"CRN's Paula Rooney interviews Red Hat Co-founder and Chairman
Robert Young about Linus Torvalds' leadership of the Linux kernel,
the state of the industry and challenges for Linux in 2001."
"CRN:Do you think there should be a formal
advisory board or organization set up to oversee the Linux
Young: It's a good question, but I'm not sure
if anyone can give you a solid answer. On the face of it, it looks
like it benefits [the kernel]. But if it's not broken, don't
fix it. There may be a better structure for building the kernel,
but we don't perceive there is a problem as it is currently being
built. There's a more formal structure than it appears from the
outside. While it's perceived as a Torvalds kernel, it's much
more structured. Linus [Torvalds] works as a chairman, but over a
fixed core of team members. Linus may be the only guy not working
full-time, given his responsibilities at Transmeta. There are
scenarios under which [a formal body] might work, but the model
works well today, and Linus being a part of chip design [at
Transmeta] is a good thing because it gives him insight as to what
the hardware guys need."
"CRN: Over time, don't you think it's likely
top officials in the Linux industry will have to bow to companies
such as IBM, which is investing the most--and taking the greatest
risk -- in making Linux a commercial success? Do you really think
IBM won't try to apply pressure to Torvalds and his team?
Young: Yes it will happen, and Linus will
forward the e-mail to VA Linux Systems and say, 'Is this a good
idea?' The Linux community won't cater to the needs of IBM. IBM
will have to figure out what they want to add to the kernel. Linux
has so much momentum and a number of companies are building
products and marketing using open source--and that marks the
success of this model. Red Hat, Intel and others are working like
dogs to make sure none of those bad things happen."
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