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LinuxPlanet: Oracle Gets Serious About Free Software

Mar 20, 2003, 20:30 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Robert McMillan)


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"We all have a pretty good idea what the world's largest software company thinks about Linux and open source, but what about its closest rival, Oracle? Though Oracle may make its money selling proprietary code, the company says it is about to get a lot more visible in its support of open source software. After years of contributing to the Linux kernel via third parties like Red Hat or SuSE, the database maker is now focusing on more direct participation on the Linux kernel list. And, in the next few weeks it is planning to release a major overhaul of its open source developer site.

"But Oracle has been ramping up its open source efforts for close to a year now. Last August, Oracle released a GPL'd cluster filesystem, followed three months later by a nifty hack that allows Linux users to set up a two node Linux cluster on a Firewire drive. That code was written by Wim Coekaerts, who heads up Oracle's Linux's development effort. A Linux user since 1993, Coekaerts got seriously involved in Linux when Larry Ellison asked him to build a network computer based on the free OS in 1999. Since then, he's moved over to server-side development where as Principal Member of Technical Staff, Corporate Architecture Development, he leads a team of developers whose goal is to make sure that Linux fully supports Oracle's next-generation features. Coekaerts says that in the next little while, his company is going to become a much more visible force in the open source development landscape.

"LinuxPlanet: When I look at Oracle's open source site, it doesn't really have a community feel to it.

"Wim Coekaerts: We are in the process of setting up something like oss.oracle.com--an open source site like oss.sgi.com. We haven't really had a lot of time to focus on that side, and now we have more time to do it. We want to be able to share more with other people..."

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