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ZDNet UK: Linux comes in 188 delicious flavours, and forking like this is good

Feb 01, 2001, 19:11 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Will Knight)

"Divergence is healthy. That is the message from LinuxWorld Expo in New York, where Elizabeth Coolbaugh, executive editor for LWN.net (Linux Weekly News), predicts this diversity will produce an explosion of Linux in embedded devices such as handheld computers."

"There are currently 188 different versions of Linux. Once it was feared this ever-growing number of distributions might threaten the success of the upstart operating system in the same way that it affected the success of commercial versions of Unix."

"However, this diversity is now being identified as one of its most attractive characteristics. Coolbaugh says the escalating number of Linux distributions is symptomatic of the adaptability the GNU General Public Licence (GPL) gives the operating system. Under this licence, new versions can be created, changed and reused cheaply and developers can borrow each other's source code."

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