Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 28th Mar 2007 20:56 UTC, submitted by anonymous
Linux "The idea that Linux is primarily a community-based project based on the work of thousands of independent, idealist hackers died a quiet death at home on March 27th. The proximate cause of death was the Linux Foundation's naming of its new board of directors. This leading non-profit Linux organization's board included many Fortune 500 executives from around the world - but not one representative from a purely community-based Linux organization."
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good thing
by Eugenia on Wed 28th Mar 2007 21:09 UTC
Eugenia
Member since:
2005-06-28

It's a good thing, not a bad thing. It is simply maturity and realization of what the world really wants. What has happened to Linux that's documented in the linked article above, is a good thing IMO. Linux comes of age, as far as the average citizen is concerned. There is no reason to live in this virtual unrealistic bubble of "Free-only" software that doesn't serve more than 0.1% of the users. And even for that 0.1%, there's always gNewSense.

Reply Score: 1

RE: good thing
by jaylaa on Wed 28th Mar 2007 21:58 UTC in reply to "good thing"
jaylaa Member since:
2006-01-17

I don't get it. What's unrealistic about it? The idea of Free-only software is more realistic than it's ever been. Or was there some time in the past where more stuff worked on Linux? As time goes on, are less and less companies releasing stuff under the GPL?

I don't see how any of this goes against free-only software. Sure, as Linux gets bigger more companies will release closed source apps/drivers/codecs for it, and many people will use them. But that won't stop the free ones from cropping up at an even greater rate. It's not an either-or situation. As the number of Linux users grows, the number of "I don't care about the licence as long as it works" people will grow, but so will the number of purists.

And about the first half of the article: just because some fortune 500 companies are in the pot doesn't mean they don't have to play by the rules. As long as people like Torvalds and Morton control the kernel and the FSF control the license, things will be fine. That author is all doom-and-gloom.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: good thing
by Eugenia on Wed 28th Mar 2007 22:08 UTC in reply to "RE: good thing"
Eugenia Member since:
2005-06-28

>What's unrealistic about it?

The fact that the majority of consumers don't care about it.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: good thing
by gnemmi on Wed 28th Mar 2007 22:23 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: good thing"
gnemmi Member since:
2006-08-17

that's funny if you think it, ´cause if it wasn't for that minority that cared from the start, there wouldn't be any open/free soft at all ..

furthermore .. if it was for that majority you menttion, we would all be still stuck using Windows :s

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: good thing
by trenchsol on Thu 29th Mar 2007 17:08 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: good thing"
trenchsol Member since:
2006-12-07

> that's funny if you think it, ´cause if it wasn't for
> that minority that cared from the start, there wouldn't > be any open/free soft at all

That was in the past, the things are changing. They say that "every revolution eats its children in the end". And money matters all the time.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: good thing
by diegocg on Wed 28th Mar 2007 22:27 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: good thing"
diegocg Member since:
2005-07-08

The fact that the majority of consumers don't care about it

And since when the main goal of free/open software is to please consumers just as if it were another corporation?

Eugenia, you have been involved in the FOSS world for enought time to ignore that the main goal of FOSS is not to produce the best "technical product". That may be what Mac OS X/Zeta/windows is about, but not FOSS. Technical quality is less important than freedom in the FOSS world. Corporations could stop using FOSS tomorrow, and FOSS wouldn't stop, most of the paid programmers would dissapear but it wasn't money what made FOSS born.

Edited 2007-03-28 22:29

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: good thing
by trenchsol on Thu 29th Mar 2007 17:13 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: good thing"
trenchsol Member since:
2006-12-07

I think that the most of you people depend on Gnome and KDE in order to run Linux. If Linux was hobbists only project, there would have been no Gnome and no KDE.

It is the money that keeps Linux (in the shape it is today) running, just like it keeps running anything else.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: good thing
by sbergman27 on Wed 28th Mar 2007 22:29 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: good thing"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""
The fact that the majority of consumers don't care about it.
"""

Wrong, Eugenia. The *vast* majority of consumers don't care about it. There's a difference. ;-)

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: good thing
by segedunum on Wed 28th Mar 2007 23:44 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: good thing"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

The fact that the majority of consumers don't care about it.

The vast majority of users don't care about Windows, or computers or software in general. If a Linux based purely open source OS was what everyone was using and what most software was written for, that's what everyone would be using and no one would care about Windows. You'd then hear people say "Why would I use Microsoft Office when everyone uses Open Office?"

You make the mistake that a lot of computer and software oriented people make, which is to assume that the vast majority of people actually care about even the stuff most of the world is using. They don't. That's the key to making open source software more widely used.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: good thing
by twenex on Thu 29th Mar 2007 00:04 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: good thing"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

The fact that the majority of consumers don't care about it.

The vast majority of Westerners don't care about democracy or politics; that doesn't mean they embarked on a mass exodus to the Soviet Union or are embarking on one to North Korea; it means they put up with the status quo.

It's the ones who don't "put up" who shape the future; sure, they sometimes get things wrong, but the masses are doomed to follow them.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: good thing
by trenchsol on Thu 29th Mar 2007 18:21 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: good thing"
trenchsol Member since:
2006-12-07

You are right about politics, but they have no reason to go to countries mentioned. In case of Linux, they have. They want graphics, multimedia, music, and they expect to get high profile games in the near future. If they have to pay a little, who cares.

It is true that they are not bothered by the fact that some software is free in a GNU sense.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: good thing
by ubit on Thu 29th Mar 2007 01:38 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: good thing"
ubit Member since:
2006-09-08

As people are finding out with Nvidia's graphics card drivers (dropping support for "old" cards), it actually does matter. You're futureproofed with FOSS.

Let's not even talk about ATI's horrible drivers, no AIGLX, no video acceleration; the open source drivers are miles ahead for that.

Edited 2007-03-29 01:39

Reply Score: 5

RE: good thing
by l3v1 on Thu 29th Mar 2007 06:21 UTC in reply to "good thing"
l3v1 Member since:
2005-07-06

"It is simply maturity and realization of what the world really wants."

Ok, so the "world" wants Linux Foundation's ways and policies to be controlled by some big company executives ? And who says these people's decisions regarding Linux Foundation issues will be determined by their good will regarding Linux az a FOSS OS ? You do ? Well, good for you. And FYI, it's not just about "Free-only" software, not by a long shot. But, please feel comfortable, your opinion is probably part of the crowd's opinion. Which, well, doesn't give the rest of us much comfort, but it's this much we can do about it.

Reply Score: 3

yawn
by raver31 on Wed 28th Mar 2007 21:18 UTC
raver31
Member since:
2005-07-06

More FUD from ziff-davis. why do you keep publishing things like this ?

Where are the external links. All the links in the article are to other pages on the linux-watch site.

What does it matter if the Linux Foundation has a board of directors ?

The "board of directors" are someone who my and your manager are going to be looking to blame if things go wrong when they adopt Linux. Senior management do not like Linux at the minute because of the "bedroom programmer" ethos that surrounds it. This is just a way to remove Linux from that.


HOWEVER.........

Linux is open sourced, and no-one can centrally control it. Not this board of directors, not me, not you, not Apple nor Microsoft, so Linux-watch.com... get a clue.

Reply Score: 5

RE: yawn
by deathshadow on Wed 28th Mar 2007 21:22 UTC in reply to "yawn"
deathshadow Member since:
2005-07-12

>> Linux is open sourced, and no-one can centrally
>> control it. Not this board of directors, not me,
>> not you, not Apple nor Microsoft, so Linux-
>> watch.com... get a clue.


Exactly - While my own hope is that these business minded individuals will bring the focus that linux has lacked, they could just as easily be in it to 'stun it, drag it, hang it over the fireplace'.

Either way, this "community linux" nonsense is just more of the "open source" rheotoric that forgets what open source IS, and seriously needs to be taken around back of the woodshed with a 30-06 and put down HARD.

It is little more than the same anti-capitolist nonsense that you see spewed forth every day on college campuses, and indicitive of people who need to go out and spend some time in the real world.

Edited 2007-03-28 21:28

Reply Score: 4

RE: yawn
by Eugenia on Wed 28th Mar 2007 21:26 UTC in reply to "yawn"
Eugenia Member since:
2005-06-28

This is not FUD. Steven was writing stuff about the "face" of Linux today to the market and to the general population. And I can tell you, Ubuntu has more "face" than gNewSense. While nobody can really control the overall Linux desktop, the part that most "outsiders" see of Linux, is definitely the part that Steven was writing about. That's why his article matters and is on spot. Nobody cares if Linux is open source and you can write a brand new Bluetooth stack if you want. But what most people care is about where the whole thing goes, how it behaves, what options these new users have. And in that context, his article is on spot.

Edited 2007-03-28 21:27

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: yawn
by dylansmrjones on Wed 28th Mar 2007 21:50 UTC in reply to "RE: yawn"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

His article doesn't matter. The part most "outsiders" are seeing are the community around the distributions. Only larger companies will care about the board of the "Linux Foundation". The rest of the world couldn't care less.

The article is nothing but a "oh shit, I'm running out of time... let's see.. what do I have in my pocketses...?"

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: yawn
by bralkein on Wed 28th Mar 2007 22:48 UTC in reply to "RE: yawn"
bralkein Member since:
2006-12-20

I beg to differ. The "face" of Linux, as you put it has definitely changed, but despite the increasing influence of big business I still believe that the community is the strongest driving force behind the development and adoption of Linux and Free Software in general.

The image of Linux in the market has certainly become more business-oriented, but this is purely out of necessity. In the past, people had trouble making money out of Linux, partly because people simply didn't see it as a serious, enterprise-ready solution. Companies such as Novell, Red Hat and IBM have made great efforts in this area, and certainly their work has increased the perceived professionalism of Linux as a software solution, and consequentially business interest in it has greatly increased.

However, outside of the context of business, Linux really has very little recognition from the general public. Especially in the US and Europe, no major PC retailers are pushing Linux, and were it not for the community, nobody would have heard of it. You mention Ubuntu as an example of the changing face of Linux, but I would suggest that the community's espousal and endorsement are the real reasons why Ubuntu is where it is today. Its adoption was fuelled primarily by widespread community interest, and little else. For example, at my university there are those who would never have been exposed to Linux were it not for a group of their fellows actively evangelising and distributing Ubuntu.

It is also worth bearing in mind that the vast majority of open-source code is still being written by unpaid individuals working out of their own free time and personal interest (I can't find my source to back this up, but of course I'd never lie to you!). As long as this remains the case, it follows that the majority of code is being produced according to developers' personal interests and community support.

In conclusion, corporations are certainly exerting a bigger influence over Linux and Free Software than ever before, and it is certainly something we'll all have to get used to. However, it is my opinion that the community will long remain the dominant force.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: yawn
by de_wizze on Wed 28th Mar 2007 23:00 UTC in reply to "RE: yawn"
de_wizze Member since:
2005-10-31

But wouldn't you say it was that community spirit that fostered the development of Linux Distros to what they are today. With a shift in focus and a deminishing of that community spirit what you end up with is more of the same as has been in the past. I fear that quality will become less accessible at a premium. Remember the Free in FOSS reffers to freedom.

Reply Score: 2

RE: yawn
by jessta on Thu 29th Mar 2007 01:33 UTC in reply to "yawn"
jessta Member since:
2005-08-17

Linux is currently centrally controlled by Linus Torvalds.

I love the 'bedroom programmer' ethos that surrounds free software. Only the people that want to make money off it don't.

Reply Score: 1

In related news...
by fretinator on Wed 28th Mar 2007 21:21 UTC
fretinator
Member since:
2005-07-06

Scientists have discovered that the United States of America is a capitalistic society!

This comment sponsored by:

"Dell Linux, the choice of a Gnu generation..."

Reply Score: 5

RE: In related news...
by Doc Pain on Wed 28th Mar 2007 21:31 UTC in reply to "In related news..."
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

"Scientists have discovered [...]"

Scientists have discovered... I mean, scientists often discover things very fast; if eggs are getting rare, they discover the consumption of eggs being unhealthy. This friendly reminder has been sponsored by -insert sponsor name here-. :-)

Reply Score: 3

What do people want?
by systyrant on Wed 28th Mar 2007 21:27 UTC
systyrant
Member since:
2007-01-18

I think people want an easy to use, functional, and cheap OS. Does Linux truly fit that bill with only free software? I be remiss if I though I could actually answer that.

Reply Score: 2

RE: What do people want?
by jessta on Thu 29th Mar 2007 00:40 UTC in reply to "What do people want?"
jessta Member since:
2005-08-17

The programs in the Gentoo portage repository fill all my needs. Certainly there is some non-free software in there: win32codecs, flash player, java etc.
These fill needs that are difficult to get around due to bad web designers, bad university subjects and bad torrents that for an unknown reason don't use a free codec.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: What do people want?
by systyrant on Thu 29th Mar 2007 02:32 UTC in reply to "RE: What do people want?"
systyrant Member since:
2007-01-18

Well, Java's going open source so it won't be so "evil". ;)

Reply Score: 1

Bollocks
by Sodki on Wed 28th Mar 2007 21:28 UTC
Sodki
Member since:
2005-11-10

So, the plan should be something like:

1) Linux Foundation will now seize control and dismantle ALL of the community-driven distros in Distrowatch.

2) They will then obtain copyright of all the Linux devs and change it's licence.

But GNU will still go on with HURD, OpenSolaris or a BSD kernel.

Right...

Reply Score: 4

...
by Hiev on Wed 28th Mar 2007 21:29 UTC
Hiev
Member since:
2005-09-27

Well, the community can always fork Linux and make it its property again.

Reply Score: 2

RE: ...
by rcsteiner on Wed 28th Mar 2007 22:27 UTC in reply to "..."
rcsteiner Member since:
2005-07-12

Saying "fork Linux" isn't very nice...

Oh wait... You actually meant "fork"... I'm sorry. :-)

Reply Score: 3

RE: ...
by Almafeta on Wed 28th Mar 2007 22:36 UTC in reply to "..."
Almafeta Member since:
2007-02-22

Well, the community can always fork Linux and make it its property again.

There's at least one person who decides it's time to do that each and every day.

Which is part of why the open-source development model doesn't work.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: ...
by anda_skoa on Wed 28th Mar 2007 22:39 UTC in reply to "RE: ..."
anda_skoa Member since:
2005-07-07

Which is part of why the open-source development model doesn't work.

It seems to work quite nicely for a couple of projects: the Linux kernel, the BSD kernel, the Solaris kernel, the GNU tools, the BSD tools, Apache, Samba, GNOME, KDE

Hmm, actually it seems to work for most of the projects which use it

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: ...
by Soulbender on Thu 29th Mar 2007 05:14 UTC in reply to "RE: ..."
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

"Which is part of why the open-source development model doesn't work."

Yeah, it's so obvious it doesn't work. It hasn't produced any results at all...
<snicker>
Good thing we have the closed-source model where things NEVER go wrong, products are always of high quality and deadlines are always met...

Sheesh, they're both working, but different, models.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: ...
by B12 Simon on Thu 29th Mar 2007 10:17 UTC in reply to "RE: ..."
B12 Simon Member since:
2006-11-08

Just because not every vanity distro succeeds does not mean the OSS model fails. Just as propreitary software companies go bust does not mean that the propreitary model is a failure.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: ...
by butters on Thu 29th Mar 2007 11:53 UTC in reply to "RE: ..."
butters Member since:
2005-07-08

I don't know about anyone else, but I want to see some of the shining shining beacons of enlightenment here at OSNews face off in live moderated "conversations" on OSNv4. Sort of like a tournament of "champions," if you will.

First I would like to nominate Almafeta vs. Supreme Dragon. Both are rather new to OSNews, but have quickly become frequent posters. They represent the new face of trolls on OSNews. We've had NotParker, and who could forget LinuxisPoo? If you're gunna spout nonsense, you might as well do it in style, and both of these fine posters are proudly taking the torch from our beloved trolls of yore.

Don't mod them down, mod them up! These are great posts. Look at the pleasant shape of the post, the use of boldface. Almafeta artfully combines taking a statement out of context, a dubious assumption, and invalid causality, all rolled into a neat little package for our enjoyment. Bravo, and keep 'em coming.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: ...
by xxmf on Thu 29th Mar 2007 15:10 UTC in reply to "RE: ..."
xxmf Member since:
2006-06-15

hmm actually its the reason it *does* work. Putting it simply, it means if that if the prime distro stumbles or makes a bad turn, fails to implement a needed feature, then someone else will displace them quite quickly (relative to the proprietary world). Not only that the model applies to each part of the stack independantly ;)

Reply Score: 1

Reality check
by fretinator on Wed 28th Mar 2007 21:41 UTC
fretinator
Member since:
2005-07-06

I'm sure people felt the same when PBS started allowing small "commercials" for their programs, instead of the ever-lengthening taglines they used to have. The world has not ended. The same is true for Linux and friends. It really is an illusion to think of tons of roaming hippies going around coding up great piles of free software. Most of the important stuff (kernel, OpenOffice, Virtualization, Drivers, etc) has been coming either directly or with great assistance of corporations. The good news here _IS_ the license. It doesn't matter who pays the bills, no one owns the code.

Obviously a board of directors is going to be made up of business people. This is even true in Churches. It doesn't mean they "own" the church, or the bible, or whatever. It just a principle of leadership. Poeple with proven leadership skills - who know how to lead and get things done - wind up on boards.

Not a big deal.

[EDIT: spelling]

Edited 2007-03-28 21:43 UTC

Reply Score: 5

v RE: Reality check
by fithisux on Wed 28th Mar 2007 22:22 UTC in reply to "Reality check"
united forces
by k.g.stoyanov on Wed 28th Mar 2007 22:01 UTC
k.g.stoyanov
Member since:
2005-07-12

as linux getting stronger, and its still free, and its GOOD, and makes me independent, i dont care about this! i just need good and complete product as OS on my pc, MicroSoft cant give this to me now, and i dont want to pay them, i use linux, so the powerfull it is, the better it will be!

Reply Score: 2

So what?
by diegocg on Wed 28th Mar 2007 22:23 UTC
diegocg
Member since:
2005-07-08

Linux kernel maintainers don't care about what Fortune-500 says, they only care about code. I don't see how this matters, OSDL was already quite money-oriented and it didn't change the way the linux kernel gets developed.

Reply Score: 5

rcsteiner
Member since:
2005-07-12

There are still dozens of Linux distros which are driven by the personal needs of particular authors or groups and which care little about commercial acceptance, and those folks will continue to do their own thing in spite of the silly over-reaching declarations like the above that are being made from time to time in the press.

It really doesn't matter. :-) FOSS projects like Linux were created as decentralized entities for a reason -- so something like this can only be "mostly true" at any given point in time. There will always be an exception.

Reply Score: 4

the community is alive and well
by TechGeek on Wed 28th Mar 2007 22:29 UTC
TechGeek
Member since:
2006-01-14

You know, its really funny how history changes right before your eyes. 5-7 years ago, linux was this community project. And people said, "it will never go anywhere!" But yet it did. And then companies started seeing that they could make money off it. And now everyone is like, "it would have never been created without corporate support!" Well, the community was doing just fine without corporate support. Not that I don't appreciate it. I do and so does most of the rest of the community. But lets not forget where we started. There are still many many projects out there being done on spare time just for the sake of doing it. Those authors are the ones that make Linux a great OS. I for one can't wait to see what the community does in the next 10 years.

Reply Score: 5

Corporations
by Southern.Pride on Wed 28th Mar 2007 22:40 UTC
Southern.Pride
Member since:
2006-09-14

Corporations are really making out like bandits generating revenue off the community without putting much back in. But that is what one would expect a big corp to do look out for the CEO and stock market profits.

Meanwhile they will exploit everything they can license programs or utilities they see fit until they bleed it dry. However the end user will still be devoted to the OS until something else comes along and the freedom is gone. As long as patents and lock downs do not take hold having a Linux distro is free.

Reply Score: 0

Good news
by zerohalo on Wed 28th Mar 2007 22:43 UTC
zerohalo
Member since:
2005-07-26

Community is good and an essential component. I'm a FOSS advocate and use it, promote it and contribute to it as much as I am able. But the reality is that for desktop Linux to progress beyond hobbyists and their grandmothers (whose computers they install it on), it needs the backing of the corporate world, where is has had backing on the server side for a long time, ever since IBM started having its own paid engineers contribute to Apache, etc.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Good news
by pcdoctor on Thu 29th Mar 2007 00:35 UTC in reply to "Good news"
pcdoctor Member since:
2007-03-05

I agree - this is good news. Sounds like a certain element of commercial, yes commercial, Maturity has at last arrived. No need to cry and wring hands, there will always be 'free' Linux around (big deal) - over the last ten years I must've paid a grand total of a hundred bucks for Apple- and Windows-based software, if I paid at all.
Love to you all..
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN!

Reply Score: 1

2007?
by Kokopelli on Wed 28th Mar 2007 22:54 UTC
Kokopelli
Member since:
2005-07-06

Well first off I disagree that this is the death of "Community Linux". If it is the death though, then it was a bit farther back. The fact that a major driving force behind the development of Linux is the enterprise consumers has been true since at least the start of the 2.6 branch. This does not mean that those who are not part of the corporate structure can not contribute and benefit though.

The community is still involved and quite active, it is just not alone any more. Debian is still running along, though they are feeling some growing pains. Gentoo is an massive example of a community effort as well. And the large majority of the posters on the forums of the various distros are in it for the fun and to be helpful.

When you get down to it though, it is the business and money makers of the world that drive direction in the technologies to some extent. IBM as an example has some real world needs that can be solved by updating and contributing to the kernel. They also have the money to devote people to working on it full time. For the most part it is hard to devote significant amounts of time to a "pet project" when you also have to worry about making a living. There are quite a few developers who can contribute in their spare time, but in the long run paying someone so that they can devote their days to it is more productive. This is especially true as the system gets larger and more complex.

Life goes on. I am part of a community. My community is kept safe and clean because there is also a governance who makes sure that we have power, sanitation, etc... The government does not do this for fun, they do it because they are paid to.

Reply Score: 3

This is not really news, you know.
by SReilly on Wed 28th Mar 2007 23:28 UTC
SReilly
Member since:
2006-12-28

Just look at the reason why they started calling it "Open Source" instead of "Free" software, and the reason why we now call it "FOSS". Linus and his mates decided that if they wanted to market the idea without VCs, CEOs and CTOs getting hart attacks, they had to come up with a different moniker than "Free Software". RMS wanted to keep calling it "Free" so the community decided on "FOSS" (as in Free Open Source Software) to placate both sides.

For a long time, Linus has not been adverse to big business getting involved in his project (and obviously paying him while they're at it). In fact, the big argument about the kernel not adopting GPLv3 is exactly because Linus wants business involved and does not mind TiVO or any other company using his software however they see fit. As long, and here is the clincher, they give any changes to the code back.

So at the end of the day, Fortune 500 can be the directors all they like but it will not change the fact that business must give any changes they make back to the community. In the end, the community still wins.

Reply Score: 5

This just means LF is not representative
by ciaran on Wed 28th Mar 2007 23:28 UTC
ciaran
Member since:
2006-11-27

LF represents its board members, not the community. LF is a consortium mostly made of pro-software-patent businesses. If they don't represent you, then remember to tell your politicians who does represent you.

For me it's FSFE, FSF, FFII, IFSO, etc.

Reply Score: 3

There will always be a community
by npang on Wed 28th Mar 2007 23:44 UTC
npang
Member since:
2006-11-26

for as long as there is a free exchange of information. The people interested in a piece of knowledge will join together and form communities. RMS understood the importance of the free exchange of information and this is one of the reasons why he campaigns for free software.

The user should be allowed to share knowledge in the form of software with anybody who is interested. This is the reason why he calls non-Free proprietary software evil - the user is often forced to keep knowledge obtained from the software a secret; society is not free to exchange knowledge.

Society is subjugated under one form of preventing the free flow of information if we choose to accept the terms of proprietary software. The reason for preventing users from sharing knowledge is often to maintain a monopoly on the knowledge contained within the software so the vendor has the exclusive right to license the fruit of the knowledge to others. The result is that society does not advance as much as it possibly could - all to maintain a monopoly on a piece of knowledge.

Edited 2007-03-28 23:56

Reply Score: 5

Rather Delusional
by segedunum on Wed 28th Mar 2007 23:46 UTC
segedunum
Member since:
2005-07-06

Anyone who believes this is a bit mistaken. Anyone can be on the board of anything, and be a meaningless non-executive director, but whether they'll have any influence at the new foundation is doubtful. Many companies have already tried to influence the OSDL into making Linux have an illegal ABI interface - and the kernel hackers just laugh and refuse.

It's certainly possible to encourage, and dictate, the use of free and open source software in an average Linux distribution but the average Linux distribution does not have a developer at the helm who understands what is required. Because of they come up against this brick wall they then give in to what they think people actually want rather than "Making it Happen"(tm).

Reply Score: 5

A mistake?
by moleskine on Thu 29th Mar 2007 00:14 UTC
moleskine
Member since:
2005-11-05

It would be interesting to know whether the board deliberately excluded folks from non-commercial distros, or couldn't find suitable candidates, or did invite some individuals who declined the offer.

In the event, I think their decision to go exclusively for the hard-nosed, megacorp end of the spectrum is a tactical error. I'm sure the new board members are extremely capable and well qualified people of integrity, but the impression still given is that with a couple of exceptions, all the board members owe their ass to the man. If it ever came to it, would they tell the man to take a hike?

Not many folks, for example, would feel exactly confident of a "foundation" in the pharmaceutical or GM food industries whose members were recruited exclusively from their industry's major corporations. Such a foundation would likely be dismissed as a front. Why should the same not apply to Linux?

Sure, this is also a sign that Linux has grown up, become sexy, whatever. But this only makes the question "Who guards the guardians?" even more pressing.

That said, no one in this thread seems to be asking whether the Linux Foundation is worth spending much time on.

Edited 2007-03-29 00:21

Reply Score: 5

uh
by deanlinkous on Thu 29th Mar 2007 00:35 UTC
deanlinkous
Member since:
2006-06-19

every *article* reads like a ad, always hits the buzzwords while sprinkling it with lots of big names while mentioning commercial distros....

IMO a bought and paid for shill

Reply Score: 2

I'm not particularly a fan
by yakirz on Thu 29th Mar 2007 00:39 UTC
yakirz
Member since:
2006-05-11

of everything become corporate. Corporations are interested in it for the money, and that just doesn't motivate me. Money can get a lot of things done, but sometimes it can block progress in that money becomes the message. This is about software, not about stockholders, boards or CEOs.

As long as there are people who are not beholden to corporate interests, people who will go their own way no matter how mass-produced society becomes, things like FOSS will survive. If Linux can't survive as an open alternative to commercial OSes and software, something else will. There will always be a Linux, or a Wikipedia, for every Windows and Encarta.

Edited 2007-03-29 00:40

Reply Score: 3

Community Linux is alive and well
by da_Chicken on Thu 29th Mar 2007 00:49 UTC
da_Chicken
Member since:
2006-01-01

Linux, as a community project, had been in ill health for some time. One recent setback was the crippling of Debian. Rather than work together on releasing the next version, Etch, of this core community of Linux developers has seemingly slowed their work down to a crawl because of internal disputes.

Good news for Steven! Debian is currently taking the final steps in the Etch release process. They're still waiting for the final release-kernel to be uploaded and the release notes are still unfinished. But there seems to be a good chance that Etch will be out sometime next week.
http://zomers.be/~luk/blog/content/Deep_Freeze.html

Also, one of those 17 developers (yea, that's only 17 out of a thousand, Steven) who publicly expressed their unhappiness with the Dunc-Tanc "experiment" is currently running as a candidate in the Debian Project Leader Elections 2007. Also, it seems that those 17 developers were only protesting against this Dunc-Tank, they never opposed the Etch release like Steven makes it look like.
http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2006/10/msg00026.html
http://www.debian.org/vote/2007/vote_001

As Debian's father, Ian Murdock, observed, not long before moving to Sun, Debian had become a project where the process had run amok. Thus, Murdock said, "no leader feels empowered to make decisions unless everyone agrees with him. And since no one as the size of the organization grows ever agrees on anything, no decisions ever get made."

The "no decisions ever get made" part is a strong exaggeration from Ian, and it's also clearly false. Lots of decisions are made in Debian all the time, they're just not necessarily the kind of decisions that Ian would like Debian developers to make. Maybe Ian should join the Debian community again if he wants to affect its course?

Reply Score: 5

da_Chicken Member since:
2006-01-01

Hmm... It seems that I was a bit too optimistic when I predicted that Debian Etch might be out sometime next week. According to the latest release update, Etch will be out one week after the next week. Apparently the Etch release was secretly planned for April 1st but now it looks like they need one more week to get the release out.

The Debian release manager Andreas Barth says in the release update that "Etch is of a very good technical quality, and we just need to polish a few remaining issues."
http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2007/03/msg00023.html

Reply Score: 2

I call morons
by boots on Thu 29th Mar 2007 00:53 UTC
boots
Member since:
2005-07-06

Any article that quotes ESR -- and uses his opinions as evidence -- isn't worth reading, let alone discussing.

Reply Score: 3

RE: I call morons
by mwtomlinson on Thu 29th Mar 2007 10:35 UTC in reply to "I call morons"
mwtomlinson Member since:
2005-11-06

Any article that quotes ESR -- and uses his opinions as evidence -- isn't worth reading, let alone discussing.


...funny, I feel kinda the same way about RMS<g>.

Seriously, to say that something isn't worth reading because of the author (or someone quoted in the article) is to unnecessarily limit the potential for learning.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: I call morons
by boots on Thu 29th Mar 2007 19:32 UTC in reply to "RE: I call morons"
boots Member since:
2005-07-06

"Seriously, to say that something isn't worth reading because of the author (or someone quoted in the article) is to unnecessarily limit the potential for learning."

That would be true if everyone was worth listening to. With experience, it becomes evident that that is not the case. Some people are actually wasters of time and destroyers of minds.

Reply Score: 1

UK Independent Linux Foundation
by stestagg on Thu 29th Mar 2007 01:13 UTC
stestagg
Member since:
2006-06-03

...Has been founded by me today. Any 'Dow index' companies wanting to get a piece of the board-room (well, it's a room and it has a table) action, then paypal me £5,000 and You'll enter the draw.
Bring your own mug.

Reply Score: 5

NWO
by happycamper on Thu 29th Mar 2007 02:29 UTC
happycamper
Member since:
2006-01-01

/*This leading non-profit Linux organization's board included many Fortune 500 executives from around the world */


the corporations are taking over they are in control.

Reply Score: 1

This was inevitable
by abraxas on Thu 29th Mar 2007 03:51 UTC
abraxas
Member since:
2005-07-07

I don't see a problem other than some of the major community projects declining including Debian, Gentoo, and Slackware. I would use any one of those before I touched a commercial distro on my home machine. Unfortunately internal disputes, and other issues have taken the fun away from community distros for some people. Linux advocates in general are not losing though. As long as the software is GPL we all win. We'll always have the opportunity to take the software, make it better, and distribute it. There will always be community distros but commercial Linux is taking over and there is no avoiding that. Just don't try to take the code away from us.

Reply Score: 3

RE: This was inevitable
by B12 Simon on Thu 29th Mar 2007 10:23 UTC in reply to "This was inevitable"
B12 Simon Member since:
2006-11-08

Slackware may not be come from a corporation on the scale of Novell or Red Hat (or even Linspire), but it is a commercial distro all the same and its users should buy the CD sets to help ensure it stays afloat.

Reply Score: 2

Proprietary Drivers
by llanitedave on Thu 29th Mar 2007 05:14 UTC
llanitedave
Member since:
2005-07-24

I think the hubbub about proprietary drivers is a non-issue. Sure, I'd like to see them replaced with open-sourced ones. But somebody has to write them first.

When good open-source drivers become available, they get adopted. Until then, proprietary drivers can serve.

Didn't even RMS write his first Free emacs using proprietary software?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Proprietary Drivers
by twenex on Thu 29th Mar 2007 15:35 UTC in reply to "Proprietary Drivers"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

I think the hubbub about proprietary drivers is a non-issue. Sure, I'd like to see them replaced with open-sourced ones. But somebody has to write them first.

Yeaah...Kinda hard without documentation, though, which is another thing vendors often refuse to provide. Not impossible, but hard.

[i]Didn't even RMS write his first Free emacs using proprietary software? [i]

Again, yeeaah, but remember: back then, RMS was just some "certifiable Communist nobody loon". Indeed some people still think he is (those that don't matter, anyway). To get people to create FOSS drivers you have to have leverage, in the form of dangling marketshare in front of them. Not everyone is an idealist, and indeed business people, from what I've seen, tend not to be.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Proprietary Drivers
by llanitedave on Fri 30th Mar 2007 02:04 UTC in reply to "RE: Proprietary Drivers"
llanitedave Member since:
2005-07-24

"I think the hubbub about proprietary drivers is a non-issue. Sure, I'd like to see them replaced with open-sourced ones. But somebody has to write them first.

Yeaah...Kinda hard without documentation, though, which is another thing vendors often refuse to provide. Not impossible, but hard.

Didn't even RMS write his first Free emacs using proprietary software?

Again, yeeaah, but remember: back then, RMS was just some "certifiable Communist nobody loon". Indeed some people still think he is (those that don't matter, anyway). To get people to create FOSS drivers you have to have leverage, in the form of dangling marketshare in front of them. Not everyone is an idealist, and indeed business people, from what I've seen, tend not to be."


I agree with you. I think having a strong business presence, though, is a step in the right direction. Sooner or later some hardware manufacturer will realize that it's in their best interest to provide that kind of documentation. It's already begun, I believe.

I think the drivers will come. I may disagree with that "certifiable Communist nobody loon" about some of the details, but his inspiration is on the right track -- and we moderates really do fare better when there are some extremists in the trenches on our behalf.

Edited 2007-03-30 02:06

Reply Score: 2

v puh lease
by jango on Thu 29th Mar 2007 06:28 UTC
Kicking and Alive
by humbertoarocha on Thu 29th Mar 2007 17:03 UTC
humbertoarocha
Member since:
2006-11-17

I believe that the fact 500Fortune companies wants to be part of linux staff doesn't mean linux is death, wasn't it what we want some time when somebody said linux to be a cancer? weren't we wishing linux to be in the eyes of those who can drag money to? wasn't it what all of us want in order to take people out of MS? I think the want clearer objetives, more coherence among linux, Those 500Fortunes CEO want the money they invest be efficiently used, at last is money what drive these people into linux, and they want to get more profits, and money is what linux needs to be better improved, to be more gorgeous, to be worldwide deployed by those companies.
If they invest in linux they will deploy it.

Reply Score: 2

Headline
by poohgee on Thu 29th Mar 2007 19:17 UTC
poohgee
Member since:
2005-08-13

If only the headline wasn't so sensationlist - it doesnt give any clue about the content & I just skipped it - assuming it referred to the "who wrote the kernel" entry on LWN past few editions .

Reply Score: 2

What is this article about ?
by trenchsol on Thu 29th Mar 2007 20:17 UTC
trenchsol
Member since:
2006-12-07

This article says that coroporate distributions are taking lead, and that community distributions have slow progress. That is happening because corporate distributions have more coordination, better organization and more money. It is nothing new, and some community members said the same thing in the past. I remember that "herding the cats" phrase was used.

All the code is available, and will probably remain available to community distributions. Their progress is just not fast enough and they restrain from incorporating proprietary software, which is atractive to the consumers.

As most other articles, this one is a bit too sensationalistic in style, but that is they way the reporters make their living. There is nothing to panic about it.

Reply Score: 1

Nay, that's over the top:
by deb2006 on Fri 30th Mar 2007 07:20 UTC
deb2006
Member since:
2006-06-26

Nothing against the Linux Foundation, but since when do the officially represent the Linux community? Linux is certainly not _one_ community represented by the Linux Foundation. Linux has a Debian community, a Gentoo community, a Ubuntu community, a SUSE community etc. p.p. And quite often you even have fractions from one community going to war against a fraction of another community.

Reply Score: 1