Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit Update

It’s lunchtime at the summit and I have enough time for a quick update. First, a big thanks should go to Google. They are treating us extremely well and it’s fantastic that they do things like this. The last time I was at the GOOG campus was just pre-IPO, and a lot has changed to say the least. The SGI sign is even gone now :)

The conversation so far has been both interesting and very real. To me, those are key components of collaboration, which is what this summit is supposed to be about. Mark had it right when he said that the people in this room agree on far more than they disagree on. In the middle of a flame war, that’s sometime easy to forget.

A couple highlights from the discussion (kudos to the Linux Foundation for explicitly stating that the first day here is 100% bloggable):

* The crowd here is extremely varied with almost all major groups including vendors, coders, hackers, community, users, ISV’s and more represented.
* A data point I wasn’t aware of: somewhere around 1/4-1/3 of the actual Linux kernel code is in fact licensed as “GPLv2 or later”. This has some interesting implications.
* Some day, a dual GPLv2/GPLv3 Linux kernel may be theoretically possible. A GPLv3-only version will not happen.
* Both the GPLv3 discussion and the ATI/nVidia discussion is wearing a bit thin on many people…
* One reason companies like Motorola are so interested in mobile Linux (which is going to be absolutely huge from the looks of things) is that they have some measure of control over the platform. When you get a tome from the carriers stating what you must conform to if you want to run hardware on their network, having access to the code on your phone isn’t a luxury… it’s a business differentiator.
* For mobile Linux to really gain traction, it needs to be a consistent platform. If it’s not, content partners won’t be able to make the business case to support it. (ie. They want to support “mobile Linux” for their apps and content, not have to support each and every phone/carrier combo which run slightly different Linux variants individually)
* It would be a boon if bug reporting was easier, especially with regard to better communication and process flow between distros and upstream (confederation was mentioned).

A lot more was discussed, but alas…lunch it over. Should have another update at some point.

–jeremy

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