Microsoft has recently been accused of having immature coders, following a buzz regarding a “Big Boobs” scandal.
According to a message sent by Paolo Bonzini to the (unofficial) Linux Kernel Mailing List, a small piece of code was found to be used each time a user loaded Linux inside the virtual environment of Microsoft’s virtualization server called Hyper-V.
This code is written under a hexadecimal numbering system with the string, “0xB16B00B5″. In English, it means “Big Boobs”.
Linux developer and Red Hat employee Dr. Matthew Garett published online his disappointment over the Microsoft programmers who were responsible for this immaturely developed code.
“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,” said Garett in a blog post.
Garett also criticized Microsoft for not acting immediately on its mistake.
“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,” he added.
Having heard the issue, Microsoft has expressed regret on the (mock) joke.
In an email sent to Network World, Microsoft spokespersons conveyed, “We thank the community for reporting this issue and apologize for the offensive string. We have submitted a patch to fix this issue and the change will be published in a future release of the kernel.”
On the other hand, not everyone gave a huge pessimistic reaction to the coding error like Garett. Sam Varghese, a Linux enthusiast and journalist, expressed a bouncy contradiction and disapproval to Garett’s opinions, eventually commenting that “Big Boobs” stated into code is just a small concern considering all the other strong offensive words found in the kernel.
Varghese said, “Of course, this assumes that everyone in the world is reading kernel code while they have their eggs and bacon (or whatever it is people have for breakfast in different areas of the world) and being shocked at the use of such expressions in the code. The words “f***”, “shit”, and “bastard” have been increasingly present in the kernel code since the 2.4 release. That, however, has never bothered Garrett. But a juvenile use of hex? That’s reason to raise the Titanic.”
To consider, any user can gain access to any use of offensive words in Linux kernel code through the kernel swear Web-based counter.
Image: Robert Scoble via Flickr (CC)