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Copyright snags slow up open source revolution



Cliff Saran

The promise of commercial technology becoming open-source - and thus adding to the feature-set of Linux - is being slowed...



Cliff Saran

The promise of commercial technology becoming open-source - and thus adding to the feature-set of Linux - is being slowed down by issues over copyright infringement.

Silicon Graphics announced in May 1999 that it would deliver an open-source version of its XFS file system from the high-end SGI Irix operating system.

While there have been demonstrations of the technology, John Fleming, solution manager at SGI said the technology was not yet publicly available for Linux.

The reason for the long delay, explained Fleming, was that, "We are still going through the process to ensure we do not break any copyright."

Fleming said that some of the code for XFS was developed by companies outside SGI which meant that SGI engineers had to build "clean room" implementations of certain things.

Fleming is confident that SGI will be able to deliver an open-source version of XFS by the summer.

Other SGI technologies promised to the open-source community at the CeBIT conference included the FailSafe clustering technology to the Linux community.

Fleming anticipated that making this technology open source will be quicker than for XFS, as it was less complex an implementation.

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