Purloined wholesale from SlashDot, and reposted. The hypocrisy of a vocal minority of FOSS-purists has been overwhelming. As Linus accurately points out, we’re all in it for selfish reasons. No one likes working on the boring bits, and we all contribute our best code to the things we care about at the moment.
“In the aftermath of Microsoft’s recent decision to contribute 20,000 lines of device driver code to the Linux community, Christopher Smart of Linux Magazine talked to Linus Torvalds and asked if the code was something he would be happy to include, even though it’s from Microsoft. ‘Oh, I’m a big believer in “technology over politics.” I don’t care who it comes from, as long as there are solid reasons for the code, and as long as we don’t have to worry about licensing etc. issues,’ says Torvalds. ‘I may make jokes about Microsoft at times, but at the same time, I think the Microsoft hatred is a disease. I believe in open development, and that very much involves not just making the source open, but also not shutting other people and companies out.’ Smart asked Torvalds if Microsoft was contributing the code to benefit the Linux community or Microsoft. ‘I agree that it’s driven by selfish reasons, but that’s how all open source code gets written! We all “scratch our own itches.” It’s why I started Linux, it’s why I started git, and it’s why I am still involved. It’s the reason for everybody to end up in open source, to some degree,’ says Torvalds. ‘So complaining about the fact that Microsoft picked a selfish area to work on is just silly. Of course they picked an area that helps them. That’s the point of open source — the ability to make the code better for your particular needs, whoever the “your” in question happens to be.'”