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Layoffs and CEO Resignation At OSDL

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the linus-is-ok-though dept.

Linux Business 158

lisah writes "Big changes are afoot at Open Source Development Labs (OSDL) with today's surprise announcement of the departure of CEO Stuart Cohen and the layoff of nine other employees. Details are still emerging about what exactly this means for OSDL but according to a preliminary announcement, Cohen is 'leaving to pursue other open source opportunities' and OSDL is 'refocusing the scope of [their] work to better align resources with [their] revenues...'" The article also mentions the last year's layoff at OSDL.

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158 comments

Scope of work in line with revenues means... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17104692)

They'll be doing nothing?

Re:Scope of work in line with revenues means... (2, Funny)

DietCoke (139072) | more than 7 years ago | (#17104850)

Nothing is *something*. As a result, it requires proper budgeting, processes, allocations and mission statements.

Re:Scope of work in line with revenues means... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17105114)

U R da bomb! Wanna swap saliva while moaning incoherently together? Oh wait, OSDL means "Linux" not "Mac Oh Ess Echhhs!". Well, I guess there are still a couple of butthole surfers who swing Ubuntu! Hmmm?

Re:Scope of work in line with revenues means... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17105230)

Well, I guess there are still a couple of butthole surfers who swing Ubuntu!

Are you sure you aren't confusing Ubuntu with Gentoo? Gentoo is the favourite OS of buttsecks-having caucasian homo- and metrosexuals, while Ubuntu is favoured by HIV-having African pussy-motherfucking negroes.

Re:Scope of work in line with revenues means... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17105358)

No. Now, please. Get out of my house.

Re:Scope of work in line with revenues means... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17105592)

No they'll read slashdot now.

Linus.

Re:Scope of work in line with revenues means... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17106530)

Potato, kartoffel.

Couldn't figure out that "?" (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17104708)

I guess they never found the right "?" that would lead to "profit!"

I'LL TELL YOU OSDN's PROBLEM: (0, Troll)

CmdrTaco (troll) (578383) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105078)

The are chiefly composed of communisits, goldbrickers, layabouts, backhanders, grifters, suspected homosexuals and card-carrying NAMBL members.

Re:I'LL TELL YOU OSDN's PROBLEM: (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105528)

They didn't let you in, did you? I bet you made them a cake the shape of open source even!

Re:I'LL TELL YOU OSDN's PROBLEM: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17105836)

I hear once you've worked there for 256 days they teach you the secret of levitation [xkcd.com] .

Ouch. (5, Funny)

Deadguy2322 (761832) | more than 7 years ago | (#17104716)

Merry Christmas! This year we're giving you a pink slip!

Re:Ouch. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17104968)

I couldn't think of a better gift. Thank you.

Re:Ouch. (0)

Omega Hacker (6676) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105360)

Yeah, really. I haven't figured out what the deal is with the yearly rash of large-scale layoffs from various companies in the month between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I *really* love the ones where a plant closes with no notice on the day before Thanksgiving, with a whopping 2 weeks severance for people who've worked their entire lives there but were e.g. contractors so had no pension.

Obviuosly Scrooge owns a lot more companies than anyone realized. I really should start making a formal blacklist of companies that do stooopid things like this and others. Lessee, GM's on the list (see "Who Killed the Electic Car") along with the obvious Microsoft, SCO, Walmart, etc.

Re:Ouch. (0, Offtopic)

PinkPanther (42194) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105438)

Lessee, GM's on the list (see "Who Killed the Electic Car") along with the obvious Microsoft, SCO, Walmart, etc
So you are against companies that give consumers exactly what they want?
That kill products that aren't selling?
Boards that do what (they believe) their investor base is demanding?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a big fan of those on your list...however they are big targets exactly because consumers support them (or don't, in the case of layoffs and the "electric car").

Re:Ouch. (2, Interesting)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105728)

Companies like GM and Ford saw the writing on the wall for the last 20+ years about cars being more practical than luxurious. If they didn't market and advertise contrary to those notions the general public wouldn't be so adverse to the notion of a practical car. Now you have more and more people wanting practical cars and they can't sell the monstrocities fast enough.

Judging by the number of kia, toyota, honda, and the like I see on the road, practical is in. It's also interesting to note that these "import" cars are often made with more north american parts than the GM/Ford counterparts. In short, they were greedy and milked the "big bulky muscle SUV" style car too long. Now they have to redesign, retool, remarket, and win over their loyal customers with designs that are completely unlike what they had before.

Maybe if the execs had the customer in mind instead of the shareholders they"d be profitable....

Tom

Re:Ouch. (3, Interesting)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#17106260)

So you are against companies that give consumers exactly what they want?

First, GM: it did not discontinue the EV1 because "consumers" didn't want it; on the contrary, most people who leased one begged GM to let them buy it when the lease was up. So what did GM do instead? It destroyed the cars! Maybe you ought to actually watch that movie, as the parent suggested. Then you'll realize that maybe, just maybe, GM had an ulterior motive.

Is that "giving consumers exactly what they want?"

As for Microsoft, it got to where it is now in large part to shady deals (QDOS, OS/2, etc.) and illegal business practices. Ask the average person on the street and they'll initially tell you they want Windows, but if you prod them a little you'll eventually find out that what they really want is the applications that run on Windows, and that the OS isn't that great.

Is "giving consumers what they want" the same as forcing them to take it?

And what is SCO giving "consumers" nowadays? Lawsuits? I'm not even going to bother with this one -- the notion that SCO is doing anything that "consumers" want is just too absurd.

Do "consumers" want to pay $699 worth of protection money?

Finally, as for Wal-Mart... well, Wal-Mart doesn't belong on the list. (Sony does, though, but that's another rant...)

Re:Ouch. (1)

Tet (2721) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105796)

I haven't figured out what the deal is with the yearly rash of large-scale layoffs from various companies in the month between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

In the UK financial sector, at least, January is bonus time. Hence December frequently sees a round of redundancies, which are often cheaper than paying the bonuses...

Little revenue obtained making free software? (1, Troll)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 7 years ago | (#17104724)

Little revenue obtained making free software? The single biggest attraction of open source is that as a big corporation, you can leech the efforts of thousands of unpaid but experienced contractors and never once feel the need to give back. (e.g., Thanks Apache!) So...it isn't exactly surprising that OSDL isn't exactly raking in the dough.

Re:Little revenue obtained making free software? (4, Informative)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 7 years ago | (#17104822)

The single biggest attraction of open source is that as a big corporation, you can leech the efforts of thousands of unpaid but experienced contractors and never once feel the need to give back. (e.g., Thanks Apache!)

Eh? There have been numerous times where I've grabbed some nice-free Apache software and used it for my purposes. Tomcat, xerces, xalan, jakarta, and a bunch of other things.

Apache is giving back by providing us with a huge amount of useable software that we're allowed to use to solve our own problems. Much of it has solved some of the tedious bits one would rather not have to write onesself.

How exactly is Apache leaching off developers other than being a central point where OSS developed code can be found by all? (Like that's a bad thing or something.)

(I'm specifically curious about this, I've always thought Apache was a good netizen and a place to get some useful stuff.)

Cheers

Re:Little revenue obtained making free software? (1)

Score Whore (32328) | more than 7 years ago | (#17104898)

I think he is quoting the big corporation there:

Apache Foundation: Here you go, one webserver with java servlet engine and xml parser on the side.
Big Corporation: Thanks Apache!

Re:Little revenue obtained making free software? (2, Insightful)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 7 years ago | (#17104940)

How exactly is Apache leaching off developers other than being a central point where OSS developed code can be found by all?
I think you missed my point: Apache isn't itself the leech. The multibillion dollar oil company that runs Apache all over the place and hasn't ever contributed a cent to the Apache project is.

Re:Little revenue obtained making free software? (3, Insightful)

aevans (933829) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105056)

What about the other multibillion dollar oil company that runs Apache and has contributed money and code to the Apache project, but hasn't contributed a cent to Linux kernel development (which the first multibillion dollar oil company happens to host a high bandwidth mirror of, and has contributed bug reports to?

Re:Little revenue obtained making free software? (2, Insightful)

warpSpeed (67927) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105180)

...Apache isn't itself the leech. The multibillion dollar oil company that runs Apache all over the place and hasn't ever contributed a cent to the Apache project is.

Where does this monitary obligation come from? The license under which Apache is distributed under spells out the responsibilities of the user who downloads the software. If the Apache creators and maintainers wanted money, the should have spelled it out in the license.

The fact that the these oil companies that you speak of have "multibillion dollars" does not raise the licenes requirments, it is the same for everyone!

Re:Little revenue obtained making free software? (1)

PinkPanther (42194) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105570)

Where does this monitary obligation come from?
Obligation does not need to be a legal entity. There is the whole concept of community participation.

Let's say there was a resource that was available in HUGE amounts, was free, and no one was obliged to conserve, reduce or become more efficient in use of that resource. If all of the large users of that resource continued to use this "free" resource, eventually it will begin to deplete or become of poorer quality or possibly become something where only for-purchase alternatives are desirable....err...wait a sec....

Re:Little revenue obtained making free software? (2, Funny)

porl (932021) | more than 7 years ago | (#17107284)

so you are saying that if too many people download the apache code then there will be less copies left for others?

Re:Little revenue obtained making free software? (3, Insightful)

dedazo (737510) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105192)

Relying on the inherent goodness of humans (or corporations) is naive at best. You can't come up with this super-wonderful new "business model" wherein you give everything away and then sit there and pout when people don't behave the way you idealistically expected them to.

Re:Little revenue obtained making free software? (2, Insightful)

toadlife (301863) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105546)

"Relying on the inherent goodness of humans (or corporations) is naive at best."

Yet, history has shown that if the project is good enough, the inherent goodness of humans is enough. Apache, XFree/Xorg and the BSDs may not be raking in mega-millions of dollars, but they keep on keeping on year after year.

Re:Little revenue obtained making free software? (1)

Jherek Carnelian (831679) | more than 7 years ago | (#17107016)

Yet, history has shown that if the project is good enough, the inherent goodness of humans is enough. Apache, XFree/Xorg and the BSDs may not be raking in mega-millions of dollars, but they keep on keeping on year after year.

History has shown no such thing. Many of the biggest contributors to those projects are paid. Either directly, like Keith Packard who was hired by SuSE and then Hpaq to work on XFree86/Xorg or indirectly like academics or users who "scratch an itch" for their employer's needs and then feed the enhancements back.

Re:Little revenue obtained making free software? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17105274)

Look on the bright side. If the multibillion dollar oil company uses apache, it means its business partners don't *have* to use IE7 to talk to it, and *you* don't have to either, in order to talk to them. More people use free software, so that's a good thing overall.

Re:Little revenue obtained making free software? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105582)

I think you missed my point: Apache isn't itself the leech. The multibillion dollar oil company that runs Apache all over the place and hasn't ever contributed a cent to the Apache project is.

Hmmm ... then you're right. I missed your point; my bad. =)

Cheers

Re:Little revenue obtained making free software? (3, Insightful)

Zapman (2662) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105702)

Leach?

The promise of FOSS is that you get the source code to do what you want with it. No matter who you are. If you make changes, and distribute them (assuming the GPL), you have to distribute your code changes as well.

They (your Oil Company) are taking the code, compiling it, and using it as it was intended. That's not leaching.

The license cuts both ways. There's no requirement to pay for it. Whether your some kids in your garage, saturating your parents DSL line to upload data to youtube, or a multinational oil company saturating a bunch of OC-3 lines.

Would it be 'nice' of them to contribute back? Sure. But we can't speak ill of them for not (Though I'd be willing to bet that there are a few code patches coming from said Multinational Oil).

Re:Little revenue obtained making free software? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17105712)

I think you missed my point: Apache isn't itself the leech. The multibillion dollar oil company that runs Apache all over the place and hasn't ever contributed a cent to the Apache project is.

I work for multi-billion dollar company where I was part of a miracle and we got Linux in.

So they have someone to sue we buy Red Hat "licenses." Does Red Hat contribute any, enough, of that money flow to the Open Source organizations?

If not, I could float the trial (prolly lead) balloon that we make some donations outside of the tons of money that we send to Red Hat.

Re:Little revenue obtained making free software? (1)

Tet (2721) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105996)

Apache isn't itself the leech. The multibillion dollar oil company that runs Apache all over the place and hasn't ever contributed a cent to the Apache project is.

Is it? When I worked for a multibillion pound megacorp, I used Apache extensively. It never once crossed my mind to make a donation to the Apache project. Why should it? The thing is, a web server is such a trivial piece of software to write. It just happened that someone else had already done it for me, so I didn't need to write it myself. I'm pleased they had. But I just don't see the need to fund an entity like ASF (indeed, I'm not sure I see the need for the ASF at all). I did, however, try to get them to donate to the OpenBSD project.

Re:Little revenue obtained making free software? (1)

Psiren (6145) | more than 7 years ago | (#17104944)

I think you misunderstood the original post. I believe the point he was making was corporations are using Apache left right and centre, but very few of them are giving anything back (bar bug reports, and probably not even much of that). They are harnessing the benefit of the developers work, and not having to pay anything for it. That's the nature of open source though. I'm not saying it's good or bad.

Re:Little revenue obtained making free software? (3, Insightful)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 7 years ago | (#17106680)

I'm not saying it's good or bad.

I would say using an open source product without contributing code or cash is still a subtle good. Wider use means:

* Wider testing (If it doesn't work, even leeches will bitch)

* Indirect advocacy via increased market share

* Increased interoperability between entities using FOSS

Re:Little revenue obtained making free software? (1)

Fnkmaster (89084) | more than 7 years ago | (#17104906)

To quote from their website: "OSDL is a nonprofit organization that provides state-of-the-art computing and test facilities to developers around the world."

So OSDL doesn't really have much of a business model other than "our members give us some money, and we use it to pay Linus Torvalds a salary".

The fact that they aren't making lots of money is therefore not a failure of a business model, but the fact that they are a non-profit, with perhaps a poorly defined mission, that as a result has difficulty attracting lots of sponsorship money and would probably be dead by now if it weren't for the fact that Linus works there.

Non-profits need business models too... (3, Insightful)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105034)

The fact that they aren't making lots of money is therefore not a failure of a business model, but the fact that they are a non-profit, with perhaps a poorly defined mission, that as a result has difficulty attracting lots of sponsorship money...
Non-profits need business models too, preferably built on the strength of a brand and/or the willingness of profitable businesses to build their own brands through them. For examples, see the United Way (tie-ins w/ the NFL, etc.), the Red Cross (sells blood with markup) and the Komen Foundation (tie-ins with every homemaker product ever invented).

Re:Little revenue obtained making free software? (1)

tcopeland (32225) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105228)

> as a big corporation, you can leech the efforts of
> thousands of unpaid but experienced contractors and
> never once feel the need to give back. (e.g., Thanks Apache!)

True, but an open source project doesn't take much to run - just a server and some bandwidth, and the bandwidth needs can be minimized via judicious mirroring [blogs.com] .

But I agree that corporations should support the developers of the open source projects they're using [pmdapplied.com] .... +1 on that.

Re:Little revenue obtained making free software? (2, Insightful)

NineNine (235196) | more than 7 years ago | (#17106194)

True, but an open source project doesn't take much to run - just a server and some bandwidth, and the bandwidth needs can be minimized via judicious mirroring.

Uuuh, ok. That's like saying that all you need to run a successful business is a cash register. If these projects are run like hobbies, and you don't expect any kind of widespread useage or support, then yeah, slap it up on a web server, and be done with it. If you want it to be successful, than it needs to be run the same as any other successful business.

Re:Little revenue obtained making free software? (1)

DreadfulGrape (398188) | more than 7 years ago | (#17106706)

"leech" is a highly perjorative term when you're talking about software that is, in fact, distributed for free.

That said, even NPO's (non-profit organizations) have to pay salaries. If OSDL can't even do that (this is a 33% reduction in their paid staff), then it certainly seems like the business model is broken in some way, shape or form, or at very least not working the way it ought to.

Silly business-speak. (4, Informative)

Lethyos (408045) | more than 7 years ago | (#17104734)

... refocusing the scope of [their] work to better align resources with [their] revenues ...

Or to put it in English: “we are not making enough money and we have to cut back.”

Reminds me of this one study I heard a while ago that found the more obfuscated and elaborate the wording is used by companies the worse their financial situations are. Very appropriate in this case.

Re:Silly business-speak. (4, Informative)

Fnkmaster (89084) | more than 7 years ago | (#17104856)

Correct, but they aren't supposed to make money. To quote from their website: "OSDL is a nonprofit organization that provides state-of-the-art computing and test facilities to developers around the world."

Non-profit, ya see?

Non-profit still has to pay the bills (2, Insightful)

Mustang Matt (133426) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105108)

They have to cover their costs, so if they can't make $500,000 to cover the CEO and employees salaries + benefits they have to cut back.

I've never understood how this is non-profit. The company doesn't profit and doesn't have investors. I guess that's the difference.

Just like Mastercard is non-profit.

Re:Non-profit still has to pay the bills (2, Informative)

NineNine (235196) | more than 7 years ago | (#17106000)

I've never understood how this is non-profit.

At the end of the financial year, there is no profit to be paid out to the owners. It all goes back into the company. Realistically, in this case, you're right... a lot of it goes to salaries. Although, you can't claim to be a "non-profit" company, and pay the CEO a kajillion dollars. Once you're a non-profit, then the IRS watches closely to make sure that people are paid reasonable amounts. You can't use it as a tax loophole (otherwise, every company on the planet would be a "non-profit") company. But, you're right, you still have to cover your expenses like any other company, or you have to close the doors and sell the Aeron chairs.

Re:Non-profit still has to pay the bills (1)

bunions (970377) | more than 7 years ago | (#17106172)

> You can't use it as a tax loophole

Sure you can. Visa and Kaiser-Permanente are both "nonprofit" organizations. Of course, you can't simply pay the CEO what would otherwise be the companies profit, instead you simply re-invest it into the company, as visa does, or buy the competition, like KP does.

Re:Non-profit still has to pay the bills (1)

NineNine (235196) | more than 7 years ago | (#17106776)

Well, I guess I meant that you can't use it as a tax loophole to take money out of the company without paying taxes on it. The "owners" or "directors" of a non-profit can only get paid via salaries, vs. a traditional company, where anything left at the end of the year belongs to the owner(s).

Re:Non-profit still has to pay the bills (1)

GlassHeart (579618) | more than 7 years ago | (#17107592)

"Non-profit" just means that their institutional objective is not to maximize profits at the expense of all else. They have another objective that (theoretically) overrides the desire to make more money.

Parent could not be more wrong. (1)

willisbueller (856041) | more than 7 years ago | (#17106630)

Actually, they do need to make a profit... or in the least break even. Non-profit means the profits aren't getting sifted off to owners. They are going back into the business, which is -- in Canada -- run by a board of directors, who are in turn regulated by laws controlling the operation of the non-profit. The ODSL should be striving to take in as much revenue as possible to expand their services.

... I don't think a lot of slashdotters are understanding this. And to hear this about the ODSL it is actually kinda grim... which only puts me in a better exam mood.
Effing exams.

Re:Silly business-speak. (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#17106856)

. . .they aren't supposed to make money. To quote from their website: "OSDL is a nonprofit organization

Nonprofit != without profit. Nonprofit designates the manner in which the profits are dispersed. A nonprofit business is a business, and if it don't make money from somewhere it's a business that's out of business.

I've sat on the board of nonprofits. About all we talk about is how to make more profit. Some nonprofits are the most profitable businesses known to man. Why do you think the March of Dimes didn't keep their promise to disband after conquering polio?

There was too much profit in it. Nobody runs away from that sort of money.

KFG

Re:Silly business-speak. (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 7 years ago | (#17107222)

Correct, but they aren't supposed to make money.

Non-profit is not the same as loss-making. Any profit that they do generate could simply be invested back into the business, eg by acquiring other companies, increasing their staff, etc.

In fact, "non-profit" really just means "any money we do make won't be given away to shareholders/kept for ourselves or left in the bank".

(Disclaimer: IANAE)

Re:Silly business-speak. (2, Insightful)

istartedi (132515) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105752)

Some businessmen were born to "employ people", others to "utilize human resources". There are far too many of the latter; but we can't blame them totally. The other side of the equation is the worker who doesn't like the fact that he "works for them" and actually feels better being a "team member". Then there is the investor who probably doesn't buy companies that are "laying people off", but might be more interested in purchasing the stock of a company that is "engaging in refocusing the business and remaining agile". Everybody knows what they really mean. My favorite one is when a Washington, DC powerplayer who has fallen out of favor decides to "spend more time with the family". That one has become such a cliche that I think it's actually seems to have fallen out of favor in recent years. I don't know what is replacing it; but you can be certain something will. The need for sugar coating is probably as old as the human race.

Spooky! (2, Interesting)

OriginalArlen (726444) | more than 7 years ago | (#17104786)

From this week's BOFH [theregister.co.uk] :

I'm betting it says something about 'right-tasking', 'examining organisational structure' and identifying roles and the people best suited to them." "Yeah, sort of." "Then yes, they want to get rid of someone."

Off Topic comment about his sig... (1)

soft_guy (534437) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105058)

-- Everything I needed to know about life, I learnt from Blake's Seven
I love your sig. Does it mean that you learned that really cool spaceships just fall into your lap whenever you need one?

Re:Off Topic comment about his sig... (1)

fostware (551290) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105166)

Or just that you're constantly being twarted by a skanky ho in too much makeup?

Hmmm... doesn't read so good (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 7 years ago | (#17104834)

"Leaving to pursue other Open Source Opportunities" : he's sacked.

"refocusing the scope of [their] work to better align resources with [their] revenues...'" : we've just realised that for all that we do, very little actually brings money in. This is a problem. So if it doesn't bring money in, it's either canned or changed such that it does.

Not particularly nice if you work for OSDL, but it happens in business from time to time...

Re:Hmmm... doesn't read so good (1)

Macrat (638047) | more than 7 years ago | (#17104908)

Especially when their business plan was to hire Linus and make the world think they were Linux experts for contract work.

So (1)

warrior_s (881715) | more than 7 years ago | (#17104882)

Did they let Linus go ?

Re:So (1)

Knackered (311164) | more than 7 years ago | (#17104960)

Oh, for goodness sake. RTFA. I know this is Slashdot, but this point was addressed in the second sentence of the article. No, I'm not going to tell you. Go and read the article yourself.

Re:So (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17105492)

third sentence

Re:So (1)

xlordtyrantx (958605) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105054)

RTFA... Im just a lurker for the most part and I can even do that! Linus Torvalds, whose work on the Linux kernel is sponsored by OSDL, was not affected by the job cuts.

Re:So (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17105212)

Yes Linus was sacked and promptly accepted an entry level position with Microsoft helping to work on IE8......sheesh.

Re:So (2, Funny)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105336)

Sadly yes. Word is they're tapping Theo DeRaadt to take over kernel development, but this will be a part time, unpaid, position. Overall management of the direction of Linux will be given to Avie Tevanian, late of Mac OS X fame.

Also Alan Cox has announced he's leaving voluntarily to persue other interests. No replacement has been announced, though apparently Eric Raymond, Hans Reiser, and Kevin Warwick are being named as possible successors.

Developing...

(Note to mods: I'm going for +5 Funny, not -2 I don't understand the joke)

don't think of them as layoffs (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17105002)

think of them as being released to the public, free of charge

Re:don't think of them as layoffs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17106972)

Com'on... that's pretty funny!

guess since they did not mention it specificly (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17105082)

Linus is out of work???

Re:guess since they did not mention it specificly (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17105300)

Fuck off.

Dr Mr Cohen... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17105122)

I'm looking forward to forming a venture to explore open source joint development using best practices in collaboration and building communities.

I'm looking forward to finding your ideas fascinating and would like to use best practice when subscribing to your newsletter. Also, my Bullshit-Bingo cards are printed, ready and waiting.

What actually happened? (2, Interesting)

TopSpin (753) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105138)

OSDL is 'funded' by a collection of corporations. As far as I know they don't actually sell anything. So, either their funding was cut, or they have mismanaged themselves into a deficit. Which is it? Anyone actually know? I suppose their recent IP projects have led to high legal costs, but I'll bet someone reading /. knows the truth.

Re:What actually happened? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17105590)

Or maybe somebody didn't like Cohen's supporting the Novell-Microsoft deal.

A perfect example (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17105158)

Of the nonsense that software should be free and open source will save the world crapola.

OSTG is next. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17105170)

Look out, Slashdot "editors". Talk about a job that can be easily replaced with a script.

Re:OSTG is next. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17105270)

Naw, they've put captchas on the submission queue to prevent that kind of thing.

Re:OSTG is next. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17105344)

Pssst. They already know. None of them has gone into work for years. Shhh, keep it on the down-low.

At Least the CEO Also Leaves (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105450)

At least the CEO also leaves. Something went wrong...and they didn't put all the blame on some low workers who had nothing to do with the decision making, while the higher ranks were unaffected. I don't know if the CEO left voluntarily, but if he did, I commend him for that.

Re:At Least the CEO Also Leaves (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17106392)

Bet's on the number of figures in his golden parachute?

I bet he left with high 6 figures in his pocket.

Re:At Least the CEO Also Leaves (2, Insightful)

Jesterboy (106813) | more than 7 years ago | (#17107506)

Personally, I'm wondering if Cohen's departure has anything to do with his position on the Novell/Microsoft deal [novell.com] ? (look at the section labeled "Good for the Open Source Community")

While I enjoy imaginations of Linus giving Stuart Cohen the metaphorical/physical boot, I think the realistic interpretation of "leaving to pursue other open source opportunities" means "huge bed of cash to land on from Novell/Microsoft deal". After all, work with Novell is still considered "open source" in letter if not spirit. Perhaps he has a new job coinciding with Novell's plan to add support for Microsoft's OpenXML document type to Open Office?

Something about it smells fishy to me...

Merry Christmas (1)

MrZaius (321037) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105756)

Wonderful timing, with the layoffs.

Re:Merry Christmas (1)

bloobloo (957543) | more than 7 years ago | (#17106282)

Generally it is better to announce redundancies before Christmas - rather than waiting until people have run up their bills and THEN making the announcement. Sad but true.

The limitations of Linux (1)

14erCleaner (745600) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105848)

From TFA: OSDL also underwent a restructuring last year and laid off nine employees.

The layoff command probably only takes a single-digit argument: le -9

this will be an unpopular opinion (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17105858)

... except among those of us that have worked at the OSDL.

GOOD RIDDANCE!

(shout outs to the rest of my ex-homies)

I wonder if there is some... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17105934)

...nervousness in linux kernel land based on ballmers latest threat? People can say "no way" all they want, but *if* MS decides to throw their lawsuit turd into the open source punch bowl, it is going to cost a lot of someones some serious cash-ola, win, lose, or draw.

just a thought

I have a naturally suspicious mind

With that said, and changing gears, I wonder why OSDL doesn't take the raw linux standards base guidelines and just release a plain vanilla distro to go along with the plain vanilla kernel? (they are free to use that name as far as I care) They could make some scratch that way.... just because you are "non profit" doesn't mean you can't make money and pay salaries and so forth, a ton of "non profits" handle quite a bit of cash all the time.

I'd like to take this opportunity... (4, Insightful)

NineNine (235196) | more than 7 years ago | (#17106068)

I'd like to take this opportunity, after countless Slashdot posts about "Everybody should know how computers work", that perhaps what would be more useful if everybody instead learned a bit about how business works. I think that the OSS community has pooh-poohed the importance of basic business knowledge long enough, as is obvious from the overwhelming non-success of OSS companies.

Re:I'd like to take this opportunity... (1)

Kopl (1027670) | more than 7 years ago | (#17106904)

"Overwhelming non-success of OSS companies." I did not know of this, can you show why you think this?

Re:I'd like to take this opportunity... (3, Insightful)

NineNine (235196) | more than 7 years ago | (#17107140)

OSDL is shrinking (again) by 33%. VA Software (The owner of Slashdot) is still bleeding. Linspire has largely flopped. Novell is only making money because MS just gave them a big cash infusion. Red Hat is the only OSS company out there making any money, from what I can tell, and even Red Hat is in trouble from the big boys (lots of other people agree... lots of short selling [thestreet.com] of their stock.

There simply are not many OSS companies out there that are really financially healthy.

Re:I'd like to take this opportunity... (2, Interesting)

TopSpin (753) | more than 7 years ago | (#17107546)

While you may have a point, it doesn't really apply in the case of OSDL. OSDL isn't a business in the sense of cost vs. revenue. It is a non-profit organization, funded by sponsors. So, unless the sponsors cut funding and/or OSDL mismanaged itself into a hole, this shouldn't be happening. The sponsors supply a budget and, assuming you have the ability to forecast costs with at least some competence, there should be no dramatic shortfalls.

I'm confident the sponsors haven't cut funding or it would have been news here at /. and elsewhere. How would you keep people that work on open source software from leaking that Intel or HP have walked away? Not likely. That means OSDL is being run poorly by the powers that be.

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