OSDL Brings Torvalds Right-Hand Man on Board

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2003-07-01 Print this article Print

OSDL CEO says other similar high-profile appointments are likely.

Just weeks after scooping up Linus Torvalds, the creator of the Linux operating system, as its first full-time fellow, the Open Source Development Lab is bringing his right-hand man Andrew Morton on board as well.

The OSDL, a global consortium of technology companies dedicated to accelerating the adoption of Linux, will announce on Wednesday that Morton, who currently helps maintain the Linux kernel, has joined forces with the Lab and will be focused on the 2.6 kernel during its maintenance cycle.

OSDL CEO Stuart Cohen says other similar high-profile appointments are likely. "We want to make sure that we are doing our fair share as it relates to participants in the developer community. Our moves around Linus [Torvalds] and Andrew [Morton] is really shoring up, if you will, our participation with the development community and more such appointments are likely," he told eWEEK on Tuesday.

Morton, who works as principal engineer for Digeo Inc., a provider of media center products and interactive television services, will retain his official role at Digeo while being sponsored and supported by the OSDL for his Linux kernel development work.

Mark Himelstein, the senior vice-president of Software at Digeo, said the move is a "win-win situation" for all parties. Digeo is using Linux to drive its next-generation media centers for the home, and Mortons participation ensures the company and the Linux community a high-quality kernel release.

It is expected that Morton will at some point assume the role of lead maintainer of the upcoming 2.6 Linux production kernel, while Torvalds will maintain the next development kernel.

In an interview with eWEEK on Tuesday, Morton said that Torvalds has traditionally taken prime responsibility for stabilizing the production kernel and then handed it over to someone else to maintain, as happened with the 2.4 kernel.

"Much the same thing will happen with the current 2.5 development and upcoming 2.6 development kernel over time, but the details and timeframe around this hasnt been decided as yet," he said.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at www.eweek.com.


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