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LWN has been acquired by Tucows.com, Inc. For a full rundown of what we have done and why, please have a look at our announcement; what appears on this page can be considered an executive summary of sorts.

Why have we taken the acquisition path? While we have enjoyed our independence over the last two-plus years, we came to the conclusion last fall that the future of LWN would be better assured by working in partnership with another company. With the ability to hire staff and the help of people who actually know how to do things like run the Gimp or sell banner ads we'll be able to do a lot more with the site. Worrying less about paying the bills will enable us to worry more about producing higher quality news for our readers. Finally, the increasingly competitive nature of the Linux space forced us to look hard at how our business works and how to keep it strong in the future.

Why Tucows? We looked at a wide range of possibilities and ran up far too many frequent flier miles as we agonized over what was the best thing to do. Tucows finally stood out as a company that has a solid business model, interesting ideas for its future in the open source world, a willingness to listen to us, and a relative freedom from editorial conflicts of interest. We feel strongly that we have made a good partnership which will help LWN to grow and flourish in the coming years.

What will change? In the future, expect an increase in the breadth and quality of LWN's coverage of the free software world. Our site technology should see some much-needed improvements - with the code probably being released as open source. Certain things, however, will not change: the LWN staff will remain with the site (and in Colorado), our editorial voice will be what it has always been, and we will remain independent. Our contract with Tucows specifies, in very clear language, that Tucows will not interfere in any way with our editorial freedom.

Work started on LWN almost two and one-half years ago. It has been a wild ride, and a great time. The greatest reward from the whole thing has been the support we've gotten from our readers, and we'll never forget that. Stick with us, both Linux and LWN have just begun to show the world what they can do.

Die Linux Bierwanderung 2000. The 2000 version of the [Hiking penguin] Linux Beer Hike has been announced. This year, it will be held from July 30 to August 6 in England's Lake District. The event seems very flexible in its design: "You do not have to go on any of the hikes (some didn't last year), drink beer or even know much about Linux." It looks like a good time; somehow we are going to have to figure out a way to get an LWN reporter there to document the event...

The Microsoft verdict. LWN normally tries to avoid talking much about Microsoft - it is simply irrelevant to the free software world most of the time. It was thus tempting to let the ruling that Microsoft violated the Sherman act pass by without comment. But the fact is that when large governments take actions in the software business world, Linux and free software will certainly be affected. What sorts of effects we'll see depend on just what happens...

  • What if Microsoft is broken up? If Microsoft's applications are split apart from its operating system business, one would expect that the applications would be ported to Linux in a relatively short time. Whether you think that would be a good thing depends on your point of view. Those who are working at deploying Linux systems on business desktops would certainly find their task eased by the existence of an Office port. But those who would like to see an independent set of productivity utilities on Linux (Sun, Applix, Abiword, etc.) would find the field rather suddenly crowded. To see Linux succeed to become the platform of choice for Office would be, at best, a partial victory.

  • What if Microsoft is made to open-source Windows? Those of us who work with the Linux source tend to see the idea that people would want to jump into 40 million lines of Windows 2000 code as being rather far-fetched. But there are a lot of Windows geeks out there, and it's possible that they could take up the challenge and turn Windows into a true open source project.

    But it is worth remembering that an open-source Windows would happen only after lengthy court battles and negotiations. One could imagine Microsoft burning a year just by dragging its feet with unacceptable "open source" licenses. By the time the code hit the net, Linux will be that much further along in both development and acceptance.

  • What if nothing happens at all? For the short term, nothing is just what should be expected - there will be a whole appeals process to go through. Linux has gotten as far as it has without the benefit of government action (though some say that the antitrust case has emboldened other companies to adopt Linux). In the absence of further action, or with another "consent decree" that changes little, Linux will continue to grow and prosper. The advantages of free software are simply too strong.

In the end, it is not at all clear that free software will benefit from government action against Microsoft. Free software is on the rise because it is better economically - freedom almost always is. A large, distributed network of free software developers are doing far more to change the way we deal with software than the U.S. government will.

Inside this week's Linux Weekly News:

  • Security: Source code and the US first amendment.
  • Kernel: Awash in 2.3 prepatches; the devfs pact; why no audio CD file systems for Linux?
  • Distributions: Tomsrtbt, NeoLinux, SlackReiser and more.
  • Development: Netscape 6, LinuxFailSafe, Haskell, Pliant and more development news.
  • Commerce: Rackspace.com files for an IPO.
  • 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:

April 6, 2000


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See also: last week's Security page.


News and editorials

Good news for Cryptographic freedom: source code and first amendment linked. On April 4th, 2000, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit published their decision regarding Peter Junger's challenge to the Export Administration Regulations which prevented him from posting information on the Internet that contained cryptographic example code. Most critical in the ruling: "Because computer source code is an expressive means for the exchange of information and ideas about computer programming, we hold that it is protected by the First Amendment."

Reading the full decision is actually recommended. It is not particularly long, as legal documents go, and is quite well-written. Some phrases seem like basic common sense to most of us: "Particularly, a musical score cannot be read by the majority of the public but can be used as a means of communication among musicians. Likewise, computer source code, though unintelligible to many, is the preferred method of communication among computer programers."

This is not the end of crytographic regulations, nor even the end of this case. However, such a ruling, particularly from a Federal court, is good news for free/open source software in general. It backs up and broadens the May 1999 decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in the Daniel Bernstein case. "In light of these considerations, we conclude that encryption software, in its source code form and as employed by those in the field of cryptography, must be viewed as expressive for First Amendment purposes, and thus is entitled to the protections of the prior restraint doctrine."

So what does all this mean? This is the second federal court decision to agree that source code is a form of communication and expression protected by the First Amendment. Neither decision has the final weight of a Supreme Court decision, but they are good signs in this on-going struggle to determine how the United States' particular expression of democracy and the world of computer programmers and developers are going to co-exist. Speculation on the impact of this decision on other court cases has begun.

For example, this CNet article commented, "some theorized that today's decision could test the balance between free speech and copyright protections in litigation between the movie industry and Web operators accused of circulating a program that lets people crack the security on DVDs." We can only hope that it will.

Open source fans break strong encryption (ZDnet UK). Will Knight reports on the success of an effort to break a 108 bit public encryption key. "Scientists at the French National Institute for Research in Computer Science (INRIA) created software for the Linux and Windows operating systems capable of using idle PC processing power to contribute via the Internet to the massive number crunching effort needed to crack the encryption." (From SecurityFocus.com.)

A Christmas for the Kiddies (Linuxcare). Linuxcare has put up this column on how to secure your system from "script kiddie" attacks. "Part of any good twelve-step program is to acknowledge that one has a problem. From that day forward, I promised myself that I will never again presume anything about the security of my systems."

Security Reports

fcheck file integrity checker vulnerability. A vulnerability has been reported in the fcheck file integrity checker which can allow a malicious user to execute arbitrary programs by creating files with shell metacharacters in their names. This is a programming error and a patch for the problem is included.

Cobalt .htaccess exposure. Cobalt has issued an advisory about the exposure of .htaccess files on Cobalt RAQ2 and RAQ3 servers. They have provided updates for the problem. For more information on it, check Paul Schreiber's note to BugTraq. The problem can also be fixed via a slight change to the Apache configuration files (but modifying them yourself might void your warranty, Paul comments).

kcreatecd local root compromise. SuSE reported a vulnerability in kcreatecd that could lead to a local root compromise. They have issued updated packages for the problem. Alternately, the suid bit can be removed from the kcreatecd binary ("chmod u-s /opt/kde/bin/kreatecd"). Other distributions and operating systems using kcreatecd are presumably also impacted.


ircii buffer overflow.

On March 10th, a remotely exploitable buffer overflow was reported in ircii, an irc client, with all versions prior to 4.4M. Check BugTraq ID 1046 for more details.

This week's updates:

gpm-root improper permissions handling. Covered in last week's Security Summary, some distribution updates for the gpm package are now available.

This week's updates:


Zombie Zapper updated. Zombie Zapper, a free, open source tool that can be used to defend against distributed-denial-of-service (DDOS) attacks from Trinoo, TFN, and Stacheldraht, has been updated to defend against Shaft attacks as well.

Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh

April 6, 2000

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See also: last week's Kernel page.

Kernel development

The current development kernel release is still 2.3.99-pre3; there has not been a development kernel release since March 23. The 2.3.99-pre4 prepatch is in its fourth revision at this point, and contains a lot of additions to the configuration help file, 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, extensive NFS updates, and some networking fixes.

To add to the fun, Alan Cox has also released 2.3.99-4.2-ac1.. On the off chance that some may find this notation confusing, this patch could also be known as "Alan Cox's first patch to the second prepatch for the fourth pre-2.3.99 kernel." It contains stuff that Alan intends to eventually be integrated into the mainline kernel, including a large number of S/390 updates, a Perle Specialix RIO serial driver, an HP100 network driver update, an IBM PCMCIA token ring driver, and some sound driver tweaks.

Here is the latest 2.4 jobs list from Alan.

The current stable kernel release is still 2.2.14. Prepatch 2.2.15pre17 came out on April 2 with a claim that the real release would follow in 24 hours if no new problems came up. Said release has not yet happened, however, as of this writing.

"You agreed to the pact. Your soul is mine now." That description of devfs behavior was posted by Werner Almesberger as part of a discussion of one aspect of the devfs system: if you enable it in your kernel, your chances of having a broken system are very high unless you are running the devfs daemon as well. This happens because devfs automatically mounts itself on top of /dev, and all of the old device files that the system relies on will not be present without explicit help.

This behavior seems certain to burn a number of people once the 2.4 kernel comes out, leading to a whole rash of "2.4 is junk, my system wouldn't even boot" messages from highly annoyed users. Devfs can do cool things when properly configured, but is a trap for those who enable the kernel configuration option with the idea of trying it out "one of these days." That will probably need to change before 2.4.0 comes out. Possible solutions include not mounting devfs automatically, mounting it somewhere other than /dev, or having it automatically "see through" to the underlying directory when unknown (to devfs) devices are referenced.

New filesystem releases. The Reiserfs people are still working feverishly in an attempt to get their filesystem ready for a hoped-for inclusion in 2.4. The latest release is Reiserfs 3.6.3; it is still labelled as "beta" and does not yet fix all of the outstanding problems. In particular, testing it on big-endian systems (such as Sparcs) could be hazardous.

SGI has put out an announcement that the full XFS port is now available (and has been for a little while). XFS is said to be "still very unstable," and has only been tested on 32-bit Intel systems.

The Timpanogas group has released NWFS 2.2.2, the latest version of their NetWare filesystem implementation.

Why is there no audio CD filesystem in Linux? It seems to some that it would be a nice feature to be able to mount an audio CD and access the individual tracks as files. The problem, as it turns out, is that the process of turning the data on a CD into clean audio is far from straightforward. Audio readers must be prepared to do jitter correction and to handle failed reads due to scratches or dust on the CD. It's a task that is, at least according to some, better handled in user space.

Those who want to try an audio filesystem anyway can have a look at CDFS and AudioFS.

After the long memory overcommitting thread - some code. Eduardo Horvath has posted a patch which can completely disable memory overcommitting in the Linux kernel. Those who are truly worried about the default behavior can now experiment with a system that does not work that way. Adding some more swap space first is probably a good idea.

Other patches and updates released this week include:

  • Rik van Riel has posted a new version of his fair scheduler patch.

  • Bert Hubert has announced a new set of HOWTOs, covering advanced routing, traffic shaping, the logical volume manager, and 2.4 networking.

  • Autodetect is a tool which seeks to ease the kernel configuration process by scanning the system to see which hardware is present and setting the appropriate configuration options.

  • iptables 1.0.0, the first official release of the new firewalling and masquerading clients, has been released.

Section Editor: Jonathan Corbet

April 6, 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.

Tomsrtbt: full survey. Tom Oehser, author of the floppy and CD-based Linux distribution, Tomsrtbt (Tom's root boot), a well-known single-floppy rescue distribution, has sent in survey information for his distribution.

6. Why did you decide to produce a Linux distribution?

"yard" and "DLX" and "HAL91" were not what I wanted.

I disagreed with the assertion that there couldn't be
a "one size fits all" rescue floppy image.

NeoLinux: new embedded Linux with a specific target. Neoware Systems announced NeoLinux, a Red Hat-based distribution for "business-to-business" information appliances, including cash registers and interactive web kiosks, amongst others. They are also including their own specific packages for power management, read-write capabilities and administration. No mention was made of the licensing for these add-ons.

Minor distribution updates:

Caldera OpenLinux

Nick Petreley on Caldera OpenLinux eDesktop 2.4. The second half of this article by Nick Petreley talks about his experience with Caldera's eDesktop 2.4. "All told, I had Caldera installed and all my applications configured completely to my liking in less than 30 minutes."

Corel Linux

Corel Linux Roadshow 2000 (AboutLinux). AboutLinux attended the Corel Roadshow in Vancouver. "Wendy started with a full screen telnet session, to show what Linux user interfaces in the dark ages of text only consoles was like. She typed 'ps -alx' to show what tasks were running - unfortunately the process list showed a couple of zombie wine processes. Oops."

Debian GNU/Linux

Election Results. We announced last week that Wichert Akkerman had won the election for Debian Project Leader. For those of you who like the gory details, here are the final election results. The Debian election system, while complex, is an interesting process ...

Debian GNU/Hurd. This week's Kernel Cousin Debian Hurd provides a look into the continuing development of the Hurd operating system. Discussions included arguments over security issues in the login process and the port of libgcj.


The DragonLinux website was updated on March 24th. It promises that the next release of DragonLinux will be coming out soon and hints that they are looking for beta testers. DragonLinux is a UMSDOS-based distribution that installs on a DOS hard drive without requiring repartitioning.


Linux in France: what will be MandrakeSoft's next move? (olinux.com.br). Olinux.com.br ran this interview with MandrakeSoft's GaŽl Duval. "In the end of 1998 we were 3 people in MandrakeSoft. In the end of 1999 we were 40, and right now we are 70. The first Mandrake officially shipped by MandrakeSoft was 5.3. It's been sold at around 3000 items. Then we sold more than 200,000 6.0 + 6.1 packs. The revenues have grown consequently."

Linux-Mandrake for Alpha released. MandrakeSoft has announced the release of its 7.0 distribution for the Alpha processor. This port is "not intended for production use yet."

Red Hat Linux

RedHat 6.2: The best just got better! (Tucows). Tucows reviews Red Hat 6.2. "So far I haven't found any major bugs anywhere on the system, it has to be one of the most stable releases of Redhat I have ever seen."

DistributionWatch Review: Red Hat Linux 6.2 (LinuxPlanet). LinuxPlanet ran this review of Red Hat 6.2. "Red Hat Linux 6.2 continues to be a leading Linux distribution in terms of ease of installation. But when compared to other Linux distributions--Corel Linux, Linux-Mandrake, Slackware Linux, and TurboLinux Workstation--Red Hat Linux 6.2 is a surprisingly unsophisticated offering, sporting a stripped-down KDE interface and lacking many essential tools."

Rock Linux

ROCK Linux 1.3.9. A new version of Rock Linux, Rock Linux 1.3.9, was announced on March 31st, 2000. As you can tell, it is a distribution for the bleeding edge: "Changes: A lot of new packages, bugfixes and features, new build scripts (rewritten from scratch), new gcc wrapper for better optimizazion, install disks improvements, a lot of sourcecode cleanups. This development release of ROCK Linux is based on the Linux Kernel 2.3.99-pre3 and Glibc 2.1.3. It contains allready XFree86 4.0 and Perl 5.6.0."

Rock Linux in the news. Two additional articles about Rock Linux have been reported: Rock Linux: Not for woozies! and Using Rock Linux on a Sony ultra portable laptop. "If you read Clifford's 'Rock Linux Philosophy you'll see that one of the actual concepts is the maintenance of downloading the latest (and greatest) packages. Anyone can download information to the central Rock Linux repository (through Clifford et al.). So once you know how to download and compile the latest package you can share that with others. It is a nice co-operative mode."

Slackware Linux

Slackware Support. Slackware has added a new Support section to the website. Although you can get installation support and limited technical support directly from Slackware.com, a list of companies providing a wider variety of support options has been compiled.

SlackReiser. Ross Vandegrift has put out a set of boot and root disks for Slackware 7 to allow it to be installed on a ReiserFS partition.

White Dwarf Linux

EMJ Data Systems has announced they have spun off White Dwarf Linux into its own company. The website http://www.whitedwarflinux.com/ is up, but currently content free. "We believe that with a separate identity, white dwarf can receive the focus it deserves and will rapidly move forward in the embedded Linux area."

Yellow Dog

April Fool's Day. "Yellow Dog Linux adds Klingon support", claims this April Fool's story. And why not? This editor's dog is bi-lingual in English and Klingon, after all ...

Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh

April 6, 2000

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

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See also: last week's Development page.

Development projects

Netscape 6 preview release 1. Here's the press release for Netscape's release of the first preview version of Netscape 6.0. "Netscape 6 reverses the trend of continuously increasing the size of software with new releases. The new Netscape Navigator browser is a light 5.5MB download, about half the size of Navigator 4.08. Also, because Netscape 6 is based on Netscape Gecko, which speeds up the browsing experience for users, tables display much faster, pages resize instantly, and text information appears more quickly so users can start reading content on the page sooner."

LWN editor Jonathan Corbet downloaded the pre-release to check it out. He found the "pre release" categorization quite accurate and ran into a few inaccuracies in the press release. First, the full download turned out to be 10.7MB in size, not 5.5 as claimed. Second, the overall feel of the product is still slower than Netscape 4.X, with sufficient bugs to be annoying. Hopefully, Netscape will take the time to address these issues and have a great, polished product in hand before they release a final version of Netscape 6.

For more commentary, check:

Software Development - Apache Style (OpenSourceIT). In this how-we-do-it article in OpenSourceIT.com, Ken Coar discusses the Apache style of large-scale open-source software development. "The Apache development process is not static. It continues to evolve, through experiments such as seeing whether commit-then-review was a viable development alternative. That was clearly successful, and more recently, in November 1999, the project decided to try an experiment by moving the Web server documentation into a separate CVS module and 'lowering the bar' as to who has access to it (i.e., letting more people be able to modify it)." (Found in Advogato.)


Mozilla turns two. In celebration of Mozilla's second birthday, MozillaZine has posted a Mozilla timeline, complete with screenshots and photos.


Linux Certification Project to Release Second Exam. LPI has announced the completion of the development of exam 102, the second of two exams required to obtain Level 1 certification. The exam should be available for people to take by April 17th, just before the Linux Business Expo being held in conjunction with the Spring Comdex.

Open Source Education Foundation. The formation of the Open Source Education Foundation has been announced. A non-profit corporation based in Tucson, Arizona, OSEF is working to make the technology used in schools superior to that used in business and industry. "The Information Age is presenting new, exciting opportunities for education. Soon, students will be writing web pages instead of reports, passing e-mail instead of notes, and carrying computers instead of books. OSEF will be at the forefront delivering viable technologies to schools to help make this happen. "

SEUL/edu Linux in Education Report. This week's SEUL/edu Linux in Education Report is out. It provides a review of some of the initial projects that OSEF has announced, and highlights oss4lib, which is promoting the development of free software solutions for libraries.

OpenClassroom changes management, announces strategic alliance. Brendon Grunewald has stepped down from management of the OpenClassroom project and Jose Lacal has stepped up, according to this announcement. That also coincides with the announcement of a strategic partnership with Maxspeed Corporation.


LinuxForKids reported on two new games this week: kard, a new game from a new author, which is built along the principles of the "memory" card game of yore and gTans, from the author of CircusLinux.

High Availability

Report from the LinuxFailSafe symposium. Alan Robertson has sent us a report from the first LinuxFailSafe symposium, which boasted attendees from SuSE, SGI, Mission Critical Linux, TurboLinux, VA Linux, Red Hat, Compaq, tummy.com, Caldera, Eluminant, WireX, Continental Divide Robotics, and Lucent Technologies. LinuxFailSafe is a new project which is working to bring SGI's FailSafe high-availability software to Linux.

Heartbeat 0.4.7 released. Alan also announced the release of version 0.4.7 of his "heartbeat" high availability subsystem this week.


Wine Weekly News. This week's Wine Weekly News covers discussion topics for the week, including integration with Samba and memory protection.

Kernel Cousin Samba. This week's report from the Samba development lists addresses a variety of issues, including the age-old problem of synchronizing passwords between the operating system and Samba. A variety of partial solutions were put forth and example code provided.


OpenNMS project report v1.2. The latest project report from the OpenNMS project (Open Network Management) is in. Java, XML, Perl, leveraging off existing code, sub-project assignments and more are talked about this week.

Office Applications

Introduction to NEdit 5.1 (AboutLinux). AboutLinux looks at NEdit 5.1. "This article started out as a review of NEdit; but the more I used it, the more I appreciated it. After due consideration, I decided to turn the article into an 'Introduction to NEdit' - hopefully helping introduce people to this excellent editor."

Kernel Cousin Gimp. This week's Kernel Cousin Gimp announced the Gimp 1.1.19, comments on the new installation dialogs and outlines a wishlist for the Gimp 1.2. Details on the Gimp 1.1.19 are available from the Changelog.

Star Office 5.2 beta. A new beta release of StarOffice is out, promising "numerous bug fixes, improved import filters and Adabas database engine integration".

AbiWord Weekly News. This week's AbiWord Weekly News reports on difficulties using newer versions of libpng, and slowly improving Gnome support, among others. Best new feature this week: overwrite.

On the Desktop

Gnome Summary. The April 4th edition of the Gnome Summary from Havoc Pennington has a link to screenshots from the first application of Pango to GTK, demonstrating support for inter-mixing languages and right-to-left menu displays.

Gnome developer Federico Mena Quintero. Linux.com did an interview with Federico Mena Quintero. Of special interest, of course, was Evolution, the personal information manager that Federico is working on directly. "If you know the Microsoft Outlook architecture, then you'll know what we are aiming at. It is both a nice graphical client for handling personal information, as well as a set of components and libraries to build custom groupware applications such as voting systems, expense report systems, and other important tasks that work teams and offices need to handle."

KDE Development News (Apr 1). This week's KDE Development Newscovers the week of Sunday, March 26th through Saturday, April 1st. Although the kdelibs freeze date was pushed back from March 30th to April 3rd, there was still good news to report. Corel has assigned a half dozen Quality Assurance people to assist in testing KDE 1.9, has hired a full-time UI person to help with KDE UI design issues and is actively offering developer help for other tasks on the KDE jobs page.

Meanwhile, Nicholas Petreley took a look at KDE and Qt. "Qt has an ingenious method called signals and slots that it uses to link actions to visual objects. I discovered that Qt actually trains you to think in terms of object-oriented rather than procedural programming. Indeed, spending some time with Qt makes it clear why it is beneficial to write object-oriented code in the first place." (From Mosfet.org.)


Linux in Science (Mar 29). This week's Linux in Science report takes a look at a few tools (Grace, gASQL, GNOME Transcript, GUL, GSL, and SIMPL) and some other Linux/Open Source science projects (the OpenScience Project, the DEB Packages at the Pasteur Institute and Scientific Library Project).

FreeGIS report. Bernhard Reiter sent in a development report for the FreeGIS project. The FreeGIS project and its editors have announced the release of version 1.0.3 of the FreeGIS-CD, including new versions of GRASS (stable and development), tkgeomap, GMT data, PROJ, shapelib and gen2shp. For more information, check the Changelog.

Website Development

Zope Weekly News. Here is this week's Zope Weekly News. Check it out for the latest in Zope development information.

ht://Dig development update. Geoff Hutchison wrote in again with another ht://Dig development update. It appears the latest beta of the 3.2 code, 3.2.0b2, should be release within a few days, addressing all of the bugs in the previous beta. After the release, anyone who has pending patches should resubmit them to the htdig3-dev mailing list so they can be merged into the CVS tree. Geoff has also started talking to Dan Winship of the GNOME libibex indexing library. Hopefully, some shared code and good ideas will come from the collaboration.

Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh

April 6, 2000

Project Links
High Availability

More Information



Development tools

Report on Software Development 2000 (O'ReillyNet). Here's a report from Software Development 2000 on the O'Reilly network. "But it was the scope of Python at the conference that was truly striking. There were Python sessions every day and a short tutorial before the opening of the conference. There were Python BOFs and Python panels. But Python was also discussed in other sessions and speakers were generally approving. Why?"


Haskell Development Report. We received a note from Jens-Ulrik Petersen enclosing a development report from Simon Peyton-Jones for ghc, the Glasgow Haskell Compiler. For a bit more information on Haskell, check last week's Development Summary.


NTK on Perl 5.6 release. Here's NTK's take on the latest Perl release. "Our favourite feature: not only has the version numbering system changed to a 'v5.6.x' format, the Perlporters have introduced a special pseudo-type to support such version numbers, right damn well into the freaking language. Sauron's work, I tell you."


PHP 3.0.16 released. A new bugfix release of PHP, version 3.0.16, was announced on Wednesday, April 5th. From PHP.net: "This is mostly a bug fix release which adds support for gd-1.8, ucd-snmp 4.1, and high-resolution timers on OS/2. OpenBSD support has been improved considerably. The source package and Win32 binaries are available from the PHP homepage."


Pliant language release 34. Pliant - release 34 is now available. We last mentioned the Pliant language in February, 1999. It is also described in a bit more detail in Brave GNU World, Issue #13. This release marks their welcome to new contributors. "The Pliant 'one man project' stage is now over. Welcome to all of you contributors: I hope you will get fun with the parts you will carry, and get great rewards for that in a few years."


This week's Python-URL. Here is this week's Dr. Dobb's Python-URL with information from the Software Development conference and lots of other good Python news, including a mention of the Python and Zope BOFs at the Colorado Linux Info Quest, which were very well attended, and a new alpha release of Python 1.6.

Python 1.6 scheduled for June. Python 1.6 has an "agressive alpha and beta release schedule running through April and May" and should have a final version out around June 1st. They are on track, with the first alpha released last Friday, March 31st.

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

Rackspace.com has filed for an initial public offering of stock. Rackspace is a large-scale web hosting provider; their particular angle is that (1) they provide a dedicated box for every customer, and (2) most of those boxes run Linux. Linux figures prominently in Rackspace's lengthy S-1 filing - the word "Linux" appears in the document sixty times.

Rackspace claims particular expertise in deploying and operating Linux systems; apparently some 80% of their customers are hosted on Linux. "We believe that many small- to medium-sized enterprises prefer Linux-based hosting services due to Linux's reputation for stability and high performance, ease of remote administration and cost advantages." As part of their use of Linux, they have entered a "strategic relationship" with Red Hat, and have received a $2 million equity investment from them as well (see this press release).

The relationship with Red Hat is based around joint marketing - each can place information on the other's web site. Rackspace will also have "prominent placement" in the "Open Source Marketplace" that Red Hat is evidently planning to roll out later this year. Rackspace's marketing materials will also be packaged up with Red Hat 7.0.

As is considered proper for an IPO company, Rackspace loses money. In 1999, they brought in $1.7 million, but turned in a loss of $1.65 million. Their 1998 revenues were much smaller.

The usual list of scary risk factors has been provided; theirs includes the risk that acceptance of Linux might not continue to grow. Their use of (unspecified) licensed software is cited as a risk - the licensing could change on them.

The filing mentions a directed share program, but says nothing about Linux developers. The company is happy to throw the "Linux" name around, but apparently feels little need to deal in the developers that made Linux possible.

IBM dumps more Red Hat stock. According to this Newstraders article, IBM has put in another registration to sell 250,000 shares of Red Hat stock. This is the third such registration; the total number of shares registered to be sold by IBM is now 750,000.

Linuxcare IPO the week of April 24. According to the latest information on the Ostman site, Linuxcare's IPO is now scheduled for the week of April 24. More information as we receive it.

New Corel stock registration filing. Corel Corp. has filed a new stock registration as part of its merger with Inprise. It contains a good deal of information about that merger, for those who are interested.

EBIZ acquires InfoMagic. EBIZ, operator of TheLinuxStore.com, has announced the acquisition of InfoMagic, a long-time distributor of Linux (and other) software.

Atipa Linux Solutions acquires DCG Computer Corp. Atipa Linux Solutions has announced the acquisition of DCG Computer Corp. DCG is to enhance Atipa's line with the addition of high-performance and clustered systems. Details of the deal, of course, are not forthcoming.

'The Linux Problem Solver' published. No Starch Press has announced the publication of "The Linux Problem Solver." It's written by Brian Ward, author of the Linux Kernel HOWTO.

Apple releases Darwin 1.0. Apple has announced the release of Darwin 1.0. This release also includes an open source version of its QuickTime streaming server software.

Seagate announces Linux server appliance line. Seagate has announced the development of a line of Linux-based server appliance products, to be done in partnership with Cobalt Networks.

TurboLinux signs distribution agreement with Ingram Micro. TurboLinux has announced the signing of a distribution agreement with Ingram Micro. The first customer getting TurboLinux from Ingram is Staples, a large office supply chain.

Goldman Sachs takes stake in Linux One, Inc. Linux One, Inc., described as a "South Korean developer of services and software for the Linux operating system", announced a $5.4 million investment from Goldman Sachs into the company. Note that this company ("Linux One") is different from the one currently in the IPO process in the US ("LinuxOne"). (Thanks to Baiju Thakkar.)

Ateon Networks receives patent on remote storage for internet appliances. Ateon Networks, which makes Linux-based internet appliances, has announced the receipt of a patent on "remote storage for internet appliances." The patent is not written in the most clear manner, but it would appear to cover serving files from a protected internal network.

Miguel de Icaza on the Microsoft ruling. We were sent this statement from Miguel de Icaza on the Microsoft ruling. "Microsoft has held a proprietary grip on the software industry both economically and developmentally. As a result every 18 months hardware doubles in speed and drops in price while the complete opposite is true of the software that runs on top of it. Very simply, consumers will always lose with proprietary software."

Section Editor: Jon Corbet.

Press Releases:

    Open Souce Products

  • Axis Communications (LUND, Sweden) has opened up the source code for its Bluetooth drivers and its applications using Bluetooth. Bluetooth is a technology for wireless communications between mobile phones and other portable devices.

  • netLibrary (BOULDER, Colo.) announced that it will frontlist and backlist bestsellers from O'Reilly & Associates.

    Commercial Products for Linux

  • Agate Technologies, Inc. (FREMONT, Calif.) announced the release of its HotData Shuttle hot swap IDE Plug & Play solution, designed to support the Linux operating system on Intel based workstations and Internet Server Appliances.

  • Aladdin Systems, Inc. (Watsonville, CA) announced a public beta test of its Aladdin Expander, a free Expansion access utility for Red Hat Linux.

  • Ciprico Inc. (MINNEAPOLIS) announced that its 6500 Series RAID disk array is now SGI-approved as Linux-compatible.

  • Computer Associates International, Inc. (ISLANDIA, N.Y.) announced the ARCserveIT 6.61, a native storage management solution for Linux.

  • Coollogic Inc. announced the launch of www.rtkernel.org, a free commercial site for embedded, real-time Linux downloads.

  • The Duke of URL has provided a link to a mirror site carrying the Linux version of the new BeOS v5.0.

  • IDG Books Worldwide (FOSTER CITY, Calif.) announced that it is expanding its Linux product lines and promotions.

  • iGS Technologies (iGST) (SAN JOSE, Calif.) announced plans to offer enhanced Linux support for its CyberPro family of streaming media gateway chips.

  • InterVideo, Inc. (FREMONT, Calif) announced LinDVD, a software DVD player/decoder for the Linux operating system, to be released soon.

  • Linux Journal (SEATTLE) announced the 2000 Buyer's Guide, available July 17, 2000.

  • Panda Computers is now offering 1U rackmount Linux boxes "at a reasonable price".

  • Rebel.com has announced a new release of its NetWinder software.

  • Spatial Inc. (BOULDER, Colo) announced the launch of "the world's first" ACIS-enabled design products on the Linux operating system.

  • Vela L.P. (CLEARWATER, Fla.) announced that it is now shipping its MPEG-2 video decoding solutions with Linux drivers.

  • ViewCast.com, Inc. announced that it will bring its streaming video technology to Linux.

  • YARC Systems Corporation (CAMARILLO, Calif) announced that it has enhanced the YARC XP LINUX Color Server which is connected to the Internet for customer and investor evaluation.

    Products Using Linux

  • Alta Technology has announced the founding of LinuxNetworX, a new company specializing in high performance, Linux-based systems.

  • Coollogic Inc. (DALLAS) announced the launch of its e-Pilot 7000 Series, Internet access appliances.

  • Extended Systems (GENEVA, Switzerland) announced that it has begun shipping XTNDAccess Blue SDK, a multi-purpose software development kit (SDK) for implementing Bluetooth in handheld devices.

  • MTX, Inc. (RALEIGH, N.C.) has new Linux-based desktops and appliance servers. The new desktops, the eTerm 450 and 450Plus models, offer support for Java Virtual Machine and use a resident Netscape browser. MTX also introduced the Firepower 2000, based on the Linux operating system.

  • Neoware Systems (KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa.) announced Eon - The Anything Box, a customizable Linux information appliance using NeoLinux. See this week's Distributions page for more about NeoLinux.

    Java Products

  • ILOG (MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif) unveiled its new ILOG JRules 3.0 business rule engine, with a customizable language designed for ease of use.

  • Inprise/Borland (SCOTTS VALLEY, Calif.) announced that two of its Java development tools, JBuilder and JBuilder JIT, have won multiple awards over the past weeks.

  • Ubiquity Software Corporation (SAN JOSE, California) announced a software addition to it's Helmsman Application Services Platform, providing services for Packet Telephony.


  • AQ (Johannesburg) announced a Linux Training Centre in Pretoria. AQ will also be providing the Linux Professional Institute's (LPI) qualification for these courses on completion.

  • Maxspeed Corporation (PALO ALTO, Calif.) and OpenClassroom, which offers a complete package of Open Source software specifically designed for schools, announced the formation of a strategic alliance that will offer a complete client and server solution in the classroom. The companies bring together the advantages of the Linux operating system and the adaptable open source educational software.

  • New Horizons Computer Learning Centers, Inc. (SANTA ANA, Calif) has been selected by Compaq Computer Corporation to provide corporate computer training for its 50,000 employees worldwide. Linux is included in the curriculum.

  • Paragon Solutions Inc. (CHICAGO) has reached a reseller agreement with IBM to tailor its O'Reilly & Associates-branded IT courseware for IBM.

    Products with Linux Versions

  • Ariel Corp. (CRANBURY, N.J.) announced availability of the RSA400, a new PCI-based, eight-port, V.90-compatible 56K remote access solution for small- and medium-sized offices.

  • ARM (CAMBRIDGE, UK) announced availability of the Prospector P-Series, a fully-integrated portable reference platform.

  • Asante Technologies, Inc. (SAN JOSE, Calif.) announced the Asante FriendlyNET PCI 595 Fast Ethernet adapter, a 10/100 adapter.

  • Comuniq, Inc. (LOS ANGELES) introduced The UltimateIP Streaming Media Application Server (SMAS) H.323 subsystem.

  • Continuus Software Corporation (IRVINE, Calif.) announced the launch of Continuus ChangeSynergy 3.0, which provides a task-based platform for managing change requests across the enterprise development environment.

  • DataDirect Networks, Inc. (LOS ANGELES) released the SAN DataDirector, a storage area network (SAN) appliance.

  • dtSearch Corp. (BETHESDA,Md.) announced the Version 6.0 release of dtSearch Web and the dtSearch Text Retrieval Engine which feature strong and comprehensive support for XML.

  • IBM (RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C.) announced the worldwide availability of IBM WebSphere Transcoding Publisher, software that dynamically translates Web information to a format readable on a variety of Internet appliances.

  • IBM (SOMERS, N.Y.) announced SNAPP, a Web-based application that allows customers to configure and manage an RS/6000 B50 server with hand-held computers based on the Palm Computing platform.

  • LAND-5 Corporation (SAN DIEGO) introduced the iCEbox UltraPod, a 2U network attached storage solution.

  • Legato Systems Inc. (PALO ALTO, Calif.) announced that the eCluster solution and Legato Cluster Enterprise, heterogeneous, high-availability software solutions, now support the Linux operating system.

  • Mapletree Networks (NORWOOD, Mass.) announced the MTN5000, a CompactPCI remote access card. The MTN5000 comes with a development kit that includes sample Linux and other drivers, as well as generic source code.

  • Omnis Software announced the release of Omnis Studio 2.4, the latest version of their 4GL rapid application development program.

  • REALVIZ S.A. (SOPHIA ANTIPOLIS, France) announced ReTimer V2.0 software application for animation and special effects professionals.

  • Smith Micro Software, Inc. (ALISO VIEJO, Calif.) unveiled WebCatalog 4.0, the latest version of its eCommerce and Web publishing platform.

  • SSH Communications Security (MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. and ESPOO, Finland) announced that they are now selling SSH Secure Shell 2.1 products on its Web site at www.ssh.com.

  • Syntegra (MINNEAPOLIS) announced the release of Web Personal Assistant, a Web-based e-mail client.

  • UniBar Inc. (ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich.) announced an e-commerce version of e-BARCODE 2000, server-based label printing software.

  • WebTrends Corporation announced the availability of WebTrends Security Analyzer version 3.5.


  • 1mage Software Inc. (ENGLEWOOD, Colo.) provider of electronic document imaging systems with Linux versions, announced a business partnership with APTRON Corporation, a software supplier of administrative systems for colleges and universities.

  • Andover.net has announced a partnership with ibooks.com to create "the first Linux/Open Source online digital bookstore."

  • AXENT Technologies, Inc. (ROCKVILLE, Md.) announced its intent to develop (with Cobalt Networks) a network appliance specialized for intrusion detection tasks. The product will be available in the third quarter of 2000.

  • AXENT Technologies, Inc. (ROCKVILLE, Md.) announced that it has joined the Red Hat, Inc. ISV Developer Partner Program to deliver e-security solutions.

  • Belkin Components announced that it will offer a full version of the TurboLinux Server 6.0 Operating System, free with the purchase of its OmniView KVM (keyboard, video, mouse) switching products.

  • Corel Corporation (OTTAWA, ONTARIO) announced a partnership with Zkey.com that will offer CorelCity.com and CreativeAnywhere! users some of "the most unique and powerful Web tools available".

  • Cydoor Technologies Inc. (NEW YORK) and TUCOWS Network Inc. announced that they will be co-marketing a full technological solution and promotion package to shareware, freeware and service tools companies.

  • Geek Teknologies, Inc. (LOS ANGELES) announced a new business relationship with the Echo Digital Audio Corporation, makers of high-end digital audio products. This arrangement allows GeekTek to bundle Echo's products with their BeOS and Linux based systems.

  • I-Logix Inc. announced that it has become a founding member of the Embedded Linux Consortium.

  • Lineo has announced a deal with MIPS to make Lineo's Embedix distribution work optimally on MIPS processors.

  • Progressive Systems (COLUMBUS, Ohio and SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.) and TheLinuxStore.com announced an alliance which makes the entire Progressive Systems family of Linux-based firewall and VPN solutions immediately available at TheLinuxStore.com.

  • Red Hat, Inc. (RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C.) announced an OEM agreement with Compaq Computer Corp. to provide Red Hat Linux 6.2 on Compaq servers, AlphaStations, and select Deskpro PC models.

  • YouthStream Media Networks (NEW YORK) announced a comprehensive business-to-business agreement to partner with Red Hat. YouthStream will provide colleges and universities as well as individuals with the opportunity to order Red Hat's Linux 6.1, Linux 6.2, and the Linux System Builder via YouthStream's Web sites.

    Investments and Acquisitions

  • Kurant Corporation (SAN FRANCISCO) announced the completion of an $8.2 million round of financing, led by Deep River Ventures. Cobalt Networks, Garage.com, Group One, TransAtlantic Partners, Iter Occidentale, Capital Resource Management, Loftus Capital and Empire Ventures are also participating. Kurant's products are available for Linux.

  • OTC America, Inc. (DENVER) announced that it has signed a "Letter of Intent" to acquire AyrNet, a development stage, Linux-based, broadband wireless Internet service provider ("ISP").

  • Piranha, Inc. (DALLAS) announced that HIH Insurance Limited has completed a US $ 3 Million equity investment the company. Piranha creates data compression technology, created on the Linux operating system.

  • Sendmail, Inc. (EMERYVILLE, Calif.) announced the completion of its $35 million Series D funding.

  • TeamLinux Corporation announced its acquisition of Edge Technology Solutions of Irvine, California.

    Linux at Work

  • Epoch Internet (LOS ANGELES) and IBM teamed up to provide the Incubator program to offer dot-coms in the entertainment industry with an end-to-end e-business technology infrastructure at no cost for six months. The Incubator is deployed on Linux.

  • eurodata GmbH and Co. KG (FREMONT, Calif. and SAARBRUECKEN, Germany) combined Versant's Object Database Management System (ODBMS) with the Linux operating system, creating a distributed system capable of handling very large amounts of data.

  • Lutris Technologies Inc. (SANTA CRUZ, Calif.) announced that its Enhydra Open Source Java/XML application server (running on Linux) is powering AnywhereYouGo.com.

  • matchupsingles.com (Johannesburg) uses a Red Hat system to run its South African dating service.


  • Atipa Linux Solutions (KANSAS CITY, Mo.) announced the appointment of Francine Segars to lead the company's business development and strategic alliance activities. Francine is a former Dell veteran.


  • 1mage Software Inc. (ENGLEWOOD, Colo.) reported financial results.

  • Bluepoint Linux Software Corp. (LOS ANGELES) announced that it has established retail sales channels in Beijing, Nanjing and Shenzhen, covering northern, central and southern China.

  • Corel was very happy to announce recent market information from PC Data on Corel's market share increase since November.

Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol.

April 6, 2000


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Linux in the news

Politics & Law

News.com ran this article about the U.S. appeals court decision that programs are covered by the First Amendment. "For example, some theorized that today's decision could test the balance between free speech and copyright protections in litigation between the movie industry and Web operators accused of circulating a program that lets people crack the security on DVDs."

Lawrence Lessig speaks out in TheStandard against the DMCA, which has been interpreted in a way that apparently "circumvents" the Constitution's First Amendment limits on copyright law. "But law that protects code that protects copyright is still law. And it, like copyright law, should be limited by the Constitution. If there is a fair-use right under copyright law, then as professor Peter Jaszi and others have argued, there should be a fair-use right under the anticircumvention provision of the DMCA. Just as free-speech rights get balanced under copyright law, so too should they be balanced under the copyright act." (Found through Slashdot.)

The New York Times claims Linux's Open-Door Policy Could Let Hackers Right In and they've dug up some security experts that seem to believe security through obscurity is a better bet. "'This is a double-edged sword,' says Scott Hissam, a member of Carnegie Mellon's Software Engineering Institute. 'The bad guys have access to the same code as the creators. They can use that information to exploit the code and make it do what they want it to do.'" (Thanks to Paul Kimoto.) [note: the link above is a registration required site.]

This ZDnet UK article mentions Microsoft's recent flirtation with the term "open source" and the ramifications of allowing them and other companies to do so. "Increasingly, software vendors are getting a virtual slap when they try to play fast and loose with open-source claims. But the real losers are the developers and users who believe that software companies slinging the "open" word all mean the same thing.

And of course, they don't..."

Some small hope for sanity shows up in this Wall Street Journal article titled "U.S. Will Give Web Patents More Scrutiny Under New Plan". "Examiners reviewing applications in the business-method area will have to follow new requirements. They will have to search online databases to check that an idea is truly innovative. The patent office also will propose certain other adjustments that take into account recent court decisions. 'We want to heighten the scrutiny that patents in this area get,' Mr. Dickinson said in an interview." It is good to know that the public outcry that has been going on for months, if not years, has had some impact upon this department. (Link found on Slashdot.)

Embedded Linux

LinuxDevices has put their heart and soul into this article, 10 Reasons why Linux will beat Windows in the Embedded Market. "There's no question that Windows is king of the Desktop Market and won't lose that status in the immediate future. On the other hand, Linux is well on its way to a dominant position in the Server Market, as evidenced by its doubling of market share during each of the past two years.

But what about the third major market for computer operating systems -- the vast and largely unseen realm of embedded systems? "

Here's a LinuxMall article about Lineo and the small world of palm sized computing. "Lineo develops Linux applications for embedded devices (which can be anything from sprinkler timers to VCR's to screenphones). This will allow Open Source applications to run on anything with 32 kilobytes (KB) of memory or more. Some full Linux file systems can be scaled down to a single floppy."


The St. Petersburg Times ran this lengthy introductory article which concentrates on Corel's distribution. "If imitation remains the sincerest form of flattery, the software developers at Corel are big fans of Windows. But Corel promises a more reliable system, one that's easier to set up and use and less expensive than Microsoft's, and it seems to be pinning the company's future on it." (Thanks to Jay R. Ashworth).

The Ottawa Citizen looks at Corel's business woes. "Roger Lanctot, an analyst with PC Data in Reston, Virginia, said 'There is a lot of excitement in the Linux market and Corel is clearly in the thick of it.' But he said there is also turmoil in the market as manufacturers send pallets of Linux products into U.S. stores only to see much of it returned unsold."


IBM's operating system quandary, and the Linux solution takes a look at why Linux is perfect for IBM's needs. "Wouldn't it be nice to have just a single operating system? Not just nice though. It would transform the productivity of IBM's developers that need to create business solutions on top of the operating system layer." (Thanks Jay R. Ashworth.)

Has the Linux 'dream machine' arrived? takes a look at Linux on the IBM S/390, then indicates that this won't be the only mainframe platform on which IBM will support Linux. "'There's a plan for Linux compatibility on the AS/400,' said Miles Barel, program director of Unix brand marketing for IBM's Enterprise Systems Group. 'There will be both interoperability and application compatibility aspects.'"


WR Hambrecht initiated their coverage of VA Linux with a Buy Rating, commenting that VA Linux is positioned to quadruple its revenues in the fiscal year 2000. "'We believe that an investment in VA Linux is an investment in one of the strongest competitors in Open Source. VA Linux is involved in virtually all parts of the Open Source market including systems, services, portals and software, and we believe it has opportunities to enhance its position in each of these markets,' Bachman said."

Internet Stock News reports on the recent downturn in Technology and Internet stocks. "... a significant amount of money was taken out of the technology and Internet sector and placed back into the "old economy" stocks of the Dow." A quick look at the LWN Stock Page will show the impact of this downturn on Linux stocks ... our index has dropped below 100 for the first time since November, 1999.


IT Week: Linux firms bet safe talks about the recent distribution releases from SuSE, Red Hat and Caldera and their decisions not to include Linux 2.4 kernel features or XFree86 4.0. "Leading European distribution SuSE, which employs the former XFree86 head as its chief technology officer, will be the first to ship with the new software. But version 4 only installs as an option, said Stefan Wintermeyer, SuSE US president and director of worldwide support."

Wired talks about InterVideo and its LinDVD product. "In keeping with the spirit of open source ethics, Monastiero [head of sales and marketing]says that InterVideo is looking at ways to open up as much of the product as possible to the OS community." (Thanks to John Villalovos)

Here's a ZDNet column on the Walnut Creek/BSDi merger. "So why does Linux have such huge mind share and BSD so little? A lot of it has to do with the religious fervor evidenced by many Linux proponents."

LinuxMall reports on the NetLedger Data Center, said to be the largest deployment of Linux on Oracle worldwide. "The rackmount Linux servers and integration management services for the application server infrastructure comprise the world's largest deployment of Oracle on Linux. Linux's Open Source community has been able to provide expertise in resolving kernel and network file system (NFS) issues as they arise, enabling quick solutions to development problems. "

ZDNet looks at Linux as a disruptive technology. "Sun and Microsoft may yet change their tune and find a way to build Linux into their product strategies, but I doubt it. Every dominant technology vendor believes it sits atop the world by virtue of the corporate culture that produced the existing product line, and it's hard to change that culture."

Business Week looks at the real threats to Microsoft. "Because of the flexibility that open-source code allows, Linux has quickly grown from a graduate student's project into an operating system that works well as an overseer of a network of servers. If a company needs to tinker with Windows 2000 to get it to work right with its system, it needs to get the changes made by programmers in Redmond. If a change is needed in Linux, in-house programmers can do it."

Salon looks at Napster, the software that lets users easily swap MP3 music files. "Already there are other Napster-like services (readers wrote in to tell me about CuteMX and the Mac-oriented Macster). And the debut of Gnutella -- an open-source-style Napster-like exchange program that's fully distributed, so there's no central server to sue or shut down -- suggests just how impossible it will be to put out this populist fire."

Darwin, Apple's "Open Source OS", is nearing release. "The release of Apple's Open Source OS, Darwin 1.0, is imminent--and a March 27 article in Wired News reported that the system will be the first in Apple's history to run on Intel-based systems."

This Upside column claims that Linux will never be able to run high-performance web sites. "Basically, Linux is a group volunteer effort with no clear-cut leader or product road-map. In a volunteer developer group, the skills and knowledge for developing a real high-end operating system don't naturally coalesce."


Linuxcare's application of the week is the Mail User Agent, Mutt. "I originally installed mutt 0.9(something) as a Debian package, and have used Debian's upgrade facilities to stay up to date with the latest mutt releases. I use mutt every day, and I love it. To demonstrate some of mutt's powerful features, I'd like to share a few of my favorite configuration enhancements."

Dear Lina looks at how to make passwords time out, and installing new software as root.

The second issue of LinuxMonth is now available. It features an interview with Dave Whitinger and a number of other articles.

This ZDNet UK article examines the non-Intel flavors of Linux. "With most of the top chip and systems makers making huge expenditures developing and promoting Linux on their hardware, it seems inevitable that Linux will continue gaining a place in the technology market. The PA-RISC, PowerPC and Alpha technologies have traditionally been the home of high-end, enterprise-class computing; perhaps they'll help Linux itself become more ready for the high end."

Is Linux right for you? asks PC World in this lengthy piece. "In light of Linux's impressive progress over the past six months, the choice between Windows and Linux has gotten a lot more difficult to make. To simplify the situation, we've formulated several questions you should ask yourself before deciding whether to make the jump or stand pat."

Paul Johnson takes a look at the mindset and expertise of different computer users, in hopes of helping developers program for people with needs different from their own. "To try to help things along, I'd like to propose the following scale of user skills. Its based a little on those joke 'Superman' scales, with entries like 'Faster than a pistol bullet, stronger than a shunting engine'. But its also based on some experience helping new users with Windows, and some experience with Linux".


Advogato interviews Christopher Montgomery of cdparanoia fame, and now lead developer of the Ogg Vorbis CODEC project. "Vorbis is [approximately] the sixth generation of Ogg and the first CODECs that I feel is ready to go forth and do battle in the streaming arena. It's not enough to be Free and as good as MPEG. I have to be Free and clearly better."

Here's an article in the Rocky Mountain News about the Colorado Linux Info Quest, where this item is being typed. "Keynotes will feature Jon "Maddog" Hall of Linux International and VA/Linux, Linux Today founder Dave Whitinger and Rasmus Lerdorf, author of PHP. Birds of a Feather sessions will cover the High-Availability Linux Project, Linux conversion for small businesses, systems administration and software development for the Linux platform in Java, Perl, Zope and other languages."

This osOpinion author compares OSs and installs Linux. "In the end the difference came down to application support. Linux won that hands-down. The recent rash of Linux publicity has sparked a fresh wave of application developers and software companies of all stripes to port their legacy applications to Linux. It seems to have won that battle, as all of the code can be tuned to any specific platform, with little or no regard for restictive licencing provisions."

Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol. (Thanks to Scotty Orr for much assistance).

April 6, 2000


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See also: last week's Announcements page.



Ole Holm Nielsen has put together a Beowulf Cluster Mini-HOWTO, based on his experience setting up the VALHAL cluster.

Mail-Archive is a public service which handles mailing list archives for hundreds of linux development projects and user groups. The service now has RDF indexes for all lists, useful for "portal" style linking.

MRV Communications announced the launch of Net2Linux, an online Linux Open Source for the open source community.

LinuxMall.com has announced a question and answer session with Linus Torvalds.

Issue 52 of the Linux Gazette is out.


Linux@Work: One day conferences in Europe. Sponsored by the Free Software Foundation, as well as a long list of corporate sponsors, Linux@Work is a series of one-day conferences for the "IT professional" being held May 8th through May 19th in venues ranging from Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm, and Helsinki, to Brussels, Amsterdam, Paris, London, Frankfurt and Zurich. Apparently the sponsors are paying all costs -- the conferences themselves are free for all attendees.

The LINUX EXPO 2000 NORTH AMERICA has released a list of Speakers. The event runs April 10 - 12 in Montreal.

You gamers out there might want to check out the Quake 3 Arena tournament which will be held at the Linux Business Expo in a couple of weeks. "Are you prepared to slaughter your fellow Linux users? Do you have an insatiable thirst for death, destruction, demise, fame, fortune, and glory? Then you have arrived at the right place." There are some nice prizes being given out as well.

The First International Free Software Forum will be held May 4 and 5 in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Highlighted speakers include Richard Stallman, Arturo Espinosa Aldama, and WindowMaker creator Alfredo Kengi Kojima. (Thanks to C sar A. K. Grossmann).

LinuxMall.com has announced their participation first annual "Generation Linux" Install Fest May 7th and 8th, hosted by the University of South Australia in Adelaide for local elementary and high school students and their families.

The Internet Society will bring together will bring together experts from the worlds of big business, academia and Internet hacking and programming to lead a super panel discussion at INET 2000 to explore how the open source movement is affecting the developing Internet economy. INET 2000 runs 18-21 July 2000 at the Pacifico Yokohama Conference Center in Yokohama, Japan. For more INET 2000 info see their website.

User Group News

The LinuxAtLax LUG presents John Terpstra, speaking about Samba and Turbolinux in Los Angeles, 8 April 2000.

Heralding a new spirit of cooperation as they promote the operating system of the future, the UCLA Linux Users Group and the LA LUG have merged with their Windows peers. "UCLAWUG hosted a talk by Chris DiBona of VA Windows Systems and SVWUG on Saturday, November 6, 1999." ... April Fools!

April 6, 2000



Software Announcements

Package Version Description
ABACUS4 000404 A real time process control system.
abcde 1.0.6 A better CD encoder.
abook 0.4.3 An addressbook program.
Achievo 0.4 A Web-based project management and tracking system.
acrotsr 0.8.0 An acronym creating game for IRC.
aimirc 0.95 AOL Instant Messenger to Internet Relay Chat gateway
analog 4.1 WWW logfile analysis program
Apache 2.0a2 High performance, UNIX based HTTP server
Apache::iNcom 0.09 Powerful e-commerce framework specially designed for security and flexibility.
APSEND 1.56 TCP/IP packet sender
Artstream 2.0b11-4 Vector illustration and page layout program with OpenGL acceleration.
Aspell .30 Intelligent Spell Checker
Atomix 0.3.0 A GNOME mind game about atoms and molecules.
auth_ldap 1.4.2 LDAP authentication for Apache
avlmap 0.9.9 An AVL tree-based key:data mapping (associative array) library for C.
BabyTrans 0.3.7 GTK front-end for Windows Babylon Translator
BASHISH DR6pre3 A modular Bourne-shell theme engine.
Bastille Linux 1.0.5.pre1 A comprehensive hardening program for Redhat Linux 6.0.
bidwatcher tool for eBay users - track and snipe auctions
biew 5.0.3 Binary/Hex/Disasm viewer/editor
Big Brother 1.4c Highly efficient network monitor
BigBrother news-script 0.8 Frontend for the news section of the German TV show "BigBrother".
bigloo 2.1c Scheme compiler
Bind 8.2.3-T2B Berkeley Internet Name Domain
Bioperl 0.6 Perl extensions for bioinformatics.
BlackBook 1 GTK+ Address Book Applet
bnetd 0.4.21 Emulates a StarCraft Battle.net server
bonnie++ 1.00 Hard drive/filesystem benchmark program.
BookMaker 0.4unstable A small program to make an ASCII file into an HTML bookmark list
BootRoot 0.3 Create a separate boot and root Linux system.
botnet 1.4.0 Communication package for making IRC bots (or even clients)
brag 0.9.2 Download and assemble multipart binaries from newsgroups.
Brim.Net Properties Library 2.0.0 A Java library for working with property files.
Brim.Net Reuse Library 3.0.0 Generally reusable Java interfaces, classes, and exceptions
BRINK 1.2.4 CGI that changes users passwords via a web page.
BrowserInfo 1.01.0 A Perl module to extract all possible information from a HTTP_USER_AGENT string.
bttvgrab 0.15.9 Provides high-quality grabbing suitable for video recording
BTW Calculator 0.0.3 A program that adds taxes to a price.
Bubbling Load Monitor Applet 0.9 Displays system load as a bubbling liquid.
BWap 1.0a A console Napster client.
CableTV 1.1 A CableCrypt decoder for Linux.
CDject 2.1 A CDROM eject/close program.
CGIProxy 1.3.beta Anonymizing, filter-bypassing HTTP proxy in a CGI script (in Perl)
chainmail 0.1.1 An RFC 822 message parser that eases using sendmail with dynamic IP.
ChangingPages 3.0.2b A Web content management system.
ClanBomber 1.01 Bomberman clone for ClanLib (X11 for now).
ClanMecha 0.1.2 A 2D multi-player mecha-genre platform game using ClanLib.
CMatrix 1.1a Ncurses eye-candy demo like
Comanche 2.0b3 Multiplatform configuration manager for the Apache web server
Cook 2.12 A tool for constructing files, and maintainingreferential integrity between fil
CoreLinux++ 0.4.14 A set of C++ class libraries to support common patterns in software development.
Corewars 0.9.10 A simulation game.
Coyote Linux 1.13 A single-floppy distribution for sharing an Internet connection.
Creative DXR2 (CT7120) DVD drivers 20000401 Drivers and Movie Player for the DXR2 (CT7120) DVD Board.
CrossWords For Linux 0.0.10 Games in Javascript for learning concepts and definitions.
csv2html 0.4.1 Converts CSV files to HTML tables
CVS Manual Translation Project 0.2.3 An effort to translate the CVS Manual into other languages.
CYCAS 2.0 CAD Software for Linux
Datesync 0.1 A date synchronization script.
DECnet for Linux 2.05 DECnet socket layer and applications
Derivable 0.1 Allows use of classes derived from HttpServletRequest and HttpServletResponse.
Design/CPN 4.0.2 A graphical tool supporting the use of Coloured Petri Nets.
DiaCanvas 0.40.1 A full featuring widget for diagram drawing (from the drawing tool DIA)
Downloader for X 1.14 Downloads files from the Internet via both FTP and HTTP
E-Dial 0.9 Front-end for dialup programs, with an Epplet interface
E-PrtSel 1.1 Enlightenment epplet/button - sends the current mouse selection to print
E-Weather 0.2 An Enlightenment weather epplet.
eapsampler 2.0 A driver for Aug1996 Electronics Australia Pocket Sampler Kit
easter 2.2.0 Displays Easter (or complete Lenten calendar) for a given year.
echoplusplus 1.0 A feature-enriched echo clone.
eForum 1.0b A Java-based discussion forum component.
email2sms 0.53 e-mail to SMS Perl filter with text compression and MIME support
eMixer 0.05.9 MP3 Mixing Software
EPIngle 0.4.9 GTK Builder
eSearch 1.0b Java-based search engine
esound 0.2.18 Enlightened Sound Daemon
etherape 0.4.1 etherman cloneto graph net activity in real time.
Ethereal 0.8.5 GUI network protocol analyzer
Everybuddy Java 1.0.0 A Java-based multi-service messaging client.
eXtace 1.2.20 ESD FFT visual plugin, eye-candy
F-CULT 1.0.0 final File Collector's Universal Listing Tool
Fax2Send 1.1-8 Fax Client Server for Linux.
fcrypt 0.1 A file encryptor & decryptor.
feh 0.8.0 Fast image viewer / indexer / montager which uses imlib2.
Figaro's Password Manager (FPM) 0.22 A GNOME app to securely store and encrypt passwords.
FlowML 0.3 Audio synthesis markup language.
form_tools 1.1.1 Generic tools for Web form (PDF/HTML) pre-population and submission.
FORUM 2.0.9 Another PHP3/Mysql forum with some nifty features
FreeAmp 2.0.6 Open Source MP3 player
FreeCraft 1.16.1 Clone of WarCraft II
freq 1.0.1 A lastlog analyzer.
ftpproxy 1.0.1 An application level proxy for FTP.
Funbot 1.1.2 Modular Perl bot for IRC
fvwm-themer 0.2 fvwm 2.x theme engine
Gaby 1.9.19 A small personal databases manager using GTK+
Gaspell .30 A Gnome Frontend to Aspell
GDBC 0.9.2 A generic database connector.
gecco 0.4.4 GNOME-based application using plugins for system/network/app configuration.
Generic Multithreaded Server Class 0.03 C++ c;lass implementing a generic multithreaded server
Genpak 0.11 Utilities for manipulating DNA/RNA/protein sequences.
Getleft 0.8.1 Tcl/Tk site grabber powered by Curl
getmail 1.11 A fetchmail replacement with qmail-style Maildir or mbox delivery, in Python.
getpg PostgreSQL-aware replacements for the getpwnam() and getpwuid() functions.
getpg / UW-IMAP 0.57 A patch for UW-IMAP to authenticate users against a PostgreSQL database.
Gifsicle 1.18 Command-line tool for creating, editing, and optimizing GIFs and animations
glTron 0.59 tron-like game with a 3D view
gmessage+ 0.5 An xmessage clone.
Gnapster 1.3.8 GNOME Napster client
GNOME Breakout 0.3 The classic arcade game Breakout for GNOME.
Gnome Toaster 0.3.20000402 create CDRs the easy way with Gnome/Gtk
Gnome UPS Monitor 0.3.0 A GNOME client for the Network UPS Tools.
gnome-applets 1.1.8 A collection of applets for the GNOME panel.
gnome-core 1.1.8 GNU Network Object Model Environment
gnome-napster 0.6.0 A GNOME napster client for MP3-sharing.
GnomeICU 0.92 Formerly GtkICQ, now Gnome Internet Communication Utility
gnotepad+ 1.3.0pre2 An easy-to-use, yet fairly feature-rich, simple text editor
GNU Denemo 0.5.2 A GTK+ musical score editor.
GNU GRUB 0.5.94 GRand Unified Bootloader
gnuBot 1.0b1b A modular IRC bot written in Perl.
Gnumeric 0.51 Spreadsheet, a new foundation for spreadsheet development, part of GNOME
GOB 0.93.2 Preprocessor for building GTK+ Object
GotMail seclog 0.3 A Perl script to fetch mail from a HotMail account.
GProc 0.5.3 Easy-to-use process managment tool
Grace 5.1.0 a WYSIWYG 2D plotting tool
Groovy Java Genetic Programming 1.1.1 A genetic programming experimentation platform in Java.
Groundwork 0.3 C++ class library for writing web-based applications.
GSFV 0.2 Simple File Verification (.sfv)
gTans 1.1 Tangram puzzle game
gtapecalc 0.3.9 A calculator utility.
GTK+XFce 3.3.3 Easy-to-use and easy-to-configure environment for X11
GtKali 0.9.4 Gtk+ interface to Kali.
GTKdiff 1.5.1 GTK+ diff frontend
GtkFortune 1.30 GTK+ Based frontend to Fortune
GTKtalog 0.0.16 Fast Disk Catalog using a friendly interface.
GtkTiLink 1.13_2.23 A TI calculators <-> PC communication program using a GTK interface
gtpoll 0.01 A Web-based polling script written in Perl.
Gutenbook 0.1.10 The original Perl/GTK+ application for reading Project Gutenberg Etexts.
Gxrio 0.05 A graphical Rio utility.
hsftp 1.4 A lightweight FTP emulator for ssh1.
HTMLArchive 0.64 An HTML preprocessor for archiving Web pages.
HTMLDOC 1.8.6 Converts HTML to indexed HTML, PostScript, and PDF
HtmlHeadLine.sh 1.0 Script that automatically fetches news headlines.
HTMLPerlSETI 0.12 Display SETI@home client statistics in an HTML table.
Hu-Go! 1.21 A PC engine emulator.
Hugo 1.1.2 Moving map software for UNIX/Linux
hypersrc 0.8.3 freeware GUI (GTK+) program for browsing source code
id3tool 1.1f Command Line tool for editing ID3 tags on MP3s.
IDS 0.21 CGI that produces image galleries on-the-fly.
IMP 2.2.0-pre11 IMAP and PHP3 based webmail system
IMP 3D Physics Engine 1.0 A 3D physics engine.
impro 0.2 A random melody generator.
imwheel 0.9.8 Support for wheel and 4+ button mice in X11
iptables 1.0.0 A Linux kernel packet control tool.
j 0.2.2 A programmer's editor written in Java.
J.O.O.D.A. 0.3.16.H204 Java-IDE with nice features
Jabber 0.9 Instant Messaging Platform
JDxpc 0.0.4 dxpc, written in pure Java.
Jellybean 0.05 A Perl Object Web server.
JFS for Linux 0.0.4 The IBM JFS source code.
JFwadmin 0.82 Java high level GUI for ipchains.
jpilot 0.98.1 Palm pilot desktop software for Linux
JSolitaire 1.08c A collection of 14 solitaire applets.
K&R EZ Web Tracker 0.2 PHP3/PostgreSQL Web Tracking System
Kalendar 0.5g Simple, easy to use calendar and to-do list manager
Karchiveur 0.85 A little archiver for KDE, like ark but more powerful
Kard 0.5 An educational game for very young children.
kaweth wmtheme 0.6.3 Linux Driver for KL5KUSB101 based USB->Ethernet bridges
Kleandisk 1.1.0 Utility to remove unneeded files from the harddisk.
KMLOCfg 0.1.1 A utility to configure the ELSA MicroLink Office modem.
Knetdump 1.4.0 Network sniffing/analyzing tool
kpanel2 1 A modified version of the Corel Kpanel
KPVM I3 The K Desktop interface to PVM.
kpybrowser 0.0.1 A Python path, module, and class browser for KDE.
KQuick 0.4 A single-click translator.
ksysv 1.0.0 Editor for System V Init configurations
Kwirk 0.0.12 A Clanlib-based roleplaying game.
LANdb 0.91 Your entire network in a Web-based database application.
Laptop-HOWTO 2.5 How to make the best of Linux features with laptops.
latd 0.0.4 A LAT terminal server daemon.
Launch.app 0.4 A small program for executing applications, based on the WINGs library.
Leafnode 1.9.12 NNTP server for small leaf sites
lftp 2.2.0a Sophisticated command line based FTP client
libifconfig 0.1 An API exporting the functionality of ifconfig(8) in C.
LibPenguinPlay 0.1.2 A game utility library.
libPropList 0.10.1 A utility library used by GNOME, Window Maker, and several other applications.
libsync 0.99 A C++ library implementing synchronous active objects.
LinkChecker 1.1.4 LinkChecker is a URL link checker
Linux 2.4 Routing & Traffic Control HOWTO 0.0.3 Linux 2.4 Routing HOWTO concerning iproute2, traffic control, and CBQ.
Linux AGI Studio 0.9 An Adventure Game Interpreter (AGI) editor.
Linux Intrusion Detection System 0.9pre2 Linux Kernel-Based Intrusion Detect System
Linux Logical Volume Management HOWTO 0.0.1 A HOWTO describing Linux Logical Volume Management.
Linux trustees 1.6 for Linux 2.3.99 An advanced file permission system for Linux
Linux Utility for cluster Installation 1.0 Linux installation utility.
Linux-HA 0.4.7 Heartbeat subsystem for High-Availability Linux project
Linuxconf 1.17r8 Sophisticated administrative tool
lirc 0.6.0 Linux Infra-red Remote Control
lisp debug 0.92 Source level lisp debugger
LsdlDoom A portable SDL-based version of Doom with network support.
lupengo 0.0.3 Classic arcade game.
LxDoom 1.4.4 Enhanced Linux port of the classic fps Doom
MasqMail 0.0.13 Offline Mail Transfer Agent
mbx2mbox 0.33 Converts Outlook Express .mbx files into standard RFC822 mail files.
MCA 0.4.0 Nonlinear cellular automaton with fractal properties
MD5 xcrypt 1.0.3 An MD5 based encryption/decyption tool.
MemoPanel 3.0 A tiny memo applet on the GNOME panel.
METAGRAF 1.1.0 A graphical editor for MetaPost.
mgeupsd 0.8 MGE Pulsar UPS monitor
mhash 0.8.0 Provides an easy to use C interface for several hashalgorithms
Microsoft Windows 2000 The business operating system for the next generation of PC computing.
Midnight Commander 4.5.44 Unix file manager and shell
minordomo 0.7.5 A minimalistic mailing list manager
MIT Scheme 7.5.6 A programming environment for Scheme.
mminstance 1.12 Makes single-master PostScript fonts from multiple master fonts
mod_cypay E-Commerce engine for the Apache Web Server.
mod_layout 1.5 Layout module for Apache.
mondo rescue 0.91 Generates bootable rescue CD ISOs.
Mp3Maker.app 1.2.1 Window Maker enhanced CDDA grabber and MP3 encoder frontend
Mp3toHtml 0.1.4 Indexes MP3s into linked HTML-pages.
mp3_check 1.1 A utility which analyzes MP3 files for errors and standards conformance.
MPEG-2 TS over RTP 0.1 RTP {uni,multi,broad}cast of MPEG-2 transport streams.
MRAT 0.6 Multi Router Automated Telnet.
MString and MStringArray .3.1 A dynamic string library compatible with MFC CString.
Mutt 1.1.11 Small but very powerful text-based mail client for Unix operatingsystems
MyFreshmeat 1.21 CGI Script for parsing Freshmeat announcements.
MySQL Import 1.1 Imports data into MySQL with a Web browser.
MySQLMailer 1.0b4 A local delivery agent with MySQL lookup.
myWebalizer 1.1.3 A WWW and FTP-logfile analyzer.
nail 9.02 A MIME-capable version of the Berkeley Mail user agent.
NanoXML 1.0 A very small XML parser for Java.
NcFTP 3.0.1 UNIX application program implementing the File Transfer Protocol (FTP)
Nessus 0.99.10 A free, open-sourced and easy-to-use security auditing tool
Netscape Communicator 6 Preview Release 1 All-in-one browser and communications suite
NFC Chat A fast, extensible client/server chat written in Java.
NJAMD 0.5.0 Not Just Another Malloc Debugger.
NOT Template Library 1.0 A C++ class template library.
Numlock in X 0.1 Some code to turn numLock on after X startup.
nuni 0.08 non-bios boot loader for Linux to eliminate bios limitations
NWD 1.2 Network block device driver.
oftpd 0.2.0 Yet another anonymous FTP server.
oMail-Webmail 0.92.4 Webmail solution based on qmail and optionally vmailmgr.
OMTA 0.5 Offline mail handler
OpaL Mirror Tool 0.1.4 Web mirror tool
Opera for Linux 4.0a3 A lightweight X11-based Web browser.
Oracletool 1.01 A web based tool for Oracle DBA's written in Perl.
ORBit 0.5.1 Thin/fast CORBA ORB
ORBit C++ 0.26 C++ support for ORBit ORB
otarie 2.2.0 An IRC bot with C plugin capabilities.
Pan 0.8.0 beta 3 Gnome/GTK Newsreader
parapin 0.90 A parallel port pin control library for Linux.
Parse::PerlConfig 0.02 A module to parse a configuration file written in Perl.
pasdoc 0.6.11 Pascal documentation generator
PCAC (Pretty Cool Auction Client) 0.10 PHP-based auction client/server
PD AI 2.Apr.2K Primitive AI for study, porting and further development.
pdftohtml 0.21 A PDF to HTML converter
pdid3 1.0.0 MP3 ID3 tag editor for GNOME.
Perf 0.01 Performance statistics gathering for Linux.
Perl WebStats 2.1 Perl Apache log analyzer/report generator
PETSc 2.0.28 The portable, extensible toolkit for scientific computation.
PgAccess 0.98.5 TCL/TK frontend for PostgreSQL
pgp4pine by Marcin Marszalek 3.6 Bash script that allows using PGP under PINE
phone-list 0.1.10 Company Phone list for LDAP and PHP.
PHP 3.0.16 HTML-embedded scripting language
PHP firewall generator 0.94 An ipchains firewall generator in PHP.
phpftp 1.2 A Web-based FTP client.
phpicradius 0.1.3 PHP port of radius.cgi that comes with ICRadius
phpMyChat 0.8.0 chat system based on PHP and MySQL
phpMyCoCo 0.0.1 Count and comment your Web pages using PHP and MySQL.
phpProjectManagement 0.1.0 Web-based project management.
phpSched 0.7.1b Schedule creation and maintenance for shift based departments
php_pam 0.2 PAM bindings for PHP.
PikView 0.8.2 An image viewer.
PIMP 2.1 A Web mail client.
Planetary Hoppers 0.20.1 A networked strategy game for Java.
PLWM 1.2 A modularised window manager written in Python.
Postfix 19991231-pl06 The Postfix MTA
PowerPak 2K0331 An attempt at a high-level game SDK
PPP/NT HOWTO 2.0 HOWTO make a PPP link between a Linux client and a Windows NT server.
PresTiMeL 0.8 A tool to create HTML presentations.
Prometheus-Library 2.75 Object-oriented PHP API
Pspell .10 Portable Spell Checker Interface Library.
PTlink ircd 3.7.4 New featured ircd with a great services integration
PTlink Services 2.3.0 IRC Registration Services
pushsite 2.1 Utility to update remote site
Pybliographer 0.9.8 tool for bibliographic databases manipulation
PyKDE 0.11.1 Python bindings for QT 1.42 and KDE1.1 Code your KDE applications in python.
PyQt 0.11.1 Python bindings for the Qt GUI toolkit
PySDL 0.0.2 A Python SDL module.
Q10 1.03 A Qt GUI for manipulating X10's Firecracker devices.
QHacc 0.4.2 A personal finance application.
Quanta+ 1.0beta7 HTML editor for KDE
Quick Image Viewer 1.3 A very small and pretty fast GDK/Imlibimage viewer
quote 0.02 A command-line stock quote display.
RAMSES 0.1 Realtime Access, Multi-player Strategic Engagement System
RearSite 1.6 Tool for updating personal www pages
reiserfs 3.5.20-pre1 A filesystem which stores the files themselves in a B*-tree, gaining speed.
Robust Audio Tool 4.2.0 An RTP audio conferencing and streaming application.
ROCK Linux 1.3.9 Linux Distribution for high skilled Linux User and Admins
rol_demo 0.07 Modeling package for interactive 3D graphics.
RPGD 1.1e A multi-user, medieval-fantasy role-playing game
RtkMaster 0.4.0 An RMSS character tracker.
Rudiments 0.2 C++ foundation classes.
runleveleditor 0.5 A program to help manage SysV-like init scripts.
rute 0.3.0 A beginner-through-advanced tutorial and reference book on Linux.
Scintilla 1.24 Source code editing component and tiny IDE for Win32 and GTK+.
SciTE 1.24 Small syntax styling editor for Win32 and GTK+
ScryMUD 2.0.11 Original MUD Server and Java Client
SDL 1.1.2 SDL is a library that allows you portable low level access for graphics/sound
SDPGTK C++ wrappers for GTK+ and XML-based user interfaces.
Seawall 2.6 An easy-to-configure, ipchains-based firewall/gateway.
seclog 0.3 A small, clean, and light log auditing tool.
selectwm 0.3 A window manager selector
series 2.2.2 SERIES iteration package for Common Lisp
sgalaSMS 0.3 Send messages to GSM via SMS.
Shoutstats 0.1 A fast, free Shoutcast server log file analysis program.
ShowEQ 2.1.2 A packet analyzer for Everquest.
Sial::Dirit 1.19 A directory information parser.
sips 0.1.2 A PHP-based Weblog system with no need for a database server.
Site Studio 1.0.1 Online template-based Web site creation tool.
slack-update.sh no-version D/ls and optionally install updated packages from the slackware-current tree.
SlackReiser 1 Disks for installing Slackware onto a ReiserFS partition.
slashdot-php 1.0.1 A PHP3 Slashdot headline grabber.
slmon 0.2.1 A system performance monitor using the S-Lang library.
slrnface 1.0 Show X-Faces from slrn in an X11 terminal emulator.
Smart BootManager 3.0-2 A OS Independed easy to use Boot Manager.
Sporum 1.8b5 A better web-based dicussion board software
Spruce 0.6.2 Simple email client coded for X with the Gtk widget set
SQL Relay 0.3 Oracle database connection daemon and API.
Squaroid 0.60.2 Make points by creating squares on a 8x8 fields board
Stereograph 0.13 A powerful truecolor stereogram generator.
stowES 0.2 Easy install and maintainance of software using stow.
StreamLog 1.0 A remote web server log filter.
streamripper 0.5b Records Shoutcast streams with metadata to create separate files for each track.
Sympa 2.6.1 A powerful multilingual List Manager- LDAP and SQL features.
sysstat 3.2 The sar and iostat commands for Linux
t1lib 1.0.1 A Type 1 Rasterizer Library for UNIX/X11
t1utils 1.15 Tools for manipulating PostScript Type 1 fonts
TeleGNOME 0.0.7 Program to view 'Teletekst'-pages over the Internet
ThatPHPware 0.1.2 A PHP/MySQL news backend.
The Gimp 1.1.19 The GNU Image Manipulation Program
ThoughtTracker 0.5.4 Knowledge base application storing arbitrarily linked notes.
Timer_q 1.0.1 Shared C library for creating timed events (doesn't use alarm()).
Tobit Time:LAN! 1.0 Time synchronistation application.
Todo setup tool 1.03 Keyboard, mouse and window manager configuration tool
TORCS 0.0.17 A 3D open racing car simulator.
TreeDoc 0.2 PHP functions for opening and closing links inside the same page.
tt 0.1 A command line tool for project time tracking.
Tumbling Dice! 2.8 Tumbling Dice! is a dice game written in JAVA
twin 0.2.6 A text-mode window manager and terminal emulator.
Twin CD 0.1 A windowed text-mode CD player.
txt2pdf 3.3 A very flexible and powerful PERL5 converter from text files to PDF
ucsc-smartsuite 2.0 Beta2 S.M.A.R.T. control utility
UdmSearch 3.0.10 Fast WWW search engine for your site
ULW 0.7 Analyze custom Apache logs for hits by User-Agent and Remote-Address.
Uptimed 0.1.5 Uptime record daemon keeping track of the highest uptimes the system ever had
usbmgr 0.1.2 Load Linux USB kernel modules automatically.
VDK 1.2.0 Easy to use C++ wrapper for Gtk++
VDKBuilder 1.2.0 A RAD tool based on the VDK Library (a C++ wrapper of GTK+).
VIC 2.8ucl-1.1.3 An RTP video conferencing application.
vmailmgr 0.96.2 Powerful qmail addon package for virtual domain email
Web Filemanager 1.0 A PHP Web-based file manager.
web2ldap 0.7.3 A Python LDAP-client running as a CGI-BIN.
Webalizer 2.0.10 Web server log analysis program
WebCal 3.02 A simple browser based calendar program.
Webmin 0.79 Web-based interface for system administration for Unix
Webtools 0.1 Useful CGIs, C++ classes, Javascripts, and images for Web-based apps.
webtrace 0.4 A Perl script that generates a graphical output of traceroute.
Wedit for Linux 0.8.2 An IDE for Linux.
Win4Lin 1.0 A program that allows Windows 9x and their apps to run on Linux.
Window Maker 0.62.1 An X11 window manager with a NEXTSTEP look and feel.
WinLux Dialer 0.2 A PPP-dialup server/client package.
wmakerconf 2.6.1 GTK based configuration tool for WindowMaker window manager
wmmp3 0.12 mpg123 front end for Window Maker
wmNetscapeKiller 0.1 A WindowMaker dockapp to Netscape when it freezes.
wmsetimon 0.3 A Window Maker dock applet to monitor SETI@home processes.
wmstradio 0.1.0 Radio-like dockapp for streaming audio connections.
WMSysMon 0.5.3 System monitor dock app for WindowMaker/AfterStep
wmtheme 0.6.3 A window manager theme utility.
WSoundPrefs 1.1.1 WMSound Server Configuration Utility
WSoundServer 0.4.0 Sound Server for Window Maker
WWWdb 0.0.7 Database-access over HTTP with consistency-check
XawTV 3.12 A TV viewing application and a few TV utilities.
XBoard 4.0.7
xbreaky 0.0.4 A breakout game for X.
XDBM 1.1.4 Database Manager designed specifically to hold XML data
xfs 03302000 A high-performance journaling filesystem.
Xmahjongg 3.3 Colorful X solitaire Mah Jongg game
XMail 0.40 An SMTP/POP3/popsync/finger server.
XMultiGrab 20000405 An X frontend for cdda2wav.
XOR Analyze 0.1 A program for cryptanalyzing xor.
XRoadMaker 0.5.6 A GNOME PCB router.
XRolyPoly 1.6 A GTK+ addressbook.
XScreenSaver 3.24 Modular screen saver and locker for the X WindowSystem
XTrkCad 3.0.1 Model Railroad CAD program for Linux
xtrs 4.0 A TRS-80 emulator for Unix and X. (Models I/III/4/4P)
Yadex 1.4.0 Doom/Doom II/Heretic level (wad) editor for X
YAPNS 0.1 Yet Another PHP News Script.
YAWMPPP 1.2.0 Yet Another Window Maker PPP dock applet
Yet another MP3 Tool 0.5 A GTK program to manage your MP3s.
yudit 1.5 Unicode text editor for the X Window System
YUP 0.6.5 An automated package and updates handling system for RPM-based distributions.
Zdisk 1.54 Rescue floppy with any kernel.

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

The Linux Hardware Database has announced its big relaunch. This site seeks to provide answers to all of the "will Linux support this device?" questions out there.

Dr. Dobb's Journal has announced its new Linux Channel. It contains recent Dr. Dobb's articles on Linux and other useful stuff.

The folks in the Linuxcare marketing department evidently took a break from the creation of ways to fool people into eating insects and launched ReRover.com on April 1. Somebody over there needs some serious help...

Section Editor: Jon Corbet

April 6, 2000



Letters to the editor

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Date: Mon, 3 Apr 2000 19:13:26 -0400
From: "Jay R. Ashworth" <jra@baylink.com>
To: letters@lwn.net
Subject: Kernel release versioning...

In last week's LWN, Jon wrote:
> We mentioned last week the new sequence of "pre"
> pre-patches. The first 2.3.99pre-4 prepatch contains


Would anyone like to comment on the idea of going back to
"traditional" versioning, maybe?


One of the things that drives me _CLEAN_ up the wall is version
numbers driven by _anything_ except engineering concerns.  If I can't
understand what the hell it means after 20 years in computing, the
structure of the numbers is wrong.  Opinionated as hell, yes; that's
what they pay me for.

But, really; is there anyone out there who can't figure out numbers
like the ones I listed above?

Do any kernel 'hats read this fine publication?

-- jra
Jay R. Ashworth                                                jra@baylink.com
Member of the Technical Staff     
The Suncoast Freenet
Tampa Bay, Florida     http://baylink.pitas.com                +1 888 806 1654

Date: Fri, 31 Mar 2000 10:44:32 +0300 (GMT)
From: Roberto Alsina <ralsina@unl.edu.ar>
To: editor@lwn.net
Subject: Selling rights.


	In your March 30 edition, you say:

"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

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."

If I write a piece of software under the GPL, and I intend to keep it
under the GPL, it will stay under the GPL, because I won't take it off the

If I write a piece of software under the GPL and don't intend to keep it
under the GPL, I will change its license.

In both cases, signing copyright to the FSF makes no sense. Why should I
trust the GPL more than I trust myself? That's nonsense.

 ("\''/").__..-''"`-. .         Roberto Alsina
 `9_ 9  )   `-. (    ).`-._.`)  ralsina@unl.edu.ar
 (_Y_.)' ._   ) `._`.  " -.-'   Centro de Telematica
  _..`-'_..-_/ /-'_.'           Universidad Nacional del Litoral
(l)-'' ((i).' ((!.'             Santa Fe - Argentina
                                KDE Developer (MFCH)
The stone age didn't end for a lack of stone" Firoz Rasul

Date: Mon, 3 Apr 2000 16:56:11 +1000
From: James Cameron <quozl@us.netrek.org>
To: letters@lwn.net
Subject: Free Software Summer Camp - Australia

G'day from outback Australia,

In response to LWN's comment; "Here is a good project for next
summer: a Free Software Summer Camp!"

The free software summer camp may well be happening here.

Although it is sponsored by an international religious Christian 
organisation, Scripture Union, the camp to be held in Brisbane during 
September this year will undoubtably promote free software.

The main reason is the necessity to be squeaky clean with respect to 
compliance with software licenses, and the high cost of obtaining 
temporary licenses for the duration of a camp.  The moral and ethical 
basis of the owning organisation of the camp will mandate this.

Some of the camp leaders are open source users; one of them is an OSS 
project leader (me!).  We do plan to do a fair bit of technology teaching.

James Cameron   mailto:quozl@us.netrek.org   http://quozl.us.netrek.org/
Date: Sat, 1 Apr 2000 18:55:25 +0800 (CST)
From: "Hung(2) Chao(2)-Kuei(4)" <ckhung@cyut.edu.tw>
To: letters@lwn.net
Subject: Re: Use of term "viral" in reference to the GPL

> From: Stuart Ballard <sballard@netreach.net>
> To: letters@lwn.net
... (nested quote deleted for brevity) ...
> 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.

Dear all,

May I suggest the alternative term: "recursive".

I have been using this term (actually its Chinese translation) in
my talks. It is politically neutral, technically correct, and it
highlights the mathematical-thinking style of this legal document.

Chao-Kuei Hung

Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2000 18:08:20 -0800 (PST)
From: Aaron Turner <aturner@linuxkb.org>
To: letters@lwn.net
Subject: Re: Use of the term "viral" in refernce to the GPL and FDL

> From: Collins_Paul@emc.com
> To: letters@lwn.net
> Subject: Use of the term "viral" in refernce to the GPL and FDL
> Date: Thu, 16 Mar 2000 07:26:33 -0500

> 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.

Actually, the term "viral" in context is neither unfair or prejudicial, it
merely describes an aspect of the GPL/FDL.  Viral, when it comes to
licenses refers to how the license is enforced. The GPL is viral, the BSD
license is not.  The reason is that the GPL is viral is because it forces
the GPL to be used for all subsequent versions of the software, which
prevents someone using GPL code, making changes to it, and not having to
redistribute those changes.  Hence, many people would argue that it being
viral is a good thing.

> If you don't like the GPL or the FDL, don't use it.

> The choice is yours.


Aaron Turner, Core Developer       http://vodka.linuxkb.org/~aturner/
Linux Knowledge Base Organization  http://www.linuxkb.org/
Because world domination requires quality open documentation.
aka: aturner@vicinity.com, aturner@pobox.com, ion_beam_head@ashtech.net
The difference between `Unstable' and `Usable' is only two characters: NT

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