SAN DIEGO, Sept. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- One of the co-founders of the open
source movement has become the newest member of the Freespire Leadership
Board (www.freespire.org/leadership). Freespire (www.freespire.org) is a
community-driven, Linux-based operating system that gives users the option
of combining free open source software with certain proprietary codecs,
drivers and applications. Raymond, well-known as both a theorist and an
advocate for the open source movement, joins twelve other Freespire
Leadership Board members, composed of thinkers, business people,
evangelists, and key members of the Linux community.
In recent weeks, Raymond has surprised many by speaking publicly about
the "necessary compromise" that open source advocates must be willing to
make, by providing for an easy way for open source software to work with
key proprietary technologies for which there are not yet adequate open
source alternatives. Freespire is the most prominent desktop Linux
distribution to embrace this concept.
Mr. Raymond believes desktop Linux is entering into a critical period,
noting that historically, users have shifted operating systems during
periods of fundamental changes in hardware platforms. He believes the
movement to a 64-bit world will provide desktop Linux a unique window of
opportunity, which if missed, may not come along again for many years.
"Desktop Linux must advance now," said Raymond. "If desktop Linux is to
advance to a broader audience, it must work with iPods and other MP3
players, play DVD movies, view Windows Media and Quick Time content on the
web, and so on. I wish users didn't require these proprietary formats, but
it's naive and unrealistic to expect the masses to forgo these requirements
in the near future. Linux must make some compromises to attract mainstream
Raymond believes the only way to influence ISVs and others to support
open standards and open software, is to attract enough end users to make
Linux too large to ignore. "There simply aren't enough Linux users today to
put much pressure on hardware and software manufacturers," added Raymond.
"To attract more users, Linux must support the popular drivers and file
types in use today. Freespire is the one distribution I see willing to make
this unfortunate but necessary compromise, so I'm happy to contribute to
"We are extremely pleased to have someone with Eric's background,
experience and reputation involved in the Freespire project," said Kevin
Carmony, President and CEO for Linspire, Inc., the leading sponsor for
Freespire. "Eric has a keen interest in seeing desktop Linux become more
workable with the necessary codecs and drivers, and he sees Freespire as a
good launching off place for an ideal he and the Freespire community both
share; getting desktop Linux to just work, even if that means providing the
option of proprietary codecs in those cases where there are not yet viable
open source alternatives."
As a Freespire Board Leader, Raymond will help shape the direction of
the Freespire project, along with the other leadership board members, and
those from the Freespire community and technology boards. Raymond's
participation has already begun, including meetings in San Diego.
"Eric has already had a significant impact on our work," said Carmony.
"Look for some very exciting advancements, as a direct result of his active
About Eric S. Raymond
Co-founded and served as president of the Open Source Initiative, a
501(c)3 educational organization that builds bridges between the hacker
community and business with the aim of spreading the open source
development method. A member of the Board of Directors of VA Linux Systems,
the leading Linux hardware and systems company. One of five Directors, who
helped steer VA through its record-breaking IPO in December 1999.
A principal researcher and author, Raymond, often referred to as ESR,
is the author of "The Cathedral and the Bazaar" and the present maintainer
of the "Jargon File" (the printed version also known as "The New Hacker's
Dictionary"). Though the "Jargon File" established his original reputation
within hacker culture, after 1997 he became a figure in the open source
movement, and is today one of its most recognized and controversial
Freespire (www.freespire.org) is a community-driven, Linux-based
operating system that combines the best that free, open source software has
to offer (community driven, freely distributed, open source code, etc.),
but also provides users the choice of including proprietary codecs, drivers
and applications as they see fit. With Freespire, the choice is the user's
as to what software is installed on their computer, with no limitations or
restrictions placed on that choice. How users choose to maximize the
performance of their computers is entirely up to them.
About Linspire, Inc.
Linspire, Inc. (www.linspire.com) was founded in 2001 to bring choice
into the operating system market. The company's flagship product, the
Linspire operating system, is an affordable, easy-to-use Linux-based
operating system for home, school, and business users. Linspire pioneered
CNR ("click and run") Technology, which allows Linspire users access to
thousands of software programs, each of which can be downloaded and
installed with just one mouse click. The thousands of software titles
available in the CNR Warehouse (www.linspire.com/cnr) include full office
and productivity suites, games, multimedia players, photo management
software, accounting tools, and more.
For more information and interview requests:
Available Topic Expert(s): For information on the listed expert(s), click
SOURCE Linspire, Inc.