Linus Torvalds’ Contributions To Computing
Not everyone has heard of Finnish computer scientist Linus Torvalds, but he’s widely considered to be one of the most important people in the industry of the last 30 years. His work has not only had a profound effect on computers for other developers and scientists, but for everyone across the world, regardless of whether they were aware of it or not.
Torvalds and his work created an entirely new way for programmers to approach their work, while also laying the foundation for the ethos of free and open source software that has been an inspiration for countless other developers since.
The Linux Operating System
By the time that Torvalds was approaching adulthood, he had already gained a fair amount of experience working on computers, and it would be in 1991 when he began working on Linux. Famously, when Torvalds first sent messages out regarding what he was working on, he had dubbed it as little more than a hobby side project. Little did he know at the time that Linux, when combined with the tool kits and other software developed by Richard Stallman and others, it would become the backbone of much of the computing world as we know it.
The Linux kernel is also what Android is built on top of, albeit with many changes, but considering that Android devices are used by billions of people, it just goes to show how important Linux is to the world. Google’s own, custom operating system, Chrome OS, also makes use of the Linux kernel. Today, there are hundreds of Linux-based distributions that are available to download and use completely for free.
Linux on the desktop controls a very small portion of the market share – somewhere just under 3% in total – and is much more popular among the “tech-savvy” and those concerned about their digital privacy. Linux desktops have risen in popularity in recent years, however, thanks in part to its usability; Linux is fine for browsing, office work, gaming, or just loading up the latest New Zealand sports betting guide and associated news.
Git is much more obscure within the general public, but there are not a lot of programmers out there that haven’t heard of Git. Git is a version control system that was developed by Torvalds as a way to try and keep better track of the Linux project. Git was released in 2005, and by this stage, Linux had become incredibly complex with a number of contributors from around the globe, and it was vital to have some way of letting multiple programmers work on a single project at the same time.
Git would eventually expand and be a part of projects like GitHub, which the primary hub for many popular and well-known software projects. Although the phrases and other tech involved with Git is generally only used and appreciated by developers and those in the IT world, Git has had an enormous impact on servers and computers as we know them today.