LINUX AFICIONADOS across the world have been flocking to San Rosa for the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit, a shadowy, clandestine conference available to the open source elite.
The centrepiece of the summit is a new report, the wordily titled Linux Kernel Development: How Fast It Is Going, Who Is Doing It, What They Are Doing And Who Is Sponsoring It. Which does, as they say, exactly what it says on the tin.
The latest version concentrates on kernel 3.11 to 3.18, published since the last edition in late 2013.
Co-written by some of the biggest names in Linux architecture, including Jon Corbet, Greg Kroah-Hartman and Amanda McPherson, the report offers the Linux Foundation an opportunity to offer its findings on overall trends and styles in the business.
“As the largest collaborative development project in history, Linux can offer a lot of insight on software development trends and methodologies,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director at the Linux Foundation, who told The INQUIRER last year that he believes Linux is "on the right side of history".
"The Who Writes Linux report gives us a close look at how rapid development supported by thousands of individuals and hundreds of companies can result in the best software in the world."
The headlines of the report include the fact that 12,000 developers from more than 1,200 companies have contributed to the kernel in the past decade.
The FOSS Outreach Program for Women now ranks at number 13 in the contributor list for Linux with 1.5 percent of the patches.
However, worthy of note is that the number of volunteer Linux patchers has started to decline as commercial organisations see the value of Linux-savvy programmers. The figure stands at 11.8 percent, down 2.8 percent on the figure of three years ago.
As the report points out, Linux developers who work for free don't tend to stay that way very long.
The reasons for this are clear. With a large number of the most significant companies in the world working with the Linux kernel, and security vulnerabilities still turning up almost daily, a little knowledge can make you a very rich person. µ
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