Wanted: Real Linux alliance

The DCC Alliance, I heard, is doomed to disband.

While it looks like not auguring well for the fight for Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) in the globe, the good news is that the Linux Foundation was just launched this year, which saw the merger of Open Source Development Labs (OSDL) and Free Standards Group. The Linux Foundation aims “to promote, protect, and standardize Linux by providing unified resources and services needed for open source to successfully compete with closed platforms.”

It’s a package deal. The Foundation manages the Linux trademark, ensures that all Linux distributions follow the Linux Standard Base (LSB), provides a collaborative environment among Linux and open source developers and users, maintains a fund to defend Linus Torvalds and Linux developers and users who may be involved in lawsuits filed by the SCO Group, promotes Linux worldwide, among others.

The Foundation builds on the strengths of the merged open source companies. But I hope that it likewise learns from the DCC Alliance. The common factor between the two is that Canonical, maker of Ubuntu, has not been involved at all. Mandriva is not yet a member of the Foundation, and so are other known Linux champions like Slackware and Gentoo.

For the global fight for FOSS, I want to put all my eggs in the Linux Foundation, which promises to become the mother champion. It appears to be our answer to the Business Software Alliance (BSA).

My big worry, though, is that I don’t see major distributions in the membership. Perhaps it’s too early to be concerned but I thought that it should have been automatic at the outset that all makers of major distributions banded together and instantly became members of the Foundation.

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