He said that while all the details have not yet been worked out, he expects the election of the board to be an open process initially. The Foundation will pull in key people in the open-source community "who we think will approach the task with a degree of fairness and seriousness that we hope the Foundation will continue to have," he said. Webbink also admitted that there had been some dissatisfaction about Red Hats control of the project and said the move might make the company feel more confident that its contributions would be better used and become more widely available.Asked if there was any Fedora technology or patented technology that would not be available to the community, Webbink said there was not at this point, but "as we go forward, non-technology-related things like business method patents we register will not be available to the community." The Fedora Directory server also has an exception under the GPL that allows proprietary plug-ins, he said. But not everyone is convinced. A developer at the Summit, who asked not to be named, told eWEEK he was concerned that the Fedora Foundation could end up like Suns Java Community Process, with Red Hat remaining firmly in control. Some members of the open-source community say the Sun-led JCP actually stifles competition in some ways. Click here to read more. Stacey Quandt, an analyst for the Robert Frances Group who was also attending the Summit, said that community participation in Fedora was still evolving. She also questioned whether the move was a genuine attempt by Red Hat to try to convince more developers to get involved in the Fedora community, or if it was a ruse to grow the market for Red Hat Linux. But Red Hat CEO Matt Szulik told eWEEK that the move strengthened Red Hats commitment to Fedora. "Every single engineer in the company works on Fedora," he said. He added that this would "absolutely continue going forward. Its the DNA of the company." Szulik said there were some structural reasons to hand Fedora over to the Foundation, but "we have always placed our intellectual property out to the public under the GPL license. "This move brings a sense of orderliness and highlights the strategic importance of our relationship with the open-source community. It also brings global coherence and we want to make sure that we dispel, by better association, the notion that Fedora isnt strategic or that Red Hat is not committed to it," he said. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest open-source news, reviews and analysis.
But the formation of the Fedora Foundation was not a token gesture, he stressed. While Red Hat is a publicly traded company and can not just respond to whatever the open-source community wants it to do, he said, "we are not negating our roots and this takes us back to that community. We dont take this lightly. Community is a fundamental part of our DNA and they are vitally important to us."