Re: re: where to begin
It isn't enough, sadly.
I take your point. In-depth documentation should exist, as should sample code. When I retired, I left behind the specifications, documentation and example pseudocode which I estimated would keep the development team going for a good 8 months, surely time to recruit a replacement? I believe I was massively over-optimistic.
But the problem is this. Once upon a time I started programming, working on a machine code program on a 16 bit microprocessor that took up under 2kW. I could comprehend the minimal documentation and understand the entire thing. At the time I could also dismantle and completely refurbish a typical British single or twin motorcycle engine right down to the gearbox. Easy.
Now consider new bug looking at a program doing something extremely complicated in C, with all kinds of hooks and relationships with other things. How do you get your head around it in order to make a start? Working on a tiny bit is all very well, but moving to the next stage is hard because now you have to understand how it fits in and you need to absorb ever more documentation. It's an enormous uphill and unsurprising that people want to be in at the beginning of something where the initial complexity is manageable.
When I look under the bonnet of my simple, normally aspirated car these days, I'm confronted with complex hardware I never had to worry about before - catalytic converter, EGR, the brake system being a large complicated valve block with connections to the computer, fuel vapour recovery, another computer and hydraulic system connected to the gearbox. It's obvious why it takes so many people to design and engine when once upon a time Ernest Turner or Joe Craig would nip in the design office after a liquid lunch and knock out a crankshaft or cylinder head.
tl;dr the problem is not the documentation. It is (as Alan Turing identified in the early 1950s before his tragic death) the proper structuring of the bureaucracy that manages everything. The question has to be whether Torvalds has created a self sustaining and managing bureaucratic framework to hold the whole thing together.