This is the "one big page" version of the LWN.net 2007 Linux and Free
Software timeline; there is also an individual months view
Whilst the Microsoft patent agreement is in place there is
*nothing* we can do to fix community relations. And I really mean
nothing. We can pledge patents all we wish, we can talk to the
press and "community leaders", we can do all the right things
w.r.t. all our other interactions, but we will still be known as
GPL violators and that's the end of it.
Allison leaves Novell
Debian worries about the new Python trademark policy, but
distribution of Python is not interrupted (discussion).
The Virtual Citizenship Association is created out of the failed
Free Ryzom campaign (web
The Nouveau driver pledge launches with the goal of raising $10,000
in one month for the development of a free NVIDIA driver. The project
exceeds its goals (pledge
Linden Labs releases the Second Life Viewer code under the GPL; one
year later, some needed libraries remain non-free (press release).
Mike McGrath becomes the Fedora Infrastructure leader
There's usually about a two-year cycle where Linus and some people have
trouble with something, and then they work it out. Despite their kicking
and screaming, they eventually will go to GPL 3.
-- Bruce Perens
The MySQL license changes to GPLv2-only to avoid an automatic change
The Nokia N800 is released (press
Alan Cox testifies before the House of Lords on systems security (report).
The Open Source Development Labs and the Free Standards Group merge
OpenXML relies on undisclosed patents, and undisclosed or
incomplete licensing terms that make any independent
reimplementation impossible or heavily risky. It obliges
implementors to reverse-engineer the behavior of old closed
Microsoft applications and formats. It uses non-standard formats
for languages and dates, and specifies known bugs, such as treating
1900 as a leap year.
sounds the alarm.
to become the Linux Foundation.
linux.conf.au 2007 is held in Sydney; some participants call it the
"best LCA ever" (LWN
Seclists.org is shut down by GoDaddy after a complaint by MySpace
The Linux Driver Project launches, promising free drivers for any
vendor wanting to cooperate with the community (announcement).
Foresight Linux 1.0 is released (announcement).
The LiMo Foundation is launched to help promote development of Linux
for mobile devices (press
rPath gets $9.1 million in venture funding (press release).
The Free Software Foundation Europe launches the Fiduciary License
As ICD head analyst Walter Dickweed put it: "Releasing a new kernel
on Superbowl Sunday means that the important 'pasty white nerd'
constituency finally has something to do while the rest of the
country sits comatose in front of their 65" plasma screens".
-- 2.6.20 is
Bitfrost, the OLPC security framework, is announced (coverage).
The 2.6.20 kernel is released (announcement).
Linspire switches to Ubuntu as its base distribution (press
An OpenSolaris advisory board recommends against dual-licensing Solaris
under GPLv3 (position
Wind River Systems acquires RTLinux
Imagine a world where every online store sells DRM-free music
encoded in open licensable formats. In such a world, any player can
play music purchased from any store, and any store can sell music
which is playable on all players. This is clearly the best
alternative for consumers, and Apple would embrace it in a
-- Steve Jobs
LWN publishes its first study of where kernel code comes from (who wrote 2.6.20?).
The Fedora 7 release is delayed by one month (announcement).
Eric Raymond says "goodbye" to Fedora; the world fails to end (parting rant).
Dell's customers ask for Linux-installed systems on its IdeaStorm
[Quitting is] actually a very good idea. I definitely don't want to be
associated with this project.
Robbins, one week later
Daniel Robbins returns to Gentoo (announcement).
The carrier-grade Linux 4.0 specification is released (press
WordPress 2.1.1 is revealed to contain a backdoor
This is like alcoholism. If you cannot admit that you might have a
problem, you'll never get anywhere. And quite frankly, the RSDL proponents
seem to be in denial ("we're always better", "it's your problem if the old
scheduler works better", "just one report of old scheduler being better").
deployed systems to attackers (advisory
Con Kolivas posts the Rotating Staircase Deadline Scheduler, to
initially good reviews (coverage).
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 is released.
The Gentoo Council adopts a code of conduct in the hope of improving
the environment on its mailing lists (announcement).
GNOME 2.18 is released (announcement).
The free swfdec Flash player plays Youtube videos (coverage).
I believe that open source projects are no different from businesses or any
other kind of organization in that to get any meaningful work done, there
has to be strong leadership. That leadership has to be empowered to make
decisions even when those decisions are unpopular. I think that's part of
the reason why Ubuntu has done well: there is a strong leader, and that
strong is empowered.
Debian founder Ian Murdock joins Sun Microsystems to help position
Fortran creator John Backus dies (obituary).
The GNOME Foundation becomes a Software Freedom Law Center client
The third GPLv3 discussion draft is posted (draft).
The Beryl and Compiz projects agree to merge, ending a sometimes
hostile fork (coverage).
Ted Ts'o wins the FSF award for the advancement of free software (announcement).
The second LGPLv3 discussion draft is released
Better that our software should cease to exist, at least for 20 years, the
duration of a patent, than it become an instrument for subjugation.
Penguin Computing gets $9 million in venture money (press
The Sahana project gets the FSF social benefit award for its work
creating a system to manage large-scale relief efforts (announcement).
It just reminds me that the concept of "release early, release often" doesn't
actually work in the kernel. What is far more obvious is "release code only
when it's so close to perfect that noone can argue against it" since most of
the work is done by one person, otherwise someone will come out with a
counterpatch that is _complete_ earlier but in all possibility not as good,
it's just ready sooner.
The OpenBSD project is caught relicensing a driver from Linux; all
hell breaks loose (article).
Debian GNU/Linux 4.0 ("etch") is released (announcement).
The completely fair scheduler is posted, stirring up the kernel CPU
scheduler discussion (article).
Sam Hocevar is elected Debian project leader (results).
The Gaim project settles with AOL, is renamed Pidgin.
We make things happen by taking the reins, establishing buy-in, and kicking
arse. Not by waiting to receive blessing or permission.
CentOS 5 is released (announcement).
Mandriva Linux 2007 Spring is released (announcement).
The GNOME Mobile & Embedded Initiative is launched (article). Internal grumbling
about lack of notice and marketing team participation ensues.
Ubuntu Linux 7.04 ("feisty fawn") is released (announcement).
The IP enforcement directive passes in the European Parliament
It's the sustainability long-term of the open source model that I worry
about. Who will take care of the software after the novelty wears off and
the volunteers lose interest and get real jobs?
Eben Moglen leaves the Free Software Foundation board to concentrate
on teaching and the Software Freedom Law Center (weblog).
Samsung does the Microsoft patent deal (press
Progeny Linux Systems ceases operations.
A system that is wholly dependent on open source elements will have a high
burden to demonstrate that it is sufficiently secure to warrant
authorization as a software defined radio.
-- U.S. FCC
The 2.6.21 kernel is released (announcement).
A U.S. Supreme Court decision raises the "obviousness" bar for
patents with results yet to be understood (Bloomberg
The Linux Foundation travel fund is launched as a way for needy
hackers to get transportation to conferences (press release).
Guido van Rossum decides on the major changes for Python 3000
A concern was expressed that due to the popularity of open source
development at universities, graduates may be lacking key skills such as
sound architecture, defining customer needs and product management.
-- The Olliance
Gentoo Linux 2007.0 is released (announcement).
Debian founder Ian Murdock moves to Sun as its "chief open source
Microsoft claims that Linux violates 235 of its patents (Fortune
When people say they want Linux, they don't actually mean they want
Linux. What they want is the Linux userland user environment and the Linux
business model. They want choice. They want the Linux distribution and I'm
the Linux distribution guy.
-- Ian Murdock
ATI drops hints that it might start cooperating with the Linux
community in the development of free drivers for its hardware.
The FSF determines that the Python mode code can be distributed with
Emacs, but the long-awaited Emacs22 release is still not forthcoming.
Ian Murdock launches "Project Indiana", an effort to make Solaris
look more like Linux.
The text of the Microsoft/Novell agreement is released
*** will exercise its *** to *** by no later than *** that (i) the ***
OpenOffice (version 2 or later) *** does or will *** Office Open XML format
("Open XML"), and (ii) it will make a *** *** If *** does not *** it will
*** within the same time frame that *** in the *** on a*** to *** Open
XML. *** will provide its *** to*** at least *** in advance of *** The ***
will be *** not to be *** will provide *** in the *** will *** of such ***
the Term, including through *** in the *** is defined in the Business
Microsoft/Novell agreement becomes clear.
-- sort of
KDE 4.0 alpha 1 is released (announcement). The announcement
bravely predicts a 4.0-final release in October.
GCC 4.2.0 is released (announcement).
Red Hat Global Desktop is launched (press
Eben Moglen claims that Microsoft will be bound by GPLv3 as a result
of its distribution of Novell support coupons (report from OSBC).
Novell joins with the EFF to reform software patents (press
Fedora 7 is released (announcement).
The last call GPLv3 draft is released (announcement).
Emacs 22.1 is released
I'm out of here forever. I want to leave before I get so
disgruntled that I end up using windows. I may play occasionally with
userspace code but for me the kernel is a black hole that I don't want to
enter the event horizon of again.
just a little later than expected (announcement
Xandros does the Microsoft deal (press
LG Electronics does the Microsoft deal (press
Former OSDL manager Tom Hanrahan joins Microsoft as its "Director of
Linux interoperability." (announcement).
Centric CRM claims to be open source
Open Source has grown up. Now it is time for us to stand up. I believe that
when we do, the vendors who ignore our norms will suddenly recognize that
they really do need to make a choice: to label their software correctly and
honestly, or to license it with an OSI-approved license that matches their
open source label.
despite its use of a
non-OSI-approved license (claim
A long debate on "badgeware" licenses ensues.
The first Linux Foundation collaboration summit is held (report).
Btrfs is revealed, offering hope of interesting developments in the
filesystems area (announcement).
In the end, the license bears in my judgment many of the marks of
legislation. It is a little too long; it is a little too complex. It
divides cases where they might with some analytical clarity have been
merged, and it merges cases that might with some analytical clarity have
been divided. It isn't one man's work of art -- it's a community's work of
Mark Shuttleworth denies that Ubuntu will do the Microsoft deal (denial). He
appears to have meant it.
Linspire does the Microsoft deal (press
Mandriva says it will not be doing the Microsoft deal (statement).
GPLv3 is released (announcement).
Slackware 12.0 is released
MS-OOXML is accompanied by an unusually complex and narrow "covenant not to
sue" instead of the typical patent grant. Because of its complexity, it
does not seem clear how much protection from prosecution for compatibility
it will truly provide.
-- FSF Europe asks
The state of Massachusetts acknowledges OpenXML as an "open format"
Free software can be used in radio devices in the U.S., or so the
SFLC concludes (white
Intel and Novell become corporate patrons of KDE (announcement).
Linus' job is leaning more towards spokesman than programmer. He's been a
relatively effective manager up until now, but I think that effectiveness
will begin to erode rapidly with time. The further you get away from the
actual work, the less you are able to accurately judge the appropriateness
of other people's work.
-- The Jem
The 2.6.22 kernel is released (announcement).
The purchase of the CUPS project by Apple is announced - the actual
transaction had happened in February (announcement).
IBM pledges not to enforce patents against interoperability
SugarCRM adopts GPLv3, dropping its private, badgeware license (announcement).
The Common Public Attribution License gets Open Source Initiative
approval despite its badgeware provisions (announcement).
Microsoft has decided that the Novell support certificates that we
distribute to customers will not entitle the recipient to receive from
Novell, or any other party, any subscription for support and updates
relating to any code licensed under GPLv3.
Mozilla announces plans to cast out Thunderbird into its own project
The OpenHAL code is pronounced clean by the SFLC - again (press
release). This code is an important part of the free Atheros wireless
Novell is ruled to be the owner of Unix
The company is obviously disappointed with the ruling issued last
Friday. However, the court clearly determined that SCO owns the copyrights
to the technology developed or derived by SCO after Novell transferred the
assets to SCO in 1995.
SCO Group looks on the bright side.
, shooting a big hole in
SCO's case (article
KDE 4.0 beta 1 is released (announcement).
MySQL stops distributing code for its Enterprise Server product (announcement).
Freespire 2.0 is released (press
The ClamAV project is acquired by Sourcefire (press
Microsoft submits two of its licenses for OSI approval
A fox in a chicken suit is still a fox and is still planning to eat his
chickens. So only a stupid farmer would reason that a fox in a chicken
suit, even one made from real chicken feathers, should now be allowed to
reside in his chicken coop with his tasty chickens. Farmers are supposed to
consider what foxes are known to do to chickens and what a fox's motives
and likely purpose might be in putting on a chicken suit and sweetly pawing
on the door to the henhouse.
explains Microsoft's submission
XenSource is acquired by Citrix (press
The GNOME project celebrates its tenth anniversary (announcement).
The OpenBSD community goes ballistic over the proposed relicensing
(to GPL) of some Atheros driver code (article).
Microsoft's bid for fast-track of its proposed OOXML standard fails
This preliminary vote is a milestone for the widespread adoption of the
Open XML formats around the world for the benefit of millions of
customers. Given how encouraging today's results were, we believe that the
final tally in early 2008 will result in the ratification of Open XML as an
despite extensive lobbying efforts (article
The KDE 4.0 release is delayed with December 20 being the new target
NetApp sues Sun alleging that ZFS infringes its patents (blog-announcement).
The first Python 3000 alpha release is made (announcement).
The 2007 Kernel Summit is held in Cambridge, England (coverage).
AMD announces a plan to open up documentation for ATI graphics
This is a great initial step forward in the open source graphics driver
story, since AMD rang me about 3 months and asked me to help out on setting
a direction for this project I've been looking forward to this day.
-- Dave Airlie
, starting a process which will lead to free drivers for that
X11R7.3 is released (announcement).
Sun acquires ClusterFS (press
Mozilla launches "MailCo" to continue Thunderbird development; David
Ascher comes on board to lead the new company (announcement).
The SCO Group files for chapter 11 bankruptcy
The truth, as is often the case, is far less exciting than the conspiracy
theorists would like to believe. It is simply this: I got it wrong. The
nerds got it right.
With SCO going into Chapter 11 bankruptcy and likely to drop into Chapter
7, and given some of the mail and posts I've been getting, I agree that it
is time to look back a bit at my experience with SCO. Like Dan Lyons, I was
deceived. But unlike him, it wasn't just SCO; there were the Linux
loyalists who pushed me onto SCO's side as well.
-- Rob Enderle
The OpenBSD community goes ballistic when Linux developers add their
copyright notices to the Linux ath5k driver (article).
The first alpha-quality ATI RadeonHD driver is released (announcement).
Two Busybox developers sue Monsoon Multimedia alleging GPL
violations (press release).
The Linux Driver Project relaunches with Greg Kroah-Hartman as
full-time lead (announcement).
The ath5k driver fuss is resolved with all changes being released
under a BSD-compatible license (announcement).
The 2.6.23 kernel is released
I'm more than twice as effective as Viagra.
-- Dave Jones
openSUSE 10.3 is released (announcement).
Mandriva Linux 2008 is released (announcement).
Novell lays off the AppArmor development team, but "remains
committed" to the code (news.com).
Mozilla announces that it brought in $66.8 million in 2006
people contributed code to Firefox 2. Mozilla employed around 50 of those
people. In 2006, approximately 10,000 people downloaded nightly builds
every day; this number continues to grow. Sixteen thousand people reported
bugs or potential issues in our bug-tracking system; something like a
thousand comments a day were added to the issue-tracker.
Red Hat and Novell are sued for patent infringement by IP
Innovations LLC (article).
The OSI approves two Microsoft licenses as officially "open source"
GIMP 2.4 is released (release notes).
Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon) is released (announcement).
NetApp, in bringing this litigation, has announced that it wishes to
prevent Sun from sharing ZFS with the community. This conduct is a misuse
of questionable patents to prevent the spread of valuable technology. Using
patent threats and litigation against free software and open source
communities is an abuse of the public interest the law is supposed to
-- Eben Moglen
Turbolinux does the Microsoft deal (press
Sun files a retaliatory patent suit against NetApp (announcement).
The GNOME Foundation's participation in the OOXML standardization
process comes to light, resulting in much controversy (article).
SCO claims to have a buyer for its Linux business (Linux-watch).
The GPL infringement suit against Monsoon Multimedia is settled (announcement).
OpenBSD 4.2 is released
We dedicate this release to the memory of long-time developer
Jun-ichiro "itojun" Itoh Hagino, who focused his life on IPv6
deployment for everyone. Without his BSD and IETF participation, IPv6
would not be where it is today.
The OpenSolaris developer preview is released; the community goes
into a furor over Sun's use of the "OpenSolaris" name (announcement).
Google launches the Open Handset Alliance and the Android platform
Fedora 8 is released (announcement).
Novell establishes a board for the openSUSE project (board page). A set of guiding principles was
The Open Document Foundation shuts down
The question worth asking here is if the community has come to a
point where we no longer care about quality and technical
perfection in what we do, instead we are going to join the
proprietary software vendors in a game of FUD and mud slinging.
after launching an attack
against the ODF format.
The first KDE 4.0 release candidate appears (announcement).
The Busybox developers launch GPL-enforcement suits against Xterasys
and High-Gain Antennas (announcement).
The OLPC XO laptop goes into mass production, with Peru being
the first large recipient.
The GNU Affero General Public License, version 3 is released
We in the Open Source and Free Software community should be
cautious about taking a black and white approach to a process that
is rapidly turning standards into industrial weapons to the
detriment of our users, software and communities. We face the very
real danger that standards will suffer the same fate as patents:
created to spur innovation and sharing, but manipulated to control
Harald Welte files a GPL-enforcement suit against Iliad in France
Novell gets the go-ahead from the bankruptcy court to pursue its
claims against SCO (groklaw).
The OLPC project is sued for patent infringement - the patent
involved being filed in Nigeria (press
CentOS 5.1 is released
Note to Red Hat: this is open source, remember? Novell is shipping
tested and enterprise-hardened Linux with real time
capabilities. Just because Red Hat is again late to market (see
enterprise Linux desktop, Xen virtualization, etc.) doesn't mean
Linux contains "beta code."
Red Hat Enterprise MRG, a realtime enterprise distribution, is
The qmail source is placed in the public domain (new distribution terms).
The KDE 4.0 release is pushed back into January (KDE.news).
The MPAA gets a takedown notice after posting GPL-licensed code
without source (ars
Ted Ts'o joins the Linux Foundation as its "chief platform
strategist" for the next two years (announcement).
Ogg Theora is dropped from the proposed HTML5 specification
If you are passionate about the use of Ogg Theora and <video> one of the
best things you can do is start using it. Do compelling demos. Release
video in Theora format. It may be easy to use a service that provides video
for you in exchange for giving them certain rights but if you want your
format to succeed, then increased usage is the way.
The Busybox developers launch a GPL-enforcement suit against Verizon
Fedora leader Max Spevack announces his intention to move on (announcement).
Movable Type is released under GPLv2, arguably a few years too late
Further investigations show that the modifications to the code should have
little to no impact at this time. Modifications seemed to be based around a
PHP global variable which we cannot track down. The changes made will most
likely generate an error, rather than a compromise of a system in the event
the code does get executed
developers engage in wishful thinking
The SquirrelMail source distribution is backdoored by an unknown
The OpenBSD community goes ballistic over Richard Stallman's refusal
to recommend that system (article).
NetBSD 4.0 is released (announcement).
The BusyBox developers settle their suit against Xterasys (press
Matthew Szulik steps down as CEO of Red Hat (letter
The Samba team gets access to Microsoft's protocol documents
Here's to a merry christmas, doing the whole druidic festival around the
Perl 5.10 is released, "the first major upgrade ... in over five
to post comments)