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Why There is no Kernel Hacker Sell-Out

Jan 26, 2010, 03:04 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Glyn Mody)

[ Thanks to E5Rebel for this link. ]

"One of the talks that I saw came from Jon Corbet, who gave a run-down on recent changes to the Linux kernel. A statistic that he mentioned along the way has garnered much comment: the fact that "75% of the code comes from people paid to do it." In particular, some have leapt on this figure as proof that kernel coders have "sold out", and that the famed altruistic impulse behind free software is dead. I think this is nonsense.

"In my view, this 75% figure indicates two things. First, that *most* of the top kernel hackers are being paid to code. That's really great news, because it means that people can earn money doing what they love, and aren't obliged to starve in garrets. Secondly, it means that very large computer companies regard the kernel as so important that they are prepared to pay these people good salaries to work on it."

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