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Open Source Development Labs merges with the Free Standards Group

Posted on 02/01/2019 | in 杭州夜生活 | by

The Open Source Development Labs (OSDL) and the Free Standards Group (FSG) have agreed to merge to form the Linux Foundation. Comprised of 70 member organizations, the Foundation seeks to protect the Linux platform from fragmentation by providing its members with a venue for collectively building the future of the open-source operating system.HangZhou Night Net

Initially founded in 2000 to facilitate dialogue between companies and organizations with a vested interest in promoting Linux, OSDL employs several developers, including Linus Torvalds. OSDL has undergone numerous changes in the past few years to combat its declining relevance as major companies and individual Linux distributors have pursued collaboration on their own terms. The broad collaboration between key players in the Linux industry and increasing adoption of the Linux operating system are perceived as signs that the original role and function of OSDL has been fulfilled.

OSDL restructured once in August 2005 and then again in December 2006, laying off employees both times. During the 2006 layoffs, OSDL CEO Stuart Cohen voluntarily resigned in order to pursue other interests. Initially created to promote free standards and consistency on the Linux platform, FSG’s most important endeavor is the Linux Standard Base project, which seeks to standardize the structure of the open-source operating system in order to improve interoperability between distributions.

The new Linux Foundation benefits from the funding and direct involvement of a diverse assortment of relevant industry participants, including Linux distributors as well as major companies like IBM and HP. The goals set by the Foundation seem to encapsulate a selection of the most important responsibilities of OSDL and FSG, but with a slightly different angle. The organization will provide legal assistance and financial sponsorship to open-source developers, manage the Linux trademark, coordinate standardization efforts, and promote collaboration between its members to make Linux more competitive in the operating system market. In a press release issued yesterday, the organization says that it plans to provide “a comprehensive set of services to compete effectively with closed platforms.” Foundation chairman Jim Zemlin (formerly the executive director of FSG) says that “The Linux Foundation helps in the next stage of Linux growth by organizing the diverse companies and constituencies of the Linux ecosystem to promote, protect, and standardize Linux.”

Some aspects of the Foundation’s agenda are distinctly competitive and reflect a desire to mobilize against anti-Linux campaigns orchestrated by companies like Microsoft and SCO. The Foundation hopes to serve “as a neutral spokesperson to advance the interests of Linux and respond with authority to competitors’ attacks.”

A merger between OSDL and FSG seems like a practical way for both organizations to adapt to the realities of the modern Linux industry. The establishment of the Linux Foundation will hopefully enable OSDL and FSG to continue serving their traditional roles in a manner that is more appropriate for the current industry environment. With broad support from major industry players, the organization certainly seems to have the mindshare it needs to meet many of its goals.

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