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Author Topic: Article: Paid developers power the Linux kernel  (Read 1872 times)

mouser

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Article: Paid developers power the Linux kernel
« on: December 05, 2010, 10:14:53 AM »
I was surprised by this.. not good or bad, just surprising and very interesting.

Quote
According to the report, the top 10 contributors, including the groups "unknown" and "none" make up nearly 70 percent of the total contributions to the kernel. Even if one assumes that all of the "unknown" contributors were working on their own time, more than 70 percent of all kernel development is still done by developers who are being paid for their work.. That Linux is primarily developed by paid developers should come as no surprise considering that Linux enables many companies--hardware, software, and online services--to be more competitive in their markets and to find new ways to generate revenue.



from SlashDot Post

40hz

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Re: Article: Paid developers power the Linux kernel
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2010, 12:30:27 PM »
Falls under the heading of "Enlightened Self-Interest"

I'm not surprised in the least.

The businesses paying these developers are no fools. Paying the salaries of a few (or even many) part and/or full time developers is an investment in a proven technology that would cost them hundreds of millions to develop individually; and tens of millions to maintain on their own.

It's almost like offering to pay for gas and a tune-up, and being handed a TopGear type sports car to drive in return.

But we always knew these guys were smart, didn't we?  ;D



MilesAhead

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Re: Article: Paid developers power the Linux kernel
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2010, 12:40:55 PM »
Hmmmmmm, makes me wonder if Isaac Asimov really wrote all those science fiction works.  If you reverse his initials, you get AI.  Wonder if that's a hint they were really generated by a smart computer?

phitsc

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Re: Article: Paid developers power the Linux kernel
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2010, 01:35:10 PM »
But isn't that the case with many of the larger well-known open source projects? Thinking about stuff like Firefox, Open Office, MySQL etc.

40hz

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Re: Article: Paid developers power the Linux kernel
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2010, 08:14:21 PM »
....
« Last Edit: December 06, 2010, 09:05:41 AM by 40hz »

40hz

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Re: Article: Paid developers power the Linux kernel
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2010, 08:23:17 PM »
But isn't that the case with many of the larger well-known open source projects?

Virtually every major open source project has at least some paid developers involved. And this has been going on for years.

Sometimes it works out very well (i.e. the kernel, gcc, etc.) and sometimes not (MySQL, OpenOffice).

Of course, there's always the option to "fork" development when the quid pro quo breaks down. But that's a 'nuclear option' that has never been a popular solution to dispute resolution. Nor is it one that happens lightly. And forking is only an option if a 'free' license model governs the software. There are many "open source" projects that have proprietary license provisions and are effectively owned by somebody. Java is one example of an "open standard" that is neither 'open' nor a standard.

So as long as some businesses keep trying to game the system, the public will continue having a problem understanding what going "open" was originally meant to accomplish.  :-\

Unfortunately, many who call their products "open source" think it's a just a code word for getting free programming and debugging labor. They've signed onto the concept for what they can get out of it. But they seem to have a major problem with the part that expects them to give something back in return. At which point, all the 'word games' begin in order to show how their project is actually open - it's just not open "open."

Microsoft pulls this nonsense all the time. IBM is somewhat guilty of it too - as is "Do No Evil" Google.

Sometimes, however, I can almost take comfort when companies like Oracle acquire formerly "open" technologies from companies like Sun. Because I can deal with arrogance and greed far more readily than I can tolerate hypocrisy. And Oracle has never been shy about letting people know where they stand or what they're about.

At least Oracle finally put an end to Sun's endless waffling on the subject of "open" by making it abundantly clear that they own and control these projects. I find their "Our Way or the Highway" attitude to be refreshingly blunt - even if it is annoying.

And in the case of projects like OpenOffice and MySQL there still remains The Way of the Sacred Fork.

I guess we can call that progress.

With Java, we won't be half so lucky.  :P

-----

Note: I find it interesting that Oracle precipitated a Board dispute that resulted in resignations and the mass exodus of developers from Open Office shortly after they acquired it. I find it even more interesting how some big corporate project members (IBM, Microsoft et al) promptly announced their continued allegiance to Open Office rather than shift over to the genuinely open Libre Office fork of the project.

Draw what conclusions you will while waiting for the 'other shoe' to drop.  8)






« Last Edit: December 06, 2010, 09:31:20 AM by 40hz »