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March 10, 1999

Summit Highlights Business Case for Open Source

SEBASTOPOL, CA--Open Source software has reached critical mass. Long the favorite software development model of the programming elite, Open Source™ is now a credible technology option for any business. "Open Source is a business decision that makes sense" was the consensus of the nearly 50 leading Open Source developers and businesspeople who gathered on March 5 for the Second Open Source and Community Licensing Summit hosted by O'Reilly & Associates. A list of participants is below, and bios of most participants are at http://press.oreilly.com/pub/pr/835.

At O'Reilly's first Open Source Summit, in April 1998, participants-- all major free software developers--adopted the term "Open Source." The focus was on spreading the word about the importance and value of open-source software beyond the developer community. Since then, the spectacular growth of Linux, IBM's incorporation of the Apache Web Server into its WebSphere product, and the success of new companies based on open-source technology (such as Sendmail, Inc., ActiveState Tool Corp. and Scriptics Corp.) have caused the business world to sit up and take notice of Open Source.

This year, Summit participants addressed the business and technology issues that face the Open Source community as it tackles the challenges of success. On the business front, there was a consensus among the developers and corporate representatives that use of open-source software is strong and growing. Customer demand is driving corporations' adoption of Linux and other open-source software. Summit participants challenged industry analysts to provide their corporate clients with data on the benefits and Total Cost of Ownership of open-source solutions.

In the discussion of technical issues, the group took concrete steps towards developing a shared vision of best practices for open-source development. Discussion centered around the question, "What is the science of Open Source development?" Participants agreed that it is appropriate and desirable for businesses to handle support issues as open-source technologies scale. This is happening already in the Linux arena, where the Linux distributors are handling bug tracking. The group also debated the merits of tools to support the distributed, collaborative development process at the heart of Open Source, such as CVS (Code Versioning System) and bug tracking systems. Participants committed to working together to promote the benefits of Open Source software and support the Open Source developer community.

Host Tim O'Reilly, President and CEO of O'Reilly & Associates, noted, "Today was the first time that people from the developer community and the corporate world sat down together to hash out how Open Source can work for both of them. Before the Summit, we weren't sure how far their interests could mesh, but we found a surprising degree of compatibility. Open Source has support on both sides of the fence that should build the momentum of the last year and increase its use and influence."

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Open Source is a trademark of the Open Source Initiative

Open Source and Community Licensing Summit Attendees & Affiliations

  • Jeremy Allison, key Samba developer, SGI
  • Eric Allman, creator of sendmail; Sendmail, Inc.
  • Ken Arnold, Jini, Sun Microsystems
  • Larry Augustin, VA Research
  • Fred Baker, IETF
  • Mitchell Baker, Netscape Communications
  • Brian Behlendorf, co-founder of the Apache Group; O'Reilly & Associates
  • Steve Burbeck, IBM
  • Steve Byrne, leader of the Blackdown Java Porting Team (Java-Linux Port)
  • Wayne Caccamo, Hewlett Packard
  • Ken Coar, IBM, Apache Group member
  • David Conrad, Internet Software Consortium
  • L. Peter Deutsch, principal author of Ghostscript; Aladdin
  • David Fair, Intel
  • Roy Fielding, UC Irvine; co-founder of the Apache Group
  • John Gilmore, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)
  • Dick Hardt, ActiveState
  • Chris Hernberger, Linux Developement Studio
  • Alexandre Julliard, WINE project, Corel
  • Tom Kalil, White House National Economic Council
  • Charles Marker, SGI
  • Kirk McKusick , BSD
  • Larry McVoy, Bitmover
  • Cliff Miller, Pacific Hi Tech
  • Sam Ockman, Penguin Computing
  • Greg Olson, Sendmail, Inc.
  • Tim O'Reilly, O'Reilly & Associates
  • John Ousterhout, CEO, Scriptics Corp. and creator of the Tcl language
  • Sameer Parekh, C2Net Software, Inc.; member of the Apache Group
  • Jamshed Patel, Oracle
  • Chris Peterson, Foresight Institute
  • Eric Raymond, Open Source Initiative
  • Chip Salzenberg, Open Source Initiative
  • Ean Schessler, Debian; Software in the Public Interest
  • Doc Searls, Linux Journal
  • Janet Smith , Informix
  • Drew Spencer, Caldera
  • Gavriel State, WINE project, Corel
  • Jon Stevens, member of the Java-Apache Project
  • Michael Tiemann, Cygnus Solutions
  • Marc Torres, S.u.S.E.
  • Linus Torvalds, creator of Linux
  • Guido van Rossum, creator of the Python language
  • Larry Wall, creator of the Perl language
  • Tim Wilkenson, Transvirtual Technologies, Inc.
  • Jamie Zawinski, mozilla.org, Netscape Communications

About O'Reilly

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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