Despite all the activity, the kernel project is in no danger of being hijacked by particular corporate interests, he said: "The companies understand the principles of the development process and the rules by which people participate. They understand it is built on trusting relationships, both individually and from a corporate perspective."
Greg Kroah-Hartman, one of the report's authors and number 26 on the top 30 individual contributors' list, works on the kernel as part of his job at Novell but did it as a hobby prior to that, he said via e-mail last week.
Kroah-Hartman echoed Zemlin in discussing the kernel community's growth.
"If you look, there is no huge majority of a single company doing all of the work with no one else," he wrote. "It is spread out over a handful of very involved companies, and a large number of semi-involved companies. Because no one company controls it, everyone works together, which is a requirement in order to do this kind of development."
"Why wouldn't Linux be appealing to corporations and they support it?" he also noted. "When was it last considered 'grassroots?' Seriously, anyone who has had any glimmer of kernel experience has been instantly snapped up by corporations hiring them to do this kind of thing full time for a very long time now."