Linux in the news
See also: last week's Kernel page.
The current development kernel release is 2.5.6, which was released on March 8. The final release added
little to the prepatches; the main feature of this release from a user's
point of view remains the inclusion of IBM's JFS journaling filesystem.
The first 2.5.7 prepatch has been
released. It includes Rusty Russell's fast user-space semaphore patch
("futexes"), a thrashup of the VLAN code, the new wireless driver API, a
redesigned video device implementation, and numerous fixes and updates.
Dave Jones has released no "dj" patches over the last week. He has
presented excuses like moving into a new house as a reason for that.
Guillaume Boissiere's latest 2.5 status
summary is available.
The current stable kernel release is 2.4.18. The current 2.4.19
prepatch from Marcelo is 2.4.19-pre3. Along with the
usual array of fixes and updates it includes the "new" IDE code - in its
original form, not the increasingly reworked version found in the 2.5
kernel. In fact, the -pre3 version is missing some important fixes that went into 2.5 early on - it still
has the bug that caused 2.5 to destroy filesystems. There have been no
reports of corrupted filesystems with this prepatch, but it should be
approached with some care anyway.
Alan Cox's latest prepatch is 2.4.19-pre2-ac4. There is
a long list of fixes, but no amazing new features.
Alan has also announced the first 2.2.21
Other kernel trees. The day may yet come when the number of
available kernel trees exceeds the number of Linux users...
- Andrea Arcangeli's latest is 2.4.19-pre3-aa1. It
adds his latest VM implementation (vm-31), the X86-64 port, User-mode
Linux, and a number of fixes.
- J.A. Magallon has released 2.4.19-pre2-jam3 with
the latest VM code, the O(1) scheduler, the IDE patch, and other
- JŲrg Prante has released 2.4.19-pre2-jp7 includes
ALSA, the reverse mapping VM, the O(1) scheduler, the preempt patch,
the IDE patch, XFS, JFS, various crypto patches, and much more.
- 2.4.19-pre2-ac4-xfs-shawn10 from Shawn Starr
includes XFS, the reverse mapping VM, Jan Kara's reworked quota
system, and more.
- A new entry this week is 2.4.18-mcp3-WOLK from
Marc-Christian Petersen, which is inspired by the FOLK patch. It
throws in Win4Lin, the preempt patch, the international crypto patch,
the IDE patch, JFS, XFS, FreeS/WAN, NWFS, lm_sensors, and a great many
Linus on BitKeeper. It was already clear, of course, that Linus is
not bothered by the BitKeeper license. For anybody who didn't know that,
however, he stated his views this week:
And I personally refuse to use inferior tools because of
ideology. In fact, I will go as far as saying that making excuses
for bad tools due to ideology is _stupid_, and people who do that
think with their gonads, not their brains.
Most of the developers seem to be at ease with his position. It is worth
pondering, however, on why so many of us insisted on using Linux systems in
the early 90's, when it was still clearly inferior to the numerous
proprietary Unix systems that were available at the time. Without a
certain amount of "gonad thinking," Linux might not have come so far so
Meanwhile, there has been a small discussion of what features are offered
by BitKeeper that really make it worthwhile for the kernel developers.
Here's a partial list:
- Much nicer merging of patches. The three-way merge tool (screenshot) is
seriously slick. But the ability to carry merges forward through
multiple patch sets is just as important. Merging of patches can be a
painful task; having to only do it once can be a real relief.
- The ability to check in entire patch sets as a single operation.
- The distributed repository feature is a key to the whole thing.
BitKeeper works well with the kernel development style by allowing
each developer to set up independent trees and facilitating the
movement of patches between those trees.
- Understanding of directories and operations like renaming; CVS
does not handle these well at all.
There are developers out there who are talking about adding these features
to the existing free source management systems. It's a nontrivial task,
however; the first release is likely to be some time in the future. (Then
again, Hans Reiser wants to incorporate version
control into the filesystem, and plans to do so with a future ReiserFS
release. "Version control has to become just another expected
filesystem feature, and one that is so transparent to users that Mom uses
it without fear.")
The hostile takeover of the 2.5 IDE code is now officially complete:
Martin Dalecki's IDE 18 patch changed the
MAINTAINERS file to list him as the person in charge of that subsystem.
There were no immediate complaints, but things heated up a bit when he
released IDE 19. Therein were comments
Apply Pavels Macheks patch for suspend support. Whatever some
persons argue that it's not fully implemented, I think that we are
in development series right now. I don't buy the mock-up examples
for problems with either outdated or broken hardware. Micro Drives
are for example expected to be drop in replacements for CF cards in
digital cameras and I would rather expect them to be very tolerant
about the driver in front of them.
Martin has also been heard to say:
"Breakage is the price you have to pay for advancements."
It turns out that some kernel developers are not entirely pleased with the
idea of "breakage" in the IDE code - they like their disks to work. There
is a feeling that it is better to follow the standards than to expect
drives "to be very tolerant about the driver in front of them." Few people
have come out in defense of the existing code, but some feel that the
current approach to "cleaning up" the IDE code is negligent to the point of
The discussion, in fact, involved some of the most unpleasant personal
attacks seen on linux-kernel for some time. It also appears to have
changed little; Martin continues to crank out IDE patches, and Linus
continues to accept them. Perhaps Martin has received a message, however,
that standards compliance and stability are important. When it comes to
disks, people are not willing to pay for their advancements with any great
amount of breakage.
On the future of IDE taskfile commands. The IDE taskfile ioctl
(which allows passing arbitrary low-level commands to IDE peripherals) has
generally been the source of no end of inflammatory discussions in its own
right. Compared to the other IDE threads, however, the current taskfile
discussion seems like a new height of civility and technical content.
The issue is not whether low-level commands should be allowed - there is
widespread agreement that this capability is occasionally required.
Diagnostic code needs it, if nothing else. But when Andre Hedrick first
implemented the taskfile capability, he included an IDE command parser to
ensure that all commands passed to the drives were legal according to the
standards. There never has been a consensus on whether this sort of
command filtering is appropriate.
Those in favor of filtering point out that the consequences of executing a
malformed IDE command can be severe: loss of data or, in the worst case,
having to throw away a brick that was once a working drive. Filtering can
thus protect against both programming errors and deliberate attacks.
Proponents of filtering also see it as a possible way of defeating future
"digital rights management" schemes which may depend on new, undocumented
The opposition points out that most drives have some unique,
vendor-specific commands. Unless somebody wants to build (and maintain) a
table of all such commands, any filtering is certain to block legitimate
commands for some users. The protection against attacks is seen as being
weak at best, since a process which is able to execute taskfile commands
can also just go and pound on the I/O ports directly. And dealing with DRM
schemes is probably not going to be so simple.
For all these reasons, Linus has generally been against IDE command
filtering. He also points out that the
IDE layer should not be performing any such filtering in any case. The IDE
layer, after all, is a driver for the IDE host controller; the commands to
be filtered are, instead, aimed at IDE disks. Linus compares IDE filtering
to having a network adapter driver perform validity testing and filtering
for network protocols.
There are some things that need to be done with low-level commands,
however. At a minimum, the buffers they use must be verified. But it
would also be a very good idea to better sequence their execution with all
of the other IDE commands that may be running at the same time.
So Linus has proposed a new scheme for the handling
(and possible filtering) of low-level IDE commands. These
commands would be moved out of the IDE driver, into a separate loadable
module. Paranoid administrators who do not want those commands executed at
all could simply remove the module from their systems entirely. The rest
could configure a module which did as much (or little) filtering as they
This module would not talk directly with the IDE subsystem. Instead, any
low-level commands would be run through the drive's request queue along
with all the other drive operations. This scheme forces low-level
commands to be sequenced along with any other disk activity, and should
help ensure that they are executed in a way that doesn't interfere with the
other things the system is trying to do.
There have been very few complaints about this proposal. It's
implementation would be some work, but there may just be a solution to the
problem of the taskfile commands and filtering in sight.
Going for the fastest kernel compile. Martin Bligh posted an interesting note this week. He started
with the 2.4.18 kernel and a 16-node NUMA system using 700MHz P3
processors. With that system, he was able to build a kernel in
47 seconds, which would make most of us reasonably happy. Martin
wasn't satisfied with that, though, so he applied a series of patches to
bring that time down:
- Various NUMA memory allocation fixes: 27 seconds.
- The O(1) scheduler from 2.5: 25 seconds.
- A NUMA-oriented scheduler patch: 24 seconds.
- A dcache patch which improves cache behavior: 23 seconds.
Compiling a kernel in 23 seconds isn't bad - it looks like a record.
Records, though, are meant to be broken. So Anton Blanchard rose to the challenge with a 24-node "logical
partition" on a PowerPC64 system running a patched version of 2.5.6.
Building a kernel with the same configuration as Martin's, above, he got
the job done in 10.3 seconds. That will be a hard performance to beat, but
somebody, somewhere, is certainly working on it.
Other patches and updates released this week include:
Core kernel code:
- Robert Love has posted a new version of
his system call allowing processes to set their processor affinity.
- A new version of the delayed allocation patch has been posted by Andrew Morton. He might just be
looking for people to try it out: "Does anyone know what 'CFT'
means? It means 'call for testers'. It doesn't mean 'woo-hoo, it'll
be neat when that's merged <delete>'. It means 'help, help - there's
no point in just one guy testing this'."
- Larry Kessler has released an
implementation of POSIX event logging for the 2.5.6 and 2.4.18
- Rik van Riel has released a kernel with
the reverse mapping VM in RPM format.
- Erich Focht has posted a new
version of his NUMA scheduler.
- The Linux Test Project ltp-20020307 release
is available. Numerous new tests have been added.
- Keith Owens has released kdb
2.1-2.4.18 for the Sparc64 architecture.
- The seventh test release of the new Tigon3
driver has been announced by David Miller.
- A new beta Conexant HCF "linmodem" driver has been announced by Marc Boucher.
Filesystems and related:
- Kevin Corry has announced version 0.9.2 of
the Enterprise Volume Management System.
- A new, vastly reworked disk quota system has been posted by Jan Kara.
- Steve Best has announced the release of JFS
- Andreas Gruenbacher has released version
0.8.20 of the access control list patch.
- Rusty Russell has posted a fast
userspace read/write lock ("furwock") implementation based on
futexes. He has also posted an
explanation of how futexes work.
- This week's release of the Affix BlueTooth stack is version 0_94.
- Alexander Viro has posted an implementation
of the "nfsd" filesystem - a new way of communicating with the NFS
server process to perform tasks like exporting filesystems.
- James Bottomley has posted a new version
of his port to the NCR Voyager architecture.
Section Editor: Jonathan Corbet
March 14, 2002
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Linux in the news
See also: last week's Distributions page.
Please note that security updates from the various
distributions are covered in the security section.
News and Editorials
Debian Project Leader Elections.
Most readers of this column will already be aware that the Debian Project
elects a new leader each year. Also that Debian Project Leader (DPL)
elections are currently underway. The DPL guides Debian policy and
Debian development, over the course of his term. Last week we announced
the candidates and a panel was selected for the upcoming debate between
the candidates. The debate will be held on IRC and has been tentatively
scheduled for March 23rd 04:00 UTC. There is a call for questions out now.
Each of the three candidates has written a platform statement which can
be found here.
We will also provide a summary of the platforms here. It is not too
surprising that all three candidates address the release schedule and
have some ideas about how to accomplish more frequent releases. They are
also all staunch believers in free software and the principles behind the
open source movement. But they are also individuals with their own ideas
of what it means to the DPL. So, here are the candidates, listed in
Bdale Garbee joined the Debian community in early 1995, and has been
contributing to the project in a variety of ways ever since. In May of
2001 he accepted employment with Hewlett-Packard, as an
Engineer/Scientist in the Linux Systems Operation (LSO). Debian is the
development platform within the LSO for the kernel and related work
required to enable Linux support on HP's hardware, so he spends part of
his time working on Debian, particularly the IA-64 port. The job also
* helping make sure HP participates as a good citizen in the Debian and
larger Open Source communities
* architecting solutions that enable multi-architecture,
multi-distribution Linux installation and support on HP hardware
* leading technical development of HP's Linux Enablement Kit products
* helping form HP Linux strategy
He also gets to travel to and speak at a variety of Linux
Bdale is a strong believer in Free Software and the Community Development
Model, and maintains a vision of Debian as a universal operating system.
A universal operating system that runs on many platforms and contains
quality code that "just works", with a more predictable release schedule.
As DPL he would also work to improve Debian infrastructure, security and
Linux Standards Base compliance.
RaphaŽl Hertzog is a student at "INSA de Lyon" (in France) where
he is part of the computer science department. He plans on receiving an
engineering degree this summer, after which he'll be looking for a job
related to free software. (Hopefully one that will leave time for Debian
work). His first contact with Linux was with Debian 1.3, in 1997. Since
then he tried a few other distributions before coming back to Debian. He
has been a Debian developer since 1998. RaphaŽl is very interested in
Debian Quality Assurance and is the instigator behind new maintainer
sponsorship policy, Perl policy, and the package tracking system. He has
a lengthy list of projects he would like to manage during the next year
to improve Debian organization, and its internal and external
Branden Robinson has been a Debian Developer since early 1998. He
is, perhaps, best known as the maintainer of the XFree86 packages. He is
also the Treasurer of Software in the Public Interest, Inc. (SPI),
Debian's legal parent organization and manager of the Debian Project's
assets. He is also employed as a free software developer. Branden has
some very specific ideas about the role of the DPL, and what he would do
if elected. These include listening to the ideas of others before making
decisions, delegating responsibility where feasible, and consensus
building among active Debian developers. Another goal is to better
track the active developers, and weed out those who are no longer active.
In order to have better Debian representation at events, he would
delegate regional Event Coordinators. These people would be responsible
for keeping track of trade shows, major Linux User Group events, etc., at
which Debian should have a presence and to ensure that someone is
available to provide that presence. As DPL he would recruit volunteers
on behalf of SPI and attempt to grow the organization. He plans to
revitalize the Technical Committee and improve the release cycle as
well. Other goals include the initiation of a Debian Legal Team,
revision of the Debian Machine Usage Policy, providing a greater "Debian
Voice" in the greater political machine, and steering development away from
Arch Linux is an i686-optimized
Linux distribution. It is lightweight and contains the latest stable
versions of software. Packages are in .tar.gz format and are tracked by a
package manager that is designed to allow easy package upgrades. Arch is
designed to be streamlined while allowing for a customized configuration,
with newer features such as reiserfs/ext3 and devfs. The initial release
0.1 became available
March 11, 2002.
More Debian News.
Here's the Debian Weekly News for March 6. It
looks at the second Debian Conference (Toronto, July 5-7), the Debian
leader election, Woody's release status, and more.
Here, also, is the March 10 Woody Release
Linux From Scratch. Linux From Scratch has
released stable version
3.2 with major bug fixes.
Mandrake Linux Community Newsletter.
The Mandrake Linux Community Newsletter for March
5 is available. It looks at the release of Mandrake Linux 8.2
beta 4, a new training offering, MandrakeSoft at CeBIT, and more.
The Mandrake Linux Community Newsletter for
March 12 is also out. It looks at the availability of 8.2 RC1,
a legislative alert, and more.
SuSE Linux 8.0 Available on April 22nd.
SuSE has announced that SuSE Linux 8.0
will hit the shelves on April 22. New features include more
security products (i.e.IPSec), a three-step installation procedure, and
KDE 3. (Update: SuSE has since sent us a second release with more details on the new
features in 8.0).
Minor Distribution updates
Astaro Security Linux. Astaro Security
Linux has released 3.031 (Beta) which
contains major bug fixes.
ClumpOS. ClumpOS has released R5.4 with major feature
Fd Linux. Fd Linux has released 2.1-0 with major feature
floppyfw. floppyfw has released development version
1.9.19 which updates the kernel to 2.4.18, and contains minor bug
LEAF (Linux Embedded Appliance Firewall). LEAF (Linux Embedded Appliance
Firewall) has released beta-4 (Bering).
Leka Rescue Floppy. Leka Rescue Floppy has released
version 0.5.2 with
minor feature enhancements.
Recovery Is Possible. Recovery
Is Possible (RIP) released version 50, with minor feature
Linux Orbit Reviews Lycoris Desktop/LX distribution. Linux Orbit reviews
the Lycoris Desktop/LX distribution. "Lycoris Desktop/LX has really
raised the bar for simple Linux installations. What they've done for
convenience however may not make an experienced Linux user happy. The
number of choices you have for your configuration are limited to those
needed to set up a Linux workstation. This is a distribution clearly
focused at current Windows users or Linux newbies looking to get the
Microsoft license monkey off their back, which is really original for
Linux distributions when you think about it."
Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol
March 14, 2002
Please note that not every distribution will show up every week. Only distributions with recent news to report will be listed.
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Linux in the news
See also: last week's Development page.
News and Editorials
GTK+ 2.0 Released
Version 2.0 of GTK+, the Gimp Toolkit
widget set is available. GTK+ was originally developed for The GIMP image manipulation system. It
now sees wide use as the toolkit for the popular GNOME desktop.
Some of the more popular GTK+ based applications include the GIMP,
the AbiWord word processor, the Dia drawing program, the Glade user
interface builder, the GnuCash financial program, and the Gnumeric
GTK+ consists of three libraries:
GTK+ works with C, C++, Perl, Python, Objective C, and O'Caml, as well as
other languages. It is designed to make the addition of support for
other languages easy. See the GTK+
FAQ for more information.
- GLib "is the low-level core library that forms the basis
of GTK+ and GNOME. It provides data structure handling
for C, portability wrappers, and interfaces for such
runtime functionality as an event loop, threads,
dynamic loading, and an object system."
- Pango "is a library for layout and rendering of text, with
an emphasis on internationalization. It forms the core
of text and font handling for GTK+-2.0."
- ATK is the library that "provides a set of interfaces for
accessibility. By supporting the ATK interfaces, an
application or toolkit can be used with such tools as
screen readers, magnifiers, and alternative input
GTK+ 2.0 Features
The announcement for GTK+ version 2.0 lists these new features:
It is good to see that the GTK+ developers are taking developer feedback
into consideration, the temporary instabilities caused by the changes
should be outweighed by the eventual gains in coding efficiency.
(Thanks to Joel Becker.)
- Enhanced internalization with full Unicode support.
- A text widget that supports multiple views of a buffer, styled
text, and internationalization capabilities.
- A powerful tree and list display widget.
- Improved accessibility support via ATK.
- The ability to load and manipulate images via gdk-pixbuf.
- Improved programming interfaces as a result of developer feedback.
- Improved usability including better keyboard navigation.
- A new default appearance.
- Type and object abstraction for wider use.
- A preview version of the Microsoft Windows port.
- A simplified and enhanced API which is the result of developer feedback.
GNOME 2.0 Beta 2.
The second beta of the GNOME 2.0 desktop, which uses GTK+ 2.0, also has been
released for testing. The developers are looking for testers to
find and fix bugs.
SAPDB Version 7.3.00.21 available.
Version 7.3.00.21 of the
SAPDB relational database
is available. See the
release notes for all of the details.
The birth of the Embedded Linux Specification.
LinuxDevices.com is carrying a call to
all Embedded Linux companies to attend the Embedded Linux Consortium
meeting on March 12 in San Francisco (during the Embedded Systems
Conference). The purpose of the meeting is to start work on the Embedded
Linux Specification, a standards effort which looks much like the Linux
Standard Base for embedded systems.
Graphics programming with libtiff (IBM developerWorks).
introduces libtiff, a C library that implements the TIFF graphics
standard. "TIFF (Tag Image File Format) is a raster image format that
was originally produced by Adobe. Raster image formats store the picture
as a bitmap describing the state of pixels, as opposed to recording the
length and locations of primitives such as lines and curves. Libtiff is
one of the standard implementations of the TIFF specification and is in
wide use today because of its speed, power, and easy source
Python milter v0.4.0 released (Milter).
A new version of Python
milter, a mail filtering utility,
has been announced. This version features bug fixes and simplified
content scanning in the mime module.
Peer to Peer
Expanding ChatBot's Repertoire (O'Reilly).
DJ Adams continues
his article on Chatbot, a Perl-based Jabber bot. "Rather than
write a silly function that doesn't do much more than say 'Hello World,'
let's look at giving ChatBot a facility that has some use beyond this
article. Despite the arrival of the Euro currency in Europe, currency
conversion still has its uses, especially for those countries (like my
homeland) that have not yet taken the plunge. Another use of currency
conversion is it allows for discussion of prices of items essential for
everyday life, such as MP3 hardware, between the U.K. and the U.S."
LPRng-3.8.9 has been released.
Version 3.8.9 of the LPRng print spooling system
is available. The
changes include bug fixes and new documentation.
XML Biometrics Standards Committee Forms (LinuxMedNews).
reports on a new standards committee that has formed to define an
XML-based standard for biometric information.
New version of PHP Review.
A new version of the PHP Review book review system
and includes a couple of bug fixes.
Zope Members' News.
The latest Zope Members' News
includes a report on the rapid growth of FreeZope.org, an announcement
for the Zope BBQ, and takes a look at NuxDocument 0.9 and ZCVSFolder
asp2php Version 0.76.1 released.
A new version of asp2php
is available. This version features a newly rewritten
program core. More changes are on the way.
March 14, 2002
Open Source Code Collections
Le Serveur Libre
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mpg321 0.2.9 Released.
Version 0.2.9 of mpg321, the free replacement for mpg123, has been released. Highlights of this version include
Shoutcast support, ID3 tag support, a bug fix for gtoaster, improved
network support, and more.
AlsaPlayer 0.99.56 released.
Version 0.99.56 of the AlsaPlayer PCM player
This release features "lots of small bugfixes".
Encompass 0.4.99.14 Alpha Release 2 (Gnotices).
A second alpha release of the Encompass web browser for GNOME
has been announced. "This version contains preliminary support
for HTTP POST, HTTP Authentication, and HTTP Proxy via the http_proxy
Mozilla 0.9.9 released.
Version 0.9.9 of Mozilla has been
released. This version now supports MathML by default, it also has
the ability to disable pop-up messages, as well as many other features.
A fix for the recent zlib security vulnerability is also included.
Galeon 1.2 released.
Following quickly after Mozilla 0.9.9, it didn't take long for Galeon
version 1.2 to be released. Check out the announcement and then hit the Galeon home page for your
The latest MozillaZine looks at
Mozilla 0.9.9, the new Mozbot 2.2 IRC bot, and more.
The GNOME Summary for March 2 is
available. Covered topics include the new GNOME software map, reviews of
Evolution, Galeon, and Gnumeric, and more.
NEW GNOME Installation Guide And Review For GNOME 2.0 Published.
A new version of the Gnome Installation Guide
has been announced, this edition features new information on GNOME 2.0.
GARNOME Preview Four: 'Perdon; estoy buscando mis pantalones.'.
GARNOME 0.8.0, "the bad-ass, bleeding edge GNOME distribution for testers
and tweakers everywhere," has been
released. Here's a (relatively) easy opportunity to test out the
upcoming GNOME 2.0 desktop and find any remaining problems.
New KDE documentation site.
By way of KDE.News, we've
learned of the launch of docs.kde.org,
a new, comprehensive documentation site for the KDE desktop.
People of KDE: Neil Stevens.
This week's People of KDE features Neil Stevens, the person
in charge of "Kit, Kaboodle, Megami, and a bunch of hard-to-translate
LinuxQuestions Members Choice Awards: KDE Kleans Up.
LinuxQuestions.org has picked
KDE as their favorite desktop. Applications such as Konqueror and
KMail also received high scores.
The Chopping Block for March, 2002.
The March, 2002 issue of
The Chopping Block is available on the WorldForge Game site.
Articles include a description of the WorldForge project, a look at the
COAL map handling library, a review of the Kings Feast project, and talk
on licensing issues.
This week, the Pygame site features BOMBERS 0.7, a
"space shootem up" game.
Gimp 1.3.4 released.
Gimp version 1.3.4, which is "targetted for developers and curious
users" and not for daily work, has
been announced. See the README for
New fltk applications.
The FLTK site lists two new
applications, SpiralSynthModular 0.0.8, an object oriented modular
softsynth / sequencer / sampler, and FL-Inventor 0.9.1, a 3D VR
Wine 20020310 announced.
A new version of Wine
has been announced. Version 20020310 is identical to the previous
version, except for the change to the GNU Lesser General Public License.
Wine Weekly News.
The March 8, 2002
edition of the Wine Weekly News has been published. Topics include
Crossover 1.1.0, Wine licensing, an X11-licensed fork, and more.
Samba 2.2.3a released.
Version 2.2.3a of Samba
has been released. It includes a bug fix for a Windows Explorer bug
that showed up in the 2.2.3 release. Upgrades are recommended.
GStreamer 'GUADEC By Foot' 0.3.3 released (Gnotices).
Version 0.3.3 of the GStreamer Multimedia framework
has been released. "This release contains a lot of nice fixes and
updates including a new cothread system, a new autoplugger, many new
plugins and more."
Release of GnuCash 1.6.6 (Gnotices).
A new version of GnuCash
been released. Version 1.6.6 features new and updated translations,
improved exchange rate calculations, bug fixes, and other features.
Two new Gnumeric releases.
Gnumeric 1.0.5, a bugfix version of the stable release , has been announced.
Gnumeric 1.1.1, from the development branch, has also been announced, the claim is that this version works
as well as stable version 1.0.
Kernel Cousin GNUe #19.
Issue #19 of
Kernel Cousin GNUe has discussions on the GNUe Application Server
v2 (GEAS), using analysis patterns for module proposals, integrating
Zope and GNUe, data protection, databases, and more.
AbiWord Weekly News #83.
Issue #83 of the
AbiWord Weekly News covers the latest developments on the AbiWord
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Caml Weekly News.
The March 12, 2002 edition of the Caml Weekly
News looks at WhizzyTeX 1.0 and an ssl library for Ocaml.
Progress continues on the g95
FORTRAN compiler project, the current goal is to finish the type
resolution system. A Linux binary is available if you want to see how
g95 reacts to your FORTRAN code.
Cache-Friendly Web Pages (O'Reilly).
explains the HTML Expires and Cache-Control headers on O'Reilly's
Linux Devcenter. "There are a lot of HTTP caches out there. How long
are they holding your pages? How long should they hold your pages? RFC
2616 (HTTP/1.1) specifies that caches must obey Expires and Cache-Control
headers--but do your pages have them? How do you add them? What happens
to your pages if you don't?"
Merlin brings nonblocking I/O to the Java platform (IBM developerWorks).
Aruna Kalagnanam and Balu G
write about nonblocking I/O in Merlin. "Until JDK 1.4 (aka
Merlin), the Java platform did not support nonblocking I/O calls. With an
almost one-to-one ratio of threads to clients, servers written in the
Java language were susceptible to enormous thread overhead, which
resulted in both performance problems and lack of scalability."
Top Ten Cool New Features of Java 2SE 1.4 (O'Reilly).
examines Java 2SE 1.4 on O'Reilly's OnJava site. For the impatient,
the covered features are: Parsing XML, Transforming XML, Preferences,
Logging, Secure Sockets and HTTPS, LinkedHashMap, FileChannel,
Non-Blocking I/O, Regular Expressions, and Assertions.
Free The X3J Thirteen! for February, 2002.
The February, 2002 edition of
Free The X3J Thirteen! is out. "This issue covers a new
vendor-neutral package format for cCLan, MK:DEFSYSTEM 4 and CLAWK, the
Common Lisp Cookbook project, the SPARC and Alpha ports of SBCL, a new
version of CL-PDF, and the forthcoming releases of CMU CL and CLISP."
Universal Foreign Function Interface.
UFFI, the Universal Foreign Function Interface is
available. UFFI is a tool for interfacing Common Lisp to C-language
Rindolf Specification Document v0.1.12.
A new version of the
Rindolf Specification Document has been
published by Shlomi Fish. Rindolf is a dialect of Perl. Briefly,
"Rindolf aims to be an improved and re-engineered Perl 5".
Perl 6 Porters.
The March 12, 2002
Perl 6 Porters looks at an effort to redesign printf, Parrot 0.0.4,
version 1 of the proposed Assembler PDD, and multi-method dispatch in
PHP Weekly Summary.
The March 11, 2002
edition of the PHP Weekly Summary looks at the NAPA XSLT processor,
socket re-work, an aggregation function bug, the new build system, a new
Universe CORBA extension, the path to version 4.2.0, and more.
The Parade of PEPs.
Guido van Rossum has posted The Parade of the
PEPs, a look at outstanding Python enhancement proposals and his
frank opinion on what should happen with each. It's an interesting read
for those following the development of the Python language.
Dr. Dobb's Python-URL!.
The March 11, 2002
Dr. Dobb's Python-URL! is out.
Topics include seeking fame and fortune developing Python,
the Disipyl Python interface to DISLIN, RPy, for interfacing
to the R language, processing volume images with BBLImage,
the lfm v0.8 midnight commander clone, and more.
Text Processing In Python draft available.
David Mertz has announced that a draft of his
upcoming book Text Processing In Python, (to be published by
Addison Wesley) is available on the web. He is looking for feedback on
ways to improve the book, of course.
The Daily Python-URL.
This week's accumulation of articles on
The Daily Python-URL
include an announcement for a new Python Imaging Library,
the EDDIE Tool systems administration helper, the disipyl DISLIN wrapper,
the BBLimage image processing tools, and more.
The Ruby Garden.
This week's Ruby Garden looks at
BioRuby.org, which features Ruby libraries for working with DNA data.
The Ruby Weekly News.
The March 11, 2002 edition of the Ruby Weekly
News looks at DBTalk 0.5, an interactive GUI based tool for database
querying, programming, and administration, the RDoc documentation tool,
Ruby/SMB, and more.
Dr. Dobbs' Tcl-URL! for March 11.
The March 11, 2002 edition of Dr. Dobbs'
Tcl-URL! is out. Topics include a cash register application in Tcl,
Tcl in embedded systems, the Tk look and feel, garbage collection, and
Donald Eastlake on XML Digital Signatures (IBM developerWorks).
interviews Donald Eastlake, editor of the XML Digital Signature
(XMLDSIG) RFC. "What is 'truly secure XML?' The phrase is meaningless
without a definition of what security properties you are trying to
achieve and what your threat model is. XMLDISG provides a building
block. It is a flexible mechanism for the cryptographic binding of data
to a key."
Integrated Development Environments
GNUstep Weekly Editorial.
The GNUstep Weekly Editorial for March 8,
2002 is available. Topics include the CDPlayer application,
Objective-C++ support, a gnustep-make roadmap, and more.
oprofile version 0.1 released.
Version 0.1 of the oprofile code profiler is available. The
release notes lists reporting of more symbols and a better output
report, in addition to lots of bug fixes.
Valgrind memory debugger.
Valgrind is a memory debugging tool for
C/C++ on the x86 platform, it has been used by the KDE development
community for debugging libraries and applications. Valgrind has been
released under the GPL. (Thanks to Julian Seward.)
Section Editor: Forrest Cook
Gnu Compiler Collection (GCC)
Gnu Compiler for the Java Language (GCJ)
IBM Java Zone
Free the X3J Thirteen (Lisp)
Dr. Dobbs' Perl
PHP Weekly Summary
Tcl Developer Xchange
| || || |
Linux in the news
See also: last week's Commerce page.
HP Announces Global Consortium to Enable New Linux
Capabilities for Academic and Industrial Research.
Hewlett-Packard Company announced
the formation of the Gelato Federation, a worldwide consortium focused on
enabling open source Linux-based Intel(R) Itanium(TM) Processor Family
computing solutions for academic, government and industrial research.
Embedded Linux Market enters era of standardization.
The Embedded Linux Consortium (ELC) held an open
technical meeting in San Francisco, to discuss the creation of a
unified Embedded Linux "platform specification".
Panasonic Invests in MontaVista Software.
MontaVista Software has received an equity
investment from Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. (MEI)
through its subsidiary, Panasonic Digital Concepts Center (PDCC).
Linux for the Sony Playstation.
A Linux for Playstation 2 kit is being
offered for the Sony Playstation 2 game platform. "The LINUX (FOR
PLAYSTATION 2) accessory kit allows you to utilize the PlayStation 2
console as a fully-functional desktop computer. Download a wealth of
Linux programs -- HTML editors, multimedia players, office solutions and
more -- or program your own software to run in the PlayStation 2 Linux
environment." Some familiarity with the Linux operating system is
recommended. (Thanks to Joe Klemmer.)
LPI holds its annual board election.
The Linux Professional Institute has held its annual board election. Jon 'Maddog' Hall will be replacing Tom
Peters. CeBit attendants can visit the LPI booth and take discounted
exams next week.
Free as in Freedom.
O'Reilly is promoting their new biography on
Richard Stallman, "Free as in Freedom". "Why would Microsoft
executives lie awake at night worrying about the antics of a long-haired,
renegade hacker named Richard Stallman? Why do some of the smartest
programmers on the planet revere this man as 'St. Ignucius'?"
Linux Stock Index for March 08 to March 13, 2002.
LSI at closing on March 08, 2002 ... 28.40
LSI at closing on March 13, 2002 ... 28.26
The high for the week was 28.90
The low for the week was 28.24
Open Source Products
Distributions and Bundled Products
Proprietary Products for Linux
Linux PC Hardware
Embedded Linux Products
Products and Services Using Linux
Products With Linux Versions
- BakBone Software (SAN DIEGO):
Maxtor MaxAttach Storage Servers Certified As Platform For BakBone Backup And Recovery Solutions.
- Hewlett-Packard Company (PALO ALTO, Calif.):
HP Energizes IA-32 based Product Suite With New Servers and Storage Device.
- Landmark Graphics Corporation (HOUSTON):
Landmark Announces True Full-Field Simulation Solution; New VIP Reservoir Simulation Technology Provides Industry's Only Coupled Surface/Subsurface Solution.
- Meeting Maker, Inc. (WALTHAM, Mass.):
Meeting Maker Signs Reseller Agreement with PC Connection.
The new version of Meetingmaker will provide a host of new features, including a Mac OS X client and server and a Linux server. Now if it just had a Linux client...
- Onyx Software (BELLEVUE, Wash.):
Onyx CRM Software Available on New IBM eServer; eServer Coupled With Onyx CRM Solution To Provide Enhanced Flexibility, Reliability and Performance.
- Plesk, Inc. (CHANTILLY, Va.):
Plesk, Inc., Releases Plesk Server Administrator Version 2.5 for New Level of Automated Web Server Management.
- Riverstone Networks (SANTA CLARA, Calif.):
Riverstone Launches Powerful RapidOS Management Center for Highly Reliable Metro Service Delivery.
- Synchronicity (MARLBORO, Mass.):
Synchronicity Eases Enterprise Deployment of Developer Suite Design Collaboration Solution, Adds Linux and AIX Ports.
- Synergy Microsystems (SAN FRANCISCO):
Synergy Microsystems Expands Falcon Embedded VME Board Family With Dual PowerPC, Dual Mezzanine Processor Board.
- Veridicom (SUNNYVALE, Calif.):
Veridicom Closes Funding Round, Previews New Products At CeBIT Hannover Fair In Germany.
- Xdrive Technologies (MARINA DEL REY, Calif.):
Xdrive Announces Unix and Linux Support; Xdrive Now Offers its Online Storage and File Sharing Services to Unix and Linux Users.
Linux At Work
Open source at work
Investments and Acquisitions
Personnel & New Offices
Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol.
March 14, 2002
| || || |
Linux in the news
See also: last week's Linux in the news page.
Linux digs in at embedded systems show (CNN).
reports on the Embedded Systems Conference. "To allow an
application written for one vendors' operating system to run on that of
another vendor, an industry group will unveil plans Tuesday to create a
standard for embedded Linux systems. The Embedded Linux Consortium (ELC),
an industry group with more than 70 members including Intel and Red Hat,
has set its sights on firming a standard set of APIs (application
programming interfaces) and compatibility test kits so that eventually,
any Linux application will run on any Linux operating system, so long as
both conform to the specifications."
Jim Allchin mentions Embedded Linux threat (Register).
Microsoft's Jim Allchin
talks about the threat of Linux in the embedded space. (See the end
of the article.) "It's -- we've lost accounts on the client based on
it. We have -- we're in constant competitive situations in the embedded
space. To me that's where it's strongest, in the embedded space. Second
in servers and third in client, but it's a progression that they're
moving very quickly with."
Identifying the top requirements for Embedded Linux systems (LinuxDevices).
LinuxDevices.com is carrying a lengthy
article looking at the requirements for embedded systems and how well
Linux meets them. "My personal belief is that not so much power
consumption or processing speed but security will be the key issue in
embedded systems in the near future. Reliability was one of the demands
from the very beginning on -- security, on the other hand, has been
neglected. The more embedded systems become complex, offer extensive user
intervention and utilize the ability to interact with local networks and
the Internet, the more security related issues are emerging."
Stop the Copying, Start a Media Revolution.
O'Reilly's Andy Oram
discusses current copyright problems. "Why is there so much
trading of copyrighted material online? Because the general public has
few alternatives to the popular media controlled by large copyright
holders. If the Internet developed its own media, there might be less to
fight over--although as I will show, the battle will intensify before it
Republicans Should Back Recording Artists, Consumers (Fox News).
Recommended reading: this strongly
worded article on the Fox News site. "And now, record companies -
who have allied themselves with the just-as-bad motion picture industry -
want to make it a felony for you to own a computer that is capable of
copying music from a CD to your portable player without paying them
money, even though courts have held that such copying is entirely
legal." (Found on
Bizarre vs. Bazaar (Linux Journal).
Will the DMCA be the death of
Internet radio? "Webcasting is just the first species marked for
destruction. Whether this is an evil plot, a dumb bureaucracy at work or
both, the effects are the same: the destruction of the Net as a commons
and its replacement with a plumbing system for the distribution of
"content" (a word hardly used in a shipping context before Big Media got
all drooly over The Promise of The Net)."
NA cans PGP -- takes on a life of its own? (IT-Director).
IT-Director talks about the
future of PGP, now that Network Associates has decided to stop developing
and marketing the encryption software. "When NAI took the product
from Zimmerman in '97, he came with it. He was the face of PGP and the
heart of the movement. In February last year however, Zimmerman left NAI
citing issues with the firms handling of the PGP solutions. Looking back
this was the turning point for PGP. If NAI hasn't got Zimmerman then
surely it hasn't got the PGP movement behind it? And, although NAI
clearly failed to realise this, it would appear that this took the heart
out of the NAI solution -- and, at NAI at least, it died."
Vivendi's Canal Plus sues NDS (MSNBC).
interesting MSNBC article discussing an alleged use of source code as
a weapon. Vivendi is suing News Corp.'s NDS, claiming that NDS cracked
Vivendi's digital TV content scrambling scheme and released the resulting
code on the net. "The lawsuit claims damages of more than $1
billion. It alleges violations of U.S. Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt
Organizations Act and federal copyright laws, as well as a breach of
California?s unfair competition statute."
Some games aren't fun (InfoWorld).
an InfoWorld story about the conflict between bnetd and Blizzard.
"It's amazing how the right to protect intellectual property has
managed to erode the rights of consumers. Open source, on the other hand,
specifically seeks to empower software consumers, giving them the right
to use, distribute, modify, and distribute modifications to the
software. In the days ahead, I fully expect that the gap between the
rights of open source and the restrictions of closed source will begin to
resemble the Grand Canyon."
Locking Up Your Rights (MSNBC).
MSNBC is carrying a
Newsweek article about the ongoing Elcomsoft case. "The main
event comes on April 1, when the judge hears [Elcomsoft attorney Joseph]
Burton's motions to dismiss on constitutional grounds. Though his
argument gets technical, attacking what he calls 'vagueness' in the DMCA,
the bottom line is this: how can it be a crime to allow people legal
access to what they legally paid for?"
Deciphering the war on open source (News.com).
counters attacks by Microsoft's Craig Mundie. "Mundie uses a
textbook tactic of manipulation: start with some reasonable talk, and
lead the audience to an unreasonable conclusion. The reasonable part is
that businesses have to sell something to make money. And it's
(deliberately) hard to commercialize GPL software. To follow Mundie's
conclusion, however, you'd have to believe that the money people save by
using the GNU-Linux system just disappears."
Ethical and Social Implications of Science and Technology (TechWeb).
reports on a recent conference that looked at the ethical and
societal implications of the accelerating developments in science and
technology. Present at the conference were Bill Joy, Raymond Kurzweil,
and Mitch Kapor. "Open source creates a sort of 'virtuous circle,'
Kapor said, where 'you take it, you improve it, you put it back.' He's
critical of the way science is increasingly closed, licensing off its
discoveries to corporate interests or making them inaccessible via
patents. Says Kapor, 'It would be great if science can get back to its
Il guru hacker propone: 'Mai piu allegati Word' (Repubbl
Richard Stallman's call for an end to Word attachments has been
reported in La Repubblica, an Italian newspaper. It's a reasonable
discussion of the problems with these attachments - though freedom and
open file formats are not mentioned directly. An English translation of
sorts is available
via Babelfish. (Grazie a Massimo Marengo).
Simputer for the masses set for takeoff (ZDNet).
ZDNet is carrying a
Reuters article about the upcoming rollout of the Simputer in India.
"Built by the non-profit Simputer Trust, the device is slightly larger
than a regular handheld PC, and uses the free-to-use Linux operating
system. Its software is expected to aid farmers seeking to know
commodity prices and beat middlemen and also provide speech recognition
in regional languages to help illiterate rural folk."
Caldera reverse stock split March 14 (News.com).
News.com covers a
Caldera International stock split. "Caldera International
shareholders approved a 1-for-4 reverse stock split Thursday, the
struggling Linux and Unix seller said. The split will take effect March
14, at which point the 57.5 million outstanding shares will be converted
into 14.4 million shares."
Resellers get Linux boost (vnunet).
Caldera is looking for a few good resellers, according to this vnunet article.
"The company, which boasts 1,500 UK partners, is offering free
commercial and technical training, free educational materials, access to
demonstration software, development tools and sales information."
HP Urges Linux Support for Research (InternetNews).
HP is at the forefront of a new
consortium aimed at bringing Linux and 64-bit computing to the
research community. "Called the Gelato Federation, the group will
develop commodity software to help scientists conduct technology research
in life and physical sciences."
Leaning HP's Way (InformationWeek).
covers HP's renewed efforts to purchase Compaq. "HP board
members, in a mailing to shareholders last month, argued that the new HP
would dominate the Windows and Linux server markets, which are growing at
20% and 30%, respectively."
IBM preps AIX 5L 5.2 for October release (Register).
The Register reports on
IBM's plans for AIX 5L version 5.2, which is to be released in October,
2002. "The L in AIX 5L stands for Linux affinity, which means that
many of the Linux APIs are supported within AIX so applications written
for Linux can be recompiled to run natively on PowerPC and Power4
Linux-backer Lineo opens doors in India (ZDNet).
The embedded Linux company Lineo has announced that
it is expanding its operations to India. "Privately-held Lineo aims
to closely work with Indian computer hardware manufacturers and offer a
suite of embedded software solutions, Ishrat Hakim, vice-president,
Asia-Pacific sales at Lineo, told a news conference in Bangalore."
Mandrake Linux looking for users' cash (News.com).
MandrakeSoft is in need of short-term funding.
"To raise funds, Mandrake urged people to join the Mandrake Linux
Users Club, which costs $5 per month or more, and the Mandrake Corporate
Club, which costs between $2,500 to $100,000 per year."
Linux company lays off 90 percent (ZDNet).
ZDNet looks at the
hard times at Mission Critical Linux. "The company has been
stripped down to a much smaller entity, with six employees compared with
just less than 60 a month ago..."
Red Hat signs Sanyo, Motorola deals (News.com).
Red Hat has signed
deals to bring its GNUPro software-development tools to Sanyo's
Xstormy16 CPU and to support the AltiVec instructions in Motorola PowerPC
chips. "Sanyo's Xstormy16 is used in devices without much computing
power, including audio devices and home appliances. AltiVec is technology
built into many PowerPC chips that speeds up operations such as audio
processing. The technology is useless, however, unless software can take
advantage of it, and supporting AltiVec in GNUPro will allow Linux to get
past that roadblock."
VPN hardware company names new CEO (News.com).
Embedded Linux VPN provider SnapGear has promoted Chief
Technology Officer Rick Stevenson to chief executive. "SnapGear
uses a version of Linux and was a subsidiary of embedded Linux company
Lineo until October 2001. The company now has about 35
employees. Stevenson had been vice president of integrated products at
Sony starts selling Linux kit for PS2 (News.com).
Sony's PS2 announcement. "Sony doesn't expect the product to be a
mainstream hit but hopes that hobbyists who tinker with the PlayStation
can become top-notch game designers. Judging by the 9,626 people who
signed a petition for Linux on the PS2, there is significant
Double Checking Sun's Reality Check (Byte.com).
carries Moshe Bar's rebuttal to Sun's "Reality Check" article.
"The big advantage to using Linux on a mainframe is the consolidation
of servers. There are data centers out there with thousands of individual
x86 servers, especially in new industries like cellular communication,
ISPs, and application server providers." (Thanks to Biju Chacko)
Sun Microsystems Faces Critical Point in Company History, Experts Say (Boston Globe).
The Boston Globe
examines Sun's efforts to get involved with Linux, and looks at one
Sun customer's switch. "In 1998, Lucas began switching to cheap
personal computers, similar to those found in millions of American homes,
and to the free Linux operating system. He has been delighted with the
results. The more primitive computers actually run his code faster than
the high-end machines ever did and at far lower cost. 'We decided to
convert completely over to Linux,' Lucas said."
Sputnik: Open Source wireless public network (Register).
The three co-founders of Linuxcare are on another Open
Source adventure. "David L. Sifry, Arthur Tyde and David LaDuke
launched wireless networking company Sputnik in April 2001, but only
last month did they launch a public Web site to reveal their plans. In
an effort to "under-promise and over-deliver," as Sifry calls it, the
trio have thus far avoided marketing and advertising their product, an
Open Source 802.11b wireless gateway designed to allow wireless access
providers to authenticate users while sharing their bandwidth."
Will Linux find a home in handhelds? (CNN).
reports on the growing number of Linux PDAs. "While new to a
market which already has established giants Palm and Microsoft operating
systems battling it out for market share, Ishrat Hakim, Lineo's vice
president Asia-Pacific sales and corporate development, believes Linux
has the ability to hold its own in this ultra-competitive arena."
Cost the key factor in pushing business to open source (Register).
The Register examines
data gathered by OpenForum Europe, a group advocating the use of open
source software in business. "Unlike the more overtly geeky open
source organisations we're familiar with, OpenForum Europe has set itself
the tricky task of evangelising the software in business and government,
which means having a few suits on board itself, and working the line
between suit and geek."
AOL embraces Linux and Mozilla, plans to drop MS Explorer (Register).
Here is a Newsforge article, carried in the Register, which looks at
AOL's internal switch to Linux and Mozilla. "AOL is switching to
Linux for the same reason most large companies make the change: to save
money. Thousands of AOL servers are already 100% Linux, and more are
switching over every day. AOL number-crunchers figure they can replace an
$80,000 box running proprietary UNIX with two $5,000 Linux boxes and get
a 50% increase in performance in addition to the cost savings."
Mozilla's Revenge (Salon).
Salon's Andrew Leonard
revisits Mozilla. "Mozilla today is so much more impressive than
it was a year and a half ago that it made me feel like I wanted to be a
hacker all over again, just as I did when I first began to tap into the
fervor that was fueling the growth of Linux and Apache."
The Evolution Continues (Linuxworld).
continues his review of the Evolution mail client, and the process of
migrating from Sylpheed to Evolution. "After a couple of weeks of
constant usage it is even clearer to me today than when I wrote the first
column that while both Evolution and Sylpheed are GUI clients, each are
seeking a different audience. If it is sheer speed, power, and
reliability you want then Sylpheed is the choice for you. If you want
ease of use and an almost seamless bridge between Windows clients like
Outlook and e-mail Linux-style, then Evolution meets your needs
Emulate This! Part 1 (Linux Journal).
The Linux Journal launches a new series of columns on interoperability
look at the mtools package. "You might ask why we would use
something like mtools instead of simply mounting a floppy diskette as
type msdos (as in mount -t msdos /dev/fd0 /mnt/floppy) and using the
traditional Linux commands. Well, for one thing, there's this whole thing
about mounting and unmounting diskettes, which can be a bit of a
Consumer Video Editing in Linux (Camcorderinfo).
looks at some of the advantages of using Linux for video capturing
and editing. "Because video editing is so computer intensive, we
often push our computers to their limits when editing video and anyone
who has worked with video in a Windows environment has experienced the
unreliability of Windows and gone through many crashes. Linux is
considered much more reliable than Windows and once you have it installed
will most likely give you much fewer headaches."
Alan Cox: What the future holds for Linux (ZDNet).
ZDNet has posted another interview of Alan
Cox, this time the topic is the future of Linux. "In the desktop
world there are a set of transitions for the legacy-free PCs which we
have to be ready for--we're pretty much in the right spot. So you see
machines where USB is basically the only plug-in interface. ACPI
(Advanced Configuration and Power Interface) is becoming a requirement on
machines, so you have to support the ACPI configuration."
Alan Cox: The battle for the desktop (ZDNet).
Here is part 2 of ZDNet's interview with Alan
Cox. "A good example of the flexibility of Linux is in
internationalization. Because it's open source, anyone can pick that code
up and adapt it, and do it with all their own cultural nuances. At one
point Iceland had a problem because Microsoft looked at it and said,
here's a small country, we won't be doing an Icelandic version of Windows
anytime soon. This was unfortunate for Iceland as they are rather
attached to their language, having spoken it for more than 1,000
years. So some guys took Linux and translated it into Icelandic."
Brian Chats with Moshe about openMosix (SF Foundry).
Brian Finley talks with
Moshe Bar about openMosix. "We had then, finally, one last
interested [venture capitalist]. very serious people who did a lot of
research into Mosix, on the three people invovled and on the chances for
marketing Mosix as it was then (spring 2001) in the summer of 2001 we got
a firm offer from that VC to create a commercial Mosix entity."
GNU-Friends Interviews Karl Berry.
has interviewed Karl Berry, long time TeX guru, who shares his
thoughts on open-source software as well as a recipe for Hungarian pork
chops. "Typography and letterform design have been innately
interesting to me for as long as I can remember. In the 1980's, TeX and
Metafont were just hitting their stride, and Kathryn and I designed and
typeset numerous books and other random items with them. Don Knuth's
projects are always fascinating on many levels, and it was natural to get
Linux watch counts down to launch (ZDNet).
ZDNet reports on
IBM's latest Linux watch, which is to make an appearance at CeBIT.
"Linux 2.4 runs on a 32-bit RISC processor, the frequency of which
varies from 74MHz to 18MHz to help save power. By tinkering with Linux,
IBM has reduced the amount of memory required to run the operating
system. In turn, this has helped increase the battery life to six
hours. IBM has predicted all-day battery life will appear in a year or
Are You a Linux Waif? (Linux Journal).
Linux Journal asks twelve
questions designed to reveal the Linux waif. "Does your dad's
license plate read ILUVLNX or LNXROX or LNXRULZ, etc.? Does the other
car's plate read IH8MS?"
Section Editor: Forrest Cook
March 14, 2002
| || || |
Linux in the news
See also: last week's Announcements page.
Building a Two-Node Linux Cluster with Heartbeat (Linux Journal).
Linux Journal's C T Leung illustrates
the process of setting up a two node High Availability Linux cluster with
Heartbeat. "When node1 (the primary server) goes down, node2 will be
take over all services from node1 by starting the same IP alias and all
2001 LinuxQuestions.org Members Choice Award Winners.
has posted the results of its Members Choice Awards. Check it out
to see which Linux applications are the most popular.
Video of lecture by Alan Cox and Dick Porter.
The BT Ignite Web Services Annual Lecture was held in Swansea, Wales, on
March 5; the speakers, talking about "Doing things differently -
Linux past, present and future," were Alan Cox and Dick Porter. A video
of the lecture is now available on
the web in several formats.
Linux Optimization and Fine Tuning (Linux
Linux Journal shows how to
optimize a Linux machine by tweaking the kernel, services, compile
options, and window system.
Alphabetical Directory of Linux Commands (O'Reilly).
O'Reilly has published an
online version of its Alphabetical Directory of Linux Commands, also
available in paper form.
International Beer Day II (Gnotices).
The second International Beer Day, to be held after the GUADEC conference,
has been announced.
Zope BBQ 2002.
BBQ 2002 will be held on April 11 and 12 in Berlin, Germany.
Open Source Software for e-Government.
The Cyberspace Policy Institute of The George Washington University is presenting several demonstrations of mature Open
Source programs in use at the Census Bureau. The demonstrations will be
held in Arlington, Virginia on March 19, 2002. (Thanks to Tony Stanco.)
KDE Presence at CeBIT 2002.
KDE will be present at the
CeBIT 2002 conference in Hannover, Germany on March 13-20. They will be
showing off KDE 3.0, Konqueror/Embedded, and KOffice 1.2, among other
Events: March 14 - May 9, 2002.
|Date ||Event ||Location |
|March 14 - 16, 2002||Embedded Systems Conference||(Moscone Center)San Francisco, California|
|March 14 - 16, 2002||O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference: P2P, Web Services, Wireless, and Beyond||(Westin Hotel)Santa Clara, CA|
|March 21 - 22, 2002||Annual Conference of Open Source Content Management Systems(OSCMSC)||(Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH))Zurich, Switzerland|
|March 22 - 24, 2002||Linux Event 2002, Italy||(Terminal Crociere di Livorno)Livorno, Italy|
|April 3 - 6, 2002||The Association of C & C + + Users Spring Conference(ACCU)||(Heritage Motor Centre)Warwick, England|
|April 4 - 6, 2002||GNOME Users And Developer European Conference(GUADEC)||Seville, Spain|
|April 11 - 12, 2002||Zope BBQ 2002, Europe||Berlin, Germany|
|April 24 - 27, 2002||Federal Open Source Conference||(Ronald Reagan Building)Washington DC|
|April 29 - 30, 2002||Samba eXPerience 2002||(Hotel Freizeit)GŲttingen, Germany|
Additional events can be found in the LWN Event Calendar. Event
submissions should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org in a plain text format.
Section Editor: Forrest Cook.
March 14, 2002
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Here are this week's Freshmeat software announcements.
Freshmeat now offers the announcements sorted in two different ways:
The Alphabetical List and
Sorted by license
Our software announcements are provided courtesy of FreshMeat
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Copyright © 2002
Eklektix, Inc., all rights reserved
Linux in the news
See also: last week's Letters page.
Letters to the editor should be sent to email@example.com. Preference will be given
to letters which are short, to the point, and well written. If you want
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know. We do not have a policy against anonymous letters, but we will be
reluctant to include them.
March 14, 2002
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From: Xavier Bestel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Software Patents: France Accuses EC of Misleading e.Europe
Date: 07 Mar 2002 16:12:48 +0100
A government publically opposes software patents, and you write only 2
lines in the commerce section of LWN ? I was hoping this would have
generated a bit more comment from your part. Letting the software
patents pass or not in the EC *is* important.
Ok, this government is French, and you're a Colorado-based company, so
it's not that intersting for you.
Moreover in France there'll be soon presidential elections, which make
popular declarations more frequent. But hey, this means a governing body
is acknowledging that life would be better without these patents ?
I thought this deserved a bit more attention than the fact that
StarOffice didn't change its status.
PS: Frenchies are often angry at something. I don't know if it's genetic
or constitutionnal. Long live LWN !
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From: email@example.com (Ketil Z. Malde)
Subject: digital rights and wrongs management
Date: 07 Mar 2002 09:24:32 +0100
While it is of course important for legislators to look after
businesses and business models that constitute the pillars of their
society, it should also be a priority to look after the citizens.
As a parent, I perceive cars and traffic is a threat to the safety of
my children as much as unrestricted software is a threat to
copyrights. And, unless legislators openly will insist that the
profits of media businesses are more important than the lives of
children, I propose that all cars and other vehicles are fitted with
speed regulators that make it impossible to break speed limits.
An organisation, say the Parents' Auto Control Management AssociatioN,
will license auto manufacturers and maintenance shops, and of course
perform unannounced raids to ensure that they comply with the
In order to avoid people tampering with speed control devices,
cars should be sealed, and maintenance should only be performed by
PACMAN-approved shops. Since we have 25 year imprisonment as
punishment for writing software that /can/ be used for copyright
infringement, I suggest at least fifty years is appropriate for
illegal vehicle maintenance, that is, opening the hood by anybody
without a license.
Sounds fun, doesn't it?
If I haven't seen further, it is by standing in the footprints of giants
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From: David Brownell <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: SSSCA vs freedom
Date: Thu, 07 Mar 2002 12:29:48 -0800
In your March 7 issue you wrote:
> The problem is that free software is seen by many of these
> people as a sort of circumvention device. Systems with freely
> available source can not be relied upon to enforce other
> peoples' claimed digital rights.
As the saying goes, "Your right to swing your fist ends
where my face begins." But the SSSCA proponents
don't want to accept that type of limitation. They don't
believe that copyright is a similar balance between
"competing" interests. Or that copyright was created
with an agreement to enlarge the public domain when
the copyright expires -- in the near term. (*)
As more of society produces information (sometimes,
but not always, by synthesizing it from many sources),
rather than being pure consumers of pap from ever-larger
media conglomerates, both government and media have
started to act on a perceived threat to their plutocracy.
Imagine if a Free people were ever to notice the
level of corporate and governmental autocracy that's
afflicting them ... and decided they didn't like it?
Oh no -- there might be democratic change. That's
a clear threat to this plutocratic society, and must
be prevented. Our American Way is threatened!!
(Ignore that other American Way behind the curtain.)
(*) Copyright originally expired when people who helped
make the work valuable, but did not get copyright,
might be alive to create "derivative works". Today
there are even more of those people ... music fans
are what make bands popular (but notice the session
artists never get copyright), employees are what
enable corporate production, and so on.
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From: "Jay R. Ashworth" <email@example.com>
Subject: AOL and/for Linux
Date: Tue, 12 Mar 2002 10:51:34 -0500
In a NewsForge piece linked from Tuesday's daily section, an AOL
employee is quoted thus on the topic of an AOL client ever appearing
As far as an AOL client for Linux, one Linux-using AOL employee says,
"How many Linux people do you know personally who would sign up for AOL
if we had a Linux client? I don't know a single one, myself. I have an
account with another ISP I use at home with my Linux box, and probably
wouldn't use AOL from home even if I could."
While I could make a snotty comment about how this illustrates how AOL
employees miss the point almost as often as Microsoft employees do,
it will be more productive (thought less satisfying :-) for me to
*make* the point, which is that it's not the *"Linux people"* that
we're after there, silly.
We're trying to make it possible for some of those vaunted 30 million
subs to *finish* renouncing Microsoft, and move *to* Linux instead --
assuming one of the current crop of "Linux for d*mmies" distros makes
the grade -- because, obviously, viral as it is, AOL will be the reason
that a lot of those people *don't* switch; it's not worth running Wine
just to get AOL, no matter how good OpenOffice is...
-- jr 'anywhere he wants' a
Jay R. Ashworth firstname.lastname@example.org
Member of the Technical Staff Baylink RFC 2100
The Suncoast Freenet The Things I Think
Tampa Bay, Florida http://baylink.pitas.com +1 727 647 1274
"If you don't have a dream; how're you gonna have a dream come true?"
-- Captain Sensible, The Damned (from South Pacific's "Happy Talk")
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From: Bo Grimes <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 12 Mar 2002 17:16:10 -0500
> Burton said that the Internet is an international, "ambient" realm,
> meaning that it is "everywhere and nowhere" and that it "transcends the
> idea of being only physical." Therefore, he said, conduct that occurs on
> the Internet is "extraterritorial" of U.S. laws, specifically the
> Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the 1998 law that Elcomsoft is charged
> with violating. Wouldn't it be nice if this view were upheld by the
While I am a big supporter of open source software and freedom of speech,
there's no reason to be mesmerized by vacuous arguments.
One can not legally make harassing phone calls or send anthrax in the mail,
so why should one be able to send harassing emails or computer viruses? Cracking
a password to get a credit card number is no different than picking a pocket
to get it. If you break cyberspace and space-time down small enough, eventually
they consist of the same particles.
Communication or acts through one media that uses electrons (Internet) is
no different than others that also use electrons (phone) or waves (voice).
The question of legality shouldn't rest upon which means are used to accomplish
the act but the act itself.
If it's simply a matter of speech, fine, but why should all "conduct" be
above the law simply because the cables and lines used (the same ones used
to transmit cable TV and phone calls) run through many different countries?
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From: Leon Brooks <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Eric Smith <email@example.com>
Subject: Choice comments
Date: Thu, 7 Mar 2002 21:41:40 +0800
Cc: Linux Weekly News <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Eric Smith wonders (http://lwn.net/2002/0307/letters.php3):
> No one is forcing [Microsoft] to use GPL'd software. It's simply
> another choice. Of course, Microsoft doesn't want people to have
> choices, but isn't it strange that they complain that choices are
> available to them?
Meanwhile, Craig Mundie, representative of a convicted monopoly
(http://www.sun.com/executives/perspectives/bad.html), software pirate
(http://www.ensignuk.com/news/industry_news/110105.htm) and confessed outlaw
> Rather than form a federation with Microsoft and work with what
> we had already created, there was this notion that the world
> should be offered an alternative
Three important things come from this: ONE - CHOICES
After Mundie's statement, there's really not much left to debate in terms of
whether Microsoft really wants choice. There _is_ scope for discussing the
kind of choice. We could beat around in the bush a fair bit, weighing up
alternatives, but I'll cut straight to the chase:
Microsoft only wants choices it can control, and it can't control the GPL.
Now, the ``form a federation with Microsoft'' part... sure, let the sheep
form a federation with the wolf, but it'll be on the wolf's terms, and
involve a constant supply of mint sauce. We've seen words like those before
in many compensation cases. It's all about control.
TWO - PAST AND FUTURE
The history of William Henry ``Trey'' Gates III shows that what that boy is
all about, has been all about since at least his teens - and so what his
company is all about - is control. And that's a major Achilles' heel, because
anyone so fixated on something can be controlled themselves.
Bill's been extremely fortunate that the only real challenge to that control
has been benevolent and decentralised Free Software. If a powerful competitor
like Larry ``hair's-breadth from being richest'' Ellison could push Bill's
buttons so hard, a few years of corporate Judo would see Microsoft totalled.
Microsoft seems to be dying of a thousand mostly self-inflicted cuts anyway.
Call it karma, Divine judgement, whatever, their constant breaking of the
Golden Rule is coming back to bite them ever harder - enough to hurt.
THREE - WHAT'S MY PART?
A bigger question than the fate of Bill's flagship is: do you want to base
your business around a company which continues to lie to and mislead friends,
partners, enemies, courts, employees and stockholders freely and with
apparent indifference? Are you happy with the well-dressed, confident rep
from MCS, or is it time to look at history to see what Microsoft's real place
for you is? Does your future lie with a lone potential corporate Titanic,
or with a rich selection of standard, interoperable components?
The GPL is about control, too. Corporate control is doled out from on high,
after being sucked to to the center, like a black hole. The Free Software
milieu is less regular, ranging from dictator to ogliarchy to solo to chaos,
and the structures frequently change. Control is dispersed.
The pivotal control issue is that the GPL makes and _keeps_ available not
only a large number of applications and comprehensive development tool sets,
but a large number of working examples and jumping-off points. Where a viable
Free and standard solution exists in a market, the playing field is more
level, it is much more difficult to justify an overpriced, overcontrolled
proprietary solution. Witness the path of SCO and in lesser degree Sun.
This is precisely what Microsoft don't want. They are a battleship fighting
in an age of air supremacy, and can't push a button and magic themselves into
a carrier. They've seen cruisers sunk and sinking and they're panicking.
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