Linux developers make tits of themselves -

Software giant Microsoft has angered a lot of open saucers by slipping what some of them have dubbed a sexist remark into code that connects the Linux kernel to Microsoft's HyperV virtualisation software.

The open source community is shocked and horrified that someone at Microsoft inserted the words "Big Boobs" into the code.

Paul McNamara over at Network World thundered from his pulpit that "this kind of juvenile nonsense has no place in the business world".

He insists that there are those in the programming community that insist on defending "the non-existent right to be just a little bit sexist, even at work, as long as it's just a little bit and as long as not too many people notice or are offended".

McNamara got on the blower to Microsoft which promptly apologised for the offensive string and it has submitted a patch to fix this "issue".

So far the people offended are men and should not have "big boobs", and if they do they should go to the gym and rethink their diet.

Paolo Bonzini noticed that the Linux kernel support code for Microsoft's HyperV virtualisation environment ran a magic constant through to the hypervisor was "0xB16B00B5". This translates in English to "BIG BOOBS".

In other words it was a vaguely-English string in hex constant which to an ordinary person looks nothing like big boobs.  It is also the same sort of mentality which plays records backwards to find hidden messages that prove that musicians are secret satanists.

"Puerile sniggering at breasts contributes to the continuing impression that software development is a boys club where girls aren't welcome," Linux developer Matthew Garrett ranted from his bog.

The argument is this sort of big boobish behaviour is what is keeping women out of IT.

It does seem a little overstated to us. It is based on the somewhat sexist assumption that the coder was male. In some ways the puritans are actually demonstrating a particularly unpleasant form of sexism which is far worse than writing "big boobs" in code.

What they are saying is that women are all sugar and spice and need to be treated differently from men.  They need to be protected. If you want to work with "girls" you have to tone down your language, because they are likely to be offended. In other words, having a woman in your team is like working with your mother.

It is easier to leap from this attitude to the other really sexist lines such as she does not want this senior job because she will want to spend more time with her boyfriend or husband and she will want a family soon and will leave.

One of the reasons that the IT world is attractive to anyone is that it is creative, fun and with a flat heirarchy. Saying that women are not really interested in playing the same sorts of games as men is more sexist and backward than writing "big boobs" in code and is probably the real reason why women are less interested in IT.