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Ask The Linux Foundation's Executive Director Jim Zemlin What You Will 58

Posted by samzenpus
from the go-ahead-and-ask dept.
In addition to sponsoring the work of Linus Torvalds, The Linux Foundation supports and promotes a wide variety of resources and services for Linux. Their recently released 2014 Linux Jobs Report surveyed more than 1,000 managers and corporations, finding in part, that the demand for "Linux Professionals" was up 70% from last year. Jim Zemlin is the Executive Director of the Linux Foundation and he has agreed to answer any questions that you have about the report and the state of Linux in general. As usual, ask as many as you'd like, but please, one question per post.
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Ask The Linux Foundation's Executive Director Jim Zemlin What You Will

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  • Oblig (Score:1, Troll)

    by oodaloop (1229816)
    What year will be known as The Year of Linux on the Desktop?
    • by Immerman (2627577)

      Well, for me it was 2005. What, you think I should care what *you're* using on *your* desktop? How does that affect me? Most of the software I want to use comes in Linux-native flavors, and most of the rest runs fine under WINE.

    • by bobbied (2522392)

      What year will be known as The Year of Linux on the Desktop?

      Answer: Next Year! ALWAYS it is next year...

      But it's closer than cold fusion, which is at least a decade out..

  • Fragmentation (Score:5, Interesting)

    by advid.net (595837) <slashdot@advid. n e t> on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @11:49AM (#46287187) Journal

    Regarding Linux kernel...

    Is there a fear of some kind of fragmentation after Linus leadership ends ?

    I'm not saying Linus will stop leading anytime soon, but this will happen one day for sure.

    Maybe not a fear, but concerns, ..., call it.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Is there an impact on Linux, is the development being influenced by US Department of Defense and NSA?

    Conspiratorial view on Linux security: [wordpress.com]

    Since then, more has happened to reveal the true story here, the depth of which surprised even me. The GTK development story and the systemd debate on Debian revealed much corporate pressure being brought to bear in Linux. [...] Some really startling facts about Red Hat came to light. For me the biggest was the fact that the US military is Red Hat's largest customer:

    "Wh

  • by daurtanyn (258081) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @12:03PM (#46287371)

    Is the Linux foundation doing anything to insure the various distributions each incorporate the improvements done in the various distributions?

    I'm worried about the long term branching side effects. We have Debian, Red Hat, Oracle, and others adding functions and improvements.

    What is being done to insure both hybrid vigor and "re-mainlining" of promising branches?

  • Stallman (Score:2, Funny)

    by slapout (93640)

    How many times has Richard Stallman emailed you to tell you it should be called "The GNU/Linux Foundation"?

  • Driver support (Score:2, Insightful)

    by unixisc (2429386)

    One thing I'm curious about - is the Linux Foundation keeping a tab to ensure that driver support is there for as many devices as possible under Linux, so that the chances of something not working under Linux is minimal? This is obviously not an issue w/ Windows, since device manufacturers target it for their devices, but one can easily see devices not being recognized by Linux. Sometimes, the recognition may vary from one version to other, or distro to distro. What, if anything, does the Linux foundatio

    • by Grishnakh (216268)

      ALSA is part of the kernel. PulseAudio is a userspace layer that works with ALSA drivers (in the kernel) to route and control sound from sound-producing processes to hardware devices. For almost everyone these days, it works just fine.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    There is a number of companies that have been attacking Linux with patent claims and FUD to make the OS less attractive to manufacturers and even companies acting as end users. Some even demanded fees or a tax for the usage of Linux to avoid litigation, reaching secret agreements instead of invalidating the patents or working around them. This doesn't benefit Linux at all, leaves it under a bad light and leaves a uncertainty that a company can get sued anytime for using the OS in their products. Why does th

  • Can the Linux Foundation do anything to ensure that there is some uniformity b/w distros? For instance, for some of them, one can find certain configuration files available under /etc/, and w/ other distros, they get moved about. Can the Linux Foundation set up a definition where things just have to be in certain locations, regardless of distro, and certain commands that just have to work, regardless of distro? The distro makers can innovate outside these parameters, but to be recognized as 'Linux', they
    • by paulatz (744216)

      Can the Linux Foundation set up a definition where things just have to be in certain locations, regardless of distro, and certain commands that just have to work, regardless of distro?

      like lsb? [linuxfoundation.org]

  • Most hardware is relatively static. Except for gamers, tweakers and industry professionals, it is very rare that people replace MoBos, Processors or Buses.
    When will Linux auto-detect the 'static' components of the hardware and do an install with a kernel compiled and optimized for that hardware - along with a vanilla kernel for emergency backup? (Something like Gentoo does)
    • by andyhhp (1373567)

      When will Linux auto-detect the 'static' components of the hardware and do an install with a kernel compiled and optimized for that hardware - along with a vanilla kernel for emergency backup? (Something like Gentoo does)

      Never - it is not in a general distros best interest. It is hard enough keeping on top of the kernel bugs with a signle configuration in use, let alone customising it to everyones hardware. Anyway, when it comes to drivers, the optimisations you can do are "dont load drivers you dont need", which is what already happens

  • by bzipitidoo (647217) <bzipitidoo@yahoo.com> on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @01:09PM (#46288065) Journal

    There are many things Linux can't do thanks to political barriers, not technical ones. An example is backing up or just playing a copy protected DVD. CSS and region encoding are easily overcome. It's schemes like ARccOS that cause difficulties. Another example is the mess NVidia and AMD/ATI have made of graphics drivers. Theyve pledged to improve, but they've dragged their feet so much one wonders how serious they are. Maybe no legitimate business will ever again dare to pull stunts like Sony's music CDs with the root kit, and Turbo Tax's fooling around with the zero sector of their customers' hard drives, but they aren't yet scared or enlightened enough to stop trying other crap.

    Many software and hardware companies feel they can safely ignore libre OSes. Worse, some still view libre as antithetical to standard business practices, and a death sentence for their business if they so much as use it. To them, libre is hippie pinko Communist. The walled gardens of the likes of Microsoft and Apple are philosophically more comfortable. They don't just accidentally create software that cannot be easily ported, they purposely do that.

    How do you get businesses and people to play ball with libre software? I want the attitudes that go with intellectual property and copy protection to die, and the very concepts to be so abhorrent that no self-respecting business will ever again think it an ethical and righteous thing to do. Freedom of speech and religion are accepted and enforced. Freedom of knowledge deserves the same.

    • Freedom is somewhat of an up hill struggle. Placing barriers in learning or information is just one facet of a very ugly jewel. Fear of change is the great epidemic in America. The fact that we need change doesn't seem to be taken into account at all. Think of how restricted most people are in regard to raising their own food. Housing has been subordinated to business and huts and shacks are not allowed yet we can not house our citizens. Our streams and rivers have been too polluted to be abl
  • What if anything do you think Linux should do to improve network security?

    The reason I ask this question is runtime environments allow and require (depending on the tools your using) programmers to be experts in memory management and systems programming, but by and large the vast majority are not. This leads to zero day exploits hiding in various applications - including application layer parts of the OS. Is anyone giving thought to prevention, instead of chasing bugs after the fact, and what will that lo

  • security model? One that will allow users to invoke lightweight sandboxes for untrusted applications like browsers? Linux has the opportunity to be the leader in this field. Should your foundation push for it?

  • by trydk (930014) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @02:22PM (#46288877)
    I know Linux is all about freedom, especially freedom of choice, but is The Linux Foundation doing anything actively to encourage consolidation instead of fragmentation to avoid the situation Randall Munroe describes in xkcd [xkcd.com]?

    The current situation: Distributions galore, a profusion of system initialization versions from simple to incomprehensible, a plethora of desktop metaphors (probably stopping this year and next year from being The Year of the Linux Desktop), ...
    • by soki22 (3544057)

      I know Linux is all about freedom, especially freedom of choice, but is The Linux Foundation doing anything actively to encourage consolidation instead of fragmentation to avoid the situation Randall Munroe describes in xkcd [xkcd.com]? The current situation: Distributions galore, a profusion of system initialization versions from simple to incomprehensible, a plethora of desktop metaphors (probably stopping this year and next year from being The Year of the Linux Desktop), ...

      You

    • by soki22 (3544057)
      You
  • What active effort being made to bring linux to the masses, and not just the technical few? Is there even such an organized plan in existence?
  • by X!0mbarg (470366) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @04:55PM (#46290283)
    It seems one of the Biggest Obstacles to getting Linux on more desktops is simply that most users are unable to get it running without consulting a guru.

    That's one of the main reasons I have never even tried to get into Linux on my own...

  • Which sucks more, systemd or slashdot beta?

    • Which sucks more, systemd or slashdot beta?

      Dice overlords!

      Yeah, I know, off-topic. Back under the bridge. [mumbles obscenities in multiple languages]

  • by multimediavt (965608) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @07:03PM (#46291249)
    Why is Linux still less than 1% of the desktop market that it was supposed to dominate so assuredly some, oh, 20 years ago?
    • Honestly, not trying to be snarky (overly anyway). I would really like to know your thoughts on why you think Linux is where it is today in the installed desktop landscape when it has had so much potential for nigh on two decades. Sure, places like Munich and now there's another municipality making the switch, but that's still a drop in the bucket compared to the other two major operating systems.
    • by yannbane (3484437)
      But Linux already dominates. Most used mobile OS. Powers the entire internet. Most used web-facing server OS. Literally the only viable OS for serious scientific computation. Very popular amongst developers. Used more and more on appliances. Also it's less than 1% on the desktop only if you subscribe to agencies on Microsoft's pay. It's over 1.5% from what I've gathered.
  • by Da_Slayer (37022) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @07:17PM (#46291365)

    What is being done to improve the Linux Kernel documentation in both structure and completeness?

    A good white paper was already written about what needs to be improved and yet the mailing list discussions are just endless bike shedding. Here is the white paper:
    https://www.kernel.org/doc/ols... [kernel.org] There appears to be no person who the buck stops with. Furthermore based on 3 years of reading the mailing list I seriously doubt more than 2-5 people on the mailing list actually understand what good documentation is, let alone how to write it.

  • OpenStack has been compared to Linux a lot lately and justifiable so. I'd be interested in your thoughts on what the Linux Foundation can learn from the structures built within the OpenStack Foundation. Specifically, the OpenStack Foundation has a User Committee with the mission to look after the user's interest. That is: not developers, nor industry partners but users. Would you consider a similar function to be the Linux Foundation's concern?

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