10 Individuals who have contributed the most to FOSS

This is a followup to my previous post on the top 5 companies involved in enterprise Linux. enjoy!
10. Rasmus Lerdorf
Rasmus Lerdorf is a Danish-Greenlandic programmer and is most notable as the creator of the PHP programming language. He authored the first two versions. Lerdorf also participated in the development of later versions of PHP led by a group of developers including Andi Gutmans and Zeev Suraski, who later founded Zend Technologies.

He graduated from King City Secondary School in 1988, and in 1993 he graduated from the University of Waterloo with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Systems Design Engineering. Since September 2002, he has been employed by Yahoo! Inc. as an Infrastructure Architecture Engineer.

9. Michael Widenius
Ulf Michael Widenius, born March 3, 1962, in Helsinki, Finland, is the main author of the original version of the open-source MySQL database and a founding member of the MySQL AB company.

After studying at (although not graduating from) the Helsinki University of Technology, Widenius started working for Tapio Laakso Oy in 1981. In 1985 he founded TCX DataKonsult AB (a Swedish data warehousing company) with Allan Larsson. In 1995 he began writing the first version of the MySQL database with David Axmark, released in 1996. He is the co-author of the MySQL Reference Manual, published by O’Reilly in June 2002; and in 2003 he was awarded the Finnish Software Entrepreneur of The Year prize. Until MySQL AB’s sale to Sun Microsystems in January 2008, he was the chief technical officer of MySQL AB and still one of the primary forces behind the ongoing development of MySQL. During the 2007 MySQL Users Conference & Expo, Michael Widenius was awarded the honor of being the world’s first MySQL Fellow — the highest honor one can achieve from MySQL AB.

On the February 5 2009 he announced that he was leaving Sun in order to create his own company.

8. Miguel de Icaza
Miguel de Icaza (born c. 1972) is a Mexican free software programmer, best known for starting the GNOME and Mono projects.

De Icaza started the GNOME project with Federico Mena in August 1997 to create a completely free desktop environment and component model for Linux and other Unix-like operating systems. Earlier, De Icaza had worked on the Midnight Commander file manager and the Linux kernel. He also created the spreadsheet program Gnumeric.

In 1999, De Icaza, along with Nat Friedman, co-founded Helix Code, a GNOME-oriented free software company that employed a large number of other GNOME hackers. In 2001, Helix Code, later renamed Ximian, announced the Mono Project, to be led by De Icaza, with the goal to implement Microsoft’s new .NET development platform on Linux and Unix-like platforms. In August 2003, Ximian was acquired by Novell, Inc. There, De Icaza is currently the Vice President of Developer Platform.

7. Marc Ewing
Marc Ewing is the creator and originator of the Red Hat brand of software, most notably the Red Hat range of Linux operating system distributions. He was involved in the 86open project in the mid-90s.

Ewing graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in 1992. While at CMU, he was known to wear a red hat as he walked between classes. Ewing and co-founder Bob Young named their initial software after the hat, and the name Redhat stuck.

6. Mark Shuttleworth
Mark Richard Shuttleworth (born 18 September 1973) is a South African entrepreneur who was the second self-funded space tourist. Shuttleworth founded Canonical Ltd. and as of 2009, provides leadership for the Ubuntu operating system.

In the 1990s, Shuttleworth participated as one of the developers of the Debian operating system.

5. Andrew Tridgell
Andrew “Tridge” Tridgell (born 28 February 1967) is an Australian computer programmer best known as the author of and contributor to the Samba file server, and co-inventor of the rsync algorithm.

He is known for his analysis of complex proprietary protocols and algorithms, to allow compatible free software implementations.

Tridgell was a major developer of the Samba software, analysing the Server Message Block protocol used for workgroup and network file sharing by Microsoft Windows products. He developed the talloc hierarchical memory allocator, originally as part of Samba.

For his PhD thesis, he co-developed rsync, including the rsync algorithm, a highly efficient file transfer and synchronization tool. He also was the original author of rzip, which uses a similar algorithm to rsync.

He is the author of KnightCap, a reinforcement-learning based chess engine.

Tridgell was also a leader in hacking the TiVo to make it work in Australia, which uses the PAL video format.
In 2001 he formed the Shuttleworth Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to social innovation which also funds educational and free and open source software projects in South Africa, such as the Freedom Toaster.

In 2004 he returned to the free software world by funding the development of Ubuntu, a GNU/Linux distribution based on Debian, through his company Canonical Ltd.

In 2005 he founded the Ubuntu Foundation and made an initial investment of 10 million dollars. In the Ubuntu project, Shuttleworth is often referred to with the tongue-in-cheek title Self-Appointed Benevolent Dictator for Life, abbreviated SABDFL. To come up with a list of names of people to hire for the project, Mr. Shuttleworth took six months of Debian mailing list archives with him whilst travelling to the Antarctic aboard the icebreaker Kapitan Khlebnikov in early 2004. In September 2005, he purchased a 65% stake of Impi Linux.

On 15 October 2006 it was announced that Mark Shuttleworth became the first patron of KDE, the highest level of sponsorship available.

4. Eric S Raymond
Eric Steven Raymond (born December 4, 1957), often referred to as ESR, is a computer programmer, author and open source software advocate. His name became known within the hacker culture when he became the maintainer of the “Jargon File”. After the 1997 publication of “The Cathedral and the Bazaar”, Raymond became, for a number of years, an informal representative of the open source movement.

Raymond coined the aphorism “Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow.” He credits Linus Torvalds with the inspiration for this quotation, which he dubs “Linus’ Law”. The quotation appears in “The Cathedral and the Bazaar”, published in 1997. Raymond became a prominent voice in the open source movement and co-founded the Open Source Initiative in 1998. He also took on the self-appointed role of ambassador of open source to the press, business and public. The release of the Mozilla (then Netscape) source code in 1998 was an early accomplishment. He accepted stock options from VA Software to provide credibility to the company and act as a hired “corporate conscience” and has spoken in more than fifteen countries on six continents including a lecture at Microsoft.

3. Andrew Morton
Andrew Keith Paul Morton (born 1959 in England) is an Australian software engineer, best known as one of the lead developers of the Linux kernel. He currently maintains a patchset known as the mm tree, which contains not yet sufficiently tested patches that might later be accepted into the official Linux tree maintained by Linus Torvalds.

In the late 1980s, he was one of the partners of a company in Sydney, Australia that produced a kit computer called the Applix 1616, as well as a hardware engineer for the (now-defunct) Australian gaming equipment manufacturer Keno Computer Systems. He holds an honours degree in electrical engineering from the University of New South Wales in Australia.

In 2001, Andrew Morton and his family moved from Wollongong, New South Wales to Palo Alto, California.

In July 2003, Morton joined the Open Source Development Labs under an agreement with his then-employer Digeo Inc. (makers of the Moxi home entertainment media center), in which OSDL supported Morton’s Linux kernel development work while he continued in his official role as principal engineer at Digeo .

Since August 2006, Morton has been employed by Google but will continue his current work in maintaining the kernel.

2. Richard Stallman
Richard Matthew Stallman (born March 16, 1953), often abbreviated “rms”, is an American software freedom activist, hacker, and software developer. In September 1983, he launched the GNU Project to create a free Unix-like operating system, and has been the project’s lead architect and organizer. With the launch of the GNU Project, he started the free software movement and, in October 1985, set up the Free Software Foundation.

Stallman pioneered the concept of copyleft and is the main author of several copyleft licenses including the GNU General Public License, the most widely used free software license. Since the mid-1990s, Stallman has spent most of his time advocating for free software, as well as campaigning against both software patents and what he sees as excessive extension of copyright laws. Stallman has also developed a number of pieces of widely-used software, including the original Emacs, the GNU Compiler Collection, and the GNU Debugger. He co-founded the League for Programming Freedom in 1989.

1. Linus Torvalds
Linus Benedict Torvalds (born December 28, 1969 in Helsinki, Finland) is a Finnish software engineer best known for having initiated the development of the Linux kernel. He later became the chief architect of the Linux kernel, and now acts as the project’s coordinator.

Torvalds attended the University of Helsinki from 1988 to 1996, graduating with a master’s degree in computer science. His M.Sc. thesis was titled Linux: A Portable Operating System. His academic career was interrupted after completing his first year of study when he joined the Finnish Army, selecting the 11-month officer training program, thus fulfilling the mandatory military service of Finland. In the army he held the rank of second lieutenant, with the role of fire controller, calculating positions of guns, targets, and trajectories, finally telling the guns where to shoot. In 1990, he resumed his university studies, and was exposed to UNIX for the first time, in the form of a DEC MicroVAX running ULTRIX. In June 2000, the University of Helsinki issued Torvalds an honorary doctorate.

His interest in computers began with a Commodore VIC-20. After the VIC-20 he purchased a Sinclair QL which he modified extensively, especially its operating system. He programmed an assembly language and a text editor for the QL, as well as a few games. He is known to have written a Pac-Man clone named Cool Man. On January 2, 1991 he purchased an Intel 80386-based IBM PC and spent a month playing the game Prince of Persia before receiving his MINIX copy which in turn enabled him to begin his work on Linux.

BY l2admin admin



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