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The Most Influential People In Open Source

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the surprising-lack-of-beards dept.

Software 189

mmaney writes "As part of its 2009 open source best practices research, MindTouch asked C and VP level open source executives who they thought are the most influential people in the industry today. The list is ranked by the effect these individuals have had on the open source industry. Over 50 votes from executives in Europe and North America were cast. There were a few surprises from outside of the open source industry. Steve Ballmer got a mention because of his negative remarks on the open source industry and its subsequent positive impact. Vivek Kundra was mentioned because of his contributions to the industry inside the US Federal Government. Notably absent, however, are any influential women." Relatedly, Matt Asay (who is also on the list) writes about the decreased need for open-source evangelism, noting that several people on the list are there "not because they're open-source cheerleaders, but because they have helped vendors and customers alike understand how to get the most from open-source investments."

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189 comments

Bill Gates? (2, Funny)

vawarayer (1035638) | more than 4 years ago | (#29941595)

Someone who makes us want to look for alternatives?

Re:Bill Gates? (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 4 years ago | (#29941863)

If you read even half the summary, you would see Balmer on the list. Believe me, I had the same thought on reading the title of the article, but Steve's inclusion certainly covers it.

Re:Bill Gates? (3, Funny)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 4 years ago | (#29942161)

Believe me, I had the same thought on reading the title of the article, but Steve's inclusion certainly covers it.

He was also heavily involved in the creation of the "Most Influential" document.

It's really just a leaked copy of Microsoft Enforcement squad's hit list.

Re:Bill Gates? (4, Interesting)

richlv (778496) | more than 4 years ago | (#29942346)

just a couple of days ago i heard somewhat known person in opensource community (and as it turns out, an extremely nice guy) comment on such a list - most likely the same one.
he said something along the lines on "they just asked some guys with financial interest in all this, but who actually do not care or have any idea what open source or free software actually means, name somebody - so they just named each other".

looking at the list, i find very few arguments against that.

News for Businessmen, Not for Nerds (2, Interesting)

progliberty (1530571) | more than 4 years ago | (#29942608)

This is fluff of the type I used to see in WIRED, PCWorld, etc years ago. It is corporate back-patting garbage, of little interest to nerds and real programmers and engineers, many of us still unemployed because the Republicans destroyed America's economy. This is made-up tripe... kings and commissars anointing themselves with badges and awards for pretending to care about those of us below them. The emperor has no clothes. The idea of real and tangible freedom still shines brighter and truer than these corporate priests.

WTF? (4, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 4 years ago | (#29941597)

How can these people be "influential" when nobody's ever heard of them?

-jcr

Re:WTF? (4, Insightful)

epiphani (254981) | more than 4 years ago | (#29941617)

I think they were shooting for influential in business, in relation to open source. Still, I think they missed their mark considerably.

There are plenty of people we would all recognize that should be on a list of influential on open source.

Re:WTF? (0)

jkroll (32063) | more than 4 years ago | (#29941669)

I think they were shooting for influential in business, in relation to open source. Still, I think they missed their mark considerably.

Definitely missed their mark. Seriously, look at the "mentions" - Steve Ballmer. Would really need to see the way they worded the survey to see how that name made the list.

Re:WTF? (2, Informative)

rohan972 (880586) | more than 4 years ago | (#29941723)

From TFS: Steve Ballmer got a mention because of his negative remarks on the open source industry and its subsequent positive impact.

What's so hard to understand? When Ballmer started mouthing off about open source it was probably the first time lots of people heard of it. Just because he wasn't influential in the way he would have liked doesn't mean he didn't have an influence. They aren't pretending that he's deliberately helping.

Re:WTF? (5, Informative)

Radtoo (1646729) | more than 4 years ago | (#29941785)

It is really the list of "the top influential Executives of the 2009", as is stated further down in the article.

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29942392)

Do we really have to go over this?

"The list is ranked by the effect these individuals have had on the open source industry."

And all you had to read was the summary. These people were not selected for their influence on Slashdot.

I suppose you could argue against what the summary claims, but "nobody's ever heard of them" is the kind of typical Slashdot argument that doesn't go anywhere.

Slashdot power to the rescue! (4, Interesting)

openfrog (897716) | more than 4 years ago | (#29942862)

WTF indeed. Let the Slashdot community make a better list. Beginning with some suggestions from TFA (I admit I actually, you know, read it...) comments

Richard Stallman
Linus Torvalds
Eric S. Raymond
Bruce Perens
Tim O’Reilly

  Also
Bob Young & Marc Ewing (Red Hat founders) and
Larry Page & Sergey Brin (Google founders)

Interesting list, more current than most (3, Interesting)

Night Goat (18437) | more than 4 years ago | (#29941603)

Although the article was very thin on details, I thought that it was worthwhile. It put a new spin on things because the list dealt with who was currently influential, rather than trotting out the old names that we've seen on lists like this for the last fifteen years. I realized after reading the article that I just don't care that much, though. Good thing they chose corporate types to put together this list, since they'll get a charge out of reading it.

Fifty votes from "executives"? (4, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 4 years ago | (#29941615)

So, no votes from anyone who's actually, you know, writing any open source code?

-jcr

Re:Fifty votes from "executives"? (0)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#29941679)

Code is the least important part of any project. That is why programmers are given little attention in these types of surveys.

In most companies, executives who never program a line of code are recompensed at a higher rate than their programmers. This is because it is the business side of the company that matters the most. Understanding who the customers are, who the competition is, how to strategically position the company, and other non-code related things are far more important than the day to day coding that most of the engineering staff engages in.

Not to say that the final product isn't important, but it is just much less important than the decisions that lead to the creation of that software. In this sense, Open Source has a chance to shine because it allows the hotshot programmer to drive technology in ways he wants to, but unfortunately the Open Source community of programmers has been replaced by a conglomeration of companies who are exploiting Open Source as a tool to further sales.

So we'll never see another programmer at the top of these charts like we did back when Linux was first emerging as a valid alternative to entrenched Unix systems.

Re:Fifty votes from "executives"? (3, Funny)

wisty (1335733) | more than 4 years ago | (#29941789)

I'll agree. People like Knuth, Larry, and Guido were more important for their documentation and marketing efforts than their actual code.

Re:Fifty votes from "executives"? (5, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 4 years ago | (#29941797)

it is the business side of the company that matters the most.

That's the kind of thinking that destroys companies.

-jcr

Re:Fifty votes from "executives"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29941849)

Is that's what happening at Apple?

Re:Fifty votes from "executives"? (2, Informative)

jcr (53032) | more than 4 years ago | (#29941911)

No, it's what happened at Apple in the mid 90's, that caused them to go through a near-death experience. Since then, they take coding very seriously.

-jcr

Re:Fifty votes from "executives"? (3, Informative)

kc8apf (89233) | more than 4 years ago | (#29942039)

Speaking as a former Apple employee: so _that's_ why a bunch of senior engineers in the hardware devision were let go or put in such a horrible situation that they left. Apple isn't being that great to their engineers and is focusing more on how hard they can drive them to produce new products every 6 months.

Re:Fifty votes from "executives"? (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 4 years ago | (#29942225)

a bunch of senior engineers in the hardware devision were let go or put in such a horrible situation that they left.

Don't know what you mean by "a bunch", butI heard that when Apple went from PPC to Intel, they let some ASIC engineers go since they didn't have to make their own motherboard chipsets anymore. Is that what you're referring to?

-jcr

Re:Fifty votes from "executives"? (2, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 4 years ago | (#29942660)

Ultimately it can't not be about the business, because that's the whole purpose of running a business. If you're not serving the needs of what's generating income, you're not doing a very good job. But IT also needs to have backbone and say "you know what you want, we know what can be delivered". And IT often has to be those saying you have to invest today so you can keep generating income tomorrow too. But I've met far too many that deliver something that is technically correct and/or neat, yet completely useless to anyone in the real world. It's very annoying.

Re:Fifty votes from "executives"? (3, Insightful)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 4 years ago | (#29941977)


  but unfortunately the Open Source community of programmers has been replaced by a conglomeration of companies who are exploiting Open Source as a tool to further sales.

Ha! If by replaced you mean added to. Companies selling open source software is a Good Thing. It means the open source movement has been successful. How is it exploitation?

So we'll never see another programmer at the top of these charts like we did back when Linux was first emerging as a valid alternative to entrenched Unix systems.

Another laugh! Which "these charts" are you talking about? This whole article was written by a two-bit player selling collaboration software. Ever heard of them? I hadn't. This isn't even written by crappy journalists who don't know what they're talking about, it's written by crappy marketers who don't know what they're talking about.

Re:Fifty votes from "executives"? (1)

jc42 (318812) | more than 4 years ago | (#29942240)

Companies selling open source software is a Good Thing. It means the open source movement has been successful. How is it exploitation?

There's a difference?

(Actually, I did do a google "define:" check. The results were worded somewhat differently, but I couldn't pin down an actual difference in meaning. I do suspect that we're talking about different words used to "frame" an issue by different subcultures.)

Re:Fifty votes from "executives"? (1)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 4 years ago | (#29942458)

I agree that there are mutiple definitions of the word exploit. I don't agree that they're used differently in different "subcultures". Exploit meaning to take advantage of unfairly is a commonly used definition that crosses culture, as does exploit meaning to utilize (exploit a natural resource). Like any other word with multiple definitions the context in which it's used is what determines which definition is accurate.

Arguing about semantics is irrelevant. It's fairly clear the GP was using the unfair advantage definition. The GP context was one hostile towards commercial software taking on an OSS model.

Re:Fifty votes from "executives"? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29942061)

In most companies, executives who never program a line of code are recompensed at a higher rate than their programmers. This is because it is the business side of the company that matters the most. Understanding who the customers are, who the competition is, how to strategically position the company, and other non-code related things are far more important than the day to day coding that most of the engineering staff engages in.

Substitute cars for software. In terms of the automobile industry, the code (and their associated specs and unit tests, which were written by the programmers) would represent design, engineering, and manufacturing. Now let's try your thesis again:

Understanding who the customers are, who the competition is, how to strategically position the company, and related things are far more important than the day-to-day design, engineering, and manufacture of the automobiles.

I bet there are many (former) executives in Detroit who would have agreed with that statement. Maybe that explains why they were doing so well.

Re:Fifty votes from "executives"? (2, Interesting)

khallow (566160) | more than 4 years ago | (#29942065)

Code is the least important part of any project.

Not if the code is the project, which is usually the state of things with open source projects.

In most companies, executives who never program a line of code are recompensed at a higher rate than their programmers. This is because it is the business side of the company that matters the most.

In companies with serious programming efforts, do executives get paid more than all their programmers collectively?

Open Source commercial 'exploitation'? Fine! (2, Insightful)

Alwin Henseler (640539) | more than 4 years ago | (#29942153)

(..) but unfortunately the Open Source community of programmers has been replaced by a conglomeration of companies who are exploiting Open Source as a tool to further sales.

And any true FOSS supporter should welcome that: whatever the motive of folks employing open source, as long as they do, they further general adoption of it.

Commercial exploitation of FOSS means incorporation into products, means equipment that adheres to standards (vs. closed protocols). It also means software reuse, less re-inventing of the wheel, and (ultimately) cheaper products because the manufacturer didn't waste money re-inventing those wheels. And products that are more valuable to end-users because of their open, commodity, standards-compliant properties. And if we're lucky, perhaps some promotion of the "share me" vs. the "it's mine!" philosophy, if end-users see that FOSS is being used.

That is all fine with me, even if the original motivation was cold, hard greed.

Re:Fifty votes from "executives"? (1)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 4 years ago | (#29942348)

You can sell that BS to closed-source companies, but in the OS world projects live and die by the developer community.

Re:Fifty votes from "executives"? (2, Insightful)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 4 years ago | (#29942258)

Well, realistically, how much code can someone actually write? I think the most influential people are going to be those those who can corral and co-ordinate the efforts of disparate people to work together one one big project that no single person can handle alone. They maybe never even write code themselves.

Open Source Evangelism (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29941653)

Relatedly, Matt Asay (who is also on the list) writes about the decreased need for open-source evangelism
 
If anything, raving fanbois screaming that Microsoft is "teh suck" is doing more to hurt open source than help.
 
I'm a vegetarian. I don't preach to people about it. I don't need other people to follow my path to make me feel good about what I do but I always welcome those who are interested. I find that screaming at people for eating meat is annoying and counter productive. Instead I'd have much more success coming off as a rational being and helping people who want to be vegetarians become vegetarians. Thrusting my ideals on someone who is happy where they are at is only going to make them more at odds with me and my ideals.
 
They only way you're going to get someone who is happy with Windows or OSX to go Linux is to get apps that are Linux only that they just can't live without. That isn't happening today. These apps don't exist.

Re:Open Source Evangelism (0, Redundant)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#29942071)

"They only way you're going to get someone who is happy with Windows or OSX to go Linux is to get apps that are Linux only that they just can't live without. That isn't happening today. These apps don't exist."

In my opinion, the reason those apps do not exist is that consumers really only care about 4 apps at most, and that number is really reduced to one app in this day and age. There are plenty of things I am doing with free/open source software that are could not be done without spending a fortune on proprietary licensing, but they are things that consumers do not care about. As a simple example, I frequently access systems remotely, sometimes while other people are using them; with Windows XP, this was not possible without purchasing an expensive, "enterprise edition" license, or using some kind of crack. Most people hear this and shrug -- they really do not see this as a particularly important feature or activity, more of a novelty than anything else, and it is certainly not convincing enough to get them to take the terrifying step of switching. It is the same with just about everything; even security is a tough sell, with most people having been conditioned that worms and viruses are just an unavoidable fact of life, certainly not worth the effort of using some software that they have never heard of.

It really boils down to whether or not proprietary licensing is causing a problem for them. For someone who is just browsing the web and using no-cost plugins like Flash, they will never encounter licensing restrictions in any meaningful way. The only desktop users who really feel the pain of proprietary licensing are "power users," and they usually have some Linux distro installed already. With them, though, there is a substantial fear of ditching proprietary software entirely, but that is the same story we have dealt with for years.

Re:Open Source Evangelism (0, Redundant)

jc42 (318812) | more than 4 years ago | (#29942594)

In my opinion, the reason those apps do not exist is that consumers really only care about 4 apps at most, and that number is really reduced to one app in this day and age. There are plenty of things I am doing with free/open source software that are could not be done without spending a fortune on proprietary licensing, but they are things that consumers do not care about.

This is the history of much or our technology. New things are developed out of public sight, by people who want them for their own narrow purposes. Thus, most people would tell you that the World Wide Web was invented by Microsoft. In fact, it started of at CERN, a totally meaningless name to 99% of the Web's users, to make it easier for physicists to share their experimental data, research papers, etc. Outside of the geek community, hardly anyone has ever heard of Tim Berners-Lee, and he wouldn't make it onto any lists made by anyone not involved in Web development.

This is the norm. Last night I was at an event where I was approached by several people who told me how much they appreciate my web site and the things I've done for them. I won't mention the topic, because it's just one of many similar stories. This includes my usual explanation that I really did it for my own nefarious purposes. I'd found a growing number of sites that had data of a sort that I find useful. I made a sort of combined aggregator/index/search site, because I was annoyed with the time I was wasting trying to find things on those other sites, and decided "This is a job for the computer". I set it up as a web site so that I could use it anywhere that I had Net access. I mentioned it to a few colleagues, who mentioned it to a few others, and now it has between 5000 and 1000 hits most days. It's not a huge commercial thing, and probably never will be, but it's useful to a few tens of thousands of people (much less than 1% of the world's population).

Of the many such online development, most of them are free/open source because they have no obvious commercial potential. Eventually, a few may reach some sort of public notice. At that time, the commercial world will probably pick up on what has happened. A few corporate giants will to buy them out (or reverse engineer them) and commercialize them. This will probably include incorporating them into the big, monolithic apps that we're all familiar with. People will say how wonderful this new thing is that corporation X has invented. And they'll say that the Open Source stuff is still irrelevant, because it doesn't provide anything that people want.

These predictions are fairly easy, because it's how things have always been done. If you dig a bit, you can probably find examples in whatever area you're intimately familiar with.

The really glaring example is the "Windows" GUI that's been so much discussed here. Insiders know about the Xerox PARC project that started it all. But probably even most /. readers don't know about its origins, because they only know the decade-later version commercialized by Microsoft, and they judge everything else by how well it mimics this particular offshoot of the original project. This is, of course, a loser's game, since you can't possibly track a moving target whose future moves are secret. But it's likely that right now there are a few small projects underway that, in a few more years or decades, will suddenly appear in the public eye as a huge improvement, to be taken over by the corporate marketers and sold as their marvelous new development. But it won't be produced anyone trying to clone the current market leader.

Re:Open Source Evangelism (1)

Alwin Henseler (640539) | more than 4 years ago | (#29942268)

They only way you're going to get someone who is happy with Windows or OSX to go Linux is to get apps that are Linux only that they just can't live without.

... Or to have it pre-installed on their new computer.

Execs, etc (4, Informative)

Roebot (1336703) | more than 4 years ago | (#29941677)

I want to note there are a few who actually contribute code listed. BUT it's important to understand that this top influencers list was actually a byproduct of a survey conducted establishing best practices in open source sales and marketing. Hence the distinctly business slant. This list of top influences has been so remarkably well received that we intend to do it every year. However, in the future survey we will include CTOs and VP of Engs in order to create two categories. Business/Law and engineering. Thanks for the feedback. Please post additional suggestions to the post and we'll try out best to incorporate them.

Ha (0, Redundant)

Norsefire (1494323) | more than 4 years ago | (#29941811)

has been so remarkably well received

Give it another hour ... The absence of at least one of Torvalds, Stallman, ESR, Larry Wall, or even just a pro-OSS person we have actually heard of will have people screaming (perhaps rightfully so).

Re:Execs, etc (1)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 4 years ago | (#29941885)

Wow. You've completely missed the whole culture of open source. Your whole article assumes a completely different context. Top influencer's of what? Top influencer's of who? Business guys? Maybe.

What you seemed to have missed is that "Open Source" generally consists of the people doing the actual work writing the code, designing the infra-structure, etc. It isn't like a traditional business where the Big Business Boys are in charge and call all the shots. That's not to say it's completely grass roots either. It really is Eric Raymond's Bazaar, and trying to shoehorn it into a traditional business structure and naming some CEOs with influence completely misses the point. The fact that you think you can fix this by naming some CTOs and VPs of engineering in a separate list is extraordinarily telling that you have no idea what you're talking about.

Re:Execs, etc (1)

Roebot (1336703) | more than 4 years ago | (#29942109)

Actually, I wrote that next year we will include CTO and VP of Eng votes in the survey as well. It's a terrible thing we didn't this year. But we didn't expect a byproduct such as this. Had we, we would have segmented the list to be sure to capture influential persons on the engineering/innovation side.

A digression, as for "Big Boys" I have always found it interesting that open source execs typically come up from an engineering track. This is less the case with proprietary software.

I'll reiterate what I've written elsewhere about this list. I can speak from my experience in both building software on open source, working at proprietary software companies and in founding and building an open source company, this list doesn't hold many surprises for me. I write this because over the last four years of being solely focused on building an open source software biz, I have witnessed the people on this list as being the most active. How so? By helping young open source companies (yes, companies) to get their start and in helping proprietary companies to transition to an open source model. These people are responsible for a very significant amount of code being released under open source. This is true because many have pioneered sustainable models, actively influenced "Big Boys" to open source code, helped other young-uns to innovate and even have opened their own wallets to fund the development of open source software.

As for those early pioneers of open source, there can be no doubt they have had a huge impact. However, there is no doubt in my mind that history will prove this list to be a quality sampling of the **current** positive influencers.

Re:Execs, etc (1)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 4 years ago | (#29942266)

Uh huh. So you didn't address any of my points, you just steer around them while trying to move the conversation to your own agenda and hope nobody notices. That's marketing for you.

"Cut to a commercial!"
"We are a commercial!"
"Cut to _another_ commercial"

Re:Execs, etc (1)

richlv (778496) | more than 4 years ago | (#29942472)

as i mentioned before [slashdot.org] , the list has been received less than favourably in opensource circles.
the view has been that you have chosen people who actually do not help or even are really influential in opensource, just a club of some sociophats who try to get more money out of the opensource by twisting it.

i don't have a boilerplate advice for you - but maybe concentrating next time on people who actually believe and _do_ real free/opensource software would help somewhat.
now what does that mean ? looking at people who really produce completely free and opensource software, not ones who just use it as a marketing method and a thing to exploit. while they might seem influential at the first glance, they do not get much love and long life in the theatre. wondering why.

Re:Execs, etc (1)

slashdotmsiriv (922939) | more than 4 years ago | (#29941933)

So this is a list that gives credit only to business people for the success of Open Source ...

You are missing: Linus Torvalds (Linux creator), Eric S. Raymond (Open Source advocate), Bruce Perens (started Debian Linux and coined the term “Open Source”), Richard Stallman (Free Software Foundation spiritual father),

If you were aiming to credit people with substantial influence in the business part of IT, then why did you omit:
Bob Young & Marc Ewing (Red Hat founders) and Larry Page & Sergey Brin (Google founders).

This is just a list of nobodies (OSS-wise) that at some point in their life decided to use OSS in their business ... This is insulting really. Please no more
of these self-validation articles!

Eric S. Raymond (Open Source Faggot) (1)

Smidge207 (1278042) | more than 4 years ago | (#29942049)

The following exposé, written under extreme duress, is the result of an information leak out of ESR's SourceForge fortress that is the center of his refinery compounds and gas chambers within his insidious Gas Barony.

The information did not come cheaply, however, and that is why I believe that this story must be published. A troll, in the guise of a hired Hessian mercenary, infiltrated ESR's SourceForge compound with the fullest of confidence among the dread Slashdot Moderators and the loathed GNU Patrol. It is in this expose that I detail the significant information the document that the covert troll gave his life to bring me contained.

        I'll come to your meeting or presentation and donate my time. Yes, that's right, I'll do it for free (the first time, anyway).

Yes, that's right, folks, he'll do it for free (the first time, anyway)! See, ESR's time is so valuable, being that he can't be away from his home network of 386s running Linux, that he has to limit his time to one free presentation per group. Not that that's an unreasonable request for any other person. It's just totally arrogant because he pretends his time is worth enough to limit it to only one free presentation per group. Hell, if people were not so easily fooled by his Refinery wealth, they'd realize he should be paying them to even attend the presentations he currently speaks at.

Please, someone, put a leak in this petroleum fiend's ego!

Anyway, on we go.

        If you are not a local Linux user's group, you can make your request more attractive to me by scheduling a double-header with the local LUG.

Here we have another example of ESR's total blind arrogance. Assuming that he swings enough weight around to include his herds of unwashed Linux users at any event that he presents at.

Of course ESR knows he can, at a whim, call upon the GNU Patrol and Linux users and have them beckoning at his feet for orders (which usually are to buy cases of Jägermeister), and include them in any presentation's audience by sheer force of number. But ESR has darker plans behind the quote above.

The statement above is evidence that, simply, ESR is trying to spread the diseases of Linux zealotry, poor hygiene, and Communism, using the very organizations that pay for his lifestyle, dumbly hypnotized by his Black Gold wealth, as a catalyst for his viral teachings, in hopes of converting those caught in his wake. A wake of stench thick with idealism, crude oil, and BO.

        I'm free the first time. But if you're a profit-making entity and you decide you want my time on a regular basis, I'll have to think up a consulting rate.

Ah, yes. He'll have to think up a consulting rate. ESR will estimate how much he wants paid to brainwash hapless victims.

ESR is obviously delusional as seen above: he doesn't have a consulting fee that he uses already simply because he's never consulted before. He's never held a regular job, in fact. Yet he thinks that there are those that would consider such a thing. Fortunately drug testing and hygiene codes have kept him out of the computer industry work force as of yet.

        I want my plane fare prepaid and pre-booked. If there's a hotel stay needed I want the room tab guaranteed, incidentals and meals and all (no chintzy base-rate-plus-tax-only stuff; I loathe having to argue with the front desk).

and

        If you're a big company or a conference that charges admission, I expect you to pony up for business class or first class (so my travel exhaustion will be minimized) and I don't ever want to have to even look at the hotel bill.

Want, want, loathe, expect. Is there anything that is to ESR's liking? Can anything satisfy him? Only people jumping through hoops to satiate his unfathomable appetite for personal indulgence comes close to slaking his thirst for pampering.

ESR wouldn't lift a finger to save himself so long as he thought there was some poor fool nearby he could convince to save him for some greater good.

The above statements also shows ESR's ice cold contempt for blue-collar and low-level white collar workers everywhere. As if ESR himself were in a position to consider such people below him! Obviously, never having held a job does deepens ESR's contempt for those who are gainfully employed.

        Let me emphasize that last, because conference organizers seem to have trouble following through on this. If I am asked for a credit card at checkin time, you have screwed up. Don't screw up, or I won't come back.

Short on patience and quick to temper, ESR is known to be a harsh master to the millions he holds as employees in his Gas Barony. Public executions and gas chambers are a standard part of his disciplinary model, and ESR tries to push as much of it as he can on those he doesn't (yet) control.

His arrogance is displayed in the above quote by his assumption that people are willing to comply with such irrational and rudely-made requests and demands. Unfortunately, some people and groups still are.

        I don't use booze or have any other expensive tastes I can gratify on the road, so you don't have to worry about a bar tab or anything like that.

The above statement is a plain lie ESR uses to make himself more attractive to prospective marks that might consider the Gas Baron as a speaker at expos and conferences.

ESR is a heavy alcoholic, which can been seen by his ruddy complexion, garnered after years of drinking Jägermeister as if it were water. I also have archives of a covertly-recorded AA session in which ESR introduces himself and admits his addiction to what he called "God's only true son and forgiver of sins."

Re:Execs, etc (3, Insightful)

nomadic (141991) | more than 4 years ago | (#29942816)

Linus Torvalds (Linux creator)

True, and his kernel development supervision keeps him on the list even today.

Eric S. Raymond (Open Source advocate)

Influential in his own mind maybe. Serious proponents of OSS gave up listening to that fruitcake years ago, I'd estimate at some point after the racism, but before the terrorist paranoia.

Bruce Perens (started Debian Linux and coined the term "Open Source"

Debian was started by Ian Murdock (hence the -ian part; the deb comes from his wife's name). And "open source" was coined long before OSI took credit for it. [google.com]

You could probably make a better argument that Perens deserves to be on the list through his lobbying, especially on the international stage.

Richard Stallman (Free Software Foundation spiritual father)

Well more important than its spiritual father, he's its president, so I think that gets him on the list.

Re:Execs, etc (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29942824)

Be a bit fair. The names you listed are all old. If they are going to do a anual listing of importent OSS people, then they should at least aim for current/new people in that year. That means it'll most likely be people you never heard of, people that did something namable that year. No point reinterating what everyone already knows, after all.

Re:Execs, etc (1)

mevets (322601) | more than 4 years ago | (#29942712)

Reread roebots post - your missing the sarcasm, he should be modded Funny, right down to a "suggestion box". I'm surprised he didn't add a working group.

This list is disappointing. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29941713)

Yeah, a list of white male millionaires. Classy.

This list is disappointing. It doesn't include Richard Stallman, Linus Torvalds, Larry Wall, Bruce Perens, Tim O'Reilly, Eric S. Raymond, Paul Vixie, Eric Allman, Andrew Tridgell, Mark Spencer, et al. et al.

All it proves is that these fifty people really have no idea (and don't care) where open software comes from.

Re:This list is disappointing. (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 4 years ago | (#29941941)

Nothing wrong with being white, male, or rich. The problem with the list is that it claims to be the top "influencers", and I really can't picture anyone asking themselves "gee, what would those guys think?" when deciding how to proceed with any open-source project.

-jcr

Slashdotted (3, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 4 years ago | (#29941729)

I'm very impressed with this list. It's about time the venerable Mr. Error Establishing a Database Connection got his due.

Influence (1)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 4 years ago | (#29941733)

I'd like to think that the end users are the most influential people in open source projects.

Re:Influence (2, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#29942089)

Most end users do not even bother filing bug reports or feature requests, let alone writing any code or discussing issues on mailing lists.

Influential Women (5, Interesting)

Iwanowitch (993961) | more than 4 years ago | (#29941763)

Here is one: Leslie Hawthorn. She organizes Google's Summer Of Code, which has brought thousands of students (myself included) in an active role of participating in various open source projects. It's an absurdly hard task to coordinate thousands of students and mentors each year, to make sure all information, payments, shirts, ... are sent out in time, to organize the mentor summit, and meanwhile try to solve all problems that come up underway. She does it extremely well and I think the open source community can't thank her enough. I honestly don't think there's much more you could do to influence open source.

Go Leslie!

Re:Influential Women (3, Insightful)

inode_buddha (576844) | more than 4 years ago | (#29942119)

I would also nominate PJ at Groklaw, for applying FOSS principles and practices to IP law.

Re:Influential Women (3, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#29942147)

Hate to break it to you, but organizing thousands of developers is nothing new in open source. Look at the big Linux distros, and how their leaders keep everyone in line and organized. You think GSoC is difficult to organize? Try managing Debian or Fedora, where you have to deal not only with your own people and finances, but also with upstream maintainers and the weird decisions they make. GSoC involves keeping all the different, largely unrelated projects in line; a Linux distro supervisor needs to make sure that all the packages in the distro will play nicely with each other. Distro maintainers also have to deal with users, who sometimes make absurd demands and are insulted when they do not get what they want (e.g. the people who demand that Fedora ship with SELinux disabled by default).

Not to make Leslie Hawthorn's task seem easy, but I would hardly call her the most influential open source leader out there.

My Open Source Hero: John C. Randolph (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29941773)

A lot of people consider Linus, RMS, Larry Wall or Guido to be their Open Source Heroes. Not me. My Open Source Hero is John C. Randolph.

Now I know you're going to ask, Why is John C. Randolph your Open Source Hero? Let me tell you why!

First, he's a man of intelligence, integrity, experience and trust. When I see a USENET or Slashdot post signed with "-jcr", I know it's worth reading. Unlike much of the tripe here, I know that I will learn something new each time I indulge in reading one of his glorious posts.

Second, he says it as it is. When -jcr speaks, I listen.

Third, he's an expert when it comes to the technologies that came out of NeXT, and survive today as Mac OS X. Instead of having GNOME and KDE focusing on replicating Windows, like is so often the case, they should be focusing on replicating the NeXT/Apple experience. GNUstep tries, but they're just not there yet. Sometimes I have dreams that John unites those three projects into The Open Source Desktop, and then life is beautiful.

So there you have it. That is why John C. Randolph is my Open Source Hero.

Re:My Open Source Hero: John C. Randolph (5, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 4 years ago | (#29941891)

Well, thanks, but I don't see how my experience with NeXTSTEP and the Mac make me any kind of hero, let alone an "open source hero". I've given a little bit of code away in my time, but it's not like it's any kind of mission I'm on.

As for GnuStep, it's a nice try, but once Apple and NeXT merged and the danger of NeXTSTEP vanishing altogether was alleviated, that really took the wind out of GnuStep's sails. The Linux crowd doesn't care about it, and the Mac crowd doesn't need it.

they should be focusing on replicating the NeXT/Apple experience.

I have to disagree with you on that. Trying to match any existing system is shooting too low. I remember when Visix was very proud of bringing "the Mac level of UI to UNIX" back around 1987 or so. I interviewed with them, and told them that unless they were looking to substantially exceed what the Mac offered, they shouldn't bother.

What I'd love to see happen with the Linux desktop is some serious re-thinkng of how a UI should be done. Trying to make it like Windows is tragic, and trying to make it like the Mac is just never going to be good enough.

-jcr

Re:My Open Source Hero: John C. Randolph (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29941931)

i have no idea who you are but whats some open source that youve released? where can i download it?

Re:My Open Source Hero: John C. Randolph (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 4 years ago | (#29941991)

I'm not sure if you still can find it, but I contributed some code to the MiscKit, which was a collection of code for NeXTSTEP developers. If you're developing code on the Mac, you might have some use for the sample code I did when I was at Apple, which I described here. [slashdot.org]

More recently, I posted a couple of little iPhone hacks here [ning.com] and here. [ning.com]

-jcr

Re:My Open Source Hero: John C. Randolph (4, Insightful)

pherthyl (445706) | more than 4 years ago | (#29942045)

>> What I'd love to see happen with the Linux desktop is some serious re-thinkng of how a UI should be done.

Why? The UI is more or less a solved problem, sort of like the controls of a car. Yes there are some minor innovations here and there. Someone adds some taskbar effects or a nicer way of moving through open windows, or someone adds a steering wheel control for the radio. These little tweaks will go on for a long time, but the basic idea of a desktop is a solved problem, and doesn't need re-inventing. Just like the car, where our standard design is almost perfect for most people, and all of the radical attempts at revamping it have failed because they offer no significant advantage.

The desktop UI isn't going anywhere until we move away from our current interfaces. The next major step will happen when we're no longer tied to a keyboard/mouse combo. Until then why whinge about the state of the UI? It fits the application just fine.

Re:My Open Source Hero: John C. Randolph (3, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 4 years ago | (#29942079)

The UI is more or less a solved problem, sort of like the controls of a car.

If you believe that, then by all means, enjoy what you can buy today. Heck, I know people who still live in EMACS.

-jcr

Re:My Open Source Hero: John C. Randolph (1)

iammani (1392285) | more than 4 years ago | (#29942324)

If the mouse was never invented, EMACS (and vi) would still be one of the best interfaces. But the mouse was invented and things changed. I believe the grant parent had already covered this, by saying unless we are to drop the keyboard/mouse, dont expect a UI revamp.

Re:My Open Source Hero: John C. Randolph (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 4 years ago | (#29942480)

If the mouse was never invented, EMACS (and vi) would still be one of the best interfaces. But the mouse was invented and things changed.

I use a mouse and lots of graphical applications, but I also use emacs in a text terminal. There must be something wrong with me, since I like using different tools for different jobs.

Re:My Open Source Hero: John C. Randolph (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29942330)

Yeah, EMACS has a nice UI. Too bad it lacks a good editor....

Hear Hear! (3, Interesting)

wowbagger (69688) | more than 4 years ago | (#29942127)

"What I'd love to see happen with the Linux desktop is some serious re-thinkng of how a UI should be done."

Hear Hear! Yes, I too am a little disappointed that the "zenith" of Free Software seems to be cloning the look and feel of Windows, which is cloning the Mac, etc.

What about some real ground-breaking stuff - how about a marriage of GUI and Unix-y pipe goodness, where you could connect applications together in a GUI and have them do data flow type work - take the Unix filters approach one (or more) steps further?

What about getting RID of the file selector, and just using the normal file views + drag and drop to open and save files? Drag a file to your word processor, and it opens. Drag the tab from the word processor to a disk, and you save. Drag a section of a file, and you save that section. Drag that section to the desktop, and you save a cut buffer, and you can have as many cut buffers as you want.

Hell, why can't I just drag a file to a printer icon to print it? Why do I have to OPEN the file, then print it?

Let's look at the old OS/2 Workplace shell - let's make every file an object, with methods, selectable via drag or via right click.

Rather than using 3D just to view 2D windows in a glitzy way, let's try to do something meaningful with it.

Yes, some of the above ideas may not work out, but let's at least start exploring them and finding out WHICH ones don't work and which ones do?

Let's not let the "But people are used to the way Windows does things, and thus we cannot change anything away from that paradigm" ball-and-chain keep us from moving forward.

Why can't we tie man pages/info pages and other help into one source, so that we can have the advantages of both being able to search a global help database (apropos printing), being able to view the man pages for a program without running it (man lpr), AND still having those pages be context-linked into the programs?

Re:Hear Hear! (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 4 years ago | (#29942187)

how about a marriage of GUI and Unix-y pipe goodness, where you could connect applications together in a GUI and have them do data flow type work - take the Unix filters approach one (or more) steps further?

I think you'd like Apple's Quartz Composer app. It's visual data-flow system for generating motion graphics, and its diagram editor would be great for plugging UNIX pipes and filters together.

-jcr

Re:Hear Hear! (3, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#29942664)

Why even make files a UI metaphor at all? I did a little experiment a few years ago. I got around twenty people, some computer scientists, some completely nontechnical, some from a scientific background but not directly related to computers, to define a file for me. Only two of them gave me the same definition, and they were from a UNIX background so defined a file as an untyped stream of bytes with a name associated with them. Almost half answered with something along the lines of 'I don't really know'. Then I asked people what a document was. There answers weren't all the same, but they were close and people were a lot more certain that they could define a document than a file.

A UNIX file is a nice abstraction for the OS to present to programmers, because it's simple to build complex things on top of it. It is a terrible abstraction to present to users. Try explaining to a user why a Word document can contain images in the file but an HTML document refers to images in an external file, so dragging one to a disk works fine and dragging the other to the disk loses all of the inline images some time and you'll see quite how bad an abstraction files are. NeXT-style bundles go a little way toward improving the situation, but not far enough.

I totally agree on the pipes concept. You should take a look at System Services on NeXT / OS X, which are a good step in the right direction. While streams of untyped bytes are fine for persistence, they are horrible for communication. Something trivial, like sorting the output of ls -l by file size (displayed in human-readable form) is insanely complicated on a UNIX shell relative to the complexity of what you are actually trying to achieve. If, rather than a set of lines of text, ls emitted an array of objects, then you would just sort them by the size attribute and pretty-print them. Depressingly, this was actually solved nicely in Smalltalk-76, where the Transcript window gave you exactly this kind of interaction.

Re:Hear Hear! (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 4 years ago | (#29942992)

What about getting RID of the file selector, and just using the normal file views + drag and drop to open and save files? Drag a file to your word processor, and it opens. Drag the tab from the word processor to a disk, and you save. Drag a section of a file, and you save that section. Drag that section to the desktop, and you save a cut buffer, and you can have as many cut buffers as you want.

Most of these things have been in MacOS and/or Windows (and/or others, like OS/2) since the mid-90s, if not longer.

Re:My Open Source Hero: John C. Randolph (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#29942582)

As for GnuStep, it's a nice try, but once Apple and NeXT merged and the danger of NeXTSTEP vanishing altogether was alleviated, that really took the wind out of GnuStep's sails

I have to disagree with you there. Some of the most active GNUstep developers (both in terms of core development and building on top of GNUstep) joined the project since 2004, after getting their first experience with Cocoa. GNUstep stalled early on due to the the decision by the FSF to pay the makers of Ghostscript to implement a Display PostScript server. They failed, and development of GNUstep's AppKit was held up while waiting for it to finish, then when it was clear that it never would, development had to go backwards for a while. During this time, GNUstep only attracted developers who were experienced with NeXT systems. Given that NeXT only sold around 50,000 machines, this was quite a small audience. Now Apple owns around 10% of the desktop market and anyone who develops with Cocoa can see the attraction in the APIs, so there is a much larger body of interest in GNUstep. The project is still actively developed - we had blocks (which Apple introduced with 10.6) working before Apple released their implementation to the public and had a few of the 10.6 classes (e.g. NSCache) completely implemented within a couple of days of the Snow Leopard release.

What I'd love to see happen with the Linux desktop is some serious re-thinkng of how a UI should be done. Trying to make it like Windows is tragic, and trying to make it like the Mac is just never going to be good enough.

That's what we're trying to do with Étoilé. We're building a document-centric desktop with automatic persistence and versioning integrated throughout the system, and trying to get away from the application-centric model. We've stolen some good ideas from OS X, classic MacOS, NeXT, RiscOS, the Newton and a few other places, but we're not trying to clone OS X, we're trying to build something better. It's slow, but we've made a lot of progress in the last year and having GNUstep as a foundation helped enormously.

Please, NOT Eric Raymond, right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29941831)

I could get on board with almost anything here, but please! please..PLEASE!:
No More Eric fricking (I am so full of myself) Raymond.

I am not going to read the list (just in case).

My List (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29942001)

In no particular order: Miguel de Icaza -- Exploring/Pushing the boundaries between Propritary and OSS Brian "Krow" Aker -- Leading a refactoring/reimaginging of Mysql in a trully open fashion, from within the same company. Linus Torvolds -- duh RMS -- double duh mark shuttleworth -- don't especially like ubuntu, but lets face it: its big, and easy for noobs.

Infuential People in Open Source Marketing? (3, Interesting)

Rotten (8785) | more than 4 years ago | (#29942007)

I think that "Open Source" means something different to me..maybe I'm getting older... Does the whole idea of "Open Source" has been kidnaped by the corporate *bs* and rebranded with a new background, meaning and of course, new corporate "heroes"?

Re:Infuential People in Open Source Marketing? (1)

jc42 (318812) | more than 4 years ago | (#29942318)

Does the whole idea of "Open Source" has been kidnaped by the corporate *bs* and rebranded with a new background, meaning and of course, new corporate "heroes"?

Nah; it just means that the people who did this survey didn't bother talking to anyone who really knows what Open Source is or who might be influencing a lot of others right now. They talked to a bunch of top corporate management guys, who mostly have no knowledge of or interest in where their lowly workers are getting their ideas or tools. That's for the bean counters, y'know. To most of them, Open Source is a marketing phrase with growing positive connotations, and that's all they need to know about it.

Pretty much the same thing applies to the question of why there were no influential women in the results. Did they actually ask any female executives? (And have they verified that all those "foreign" names belong to males? ;-)

Actually, I wonder how this would work out if you asked the programmers. How many of you involved in programming actually know the sex of any of the authors of the software that you're downloading? Do you even care? I'm reasonably certain that Linus is male, but for most of the open source software that I have on my machine, I can't actually tell you much about the authors. Often I don't even recall their name, and would have to look it up in the code. I know I've seen feminine names there, but I haven't paid that much attention. I've also noticed a lot of foreign names that I can't assign to a sex.

But what about... (3, Funny)

lucm (889690) | more than 4 years ago | (#29942055)

...Darl McBride? I think he is someone who had an effect on the open source industry.

Industry gossip (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#29942101)

This is industry marketing dribble where they think "Open Source" is a fashionable marketing slogan.

Not influential to me (3, Interesting)

petrus4 (213815) | more than 4 years ago | (#29942163)

I either haven't heard of these people, or I don't care about them. Also, nearly everyone listed is either a CEO or board member of a corporation.

First, the hall of fame:-

  • Eric Raymond. The Art of UNIX Programming [catb.org] has a permanently open tab in Firefox for me.

    "And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates."
    -- Deuteronomy, 6:6

  • Jordan Hubbard. He was the initial author of the ports system for FreeBSD. He was also, I believe, the leader of that project before going to work for Apple.
  • Marshall Kirk McKusick. Author of both the first and second filesystems for FreeBSD, and designer of the Beastie mascot.
  • Patrick Volkerding. He is the leader of the Slackware Linux project, which was the first Linux distribution I ever used, and still, I believe, the finest in existence.
  • William and Lynn Jolitz. The co-authors of the 386BSD project, and in that sense, Computer Science's answer to the Curies.
  • Bill Joy. Author of the original vi.
  • Bram Moolenaar. Founder and maintainer of the Vim project.
  • Gerard Beekmans. Founder of the Linux From Scratch project.
  • Linus Torvalds. I don't need to mention who Linus is. However, I'm also not mentioning him purely because it is politically correct to do so. I mention him here because I've looked through the code of his 0.1 Linux release. Linux might be a bloated horror now, but back then, it was poetry.
  • Bob Young, and Marc Ewing. The founders of Red Hat. Red Hat eventually abandoned the end user market for the enterprise sector, but they made a game try at creating an end user distribution first. Red Hat contributed a number of key programs to early Linux distributions, including the RPM package manager, and Anaconda hardware detection software. They also now largely fund the continued development of the GNU project.
  • Ulrich Drepper. I will admit that I think Glibc is a bloated mess, but Ulrich displayed courage in once drawing attention to the megalomania of Richard Stallman. For that, I admire him.
  • Daniel Robbins. Founder of both the Gentoo and Funtoo projects, and an awesome bash scripter.
  • Theo de Raadt. Leader of the OpenBSD project. Theo is an individual who understands what both the correct philosophy and methods are, behind developing software, and is not afraid to continue to follow said beliefs, irrespective of the project's detractors. His manner might, at times, emulate that of Erin Brockovich, but I still admire him despite that, and believe that his intelligence is matched only by his tenacity.

And now, the hall of shame:-

  • Richard Stallman. This is an individual who scarcely needs introduction on Slashdot, either; however I consider him the Magneto to Raymond's Xavier. The Free Software Foundation is the archetypical destructive cult, and Stallman has become as much a bane to Free and Open Source Software as he ever may have originally been a blessing. The savagery that I will likely be shown by his followers, for placing him here, will only further prove that point.
  • Bradley Kuhn. He has stated that his ideal is a scenario where the GPL is the only FOSS license in existence.
  • Ian Murdock. Founder of the Debian project, which is, after Stallman and his drone army, the single greatest source of emotional pain for me, where FOSS is concerned. His original intentions might have been good, but I continue to consider Debian a titanically bloated, excessively complex obscenity, in both technical and social terms. It is the worst Linux distribution ever devised, and a gross insult to UNIX design philosophy. Debian also serves in sociological terms, as a fertile breeding ground for Stallmanite fanatics.
  • Mark Shuttleworth. Founder of Ubuntu, and leader of the charge to McDonaldize (and thus ultimately destroy, whether or not that is his conscious intention) the Linux operating system. In the same way that the Open Group offers a certification program, I feel that Shuttleworth should be brought before them for crimes against the Single UNIX Specification.
  • Bruce Perens. Probably the most famous member of Stallman's drone army to have been directly sighted here on Slashdot.
  • Sam Varghese. Sam represents the only instance that I know of, where one of Stallman's drones has actually found gainful employment within the trade press, by writing pro-FSF propaganda.
  • Miguel de Icaza. GNOME is the programmatic equivalent of the Hindenburg Disaster. The GNOME developers took virtually every design flaw from Windows that they could find, and then ported them all to Linux. They have also remained in steadfast denial about this ever since. Icaza has also, at least in the minds of some, proven himself to be Linux's answer to Benedict Arnold.

Re:Not influential to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29942442)

Code infrequently, carry a big axe.

Re:Not influential to me (2, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#29942720)

I find it very hard to disagree with your list. I am not completely sure that I'd put Ian Murdock on the second list - most of the things you dislike about Debian seem to have collected later and he's done some good work on OpenSolaris that makes up for Debian. Marshall Kirk McKusick and Bill Joy both deserve to be near the top of the list for their respective achievements.

One person I'd add is Keith Packard. He doesn't get much press coverage, but he is largely responsible for the fact that X.org is now feature-competitive with Apple's Quartz. He's been involved with the project for a long time and has evolved the X system from a remote display system for 1-bit displays running multiple terminals to something with support for compositing, accelerated rendering, and so on. Most importantly, he's done this without sacrificing backwards compatibility and without hard-coding policy decisions into the display server. You can still fire up a xterm on a VAX running 4BSD (or whatever) today and display it on a handheld machine running Linux with X.org and have it render correctly. Only now the drawing commands will be sent to an off-screen buffer and then composited in the display server according to a policy decided by something complex like Compiz or something simple like xcompmgr. I can't think of any other project that has achieved that long a period of continual evolution without breaking (binary) compatibility or throwing away the entire codebase and starting again.

Not OSS list (1)

tokul (682258) | more than 4 years ago | (#29942177)

Top 4 are not open source. They only run commercial companies that have sidekick OSS products. Their main products are commercial ones. Those people are not OSS developers. You might ask them questions about open source only if you want business related answers about open source and even then you might not get any viable business answer.

Honorable Mentions - Scott Mcnealy, Sun Microsystems. WTF?

Top two "influencers" are MIndtouch board members. (5, Insightful)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 4 years ago | (#29942227)

Take a quick look at the people in the article:

http://www.mindtouch.com/blog/2009/10/27/most-influential-people-in-open-source/ [mindtouch.com]

Now take a quick look at the people on their board (scroll to bottom).

http://www.mindtouch.com/About_MindTouch [mindtouch.com]
Notice any two names and pictures in common, like say the top two ranked people in the article?

Now, I guess you could think "Wow! these guys must really be a great company since they have the TOP TWO OSS influencers on their board!". A less naive person might have some other thoughts on that.

This article is little more than marketing masquerading as news. It was written by the companies sales guy. The reason why nobody has ever heard of these people is that the article isn't about actual people of influence, it's an attempt to sell a product.

Re:Top two "influencers" are MIndtouch board membe (1)

Roebot (1336703) | more than 4 years ago | (#29942254)

Get your tin foil hats out.

If you look at the boards of the top 25 open source boards you'll find many of these people on the list present. I'd say this is likely a significant factor in establishing these folks as the 2009 Most Influential Open Source Executives? Wouldn't you?

Re:Top two "influencers" are MIndtouch board membe (1)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 4 years ago | (#29942326)


I'd say this is likely a significant factor in establishing these folks as the 2009 Most Influential Open Source Executives?

Maybe. But your article wasn't titled Most Influential Open Source Executives. It was Most Influential People. Or are you saying that only executives are people?

Re:Top two "influencers" are MIndtouch board membe (1)

Roebot (1336703) | more than 4 years ago | (#29942592)

"This list of the top influential Executives of the 2009..."

I can haz literazi? ;-)

Re:Top two "influencers" are MIndtouch board membe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29942686)

The company is a marketing company with a product that provides nebulous benefits (it's a pimped-out wiki)

List grossly misses the point (3, Interesting)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 4 years ago | (#29942332)

..and the point of open source is a number of people offering their source code to everyone. These people are the source of "open source", and the names on that list don't resonate with that crowd, hence they are not influential. The list should include notable (and leading) contributors to such project as Firefox, Linux, Net/Open/FreeBSD, OpenOffice, SAMBA, Wine, OpenSolaris, etc. (I am sure I missed a lot of important OS projects, please do forgive me in advance).

It's just another case of epitomizing the managers over the engineers - yes, it's a cliche, but it fits. Managers just can't seem to be satisfied with raking in the most dough - they need the kick of fame, too, even though in the OS world they are the least relevant - remember, cathedral vs. bazaar.

Matt Asay? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29942766)

You mean the guy who claims he is an open source legal expert and doesn't know the difference between copyright and patents?

Joey Ferwerda (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29942842)

Where is Ton Roosendaal from the Blender Foundation!
His look on Open Source and Open Contend changed everything for good!

Blender is now a well used alternative in the industry.
Elephant’s Dream and Big Buck Bunny are the only open movies right now, and used a lot for studies.
Yo Frankie!, is one of the only open games that is used as base for a lot of starting developers.

Where is Ton, the best open source CEO ever!

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