Behlendorf resurfaces at O'Reilly [Salon]

Rohit Khare (
Sat, 6 Feb 1999 18:09:05 -0800

<head-scratch>Don't know quite what to make of this. Hope he's=20
independently wealthy by now :-)


Apache leader joins O'Reilly clan =20
It's never been a secret that Tim O'Reilly, founder and CEO of the=20
computer book publisher O'Reilly & Associates, is a fan of=20
open-source software. He just edited a special open-source issue of=20
Esther Dyson's influential newsletter Release 1.0. O'Reilly's bread=20
and butter also happens to be, in large part, publishing manuals for=20
open-source stars like the programming language Perl and the Web=20
server program Apache. The company also hired Perl's creator, Larry=20
Wall, simply as an "O'Reilly Fellow" -- just to work on Perl.
But O'Reilly is continuing to put his money where his open-source=20
mouth is. His latest coup is hiring Brian Behlendorf, chief=20
coordinator of the Apache project, to be O'Reilly's new chief=20
technical officer. Apache is a "Web server" program -- it allows=20
users to transform their computers into work stations capable of=20
hosting Web pages. Apache is also one of the first marketplace=20
success stories of the open-source movement: It continues to dominate=20
the field of Web server software, competing directly against=20
Microsoft and Netscape.
Behlendorf is only in his mid-20s, but has quite the illustrious=20
r=E9sum=E9. He was the first technical director for HotWired, then became=20
chief technical officer at Organic Online, one of the earliest=20
high-profile Web production studios. Several months ago, he left=20
Organic to become CTO at C2Net, a company that aimed to specialize in=20
commercial versions of the Apache program.
Behlendorf declined to be specific about his reasons for leaving=20
C2Net, but was effusive about his opportunity at O'Reilly.
"Tim's a great guy," says Behlendorf. "He has a real interest in=20
allowing some extra exploration -- to see if there are any real legs=20
in this open source thing."
Behlendorf says he is going to specialize in the nuts-and-bolts=20
infrastructural tools that allow open-source programming projects to=20
flourish. He'll be working primarily with an eye to Apache, but his=20
should apply to any open-source endeavor.
"[In the past] I've taken together bits and pieces of open-source=20
tools and I tied them together with baling wire and Scotch tape,"=20
says Behlendorf. "What I've been wanting to do for a long time,=20
regardless of employment, is to redesign, rearchitect and find better=20
replacements for things."
The open-source world will be certain to take heart in those words.=20
Meanwhile, Tim O'Reilly seems well on his way to creating an=20
open-source powerhouse.
-- Andrew Leonard