Linux developer Red Hat and Sun Microsystems have joined a cadre of other vendors under the open-source banner of the GNOME Foundation, which counts as members industry heavyweights IBM and Hewlett-Packard.
The foundation was introduced this week at the LinuxWorld 2000 conference and expo in San Jose, California.
The GNOME (GNU Network Object Modeling Environment) Foundation is part of the GNU Project, an initiative to create "GNU" software -- free programs that can be modified and shared without fear of copyright infringement.
The Linux operating system and applications developed for it are examples of this kind of software.
The foundation "will help set the technical direction of the GNOME project, promote the broad adoption of GNOME on Linux and Unix desktops and offer a forum for industry leaders to contribute to GNOME," according to a statement from the group.
Open-source developers working to create the GNOME desktop environment, which will include word processing, file management and other applications, will vote for the officers on the foundation's board.
The foundation's advisory board includes Compaq Computer, Sun, HP and IBM. Other Linux developers on the advisory board include Eazel, Helix Code, Henzai, Object Management Group, TurboLinux, VA Linux Systems and the Free Software Foundation, which created the GNOME project.
The advisory board will provide financial and organisational support to the GNOME effort, according to the statement.