There’s a pretty depressing interview with famed kernel developer Con Kolivas and why he quit working on the kernel.
It yet again destroys the myth about how Linux is built on volunteerism and that it will naturally provide benefits to end-users solely because of its open development model. The interview bitterly points out that this cannot happen when all the big developers are being paid by people who care only about server performance. (I guess it’s just a matter of who you define your end users to be)
I think it ties in a little bit with my previous post about how the Linux desktop needs to support commercial apps. The Linux desktop won’t become dominant until someone figures out a way to make money from it. Maybe people can just make money by selling desktop hardware running Linux, but it seems to me that there’s a lot more money out there if only people could easily sell end-user-oriented software running on top of Linux. If you get a big software vendor involved, they’re bound to hire a few kernel developers to make sure the desktop experience is improved.
Open source is good (and the desktop experience is getting better), but money still makes the world go round. There aren’t enough Con Kolivas’es in the world to get it done purely through good will and “fun”.

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