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The Myth of the Isolated Kernel Hacker

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the get-outta-yer-mom's-basement dept.

Programming 282

Ant writes "The Linux Foundation's report (PDF) on who writes Linux — "... Linux isn't written by lonely nerds hiding out in their parents' basements. It's written by people working for major companies — many of them businesses that you probably don't associate with Linux. To be exact, while 18.2% of Linux is written by people who aren't working for a company, and 7.6% is created by programmers who don't give a company affiliation, everything else is written by someone who's getting paid to create Linux. From top to bottom, of the companies that have contributed more than 1% of the current Linux kernel, the list looks like this: ..."

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The Myth of the Isolated Colenel Hacker (4, Funny)

ExE122 (954104) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132479)

Captain Benjamin Willard was not a myth!

Re:The Myth of the Isolated Colenel Hacker (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29132541)

Linux just isn't ready for the desktop yet. It may be ready for the web servers that you nerds use to distribute your TRON fanzines and personal Dungeons and Dragons web-sights across the world wide web, but the average computer user isn't going to spend months learning how to use a CLI and then hours compiling packages so that they can get a workable graphic interface to check their mail with, especially not when they already have a Windows machine that does its job perfectly well and is backed by a major corporation, as opposed to Linux which is only supported by a few unemployed nerds living in their mother's basement somewhere. The last thing I want is a level 5 dwarf (haha) providing me my OS.

Re:The Myth of the Isolated Colenel Hacker (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132869)

Is that you Marty? Did you just come forward in time using Doc Brown's latest time machine?

What's the weather like back in 1998?

Re:The Myth of the Isolated Colenel Hacker (-1, Offtopic)

ExE122 (954104) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132999)

Linux just isn't ready for the desktop yet.

Translation: I haven't tried it.

the average computer user isn't going to spend months learning how to use a CLI and then hours compiling packages so that they can get a workable graphic interface to check their mail with

I've always thought Ubuntu has very extensive driver support, as do many other distros. Who needs the CLI when there are multiple desktop environments to choose from? How many does Windows have? Oh, right, one...

I'm not the only one who thinks they are user-friendly... Already many big-name vendor laptops are coming out with some form of Linux pre-loaded. Take a look at the HP laptops [hp.com] that are now being offered with Mobile Internet O/S... from the page: " Mobile Internet is a user-friendly, all-inclusive interface built on Linux."

especially not when they already have a Windows machine that does its job perfectly well

haha, good one!

and is backed by a major corporation as opposed to Linux which is only supported by a few unemployed nerds living in their mother's basement somewhere.

Red Hat [redhat.com] is a major corporation. It's publicly traded on the NYSE (ticker: RHAT [google.com] ) and doing rather well. You should consider investing. You should also know that Red Hat Enterprise Linux is a fully supported release which offers several high availability service contracts... which is why a lot of US Government systems are now running RHEL. Not to mention it's faster, less expensive, and more secure.

The last thing I want is a level 5 dwarf (haha) providing me my OS.

I don't blame you, I'd want at least a level 12 mage!

Re:The Myth of the Isolated Colenel Hacker (0, Offtopic)

Desler (1608317) | more than 5 years ago | (#29133025)

YHBT. HAND.

Re:The Myth of the Isolated Colenel Hacker (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29133489)

so have u

shocking (4, Funny)

alen (225700) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132507)

and i thought IBM and Red Hat just took the code and didn't give their changes back to everyone else

Re:shocking (2, Interesting)

PeterBrett (780946) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132645)

No, that was Canonical. Greg K-H publicly and controversially called them out about it at a kernel developer conference a while back, but I can't find a link right now.

Re:shocking (5, Interesting)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132681)

Re:shocking (4, Insightful)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 5 years ago | (#29133377)

@ 22:30 in the video Greg speaks about who is funding the work, and @ 23:20 he says Canonical is 300 in funding/contributing to the kernel, then goes on to say Canonical does not give back to the community, i think he is right, other than free *ubuntu ISOs i dont i know of any source code anywhere that comes from them...

Re:shocking (1)

asdir (1195869) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132855)

Interesting indeed: Why does Canonical not show up on the lists of contributing firms?

Re:shocking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29132939)

Because they don't contribute to the linux kernel ?
they just produce a distribution, and ship the kernel with it, but I doubt they contribute to the kernel itself at all.

Re:shocking (1)

Desler (1608317) | more than 5 years ago | (#29133039)

Because Canonical doesn't pay anyone to hack on the kernel? Are they required to?

Re:shocking (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 5 years ago | (#29133379)

maybe because they only dabble in userland sruff, and let the Debian devs do all the kernel work?

Re:shocking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29133103)

Because they never send their patches upstream.

Lockerbie bomber set free (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29132991)

Oh, he has prostate cancer. We should all feel sorry for him. Boo fucking hoo! Fuck him and the weak-ass god of Islam that he serves. Fuck the judge who decided that the law should be sympathetic to criminals but not to victims. If the law isn't a blind instrument of justice, then what the fuck is the point? It just becomes arbitrary bullshit.

Re:shocking (1)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 5 years ago | (#29133105)

The real news here is that, since isolated kernel hackers are apparently a myth, for safety reasons they should all be grounded*. That certainly explains why they spend all their time in their parents' basements.

* We wouldn't want them shocking anyone.

the list Before a karma whore can... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29132511)

Here's the list: 1. Red Hat: 12.3% 2. IBM: 7.6% 3. Novell: 7.6% 4. Intel: 5.3% 5. Independent consultant: 2.5% 6. Oracle: 2.4% 7. Linux Foundation: 1.6% 8. SGI 1.6% 9. Parallels 1.3% 10. Renesas Technology: 1.3% 11. Academia: 1.2% 12. Fujitsu: 1.1% 13. MontaVista: 1.1% 14. MIPS Technologies: 1.1% 15. Analog Devices: 1.0% 16. HP: 1.0%

Re:the list Before a karma whore can... (1)

Skrynesaver (994435) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132613)

Which puts Bartlomiej Zolnierkiewicz in 7th place with 1.85 of the changes between Linux 2.6.12 and Linux 2.6.30. I always knew students had way too much spare time ;)

Re:the list Before a karma whore can... (5, Informative)

millwall (622730) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132663)

At least attempt to format the list, mate:

      1. Red Hat: 12.3%
      2. IBM: 7.6%
      3. Novell: 7.6%
      4. Intel: 5.3%
      5. Independent consultant: 2.5%
      6. Oracle: 2.4%
      7. Linux Foundation: 1.6%
      8. SGI 1.6%
      9. Parallels 1.3%
    10. Renesas Technology: 1.3%
    11. Academia: 1.2%
    12. Fujitsu: 1.1%
    13. MontaVista: 1.1%
    14. MIPS Technologies: 1.1%
    15. Analog Devices: 1.0%
    16. HP: 1.0%

Re:the list Before a karma whore can... (1)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132799)

How are these companies "businesses that you probably don't associate with Linux?" I've heard of at least the top 8, and they are all pro-Linux companies as far as I know.

If Microsoft was high on the list, I'd be surprised, or even Apple. IBM? Novell? Not so much.

Re:the list Before a karma whore can... (2, Informative)

asdir (1195869) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132905)

Further down in the article they write about some code contributed by Volkswagen and some GPS-company.
In other words: RTFA

Re:the list Before a karma whore can... (4, Insightful)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 5 years ago | (#29133007)

But since there methodology was garbage all that means is that someone using a Volkswagen email address wrote some code.

It says nothing about whether it was done as part of their employment with Volkswagen, or whether it was done out of business hours while hiding in their parent's basement.

Re:the list Before a karma whore can... (2, Funny)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132943)

How are these companies "businesses that you probably don't associate with Linux?" I've heard of at least the top 8, and they are all pro-Linux companies as far as I know.

Can you give me some info on "Independent Consultant"? .. they sound like a company I want to work for

Re:the list Before a karma whore can... (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 5 years ago | (#29133205)

If Microsoft was high on the list, I'd be surprised, or even Apple. IBM? Novell? Not so much.

In a way, I can sort of see Microsoft at least tentatively embracing Linux if that was the way the wind was blowing. However, I would be truly gobsmacked if Apple did, given their corporate culture which is even less inclusive than Microsoft's. Not that I am knocking Macs: I am using a MacBook right now, since it's a convenient way of having a species of Unix under the bonnet.

But ultimately, who cares who is paid to develop Linux? Everybody stands to gain, and it is no secret that outfits like IBM and Cray are using Linux code for their products. A few thousand corporate dollars is chump change to these large corporations given that they don't need to design a whole new OS from the ground up. Some great code might come from guys working in their mothers' basements, but there is lots of truly excellent code being produced by seasoned professionals under the aegis of big business.

If their work is put into the public domain (as it is), who can object to that?

Re:the list Before a karma whore can... (1)

Kotoku (1531373) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132963)

Other than 13-15 the rest all are ones I already imagined.

This is not surprising like the bad summary led me to believe.

Re:the list Before a karma whore can... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29133189)

Anyone else notice that this list only adds up to ~50%? So what happened to the other 50? Is it spread out among other corps at 1%? When you add in the 7.6%(no affiliation given) and 18.2%(independent) you still only get ~75%. And considering Red hat only comes in at 12.3%, I would say that the largest contributors are those that aren't affiliated with a company at 18.2%.
Seems like the headline and summary is a bit misleading.

Re:the list Before a karma whore can... (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 5 years ago | (#29133191)

I'm a little surprised to see that Cannonical isn't on this list. Redhat, sure, but Cannonical has a huge marketshare.

Re:the list Before a karma whore can... (1)

sofar (317980) | more than 5 years ago | (#29133447)

canonical doesn't contribute back at all - only debian does, and even debian is not a big kernel contributor

Re:the list Before a karma whore can... (1)

abigor (540274) | more than 5 years ago | (#29133195)

3. Novell: 7.6%

I'll bet this really annoys those boycottnovell kooks.

Re:the list Before a karma whore can... (4, Funny)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 5 years ago | (#29133261)

That's nonsense. Where's SCO on that list? We all know SCO wrote a big part of the Linux kernel.

Re:the list Before a karma whore can... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29133453)

CowboyNeal: 0.0%

Re:the list Before a karma whore can... (3, Funny)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132755)

0% SCO

Re:the list Before a karma whore can... (3, Interesting)

millwall (622730) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132997)

Should probably be a negative number of some magnitude. ...Last: SCO -31%

Re:the list Before a karma whore can... (1, Insightful)

johannesg (664142) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132845)

So where are Microsoft and SCO? Both have contributed so much knowledge (in the form of patents) and code, yet they remain completely uncredited. I'm deeply disappointed.

(guidelines for modders: this is supposed to be funny. It is not really that funny, so I'd aim for +2 funny or possibly +3 insightful if you want to give me some karma as well. I'll promise to do better next time when aiming for a funny)

Re:the list Before a karma whore can... (1)

sofar (317980) | more than 5 years ago | (#29133485)

the list is made yearly, I doubt SCO had time this year to write something. The top list comprises only kernels 2.6.24 and above. Microsoft's code has not been accepted yet and so also not counts.

Myth definitely false! (4, Funny)

dkf (304284) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132523)

Linux isn't written by lonely nerds hiding out in their parents' basements

Of course! There's the lonely nerds hiding out in their parents' attics as well. More light, less ground water.

Re:Myth definitely false! (1, Interesting)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#29133005)

If there was a "-1, ruiuned a good joke" mod (instead of the comment "woosh") I'd surely be modded down for this, but I made a submission [slashdot.org] yesterday about a New Scientist article that debunks the "lonely nerd" myth. [newscientist.com] And here I thought that I was a slashdot anomaly, because sometimes women actually hit on me, even when I'm with my girlfriend.

Unfortunately, sometimes even men hit on me [slashdot.org] , even when I'm with my girlfriend. But then again, it's been shown that Gay brains are structured like those of the opposite sex [newscientist.com] , so it shouldn't be surprising. If you're attractive to women, you're going to be attractive to gay men as well.

Mods: this is either offtopic or interesting, take your pick.

Re:Myth definitely false! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29133243)

That's ok, sometimes men hit on my girlfriend even when I'm with my girlfriend.

If she ever took them up on it, I'd just feel sorry for the poor bastards. I hope they have large bank accounts, is all I can say.

You know what company is shamefully absent? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29132531)

Yes, Canonical. It is nowhere to be seen in contributions to the linux kernel. Why won't the biggest name in desktop linux, which is funded by a millionaire, doesn't contribute to the linux kernel?

Re:You know what company is shamefully absent? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29132623)

They seem to concentrate on the userland experience..

Not a bad idea.

Re:You know what company is shamefully absent? (3, Insightful)

wigaloo (897600) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132829)

They seem to concentrate on the userland experience.. Not a bad idea.

There are a variety of kernel issues (think wireless drivers and other hardware support) that have a major impact on the userland experience. I'm not about to say where Canonical should invest their time -- there are more than enough issues to go around, and it isn't shameful for them to concentrate elsewhere as the GP implied -- but what happens with kernel development certainly impacts the Ubuntu userland.

Re:You know what company is shamefully absent? (1)

Zuato (1024033) | more than 5 years ago | (#29133201)

Wireless in Ubuntu has been pretty darned good the last two or three versions released. I've had zero issues getting wireless to work across three different laptop manufacturers and on my old desktop with an ancient D-Link wireless PCI card. Wireless worked right out of the box so to speak with no tinkering required.

I'll say it has been better than XP and Vista on two of the lap tops and the desktop to set up my wireless networking.

Re:You know what company is shamefully absent? (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#29133395)

There are a variety of kernel issues (think wireless drivers and other hardware support) that have a major impact on the userland experience.

And there's plenty drivers living in userland missing. For example anything connected by USB, the kernel can do raw read/write to all USB devices but without a driver to know where and what to write that won't do any good. A linux issue yes, but not a kernel issue.

Re:You know what company is shamefully absent? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29132975)

Which was, one again, built on top of another project (Debian) which they tend to not contribute back to. So exactly where does Canonical/Ubuntu give back to? If they don't contribute to the OS kernel nor to the distribution that they rip off, where exactly do they contribute?

Re:You know what company is shamefully absent? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29132651)

The kernel is only a small part of a distribution. If Canonical is contributing nothing upstream to any of its packages, then that's unfortunate. Focusing on the kernel is silly.

Re:You know what company is shamefully absent? (3, Insightful)

Java Pimp (98454) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132731)

Because the kernel works. It's the desktop that needs help.

Re:You know what company is shamefully absent? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Cowar (1608865) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132753)

Canonical is not a company for-profit. Simply because red hat is a distro as well as a company doesn't mean you should hold all distros to the same standards as companies. Canonical doesn't have the resources to spend on hiring a team of programmers to hack the kernel all day. Instead, it relies on debian-unstable (not the testing sid, just the unstable) for its kernels and focuses more on the gui, the included software, and making everything usable and relatively stable for the end user (i use debian stable, so everything is relatively stable unless it's debian or a few other distros).

What you're doing is criticizing someone who does volunteer work for not donating enough money.

From TFA:

But what I'd like to draw the attention of everyone who thinks of Linux as being written by techies for techies to is that major computer companies that everyone knows, like IBM, Intel, Oracle, Fujitsu, and HP, also spend hundreds of millions in making Linux better.

I don't think canonical has hundreds of millions, i thought they just had a few million.

Re:You know what company is shamefully absent? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132807)

As far as I understand it, Canonical Ltd. does not enjoy a charitable tax status, it is a private, for profit (a tax status, not a description of how profitable the company is) company that happens to be merrily run at a loss by the owner.

Re:You know what company is shamefully absent? (1)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132787)

I have no idea whether this is true or not, but it might well be that Canonical is a lot more involved with the integration of desktop environments and application packages, documentation, support, and so on, and not doing much at all with the kernel. Linux kernel development is one thing, Linux distro development is another.

Re:You know what company is shamefully absent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29132815)

Yes, Canonical. It is nowhere to be seen in contributions to the linux kernel. Why won't the biggest name in desktop linux, which is funded by a millionaire, doesn't contribute to the linux kernel?

Because http://www.xkcd.com/619/

Re:You know what company is shamefully absent? (0, Offtopic)

asdir (1195869) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132937)

Forget it. You won't get funny-score for quoting everybody's darling xkcd.

Re:You know what company is shamefully absent? (3, Insightful)

pseudonomous (1389971) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132897)

I can't answer that question, but you know what other big linux using corporation is conspiciously absent from that list?

Google.

Re:You know what company is shamefully absent? (2, Interesting)

dissy (172727) | more than 5 years ago | (#29133239)

I can't answer that question, but you know what other big linux using corporation is conspiciously absent from that list?

Google.

Serious question (I must not be awake enough yet to form a proper Google query)

How much HAS Google actually contributed back to Linux?

I mean I realize they USE Linux and all, but I haven't heard of any kernel updates/patches from them.

Have they really contributed much back to the kernel? the distros? All that they make popular and well known are their apps, which is great and all, but an app is not a kernel.
And even their apps seem to usually get late ports to Linux, just after the already late port to MacOS, which was embarrassingly late after the Windows versions.

I don't mean this as knocking Google. They are awesome and I still heart them.

And to cut off most of the replies I expect, contributing to OSS is not at all the same as contributing specifically to Linux. I know they do the former a lot. It's the latter I've never really heard of.

Re:You know what company is shamefully absent? (1)

bytestorm (1296659) | more than 5 years ago | (#29133273)

Google is on the list, on table 9, (page 12) contributing 1,261 changes, which is approximately 0.9% of the total, ranked 18th among contributing companies.

Re:You know what company is shamefully absent? (2, Informative)

tristanreid (182859) | more than 5 years ago | (#29133285)

FUD much?
Since you're currently at +5 Insightful, I have to point out that they're actually on the list, the poster above cut it off at 1%, they're .8%.

Also from TFA, there's another list of companies that do sign-off patches. Google is at 10.5% on that list, behind only Red Hat, above Novell, Intel, and IBM.

To put it in perspective, the list doesn't include Linus on the list of contributors (he doesn't make the cut), but it does list him on the sign-off patches list.

Just FYI,

-t.

Re:You know what company is shamefully absent? (5, Informative)

sapphire wyvern (1153271) | more than 5 years ago | (#29133383)

They're a little bit further down.

The next two rows on the list in TFA are as follows:

17: Freescale 1,375 0.9%
18: Google 1,261 0.9%

I'm not sure why the parent decided to stop where they did.

These rankings are based on number of kernel changes submitted broken down by employer.

However it seems that Google employees are making a significant contribution to Linux project management and quality processes though: Red Hat employees sign off on over 36.4% of changes, which is the highest proportion of sign-offs in the hands of a single company, but Google has second place in that table with 10.5% of all sign-offs. It looks like several Google employees are filling the roles of subsystem maintainers - they may not write as much code as some other companies but they are still contributing some senior people.

Interesting stuff!

You don't get it (3, Insightful)

firewrought (36952) | more than 5 years ago | (#29133161)

You know what company is shamefully absent? Canonical. It is nowhere to be seen in contributions to the linux kernel. Why won't the biggest name in desktop linux, which is funded by a millionaire, doesn't contribute to the linux kernel?

Free software is about freedom, not about community busybodies telling companies how they should give back. If you're a company who can take free software, respect the licenses, and make a bajillion dollars off of it, then great! That's part of what freedom is about.

Re:You know what company is shamefully absent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29133275)

Are you sure you are not confusing GNU/Linux the operating system with Linux which is a kernel on which to build an operating system?

Re:You know what company is shamefully absent? (5, Interesting)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 5 years ago | (#29133331)

Seems a lot of people don't know squat about Canonical. Some rich guy invested a good bit of his fortune into making Linux widely known and acceptable on the laptop. So far, he's done a pretty good job. If he contributes nothing else back into the upstream system, he attracts some pretty bright people to the Linux community - SOME of whom go on to contribute something. Reality check: Ubuntu does contribute, whether they actually work on the kernel or not.

Mod parent up! (1)

sgtrock (191182) | more than 5 years ago | (#29133411)

His comment is right on target.

Re:You know what company is shamefully absent? (1)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 5 years ago | (#29133393)

Considering the mess that is userland and the desktop, you should be thankful they even exist. I mean, shaving off .0000002 ms off kernel loading time is great too, but perhaps someone should be focused on the desktop experience and maintaining a good distro without too much worrying about the kernel.

Not quite a myth. (4, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132553)

At 18.2%, individuals are still the largest single group contributing to Linux. The next is RedHat at 12.3%.

Re:Not quite a myth. (1)

fastest fascist (1086001) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132629)

Also, programmers are people too!

Re:Not quite a myth. (5, Insightful)

nvivo (739176) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132655)

At 18.2%, individuals are still the largest single group contributing to Linux. The next is RedHat at 12.3%.

By your analysis, the largest single group contributing to Linux is actually the "people working for a company" group, with 81.8%.

Re:Not quite a myth. (3, Funny)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132675)

individuals are still the largest single group

Something's wrong with the intartubes. Can someone switch the Dichotomy Filter back on please?

Re:Not quite a myth. (2, Interesting)

Blade (1720) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132715)

Except if you group them as,

People who do it for a company
People who don't do it for a company

Then your 18.2% are in the minority, which I think is the point here. The company folk might represent different companies, but they're still companies.

dissociation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29132653)

Doesn't this article make the real lonely nerds in their parents basements even more lonely?

Very nice report. (1)

itilguy (714011) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132691)

It is nice to see how things have developed and know who should be given credit for much of the work. I look forward to such a list and stats being made available dynamically on each release ongoing.

SCO? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29132713)

but.. but... but... where's SCO?

Mythconception 2: Because it's free it's substd. (-1, Offtopic)

AndGodSed (968378) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132741)

(Dang character limits! Last word is supposed to be "substandard")

I just got a mail from my boss that I should use MS Project for managing my project.

The current project I am leading includes two teams, one team uses exclusively Linux, and the other team uses exclusively Windows except for me who is on Linux. So I decided to use Planner as my Project Management tool and export the progress reports to HTML for everyone to use easily. I am the only one in the group needing to use a management tool in any case.

Now I need to re-do my planning in MS Project. The easy part will be getting MS Project to run.

I don't even know if MS Project can export to HTML so that the others in the teams DON'T need to install it. At least they can run Planner since it can import MS Project XML files.

I must say I am frustrated that Planner cannot export to MS Project format - maybe there is someone around who knows of an add on or build that does exactly that?

Sigh.

Okay I'll end my hissyfit now and enjoy my short two-day holiday before installing MS-Project on Monday. What a downer.

Re:Mythconception 2: Because it's free it's substd (1)

Enigmafan (263737) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132909)

I don't even know if MS Project can export to HTML so that the others in the teams DON'T need to install it.

Where I work, the MS Project overview is printed. Apparently, that is the easiest way to convey the information to others.

Re:Mythconception 2: Because it's free it's substd (1)

AndGodSed (968378) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132941)

Oh that is just great!

Our main method of communication is e-mail, and now I have to either PRINT it or send screenshots!

Thank you for the info.

Re:Mythconception 2: Because it's free it's substd (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#29133171)

Here's a hint: your comment should have been posted in your slashdot journal [slashdot.org] , where at least six people [slashdot.org] will see it, as they will be notified that you have written a journal. The when you make an on-topic interesting, informative, or funny comment that is modded up, your comment will have a link to your journals by your username.

Some folks just copy their homepage entries to their journals. Slashdotters are more likely to click your journal than your homepage.

GPL good for business (3, Insightful)

chrb (1083577) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132765)

I hope this finally kills off the "GPL is bad for business" myth. Every one of those companies is paying for work on the kernel because it is good for their business. Red Hat, IBM, Novell, etc. aren't charities - they sponsor Linux development because it expands their markets and brings in profits.

Re:GPL good for business (4, Insightful)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132895)

Yes, once Linux was established as a viable OS, companies jumped on the bandwagon.

The real business issue about GPL'd code isn't whether established companies will support it once it is successful, but whether you can start your own for-profit software business if you license your software under the GPL.

Re:GPL good for business (1)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 5 years ago | (#29133055)

If a GPL'd operating system, like Linux, came to dominate the business and consumer OS market, would that be FINANCIALLY better or worse for software developers?

If so, how? If not, why no significant action in that direction?

Stereotypes won't go easily... (1)

nvivo (739176) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132797)

This is a problem that won't go away easily. This image is perpetuated every day by stupid people that for some reason hate open source.

The funny fact is that the same people that say that Linux or any other open source software is created by lonely nerds, at the same time see nothing wrong with wikipedia, tvtropes, blogs, twitter, facebook, etc.

So, the bottom line is: if a software is is created by individuals, it is a huge pile of crap done by lonely nerds that have nothing better to do in life. Anything else is actually a great experience that shows how powerful individual contributions are, and how they can change the world.

This Linux Kernel was brought to you by... (1)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132839)

Reminds me of PBS...
This Linux Kernel was brought to you by the continued support of USERS LIKE YOU.*

* And support from Red Hat, IBM, and Novell.

Small problem (0)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132841)

For each developer, corporate affiliation was obtained through one or more of: (1) the use of company email addresses, (2) sponsorship information included in the code they submit, or (3) simply asking the developers directly.

This is a piss-poor way to determine corporate sponsorship, especially the first one. Because someone works on the kernel and uses his work email address, it does not follow that the employer sponsored his work.

The third one is also dependent on the question asked. The question is not listed and the answer to "Are you employed at a company for the specific purpose of developing for the Linux Kernel" is almost guaranteed to be different than the question combination of "Where are you employed?" and "Have you ever done any Linux kernel development at work?"

The proper people to ask about corporation sponsorship of Linux kernel development is HR and PA, not the employees.

Re:Small problem (3, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#29133241)

This is a piss-poor way to determine corporate sponsorship, especially the first one. Because someone works on the kernel and uses his work email address, it does not follow that the employer sponsored his work.

If it wasn't work, I wouldn't pass that kind of thing through my work account. Could lead to all sorts of silly questions about whether you're using work time or work code (you're already using work resources...) for this, causing you more headaches as necessary.

Once you've established that it is for work it pretty much drops out of your commit stats whether you're full-time or the lone patch contributor. I short, I don't think your criticism is very valid.

Where is the missing 24.1%? (4, Interesting)

vtechpilot (468543) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132861)

If you sum up the figures given in the article, it only accounts for 75.9% of the contributions. I am going to speculate that this missing quarter is contributed by many who contribute infrequently. IE, IT staff in companies that use Linux and find the occasional bug and submit a patch to correct it. If this speculation is correct, the largest group that contributes is 'Everyone Else'.

Re:Where is the missing 24.1%? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29132951)

24% NSA code obfuscation experts hiding back-doors into secure systems, .1% Cowboy Neal impersonators?

Re:Where is the missing 24.1%? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29133111)

Pixies!

Re:Where is the missing 24.1%? (1)

stillnotelf (1476907) | more than 5 years ago | (#29133301)

I think the article only sums those with significant (1%?) contributions - so in other words, 24.1% of Linux is written by a group of more than 25 people who contribute rarely.

Re:Where is the missing 24.1%? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29133335)

Or it could be that the list only include those who contributed 1% or more? Sorry for reading the summary though, I know it's bad form...

Re:Where is the missing 24.1%? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29133495)

No the largest group would be "people working for a company that contributes more than 1%". And then "people who don't fit into either category" and finally "individuals"

Re:Where is the missing 24.1%? (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 5 years ago | (#29133507)

Dark matter.

Just out of curiousity... (1)

John Pfeiffer (454131) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132901)

I haven't been keeping up with linux development all that much lately, but as I was looking at some of the graphs in the report, I started to become curious as to what the data might represent. For instance, the graph showing lines of code Added, Deleted, or Modified in the 2.6.x kernels. Did something get a massive re-write in 2.6.27?

This is a straw-man myth (3, Insightful)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132933)

The point is that Linux would simply not exist except for the efforts of non-paid developers. The same cannot be said of Red Hat, IBM et al.

New collaboration model? (4, Insightful)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132977)

For the longest time, it seems like major business have collaborated in one of several ways:

  • Standards-setting bodies, often backed by industry cosortia
  • Contractually established relationships.

But with Linux, it seems like a new model of collaboration for companies. It's mostly a meritocracy where a company's stature cannot get a bad or only-self-serving idea pushed into the end result. But because of that discipline, the final product is so compelling that companies want/need to participate anyway.

Am I right?

It makes sense (5, Insightful)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132981)

...everything else is written by someone who's getting paid to create Linux.

It pays for companies using Linux to contribute to the development. The long term savings of using Linux massively outweighs the small contribution of programming resources. And those contributing to development get to address the technical issues on top of their priority list. You can't get that kind of service out of Microsoft.

We're quickly approaching the time when an operating system is more like a utility than a product. A commodity delivery mechanism for business services. The potential for Linux, very quickly approaching realization, is that it can provide a unified stack from a mainframe down to embedded systems. That type of efficiency is very powerful economically. I'm sure MSFT can swim against that tide a long time but, eventually, efficiency will win.

Re:It makes sense (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 5 years ago | (#29133493)

And those contributing to development get to address the technical issues on top of their priority list. You can't get that kind of service out of Microsoft.

you can, but if you need to ask "how much does it cost?", you really don't have enough money to even want to know the answer.

Google not in the list (1)

BBird (664014) | more than 5 years ago | (#29133029)

Surprised that Google is not in the list, as they have been big supporters and enablers of linux and the Chrome OS is going to be (quite) a new Linux distro.

Re:Google not in the list (1)

tristanreid (182859) | more than 5 years ago | (#29133323)

Another previous comment said this as well.

If you actually read TFA, they are on the "lines of code contributed" list at .8%. Also, there's another list of 'sign-off patches', in which they are second only to Red Hat.

Linus is not even on the "lines of code contributed" list, but he is on the "sign-off patches" list.

-t.

Does not follow? (1)

Bodrius (191265) | more than 5 years ago | (#29133051)

Just because someone gets a check from a company, doesn't mean they're not lonely nerds hiding in their mother's basement :-)

Long tail indeed. (1)

sootman (158191) | more than 5 years ago | (#29133155)

What we see here is that a small number of companies is responsible for a large portion of the total changes to the kernel. But there is a "long tail" of companies (500 of which do not appear in the above list) which have made significant changes.

Yup. The top 50 contributors (including groups for "none" and "unknown") add up to about 81.5%, meaning that those other 500 companies, added together, yield 18.5% of the code--more than any other single group.

Myth Busted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29133341)

Now to blow it up

The nerd correlation is incidental... (2, Funny)

sarkeizen (106737) | more than 5 years ago | (#29133353)

Linux isn't written by lonely nerds hiding out in their parents' basements. It's written by people working for major companies...who just happen to also be nerds and like to be close to mom.

Where are the ladies? (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 5 years ago | (#29133451)

From the report, it appears only men substantially contribute to kernel development. Yes, I have used listed names to come to my conclusion. Where are the women? Or am I wrong?

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