I got involved with Linux and open source in the mid-90s. I had a routine: I would check out LKML, go to bed and wake up in the morning and find thousands of messages from developers around the world innovating and iterating at an unprecedented rate of change. Nothing had or has since compared with that rate of innovation: I was hooked on open source collaboration, and I’ve never looked back.
The Linux Foundation has been lucky enough to be part of five industry shifts in the market characterized by open source collaboration:
- Enterprise computing: Linux vs proprietary operating systems
- Telecom: Linux is now the de facto operating system for the carrier networks that power our telecom systems
- Consumer electronics: From TVs to game consoles to wearable computing, Linux is now firmly in this market
- Mobile: Android and others have disrupted the proprietary offerings from Apple and Blackberry
- Embedded industries: automotive/aerospace/defense/industrial control industries are the latest to adopt Linux as their operating system
Linux is ubiquitous in all of these markets. A highlight of my role at The Linux Foundation is working with our members and the community on extending Linux’ role and making sure they know how to work well within this model. But now we are moving into a new space where collaboration is not just relegated to the open source projects we all know, like Linux, Mozilla, Apache and so on, but it’s extending to new industries, new projects, new companies and new markets.
This shift is creating demand for services and expertise to support collaborative development, and The Linux Foundation is in a natural position to help. By spreading the collaborative DNA of Linux, we hope to provide the essential collaborative framework, infrastructure and know-how for a variety of projects called Linux Foundation Collaborative Projects. We’re excited about the momentum these projects are experiencing this year. Here are a just a couple examples:
Launched less than two months ago, OpenDaylight is a community-led, industry-supported open source framework for software-defined networking (SDN) and is already making major progress. The community has worked together to define the base controller for the project, and nine new members have joined the original 18 companies to invest in the future of this platform. I am most pleased to see companies combining technologies from multiple sources to create a new foundation.
The Xen Project recently became a Linux Foundation Collaborative Project and also recently announced thelaunch of Xen4CentOS, which has brought CentOS integration back to Xen. Additionally, Xen Project 4.3 is expected any day. We’re also looking forward to the Xen Project User Summit co-located with LinuxCon andCloudOpen North America this September. Xen Project is supported by companies including Amazon Web Services, AMD, Bromium, Calxeda, CA Technologies, Cisco, Citrix, Google, Intel, Oracle, Oracle, Samsung and Verizon, among others.
This is by no means an exhaustive account of all the work being done on these projects or on other Collaborative Projects, such as Code Aurora Forum, FOSSBazaar, OpenMAMA, Tizen and Yocto Project, but it gives you an idea of how collaborative development and essential infrastructure and services can advance key technologies.
As software is increasingly built out in the open, we are humbled to support that work and protect it. We invite you to become a part of this shift and contribute to any of these projects.
Mike is Chief Operating Officer and Vice President at The Linux Foundation and oversees Collaborative Projects for the organization.