Two decades ago a system that would revolutionize the history of the software was released. Governments, armies, Google, Facebook and smart phones use different versions of Linux, an open, free and headquarters operating system.
There is a world beyond windows and apples. And brings twenty years of incredible growth. Linux, the open, free and distributed operating system is synonymous with reliability for 80 percent of Internet servers for companies like Google, for mobile phones (Android) for supercomputers with hundreds of processors that accelerate particles in Geneva, and even the New York Stock Exchange. Yes, Wall Street uses Linux. Also almost all the world’s armies, hospitals, malls, cars, trains, planes. But Linux has no central offices. Has no place. Work is decentralized in personal homes, in other projects, supported by companies that support the development of the kernel, the heart of this production and cultural revolution. For example, the Linux Foundation announced yesterday a project supported by the Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, J. P. Morgan Chase and the New York Stock Exchange, where all these companies will work collaboratively on a new Linux-based platform. However, there is a battle that Linux could never win: the battle of personal computers. While millions of people using a score distributions (versions of Linux with different profiles), the desktop could not be massive under Linux yet. “There is good news,” says Dirk Hohndel Prague, currently at Intel and one of the developers of Linux from the beginning: “It seems that desktop computers will disappear.”
Throughout the spiral of production (ranging from the operation of the kernel, the drivers and compilers) ends literally in the hands of Linus Torvalds, even today, the responsible include the codes generated by others. Jim Zemlin, Linux Foundation, wondering how the first day would be the world without Linux. Well, obviously not very good: “It would be a dark place, no banks, no trains, no financial system, neither Google nor Amazon, nor where to find your friends, since Facebook also runs on Linux. Also nuclear submarines and TV Internet would stop working. ”
Historically, Microsoft Windows has been the number one enemy, basically because Linux works better, and is not behind a model sold licenses. However, this year a team of marketing company founded by Bill Gates sent a birthday video for having reached two decades. The video was so friendly, that no one understood where to take it. The current CEO of Windows, Steve Ballmer, Linux defenestró whenever he could and even went on to say that Linux was like cancer. But if it was like cancer, then why Steve Jobs died of Linux …? Anyway, beyond humored, Jobs swore to destroy Android before dying. Google’s operating system is nothing but a mobile version of Linux: lights 550,000 devices every day, Red Hat (which has a stable release with support with subscription model) will announce earnings per billion this year, and even Microsoft programmers began to contribute code to Linux for specific reasons. In version 3.0, Microsoft is the main contributor in amount of code.
With a different model of payment for licenses, ensuring through the GPL code openness and freedom, Linux grew rapidly in the last five years. Much of their success is due to the use of the legal structure designed by Richard Stallman, creator of a lot of lines of code (GNU) that served to mount in 1991. “The reason why it is successful is because it is the right side of history. But besides the technical, legal, productive reasons, the main concept is inside Linux is the concept of freedom. That’s what matters: these ideas have been so successful that influenced other aspects of the economy. Currently being written about three million lines per year, the vast majority are for drivers. It is a concept of collaborative work, together we are smarter. It is a completely new idea on how to work that influenced the industry in crouwdsourcing and economy. It’s part of something that will last forever, “said Zemlin.
The LinuxCon conference in Prague is one of three organized by the Linux Foundation to estimuar industry meetings: face basically be among those who usually work in developing the system. They also make meetings in Brazil and in the United States. “It is a matter of trust,” says Linus Torvalds especially for Página/12, when asked how he manages to work dispersadamente. How to spend the afternoon Linus Torvalds and his friends in Prague? Fingerprint reading and signing of their friends. A barbarian plan. Ie renewing the trust of the people you work with. Recently, Linux security was compromised and programmers decided at this summit checked each document by hand. It is a mechanism a bit boring, but it is that others can verify that one is one for internet and rely on the content being sent.
Fragmentation of Linux mounted systems opened a new world of opportunity, yet it complejizó relationships. That same dispersion is seen in the lobby of the LinuxCon. Now, stop the reader in the use of the word lobby. It shows how the code where many influences and discuss the best implementations built: avalanche distributions created from the mid-’90s, he makes virtually none of the notebooks used in the conference with a similar desktop. Here in Prague is the highest learning curve and almost no one seems to have “issues” with their computers. Everything that comes ready to use in the world of Linux on Windows or Apple is more complex and perhaps therefore more powerful. It is known among Linux distributions are available to use Ubuntu, Fedora, RedHat, Suse, Debian, Knoppix, Mandriva, Gentoo, Mint, but in turn each of them can be used with different desktop environments like GNOME, KDE, Unity , xmonad, Fluxbox and Awesome. Freedom implies greater responsibility.
The truth is that a sort of elite of no more than ten people-centered experience Linus Torvalds, Alan Cox, as another pillar-fully know the code since its inception. That elite was older (an average of one more year by year in the group), but was accompanied by a growing community of enthusiasts around the world. Seeing them all together, a few days before the start of the conference, during the Kernel Summit, gives talk: mostly-non-set archetypes, but seem to be obvious-they are mature men who lost their teenage years, and although they are permanently online, most are not physically together to work. There are a lot of long hairs with retreating forehead and a stranglehold of men in the team: say, 99 percent.
But besides the “hard” in Congress arrive developers all sectors of the industry involved, the most diverse and attractive. For example: Antti Aumo, Ixonos, speaks of redefining the concept of cloud phone, Tim Burke, Red Hat explains their successful model of services linked to free software; Nils Brauckmann, SUSE, and Andreas Pöschl, BMW, told how they used Linux in BMW cars, and Jim Zemlin, the Foundation showed spectacular numbers for the occasion. But in the complex world of open systems, a representation of real life happens: ranging from the most ethically militant sectors (they linked to the Free Software Foundation or organizations patenting ideas for the common good) to the corporate sectors proposed talks as “Where is the money in open source?”, as in the case of Nithya Ruff, Wind River Systems. In between, the 800 attendees seem to be more interested in solving problems rather than philosophical aspects. But only seem. Who always walked that line with chivalry is Jon “Maddog” Hall, one of the adlátares Linux Foundation, who has no problem dressing monk to go for a few beers in the heart of the cold pragueña night. Maddog and tell him to be a mad dog, says this he lived several times participated in the home computer in the early ’70s, he guided the Linux revolution in the early ’90s, and now a close eye mobile revolution and working on a project for societies to share Internet signals called Caua.
Linus Torvalds is pragmatic: it knows that all those who do also provide code in its own interest. So managed to stop companies like IBM Unix for Linux, and Google thought of them to mount their complex network of servers. But one of the most attractive talks was to Christoph Lameter of Graphe Inc., who designed the architecture for Linux to work in the world of finance. Beyond the physical structure is not known exactly what they are doing behind those walls. The GPL 2.0 license using Linux agree that the software can not always share and when it is enclosed in the place where it was modified. Hence, part of the mystery. “Now both the Stock Exchange on Wall Street as those in the street marches by using Linux,” quipped Lameter.