[LWN Logo]

Bringing you the latest news from the Linux World.
Dedicated to keeping Linux users up-to-date, with concise news for all interests

 Main page
 Linux in the news
 Back page

Other stuff:
Contact us
Daily Updates

Here is the permanent site for this page.

Leading items

Version 2.0 of Troll Tech's Qt library will be released as open source. You can read their announcement for more information, including quotes from Eric Raymond, Linus Torvalds, and others endorsing the new license. What this means, in theory, is that the divisive desktop wars can end. KDE can be welcomed back into the free software fold, and we can all get on with making Linux better.

Real life, of course, is a bit more complicated, and there are a couple of issues here that merit some thought. One is that not everybody is happy with Troll's new license (see the "letters to the editor" section this week for an example). The license (the "QPL") looks something like the Mozilla license, but different. They allow the distribution of modified sources, but only in the form of a pristine source set accompanied by a patch file. Troll Tech may incorporate patches into future versions of their "Professional Edition" of Qt if they so choose. Straight and modified binaries may be distributed, but source must be available and redistribution can not be restricted.

In other words, it is not the GPL, but it is probably good enough. It does mean that linking KDE (which is GPL'd) with Qt is probably still legally questionable, but that is something the KDE people can easily fix if they want by tweaking their own license. The requirement to distribute as clean source and separate patches should not be a problem for most; Red Hat's and Debian's packaging systems already work that way anyway. So it appears that the KDE problem is truly fixed.

So what is the other issue? Morale among some GNOME developers has dropped considerably. Some are saying that there is no longer any reason to pursue GNOME development and are dropping out. See, as an example, this message posted to the GNOME mailing list today. GNOME, which yesterday was the great Linux desktop hope, today looks like just the number two development in this field.

We at LWN strongly encourage the GNOME developers to persevere. While the KDE problems certainly added some wind to GNOME's sails, it was never the real reason for the GNOME development. KDE, for all that it is clearly the best desktop that Linux has, looks an awful lot like so many other systems out there. GNOME was founded with a vision of doing things differently: tighter integration of applications through the CORBA bus, a more artistic and experimental look, choice of window managers, no dependence on any one company, etc. The fact that KDE will now sprout up on a lot more desktops does not change the value of that vision.

The competition between the two desktop projects has also clearly helped to push both forward.

GNOME is going to have to rethink its plans at this point. It would be nice to see more cooperation between GNOME and KDE, especially on complex applications like office suites. It might even be worthwhile to look at what a merger of the two projects would involve. But GNOME has not lost its reason to exist just because it now must share the free software high moral ground. GNOME has produced a lot of good software in a short time; we're looking forward to seeing what they come up with next.

Editor's update: we have gotten much feedback saying that the GNOME developers are not so demoralized as indicated here. It may well be that we have misinterpreted what we saw in the mailing lists. We still think that GNOME needs to continue...

Do you really know what is lurking on your Linux system? Access to source code does a lot to build confidence in the integrity of the applications we are running on our systems. Since the source is open, we know that there are no back doors or other nasties in there. Right? Bruce Perens is not so sure, and he has written this feature article to explain why.

Stable kernel 2.0.36 has been released at long last. This version of the 2.0 kernel, like the others over the past year, is largely a result of Alan Cox's efforts. One would hope that this would be the last of the 2.0 releases, but Alan has already been seen to murmur about a 2.0.37...

One of the additions in 2.0.36 is the traffic shaper - a simple network traffic limiter. Here at LWN Labs we have played with this facility for a while and written a report on what the traffic shaper is and how to make it work.

LWN is running off a new server with much better network connectivity; the bandwidth difficulties of recent times should be solved for a while. We are now hosted at NeTrack in, of course, Boulder, Colorado. Hopefully reading LWN will be a less tiresome process; the writing may not be any better, but at least you need not wait so long for it.

Thursday, November 26, is Thanksgiving in the U.S. LWN will be taking the holiday off, so there will be no weekly newsletter published next week. We will return as usual on December 3. The daily updates page will continue to be updated during this time.

We got the winners of the Linux Journal Editor's Choice Awards just before going to "press." Briefly, they are:

  • Product of the year: Netscape Communicator
  • Most desired port: Quark Xpress
  • Best new gadget: Schlumberger smart card
  • Best new hardware: Corel Netwinder
  • Best new application: Informix
  • Best business solution: Cisco Systems (print servers)
  • Best new book: Samba: Integrating Unix and Windows (John Blair)

November 19, 1998



 Main page
 Linux in the news
 Back page

See also: last week's Security page.


We mentioned security problems with klogd in our column last week. This week, Red Hat issued an advisory for sysklogd and provided updated rpms for the problem. One of the sysklogd maintainers posted a comment to Bugtraq on the security problem, indicating that the current version of klogd is not vulnerable to the reported buffer overrun, which was fixed some time ago. In a corollary note, Debian reported that they are not vulnerable to the problem because they are using a current version of sysklogd.

Red Hat also came out with updated Samba rpms for an installation permissions problem with Samba initially reported in Red Hat 5.2, but, it turns out, affecting all Red Hat versions. Debian examined the security problems and declared the Debian was not impacted; no upgrades to Debian systems are required.

Here's an update on the Xinetd /tmp race problem we mentioned last week. First, S.u.S.E. updates for Xinetd are available at ftp.suse.com. Next, Marc Heuse posted a long message with more information on the problem and his updated security fix for it.

Flemming S. Johansen posted a nice summary of recent Bugtraq discussions of the Netscape browser's "What's Related" feature. It covers how the feature can be abused and mentions a lot of other resources and links that discuss both Netscape's and other applications' implementation of this type of functionality. In short, you will likely want to disable this "feature".

Duncan Simpson posted this report of buffer overruns in catdoc. No official updates have been posted, but his report includes a patch.

Buffer overflow vulnerabilities in Junkbuster were reported to Debian. They announced that these vulnerabilities were fixed in version 2.0-3.2. All later versions are okay. An immediate ugprade of junkbuster is recommended.

Marcelo Tosatti reported a /tmp race problem with bootpd. No official updates to bootpd have been reported as of yet.

Tatu Ylonen put out an official comment on the "sshdwarez" or "sshdexp" binaries that has been running around. They claim to be ssh exploits, but are actually a basic trojan program that will add entries to your password file and report them back to the author, if you choose to run the binary.

KDE 1.0 klock can be exploited to gain root access to a system because of the way it attempts to run a supporting binary, kblankscrn.kss. If that binary is not in the same directory as klock, your system may be vulnerable.

Perhaps not too surprisingly, the above report was swiftly followed by a report of multiple KDE security vulnerabilities. David Andersen's comment was, The general problem is that KDE trusts user supplied environment variables too much. KDE has responded quickly with a fix that modifies KDE screensavers and klock so that they no longer run setuid root.

SSH Communications Security issued a press release describing their planned support for the Twofish encryption method. This will be available in ssh versions 2.0.11 and above, not in the widely used 1.2.X versions, which have a more liberal licensing policy.

S.u.S.E. has released a patch for the "umlaut import bug" reported in Linux Office Suite 99. The patch apparently fixes a problem with importing MS Word 97 documents into Applixware.

November 19, 1998


 Main page
 Linux in the news
 Back page

See also: last week's Kernel page.

Kernel development

The current development kernel release is 2.1.128. Linus is up to the sixth prepatch for 2.1.129. This prepatch is almost 900kb, and includes a lot of Sparc and PPC fixes, and a new frame buffer card for a number of Matrox video cards. There is also a 2.1.128ac3 patch available from Alan Cox.

Version 0.99H of the 3c59x ethernet driver is out. This release contains fixes for the notorious 3c905B adaptor, and a number of other fixes; see the announcement for more. Donald Becker hopes that this version will be the one that gets turned into V1.0.

Is your Linux system Euro-ready? Probably not. Guylhem Aznar has put together a set of files which may be used to make a Linux system ready for the European Union's new currency. It consists mostly of keymap and font files to allow for entry and display of the new Euro symbol. See his README file for more information. You may also download his package (a 53K gzipped tarball) if you wish to experiment with it.

Why is the PCMCIA subsystem not a part of the standard kernel? That question came up a couple weeks ago, after some changes in the 2.1 series broke PCMCIA (again). This week David Hinds, creator and maintainer of the PCMCIA system, posted the answer. It turns out that there are a couple of reasons:

  • The PCMCIA subsystem is intended to work with all kernel versions, presumably so that support for new cards is easily added to older kernels. If PCMCIA gets tied directly into the development kernel that version independence could be lost.

  • The PCMCIA code is applicable beyond just Linux: it is also the BeOS PCMCIA subsystem. An HPUX port exists, and a Solaris port may yet be done.
The end result is that PCMCIA will almost certainly remain outside of the standard kernel tree.

OpenBIOS 0.0.1 has been released. The OpenBIOS project, remember, is an effort to create an open source BIOS for PC-class machines. It can't yet do anything interesting like boot an operating system, but it's on its way. See the announcement for more information on this release and how to get it (or how to help with this project).

November 19, 1998

Since we're a weekly publication, chances are we'll be behind a rev or two on the kernel release by the time you read this page. Up-to-the-second information can always be found at LinuxHQ.


 Main page
 Linux in the news
 Back page

See also: last week's Distributions page.



Josip Rodin has written a draft of a Debian New Maintainers Guide. He is currently up to version 0.12 and has received a very positive response to the document so far. If you've been considering becoming a Debian Maintainer, check this document out.

As you might expect, the proposed changes to the license for the next release of Qt quickly became a hot topic on the debian-devel list. Some problems with the license were spotted and it is not yet clear whether it clears up all the problems with distributing KDE, but the license is at level 0.9 and the general impression was that Troll Development was interested in comments and hoped to make minor corrections to the license before it becomes final. The only changes they won't be making are ones that will detract from their ability to continue selling a commercial version of Qt for customers developing commercial code.


Gael Duval has sent out the latest Mandrake News. It mentions that Linux-Mandrake 5.2 (Leeloo) will be available next Thursday (November 26, 1998) for FTP download. They also mention that they are looking for new contributors and distributors.

Red Hat

Many, many messages are being posted reporting problems installing RedHat 5.2 from files downloaded via a non-Linux operating system to a vfat partition. The problem is that the 5.2 install procedure is apparently more sensitive to case than the 5.1 procedure. Misty Linville and others worked through a solution to this problem. Here is a post that describes how to deal with the problem fairly easily (or, if that one is not clear, here is another post that covers the same problem.


The big news for this week is, of course, the release of Slackware 3.6. The announcement calls it the best release of Slackware yet. Slackware 3.6 is based on the 2.0.35 Linux kernel but includes 2.1.125 test kernels, and Linux 2.1/2.2-ready utilities. Also included is run-time support for glibc programs. That is excellent news for Slackware fans. New hardware support, new popular applications (such as the Gimp) and more complete this latest version.

The new release of Slackware also covers ZipSlack, Slackware's new installation option. They promise installation within 5 minutes and it can run on systems with only 4MB of RAM. That last capability may assure Slackware's continuance for many years to come as other distributions become larger and larger and therefore more difficult to run on older hardware.


The problem with world-readable backup shadow files reported last week has not been confirmed. In fact, several S.u.S.E. boxes have been tested and failed to duplicate the behavior. Therefore, the problem report is likely to have been an isolated incident.

November 19, 1998

Please note that not every distribution will show up every week. Only distributions with recent news to report will be listed.


 Main page
 Linux in the news
 Back page

See also: last week's Development page.

Development tools


Since the court finds that Sun is likely to prevail on the merits and that it may suffer irreparable harm if Microsoft is not enjoined, a preliminary injunction is hereby issued against Microsoft ...

The above welcome words are from the court's preliminary ruling against Microsoft based on infringements of copyright and unfair trade practices involving the Java Technology. More welcome words can be found in the actual ruling, although you'll have to search towards the end; it is a very long document. Microsoft has been given some fairly powerful incentive to conform and conformance will include supporting Sun's JNI and disabling Microsoft's extensions by default. A warning to users that choose to enable Microsoft's extensions that the resultant code may not run on all JVMs must also be displayed.

Xenon-SQL V2.2.9.8 has been announced. Called "the java based interactive SQL Editor", the latest version contains support for several new features; it is now multi-threaded and new components have been added to take advantage of this.


An Advanced Perl Programming Tutorial will be held in Boulder, Colorado, December 1st through the third. Tom Christiansen will be teaching.

Net::DICT 0.02 is now available. This module "implements an objected oriented interface to the DICT dictionary lookup protocol".


Didier Legein has started a newspage dedicated to PHP3. The PHP News Ledger is now available. It includes pointers to new projects being developed with PHP.


Guido van Rossum has released IDLE 0.1, a Tkinter-based IDE for Python. He is following the rules of release early and often, so this first version is very preliminary. It is currently only usable for PSA members with the latest 1.5.2 alpha release of python. He noted that a public beta release is due out soon.

The Python conference is over. From what we've heard, it was an exciting time. Paul Everitt posted Kudos to all involved. In addition, Conference Proceedings, Tutorial notes and T-shirts are now for sale.

A. M. Kuchling's development diary summed up his impressions of the International Python Conference.

Cameron Laird's Python-URL!, the weekly guide to Python, is out. It covers the release of the Principia source code, the use of python in the Avalon supercomputer project, and a variety of pointers to python-related postings of interest.


Donald M. MacQueen has started up a new Smalltalk Advocacy page at http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?SmalltalkAdvocacy. He encourage people to stop by and contribute.


Moses Dejong sent us the announcement for the alpha release of Jacl & Tcl Blend, Jacl is a Java implementation of Tcl 8.0 and Tcl Blend is a Tcl extension that gives you access to the JVM from the Tcl interpreter. Moses sent some notes on the important points about this release.

Cameron Laird put together this week's Tcl-URL! (Mark Roseman returns next week). The new edition puts together a host of links to useful articles.

The tcLex mailing list, a list to host discussions around tcLex, a lex-like Tcl extension aimed to build lexers written in Tcl has been announced.

November 19, 1998



Development projects

Bryan Brunton wrote in to tell us about his new open source legal software project, tentatively entitled "VirtuaLaw". The project would first create an open source legal case management system, using the GPL for the Linux client. If you are interested, contact Bryan for more details or to offer assistance. Some screen shots and explanation of capabilities are up on the web.

Didier Legein, having dove into PHP3 a year ago, decided to make a contribution to the Open Source community. As a result, he has now released html2Phax, a new "webfront" to Hylafax based on Apache and PHP3.


The first releaseof the GNOME Disk Catalog, version 0.01, has been announced. It is a program for cataloging Zip disks, CD-ROMS, etc.


Geoff Hutchison wrote us again to say that ht://Dig development is moving along well, with one or two more betas coming fairly soon and a full 3.1.0 release out perhaps before the end of the year! For those interested in testing, weekly CVS snapshots are available. If anyone wants to volunteer to produce a binary package, they should contact Geoff.


A new version of the Wine FAQ has been published. Check it out and get your questions answered!

 Main page
 Linux in the news
 Back page

See also: last week's Commerce page.

Linux and business

Comdex brought out a number of announcements this week, but perhaps the most interesting were the new enterprise support programs for Linux. Two different vendors have made announcements:
  • S.u.S.E. announced a support program to begin in North America in "early 1999." There will be two support modes: an entirely in-house program, and support offered through outside partners (such as LinuxCare. Internal support will include a 24x7 program.

  • Red Hat's announcement also features 24x7 support, along with the ability to buy technical support on an annual or "10 incident pack" basis. They have also added a couple of new versions of their distribution, both aimed at resellers, and one of which includes 90 days of support as part of the deal.
Thus the claim that "Linux has no support" is increasingly, well, unsupportable. No doubt the pundits will still claim that Red Hat and S.u.S.E. are insufficiently large to placate worried executives, but such claims are increasingly hollow. The real question, of course, will be what the quality of support provided by S.u.S.E. and Red Hat ends up being. The current installation support supplied by some distribution vendors has certainly left a number of people unsatisfied. "As good as Microsoft" will not cut it; Linux comes with higher expectations. Let us hope that the vendors will be able to meet those expectations.

In previous weeks we have mentioned the Linux business breakfast that was held in Melbourne, Australia, on November 17th. Here now is their report on how it went. They got an attendance larger than they had hoped for, and managed to engage in some serious and effective Linux advocacy. This breakfast should be looked at as a model of how similar events could be held elsewhere. Congratulations are in order.

The "NewHoo" web directory has been purchased by Netscape; henceforth it will be known as directory.mozilla.org. NewHoo, which first hit the scene as "GnuHoo," is an attempt to build an alternative to Yahoo using volunteer editors on the net. They immediately came under a great deal of criticism, mostly because their directory database, so nicely created by a volunteer community, would be under the proprietary ownership of the GnuHoo folks. This bit of non-openness eventually led to them dropping the "Gnu" from their name, and, presumably, led to a "lower than it could be" level of enthusiasm among their volunteer community.

This message, sent to their editors, describes how NewHoo will work under the Mozilla umbrella. The most significant change is that the directory will be made available under a "free use license." Proprietary no longer, NewHoo can now become a true open community effort, and it may yet achieve its ambitious goals. As the net gets larger, closed efforts like Yahoo have an increasingly hard time keeping up. In the end, an distributed community effort like NewHoo may well prove to be the only way of creating a truly comprehensive directory of the web.

VA Research has received a venture capital investment from Sequoia Capital. This investment should help VA Research, arguably already the premier Linux systems VAR, take a place at the head of the pack. The amount of this investment, and just what VA will do with it, has not been disclosed; the press release is pretty vague.

LinuxWorld ran a review of Oracle8 for Linux, check it out here. "Oracle8 for Linux is a bit bare-bones right now, but Oracle promises enhancements are on the way."

Press Releases:

  • Planet Computer announced Linux support for PlanetUpLink
  • Compatible Systems announced two new VPN switches
  • Compatible Systems also announced an eight-slot version of its VPN Access Server
  • Red Hat, hiring Matthew Szulik as their company president.
  • Corel, Word Perfect Office 2000.
  • GraphOn, Linux support for their "thin X" products.
  • Rocky Mountain Internet, now hosting the Linux Mall's site.
  • webMethods, "enterprise-strength XML" initiative.
  • Xspeed, new DSL adaptors that come with Linux drivers.
  • 3Dfx, Voodoo3 graphics accelerators with Linux support.
  • Softway Systems, offering prizes to those who port Linux applications to their Interix environment.

November 19, 1998


 Main page
 Linux in the news
 Back page

See also: last week's Linux in the news page.

Linux in the news

Here is a selection of generally interesting articles from this week.

  • Inter@ctive Week's Charles Babcock says that the proprietary Unix vendors should support Linux. "In exchange for conceding some small-server sales to Linux, HP, IBM and Sun would expand the Unix user community -- at the expense of Windows NT."

  • It seems like a little while since we've had a truly good, laughable FUD piece. Well, wait no longer... this PC Week hatchet job fills the bill nicely. "I've done a fairly good job of keeping my mouth shut regarding Linux until now. I felt that to even talk about Linux in a column on networking technologies was to dignify the software beyond what it deserved." As always, please try to keep the high moral ground if you reply to the author. Flames will only solidify his position. (Thanks to Larry Davison).

  • Nicholas Petreley has "An unabashed FUD piece on the future of Windows NT" in LinuxWorld currently. It's a view of NT with the Halloween documents as a backdrop. It's worth a read, as is most of Petreley's stuff.

  • While we're on NT FUD pieces, This John Dvorak column which never mentions Linux is worth a read anyway. Mr. Dvorak has joined the ranks who say that NT 5.0 (aka "Windows 2000") is going to be an outright disaster. "35 million lines of code? What exactly does this thing do? And how is it supposed to become the operating system for the rest of us? By that I mean how do we find ourselves going from Windows 98 to this monster in a couple of years? Forget about it! This has disaster written all over it. Microsoft had over 3,000 bugs in Windows 95, which was under five million lines of code for sure. Folks, this is becoming a joke." (Found in OS News).

  • Fortune magazine discovers Linux in this highly positive introductory article. "Is all the activity around Linux happening because it's free? No. The main reason is that it's so reliable to begin with."

  • Dan Gillmor of the San Jose Mercury says that IBM should release Lotus SmartSuite as an open source product. "This time, IBM should look outward, not inward. Open-source is the answer."

  • Salon Magazine compares Linus to Martin Luther. It's an amusing article, with a good picture. Check it out. "Torvalds' disciples also show the earmarks of the true believer: Giddy with empowerment, but with the memory of oppression yet fresh in their minds, they gleam with ideological fervor. This style of unbridled zeal led some of Luther's true believers to propose more radical extensions of his reforms, like the 'slaughter of the ungodly.' We can only hope that Linux sectarians will propose more moderate courses of action." (Thanks to Robert Graziani).

Quite a bit of this week's press was inspired by Comdex - either by the direct Linux presence there, or by announcements that were made in that setting. These include:

  • ZDNet reports from the Comdex Linux pavillion. "At first, it's hard to tell why some of the center aisles in the out-of-the-way Sands Expo at Comdex are so crammed with people. Then you spot the penguins."

  • Steve Ballmer (briefly) on Linux in MSNBC. "We're going to think about the issue, and I don't think the advantage to Linux is that it's free. The issue is their flexibility opening source code and how do you do that in an NT environment?"

  • MSNBC also covered the Comdex Linux Pavillion. "Melissa London, a spokeswoman for Red Hat software, expects the Linux Pavilion to be jammed, despite its locale away from the main floor."

  • Here is an interesting TechWeb article saying that, while Comdex is seen as being in decline, a strong Linux presence may serve to keep the conference relevant. "One of the busiest sections at Comdex may be the new Linux pavilion, where hardware and software developers will try to persuade attendees of the viability of their upstart open source platform." (Editor's note: the Linux Pavillion has, as we recall, been a fixture of Comdex for a while now). (Found in LinuxToday).

  • Red Hat steps up the Linux beat in PC Week talks about Red Hat's Comdex announcements.

  • Linux piques Comdex curiosity in Sm@rt Reseller is a brief piece about the Linux Pavillion.
A bit of late Halloween memo coverage trickled in, much of which claims that the importance of the memos has been overblown.
  • For example, this Internet Week column says that Linux need not worry. "Let me just reiterate that Linux sprang up very nicely in a development universe free of Microsoft. The independent community is developing faster than Microsoft can. Its very nature means it doesn't need to worry about profit or market share. So why are they suddenly popping Rolaids just because Microsoft is worried?"

  • PC Week's latest Halloween article takes a similar position. "The fact is that the Linux community can react faster than Microsoft in adopting these new extended protocols. Microsoft would be at the wrong end of the paradigm, spending a lot of money to develop new protocols while ignoring the possibility that no one needs them and that they can be reverse-engineered fairly easily for free."

  • Here's Halloween, Friday the 13th, Microsoft in Web Review. "But we don't really need to guess what Microsoft will do to combat Linux: We can just look at what it has already done."

  • Information Week ran this piece about Halloween; fairly straightforward stuff. "What the Microsoft strategy spelled out by Valloppillil fails to take into account is that by making Windows more proprietary to compete, Microsoft would essentially make Windows more difficult to integrate into a heterogeneous environment-the kind of environment that most Microsoft customers have."
There was some coverage on the "Linux in business" theme. Not too long ago this sort of press was rare; things have changed.
  • IBM hops on the Linux express says ZDNet. They talk about the DB2 beta release for Linux, now due December 7. "[IBM manager] Jones said IBM was responding to the demand for DB2 on Linux from academic institutions, and that it would freely distribute the database from its web site in the first half of next year"

  • Information Week has this longish article about growing business acceptance of Linux. "Besides the attractive price, Linux is gaining steam because of its solid business benefits." (Found in Linux Net News).

  • U.S. News and World Report ran a lengthy article about Linux. It's mostly introductory in nature, with some talk of the Halloween documents. "And then there's the weirdness factor. Even if their tech people love it, many top executives can't quite grasp the idea of tying their corporate data systems to something developed free on the Internet." (Thanks to Mike McLoughlin).

  • No FUD here...Linux: Back door to the front office in PC Week talks about rising acceptance of Linux in corporate environments. "Industry pundits say Linux is about to take off in the enterprise. IT administrators will tell you it already has." Worth a read.

    This Business Week article concludes that Microsoft need not fear Linux much; Linux is, instead, a greater threat to other Unix systems. "A winner from the Linux onslaught could be Dell. It stands alone as the only major computer maker in the server market that doesn't have its own version of Unix. If Linux were able to consolidate that market, then Dell could easily sell Linux-compatible servers while its rivals would hesitate so as not to cannibalize their own Unix product." (Thanks to Yun Ye).

Then...there is the "reviews and awards" category...

  • PC Computing has unveiled its "MVP Awards" for the year. Linux rates an occasional mention, but the only winner is the Cobalt Qube, which won both the small business server and innovation of the year awards. (IIS won the web server award - no comment).

  • ZDNet compares Red Hat and Caldera OpenLinux 1.3. (The Red Hat version isn't specified, but looks like 5.1). "Despite attempts by RedHat and Caldera at simplification, their products are still Linux, which means frequent visits to the command line and a chance to get chummy with your favorite text editor."

  • LinuxWorld ran a review of S.u.S.E.'s Office Suite 99 product. The reviewer thinks it has a way to go yet.

  • PC Week ran this review of Red Hat 5.2. It's fairly insubstantial, but mostly positive. "Red Hat won't win any artistic achievement awards with its blue and red installation menus, but installation in tests was blazingly quick and reasonably easy, even when compared with Windows NT 4.0 and recently released NetWare 5."

  • Here is another review of Red Hat 5.2, this one in Information Week. This one too praises the installation proceedure. The "too hard to install" attack against Linux looks like it could be the next one to fall. "It took me less than a half-hour to perform a complete installation of Red Hat 5.2-including all of the bundled software packages, network hardware and software configuration, and display configuration-to configure an NFS share and user accounts, and to get Windows NFS clients connected to it." (Found in LinuxToday).

  • Linux has won PC World Denmark's "Innovation of the year" award for the Software category. "Linux. The 'Ugly Duckling' that turned into a beautiful swan and became - to put it briefly - the most widely used operating system for Internet servers world wide, despite the marketing muscle of the larger companies." See the award announcement for more. (Thanks to Henrik Størner and Kaare Rasmussen).

  • Linux vs. Windows 2000 is a longish article on ZDNet, looking at the server function. On one hand, the author rates the installation procedures for the to systems to be equally easy. On the other, there's lots of complaining about command lines and support. "If you're looking to set up your own server, or a server for your small business, you may very well go with Linux. The initial investment is low enough; just remember that much of the savings may be lost in time." (Thanks to Sean Shore).

And here is a set of miscellaneous and introductory, and non-English press.

For some amusement from the "doesn't get it" department, check out this letter published in The Industry Standard (scroll about halfway down). "Yes, [Linux] is free today; however, if it ever picks up steam and gets enough functionality to handle larger operations, I can guarantee you that some entity will own the rights to it, or to the service of it, and they will charge a large price. Then it will defeat its original purpose of being 'free' and 'open' and 'universal.'"

Internet World says Yes, you can build a router from a Linux box. But be prepared to upgrade it later on.

Don't forget the Bob Young/Ed Muth faceoff in Network World Fusion. Both have put in pieces saying why they think their system is better. (NW Fusion is a registration-required site).

Some coverage of this forum can also be found in this CNN article, reprinted from NW Fusion.

ZDNet UK interviews Corel's Mike Cowpland. "...we're getting WordPerfect 8 out next week to the enthusiast community - a very substantial community - and after that we're making sure our suite works with KDE ... and GNOME..."

French-capable readers may want to check out this article in Libération (in French) entitled "Linux et les logiciels libres: Vers une nouvelle utopie concrète?" ("Linux and free software: towards a new concrete utopia?"). It's a fairly academic piece about free software and capitalism. There is also an English translation of this article, thanks to Elliott W. G. Noel. (Found in NNL).

Klaus Krtschil wrote in about this brief article (in German) about HP's Firehunter and Intel's Torrent demonstration. (Babelfish translation available here).

Windows NT Magazine has run a Linux article this month. Unfortunately, it won't appear on their web site for a few months. Fortunately, Christopher Young wrote up and sent us a summary and review of this article. Thanks, Christopher!

Pål G.Larsson sent us a pointer to this article in Aftenposten. If you don't read Norwegian, however, there's not much to appreciate above (what appears to be) a university-era picture of Linus. The article is evidently about the Holloween documents and the qualities of Linux in general.

Pål also pointed out this article, also in Norwegian, which is a review of StarOffice.

This article in InfoWorld talks about the upcoming 2.2 release and the growing acceptance of Linux in general. "...the writing is on the wall: Linux is growing fast." (Thanks to Didier Legein).

Here is the Guardian article on Richard Stallman. It actually spends as much space on Eric Raymond as on rms. "Raymond's movement might be designed to exclude Stallman, but it's not one he wants to join. 'Please make it clear that I have nothing to do with Open Source,' he says. 'I do not describe what I do as Open Source. That term is a mistake.'"

"There is life after Windows" declares this article (in Portuguese) in the Brazilian "Diario de Parnambuco". It's an introductory article about KDE, primarily. (Here is the Babelfish link, but it's tough going). Thanks to Paolo Sedrez.

"Benji" sent us a pointer to Linux: It's Free, It Flexible, and It's Here to Stay (Part 2) in Intraware SubscribNews alert. It concentrates on reactions from the first article, touching on cost and support issues. There are some silly numbers being passed around, though: "With 150,000 developers reportedly working on the kernel alone, Linux has the resources and flexibility to stay nimble." No wonder the linux-kernel list is so busy...

C|Net covers the Applix OLAP offering. "It's only now that corporations are coming forward or even finding out that Linux is running in their operations."

A lot of folks sent us pointers to Transmeta-related information this week, in the wake of their new patent on (what seems to be) a multi-instruction set processor. People interested in pursuing the subject further can see, for example, this Wired News article or this one in News.com.

November 19, 1998

``Linux may be a great way for computer-literate individuals to get under the hoods of their computers for little cost, but it's nothing more than a convenient form of protest and public relations for the major software vendors that plan to support it.''
Michael Surkan, PC Week

``Linux ... retains the potential of being a successful desktop operating system. I say 'potential' because its main success is in functioning as a sleek dedicated server.''
Charles Babcock, Inter@ctive Week

``Why Microsoft is freaked out about Linux is no mystery. Redmond pretty much designed Windows NT and IIS to be the cheap Web and Intranet server platform. Along come Linux and Apache-a pair that does everything NT can do and is just a bit more stable, faster and cheaper.''
Oliver Rist, Internet Week

``Uh, what? 35 million lines of code? What exactly does this thing do? And how is it supposed to become the operating system for the rest of us? ... Folks, this is becoming a joke.''
John Dvorak, PC Magazine


 Main page
 Linux in the news
 Back page

See also: last week's Announcements page.



Preserving the Information Ecosystem is a paper published on the web by Stephen Adler. Therein he gives his view of how the Internet has made the free software phenomenon (and others) possible, and expresses concern that our "Information Ecosystem" be properly cared for and not taken for granted.


O'Reilly has announced a set of joint open source conferences. It appears that there will be a set of independent but colocated conferences on Perl, Sendmail, Linux, FreeBSD, Apache, and perhaps other systems as well. There's time to plan ahead on this one: the conferences will be August 21-24, 1999, in Monterey, California. (See also Wired News' coverage of this announcement).

Irish folks may want to check out Intersocs conference '98. The Irish Linux User Group will be doing a Linux demo there on Saturday, November 28; evidently Alan Cox will be there as well.

Stéfane Fermigier (of NNL fame) sent out this summary (in French) of Richard Stallman's recent talk in France.

Web sites

Le Slashdot? Thanks to NNL we have a pointer to Da Linux French Page, a French-language site seemingly (but evidently not) based on the Slashdot code.

Eric Kahler's FVWM Web Page has moved. Links to this site should be updated to http://mars.superlink.net/eric/fvwm.html.

User Group News

Wayde Allen provided a summary of the last Boulder, Colorado LUG meeting. The presentation was on Amateur Packet Radio Networking.

A new user group is forming in the Hague, the Netherlands. Check out their announcement for more details, and best of luck to them!

Julien Nadeau and friends are looking for a LUG in the area of Halifax, Canada. If they don't find one, they are interested in founding one.

The Dutch Linux User Group plans to attend the Hobby Computer Club days in Utrecht, being held November 20th through the 22nd. Here is their announcement, in Dutch, with an English version at the end.

A second install party will be held on December 19th, 1998 in Dusseldorf, Germany.

The Linux User Group in Stuttgart, Germany, now has its own domain. Check out http://www.lug-s.org for more information.

Mailing Lists

The SEUL Project has started a new mailing list, seul-edu, specifically to cover the educational uses of Linux and all its aspects. For more information, check out their announcement.

Help Wanted

Much to everybody's surprise, Red Hat is hiring again. This time they are after a couple of system engineers.

In related news, Richard Stallman wants to know about it if you have employment positions open now for developing or maintaining free software. He is trying to gauge whether there are a sufficient number of these jobs to warrant a GNU project job page.

November 19, 1998



Software Announcements

Package Version Description
AbiWord 0.1.6 Fully featured word processor
Apache-SSL 1.3.3+1.29 Secure Webserver (using SSLeay)
arla 0.14 Free AFS client for Linux/*BSD
Artistic Style 0.9.2 indentation and reformatting filters for C, C++, Java
asexec 1.3 AfterStep state machine
astime 1.0 Analogue clock for X windows
Backup Copy 2.0 Copy program designed to quickly and efficiently store data.
BigBrother Stats 0.08 Counter for websites that produces some statistics based on the info gathered
Bmud 0.3 GNOME mud client
bpowerd 2.1 UPS line monitor daemon for Best Patriot power supplies
BurnIT 1.4pre3 Java front-end to cdrecord and mkisofs
C Masqdialer Server 0.0.13 Protocol compatible replacement for Masqdialer server written in C
CDDA Paranoia III Alpha 9.1 CD ripping application
CGM Viewer Applet 0.3 Scriptable vector graphics viewer written in Java.
CommonTone 0.9.10 Simple web-based database implemented in CGI.
Compact Networking Utilities 0.2 CNU is a Java graphical application that allows you to have direct access to a b
Connect 1.1.5 Client-server to easily share (open/close) one ppp link among a small network
cook 2.6 Enhanced make-like program
Cryptonite 0.53 Pure Java Strong Encryption Package
Cthuga-L 1.3 An oscilloscope on acid.
curl 5 beta 21 Tiny command line client for getting data from a URL
dante 0.90.0 Free socks v4/5 implementation
DDD 3.0.92 Common graphical user interface for GDB, DBX and XDB
DECnet for Linux 1.00beta2 DECnet socket layer and applications
doozer 0.01 Scripts to distribute parallel make jobs
DTM Easy font installation and configuration for X11/GS/TeX/...
EPIC 4pre2.001-NR8 ANSI capable textmode IRC Client
Exim 2.05 Message Transfer Agent for Unix systems
F 0.1 Lightweight file browser for GNOME.
fileutils 4.0 The GNU file management utilities
FMan 0.2.0 FLTK Man page browser
Gaby 0.2.0 An address book written in GTK
gaim 19981117 GTK based AOL Instant Messenger
gEDA 19981110 gEDA is an collection of tools which are used to make electrical circuit design,
GF1 0.99.2 Play GIPF against your computer
gIDE 0.0.12 Gtk-based Integrated Development Environment for C
Glade 0.3.7 GTK+ interface builder
GLload 0.1.3 OpenGL(r) load meter
GMem 0.3 A tool to monitor the memory usage of your system
Gnome FDisk 0.2 disk partition program (like fdisk) with a niceGUI
GNU m4 1.4 Standard Unix macro processor with extensions
gnumaniak 1.1 Various man pages for GNU utils packages
GNUstep snapshot 981111 GNU OpenStep API
gpppkill 0.9.12 Ends idle ppp connections
GQmpeg 0.4.1 A front end to the mpg123 mpeg audio player
GQview 0.5.0 X11 image viewer for the Linux operating system
GTK File Browser 0.11 Small, fast, lightweight, GTK File Browser
Gtk-- 0.10.0b C++ interface for the popular GUI library gtk.
GtkEditor 0.0.3 Source code editor widget for GTK.
GTKFIG 0.6.0 Figure drawing tool for GTK, similar to xfig, TeXCAD and SmartDraw
GURU -0.0 GURU Understands Real Unix
Html2PHax 0.0.2 Webclient to Hylafax for a PHP enabled Apache webserver
HyperHelp 5.2.0 Context-sensitive, on-line help system for UNIX
icewm 0.9.17 Window Manager designed for speed, usability and consistency
imwheel 0.9 Support for wheel and 4+ button mice in X11
isapnptools 1.17 ISA plug and play configuration utility
ivtools 0.7 Application frameworks for drawing editors and spatial data servers
jEdit 1.1.2 Powerful text editor
JEL 0.8 A compiler for one-line expressions into java bytecode.
Jikes 0.40 Java compiler that translates Java source into bytecoded instruction sets
JitterBug 1.6.1 Web based bug tracking tool
Keg Tracker 0.4.4 GTK+-based MOD editor for linux.
kmp3 0.2.1 A KDE MP3 Player
Krabber KDE audio cd grabber and mp3 encoder front-end
ktalk 0.2.7 intuitive talk client, including addressbook, word wrap etc.
ktalkd 0.9.0 KDE-aware talk daemon
KTimeclock 0.0.2 Task based timeclock for KDE.
KuickShow 0.6.1 A fast, comfortable and easy-to-use image viewer/browser
lathi-themes 0.1 Perl script to implement themes for the AfterStep window manager
Latte 1.1 Better web authoring language
Lesstif 0.87.0 LGPL'd re-implementation of Motif
Linux-HA 0.1.0 Heartbeat subsystem for High-Availability Linux project
Linuxconf 1.13r5 Sophisticated administrative tool
Listar 0.114a Mailing list managementsoftware
loadwatch 1.0 Allows a single child process to run only when the load is within certain bounds
Log Scanner 0.9b Real Time log watcher and notification program
Lynx 2.8.2dev3 fully-featured, text-based World Wide Web browser
Mercat 0.3 Lightweight cross-platform programming language
Mercury 0.8 A new logic/functional programming language
mHockey 0.47 OpenGL based hockey game
MindsEye 0.5.32 3D modelling program for Linux
mod_dav 0.9.2-1.3.3 DAV protocol extensions for Apache
mod_ssl 2.1.0-1.3.3 Apache Interface to SSLeay
moodss 5.1 Modular Object Oriented Dynamic SpreadSheet
Naken Chat 0.76 Chat Server ported from Javachat
NcFTPd 2.3.3 High-performance File Transfer Protocol (FTP) server for UNIXsystems
net-tools 1.47 Programs that form the base set of the NET-3 networking distribution
Newt 1.08 Library for creating text mode user interfaces using Red Hat's newt library
ocs-base 1.0-13 Base system for Linux intranet applications
ocsadmin 1.0-12 ocsadmin is a web admin tool to maintain user accounts
ocscal 1.0-14 An intranet calendar system featuring shared appointments
ocsemail 1.0-14 Electronic web email system for you intranet
OSS 3.9.1i Provides sound card drivers for most popular sound cards under Linux
Petey 0.8 Fortune like application for story generation
PHPLIB 6.0 Web Application Development Package for the PHP 3 language
phpMyAdmin 1.1.1 Handles the basic adminstration of MySQL over the WWW
Pike 0.6.110 Interpreted, object-oriented programming language with a syntax similar to C
PIKT 0.97 An innovative new systems administration paradigm
PMan 0.1.2 FLTK-based Project Manager
Python/Tk Empire Interface 0.31 Cross Platform Empire GUI Client
QW/Q2 MasterBrowser 0.0.4/0.0.1 QuakeWorld and Quake2 Master Server
RabbIT 1.4 Mutating, caching webproxy to speed up surfing over slow links
rdbm 0.7 Reliable database library
Registry.pl 0.2 Perl Library to utilize a text based Windows 95 style registry
Relay-JFC 0.5 Open Source IRC chat program with a graphical user interface similar to mIRC
Roxen Challenger 1.2 final Platform independent webserver featuring strong encryption and SSL3
rpm2html/rpmfind 1.0 Utilities to create HTML pages and solve dependancy problems of RPM packages
runas 3.11.0 Execute a process as any user and/or group in a non-interactive manner
Samba 2.0.0 alpha 17 Allows clients toaccess to a server's filespace and printers via SMB
seahaven 1.1 Classic Unix solitaire game
snarf 2.0.4 Command-line URL retrieval tool with some unique features.
Squid 2.1.RELEASE High performance Web proxy cache
ssh 2.0.11 Remote Login Program
gsula 0.04 Programmable multiple-server IRC Client for X with Guile extension
SWORD Project 1.3.1 Free Bible Study Software Development Libraries and Tools
TableGen 1.6 Creates java classes to represent and access an SQL database
Test Environment Toolkit 3.2 A toolkit for test development and management
Tetrinet for Linux 0.6 A version of the popular multiplayer game, Tetrinet, for console Linux
The Amazing Anagram Thingie! 0.5 A feature-rich anagram generator and browser
The WASP 0.8a A platform for developing complex web applications, written in Java.
TiK 0.24 Tcl/Tk version of AOL Instant Messenger
TiMidity 0.2j Experimental MIDI to WAVE converter
TkSmb 0.7.8a TclTk X11 shell for smbclient
TNT 1.0 Emacs Clients for the AOL Instant Messenger service
tomsrtbt 1.7.0 Single floppy diskette linux distribution
Trinux 0.45 2-disk distribution that includes network security tools and runs in RAM
UCD-SNMP 3.5.3 Various tools relating to the Simple Network Managemnet Protocol
util-linux 2.9e Miscellaneous system utilities
VelociGen for Perl (VEP) 1.0c High performance server programminglanguage
VelociGen for Tcl 1.0c High performance web server programming using Tcl
WebMacro Framework 0.60 Java server-side web template engine and servlet development framework
WebMail 0.3.0 Web frontend for Unix system mailboxes
WebMailFolder 1.0.3 Convert emails to html and creates index and statistics
Webmin 0.64 Web-based interface for system administration for Unix
Wisio 0.9 An experimental project for a graphical windowing system
WSoundPrefs 0.9.0a WMSound Server Configuration Utility
wxWindows/GTK 1.96 GTK port of the cross-platform wxWindows C++application framework class library
X-Chat 0.3.1 GTK+ Based IRC Client. Alot like AmIRC (Amiga).
X-Mame 0.34b7.1 The Un*x version of the Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator
XAmixer 0.1.12 An ALSA based mixer program written with GTK+
XawTV 2.30 TV application and a few utilities
XDaliClock 2.13 Digital clock for the X Window System
Xrun 0.1.7 A Gtk+ based program to run commands with a history.
Xscreensaver 3.04 Modular screen saver and locker for the X WindowSystem
Xterminal 0.6.2 Object Oriented User Interface with a client-serverarchitecture

Our software announcements are provided courtesy of FreshMeat


 Main page
 Linux in the news
 Back page

See also: last week's Back page page.

Linux links of the week

Open source and open data. This page advocates standardizing the file formats used for many popular applications, such as word processors, spreadsheets, and even databases. Your editor has seen many efforts at standardizing data formats over the years; it is not an easy task. But the rewards can be great if a format is successful. See, for example, the NetCDF format, which has brought sanity to some types of scientific data. It's a prize worth trying for.

The Silicon Valley Linux Users Group gets to have an unfair amount of fun, and their web page reflects it. See, for example, the reports from their recent demonstration at the opening of the Microsoft Silicon Valley campus. "The Microsoft people thanked us afterward and bought a round of beers and sodas for everyone keeping themselves under control."

Those wanting a free software news site with more of a Microsoft-centric orientation may want to check out the Why you shouldn't use Microsoft products site.

November 19, 1998



Letters to the editor

Letters to the editor should be sent to editor@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.
From: "Will Tsui" <will@netpedia.com>
To: <editor@lwn.net>
Subject: Web Hosting for Open Source Projects
Date: Sat, 14 Nov 1998 23:39:20 -0500


My name is Will Tsui and I am in charge of a site called Netpedia
(http://www.netpedia.com/). We would like to invite anyone developing open
source software to get a complementary subdomain on netpedia.net. This is a
"no catch" deal. We don't require links, advertisements, etc. Here
developers can host their websites and keep the web community informed about
their contributions. If you are interested in this offer to all open source
developers, e-mail me for further info.

	Thanks for your time,

From: "Ricardo Galli" <gallir@atlas-iap.es>
To: <lwn@lwn.net>
Subject: Linux and databases
Date: Thu, 12 Nov 1998 16:04:32 +0100

Dear LWN editor,

    I send you this letter because I see a lot of press articles about =
Oracle and Informix coming to Linux community, but nobody mentions that =
there are other companies supporting and providing very good comercial =
application for Linux OS.

One of these companies is Empress Inc. (www.empress.com) that developed =
a very fast and reliable RDBMS altoghether with a complete development =

We were using it from middle 1996, when I bought our first Empress suite =
for Linux. Since then we are very happy with the product and it =
overpasses in performance other RTDBMS servers.

Our applications span from dynamic web pages (many, many, =
www.atlas-iap.es/kuhn/ just as one example), digital newspapers =
(www.diaridebalears.com) to an AAA server (programmed with embedded SQL =
in C programs) where our Radius and Tacacs+ servers act as clients (we =
provide dial-up Internet access services) of the AAA server.=20

Should be note that both, Linux boxes and Empress servers run very =
stable with almost no maintenance at all. Our first Linux/Empress server =
(an old Pentium 133) is still working and need 0 (yes, ZERO, we just =
have to delete the long apache logs twice a year) maintenance and is =
serving more than 100.000 queries a day.=20

Furthermore, our own AAA server (see some stats at the end), which was =
developed in C using Empress development toolkit never had a problem at =
all, it works on a database with 15 tables, with the bigger one (access =
logs) having more then 2.000.000 records.

Please note that we do not have any commercial relationship with Empress =
Inc. (we pay all of our licences at standard prices). I just thought =
this a good story and that it's very worth to take a look to this =
company that is supporting Linux providing a very good RDMS and a =
complete development toolkit from the very beginning. I feel also that =
they are ignored in Linux press/media.

STATS from the AAA server (running on a Pentium II 300 MHz).

gallir@star:/home/people/gallir > dbstats=20
DBSERVER(862): CPU load (0-1): 0.001434 Sec/ops: 0.0304 PID: 10451
Elapsed: 85 days 22:58:08 Ops: 350789 Childr: 1 Max: 5 Overlds: 0
** Parent Times
User: 00:00:08.69 Sys: 00:03:44.83 Total: 00:03:53.52
** Total Times
User: 01:39:26.67 Sys: 01:18:00.23 Total: 02:57:26.90

Congratulation for LWN, specially for daily updates section. It's the =
best source of up-to-minute Linux information.

Best regards,

--ricardo galli
University of Balearic Islands
Atlas IAP S.L., Internet Service Provider

To: editor@lwn.net
Subject: reply to Kastrup
From: Nathan Myers <ncm@cantrip.org>
Date: Fri, 13 Nov 1998 20:08:51 -0800

[I don't want to start a flame war, but David Kastrup's
long, prominently placed, but badly misinformed letter
demands a response.]

David Kastrup predicts doom ("Microsoft Linux") and denigrates
GNU g++.  While his opinions are easily ignored, the false history 
he has promoted needs to be countered.  He wrote: 

  C++ has hobbled free compiler development: the incredibly 
  complicated language definition has caused gcc development 
  to freeze.  The FSF's non-commercial development infrastructure 
  of the gcc compiler for the comparatively simple C language 
  could not keep up with the complications of the C++ language.  
  This has resulted in the splitoff of egcs, mostly managed by 
  Cygnus, a commercial entity and large-time contributor.

In fact, C++ has nothing to do with the development of the Gcc 
C compiler.  (They share only a back-end code generator.)  The 
slowdown in development of Gcc had nothing to do with C++ -- 
blame administrative and personal problems at the FSF -- but was 
anyway solved in exemplary fashion by the formation of the Egcs 
group.  Egcs is not "mostly managed by Cygnus"; on its steering 
committee of 13 members, I count four Cygnus employees.  While 
the Cygnus employees are supremely competent, they are far from 
alone in their contributions, as may easily be seen by a glance 
at the Egcs web site, even though many large contributions have 
not been acknowledged by name there.

Gcc, as delivered in the Egcs package, is as advanced as any C++ 
compiler available.  Its incredibly rapid development since the 
Egcs group provided a new rallying point stands as a shining 
example of what free software can accomplish.  Make no mistake:
this was not a case of a corporation taking over development from
a failed free software project.  It was a classic case of users
taking the source, and the development process, into their own hands 
when the previous maintainer failed to keep up.  The Egcs group has
more than equal to the "incredibly complicated" C++ language.

Nathan Myers

To: esr@thyrsus.com
From: "Khimenko Victor" <khim@sch57.msk.ru>
Date: Wed, 18 Nov 1998 20:49:14 +0300 (MSK)
Subject: How it's possible ? RMS forgot OSS definition or what ?

"After reviewing the QPL, I find that it meets all the criteria to be
considered Open Source," said Eric Raymond, author of The Cathedral and the
Bazaar paper and joint copyright holder of the Open Source trademark.
"This license should allow Open Source software to compete on features and
polish rather than ideological position, which will be better for the Open
Source community."

How it's possible ???? QPL is NOT compatible with Open Source Definition !

"Caldera Systems is very excited about Troll Tech's decision to publish Qt
under an Open Source license," said Ransom Love, President and CEO of
Caldera Systems. "Customer response and feedback to the KDE desktop
environment included in our OpenLinux 1.3 release has been
overwhelming. Offering Qt under an Open Source license will allow KDE to
stand on its technical merits without causing undue concerns to the
development community over licensing terms."

"SuSE congratulates Troll Tech for their wise decision to put Qt under an
Open Source License. SuSE thinks that this step will (hopefully) unite the
Linux community again," said Burchard Steinbild, Managing Director of
S.u.S.E. GmbH.  "SuSE wishes Troll Tech much success with their products
and hopes their reputation in the Linux community rises after this move,
they have deserved it."

What's this ??? Are you are all blind or what ?
  1) QPL is not OSD-compliant
  2) Even if QPL will be fixed to be OSD-compliant this will not change even
jot for KDE ! To resolve KDE copyright problem QPL should be GPL-compliant,
not OSD-compliant !

The Open Source Definition (version 1.0) http://www.opensource.org/osd.html :
-- cut --
3. Derived Works

       The license must allow modifications and derived works, and must allow
       them to be distributed under the same terms as the license of the
       original software.
-- cut --

-- cut --
3. You may make modifications to the Software. In order to preserve the
   integrity of the unmodified version of the Software, modifications must be
   distributed in the form of patches, and the following restrictions apply to
   each patch:

     a. Application of the patch must not modify copyright notices in the

     b. The patch must be explicitly licensed by the following clauses without
        additional restriction:

          Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining
          a copy of this patch, to deal in the patch without restriction,
          including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge,
          publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the patch,
          subject to the following conditions: Any copyright notice and this
          permission notice must be included in all copies or substantial
          portions of the patch.

     c. The patch must include an accurate description of the modification,
        the date of the modification and the author of the modification.
-- cut --

Clearly not OSD-compatible !

For KDE is more important that QPL is not compatible with GPL (and GPL
compatibility is MUCH more restrictive then Open Source Definition; NPL & MPL
are OSD-compatible but not GPL-compatible !!!):
-- cut --

3. You may copy and distribute the Program (or a work based on it, under
Section 2) in object code or executable form under the terms of Sections 1
and 2 above provided that you also do one of the following:

     a) Accompany it with the complete corresponding machine-readable
     source code, which must be distributed under the terms of Sections 1
     and 2 above on a medium customarily used for software interchange; or,

     b) Accompany it with a written offer, valid for at least three years,
     to give any third party, for a charge no more than your cost of
     physically performing source distribution, a complete machine-readable
     copy of the corresponding source code, to be distributed under the
     terms of Sections 1 and 2 above on a medium customarily used for
     software interchange; or,

     c) Accompany it with the information you received as to the offer to
     distribute corresponding source code. (This alternative is allowed
     only for noncommercial distribution and only if you received the
     program in object code or executable form with such an offer, in
     accord with Subsection b above.)

The source code for a work means the preferred form of the work for making
modifications to it. For an executable work, complete source code means all
the source code for all modules it contains, plus any associated interface
definition files, plus the scripts used to control compilation and
installation of the executable. However, as a special exception, the source
code distributed need not include anything that is normally distributed (in
either source or binary form) with the major components (compiler, kernel,
and so on) of the operating system on which the executable runs, unless
that component itself accompanies the executable.

-- cut --

What's this ? You all want KDE problem to be resolved so much that you could
not understood clear English ? Or may be I'm misunderstood something (Enlish
is not my native language after all)...

Date: Thu, 12 Nov 1998 17:04:00 -0500
From: "Zygo Blaxell" <Zygo.Blaxell.zblaxell@nt.com>
To: editor@lwn.net
Subject: Balkanization of Linux HOWTO

[Unlimited unmodified attributed distribution permitted]

Now that Linux is starting to turn the heads of major business entities,
I keep seeing other Linux people asking the question "What should we do
next?" or "What should we do to stop the new Microsoft threat?"  My
answer is simple, direct, and to the point:  "Do exactly the same thing
we've always been doing."  

For those who joined the party late, this is what we've been doing:

1.  Producing the best software.  

2.  Supporting and defining open standards.

3.  Creating replacements for existing closed-source software without
infringing on protected IP rights.

4.  Sharing information as widely as possible, without hesitation, in
hope that it will find the right person to act upon it.



Michael Dell explicitly states that Microsoft pays Dell to pre-install
Internet Explorer and Netscape doesn't, so Dell ships IE by default. 
"Free" software can't compete with that kind of business logic, nor
should it try.  We can expect the last of the large closed-source
vendors to make desparate attempts to gain market share, including such
desparate tactics as paying customers to introduce dependencies on
closed-source products into their critical business systems.  Our
response to that should be to consistently produce better products until
the closed-source vendors run out of new ideas or money.

In the recent past, open standards have had published specifications but
typically only proprietary implementations have been available.  Even
specifications that include sample source code are still not entirely
open, because you can't use the code without a closed-source OS,
libraries, or compiler tools.  Now that we have complete open-source
operating systems, and therefore pure open-source all the way from the
API layer to the bare hardware, it is no longer necessary to have
standards "tainted" by the lack of at least one fully open-source
implementation.  We should advocate that the term "open standard" means
that not only is the specificiation published, but at least one
completely open-source implementation (right down to the bare hardware
for software, or right up to the API layer for hardware) is available.

Given the past explosive growth and continuing persistence of legacy
closed-source software, it follows that many good ideas have previously
been implemented in closed source.  Linux is a re-implementation of
Unix, WINE is a re-implementation of Win32, and so on.  This will be
necessary as long as there exists closed-source software that does not
have an open-source equivalent.  We should educate vendors of
closed-source software about their golden opportunity right now to
re-release their products as open source before competitive open-source
implementations of those products exist.  We should follow that up by
aggressively implementing legally-clean, high-quality replacements for
significant closed-source software from vendors that do not co-operate. 
The message is, was, and always will be "release source or die,"  but
today the message is perhaps a little louder than it was yesterday.

It is good that people with solid marketing, sales, and PR expertise are
entering the Linux community.  Linux doesn't just need software
developers:  it needs technical writers, venture capitalists, lawyers,
advertisers, pure researchers, teachers, guinea pigs, testers,
journalists, managers, and all the "other people" that a big software
company would have access to.  Some of these people are following the
open-source tradition in fields very distant from software:  for
example, last week I read a good introductory document with some
practical tips on doing one-on-one marketing of Linux and another
document that explains how to write a press release.  We still need to
find good ways that people with work to be done can be connected with
skilled people with time to spare, and we cannot possibly be too good at
bringing lots of "newbies" up to speed quickly and painlessly.

We should NOT be:

1.  Trying to control or manage open-source development.

2.  Going out of our way to support legacy closed-source systems.

3.  Trying to rigidly standardize everything, or produce a "one true
Linux" in any form.

Open source software in general and Linux in particular work as well as
they do because every developer has a vested interest--whether
financial, practical or purely social--in the end product.  Enforcing
specific external goals will destroy a productive open-source
development group, or at least limit its capabilities to those of a
closed-source development group.  People should always do their best
work first.  If some particular job needs to be done, then those who
benefit most from that job should put together the resources to have it
done, and those who are good at a particular job should be allowed to do

Widespread support of open standards means that support for
closed-source systems before they are replaced is merely an unnecessary
distraction.  Many closed-source systems do not offer any opportunity
for continued development once the original system has been duplicated,
as the existing installations cannot afford any modifications or
extensions to existing functionality.  In the extreme, closed-source
systems are supported via emulation of the hardware that they run on,
creating a burden for user and developer alike while providing no
benefits to either at all.  The best way to support a legacy
closed-source system is to produce an open-source implementation of that
system or a convenient migration path to a replacement open-source
system.  This liberates the closed-source vendor's customers by breaking
the vendor's monopoly on licensing, support and distribution services,
and allows customers to enjoy reduced costs, better product, and better
support, all at the same time.  Note that Linux has already successfully
replaced closed-source Unix implementations for many purposes and is now
far ahead in some areas.

The computing industry in general--open and closed-source vendors
included--is still decades or even centuries away from achieving a "one
true" anything.  After 40 years we still don't have "one true character
set" (ASCII, ISO-8859-*, Unicode...), so why should we expect a large
API like POSIX, Java, or Win32 to become a permanent standard
overnight?  The best software and hardware available today is still very
limited, and if history is any kind of guide to the future, it will all
be obsolete tomorrow.  Trying to evangelize "one true"ness just imposes
restrictions on people with good ideas, destroys the flexibility that
prevents obsolescence, and pre-empts the benefits of research and
development before they even start.  Even Microsoft, arguably the most
vocal proponent of "one true"ness, is beginning to feel trapped by this
goal as their costs skyrocket while growth declines.  Some Linux users
will need rigid, supportable stability, and some Linux vendors should
provide it to them; however, at the same time nothing should get in the
way of those who want early access to the latest in research and
Eklektix, Inc. Linux powered! Copyright © 1998 Eklektix, Inc., all rights reserved
Linux ® is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds