1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking Benchmarking Platform
Phoromatic Test Orchestration

Reasons Why You Don't Contribute To Open-Source Software

Free Software

Published on 23 April 2010 10:20 PM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Free Software
87 Comments

Over on the GCC mailing list is a rather lively discussion (especially for being a Friday evening) that only started earlier today. No, it's not about the recent GCC 4.5 release or even our GCC vs. Clang/LLVM benchmarks, but it's about development participation. A developer is asking why you don't participate in contributing to GCC?

There are many responses already, but the GNU Compiler Collection having higher standards for accepting patches than most other open-source projects and legal reasons have been the two most populous answers. Contributing to GCC requires filing a disclaimer that you assign the copyright to the Free Software Foundation. For developers employed by organizations, this disclaimer is often problematic and can take significant amounts of time before it's cleared by various legal departments, here is a good message in regards to that situation as even at least one developer at Stanford has been turned off by the situation.

Some of the complaints have been about the quality of the code within the free software world being absolutely appalling with different formatting techniques, few code comments, a lack of documentation, and other shortcomings when mostly unpaid developers from around the world all diverge on a single code-base. GCC on the other hand tends to have a higher standard with regard to code quality and documentation with requiring patches comply with the GNU style.

Other expressed barriers in participation have included spoken language difficulties, lack of time, GCC being bloated and crufty, and availability of hardware/architectures in testing patches. It's an interesting read with the different perspectives on the matter, which can be followed via this web thread. The discussion is still ongoing.

More generally than just GCC, why don't you participate in open-source projects that interest you? Or, on the other hand, what are your main motives for participating in such projects? Tell us in the forums.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
Latest Linux News
  1. Fedora 22 Is Being Released Next Tuesday
  2. OpenWRT 15.05 Preparing Improved Security & Better Networking
  3. Using The New LLVM/Clang OpenMP Support
  4. Zapcc Claims To Be A "Much Faster C++ Compiler"
  5. Godot 1.1 Engine Release Brings New 2D Engine
  6. Intel VA-API Driver 1.6 Is Coming
  7. Canonical Is Reportedly Considering An IPO
  8. GNOME 3.18 - GTK3 Now Supports RandR 1.5
  9. Fedora 22 Risks Being Delayed Beyond Next Week
  10. Systemd 220 Has Finally Been Released
  11. LibreOffice 5.0 Beta 1 Released
  12. Allwinner Publishes New CedarX Open-Source Code
Latest Articles & Reviews
  1. Btrfs RAID 0/1 Benchmarks On The Linux 4.1 Kernel
  2. The State Of Various Firefox Features
  3. Intel Iris Graphics Performance With Mesa 10.6
  4. Fedora Workstation 22 Is Looking Great, Running Fantastic
Most Viewed News This Week
  1. The Linux 4.0 Kernel Currently Has An EXT4 Corruption Issue
  2. Rust 1.0 Language Officially Released
  3. AMDGPU Open-Source Driver Code Continues Maturing
  4. Oculus Rift Suspends Linux Development To Focus On Windows
  5. Wine 1.7.43 Works On Desktop Shell Window Support
  6. Spec Ops: The Line Is The Latest Linux Shooter
  7. Microsoft Open-Sources The Windows Communication Foundation
  8. RadeonSI Gallium3D Driver To Be Enabled For Android