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Linux links of the week

Munitions. munitions is a cryptographic Linux software archive, "providing a high-availability, widely mirrored forum, hosted entirely in crypto friendly countries, for publication and distribution of cryptographic software as well as for fostering community interaction on related issues."

Somewhere Near. GBdirect has announced its geographical search engine, called "Somewhere Near." The source to the engine will be released under the GPL "after it has been thoroughly debugged". The first deployment has been put to good use: creating a database of pubs in the U.K.

Section Editor: Jon Corbet

March 30, 2000



Letters to the editor

Letters to the editor should be sent to letters@lwn.net. Preference will be given to letters which are short, to the point, and well written. If you want your email address "anti-spammed" in some way please be sure to let us know. We do not have a policy against anonymous letters, but we will be reluctant to include them.
Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2000 16:38:20 +0000
From: Stuart Ballard <sballard@netreach.net>
To: letters@lwn.net
Subject: Re: Use of term "viral" in reference to the GPL

In a letter published in the March 23 issue of LWN, Paul Collins writes:

> The use of the term "viral" with reference to the GPL (and now the FDL) is
> unfair and prejudicial.
> The GPL is not a virus.  The GPL is written the way it is because otherwise,
> others would be able to take away freedoms that you explicitly grant when
> you choose to use the GPL.

I have heard this argument many times and agree with it. However, I have
not heard any suggestions of alternative terms for this property of the
GPL. People are bound to continue using the term "viral" if there is no
alternative, even if they disagree with the message it sends.

Therefore, I would like to propose the term "infectious". Although this
term sometimes has a negative meaning similar to "viral", it is also
used of giggles, enthusiasm, smiles, yawns, happiness, determination,
and many other positive characteristics. The word itself, therefore, is
neutral; the interpretation of whether being "infectious" is a good or
bad property of the GPL is left to the reader.

For the record, I happen to think it is a good property.

Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2000 15:00:00 -0600
From: "John J. Adelsberger III" <jja@wallace.lusArs.net>
To: letters@lwn.net
Subject: a sense of perspective

Recently, the old 'moral crusade vs pragmatism' argument has started in
LWN's letters to the editor section.  Already, both sides are making
false statements and committing the fallacy of repetition(if I say it
enough times, it will be true!)  For all of the readers' sake, myself
included, how about getting some perspective, people!

For the pragmatists: as long as you are free to do what you think is
best, what practical gain do you derive from endless flamewars?  And for
the moralists: remember that freedom does mean the freedom to disagree,
and that that freedom is only truly important on the matters that mean
the most to us.

Constant bickering does not magically cause the creation or improvement
of code, nor does it promote the adoption of that code.  In fact, the
only results are wasted time and upset participants.

Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2000 15:59:49 -0600 (CST)
From: Dave Finton <surazal@nerp.net>
To: letters@lwn.net
Subject: I can't figure out Corel

Corel, which as of late has made good decisions technology-wise.  They
took the time to cut down the bloat of WP7.  Their Linux distribution is
by many accounts a good piece of work, and they even got kudos for basing
it off a non-corporate version of Linux (Debian).  They've been announcing
Linux ports of their major software packages, which brings to a good
platform good commercial software packages (albeit proprietary
ones).  Even their much maligned merger makes sense from a technological
standpoint.  It combines together two businesses who specialize in nearly
disjoint sets of the computing market.  If Corel's fortunes were based
solely on technological sound reasoning, their stock price would have been
valued in the hundreds of dollars, rather than barely above 9 points on
the stock market.

Business-wise, of course, watching Corel bounce between stock scandals and
sagging revenues has been a lot like watching a comedy of errors. For
instance, I think the merger between Inprise and Corel would have made
much more sense if they had both waited until they had at least built up
stronger revenues.  In other words if they had done this 6-7 years ago or
had waited another 2-3 years before attempting the merger, I think the
business world would have viewed this whole thing in a more positive
light.  Now it just seems like a couple of companies standing on their
last legs trying to make a desperate grab at profits by any means

To be a little fair, I think Corel has done good things business-wise that
signal a potential turnaround.  But even Michael Coupland admits that he
doesn't know when the "take-off" will occur.  Why on earth would anyone
risk something a big as a merger when he doesn't even know when his
company will return to profitability?  Corel needs to settle down a bit
and get the ball rolling before pulling off these shinanigans.  "If you
build it, they will come" is not a bad long-term business plan, but even
that, too, has risks.  As most people who have been involved in the Linux
community knows that sometimes it takes repeated proverbial beatings over
the head to get the point across to potential customers (even now people
don't take Linux too seriously even though it claimed the #2 position in
the server market and is merely one percentage point behind the
Mac in the desktop market).  This sort of thing does take time.

All in all, considering the good technological decisions Corel has made, I
sincerely hope the company does experience their take-off Coupland keeps
muttering about.  Until then, I'll keep a skeptical attitude towards them.

                          - Dave Finton

| If an infinite number of monkeys typed randomly at    |
|   an infinite number of typewriters for an infinite   |
|   amount of time, they would eventually type out      |
|   this sentencdfjg sd84wUUlksaWQE~kd ::.              |
| ----------------------------------------------------- |
|      Name:      Dave Finton                           |
|      E-mail:    surazal@nerp.net                      |
|      Web Page:  http://surazal.nerp.net/              |

Date: Fri, 24 Mar 2000 18:17:21 -0500 (EST)
From: William Stearns <wstearns@pobox.com>
To: comments@linuxone.net, info@linuxone.net
Subject: Meta tags in use on the LinuxOne web pages

Good afternoon, 
	May I respectfully ask why the LinuxOne.Net web pages include
these meta tags?  Would it be safe to assume that you're hoping to get
included in search results for these other Linux distributions?  I offer
my apologies in advance if there's a different reason why these trademarks
are used in this fashion.
	(less than and greater than signs have been changed to asterisks
so as not to confuse html capable displays).

*meta name="description" content="The source for everything related to the
LinuxOne distribution of Linux - the most powerful operating system for
home or office."*
*meta name="keywords" content="Linux, LinuxOne, kernel, S.O.,Distribution,
Labs, Red Hat, Redhat, Caldera, OpenLinux, SuSE, S.u.s.e., applixware,
news, resources, Operating, System, OS, KDE, GNOME, GNU, Server, Network,
application, Penguin, Onestop, Free, Download, commerical, support"*
*title*LinuxOne | One Stop For Linux*/title*

For reference, from their respective web sites:

	Red Hat, ... and all Red Hat-based trademarks and logos are
trademarks or registered trademarks of Red Hat, Inc. in the United States
and other countries.  ... You may use the following image on your web site
as long as it is accompanied by a hyperlink to Red Hat's web site. If you
want to use this image or other Red Hat trademarks for any other uses,
please contact us.

	Caldera Systems, the C-logo, and OpenLinux are either registered
trademarks or trademarks of Caldera Systems, Inc. ... Use of any other
Caldera Systems trademark in commerce may be prohibited by law except by
express license from Caldera Systems, Inc.

	SuSE is a trademark of SuSE Inc.

	Applix, Applixware, Applix Data, Applix Real Time, and Applix
Builder are registered trademarks of the Company in the United States and
certain other jurisdictions.

	- Bill

(Responding to this message indicates acceptance of the terms that your
response and any future response on this topic may be republished in any
form without conditions.)
William Stearns (wstearns@pobox.com).  Mason, Buildkernel, named2hosts, 
and ipfwadm2ipchains are at:                http://www.pobox.com/~wstearns
LinuxMonth; articles for Linux Enthusiasts! http://www.linuxmonth.com



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