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Linux Magazine: The Watchdog [Interview with Jon 'Maddog' Hall]

Sep 16, 2000, 13:02 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Robert McMillan)

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"LinuxMagazine: One of your jobs at Linux International is to act as a watchdog for potential threats to Linux. What dangers are you focused most closely on right now?"

"Maddog: Right now I am very concerned about some of the larger companies who are coming into the Linux space. Their upper management kind of understands Linux -- maybe they have one or two managers who really understand it -- but, it hasn't quite trickled down through the entire organization."

"These companies are moving people off of projects where they have been developing proprietary stuff and now poof they are on the Linux side of the house. These people have not absorbed the Linux culture. They don't understand the way that Linux people do things. They say "Well, we need to have this particular feature for our customers and we're going to get it into Linux come hell or high water." Pardon me, pardon me. It's not your operating system. It's the Linux community's operating system. Although you feel you need to have this thing in there for your customers, it's the Linux community that owns this."

"These people come along and they say, "Well, you know, what happens if we create our own kernel, our own distribution, and we put in the stuff?" I say "Well, then you'll fracture the ISV [Independent Software Vendor] base. They'll say, 'Okay, we tried Linux but it's obviously screwed up, it's going to go the way that Unix went and we're going back to NT.' That's something you just can't tolerate."

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