306: Orphaned Projects

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Revision as of 21:45, 3 December 2016 by (talk) (Added a link to 1027 in which Hairy uses the technique of negging, which is similar to what Black Hat is advising Cueball to do.)
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Orphaned Projects
His date works for Red Hat, who hired a coach for her, too. She advised her to 'rent lots of movies like Hitch. Guys love those.'
Title text: His date works for Red Hat, who hired a coach for her, too. She advised her to 'rent lots of movies like Hitch. Guys love those.'


Debian is a GNU/Linux distribution (but also ships GNU Hurd and BSD versions). Red Hat is the company behind Fedora Linux and RHEL.

The comic is about orphaned Linux projects, because volunteer FOSS developers will often leave their projects aside whenever something of greater importance to them requires more time (like dating relationships, tiredness, sickness etc.). Some companies/foundations, while not needing these developers, can greatly benefit from community-maintained projects. The Debian Team uses a parody of the famous Yoda quote from the first Star Wars movie in the first panel "Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering" by replacing it with dating and orphaned projects.

Hitch is a romantic comedy in which Will Smith plays a "dating coach", who helps men to have successful dates with women. To avoid losing their developers, both companies have opted to hire Hitch-like advisers to give them intentionally bad dating advice, thus sabotaging their relationship before it could become distracting: The man is advised to criticize his date in an attempt to appear more intelligent (something very unlikely to work, but nonetheless attempted by some men (See 1027: Pickup Artist), and in the title text, we learn that the woman is being similarly advised to watch lots of romantic comedies (bad advice because stereotypically guys do not love those).


[Voices are coming from behind a door with a sign that reads "Debian Linux HQ".]
First voice: Problem: One of the volunteer developers has a date this weekend. Dates lead to romance, romance leads to orphaned projects.
Second voice: What's the plan?
First voice: We're hiring him a relationship coach. He's like Will Smith in "Hitch," but he only gives bad advice.
[Black Hat is talking to Cueball, who is standing in front of a mirror.]
Black Hat: Okay, remember: The key to conversation is constructive criticism.
Black Hat: You need to show you're smart enough to solve her problems.
Cueball: Makes sense.

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The initial panel seems reminiscent of "Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering." ‎ (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

This kind of sentence is too rare to not be an obvious reference I believe. Editing the explanation accordingly Meneldal (talk) 02:26, 10 March 2015 (UTC)meneldal

Oh, apophenia, you have claimed another stupid victim. No, the sentence in the first panel is not a definite reference to that quote. —Kazvorpal (talk) 06:25, 5 November 2019 (UTC)

I have to disagree, it could just as easilly be the author employing the rhetorical device of Anadiplosis. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Who is the mentioned "Red Hat"? (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Red Hat isn't a person in this context, it's a Linux development company. -Pennpenn 04:54, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
Remember that names on this wiki such as "Cueball" and "Black Hat" are all unofficial, except for Megan (and even then only sometimes). 12:37, 22 January 2018 (UTC)