RealTime IT News

OSDL Gives Way to New Center of Linux Gravity

Six weeks ago the OSDL (Open Source Development Labs) announced layoffs and the loss of its CEO. Today it announced a merger. The group has merged with the Free Standards Group (FSG) to create the Linux Foundation.

Jim Zemlin, executive director of the FSG, will lead the new Linux Foundation, which will include more than 70 members, most of whom were formally members of the OSDL. It will also include at least one new member company that the OSDL did not include, Oracle.

In an interview with internetnews.com last year, Wim Coekaerts, vice president of Linux engineering at Oracle, said that Oracle didn't need to be part of the OSDL because it already knows how to deal with the Linux community on its own.

Things have changed with the Linux Foundation.

"The Linux Foundation has successfully prioritized the most important work for collaboration among industry participants in this new stage of growth for Linux," said Coekaerts in a statement. "We are excited to work with the Foundation and other colleagues to be a part of this new day for Linux and open source software."

The Linux Foundation is pledging to maintain the same sponsorship of Linux creator Linus Torvalds that the OSDL has provided in addition to continuing to provide legal services to the Linux community.

The group will also continue the OSDL's efforts toward collaboration, which found a home in the Portland Project, that strives to make it easier for Linux desktop interoperability.

The merger is still pending ratification by the membership of the two respective groups. The formal ratification of the merger is expected in early February.

The FSG was always about standards, and Zemlin for years has been preaching the benefits of standards as a way to fight Linux fragmentation.

Among the key efforts of the FSG is the Linux Standards Base (LSB), which is intended to provide interoperability standards via a base set of APIs and libraries so ISVs can develop and port applications that will work on LSB-certified Linux distributions.

The OSDL has been going through some rough times recently with the loss of its CEO Stuart Cohen and announced layoffs affecting at least nine employees. The OSDL currently has some 70 members that pay as much as $1 million dollars a year in membership fees.