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A new ‘Open Source busybody’ for Linden Lab

18 May 2010

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from the right: Merov, Aimee, CGand Tofu Linden at an Office Hour

At the last Open Source Meeting, Merov Linden announced Linden Lab just hired a new ‘Open Source busybody‘ – at least, this was the title that Rob Lanphier assigned himself in 2007. Rob left a few months ago and Linden Lab has been looking for an appropriate replacement since then.

I think Rob did a great job in these 3 years. Have a read to Thoughts on dual licensing and contrib agreements. It’s a very interesting article posted by Rob on his personal blog, where he touches some sensible details of the open source development of software that directly apply to the Second Life viewer.

Rob 'Linden' Lanphier

In these last months Merov, Joe and other Lindens made great efforts to preserve the relationship with the open source community and to keep up with the contribution workflow. However, tricky issues get very complicated at times – just see the never-ending hot threads about Third-party Viewers Policy that recently plagued opensource-dev mailing list. Hopefully, a full-time dedicated, competent and authoritative person will help to prevent this kind of situations in the future. Well, possibly also much more than that!

According to a few past comments by Lindens, it wasn’t easy for Linden Lab to find the right person for this role. The fact they accomplished at last this research suggests they’re still committed to Open Source – even if they still keep the server code secret and proprietary.

So, Oz Linden is the in-world name chosen by Scott Lawrence, formerly sipXecs SIP PBX project leader, who got just hired by Linden Lab as Director of Open Development. He will also serve as head of the Applied Engineering team.

Read here the introduction email he just sent to opensource-dev mailing list.

Let’s wish Oz Linden good luck!