Well more of FYI than news, But since Open source is growing more people will be wondering just exactly how does it work and will it in the future?
from Open source isn’t the community you think it is
The irony is that what makes open source work—and differ from commercial software—is that only a few developers do the major work on any project...
...Not just “many” open source projects—all of them. I can’t think of a significant counterexample. For big, diverse projects like Linux, if you peel away the overall wrapping and count contributors for the subprojects, you see the same phenomenon: A few developers, nearly all of them employed by vendors, generate a huge percentage of core contributions.
But if you step back, you realize it could only be thus. After all, anysoftware project degrades in efficiency the more bodies you throw at it (as Fred Brooks’s seminal book The Mythical Man Month anticipated).
As for why most of these developers would be funded by vendors, that’s easy to explain, too: Developers have rent to pay, too, and they can only afford to heavily contribute if they are paid to do so. Companies, pursuing their corporate self-interest, employ developers to work on projects that help their business.
...In short, there’s little to fear and much to celebrate in how open source works. Indeed, it is precisely this self-interested seeking of individual corporate (or personal) benefit that should keep open source flowering for decades to come.
As should be evident 20 years into open source’s rise, the model works at both the community level and at the vendor level. Will it work for another 20?