In nuclear weaponry, there’s a concept for a weapon using fission of Critical Mass, the mass needed to make a spontaneous sustainable nuclear reaction. A bit more mass or better geometry and bad things happen quickly.
Fortunately nothing bad has happened to Linux kernel development. Things are happening at an amazing rate but the average rate of change of patching has levelled off after 2.6.25. Maybe Linus has reached his capacity… 😉 Until 2.6.25, the rate of patching was rising exponentially. 2.6.23 was released in 2008. Now */Linux is the world’s OS and the world is humming using */Linux.
The Linux Foundation has documented the production:
- many thousands of developers have contributed over the years but now 1000 have contributed to the last release alone,
- developers from 200 companies are actively contributing to the Linux kernel,
- 75% of contributors to the kernel are paid employees of businesses,
- the top ten businesses contributing recently are huge, global corporations: Red Hat, Intel, Novell, IBM, Texas Instruments, Broadcom, Nokia, Samsung, Oracle and Google,
- even M$ is contributing to make sure its OS works well with Linux for virtualization, and
- the average rate of patch-submission is one more patch every ten minutes… 11881 patches were included in Linux 3.1. There are 15 million lines of code in Linux.
see The Linux Foundation – Who Writes Linux 2012 – Linux Kernel Development