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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RE[3]: I'm confused...
by siride on Mon 25th Jan 2010 15:40 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I'm confused..."
siride
Member since:
2006-01-02

"I was actually quite happy to see this information get a lot of press. The million man army of volunteer GPL programmers is really a myth and needs to be exposed. "

You are quite wrong, and the way you bring your point makes you offensively wrong.

The vast majority of people working on free software are unpaid volunteers. I have worked on free software since 1993 and only now have a job where I will be paid for working on KOffice (and I helped found the company just to be able to get paid to work on KOffice). But guess what? It's not for the project I'm maintaining (krita), so when I work on that it's still unpaid volunteer work.

Let's get some numbers here. If it's true that the vast majority of OSS programmers are volunteers, then let's see some stats. Otherwise, I believe you are just talking out of your ass.

His point is otherwise quite valid. The idea that an entire software ecosystem (not just a particular product) can be made mostly of people who incidentally contribute is absurd. And now we have numbers to show that that is indeed the case. It doesn't make open source any less of a valid solution to making software. The zealots need now rather understand that corporate involvement is legitimate as well, and very beneficial.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[4]: I'm confused...
by boudewijn on Mon 25th Jan 2010 15:51 in reply to "RE[3]: I'm confused..."
boudewijn Member since:
2006-03-05

Everyone in this discussion is talking out of their ass, the guy who claimed there was a myth that needed to be exposed most of all. Let _him_ produce some numbers. Nobody in this discussion has numbers because nobody has taken a look at any of the academic surveys. At least I am a volunteer who works in one of the largest free software communities and knows who's got a job working on KDE technology, and who hasn't. And nearly nobody has: a dozen people at most, out of the thousands of committers.

"The idea that an entire software ecosystem (not just a particular product) can be made mostly of people who incidentally contribute is absurd."

Volunteer and "incidentally contribute" are not synonyms. I know that I spend about 20 hours a week on Krita: that is volunteer time and definitely not "incidental" People like Sven Neumann have over 9000 commits in Gimp. That is not incidental. And it has nothing to do with corporate involvement being legitimate or beneficial or not. And given the results, the idea that volunteers can build an entire software ecosystem is clearly not absurd: it has proven to work.

Reply Parent Score: 2