Three months is long term for me: Torvalds

Three months is long term for me: Torvalds

Summary: Linus Torvalds said he tends to not plan further than three months into the future.In a video interview at Linux.

TOPICS: Open Source, Linux

Linus Torvalds said he tends to not plan further than three months into the future.

In a video interview at in Sydney earlier this week, Torvalds said: "Some people have five year plans. I don't even have one year plans. My plans tend to be on the order of a couple of months, which also ends up being the release cycle of the kernel these days.

"I look at the problems we have today. Instead of trying to solve the problems one year from now it's like, 'what are the most pressing concerns'," he added.

Torvalds also talked about why "unfriendly" kernel developers are making it more difficult attracting new blood. Click here to see this three minute video.

In addition, he revealed he was surprised by the resilience of the 2.6 Linux kernel to "invasive" changes. Click here to watch the two minute video clip.

He also spoke about why the kernel is "special". For this one minute video clip, click here.

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Topics: Open Source, Linux

Munir Kotadia

About Munir Kotadia

Munir first became involved with online publishing in 1998 when he joined ZDNet UK and later moved into print publishing as Chief Reporter for IT Week, part of ZDNet UK, a weekly trade newspaper targeted at Enterprise IT managers. He later moved back into online publishing as Senior News Reporter for ZDNet UK.

Munir was recognised as Australia's Best Technology Columnist at the 5th Annual Sun Microsystems IT Journalism Awards 2007. In the previous year he was named Best News Journalist at the Consensus IT Writers Awards.

He no longer uses his Commodore 64.


Chris started his journalistic adventure in 2006 as the Editor of Builder AU after originally joining CBS as a programmer. After a Canadian sojourn, he returned in 2011 as the Editor of TechRepublic Australia, and is now the Australian Editor of ZDNet.

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  • Fear

    This project planning strategy should strike fear into the hearts of all who rely on the linux kernel. It shows an obvious lack of planning, strategy and forward thinking. It shows a more "by the seat of the pants" process which may be fine when planning bug fixes, but not the core of the product
  • RE: Fear

    Or you can plan for 5 years into the future and yet fail to deliver on most of your promises when 5 years rolls around.

    I think that because of the open nature of Linux kernel development, Linus empowers the community to plan and deliver on longer term stategies and he is more of a mediator; saying yes that is good or no that won't work.

    I think planning too long term can lead to development stagnation which can be just as worrying.