Group Forms To Ease Open Source Vendor-Developer Tensions - InformationWeek

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Group Forms To Ease Open Source Vendor-Developer Tensions

A new advisory board within the Open Source Development Labs will try to connect open-source kernel developers, vendors, and users and help improve communications.

The Open Source Development Labs, an industry consortium that employs Linux founder Linus Torvalds, on Wednesday said it has formed a technical advisory board to improve communications between vendors, users and developers of the open-source operating system.

The board will be elected by attendees of the annual Linux Kernel Summit, held in July in Ottawa, Canada, the OSDL said. Board members will serve two years, with half of the 10-member board up for election each year.

Stuart Cohen, chief executive of the OSDL said the purpose of the board is to act as a bridge between developers of the Linux kernel and companies distributing and using the OS. Besides helping in communications between the various groups, the board also can help in recruiting developers from enterprises using Linux.

"This is a great opportunity for the technical advisory board to help better connect the OSDL and its members to the Linux kernel development community," Cohen said.

Cohen played down disagreements that have occurred in the past between kernel developers and OSDL members, saying the problems have never been widespread.

"It comes down to a few vocal individuals," Cohen said.

An interim board has been established until elections in July. The members include Randy Dunlap, principal developer at Oracle; Theodore Tso'o, senior engineer at IBM; Chris Wright, senior engineer at Red Hat; and Wim Coekaerts, director of Linux engineering at Oracle.

The board is set to meet monthly and its initial focus will be "nurturing the Linux and open-source development communities by improving communication between the community and vendors, increasing the participation of vendors in open source projects, and formalizing relationships across OSDL constituencies," the OSDL said. The board will have a representative on the OSDL board of directors.

"'We’re pleased that the technical advisory board can add more community developer involvement to OSDL," James Bottomley, chairman of the advisory board and chief technology officer of SteelEye, said in a statement. "I look forward to working with my fellow community members to provide OSDL with insight on how we can all better advance Linux and open source software.''

The OSDL was founded in 2000 by Computer Associates, Hitachi, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel and NEC.

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