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June 24, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:38pm

UNIFORUM CANS TRADE SHOW, BECOMES A VOLUNTEER GROUP

By CBR Staff Writer

Financially-troubled UniForum Association, the US Unix user group, can’t carry on as it is and is giving up its small staff of eight, abandoning plans to merge with The Open Group, and will become a volunteer organization run by Washington Area Unix Users Group executive director Alan Fedder into whose offices it is relocating. The group’s biggest revenue-earner, its UniForum trade show, which is managed by Softbank Comdex Inc, was poorly attended this year and has been canned altogether. UniForum says it will hold a conference for its members when a venue is found. It hopes it will be able to continue producing the Open Systems Products Directory, its magazine and newsletter. In the glory days of the early 1980s UniForum had a major say in standards making. The group’s 2,500 members pay around $150 for membership. It expects to elect a new board shortly. Over the last few years, UniForum made various attempts to merge with other groups, such as European group EurOpen, US technical group Usenix, and the The Open Group. All failed to materialize into anything concrete. Such problems are, of course, not confined to UniForum. With the possible exception of the Linux community, just about all the Unix User groups are struggling to find a purpose now that Unix is no longer fashionable or a contender in the desktop space, and all of them failed to make the transition to the Internet, incredible given that Unix was so central to its development. While Unix is still an important server operating system, as one observer pointed out who cares about, or gets religious about servers?

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