Controversy at the Linux Foundation
Linux has seen more than its fair share of controversy through the years. And, that's not so surprising. For one thing, the operating system flies in the teeth of deeply entrenched multinational companies. The fact that it stands for users instead of vested interests has drawn more than a little ire as well.
And, let's be honest. Sometimes the controversy comes from within our own camp. Although the Open Source community is generally very welcoming and accepting, there always will be conflicts when a large group of people works together on a big project. It happens in offices. It happens in universities. And it has certainly happened on the Linux Kernel Mailing list.
It shouldn't be so surprising that tempers occasionally flare. People may come to the Open Source world with rose-tinted spectacles, expecting to join a utopia. I guess it can be disappointing to realize that we're human after all (yes, even Linus Torvalds).
In general, it's a good idea not to get drawn into flame wars and conflicts. Bruised egos aren't terribly important in the grand scheme--not while there's a worthwhile project underway. But, that's not to say that we should be complacent and ignore genuine controversies when they arise.
Let's take the case of the recent changes to the Linux Foundation bylaws. The Linux Foundation is a non-profit organization that exists to protect Linux and fund its growth. It pays Linus Torvald's wages so he can work on the kernel full time. It fights legal battles to keep the code free, and it provides training and certification.
Until recently, the foundation was the very model of a peaceful community. And, if there were conflicts, they happened behind closed doors. But the recent changes in its bylaws have provoked a wave of outrage in the community.
In the past, any member of the foundation could stand for election to the board. This included big companies paying hundreds of thousands of dollars per year and individuals paying only $99. There were two board positions for the community members to ensure that the requirements of the community were represented at the board.
The new bylaws mean that only high-end supporters can become board directors. As a result, there is no longer a counterweight against the big corporations. There are fears that the board will support the interests of big business and neglect the needs of the community, and that's where the outrage is coming from.
The change was first brought to light by Matthew Garrett, a former contributor to the Linux kernel who now works on security for CoreOS. Garret believes the laws were changed because Karen Sandler (the director of the Software Freedom Conservancy) was standing for election to the board.
Karen's organization works to protect GPL-licensed works and is actively pursuing legal action against VMware. VMware just so happens to be a high-end member of the Linux foundation. Of course, it could be a coincidence, but the timing is convenient for VMware.
Although this is troubling news for the community, it's worth noting that the Linux kernel remains free. It doesn't "belong" to the foundation. The foundation's role is to fund development and support its use.
The kernel is developed by Linus and a worldwide community of developers. If members of the community need a feature in the kernel, they can contribute directly to the development process, or they can support active developers through donations.
Of course, organizations like the Linux Foundation are important. It's also important for the organization to maintain good relations with the community--after all, without the community, there is no Linux.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
July 20, 2016 12:00 pm CDT
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
Join Linux Journal's Mike Diehl and Pat Cameron of Help Systems.
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With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide