« Thanks to Matt Asay for a great OSBC | Main | Open Source Revenue Models: Pay for What You Really Use »

August 15, 2007


Matt Asay

Hmm...kind of sneaky not to link back to my argument. :-)

I still think OSDL was a complete failure. I was involved through my then-boss, Jeff Hawkins, and watched the futile attempts to be more relevant than Red Hat. They were...futile.

I wish Jim and the LF luck, but I don't personally see much of a role for the organization, and think Jim's many talents would be better served elsewhere (like in running another company). Or, rather, I don't see much of a role that it will be able to successfully fulfill. It tries to keep ahead of two trains: Linux kernel development and Red Hat, both of which largely do what they want to.

The LSB does not guide Red Hat (or SUSE, really, if memory serves). It's a nice to have, but it's not making any purchasing decisions for enterprise IT.

As for protecting against attacks, customers do that best. I'm not sure anyone is looking to the LF to be the shield.

In short, I politely, but firmly, disagree. We don't need more committees in open source (or Linux). We need more winning companies.

Larry Augustin

Not trying to be sneaky, it was just late at night for me. ;-) For those of you that missed it, here's Matt's post where he incorrectly calls OSDL a complete failure:


I'll add the link into my original post.

Back to the merits of the argument, I think Linux is better off with the LSB, LDF, OSAPA, CGL, DCL, Portland Project and the many other LF funded/supported initiatives than without. LF does not try to keep ahead of Red Hat or the Linux kernel community. Rather, it tries to help both be more successful by solving issues neither are well equipped to handle on their own.

Don Marti

Pre-2006 OSDL and today's LF are very different organizations. The group has made some big changes since the kernel developers got involved -- see http://www.kroah.com/log/linux/osdl_board_proposal.html . Before 2006, OSDL wasted a lot of time and effort organizing "workgroups" to put together enormous documents of things that developers are supposed to do, which developers didn't read. Now, it seems that instead of trying to "keep ahead" of the process, LF is providing infrastructure where needed in areas such as the developer travel fund, paying Linus and docs editor Rob Landley of course, and NDAs for drivers. Less ambitious, more useful.


Don, I agree with you that today's LF is a more efficient organization better addressing some of the needs of kernel developers. I also agree that some of the OSDL Workgroup efforts in the past were not handled correctly. Some of them tried to treat kernel development like a proprietary software process and failed as a result. But give OSDL credit for the positive things it accomplished, as well as credit for listening to the input from the kernel developers and restructuring itself (in part through the merger with LF) to better serve the needs of kernel developers, Linux vendors, and Linux users. The new LF kept was working at OSDL and changed what wasn't. Overall, I think Linux benefitted from OSDL and will hopefully benefit even more so from the new LF.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Current Reading List

  • Robert Jordan: Knife of Dreams (The Wheel of Time, Book 11)

    Robert Jordan: Knife of Dreams (The Wheel of Time, Book 11)
    I'm almost embarrassed to admit that I'm still reading Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time series. When he passed L. Ron Hubbard’s Battlefield Earth decology I could have cried. Maybe WoT will be made into the worst movie of all time? Still, I've been following the saga of Rand al'Thor for more than a decade now, and I want to see how it ends. Rumor is that the next book, Memory of Light, will in fact conclude the saga. To borrow a phrase, "There should have been only one." (**)

  • Neal Stephenson: Quicksilver (The Baroque Cycle, Vol. 1)

    Neal Stephenson: Quicksilver (The Baroque Cycle, Vol. 1)
    My family got me Quicksilver for Christmas. I'm not far into it, but it's clearly a Stephenson book: lots of historical connections, multiple timeline unfolding simultaneously, meticulous historical detail, 100 pages in the plot is still a total mystery, big "thud"factor... Should be a great read.

  • Chris DiBona: Open Sources 2.0

    Chris DiBona: Open Sources 2.0
    Anything edited by Chris DiBona is worth spending the time to read.

  • David Kahn: The Codebreakers : The Comprehensive History of Secret Communication from Ancient Times to the Internet

    David Kahn: The Codebreakers : The Comprehensive History of Secret Communication from Ancient Times to the Internet
    I'm just getting started with this one, but so far it's a fascinating account of the history of cryptology. It's a massive 1200 pages, so it may be a while before I move on to something else.

Larry . . .

    follow me on Twitter

    My Events

    • You can find me at these upcoming events
    • 2010-07-21 to 2010-07-22 OSCON.
      I'll be at the O'Reilly Open Source Conference (OSCON) on Wednesday and Thursday. SugarCRM engineer John Mertic is speaking at OSCON.
    • 2010-07-28 AlwaysOn Summit at Stanford.
      Jeff Kaplan of THINKstrategies is moderating a panel session at the AlwaysOn Summit at Stanford including Marten Mickos, Swayne Hill, Treb Ryan, Lars Buytaert, and me. I'm looking forward to a great discussion.
    • 2010-09-27 to 2010-09-29 Paris Open Source ThinkTank.
      Olliance Open Source ThinkTanks are always great events, and I'll thrilled to be at the Paris event again this year.
    • 2010-09-30 to 2010-10-01 Open World Forum.
      I am speaking at the Open World Forum (OWF) in Paris on Oct 1, 2010. I am also a judge in the OWF Open Innovation Demo Cup. Be sure to submit your project before July 31 for consideration.
    • 2010-10-05 London CRM Acceleration.
      SugarCRM will hold a CRM Acceleration in London on October 5, 2010.
    • 2010-10-21 Munich CRM Acceleration.
      SugarCRM will hold a CRM Acceleration in Munich on October 21, 2010.
    • 2010-10-25 Cap Gemini Open Your Mind.
      I'm speaking in the Netherlands at Open Your Mind, an event sponsored by Cap Gemini on Open Source.

    (Some of) My Favorite People

    • Chris DiBona
      Chris is a just plain great person and stand-up guy. He's also the Open Source program manager at Google.
    • Doc Searls
      Doc is the senior editor at Linux Journal and one of the four authors of The Cluetrain Manifesto, the iconoclastic web site that became the best-selling book.
    • Matt Asay
      Matt is the founder of OSBC, and currently runs business development at Alfresco.
    • r0ml Lefkowitz
      The r0ml is one of the most entertaining and insightful commentators on the state of the IT industry that I know.
    • Stephen Walli
      I first met Stephen when he worked at Microsoft, and I organized a dinner at OSCON between Eric Raymond and a number of the Microsoft Shared Source team. I liked him even then so that should tell you a lot.

    My Companies

    • I am involved with these companies as an investor and board member.
    • Appcelerator
      Open Source platform that provides everything you need to build rich web, mobile and desktop applications. News
    • DotNetNuke
      Open Source framework for building websites and web applications on Microsoft ASP.NET. News
    • SugarCRM
      Open Source Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. I have been a board member and investor at SugarCRM since 2005 and CEO there since May 2009. News

    My Investments

    • I am an investor in and/or advisor to these companies.
    • Dasient
      Dasient is an an early-stage company that is solving next-generation security problems for the Internet. News
    • DeviceVM
      Embedded instant-on operating system for consumer devices. News
    • Eloqua
      On-line lead generation and marketing automation. News
    • Fonality
      Open Source VoIP PBX based on Asterisk. News
    • Funambol
      Funambol's vision is to make push email and mobile content/PIM sync easy between the largest number of smart & feature phones, the Internet cloud and popular desktop apps. News
    • Medsphere
      Open Source Electronic Health Record (EHR). News
    • MuleSource
      Mule is then world's most widely-used Open Source ESB and integration platform. News
    • Novara Clinical Research
      Novara Clinical Research operates dedicated facilities for conducting Phase II to Phase IV patient studies for the pharmaceutical industry. News
    • Pentaho
      Open Source Business Intelligence (BI). News
    • VirtualLogix
      Real-time virtualization for mobile devices. News
    • Vyatta
      Open Source router and firewall. News
    • WSO2
      Next generation Open Source Web services platform. News

    My Exits