"It is not uncommon to see Linux referred to as a
volunteer-created system, as opposed to the corporate-sponsored,
proprietary alternatives. There has been little research, however,
into how much work on Linux is truly 'volunteer'--done on a
hacker's spare, unpaid time. In general, the assumption that Linux
is created by volunteers is simply accepted.
"Determining the real provenance of free software can be a
daunting task. There is a wealth of information available for those
who look, however. In an attempt to shine some light in this area,
your editor hacked up some scripts to do a lot of digging around in
the kernel git repository. The idea was that, by looking at who is
putting changes into the kernel, we can get a sense for where our
source is coming from..."