It was nice to see the large response from my Linux Plumbers Conference talk, and there seems to be a few common themes of questions about the talk that I figured I'd clear up here.
I have seen the video of the talk, and the video team from the Linux Plumbers Conference is working to put it up online somewhere, hopefully soon. I'll link to it when it is available.
First off, my numbers for the binutils development was completely WRONG. Kees and I sat down and tried to figure out exactly why I didn't count his valid contribution, and it turned out that binutils puts a ChangeLog into each subdirectory, the top-level one is not the summary of all of the individual parts of the project. So I apologize about that one, Canonical really did have one binutils patch in the past 3 years. Not that this really affects any of the main points of my talk though...
All of the other numbers for the other projects are still correct, from what I can tell. If anyone thinks I got them wrong, please let me know and I will be glad to review them. Feel free to review the changelog and svn and git trees of the different projects if want to verify.
One main question that I saw a lot, and was even asked about during my talk, was "what about Canonical's work on the desktop/Gnome/KDE"? I really don't know if they have contributed a lot of effort back upstream on these projects, that wasn't my point here.
Remember, this was given at the Linux Plumbers Conference a gathering of developers of the low-level plumbing of Linux. This wasn't a group of desktop developers, so remember the audience that this was addressed to please.
If Canonical has contributed a lot to Gnome/KDE, that's great, I'm sure someone will post the numbers soon to verify this. Either way, please remember that this was not the audience that I was addressing.
I sat down with Matt the day after my talk, as he described, and hopefully the Canonical kernel developers will work to become more of a valid part of the community, which is what I am sincerely hopeing will happen here.
Oh, and Amanda, I have given this very same kind of talk to Amazon, a number of months ago, as well as many other companies over the past 1 1/2 years, so it's not like I am ignoring them at all.
And this response brings me back to my main point of my talk, which most people seem to have missed as they were upset at me pointing out Canonical's lack of upstream contributions. And that point was, and still is:
The market right now is just too good for individual developers who have experience in writing open source software for Linux, especially the low-level plumbing of Linux, to waste their time working for companies who do not allow them to contribute back, if they want to.
This was a developer conference. I am a developer, talking as myself only, and not as a representative of any company (note the total lack of any corporate branding on my slides), to other developers who I totally respect and want to see be as happy in their day-job as I am in mine.
I would like to point out that lwn.net's summary of the talk did get this correct, which was great to see.
Hopefully this helps clear things up, if not, let me know and I'll be glad to address it.
posted Mon, 22 Sep 2008 in [/linux]
My Linux Stuff