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SubjectRe: [Ksummit-2008-discuss] How many contributors are we losing
On Fri, May 30, 2008 at 03:05:12PM -0700, Luck, Tony wrote:
>
> Probably some of them moved on to do different things (or were
> promoted to manage people who still work on Linux).

There's an interesting unspoken assumption here that people who stop
contributing patches which end up in the Linux kernel mailing "no
longer working on the kernel", or "no longer working in Linux", or
"left the community", or (even more of a stretch) people that we have
somehow driven away or that we have failed because they didnt come
back.

Looking at the list.....
> Werner Almesberger

Original author of LILO, does networking research using the
Linux kernel. (Has shown up and presented papers at various
conferences such as FISL and Linux.conf.au.)

> Stephen Tweedie

Still working at Red Hat, my last knowledge was that he was in
Xen hell.....
> Kylene Jo Hall

Member of IBM Linux Technology Center, Security Team.
The security team does a lot more than kernel work....
> Dustin Kirkland

Was a member of the IBM Linux Technology Center, now working
for Canonical on Ubuntu's Enterprise Server Team

> Suparna Bhattacharya

Member of the IBM Linux Technology Center, on leave to get an
advanced degree.

> Junio C Hamano

Git maintainer. :-)

So lots of stories, and there are plenty of people who are still
working at a company doing Linux work; they're just not happening to
contribute to a kernel. They might be fixing bugs for customers, or
forward porting Xen for an enterprise distro, or many other things
that are intimately related to the Linux kernel --- just not in ways
that result in patches into mainline.

So if we really want some hard numbers on how many kernel developers
we are "losing", we would probably have to try to contact some of
these people and see if they are willing to answer a survey. But
given your numbers, I really don't think it's as big a problem as some
people make it out to be....
- Ted


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