Several application development blogs have been discussing a new brouhaha related to the Linux kernel support code for Microsoft’s HyperV virtualisation environment. The code uses “0xB16B00B5” (BIG BOOBS) as its constant. Linux developer Matthew Garrett summed up one side of the argument when he wrote, “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.”
On the other side of the debate are numerous commentators who argue that the incident is nothing new, that it’s no big deal and/or that nobody reads source code anyway.
For its part, Microsoft issued an apology which read, “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.”