community as we know it today including the #love-sources channel on Freenode. Around this time TPC became the site and channel admin for the love-sources project, but where love was hosted changed over time. Lovechild eventually left the project because of disagreements with the other staff on a release cycle and possibly because of instability in his own life. Lovechild would eventually go on to be branded a flamer and former gentoo developer Ciaran McCreesh (ciaranm) would call users of love-sources "DROOLING NIELSEN FANBOYS!!". He broke off all ties to the patchset but because of his name, it would continue to plaugue him.

While I won't disclose any events I heard that happened to him shortly after this period, I will say he turned up with linuxjunior eventually.

steel300 Comes Up To Bat

Jason Cox (steel300) became the new maintainer of love-sources. An almost exactly opposite of Lovechild, he would prove to be even more efficient of a maintainer due to his not being tied up in so many flamewars. During this time love-sources gained a wide userbase, I (joecool) came into the #love-sources channel and began to become an active part in the community. It was also this time that speedy-sources and redeeman-sources began testing reiser4 which would become an integral part of the next stage of love-sources (speedy-source's maintainer OneOfOne would become the next maintainer and redeeman would become the creator of the love-sources reiser4 livecd).

steel300 is a character, he refused to add love-sources into the portage tree even though he was a gentoo dev and love-source's maintainer. Later on he handed the patchset to OneOfOne because he became too busy. Eventually he decided to become a portage dev on FreeBSD, and within a week announced he would be using Windows 2000 for good. He has been in and out of the community since, but now its steel300 and not Lovechild that starts the flamewars on why linux doesn't represent capitalistic ideals.

Don't Rock Like Ninja, Rock like Egyptian

Ahmed Farid (OneOfOne) became the next maintainer of Love-sources. The former maintainer of speedy-sources would continue nicksched inclusion and additionally reiser4 began to be tested during his time. OneOfOne became a widely respected maintainer as he just worked to make the patchset the best he could. OneOfOne also had a few other notable side projects such as one where he made the portage cache run on an sql database (which until the recent rewrite of the cache system, provided much faster searching and syncing).

Tragically OneOfOne began a slow decline on activity with the patchset, and ultimatley with everything. First he disappeared for a week, then a few weeks, then a month. For a very short while we managed to get him to return and I helped contribute to get a few releases out with him, but it wasn't the same. For whatever reason, he slipped into severe depression and fell outta contact with us and hasn't been seen in nearly a year. Good news is his site just came back online, but he hasn't sent any replies to attempts to contact him.. we wish him the best.

The Love Bug Theory

After OneOfOne fell out of contact a few of the closer love-sources community began to formulate the "Love Bug" theory. Put short, every maintainer since Robert Love left for really odd reasons, or had really odd things happen to them. I won't go into too many details, but it seemed everyone except for Robert Love who maintained the patchset suffered a lot of pain. Take it as you will, but the past 3 maintainers all did leave for strange reasons.

The Interim Period

This was the period as OneOfOne began to disappear for periods of time. It was marked by multiple "interim maintainers" who put together hodgepodge releases of love-sources. This was due to the fact that OneOfOne had never officially left, nor had he named a sucessor. The most sucessful maintainer of the time was blutkind who became known for putting love-sources on the staircase cpu schedualer for the first time. While not truly official releases, they were official enough that they got posted on the channel and on the forums. It was about this time that JasonF and I (joecool) initially decided to start a side project "until OneOfOne returned".

He did return once for a short time, and my work would go into love-sources during OneOfOne's last releases. In fact, during this period I was asked a couple times to assume maintaining the patchset, but declined due to my fear of the "Love Bug" and out of respect to OneOfOne who helped mentor me and teach me so much more. The end of the interim period was marked by moving the releases to sourceforge where it wasn't hard to find releases anymore, and a new policy that anyone could make a release, as long as it was given the OK by two staff and tested by a few members. Fallow arrived and marked the true end of the interim period.

Love Rises A Final Time

A new maintainer, fallow of vivid-sources and the polish gentoo forums, would go on to become the final official love-sources maintainer. His style was marked by gentoofying the love-sources patchset (something the past maintainers went against, especially steel300) by posting all the releases on the forums. Seeing this, the rest of the staff helped to create and put the files on sourceforge. TPC was the driving force that held the community together throughout the interim period and the final days of love.

Lovechild Returns

I was sitting at the desk one evening, and I got the bright idea.... "why not try to track down Lovechild?". As it turns out this was a pretty easy task. I asked around and found he was with a group called linuxjunior and he was a regular on their IRC channel. DaMouse, a contributer to love-sources, and a generally weird person was also tied in with their community as well as ours at the time. With a little persuasion we managed to get Lovechild back into the love-sources community again. Fallow and Lovechild became good friends with each other and Lovechild began to influence the patchset once again.

The Decline Of Love

One could almost say Lovechild helped co-maintain, but fallow's downfall was that he worked way too hard. It wasn't uncommon for him to put out 5-6 patchset releases a week, AND maintain vivid-sources on the side. It became the concern not only of the older community, but even of Lovechild, that fallow worked too hard and we warned multiple times a burnout was in his future. He didn't listen, in fact he pushed new technology like genetic policies (which were a total flop, I think Lovechild pushed them in the beginning). The patchset also went over to a vanilla base and staircase again, the complete opposite of what it traditionally did.

Possible Sucessor?

JasonF and I formed the no-sources project during the downfall of love-sources. While it wasn't apparent to the normal user, maintaining the patchset took a serious toll on fallow and the fact was, noone had the guts to step up and maintain it after him. Once again, I was faced either assuming maintainership of love-sources and changing it back to its roots (and in the process pissing off a good deal of recent love users) and dealing with the possibility of the "Love Bug", or starting my own project. And so no-sources was started with my intent being to bring it back to OneOfOne's style with my own added flair. I maintained the first few releases, then it was handed to bzcat-|patch-p1, and then went on a 3 month hiatus, to come back into greatness with cheater-conrad. I feel that without the love bug, and keeping it open to new maintainers, we can produce a patchset as good as love was.

The Patchset Dies, The Love Lives On

Eventually everyone knew it was time. Love-sources was declared a dead patchset during a few staff meetings and the site was taken down. Shortly after, due to freenode channel naming policy, the channel moved from #love-sources to ##unixlove. While this means love-sources is dead, THE COMMUNITY LIVES ON! Redeeman, myself (joecool), TPC, blutkind, as well as many of the former love-sources users and some new people still chill here, even steel300 and Lovechild occasionally drop in.


I'm sure love will never truly die, it'll just live on through the community and the projects that come from it. As I speak, I am planning to resurrect fluidportage, begin actively contributing on no-sources again, and working with conrad projects on whatever cool stuff they've brought into the former love-sources community.

So, if you liked the patchset, or you found any of this interesting, come pay us a visit on Freenode at ##unixlove.

Noted former Gentoo developer ciaranm also loved the love.. and if it's good enough for ciaranm, it's good enough for you. :P

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Last modified: Sat, 30 Aug 2008 20:57:00 +0000 Hits: 40,541