Summit Highlights Business Case for Open Source

CONTACT: Sara Winge, 707/829-0515 x285, [email protected],

Developers and corporate users agree that Open Source is good
for business

SEBASTOPOL, CA–Open Source software has reached critical mass.
Long the favorite software development model of the programming
elite, Open Source(TM) is now a credible technology option for any
business. “Open Source is a business decision that makes sense” was
the consensus of the nearly 50 leading Open Source developers and
businesspeople who gathered on March 5 for the Second Open Source
and Community Licensing Summit hosted by O’Reilly & Associates.
A list of participants is below, and bios of most participants are
at http://www.oreilly.com/oreilly/press/oss_bios.html.

At O’Reilly’s first Open Source Summit, in April 1998,
participants– all major free software developers–adopted the term
“Open Source.” The focus was on spreading the word about the
importance and value of open-source software beyond the developer
community. Since then, the spectacular growth of Linux, IBM’s
incorporation of the Apache Web Server into its WebSphere product,
and the success of new companies based on open-source technology
(such as Sendmail, Inc., ActiveState Tool Corp. and Scriptics
Corp.) have caused the business world to sit up and take notice of
Open Source.

This year, Summit participants addressed the business and
technology issues that face the Open Source community as it tackles
the challenges of success. On the business front, there was a
consensus among the developers and corporate representatives that
use of open-source software is strong and growing. Customer demand
is driving corporations’ adoption of Linux and other open-source
software. Summit participants challenged industry analysts to
provide their corporate clients with data on the benefits and Total
Cost of Ownership of open-source solutions.

In the discussion of technical issues, the group took concrete
steps towards developing a shared vision of best practices for
open-source development. Discussion centered around the question,
“What is the science of Open Source development?” Participants
agreed that it is appropriate and desirable for businesses to
handle support issues as open-source technologies scale. This is
happening already in the Linux arena, where the Linux distributors
are handling bug tracking. The group also debated the merits of
tools to support the distributed, collaborative development process
at the heart of Open Source, such as CVS (Code Versioning System)
and bug tracking systems. Participants committed to working
together to promote the benefits of Open Source software and
support the Open Source developer community.

Host Tim O’Reilly, President and CEO of O’Reilly &
Associates, noted, “Today was the first time that people from the
developer community and the corporate world sat down together to
hash out how Open Source can work for both of them. Before the
Summit, we weren’t sure how far their interests could mesh, but we
found a surprising degree of compatibility. Open Source has support
on both sides of the fence that should build the momentum of the
last year and increase its use and influence.”

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Open Source is a trademark of the Open Source Initiative


  • Jeremy Allison, key Samba developer, SGI
  • Eric Allman, creator of sendmail; Sendmail, Inc.
  • Ken Arnold, Jini, Sun Microsystems
  • Larry Augustin, VA Research
  • Fred Baker, IETF
  • Mitchell Baker, Netscape Communications
  • Brian Behlendorf, co-founder of the Apache Group; O’Reilly
    & Associates
  • Steve Burbeck, IBM
  • Steve Byrne, leader of the Blackdown Java Porting Team
    (Java-Linux Port)
  • Wayne Caccamo, Hewlett Packard
  • Ken Coar, IBM, Apache Group member
  • David Conrad, Internet Software Consortium
  • L. Peter Deutsch, principal author of Ghostscript; Aladdin
  • David Fair, Intel
  • Roy Fielding, member of the Apache Group
  • John Gilmore, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)
  • Dick Hardt, ActiveState
  • Chris Hernberger, Linux Developement Studio
  • Alexandre Julliard, WINE project, Corel
  • Tom Kalil, White House National Economic Council
  • Charles Marker, SGI
  • Kirk McKusick , BSD
  • Larry McVoy, Bitmover
  • Cliff Miller, Pacific Hi Tech
  • Sam Ockman, Penguin Computing
  • Greg Olson, Sendmail, Inc.
  • Tim O’Reilly, O’Reilly & Associates
  • John Ousterhout, CEO, Scriptics Corp. and creator of the Tcl
  • Sameer Parekh, C2Net Software, Inc.; member of the Apache
  • Jamshed Patel, Oracle
  • Chris Peterson, Foresight Institute
  • Eric Raymond, Open Source Initiative
  • Chip Salzenberg, Open Source Initiative
  • Ean Schessler, Debian; Software in the Public Interest
  • Janet Smith , Informix
  • Drew Spencer, Caldera
  • Gavriel State, WINE project, Corel
  • Jon Stevens, member of the Java-Apache Project
  • Michael Tiemann, Cygnus Solutions
  • Marc Torres, S.u.S.E.
  • Linus Torvalds, creator of Linux
  • Guido van Rossum, creator of the Python language
  • Larry Wall, creator of the Perl language
  • Tim Wilkenson, Transvirtual Technologies, Inc.
  • Jamie Zawinski, mozilla.org, Netscape Communications