From: "Michael McLagan" <Michael.McLagan@invweb.net> To: "Alice Hill" <email@example.com>, Date: Tue, 18 Aug 1998 05:17:19 -0400 Subject: Linux Announcement --_=_=_=IMA.BOUNDARY.EXVOGV138764=_=_=_ Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Good morning, A new day is starting within the Linux community. After 7 years of development without direction, with the support of approximately 7 million users and over 100 thousand developers, Linux has begun to gain acceptance with the Independant Software Vendors, Independant Hardware Vendors and various other organizations. Recent announcements from Adaptec, Oracle, Informix, IBM, Intel and others show a growing base of commercial involvement in the operating system. One of the largest downfalls of the current Linux environment has, in part, been it's strength. There is no single entity formulating a standard for Linux OSV to meet and exceed. This has left the word "Linux" meaning many different things to different people. The commercial enterprise is unable to support the costs of testing applications, hardware and other products against a multitude of different distributions. To become a successful operating system, Linux needs to provide a solid base for the above organizations, and 100s like them, on which to deliver their products. We are please to announce the formation of the Linux Standards Association. The association is a collection of parties interested in commercial uses of Linux. We are currently recruiting memberships from the organizations above, as well as a large number of others. Our first scheduled meeting will take place on August 31st, 1998 depending on signup and member desire. I have attached our official press release for inclusion on your web site, print magazine and other forums as you find appropriate. If you would like to speak directly about this organization please feel free to send an inquiry to Lucy Kendall, our Public/Press Relations director. She can be reached at <firstname.lastname@example.org>. Please let Lucy know of any articles so we may include links to them on our web site. We are excited about the association and it's potential. I would like to thank you in advance for your review and consideration of our announcement for publication. Michael McLagan Chief Executive Officer Linux Standards Association The Linux Operating System (LOS) has been a developing project since it's first initial release in 1991 by Linus Torvalds, a studant at University of Helsinki, Findland. Over the course of the last 7+ years, 1000's of developers have contributed to the Linux kernel, support software, applications and finally a complete operating system. It is a credit to each and every developer involved that Linux has now reached the level of recognition which it currently enjoys. Large commercial organizations within the Independant Software Vendor (ISV), Independant Hardware Vendor (IHV) and Operating System Vendor (OSV) communities have now taken notice of Linux. These organizations have, are or will be announcing support for and use of Linux in their products. The needs of the commercial vendor are, in some respects, different than those of the current Linux community. With the growing number of such announcements taking place, the time has come for the Linux community to examine the product it produces. Commercial development is directed to delivery of a working product to consumers. It is a fundamental requirement of this process that the operating system involved be consistent, stable and well known. The cost involved in certifying a product for delivery is a significant portion of the final cost of any product. Another significant cost to commercial development is the post-delivery technical support required by customers to install, configure and operate the product. With such a high cost of producing and supporting a product in any operating system environment, each ISV and/or IHV has to define, in very specific detail, the platform they will support. Unfortunately, the task of defining the delivery platform within the realm of Linux is daunting. There are more than a dozen different commercial and non commercial versions of the LOS, each supplied by an OSV with a different perspective on what makes up a Linux system. With ISV and/or IHV forced to make a choice of platform to support, the consumer is faced with being locked into a platform if they wish to use a particular product. The cost of training and software deployment involved in a particular platform are a significant part of the total cost of ownership. Having been locked into a particular platform, the consumer is now restricted to using products which are also certified on that platform. Installing multiple different platforms to bring together a collection of applications will cause the TCO for the consumer to grow almost exponentially. This diversity has, in large part, allowed Linux to develop into the powerful system currently available. Each developer has the complete freedom to develop a feature, improvement or widget without need to consider how it affects others. The time has come, however, for the community to accept and adhere to a minimum standard for what constitutes the Linux Operating System. Failure to create, define and promote such a brand standard will result in the commercial support for Linux falling to the side as ISV and IHV realize that the costs of participating will exceed the benefit of sales. With this in mind, we are forming a non profit corporation to be known as the Linux Standards Association (tm) (LSA). The purpose of the LSA is to define a minimum standard for the Linux Operating System based around already defined, extensively deployed and recognized standards. These standards will allow ISV, IHV and OSV to port existing applications and develop new products that will interoperate with minimal effort on the part of all involved parties. A test suite of programs will be developed and released which can be used by an OSV to certify their product against the ratified standards. A mimimal version of the Linux Operating System will also be assembled and provided for ISV and IHV to use as a test platform for their products. This distribution, to be known as "Standard Linux (tm)" and will be available to the public and potential OSV for use in developing their own distribution. The LSA, in support of the defined standard, will produce, market and support service and trade marks which indicate comformance to the developed standard. These marks will be available by license to everyone demonstrating conformance with the standard. Regular members of the LSA will enjoy the use of an additional mark indicating their supporting role for the standard. Membership in the LSA is available to all interested parties. Two levels of membership are being offered. An "Observer member", available at no cost, is welcome to participate in discussions about various aspects of the standards. Participation is limited to online forums, mailing lists and announcements. A "Regular member", with payment of the annual fee, will participate in discussions, submit proposals for the standard and vote on issues within the standard. The future of Linux is directly tied to the support of the applications and hardware that are available to its users. Membership and participation in the LSA provide your organization an opportunity to shape the LOS to meet the needs of your product(s). Much as Linux has been the cooperative effort of many dedicated users, the standard will be the result of the cooperation and mutual respect of the members of the LSA. Interested parties may visit http://www.linuxstandards.org/ to review the charter and other materials. You may also complete our online forms to register for membership or join our announcement list. Your comments and suggestions are welcomed. Email inquiries may be directed to the manager of Public Relations, Lucy Kendall at email@example.com.