75% of Linux Code Written by Paid Developers

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According to this guy, almost seventy five percent of Linux code is now written by paid / corporate developers. :eek:

The most striking aspect of the analysis, however, was where those lines of code originated from. 18% of contributions to the kernel were made without a specific corporate affiliation, suggesting true volunteer efforts. An additional 7% weren't classified. The remainder 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.
 

heatlesssun

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Interesting, so all those free eyes are a smaller piece of the pie than I thought.
 

AlcoJaguar

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While some devices such as network adaptors still needed reverse engineering to work under Linux because vendors would not share information about their architecture, Corbet suggested those examples were rare and that alternative equipment was usually available. "The best thing to do is avoid those vendors. We really don't need them anymore."

The recent surge in code from vendors is generated more from the necessity to please customers. As the above quote outlines, in the past, vendors used to ignore the Linux market, but now since so much of the competition is going open, a lot of companies feel pressured by the market to supply open source support for their products. In fact, most of us expect it, and will pass over a vendor if its lacking. As he said, there's no good reason to deal with such stubborn vendors when better products are out there.

Also, code contributed to the Linux kernel is licensed under the GNU General Public License version 2.
 

heatlesssun

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As the above quote outlines, in the past, vendors used to ignore the Linux market, but now since so much of the competition is going open, a lot of companies feel pressured by the market to supply open source support for their products.

Linux distros have had support for all of my basic hardware (audio,video and network) out of the box for well over a decade. Used Red Hat back then and never had a problem with it picking up my video and audio and there was some vendor support back then.

The thing about Linux in my opinion isn't that's it not good or useful, it's just kind of stuck on the desktop Windows. Windows doesn't really cost that much when you buy it with a new computer, like the cost of taking the family out for pizza WITHOUT the movie. And while basic Linux hardware support is pretty good, when you start to get into cameras, keyboards, printers, media players, etc, you start running into less formal support.
 

Vryce

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Does it matter? The point isn't who writes the code, but that the code is available for you to alter to your own needs and redistribute it so that others who reflect those needs can use it.
 

stop!theradio

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I wouldn't go so far as to say Linux worked fine on all my hardware out of the box a decade ago...because it simply just didn't...but as of now, it's a very different thing. I can't help but imagine that there are people paid to make sure a lot of hardware configurations are supported.
 

nilepez

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According to this guy, almost seventy five percent of Linux code is now written by paid / corporate developers. :eek:

And that's a surprise? I'm surprised that 25% aren't paid. IBM, Redhat and Oracle all have a business based on selling companies Linux and/or products built on top of Linux. Ain't nothing free and most of us don't work for free. You certainly wouldn't get the constant kernel updates if not for major corporate backing.
 

Serpico

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And that's a surprise? I'm surprised that 25% aren't paid. IBM, Redhat and Oracle all have a business based on selling companies Linux and/or products built on top of Linux. Ain't nothing free and most of us don't work for free. You certainly wouldn't get the constant kernel updates if not for major corporate backing.

You beat me to it. With so many major companies involved with Linux development, both as vendors and in-house enterprise work, I figured that the number of unpaid work would be smaller.
 

Eva_Unit_0

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I don't see why this is surprising. When companies like Red Hat, Novell, IBM, and Oracle all have products that revolve around the linux kernel, don't you think they have an interest in its development? A huge amount of the great features of the linux kernel were developed because some company wanted to use the kernel for a product, so they hire developers to add the desired features.

Also, some of this is from code that was developed for another purpose (by a separate company), and later added to the kernel. Several filesystems are like this. ReiserFS, XFS, and JFS, for example, were all developed by separate for-profit companies, and later added to the kernel. XFS was originally part of Irix (by SGI) and JFS was part of AIX (by IBM).
 

nilepez

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Eva, the reason it people surprise surprises me is that it's not even a secret. Open Office is another one where development is dominated by large corporations.
 

nilepez

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Holy crap was that sentence mangled:

the first sentence should have read:
Eva, it suprises me that this surprised anyone. It was never a secret.
 

GoldenTiger

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This will tick off a lot of Linux fanatics: to many in the open-source community... they don't consider software free just because it doesn't require you to pay: they consider it free only if it has no corporate ties, no payment, and allows you to do what you want with it + modify it at will. See sites like blendernation for examples of this in comment threads aplenty... flame wars that make even fanboys here look like little cinders over that stuff :p.
 

Eva_Unit_0

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This will tick off a lot of Linux fanatics: to many in the open-source community... they don't consider software free just because it doesn't require you to pay: they consider it free only if it has no corporate ties, no payment, and allows you to do what you want with it + modify it at will. See sites like blendernation for examples of this in comment threads aplenty... flame wars that make even fanboys here look like little cinders over that stuff :p.


I don't agree with this at all. I think that Linux fanatics would embrace this as proof that business and the open source model can co-exist. Remember, open source advocates mostly care if the code is free as in speech (i.e. available to all with no restrictions) as opposed to free as in beer (i.e. done for no cost). Nobody, not even hardcore OSS advocates, cares if someone was paid to write the code. They just care that the code is licensed under their open license of choice (and don't get started on BSD vs. GPL...).
 

Eva_Unit_0

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Also, code contributed by corporations is just as "open" as code by volunteers. The entire Linux kernel is under the GPL, not just the parts written by non-profits. If the code is in the Linux kernel then it is freely distributable and modifiable, regardless of if I wrote it myself or if IBM wrote it.
 

nilepez

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This will tick off a lot of Linux fanatics: to many in the open-source community... they don't consider software free just because it doesn't require you to pay: they consider it free only if it has no corporate ties, no payment, and allows you to do what you want with it + modify it at will. See sites like blendernation for examples of this in comment threads aplenty... flame wars that make even fanboys here look like little cinders over that stuff :p.

One would hope that most fanatics have read enough about linux to already know this. This was not a secret. I know I've read about the lack of public input into OSS projects for at least 2 or 3 years.

Also, code contributed by corporations is just as "open" as code by volunteers. The entire Linux kernel is under the GPL, not just the parts written by non-profits. If the code is in the Linux kernel then it is freely distributable and modifiable, regardless of if I wrote it myself or if IBM wrote it.

That's true, but it's also only relevant to a very tiny part of the users. The vast majority of linux users (who tend to be more technical than Windows/Mac users) couldn't understand the Kernel code if they had the author sitting next to them.

Where it's useful is for companies to modify and adapt the software for their own product.

The truth is in many cases, they could do similar things with proprietary code...they'd just have to license the rights to use it and sign an NDA.
 

Eva_Unit_0

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That's true, but it's also only relevant to a very tiny part of the users. The vast majority of linux users (who tend to be more technical than Windows/Mac users) couldn't understand the Kernel code if they had the author sitting next to them.

Where it's useful is for companies to modify and adapt the software for their own product.

The truth is in many cases, they could do similar things with proprietary code...they'd just have to license the rights to use it and sign an NDA.

It doesn't matter if the users can understand the code themselves. Many Linux users just care that the code is licensed under the GPL as a matter of philosophy, not because they actually intend on using the code themselves.


And yes, of course companies could write their own proprietary code to fill the place of the Linux kernel. But the reason they're willing to contribute "free" code to the Linux kernel is because it's far cheaper to simply modify it to fit their needs, as opposed to writing all new code from scratch.
 

GoldenTiger

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Also, code contributed by corporations is just as "open" as code by volunteers. The entire Linux kernel is under the GPL, not just the parts written by non-profits. If the code is in the Linux kernel then it is freely distributable and modifiable, regardless of if I wrote it myself or if IBM wrote it.

These people don't care... to them, it's tainted as it was made by someone who had corporate ties.
 

eeyrjmr

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This will tick off a lot of Linux fanatics: to many in the open-source community... they don't consider software free just because it doesn't require you to pay: they consider it free only if it has no corporate ties, no payment, and allows you to do what you want with it + modify it at will. See sites like blendernation for examples of this in comment threads aplenty... flame wars that make even fanboys here look like little cinders over that stuff :p.

Will it o_O I have never heard such a stance from any linux user/blog/advocate before
Even RMS doesn't go and preach about the evils of corporations coding for linux

This smells of FUD
 

GoldenTiger

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P.S. Just because you haven't seen something doesn't mean it's not common... silly to call someone out as a FUD'er on those grounds ;).
 

nilepez

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It doesn't matter if the users can understand the code themselves. Many Linux users just care that the code is licensed under the GPL as a matter of philosophy, not because they actually intend on using the code themselves.


And yes, of course companies could write their own proprietary code to fill the place of the Linux kernel. But the reason they're willing to contribute "free" code to the Linux kernel is because it's far cheaper to simply modify it to fit their needs, as opposed to writing all new code from scratch.

Some may feel that way.....most people are happy that it's free....some may like that it's the people's os, but in the end it doesn't matter for anyone outside of the businesses, researchers (some overlap there) and certain students.

I'm gad there's a good OS out there that CS students can look at and professors can use it to show how various parts of an OS work with actual code (if they so choose), but IMO, there's not much difference between using Solaris or Redhat.
 

GoldenTiger

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and one blog reply cannot be extrapolated to "to many" in the community

you are tarring alot with the same brush there, stop it. THIS is the definition of FUD

FUD means it's made-up or bullshit rumors ;)... as I said that's just one quick link from a google search, there's zillions out there. Even more prevalent are arguments and bickering "Redhat is evil!!! Support Debian!!!" and whatnot.
 

[Tripod]MajorPayne

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Yes copyright applies to all code written.

All kernel code is released under the GPL, so it is freely licensed for anyone to USE. Of course programs written for the operating system can be copyrighted. Our lab at work uses Linux versions of Matlab, Fieldview, Gridgen, and several other computational/engineering/visualization softwares, and I assure you we pay a pretty penny for the licenses for those software suites. Also, we have a bulk licensing agreement with Red Hat for all of our OS's on the machines, which we also paid for.
 

jimmyb

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These people don't care... to them, it's tainted as it was made by someone who had corporate ties.

I don't think anyone cares about "corporate ties" so long as it's under a free license. Even the most fervent sections of the Linux community are well aware that IBM, Redhat, Novell, etc. are huge code contributors.

The link you posted to only has people complaining about the license, not "corporate ties" as you would claim. Can you post a link to someone taking issue that it was "tainted as it was made by someone who had corporate ties"? Because I've never heard this point of view.
 

jimmyb

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[Tripod]MajorPayne;1035228747 said:
All kernel code is released under the GPL, so it is freely licensed for anyone to USE.
Sure. It's still covered under copyright though. Licensing and copyright are two separate issues.
 

GoldenTiger

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I don't think anyone cares about "corporate ties" so long as it's under a free license. Even the most fervent sections of the Linux community are well aware that IBM, Redhat, Novell, etc. are huge code contributors.

The link you posted to only has people complaining about the license, not "corporate ties" as you would claim. Can you post a link to someone taking issue that it was "tainted as it was made by someone who had corporate ties"? Because I've never heard this point of view.

I see it every time a Microsoft thread comes up: "M$" they call it. Anything close-sourced or propietary is "wrong" in their eyes, and anyone doing it for money is wrong, all software should be "free" in their opinions.

Quotes like this in comments: http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/archives/001144.html

I was coding with Java and using open source tools... now I'm coding with C# and using MS tools. I feel that Microsoft sucks since MS is trying to control everything and it can't...

and the ever-famous "OMG DRM IS EVIL, they're trying to control the world, OPEN SOURCE FOR THE WIN!!!!!" articles like this:

http://www.neowin.net/news/bbcs-use-of-windows-drm-attacked-by-open-source-advocates
Links to: http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/ne...ows-drm-attacked-by-open-source-advocates.ars
 

GoldenTiger

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Just wanted to add, yes I know those aren't the best examples but frankly I don't want to bother digging through google for threads I've seen in the past... those illustrate the attitude fine and took me all of a minute to locate.
 

jimmyb

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I see it every time a Microsoft thread comes up: "M$" they call it. Anything close-sourced or propietary is "wrong" in their eyes, and anyone doing it for money is wrong, all software should be "free" in their opinions.


That has nothing to do with your assertion.

You said "These people don't care... to them, it's tainted as it was made by someone who had corporate ties". The Linux community has by and large been well aware that IBM, Novell, Redhat, etc. have been significant contributors. They are anti-closed license as a matter of principle, not anti-corporate. If a corporation happens to use closed licenses, then they may be unsupportable, but all evidence suggests that if a corporation supports open licenses then they have no objection.

I challenged you to support your claim by linking to someone saying that any corporate influence on Linux development was bad, but you only replied with various MS-hate posts that make no statement on their opinion of corporate contributions to the kernel.
 

jimmyb

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Your fallacy is equating closed license development with corporate development.
 

eeyrjmr

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That has nothing to do with your assertion.

You said "These people don't care... to them, it's tainted as it was made by someone who had corporate ties". The Linux community has by and large been well aware that IBM, Novell, Redhat, etc. have been significant contributors. They are anti-closed license as a matter of principle, not anti-corporate. If a corporation happens to use closed licenses, then they may be unsupportable, but all evidence suggests that if a corporation supports open licenses then they have no objection.

I challenged you to support your claim by linking to someone saying that any corporate influence on Linux development was bad, but you only replied with various MS-hate posts that make no statement on their opinion of corporate contributions to the kernel.

I have already tried to get him to backup his FUD but he won't
 

nilepez

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I see it every time a Microsoft thread comes up: "M$" they call it. Anything close-sourced or propietary is "wrong" in their eyes, and anyone doing it for money is wrong, all software should be "free" in their opinions.

I've seen that in plenty of threads, but I fail to see how that is relevant to this discussion. Linux is free. So the fact that IBM, Redhat and other corporations do most of the development is irrelevant. In fact, I would think most would argue that it supports their argument that software should be free.
 
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