"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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