Linux

Linux.conf.au 2012: three threats and a balloon

The Linux operating system and other open software projects are under threat because they've failed to develop the sympathy for users manifested by companies such as Apple, according to luminary Bruce Perens.

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Perens created the Open Source Definition and was founder or co-founder of projects including the Open Source Initiative and the Linux Standard Base, to name just two.

In his keynote address to the Linux.conf.au 2012 conference in Ballarat yesterday he delivered a blunt warning.

"Open source is the only credible producer of software and now hardware that isn't bound to a single company's economic interest," Perens said.

"Open source has not been able to protect its own future by reforming law that is hostile to it. Despite our popularity and our legal victories, our developers face greater risks today than they ever have, and we need to make changes if we're going to be able to help ourselves."

"We have to reach the common man," he said, pointing to the work of Wikipedia and the Mozilla Foundation as examples.

In this first of four daily podcasts from LCA 2012, there's another warning from Matthew Garrett, a kernel developer at Red Hat, about the inadequacies of Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI), a standard that's set to replace the BIOS.

You'll also hear from LWN.com's Jonathan Corbet about the challenges facing Linux kernel development in 2012. And there's a brief introduction to Project Horus, which has used balloons to send Linux computers to the edge of space.

Running time: 35 minutes, 26 seconds

Metal Free Software Song 2: This Time It’s Personal by Jono Bacon is based on the original "Free Software Song" by Richard Stallman, used under a Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike licence.

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