More and more open-source developers these days are employees of companies, paid to work on open-source projects, rather than independent programmers doing it for fun. The change raises issues for projects, programmers and employers alike.
While the use of Linux continues to sail along at a nice clip, the number of people kicking the tires is shrinking, for all the right reasons.
The New York Stock Exchange is investing heavily in x86-based Linux systems and blade servers as it builds out the NYSE Hybrid Market trading system that it launched last year. Flexibility and lower cost are among the goals. But one of the things that NYSE Euronext CIO Steve Rubinow says he most wants from the new computing architecture is technology independence.
The Dutch government has set a soft deadline of April 2008 for its agencies to start using open-source software — programs that anyone can modify and that work with a variety of technology — the Netherlands Economic Affairs Ministry said Thursday.
"For year-end 2007, we have compiled the Top 5 Most Overlooked Open Source Vulnerabilities encountered during 2007. We came up with this list after reviewing over 300 million lines of code and spending literally thousands of hours of analysis across a wide range of industries - including technology, financial services and government, among others."
For untold thousands of developers around the world, it's not a game. For solution providers and their customers, it's not a game.
But the world of desktop Linux has become increasingly competitive, increasingly important to the IT industry, and increasingly available for anyone to try.
The Iranian computing research center that says it built a supercomputer with Advanced Micro Devices Inc.'s Opteron processors has removed from its Web site photographs showing a possible link to the United Arab Emirates as a source of the chips. But something that can't be removed so easily are longstanding U.S. concerns about the UAE being a conduit for sending technology to Iran and other banned countries.
Unlike Apple or Microsoft, the Linux community doesn't hold launch events with rock stars when a new operating system is released. Customers don't line up overnight outside retail stores throwing out snappy quotes to the media. But over time -- especially over the past 18 months -- Linux developers have delivered technology to the market that is sound, that is simple and that can do the basic work people need to get done.