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Leading items and editorials

Sun NFS v4 component source code released. Reflecting that Sun has noticed the underwhelming response to its previous source code release announcements, its latest announcement uses words to warm the heart: "The Sun Industry Standards Source License is designed to meet the requirements of the Open Source Definition as articulated by the Open Source Initiative. Sun has submitted the license to the Open Source Initiative for their consideration."

Unfortunately, the first word reported back from Eric Raymond indicates that they aren't there yet. There are problems with the license itself: "'Attaching conformance requirements to the license is too easily abused,' Raymond said. New specifications for the software could be written in such as way as to 'lock down' the actual software, he said." In addition, the current NFS code is part of the Linux kernel. Linus requires code used in the kernel to be licensed under the GPL; Sun's choice of a non-GPL license would prevent its inclusion. Eric is continuing to work with them, so it isn't hopeless yet.

What exactly is the code they are releasing? It is described as "a code component of NFS version 4 called Transport-Independent Remote Procedure Call (TI-RPC)". Guy Harris wrote in with some additional details and a comment on what Sun's rationale for releasing the code might be. The Sun announcement read, "TI-RPC is one of the foundations of NFS, and a key component of the security advancements in version 4". Guy suggests, "Sun's rationale for releasing that code is to make available implementations of the GSS API authentication flavor for ONC RPC".

Meanwhile, other elements of the announcement, increased funding for a project to develop a Linux NFS v4 implementation and the release of its rights on the NFS trademark, are certainly welcome. We hope they change their mind and choose to use the GPL for the NFS code as well. (Thanks to Michael Gerdts.)

Richard Stallman on UCITA. Richard Stallman has put out a call to fight UCITA (the Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act). "UCITA is a proposed law, designed by the proprietary software developers, who are now asking all 50 states of the US to adopt it. If UCITA is adopted, it will threaten the free software community(1) with disaster. To understand why, please read on. "

For previous LWN coverage of UCITA, see the January 13th, 2000 and the June 30th, 1999 editions of the LWN. We agree strongly with Richard; UCITA is a bad idea no matter which way you look at it.

LWN 1999 Timeline in French. The LWN Timeline is now available in French, thanks to the efforts of Roland Trique over at Linux-france.

LWN Coverage from LinuxWorld 2000 in New York City.

Jonathan Corbet and Dennis Tenney are both out at this week's LinuxWorld Expo 2000 in New York City. Here are some links to what they've sent back so far:

Our unconfirmed rumor of the day, from LinuxWorld: We are told that someone from LinuxOne dropped by the SuSE booth on the exhibit floor and told them that LinuxOne plans on buying SuSE "once they make all that money from their IPO". Another instance of a sense of humor at LinuxOne? The first one was their Flame of the Week contest. Well, a sense of humor is an improvement over threats of lawsuits ...

Inside this week's Linux Weekly News:

  • Security: Open source encryption software in Denmark.
  • Kernel: More Wonderful World of Linux.
  • Distributions: MSC.Linux, Complete Linux 7.0, Spiro Linux reviewed.
  • Development: OpenSSH 1.2.2, CMU Sphinx, lots of Linux in Education.
  • Commerce: An incredible number of announcements and press releases.
  • Back page: Linux links and letters to the editor
...plus the usual array of reports, updates, and announcements.

This Week's LWN was brought to you by:

February 3, 2000


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