The Changing Face of Open Source

If you think open source programmers are still working for free, you haven't seen today's open source programmers.

While Linux is by no means complete, the broad strokes have been filled in: the operating system, the server software, the database.

But at the same time, the stereotype of the lonely programmer working in the wee hours is seriously outdated. The second generation of open source projects responds to specific business demands, and the people building these applications are getting paid -- even if the code they write will be free.

"The open source developer today is largely a professional developer whos been at it for 10-plus [years] and is on a corporate payroll," said Jeff Hawkins, vice president of Novells Linux business office. "Novell and IBM and HP employ people to work on open source projects.

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