Originally Published: Friday, 4 February 2000 Author: Larry Augustin and Bruce Twickler
Published to: Internal News/General Announcements Page: 1/1 - [Printable]

Letter to the Community

The CEOs of VA Linux Systems and Andover.Net have made an announcement regarding the merger and what it means for the community.

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The Internet is the original free software application. This has been repeated so often we can easily think of it as an empty truism. It's not. It's a rich, vital, and growing truth that still defines the way Linux companies do business today.

Linux flourished because it was born into the Internet world. This was a world of global, instantaneous communication, a world in which a developer community could explode from dozens to hundreds in a matter of weeks, and from hundreds to millions within a few years. That vibrant community made possible the incubator we know now as the open source development model.

But Linux also flourished because the Internet into which it was born was a small enough place for Linus' voice to be heard. The Internet of 1991 had fewer developers. Those developers had little difficulty finding each other.

Today's Internet is a vast place. Whether it will be a vast resource or a vast obstacle depends on our ability as developers to organize. We need a place to bring people together, to enable developers to find one another. But to call it a portal greatly understates the challenge. We're aiming for nothing less than the hub of services that accelerate and empower the next generation of open source development. We need a gathering place to: * enable open source developers to reach one another * create the forums where the open source model will evolve * define and proclaim our values as a community * drive open source to the cutting edge of future software development

Bringing together Andover.net with VA Linux's Open Source Infrastructure Business Unit gives us a great opportunity to empower open source's most important community sites. We are also bringing their story full circle. Themes, Freshmeat, and Slashdot each started as community sites run on an all volunteer basis. We're giving them an opportunity to work together once again. More than that, we're giving them the resources to play an enduring central role. By bringing Andover together with VA, we're assuring the future of these important community sites.

This group is a separate business unit, because it will live independently from VA's core systems business. VA has proven this can be done in Linux.com and SourceForge today. Andover too: Slashdot never stopped running articles about SourceForge even while Andover was building Server 51. What matters to the community gets covered, regardless of where it comes from.

In this new structure, the VA sites will plug into the Andover management team, and the whole group will report to Larry Augustin directly.

We're here to serve the open source community. Period. If we ever fail or fall short in that mission, please don't hesitate to remind us. Thanks in advance.

Larry Augustin, CEO, VA Linux Systems (lma@valinux.com) Bruce Twickler, CEO, Andover.net (bruce@andover.net)

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