Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Alan Cox and the End of an Era

Filed under
Linux

In the beginning, free software was an activity conducted on the margins - using spare time on a university's computers, or the result of lonely bedroom hacking. One of the key moments in the evolution of free software was when hackers began to get jobs - often quite remunerative jobs - with one of the new open source companies that sprang up in the late 1990s. For more or less the first time, coders could make a good salary doing what they loved, and businesses could be successful paying them to write code that would be given away.

The other company that made a conscious effort to sweep up relevant hacker talent is happily not only still with us, but thriving. Red Hat has recently posted excellent financial results, and remains arguably the leading open source company. Given its focus on GNU/Linux, it naturally tended to recruit the top people there - people like David Miller, Stephen Tweedie and Alan Cox.

Cox was born in Solihull, and studied at universities in Wales. He was a keen Amiga hacker, and contemplated writing an entirely new operating system for that machine, but decided that "writing file system stuff was too hard for one person to do." So he was naturally impressed to discover that a crazy Finn had done precisely that.

Rest Here




Alan Cox leaves Red Hat, suggesting company's future direction

Matt Asay: After 10 years with Red Hat as one of its highest-profile developers, Alan Cox is moving on to Intel.

I suspect the impetus for the change has much to do with Cox's interest in the "low-level stuff" that Intel needs, and Red Hat much less so. Implicit in Cox's note is an indication of where Red Hat is going: up the stack.

This shift will not happen overnight, but it very clearly has been happening.

Rest Here

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

More in Tux Machines

Mesa 10.3 release candidate 2

Mesa 10.3 release candidate 2 is now available for testing. The current plan of record is to have an additional release candidate each Friday until the 10.3 release on Friday, September 12th. The tag in the GIT repository for Mesa 10.3-rc2 is 'mesa-10.3-rc2'. I have verified that the tag is in the correct place in the tree. Mesa 10.3 release candidate 2 is available for download at ftp://freedesktop.org/pub/mesa/10.3/ Read more

Linux 3.17-rc3

I'm back to the usual Sunday release schedule, and -rc3 is out there now. As expected, it is larger than rc2, since people are clearly getting back from their Kernel Summit travels etc. But happily, it's not *much* larger than rc2 was, and there's nothing particularly odd going on, so I'm going to just ignore the whole "it's summer" argument, and hope that things are just going that well. Please don't prove me wrong, Linus Read more

Revisiting How We Put Together Linux Systems

Traditional Linux distributions are built around packaging systems like RPM or dpkg, and an organization model where upstream developers and downstream packagers are relatively clearly separated: an upstream developer writes code, and puts it somewhere online, in a tarball. A packager than grabs it and turns it into RPMs/DEBs. The user then grabs these RPMs/DEBs and installs them locally on the system. For a variety of uses this is a fantastic scheme: users have a large selection of readily packaged software available, in mostly uniform packaging, from a single source they can trust. In this scheme the distribution vets all software it packages, and as long as the user trusts the distribution all should be good. The distribution takes the responsibility of ensuring the software is not malicious, of timely fixing security problems and helping the user if something is wrong. Read more

See How Your Linux System Performs Against The Latest Intel/AMD CPUs

This holiday weekend (in the US) can be a great time to test your Linux system to see how it's performing against the latest AMD and Intel processors to see if it's time for a good upgrade. This weekend I'm working on many Linux CPU benchmarks for the upcoming Linux review of the Intel Core i7 5960X Haswell-E system (still waiting for Intel's review sample to arrive though...) and also have some other hardware in preparation for an unrelated launch that's happening next week from another vendor. I'm testing several different Intel/AMD CPUs from the latest desktop CPUs to the Extreme Edition models to some slightly older parts. Beyond the raw performance results are also the power consumption data and much more. Read more