Linux matures (and goes way corporate) as OSDL and FSG merge

Linux matures (and goes way corporate) as OSDL and FSG merge

Summary: First, the Open Source Development Lab lays off a third of its staff in December. Now it's merging with the Free Software Standards Foundation Group in a deal that may have been brokered by IBM, HP and Intel.

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TOPICS: Open Source
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First, the Open Source Development Lab lays off a third of its staff in December. Now it's merging with the Free Software Standards Foundation Group in a deal that may have been brokered by IBM, HP and Intel. (see correction note at end of post)

Yikes, all of this is so...corporate! While Linux lovers may show a good bit of consternation over this OSDL and FSG merger it does show who's driving open source--corporations.

News.com's Stephen Shankland reports the two groups are merging to increase their influence. The reality: The world really didn't need two Linux advocacy groups. Many technology buyers have already bought into Linux already. The revolution is over and is now entering an operating (relatively boring) phase.

If you looked, you could have seen this coming. Linux tradeshows have gone way corporate compared to a few years ago when a "we'll rule the world" vibe permeated.

In this story at Linux.com, Jim Zemlin, who had been executive director of the Free Standards Group and now is leader of the foundation, noted that most of work from the combined group is winding down. Zemlin also talked of a mixed source duopoly with Linux and Windows.

Quite pragmatic eh? Now it is still early in the Linux game and there will be some use for the merged OSDL-FSG entity, but don't expect to see a whole lot of enthusiasm. Linux has gone corporate and the early days of the revolution are over.

Note: Well if you're going to screw up do it big--and preferably in a headline too. As our ZDNet readers (or was that editors?) pointed out I was way off on the FSG/FSF acronyms. But hey maybe the FSF should merge too just for entertainment value. With all that said, I'll introduce my own acronym "IAI" -- I'm an idiot. I corrected the post accordingly. 

Topic: Open Source

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8 comments
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  • Maybe I'm missing something, but

    Last time I checked the FSF (Free Software Foundation) is not the same as FSG (Free Standards Group).
    30otsix
  • Don't feel too bad, looks like Dana Blankenhorn made

    Looks like Dana Blankenhorn made the same mistake. You both about gave me an aneurysm trying to figure out how IMB got Linus and Stallman to "merge", much less talk to one another.
    30otsix
  • Obvious for some time.

    Linux and much other commercially significant open source software are a way for large companies to lower their development costs. A profitable subsidiary of IBM.

    So anyone volunteering time and work contributes primarily to the bonuses of executives at large corporations. And anyone paid to work on joint open source projects with people at other companies knows that the intent is to reduce staff at the participating companies.

    However open source began, that's what "going corporate" means.


    True, there's commercial open source which is not a tool for large companies, but is the product of specific companies, like Red Hat.
    The good news is that companies are in competition, and those organizations which pay their staff have a good chance to defeat the open source outfits.

    Now that open source has peaked, it's possible for the damage to be repaired.
    Anton Philidor
    • the damage to be repaired

      indeed. all those poorly coded interfaces can be modified from the version the corporates give out, and individuals will be able to repair the crap they are given.

      Interfaces will continue to improve, and as the efforts to create the LSB pick up, windows will truly find a competitor that can stand up to it.

      You were wrong about Open Source having peaked, though. it's no longer growing as exponentially, but it is still growing.

      Oh, and Red Hat and Canonical are proof that you can pay your staff AND be open source at the same time. They will triumph as people give back to their work, all while they own the original.
      shryko
    • Not too fast, Alan

      I don't agree that open source damages companies. Somewhere along the line they have to cut costs and staff, or the product stays too expensive.

      Computer programming is becoming a commodity. I read an analogy about the invention of the wheel. At one time it was an exclusive, and therefore expensive. But as the market increased, the wheel makers started to compete. Eventually, it became a point where the wheel was just another commodity.

      Computers are going that way. Open Source is a way of getting there. And those paid to work on these projects benefit in some ways.

      Then there are the Wallys of this world, as in the Dilbert cartoon, who begin to value the job over the creativity. That is okay, but at some point the company loses creativity. That is what Dilbert is all about.

      Yes, you can have your job. And I will have to assume that you are not one of those "Wallys".

      The truth is, though, that even for Microsoft, they are just clinging to what they have trying to maintain value. Ten years from now, do you think Microsoft will be such a big force?

      I suspect IBM will still be around, and Microsoft will be a shadow of its current self.
      ricgal
  • FSG, not FSF

    I would have been truly miraculous if OSDL and FSF had merged, on the order of the Old Testament. By contrast, the merger of FSG and OSDL represents a logical next step for two organizations with already aligned missions - to bring Linux and open source into the mainstream. Mission accomplished. Next.
    bilzinho
  • Correction

    What would I do without you guys editing my stuff. Amended the post and attached the following note to the post.

    "Well if you're going to screw up do it big--and preferably in a headline too. As our ZDNet readers (or was that editors?) pointed out I was way off on the FSG/FSF acronyms. But hey maybe the FSF should merge too just for entertainment value. With all that said, I'll introduce my own acronym "IAI" -- I'm an idiot. I corrected the post accordingly. "
    Larry Dignan
  • Solaris or Linux for Xeon?

    I submit:

    http://kevinclosson.wordpress.com/2007/01/22/sun-to-product-xeon-based-servers-linux-for-oracle-on-x86_64-really-why/
    kevinclosson