name = Alan Cox
caption = Alan Cox at
July 22, 1968
nationality = British
other_names = ac
spouse = Telsa Gwynne
Alan Cox (born
July 22, 1968in Solihull, England) is a British computer programmerheavily involved in the development of the Linux kernelsince its early days 1991.
Involvement in the Linux kernel
While employed on the campus of
University of Wales, Swansea, he installed a very early version of Linuxon one of the machines belonging to the university computer society. This was one of the first Linux installations on a busy network, and revealed many bugs in the networking code. Cox fixed many of these bugs, and went on to rewrite much of the networking subsystem. He then became one of the main developers and maintainers of the whole kernel.
He maintained the 2.2 branch, and his own versions of the 2.4 branch (signified by an "ac" in the version, for example 2.4.13-ac1). This branch was very stable and contained bugfixes that went directly into the vendor kernels. He was once commonly regarded as being the "second in command" after
Linus Torvaldshimself, before reducing his involvement with Linux to study for an MBA. [ [http://kerneltrap.org/node/759 Linux: Alan Cox To Take One Year Sabbatical] .] His informative and friendly comments have guided many programmers on the Linux kernel mailing list.
Alan is employed by
Red Hat. He lives in Swansea, Waleswith his wife, Telsa Gwynne.
He has also been involved in the
GNOMEand X.Org projects, and was the main developer of AberMUD, which he wrote whilst a student at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth.
Alan Cox is an ardent supporter of programming freedom, and an outspoken opponent of
software patents, the DMCAand the CBDTPA. He resigned from a subgroup of Usenixin protest, and said he would not visit the United Statesfor fear of being imprisoned after the arrest of Dmitry Sklyarovfor DMCA violations.
In January 2007, he proposed a series of "RMS", or "Rights management systems". [http://www.freshpatents.com/Alan-Cox-Swansea-invdirc.php List of Alan Cox patents] ] It is said that he has filed a patent for
Digital Rights Management. Red Hat Inc., Cox's employer, has stated (in a document drafted by Mark Webbinkand Cox himself [cite video
people=Webbink, Mark (Interviewee)
title=Mark Webbink On: The Patent Promise
publisher=Red Hat Magazine
accessdate=2007-12-23] ) that it will not use patents against
free softwareprojects, [cite web |url=http://www.redhat.com/legal/patent_policy.html |publisher=Red Hat |title=Statement of Position and Our Promise on Software Patents |accessdate=2007-08-23] so it is believed that these patents try to prevent future use of DRM technologies.
Cox is also an adviser to the
Open Rights Group. [cite web |url=http://www.openrightsgroup.org/about-org/#Advisory |publisher=Open Rights Group |title=Board and Advisory Council |accessdate=2007-08-23]
Cox was the recipient of the
Free Software Foundation's 2003 Award for the Advancement of Free Softwareat the FOSDEMconference in Brussels. [cite web |url=http://www.gnu.org/award/2003/2003.html |publisher=Free Software Foundation |title=2003 Award For the Advancement of Free Software |accessdate=2007-08-23]
October 5 2005, Cox received a lifetime achievement award at the LinuxWorld awards in London. [cite news |title=Linux pioneer wins lifetime achievement award |author=Matt Loney |date= 2005-10-06|url=http://news.zdnet.co.uk/software/0,1000000121,39226539,00.htm |publisher= ZDNetUK]
* [http://www.linkedin.com/pub/0/23a/39b Alan Cox LinkedIn profile]
* [http://www.softpanorama.org/People/Cox/index.shtml Alan Cox: The maintainer of production version of the Linux kernel] . Ch. 5 of ebook "Open Source Pioneers", includes a lot of difficult to find interviews.
* [http://www.redhat.com/advice/ask_alancox.html Interview on his biography]
* [http://lwn.net/1999/features/ACInterview/ LWN interviews Alan Cox]
* [http://kerneltrap.org/node/9 Interview with Alan Cox -
January 15 2002]
* [http://www.lugradio.org/episodes/24 LugRadio interview]
* [http://www.linuxformat.co.uk/modules.php?op=modload&name=Sections&file=index&req=viewarticle&artid=15 Linux Format interview - August 2005]
* [http://slashdot.org/features/98/10/13/1423253.shtml Cathedrals, Bazaars and the Town Council - 1998-10-13]
* [http://bigbro.skynet.ie/resources/ogg/AlanCox_UL_20060513.ogg Ogg audio recording of a talk in Limerick, Ireland 2006-05-13] , and a [http://fsfe.org/en/fellows/ciaran/weblog/alan_cox_5_minutes_on_gplv3_plus_comments transcript of an excerpt, about GPLv3]
* [http://www.linux-magazin.de/news/video_alan_cox_ueber_proprietaere_treiber_tainted_kernel_und_gplv3 Video interview with Alan Cox at Hannover Industry Trade Fair, Germany, May 2008]
* [http://www.viddyou.com/viddstream?videoid=37479 Alan Cox interviewed in Cardiff]
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