All these attempts to create some kind of broth which tastes the same no matter what name it bears will never work. They will succeed for the bigger commercial distributions but the rest of the little people will continue following their own system which can be best described as a functioning anarchy. Once the fun goes out of it, Linux will become like Windows - anodyne, lifeless, boring.
What made me laugh after reading this latest push for PR points by Zemlin is the people whom author Sean Michael Kerner has looked to in order to validate the various utterances of the Linux Foundation chief.
First in line is a company called Novell. Yes, you heard right, that's the same Novell which signed a patent protection deal with Microsoft. The same company which sold out the FOSS movement. (Which reminds me that not long agoo, Zemlin was asking people to respect Microsoft.)
Kerner quotes some marketing dude from Novell as saying the company has "a very close relationship with Jim, and we're very pleased with the direction he's taken the Linux Foundation." Yeah, that's an excellent testimonial, Jimmy. That should normally be enough to damn a man in the FOSS community.
The Foundation, in some ways, reminds me of the Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd who often, while being interviewed, asks and answers his own questions. This bid to control information is probably why it tries to pass off articles written by one of its own spinmeisters, Amanda McPherson, as news. During the annual collaboration summit, Zemlin kept journalists on a leash, and more than one did bite back a bit.
I think Zemlin has become too obsessed with publicity - for some time he made some pitiful attempts to pass around interviews which he had done with Foundation employees. But he came unstuck when he interviewed Novell chief Ron Hovsepian and never raised the question of the company's deal with Microsoft. If anything could have unmasked an interview as being bogus, that was it.
Time for the Foundation to take a reality check - and realise that if tomorrow Torvalds walks out the door, all the PR in the world will do no good.
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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.