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Leading items and editorials


Comdex. This year's Comdex (the 20th anniversary of this massive show) features the "Linux Business Expo" for the first time. This page is being written in the LWN booth among a great deal of noise and confusion. If it seems even more incoherent than usual, that's the reason.

It's only Wednesday, and it has been a long, strange trip... noise wars between the Caldera and Linux Today booths... Slashdot trades in beanbags for Aeron chairs... who are those XLinux girls anyway?... did Linux Today really have to bring an accordion?... Conectiva Linux comes north... that shiny new LinuxMall van... $20 to park a car... sure would be nice to have restrooms on the same floor... Corel's surround sound system... you mean there was a conference program too...? and why o why can't Comdex provide an Internet connection that works?

But seriously, the Linux Business Expo has proved to be useful in a couple of different ways. First of all, the exhibitors are mostly walking around with highly pleased (if tired) grins on their faces. This exhibition has been good for the business of Linux. The next Comdex LBE will be substantially larger.

More interestingly, the LBE has turned out to be a top-quality Linux advocacy event. There are tremendous numbers of people here who know little, if anything, about Linux; they learned a lot here. The LBE got Byte's "Best of Comdex" award for a reason - the good stuff is here, and people are seeing that. It is hard to imagine a better way to bring more people into the Linux sphere.

See our Comdex page for some coverage and photos.

Moves in Linux professional certification. It has been a busy week on the certification front, as two competing organizations make announcements and seek to become the de facto certification standard. Some of what's going on includes:

  • The Linux Professional Institute has announced the completion of its first certification examination. It will be deployed globally within a few weeks. This exam is distribution independent, and covers basic administration concepts. It will be followed by a second, more advanced distribution independent exam (perhaps by the end of the year), then a series of of distribution-specific tests. Certification requires passing both of the first two, and one of the distribution-specific exams.

    The first few hundred examinations will be run in a "beta test" mode, intended to help calibrate the questions and determine the passing score. Look for the LPI to run a contest or provide other incentives for people to take the test during the beta period.

  • The LPI has also announced the addition of SGI to its list of sponsors; SGI delivered a $50,000 check at a press conference at Comdex. While reiterating its committment to Linux, SGI also noted that it is adding several, training courses on Linux subjects, aimed at LPI certification.

  • The LPI's competitor SAIR announced a whole set of things, including an agreement with John Wiley and Sons to distribute SAIR training materials; an agreement with Compaq to train Compaq employees toward SAIR certification; and, most significantly, the completion of its series of four exams for its first level of certification.

The end result of all this is that certification for Linux professionals will be available from two sources shortly. This news gives rise to a couple of questions...

Is there room for two certification organizations? (Actually three, counting Red Hat's distribution-specific program). That depends on a number of factors, including the demand for certification in general, the quality of the individual programs, and the demand for Linux administrators in general. If all goes well, both programs could be around for a long time.

Is Linux professional certification really necessary? Certainly not everybody is sold on this point. Certification has its uses, however. It does provide a minimal assurance to employers - especially small businesses and human resources departments which lack the technical background to truely judge job applicants. It gives training companies a target to aim for - and it gives students a way to judge trainers as well. And certification is an important part of Linux's public image in general. It is not for nothing that Microsoft, in its Linux Myths page, asked how many certified Linux engineers there are. The existence of a credible certification organization is an important step in corporate adoption of Linux.

Thursday, November 25, is the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday; the LWN weekly edition will not be published that week. The daily updates page will be updated as always, and the weekly edition will return on December 2.

Inside this week's Linux Weekly News:

...plus the usual array of reports, updates, and announcements.

This Week's LWN was brought to you by:


November 18, 1999

   

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See also: last week's Security page.

Security


Security Reports

FreeBSD: Exploitable hole in ssh-1.2.27. An exploitable hole in ssh-1.2.27 has been reported under FreeBSD and a patch has been released. Note that versions of ssh not compiled with "RSAREF" defined are not vulnerable. Current reports indicate that Debian GNU/Linux and the international rpm packages for ssh are not vulnerable to this problem as a result.

thttpd remotely-exploitable buffer overflow. A buffer overflowin thttpd, a small, fast web server with a limited feature set, has been reported and fixed by the author in an extremely prompt manner. Check below for distribution updates for thttpd.

Red Hat security update for user-mode nfsd. Red Hat has issued an update to nfsd for versions 4.2 and 5.2 of the distribution. The older user-mode NFS daemon had an unpleasant buffer-overflow problem. Those running older systems will want to upgrade. Red Hat 6.x, which is running the 2.2 kernel, is not vulnerable.

Updates

bind: Six different vulnerabilities are described on this ISC page. Upgrades are strongly recommended. nfsd: Buffer overflows in the nfs-server packages have been identified and fixed.

proftpd: Version 1.2.0pre9 of proftpd has produced enough confidence to result in updated packages, the first package updates for proftpd we've seen since late September.

thttpd: A remotely-exploitable buffer overflow has been discovered.

Resources

SANS: First Tuesday broadcasts. The SANS Institute November First Tuesday broadcasts will include two topics, "The Hunt for RingZero", which talks about investigating reports of heavy scanning activity in September and "The CVE Project", which talks about efforts to "to develop a common language for describing vulnerabilities and consensus list of vulnerabilities and exposures". The broadcasts are free, but registration is required.

Events

The 12th Annual FIRST Conference. The Call-For-Papers for the Forum of Incident Response and Security Teams (FIRST) Conference has been issued. The conference will be held June 25th through the 30th, in Chicago, IL, USA.

Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh


November 18, 1999


Secure Linux Projects
Bastille Linux
Immunix
Khaos Linux
Secure Linux

Security List Archives
Bugtraq Archive
Firewall Wizards Archive
ISN Archive

Distribution-specific links
Caldera Advisories
Conectiva Updates
Debian Alerts
LinuxPPC Security Updates
Mandrake Updates
Red Hat Errata
SuSE Announcements
Yellow Dog Errata

Miscellaneous Resources
CERT
CIAC
Comp Sec News Daily
Crypto-GRAM
Linux Security Audit Project
OpenSEC
Security Focus
SecurityPortal

   

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See also: last week's Kernel page.

Kernel development


The current development kernel release is 2.3.28; this one is a small patch which came quickly on the heels of 2.3.27 - which had some embarrassing compilation problems.

One thing that remains broken in this release is ramdisks. The current ramdisk implementation doesn't sit will with the new memory management in the 2.3 kernels. Until somebody fixes the problem, ramdisks will not be available.

The current stable kernel release remains 2.2.13. Work continues on 2.2.14; the latest prepatch, which is considered a release candidate, is 2.2.14pre6.

Why is the ext2 filesystem defragmenter not maintained? The answer, of course, as per this week's discussion, is that there is rarely a need to defragment ext2 filesystems. Ext2 is designed to resist fragmentation in most situations.

One exception can be with larger files. Once a file exceeds the size of an ext2 "block group," the system has no choice but to fragment it somewhat. The magic size depends on the block size used to create the filesystem. Older ext2 filesystems - of which there are a lot out there - use a 1K block size, and will fragment files that are larger than 8MB. Newer filesystems use 4K blocks instead, which can go up to 128MB.

This, of course, begs the next question: can a 1K filesystem be converted in place to 4K? The sad answer is that no such utility exists now; it is necessary to back up the filesystem, recreate it, then restore the files back onto it. For most applications it is probably not worth the effort.

Version 0.1.0-pre2 of the Encryption HOWTO is now available. This HOWTO currently covers the encryption of disks; expansion into networking (i.e. FreeS/WAN) is in the works.

BitVapor? Larry McVoy is getting closer to a release of the BitKeeper code management system, which is likely to be used for management of the kernel source in the future. In lieu of an actual release now, Larry has announced a set of screen shots which show, graphically, the history of the various kernel versions over time. Larry will also be releasing a repository containing the entire kernel development history - a lot of stuff.

Other patches and updates released this week include:

  • Version 0.8 of the x86 performance counters patch was released by Mikael Pettersson.

  • Matt Robinson at SGI has released version 1.0.3 of the Linux crash dump package.

  • A different approach to crash dumps was posted by David Winchell. Instead of dumping to disk, this version preserves the system state in memory, and saves it on the subsequent boot. This avoids writing to disk when the system is known to be in a bad state.

  • Chris Wing released a new version of his 32-bit UID patch.

  • PPSkit 0.9 (nanosecond timekeeping) was released by Ulrich Windl.

  • Richard Gooch's devfs patch is up to version 143. The 2.2 backport of devfs is now up to version 99.9.

Section Editor: Jon Corbet


November 18, 1999

For other kernel news, see:

   

Sections:
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See also: last week's Distributions page.

Distributions


Please note that security updates from the various distributions are covered in the security section.

Caldera OpenLinux

XFree86 3.3.5 RPM packages for OpenLinux 2.3. These packages are now available in the "earlyaccess" area of the Caldera ftp site. Note that these are not official upgrades and are provided so that people can try them out and report bugs. If you're interested, you'll find them here.

Debian GNU/Linux

Debian Weekly News. The Debian Weekly News for November 17th has been published. Top items include the new Debian Machine Usage Policy, yet another Bugsquash party, planned for this Saturday, November 20th, and a Y2K update for slink with "fixes for every known Y2K problem in Slink except a small Y2K problem in nethack (which still has no known fix)". Comments on the new Corel Linux distribution, which is Debian-based, are mentioned as well.

LASER5 Linux

LASER5 news from Japan. This press release touts the progress that the LASER5 Linux 5.0 distribution is having in Japan, having the highest domestic sales volume from Sept. 20 to Oct. 2 of all operating systems sales (including Windows 98). "It is really our pleasure to know that customers realised that the Linux is another means to replace the Windows, and the domestic distribution for Linux is superior to the major foreign brands."

Linux-Mandrake

Mandrake 6.1 Flattens the Linux Learning Curve . PC World reviews Linux-Mandrake 6.1. "Mandrake adopts some of Red Hat Linux's components, and software packages built for Red Hat will work on Mandrake. But Mandrake adds some real value: The developers have worked hard to configure the system to work well, right out of the box. With Mandrake, Windows users can start using Linux as a desktop OS without huffing and puffing over a huge learning curve." (Found in NNL).

MandrakeSoft names Jean-Loup Gailly CTO. Jean-Loup Gailly, better known as the author of the compression utility Gzip and co-author of the compression library Zlib, as well as a member of the team that produced the specifications for the Ada programming language, has been named CTO for MandrakeSoft, according to this press release. "It's a pleasure to be employed by a company that is so devoted to open-source and has a very high potential on the Linux market in the coming years", said Jean-Loup Gailly.

LinuxPPC

Macdiscussion.com interviews Jason Haas. Jason Haas, of LinuxPPC fame, is interviewed by Macdiscussion.com. "We're seeding major Linux development projects with PPC boxes to ensure that we get PPC versions of software on a timely basis. That makes more sense than trying to have a few of our guys chase the projects around and try to figure out why something's not building."

LinuxPPC nominated. LinuxPPC 1999 Q3 has been nominated for Macworld magazine's Editor's Choice ("Eddy") awards, given annually and with winners to be announced in January at the MacWorld Expo in San Francisco. "The Eddy Awards, the Macintosh industry's highest distinction for breakthrough product development, are given to honor the top software and hardware products in 26 categories. LinuxPPC 1999 Q3 is the first version of the Linux operating system ever to be nominated for the award."

Red Hat Linux

Red Hat powers NetAid servers. The NetAid concerts, sponsored by the United Nations, Cisco and others, and given to promote awareness of world hunger, were powered by 400 servers running Red Hat 6.0 according to this press release.

Slackware Linux

Pictures from Comdex. The Slackware guys have put up a website with pictures from their booth at Comdex.

Storm Linux

Last week, it was announced that Applixware would be shipped with Storm Linux 2000. This week brought two more announcements of this type, indicating that Star Officeand the VMWare evaluation binaries will also be shipped with the upcoming Debian-based Storm Linux 2000 release.

SuSE Linux

SuSE 6.3 announced. The official announcement for SuSE 6.3 (which will ship in early December) talks about SuSE's new graphical installer. "At last - YaST2 is here. There are now two versions of this powerful setup tool. It guarantees the Linux newcomer an uncomplicated installation. The automatic hardware detection for PCI components and the menu-driven graphical interface enables the newcomer to set up a complete SuSE Linux, including KDE, within 20 minutes." (Thanks to Pieter Hollants.)

Yellow Dog Linux

Yellow Dog Linux announces 'Ruff Pack'. Yellow Dog Linux has announced the "Ruff Pack," which is, of course, a beta version of its upcoming distribution.

Black Lab Linux at SC'99. Black Lab Linux, a Linux distribution aimed particularly at high-end workstations and cluster computing and optimized for the Apple G4 platform, was demonstrated this week at SuperComputing '99.

Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh


November 18, 1999

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


Leading
Caldera OpenLinux
Debian GNU/Linux
Linux-Mandrake
Red Hat
Slackware
SuSE
TurboLinux

Also well-known
ASPLinux
Best Linux
Conectiva Linux
e-smith

Progeny
Rock Linux

Non-technical desktop
easyLinux
Icepack Linux
Independence
LibraNet
Redmond Linux
WinSlack

Education
Boston University
kmLinux
LinuxFromScratch
OpenClassroom
Red Escolar

General Purpose
Alzza Linux
aXon Linux
Bad Penguin Linux
BearOps
Black Cat Linux
BluePoint Linux
BYO Linux
CAEN Linux
Cafe Linux
ChainSaw Linux
Circle MUDLinux
cLIeNUX
Complete Linux
Console Linux
Corel Linux
CRUX
Darkstar Linux
DLite
easyLinux
Elfstone Linux
ESware Linux
Eurielec Linux
eXecutive Linux
Fried Chicken
FTOSX
FullPliant
Gentoo
Go!Linux
HA Linux
Halloween Linux
HispaFuentes
IceLinux
Ivrix
ix86 Linux
J-LINUX
JBLinux
Jurix
KRUD
KSI-Linux
Lanthan Linux
Laonux
LASER5
Leetnux
Linpus Linux
Linux Cyrillic Edition
Linux MLD
LinuxOne OS
LinuxPPP
Linux Pro Plus
Linux-SIS
LNX System
LoopLinux
LSD
Lute Linux
MageNet
Mastodon
MaxOS
minilinux
MSC.Linux

NoMad Linux
Omoikane GNU/Linux
PingOO Linux
Plamo Linux
PLD
Project Ballantain
PROSA
Rabid Squirrel
Repairlix
Root Linux
Scrudgeware
Serial Terminal
Sorcerer
spyLinux
Stampede
Stataboware
TechLinux
TimeSys Linux/RT
Tom Linux
Trinux
Turkuaz
Ute-Linux
VA-enhanced Red Hat
Vine Linux
Virtual Linux
WholeLinux
WinLinux 2000
XTeamLinux
ZipSpeak

Country-specific
Argentina
GNU/Linux Ututo
Britain
Definite Linux
Eridani
China
COSIX
Red Flag
France
Linux/MNIS
Italy
LinuxEspresso
Madeinlinux
Vedova
Spain
Linux Esware
Thailand
Kaiwal Linux
Thai Linux Extension

Related Projects
Chinese Linux Extension

Historical (Non-active)
Dualix
Gentus
Giotto
MCC Interim Linux
OS2000
Storm Linux


   

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See also: last week's Development page.

Development projects


The German government supports GPG. According to this article (in German, here is the Babelfish translation), the German government will donate approximately 250,000 DM to the GNU Privacy Guard (GPG) project. The money is to be used to support comfortable user interfaces for GPG and its use with multiple operating system and mail clients. The fact that the project is open source was apparently crucial to the decision to support it. (Thanks to Peter Kis)

OpenMerchant released under the GPL. OpenSales Inc. announced today the release of the source code for their OpenMerchant online retailing solution under the terms of the GNU General Public License, according to this press release. The choice to both open the source code and to use the GPL is a very welcome one. "We have created the future e-commerce standard by providing the only channel for developers to freely use, modify and improve an enterprise-class Internet retailing solution."

Comparative Linux DBMS. LinuxPlanet has started a series of articles to take a look mSQL, MySQL and PostgreSQL on Linux, beginning with this article, which looks at installation and configuration for the three databases.

SGI Linux University Report. Jose Nazario sent us this report from his attendance at a recent SGI Linux University. "SGI's efforts at contributing to Linux are, simply put, going to be huge in at least three areas: OpenGL, where they are working with various vendors of X servers and graphics cards and working on high performance OpenGL for Linux; security, where they are doing an OpenBSD style code review and contributing software to bring Linux to C2 and B1 grades in the future (DoD scales); and the third item we heard about in Dayton, OH, was their clustering technology, bringing Beowulf up to commercial levels for management and scalability."

Embedded Linux

Job match service for embedded Linux developers. LinuxDevices.com has announced a free job match service for developers in the embedded Linux arena. "The new service allows companies who need developers, and developers looking for projects, to find each other online using a convenient search engine."

Gnome

Music and movies under GNOME (LinuxPower). LinuxPower looks at the Grip and GXanim utilities. "Video playing software under Linux is a problematic area due to the fact that some countries in the world, including the US, accepts patents on the video compression algorithms. Mark Podlipec, the XAnim author, has managed to get the permission to use some of these codecs in xanim, with Intel Indeo being the most important one. This is probably because Xanim is not a GPL'ed application."

Porting Abiword to the MacIntosh?. This MacDiscussions.com article bemoans the fact that no port of StarOffice is available for the MacIntosh, though support is promised in the next version. It continues on, though, to recommend another alternative, providing assistance to the AbiSource project to help finish the port of AbiWord to the MacIntosh. "AbiWord is an open source project, released under the GPL. I tried this application out and found it to be mostly complete. It would make a great addition to the alternatives on the Macintosh platform, but they need help. Paul Rohr of Abisource sent this idea: 'Rather than lobby Sun, you have another option -- round up one or two talented GUI hackers to finish porting AbiWord to the Mac...The AbiWord development community is actively thriving, and Macintosh is the one modern GUI that's still sorely missing.'" (Thanks to Louis Pierce.)

Reuters reports on Miguel de Icaza's new company. Here is more news on Miguel and Nat's plans for starting their new company. "We are creating applications like Microsoft Office, for GNOME," the 26-year-old de Icaza said in a phone interview. "We have investment. It's exciting and I get to work on GNOME full time so that's even better." The company will be based in the Cambridge, Mass. area and is expected to have about 12 employees initially.

From the press release, it appears that the Linux Fund is at least one of the sources of investment in the new company.

Gnome Development Summary. The Gnome Summary for November 9-17, 1999 covers news from the GNOME UI Improvement Project, courtesy of the first installment of the GNOME UI Summary, sound support issues, the new GNOMEnclature column by George Lebl, over on IBM DeveloperWorks, and more.

KDE

KRASH release frozen. The KRASH release, also known as the 1.89 release, has been frozen, according to this announcement. No modifications to the API are allowed and they would like to make the actual release available by December 1st, two weeks ahead of schedule. The release of KRASH is intended to allow third party developers to become familiar with Qt 2.X and KDE 2.X before they become the new stable version.

Midgard

Midgard Weekly Summary. The Midgard Weekly Summary for November 17th is larger than usual, since summaries were not posted the last two weeks. Included this week is the release of Midgard 1.2.5, the availability of combined Midgard/Apache packages, recent server problems and plans for an irc-based developer meeting on November 25th. Check the homepage for more information on the Midgard web application development and publishing platform.

Mozilla

Mozilla M11 is out!. Mozilla M11 (Milestone 11) has been released. Word seems to be that the latest release has made great strides in stability (some say it is now more stable for them than Netscape 4.7), but performance appears to be an issue. However, the developers themselves do not seem to be concerned about this. The software is, after all, still in pre-beta and once the basic stability issues have been addressed, performance issues will become a top priority. Linux binaries are currently available. Check the release notes for more details.

Note that Mozilla is currently not safe to use with systems unless they are running glibc2.1 or higher. See the this posting for more information on that problem.

Update on Mozilla from Interview with Chris Hofmann. This interview with Mozilla lead engineer Chris Hofmann provides an update on Mozilla's progress. "At current growth rates the number of "non-Netscape" Mozilla developers will eclipse the number of Netscape developers with direct CVS checkin privileges in a few short months. I think we are at around 50-60 now and about 15-20 of these contributors that are checking in modifications to the code every week."

PHP

Interview with the PHP team. LinuxPower has made available an interview with the PHP team. It covers the upcoming features of PHP 4.0 and its new backend, Zend, plus licensing issues and more. "Erik: What do you see as the next radical evolutionary step for php? Jim: Easier extensibility. Right now its pretty much impossible for people to distribute their own extensions to PHP (which has contributed to the PHP code base getting pretty fat with interfaces to everything). Hopefully PHP 4 will make it easy enough for people to build even more interesting extensions on top of PHP. "

Samba

Samba 2.0.6 released. The Samba Team has released version 2.0.6. This release contains lots of fixes, some new features, and support for the CUPS printer system; details are in the announcement.

Using Samba from O'Reilly. O'Reilly and Associates have announcedthe release of "Using Samba". "O'Reilly & Associates has announced the release of Using Samba, which has been officially adopted by the Samba team under an open content license. This new book is a comprehensive guide to Samba administration, including such recent additions as integration with Windows NT domains and the SWAT graphic configuration tool."

Wine

Wine 991114. The latest development release of Wine is now 991114. For more information on the latest release, check out this week's Wine Weekly News.

Zope

Sybase supports Zope. Digital Creations has announced that Sybase is now supporting Zope development. "The partnership will allow Digital Creations to further integrate the Zope platform and Sybase, enabling Sybase users to leverage the power of the Linux operating system in conjunction with the Internet. The combination of these two powerful platforms will enable companies who are moving to Linux to dynamically manage their enterprise data and create world- class applications."

Zope Weekly News. Michael Pelletier is the editor, for the first time, for this week's Zope Weekly News. Headlines include the announcement of Sybase support for Zope, the announcement of VisualZope 0.1a, plus various updates and tips.

Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh


November 18, 1999


Project Links
EmbedLinux.net
EMLAB
linux-embedded.com
Gnome
High Availability
ht://Dig
KDE
MagicPoint
Midgard
Mozilla
PHP
YAMS
Wine
Zope

More Information
Freshmeat
LinuxDev

   

 

Development tools


Java

Sun hiring Java-Linux developers. It seems that Sun is ready to back up their claims to supporting Java on the Linux platform with at least one new position. "You will be responsible for porting Sun's Java Virtual Machine, HotSpot, to the Linux operating system. As a member of the HotSpot team you will learn HotSpot internals and eventually take on additional HotSpot projects."

Perl

News from Perl News. Perl News has some new reports out about learning more about RSS, Perl Month Issue #6 and more.

On the development side, This Week on perl5-porters reports on lexical variables and eval, more on line disciplines and arcane topics ranging out as far as "Unicode Support on EBCDIC Machines".

Python

Dr. Dobbs' Python-URL!. This week's Python-URL! includes good news for the "Corba-inclined". Duncan Grisby announced Python bindings for omniORB, a "free C++ ORB conforming to the OMG's (draft) Python mappings.". Other news includes the latest release of wxPython, an "awesome" new collection of Python resource links and more.

Tcl/tk

Dr. Dobbs' Tcl-URL!. This week's Tcl-URL! inquires whether or not there would be interest in a Tcl/tk conference in Europe, among other topics.

Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh

 
   

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 Main page
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See also: last week's Commerce page.

Linux and business


Confirmed: Red Hat buys Cygnus. Confirming our report from last week, Red Hat has announced the acquisition of Cygnus Solutions for $674 million in stock. This move positions Red Hat well for a move into the embedded systems arena, and brings in a lot of other skills as well. For more information, see our talk with Donnie Barnes at Comdex.

A new cluster from SGI. A special session held on Monday at the Supercomputing '99 show demonstrated a cluster based on the Intel Itanium chips. The session was sponsored by SGI and the National Computational Science Alliance and featured speakers from the NCSA, Intel and SGI. "The high-performance computing community is at a critical juncture in its history. The community will either continue down its familiar path of company proprietary software and RISC processor building blocks or begin to move toward a new model of high-performance computing based on commodity, high-volume parts and common software building blocks," said Larry Smarr, Director, National Computational Science Alliance and its leading-edge site, the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA). "The NCSA will aggressively pursue this new model."

Intel invests in eSoft eSoft, maker of Linux-based server systems, has announced an investment from Intel. eSoft's stock price has responded accordingly - see the LWN Linux Stock Page for the latest.

Creative announces open source SB Live driver. Creative Technology has finally gotten around to announcing the open source SB Live driver it released a couple of weeks ago. "The release of this open source driver marks a 'first' for Creative, and is expected to generate a wealth of supporting applications for the Sound Blaster Live! family of cards running on all major Linux kernel versions."

New LinuxMall site launches The Linux Mall has announced its "grand reopening" with a new, redesigned site.

VA Linux Systems sets IPO price VA Linux Systems Inc. set its initial public offering at 4.4 million common shares in a projected price range of $11-13 per share.

Press Releases:

    News from Comdex/Linux Business Expo:

  • Ambient Technologies, Inc. announced that it has developed Linux drivers for its Host Accelerated Modem (HaM) PCI and Mini-PCI chipsets.

  • Bittco Solutions announced the release for Linux of a commercial software tool for searching and visualizing the Web, called NetReality.

  • Conectiva, Brazil's leading distributor of Linux, is exhibiting its products to the North-American market at the Linux Business Expo'99.

  • Corel Corporation announced that the Corel LINUX OS is now available as a not-for-charge download.

  • Global Media Corp. announced that it has won the Best Overall Solution Award at the Penguin Playoffs in the Linux Expo.

  • GraphOn Corporation announced it has acquired a U.S. patent for the remote display of Microsoft Windows applications on UNIX and Linux desktops with X Windows.

  • LSI Logic Corporation announced a Linux open-source operating system initiative that will expand its suite of software drivers supporting Symbios-brand SCSI and Fibre Channel devices. LSI Logic has been demonstrating its Linux solution during Comdex in Room N206, upstairs in the Las Vegas Convention Center.

  • Microtest Inc. unveiled introduction plans for the FileZerver line, the latest addition to its family of network attached storage appliances.

  • Omnis Software is previewing version 2.3 of their Rapid Application Development tool OMNIS Studio at both the Caldera Systems and VA Linux booths.

  • PC Magazine announced the winners of its Technical Excellence Awards. Linus Torvalds was named Person of the Year.

  • SuSE previewed SuSE Linux 6.3 at the Linux Business Expo. The release will be available December 1.

  • Transmeta Corp. is working on what it says is a "smart" microprocessor, and more details will be coming Jan. 19, Linus Torvalds said at the tail end of his keynote address at Comdex.

  • TurboLinux has a cute press release announcing their presence at the LBE.

    Products for Linux:

  • Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. announced comprehensive and open VPN/Security solutions for the Linux operating system.

  • Coresoft Technologies, Inc. announced CenterPoint for Linux, an extensible voice and unified messaging platform.

  • Dialogic has announced Linux support for its core family of PCI products.

  • Dialtone Internet has announced a deal where they will give away Linux-based systems to customers who sign up for three years of Internet service.

  • eFax.com announced a distribution partnership with Corel Corporation to offer its eFax Free service and a trial for sending faxes with every Corel LINUX OS Deluxe version software package.

  • Enlighten Software Solutions, Inc. announced the availability of its EnlightenDSM for Red Hat product and the worldwide launch of its Internet e-commerce strategy and Web site, http://www.enlightendsm.com.

  • KYZO announced the availability of its "PizzaBox Linux" preloaded on a bootable flash ROM.

  • Merlin Software Technologies Inc. announced PerfectBACKUP+ 6.1, available to clients worldwide through the company's web site www.merlinsoftech.com.

  • Mission Critical Linux has released a Linux crash analyzer. We now have two of them, given that SGI released a similar tool last week...

  • No Starch Press announced The No BS Guide to Red Hat Linux.

  • The Numerical Algorithms Group and The Portland Group, Inc. announced an optimized version of the NAG Fortran Library for Intel processor-based Linux workstations, servers and clusters.

  • Penguin Computing announced a new eight-way server system.

  • RSA Security Inc. has announced that Red Hat has licensed RSA's "BSAFE SSL" code for the Red Hat "Professional Edition."

  • VA Linux is shipping a new rackmount server. "The FullOn 2x2 rackmount server is optimized for Linux server applications ranging from Apache Web serving to Beowulf clustering."

    Products that also come in Linux:

  • 1MAGE Software, Inc. announced eServer, a communication portal that is supported by any Internet Service Provider.

  • CRYPTOCard announced its introduction of two new authentication tokens - the KF-1 Key Fob token and the PT-1 token for Palm handheld devices.

  • Etnus announced TotalView 4.0, the first parallel debugger to support multiple development platforms for both UNIX and Linux.

  • Exabyte Corporation announced the Mammoth-2 (M2) tape drive.

  • LizardTech Inc. announced its MrSID Image Server 2.2, a MrSID Portable Image Format image-serving toolkit for Web servers, designed to deliver high-quality images to any standard Web browser.

  • MapQuest API for Oracle8i allows Oracle8i database installations to deploy MapQuest's comprehensive mapping, routing and geocoding capabilities in a developer-friendly environment.

  • Micromuse Inc. announced plans to deliver the NETCOOL/OMNIbus application on the RedHat Linux operating system.

  • National Semiconductor Corporation announced that Infomatec AG will port its custom Linux-based basic platform Java Network Technology operating system to the National Geode WebPAD platform.

  • Objectivity, Inc. announced the general availability of Objectivity/DB Release 5.2.

  • Open Market, Inc. announced the latest version of its easy-to-use, browser-based store building product, ShopSite 4.2.

  • PathLink Technology Corp. announced its Direct Read News Usenet multimedia interface is now available, free of charge, at the company's http://newsadmin.com site.

  • Paul Nolan Ltd announced that the graphics package Photogenics will soon be available for Linux.

  • Perseus Development Corporation announced the release of SurveySolutions Enterprise for users of Oracle, SQLServer and MYSQL databases.

  • Quantum3D Inc. unveiled detailed specifications for AAlchemy, the Company's new family of advanced realtime 3D graphics subsystems that exploits the scalability of the newly announced 3dfx VSA-100 graphics chip technology.

  • VPDisk.com, Inc. makes the Personal-Lite Edition of its Virtual Private Disk product free to the Linux community.

    Partnerships:

  • Caldera Systems, Inc. and CSV Technologies Inc. announced a strategic alliance. Caldera instructors will use CSV Technologies EZTerm for Linux in their Educational Services program for business.

  • eFax.com announced a distribution partnership with Corel Corporation to offer its eFax Free service and a trial for sending faxes with every Corel LINUX OS Deluxe version software package.

  • First International Computer, Inc. announced that it has signed an agreement with Caldera Systems, Inc. the Linux for eBusiness leader, to bundle Caldera's Open Linux 2.3 O/S with its PC systems.

  • LinuxOne and Maxspeed have announced a deal where LinuxOne will be developing wireless connectivity for Linux using the "Bluetooth" protocol.

  • Mission Critical Linux issues this press release regarding their planned participation at the Oracle OpenWorld conference.

  • The Portland Group, Inc. and the Ohio Supercomputer Center announced the formation of a strategic alliance to enable and promote the use of Linux cluster systems for parallel computing throughout Ohio's public and private colleges and universities.

  • SCO and TurboLinux announced the immediate availability of two service packages that will provide TurboLinux customers with SCO Professional Consulting Services.

  • SuSE and Enhanced Software Technologies have announced a partnership. What this partnership will actually do is not particularly clear from the release, however.

  • SuSE and VALinux have announced a co-development partnership. "We're happy to be working with SuSE, which has long been a popular Linux distribution among businesses and end users worldwide," said Dr. Larry M. Augustin, president and CEO of VA Linux Systems. "We look forward to being able to provide SuSE Linux on our systems as an option to our customers."

    Other:

  • Be Computing, Inc. announced that the company changed its name to Geek Teknologies, Inc.

  • Covalent Technologies announced that it has gotten an export license to sell its version of Apache with SSL encryption - Raven SSL - overseas. They are currently only authorized to export 56-bit encryption, however.

  • Digital River announced its plans to manage e-commerce for SuSE Inc.

  • DigitalWork.com a "Do-It-Yourself" business agency, announced its new Web site at www.digitalwork.com.

  • LinuxPPC has been nominated for Macworld magazine's Editor's Choice Award.

  • LinuxStart is giving away a Penguin Computer. Contest ends Nov. 30.

  • O'Reilly & Associates released "Unix Backup & Recovery".

  • Red Hat, Inc. announced the Red Hat Ready Program, a comprehensive hardware certification program for ensuring hardware compatibility with the Red Hat Linux OS.

  • Red Hat Inc. and American Power Conversion (APC) announced that APC's Linux-based power protection solutions are the first computer peripherals to receive the Red Hat Ready Logo.

  • TurboLinux announced its English language desktop and server products are available at more than 1,600 leading retail stores in North America, including CompUSA, Staples and Fry's Electronics.

  • Ziatech sent us the 'Applied Computing Innovations' newsletter for November.

Section Editor: Jon Corbet.


November 18, 1999

   

Sections:
 Main page
 Security
 Kernel
 Distributions
 Development
 Commerce
 Linux in the news
 Announcements
 Back page

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

Linux in the news


The press section is somewhat incomplete this week - being at Comdex has made it hard for us to keep up. Here's what we have...

This week's recommended reading:

  • The Red Herring covers the Corel Linux launch. "Corel's move to stake out a growing portion of the desktop PC market has caused many at this trade show to wonder why Microsoft doesn't retaliate by either releasing its own version of Linux or opening up its Windows source code for outside development. Either move, observers say, would give Microsoft the capability to lower the development costs for its operating system software and compete for the business that Corel hopes to serve by embracing Linux."

  • Taking a perspective look at Microsoft's actions in the recent past and their potential actions in the future is popular right now. Tim O'Reilly weighs in with his view of how the battle for the web was almost (and still might be) lost. "I don't think people realize just how close we came to a Microsoft-dominated Web. If Microsoft, having trounced Netscape, hadn't been surprised by the unexpected strength of Apache, Perl, FreeBSD and Linux, I can easily imagine a squeeze play on Web protocols and standards, which would have allowed Microsoft to dictate terms to the Web developers who are currently inventing the next generation of computer applications."

  • Paul Rosenberg has produced a lengthy analysis of the business of developing and marketing software. Available in pdf or postscript format, this paper is over 40 pages in length, so put aside some time before you decide to scan it. Some interesting quotes from within it:

    If the timescale for reliability is considerably shorter than the timescale for the competition for customers then reliability of the software has no significant bearing on market share.

    ...

    It is possible for a closed source company Software Inc. and its operating system to dominate the software industry indefinitely.

    Conversely, it also concludes that an open source solution can dominate the market if it can sufficiently increase its name recognition, create the proper electronic bazaar and effectively counteract the FUD of its competitors.

  • Con Zymaris looks at Linux and Microsoft marketing in this osOpinion column. "What events have occurred in recent times to make me believe that Microsoft's once much-feared marketing phalanx has retreated like a pensioned warrior? I'll briefly run through a few of them here..."

There was, of course, some Comdex coverage:

  • Here's PC World's take on the Corel Linux launch. "Releasing Corel Linux at the Comdex show here on Monday, Corel hopes to bring the open source operating system to the masses."

  • InfoWorld covers Michael Cowpland's Comdex keynote. "Corel has a localization team based in Dublin, Ireland, working on 25 language versions of Linux. 'We will distribute it in multiple languages very soon.'"

  • News.com covers Linus' keynote at Comdex. "In an indication of how far Linux has come since its unveiling, Torvalds addressed a crowd of about 7,000 at a keynote address at Comdex..." (Thanks to Christof Damian)

  • The Arizona Republic reported a declining interest in Comdex, apparently due to the cost of the event and the difficulty in making deals. However, the Linux Business Expo being held at Comdex was apparently enough to change some people's minds. "Scottsdale-based eBiz originally planned to skip Comdex but then decided to go. ... When they learned that this year's show would include a pavilion showcasing Linux products, eBiz executives changed their minds."

  • Here's an article (in Italian) in La Repubblica which talks about Microsoft and Linux at Comdex. English text available via Babelfish. (Thanks to Arrigo Triulzi).

Some articles on the Corel Linux launch:

  • Here's a News.com story about the Corel Linux launch. "However, some industry observers question whether Corel can pull it off. The company's stock price has been boosted by several gains in Linux-related stock, but Corel has been faced with fierce competition from market leader Microsoft. In an earlier effort to sidestep Microsoft, Corel jumped on the Java bandwagon, but the company has abandoned that effort."

  • InfoWorld writes about the Corel Linux launch. "'Today, Corel Linux is as easy to use as Windows,' [Corel CEO] Cowpland said, noting that Corel's booth features six applications running on Linux."

  • Reuters looks at the latest rise in Corel stock following the announcements. "The gains followed the Monday morning release of a new Corel DRAW 9 Office edition, a graphics software package, and in advance of this afternoon's launch of a Linux operating system designed for the desktop."

Other Linux and business coverage includes:

  • News.com reports on Intel's investment in eSoft and the resulting stock price surge. "The investments mark the continuing strategy of Intel in incubating Linux as one of the operating systems that runs on Intel chips."

  • PC World interviews Caldera's Ransom Love. "The paradigm of the traditional desktop is quickly passing because of the Net and because the network is the Net. [With Corel] it's a case of let's go back five years and take on Microsoft when the paradigm has already changed underneath you."

  • ABC News talks to Linus Torvalds and Bob Young. "The kernel is kind of scary to mess around with, and there just aren't many developers willing to do it. We've seen Linux users grow from 1,000 to 10 million, but the number of people working on the kernel has grown from maybe 100 to 200. "

  • Here's InfoWorld's take on the Cygnus acquisition. "Red Hat Software, market-share leader among Linux distributors, made an aggressive move to consolidate its position in the open source movement Monday, announcing it was merging with Cygnus Solutions in a deal worth $674 million."

  • News.com looks at the VA Linux IPO. "VA said it intends to sell 5.06 million shares at $11 to $13 apiece. If the success of Red Hat or Cobalt is any indication, that price could prove to be a bargain."

  • This Information Week article says to be careful with Linux in your business. "If you're running one of those very rare IT shops with almost no turnover among your stable of very gifted programmers who are intimately familiar with the inner workings of your open-source platforms, the self-supporting possibilities offered by open-source software puts you in an enviable position. Ditto for the potential power of applications built on the known behavior of the innards of an operating system. For the rest of us, however, anchoring our IT efforts to a cadre of programmers with an intimate knowledge of and the ability to recompile entire operating systems belongs in the catalog of worst business practices."

  • ABC News covers Red Hat's acquisition of Cygnus. "The merger would combine Red Hat, the leading supplier of Linux software used to power servers, with privately-held Cygnus, a supplier of Linux software programming tools."

  • The Red Herring talks about what Transmeta is up to. "Only a select few know exactly what chip developer Transmeta is developing. That's why Monday's Comdex keynote is one of the most anticipated in recent memory. Pundits predict Linus Torvalds, Linux operating system creator and Transmeta software engineer, will let the cat out of the bag. That's not the plan. But don't despair -- there's good news. Redherring.com has learned details about Transmeta, including its pending patents, venture backers, IPO plans, and when it expects to really discuss what it's doing."

  • News.com reports on the new distribution being put together by Red Hat and Oracle. "The work will help bring several high-end features to an upcoming version of the Linux operating system from Red Hat. However, development of many of those features is already under way at Red Hat and other companies."

And here's the rest:

  • The New York Times has published some recommendations from various "anti-trust experts" as to what to do with Microsoft. None of them inspire much confidence, nor promise much penalty. (Note that the site requires registration. Thanks to David Brownell.) "For his part, Bill Gates, Microsoft's chairman, said he would like to settle the case and would be willing to consider any settlement proposal that protects the company's ability to add any features it wants to the Windows operating system. "

  • This editorial from osOpinion focuses on why MS Office for Linux is not a good thing. "Microsoft's standards are both proprietary and arbitrary- the stealth incompatibility of Office 97 file formats with older versions of Office or the subversion of Open standards like XML with proprietary extensions that require Internet Explorer 5, MS Active server and so on, are sober reminders of what the company does to a market."

  • This article in the National Review easily qualifies as the most bizarre of the week. "It seems if you mention the LINUX OPERATING SYSTEM, millions upon millions of people see the link on the Slashdot.com website and come on over, because Slashdot.com monitors all mentions of LINUX SOFTWARE and links to them. Who would have thought that so many people were interested in Linux software? Maybe if Linux software told us something about Oral Sex? Oh well, never mind."

  • AboutLinux ran an opinion piece about software rental schemes. "Any company that tries to be too greedy will learn that the free market works; and will be hurt where it counts - their bottom line. I think these software rental schemes will be good for Linux."

  • Will The Priests Please Refrain From Kicking The Heathens? asks this osOpinion piece. "A Very Big Clue: You won't capture the heats [sic] and minds of MS users by calling them 'sheeple'. You won't do it by insulting their intelligence. You won't do it by shouting like a spoiled child whenever Linux gets bad press (no matter the reason.)"

Section Editor: Jon Corbet


November 18, 1999

   

Sections:
 Main page
 Security
 Kernel
 Distributions
 Development
 Commerce
 Linux in the news
 Announcements
 Back page

See also: last week's Announcements page.

Announcements


Resources

A Real-Time Linux 2.0 install guide was posted by Phil Wilshire.

Hungarian free OS mirror. A Hungarian-based mirror site for distributing installation CDs from various free opearting systems (Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD) has been announcedand promises to have sufficient bandwidth to serve non-hungarian users as well. It has support for both ftp access and rsync access (rsync://ftp.kando.hu).

Events

SCO and LinuxMall support Comdex Linux Community Hub. SCO and the Linux Mall have announced the hosting of the "Linux Community Hub" at the Linux Business Expo. This hub provided booth space for nonprofit development groups.

Two Paris Linux conferences team up. The two Linux conferences planned for Paris early next year, LinuxWorld Conference and Expo, and Linux Expo, have joined into a single event. The new "LinuxWorld / Linux Expo" will be held February 1-3, in Paris, unfortunately at the same time as LinuxWorld in New York...

Linux takes a ride - on a roller-coaster Linux @ the Lake is a two-day Linux conference sponsored by the North East Ohio Linux User Group which will be held September 6th and 7th, 2000 at the Cedar Point Amusement Park, the home of the world record breaking coaster, the Millenium Force. "For the price, having Cedar Point to ourselves for 2 days would be enough! But, that's not all. As you walk around you will be able to check out all the exhibitors' booths, or sign up for the seminars that we will be announcing. Still not enough? Sit down at one of our chats with the developers, or sign up for our keynote dinner. So, whether you just have a passing interest, or you're well versed in how to do a make config, this is the conference for you!"

Notes from Supercomputing '99 The folks at ParaLogic have put up some notes from the SuperComputing '99 conference, held this week in Portland. (Thanks to James Cownie).

Web sites

Advogato.org launches. A new site, Advogato.org, has launched. Advogato is intended to be "the free software developer's advocate." It includes editorials, news items, comment posting, etc. Worth a look.

User Group News

Clemson University LUG. Alton Eubanks wrote in to mention that he is trying to establish a LUG at Clemson University, in South Carolina. Drop him a line if you are in that area.

November 18, 1999

   

 

Software Announcements


Package Version Description
a-chat 0.1 Lightweight chat server and Java (applet) client
AccuRev 1.1.1 Cross Platform Configuration Management for Distributed Development
ACUA 3.00
Adora 0.0.5b Cross-Platform Email Client for Linux and Windows
aimirc 0.5 AOL Instant Messenger to Internet Relay Chat gateway
Airmid 1.0 A GNU/Linux rescue disk.
AlsaPlayer 0.99.30 PCM (audio) player for Linux/ALSA
aumix 1.27.1 Color text mode sound mixer with GPM support
Averist 0.2.1 Authentication layer to any web based application
Berkeley DB 3.0.55 Provides embedded database support for traditional and client/server application
bidwatcher 1.0.1b tool for eBay users - track and snipe auctions
Big Brother 1.3 Highly efficient network monitor
bigwig 1.0 High-level programming language for developing interactive Web services.
Bind 8.2.2-P5 Berkeley Internet Name Domain
Bluefish 0.3.4 Gtk based HTML editor
Bomb Bomb mod_virgule 19991113 A high-speed clone of bomberman
botnet 0.21 Communication package for making IRC bots (or even clients)
bug-buddy 0.4 graphical bug-reporting utility for GNOME
BusyBox 0.36 A suite of tiny Unix utilities, for building rescue disks and embedded systems.
calc 2.11.0t10 C-style arbitrary precision calculator
catdvi 0.3 DVI to plaintext (Unicode) translator.
ccirc 0.82.8a An irc client written in shell scripts and telnet.
cd-copy shell 0.0.5 CDROM copying/creation tool.
cell.pl 0.5 Cellular One Text Message Email
chbg 0.8pl1 Desktop background changer and manager
CheckURL 2.0 Sends notification e-mails for changed URLs
Cmp3 2.0pre4 Console frontend to mpg123. Easy interface, playlists, background mode.
Configure-it 1.3 Perl script to configure bash aliases
Courier-IMAP 0.18 IMAP server for maildirs
CPC 4 X Amstrad/Schneider CPC 464/664/6128 Emulator
Critter 0.83 Perl/Tk flat text search script
cthumb 2.3.0 Automatic creation of a picture album in HTML w/ thumbnails
curl 6.3 Command line tool for getting data from a URL
Cut The Crap 0.4.0 Ad-blocking proxy-like python-based software.
d1x 1.41 Cross-platform version of Descent 1 with many bugfixes/enhancements
Dallas DS-1820 Temperature Sensor Monitor 0.1.2 Application and library for talking to Dallas Semi 1-wire devices
Dejafilter 0.04 Content-filtering CGI-based proxy script for Deja.com queries
demcd 2.1.2 CDPlayer for Linux
dep.pl 1.08 Check dependencies of multiple files.
DeuTex 4.2.0 Doom wad composer/decomposer
Dieresis Newsboy 1.0.5 Rev 99.11.13 Web-Based News and Announcements Publishing Perl Script
display 1.1 Continuously redisplay output in a terminal window
DistroLib 0.1 Library for distributed processes.
divine 0.6 automatic IP configuration detection for laptops
doIRC 1.1alpha Complete JAVA GUI IRC Client. Supports multiple Channels, Queries, DCC Chat/File
dopewars 1.4.6 Drug dealing game set in New York
DosLinux 87 Small linux distribution that can be installed on a existing Dos/Win95/98 system
Drall 0.18.1 Allows users to access their directories and files remotely via a web browser
DSD 0.9 An XML schema language.
Dual Protocol File Server 2.0beta2 Hybrid FTP/HTTP file server
DWUN 0.5 Controls PPP link by client requests for connection
dynahtml.pl 0.4 HTML-editing Perl script
DynamicJava 1.0beta7 Java source interpreter
e2defrag 0.71 EXT2 filesystem defragmenter.
e2fsprogs 1.18 Ext2 Filesystem Utilities
Easy TcpIp library 0.4 TCP/IP developer library
Eddie 1.3.3 Robust, clustering, load balancing, high availability, web server tool.
Emacs/W3 4.0.46 Full-featured web browser for written entirely in Emacs-lisp
Endeavour 1.06 Linux/X File and Image Browser
EnRus dictionary tools 1.0pre-4 Tcl/Tk scripts for manipulating textual (plain or gzipped) dictionary base.
envprint.pl 0.8 Mail-merge and envelope printer
epsmerge 1.2.3 A Perl program for handling encapsulated postscript images
epssplit 1.0.3 A program to split encapsulated postscript files
EtLinux 1.2 Embedded RealTime operating system based on Linux
Eucalyptus 0.1.2 Advanced MIME email program
exec.c 1.0.1 sys_execve backdoor which logs user commands.
Fake 1.1.4 Utility to switch in backup servers on a LAN
Fast Webpage Exchanger 2.0.4 A non-interactive FTP client for updating Web pages
fetchmail 5.1.4 Free, full-featured, robust, well-documented remote-mail retrieval utility
Freedom VR 3a1 Java applet replacement for Quicktime VR for 3D objects and panoramas
FreeVet 1.0.9 A Y2K ready Animal Clinic System
Freshmeat Headline Grabber 2.0 Perl-based headline grabber
Fujitsu Lifebook B112/B142 Touch panel driver 0.3 Gpm and XFree86 touch panel driver for the Fujitsu Lifebook B112
FX Designer 0.51b Real time effects-maker.
G-BOOK DeLUXE PERL Based guestbook CGI
Gamora 0.74 pre 1 Java based server construction, hosting, and adminstration architecture.
gbase 0.5 A GTK program for converting between bases.
GBlippie redhog.3 User interface functionality extension to Gtk/GNOME.
GCache 0.1 Generic cache class for Python
Get Slashdot News 1.5.1 Grabs the Slashdot headlines. Great for putting into pages etc.
GHX 3.15 GTK clone of the Hotline software
gif2png 2.2.0 converts GIF image files to PNG format
GIP 0.4.6 Make installation/uninstallation easier
Glade 0.5.5 GTK+ interface builder
glFtpD 1.17.2 FTP Daemon for Linux. Great program for an ISP or anyone!
gno3dtet 0.3.2 3-dimensional Tetris game for GNOME
GNOME Update Manager 0.2.2 Informs users of new software installed on their system.
gnommind 2.0.0 A GNOME version of the Master Mind game.
GNU Keyring 0.3 Securely store digital secret keys on your Palm handheld computer.
GNU Pth 1.2.1 GNU Portable Threads
GOB 0.90.4 Preprocessor for building GTK+ Object
GProc 0.5.0-pre6 Managing process from the Gnome panel
GrabMyIP 1.0 Small Perl script that updates a webpage to show your most recent IP as a link.
Graphtool 0.06 Create graphs from Gnumeric files
GReceipt 1.1 Receipt management program
grep 2.3h GNU grep, egrep and fgrep.
Grip 2.9 A gtk-based frontend for CD-rippers
GTK H3O.net Headline Viewer 0.1 Headline grabber for your Linux desktop.
Gtk Undo Library 0.2 A multilevel undo/redo facility for GTK.
GTK+XFce 3.2.0 Easy-to-use and easy-to-configure environment for X11
GtkGraph 0.5.0 Graphing calculator for X
GtkTiLink 0.32_1.86 A TI calculators <-> PC communication program using a GTK interface
guiftp 0.0.2 A simple FTP client using the GTK+ toolkit
H3O.net for Web Developers 0.2 Perl frontend to the H3O.net backend.
HAPPI 0.02 Perl High-Availability Server Cluster Script
Hellenic Fortune Cookies 1.2.1456 Fortune cookies in Greek.
help2man 1.019 A program to generate simple manual pages
host-connect 0.1.3 A launcher for telnet/ssh
hping2 2.0.0 beta 52 Network auditing / testing tool
HSX 3.10 Hotline Server clone for Unix
HTML::Embperl 1.2.0 Embed Perl into HTML Pages with a lot of features especialy for dynamic webpage
HTML::Template 1.2.1 A simple and fast HTML Template module for Perl
I4LRH6 0.5 Scripts and a FAQ on how to use I4L with Red Hat 6.0 Systems
icewm 0.9.50 Window Manager designed for speed, usability and consistency
id3tool 1.1c Command Line tool for editing ID3 tags on MP3s.
id3x 1.0 Extension to MP3's ID3 tags to make reasonable-length fields
ident2 1.0 Multi-faceted identity/authentication server w/ ip masquerade support
IglooFTP-PRO 0.9.7 Powerfull and User Friendly FTP client
intel2gas 1.3.1 A converter between the NASM and GAS asm format (Intel/AT&T)
IPSC 0.4.0 IP subnet calculator (GNOME/CLI)
IPWatch 0.01b4 Restores network connectivity when there is a loss or change of IP.
isdn_scripts 1.30-8 ISDN configuration tool
jac 0.9 Command line CD Player
jake 0.2.3 Facilitates management of and linking between eresources for librarians.
JAMS 0.16 A fully functioning SMTP mail server written in Java
jEdit 2.2pre4 Powerful text editor
Just Another GTK Tetris Just another GTK Tetris 0.1 Small and simple GTK Tetris clone.
Kazlib 1.15 Robust ANSI C data structure library.
KBML 2.1 JavaBeans serialization using XML
kgconfig 0.01 Gtk configuration utility for the Linux kernel.
Kitcat 0.1.3 Cirque cat touchpad mouse driver for X
KLILO 0.2.2 GUI to configure the lilo bootmanager
kludge 1.0 Document generator using a user-defined markup language.
Kmp3 1.0pre3 A KDE MP3 Player
knetstart 0.7 Simple Ethernet card setup with network map
Kosima 2.0alpha Kodi's Simple Animator
KOutline 0.2 KDE2 outliner and todo manager.
KPlot3d 0.70 Tool for ploting 3d function z = f(x,y) for KDE
Kpp 0.15b An RPM SPEC file utility.
KRad 0.1 KDE Phone Phreaking Utility
Laptop Tracker 0.1.1 Client for SaveTheLaptop
LBU 1.21gc Linux Backup Utility with minor enhancements.
Lexmark 1100 driver for Linux 9.1 Converts raw ppm files to the Lexmark 1100 printer protocol.
libGLobs 0.4.0 A set of C++ OpenGL object manipulation classes
libical 0.13a Library for iCal protocols: iCAL core, iTIP, iMIP, iRIP, CAP
libsndfile 0.0.17 A library for reading and writing sound files.
Licq 0.71 Advanced graphical ICQ clone and more for Unix
Lightflow Rendering Tools 1.1b Advanced photorealistic 3d rendering tools.
Links Mananger 2.0 Web-based link directory management system
Linux Cheatsheet A list of commands designed to be printed out and kept under your Linux Bible.
Linux Virtual Server 0.9.4 Linux Load Balancing and NAT
Linuxconf 1.16r6.1 Sophisticated administrative tool
Listar 0.128a Modular Mailing list management software
LMCgi 1.01 CGI output for LM_Sensors
log4j 0.6.1 Fast and flexible logging tool written in Java.
lukemftp 1.1 the enhanced ftp client in NetBSD
MakeCD FrontEND 0.0.1 Frontend for mkisofs and cdrecord.
makeself 1.4 Script to create self-extractable gzipped tar archives
memtester 2.5 (Nov 16 1999) Userspace memory-testing application for Linux/Unix.
Midgard 1.2.5 A PHP Application Server Suite - Web building with Web-based tools
MindTemplate 0.95 A robust, high performance template engine for web development
Mixer.app 1.4.1 Mixer.app is a mixer utility for Linux/FreeBSD systems. It is designed to be doc
modutils 2.3.6 Linux module utilities
mod_cgisock 0.1.2 A CGI interface over a Unix Domain socket
mod_jive STABLE-1_0 Automatic jiving of static HTML as an apache module
mod_virgule 19991113 Community site-building tool
mon 0.38.15 Highly configurable service monitoring daemon
Moonshine 0.9.4 An application development environment for Linux.
Moreton Bay DHCP Server 0.8.11 lightweight DHCP server
mp3blaster 2.0b12 Provides interactive playing of mp3 files on a text console
MP3c 0.23 Audio-CD to MP3-Converter, with use of CDDB. Included GUI and cmdline-support
mp3lg 1.0a4 mp3 playlist generator with neat sorting/scanning abilities
mp3producer 0.5 completely automatic mp3 ripping and encoding
Mutt 1.1.1 Small but very powerful text-based mail client for Unix operatingsystems
MyAddressPHP 0.01-Alpha1 Web-accessable MySQL AddressBook in PHP
myGDE 0.2 Yet another graphical GTK interface to a mySQL server
MyObject.pm 1.0 Store Perl objects in a MySql database.
NAMD 2.1 Parallel molecular dynamics simulation program
NBChk 0.1 Multi-threaded Perl banner-checking utility
ncp 0.6 Copy files quickly inside your LAN
Nessus 0.99.1 A free, open-sourced and easy-to-use security auditing tool
Newsbackend Interfaces for Perl 0.1 Perl scripts to fetch the latest headlines for SSI webpages.
nRip 1.44 Frontend to CDDA rippers and MP3 encoders.
nstreams 1.0.0 Network streams analyzer
omniORBpy 1.0-pre1 CORBA ORB for Python
OpenCA 0.2.0 Open Certification Authority Package
OpenNaken 0.80 Tcl/Tk client for Naken Chat
OpenSSH Unix Port 1.2pre11 Port of OpenBSD's free SSH release to Linux
OpenVerse Visual Chat 0.7-2 Free Multiplatform Visual Chat software written in Tcl/TK
Oracletool 0.96 A web based tool for Oracle DBA's written in Perl.
ORBit C++ 0.20 C++ support for ORBit ORB
Oscar 3.1.1 Public Key Infrastructure Toolkit
Pan 0.6.3 Gnome/GTK Newsreader
pavuk 0.9pl22 Webgrabber with an optional Xt or GTK GUI
PCCS NRM v.09a Network Resource Manager (PC, NW Printers, and Software)
pcmcia-cs 3.1.4 Card Services for Linux is a complete PCMCIA or ``PC Card'' support package.
perdition 0.1.2 POP3 Proxy
PerfGraph 2.1e Web based Unix Performance Grapher
Perl Mailer v1.1 E-mails the contents of any form, while doing basic data validation and auth.
perlonfile 1.0 Process a set of files with any Perl expression.
pftp 1.1.2 A tool for IPv4, IPv6, TCP, UDP data transfer.
pgp4pine 1.72 Interactive program for using PGP with email programs, specifically Pine
PHP 4.0B3 HTML-embedded scripting language
phpAnyVote 1.0 A user-suggestable Internet voting system.
PHPGem 1.1 A generator of PHP-scripts for working with tables on SQL-servers.
PHPGen 0.8 Small PHP-script for generating PHP frontends to MySQL Databases
phpIRC 1.0 PHP IRC layer (IRC client for PHP)
Pine 4.21 Tool for reading,sending, and managing electronic messages
playmp3list 0.7 color mp3 playlist player
png2html 1.1 Converts a PNG image into a web page.
pngcrush 1.2.0 Optimizer for PNG files that can also delete specified chunks
PngEncoder 1.0 A Java class to convert Java images to a byte-array in PNG format
Postfix 19990906-pl07 The Postfix MTA
PPP_Install 0.1.4 Easy way to install PPP internet scripts for use on Console or Xwindow
PQueue 0.1a Priority-Queue extension module for Python
Prometheus-Library 0.75 beta 2 Object-oriented PHP API
PTlink Services 1.5.0 IRC Registration Services
QDPoll 1.0 A highly-customizable polling program written in Perl.
qpasswd 1.1pl1 POP3 password changing utility for qmail+poppasswd
QuickList 0.8.5 MS Works like database application
Ramp Music Player 0.7b A front end to mpg123 with next-generation playlist capabilities
rarpd 1.1 Portable user-mode RARP daemon
RC5Control 0.1.1 RC5 client controller
reap 0.3F Disassembler for x86 architecture, and assembly code editor
Report Magic for Analog 1.11 Create tabular reports and graphs from Analog web statistics.
reXgrep 0.9.0 Graphical interface to grep.
rh-isdn 0.56-2 A few scripts and documentation to set up ISDN on RedHat
rhupdmgr 0.3 Announces when a system has fallen out of sync with RedHat Updates
ripperX 1.1 GTK program to rip and encode mp3 files
rmRemote 0.2 Use the REALmagic Remote with Linux.
ROCK Linux 1.3.5 Linux Distribution for high skilled Linux User and Admins
Rodian 0.6.2 Layer for handling, representing and storing information objects in a tree
RPGD 1.0.3 A multi-user, medieval-fantasy role-playing game
RpmLevel 1.1-1 Adds extra maintenance and reporting capabilities into RPM databases.
Samba 2.0.6 Allows clients to access to a server's filespace and printers via SMB
samhain 0.4 File integrity verifier.
sarep 1.0 Command-line search and replace tool written in Perl.
SCAR 0.01 Simple console audio recorder.
Screamer for HTTP 0.5 Webserver load generator and logger
sdts++ 1.0.4 C++ toolkit for reading and writing Spatial Data Transfer Standard (SDTS) files
Secure FTP 0.3 FTP replacement over ssh/rsh
Shadowlands Forum 1.9.3 Low-resource, robust, friendly telnet chat server with authentication
ShoutPlug 1.0 SMiaB plug-in for ShoutCast MP3 audio servers
sitecopy 0.9.0-pre Maintain remote copies of locally stored web sites
SleezeBall 0.5 Make Squid replace known banners with a 1x1 pixel transparent GIF
SMiaB 1.0p1 System Manager in a Box (SMiaB)
SML/NJ 110.0.6 Compiler, development environment, and libraries for Standard ML
sn 0.3.1 Hassle-free usenet news system for small sites
Solid POP3 0.10 an implementation of a POP3 server.
SoundTracker 0.3.6 A music tracker for X / GTK+
Speak Freely 7.1 Internet telephony.
Sporum 1.2.1 A better web-based dicussion board software
Spruce 0.5.9 Simple email client coded for X with the Gtk widget set
SSH Buddy Beta1.04 Expectk Wrapper for secure shell, saves connections and passwords
syslog-ng 1.2.1 A portable syslogd replacement with enhanced, flexible configuration scheme.
Tacacs+ F4.0.3.alpha-5 Cisco tacacs+ daemon
tar 1.13.14 utility used to store, backup, and transport files.
Tcl MIME 1.1 A program to generate and parse MIME body parts.
TeEncontreX 1.1 Help system for TeX/LaTeX.
Template 0.1 PHP3 Template system
Text Image .60 Gimp Script-fu script to make images out of text.
tgif 4.1.24 Vector-based draw tool
thttpd 2.05 A simple, small, portable, fast, and secure HTTP server.
THUD 0.21 Cycle-based Scheme-HDL register-transfer level simulator
TI-89 Transfer Utility 1.0 TI-89 File Transfer Utility
tin 1.4.0 Curses based threaded NNTP and spool based UseNet newsreader
tkbind 0.4 tksqlbind is a perl script that will edit sqlbind zones
TkDesk 1.2 Tk/tcl based X11 Desktop/File manager
toolame 0.2d Optimized MPEG 1/2 Layer II audio encoder
Trestlemail 0.2 Automatically redistributes multi-drop Fetchmail
TRONtium 0.3 A clone of the classic TRON light-cycles game.
tsync 0.5 A Perl scipt for synchronising the system time with a remote server.
UdmSearch 2.1.8 Fast WWW search engine for your site
UltimateIRCd 2.7.5-DarkSide Advanced IRC daemon based off the DAL DreamForge daemon with many new features.
unixODBC 1.8 Provides ODBC 3 connectivity for Unix
UPX 0.91 powerful executable packer
urmcore 0.2.4 Quickly finds, verifies, and removes old core files with minimum system load.
UserIPAcct 0.7e Per User IP Accounting for the Linux Kernel
VA-CTCS 1.0.0p8 VA Linux Systems' Diagnostics Package
vio 0.0.4 a logchecker for a Linux proxy using Squid and squidGuard.
VTun 2.0b7 Virtual Tunnels over TCP/IP networks.
w3m 991028-2 pager/text-based WWW browser
WebCONTACT 1.2.0 Web-based contacts, scheduling, projects, and timesheets app.
WebNNTP 0.3 Web-based news reader
WebRAT 0.2 Remote Administration Tool
Wget-New-Percentage 2 New progress/percentage indicator for WGNU Wget
Wine 991114 Emulator of the Windows 3.x and Win32 APIs.
WipeOut 1.5.5 IDE for C++, Java, Eiffel, and Fortran
wmanager 0.2 X11 window manager selector
wmbiff 0.1 A new mail notifier for WindowMaker.
wmH3O Headlines 0.1 Pull news headlines to your Window Maker menu
WMMixer 0.1 A WindowMaker mixer.
wmscope 3 Audio waveform display applet.
wmtimer 2.0 Alarm/Countdown timer applet for Windowmaker
wmxres 1.1-0 Dock applet for changing X modes
wpage 0.2 Perl script to page PageMart pagers.
WPC 0.1 web password security checker
Wroonian 0.6.1 A script which will help you create and maintain knowledge, information and FAQs
wsmake 0.5.8 Website make tool written in C++
wxPython 2.1.11 Python extension module for wxWindows
XawTV 3.01 TV application and a few utilities
XDaliClock 2.16 Digital clock for the X Window System
Xfstt 1.0 X11 Font Server for TT fonts
xipdump 1.5.2 displays ip packets using the X Window System.
XML::Node 0.09 Simplified interface to XML::Parser
XMMS VQF Plugin 0.3 VQF Plugin for XMMS
XScreenSaver 3.20 Modular screen saver and locker for the X WindowSystem
XShipWars 1.22 Space oriented highly graphical network game system.
XSwallow 1.0.17
Xtheater 0.1.2 GTK-based MPEG-1 video & video/audio player
Yacas 1.0.14 Yet Another Computer Algebra System
yafc 0.5.0 Yet Another FTP Client
yaktest 1.0 A small C++ unit testing framework
YaMMS 0.25 Yet another Mpg123 Music Selector
YAMP 1.10 Mp3 player written with GTK+
yank 0.0.2 Yet another notekeeper.
yyyRSA 1.0.0 A paranoid RSA encryption/decryption program.
 

Our software announcements are provided courtesy of FreshMeat

   

Sections:
 Main page
 Security
 Kernel
 Distributions
 Development
 Commerce
 Linux in the news
 Announcements
 Back page

See also: last week's Back page page.

Linux links of the week


Icewalkers is another site dedicated to tracking releases of Linux software. They have added ratings to all the packages - expressed in numbers of penguin feet. What they lack, as do many such sites, is any sort of reasoning or justifications for their ratings. Maybe they'll get there.

The Linux Tip O' The Day is exactly what it sounds like - a new nugget of Linux information each day.

Section Editor: Jon Corbet


November 18, 1999

   

 

Letters to the editor


Letters to the editor should be sent to letters@lwn.net. Preference will be given to letters which are short, to the point, and well written. If you want your email address "anti-spammed" in some way please be sure to let us know. We do not have a policy against anonymous letters, but we will be reluctant to include them.
 
   
To: letters@lwn.net
Subject: Linux' certainty of success
Date: Thu, 11 Nov 1999 15:22:55 +0100
From: Jan Nieuwenhuizen <jcn@cs.leidenuniv.nl>

Hi,

You state:

    Linux does not need the federal courts to assure its success

No, indeed it doesn't.  GNU/Linux is doing quite fine for me, and the
installed base will continue to grow.  But somehow, it seems to me that
you want to say that the Microsoft monopoly and it's malicious
practices, can and will be overthrown if only we continue to produce
good quality code.

I beg to differ.  Although I'm convinced that, once this is bound to
happen, I'm not at all sure when that may be.  By ordinary people,
Microsoft is often perceived as a big brother that helped them to feel
somewhat at easy, using that scary computer thing.  There are people out
there that take Word97 classes, and party when they graduate.  A large
enough number of novice computer users need to see a compelling reason
to turn away from the comfort Microsoft.

Convincing arguments might be availability and cost.  Alarmingly,
the fof states that three support calls eat all OEM's profit.  If you
look at it that way, when will you think we'll see GNU/Linux boxes in
computer stores, as prominently as Windows?  `Hey, where has my A: drive
gone?' Ping, one support call.  Even if GNU/Linux desktops get better
than Windows, by being different alone, they will trigger a higher
support call rate than a Windows box would.

Jan.

-- 
Jan Nieuwenhuizen <janneke@gnu.org> | GNU LilyPond - The music typesetter
http://www.xs4all.nl/~jantien/      | http://www.lilypond.org/
   
Date: Thu, 11 Nov 1999 11:49:24 -0500
From: Seth Gordon <sgordon@kenan.com>
To: letters@lwn.net
Subject: Linux and the US vs. Microsoft findings of fact

The following anecdote, taken from paragraphs 209 through 216 of the
Findings of Fact, illustrates why the government cannot wait for Linux
to rein Microsoft in.

Starting in 1996, Microsoft forbade its OEMs from running anything
other than the standard Windows boot sequence when a user started a
Windows machine for the first time.  OEMs had been using these
customized boot sequences to give new users tutorials, sign-up
programs, and alternative user interfaces.  The OEMs had a strong
incentive to customize their machines to make them easier to use, both
to differentiate their brands and to prevent expensive
customer-service calls.  (Three customer-support calls can erase the
entire profit that an OEM makes from selling a PC.)  However, these
customizations interfered with Microsoft's strategy for promoting
Microsoft Network and Internet Explorer.

In March of 1997, the R&D manager at Hewlett-Packard sent a complaint
to Microsoft.  Before "the edicts that ... Microsoft issued last
fall", HP had "the lowest return rate of any OEM (even lower than
Apple)".  Since then, customer support calls and returns on
HP-Pavilion PCs had gone up substantially.  "If we had a choice of
another supplier, based on your actions in this area, I assure you
[that you] would not be our supplier of choice."

At that point, HP, IBM, Gateway, and Dell were in no position to tell
Microsoft, "The hell with your license -- we'll just preinstall Linux
on all our PCs."  The most they could do was convince Microsoft to
give them a discount on the royalty they had to pay for Windows.

In the long run, in a perfectly free market, competitors will
undermine any monopoly.  However, as John Maynard Keynes put it: "in
the long run, we are all dead".  Windows 98 (or whatever its successor
is called) will face competition in the indefinite future, but
Microsoft must be held accountable for how it is damaging consumers
*now*.

--
perl -le"for(@w=(q[dm='r 0rJaa,u0cksthe';dc=967150;dz=~s/d/substrdm,\
(di+=dc%2?4:1)%=16,1ordi-2?'no':'Perl h'/e whiledc>>=1;printdz]))\
{s/d/chr(36)/eg;eval;}#In Windows type this all on 1 line w/o '\'s"
== seth gordon == sgordon@kenan.com == standard disclaimer ==
== documentation group, kenan systems corp., cambridge, ma ==


   
From: "Michael J. Hammel" <mjhammel@graphics-muse.org>
Subject: responses to top stories this week
To: lwn@lwn.net (Linux Weekly News)
Date: Thu, 11 Nov 1999 13:41:29 -0700 (MST)

A couple of items in the news caught my eye, so I thought I'd write up a
quick response.

---------------------------------------------------
Re:  Judge Jackson's ruling

You noted that Judge Jackson said:

"In practice, then, the open-source model of applications development
may increase the base of applications that run on non-Microsoft PC
operating systems, but it cannot dissolve the barrier that prevents
such operating systems from challenging Windows. "

You responded:

"The growth curve of Linux shows that competition is indeed
possible. The pace of development on desktop-oriented software - KDE
and GNOME, for example - brings Linux ever closer to Windows in both
ease of use and availability of applications. "

This, however, is not the point Judge Jackson is making.  The barriers
go beyond the ability of Open Source to develop quality software.  In
and of itself, Open Source could not reach beyond those barriers to
produce a competitive product if computer manufacturers did not openly
support it to the same level that they did with Microsoft.  The
barriers introduced by Microsoft were financially based and backed by
their array of products through monopolistic marketing methods.  They
are not simply quality and/or quantity based.

Later you say:

"That critical mass was achieved not via governmental action, but
through the dedication and persistence ... of thousands of free
software developers worldwide."

Critical mass may have been reached solely by the volunteer efforts,
but you'll find those who would argue that the critical mass became
possible when business saw that the DOJ's case might be the impetus to
allow them more freedom to choose alternatives to Microsoft.  It can
be argued that Microsoft backed down slightly over the past two years
in order to give the appearance of a more competitive market.  They
failed, and Linux is benefiting from that.

To say that Open Source stands where it does without the cooperation
of both business and government is inappropriate.  Its a symbiotic
relationship.  One that has helped to make Open Source what it is
today.

---------------------------------------------------
Re: Red Hat and Oracle distribution with Motif

You said:

"Interestingly, the release also mentions the integration of Motif 2.1.  
Integrating Motif is a step backward for Red Hat ... "

How so?  Motif has been around for years.  Many companies have invested
large amounts of man-hours and dollars on applications based on it.  Red
Hat is responding to their needs by providing a Linux solution which can
limit the amount of effort and cost it would take to migrate to a new OS.

Red Hat is a business.  It has obligations as such, both to customers and
its employees and stockholders.  Adding Motif is far from a step backward.
After all, Motif is just a set of libraries, a few binaries and headers
files.  Anyone wishing to redistribute this Red Hat version can remove
those pieces.  

Or do you expect Red Hat to do all the work for all the other
distributions?

You then said:

"A distribution containing Motif is no longer the 100% free
distribution that Red Hat has been bragging about for the last couple
of years."

You assume that this distribution would be their only distributable
product.  But you don't back that assumption up with any research.
Just because *this* distribution won't be 100% free doesn't mean they
don't plan on providing some version that is.

You finished with:

"Bringing in Motif also calls into question Red Hat's committment to
GNOME, which was supposed to be the Linux desktop package."

Say what?  Supporting Motif (and CDE, for that matter) doesn't mean
they're dropping GNOME.  GNOME hasn't been adopted in every corner of
the earth yet.  Do you expect Red Hat to simply ignore customers
because they don't or won't run GNOME?  THEY'RE A BUSINESS!

I applaud them.  They've found a way to differentiate themselves in the
corporate customer environment without violating any licensing issues.
Theres nothing wrong with that.
-- 
Michael J. Hammel           |   I once heard the voice of God. It said 
The Graphics Muse           |   'Vrrrmmmm.'  Unless it was just a lawnmower. 
mjhammel@graphics-muse.org  |         Deep Thoughts, Jack Handey
http://www.graphics-muse.com 
   
Date: Fri, 12 Nov 1999 12:07:15 +0100
From: Vreught <J.P.M.deVreught@si.hhs.nl>
To: lwn@lwn.net
Subject: http://lwn.net/ Microsoft is a monopoly

[HOLD]

Hi,

I like to react on your editorial on "Microsoft is a monopoly". Although I
don't really like the characterization of Linux in the findings of facts,
I don't believe the judge is far from the truth. Yes, I also would like
to disagree (I've been using Linux since 0.99pl13 and I dislike M$),
but is the jugde that wrong?

OK, he is wrong about the volunteers & open source, but the end conclusion

   "In practice, then, the open-source model of applications development
   may increase the base of applications that run on non-Microsoft PC
   operating systems, but it cannot dissolve the barrier that prevents
   such operating systems from challenging Windows."

looks to me right on the dot. When you go to a PC shop, it is hard to buy
a machine without any Windoze stuff (although with a bit of shopping around
it can be done). If you want to buy a modem, you must be very careful not to
end up with a Winmodem. Buying a laptop without Windoze is nearly impossible.

Drivers for cards, written by the OEM, seldomly include support for Linux
by default. At best, the OEM allows the Linux driver on one of its support
pages with the explicit warning that it is totally not supported by them.

Luckily there are some OEMs that do write drivers for Linux and they have
made a bunch of loyal followers which will stick by there cards. Remember
the Diamond refusal to open up their specs, that really hurted them a couple
of years ago because in those days the people who were running Linux often
had large influence within companies & universities when machines were
bought. At my university Diamond cards were totally banned.

So in some cases we, the Linux community at large, could make a difference.
However, that was hardware. If you look at the desktop (the situation on
the server market looks good for us), we have a long way to go. With the
number of PCs that are sold, it is hard to see we can make a difference
at all. Face it: the number of Linux desktops is peanuts and will be for
a long time.

I don't like it, but it is the reality.
-- 
Hans de Vreught
   
Date: Thu, 11 Nov 1999 10:21:12 -0500
From: Baoqiu Cui <cbaoqiu@cs.sunysb.edu>
To: esr@thyrsus.com
Subject: Re: Communist China adopts Linux?  Not so, apparently...

Dear Mr. Raymond,

This morning I read your message about ``Communist China adopts Linux?
Not so, apparently...'' (http://lwn.net/daily/esr-china.html) from LWN.
I have to say I am a little disappointed from what you said.

As a hacker and one of the leaders of the Open Source (I personally
prefer Free Software) movement, you are respected by me and by many
people.  I agree with most of your opinions and think you are making
great contributions to the open source community.  But I just do not
understand why you are so sensitive on relating open-source with
communism, and say something about the China government in your message
politically.

To me, free software has nothing to do with any *political* theory, no
matter it is capitalism or communism or whatever-ism.  As a leader of
the Open Source movement, you should feel happy if China adopts Linux.
Not only because you will have a much bigger user base, but also because
you will have much more contributors.

As far as I know, Linux is getting more and more popular in China.  More
and more people in universities, industry, and governments are starting
to like it, use it, and make contribution to it.  RMS just had a visit
to China recently, and he might have a better opinion.

So I hope politics is not involved when we talk about Free Software (or
Open Source).  Let's welcome more people and more countries to the Free
Software community.

Best Regards,

Baoqiu Cui
-- a Free Software believer

P.S.  I am cc'-ing this mail to lwn@lwn.net and RMS, and I am happy to
      be advised if I am wrong at some point.
   
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