The Freeware Summit attendees include a list of today's most influential freeware (also known as open source software) developers:
Larry Wall, creator of Perl, the language that has been called "the duct tape of the Internet,"widely used by system administrators and on nearly all active Web sites;
Brian Behlendorf, a founder of the Apache group, which created and maintains the world's most popular Web server;
Linus Torvalds, creator of Linux, a powerful, popular clone of the UNIX operating system, noted for its use in multimedia and networking;
Eric Allman, creator of Sendmail, the mail transport agent that is responsible for routing and delivery of the overwhelming majority of Internet email;
Guido van Rossum, creator of Python, a scripting language designed for rapid application development and deployment;
Phil Zimmerman, creator of PGP (Pretty Good Privacy), a powerful cross-platform encryption program that protects the privacy of files and electronic mail;
Eric Raymond, independent developer active in the Linux community and author of the influential paper, "The Cathedral and the Bazaar".
Paul Vixie, creator and maintainer of Bind, the software behind the Domain Name System (DNS); DNS is what allows the use of names like www.oreilly.com rather than 220.127.116.11 for Web addresses.
Companies which have stated a strong interest in supporting freeware will also be attending. In addition to Tim O'Reilly, participants will include Tom Paquin, Netscape Fellow and manager of the "mozilla" open source Netscape browser release, and representatives from Scriptics (Tcl), Songline Studios, and C2Net (Stronghold).
In January, Netscape announced that it would freely release the source code for Communicator. Following that announcement, the concept of freeware received wide attention in the press. The question of how the corporate and freeware communities can work together to the profit of both was raised at that time, and will be discussed in-depth at the Freeware Summit.
O'Reilly & Associates has had a long history of involvement with freeware. The respected publisher's achievements have been based, in part, on books about freeware such as Perl, DNS and Bind, and Apache. With its Perl products, the company has created a pioneering "best of both worlds" business model that builds on the strength of both commercial and freeware development. The company will soon host its second Perl conference. The first, held in August, 1997, was attended by more than 1000 people.
On April 14, Tim O'Reilly and other freeware luminaries who were present at the summit will be presenting their thoughts about the importance of freeware at CNET's Web.builder conference in San Francisco.
O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.
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