Feeds

Open source - the once and future dream

Ballmer, trolls, and the next ten years

The essential guide to IT transformation

The cultural shift

Hacking is the easy part. The hard part is the cultural shift organizations must make so their employees can begin participating. That's a slow process that requires positive feedback on the experiences of open source inside organizations and flagging up success stories.

Tiemann notes that IT departments are the ones that are ones least likely to be trusted inside an organization when it comes to advocating greater participation. That's because they are blamed for the project failures of the past and because IT has earned a reputation for being a cost center, not a center of savings. So while IT can advocate, it will likely take the backing of the business, management, or some other force to bring change.

This is a long process, but the Linux Foundation's Zemlin is positive that the rate of contributions to Linux and FOSS in general - and from outside IT in particular - will increase and cease to be an issue during this decade.

Zemlin says that people who don't contribute today will eventually, pointing to how the Linux kernel has grown during the last 18 years. "The benefit of open source is you can collectively maintain open source...I think this is a temporal issue not a systematic issue."

Meanwhile, Tiemann believes the fact so many large organizations are already using open source means we are now at a tipping point - where users outside of IT become contributors. He cited the government of Brazil, where one official told him recently it's running open source "everywhere" but that it can now see "limits" in where it can go by just being consumers because open-source is not giving Brazil all the features it needs. "That's why they need to become co producers," Tiemann said.

"It's as if you got the field ploughed and prepared and maybe even seeded and now it's a question of getting people tending the crop," Tiemann said. "Ten years from now, we will have a huge harvest - more people participating and more features."

The past catches up

If the 2000s were remarkable for being the decade when Linux and FOSS crossed into the mainstream. The next ten years will show whether the last decade was a one-act play or the first chapter in a longer story.

The challenges that were the hallmarks of the last 10 years have not gone away. The issue now is whether Linux and FOSS can solve them or brush them aside and proceed to - as Tiemann believes - touch the rest of society in the way the PC and Microsoft's Windows revolutionized society by putting low-priced computing power in the hands of the masses.

Zemlin takes the example of Windows a step further. Looking to the end of the 2010's, Zemlin draws on the famous vision of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates for a computer on every desktop and every home that drove that last revolution.

"My vision," Zemlin said, "is to have a computer in every gas pump, X-ray system, cell phone, GPS system, set top box, picture frame, car, logistics system, airplane, DVR, server, super computer and desktop all running Linux." ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
BBC: We're going to slip CODING into kids' TV
Pureed-carrot-in-ice cream C++ surprise
China: You, Microsoft. Office-Windows 'compatibility'. You have 20 days to explain
Told to cough up more details as antitrust probe goes deeper
Windows 7 settles as Windows XP use finally starts to slip … a bit
And at the back of the field, Windows 8.1 is sprinting away from Windows 8
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup
Would you leave your well-paid job to chase your dream?
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?