Who really contributes to open source | InfoWorld
Microsoft has been nipping at the top open source contributor position for years, but a new analysis by Adobe developer Fil Maj puts Microsoft into a whole other universe of contributions. Or, at least, of contributors.
Using the GitHub REST API to pull public profile information from all 2,060,011 GitHub users who were active in 2017 (“active” meaning ten or more commits to public projects), Maj was able to pull the total number of corporate contributors to GitHub, with results that might surprise you.
Which leaves us with Microsoft having twice the number of contributors of its next nearest competitor, Google. For those of us that were around when Microsoft castigated open source as a “cancer” and “anti-American,” this is a remarkable change of heart (or, as I’ve argued, a change of business model). Microsoft has long appreciated the value of developers, but Azure has given Microsoft license to embrace open source as a way to attract them to its platform.
Meanwhile, Amazon, so often snubbed as an open source ne’er-do-well, comes in at No. 6 in the rankings, with close to 900 contributors. Amazon has perhaps not worn open source on its sleeve in quite the same was as Google and Microsoft have, but it remains a strong contributor to the projects that feed its developer community.
Other takeaways? Chinese companies like Baidu, Tencent, and Alibaba, which have long been perceived to be net consumers of open source, actually contribute quite a bit. Ditto Oracle, a company to which I’m generally happy to hand out criticism, ranks very high amongst its legacy peers, largely due to its contributions to MySQL and Linux, though not exclusively so.