Linux Journal: What I Learned on Linux Lunacy

“I had high expectations for the trip, and all of them were
exceeded. I won’t go into the details of what went on; see the
Linux Journal web site on Friday for a nice long report. But I will
give you a brief summary of what became a lot clearer to me–and to
everybody else, I think–by the end of a week on a ship with Linus,
Guido van Rossum, Eric Raymond, Ted Ts’o, Randall Schwartz, Steve
Oualline and a star chamber of other alpha geeks. The short of it
is Linux is an even bigger phenomenon than it appears to be, and so
is the open-source development model that produced it.

“There is something a little bit surreal about sitting in a
meeting of the Jamaica Linux Users Group (JaLUG), in a cafe beside
a waterfall–with Linus, Ted, Eric and other luminaries in the
front of the room and an attentive audience filling the rest of the
space–while a veteran local IBM executive stands up and describes
the adoption of Linux by the company’s customers with adjectives
like ‘huge’.

“I’ll confess to something here: for the last year or more, I’ve
been a bit worried that Linux’ quiet success threatened to make its
story less interesting. Now I’m convinced there’s a new story in
the works–a much bigger one, at least for those of us called
‘suits’ (like, say, the IBM guy). It’s about the end of the
software business as we know it, and the beginning of whatever
replaces it…”

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