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Software Linux

Novell Rises to Second Highest Linux Contributor 135

eldavojohn writes "Which companies contribute the most to the Linux kernel? Well, The Linux Foundation released their results and Novell's contributions have gone up 250% (from 3.6% of all contributions to 14.4% of all contributions) to put them at #2 behind Red Hat. This chart also illustrates just how widely Linux is modified by the community and not just a handful of developers/companies. You can find more coverage on blogs and the original report."
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Novell Rises to Second Highest Linux Contributor

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  • by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Wednesday April 02, 2008 @02:55PM (#22942820) Journal
    The kernel is all of Linux(tm).
  • by qortra ( 591818 ) on Wednesday April 02, 2008 @03:17PM (#22943046)
    Yes, you are correct; my mistake. The fact that these were exclusively kernel contributions was momentarily lost on me.

    Its worth noting, however, that the Linux kernel as it stands simply doesn't work with any compiler other than GCC. Have you every read the kernel source code? Fully 20% of the damn thing is GCC-specific preprocessor directives (I might be exaggerating a bit). I think that at one point, there was an effort to make it compile with the Intel compiler (which, performance-wise, it much superior to GCC), but I haven't heard about it since; I'm sure that it failed. Either way, Linux, even the kernel itself, wouldn't exist without the foundation provided by GNU packages. I have no interested in referring to the kernel itself with the "GNU/Linux" moniker, but I just find it interesting how important the GNU platform really is.
  • by keithjr ( 1091829 ) on Wednesday April 02, 2008 @03:24PM (#22943122)
    The top two "contributors" on the list are "None" (13.9%) and "Unknown" (12.9%).

    Regarding the former, I think it is very much worth noting, more than Novell's increased contributions, that so much is still being done by independent contributors. As for the latter, what exactly does that mean? How can we not know where changes come from. That's a bit disconcerting.
  • by apokryphos ( 869208 ) on Wednesday April 02, 2008 @04:48PM (#22944210) Homepage
    Ubuntu is mainly a packaging and marketing distribution (packaging Debian's package snapshots), and not really a big contributor to new technologies or upstream free software so much like Red Hat or SUSE. So I don't think they employ any kernel developers at all. And no, it's not like Ubuntu has many desktop developers rather than low-level developers (as the comments below suggest) -- I think they only employ three desktop developers (who mainly work on packaging anyway as I recall), in contrast to SUSE's very many desktop developers [opensuse.org] in OO.o (something like 15 there alone), KDE, GNOME, etc.

    In fact, the reality is also that Canonical's only other big flagship product, Launchpad, is completely proprietary.
  • by Chris Burke ( 6130 ) on Wednesday April 02, 2008 @05:22PM (#22944638) Homepage
    Fortunately there are large companies who dedicate resources to managing which code they do and don't want in their kernel.

    It might be too hard for your average roll-your-own-kernel type, but for most users who are using a kernel provided by their distribution, these kinds of shenanigans shouldn't affect them much because Red Hat is going to do the hard work of stripping the offending code out.
  • by apokryphos ( 869208 ) on Wednesday April 02, 2008 @09:09PM (#22946970) Homepage
    Check out Greg KH's blog [kroah.com]:

    "To be fair to one company, Google, we were incorrectly counting their representation, keeping Andrew Morton in the "Linux Foundation" bucket instead of the "Google" bucket. That will change the list of top companies placing Google somewhere between 10 and 13, I haven't re-run the numbers yet to get the exact placement."

Someday somebody has got to decide whether the typewriter is the machine, or the person who operates it.