A blog for the enterprise open source community
The Linux FoundationRaven Zachary, January 22, 2007 @ 6:51 pm ET
Today, the Open Source Development Labs (OSDL) and the Free Standards Group (FSG) announced a merger, thereby forming a new organization called The Linux Foundation (press release). Those of us overwhelmed by technology acronyms can move FSG and OSDL into the ‘retired’ column.
From the press release…
For Linux to remain open and attain the greatest ubiquity possible, important services must be provided, including legal protection, standardization, promotion and collaboration. Successful proprietary software companies, for instance, do several important things well: backwards compatibility, promotion, interoperability, developer support, and more. In the voluntary and distributed world of Linux development, the industry continues to successfully use the consortia model to rapidly improve these value attributes for Linux. The Linux Foundation has been founded to help close the gap between open source and proprietary platforms, while sustaining the openness, freedom of choice and technical superiority inherent in open source software.
The organization’s core activities will focus around protecting Linux by sponsoring key Linux developers and providing legal services, standardizing Linux and improving it as a platform for software development, and providing a neutral forum for Linux collaboration and promotion.
This merger makes a lot of sense. I was always a bit confused by the (perceived) overlapping mandates of the two organizations and the whole issue of competition for membership dues.
In the past year, I’ve had conversations with both Jim Zemlin (Executive Director of the FSG, and now the Executive Director of The Linux Foundation) and Stuart Cohen (the former CEO of OSDL) separately about the need for two organizations that, at least from the outside, seemed so similar. With the recent changes at OSDL, the time was right to move ahead with a unified effort. My open source colleague at The 451 Group, Jay Lyman, will be covering this announcement in greater detail as part of our Market Insight Service (MIS).
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