a really good job. I've been very happy to give up the chair.
Why did they choose Debian?
It is actually a fairly obvious choice. One of the issues is that the
award is supposed to be given to non-commercial entities for whom 25
grand [25,000] actually makes any difference and who have done something
meaningful. There a number of these groups and there's no question that
we'll run out of people to give money to. Debian certainly is one of the
better known groups. Maybe not outside the community, but inside the
community it's one of the fixtures of Linux, how they've created the whole
OS around not just Linux. Basically they're putting all the pieces
together, creating this full distribution. Debian also created the Debian
open-source guidelines. They've been active not just on a technical level.
They've been very instrumental in trying to define what open-source is.
The Debian open-source definition is what we agreed to be the one true
definition of what open-source is.
Which distribution do you prefer, use?
I get that question all the time because I don't want to answer Red
Hat or SuSE or something else. I actually run different distributions on
my machines so that I can honestly say that, ok, at work I happen to have
Red Hat, at home I have SuSE, I have Caldera, I have Mandrake. I don't
actually have any trouble switching between distributions.
They say that for adoption of Linux in the Enterprise, they need to
have some standardization.
There are actually a lot of these things going on. The LSB [Linux
Standards Base] is the most well known. At the same time I kind of
disagree because I think that one of the strengths of Linux is that there
has been more than one Linux. If you look at Linux 6-7 years ago, the main
distribution was Slackware and Ygdrasil. You may have heard of Slackware
but you may not have heard of Ygdrasil. The upside of many distributions
is that there's competition and the best one wins. Downside is the
fragmentation. You have to balance the upside and downside of competition
and so far it's been fairly successful. There haven't been that many
problems. Part of it is the license. It's very hard to fragment something
that is GPL. It doesn't really fragment. Sure it fragments all the time
but in the end the strongest one wins. And the strongest might not be one,
but it may be multiple distributions for multiple markets. Anyone who