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August 26, 1998

SEBASTOPOL, CA--The mainstreaming of open source software accelerated on Friday, August 21, when over 300 people attended O'Reilly & Associates' Open Source Developer Day and Town Meeting in San Jose, CA. Attendees heard Yahoo co-founder David Filo say that his company couldn't have built the world's largest web site without FreeBSD, Apache, and Perl--all open source software. IBM's James Barry told the audience how IBM came to realize that Apache was the best choice for the web server at the heart of the WebSphere Application Server. And Jim Hamerly of Netscape explained how his company developed licenses for its Communicator product that both promote open source development and protect corporate interests.

Open Source Developer Day had a practical focus. Eric Raymond, author of the influential paper "The Cathedral and the Bazaar," kicked off the program with a keynote that chronicled the rapid growth of the open source movement in the past year. His talk was followed by panel presentations on managing distributed open source projects, open source business models, and licensing and legal issues. Panelists were open source pioneers and innovators, including Richard Stallman, founder of the GNU Project and the Free Software Foundation; Larry Wall, creator of Perl; Brian Behlendorf, a founder of the Apache group and Vice President of Web Applications, C2Net Software; John Ousterhout, CEO, Scriptics Corp. and creator of the Tcl scripting language; Michael Tiemann, Co-founder, Cygnus Solutions; Bob Young, President, Red Hat Software; Jeremy Allison, member of the Samba Team; and Pamela Samuelson, Professor at the University of California at Berkeley and Co-director of the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology.

At the end of the day, another 100 people joined the crowd for the Open Source Town Meeting, which was moderated by Tim O'Reilly, President and CEO of O'Reilly & Associates. Attendees' questions flushed out the philosophical differences between panelists and provoked a spirited discussion on the pros and cons of commercializing open source software. Scriptics Corp. CEO John Ousterhout elicited strong support when he made a case for the value of bringing business knowledge-and funding-to open source development efforts. At the other end of the spectrum, Richard Stallman, founding father of the free software movement, reiterated his long-held belief that all users should have the freedom to copy and change any software they use.

Twenty-eight businesses and organizations that have a stake in the continued development of open source software signed on as Partners in Open Source Developer Day. Representatives staffed tables at the event, providing information and demonstrations to attendees. Partners were:

  • AbiSource
  • Apache Group
  • C2Net
  • Corel Computer
  • Cyclades Corporation
  • Cygnus Solutions
  • FreeBSD
  • Free Software Foundation
  • Linux International
  • Linux Journal
  • NetBSD Project
  • Netscape
  • Penguin Computing
  • Perl Journal
  • Red Hat Software
  • The Samba Team
  • Scriptics Corporation (Tcl)
  • Sendmail, Inc.
  • SGI
  • Silicon Valley Linux User Group/LINC
  • Songline Studios
  • Summit Software
  • SuSE
  • VA Research
  • Walnut Creek CD-ROM
  • Whistle Communications
  • Xemacs Project

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