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Linux in the news

Recommended Reading:

This article in Al Fasoldt's "Technofile" looks at Microsoft and how Linux is giving it grief. "Linux pushed Microsoft into the third phase. Suddenly we were able to see the emperor clearly, and we could see that he had no clothes. Nothing that Microsoft says seems believable any more. An operating system that cannot perform properly is not acceptable any longer. We have a choice."

Here's a Wall Street Journal article, via ZDNet, on Sun's plans to release the Solaris source. "Sun hasn't yet worked out the timing of the community source release of Solaris, which is likely to phase in over a long period of time"

LinuxToday talked with Michael Tiemann of Cygnus Solutions at the Embedded Systems Conference. "So Tiemann is saying that there is a big part of the embedded space where Linux as we know it will do just fine. Without any risk of fragmentation, Linux will scale down into all those cell phones, digital cameras, personal digital assistants, and set-top boxes that are complex enough to need software with two or more processes to run them."

Sun Solaris:

Here's a ComputerWorld article assessing the potential impact of the Solaris source announcement. "Ultimately Sun's move is unlikely to amount to much, agreed Jonathan Eunice, an analyst at Illuminata Inc., a consultancy in Nashua, N.H. 'If they had done something like this years ago, they would have probably been a leader of the open revolution,' Eunice said. 'Now it looks like they are chasing the Linux tail.'"

Computer Reseller News ran this article about Sun's intentions toward Linux with their release of the Solaris source code. "The hardware and software giant, while confirming it will release the source code to Solaris, its implementation of the Unix OS, said it is not trying to destroy the growth of the Linux OS."

Here's The Red Herring's take on Sun's plans to put the Solaris source out. "This does not mean Sun is giving up the rights to its software. Sun's code will be available free for download, but if developers incorporate any of it into a commercial product, they will owe Sun a 'community-source' licensing fee. Some analysts don't equate community source licensing with open-source distribution."

News.com says that Sun will be releasing the source to Solaris under its "Community Source License." That means, of course, that it will not be truly free software.

Would Linux survive if Solaris were free? osOpinion answers the question: "The answer is no. Why re-invent the wheel? Solaris is a fully operational, scalable and reliable OS. Linux would have no place in a world were Solaris was free. Sorry, that's the truth."

Here is Dave Winer's take on Sun's Solaris announcement (scroll down a ways). "But it's OK for Raymond and the open source purists to reject this offer. It wasn't designed to please them. It was designed to please Sun's customers. Look at it this way, Solaris is the perfect operating system for Sun customers. It's a live and let live answer. Sun says they don't have to be Linux, and it leaves room for Linux to find a multitude of niches that Solaris can never occupy because of its economics and how it's developed."

Red Hat:

TechWeb reports on Red Hat's European plans. "Linux vendor Red Hat expects to be the dominant market player in Europe within eighteen months, its chief operating officer, Tim Buckley, said on Wednesday."

Salon Magazine interviews Red Hat's Marc Ewing. "[Linux-Mandrake] doesn't necessarily bother us. Clearly if there were no other Linux distributors besides us and we had 100 percent of the market we'd be pretty happy. But in a sense the task is a lot larger than that, if you think about what the competition really is. The competition really is Windows NT."

Here's an interview with Masanobu Hirano, leader of Red Hat Japan, and Bob Young which ran in AsiaBizTech. "Red Hat of the United States has been studying the possibility of establishing a subsidiary in Japan since January 1999. As a result, we noticed two serious problems. First, Linux support for users, especially for enterprise users, have not been sufficient. Second, 'Red Hat Linux' enjoys more than 50 percent share of the Linux distribution market in the United States, but here in Japan, we only have less than a 20 percent market share."

Performance Computing reviews Red Hat 6.0, a little belatedly. "One of the biggest bullets fired from the anti-Linux crowd is that it is an OS without applications. While an OS can be a novelty, the inability to do anything with it can be quite a hindrance. Red Hat addresses this issue head-on by including a CD containing almost 400 applications."


Here's a News.com article that speculates on Caldera's IPO plans. "However, sources familiar with Caldera Systems' plans tell a different story, saying the IPO is scheduled for the end of November. The company has set aside special stock for the open-source companies that have helped Caldera--the KDE programmers who have improved Linux user interface options and Troll Tech programmers who helped Caldera with its Lizard installation routine."

E-Commerce Times reports on Fujitsu's partnership with Caldera. "According to International Data Corp., there were 2,200 Linux-based servers in Japan in 1998. That number is expected to increase to 10,000 by the close of this year, moving to 65,000 by 2003. The predictions are based on a 97 percent compound annual growth rate."

PC Week reports on the Caldera/Fujitsu deal. "But there's more to the story than just another company adopting Linux on its servers. Fujitsu also has signed on for Caldera's educational and service offerings and is moving toward preloading OpenLinux on desktops, handhelds and other devices."


PC Week looks at a number of Linux-related events involving Red Hat, Lineo, and Sun. "Amid all the action, Sun Microsystems Inc. has opened its Solaris operating system under its own Community Source license, which hasn't received the popular support from the open-source community that one might expect."

Upside Magazine looks at the Question Exchange. "For years, the primary knock against Linux, both within the tech media and corporate circles, has been the seeming lack of organized user support. Users who didn't want to take out a one-year multi-incident contract with Red Hat have traditionally braved the free Internet relay chat channels and Usenet sites. But in users' bargain basement searches places the only way to tell the difference between unqualified and qualified 'experts' was by the amount of scorn qualified Linux veterans heaped on clueless newbies."

This article in AsiaBizTech looks at LASER5 - Red Hat's former partner and present competitor in Japan. "Prior to the cancellation of the agreement, Red Hat said that they wanted to purchase our Japanese version, but we could not agree on a price. We are ready to put it back on the table if appropriate terms and conditions are to be discussed."

Here's a Computer Reseller News article about LinuxPPC. "...earlier this year, LinuxPPC caused a splash when, at a LinuxWorld expo, it provided the operating-system software that the IBM RS/6000 group used to demonstrate its RISC-based system running Linux."

News.com ran this article on the LinuxOne IPO filing. "What observers find interesting, however, is that some passages of the LinuxOne filing read like a mirror image of Red Hat's filing. Indeed, many of the descriptions LinuxOne provides of its strategy and market opportunity are identical to the words found in the earlier Red Hat filings."

Here's an article in ZDNet UK about Amdahl's Linux plans. "The Fujitsu-owned systems integrator announced support for Linux on its singleand dual-Intel Pentium III-based Fujitsu Teamservers. It also introduced 24-hour global telephone support for Linux-based hardware and software, and professional services for setting up and customising the Linux operating system and open source products such as the Apache Web server." (Found in NNL).

Inter@ctive Week looks at Macmillan's Linux activities including the new "PlaceForLinux" web site. "'Thirteen percent of Macmillan's revenue comes from the sale of Linux books and software,' said Steve Schafer, Linux software title manager. Macmillan first began adding Linux disks to books four years ago, he added."

Here's an Inter@ctive Week article about Macmillan's new web site at PlaceForLinux.com. (Said site currently opens with a form asking for name and address information). "Aiming to become a supplier of Linux to consumers, computer book publisher Macmillan has opened a Web site offering Linux information and support, with plans to sell a Mandrake variation of Linux in book and software stores."

CNN looks at recent developments in the Linux world. "Separately, development tool vendor Inprise is trying to fill the Linux applications gap. Early next year the company will go into beta testing with a native rapid application development tool for Linux, code-named Kylix. The tool is a component-based, drag-and-drop environment with support for multitier databases and the Internet."

News.com looks at Compaq's new thin client systems. "Though Compaq is committed to Linux, it is betting the bank on Windows CE."

Computer Reseller News discusses Linux on laptop systems. "Although the open-source nature of Linux is attractive to a Web-minded IT community, most in the industry agree that the operating system cannot compete with Microsoft Corp.'s Windows on notebook computers."

Here is a New Zealand Herald article about how a set of NT systems is being replaced by Linux systems in the New Zealand housing agency. "The selection of Linux has proved something of a master stroke because the pilot has demonstrated the substantial licence fees, upgrades and maintenance costs inherent in the previous NT-based approach can all now be side-stepped," (Thanks to Ian McDonald).

Federal Computer Week ran this article about the large Linux cluster being purchased by NOAA's Forecast Systems Lab. "According to NOAA officials, the cluster will involve 277 workstations capable of crunching 300 billion arithmetic operations per second -- a capability that is 20 times more powerful than the lab's current system. The cluster will represent one of the most powerful computers in the world, they said." (Found in LinuxToday).

The Chicago Tribune looks at Linux jobs and certification. "To date physical credentials have consisted of a beard or ponytail, complemented by a T-shirt saying 'Will write code for Chinese food.' As with most obscure technical jobs, hiring has been done on a techie-to-techie basis."

Here's a Computer Weekly article about an interesting corporate deployment. "A Kent-based insurance firm is overhauling its IT infrastructure by rolling out about 200 desktop PCs on the Linux operating system. Reliance Mutual Insurance's decision to deploy Linux on desktops demonstrates the business viability of open source code in a commercial environment." (Thanks to Alan J. Wylie).

Hack PC Week:

ZDNet admits it did not apply the security updates to the Linux box that was part of its "hack PC Week" challenge. (See last week's Security section for a discussion of how the system was cracked). "Large companies often spend weeks or months testing NT service packs from Microsoft Corp. before they are deployed. Imagine the work involved in integrating 21 separate fixes into a change process to be deployed across an enterprise. Red Hat Inc. and other large open-source companies will have to make fixes available in a more manageable manner if they expect organizations to adopt Linux on a larger scale."

This osOpinion piece looks at the "Hack PC Week" silliness. "To me, the whole hacking contest smacks a little bit too much of Mindcraft III; worse, PC Lab's reputation has been tarnished."


InternetNews.com reports on Linus Torvalds' talk at Internet World. "He also forecast that user interfaces will diverge from the operating system in order to allow people to mix and match according to their own requirements, and to end the unnecessary development of interfaces for systems which do not require them, such as servers and embedded systems."

The San-Jose Mercury asked Linus what he thought was the most important development of this century. "I think the most important development of the 20th century has been the advances in physics and our understanding of how the world works -- quantum mechanics and the theory of relativity from earlier in this century."


Here's a brief article in ZDNet UK about Microsoft's 'Myths' document. "The 'Linux Myths' page seeks to redress misinformation spread by those evil Linux advocates and tackles issues such as reliability, stability and affordability of the fastest growing operating system in the market place." (Found in LinuxToday).

The fifth issue of PerlMonth has been released.

ZDnet pitches the Linux Business Expo, which will be attached to Comdex next month. "The technical track will feature cool kid Miguel de Icaza, coordinator of the GNOME Project, on the future of the GNU Network Object Model Environment;"

LinuxPlanet ran an interview with Tim O'Reilly. "I also don't believe that necessarily you get a lot of benefit in the same way from making documentation completely free. At the end of the day, a book is its own source code, it's not as though the content is hidden in some way."

Web Techniques ran this column on how some people are responding to the commercial success of Linux. "If we add marketing to the picture, then our hacker's utopia will become contaminated. With commercialization, one starts dealing with money and then greed and envy, along with competition. We will become the opposite of what our ideals are, and end up where we don't want to go."

ZDNet has figured out that "Jesux" was a joke. "Sm@rt Reseller spoke to several developers, who wish to remain anonymous because of what they see as the anti-Christian hysteria Jesux caused in some circles, who claim they plan on implementing many of Jesux's ideas. So, the idea of a 'Christianized' Linux lives on."

Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol

October 7, 1999


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