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Microsoft Open Source Linux

Microsoft Developer Made the Most Changes To Linux 3.0 Code 348

Posted by Soulskill
from the truth-is-stranger-than-fiction dept.
sfcrazy sends this quote from the H: "The 343 changes made by Microsoft developer K. Y. Srinivasan put him at the top of a list, created by LWN.net, of developers who made the most changes in the current development cycle for Linux 3.0. Along with a number of other 'change sets,' Microsoft provided a total of 361 changes, putting it in seventh place on the list of companies and groups that contributed code to the Linux kernel. By comparison, independent developers provided 1,085 change sets to Linux 3.0, while Red Hat provided 1,000 and Intel 839."
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Microsoft Developer Made the Most Changes To Linux 3.0 Code

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  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Saturday July 16, 2011 @08:27PM (#36789706) Journal

    ... it really is useless trivia. What's more important is what the contributions are, specifically. Per TFA:

    This work by Microsoft was to clean up the “Microsoft Hyper-V (HV) driver” so that the Microsoft driver would be included in the mainline Linux kernel. Microsoft originally submitted this set of code changes back in July 2009, but there were a lot of problems with it, and the Linux kernel developers insisted that it be fixed. The Linux community had a long list of issues with Microsoft’s code, but the good news is that Microsoft worked to improve the quality of its code so that it could be accepted into the Linux kernel. Other developers helped Microsoft get their code up to par, too. ( Steve Friedl has some comments about its early technical issues.

    and why:

    Getting code into the mainline Linux kernel release, instead of just existing as a separate patch, is vitally important for an organization if they want people to use their software (if it needs to be part of the Linux kernel, as this did). A counter-example is that the Xen developers let KVM zoom ahead of them, because the Xen developers failed to set a high priority on getting full support for Xen into the mainline Linux kernel. As Thorsten Leemhuis at The H says, “There are many indications that the Xen developers should have put more effort into merging Xen support into the official kernel earlier. After all, while Xen was giving developers and distribution users a hard time with the old kernel, a new virtualisation star was rising on the open source horizon: KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) In the beginning, KVM could not touch the functional scope and speed of Xen. But soon, open source developers, Linux distributors, and companies such as AMD, Intel and IBM became interested in KVM and contributed a number of improvements, so that KVM quickly caught up and even moved past Xen in some respects.” Xen may do well in the future, but this is still a cautionary tale.

    • by Sc4Freak (1479423) on Saturday July 16, 2011 @08:57PM (#36789846)

      So? A contribution is a contribution, even if it is for selfish reasons.

      • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Saturday July 16, 2011 @09:19PM (#36789966) Journal

        I did not imply otherwise. My point is that the contribution and its nature are of more importance than the associated random statistical fluke.

      • by powerlord (28156)

        So? A contribution is a contribution, even if it is for selfish reasons.

        Yes, but ...

        1) All the contributions were within one module (all well and good, and that fine, but people should realize this was not some altruistic move by MS to "help" Linux).

        2) Are multiple changes to add/fix comments included in the list of changes? I don't know, but that might artificially increase a contribution count, specifically if MS was working to get this particular module into "production".

        Again, I agree it doesn't make a difference in terms of, "hey, they contributed", but it does help put th

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by jcoy42 (412359)

          Since it was a Microsoft employee, I'm going to assume that it was really just one contribution and 360 patches to make it work.

          Expect more patches soon.

        • by staalmannen (1705340) on Sunday July 17, 2011 @12:43AM (#36790798)
          The whole point (which Linus often stresses) is that open source is all about "scratching your own itch". This means that all contributions are self-serving. I am actually quite surprised that Apple has not tried to push patches to Linux for kernel GCD support yet. That would also have been a self-serving improvement since they want to push the standards of C in that direction.
          • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Sunday July 17, 2011 @07:21AM (#36791864) Journal

            Why would Apple want to do that? Libdispatch runs on *BSD, Linux and Solaris, but on Linux and Solaris uses libkqueue to provide an emulation of the kqueue APIs and it only uses the kernel scheduling on Darwin and FreeBSD. If you write code using libdispatch, it works everywhere except Windows, but people using Linux get an inferior experience to people using FreeBSD or Darwin. That sounds pretty much idea from Apple's perspective.

            Oh, and someone did implement kqueue on Linux a couple of years ago. It was rejected because the mess of timerfd, signalfd, and epoll() was considered better by the NIH mentality of the Linux kernel team. As someone who has used both, I'm always glad when I don't have to make my code work on Linux.

        • stopped reading after "Yes, but ...".

      • by wrook (134116) on Saturday July 16, 2011 @10:21PM (#36790258) Homepage

        Even more importantly, contributing for selfish reasons creates a win-win situation. Contributing in a way that is detrimental to you, is detrimental for the community. It is important for people and organisations to realise that we want them to succeed in their enterprises.

        I think a lot of people misunderstand the driving forces behind free and open source software. They see it as some kind of charity where the group "donating" code is losing out. Instead, groups should understand how they are going to benefit from contributing to a free software project before they do so. Benefit can come in the form of money, it can come in the form of eyeballs (attracting attention to an under serviced area), or it can simply come from the pleasure of contributing. These are all benefits.

        Free and open source software allows more than one group to benefit from contributing to a project. You can't control how much benefit another group can get from a project, but the more you do to tie your success to the success of the project, the more you benefit you get from other people's contributions. Ideally, we want companies like MS to make money from the success of free software. The more they do so, the more they will understand the opportunities they are missing. The more they rely on our success, the more everyone benefits.

        • Thank you.

          I don't have mod points, sorry.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by protektor (63514)

          Except that completely ignores the issue of Microsoft claiming that Linux violates their patents. I wonder if Microsoft employees and legal counsel for Microsoft has signed off on any patents that might be included in the module work they are doing for their own virtualization to be included in the Linux kernel. You ask me and I see absolutely no point in including Microsoft's module. They have had 2 years and done absolutely nothing with it. All the changes that were done were lots of little ones and the m

          • by drolli (522659)

            If hey, as a company, published this under the GPL, then you may change the code and construct derived code based on it and use it as you like. As long as you dont start with a blank page, there should be no problem. Moreover, if this contains patented algorithm, then i am sure the patent numbers should be mentioned in the documentation. I am pretty sure that not mentioning patents in distributed source code may weaken your position in front of a court.

    • by cgenman (325138)

      Somewhat of a tangent, but why is compatibility on this type of thing built into the kernel level?

      • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Saturday July 16, 2011 @09:41PM (#36790102) Journal

        You want to expose host's hardware to the guest with as few layers in between as possible. Traditional emulation is rather slow, so instead you set up a fast channel that exposes exactly what is needed in a most efficient way, and write drivers for the guest which use that to work with hardware.

        I believe this is also true for scheduling - if host and guest cooperate (which necessarily requires special code running in guest's kernel), they can do much better at it.

    • by protektor (63514)

      Listing this as a Microsoft announcement might be interesting except that most of the work done by the guy was probably when he was working for Novell. He only came to work for Microsoft in Feb. 2011. So not exactly a huge amount of time. Not to mention the modification are supposedly very small ones and are only done in the Microsoft module for their VM, that is still in the staging area from 2+ years ago.

      Why we even want Microsoft's VM module I will never understand given Microsoft wants to see Linux rot

      • by superwiz (655733)

        Why we even want Microsoft's VM module I will never understand given Microsoft wants to see Linux rot in hell and never be allowed to surface again. Microsoft as a company calls us a virus that infects everything ruining everything it touches, thieves and intellectual pirates. You should never accept anything from someone actively trying to stab you in the back. When the person is getting behind you it isn't for encouragement but rather so they get a better angle to stab you in the back.

        Welcome to capitalism. Trade forces enemies to cooperate out of necessity (in exchanges which are mutually beneficial). The fact that the two trading parties may want to see each others' demise doesn't preempt the fact that they benefit in the short run from mutual exchange. Once they are deep enough in each others' pockets, past reasons for conflicts become obsolete.

  • by ChipMonk (711367)
    Insert your own flamebait joke here.

    Wait, did I say "insert"? D'oh!
  • changes != LoC (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jamesh (87723) on Saturday July 16, 2011 @08:36PM (#36789758)

    In LWN.net's evaluation of the number of lines of code changed, Srinivasan and Microsoft are therefore nearer the bottom of the list. LWN.net found that Microsoft developers changed 11,564 lines of code (1.3 per cent) – compared to Intel's 163,232 (18.1 per cent).

    Little changes are good, but simple count of changes isn't necessarily a good measure of work done. Lines of Code, while itself not a perfect measure, is better than simply Number of Commits.

  • Not Microsoft... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 16, 2011 @08:40PM (#36789776)

    He has only been part of Microsoft since february 2011. Until then, he was part of Novel.

  • So the amazement here is that MS can submit deltas, in much the same way that monkey can take a picture. Last time I checked MS was a software development firm, and did work with linux. It makes sense that they would in fact try to modify the kernel to meet their needs, which may be different than others. In any case they seem to contribute a factor of 3 less than other major players.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Stormwatch (703920)

      It's still amusing to see Microsoft touching Linux at all while their monkey of a CEO slanders it and throws veiled threats at its userbase.

      • Even more interesting is that MS submitted code, then the most changes in the 3.0 kernel by an individual were to the MS submitted kernel code by a MS dev in order to bring MS's code up to the Linux standard so it could be included in the kernel...

        It makes you wonder about code that MS doesn't have to let anyone else see i.e. their proprietary products.

        (Actually, it make me wonder less -- This just confirms that they haven't really changed their coding habits since I last saw the mess that was the leak

        • by swillden (191260)

          It makes you wonder about code that MS doesn't have to let anyone else see i.e. their proprietary products.

          It really doesn't. Bringing the code "up to the Linux" standard doesn't necessarily have anything to do with quality. I'm sure that the quality was improved by the process, but that's normal any time intense scrutiny is applied to a piece of code of any size. Another round of intense scrutiny would improve it some more. I'm sure much of it was also a matter of complying with Linux coding style standards. Changing from one style to another can produce a large volume of trivial changes.

          I also would not

      • by bledri (1283728)

        It's still amusing to see Microsoft touching Linux at all while their monkey of a CEO slanders it and throws veiled threats at its userbase.

        If they want to sell licenses in shops that run their VMs on Linux servers, then it's to their advantage the patch the KVM so Windows runs well in those environments. Of course it is tacit admission that those environments matter (or at least exist in sufficient quantities to merit the effort.) If asked about this directly they can just say something like, "Well of course Windows is a far superior platform for your servers, but some IT departments insist on using subpar technology and we want to provide our

    • In any case they seem to contribute a factor of 3 less than other major players.

      Yes, let's use this as another opportunity to bash Microsoft. We don't get nearly enough of those around here.

      • "Microsoft didn't submit any Linux kernel changes!" = money grubbing bastards; they should open up to open source!
      • "Microsoft didn't submit as many Linux kernel changes as Intel!" = their changes are entirely selfish, and therefore evil!
      • "Microsoft submitted more Linux kernel changes than anyone!" = their quality must be awful.
      • "Microsoft hired God himself to contribute code to the Linux kernel!" =
    • Last time I checked MS was a software development firm, and did work with linux.

      You'd think that this was common knowledge. Every company for which I've worked used a mix of Windows and Linux; of necessity efforts are made to make them work together.

      Sometimes I wonder how many Slashdotters actually work in IT.

  • HTC, Samsung, LG and probably some others pay Linux royalties to Microsoft for their Android based phones. Actually MS makes more money from Android (Linux) then what they generate from Windows Phone 7 now. It would make sense to embed the whole Microsoft patent portfolio there to cement their rule over Linux.
  • He's like a well oiled machine.

    • He's like a well oiled machine.

      I agree -- Wait... You do mean that he tries to get work done without leaving too nasty of a mess everywhere, and that no one really wants to touch the messes that do get left behind?

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