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Leading items and editorials

Breaking news: On April 4 we announced that LWN has been acquired by Tucows.com. Please read the announcement for all the details; suffice to say that we think it is going to be a good arrangement that, among other things, insures complete editorial freedom for LWN.

Mattel and cphack. Well, we printed a lot of links to articles about Mattel's cphack lawsuit today, after this Wired article claimed that cphack had been released under the GPL. This was false, as can now be verified from Matthew Skala's homepage and Eddy's posting to Slashdot. Matthew and Eddy are the authors of the three programs, cndecode, cph1_rev and cphack, which were the subjects of the lawsuit with Mattel. They came to a settlement and assigned the copyright and ownership of their software over to Mattel. Mattel is still legally pursuing mirror sites that hold copies of this software, even though they've closed the security hole that cphack exploited. This essay describes the issue in detail and is also apparently threatened by the lawsuit.

The media frenzy today, though, turned up lawyers who were willing to state that they felt the GPL could have been challenged on two counts. The first was the issue of whether or not the authors of a piece of software actually create a written instrument, "using paper and pen and a signature", to assign over their rights. Without such an instrument, the authors may be able sell their rights to someone else, who can then revoke the earlier license.

In this article, Eben Moglen, FSF general counsel and a law professor at Columbia University, urged authors to create a written instrument, signing over their rights to the Free Software Foundation, if they really want to make sure their software remains under the GPL. This would presumably be sufficient to prevent a challenge on these grounds.

The second challenge, though, is more disturbing. In the same article, Eugene Volokh, a law professor at UCLA, indicated that he felt the GPL could be challenged because no money changed hands. "'Nonexclusive licenses given for free are generally revocable, even if they purport to be irrevocable,' Volokh said. 'Even if the GPL license in cphack is treated as signed and is covered by 205(e), it might still be revocable by Mattel as the new owners of the cphack copyright.'"

This challenge would be based on the idea that, if no consideration changes hands, then there is no contract between the author and the person using the software, just a free gift which is therefore revokable.

It could be argued that, under the GPL, the person using the software does give something of consideration, as ToLu the Happy Furby commented, "when you are the liscensee of a GPL'ed program you most certainly do give the liscensor something: you agree not to use their code in any proprietary programs. That can be quite a large restriction--certainly worth more than giving a dollar as you suggest--without taking away your rights to use the software as you wish for your own personal use--"

Note that the above are just "potential" reasons for totally theoretical challenges. Because the cphack software was not released under the GPL, they will not be put to the test in this court case. This is possibly a bad thing, because the fear that they might be effective might be more damaging than finding out they are or are not effective. If they were proven ineffective, they could be forgotten. If they were proven effective, then actions could be taken to prevent their effect in future situations, such as by getting authors to sign over their rights to the FSF or by finding a way to include some form of consideration in the GPL that would make it enforceable. (Many thanks to the following posters and others on Slashdot: blakestah, Spud Zeppelin, Anomalous Canard, for information and comments provided in their postings.)

UCITA update. UCITA is an issue that we've almost burned into the ground, so we won't go over the gory details again. For those of you that have been following it, you know that UCITA passed in the state of Virginia. The next battle is being fought in Maryland. UCITA passed the full House of Delegates on Tuesday, March 28th, with a vote of 83 for, 50 against, 8 abstaining. That is an improvement over Virginia, where it was passed almost unanimously.

This may be particularly encouraging because the Maryland UCITA bill has actually been watered down slightly, compared to the original that passed in Virginia. This article in the Baltimore Sun claims that the Maryland version does allow consumers to get their money back if the software "doesn't work" and prohibits "electronic reposession". That is to the good.

On the other hand, House members also "exempt the banking and insurance industry from the measure, and included special provisions for the movie industry." Talk about one big special interest group taking care of another ... such exemptions are clearly a way to pacify groups that have the money to fight this bill, while leaving the individual customer without equivalent protection. For example, no mention is made of the provision that makes reverse-engineering illegal, which is of most concern to the free software community. In addition, companies can still demand that lawsuits be tried in their own home state, where they may find the legal climate more favorable to their case.

Colorado Linux Info Quest (CLIQ). This will be our last update for the CLIQ, since the conference will be held only two days from now. Early registration is going well. However, we still may have to process a few hundred people the morning of April 1st, so if you want to get in to see the keynote, please register in advance via the website. If you make it to the event, be sure and stop by the LWN booth and say hello! Jonathan Corbet, Rebecca Sobol, Denney Tenney and Forrest Cook will all be there, at least for some portion of the day. If you're looking for Liz, though, you'll have to watch the halls ... she'll be out making sure the talks, BOFs and demos are moving smoothly.

Inside this week's Linux Weekly News:

  • Security: Getting security fixes back into the maintainer's code base.
  • Kernel: POSIX threads, DOS fix, large disk support, kswapd fix.
  • Distributions: A deeper look at deepLinux, Alphanet Linux 2000, HispaFuentes and Royal Linux.
  • Development: The KU Real-Time Linux, the Haskell "purely functional" language.
  • Commerce: MandrakeSoft moves, Team Linux.
  • 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:

March 30, 2000


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See also: last week's Security page.


News and editorials

A Secure and Open Society (ComputerWorld Canada). An interview with OpenBSD developer and recognized security guru Theo de Raadt, entitled A Secure and Open Society, takes a look at what OpenBSD has done differently to make itself possibly the most secure operating system available today. " The secret is straightforward. de Raadt and his peers assume that every single bug found in the code occurs elsewhere. de Raadt admits it sounds simple, but just rooting security bugs out of the entire source tree took 10 full-time developers one and a half years to complete."

A simple concept, but one that requires a tremendous amount of effort to implement. Another view of the effort required was produced by this interaction on BugTraq. First, H D Moore complained about buffer overflows in applications shipped with SuSE Linux that had been previously reported, but continued to persist. Note that these applications were not installed with enhanced privileges, but could potentially be run by a more privileged process. Marc Heuse responded, bringing to light the problem caused when such bugs are fixed, but the fixes are not incorporated into the developer tree, due to lack of time or interest on the part of the developer/maintainer. The bugfixes produced by OpenBSD, for example, are all made available, but do not generally get incorporated into the developer's tree, leaving versions of the software for other free operating systems vulnerable.

So blame the developers? Bad policy. Encourage the developers. Pay the developers. After all, without them the software wouldn't exist at all. Best of all, educate the developers, just as much as the end user, the system administrator and the distributor, to care about security, even when the immediate risk level seems small. We are all only as safe as the weakest link in this chain.

Security Reports

Linux kernel-related vulnerabilities. The latest stable kernel prepatch, 2.2.15pre16, contains two security fixes that will make the update to 2.2.15, once released, more imperative. In addition, if a fix comes out quickly enough for the reported UDP masquerading vulnerability, that will be included in 2.2.15 before it is released as well.

gpm-root improper permissions handling. Egmont Koblinger posted a report of improper permissions handling in gpm-root, a tool included in the gpm package. He followed up with a patch when it was pointed out that gpm is now a package looking for a new maintainer. Alessandro Rubini, author of gpm-root, also followed up, promising that a fix for the problem will be included with gpm 1.19.1, which should be released in a few days. That will presumably be the last version of gpm released, unless a new maintainer steps to the plate.

SuSE: IMAP vulnerability. SuSE has published an advisory for a vulnerability in the IMAP server that could allow an attacker to create or delete mail folders. Few details are included, but a fix has been made available.

Subtle data corruption of TCP streams. Wietse Venema posted an analysis of a problem with data corruption of TCP streams when TCP-level options are turned on. Eventually, the problem was traced down to an unnamed bandwidth management system.


mh/nmh. See discussion in the March 9th, 2000 LWN Security Summary.

usermode. See discussion in the January 6th, 2000 LWN Security Summary.

Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh

March 30, 2000

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See also: last week's Kernel page.

Kernel development

The current development kernel release is 2.3.99-pre3. This patch is made up mostly of a lot of little fixes. There is also a new "hotplug" master configuration option (which controls PCMCIA and other such technologies), 3Dfx Banshee/Voodoo3 frame buffer support, nVidia Riva framebuffer support, a master configuration option for WAN devices, a USB Mustek MDC800 digital camera driver, Sun 3x support, an IEEE-1394 update, a PCMCIA Xircom Tulip ethernet driver, IDE layer tweaks, an ISDN update, ATM networking tweaks, and a partial merge of NFSv3 client support.

We mentioned last week the new sequence of "pre" pre-patches. The first 2.3.99pre-4 prepatch contains a number of architecture-specific updates, a new CPiA video camera driver (which relocates and adds to the existing USB support for this device), many changes to the eepro100 ethernet driver, a number of USB serial changes, a StrongARM 1100 LCD frame buffer driver, NFS updates, and some networking fixes.

Alan posted an updated version of his 2.3.x job list.

The current stable kernel release is still 2.2.14. The latest prepatch, 2.2.15pre16, includes two security fixes, for the exec and ELF loader problems and for the "ftp back masquerade" vulnerability. Another prepatch will be released if a fix for a recently announced UDP masquerading bug comes out quickly enough.

POSIX threads. The issue of support in the Linux kernel for POSIX threads came up again this week. Many people who are looking for a clean, cross-platform implementation of threads get frustrated that they are not fully supported by the Linux kernel. The final answer is that they won't be implemented. The concensus among the primary kernel developers appears to be that doing a POSIX threads implementation is impossible to do both correctly and efficiently. Here's a sample of some of the opinions:

Alan Cox:

"posix threads is a braindamaged pile of crap".

Stephen Tweedie:

"although a lot of the POSIX threads are reasonable, things like requiring uid/gid updates to be instantly effective across all threads in the process are just insane".

Linus Torvalds:

"Note that the reason the kernel is not POSIX-compliant is:
- the POSIX standard is technically stupid. It's much better to use a cleaner fundamental threading model and build on top of that.
- things like the above are just so much better and more easily done in user space anyway.

For those people in a pickle as to what to do as a result, Linus suggested they take a look at the netscape/mozilla threading library.

Local Denial of Service against the Linux kernel. Jay Fenlason posted a note to Bugtraq covering a local denial-of-service attack that impacted both the 2.2.14 and the 2.3.99-pre2 kernels. Alexey Kuznetsov responded with a patch for 2.3for the problem.

Support for large disks (>32GB). A discussion was initiated by David Elliott this week on how to support disks larger than 32GB on systems with older BIOS. It provided an interesting example of the complexity introduced into an operating system in order to handle essentially broken hardware. H. Peter Anvin commented, "Remember... most hardware/firmware is broken. Part of what makes a good OS is to work with broken hardware without sacrificing working with properly working hardware." In the end, Andre Hedrick outlined his preferred solutions for the problem, to which most people seemed to agree.

kswapd fix. Russell King reported a problem with kswapd where it looped unnecessarily, chewing up unneeded CPU cycles. Rik Van Riel took Russell's first effort at a patch and cleaned it up for inclusion in an upcoming 2.3.x prepatch.

Timpanogas NetWare filesystem releases. The Timpanogas Research Group has announced the release of its NWFS 2.2 NetWare file system. NWFS is released under the GPL. They have also announced the forthcoming release of the M2CS clustered storage system and M2FS distributed filesystem.

The endless overcommit thread .... The endless linux-kernel thread discussing overcommit lived up to its name this week. We won't touch upon the issues again, continuing to redirect you to the March 9 discussion of this, since nothing new and wonderful has been added to the discussion since. However, we couldn't resist a pointer to this note from Richard Johnson on the topic, if only for the amusement value.

Other patches and updates released this week include:

Section Editor: Jonathan Corbet

March 30, 2000

For other kernel news, see:

Other resources:


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See also: last week's Distributions page.


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

Deeplinux: A Deeper Look. deepLinux author Rick Collette took the time to fill out our new distributions survey. That gives us more information to use in our reporting. We can now state that deepLinux is based on Red Hat, but will not be tied to future releases, it will support English, Spanish and Dutch initially, and will support the Intel x86/Pentium, IA64 and Sparc64 platforms. It will have versions targeted for a number of special purposes; check the survey for more details. Many thanks for your time, Rick!

Review: Alphanet Linux 2000 (Linux News & Care). The Linux News & Care site has put up a review (in German) of Alphanet Linux 2000. Alphanet is a new, Red Hat-derived distribution from England; it can be found at alphanet-linux.com. English text is available via Babelfish, but it's rough going. (Thanks to Peter Kis).

HispaFuentes. Another distribution new to our list (but not particularly new) is HispaFuentes, a Spanish distribution based on Red Hat 6.1 out of Madrid, Spain. (Thanks to Jesus Climent.)

innominate bootable business card. A German Linux support company, innominate, has also produced a Bootable Business Card, a rescue disk on a small CD the size of a business card. This one is localized for German users. (Thanks to Helge Kreutzmann.)

Another embedded Linux distribution. From a press release we mention on the commerce page, we found information on Royal Linux, another embedded Linux distribution, this one from ISDCorp.

Black Lab Linux

Terra Soft adds Altivec to Black Lab Linux. Terra Soft Solutions has announced the addition of Altivec support to its Black Lab Linux distribution. Altivec evidently provides access to vector processing capabilities in the PowerPC processor, leading to serious performance gains for certain types of applications.

Caldera OpenLinux

Caldera Systems Ships OpenLinux eDeskTop 2.4. Caldera Systems Inc. announced the shipping of OpenLinux eDesktop 2.4. "It ships with the Citrix ICA client and is the first Linux high performance desktop platform -- and the only Linux product -- providing instant Internet access through preconfigured, preinstalled browser plug-ins and ISP phone numbers. OpenLinux eDesktop seamlessly bridges the gap between the LAN and the Internet as both an Internet and network client."

Corel Linux

Corel Looks to Polish Linux (PC World). Here's a PC World article about Corel's plans. "Corel will soon announce several new Linux initiatives, according to [Corel VP Rene] Schmidt. Apart from ongoing upgrades to the Debian/GNU Linux core and the 'K' desktop environment user interface, Corel will look to improve Windows interoperability, add speech enablement to the OS, and provide closer Web integration into Corel Linux."

Corel Linux Available in Russia. Russian software distributor CPS has announced Corel Linux Download special edition. The product is based upon the new Corel Linux distribution announced by Corel in late 1999.

Al Fasoldt Reviews Corel Linux (Technofile). Al Fasoldt really likes Corel Linux. "It came with an easy-to-use display adjustment method that works just like the "Display Properties" function one in Windows. One of the worst problems in most other versions of Linux is the astoundingly dumb (and often unworkable) method they force users to resort to just to change display modes (from 640 X 480 resolution to 800 X 600, for example). Corel won my heart forever for knowing how important it is to do this kind of thing right."

Debian GNU/Linux

Debian 2.1r5 released. Debian 2.1r5 was announced on March 23, 2000. This is another update of the slink version of Debian, still based on the 2.0.X kernel, containing security and Y2K updates.

Debian Weekly News (Mar 29). This week's Debian Weekly News announces that Wichert Akkerman was re-elected Debian Project Leader. The partial success of the last Bug Horizon is also covered and the rumor that Transmeta's Mobile Linux is based on Debian is confirmed.

Definite Linux

DefiniteLinux update. The primary website for the Definite Linux distribution, http://www.definitelinux.com, has been off-line for some time. We checked with Jason Clifford at Definite Linux, who assured us that the distribution and company are doing fine. The site problems are due to various ISP changes and name registration problems. Until these are resolved, the Definite Linux site can still be reached at http://www.definitelinux.net.


Review: Linux-Mandrake 7.0 (AboutLinux). AboutLinux reviews Linux-Mandrake 7.0. "I was very impressed with the addition of the Cryptographic step - this excellent addition gets around cryptographic export regulations by installing cryptographic modules from FTP servers around the world during the course of the installation."


LinuxPPC developer Jason Haas in car accident. We learn from Slashdot that LinuxPPC developer Jason Haas has been in a serious car accident and remains in the hospital. Updates on how he is doing can be found on the LinuxPPC.com site. Our thoughts are with you, Jason.

Red Hat Linux

Red Hat 6.2 officially released. Jussi Torhonen dropped us a note very early this morning (Finnish time) mentioning that Red Hat 6.2 was in the process of being mirrored out to various mirror sites, indicating the official release of 6.2 was imminent. Later this morning, the release of Red Hat 6.2 was confirmed. Note that the ship date for the release is scheduled for April 10, 2000.

Official Red Hat 6.2 announcement. Here is the official announcement of Red Hat 6.2. Red Hat eCos (embedded configurable operating system) 1.3 was also included in the announcement. eCos is an open source, non-Linux-based, small footprint operating system originally developed by Cygnus (before its acquisition by Red Hat), offered primarily for systems where even a stripped-down version of Linux is too large. "eCos 1.3 features a built-in TCP/IP stack that enables embedded devices to communicate with the Internet."

Red Hat priority customers disappointed. Red Hat customers who have access to Red Hat's Priority Online Access are promised "when you purchase Priority Online Access, you gain access to priority.redhat.com -- the dedicated FTP server for Red Hat customers. From this server, Red Hat provides dedicated bandwidth for you to access updates and automated installation of packages via the Red Hat Update Agent." Unfortunately, just as the normal mirror sites are clogged with traffic, these same customers have been accessing priority.redhat.com -- and finding that Red Hat hasn't made Red Hat 6.2 available on that server as of yet.

Slackware Linux

The modutils package was upgraded to modutils-2.3.10 this week, build scripts submitted by Jan Rafaj.

SuSE Linux

XFree86 4.0 Available for SuSE (LinuxPR). SuSE has announced that XFree86 4.0 is now available. " It is very important to keep in mind that XFree86 4 is still very much in development, and it contains a lot of new work. That means two things: there is a lot of new exciting stuff to try, but being new code, it hasn't had nearly as much of a workout as the stable 3.3.x releases. " The SuSE rpm's are available for download as are the release notes. And, oh yeah, "Have a lot of fun!"

Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh

March 30, 2000

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
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Also well-known
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Non-technical desktop
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Complete Linux
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Corel Linux
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PingOO Linux
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VA-enhanced Red Hat
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Virtual Linux
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GNU/Linux Ututo
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Related Projects
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Historical (Non-active)
MCC Interim Linux
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See also: last week's Development page.

Development projects

How Many Bugs Does Linux Have?. There is an interesting discussion going on over at Advogato. The original poster is amazed that the average distribution is so stable, and wonders if there is a way to somehow get a handle on how many bugs a large distributed open-source software project might have. "It is truly amazing to me that Linux and all the packages that make your average distribution are so stable. The stability is certainly not due to testing. I'm still stumped as to the reason beyond the most obvious one: things that are used (dogfood) are fixed. But what about the stuff that's not used, but you may one day need to work?"

LART CAD files released. The LART project has announced the release of a full set of CAD files under an open hardware license. "The LART is a small yet powerful embedded computer capable of running Linux, built around an Intel SA-1100 StrongARM processor. Its performance is around 250 MIPS while consuming less than 1 Watt of power."

Application of the week: Gnumeric (Linuxcare). Linuxcare's application of the week is the Gnumeric spreadsheet. "This application looks sharp and functions pretty well for my current needs. Given the momentum behind the GNOME project, Gnumeric is on its way to becoming a convincing alternative to similar proprietary applications."

Developing with Open Source. This week's Freshmeat editorial discusses the approach one should take to develop software using the open source model. "Be very strict about the project. Write guidelines on how the code is going to be formated. Write guidelines about the extent of documentation required both in the code and externally. And then stick to your guidelines. This way, you'll understand the code in two months time, but more importantly, if new developers join the project, there will be some consistency and cohesion to it."

LUIGUI is dead. We mentioned LUIGUI , the Linux/UNIX Independent Group for Usability Information, on the front page of the February 24th, 2000 edition of the Linux Weekly News. Now, only a few weeks later, we must report its demise. "I have the unfortunate job of telling you that the LUIGUI list and associated projects have been put on hold (read: cancelled) due to lack of support by the University."


Why Gecko Matters .... Jeffery Zeldman of both The Web Standards Project and A List Apart takes a look at Gecko. "If the result is a browser that fully complies with HTML 4, CSS-1, XML, JavaScript (EcmaScript) and the W3C DOM, it won't matter how long it took to get there."


SEUL/EDU Linux in Education report. Last week's SEUL/EDU Linux in Education report is available. It provides a link to Doug Loss and and Pete St. Onge editorial on Linux in Education.

This week's Linux in Education Report talks about testimonials from teachers and students using Linux in schools that they received in response to the editorial. Many of these people thought they were alone in their efforts. It also mentions a search for a summer camp that supports Linux or open source software ... none were found. Here is a good project for next summer: a Free Software Summer Camp!

Embedded Linux

KURT: The KU Real-Time Linux. A whitepaper has been released describing KURT: The KU Real-Time Linux, an implementation of a real-time system that lies in between the arenas of soft real-time and hard real-time. "Some types of processing (eg. multimedia) do not fit well into the hard or soft real-time categories. The periodic requests made by multimedia applications are sensitive to variations in timing. As such, they are not well served by the loose guarantees provided by soft real-time systems. Hard real-time systems are often faced with providing guarantees at the expense of providing services. Thus, while they can meet the timing requirements of a multimedia application, many times they cannot meet it's other service requirements."

Enterprise Applications

IT-Director looks at four ERP suites that are under development for Linux. "Compared to heavyweight ERP suites like that from SAP, these may look fairly thin, but these are early days. The very fact that there are four Open Source initiatives leads us to believe that the ERP market will undoubtedly have at least one significant Open Source competitor." (Found on LinuxWorld.)


For Gamers: An interview with CEO's of BioWare Corp.. Dr. Greg Zeschuk and Dr. Ray Muzyka are joint CEO's of BioWare Corp, a company based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada which developed Shattered Steel, Baldur's Gate, Tales of the Sword Coast, and is developing Baldur's Gate II, MDK2, and Neverwinter Nights. LinuxPower has put out an interview exploring their future plans in general and their plans for Linux. " BioWare's goal is to develop products for every possible platform. Linux is an operating system with a lot of potential for the future."


Wine Weekly News. Wine 20000326 has been released, announced this week's Wine Weekly News. Other discussions include Wine's resource compiler (wrc) and compatibility between Wine and XFree86.

Samba Kernel-Cousin. The Samba Kernel-Cousin for March 23rd covers five alpha releases that have gone out this week, including the second pre-release of Samba 2.0.7 and four alpha releases of Luke Leighton's Samba-TNG branch. This branch, by the way, is slated to go directly into Samba 3.0 if and when the code is stable enough.


Advanced Linux Routing HOW-TO. A bazaar-style development project to produce an Linux 2.4 Advanced Routing HOWTO has been started by bert hubert and Greg Maxwell. They are looking for as many co-editors as they can get, since they have a lot of ground to cover. "It appears that Linux features a wildly powerful traffic controller under the hood that hasn't been recognized widely before, because of a staggering lack of HOWTO style documentation." Good luck to them, this project will be much appreciated.

Along the same lines, Martijn van Oosterhout announced his Packet-Shaping-HOWTO.html.

OpenNMS Update (Mar 28). The OpenNMS project, which is building an open source network management package, has started releasing bi-weekly development reports. Here is their first report.

Office Applications

AbiWord Weekly News. - Starting Word Exporter, GNOME support, LaTeX export and Modal dialogs are the topics for this week's AbiWord Weekly News.

On the Desktop

KDE Development News. The implementation of a new icon scheme, a new crash handler, Java support and more are discussed in this week's KDE Development News.

Meanwhile, over at mosfet.org, two new KWin plugins have come out, Krabber gets top ranking among audio encoders from Linuxcare and the kHTML widget gets complete bidirectional input support.


The SEUL project announces SEUL/sci. The SEUL project has announced the SEUL/sci project, to foster the development of useful open source scientific software for Linux. They have issued their first weekly Linux in Science report. This week's report includes a summary of recent scientific software releases, along with a bit more detailed coverage of the R Statistical System.

Website Development

Zope Weekly News (Mar 29). This week's Zope Weekly News covers the announcement that ZEO is going open source and more ... "ZEO (Zope Enterprise Option) turns Zope into a distributed transactional object system, allowing people to add processors, machines, and networks to scale their web applications."

Midgard Weekly Summary (#34). This week's Midgard Weekly Summary reports that a stable version of Oracle-enabled midgard-lib may be released within a week. Work on a postgres port is beginning as well, starting with developing better documentation for the internal Midgard API to assist the port. Midgard's default database implementation is MySQL. "Midgard is a freely-available Web application development and publishing platform based on the popular PHP scripting language."

Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh

March 30, 2000

Project Links
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More Information



Development tools


Benjamin Kosnik released a new development snapshot for C++ on Friday, March 24th which is available for download.


Haskell is a "purely functional language" that has several freely available implementations. We asked Jens-Ulrik Petersen for more information on the licensing of the various Haskell implementations and he provided a summary for us. "Until quite recently (last year in fact I believe), the Haskell community had a kind of academic attitude of distancing itself from licensing. However (because of the desire to be included in Linux distributions I would say) this changed and now all the main implementations have BSD-like or Artistic licenses."


Enhydra 3.0. Lutris Technologies announced the release of Enhydra 3.0. Enhydra is an Open Source Java/XML application server. The latest version includes support for wireless applications on cell phones and PDAs, load balancing and integration with Inprise's JBuilder products, including the JBuilder IDE. "Lutris Enhydra 3.0, which includes extensive enhancements in scalability and standards support, is the commercially certified and supported version of Enhydra. In keeping with existing practice, bug fixes, GUI installs, and other advancements and developments will be posted concurrently to the Open Source community. "

Tritonus 0.1.91. A new version of BROKEN LINK tritonus, the Java Sound API for Linux, has been released, version 0.1.91. This version has MIDI mostly working and promises major improvements in the handling of 8-bit sound data.


perl v5.6.0 announced!. Perl v5.6.0 was announced today. Additional details were posted to the perl5-porters list. They include a long list of new features, such as Unicode support. "After almost two years of intense deliberation, patching, troubleshooting, and testing, the Perl Porters are proud to bring you the newest major release of Perl. Welcome to Perl v5.6.0!" (Thanks to Baiju Thakkar, PerlMonth.)

Following up the above announcment, ActiveState has announced the release of ActivePerl 5.6. ActivePerl is a value added, binary distribution of Perl that can be downloaded for free. ActiveState provides commercial support for ActivePerl under Linux, Windows and Solaris.

Perl Bindings for RealTime Linux. Zentropix has announced the release of perl bindings for real-time Linux. "Using these bindings, programmers can use the RTAI programming API from a scripting environment, thus giving simple access to a soft real-time programming environment."


Python 3000 to be Complete Rewrite. Linux Today reports a warning by Guido van Rossum that Python 3000 will not be backwards compatible with Python 1.x. Guido plans to develop 3000 in tandem with 1.7 later this year. (1.6 is due by summer.) "'Python 3000 is a monumental effort - all the code will be rewritten and the documentation revised. This is my one chance to reimplement Python and fix its efficiency problems. But how incompatible it will be is a very big open question and I don't have a concrete answer,' he said."

Dr. Dobbs' Python-URL. This week's Python-URLcovers all the Python news for the past week.


Dr. Dobbs' Tcl-URL. This week's Tcl-URL promises a pointer to reveal some of the 'hidden' Tk commands.

Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh

Language Links
IBM Java Zone
Perl News
Daily Python-URL

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See also: last week's Commerce page.

Linux and business

MandrakeSoft has been busy this week continuning to weave their classic Linux success story. Having grown way beyond their roots in the Red Hat distribution, Linux-Mandrake is clearly one of the top major independent Linux distributions.

This week ASL adopted Linux-Mandrake for their Linux hardware-solutions, and last week MandrakeSoft bought Bochs and comitted it to Open Source. MandrakeSoft also announced two new Linux-Mandrake 7.0 releases: i486, and the UltraSPARC beta.

Macmillan USA also had something to say about MandrakeSoft with their announcement of Secure Server 7.0, a secure Linux web server built within the Linux-Mandrake 7.0 operating system.

The Pacoima Community Technology Center got a boost last week from Maxspeed and MandrakeSoft.

In two separate press releases MandrakeSoft and Maxspeed announced their participation in a charitable donation to the Pacoima Community Technology Center. MandrakeSoft donated both software and technical expertise. Maxspeed donated thin-client workstations, monitors and a server.

A nice balance of commercial partnering, open source nurturing and enhancing customer choice for MandrakeSoft last week.

For the story of Linux-Mandrake as told by the distribution's creator, check out Gael Duval's feature article we published two weeks ago.

MandrakeSoft's Chief Technical Officer, Jean-loup Gailly, talks about "gzip, go, and Mandrake" in this fun Slashdot interview from earlier this month.

TeamLinux blasted off this week with their corporate launch and the acquisition of Wimberley TechSys, Inc. (WTS) of Austin, Texas and Information Systems, Inc., (ISI) of Dayton, Ohio. WIS's chip design expertise makes an interesting first acquisiton for the new services firm. ISI's experience gives TeamLinux access to the health care and government markets.

The company describes itself as "a professional services organization that provides customers completely integrated solutions enabled by open source / Linux technology". TeamLinux sponsors the Linux Professional Institute (LPI) and Linux International. Their first announced business partners are TurboLinux, Mandrake, SuSe, Corel, Sun StarOffice, Compaq and HP.

The management team has impressive credentials from established firms such as IBM, NCR, AT&T, TRW, Vanstar, Andersen Consulting and Coopers & Lybran. What I didn't find, at least at first glance, is any emphasis on Open Source experience or community involvement in those credentials.

We wish TeamLinux well in service to their customers and the Open Source community.

In IPO news last week Red Herring reviewed and Rackspace.com filed.

  • 14 IPOs went this past week, with an average profit for investors of 53.9%, noted this article entitled IPO week in review: 14 deals raise $2.4 billion. Caldera was one of the two best performers, but its performance was still below what was expected. "The number of deals and dollar volumes are expected to continue in their present course, but the moonshot-a-day scenario present earlier this year is fading."

  • Rackspace.com Inc. announced it has filed to register $65 million of common stock for an initial public offering. Rackspace.com provides advanced Linux-based Internet hosting services for small-to medium-sized businesses. Although Rackspace.com did not reveal the number of shares or the per-share price range it would unleash upon the markets, it did say that it hopes to trade on the tech-laden Nasdaq using the ticker symbol "RACK."

IBM announced it has filed with regulators to sell about $14.37 million worth of shares in Red Hat.

Meanwhile Red Hat has reported its fourth quarter results. "Red Hat, Inc. (Nasdaq: RHAT), the leading provider of open source solutions for Internet infrastructure, reported revenue of $13.1 million for the fourth quarter ended February 29, 2000, a 39% increase over revenue of $9.4 million for the fourth quarter last year. "

Merlin Software Technologies announced the "Option Source Program, which combines the benefits of free & independently tested Open Source Linux software with compensation for programmers. The Option Source program is proprietary to Merlin and is designed to speed the development of Open Source Linux software." Merlin then holds joint copyright and intellectual property rights to the software so developed, which would then be released under a yet-to-be-specified "Merlin Option Source license".

IHS Consulting Group releases findings of a study that shows Linux is stirring strong interest from the POS (Point-of-Sale) terminal market. IHS President Greg Buzek admits that it will be an uphill battle, though. "Looking forward, Buzek added, 'If those in the open source community can avoid a potential split in Linux, if POS drivers can be written, and if vendors step up for support, Linux could make some significant impact in the market. But these are some major challenges for a product that has no clear owner.'"

Evans Marketing Services announced the availability of a comprehensive research study of Linux developers. "The study found severe dissatisfaction amongst Linux developers with the tools currently available."

Compaq has made some of its new, super-thin, 1U rackmount Alpha servers available for testing via its TestDrive program. There are both Red Hat and SuSE systems available, with Debian "coming soon."

Slashdot headlines are now being made available on QUIOS Mobile Phones, according to this recent press release. "The QUIOS service will connect geeks on more than 150 mobile networks world-wide to their beloved Slashdot.org headlines enabling them to stay connected with the pulse of the Linux/Open Source industry 24 hours a day."

LinuxMall.com is urging the adoption of certification standards developed by the Linux Professional Institute.

Section Editor: Dennis Tenney.

Press Releases:

    Open Souce Products:

  • Dolphin Interconnect Solutions introduced an open sourced Linux driver for its high performance interconnect cards.

  • A new company called "Indrema" has announced that it will be bringing out products based on "open source digital electronics." Their first product will be an entertainment console that runs Linux, and which has open interfaces.

  • Visionyze.com (QUEBEC CITY, Canada) announced that it will develop an open source version of its Hybrid Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) technology on the Linux platform.

    Commercial Products for Linux:

  • Concord Communications, Inc. (MARLBORO, Mass.) announced that SystemEDGE, part of its flagship eHealth solution suite, supports the Linux operating system.

  • Corel Corporation (CAMBRIDGE, Mass.) and Bitstream Inc. announced that the Linux font server from Bitstream has been incorporated into WordPerfect Office 2000, a comprehensive office productivity suite for the Linux OS. In addition, the Linux font server from Bitstream will be included in future versions of Corel LINUX OS, which has been downloaded by over 200,000 Linux users to date.

  • IDG Books Worldwide, Inc. introduced Linux in a Box For Dummies, a three-CD collection containing Caldera OpenLinux 2.3, and StarOffice for Linux 5.1, as well as two E-Books and a compact installation manual.

  • Inprise has announced the availability of a beta version of InterBase 6.0. Still no source, however...

  • Intrusion.com, Inc. (RICHARDSON, Texas,) announced the immediate availability of Linux support for its SecureCom 8000 family of Internet security appliances and chassis systems.

  • Joydesk.com (Seattle, Wash.) announced plans to release Joydesk 2.1, a Web-based groupware suite for the Cobalt Qube and RaQ server appliances.

  • Kaspersky Lab (Moscow, Russia) announced a beta-version of AntiViral Toolkit Pro for Sendmail.

  • Knox Software Corp. (CARLSBAD, Calif.) announced that its Arkeia network backup software application has been selected for inclusion on the latest edition of the Red Hat Linux Application Library CD.

  • LAND-5 Corporation (SAN DIEGO) introduced the RAIDpod, which allows one to add SCSI disk array RAID storage to off-the-shelf or custom servers.

  • Novell, Inc. (SALT LAKE CITY) announced the upcoming availability of the Novell Internet Messaging System (NIMS) on the Solaris and Linux platforms.

  • Omnis Technology Corp. (SAN CARLOS, Calif.) announced the inclusion of its flagship product, OMNIS Studio, in Caldera Systems' eDesktop release of OpenLinux.

  • PentaSafe Security Technologies, Inc. (HOUSTON) announced a Linux strategy and the future release of the PentaSafe VigilEnt Security Agent for Linux. PentaSafe has also joined the Independent Software Vendor Partner Program of Red Hat.

  • PlugSys International (SAN LEANDRO, CA) announced the release of Max Xbase 2.0 for Linux.

  • QueryObject Systems Corporation (ROSLYN HEIGHTS, N.Y.) announced the beta program for a new release of its QueryObject Server for Linux.

  • Rebel.com has announced that its NetWinder series of computers has been certified by Linuxcare Labs as being fully functional under Linux.

  • Teamware Group announced the open pre-release download of Teamware Office 5.3 for Linux platform. The product is available for a 90-day evaluation period with a 50-user license.

  • TheLinuxShopper.com (St. Louis, MO) is a new website offering Linux users a new place to buy Linux software.

  • TransEDA (PARIS, France and LOS GATOS, Calif) announced that Verification Navigator, its integrated design verification environment, will support Red Hat Linux for Intel-based workstations.

  • Verisity Ltd. (MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.) announced that its testbench automation tool, Specman Elite, will support the Linux operating system.

  • X and Mail (PARIS) announced the availability of XWAPmail, a software solution empowering Telecommunication Operators, ISPs and Wireless Service Providers to provide their client with full access and management of their e-mail accounts (POP3 and IMAP4) through WAP handheld communication devices such as cell-phones and wireless PDAs. Available in Sun Solaris and Linux versions and supports LDAP directories, CGI and FastCGI scripts.


  • Paragon Solutions, Inc. (CHICAGO) announced the availability of Web-based training courses, Learning Linux Essentials and Networking Linux. Designed for adoption by Linux vendors, resellers, and trainers, these courses were developed in conjunction with O'Reilly & Associates.

    Products Using Linux:

  • Extended Systems announced a feature release of the ExtendNet 4000 Internet appliance, which uses Red Hat Linux.

  • M-Systems Flash Disk Pioneers Ltd. (FREMONT, Calif) announced that 3iLinux has selected DiskOnChip for its Universal Internet Box.

    Java Products:

  • O'Reilly & Associates (Sebastopol, CA) announced a new edition of 'Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB)' for the enterprise software developer.

    Products with Linux Versions:

  • AMD (SUNNYVALE, Calif.) released an upgraded version of its PCnet software suite, featuring two new device drivers supporting Microsoft Windows 2000 and Linux operating systems.

  • Asante Technologies, Inc. (SAN JOSE, Calif.) announced the GigaNIX, a copper Gigabit Ethernet adapter.

  • CircleBox (MARBLEHEAD, Mass.) released the next generation in file-swapping software named GNARLY!.

  • Corel Corporation (NOVATO, Ca. & OTTAWA) announced it has entered into a non-exclusive worldwide licensing agreement with IMSI which entitles Corel to license the source code for two productivity applications: FLOW!, a flow chart and diagraming package, and TurboProject, a project management program.

  • Covalent Technologies, Inc. (SAN FRANCISCO) announced that it will begin exporting its 128-bit Raven SSL strong encryption software product outside the US and Canada.

  • Gadzoox Networks, Inc. (SALT LAKE CITY) announced that its Capellix 3000 modular SAN switch has been awarded certification for Novell Directory Services (NDS).

  • Image Power, Inc. (VANCOUVER) announced it has been selected by the ISO committee as the source of the C reference code for JPEG 2000.

  • Intel Corporation (AMERICAN FORK, Utah) released Intel LANDesk Management Suite 6.4.

  • MasterCard International (PURCHASE, N.Y.) introduced Smart Data OnLine, a web-based tool that assists businesses in organizing, consolidating, analyzing and managing financial data through the Internet.

  • MATRAnet, Inc. (REDWOOD SHORES, Calif.) announced the release of M>WebTouch 3.0, its e-business customer relationship management solution.

  • CSI-MAXIMUS (MCLEAN, Va.) announced fleet management systems that run on the Oracle database as part of its suite of fleet enterprise applications (FEAi).

  • MGE UPS SYSTEMS (COSTA MESA, Calif.) introduced its Pulsar Esprit Power Cluster, the newest development in high availability power protection.

  • Novas Software, Inc. (PARIS and SAN JOSE, Calif) announced that it is upgrading its Debussy Knowledge-Based Debugging system to support fully integrated debugging of designs containing both Verilog and VHDL.

  • Omnis Technology Inc. (SAN CARLOS, CA) announced the release of OMNIS Studio v2.4, the newest version its Rapid Application Development (RAD) tool, OMNIS Studio.

  • OSM (SEATTLE) announced the release of COSuser, the latest addition to COSMOS, its range of IT operations management products for UNIX, Linux and NT.

  • Quantum Corporation's DLT & Storage Systems Group announced that Tandberg Data ASA is expanding its DLT branded tape drives, tape automation, and tape information storage products to include Quantum's new Super DLTtape technology.

  • RADVision, Inc. (MAHWAH, N.J.) announced Version 2.6 of its H.323 Protocol toolkit, optimized for demanding carrier grade applications and embedded systems.

  • Timpanogas Research Group, Inc. (OREM, Utah) announced the M-Squared Clustered Storage System (M2CS) for NetWare 5, Linux and Windows 2000, and the M-Squared Distributed File System (M2FS) for NetWare 5, Linux and Windows 2000.

  • Ubiquity Software Corporation (SAN JOSE, Calif.) announced a major software addition to its Helmsman Application Services Platform.

  • Viador Inc. (SAN MATEO, Calif.) announced it has made the Viador E-Portal Suite available on the Linux operating system.

  • WebManage Technologies (CHELMSFORD, Mass.) announced i-Scaler, an Internet Traffic Management solution with Web-based Class of Service (WebCoS) and intelligent load balancing.

  • Xybridge Technologies (RICHARDSON, Texas) announced its advanced Universal Services Suite (USS), a comprehensive family of carrier-class software-based switching solutions.

    Partnerships, Investments and Acquisitions:

  • Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. (REDWOOD CITY, Calif.) announced its OPSEC Appliance Initiative, which enables partners to deliver turnkey Internet security appliances based on Check Point's Secure Virtual Network (SVN) architecture. The new program is centered around Linux-based appliances.

  • Cobalt Networks has announced a deal to acquire Chili!Soft, a vendor of active server pages (ASP) software for Linux. The deal is for 1.15 million shares of Cobalt stock.

  • Computer Horizons Corp. (MOUNTAIN LAKES, N.J) announced that it has signed an agreement with Red Hat, Inc. as a Certified Enterprise Channel Partner.

  • e-smith, inc. (Ottawa, ON.), a developer and provider of open source, Linux-based server products for small to medium enterprises, announced the formation of an exclusive Technology Partnership Agreement with Ivynetwork Co. Ltd. of Yokohama, Japan. Under the Technology Partnership Agreement, e-smith and Ivynetwork will work together to develop, market and sell e-smith products for the Japanese marketplace.

  • EBIZ, Inc. has announced that TheLinuxStore.com will join in the upcoming Corel Linux Roadshow 2000, the North American tour featuring WordPerfect Office 2000 for Linux and Corel LINUX OS.

  • eSoft Inc. (BROOMFIELD, Colo.) announced a licensing and distribution agreement with Hewlett-Packard's (HP) Complementary Products division in Latin America. HP will license and distribute eSoft's redphish Linux Internet appliance software in Latin American. This agreement expands HP's recent initiatives with eSoft including a similar agreement with the HP Complementary Products Division in Germany.

  • Forlink Software Corporation Inc. (BEIJING and GENEVA) announced that it has signed a "Red Hat ISV Partner Agreement" and a "Red Hat Linux Application CD (LACD) Agreement" with Red Hat Inc.

  • SuSE and Siemens (BAD HOMBURG, Germany) announced a partnership in the drive to serve Enterprise Linux customers.

  • Inprise/Borland (SCOTTS VALLEY, Calif.) is looking for third party support for its Kylix project. Some participants include Linux distributors MandrakeSoft, TurboLinux, Corel, Caldera and SuSE. Originally announced in September 1999, Project Kylix will be a high performance Linux rapid application development environment that will support Delphi, C and C++.

  • Intel Corporation (SANTA CLARA/SAN JOSE, Calif) announced that the company has made a minority equity investment in Lynx Real-Time Systems, Inc., developer of Linux-based embedded real-time operating systems (RTOS).

  • ISDCorp, makers of another embedded Linux distribution, Royal Linux, have announced a cooperative agreement with MIPS Technologies to provide Royal Linux to MIPS32 and other MIPS architecture processors.
  • LinuxMall.com (DENVER) announced an agreement with EarthWeb's Dice.com that will allow customized Linux job searches directly from the site by simply placing Linux in the job search string.

  • LinuxWizardry Systems, Inc. (VANCOUVER, British Columbia) announced that a private placement for $5,000,000 is being completed for the development and production of its Linux based low-cost router.

  • MERANT (ROCKVILLE, Md.) unveiled several initiatives aimed at bringing the power of MERANT Egility e-business solutions to the IBM development community. That includes support for Linux on IBM platforms.

  • Merlin Software Technologies (ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla.) announced that Caldera Systems Inc. has chosen Merlin's PefectBACKUP+ backup and crash recovery software to bundle with Caldera's newly announced OpenLinux eDesktop version of Linux.

  • NETmachines, Inc. (SAN JOSE, Calif.) announced that Linuxcare Inc. will be the key provider of NETmachines' RedRak technical service and support for all NETmachines customers throughout North America.

  • Progressive Systems, Inc. (COLUMBUS, OH) and KDD Network Systems Co., Ltd. announced that the Progressive family of Linux-based firewall and VPN solutions will be made available to the Japanese business market through a newly formed partnership between the companies.

  • RapidStream (SAN JOSE, Calif.) announced it has joined Check Point's OPSEC Certified Appliance Partner Program in order to integrate Check Point's Secure Virtual Network (SVN) architecture with RapidStream's multi-function security appliances. The resulting Linux-based appliance will offer customers high-performance security solutions.

  • Red Hat, Inc. (RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C.) introduced the Enterprise Channel Partner Program for the largest resellers and network and systems integrators that service some of the world's most established and successful enterprise companies.

  • SSE Telecom, Inc. (FREMONT, Calif) and Mentat Inc. announced a partnership in which Mentat will work with SSET to develop and market Internet TCP/IP protocol acceleration technology for the satellite communications market based on Mentat's proven SkyX Gateway solutions. The resultant product will be available in a Linux version.

  • The University of Western Ontario has announced a partnership with Compaq to establish the "Compaq-Western Centre for Computational Research." As part of the deal, they will be installing a 70-node, Alpha-based Beowulf cluster. (Thanks to the London Linux Resource Guide).

  • YARC Systems Corporation (CAMARILLO, Calif.) reported ongoing progress in discussions with the management and major investor groups of Printware Inc. "YARC is seeking a business combination that makes optimal use of the symbiosis possible between YARC's LINUX Internet Server technologies and Printware's CTP platemaking technologies in order to define a revolutionary e-commerce business model for the printing industry."

    Linux at Work

  • Allaire Corporation (CAMBRIDGE, Mass.) announced that Infonautics, Inc. successfully relaunched the Sports Sleuth website and its NCAA Basketball office pool contest using Allaire ColdFusion for Linux.

  • NetLedger, Inc. (SAN MATEO, Calif.) announced the launch of a new, consolidated Data Center. The new Data Center establishes NetLedger as the largest Linux installation of Oracle worldwide.
    Rainbow Technologies Inc. announced that the company's CryptoSwift EN 1000 e-commerce accelerator has been deployed in the NetLedger data center.

  • Pervasive Software Inc. (AUSTIN, Texas) announced that its Tango 2000 Web application development software for Linux is the power behind ASPstreet.com, a leading network of ASPs (Application Service Providers) and related strategic partners.

  • Red Hat has put out this press release claiming that eToys runs over 500 systems with Red Hat Linux.

  • VA Linux Systems has announced that Evoke has installed "hundreds" of its 2U rackmount server systems.


  • Lineo, Inc. (LINDON, Utah) announced three new executives. Kim D. Clark, most recently from Novell, was named Vice President of Engineering. Allan Smart was promoted within Lineo to Vice President of the new Professional Services division. Paul Cameron comes from CyberSafe and ELF Technologies to be the Director of Engineering at Lineo's new development center in Seattle, Washington.

  • TurboLinux, Inc. (SAN FRANCISCO) appointed Robert Bowe to chief financial officer.


  • Bluepoint Linux Software Corp. (LOS ANGELES) announced that it has engaged BDO International as Independent Auditors. BDO has commenced auditing the books and records of Bluepoint Linux in accordance with its requirements to file Form 8-K/A with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

  • Chairman and founder of Chili!Soft, Inc. (NEW YORK), Charles Crystle, plans pilantropic ventures following Cobalt's acquisition of Chili!Soft.

  • Compaq Computer Corp (SHANGHAI) opened a $5.0 million centre in Shanghai to provide businesses in greater China with consulting and other services for electronic commerce. Compaq and China's RedFlag Software Co Ltd launched a certification and support programme for software vendors using the Chinese version of the Linux operating system.

Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol.

March 30, 2000


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

Linux in the news

Recommended Reading

Salon reports on the marriage of Google and ODP (the Open Directory Project). "The difference is that there are now targeted directory entries among the search results, providing both intelligible context and lateral, topic-based browsing, with your results as point of departure. If you search on 'Eric Raymond,' for example, you get links to sites associated with the open-source advocate, plus a selection of relevant directory categories, including 'Computers ?> Open Source ?> Advocacy.'" The article also contains a nice history and philosopy of the ODP.

Legal and Political

This well written article in SF Gate explains the danger to consumers of the Uniform Computer Information Transaction Act. "As contracts begin to apply more and more to sales between businesses and consumers, the software industry called for new rules to handle these specific cases. That's the problem. Because in any contract, there are at least two parties concerned. In the case of a software license agreement, the contract involves both a consumer and a software vendor. And who is the #1 supporter of UCITA? It's not the federal government. It's the software industry. Are your alarm bells buzzing yet?" (Found through LinuxToday.)

Wired reports that Geeks Protest, Nobody Comes. "Only about 20 Washington-area Linux users and administrators showed up Tuesday morning in front of the Capitol building to protest a controversial federal law called the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Waving signs saying 'DMCA Copyright or Wrong,' they marched past the Supreme Court and the Library of Congress -- and got mostly puzzled looks. 'What's the DMCA?' asked one curious tourist. 'Is it about the death penalty?'"

Well, yeah.


LinuxPower takes a look at the i-opener from Netpliance and its recent relationship with the open source community. "The important outcome of the whole i-opener affair is that Netpliance suddenly had some of the best technological minds on the planet working with their product, testing novel configurations, pushing it to the limits, and freely reporting their results back to the community. Yes, this was costing them, but it was only a small fraction of the cost of actually employing these people."

News.com covers Netpliance's blocking of modifications to its iOpener system. "The company appeared to be unfazed earlier this week when Las Vegas slot machine mechanic Ken Segler revealed that the company's i-opener Internet appliance could easily be modified to function as a Linux-based PC. But in a tersely worded statement today, the company said it has reconfigured the i-opener to prevent unauthorized upgrades."


CNet reports on Intel's investment in Lynx, producers of the proprietary LynxOS as well as Blue Cat Linux. "Lynx will translate Blue Cat so it works on Intel's IXP processors, special-purpose chips designed for networking hardware such as routers and switches, Singh said. The chip competes chiefly against chips from Motorola and IBM... Intel's investment turns up the heat on Lineo, an embedded Linux company that is working with Motorola..."

Here's News.com's take on Cobalt's acquistion of Chili!Soft. "Charles Crystle, chairman and former chief executive of ChiliSoft, said today he plans to donate about $11 million of the $15 million he expects from the acquisition toward boosting high-tech education opportunities in Central America."

News.com looks at Maxspeed, which makes multi-head hardware used to deploy Linux in retail situations. "Linux, an operating system cloned from Unix, is spreading across all sorts of computer markets. Its Unix roots, which allow many users to tap into a single server, make it a natural pick for MaxSpeed."

The Ottawa Citizen looks at the future of the Corel/Inprise merger in the light of Corel's falling stock price. "The deep selloff reduced the original deal to just 52 per cent of the announced value and it put a charge in the campaign of angry Inprise shareholders led by Don Magie of Toronto."

According to this TechWeb article, Infonautics is betting big on Linux servers running Cold Fusion to handle the increased web traffic generated by March Madness. "'We were literally betting more than $1 million worth of promotion, betting it all on Cold Fusion on Linux as our scalable high-performance solution,' [CTO Ram] Mohan said."

PCWeek writer, John McCright discusses how Intel will not be the only 64-bit Linux platform. "Intel's own partners on Trillian aren't content to back an Intel-only strategy. HP, for example, is signing up partners to make Linux run on HP servers equipped with non-Intel processors. The Puffin Group, for instance, is porting Linux to PA-RISC so that HP 9000 server users can run Linux applications. And Cygnus is making development tools for both Linux and HP-UX."

The Motley Fool reports on Red Hat's fourth quarter earnings. "Red Hat intends to gain an additional 25% in annual sales from acquisitions over the next five years, though that figure would depend upon finding the right deals. The company has plenty of capacity for acquisition. Its cash balance sits at $242 million, eight times current liabilities, after Red Hat raised $261 million in a secondary public offering on Feb. 3. In addition, the company has a large balance of authorized shares available for use in acquisitions." However, the piece is not optimistic about Red Hat being able to increase revenues enough to justify its current valuation.

CNet reports that Marc Andreessen has joined Collab.Net as an investor. "'Andreessen will raise Collab.Net's profile,' said Giga Information Group analyst Stacey Quandt. 'The start-up already has strong open-source ties through chief technology officer Brian Behlendorf, a key figure in the Apache movement, but Andreessen will give Collab.Net a higher profile with proprietary software projects.'"

Here's a ZDNet article claiming that services and support are the only way to make money with Linux. "Wall Street high-flyers Red Hat Software and VA Linux are essentially using software and hardware, respectively, to prime the pump for higher margin Linux services gigs. Meanwhile, giants like Hewlett-Packard and IBM also are staffing up their Linux consulting practises."

The Chicago Tribune published a piece on a distributed supercomputer built with discarded computers from federal facilities and donations. The machines are dubbed the Stone Soupercomputer, after the stone soup tale. "The moral is that when everybody works together, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts -- like the SouperComputer. " (Found on LinuxToday.)

Here's a lengthy introductory article in the Dallas Morning News. "Open source developers are also stymied on other fronts. While RealPlayer, the most widely used audio and video streaming program, has been made available for Linux, Microsoft's Media player has not. Linux users can't open those files yet, and the prospect that Microsoft's player may yet dominate Internet streaming is troubling for Linux devotees."

This column on the LiViD site advises a pragmatic approach in dealing with commercial software. "Eventually we will not need closed source commercial applications. There is no doubt that Linux would not be where it is now if it were not for one very important commercial application: Netscape. Commercial applications fill many gaps in the available software for Linux in the near future."

This LinuxMall article takes a look at the Free Documentation License (FDL), from the GNU Project. "According to Robert McMillan of Linux Magazine, 'The real question is what the book publishers will be doing with this license. They are creating a lot of content right now, but very little of it is under an open license ... I'd be curious to know if the book publishers (IDG, Macmillan, Coriolis) are interested in adopting this license or not.'"


Upside Today discusses the unmet consumer need being fulfilled by Napster. "The other interpretation is that a large number of arguably reasonable people -- such as college students -- have simply turned into a bunch of thieves. I'm just not inclined towards this simplistic view. No, there must be a gulf between what the record industry sells and what music consumers now want....The real question is whether the record industry will ever get it? " (Found through Salon.)

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols gives the top five reasons why "Linux isn't going to fork its way into disaster."

In Opening the Dungeon, Salon writer Wagner James Au describes the response of the Dungeons & Dragons/Open-Source Community to Wizards of the Coast's recent announcement to release the game's core rules under an "open-source" license called D20. Many in the community greeted the announcement with skepticism, based on the company's history under previous owners. "Gygax, who in the mid-'80s left TSR, the company he founded, on the heels of internal conflicts that read like a treacherous palace coup, confirmed the gist of Harrington's charges: 'The former management of TSR was, in my considered opinion, quite incompetent,' he says in an e-mail. 'Indeed they had a most aggressive enforcement policy in regards to their copyrights, and their fan base eroded considerably, in part because of alienation due to their strict enforcement.'"

Here's a CNet article about the future of Linux. "Even people who don't know what a CPU is have heard of Linux by now. Does that mean that the renegade, Unix-like operating system is on its way to becoming mainstream? Yes. But not by replacing Windows on your desktop." (Thanks to Cesar A. K. Grossmann)


Here's a technical article on Linuxcare's site solving an obscure communications problem. " This will tell you how to set up a masqueraded PPP connection via IrDA from a Windows CE PC Companion to a Linux based notebook computer. Once you are IP connected, the rest is up to you."

LinuxMall.com has put up an article looking at the GnuCash project. "...we've fixed some important mis-features in Quicken, I think we are building on a more solid foundation, on a better conceptual design, than Quicken ever had. So we hope to be better than Quicken someday, hopefully not too far away."

Linuxcare's application of the week is the Gnumeric spreadsheet. "This application looks sharp and functions pretty well for my current needs. Given the momentum behind the GNOME project, Gnumeric is on its way to becoming a convincing alternative to similar proprietary applications."

Dear Lina answers your questions about bash.

Audio/Video Formats

Wired presents an interview with Richard Stallman in mp3 audio format. The page has links for the entire interview (21 minutes) or you can listen his responses on the individual topics: Liberating Users (6 min), Boycotting Amazon.com (5 Min), Hackers, Crackers, and Pirates (6 min), Advice to Users (4 min). They also have a link to the 1993 hit by RMS, "The Free Software Song" (.au).
(Found on Slashdot)

PBS will air Code Rush this Thursday evening at 10:00 pm ET. The show "takes a dramatic, inside look at living and working in Silicon Valley. The one-hour documentary follows bright and quirky Netscape Communications engineers as they pursue a revolutionary venture to save their company. Through the program's verit style, viewers see human and technological dramas unfold in the collision between science, engineering, code and commerce." (Found on Kuro5hin.)


SystemLogic.net interviews Transmeta's Dave Taylor. "I end up sticking my nose in a lot of things, but my job description du jour is Mobile Linux hacker. I came from the game industry, where I helped write Doom and Quake, and I financed/produced Abuse and Golgotha (not released). I'm probably best known for being one of the earlier Linux adopters in the game industry."

AndoverNews.net is running this continuing nightmare installation saga. In this episode our author waits for a shippment and responds to email. "When it gets here, you'll be the first to know if I manage to make it to Linux utopia. In the meantime, I want to share a few of the quite engrossing conversations I've had with you in response to last week's rant about ease of installation." (Thanks to Cesar A. K. Grossmann)

TwoMobile.com has come up with a new analogy for Linux. "Just like Linux, rap music was something that scared corporations until it was big enough to be profitable, and suddenly everyone wanted a piece of the action." (Thanks to Donnie Brassco).

Though Linux is not mentioned by name, this Dilbert cartoon shows clearly how the disadvantages of proprietary, closed source software are becoming more widely understood. "Put more bugs in the software! I'm making a fortune out here!" (Thanks to James Cownie.)

Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol

March 30, 2000


 Main page
 Linux in the news
 Back page

See also: last week's Announcements page.



The Linsight team has announced the launch of its new LinDeveloper site. LinDeveloper is aimed at the information needs of Linux developers, including news and reference information.

The O'Reilly Network has announced the launch of its Meerkat news service. It covers high-tech issues in general, in a headline format, and provides the ability to filter out just the topics of interest.

MozillaZine.org has become an affiliate in the O'Reilly Network, according to this announcement. O'Reilly is lucky to have gained another site of this quality; Mozillazine continues to be an essential source of information to anyone interested in tracking Mozilla development.

LinuxMonth has an article on Designing Mason [firewall] Rulesets for Multiple Machines.

LinuxPapers is a new, volunteer, free on-line magazine about Linux which has just been announced. They've started their publication with two articles: GNU/Linux Distributions, describing and comparing six major Linux distributions, and First Steps With GNU/Linux (version 1.0), which covers some Unix fundamentals.


The Geek Pride Festival, sponsored by Andover.net and VA Linux, is set to make a splash this Friday and Saturday in Boston. "Once upon a time, you would've gotten stuffed in your locker for being such a Geek. But now, it's OK. In fact, it's kind of COOL to be a Geek! Who knew?"

Here's an updated press release for LINUX EXPO 2000 NORTH AMERICA - MONTREAL April 10 to 12.

Web sites

LinuxLinks.com has announced 10,000 verified Linux links and other improvements, such as a new search engine.

User Group News

The Linux werkgroep HCC afdeling Groningen will be giving Linux demonstrations at a computer show on Sunday, April 2 in Groningen (in the north-eastern part of the Netherlands). There will be an entrance fee of about Hfl 7.50. For more information email Johan Swenker at Johan.Swenker@HetNet.NL


Service911.com is looking for authors to help bolster its selection of Linux tutorials. Go to www.learnlots.com to find out more about the company and authoring opportunities. Tutorial writers can earn $3500 for 100 tutorials!

March 30, 2000



Software Announcements

Package Version Description
3DPlanetary 1.0 A program to display the solar system in real-time.
3Dwm 0.1 A three-dimensional window manager.
Address Book 1.2 A very simple Web-based, MySQL-backed address book.
AeroMail 1.30 PHP based e-mail client
Aladdin Ghostscript 6.01 An interpreter for the PostScript (TM) language.
Alexandria 0.0.3 A Java source code/CVS manager.
AMCim 0.1 An AOL Instant Messenger Client not unlike Gaim, but with less memory usage.
APSEND 1.55 TCP/IP packet sender
Archive::Zip 0.07 A Perl module for manipulation of zip archive files.
Arguments 1.1 A small, standard C++ argument processing helper class.
Ari's Yahoo Client 1.4 A text-based Yahoo! Messenger client.
arianne rpg 0.3.0 A Role Playing Game project.
aumix 2.5 Color text mode sound mixer with GPM support
Aurora redhog.d Graphical init controller for Linux
avlmap 0.9.8 An AVL tree-based key:data mapping (associative array) library for C.
BASHISH DR6pre2 A modular Bourne-shell theme engine.
Bastille Linux 1.0.4.pre7 A comprehensive hardening program for Redhat Linux 6.0.
BattleChat 0.97 Chat interface for Blizzard's Battle.Net
BBStats 0.3.0-pre-20000329 Counter for websites that produces some statistics based on the info gathered
BED 0.1.4 A menu-driven binary editor.
bidwatcher 1.1.1 tool for eBay users - track and snipe auctions
Bind 9.0.0b2 Berkeley Internet Name Domain
BioMail 0.51 A program to send new references from a Medline database to its users.
BLADE 0.21.0 Broad Language Aided Document Environment
BLT 2.4q A 2D plotting extension to TCL/Tk.
bookmarker 2.1.0 WWW based bookmark manager
BrowserExpress 3.2 Web based e-mail client that supports pop3, smtp, and ldap.
BTW Calculator 0.0.3 Beta 2 A program that adds taxes to a price.
BWap 1.0 A console Napster client.
cadaver 0.13.0 command-line WebDAV tool
cdctl 0.15 Controls your CD-ROM drive under linux.
cdlabel 1.0 Creates CD labels using Memorex CD LabelMaker Lables.
CF_RSS2CF 1.5 A CFML tag for parsing RDF/RSS files.
cgilib++ 0.1.1 A CGI library for C++.
Checklinks 1.0.1 HTML link checker that supports SSI, many Apache options, and more (in Perl 5)
check_processes.pl 0.9 A Simple process management tool to prevent system crashes.
ChineseCheckers 1.0 A Chinese Checkers game with plugin AI players.
Citadel/UX BBS Software 5.70 Advanced client/server BBS program
class.DBI 0.3.2 A PHP DBI class.
CodeCommander 0.3.29 Multi language programming IDE.
Coman 0.0.3 A fast and simple configuration library.
Common C++ 0.9.4 A portable environment for C++ threads, sockets, etc.
CoreLinux++ 0.4.13 A set of C++ class libraries to support common patterns in software development.
Corewars 0.9.9 A simulation game.
Courier-IMAP 0.31pre1 IMAP server for maildirs
Coyote Linux 1.12 A single-floppy distribution for sharing an Internet connection.
CPC4X 0.21 Amstrad/Schneider CPC 464/664/6128 Emulator
cpuburn 1.2 CPU maximum load (heat) stability test
CrossWords For Linux 0.0.9 Games in Javascript for learning concepts and definitions.
csgLib 1.1 A polygonal constructive solid geometry library.
CYR-RFX 1.0 Cyrillic and Euro fonts for X11.
DateTime 2000/03/17 A GNOME-panel applet featuring date/time display and email notification.
Diablo Bot 1.4.1r An IRC bot.
DjVu plug-in/viewer 3.0 A viewer and browser plug-in for the DjVu image format.
Downtime 3.1.4 Network monitor, watches your connection, and logs downtime.
dsniff 1.7 Sniffing utilities for network security testing.
dyndnsUPD 1.0 An automatic dyndns.org hostname updater.
e16keyedit 0.2 Keybindings Editor for Enlightenment 0.16
ECLiPt Roaster 2.0 beta 1 GTK Interface to MkIsoFs and CDRecord for writing CDs on the fly
EiC 4.2.6 A bytecode C interpreter/compiler
envelope 0.625 Envelope Printer
envprint 1.0 Mail merge program and envelope printer.
Epeios 20000328 Collection of general purposes C++ libraries working under UNIX and Windows.
etherape 0.4.0 etherman cloneto graph net activity in real time.
Etherboot 4.5.6 Source code for making TCP/IP boot ROMs to boot Linux and other OSes
EveryAuction 1.5 Perl CGI Online Auction Script
Exult 0.20 Ultima 7 world viewer.
Fast Webpage Exchanger 2.5.2 A non-interactive FTP client for updating Web pages
Fax2Send 1.1-7 Fax Client Server for Linux.
Figaro's Password Manager (FPM) 0.20 A GNOME app to securely store and encrypt passwords.
FilterProxy 0.13 A filtering proxy server.
Finnix 0.03 A self-contained, bootable Linux CD distribution, based on Red Hat Linux.
Floyd 0.12.1 A 3D scene graph library wrapper over OpenGL.
FoKS 0.1.0 KiSS paper doll viewer
FOX 0.99.119 C++-Based Library for Graphical User Interface Development
frameWork 3.1.4 A framework library for Objective C.
FreeCraft 1.16.1pre2 Clone of WarCraft II
Freemed-YiRC Beta0.04 A PHP-based Youth in Residential Care package.
fupdate 0.0.1 Script that keeps files syncronized across multiple hosts.
FXPy 0.99.119 Python interface to the FOX GUI library
G27 gigs 0.1.1 A PHP Web application for promoting local musicians and bands.
gaim 0.9.13 GTK based AOL Instant Messenger
Galway 0.42 (Manon) Guile-gtk HTML Editor
gcombust 0.1.31 A GTK+ frontend for mkisofs and cdrecord.
GDAM 0.923 Geoff and Dave's audio daemon, dj mixing software.
Geheimnis 1.0 Beta 1 A KDE shell for GPG/PGP2/PGP5
get-pictures .8 A script that uses gphoto to grab images off of a digital camera.
GKrellM 0.9.7 System monitor package
GLAME 0.2.0-pre1 A generic and easily extensible audio processing tool and sound editor.
Gm3u 0.2 An MP3 play-list editor.
GNOME Breakout 0.2 The classic arcade game Breakout for GNOME.
gnome-8ball 0.2 A simple magic 8-ball GNOME-panel applet.
gnome-applets 1.1.6 A collection of applets for the GNOME panel.
gnome-core 1.1.6 GNU Network Object Model Environment
GnomeTREK 0.6.0 Search tool for the 1998 Star Trek Encyclopedia.
gnotepad+ 1.3.0pre1 An easy-to-use, yet fairly feature-rich, simple text editor
GNU parted 1.0.12 A partition editor, for creating, destroying, resizing and copying partitions.
GnuCash 1.3.4 A program to keep track of your finances
Gnumeric 0.50 Spreadsheet, a new foundation for spreadsheet development, part of GNOME
Gnutmeg 0.2 A distributed filesharing system.
go-moku 0.5 Console based Networked GO-MOKU aka Five in row game.
GOB 0.93.1 Preprocessor for building GTK+ Object
GotMail 0.3 A Perl script to fetch mail from a HotMail account.
Gqcam 0.7 GTK based QuickPict clone
GramoFile 1.6 Tool for transferring gramophone records to CDs.
grepmail 4.21 Searches a normal or gzipped mailbox for a given regularexpression
Groovy Java Genetic Programming 1.0.2 A genetic programming experimentation platform in Java.
groundwork 0.2 C++ class library for writing web-based applications.
GString and GStringArray .1BETA A dynamic string library compatible with MFC CString.
GSwitchIt 0.3 Xkb state indicator for the GNOME panel
Gsysboard 20000327 GTK+ application which show informations in real time about the system.
gTempConv 1.0.0 Small utility for conversion between misc. temperature scales.
gtk+licq 0.38.1 Gtk+ plugin for Licq
GtKali 0.9.3 Gtk+ interface to Kali.
GTKdiff 1.50 GTK+ diff frontend
GUL 0.3 Tool for construction, manipulation, and visualization of objects.
Half-life Admin MOD 0.79 A plugin mod to Half-Life.
Headline Publishing Framework 1.1.2 A headline news publishing tool written in PHP and MySQL.
Hive 20000327 A framework for mobile, autonomous, Java agents.
Hoard 2.0 A fast, scalable, and memory-efficient SMP memory allocator
HotDiary JazzIt! Portal Launcher 4.0 Web-based PIM.
html2latex 0.5 Convert HTML to LaTeX.
HTML::Template 1.7 A simple and fast HTML Template module for Perl
httptype 1.3.2 Identifies which HTTP server is running on a given host.
HyGene 0.19 An HTML hyperlink generator.
icewm 1.0.3 Window Manager designed for speed, usability and consistency
Infinity Perl/Tk Scanner 3.0 Beta A Perl/TK version of the Infinity Scanner.
InSite 2.01 An ultra-fast Web site management tool.
IPC::SharedCache 1.3 A Perl module to manage a cache in SysV IPC shared memory.
IPchains Firewalling Module for Webmin 0.78.5 A Webmin module for configuring an IP Firewall based on IPchains.
irclog2html.pl 0.5 IRC log file colouriser.
isdn-config 0.6-12 An ISDN configuration tool.
ivt2html 1.1.0 Convert Microsoft Infoviewer format (.ivt) to HTML.
java2html 1.5 a simple program that converts Java source to syntax-highlighted HTML
JavaScript 1.5RC1 The core JavaScript engine.
JDxpc 0.0.3 dxpc, written in pure Java.
JFS for Linux 0.0.3 The IBM JFS source code.
Jicra 1.0.1 Java IRC chat room applet.
jint 0.1.2 An experimental scripting language for Java-based systems.
Jungle Monkey 0.1.3 A distributed file-sharing program.
K&R EZ Web Tracker 0.1 PHP3/PostgreSQL Web Tracking System
KCommander 0.63 Windows Commander Clone for KDE
kdbg 1.1.1 A graphical KDE front end to the GDB debugger. Also used by kdevelop.
KDiskCat 0.5.1 The KDE Disk Catalog software.
Keep in touch 0.0.6 A secure instant messaging client/server.
KeepUP 0.4 A connection sharing tool.
kernel-alert 0.4 Perl script to send e-mail as new kernels become available.
Kim 1.2.2 The Kim is interactive process manager for OS Linux.
kimwitu++ 1.01 A term processor, a generic tree tool.
KMail A powerful email client for KDE
kmy-regex 0.1.2 A regular expression library for Java with compilation to bytecode.
Ks 0.6 A general input/output GUI tool.
Ksetiwatch 0.4.2 SETI@home monitor and work unit manager
KWeather 0.96 A KDE dock applet that can display the current weather outside.
KWebGet 0.5 Download and Mirror-Utility for the KDE-Project
Kwirk 0.0.11 A Clanlib-based roleplaying game.
LaDa 0.2.2 A darts player's helping tool.
Laptop-HOWTO 2.4 How to make the best of Linux features with laptops.
LDAP Explorer 1.14 PHP3 Application
Ledcontrol 0.2.1 Shows info on your keyboard's LEDs.
LEKSBOT 1.1 An explanatory dictionary of botanic and biological terms.
Lexmark 5000 printer driver 1.39 Lexmark 5000 driver for Ghostscript
libmcrypt 2.4.0 A library to access various encryption algorithms
libstdc++ 2.90.8 The GNU Standard C++ Library.
libtiff 3.5.5 Library for manipulation of TIFF (Tag Image File Format) images.
libtiff-lzw-compression-kit 1.1 A kit to re-enable LZW compression in libtiff.
Licq 0.81 Advanced graphical ICQ clone and more for Unix
Linux 2.4 Routing & Traffic Control HOWTO 0.0.2 Linux 2.4 Routing HOWTO concerning iproute2, traffic control, and CBQ.
Linux Trace Toolkit 0.9.1 Catalogs system events in minute detail.
LinuxTaRT 3.01 Feature-rich email signature generator
Little John 0.2.1 An NES emulator
lkpatch 0.2.8 The Linux kernel patcher.
log4j 0.8.2 Fast and flexible logging tool written in Java.
lomega 1.01b Iomega tools supporting Zip, Jaz, File Manager, Trashcan, and Backup.
LoopLinux 11 Small linux distribution that can be installed on a existing Dos/Win95/98 system
LotusXSL 1.0.0 An XSL processor.
LTSP Iopener Support Linux Terminal Server Project
LUCI 0.2.0 universal configuration interface
lxpServ 0.3.9 An easy-to-use application server.
MacroSystem 0.51 A powerful C++ template system.
Mahogany 0.50 Powerful, user-friendly, scriptable mail/news client
Mailman 2.0 beta 1 Mailing list manager with built in web access
makepp 0.8 A safer, easier-to-use, syntax-compatible reimentation of make.
MAPis 0.2 A script that will install MySQL, Apache, and PHP.
MasqMail 0.0.12 Offline Mail Transfer Agent
MAT 0.22 An easy-to-use network-configuration tool.
mbx2mbox 0.32 Converts Outlook Express .mbx files into standard RFC822 mail files.
mdate 1.1.0 A freely-available mayan date program
MemMXtest 2.0 A memory testing environment for MMX PCs.
MemoPanel 2.4 A tiny memo applet on the GNOME panel.
memtester 2.91 Userspace memory-testing application for Linux/Unix.
Mesa 3.2 beta 1 3-D graphics library which uses the OpenGL API
METAGRAF 1.0.0-alfa A graphical editor for MetaPost.
MiaMUD 1.0 A MUD base.
Micq 0.4.5 Publically available ICQ clone for the console
microcom 1.01 A basic serial terminal emulator for Linux platforms.
MiniVend 4.03 Powerful freely redistributable shopping cart package.
MizCGI 2.01 A library useful in writing CGIs in C++.
MMC 0.3 A GNOME email client.
mod_auth_nds 0.5 NDS authentication module for Apache
mod_bol 0.1 An auth module that provides digest+basic against a MySQL DB.
mod_extract_forwarded 1.0.1 Extract and process the X-Forwarded-For header.
mod_perl 1.22 Brings together the fullpower of Perl and the Apache HTTP server
mondo rescue 0.90 Generates bootable rescue CD ISOs.
moodss 8.14 Modular Object Oriented Dynamic SpreadSheet
Moonshine 1.0.2 An application development environment for Linux.
MP3 Server Box 20000328 MP3 Player that can be controlled over network
MP3c 0.26 Audio-CD to MP3-Converter, with use of CDDB. Included GUI and cmdline-support
Mp3Maker.app 1.2 Window Maker enhanced CDDA grabber and MP3 encoder frontend
mp3r 0.2 An MP3 file renamer.
Mp3toHtml 0.1.3 Indexes MP3s into linked HTML-pages.
MP3VoiceControl 0.2.0 Speech recognition-enabled mp3 player and jukebox.
mp3_check 1.0 A utility which analyzes MP3 files for errors and standards conformance.
mpatrol 1.1.3 A library for controlling and tracing dynamic memory allocations.
MSNewsGrabber 3.5 Grabs news headlines and stories from various sites
msredird 0.2 A serial port redirector.
MUDix 3.0 Mud client.
Muffin 0.9.3 Filtering proxy server for the World Wide Web written entirely in Java
MyFreshmeat 1.1 CGI Script for parsing Freshmeat announcements.
MySQLMailer 1.0b3 A local delivery agent with MySQL lookup.
nail 9.01 A MIME-capable version of the Berkeley Mail user agent.
nano 0.8.9 Pico editor clone with enhancements.
NAS 1.4 A network-transparent, client/server audio transport system.
NcFTP 3.0.0 UNIX application program implementing the File Transfer Protocol (FTP)
NcFTPd 2.6.0 High-performance File Transfer Protocol (FTP) server for UNIXsystems
NeoMail 0.71 A Web-based interface to user mail spools on a system.
Net::RawIP 0.09b Perl module for easy manipulation of raw IP packets directly from Perl
NetBSD 1.4.2 The world's most portable Operating System.
NetMatrix 0.2 PHP based graphical network monitor for Cisco Router networks
NetSaint 0.0.5b5 A relatively simple active network monitor
Network Audio Tuning Language DTD 20000324 An XML document type for describing properties about audio streams.
Newmat 10 A C++ matrix library.
NewsFleX 1.1.8 An offline newsreader with a 'Free Agent'-like GUI.
NFC Chat 0.9.6 Extensible client/server chat program written in Java.
nmap 2.30BETA17 Full featured, robust port scanner
note 0.9 commandline note tool
nscache 0.3 Simple manager and browser for Netscape(tm) cache directories.
NU-Nomad 0.1.5 A network mapping and monitoring program.
Obsequieuem 0.3.0-pre2 Network based MP3 RTP/multicast streaming jukebox
ODBC Socket Server 0.92 Access Microsoft ODBC databases from Linux/UNIX using XML.
Oedipus 0.07 Code for maintaining dmoz.org or Yahoo-like collections of Web links.
oMail-Webmail 0.92.3 Webmail solution based on qmail and optionally vmailmgr.
OpenGUI 2.15 A very wonderfull C/C++ graphics library
opennap 0.23 An open source Napster server.
OpenSSH Unix Port 1.2.3 Port of OpenBSD's free SSH release to Linux
OpenSSL 0.9.5a Beta 2 The Open Source toolkit for Secure Sockets Layer and Transport Layer Security
P-Tk-Pinger 0.1 A Perl/Tk script to determine who is available on a network from a given list.
PagePoker 1.1 A Perl HTTP client for monitoring and load-testing.
Pan 0.8.0 beta 2 Gnome/GTK Newsreader
pdq 2.2.1 Printing system
peachpit 0.5 A censorware spider tarpit utility.
PeeWeeLinux 0.32 A small linux distribution for embedded applications.
PerfGraph 2.2c Web based Unix Performance Grapher
Perl 5.6.0 A high-level, general-purpose programming language.
Perl WebStats 2.0 Perl Apache log analyzer/report generator
Perlmclient 0.5 Masqdialler client written in Perl.
perl_metrics 0.02 A script to produces metrics about perl code.
phex 0.9 Curses-based hex editor for Unices.
Photoseek 0.2 A Web-based image cataloging and management system.
PHP 4.0RC1 HTML-embedded scripting language
PHP firewall generator 0.92 An ipchains firewall generator in PHP.
PHP Free-For-All 1.0 Free-For-All script for PHP and Mysql.
PHPLIB 7.2b Web Application Development Package for the PHP language
phpop 1.1.0 Simple PHP Web based POP e-mail reader
phpSched 0.7b Schedule creation and maintenance for shift based departments
PicMonger 0.9.3 Scans Usenet newsgroups for UU- or MIME-encoded binaries and decodes them.
PIMP 2.0 A Web mail client.
PinePGP 0.13.0 PGP and GnuPG filters for pine for both PGP 2.6.x and 5.0
pip 0.1 Make any program a filter.
pmc 0.6 A Perl/GTK mail client.
PMFirewall 1.1.4 An Ipchains Firewall and Masquerading Configuration Utility.
pngcrush 1.4.0 An optimizer for PNG files that can also insert or delete specified chunks.
poing 1.00 A multihost IMCP ping with scrolling text strip charts.
PostgreSQL 7.0beta3 Robust, next-generation, Object-Relational DBMS(ORDBMS)
PowerChess 0.20 GNOME frontend for Gnuchess.
Powertweak-Linux 0.1.11 System performance enhancer.
PRepS 1.3.1 The Problem Reporting and Tracking System.
PresTiMeL 0.7 A tool to create HTML presentations.
pscal 1.9 shell script to create PostScript calendars
PSXDEV 1.0 release 7 A development environment for the PlayStation.
PTlink ircd 3.6.2 New featured ircd with a great services integration
PTlink Services 2.1.4 IRC Registration Services
PTViewer 0.4 A 360x180 degree Panorama Viewer.
PyKDE 0.11 Python bindings for QT 1.42 and KDE1.1 Code your KDE applications in python.
PyQt 0.11 Python bindings for the Qt GUI toolkit
Python Documentation 1.5.2p2 Official documentation for the Python programming language.
QCad 1.4.0o CAD Program.
QTruco 0.169 Popular Brazillian card game.
Quest 2.4 A 3d map editor for Quake based games.
quftp 1.0.4 Command line FTP client with queueing
QVocab 0.22.0 A program to learn the vocabulary of a foreign language.
rawhide.php3 0.9.1 A PHP3 script for distributed.net raw stats retrieval.
read-edid 1.3.1 Gets modelines for XF86Config from monitor (using DDC, EDID).
Red Hat Linux 6.2 The Red Hat Linux distribution.
reiserfs 3.5.19 A filesystem which stores the files themselves in a B*-tree, gaining speed.
Request Tracker 1.0.2 Web, command-line and email based trouble ticketing and bugtracking package
Restaurant Guide 1.3 A PHP/MySQL eatery ranking system.
reveal 0.1.2 Replaces tags in a file by text or file content.
Revolution IRCd 0.0.2 Fully RFC-compliant IRC daemon
rlpd 0.0.1 An implementation of the Resource Location Protocol.
rmap 1.2 Graphs any portion of the earth from CIA's world data bank II information.
Robust Hyperlinks 0.2 Makes URLs robust against 404 Page Not Found errors.
rol_demo 0.05 Modeling package for interactive 3D graphics.
Root-Portal 0.4.1 Background Desktop System Logger
rslink 1.0 A jukebox program to control multiple Sony 200-disc changers.
Saint 2.0.1 beta 1 Security Administrator's Integrated Network Tool
searchbox 0.5 A Perl script to add a search box to a Web page.
Seawall 2.5 An easy-to-configure, ipchains-based firewall/gateway.
seclog 0.1 A small, clean, and light log auditing tool.
sgalaSMS 0.1 Send messages to GSM via SMS.
ShowEQ 2.1 A packet analyzer for Everquest.
Siag Office 3.3.2 Free office package for Unix
Simple PHP3 Counter 1.0 A simple PHP3 counter.
simscomputing.Enterprise Tool Kit 0.22 Tools for writing Java 2 Enterprise Edition applications.
simscomputing.Test Bed 0.18 Tool for writing unit tests for your Java code
sips 0.1.0 A PHP-based Weblog system with no need for a database server.
Sketch 0.7.6 Vector drawing program, implemented in python
SkinLF 0.2 A skin "Look And Feel" for Java Swing
slmon 0.2.0 A system performance monitor using the S-Lang library.
SMoS 0.3 Send messages over SMS.
SMS.pm 0.1 A Perl module for sending SMS through Free SMS providers (like quios).
smtm 1.0.1 A flexible Perl/Tk stock ticker and portfolio tool.
Smurf Sound Font Editor 0.49.1 Sound Font editor
Solfege 0.7.6 GPL'ed eartraining for Gnome
SoundTracker 0.5.3 A music tracker for X / GTK+
spam.pl 0.13 Perl script for sending automatic complaints on spam
Spmail 1.1b3 A Web-based email client.
Sporum 1.8b3 A better web-based dicussion board software
Spruce 0.6.1 Simple email client coded for X with the Gtk widget set
sudo 1.6.3 Provides limited super user priviledges to specific users
Superficie 0.7.2 A program for basic 3D surfaces viewing and manipulation.
SVMlight 3.02 implementation of Support Vector Machines (SVMs) in C.
Sympoll 0.1.3 Customizable voting booth written in PHP using a MySQL backend.
tclreadline 1.2.0 GNU readline for the tcl scripting language
Template 0.4 A PHP3/PHP4 template system.
Terraform 0.6.5 Interactive digital terrain (height field) editor/viewer
TestMatrix 0.2 A test-case database generation tool.
TeXmacs 0.2.4c W.Y.S.I.W.Y.G. technical text editor
THCNET Message System 0.07.03 A PHP Web message system.
The HACK Project 1.0320 A Computer simulator for learning computer architecture.
The Punnetizer 1.1 Simple reports and analysis of genetics and inheritance.
ThoughtTracker 0.5.3 Knowledge base application storing arbitrarily linked notes.
TkGnats 3.0.16 Tcl/Tk-based front end for the GNATS bug management system
TkNotePad 0.7.2 A simple notepad editor written in Tcl/tk
TkSETI 2.12 A GUI for automated control of the SETI@Home client for UNIX.
tnef v0.11 Decodes application/ms-tnef attachments.
TNT 2.1 Emacs Clients for the AOL Instant Messenger service
Todo setup tool Todo-Setup-Tool 1.01 Keyboard, mouse and window manager configuration tool
tomb raider level viewer 1 A tomb raider level viewer.
TreeDoc 0.1 PHP functions for opening and closing links inside the same page.
twin 0.2.5 A text-mode window manager and terminal emulator.
txt2html 1.27 Converts plain text to HTML
uinetd 0.1 UDP packet forwarder.
UltimateIRCd 2.7.11-DarkSide.b-2 Advanced IRC daemon based off the DAL DreamForge daemon with many new features.
UMR 0.3 An Unreal .umx and .uax class object reader and extractor.
Uniplex UBS Version 9.00 A suite of business applications incl. WP, SS, DBF, Graphics and Email
Uptime Client 4.12 Keep track of your uptime and compare it with other hosts.
UPX 1.00 powerful executable packer
Usenet Binary Harvester (ubh) The 1.0 Perl script to find and download single and multi-part Usenet binaries
vcheck 1.0 A latest program version checker and auto-downloader.
VectorLinux 0.4.1 A small fast linux distribution.
ViewCVS 0.4 Tool for viewing CVS repositories using a Web browser
Virtfs 0.35.8 A utility to help create and configure virtual services and domains.
Web Designer 0.1.1 An HTML editor built in C with GTK
Webalizer 2.00-08 Web server log analysis program
WebDiary/ViewMaker 2.0 http://dante.urbanet.ch/~patrick/programm/viewMaker/
WebEvent Calendar 3.3b5 WebEvent is web calendar software for your web site.
WebKNotes 0.6.08 Web-based knowledge notes database written in Perl.
WebShell 2.3 An online file manager/editor and htaccess manager.
webtrace 0.3 A Perl script that generates a graphical output of traceroute.
Wine 20000326 Emulator of the Windows 3.x and Win32 APIs.
Winie 1.0.4 HTTP/1.1 Put Tool
WinLux Dialer 0.1 A PPP-dialup server/client package.
wmmixer-alsa 0.6 A hack of wmmixer to make it use ALSA (Advanced Linux Sound Architecture)
wmpinboard 0.99.2 Window Maker pinboard dock-app
wordtrain 0.5.0 Vocabulary trainer
WorldWide Web Performance Monitoring 1.01 Web performance monitoring tool.
wxWindows/GTK 2.1.15 GTK port of the cross-platform wxWindows C++application framework class library
X-collector 2.0c Fetches pictures from newsgroups, with a neat X-interface.
XawTV 3.11 A TV viewing application and a few TV utilities.
Xbar 1.01 An X utility that uses the current X selection to change the title of a window
XML::Parser 2.28 XML Parser module for perl based on James Clark's expat lib
XML::Twig 1.10 A Perl module used to tree-process XML documents of all sizes.
xmlBlaster 0.75 An Open Source project for MOM (message oriented middleware).
xmms-ahx 0.3 An AHX player for xmms (synthetic music)
xmms-tfmx 0.2 A TFMX input plugin for XMMS.
XMPS 0.0.3 A fully skinnable Gtk Video MPEG-1 player with playlist support.
xpuyopuyo 0.3.5 Tetris-like puzzle game with AI
Xref-Speller 1.2.0 Source browsing and refactoring for (X)Emacs inspired by ctags and cscope.
xSMBrowser 2.4.0 Tcl/Tk Samba GUI that emulates Network Neighborhood
xws 1.00 A multi-player Across Lite server with chat.
yank 0.1.3 Yet another notekeeper.
YAWMPPP 1.1.3 Yet Another Window Maker PPP dock applet
Yggdrasill valhalla Tileable wallpapers
YPMail.app 0.2.0a A WINGs-based mail reader.
YUP 0.6.4 An automated package and updates handling system for RPM-based distributions.
Zdisk 1.53 Rescue floppy with any kernel.
ZenToe.cgi 0.-1.20000326D A Slashdot-like WebChat using only Perl.

Our software announcements are provided courtesy of FreshMeat


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See also: last week's Back page page.

Linux links of the week

Munitions. munitions is a cryptographic Linux software archive, "providing a high-availability, widely mirrored forum, hosted entirely in crypto friendly countries, for publication and distribution of cryptographic software as well as for fostering community interaction on related issues."

Somewhere Near. GBdirect has announced its geographical search engine, called "Somewhere Near." The source to the engine will be released under the GPL "after it has been thoroughly debugged". The first deployment has been put to good use: creating a database of pubs in the U.K.

Section Editor: Jon Corbet

March 30, 2000



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: Thu, 23 Mar 2000 16:38:20 +0000
From: Stuart Ballard <sballard@netreach.net>
To: letters@lwn.net
Subject: Re: Use of term "viral" in reference to the GPL

In a letter published in the March 23 issue of LWN, Paul Collins writes:

> The use of the term "viral" with reference to the GPL (and now the FDL) is
> unfair and prejudicial.
> The GPL is not a virus.  The GPL is written the way it is because otherwise,
> others would be able to take away freedoms that you explicitly grant when
> you choose to use the GPL.

I have heard this argument many times and agree with it. However, I have
not heard any suggestions of alternative terms for this property of the
GPL. People are bound to continue using the term "viral" if there is no
alternative, even if they disagree with the message it sends.

Therefore, I would like to propose the term "infectious". Although this
term sometimes has a negative meaning similar to "viral", it is also
used of giggles, enthusiasm, smiles, yawns, happiness, determination,
and many other positive characteristics. The word itself, therefore, is
neutral; the interpretation of whether being "infectious" is a good or
bad property of the GPL is left to the reader.

For the record, I happen to think it is a good property.

Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2000 15:00:00 -0600
From: "John J. Adelsberger III" <jja@wallace.lusArs.net>
To: letters@lwn.net
Subject: a sense of perspective

Recently, the old 'moral crusade vs pragmatism' argument has started in
LWN's letters to the editor section.  Already, both sides are making
false statements and committing the fallacy of repetition(if I say it
enough times, it will be true!)  For all of the readers' sake, myself
included, how about getting some perspective, people!

For the pragmatists: as long as you are free to do what you think is
best, what practical gain do you derive from endless flamewars?  And for
the moralists: remember that freedom does mean the freedom to disagree,
and that that freedom is only truly important on the matters that mean
the most to us.

Constant bickering does not magically cause the creation or improvement
of code, nor does it promote the adoption of that code.  In fact, the
only results are wasted time and upset participants.

Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2000 15:59:49 -0600 (CST)
From: Dave Finton <surazal@nerp.net>
To: letters@lwn.net
Subject: I can't figure out Corel

Corel, which as of late has made good decisions technology-wise.  They
took the time to cut down the bloat of WP7.  Their Linux distribution is
by many accounts a good piece of work, and they even got kudos for basing
it off a non-corporate version of Linux (Debian).  They've been announcing
Linux ports of their major software packages, which brings to a good
platform good commercial software packages (albeit proprietary
ones).  Even their much maligned merger makes sense from a technological
standpoint.  It combines together two businesses who specialize in nearly
disjoint sets of the computing market.  If Corel's fortunes were based
solely on technological sound reasoning, their stock price would have been
valued in the hundreds of dollars, rather than barely above 9 points on
the stock market.

Business-wise, of course, watching Corel bounce between stock scandals and
sagging revenues has been a lot like watching a comedy of errors. For
instance, I think the merger between Inprise and Corel would have made
much more sense if they had both waited until they had at least built up
stronger revenues.  In other words if they had done this 6-7 years ago or
had waited another 2-3 years before attempting the merger, I think the
business world would have viewed this whole thing in a more positive
light.  Now it just seems like a couple of companies standing on their
last legs trying to make a desperate grab at profits by any means

To be a little fair, I think Corel has done good things business-wise that
signal a potential turnaround.  But even Michael Coupland admits that he
doesn't know when the "take-off" will occur.  Why on earth would anyone
risk something a big as a merger when he doesn't even know when his
company will return to profitability?  Corel needs to settle down a bit
and get the ball rolling before pulling off these shinanigans.  "If you
build it, they will come" is not a bad long-term business plan, but even
that, too, has risks.  As most people who have been involved in the Linux
community knows that sometimes it takes repeated proverbial beatings over
the head to get the point across to potential customers (even now people
don't take Linux too seriously even though it claimed the #2 position in
the server market and is merely one percentage point behind the
Mac in the desktop market).  This sort of thing does take time.

All in all, considering the good technological decisions Corel has made, I
sincerely hope the company does experience their take-off Coupland keeps
muttering about.  Until then, I'll keep a skeptical attitude towards them.

                          - Dave Finton

| If an infinite number of monkeys typed randomly at    |
|   an infinite number of typewriters for an infinite   |
|   amount of time, they would eventually type out      |
|   this sentencdfjg sd84wUUlksaWQE~kd ::.              |
| ----------------------------------------------------- |
|      Name:      Dave Finton                           |
|      E-mail:    surazal@nerp.net                      |
|      Web Page:  http://surazal.nerp.net/              |

Date: Fri, 24 Mar 2000 18:17:21 -0500 (EST)
From: William Stearns <wstearns@pobox.com>
To: comments@linuxone.net, info@linuxone.net
Subject: Meta tags in use on the LinuxOne web pages

Good afternoon, 
	May I respectfully ask why the LinuxOne.Net web pages include
these meta tags?  Would it be safe to assume that you're hoping to get
included in search results for these other Linux distributions?  I offer
my apologies in advance if there's a different reason why these trademarks
are used in this fashion.
	(less than and greater than signs have been changed to asterisks
so as not to confuse html capable displays).

*meta name="description" content="The source for everything related to the
LinuxOne distribution of Linux - the most powerful operating system for
home or office."*
*meta name="keywords" content="Linux, LinuxOne, kernel, S.O.,Distribution,
Labs, Red Hat, Redhat, Caldera, OpenLinux, SuSE, S.u.s.e., applixware,
news, resources, Operating, System, OS, KDE, GNOME, GNU, Server, Network,
application, Penguin, Onestop, Free, Download, commerical, support"*
*title*LinuxOne | One Stop For Linux*/title*

For reference, from their respective web sites:

	Red Hat, ... and all Red Hat-based trademarks and logos are
trademarks or registered trademarks of Red Hat, Inc. in the United States
and other countries.  ... You may use the following image on your web site
as long as it is accompanied by a hyperlink to Red Hat's web site. If you
want to use this image or other Red Hat trademarks for any other uses,
please contact us.

	Caldera Systems, the C-logo, and OpenLinux are either registered
trademarks or trademarks of Caldera Systems, Inc. ... Use of any other
Caldera Systems trademark in commerce may be prohibited by law except by
express license from Caldera Systems, Inc.

	SuSE is a trademark of SuSE Inc.

	Applix, Applixware, Applix Data, Applix Real Time, and Applix
Builder are registered trademarks of the Company in the United States and
certain other jurisdictions.

	- Bill

(Responding to this message indicates acceptance of the terms that your
response and any future response on this topic may be republished in any
form without conditions.)
William Stearns (wstearns@pobox.com).  Mason, Buildkernel, named2hosts, 
and ipfwadm2ipchains are at:                http://www.pobox.com/~wstearns
LinuxMonth; articles for Linux Enthusiasts! http://www.linuxmonth.com

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