Just like the international gang summits in Los Angeles, Linux needs a collective, "sit-down" to discuss the future of this now formidable operating system. I'm not talking about a nice little get together with keynote speakers with high-powered, 10,000 foot views of where Linux is and where it's going. And I'm not talking about vendor booths touting the latest and greatest Linux toys or big blowout parties from a spectacle-making platinum sponsor.
What we need is a nuts and bolts, sound-proofed room, gathering of the minds and Linux thought leaders to discuss Linux, its current state, its legal standing and its future as an operating system.
It's time to get serious.
It's time to focus on the future.
We need key players and contributors from Google, Yahoo, Red Hat, Novell, Debian, Ubuntu, The Linux Foundation, Slackware, CentOS, Oracle, IBM, HP, Intel, AMD, VMware and Citrix to come together and hash out a grand plan for this once niche operating system that's grown up into the enterprise-level beast that has changed the world.
We're standing at an important crossroads in history with Linux and I think we need a clearer vision of the future than we currently have. This crossroads includes a boom in mobile computing, cloud computing, virtualization and the common desktop system.
My view of what we currently have is a periodic cycle of new kernel releases, several regularly updated distributions, a ton of forked projects and sub-distributions and no real goal for Linux as a holistic project. And when I say Linux, I mean Linux as a complete operating system--not a specific distribution and not just the kernel.
We need for the best minds in the world to come together in one place for a concentrated focus on creating a Linux map for the next 10 or so years. This map should include the role of Linux in cloud-based computing, virtualization, embedded applications, supercomputing, space exploration, education and energy.
Like those gang summits, let's put aside our fight for those abandoned buildings in our neighborhoods and think bigger. Think not just on our specific projects but on the global Linux project.
Without a goal, it seems that our efforts are less innovative and more catch up to what Microsoft and Apple are doing with their operating systems. Believe me, those operating systems have a map and a goal--just as we should. Linux, as one of the "big three", should have some clear cut goals and aspirations as a project and not just a bunch of rambling, random projects that are worked on in our ever-decreasing spare time.
If Linux is going to be a desktop operating system, let's state it and work toward that as a focused goal. If it is to become a cloud operating system, let's focus resources on that. It doesn't have to be just one thing; it can be many but let's explicitly state what we want it to become and then explore it. Random disconnected and isolated pockets won't get the job done.
We need goals, a strategy and resources to make this happen. Without this collective effort, where do you think Linux will be in five or ten years?