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

[ Thanks to Robert
for this link. ]

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

“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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