Staff Members to Stay
"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 Franciscowhere Zemlin plans to remain for the time beingand 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 standardizationin the form of code collaborationwith 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.