Some development statistics for 2.6.27
Posted Oct 9, 2008 21:26 UTC (Thu) by hppnq
In reply to: Some development statistics for 2.6.27
Parent article: Some development statistics for 2.6.27
Individuals can influence and promote the hardware vendors which contribute towards their operating system of choice compared to others who refuse to cooperate or actively work against it.
That is exactly what I meant. It's the kind of conclusion you cannot draw from these statistics. There are many reasons for that, but let's take a very obvious one: how about out-of-tree drivers?
Customers who rely on support contracts from commercial distributions know who is likely to give them higher value by moving free software in the direction that they would like.
Again this is a remarkably strong statement, not in any way supported by the stats. Last time I looked, Free Software was still moved by the developers and not by the customers, if only because the Free Software "ecosystem" -- which seems to have replaced the ancient "community" -- contains a lot of other users and proponents of Free Software. Note that this is actually reflected in the stats for (even) the Linux kernel, more than fifteen years after it was started.
I am not complaining about the involvement of vendors and customers, but it would be interesting to see how many kernel hackers switched jobs in the middle of a project, or who started a project before joining a certain company, or worse, who perhaps stopped working on it after joining a certain company.
More importantly, given the increasingly high influence of commercial vendors in the world of free software, a better of understanding of the commercial ecosystem is critical to take advantage of our better strengths and address our weaknesses.
I would say that the biggest strength of Free Software is its almost complete independence of the whims of vendors and to me it would be difficult to find a weakness in it, in the absence of a specific goal other than world domination. ;-)
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