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From: "Theodore Y. Ts'o" <>
To: Clem Cole <>
Cc: Computer Old Farts Followers <>,
	TUHS main list <>,
	Douglas McIlroy <>
Subject: Re: [COFF] [TUHS] 386BSD released
Date: Thu, 15 Jul 2021 15:33:48 -0400	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <>

On Thu, Jul 15, 2021 at 11:07:10AM -0400, Clem Cole wrote:
> In fact, [I can not say I personally know this - but have read internal
> memos that make the claim], Intel pays for more Linux developers and now
> LLVM developers than any firm.  What's interesting is that Intel does not
> really directly sell its HW product to end-users.  We sell to others than
> use our chips to make their products.   We have finally moved to the
> support model for the compilers (I've personally been fighting that battle
> for 15 years).

That claim is probably from the data collected from the Linux
Foundation, which publishes these stats every year or two.  The most
recent one is here:

The top ten organizations responsible for commits from 2007 -- 2019:

(None)		11.95%
Intel		10.01%
Red Hat		 8.90%
(Unknown)	 4.09%
IBM		 3.79%
SuSE		 3.49%
Linaro		 3.17%
(Consultant)	 2.96%
Google		 2.79%
Samsung		 2.58%

"None" means no organizational affiliation (e.g., hobbyists, students,
etc.)  "Unknown" means the organization affiliation couldn't be

For more recent data, if you look at the commits for the 5.10 release
(end of 2020), the top ten list by organizations looks like this:

Huawei	     8.9%
Intel	     8.0%
(Unknown)    6.6%
(None)	     4.9%
Red Hat	     5.7%
Google	     5.2%
AMD	     4.3%
Linaro	     4.1%
Samsung	     3.5%
IBM	     3.2%

For the full list and more stats, see:

> So back to my basic point ... while giving the *behavior* a name, the *idea
> *of "Open Source" is really not anything new.

I do think there is something which is radically new --- which is that
it's not a single company publishing all of the source code for a
particular OS, whether it's System/360 or the PDP-8 Disk Operating
System, or whatever.

In other words, it's the shared nature of the collaboration, which
partially solves the question of "who pays" --- the answer is, "lots
of companies, and they do so when it makes business sense for them to
do so".  Intel may have had the largest number of contributions to
Linux historically --- but that was still 10%, and it was eclipsed by
people with no organizational affliation, and in the 5.10 kernel
Huawei slightly edged out Intel with 8.9% vs 8.0% contributions.

I completely agree with you that one of the key questions is the
business case issue.  Not only who pays, but how do they justify the
software investment to the bean counters?  Of course, the "Stone Soup"
story predates computers, so this certainly isn't a new business
model.  And arguably the X Window Systems and the Open Software
Foundation also had a similar model where multiple companies
contributed to a common codebase, with perhaps mixed levels of

The thing which Linux has managed to achieve, however, is the fact
that there is a large and diverse base of corporate contributions.
That to me is what makes the Linux model so interesting, and has been
a reason for its long-term sustainability.

Other companies may have been making their source code availble, but
the underlying business model behind their "source available" practices
was quite different.


					- Ted
COFF mailing list

  reply	other threads:[~2021-07-15 19:35 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 31+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
     [not found] <>
     [not found] ` <>
2021-07-15  6:33   ` Michael Kjörling
2021-07-15 20:44     ` Derek Fawcus
2021-07-15 15:07   ` Clem Cole
2021-07-15 19:33     ` Theodore Y. Ts'o [this message]
2021-07-15 20:30       ` Clem Cole
2021-07-16  1:58         ` Theodore Y. Ts'o
2021-07-16  2:14           ` George Michaelson
2021-07-16 18:02           ` Grant Taylor via COFF
2021-07-17  4:09             ` Theodore Y. Ts'o
2021-07-17  6:30               ` [COFF] " Tom Ivar Helbekkmo via COFF
2021-07-17 12:37                 ` Theodore Y. Ts'o
2021-07-17 13:30                   ` Tom Ivar Helbekkmo via COFF
2021-07-18  3:29               ` [COFF] [TUHS] " Grant Taylor via COFF
2021-07-18  3:42                 ` David Arnold
2021-07-18  4:01                   ` Grant Taylor via COFF
2021-07-19 13:41                     ` Theodore Y. Ts'o
2021-07-19 14:50                       ` Clem Cole
2021-07-19 17:38                         ` Theodore Y. Ts'o
2021-07-19 19:33                           ` John P. Linderman
2021-07-19 20:21                             ` Clem Cole
2021-07-20  1:05                             ` Grant Taylor via COFF
2021-07-19 20:08                           ` Clem Cole
2021-07-20  0:55                             ` Theodore Y. Ts'o
2021-07-18  6:44                   ` Andy Kosela
2021-07-16 16:11         ` Jonathan Corbet
2021-07-15 23:02       ` joe mcguckin
     [not found] <>
     [not found] ` <213a4c11-3ab2-4b4a-8d6b-b52105a19711@localhost>
     [not found]   ` <>
2021-07-14 15:01     ` Clem Cole
2021-07-14 17:40       ` Theodore Y. Ts'o
2021-07-14 17:50         ` Larry McVoy
2021-07-14 18:28         ` Clem Cole
2021-07-14 20:03         ` John Cowan

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