Red Hat Creates Fedora Foundation

 
 
By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2005-06-03 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The company says the new foundation will take over control of the open-source Fedora Project, but some developers are skeptical.

NEW ORLEANS—Red Hat Inc. has decided to hand over control of the open-source Fedora Project, creating the new Fedora Foundation to manage the project. Mark Webbink, the deputy general counsel at Red Hat, of Raleigh, N.C., will make the announcement during a talk at the Red Hat Summit here early Friday morning.
Until now the Fedora Project, which Red Hat describes as an "openly-developed project designed by Red Hat, open for general participation, led by a meritocracy, following a set of project objectives," has been dominated by Red Hat staffers, with the technical lead and the steering committee all being Red Hat employees.
"The goal of The Fedora Project is to work with the Linux community to build a complete, general purpose operating system exclusively from open source software. Development will be done in a public forum ... By using this more open process, we hope to provide an operating system more in line with the ideals of free software and more appealing to the open source community," the Fedora Project Web site says. But it appears that Fedora has not been all that appealing to developers, many of whom have questioned how Red Hat, as a commercial vendor of Linux software and support, could also control the project. Click here to read more about the controversy that erupted when Fedora was announced.
"We feel that we are now at a point where we need to give up absolute control. We built our company on the competence of the open-source community and its time for us to continue to manifest that," Webbink told eWEEK in an exclusive interview before his talk. Fedora, including the just-released Fedora Directory Server and all other components, would remain licensed under the GNU GPL (General Public License and would be placed under the control of the Foundation. The Free Software Foundation is working on the first revamp to the GPL in 13 years. Click here to read more. While Red Hat would continue to play a significant role and some of its staff are likely to help maintain some key aspects of the project, the Fedora Foundation would have its own board and drive its own agenda at that point, Webbink said. Next page: Not everyone is convinced.



 
 
 
 
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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