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[News] Open Amiga Foundation and AROS Announce Strategic RelationshipANN.lu
Posted on 18-Feb-2000 08:11 GMT by Christian Kemp
Steve Crietzman writes: The Open Amiga Foundation and AROS are to enter into a symbiotic strategic relationship. Their ojectives are compatible, it makes sense for [them] to work together. [..] Standards Bodies, Working Groups and Development Teams will be created to focus on the development of modern standards, and the production of high-quality Amiga software and applications for an open-source Amiga OS. PRESS RELEASE
16 FEBRUARY 2000

Media Contact: Steve Crietzman
President and CEO
Open Amiga Foundation
Tel: +44 (0)1778 393323


16 February 2000 -- The Open Amiga Foundation and AROS are to enter into a strategic relationship which they believe will be of great benefit to their organisations, their members and the wider Amiga community. In the words of Open Amiga president Steve Crietzman, "our objectives are compatible, it makes sense for us to work together."

Under the terms of the deal, the Open Amiga Foundation (formerly known as Open Amiga/COSA), will become the organisation responsible for public relations, marketing, business and legal affairs of the open-source AmigaOS project.

The Open Amiga Foundation, led by Steve Crietzman, will also oversee the creation and development of Standards Bodies, Working Groups and Development Teams to focus on the development of modern standards, and the production of high-quality Amiga software and applications for an open-source Amiga OS.

The Open Amiga Foundation will also handle general promotion of open standards, open platforms and open-source software within the Amiga world.

It is our intention to fill the vacuum left by the disappearance of Commodore's CATS and Developer Support programme, and the lack of decent high-quality application software.

The Amiga Research OS project, led by Aaron Digulla, will handle the actual development of the Amiga Operating System core. As part of this, OAF have agreed to encourage all our developers to register with the AROS project, and to delegate Amiga OS core development to AROS. AROS will continue to operate independently from Open Amiga, but our relationship nonetheless acts, as Aaron Digulla put it, "like a symbiosis."

The Amiga Research OS (AKA "AROS") project will, in a sense, become the Amiga Operating System development wing of the Open Amiga Foundation, and will focus it's efforts on development of AmigaOS/ AROS, should the Amiga operating system be released as open source, as we hope it will be (and are working extremely hard to achieve).

Open Amiga will complement this by handling the legal and business affairs of the project, which Aaron Digulla said was "a big relief for us here at AROS."

We believe an alliance between the leading open-source OS development team on the Amiga platform (AROS), and the far-reaching resources of the Open Amiga Foundation are a match made in heaven, and with our combined resources, we have the resources and the skills to achieve great things together.

It is our mutual goal to chart a future for the Amiga operating system that is ambitious, radical and far-reaching, and gives the AmigaOS a chance of real survival and growth, as an independent OS preserving its own unique identity.

And by listening to the Amiga community on the Internet and at trade shows, we have seen that this what many in the community WANT. They WANT AmigaOS, not some hybrid, alternative or "inspired by the Amiga concept" OS. They want AmigaOS, and they want it to survive, and perhaps more importantly, to grow. Pure and simple.

Our strategy is to give the community what they want, to address all of these concerns, and deliver improved, portable and free versions of the AmigaOS for a variety of next-generation CPUs and platforms.

People will be able to choose to run AmigaOS on top of another kernel if that is their wish (in order to benefit from Linux driver support and such like), but they will not be forced to do so. AmigaOS will be able to function independently. We believe this is what a great many people in the community wants.

Questions and queries regarding the future of AmigaOS as "open source software" should be directed to Open Amiga, which is acting in the capacity of an overall parent/public relations organisation.

Developers wishing to participate, either in the development of the OS core itself, or in working as part of a development team to create software or applications for the Amiga, should apply through Open Amiga Foundation, and you will be put in touch with the appropriate people managing the projects you are interested in.

Current Working Groups include AROS, led by Aaron Digulla, and our Streaming Media Working Group, led by Ian Parker. Other Working Groups, Standards Bodies and Development Teams will be created in due course.


Questions and Answers

QUESTION: Is this a merger between AROS and Open Amiga?

ANSWER: No. Both groups will continue to operate independently, neither will have operational control over the other. We are merely pooling our resources, and dividing up roles between us.

QUESTION: How will this co-operation function in practice?

ANSWER: Both groups will work very closely together, and we will have very clearly defined roles. We are working on the same strategy, but we share the various roles, and we are better at different things. (With regards to AmigaOS: AROS is the development project, OAF is the business/ organisation.)

QUESTION: What is the likelihood that the AmigaOS will be released as open source?

ANSWER: At this time, it is not possible to give a straight answer to this question. We are pursueing all avenues open to us to make it happen.

QUESTION: I thought Gateway still owned the Amiga patents?

ANSWER: They do, and we are in negotiation with Gateway already on this matter. We are hopeful that a positive arrangement can be reached within the next few weeks.

QUESTION: Does Amiga Corporation support what you are doing?

ANSWER: We have their unofficial backing. It is not possible for legal reasons for them to commit to open-source, since many legal hurdles prevent them from doing this, most notably the issue of Gateway's patents.

However, Fleecy Moss and Petro Tyschtschenko of Amiga have both publicly stated their support for an open-source AmigaOS in public interviews and forums.

QUESTION: If the AmigaOS is not released as open source, what happens to AROS and Open Amiga?

ANSWER: We will continue. The source code is not a necessity for us, but it would be a help.

The main issue for us is access to software patents and various Amiga trademarks. Providing an adequate deal is reached with Gateway for access to patents, and a deal reached with Amiga for access to Amiga trademarks, we can safely and legally develop a portable clone of Amiga OS.

The source code is unnecessary, but will help us develop a portable clone of AmigaOS for other CPUs and platforms in a shorter space of time.

QUESTION: Are you for or against what Amiga are doing re: Tao?

ANSWER: OAF/AROS does not take a position on other Amiga-related projects including Amiga/Tao or Phoenix/QNX. We support the right of Amiga users to make their own reasoned judgements and to choose the solution that is bested suited for them.

We believe it is in the interests of the Amiga community to be given maximum choice on the path they take, and in that sense, we support Amiga's creation of a new alternative option.

QUESTION: I am a developer. I would like to help. What can I do?

ANSWER: Write to president@amigakernel.org and we will let you know what groups are looking for more developers, and you will be invited to join one of our active development teams.

Also bookmark www.openamiga.org. Our new, improved website will be going online within the next few weeks.

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