Two weeks ago we published a research paper estimating the development cost of a community Linux distribution. It was a fantastic project for the three of us who worked on it. The findings were surprising, even to me. It would take over $10 billion for a company to develop the software represented in Fedora 9.
We have a great sense of timing at the Linux Foundation. Who else would schedule a summit for large Linux users on Wall Street the day after “black Friday”? Actually we were worried that the news of the financial markets would distract our end users from attending the event. Luckily for us, this didn’t seem to be the case. (Jim Zemlin lightened the mood with a clever presentation you should check out here.)
By Amanda McPherson - September 19, 2008 - 10:15am
On Wednesday kernel developer and Novell fellow Greg KH opened the first annual Linux Plumbers Conference with a keynote aimed squarely at the team behind Ubuntu, Canonical. I think Greg could have used the opportunity to inspire more than attack, but Greg obviously feels strongly about the necessity for upstream development. It’s also Greg being Greg: I believe he carries around a spoon just in case he encounters a hornets’ nest.
Earlier this year, at the urging of the Linux Foundation Technical Advisory Board, I decided to create a new event: the Linux Foundation End User Summit. The intent is to combine a small group of large Linux users (generally on the server side) with core community Linux developers. The result will hopefully be technical innovation and knowledge sharing between those who use the software and those who develop it.
Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu, recently wrote a post detailing Ubuntu and Canonical’s contributions to the upstream projects that make up their distributions. There he mentioned a challenge he recently issued to the Linux and free software community: build a Linux-based UI and computing experience on par with Apple’s within two years.
This morning my “ambient awareness” (meaning the passive awareness I have from my news feeds and contacts on Twitter and Facebook) is buzzing with Clive Thompson’s excellent article in yesterday’s New York Times. The article, “I’m so Totally, Digitally Close to You” discusses the state of our relationships in a wired world and raises the question of just how close we are to the circles of acquaintance that live within our online communities.
So the bloggers over at ZDNet have once again proclaimed the end of the operating system. Larry Dignan says:
The operating system may be losing its luster. In fact, you could argue that the operating system–Linux, OS X and Windows–will become an application that just happens to boot first. And hardware vendors are on to the OS’s diminishing importance.
Deb Gage at the San Francisco Chronicle recently profiled a voting machine that will be given a tryout at a mock election at Linux World, opening today. Attendees of the conference will have the ability to cast their vote for one of the two candidates on the US presidential ticket. Besides obvious political fervor of many open source devotees, what’s the connection between this machine and Linux?
I’m very pleased to welcome Brian Proffitt to the Linux Foundation. Brian will be serving as the community manager and editor for the Linux Developer Network. We’re extremely lucky to lure Brian away from Jupiter Media, where he built a thriving community and reported on Linux for such publications as Linux Today and Linux Planet.