Staff Members to Stay

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2007-01-22 Print this article Print

"It is also important for the Linux world to collectively develop a standard that enables backward compatibility and interoperability in the heterogeneous environments that characterize todays computing," he said. The announcement of the merger of two of the organizations dedicated to the advancement of Linux comes some six weeks after the OSDL announced that it had laid off a number of its engineering staff and was changing focus.
Stuart Cohen, formerly OSDLs chief executive also resigned at the time and Chief Financial Officer Mike Temple took over as chief operating officer.
Zemlin said that Cohens resignation was "totally unrelated" to this announcement, adding that Temple would remain on board in an operational role "for the time being" and that running the OSDL was always intended to only be an interim role for Temple. Click here to read more about the recent changes made at the OSDL. The foundation would not consolidate its diverse operations, which are spread out over multiple geographies, including OSDLs offices in Beaverton, Ore., a development center in Moscow, offices in Tokyo and San Francisco—where Zemlin plans to remain for the time being—and technical staff in Indiana. "There are also no plans at this point to let any of the existing OSDL or FSG staff numbers go," Zemlin said, adding that Linus Torvalds, and other key developers of the open-source operating system, were "100 percent supportive of the move." The establishment of the foundation will also enable those who have a strategic interest in Linux and want to fund that, to go to a single entity. All of the current members and funders, which includes more than 70 open-source vendors around the world, had committed to the new foundation going forward "although Im sure they would like to see a broader base and lower taxes," Zemlin said. Click here to read more about how Microsoft tried to woo the OSDL. The combined members have also committed to ensuring that the foundation is financially secure for the long run. But it is also in the interests of industry and communities to broaden its funding base, which would also help ensure it is not beholden to any single agenda. "We are committed to making sure no one exerts undue influence," Zemlin said. Founding platinum members of the Foundation include Fujitsu, Hitachi, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel, NEC, Novell and Oracle, with Red Hat, community groups, universities and industry users also signing on. "We need to be innovative in defining a new wave to promote the platform, one in which everyone can participate equally," Zemlin said. "We also need to find a new and interesting way in which to create standards that blend open source upstream standardization—in the form of code collaboration—with downstream customer-facing standards that guarantee, so to speak, certain interfaces exist over time, and test suites to back that up." These are the kinds of innovations that, over time, will enable the platform to really compete against the highly resourced, very aggressive incumbents, including Microsoft Windows, he said. Editors Note: This story was updated to include analyst comments. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest open-source news, reviews and analysis.

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


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