Posted Aug 17, 2012 12:01 UTC (Fri) by copsewood (subscriber, #199)
Parent article: Quotes of the week
For a few of the original hackers of free software no doubt ethics may have been a consideration and a motivation. But I suspect the desire to learn and to share what has been learned was a factor which motivated more relevant work in this field than altruism. Many if not most people who work in Universities are paid to be curious, and to share what we learn with our students or for peer review, and those working in computing science and related fields don't learn as much (in my view) from the user interfaces, documentation and testing which is available and possible using sealed and unchangeable programs, the internal workings of which are inaccessible.
I expect others who use free software in commercial activities are likely to want to add that making provision of their services to their customers more cost effective, and carrying out paid work for customers motivates most work on free software nowadays. The surveys published by the Linux Foundation and on LWN.NET concerning who contributes to the kernel supports this view for that particular program.