SOURCE: The Linux Foundation

August 15, 2007 07:00 ET

Linux Foundation Partners With LWN.net to Deliver Linux Weather Forecast

LF Collaboration With Linux Kernel Developer and Writer Jonathan Corbet Will Help Users and ISVs Track Linux Development Status

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - August 15, 2007) - The Linux Foundation (LF), the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, today announced the availability of the Linux Weather Forecast, built in collaboration with LWN.net editor Jonathan Corbet. The Forecast tracks ongoing developments in the Linux development community that are likely to appear in the mainline kernel and/or major distributions, providing an easy way for Linux users, vendors and ISVs to see the status of specific Linux kernel projects that factor into their business plans.

The Forecast can be found at http://www.linux-foundation.org/lwf

The LF has partnered with well-known industry watcher and kernel community member Jonathan Corbet to provide an objective assessment of kernel development that highlights the most important progress points. Corbet also maintains a detailed description of many Linux kernel developments on LWN.net. Now, Corbet and The Linux Foundation will work together to provide broader visibility of the most important developments and their status for all Linux and open source software stakeholders.

"One of the Linux Foundation's core values is to facilitate collaboration among Linux users, vendors, Independent Software Vendors (ISVs), kernel developers and legal experts. Specific status updates on kernel development projects are vital for the broader Linux ecosystem to make the most of Linux. Until now, this information was mostly only available to community insiders willing to navigate multiple high-volume mailing lists," said Jim Zemlin, executive director at The Linux Foundation. "Because Jonathan Corbet was already investigating and reporting on many of these topics, there was no reason to reinvent the wheel. By partnering with Jonathan and commissioning the Weather Forecast, we can give more people centralized access to key information about kernel developments."

The need for a Linux Weather Forecast arises out of Linux's unique development model. With proprietary software, product managers define a "roadmap" they deliver to engineers to implement, based on their assessments of what users want, generally gleaned from interactions with a few customers. While these roadmaps are publicly available, they are frequently not what actually gets technically implemented and are often delivered far later than the optimistic timeframes promised by proprietary companies.

Conversely, in Linux and open source software, users contribute directly to the software, setting the direction with their contributions. These changes can quickly get added to the mainline kernel and other critical packages, depending on quality and usefulness. This quick feedback and development cycle results in fast software iterations and rapid feature innovation. A new kernel version is generally released every three months, new desktop distributions every six months, and new enterprise distributions every 18 months.

While the forecast is not a roadmap or centralized planning tool, the Linux Weather Forecast gives users, ISVs, partners and developers a chance to track major developments in Linux and adjust their business accordingly, without having to comb through mailing lists of the thousands of developers currently contributing to Linux. Through the Linux Weather Forecast, users and ecosystem members can track the amazing innovation occurring in the Linux community. This pace of software innovation is unmatched in the history of operating systems. The Linux Weather Forecast will help disseminate the right information to the ever growing audience of Linux developers and users in the server, desktop and mobile areas of computing, and will complement existing information available from distributions in those areas.

The Linux Weather Forecast currently provides "forecast summaries" that include "current conditions," "upcoming forecast," "long range forecast," and "climatological timeframes." The areas currently being tracked are:

--  Core kernel developments
--  Virtualization and containers
--  Filesystems
--  Security
--  Networking
--  Hardware support
--  Miscellaneous kernel topics
--  User space
    

To submit suggestions for improving the forecast, or to submit projects or patchsets that should be tracked, please visit the Discussion Page at: http://www.linux-foundation.org/en/Talk:Linux_Weather_Forecast. While the Linux Weather Forecast is a great start with a lot of information on the kernel, information on other upstream projects, particularly desktop-related projects, should be expanded. Just like other open source projects, the Linux Foundation would like people to contribute to the Linux Platform Weather Forecast.

About LWN.net

LWN.net has been a primary technical news source for the Linux and free software development community since 1998. LWN's wide-ranging and in-depth coverage is an important resource for those working in or relying on open source. Virtually all industry leaders, including IBM, HP and Red Hat, are corporate subscribers to LWN.

About the Linux Foundation

The Linux Foundation is a nonprofit consortium dedicated to fostering the growth of Linux. Founded in 2000, the Linux Foundation sponsors the work of Linux creator Linus Torvalds and is supported by leading Linux and open source companies and developers from around the world. The Linux Foundation promotes, protects and standardizes Linux by providing unified resources and services needed for open source to successfully compete with closed platforms. For more information, please visit www.linux-foundation.org.

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