The idea that Linux is primarily a community-based project based on the work of thousands of independent, idealist hackers died a quiet death at home on March 27.
The proximate cause of death was the Linux Foundations naming of its new board of directors.
This leading nonprofit Linux organizations board included many Fortune 500 executives from around the world—but not one representative from a purely community-based Linux organization.
Linux, as a community project, had been in ill health for some time. One recent setback was the crippling of Debian. Rather than work together on releasing the next version, Etch, of this core community of Linux developers has seemingly slowed their work down to a crawl because of internal disputes.
As Debians father, Ian Murdock, observed, not long before moving to Sun, Debian had become a project where the process had run amok.
Thus, Murdock said, “no leader feels empowered to make decisions unless everyone agrees with him. And since no one as the size of the organization grows ever agrees on anything, no decisions ever get made.”
Another Community Linux project, Fedora, was to be freed from Red Hat, its corporate sponsor. In the end, though, the company decided that the project would remain under Red Hat control. Fedoras management was to have gone to the Fedora Foundation.