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Slashdot: iBiblio Takes MetaLab Concept To A New Level

Sep 18, 2000, 12:04 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Robin Miller)

"The iBiblio.org domain name is so new that Google still doesn't show it, but a search for the site's previous name, MetaLab.unc.edu, turns up over 600,000 responses. To Linux users, it is the home of the Linux Documentation Project and the world's largest repository of downloadable Linux and Open Source software, but that is not what it started out to be and it is still not iBiblio's primary purpose, although Linux and Open Source and the community concepts behind them are integral to iBiblio in many ways."

"It says on the iBiblio FAQ page that iBiblio "stands above other digital libraries" by maintaining 'a close relation to the open source models for development and management of collections.' The FAQ page also says, 'We're all about freedom, man! Free Tibet, free Burma, Free Love, you get the picture. We offer a free platform for the exchange of free thought. We host tons of cultural sites like the DocSouth Project, Zen@iBiblio, and North Carolina Raves (all of which can be seen from our collections index). We are also one of the first servers to mirror the original Linux kernel, so you can tell we're big on free software, too....'"

"The current iBiblio name was chosen, in large part, because it was available. Paul says, 'Naming anything on the Internet these days is a combination of what's available and what you're trying to say.' The old SunSite name had to go when the site's relationship with original sponsor Sun Microsytems (amicably) dissolved several years ago. Then, Paul says, people both in the free software community and the rest of the world seemed to associate the MetaLab name almost entirely with the software aspect of the site (which only makes up about half of it), and when the latest sponsor, red hat center, donated $4 million to the project, a name change was in order -- but not to one that had either redness or hatness in it."

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