Sunday, September 23, 2012

Oracle needs more Linux developers

In a recent interview with the Oracle VP of Linux development Wim Coekaerts is going into a statement done by Linus Torvalds. At LinuxCon USA Linus Torvalds stated that the Linux community is lacking kernel developers. In the interview with Wim Coekaerts is stating this is partially true however go's into detail on how this has become the situation and is offering some solutions.

What Wim Coekaerts states that there are enough people who would like to contribute to the Linux community however are turned down by the inner workings of the community. As an example he states that if a new developer is providing a patch to the kernel mailing lists and it is not done to the letter of how it should be done the newly contributing developer is fried by the community. This is discouraging in such a way that many developers are so turned down by there first experience of providing a patch to a Linux issue that the will not send in a second patch. I do think there is not a true track record and some hard figures on this however I can imagine that Wim is correct in his statement.

In the interview he promotes that the Linux community should start a channel for new kernel developers where they can ask questions and are promoted to become more knowledgeable Linux developers. I do very much promote this idea however, I also do have a feeling that this is a spot where Oracle and the Linux development team from Wim Coekaerts could take a role. Oracle is promoting more and more the use of Oracle Linux and is depending for a large part of community build software. They do build there own patches and "pay" the community back in this way. However, if Oracle feels strongly about open source software development and the development of Linux they could take a role in this. Oracle could take a role in setting up a kernel developers learning and training channel which should be available to everyone. This way the Linux development community benefits and Oracle will have the benefit of (A) more good developers adding to the kernel and (B) they have the first contact with promising developers. I am wondering if Oracle and the team of Wim Coekaerts are willing to jump into this challenge.

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