[LWN Logo]

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

 Main page
 Linux in the news
 Back page

Other stuff:
Daily Updates
Linux Stocks Page
Book reviews
Penguin Gallery

Contact us
Use LWN headlines

Recent features:
- GnuCash
- SEUL/edu
- Windowing patent
- Corel Linux Beta
- Microsoft's Linux Myths
- The Solaris Trap
- Web 100
- Donnie Barnes Interview
- GaŽl Duval interview
- LinuxWorld
- Touchphone
- Linux Expo Paris
- Red Hat's IPO filing
- Eric Raymond interview
- Linux Expo '99
Review: Red Hat 6.0
- BitKeeper - not quite open source
- Alan Cox interview
- 1998 Timeline

Here is the permanent site for this page.

Leading items and editorials

The Art of Unix Programming is a new project recently announced by Eric Raymond. The Art of Unix Programming is a book which will "explain the Zenlike 'special transmission, outside the scriptures' that distinguishes Unix gurus from ordinary mortals." Eric is seeking to write this book in a highly peer-reviewed manner; each chapter will go up separately and Eric will accept comments before putting up the next.

At this point, the table of contents and first chapter are available. The impression gained from these pieces is that Eric is seeking to distill the programming principles that have made Unix into the longest-lived and most widely ported operating system in history. These principles are to be combined with some relatively modern views of programming ("use interpreted languages") to make a sort of design handbook for the next round of cool applications.

Those of you lucky enough to have Kernighan and Plauger's The Elements of Programming Style can imagine that Eric's book will be something similar, but presumably (hopefully) without the Fortran code.

Eric's summary of "the basics of Unix philosophy" is:

  • Write small pieces connected by clean interfaces.
  • Design programs to communicate easily with other programs.
  • Robustness is the child of transparency and simplicity.
  • Design for simplicity; add complexity only where you must.
  • Design for transparency; spend effort early to save effort later.
  • In interface design, obey the Rule of Least Surprise.
  • Programmer time is expensive; conserve it in preference to machine time.
  • Avoid hand-hacking; write programs to write programs when you can.
  • Use smart data so program logic can be stupid and robust.
  • Prototype, then polish. Get it working before you optimize it.
  • Distrust all claims for ``one true way''.
This is all seemingly straightforward stuff, but in the real world these ideas are often overlooked. (One of your editor's pet peeves: judge an unwieldy application like StarOffice against these criteria and weep).

The introduction promises to use a bunch of case studies in future chapters to illustrate How Things Are Done; they include the Gimp, Mutt, Fetchmail (of course), RPM, and others.

This looks to be an interesting project. Even those that disagree with Eric must credit his ability to describe this community to the world as a whole. Let's give Eric the feedback he's looking for, and keep him honest. The result should certainly be worth reading.

Linux 2.4 to go up against Windows 2000? Linus Torvalds' announcement that a pre-2.4 code freeze is coming soon couldn't help but spark speculation that the 2.4 kernel would be released at about the same time as Windows 2000, which is supposed to come out on February 17, 2000. To see how far this speculation can go, consider this article in VNUNet.com. One quick quote gives a lot of food for thought:

Colin Tenwick, vice president and general manager European operations for Red Hat, confirmed that the kernel would be released formally to the Linux community the same time as Windows 2000.

One question comes immediately to mind: what does Mr. Tenwick know that puts him in a position to "confirm" the shipping date of the 2.4 kernel? Linus has certainly not committed to any such plans. Best, however, to give Mr. Tenwick the benefit of the doubt and assume that the press misrepresented him.

But building any sort of expectation that the 2.4 kernel will come out when W2K does is a big mistake, for a number of reasons. First and foremost is that Linux development has never been fond of deadlines in general, and certainly is not driven by the release plans of large vendors of proprietary software. That will not be changed just because a big commercial operating system release is due.

This sort of expectation also sets Linux up for some bad press. There is - at least in your editor's mind - a large chance that the 2.4 kernel will not be released by February 17. The code freeze has not yet happened, and there is a lot of work still to be folded into the 2.3 kernel. Testing and bug fixing comes thereafter, and can not be hurried. If the world somehow comes to see February 17 as the 2.4 deadline, there will be a lot of negative press when said deadline is "missed."

It's also worthwhile to bear in mind that, even if 2.4 came out tomorrow, the mainstream distributions would not be shipping that kernel for some time. Integrating a new kernel into a distribution - and making sure that everything works - is a big effort. One can say with great confidence that, when W2K ships, there will be no available Linux distribution with the 2.4 kernel.

And that is not a problem in any way. Linux software "ships" when it is ready, not before. As a result, it (usually) actually works and is useful when it arrives.

The 1999 LWN Linux Timeline is out. In the spirit of last year's popular 1998 Timeline, LWN is proud to present version 0.8 of our 1999 Linux Timeline. Have a look, and be amazed at all that has happened in the Linux world over the last year.

Why version 0.8? Because there is no way we can possibly pull together this much stuff and get it right on the first try. We're looking for feedback on the things we left out. In particular, we would like to document more major releases by free software projects. There will be an intermediate release, with version 1.0 happening shortly after the end of the year.

Free software to be obligatory for the Brazilian government? Here is the text of a proposed Brazilian law (in Portuguese) which would make the use of free software obligatory for the Brazilian government. English text may be had via babelfish, but the combination of Babelfish and legalese is a little rough... (Thanks to Cesar A. K. Grossmann).

Boycotting Amazon.com. Richard Stallman has called for a boycott against Amazon.com. Amazon, it seems, is trying to use its patent for "one click ordering" against competitor Barnes & Noble. LWN agrees that the exercise of software patents to restrict what others can program is wrong. One hopes that Amazon gets the message.

In fact, a message may well get through, though not quite the one RMS is after. Consumers in general don't really understand software patents, but they understand well the idea that "Amazon wants to make us click a lot of times." If a boycott is successful, it will be because of the convenience issue. In that case, the the immediate goal (reining in Amazon's behavior) may be achieved, but the lesson on patents may be lost. A broader, successful boycott campaign should seek to tie the two issues together.

LWN, like an unbelievable number of other sites, is a member of Amazon's affiliate program. We have never pushed books too hard on our readers, but it is possible to get through to Amazon via our book reviews page. We have communicated to Amazon that its behavior is likely to bring about our withdrawal from the affiliate program, and we are working on alternatives. LWN supports the boycott, and will act accordingly.

Inside this week's Linux Weekly News:

  • Security: New US cryptography regulations up for comment.
  • Kernel: 2.4 kernel pool, 32-bit UIDs, PCMCIA, threads.
  • Distributions: Linux-Mandrake 7.0 beta, Empire Linux, more lists of distributions.
  • Development: Apache optimization patches, Real Time Linux Workshop, Linux Knowledge Base.
  • Commerce: Microsoft tells us how to remove Linux, Corel's ups and downs
  • Back page: Linux links of the week, letters to the editor.
...plus the usual array of reports, updates, and announcements.

This Week's LWN was brought to you by:

December 23, 1999


 Main page
 Linux in the news
 Back page

See also: last week's Security page.


News and editorials

Upcoming cryptography regulation updates. A draft of yet another set of export regulations for cryptography drew quite a bit of attention this week. The December issue of Bruce Schneier's Crypto-Gram, always a good source for current concerns involving cryptography, reviewed the draft and provided some comments and criticism.

Draft II was then published on December 17th. It includes these paragraphs on software not to be subject to the export regulations:

e) Unrestricted Encryption Source Code

(1) Encryption source code controlled under 5D002 which would be considered publicly available under Section 734.3(b)(3) and which is not subject to an express agreement for the payment of a licensing fee or royalty for further commercial production or sale of any product developed with the source code is released from EI controls and may be exported or re-exported without review under License Exception TSU, provided you have submitted written notification to BXA of the Internet address (e.g. URL) or a copy of the source code by the time of export. Submit the notification to BXA and send a copy to ENC Encryption Request Coordinator (see Section 740.17(g)(5) for mailing addresses).

(2) You may not knowingly export or re-export source code or products developed with this source code to Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan or Syria.

(3) Posting of the source code on the Internet (e.g., FTP or World Wide Web site) where the source code may be downloaded by anyone would not establish "knowledge" as described in subparagraph (2) of this section. In addition, such posting would not trigger "red flags" necessitating the affirmative duty to inquire under the "Know Your Customer" guidance provided in Supplement No. 3 to Part 732.

John Gilmore, of the Center for Democracy and Technology, posted a note to a couple of mailing lists encouraging developers of free software cryptography projects to review the regulations and consider how it would impact their work. Comments should be sent to Jim Lewis at the Bureau of Export Administration. Overall, the paragraphs above appear to be a good step in the right direction and are somewhat reminiscent of similar paragraphs in the SAFE bill (PDF format) which is still floating around the House and Senate.

The Philosophy of Security: Windows and Linux (Unix) compared. Bruce Schneier's Crypto-Gram, mentioned below, includes a pointer to this ZDTV article by Simson L. Garfinkel, which compares and contrasts the security philosophies behind Windows and Linux. Actually, only the title says "Linux" while the story itself talks of the "Unix" philosophy. His approached is fairly balanced, pointing out advantages and disadvantages of both, but with a clear distaste for claims that Windows is "secure". "A Windows NT computer could have a security hole that allows anyone on the Internet to shut it down, but if nobody knows about the problem, then Microsoft would say the system is fundamentally secure. " (Thanks to Jeremy Allison.)

Emphasizing the seriousness of the ssh/RSAREF problem, segfault.org has a note up about the impact to their site from a break-in traced back to the ssh exploit. If you are using ssh 1.2.X and haven't yet moved to the international version, please take the time to do so as soon as possible.

Security Reports

Linuxconf exploit found, but not confirmed to work. Elias Levy reported that, after the Incidents mailing lists reported many probes on port 98, the port used by linuxconf for its HTTP interface, an exploit for linuxconf was found. However, the exploit code that was found does not work, at least not against current versions of linuxconf. Jacque Gelinas, linuxconf author and maintainer, has been made aware of the potential problem and sent us this detailed response. To summarize, yes, port 98 is being probed on many hosts, we do not yet have proof that an exploit is possible and no one has reported a vulnerability that might be related to linuxconf.

Current versions of linuxconf disable the HTTP interface by default and are therefore safe unless you have explicitly enabled that interface. Making sure your version of linuxconf has the HTTP interface disabled might be a good idea for the time being. If you are using a version of linuxconf prior to version 1.11, you might also want to consider upgrading to a newer version.

wu-ftpd configuration issues. This paper was posted this week describing problems with wu-ftpd servers configured to allow uploads as well as downloads.

Procmail and sendmail. Michal Zalewski posted a note to BugTraq detailing one bug in procmail and 4 bugs in sendmail, none of which he had developed exploits for, but all of which he felt were "dangerous". No responses to this post have been seen as of yet.

Y2K issues and distributed denial-of-service attacks head the list of current security issues in CERT's Special Edition Summary, released December 17th.

*BSD Reports. Two vulnerabilities were reported in FreeBSD this week, including a root exploit in xsoldier and kmem exploit in wmmon. The xsoldier exploit could impact other operating systems while Linux has been judged to not be impacted by the wmmon exploit.

Commercial Products. Cisco has issued an advisory regarding vulnerabilities in the Cache Engine that could allow someone to arbitrarily replace the contents of a web site within a cache, called "polluting the cache". The vulnerabilities reported only affect Cisco Cache Engine prior to version 2.0.3. An upgrade is recommended.


Debian posted a comment to verify that Debian ssh packages are not linked against the RSAREF libraries and are therefore not vulnerable to the recently reported problems.


Pikt 1.8.1 has been released containing a fix for a "non-trivial" bug that caused sporadic lookup failures. An upgrade is recommended.

Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh

December 23, 1999

Secure Linux Projects
Bastille Linux
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
Comp Sec News Daily
Linux Security Audit Project
Security Focus


 Main page
 Linux in the news
 Back page

See also: last week's Kernel page.

Kernel development

The current development kernel release is 2.3.34, which came out (without announcement) on December 21. It contains some documentation updates, i2c and bttv driver work, lots of ide-tape changes, and major USB updates. Perhaps the most significant change to go in, however, is the large file support. In other words, the 2GB filesize limit is about to become a thing of the past. 2GB files may seem large, but this limit does actually create problems for a number of enterprise and scientific applications. Its elimination will be one of the strong points of 2.4.

Sparc64 support is being merged into 2.3.35, currently available as a prepatch. This architecture should be working as of the next release, but 32-bit Sparc is in poor shape. Dave Miller says "It is hoped that sparc32 can be in working order by mid January but no promises." This might be an area where suitably skilled kernel hackers could help out a lot.

What else needs to go in before 2.4? The number of requests is large, of course, and a lot of them are not going to happen. One endangered request which has picked up a lot of support, however, is 32-bit UIDs. Without the larger user ID numbers, networks with large numbers of users will find themselves in trouble - and perhaps looking at other operating systems. Even Linus has said that he wants to find a way to get 32-bit UID support in, if possible. Given the list of people supporting it, this enhancement will probably slip in somehow.

Note that this change should not cause problems for applications - the C library has been treating user IDs as 32-bit values for some time.

When will 2.4.0 come out? The folks at Tummy.com have announced another "when will the kernel come out?" pool - this one for 2.4. Last time around, the winner pegged the release time for 2.2.0 to within about 45 minutes. Let's not be so sloppy this time, OK? There will be a fabulous prize for the winner, though they have not figured out what it is yet...

The current stable release remains 2.2.13, unchanged since October. Alan Cox has had a 2.2.14 prepatch (currently 2.2.14pre16) ready for some time, except that there is a persistent IDE problem that refuses to go away. Some users report a "buffer list corrupted" error, followed by any of a number of unpleasant happenings. 2.2.13 does not have this problem, it was introduced later. Clearly, 2.2.14 can not go out in this shape; if the problem resists for too long the kernel developers may revert to the 2.2.13 IDE code just to get something out.

PCMCIA confusion. Where are the current PCMCIA drivers? This question, according to PCMCIA developer David Hinds, is "more complicated than it should be." The PCMCIA code has been integrated into the 2.3 kernel series, sort of. That process is still incomplete. Meanwhile, David has been applying fixes and updates to his standalone version of the drivers, since that is the version still in almost universal use.

David has been trying to keep Linus up to date, but Linus has evidently started reworking some of the 2.3 PCMCIA code on his own. There is now, thus, a fork in the Linux PCMCIA implementation. David is working on fixing things up, but the situation is a bit of a mess for the time being. Hopefully this will get straightened out before 2.4 comes out.

Threads confusion. A long thread started when Rasterman put a note on his news/diary page stating that he couldn't use Linux threads because all threads run in a single processor (even on SMP systems) and thus provide no performance increase. In fact, that is not the case. Linux does try to keep threads together on a single processor because there are performance benefits to doing so. But this processor affinity is weaker than the attractive force of an idle CPU. If multiple threads want to work simultaneously, and a CPU is idle, threads will move over.

However, sharing the same memory context across multiple CPUs has performance problems of its own. For truly high performance on multiprocessor systems, it is probably better to create a shared memory mapping and create multiple processes with fork(). Then each processor can run with its own memory context, and things will go faster.

User-mode kernel 0.2-2.3.31. Version 0.2-2.3.31 of the user-mode kernel port has been announced. This project has ported the Linux kernel to itself - it runs as a set of processes under another Linux kernel. As such, it's suitable for people who want to play with the kernel safely.

Should the Intel processor serial number be available under Linux? Current kernels simply disable the serial number feature, seeing it as a privacy problem with no redeeming features. Some have said, however, that this approach is a bit heavy-handed, that it is better to make the serial number available - even if as an option which defaults to "off." It looks like the Pentium III patches will provide that option, but not everybody is happy. Some see it as the classic foot in the door; once the serial number is an option, somebody will put out an application that requires it, and soon everybody will need to enable it. The end result probably depends on the distributions - if they enable the serial number by default, applications may use it.

Other patches and updates released this week include:

Section Editor: Jon Corbet

December 23, 1999

For other kernel news, see:


 Main page
 Linux in the news
 Back page

See also: last week's Distributions page.


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

More lists of distributions. In addition to the lists of distributions we've mentioned before, at Kernelnotes and Woven Goods (see right-hand column), there are a couple of additional lists that have been growing and developing. LinuxLinks now has over 100 distributions on their list (for anyone who has been counting, there are now 108 in our columnar list). We don't necessarily agree with their definition of a distribution since many of those listed seem to be resellers, rather than developers, of distributions, but they have a few listed that we haven't gotten to yet, such as ESware Linux, a Spanish-based distribution. (Note that ESware's site thinks that the use of javascript to reconfigure your browser windows is cool...)

Linux.com is also moving into the area of cataloguing distributions, with 20 or so links to either distributions, or distribution-related sites, like Linuxberg's mirror site which provides mirrors of many of the popular distributions.

A new mini-distribution, Empire Linux, is available for download but apparently has no home page. It is in alpha (0.1 release).

Caldera OpenLinux

'Special Edition Using Caldera OpenLinux' reviewed. Rob Slade has reviewed Special Edition Using Caldera OpenLinux By Allen Smart and others. "While there is a great deal of information provided in this volume, there are a number of large gaps in the material as well. The technical level of the content varies greatly from topic to topic. This book misses some areas that newcomers should have addressed, but doesn't have enough depth in many places for intermediate or advanced users."

Debian GNU/Linux

Alpha system donated to Debian. TheLinuxStore.com and Alpha Processor Inc. have announced the donation of a dual 667 MHz Alpha system to the Debian Project.

No Debian Weekly News for this week, it appears, presumably they are taking a break for the holiday season.


Linux-Mandrake 7.0 beta available. A beta version of Linux-Mandrake 7.0 is available. It's not for production use, of course, but people with a spare system around may want to check out some of the impressive new features, including a new graphical installer, several preconfigured security levels, and a number of utilities to make life easier for the user.

Linux PPC

Notes from LinuxPPC. Jason Haas has sent in Various LinuxPPC notes, including development news on the Xpmac accelerated Xserver for the Rage128 and Mach64, a new version of the BootX software for booting from the Mac OS to Linux and good news for SoundBlaster 128 card owners.

Slackware Linux

Dagmar d'Surreal posted some comments on "problems" he sees with Slackware 7.0. These generally involve configuration defaults, which he would like to see improved for security's sake. Classifying them, though, as actual security vulnerabilities would be inaccurate. Nonetheless, for Slackware readers, he makes some good suggestions either for changes to the default configuration or changes you might want to make after installing Slackware 7.0

The Slackware Changelogs for the month of December are quiet, listing only some minor changes to ncurses in the current tree.

Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh

December 23, 1999

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

Caldera OpenLinux
Debian GNU/Linux
Red Hat

Also well-known
Best Linux
Conectiva Linux

Rock Linux

Non-technical desktop
Icepack Linux
Redmond Linux

Boston University
Red Escolar

General Purpose
Alzza Linux
aXon Linux
Bad Penguin Linux
Black Cat Linux
BluePoint Linux
BYO Linux
CAEN Linux
Cafe Linux
ChainSaw Linux
Circle MUDLinux
Complete Linux
Console Linux
Corel Linux
Darkstar Linux
Elfstone Linux
ESware Linux
Eurielec Linux
eXecutive Linux
Fried Chicken
HA Linux
Halloween Linux
ix86 Linux
Lanthan Linux
Linpus Linux
Linux Cyrillic Edition
Linux MLD
LinuxOne OS
Linux Pro Plus
LNX System
Lute Linux

NoMad Linux
Omoikane GNU/Linux
PingOO Linux
Plamo Linux
Project Ballantain
Rabid Squirrel
Root Linux
Serial Terminal
TimeSys Linux/RT
Tom Linux
VA-enhanced Red Hat
Vine Linux
Virtual Linux
WinLinux 2000

GNU/Linux Ututo
Definite Linux
Red Flag
Linux Esware
Kaiwal Linux
Thai Linux Extension

Related Projects
Chinese Linux Extension

Historical (Non-active)
MCC Interim Linux
Storm Linux


 Main page
 Linux in the news
 Back page

See also: last week's Development page.

Development projects

Open CASCADE available. The source for the Open CASCADE design and modeling system (released under the GPL, covered in the December 9 LWN) is now available for download. Details in the announcement, source is available from opencascade.org. The Open CASCADE Object Libraries are reusable C++ object libraries typically used for developments such as domain-specific CAD, manufacturing or analysis applications, simulation applications, and illustration tools.


Apache optimization patches from SGI. One of the better-kept secrets in the Apache world seems to be the performance patches that are available from SGI. These patches optimize a number of aspects of Apache's operation, leading to a claimed performance "up to ten times faster than 'vanilla' Apache right out of the box."

There is currently some resistence to incorporating these patches into the mainline Apache source. Reasons have to do with coding style, and with a lack of desire to make massive changes to the critical parts of Apache 1.3. Some of these patches may well appear in Apache 2.0, however.


LinuxForKids: Learning (non-computer) languages. A new page has been added over at LinuxForKids, one that tracks language-related educational software. Lingoteach, Compjugador and Correcteur are three titles that they've included so far.

Embedded Linux

Real Time Linux Workshop Report. Linux Devices has posted News and Analysis from the December Real Time Linux Workshop, held last week in Vienna, Austra. "The world's leading developers of real time and embedded Linux implementations, gathered together this week for the Real Time Linux Workshop (at the University of Technology in Vienna, Austria), have reached consensus on standardizing a real time ''application programming interface'' (API) which will vastly expand the use of Linux in non-desktop real time and embedded applications."

More news from the Workshop came from Phil Wilshire's daily reports:

Linux-SRT. Linux-SRT is an extension to the Linux kernel to support soft real time. As they explain on the website, Linux-SRT lets you "specify a desired Quality of Service (QOS) for real time applications. You can assign a certain percentage of the CPU to each task. This is more precise than the standard scheduler (which makes no guarantees) and more flexible than the all-or-nothing POSIX real time priorities." This is not a new project, but Martin Keegan dropped us a note to point out that we had not mentioned it before.


The Open Game Source. Dennis Payne has been writing a monthly column called the Open Game Source; it looks at games from a development perspective. The current column, just released, is about Angband.


GNOME Developers Interview. An interview with several GNOME developers has been put up on the "Gnotices" site. "Well, recently Nat Friedman and I [Miguel de Icaza] started a company to develop fully GPL GNOME applications. The company is called Helix Code. Helix Code's first product is Evolution, an integrated personal information management system. An application that integrates mail, calendaring, messaging and other features found in commercial groupware applications." (Thanks to Havoc Pennington).

The Gnome Summary is on holiday this week and may they have a merry one!


The KDE News page contains pointers to KDE packages for IRIX being provided by SGI and to some more specifics on the KRASH release.

An interview with KDE developer Uwe Thiem has been published. "What excites you the most about KDE application development at this point in time? UT: That's probably KDevelop, though I am a developer myself and my point of view might be biased a bit. The fact is, this software will boost development of KDE applications to another level of magnitude because it makes it so easy to write good KDE applications-- including online help, translations to other languages, and painting icons. This beast is hot."

Linux Knowledge Base

We got an update from the folks at the Linux Knowledge Base Project. This project has set out to create the definitive Linux reference source - lots of documentation, and lots of cool tools so that people can get what they need from that documentation. They are working on a public alpha test, to happen in January. It is an interesting and ambitious project, worth a look.


Midgard Weekly Summary. Here is this week's Midgard summary, thanks to Henri Bergius. The upcoming development schedule is discussed, hints and tips are listed, a Midgard tutorial is in the works and Alexander Bokovoy is now writing a weekly column on the Midgard web development platform for the Russian e-zine PrefNews.


Mozilla's M12 release is out. Mozilla's M12 release, hoped to be the first real "alpha" release of the new Mozilla, is now available.


PHP: A silent killer (osOpinion). Here's an osOpinion piece which looks at PHP as a threat to established interests. "PHP is no doubt stealing market share from Microsoft's Active Server Pages, but the media has been unusually quiet about the issue. Even as Apache's success has become front page news, PHP has gone largely unnoticed. Maybe Microsoft wants to keep it that way."


Wine Development News. The December 20th edition of the Wine Weekly News Buffer overflows and handling Cryptographic APIs under the shadow of US export regulations were the two main topics of conversation.


Zope Weekly News. Here's this week's Zope Weekly News, written by Mike Pelletier.

Amos Latteier has started a series of articles on Zope and XML, the first of which is now available at XML.com.

Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh

December 23, 1999

Project Links
High Availability

More Information



Development tools


IBM comments on Sun's actions with Java. Rod Smith, VP Java Software, IBM, issued a press release with a strong reaction to Sun's withdrawal from the standards process with ECMA (European Computer Manufacturing Association). "We do not support Sun's decision to withdraw from the standards process. We had hoped that this second attempt to create a Java standard, via ECMA (European Computer Manufacturing Association), would proceed rapidly and secure a Java standard for the software developer community. We believe a standards process managed by a single vendor will not work in the long term. Only a vendor-neutral standards body can provide the stability developers need to deliver the next generation of e-business solutions."

The release goes on to state that IBM contributed to 80% of the API definitions for Java. Note that none of this means that IBM's JDK will be open source. They are still working from Sun's original source code, so they are constrained by Sun's licenses just as the Blackdown team are. IBM is committed to maintaining compatibility with Sun's API: "IBM will continue to implement the specifications for the Java server APIs and to ensure compatibility with the technology specified in Sun's J2EE. IBM will not, at this time, support Sun's branding strategy. We're going to do the code, but not use the J2EE brand."

MP3 support has been added to Tritonus, the JavaSound implementation for Linux, in its latest development version. This integration is considered "alpha" and has several limitations.


O'Reilly's Perl Conference 4.0. O'Reilly has put out their Call for Participation for next year's Perl Conference 4.0, to be held July 17th through the 20th, 2000, in Monterey, California, USA, as part of their larger Open Source Software Convention.

Also on the event front, the German Perl Workshop 2.0 has also put out a call-for-participation. The Workshop is scheduled for March 8-10, 2000, in Sankt Augustin, FH Rhein-Sieg, Germany (near Bonn).

Pith, a perl-based Hurd translator has been made available.


This week's Python-URL!. Here is this week's Dr. Dobb's Python-URL! by Gordon McMillan. It contains a large number of announcements and a reminder that the early bird prices for the upcoming 8th Annual Python Conference expire on January 5th (the conference takes place on January 24th through the 27th, 2000, in Arlington, VA, USA).

It mentions that MetaKit, "a portable embedded database engine in C++ which also lets you work in Python and Tcl", has been released under an open source license, in this case, an X/MIT-style license.


Dr. Dobbs' Tcl-URL!. This week's edition of Tcl-URL! mentions the release of Tcl/Tk 8.2.3, with a promise of an 8.3 beta before Christmas, along with other discussion pointers and announcements.

Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh


 Main page
 Linux in the news
 Back page

See also: last week's Commerce page.

Linux and business

How to Remove Linux and Install Windows 2000. This week Microsoft put up a catchy page on how to remove Linux and install Windows on your computer. It's an amusing thing to read, especially when you realize that they recommend using Linux fdisk to delete the Linux partitions. But there is a serious issue here which is worth noting.

The issue is one of attitude. Microsoft is saying something like "now you've had your fun, time to get that toy off your system and get serious." For all that Linux zealotry can hit extreme levels, there is no "Removing Windows HOWTO." Instead, a quick check turns up documents like:

...and so on. One of the many strong points of Linux systems is that they talk to - and get along with - almost everything else out there. Cooperation with other systems makes Linux more valuable via network effects, makes life easier for those trying to migrate to Linux, and also simply displays the right attitude.

The Ups and Downs of Corel. Corel's stock, which peaked around $43 on the NASDAQ recently, is now back down into the low teens. The latest reason for this decline can be found in this release describing Corel's fourth-quarter performance. Corel, it turns out, is back to losing money again, despite expectations to the contrary.

Corel, of course, is counting on Linux to make things better again. The company is off to a good start with a respectable distribution and a number of key distribution agreements. Corel today also announced taking a 1/3 stake in LinuxForce, a Philadelphia-based provider of support services. LinuxForce is supposed to help fill out Corel's service and support offerings around Linux.

Corel has also announced a partnership with Creative Technologies, which is intended to bring more audio and video products to Linux.

Meanwhile, Corel's distribution hits the store shelves this week. It will be interesting to see how the market responds.

LNUX == Linux? For your amusement, here's a Reuters article about Creative Technology. "Shares of Creative Technology (NasdaqNM:CREAF - news) pushed higher in early trade on Friday, buoyed by another record close on the U.S. technology-laden Nasdaq, and plans to support the Linux (NasdaqNM:LNUX - news) operating system." (Thanks to Bill Kent).

Here's another one: this press release from "ShesGotItTogether.com." "The benefits from the Linux (NASDAQ: LNUX) operating system and OC-3 connection are significant with respect to reliable, high-speed connectivity and enhanced network security."

People who have spent years in the middle of Linux can lose track of just how hard it can be for "outsiders" to understand what is going on. The idea that Linux is not a company - or owned by a company - takes some getting used to.

Red Hat announces results, stock split. Red Hat has announced its quarterly results. Revenues were $5.4 million, up from $4.4 million last quarter. They report a loss of $3.4 million for the quarter. There will be a two-for-one stock split, effective December 27 with the new shares issued around January 7, 2000.

Quicknet releases drivers under the GPL. Quicknet Technologies, Inc., makers of low-cost, single port telephony cards, has announced the release of drivers for its cards under the GPL. Quicknet has coordinated its work with Alan Cox and the drivers were included in the Linux kernel as of his 2.2.14pre15 prepatch.

Linuxcare and Motorola sign a deal Linuxcare has announced a support deal with the Motorola Computer Group - this deal is a bit unique in that they are supporting Linux in embedded applications. Linuxcare will also be supporting Motorola's training programs.

Linuxcare has also signed a support deal with Informix, see the press release for some details.

TurboLinux and NEC have also signed a support deal. The announcement describes a deal where NEC supports TurboLinux (the distribution) on its systems (in Japan), and TurboLinux (the company) provides backup support.

Atipa announces a new firewall box. Atipa Linux Solutions has announced a new Linux-based firewall appliance. It fits into a 1U rack slot, and start at $3500.

Xybernaut announces Linux partnership with SBS e.V. Xybernaut has announced "a partnership with the Software Zentrum Boblingen/Sindelfingen e.V. ('SBS'), a consortium of over fifty software development companies, to establish a center of excellence for Linux application development and support."

More Linux web sites get bought. The world's attention may be on Linux IPOs, but there seems to be quite an active market in Linux web sites as well. The latest to be bought is LinuxStart.com, which was grabbed by Internet.com. There is a press release announcing the acquisition, but not much information is to be had there.

The other news in the acquisition department is a purely unsubstantiated rumor, but the source is reliable: LinuxNow.com ("the most complete Linux reference") has been acquired by the Linux Mall. Evidently it will be run by the same crew, but as part of a larger operation.

Eltrax brings restaurant software to Linux. Eltrax has announced that its "SQUiRREL" restaurant management system is available for Linux - in fact, it has been in beta test for a year. The Linux "application gap" gets narrower every day, as more of these specialized vertical applications become available...

Aether Intelligent Messaging available. Aether Systems has announced the availability of its "Aether Intelligent Messaging" product for Linux. This product is a wireless messaging system meant for mobile applications and such; they claim it is the first such available for Linux.

Python Essential Reference announced. New Riders has put out a press release announcing the publication of the Python Essential Reference. (LWN reviewed this title back in November).

Red Hat certified memory. H.Co Computer Products announces that its memory has been certified by Red Hat. Of course, memory incompatibilities with Linux have been fairly low on the list of most people's problems...

Press Releases:

    Commercial Products for Linux:

  • Continuus Software Corporation announced its plans to port the Continuus Change Management Suite to Red Hat Linux 6.1.

  • Creative Technology Ltd. announced expanded support for the Linux OS.

  • CyberStar Computer Corporation announced that they will support the Linux operating system on its entire line of desktop PC's and fileservers.

  • Eicon Technology announced the release of Linux drivers for its PCI bus ISDN server adapters, the DIVA Server BRI-2M and the DIVA Server PRI-23M.

  • eLinear announced that WebCAS, eLinear's proprietary web site content management system, is now available for Linux based systems.

  • eShare Technologies announced its support of the Linux operating system for its web-based communication products.

  • Mission Critical Linux put out this press release detailing their products and support for Linux.

  • National Technical Systems Inc. announced the release of its "Linux Test Suite," for validating Linux operating systems ported to hardware platforms.

  • Perle Systems announced its intention to provide comprehensive LINUX support across its complete range of serial connectivity and RAS products.

  • QSound Labs, Inc. and 4Front Technologies announced iQ for Linux, a software plug-in for XMMS.

    Products Using Linux:

  • Eagle Wireless International, Inc. announced that it will offer Linux as one of its standard operating systems for its Convergence Set-Top Box, marketed by BroadbandMagic.com.

  • eConnect claims it has developed the first Linux-based transactional server (LTS) for the purpose of receiving incoming Internet cash payments by ATM card and PIN. They also announced that Kanakaris Communications will test the system.

  • Emperor Systems launched a TV-Linux+Java=LAVA product, a Real-Time Operating System and Application Software layer for TV systems.

  • Intellibarter.com will launch its Linux, PHP and MySQL-based website Dec. 25, 1999. The site allows people to trade unwanted presents.

  • SSE Telecom, Inc. announced that it has begun shipping beta units of its new iP3 broadband satellite Internet gateway platform.

    Java Products:

  • Chartwell Technology Inc. announced the release of the Linux version of CasinoCasino, its complete suite of JAVA based Internet games.

  • Epic Data International Inc. announced the full product release of EPIConnect: Warehouse Edition, a software application for the SAP R/3 logistics system.

  • Servlet Inc. announced SOHOConnection, a zero-cost, zero-administration, platform-independent network proxy, available for download at http://www.servlet.com/soho2/.

  • Tower Technology Corporation announced that its TowerJ 3.1.4 Java deployment solution for Linux has been nominated for Best Virtual Machine in JavaWorld Magazine's Readers' Choice Awards.

    Products with Linux Versions:

  • Computer Associates International, Inc. announced the open beta of ARCserveIT for Linux platforms. Free for download by registering at www.cai.com/products/betas.

  • Information Exchange announced Outside In Viewer Technology Version 6.0, a file filtering and viewing software development kit.

  • Inprise Corporation announced VisiBroker 3.3 for Delphi.

  • Mediascape announced Artstream, a full featured vector illustration and page layout system, is now available for Linux.

  • Oriole Systems Inc. announced it has developed a complete turnkey e-business software package, which will be ready for resale in the first quarter of year 2000.

  • SERENA Software, Inc. announced that its eChange Man product now supports Linux.

  • Spatial Inc. announced the release of ACIS 6.0, the latest version of Spatial's solid modeling kernel for CAD/CAM/CAE systems.

  • StarBurst Software announced it has optimized a version of OmniCast software to support reliable and scalable content distribution management on Linux-based operating systems.

  • WebEasy, Inc. announced the integration of its OFX application server with Princeton eCom's electronic bill presentment and payment (EBPP) systems to handle high volumes of financial transactions initiated by Quicken software clients.

  • Zideo.com will introduce a comprehensive presentation of its data compression technology at Midem 2000.

    Partnerships, Investments and Acquisitions:

  • Applix, Inc. announced its office in the UK has established a new partnership with LinuxIT, one of Europe's largest Linux software resellers and distributors.

  • Communication Intelligence Corp. (CIC) announced that it has completed an agreement with MiddleSoft Inc. to license CIC's Jot handwriting recognition system and e-signature software development kit, InkTools, for use on the Linux operating system.

  • Corel Corporation and S3 Incorporated's Professional Graphics Division announced a new partnership to deliver 2D/3D graphics to the Linux desktop.

  • Covalent Technologies, Inc., provider of Apache Web server e-commerce solutions, announced that it has closed $5 million in first round funding.

  • Global Media Corp. announced its signing of a contract with Inner City Broadcasting Corp. of New York, NY.

  • GraphOn Corporation announced it has expanded its UK and Netherlands distribution by signing a strategic partnership agreement with leading edge software solutions distributor, E92 Plus.

  • IBM and the University of New Mexico announced a joint research project to integrate IBM RS/6000 SP supercomputing technology running AIX with Linux superclusters.

  • International Internet, Inc. announced that its has joined the LinuxMall.com Referral Program.

  • LinuxOne, Inc. has entered into an exclusive Distribution Agreement with the Sichuan International Economy, Science & Technology Promotion Association, which provides for the distribution of all LinuxOne products throughout Southwest China.

  • Microtest Inc. announced a distribution agreement with the Japanese firm, Ark Information Systems to distribute Microtest's Linux-based optical storage appliance, under Ark's brand name.

  • Navarre Corporation announced that it has entered into distribution agreements with Loki Entertainment Software and Cybernet Systems Corporation.

  • Network Associates, Inc. announced a solution to enable third party developers and service providers to easily embed the market-leading McAfee VirusScan engine into Linux-based e-business applications, Internet appliances, and managed service offerings.


  • Digital Media Online announced the launch of CreativeLinux.com an Internet community for professional content creators working on Linux-based systems.

  • LinuxBusiness.com wants your help in building a huge repository of different ways to use Linux in corporate environments.

  • Oracle put out this press release touting its Oracle Technology Network (OTN). "Oracle's Internet Platform is built on Java, XML and Linux -- the foundation Internet technologies -- and it's all available to developers for free on OTN."

  • Silicon Valley Research, Inc. announced the availability of Y2K upgrades for all of their software. Users of SVR products may also choose to migrate to these new Linux based products as part of the Year 2000 Compatibility upgrade.

  • Terian Technologies is giving away free computers with Red Hat Linux to qualified VARs and resellers who complete a short questionnaire at http://www.terian.com.

  • Unific.com announced the launch of a Linux help section.

  • Xceed Inc. announced the formal launch of its Linux Solutions Team.

Section Editor: Jon Corbet.

December 23, 1999


 Main page
 Linux in the news
 Back page

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

Linux in the news

Recommended Reading:

The Red Herring ran this article trashing Corel, CEO Michael Cowpland, and his Linux strategy. "Mr. Cowpland's pursuit of instant gratification by capitalizing on the Linux hype is as transparent as the open-source code he purports to worship."

Morningstar analyst Pat Dorsey says that Linux companies are seriously overvalued. "Sure, some companies might run successful businesses by making Linux easier to use and offering technical support for the systems, but no business model based on service and support is ever going to approach the incredible level of profitability of a Microsoft-style 'pay us for breathing' business."


Pro-Linux.de has put out a description (in German) of the 2.4 kernel. It's a straightforward survey of the changes and new features. English text is available via Babelfish.

NTK marvels at the upcoming 2.4 kernel code freeze and its coincidence with Windows 2000. "...a disaster comparable to Y2K, as every First Adopter on the Net simultaneously hoses their machines in their eagerness to uncover the new bugs in these latest versions..."


EE Times reports from the Real-time Linux Workshop in Vienna. "Developers of embedded-Linux systems established some common ground at a gathering last week, as they laid the foundation to build common threads among their various efforts and also decided to back Cygnus Solutions' EL/IX as a common applications programming interface (API) for embedded Linux."

VARBusiness ran this brief article about The Bazaar. "The Bazaar, presented by Earthweb, was true to its name with a freer feel, more men with beards than suits, robust t-shirt and Linux CD giveaways, and even children running around the exhibition space. But that didn't mean there wasn't a business side to this event."


Here's an article in the Red Herring about Linuxcare's latest financing round. "Linuxcare set out to raise $25 million, and was offered a total of $300 million, Mr. Sarrat claimed. A number of Japanese banks were among those shut out of the round."

The National Post reports on the purchase of the Puffin Group by Linuxcare. "In its effort to try to capitalize on the growing worldwide interest in the revolutionary, open source operating system, Linuxcare will swoop up Puffin Group's small but highly regarded group of Linux developers and gain a foothold into the Canadian market."

This article in Inter@ctive Week talks about Linuxcare and its potential IPO plans. "Existing technical support organizations, such as IBM's Global Services, or consulting organizations, such as KPMG International, are likely to increase their existing Linux expertise. But even so, said Michael Hoch, an analyst at the Aberdeen Group, they are unlikely to reduce the potential of Linuxcare's market, because Linuxcare provides a deeper level of technical support. IBM, which already offers Linux on its Netfinity servers, contracts with Linuxcare for that support, he noted."

Red Hat:

Here's News.com's take on Red Hat's quarterly results. "The company attributes its strong quarterly revenues growth partly to an increase in the number of total enterprise customers, to 60 from 34 last quarter; the expanded scope of service offerings it provides by supporting popular open source applications; and the recent acquisition of Cygnus Solutions."

Newsbytes looks at Red Hat's plans in Asia. "Mark White, the new general manager for Linux distributor Red Hat Asia Pacific said that the firm has yet to decide upon a location for its regional headquarters, which will oversee operations in Greater China, Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia, Korea and India."

ZDNet covers a talk by Bob Young. "Robert Young, chairman of Red Hat, said Sun Microsystems has failed to learn from the open source model of software if it has turned away from establishing an international standard for Java."

PC Week worries about where Red Hat is going. "Could it be that the heads of Linux vendor Red Hat's top managers are growing too large for their own hats, red or otherwise? With the company's stunningly successful IPO and aggressive acquisition strategy, it seems that Red Hat's leaders are listening more to Wall Street's panderers of quick wealth than to the customers who use the product."

This Reuters article talks about today's runup in the price of Be Inc. stock. "Shares of Be Inc. , a developer of an operating system for digital media and Internet appliances, rose about 48 percent on Thursday, amid market rumors that the company could be acquired by Red Hat Inc."


News.com looks at Corel's latest partnerships. "The company has licensed Bitstream software that will allow Linux to display Postscript and TrueType fonts. Creative Labs' sound card driver has been released into the open-source programming community that collectively writes Linux. And a new driver for S3's latest video card, which uses IBM's Fire GL chip, will be bundled with Corel Linux."

Corel is the focus of the Motley Fool's "Daily Double" column. "With a spotty history of creating shareholder value, seeing the stock trading at near 80x forward profit estimates may give some value investors a fear of heights. However, if you're looking at Corel's $1.6 billion valuation against Red Hat's $16 billion market capitalization, Corel represents a downright Linux bargain even at today's levels. Of course, further research is the best medicine to decide whether there is any real fire to go with all the Linux smoke."

The Red Herring has posted this followup piece to its previous anti-Corel article (see recommended reading). It seems the author got some email... "I say, choose the OS you'd like to use, and may open source and Linux prevail. But please don't mandate that everybody buy the stock of the corporation of your choice so that certain individuals can benefit financially from a software movement that purports to be free of greed."

Reuters looks at Corel's stock price. "The recent shine on Corel Corp. shares got roughed up a bit on Monday in a round of pre-Christmas profit-taking."

ZDNet looks at Corel's fourth quarter loss. "The latest profit warning is bad news to investors that bought into Corel at the peak of its Linux hype. On November 12, Corel closed just under $9 a share. Less than a month later, Corel closed above $39."


Salon ran this article about Richard Stallman's call for a boycott against Amazon.com. "Stallman is both a visionary and a crank, and something tells me that Jeff Bezos is not losing sleep over his manifesto. But the same network magic that leverages the information on Amazon's hugely successful and convenient Web sites also has the capacity to turn quiet arguments into raging wildfires of protest."

News.com ran this article about HP's work to port Linux to the PA-RISC architecture. "The work sponsored by HP closely parallels the Trillian effort to bring Linux to the 64-bit chip family Intel plans to launch next year with the introduction of its Merced processor. Intel, HP, IBM, VA Linux Systems and several other companies are participating in that initiative."

Bob Metcalf talks about Sendmail, Inc. in this InfoWorld column. "If buying commercial sendmail becomes popular, then maybe free open-source sendmail will go the way of ITS. This is probably also what the capitalists developing Windows 2000 have in mind for Linux. May the best software win."

LinuxPower talks with the developers at Loki Entertainment Software. "So when you buy one of our games you support Linux gaming in two ways: 1) by showing others that Linux products can be successful, and 2) by supporting our efforts to create all the open source tools necessary to create games on Linux with all the features and advanced technologies of any Windows game."

News.com writes about Covalent Technologies. "Covalent sells technical support and enhancements for the Apache Web server, much like Red Hat provides services based around the Linux operating system."

Also from News.com: this report on Sun offering SparcLinux in its online store. "Sun may also be positioning itself to stave off the advances of Dell Computer, which in the third quarter captured the top spot in Windows NT workstations, according to International Data Corp. (IDC)."

This Red Herring article is about the Andover.net IPO; it focuses more on the mechanism than the company. "Andover.net chose to work with W.R. Hambrecht because, according to Bill, philosophically they meshed. W.R. Hambrecht was able to extend the bidding process to all Linux developers, and for a company that relies on its developers for its success, that makes sense."

Linux News and Care has run a comparison (in German) of three ICQ clients. English text is available via Babelfish. (Thanks to Peter Kis).

According to ComputerWeekly, Racal Defence Electronics is looking at putting Linux on its desktop systems. There is a pilot program in place now. "If the pilot is successful, it could lead to one of the largest implementations of Linux on the desktop. Steve Lewis, one of Racal's IT executives who is leading the project, said the move was a bold step for the defence contractor, but the potential cost savings had proved to be too attractive to ignore." (Thanks to Ian Harper).

The Ottawa Citizen ran this introductory article, which concentrates on the confrontation with Microsoft. "There's never neutrality in the bleachers when David takes on Goliath -- and that's why there's been a lot of cheers heard since Linux took on the dominant Microsoft Windows for leadership in the computer operating system market."

SmartMoney.com comments on the flood of press releases from "Linux wannabe" companies. Evidently such releases have the desired effect of raising stock prices - at least for a while. "Linux lunacy led Zap.com (ZPCM), an Internet search engine, to inform the world on Dec. 9 that it just added several Linux-related Web sites to its list of the 200 best Internet sites.... Is it too cynical to suggest the release was intended to give Zap.com's stock a zap - especially since its share price was falling in the days preceding the announcement? Zap.com's stock rose nearly 33% from Dec. 9 to Dec. 12, before giving back some of those gains." More "wannabe" announcements can be found in last week's LWN commerce page. (Found in NNL).

Here is a mostly introductory article in the Sunday Times which emphasizes the recent stock market activity. It is not entirely accurate. "Linus Torvalds, who was a 21-year-old graduate student at Helsinki University when he wrote the Linux operating system in 1991, deliberately gave away the source code on the internet so that programmers could modify it for their own use. The only condition he imposed was that they share their modifications with everyone else and never make money out of Linux." (Thanks to Andres Kruse).

Installation Stories:

Jerry Pournelle installs Red Hat 6.1 and Word Perfect, has trouble with both, but comes out pretty pleased. "Let's hope Corel decides to revisit its counterproductive policy of non-support for the Linux installation process, before it winds up shooting itself, and by extension the entire Linux effort, in its collective feet. Linux truly has the potential to fulfill the Macintosh's promise of being the OS for 'the rest of us,' and I for one want to see that potential realized to its fullest. The next step will be the Corel Office Suite for Linux, available sometime next year." (Thanks to Chris Walton).

Here's a classic Linux is hard to install article from USA Today. "To get my printer to work, I must first learn a powerful yet hard to use word processor called the vi text editor. Vi (pronounced vee-eye) is all command lines -- no menus, no point-and-click, just glowing letters on a blank screen."

Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol

December 23, 1999


 Main page
 Linux in the news
 Back page

See also: last week's Announcements page.



Gimp tutorial online. "tigert" has posted his Gimp tutorial from the Bazaar. It's aimed at novice Gimp users, and covers a number of operations.

HPC-Linux mailing list. A mailing list to support development of Linux for high-performance computing has been announced. The list, which is hosted at SGI, is intended to be a mechanism to help coordinate efforts and push Linux forward in this area. Subscription information is in the announcement. (Thanks to James Cownie).


CFP 2000 advance program The Tenth Conference on Computers, Freedom and Privacy will be held April 4-7, 2000 in Toronto. The advance program is available now; the featured speakers include Tim O'Reilly, Neal Stephenson, and Whitfield Diffie. Ottawa Linux Symposium 2000 The Call For Papers for the Ottawa Linux Symposium 2000 has been released. "OLS is a highly technical symposium with a focus on Linux and related technology. We invite contribution both from the free software and commercial software communities. The expected level of technical knowledge is very high and papers should be written with this in mind."

Linux Expo 2000 North America (Montreal). The Linux Expo 2000 North America, being held in Montreal, Canada, in April, has announced keynote speakers: "Bob Young (CEO, Red Hat) Larry Augustin (CEO, VA Linux), Michael Cowpland (CEO, Corel) and Dirk Hohndel (VP Strategic development, SUSE)." Gosh, do you remember when conferences had only a single keynote speaker? One wonders if all speakers will be so designated someday.

The GNU/Linux Conference and Expo in Bangalore will happen February 25-27 in Bangalore, India. Speakers include Richard Stallman. See the web page for more.

Web sites

Intellinux launches. Intellinux.com is a new site containing Linux-related job listings.

User Group News

A new LUG is forming in Pocatello, Idaho; see the announcement for details.

There is also a new LUG starting up in the Kitchener/Waterloo, Ontario area. Details in the announcement

Yet another new LUG is being set up in Leicester, UK. Here's the announcement

December 23, 1999



Software Announcements

Package Version Description
3dfile 0.1.4 OpenGL-based file browser
4DOM 0.9.0 A CORBA-aware implementation of the W3C's Document Object Model in Python
4XSLT 0.8.0 Python XSLT processor.
acalc 1.2 A console calculator.
ACPLTea 0.20 Java-based com system ACPLT/KS for process control engineering
Adobe Framemaker 5.5.6 X11 desktop publishing software.
Akkord 0.2 Advanced KDE Commander
ALE Clone 1.16 pre #3 Clone of WarCraft II
Allen Bradley Ethernet utils 0.0.9 Simple utilities for Allen Bradley Ethernet PLCs
ALSA driver 0.4.1i An alternative implementation of Kernel sound support
analog 4.01 WWW logfile analysis program
ANTLR 2.6.1 An advanced, easy-to-use parser and translator generator
APE 1.0.0 APE Portable Environment for C++ Threads, Sockets, etc.
Apprentice 0.1 An HTTP daemon written in Perl.
APSEND 1.22 TCP/IP packet sender
apt-proxy 0.2 A simple apt-get proxy cache.
Ari's Yahoo Client 1.2 A text-based Yahoo! Messenger client.
arla 0.29.2 A free AFS client and server for Linux, *BSD and others.
ascpu 1.8 A CPU load monitor.
asmem 1.5 Memory utilization monitor for X.
Asterisk 0.1.1 An Open Source PBX for Linux.
astime 2.5 Analogue clock for X windows
AutoRelease Library 0.5 A simple reference-counting garbage collector for C++.
autoresponder 0.3 An autoresponder creator and configurator.
Balsa 0.6.0 A GNOME mail client with support for local mailboxes, POP3, and IMAP
BASHISH DR2.1 A modular Bourne-shell theme engine.
BetaFTPD 0.0.8pre7 Single-threaded, small FTP daemon
bkmrkconv 1.01 A Netscape bookmarks converter.
BLADE 0.9.0 Broad Language Aided Document Environment
Blade-- 0.1.0 Object Oriented C++ Wrapper for BLADE
Bluer Skies MP3 Lister Bluer Skies MP3 List Builder 0.99a Mp3 CD List Formatter
botnet 0.23 Communication package for making IRC bots (or even clients)
cacheprof 0.1 Find sources of data cache misses in programs.
cadaver 0.6.0 command-line WebDAV tool
Calamaris 2.29 Statistic tool for Squid, NetCache and relatives
calc 2.11.1t3 C-style arbitrary precision calculator
ccirc 0.83a An irc client written in shell scripts and telnet.
CDDA Paranoia III release 9.7 CD ripping application
cdenc 0.9.1 A Perl script for MP3 compression of whole audio CDs.
CDirCase 1.0 A Perl script to rename all files in a directory to either upper or lower case.
cdrecord 1.8a36 Allows the creation of both audio and data CDs
cf 0.0.1 A utility to check file integrity, detect file format, and get content info.
citygen 1.4 Medieval city/kingdom demographics generator.
ClanBomber 0.99 Bomberman clone for ClanLib (X11 for now).
ClanLib 0.2.3 The platform-independent game SDK.
CMC 0.5.3 Chaos Mail Checker
comics.pl A Perl script to download all of today's online comics.
Configure-it 1.4 Perl script to configure bash aliases
ControlFreak 1.0 A scriptable toolbar application.
Corewar Virtual Machine 1.0 A virtual machine for running Corewar games.
Courier-IMAP 0.21 IMAP server for maildirs
Craft: The Viscious Vikings 3.05 Warcraft clone with vikings that fight for dominance
crypt_l 1.2 A simple, small, fast cryptographic utility.
Dante 1.1.1-pre1 Free socks v4/5 implementation
Darkbot 5f15 IRC Help Robot
Darxite 0.4 Controllable daemon that downloads via FTP in the background
dash 0.005 The first shell for the V2 operating system.
DayDream BBS 2.09 Old school pce/pcb-style BBS software.
DBIx::CGI 0.06 Easy to Use DBI Interface for CGI Scripts
dbMan 0.0.9pre2 A DB manager based on Perl, DBI, Tk, or CGI.
Demolization 0.2.8 A cross between Civilization and Risk.
dep.pl 1.19.1 Check dependencies of multiple files.
dhcp-conf 0.7.0 A DHCPd configuration tool.
DHSDynUp 2.9.1 An update client for the DHS.org dynamic IP DNS service.
DinX 0.2.0 A windowing system using the Linux framebuffer.
Directory Lister 1.0 Pretty-prints directory contents
dnscvsutil 0.5 Maintain DNS zone files under CVS control.
Doc Toolkit 1.1.4 E-text tools for Palm Computing platform users
dstool tk A Dynamic Systems Toolkit.
DWUN 0.6b Controls PPP link by client requests for connection
E-Wireless 0.1 Enlightenment epplet to monitor wireless network signal quality
ec64 0.05 A Commodore 64 emulator written in x86 assembly.
eggdrop 1.4.1 IRC bot, written in C
eGTK 0.3.4-1 Bindings to GTK+ widget toolkit for Eiffel.
Empire Linux 0.1 A simple Linux mini-distribution.
ESP Print Pro 4.0.2 Printer drivers for UNIX.
Etherboot 4.2.13 Source code for making TCP/IP boot ROMs to boot Linux and other OSes
Eucalyptus 0.1.5 Advanced MIME email program
Euro Converter 1.0 Multi-currency converter
EXG 0.1 An Eiffel-Gtk+ wrapping; extension of eiffel-gtk
faq-system 0.3.5 cgi package to manage one or more faq databases.
Fast Webpage Exchanger 2.2.0 A non-interactive FTP client for updating Web pages
FastGL 1.74 A very wonderfull C/C++ graphics library
fetchmail 5.2.1 Free, full-featured, robust, well-documented remote-mail retrieval utility
FLTK 1.0.7 C++ user interface toolkit for X and OpenGL
Flux 0.3.0 A generic library for protocols, file formats, and program structuring.
Fork Bomb Defuser 0.2 Detect, disable, and log fork() bombs to prevent crashes.
FoSaT 0.1.0 A method to slowly read text files.
FreeBSD 3.4-RELEASE A stable secure open source operating system.
FreeWRL 0.21 Free VRML browser for Linux
freq 0.4.7-pre6 A lastlog analyzer.
Fwctl 0.22 High level configuration tool for Linux 2.2 packet filters firewall
GATOS 0.0.5 ATI-TV software for Linux.
gbox_applet 0.3.0 mbox watcher
gcombust 0.1.26 gtk+ frontend for mkisofs and cdrecord
gendns 0.2 A tool for centralized management of DNS files.
getgui 1.1 Simple X11 GUI box invokable from shell scripts.
Getleft 0.7.5 Tcl/Tk site grabber powered by Curl
gFTP 2.0.6a A multithreaded ftp client for X Windows
Glide Voodoo3/Banshee drivers DRI-3.10 Glide 2.60 for Voodoo Banshee and Voodoo 3
glTron 0.50beta2 tron-like game with a 3D view
gltt 2.5 Allows you to read and draw TrueType fonts in any OpenGL application
GMCAL 0.0.1 A GTK+ frontend for the libmcal calendering system.
Gnapster 1.3 GNOME Napster client
gnlogin 1.2 A GTK interface to ncpmount.
gnokii 0.3.1 Preliminary release of tool set for Nokia mobile phones.
gnome-8ball 0.1 A simple magic 8-ball GNOME-panel applet.
GNOME-DB 0.0.90 GNOME Database Access
gnome-napster 0.4.0 A GNOME napster client for MP3-sharing.
GnomeHack 1.05 Nethack for Gnome
GnomeICU 0.68 Formerly GtkICQ, now Gnome Internet Communication Utility
GNU Keyring 0.7.2 Securely store digital secret keys on your Palm handheld computer.
GNU parted 1.0.0 A partition editor, for creating, destroying, resizing and copying partitions.
GProc 0.5.1 Easy-to-use process managment tool
gPS 0.5.1 GTK-based process status reporting like ps, top and task manager
gps3d 1.6 A GPS 3D visualization utility.
Grip 2.91 A gtk-based frontend for CD-rippers
GTetrinet 0.4 A clone of the game Tetrinet.
Gtk-- 1.1.5 C++ interface for the popular GUI library gtk.
GtkExtra 0.99.0 A widget set for GTK+.
GtkTiLink 0.41_1.97 A TI calculators <-> PC communication program using a GTK interface
hasci 0.1.2 Interactive hex/ASCII file viewer with character color coding
HTML::Template 1.3 A simple and fast HTML Template module for Perl
htsserver 0.5.4 Server application of the multiplayer trading game Holsham Traders
IBTK 0.0.14 Basic self-contained no-frills toolkit for Xlib.
IcePref 1.0 A graphical configuration tool for Ice WM written with PyGTK
icewm 0.9.55 Window Manager designed for speed, usability and consistency
IcomLib 0.9 The Icom PCR-1000 library and applications.
IPSC 0.4.2 IP subnet calculator (GNOME/CLI)
ip_masq_q3a 0.0.2/Q3A A patch for Linux 2.2.x to get Q3A working behind NAT.
irssi 0.7.21 GTK+ based IRC client with GNOME panel support
isp-watcher 2.0.5 A perl script which monitors lines at an ISP for disconnects.
ixj 0.3.4 Device Driver for Quicknet Internet Telephony Cards
Java Napster 0.1 Java GUI clone of the Napster client for downloading MP3s.
jbpe 991219 Java back-propagation neural network editor
jEdit 2.2.1 Powerful text editor
JEL 0.8.3 A compiler for one-line expressions into java bytecode.
Jetmon 1.0b Client/Server NOC Monitoring tool in Java
jString 0.1 A string class to end all string classes that includes formula evaluation.
JSwat 0.5.5 Graphical Java debugger front-end to JPDA
Kgutenbook 0.4.8 KDE port of the perl app gutenbook, to download, and read etexts from Gutenburg
KImap 0.1 An IMAP email client for KDE.
KIrcPoker 0.3 A graphical client to play on-line poker.
KisoCD 0.5.1 KDE frontend for mkisofs and cdrecord
klavg 2.0.b1 Small KDE applet showing load average graph on the panel.
KMLOFax 0.4.2 Facsimile utility for the ELSA MicroLink(tm) Office
kmp_sybase 0.1.1 KMySql plugin for Sybase.
Koala Complete MUD Server 0.0.2a A complete MUD server.
KPooka 0.3 Logic game for KDE
KPriMa 0.2 A KDE Print Manager, a GUI to the ps utilities and your print command
KSendmail 0.7 KDE front-end to configure Sendmail.
KVIrc 1.0.0 Enhanced visual IRC client for X11/KDE
lame-rtp 0.1 A patch for lame to send multicast live encoded mp3 streams.
LCAP 0.0.3 The Linux kernel capability remover.
LCD::MatrixOrbital 0.91 A Perl module for writing to Matrix Orbital LCDs.
LeoCAD 0.71.2 CAD application that uses plastic bricks
Lexicon 0.2 English-Greek and Greek-English dictionary for UNIX systems.
libgsm_mmx 1.0.10 MMX patches for libgsm
libiconv 0.2 Character set conversion library, portable iconv implementation
libtiff 3.5.4 Library for manipulation of TIFF (Tag Image File Format) images.
libwmf 0.1.17 A library to convert microsoft's wmf file format to something useful
Licq 0.75-991219 Advanced graphical ICQ clone and more for Unix
life2 0.1 The classic game of life for two players.
Limo 0.3.1 Configurable replacement for ls
Liner 1.05a Simple strategy game, as a java applet
lispreader 0.1 A library for reading and matching expressions in Lisp syntax.
loadmon.epplet 0.1 A simple load monitor for Enlightenment.
log4j 0.7.1 Fast and flexible logging tool written in Java.
lperfex 0.2 Hardware performance counter interface
lsof 4.47 List open files
LTSP 1.01 Linux Terminal Server Project
LUCGI 1.3.1 CGi Library for C++
LUCI 0.1.1 universal configuration interface
m3gtk 0.1.4 A Modula-3 binding to the GTK.
Mail Modernization Project 0.7.1 Effort to intergrate Mail systems and Databases
MailNow 1.0 Web-based Email Product
mailshift 0.13 Utility to transfer UNIX mailboxes to a Windows POP3 server
makeself 1.5.3 Script to create self-extractable gzipped tar archives
Melys 0.1.14 A MIDI sequencer for ALSA.
Meme Machine 4.5 Experimental connectionist learning chatbot
memtester 2.85 Userspace memory-testing application for Linux/Unix.
MeterMaid 1.1 GPLed troubleticket system written in Perl
Mexx 1.1.1 Shoot'em up for Linux/Win32/BeOS
MidiShare 1.72b A MIDI operating system.
MindTerm 1.1.5 SSH-client in pure Java, includes stand-alone ssh- and terminal(vt100)-packages
MiniMate 4.0alpha8.0.1 Administration tool for MiniVend
mll2html 1.1.2 Reformats mailinglists file to a HTML file.
mod_cgisock 0.1.4 A CGI interface over a Unix Domain socket
mod_dav 0.9.14-1.3.6 DAV protocol extensions for Apache
Moe Music 0.1.1 Web Juke Box for mpg123 and mySQL
Momoko 0.2.3 Multi-user development environment
moodss 8.7 Modular Object Oriented Dynamic SpreadSheet
Moonlight Atelier 0.9.0 A 3D modeling and rendering application
Moonshine 0.9.7 An application development environment for Linux.
Moreton Bay DHCP Server 0.8.18 A lightweight DHCP server.
Mork 0.2.1 Mork is like Lex/Yacc for Java.
mp3blaster 2.0b16 Provides interactive playing of mp3 files on a text console
mpg123-mysql 0.4 MySQL support for mpg123
mptc (Mobile Phone Tariff Calculator) 0.10 A mobile phone bill tariff recalculator.
NatesWinEmu 0.0.1 Accurate Windows Emulation (joke)
nb++ 0.5.0 A tiny C++ toolkit for Linux
Nessus 0.99.2 A free, open-sourced and easy-to-use security auditing tool
netfilter 0.1.13 New NAT/packet-filtering infrastructure for Linux 2.3.5
nethack-cow 0.1.0 A patch to add cows to the game NetHack.
nettimer 0.02 Calculate time and money spent using the Internet.
NQCC 2.0.2 Alternate development language for Lego Mindstorms
nycd 0.1.3 A Linux port of a Thaumaturge demo made for X'97/Takeover.
OCaml 2.99 Objective Caml is the latest implementation of the Caml dialect of ML
odbcisql 1.0 A windowing X11 processor for ODBC-connected databases.
omega 0.6.10 Implementation and extension of the M-Technology (MUMPS) standards
Open CASCADE 3.0 Preliminary Release 1 A generic C++ graphic modeling object library.
opensched 0.1.0 A project scheduling system for Unix systems, with LaTeX and EPS output.
OpenVerse Visual Chat 0.7-5 Free Multiplatform Visual Chat software written in Tcl/TK
ORBit C++ 0.23 C++ support for ORBit ORB
PAG Project 0.1 A travel agency program.
parsecfg 3.1.0 a library for parsing a configuration file
pavuk 0.9pl23 Webgrabber with an optional Xt or GTK GUI
pcmcia-cs 3.1.8 A complete PCMCIA or 'PC Card' support package for Linux.
PentiumGCC 2.95.3 Pentium/PPro/P-II/K6/Cyrix/MMX optimising egcs clone
percy 0.9-3 Percy, the talking penguin
pgp4pine by Marcin Marszalek 3.2 Bash script that allows using PGP under PINE
PHP File Upload Class 1 A PHP class to extend PHP's uploading capabilities
PHP firewall generator 0.4 An ipchains firewall generator in PHP.
pi-address 0.3.3 X11 based Address Manager for Palm Pilot Address DB
PIKT 1.8.2 An innovative new systems administration paradigm
Planet-Intra 2.1 Instant intranet portal
ploticus 1.33 data display engine
pmidi 1.3.3 Command line midi player for ALSA
pngcrush 1.3.0 An optimizer for PNG files that can also insert or delete specified chunks.
POPNow 1.0 Web-based POP3 email front-end
portfwd 0.9 Forwards incoming TCP connections and UDP packets.
Postfix snapshot 19991216 The Postfix MTA
Powertweak-Linux 0.1.6 System performance enhancer.
PPPOEd 0.42 PPP over Ethernet
PPWIZARD 99.355 Powerful free HTML (or other text file) Preprocessor
Prometheus-Library 1.04 Object-oriented PHP API
psrip 1.3 Extracts images from postscript files
psyBNC 2.1 Static IRC-Bouncer
PuzzleSquare 0.0 A simple puzzle game
PyKDE 0.10 Python bindings for QT 1.42 and KDE1.1 Code your KDE applications in python.
PyKstat 0.02 Python interface to Solaris kernel statistics
PyQt 0.10 Python bindings for the Qt GUI toolkit
Pyrite 0.9.1 Palm Computing platform communication kit for Python
PySol 3.10 A Python-based Solitaire card game
PySol-Cardsets 3.10 A collection of free cardsets for use with PySol
Q2Java 0.9.7 Allows Quake2 games to be written in Java
QIR 0.4 An IRC Quake 3 server-status reporter.
QIRpl 0.2 An IRC Quake3 server-status reporter.
Qpopper 3.0b26 POP3 server
Quake Source 1.x The Quake source code.
Ramp Music Player 0.8 A front end to mpg123 with next-generation playlist capabilities
RandGen 1.0 Generates random data in CSV format.
RAPID 5.16 Commodity and stock graphing for technical analysis trading decisions
rdc2e 0.7 Download imaged from a Ricoh RDC-2E digital camera over the serial line
RDX 0.1 beta The Reverse Distributed Cron-like System.
reXgrep 1.1 Graphical interface to grep.
RIMPS 0.04 Web-based MP3 server.
ROBODoc 3.1e Documentation tool for many programming languages
ROOT 2.23/10 A comprehensive object-oriented framework.
rotfl 0.6.4 simple text formatting language
rp-pppoe 0.99b A user-mode PPPoE client.
RPGD 1.0.5 A multi-user, medieval-fantasy role-playing game
RSync Manager 0.2.0 A set of scripts to manage and automate rsync-reliant sites.
rxvt 2.7.2 A VT102 emulator for the X window system
SambaLink/Q .60 Qt version of smb.conf file editor
samhain 0.5 File integrity verifier.
SampLin 1.5.0 Scientific Data Acquisition, Visualization and Process Controlsoftware
sawmill 0.20 Extensible window manager
Scintilla 1.15 Source code editing component and tiny IDE for Win32 and GTK+.
Secure FTP 0.4 FTP replacement over ssh/rsh
sfront 0.50 Translates MPEG 4 Structured Audio to C
signature 0.03 a dynamic signature generator for e-mail and news
SimpleSite 0.50 A simple, non-interactive Web site generator.
Site Studio 1.0B1 Online template-based Web site creation tool.
smtm 0.8.2 A Perl/Tk ticker for global stock markets.
SocratEase 1.6 Web-based training package for building, delivering and tracking online courses
SoLinger Java CrackLib 0.5 A Java port of the CrackLib password checker.
SoLinger Java Sdbm Solinger Java Sdbm 0.95 A Java port of Sdbm.
SoundTracker 0.3.7 A music tracker for X / GTK+
Space Plumber 1.0.5 A maze-solving space 3D game.
SquirrelMail 0.1.2 A PHP4 Web-based email reader.
SRPSocket.py 1.1 SRP authenticated sockets in Python.
StatistX 0.1.1 Small GTK-based statistics program.
Sturm 1.0 An implementation of the Sturm Theorem
Sympa 2.4 A powerful multilingual List Manager- LDAP and SQL features.
syslog-ng 1.3.10 A portable syslogd replacement with enhanced, flexible configuration scheme.
Tcl-To-Go 122099 A TCL application add-on floppy for muLinux.
Tcl/Tk 8.2.3 A portable scripting environment for Unix, Windows, andMacintosh
tclPov 0.2.2 R1 POVRay frontend for rendering POVRay scenes.
TclTicker 1.1 A simple stock ticker written in TCL/Tk.
teapop 0.21 A POP3-server with thoughts for virtual domains
terminatorX 3.51 Realtime Audio Synthesizer (DJ Scratching)
Terraform 0.5.0 Interactive digital terrain (height field) editor/viewer
teXto! 0.0.1 Tool that allows you to generate XML documents from plain text.
The Gimp 1.1.14 The GNU Image Manipulation Program
The Veganizer 1.00 A spam counter-attack
TIP 0.6.7 Pico editor clone with enhancements
tixinfo 0.6.4 Get some information about your system.
Tk 42 0.1.2 A networked 42 (dominos) game.
TkHeadlines 0.68 Headline grabber for about 20 sites
TkUsr 0.20 A Tcl/Tk app for managing the Self-mode of a USR/3COM MessagePlus modem
tkWorld 1.4.0 Wes's Own Really Lazy Desktop
Toby 1.0alpha4 Improved version of LOGO programming langauge.
tprint 0.1 Maintenance utility for printers.
ttm 0.63 Fast, simple, command-line based task manager
Twisted Reality 1.2.1 A fully buzzword-compliant roleplaying system.
txt2pdf 3.0 A very flexible and powerful PERL5 converter from text files to PDF
UESQLC 0.6.0 Universal Embedded SQL Compiler for C++
Unlambda 2.0.0 Obfuscated functional programming language
upgrade 0.2.3 Uploader for HP49 ROMs.
Uptimed 0.1.2 Uptime record daemon keeping track of the highest uptimes the system ever had
uri 2.6 URI manipulation library
USBView 0.6.0 USB device and topology viewer
User-mode Linux 0.2-2.3.31 User-mode port of the Linux kernel
UTIS 1.0 Path finder for the Paris Metro
V2_OS 0.54b A fast 32-bit operating system for the 386 and up.
VA-CTCS 1.0.2 VA Linux Systems' Diagnostics Package
VDKBuilder 1.0.4 A RAD tool based on the VDK Library (a C++ wrapper of GTK+).
VeteScan 12-18-99 Bulk Vulnerability Scanner
vsa 0.9.5 Visual Sound Analyzer
VxTools 0.3 A set of command-line tools for accessing the Veritas Filesystem.
w-agora 3.0.1 Web-based forum and publishing software
Wacom Driver for XFree86 alpha 15 Wacom driver for XFree86
waterfall spectrum analyzer 0.7 XMMS visualization plugin
webbase 5.6 Internet crawler C library and program
WebCalendar 0.9.3 A multi-user PHP/MySQL-based calendar.
WebEvent Calendar 3.21 WebEvent is web calendar software for your web site.
WebNews 0.06a A Web page news PHP script with users-capabilities.
WebRFM 0.4 CGI file manager supporting WebDAV and other HTTP extensions
Webtasker 1.0 A Web-based task manager.
WhoiShOstFast 0.0.2 Multiprocess Scanner
Wish You Were Here 1.0.0 Bring your dialup link up by calling it from a known mobile or landline.
WMProxyPer 0.9.1 Dockapp that displays RC5 Personal Proxy logfiles
wwsympa 0.51 A mailling list Web interface.
WWWdb 0.0.5 Database-access over HTTP with consistency-check
WWWOFFLE 2.5c Simple proxy server with special features for use with dial-up internet links
X-Chat 1.3.9 GTK+ based IRC client, similar to AmIRC (Amiga).
XCounter 1.0.1 A simple IP traffic monitoring program.
XDBM 0.9.10 Database Manager designed specifically to hold XML data
XEmacs 21.1.8 Internationalized text editor
xfrisk-launcher 1.1.3 A launcher for xfrisk.
xipdump 1.5.4 displays ip packets using the X Window System.
XLosung 1.6.0 A Watchword verse-displayer for TCL.
XMagick 0.0.4 Integrate ImageMagick with any X application.
Xmahjongg 3.0 Colorful X solitaire Mah Jongg game
XML::XSLT 0.15 First Perl XSL-T Parser.
XMMS-Solaris 0.3.2 Output plugin for XMMS to play on Solaris audio
xraw 12161999 Another multimedia development kit.
XShipWars 1.27 Space oriented highly graphical network game system.
Xterminal 0.6.12 Object Oriented User Interface with a client-serverarchitecture
xwpe-alpha 1.5.21a A programming environment for UNIX systems
YakYak 0.9 A bison extension for parsing with side constraints.
YaRET 0.2.2 Yet another Ripper-Encoder-Tagger.
ZBase 1.0b1 A PHP tool to quickly build Database2WWW gateways.

Our software announcements are provided courtesy of FreshMeat


 Main page
 Linux in the news
 Back page

See also: last week's Back page page.

Linux links of the week

LinuxPower has relaunched itself with a new look and a customizable front page. They are running a promotion; create an account by January 9 and you might win a T-Shirt or Hat from Copyleft.net.

LinuxOrbit is mostly a collection of pointers to articles and reviews elsewhere on the net, with a bit of original content thrown in as well. Its contribution comes in the form of organization - it is possible, for example, to find all the articles about GNOME easily. There is also a forum area.

Section Editor: Jon Corbet

December 23, 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.
Date: Sat, 18 Dec 1999 18:47:01 +0000
From: kevin lyda <kevin@suberic.net>
To: letters@lwn.net
Subject: LNUX == linux?


I was wondering when someone would notice.  I'm glad VA Linux used LNUX
for their stock ticker, because it's just one more way to get the name
Linux in the mouths of suits.  Lots of people are clueless that Linux
exists so the more ways they can find out the better.  To complete the
lot it would be nice if LinuxCare went with LINX, or LNXC.

However I was rather curious that the rather noisy "Red Hat is Evil,
Nasty, And Should Be Dragged Across Ye Olde Hot Coals Because They're So
Commercial And Stealing The Linux Name" choir was ever so silent on VA's
ticker choice.  If Red Hat had chosen it, whew.  I suppose if
slashdot.org surviced the posting frenzy following it both the MySQL and
Apache developers could point at a real world case of their software
handling 100 million hits a second.  In fairness Linux is part of VA's

Again, I'm glad for VA, and I think it's great that they picked the name
they did.  I'm very happy in general with companies like VA, RedHat,
SuSE, and TurboLinux for their commitment to free software. 
Particularly the first two since they're nearly 100% behind it.  Neither
the press's inability to understand a rather simple system like Linux
(no one company owns it you freaks!) or the above mentioned choir who
just seem to yammer on for no rational reason impress me though.

Good luck VA, keep getting the word out!  

kevin@suberic.net                              Nutrition Facts
fork()'ed on 37058400		       Puns: 100% RDA  (% good puns: 0)
Date: Thu, 16 Dec 1999 16:41:44 -0500
From: "Jay R. Ashworth" <use-reply-to-address@gte.net>
To: editor@lwn.net
Subject: Ok, Damnit, RMS...


I'm at the end of _my_ rope, now.

> However, one problem may be hard to solve: the LSB is mainly dealing 
> with issues at the operating system level--and is therefore in effect 
> calling the GNU operating system "Linux".

GNU doesn't _have_ an operating system.

GNU has a large, admittedly well done set of utility programs, a
compiler and some frameworks, and, well, ok, maybe you can call _EMACS_
an operating system, but I wouldn't.  :-)

And maybe they'll have an OS kernel Real Soon Now<tm>.


Much, unless I'm very much mistaken, of at least one of the *BSD
operating systems ships with a large collection of GNU utilities.  Does
RMS expect us to start referring to that system as GNU/BSD?

Hell, I can get the Skunkware CD from SCO, and load lots of his code on
my Open Server 5 box.  Must I then call it GNU/SCO?

I have no quibble with the POV that the GNU developers have labored long
and hard, and, in the main, produced some exceptional free
reimplementations of the traditional Unix utility set.  But it took them
10 or 12 _years_ to get even close to having a kernel to talk about...
and obviously, the problem isn't _that_ big; Linus went from 0.01 to
.99pl12f (which I ran successfully for many moons...) in about a year
and a half.

So I think that it's a bit disingenuous of RMS to take the approach he's
taking; let's try to keep our arguments coherent, shall we?  At best,
from the standpoint of "would we be getting any work done here?", the
balance tips towards Linux/GNU -- notwithstanding how much GNU code
there is, it wouldn't run very fast without a kernel underneath.

(Damn, it's uncomfortable dressing down a legend... :-)

-- jra
Jay R. Ashworth
Ashworth & Associates
An Interdisciplinary Consultancy in Advanced Technology
Date: Fri, 17 Dec 1999 16:07:43 +0100
From: Michael Neuffer <neuffer@alpha.mz.rhein-main.de>
To: lwn@lwn.net
Subject: Your current LWN issue

>Despite some difficulties here and there, the VA Linux directed
>share program appears to have gone well. This program allowed
>developers (as recognized by VA) to invest in a small number of
>shares at the IPO price. Many of the difficulties encountered by Red
>Hat (which had to blaze the initial trail for others to follow) were

Unfortunately this is not quite true. Deutsche Bank Alex Brown
failed to do their work properly to file to legal paperwork
so that all of the German developers and reportedly the developers
of a bunch of other countries were left out, in spite of VA wanting 
them to take part. Also communication between DBAB and the participants 
was very problematic, some didn't get any information from DBAB after the 
first mailing and were not able to reach them over the service phone.

Date: Thu, 16 Dec 1999 23:16:59 +0000
From: Sid Boyce <szb50@amdahl.com>
To: letters@lwn.net
CC: rsimpson@ewrcsdra.demon.co.uk
Subject: RE: Binary only modules

Anyone following the huge thread in the kernel mailing list will have
seen all the arguments and exactly where the weight has come down. The
one raised here by Richard Simpson is yet another legitimate one, but
binary-only drivers would not only impact non-x86 users. A driver in
source form could very quickly be fixed whatever platform is affected,
far more responsively than "blindary-only" stuff which could only be
fixed by the guy with the source code.
	Despite the persistence of the original requester, both Linus and Alan
have invented no end of new ways of saying no-way.
... Sid Boyce...Amdahl(Europe)...44-121 422 0375 
Any opinions expressed above are mine and do not necessarily represent
 the opinions or policies of Amdahl Corporation.

Eklektix, Inc. Linux powered! Copyright © 1999 Eklektix, Inc., all rights reserved
Linux ® is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds