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Nine Open Source Predictions for 2010

MySQL, Video Drivers, GNOME Revolt, The Cloud, Feminists, and Everything

  • December 30, 2009
  • By Bruce Byfield
Bruce Byfield

Even though this is the end of the decade only for those who can't count, retrospectives seem more common than predictions in the last days of 2009. Or maybe, after a year of recession, all the pundits are nervous about the future.

But, never being one to follow a trend or get nostalgic, I prefer to look ahead to what the next year holds for open source software. Everything always happens ten times faster in open source than in mainstream computing, but, even by open source standards, 2010 promises to be an interesting year.

We can take for granted, I think, that open source will continue to gain popularity. 2010 will not be the fabled Year of the Linux Desktop, but we should continue to see the same slow, steady increase in adoption of the past decade.

But what else? Let me prove my foolhardiness and make nine specific predictions about what to expect in 2010 in open source communities, technology, and business:

1) Complete Free Video Drivers Arrive

Users have been waiting a long time for open source video drivers that match proprietary ones feature for feature. But by the end of next year they may actually arrive. Intel drivers are already solid, and are used on about twenty-five percent of open source computers.

However, the Linux 2.6.33 kernel is supposed to include increased support for both ATI and NVIDIA cards, so major improvements are a certainty by the end of next year. At the very least, if features are still missing, they should be come by mid-2011.

2) The Community Turns to a MySQL Fork

When Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems in April 2009, it also acquired MySQL, the popular online database. Eight months later, exactly what Oracle plans for MySQL remains uncertain, and people are getting nervous....

Read the rest of Bruce Byfield's prognostications at Datamation.com
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