Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 24th Jan 2010 16:22 UTC, submitted by Dale Smoker
Linux LWN.net founder and kernel contributor Jonathan Corbet offered an analysis of the code contributed to the Linux kernel between December 24 2008 and January 10 2010. 18% of contributions were made without a specific corporate affiliation, 7% weren't classified, and 75% were from people working for specific companies in roles where developing that code was a major requirement. "75% of the code comes from people paid to do it," Corbet said.
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How is this a bad thing?
by Hoodlum on Sun 24th Jan 2010 17:28 UTC
Hoodlum
Member since:
2009-05-22

How is this a bad thing? Linux hasn't lost developers, it has only gained. It now has scores of paid developers in addition to unpaid contributors.

I think its fantastic that the corporate sponsorship in many different sectors is so great that their contribution dwarfs that of unpaid contributors. This only shows how sucessful Linux has become; quite a feat for it's humble beginnings as a hobby.

Edit: Lets also keep in mind many of the previously unpaid developers are now employed contributing full time because of this success.

Edited 2010-01-24 17:30 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: How is this a bad thing?
by strcpy on Sun 24th Jan 2010 17:35 in reply to "How is this a bad thing?"
strcpy Member since:
2009-05-20

How is this a bad thing? Linux hasn't lost developers, it has only gained. It now has scores of paid developers in addition to unpaid contributors.

I think its fantastic that the corporate sponsorship in many different sectors is so great that their contribution dwarfs that of unpaid contributors. This only shows how sucessful Linux has become; quite a feat for it's humble beginnings as a hobby.


It is not a bad thing, it is more of a "bad" thing.

It undermines the community. Random hacker has increasingly difficult time into getting in, regardless of her possible talents. It is already more difficult to get anything in without having @intel or @redhat in your email address.

It makes the kernel more of a corporate playground. In the long run it means first and second class contributors. It chews the spiritual foundation of Linux. Thus the "bad" here is more of a cultural thing, but it may also influence the technological decisions (the old good 81288123 core supercomputer servers vs. desktops comes to mind here).

EDIT: This is also why many talented but unpaid hackers look for alternative operating systems to develop. It is much more rewarding to do unpaid work for say Haiku than it is to do unpaid work for Linux kernel.

Edited 2010-01-24 17:40 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: How is this a bad thing?
by vivainio on Sun 24th Jan 2010 18:37 in reply to "RE: How is this a bad thing?"
vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26

It undermines the community. Random hacker has increasingly difficult time into getting in, regardless of her possible talents.


Well, the random hacker may be unable to keep on maintaining the contributed code.

Apart from that, if you can hack kernel code, chances are good that someone is willing to hire you to do exactly that.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: How is this a bad thing?
by cb88 on Sun 24th Jan 2010 19:16 in reply to "RE: How is this a bad thing?"
cb88 Member since:
2009-04-23

You assume (or perhaps not) that haiku developers don't get paid when some have for instance summer of code (google has paid for development and haiku directly as well through their own summer of code)

Also there are corporations interested in developing/supporting haiku the difference isn't in payment bu that haiku has clear target goals and integration unlike the Linux kernel which is just a building block that other things must be tacked on for it to be of any use.

The corporations will doubtless become very friendly with haiku once R2 rolls around IMO very similar to how Android is catching lots of attention at the moment on cell phones

Reply Parent Score: 1

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

It undermines the community.


Bullshit. Making money on writing FLOSS does not undermine the community. Any random hacker can download the sourcecode, hack it and release the modified version. Whether anybody else will use the modifications is irrelevant. What matters is that all of us can still do it.

It is no more difficult today for random hackers to get code accepted in the original base than it was 10 years ago. All they have to do is to come up with good code. Find a bug in your sound driver, fix it well, and release that fix. You donĀ“t have to write drivers for random embedded device only used by a scientist living on the backside of the moon.

Now stop spreading FUD (or Communism (money is evil boohoo), they are equal).

Reply Parent Score: 3