[LWN Logo]

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

 Main page
 Linux in the news
 Back page

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

 Use LWN headlines
 Advertise here
 Contact us

Recent features:
- RMS Interview
- 2001 Timeline
- O'Reilly Open Source Conference
- OLS 2001
- GaŽl Duval
- Kernel Summit
- Singapore Linux Conference
- djbdns

Here is the permanent site for this page.

Leading items and editorials

RMS on OpenMotif. Richard Stallman has, in classic form, posted this polemic against the use of Open Motif. His complaint, of course, is that Open Motif's license is not an open source license. According to RMS:
Their announcement says they have released Motif to "the open source community", but this is true only in an unnatural interpretation of the words. They have not made Motif available within the free software community; instead, they have invited the people in the free software community to leave the community by using Motif.
The point he makes is valid, and has been made by a number of other people as well. Open Motif has never claimed to have an open source license - though one occasionally sees hints that the license will become truly free at some (indeterminate) point in the future when the lawyers for all the involved parties can be convinced.

Meanwhile, Mr. Stallman's latest has drawn a round of criticism from those who see him as a perpetually unsatisfied whiner. It is true that he complains a lot, and, in the process, has managed to offend a lot of people in the Linux community (and beyond). But he plays an important role: RMS is the free software conscience that has guided our community for almost twenty years. Freedom is important. While many of us may be more pragmatic in how we go about our daily lives, we are all well served by having an uncompromising, pro-freedom voice out there.

And speaking of why freedom matters...

Microsoft patents a file format. We first saw the news on Advogato that the VirtualDub program, a GPL'd video capture and processing program, had been forced by Microsoft to remove support for the Active Stream Format (ASF). It seems that Microsoft has a patent on that particular format, and wasn't pleased with the existence of a free implementation. Feeling that it lacks the resources to stand up to Microsoft on this issue, VirtualDub has removed support for ASF.

This looks like yet another software patent issue. But there is a difference here: Microsoft is claiming patent protection on a file format. It is not at all hard to see what could happen with an extension of that claim. Any serious word processor in the commercial world has to be able to cope, somehow, with the numerous variations of Microsoft's Word format. If that format were to come under patent protection, programs like StarOffice, ApplixWare, and WordPerfect could lose the ability to work with Word files. That would not bode well for their future market share.

Intellectual property laws increasingly look like the tool of choice for those who wish to fight against free software. The ability to patent file formats, if it stands up, adds greatly to the power of this weapon. This is a worrisome development indeed.

Linux on bleeding-edge hardware. A common criticism aimed at Linux for years has been that it doesn't support newer hardware. In the past, that complaint has often been true. But it is less so all the time. Consider these developments from this week:

  • Quantum has announced the new Ultra ATA/100 IDE interface. This is a new, higher-speed version of this disk interface which is meant to give SCSI a serious challenge in higher-end applications. Thanks to the efforts of Andre Hedrick, Linux already has support for several ATA/100 chipsets. It is thus well ahead of any number of well-known proprietary systems in providing that support.

  • IBM's under-development Power4 processor has been of interest for a while. This thing looks to run with a 2GHz clock, perhaps a 500MHz bus, and will have two processors on the same chip. This week some folks at IBM posted a Power4 boot log showing that Linux already runs on this processor, despite the fact that commercial Power4 systems are not expected to be out there for another year. The port was done with the assistance of Paul Mackerras of Linuxcare. Alas, since this is pre-production hardware, they have blocked out the BogoMips numbers.

Linux is no longer slow to run on new hardware - indeed, it's often the first system available. We are no longer trying to catch up.

Plan 9 has been released under an open source license. Plan 9 is a longstanding project by Rob Pike and others to develop a "beyond Unix" operating system. It is characterized by a simple, clean design, and the extension of the "everything is a file" concept to cover just about everything imaginable. Many have seen it as the "next great thing" from Bell Labs for years, but the system has been slow to develop (the third release has just come out, the second was in 1995) and hard to come by.

Bell Labs clearly hopes that things will change with the announcement that the third Plan 9 release is under an open source license. The license itself is a longish read, but has a clearly GPLish flavor in that it requires that source to modifications be made available. In fact, this license appears to require that source be released even for private modifications that are not redistributed to anybody else.

By releasing Plan 9 under this license, Bell Labs is trying to make a lively open source development community come together around the system. And that is certainly possible - Plan 9 has interested people for a long time. But it is, at this point, a rather late entrant into the open source operating system field. It lacks a number of capabilities and applications - such as a web browser. It remains to be seen whether this system will prove to be interesting and novel enough to attract a sufficient number of developers to assure its success. Bell Labs may have cause to wish it had adopted this license with the 1995 release.

One last look at open source in embedded systems. We editorialized last week on the need for embedded systems to be open source. We'll add one bit this week, because we can't resist. Consider the embedded system discussed in this RISKS posting. Essentially, the OnStar system allows automobiles to communicate with a central system via cellular telephony. OnStar not only can communicate information about your car, it also includes a control channel back to the car - allowing a remote operator to do things like unlock the doors remotely.

How comfortable do you feel about the security of such a system? From the RISKS posting:

I asked the OnStar speaker what security mechanisms were in place to prevent your car being hacked. He assured me that the mechanisms in place were "very secure". I asked whether he could describe them, but he could not because they were also "very proprietary".
In other words, nobody will ever know how secure the system is until it gets cracked. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to look at the code before trusting your car to this sort of system?

Of course, then there is the issue of sharing the road with people who have been hacking on their cars' software...

The Microsoft judgement is in. It offers no real surprises, stating that Microsoft is to be split into two companies. One company would concern itself with operating systems, the other with applications. Those who are interested can read the full text of the final judgement, but it is more fun to read the memorandum that accompanies it:

Microsoft has proved untrustworthy in the past. In earlier proceedings in which a preliminary injunction was entered, Microsoft's purported compliance with that injunction while it was on appeal was illusory and its explanation disingenuous.

Of course, it will still be a long time before anything really happens; this case is just moving on to its next phase (appeals).

For early responses from the Linux business community, one can look at this press release from LinuxMall.com ("Without the support from Microsoft's other product lines, Windows will have to prove that it is as reliable and stable as Linux. In the long run, I believe computer professionals will choose Linux."), or this Reuters article with a quote from Ransom Love ("It will create tremendous innovation, in all alternatives, and open source and Linux in particular").

Inside this week's Linux Weekly News:

  • Security: Linux 2.2.16 security release.
  • Kernel: ReiserFS in 2.4? The 2.5 wishlist started.
  • Distributions: Bundling Linux ... with what??
  • Development: Java and other development tools in the spotlight.
  • Commerce: JavaOne and Collab.Net, More Open Source News, People with New Jobs
  • Back page: Linux links, this week in Linux history, and letters to the editor
...plus the usual array of reports, updates, and announcements.

This Week's LWN was brought to you by:

June 8, 2000


 Main page
 Linux in the news
 Back page

See also: last week's Security page.


News and editorials

Linux 2.2.16 security release. Alan Cox has released Linux 2.2.16, a new version of the stable Linux tree, to fix several security issues, including a potentially remotely exploitable hole in the sunrpc code. An upgrade to 2.2.16 is recommended immediately for anyone with untrusted local users and/or publicly-accessible kernel sunrpc services.

U.S. To Follow EU Crypto Lead (Wired). Wired reports that the US is watching upcoming decisions on cryptography in Europe and will respond to them. "Commerce Department Undersecretary William Reinsch said Monday that any change, designed to make sure American high-tech companies aren't disadvantaged, will have to wait until the Europeans reach a decision." A dramatic relaxation of cryptography regulations in Europe is currently expected.

After its hard-nosed policy against relaxing cryptographic regulations, the U.S. government likely needs a good excuse before it makes an about-face in policy. However, they seem to know that their current regulations are ineffective, since cryptography is already widely available, sanctioned or not. Given the pressure from U.S. businesses to not be restricted from competition in the global market for encryption products, a European decision to relax regulations will pave the way for the U.S. to respond in kind.

NetBSD developer password exposed (Fairfax I.T.). In the list of most annoying/embarrassing situations, having your password "acquired" has got to be near the top. The Fairfax I.T. in Australia reports on the exposure of Paul Vixie's password. Paul is a well-known developer, working on NetBSD, XFree86 and other projects. Warning, though, the article has no particularly useful information about how the password was acquired, how they became aware of its exposure, etc. No damage appears to have been done.

Kondara MNU/Linux Advisories. Security advisories for Kondara MNU/Linux are now available at http://www.kondara.org/errata/k11-security.html. Currently, the web-site contains updates for dump, kernel, gpm, emacs, imwheel, openldap, cdrecord and xlockmore.

Security Reports

Linux-Mandrake bind update. Linux-Mandrake announced a security update for bind. By default in Linux-Mandrake, bind is launched as user and group root. This setting makes it possible to easily exploit vulnerabilities in bind.

cdrecord. The Linux cdrecord binary is vulnerable to a locally exploitable buffer overflow attack. Check BugTraq ID 1265 for more details. Linux Mandrake 6.1 and 7.0 have been verified as vulnerable. cdrecord 1.9a02 has just been announced and is reported to contain a fix for this overflow.

kdelibs. Kdelibs 1.2.2 has a problem which can allow the exploitation of any setuid root KDE application.

Buffer overflow in inn. A buffer overflow in inn 2.2.2 has been reported that can be an issue if the option "verifycancels" in /etc/news/inn.conf is set to "true". Setting this option to "false" should fix the problem.

Debian: mailx buffer overflow. Debian has put out a security advisory and updates for mailx to fix an exploitable buffer overflow. This is the first report of this problem, so updates from other distributions have not yet been seen.

Debian: splitvt local root vulnerability. Debian has also put out an advisory for splitvt, which contains a buffer overflow that can be exploited to gain access to root on a local system. An upgrade is recommended for all versions of Debian. This problem has been fixed in splitvt 1.6.4.

Xterm Denial-of-Service vulnerability. An exploit has been made available that can cause an xterm window to crash and, in some instances, consume all memory on the system. For more information, check out the BugTraq discussion or BugTraq ID 1298. XFree86 4.0 xterm, rxvt and eterm have been confirmed to be vulnerable. Gnome-terminal, KDE konsole, OpenWindows xterm and Secure CRT are reported not vulnerable.

BRU. The BRU backup and restore facility has an exploitable vulnerability which can be easily fixed by modifying the permission bits to remove the setuid root.

Commercial products. The following commercial products were reported to contain vulnerabilities:


gdm. A buffer overflow vulnerability was reported in gdm, the Gnome display manager. An upgrade to gdm 2.0beta4-25 is recommended. An exploit for this has been published. (From June 1st).

mailman. An upgrade to mailman-2.0beta2 is recommended to close several security holes. (From June 1st).

Majordomo wrapper vulnerability. (From June 1st).

xlockmore. (From June 1st).

  • COVERT Labs (original report, June 1), contains information from Debian, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, SCO and TurboLinux
  • Linux-Mandrake


SSH Secure Shell 2.2. SSH Communications Security has announced the release of SSH Secure Shell 2.2, an update to this proprietary product.

Hardening Linux Machines For Web Services (themestream). Here is an article from themestream specifically targeted at people placing their webservers at a co-location facility. It provides a checklist of security issues to consider.



June/July security events.

June 12-14, 2000. NetSec 2000, San Francisco, California, USA.

June 19-23, 2000. 12th Annual Canadian Information Technology Security Symposium, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

June 25-30, 2000. 12th Annual First Conference, Chicago, Illinois, USA.

June 26-28, 2000. SSS2000 Strategic Security Summit, Helsinki, Finland.

June 27-28, 2000. CSCoRE 2000, "Computer Security in a Collaborative Research Environment", Long Island, New York, USA.

July 3-5, 2000. 13th IEEE Computer Security Foundations Workshop, Cambridge, England.

July 10-12, 2000. Fifth Australasian Conference on Information Security and Privacy (ACISP 2000), Brisbane, Australia.

July 14-16, 2000. H2K / HOPE 2000, New York, New York, USA.

July 26-27, 2000. The Black Hat Briefings, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.

July 28-30, 2000. DEF CON VIII, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.

Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh

June 8, 2000

Secure Linux Projects
Bastille Linux
Khaos Linux
Secure Linux
Secure Linux (Flask)

Security List Archives
Bugtraq Archive
Firewall Wizards Archive
ISN Archive

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

Security Software Archives
ZedZ.net (formerly replay.com)

Miscellaneous Resources
Comp Sec News Daily
Linux Security Audit Project
Security Focus


 Main page
 Linux in the news
 Back page

See also: last week's Kernel page.

Kernel development

The current development kernel release is 2.4.0-test1, and will remain so for at least a couple more weeks. Meanwhile, Real Developers are running 2.4.0-test1-ac10, a large patch with over 200 listed updates. The changes are almost entirely bug fixes, but there is a new Microtek USB scanner driver in there as well. Recent "ac" releases have been more "development" than some; a lot of the problems have been ironed out, but the aic7xxx SCSI driver is still not working.

The current stable kernel release is 2.2.16. The 2.2.16 release came out just before LWN went to "press," and no release notes are yet available. What we do have, however, is a list of 2.2.16 security fixes that most people running 2.2 kernels should probably read (and then consider upgrading). Meanwhile, for a more complete list, the notes from the last prepatch release (2.2.16pre8), cover most of the patches that have been included.

Wishlist for 2.5. A common exercise somewhere around this stage of the kernel development cycle is the compilation of a wishlist for the next development stage. After all, when there is a code freeze in effect and new goodies can't be added, it's nice to at least be able to think about the things that could be done. This time around, Kenneth Arnold has been putting together a a 2.5 wishlist with input from a number of people.

This list includes some fairly high-profile things, such as merging the various journaling filesystems (see below). Some items are quite general, such as "documentation;" others are rather more specific ("Enable writes to concurrent devices in single commit_write()"). Merging of crypto code is on a lot of people's lists as well.

Of course, all this stuff will remain just a wishlist for quite some time. Linus typically doesn't start a new development series until the stable kernel has truly stabilized for a while. If 2.4.0 really comes out in August, say, then 2.5.0 isn't likely until almost the end of the year.

ReiserFS and the 2.4 kernel. ReiserFS is an alternative filesystem which has been under development by Hans Reiser and company for some time; it was covered in this space back in November. This filesystem has a number of things going for it, including better performance numbers in some situations, and the fact that it has a working journaling implementation. ReiserFS has been widely tested, and even incorporated by a few distributions (such as SuSE), but has still been considered experimental to this point.

That is, until last week, when Mr. Reiser posted a note saying that ReiserFS had stabilized and was ready for inclusion into the 2.3 development series. Unfortunately for the ReiserFS folks, Linus, who had perhaps sensed the fight that was to come, had skipped out of town for three weeks. In Linus's absence, decisions about what goes into the "ac" series are being made by Alan Cox.

Alan has declined to include ReiserFS, for reasons that we will get to shortly. But it is interesting to look at Hans Reiser's reaction to this decision; he did not, shall we say, take it well. In fact, Alan's concerns were characterized as "just a RedHat bureaucratic excuse to delay reiserfs." Those are fighting words, and, to those who have seen Alan's nonstop efforts to produce the best possible system, completely unwarranted.

This is very likely not the last time that we will see this sort of allegation raised. Quite a few kernel developers are employed by various Linux distributors; people may well see conflicts of interest even if none really exist. In the future, if Linus decides he's had enough and goes off to sell Amway products, his replacement may will find himself having to shed any ties to Linux companies before being accepted by the community as a whole.

But back to ReiserFS. What are the real reasons that ReiserFS is not going into the 2.4.0-test1 series at this time? They are:

  • Alan (and others) would like to see the development of a common journaling layer to be used by all journaling filesystems. Journaling is a complex business, with some difficult interactions with the memory management layer. A future Linux kernel with four different journaling implementations will be much larger and more difficult to maintain than one with a single, well-designed layer.

    Hans sees this issue as a way of delaying ReiserFS while the other journaling filesystems catch up. In his opinion, ReiserFS won the coding race (that the others generally didn't know was happening) and deserves to go in as it is.

    Meanwhile, it turns out that Chris Mason, who actually wrote the ReiserFS journaling code, and Stephen Tweedie, who is doing ext3, have been quietly talking for some time. Chris has no trouble with looking at a common journaling layer, and has generally shown a calmer attitude toward the whole thing. Despite the public bluster, the right people are talking to each other.

  • The other reason that Alan has not merged in ReiserFS is quite simple and nontechnical: he feels that only Linus can make that decision, and Linus is currently absent.

There is no telling what Linus will decide at this point. He has hinted in the past that ReiserFS might get in. And ReiserFS does have happy users; see, for example, this posting from Drew Streib at VA Linux Systems. It seems that ReiserFS is used for half of the SourceForge archive, and for the Mozilla CVS server as well. And it works well.

If the 2.4 kernel is going to have a journaling filesystem, it will have to be ReiserFS - none of the others are ready. Given its track record, it should be considered seriously for inclusion. The 2.5 development series is the earliest possible time to create a common journaling layer; in the meantime people could be using a journaling system that works.

Other patches and updates released this week include:

  • Jeff Garzik has released a new version of his "kcompat" driver compatibility toolkit.

  • kdb 1.2, the latest version of the interactive kernel debugger, was released by Keith Owens.

  • Bartlomiej Zolnierkiewicz announced the release of the ide-info utility, which can be used to display IDE chipset information without /proc.

  • A new DC10plus video capture card driver was released by Serguei Miridonov.

  • Eric Raymond has released version 0.2.12 of his CML system - the replacement for the kernel configuration and build code. Eric also posted a state of CML message describing the capabilities of the system at this stage in its development.

  • Undeterred by CML2, Fritz Jetzek has released a utility called "Gernel," a GNOME-based interface to the current kernel configuration scheme.

Section Editor: Jonathan Corbet

June 8, 2000

For other kernel news, see:

Other resources:


 Main page
 Linux in the news
 Back page

See also: last week's Distributions page.


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

News and Editorials

Conectiva hires Andrew Clausen. Conectiva has announced the addition of Andrew Clausen to the Conectiva payroll. Andrew is an Australian developer, currently also a student at University of Melbourne, who is working on the GNU Parted project (partition editor). The hiring was done, therefore, in order to show support for free software development. Of course, in choosing to support GNU Parted, as opposed to the Mandrake DiskDrake facility or other such projects, Conectiva is also making a choice in how they wish to distinguish their distribution from others.

Conectiva also currently employs Rik van Riel, one of the Linux kernel hackers. In hiring free software developers solely for the purpose of supporting their ongoing work, Conectiva is following in the footsteps of Red Hat, SuSE and other major Linux distributors.

Linux-Mandrake to be bundled with AZZA motherboards. The announcement that Pro Team Computer Corporation will now be bundling a copy of Linux-Mandrake with each Pro Team "AZZA" motherboard that is sold caught our eye this week. Something like 720,000 motherboards with Linux-Mandrake are expected to be shipped over the coming year.

If this seems unusual to you, remember the announcement of the Gentus Linux distribution, covered in the February 24th, 2000 Distributions Summary. Gentus is a Linux distribution from ABIT Computer Corporation, a hardware manufacturer and retailer of "mainboards and video cards". Given this trend, perhaps all hardware purchases will eventually come with their own Linux distribution -- though it isn't really clear what benefit this would give to the customer!

Bastille Linux

Progress on Bastille Linux 1.1.0 continues with the latest release of prepatch 10, containing small fixes to the IPCHAINS module.

Build Your Linux Disk

A CVS repository for BYLD is now available, along with bug tracking, a mailing list and a patch manager, as of the announcement for the latest version, 1.0alpha3.

Caldera OpenLinux

Caldera extends free support to Europe. Caldera has announced free phone and email support in German, French, Italian and English for its customers in Europe. This is the limited, 30-day phone and 90-day email support provided with the purchase of Caldera OpenLinux.


Rick Hohensee has got http://www.clienux.com/, the new web-site for cLIeNUX, on-line. Check our March 2nd Distributions Summary for more information on cLIeNUX.


Reprise of Conectiva Linux 5.0 Review (Linux in Brazil). Augusto Campos has kindly pointed out that the review (in Portuguese) of Conectiva Linux 5.0 that appeared in the June 1 LWN has been translated to English by Claudio Matsuoka.

Coyote Linux

The first release candidate for Coyote Linux 1.20 has been announced. Coyote Linux is a single-floppy, firewall/router. It is planned as the operating system for the Coyote Firewall Appliance. A new company, Prairie Wolf Software, has been spun off and is the new owner of Coyote Linux (originally owned by Vortech.net).


New Debian maintainers. James Troup fired off lists of information on new Debian maintainers on both June 1 and June 7th. In total, seventeen new maintainers were introduced.

LSB conference. Dale Scheetz will be representing Debian at the upcoming Linux Standards Base conference, June 14th through the 16th, He sounds optimistic about the results. "I'm really looking forward to this conference. Much good progress has been made and I look forward to more success at this meeting."


Linux-Mandrake 7.1 released. MandrakeSoft has announced the release of Linux-Mandrake 7.1. It's now available for download from the various mirror sites worldwide. See the new features list to see what goodies have gone into this release.

Linux-Mandrake 7.1 for Sparc beta released. MandrakeSoft has announced the release of the beta version of Linux-Mandrake 7.1 for the Sparc and UltraSparc architectures.


LuteLinux 1.0.2 has been announced.

Slackware Linux

Slackware is quickly moving towards a new beta release. As part of that process, large updates have been merged into the current tree. To quote from the Slackware web-site:
mmm... GUI Packages!

In an amazing feat of near super-human skill and endurance, Patrick Volkerding has just merged all of the following into Slackware-current!:

  • GNOME 1.2
  • Enlightenment 0.16.4
  • Window Maker 0.62.1
  • Sawfish 0.27.2
We know how everyone loves yummy new GUIs, and now they're just an installpkg away!
If you check out the ChangeLog, you'll also get the benefits of Patrick's comments on Gnome 1.2 and KDE 1.90.

Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh

June 8, 2000

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

Caldera OpenLinux
Debian GNU/Linux
Red Hat

Also well-known
Best Linux
Conectiva Linux

Rock Linux

Non-technical desktop
Icepack Linux
Redmond Linux

Boston University
Red Escolar

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

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

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

Related Projects
Chinese Linux Extension

Historical (Non-active)
MCC Interim Linux
Storm Linux


 Main page
 Linux in the news
 Back page

See also: last week's Development page.

Development projects

News and Editorials

To Sun, regarding Java: let the developers lead. Check out our Development tools section below or this week's Commerce page and you'll see a flood of Java-related announcements, all associated with the ongoing JavaOne 2000 conference this week. One particular item that caught our attention was this ZDnet article, which talks about the concerns of Java developers.

Java developers told a panel of Sun executives Monday night that Sun should spend less time adding new features to Java and more time making Java reliable across all its major platforms. In a free-wheeling question-and-answer session with some of Sun's top software executives, developers said Sun needs to do a better job fixing bugs and should make updated source code available regardless of whether Sun decides to make Java open source. 'I've been developing seriously in Java for four years and I don't see real reliability, which to me is the most important thing for really robust B-to-B e-commerce,' said one developer.
These comments reminded us forcefully of similar problems with other commercial products (a certain alternative operating system comes to mind). When marketing drives development, a call for "powerful new features" goes out, to make for splashier headlines and better media hype. Unfortunately, if bug-fixes are not made a priority, reliability becomes a larger and larger problem. The code base gets bigger and harder to maintain. The longer problems go unfixed, the more difficult it becomes to find and fix them without introducing yet new problems. Pretty soon, customers are seeing and dealing with daily crashes. They'll put up with that only until they have an alternative.

Sun, think carefully about what you are doing. An unreliable Java platform is every bit as much of a problem as an unreliable operating system. If Java proves untrustworthy, there are other alternatives out there already -- and they are already open source.


Total Recall V.01. Alphanumerica has released version .01 of Total Recall, a Mozilla crash recovery tool which allows the recovery of all browser windows as they were prior to the crash.


PostgreSQL 7.0.2 Released. PostgreSQL 7.0.2 is now available. This version fixes some bugs from version 7.0 and includes some missing documentation.


Linux in Education Report #21. The Linux in Education Report #21 has been published. Topics include a new release of Red Escolar, the initiative to put Linux into Mexican schools, plus a report on Linux in South African schools and more links to Linux educational software projects.

LinuxForKids revamped and refurbished. After a hiatus of about a month (timed to the arrival of a beautiful new daughter), LinuxForKids has returned with a new site design, support for both English and French and the ability for readers to rate and post comments about the games. Chris is also looking for people interested in supporting Spanish, German, Italian and Portuguese translations of the site.


OpenEDA web-site announced. OpenEDA.org is a new web-site from Silicon Integration Initiative, Inc. Here is the announcement. OpenEDA is promised to be a vendor-neutral, Open Source web site for the EDA user community. "'There is a change occurring in the EDA standards arena - a move from specifications developed by committee to open source code maintained by a community,' said Andrew Graham, president of Si2. 'OpenEDA is a neutral web site to host the EDA open source community. This will accelerate interoperability through faster adoption of these open source standards.'"


Loki to port Descent 3 to Linux. Loki Entertainment Software has announced that it will be porting "Descent 3" from Interplay to Linux, with the product to be available by July.

Embedded Systems

Embedded Linux Article (Open Source IT). This Article from Open Source IT discusses the emergence of Linux as a dominant player in the embedded systems world. "But it may actually be Linux that ascends to the top of the heap in the $3.5 billion-per-year market for embedded system development tools. Enthusiasm for embedded Linux systems has grown dramatically over the past two years--even Linus Torvalds has gone on the record to say that it should be a priority for the open source OS."


This week's Wine Weekly News. The June 6 edition of the Wine Weekly News is out. A Wine Status page has been created, which provides a table of current aspects or components under development, estimated development and documentation status and the name of recent primary workers.

A feature article this week focuses on DLL overrides.

Network Management

OpenNMS Development News Update v1.11. This week's OpenNMS update indicates that their Java SNMP libraries are just about ready for release. "Just like it says, our home grown Java SNMP libraries are slowly nearing production grade. Later this week, they will be bundled and available for download from the web site as well as via CVS. As a practice, we will not release components outside of CVS, but as this is a significant piece of work which can benefit a number of projects outside our own, we'll make an exception."

Office Applications

AbiWord Weekly News (May 31). The latest edition of the AbiWord Weekly News is now available, with the freshest development report. It contains a link to a discussion on modeless dialogs, if you've been curious about those. A few new features and many fixes have gone in this week.

On the Desktop

KDE 2.0 review (Duke of URL). KDE 2.0 is reviewed in this article from the Duke of URL site. "What can KDE do to improve over an already brilliant operating environment? Add tons of new features and support for the latest QT libraries. Combine that with a slick, new file manager and full support for XFree86 4.0 and you've got yourself gold-that is, if they play their cards right."

KDE 2.0 Screenshots. Mosfet.org has put together a new KDE2 in action screenshot page. If you want to see what's new with KDE2, this is the place.

The XFree86 4.0 (Duke of URL). For an in-depth look at XFree86 4.0, check out this review from the Duke of URL. "Since the new drivers use direct hardware access, no need to be root to play games anymore. This is sure handy because it integrates more functions into a standard user, making the unprivileged user much more practical."

This week's GNOME summary. Here is this week's GNOME summary by Havoc Pennington. It covers the GNOME 1.2 release and a number of other topics.

Gnome Office Review (Linux Planet). Linux Planet has done this review of Gnome Office. "Unlike just about anything else identifying itself as an office suite, GNOME Office is cheerfully formless at this point. The project Web site prefers to refer to GNOME Office as a 'meta project' oriented towards coordinating the development of the disparate elements of an office suite."


Kalamaris for KDE. Kalamaris is a new program for the KDE environment that can be used for plotting mathematical formulas. Kalamaris was modeled after Mathematica and has been licensed under Gnu GPL version 2.

Web-site Development

Midgard Weekly Summary (May 7). This week's Midgard Weekly Summary reports on documentation improvements for Midgard and goals for Midgard 1.4, which is being targeted for a September release frame. "We have concluded that Midgard 1.4 is a powerful content management system and a good publishing tool. However, in our opinion, its primary weakness is a lack of modularity that would allow other OSS projects to use Midgard as the core for their applications."

Apache 2.0 alpha 4 released. The fourth alpha version of Apache 2.0 has been released. It includes 45 bug fixes since the third alpha; things are moving along.

This week's Zope Weekly News. Here is this week's Zope Weekly News, with coverage of Zope's presence at upcoming conferences and various other topics of interest to the Zope community.

Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh

June 8, 2000

Project Links
High Availability

More Information



Development tools


Cilk 5.3 available. The 5.3 version of Cilk has been announced. Cilk is licensed under the GPL. "Cilk is a language for multi-threaded parallel programming based on ANSI C. Cilk is designed for general-purpose parallel programming, but it is especially effective for exploiting dynamic, highly asynchronous parallelism, which can be difficult to write in data-parallel or message-passing style."


Open Object Directory Services Group. The Linux Knowledge Base Organization has announced the formation of the Open Object Directory Services Group. "The OODS Group will function as a separate open source project with the goal of creating a scaleable, modular, distributed directory service built upon CORBA which will then power the next generation Linux Knowledge Base Org. web site."


Blackdown Java Platform 2 SDK Version 1.3. The Blackdown team has updated their Status Page for their port of Sun's JDK 1.3, promising the availability of the first Blackdown build in June. The updated page indicates a slight shift in the working relationship between Sun and the Blackdown team, now that Sun is officially supporting the Linux platform (on Intel x86). "The Blackdown team has been licensed to have access to the Java2 v1.3.0 and the HotSpot source code. The differences to Sun's version will be very small as we are working on the same code base. The most noticeable difference is that we will continue to support non-ix86 platforms too."

Blackdown JCK progress. From modifications made this week to the Blackdown JCK Status page for the Java 2 port, it appears that some substantial progress has been made on getting the Blackdown x86 port past the Runtime API Interactive tests in the Java Compatibility Kit (JCK), both with green threads and classic threads. Only the Runtime VM portions of the JCK still show ongoing problems. Passing all of the 17,000 tests in the JCK is required before Blackdown can release a final version of their Java 2 port.

Enhydra Enterprise source code release. Lutris.com has announced the release of the Enhydra Enterprise source code to the Open Source community. Lutris.com previously released the base Enhydra server code under a FreeBSD-style license. Enhydra Enterprise is being released under the EPL, derived from Mozilla Public License. Enhydra is a Java/XML application server.

Lutris has also announced that it will be distributing an open source wireless developer kit at the JavaOne conference in San Francisco.


Yet another Perl Conference. The Yet another Perl Conference is going on June 21 through 23 at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA.

Perl-rpm 0.25 Released. A new version of Perl-RPM has been released. This package gives perl access to Red Hat Package Manager (RPM) databases.


PHP. The latest PHP update is now available. Included is a case study of how PHP is being used on Lycos's MP3 search engine.


Interview: Guido Van Rossum (Be Open). Be Open interviews Guido Van Rossum and discusses open source development. "Actually, languages have had something like an open source development for a very long time. Starting, I think, in the Sixties, there have been standardization committees involving all sorts of languages. Languages that were not developed in an open fashion would only succeed if they were aimed at a very narrow application domain"

This week's Python-URL. Here is this week's Dr. Dobb's Python-URL by Andrew Kuchling. It includes brief coverage of Guido's move to BeOpen, the release of PythonWorks 1.0, and more.

Snake Charming (Borland). In the article Snake Charming, Juancarlo Anez gives a good overview of writing and optimizing a Python program that is suitable for people who are learning the language.


Tcl/Java 1.2.6 available. The Tcl/Java 1.2.6 release is now online. Stable releases of Jacl and Tcl Blend are available from Scriptics. 6 months worth of back-ported bug fixes from the 1.3 development version are included. Mo Dejong reports, "If you have ever wanted to use scripting with Java, Tcl/Java is the way to go. You can use it to extend an existing Java application or regression test a Java application without having to write Java code".

Dr. Dobbs' Tcl-URL. Check this week's Tcl-URL for more Tcl/Tk news.

Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh

Language Links
IBM Java Zone
Perl News
Daily Python-URL

 Main page
 Linux in the news
 Back page

See also: last week's Commerce page.

Linux and business

JavaOne and Collab.net. Sun Microsystems Inc. has been hosting the fifth annual JavaOne developer conference this week (June 6 to June 9, 2000). This has led to a large number of Java related announcements this week, and probably next week as well. A sample of these announcements can be found below under Press Releases - Java Products. Java is a Sun product, released under Sun's Community Source License. It's not an Open Source license, but its not strictly proprietary either.

Enter Collab.Net. Here's an excerpt from Collab's web site, "Collab.Net is distilling the essential process and values of the Open Source community into tools and services that facilitate predictable, well-organized, high value open source development."

This week, Collab.Net has announced that it will be hosting Sun Microsystems' netbeans.org site - the source repository for Sun's open source Java development projects. We look forward to seeing some truly open-source products come out of this collaboration.

Collab.Net has also announced the receipt of $35 million in funding. The venture capital firm Bowman Capital led this round, but Collab.Net also got investments from Dell, HP, Novell, Oracle, Sun, and TurboLinux. Marc Andreessen (who joined Collab.Net's board of directors last March) also made a personal investment in the company.

More Open Source News. BASCOM Global Internet Services has announced the launch of its Open Source Equipment Exchange. Essentially, this exchange exists to link up those who seek to donate equipment with open source projects in need of the same.

Global Software Consultants has put out a press release on its open source strategy, centered around PostgreSQL and Apache.

Franz, Inc., longtime providers of LISP implementations, has announced the release of its AllegroServe web server under the LGPL. "AllegroServe Uses Common Lisp technology to make it more powerful and scalable than other webservers, opening up new areas of opportunity for website developers." Note that the URL for the AllegroServe open source page in the press release is incorrect; here is a working link.

Here is IBM's announcement of its donation of its SOAP implementation to the Apache Software Project.

The Openlaw project has filed a friend of the court brief in the 2600 DVD case. "A purchased DVD is a mixture of programs and encrypted data formats. The formats have been reverse engineered to enable the licensed data contained therein to be passed between programs, allowing a purchaser to play the program he licensed by his purchase on the operating system of his choice. The distribution of DeCSS fits well under the law, when the legislative history is taken into account."

Openlaw briefs are developed in an "open source" mode, taking input from all who are interested - see the Openlaw DVD page for more information.

People with new jobs. VA Linux announced the appointment of Kyle Spencer, formerly of EDS, as general manager of worldwide professional services.

Penguin Computing has announced the hiring of Brett Person, one of the co-founders of the Slackware distribution, as a senior member of the technical support team.

The Linux Journal has announced the appointment of Don Marti as the magazine's senior technical editor.

TurboLinux has announced that Paul Thomas is now the CEO of the company, replacing founder Cliff Miller.

LinuxMall.com has announced that Chuck Mead, of Moongroup Consulting and the Linux Professional Institute, has been brought in as chief technical officer.

Conectiva (Curitiba) hired Australian Andrew Clausen with the objective of aiding in the development of the GNU Parted project. The project can be seen at the site: http://www.gnu.org/software/parted/parted.html

Atipa Linux Solutions announced that Jeffrey Keenan, currently President of the company, has been appointed Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Atipa.

C2Net announces new Stronghold 3 secure web server. C2Net has announced a new version of its "Stronghold" web server. Stronghold is a version of Apache with SSL encryption and support added.

API collaborates with Quadrics on Linux supercomputers. Alpha Processor Inc. has announced a deal with Quadrics to build a new line of high-end Linux clusters.

API has also announced the new "UP1100" motherboard, "a complete, cost-efficient, entry-level Alpha board for Beowulf clusters, Web servers, development systems and rendering solutions."

Lineo ships Embedix SDK. Lineo has announced the first customer shipments of its "Embedix Software Development Kit."

Helius to develop Lineo-based satellite routers. Helius has announced that it will develop a line of satellite routers based on Lineo's Embedix distribution.

Microsoft judgement. For those who are interested, here is the text of the final judgement from the Microsoft antitrust case. As expected, it involves splitting the company into two businesses. (Thanks to William Stearns).

Press Releases:

    Open Source Products.

  • CynApps (LOS ANGELES) announced the integration of Cadence TestBuilder technology with the CynApps Open-Source Cynlib class library.

  • SRI International (MENLO PARK, Calif.) announced GeoVRML 1.0, a new web-based three-dimensional viewing technology.

    Commercial Products for Linux.

  • 3Com Corporation released Linux network drivers for use with its latest EtherLink 10/100 PCI Network Interface Card (NIC) products.

  • Cybernet Systems launched its latest NetMAX product line, the NetMAX Firewall ProSuite and NetMAX Internet Server ProSuite.

  • Cyrusoft International, Inc. (PITTSBURGH) unveiled a new version of the Mulberry email client for the Linux and Solaris operating systems.

  • OnCore Systems Corporation (HALF MOON BAY, Calif.) announced two additional embedded Linux usage models for system builders, Linux OnDemand and Linux OnCall.

  • OnCore Systems Corporation (HALF MOON BAY, Calif.) announced two related news events: OnCore Systems has demonstrated support for IBM's high-performance PowerPC 750CX family of microprocessors, and OnCore breaks sub 5-microsecond response time barrier for the time required to switch between a random Linux application and a real-time task using OnCore's embedded Linux running on the PowerPC 750CX.

  • OpenCon Systems (PISCATAWAY, N.J.) announced that its Billing Mediation Platform (BMP), a comprehensive and flexible data and protocol mediation solution for billing applications, now runs on Linux.

  • SmartDisk Corporation (NAPLES, Fla.) announced that support for Linux has been integrated into its FlashPath for SmartMedia floppy disk adapter for digital appliances. Linuxcare, Inc. announced that it developed the Linux device driver.

    Products Using Linux.

  • Axtar Limited (ATLANTA) announced OneSwitch, a standards-based Central Office programmable telephony switch that uses both the Red Hat Linux operating system and the compactPCI (cPCI) form factor.

  • Sycamore Networks Inc. (ATLANTA, GA) is demonstrating an optical network at the Supercomm trade show. "The big question is whether Sycamore's emulated network is a true likeness of a real one. Sycamore points out that its switch network operating system - now named Broadleaf - runs on Linux. As the PCs in its demo are also running Linux, the Broadleaf software in them is identical to the one used in the vendor's real-life switches."

    Products with Linux Versions.

  • Adax (BERKELEY, Calif.) debuted the High Density Channelized (HDC) multi-protocol platform.

  • Advanced Digital Information Corporation (REDMOND, Wash.) announced a new release of its CentraVision SAN file sharing system (CVFS).

  • Brooktrout Technology (SUPERCOMM, ATLANTA) announced that its TRxStream Series of media resource platforms are now available in the CompactPCI (cPCI) form factor.

  • Cadence Design Systems, Inc. and SynTest Technologies, Inc. (SAN JOSE and SUNNYVALE, Calif.) joined forces to provide a solution for customers who need a one-pass DFT and synthesis solution for multi-million gate system-on-chip (SoC) designs.

  • Deerfield.com (GAYLORD, Mich) announced the availability of WinGate 4.0, a full-featured Internet sharing solution that supports multiple users simultaneously through one Internet connection.

  • Eurologic Systems (BOXBOROUGH, Mass.) announced that it has expanded its Vision Storage Management Software to include support for a wider range of operating systems on the Voyager 3100 network storage subsystem, including Linux.

  • Fire GL Professional Graphics (SAN JOSE, Calif.) has expanded its product family to include two new graphics accelerators, the Fire GL2 and the Fire GL3.

  • GraphOn Corporation (MORGAN HILL, Calif.) announced it has released beta version 1.1 of GraphOn Bridges for UNIX and Linux for use by approved beta test sites.

  • Greyware Automation Products (PLANO, TX) announced the release of Domain Time II version 2.2, a major update to their Enterprise time synchronization system.

  • Group 1 Software (LANHAM, Md.) announced that it has enhanced its DOC1 product to address the growth in Electronic Bill Presentation and Payment (EBPP) and Electronic Statement Presentation (ESP).

  • Hummingbird Ltd. (TORONTO) launched Hummingbird EIP 1.5, an enterprise portal solution.

  • Integrix, Inc. (NEWBURY PARK, Calif.) announced the Integrix RS280 rackmount server. The Ultra AXi motherboard features an upgradable UltraSPARC IIi microprocessor module with speeds up to 440Mhz, up to 1GB of memory, integrated dual channel Ultra-Wide SCSI, two PCI slots and integrated 10/100 Mb Ethernet. Red Hat 6.1 is available as an optional operating system.

  • LegacyJ Corp. (PLEASANTON, Calif.) announced PERCobol Enterprise Version 2.5.

  • LinkUp Systems Corporation (SAN JOSE, Calif.) announced its L7205 system-on-chip solution.

  • M4 Data, Inc. (MELBOURNE, Fla.) announced the MagBak series of scalable DLT autoloaders.

  • Macromedia, Inc. (SAN FRANCISCO) announced it is shipping Macromedia Generator 2 Enterprise Edition.

  • SGI (MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.) announced a reduction in price in its Silicon Graphics 230 visual workstations.

  • StereoGraphics Corp. (SAN RAFAEL, Calif.) introduced CrystalEyes 3 wireless liquid crystal shuttering eyewear.

    Java Products.

  • ACCESS Co., Ltd. (MILPITAS, Calif./TOKYO) announced that it has gained Sun Authorized Virtual Machine status for its product, JV-Lite2 Embedded Edition ver.1.0.

  • Bluestone Software, Inc. (SAN FRANCISCO) announced Bluestone Total-e-Server, the next generation of Bluestone's Sapphire/Web Application Server, and the Application Server edition of Bluestone's comprehensive, standards-based Total-e-Business platform.

  • Compuware Corporation (SAN FRANCISCO) announced that it is shipping NuMega DevPartner 2.0 Java Edition.

  • CyberTel, Inc. (MIDDLETOWN, N.J.) announced the latest release of FreeCom3G, the company's next-generation, pure-JAVA messaging client.

  • Imperial Software Technology (SAN FRANCISCO) announced the availability of DeltaStream, an Internet information distribution platform for the dissemination of near real-time data.

  • Informix Corporation (SAN FRANCISCO) announced a significant upgrade of Cloudscape 3.5, the company's Java-technology-based database for embeddable systems and distributed e-Business applications.

  • Inprise/Borland (SCOTTS VALLEY, Calif.) announced the shipment and immediate availability of JDataStore 3.5, a 100 percent Pure Java Relational Database Management System (RDBMS).

  • Inprise/Borland (SCOTTS VALLEY, Calif.) released a preview version of JBuilder Handheld Express, an extension for the mobile market to Inprise/Borland's JBuilder 3.5, a Java technology development tool.

  • Insignia Solutions (SAN FRANCISCO) announced its new Jeode SlingShot technology, the company's latest dynamic adaptive compilation (DAC) technology.

  • Intuitive Systems, Inc. (SAN FRANCISCO) unveiled Optimizeit 4.0, a Java technology-based language profiling tool.

  • O'Reilly (SEBASTOPOL, Calif.) announced Java and XML, The Developer's Holy Grail.

  • OpenAvenue (SAN FRANCISCO) announced its support for Sun Microsystems' Forte for Java Portal.

  • POET Software (SAN MATEO, Calif.) announced the release of its Object Server Suite (OSS) version 6.1, an object database for creating complex Java and C++ applications.

  • PowerTV (CUPERTINO, Calif.) has developed the PersonalJava engine for interactive digital TV.

  • SilverStream Software, Inc. (SAN FRANCISCO) announced a new version of the SilverStream Application Server 3.5, a Java2 Enterprise Edition application server.

  • The Standard Performance Evaluation Corp. (WARRENTON, Va.) released SPECjbb2000, a new benchmark for evaluating the performance of servers running typical Java business applications.

  • Zero G (SAN FRANCISCO) announced the release of InstallAnywhere v3.5. The latest version is compatible with Java 2 platform v1.3 and adds full support for Linux.


  • Internet Security Systems (ATLANTA) will offer a Linux security class in Atlanta, Chicago and San Francisco beginning the week of June 12, 2000.

  • Red Hat, Inc. (Research Triangle Park, N.C.) announced that over 4,000 engineers have completed Red Hat's Training and Certification program.

  • Sair, Inc. (OXFORD, Miss.) will conduct a full track of seminars at the Global Linux 2000 Exhibition and Conference, to be held June 14-17 in Seoul, Korea.


  • Accelerated Technology, Inc. (MOBILE, Ala.) announced their position as a founding member of the Embedded Linux Consortium.

  • Acrylis Inc. (N. CHELMSFORD, Mass.) announced a deal with LinuxIT, a European distributor and reseller for Linux-based products. LinuxIT will become Acrylis' premier UK reseller for their new WhatifLinux.com service.

  • ANSYS, Inc. (SOUTHPOINTE, Pa.) and SGI announced they have formed a strategic alliance to supply ANSYS, Inc.'s engineering simulation software on the SGI Linux operating system using SGI's Intel IA-64 based server products.

  • Conectiva (Curitiba) firmed up a distribution agreement with the CCA Consulting & Administration, with the objective of distributing the "SIAM Linux" package -Integrated System of Municipal Administration.

  • Corel Corporation (OTTAWA, CANADA) announced an agreement with Runaware, an Evaluation Service Provider, to provide a better way for customers to preview its products.

  • Equinox Systems Inc. (SUNRISE, Fla.) announced a marketing and bundling agreement with TurboLinux, Inc.. Equinox customers will receive a copy of TurboLinux Server, which automatically detects and installs Equinox SuperSerial products.

  • Helius Inc. announced it has joined the Lineo Partner Connect program as a Certified Embedix Partner. Through the program, Helius will develop satellite routers based on embedded Linux.

  • IBM and Lucent Technologies (ARMONK, N.Y./MURRAY HILL, N.J.) announced plans to form a strategic technology relationship that will enable CyberCarriers, an emerging generation of service providers that combine high-bandwidth networks and data centers. In addition, IBM and Lucent plan to work together on open data center solutions based on Linux.

  • Integrated Research (SYDNEY, Australia) announced the appointment of Twinsoft Italy as a distributor of its PROGNOSIS systems management solution for Compaq NonStop environments.

  • KrystalBox Technologies (HAMBURG, Germany), provider of integrated open-source solutions, and German Web development firm For Sale Digital combined technologies to deliver an integrated content and Web management tool for the German electronic retailer Media Markt's new Web platform.

  • NETsilicon Inc. (WALTHAM, Mass.) announced that it has become a member of the Embedded Linux Consortium (ELC).

  • Rackspace.com and Plesk Inc. (SAN ANTONIO and CHANTILLY, Va.) announced Rackspace.com's purchase of licenses for the Plesk Server Administrator (PSA).

  • Survey.com and O'Reilly & Associates (SAN JOSE, Calif.) announced the establishment of a strategic alliance to research the fundamental technologies of the Internet and organizational computing.

  • Web-4M has become a member of the IBM Netfinity ServerProven program.

    Investments and Acquisitions.

  • Corel Corporation (OTTAWA, CANADA) announced that its "bought deal" agreement with Canaccord Capital Corporation has now been fixed at Cdn $30 million, at an offering price of Cdn $4.11 per share, resulting in a total of 7,299,270 common shares to be issued.

  • e-smith has announced the receipt of $3 million in funding from Greylock and Red Hat.

  • GameCom, Inc. (ARLINGTON, Texas) announced that it has entered into a subscription agreement for a $15,000,000 sale of common stock and warrants under a private equity line contract with Swartz Private Equity, L.L.C., an institutional private equity fund.

  • InterLan Technologies (RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C.) announced that it has received $1.5 million in equity financing from the Canopy Group, of Orem, Utah.

  • Linbox, the inventor of Linbox Network Architecture (LNA), has announced (French version) the acceptance of a 2.5 million Euros (US$2.25M) investment from Europ@Web, the Internet industrial arm of Group Arnault.

  • MiddleSoft, Inc. (SAN FRANCISCO) announced that it closed a financing led by BPI Capital of New York. The proceeds from the financing will be used for general corporate purposes. "Middlesoft is building the necessary components to establish Linux as the de facto standard operating system for non-PC devices."

  • VA Linux Systems has announced the completion of its acquisition of Andover.Net.


  • Inprise/Borland (SCOTTS VALLEY, Calif) announced the appointment of Keith E. Gottfried as Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary. Gottfried will oversee Inprise/Borland's legal department.

  • MontaVista, Software Inc. (SANTA CLARA, Calif.) announced that Patrice Commune has joined the company as vice president of International Sales.

  • Neoware Systems, Inc. (KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa) announced that Edward F. Golderer has been named Vice President of Sales and Marketing.

  • The O'Reilly Network has expanded into the BSD (Berkeley Software Distribution) arena by hiring open source editor Chris Coleman and by adding a new BSD DevCenter.

  • Trend Micro Inc. (TOKYO) announced the appointment of Mahendra Negi as the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of its wholly-owned subsidiary ipTrend, Inc. Negi will also serve on the board of directors of ipTrend. ipTrend, Inc. is a Linux-based Internet appliance development company which was formed by Trend Micro's acquisition of Nippon Unisoft in February 2000.

    Linux At Work.

  • Inprise/Borland (SCOTTS VALLEY, Calif.) announced that Resource Information Management Systems, Inc. (RIMS) has developed the next generation of fully open and cross-platform automation tools for the healthcare industry using Inprise/Borland's JBuilder 3 Enterprise on Linux.

  • Inprise/Borland (SCOTTS VALLEY, Calif) announced that AOT, one of the largest professional option trading companies on the Amsterdam Option Exchange (AEX), is using Inprise technology to automate the option and stock market trading process. AOT selected Linux as the platform for integration.

  • ASP Kovair Inc. (SAN JOSE, Calif. and BILLERICA, Mass.) has a VIPCenter ASP service, powered by BullSoft's JOnAS application server. JOnAS is an Open-source product, based on Enterprise Java Beans technology.

  • VA Linux Systems, Inc. (SUNNYVALE, Calif.) announced that 1stUp.com, a provider of private label Internet access solutions, has implemented over 50 high-density VA Linux servers to power its application server infrastructure as well as its Oracle 8i database, now supporting more than 3.5 million registered subscribers.


  • Corel Corporation (OTTAWA) announced WordPerfect Office 2000 Deluxe for Linux has been placed on Winmag.com's WinList.

  • Conectiva S.A. (Curitiba) inaugurated another branch office, this time in Brasilia - DF.

  • CynApps (SANTA CLARA, Calif.) launched the CynApps Academic Usage Program (CynAP) to bring the industry's foremost tools and technologies for C++ design to the hardware engineers of tomorrow.

  • Lumos Technologies Inc. (ATLANTA) announced its CORBA Management Agent (CMA) initiative, which encourages network equipment manufacturers to embed uniform object-oriented management in their network equipment.

  • Stormix Technologies (Vancouver, BC) announced that it has established Stormix Professional Services (SPS).

  • Tripp Lite (CHICAGO) touts Linux certification for its UPS Systems and PowerAlert Software, and expresses commitment to the Linux platform and the open source movement.

Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol.

June 8, 2000


 Main page
 Linux in the news
 Back page

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

Linux in the news

Recommended Reading.

Here's a lengthy article on LinuxDevices.com which predicts the eventual victory of both Linux and Java. "The poor performance of Linux stocks in recent times is not an indicator of poor prospects for the Linux OS, but an index of its extremely high value to consumers as opposed to vendors."


Evan Leibovitch blames the BSD license for the difficulties with Microsoft "embracing and extending" the Kerberos protocol. "Unless I'm badly misreading something -- and in the quagmire of legalese surrounding such issues, that's always possible -- this episode indicates a specific example of real harm to the free software community that occurred because a BSD license was used. Furthermore, the problem would have been prevented had the code in question been licensed under the GPL. If this is the case, then I'd have to say this event goes a long way in tipping the balance of the two licensing models' respective merits."

Here's a column on Andover.Net suggesting that businesses should stop messing around with new licenses and simply adopt the GPL. "Go ahead, call me a radical, but I'm really looking out for your best interests here, Mister CEO. I'm trying to let you know that the best way to be recognized as a Linux-friendly, forward-thinking company is to jump into that ideological pool with both feet, and do a cannonball. Toe-dipping is just that, and we can all see you doing it." (Thanks to Cesar Augusto Kant Grossmann).

The EDA community struggles with issues of trust, in their efforts to develop standards for interoperability. Using a vendor-based standard licensed under an Open Source license is one direction being considered. "'If you take the United Nations approach, you will find it has glacial evolution,' warned Kevin Kranen, director of strategic programs at Synopsys. The best solution, he said, is a widely-adopted proprietary standard made available through open-source or community-source licensing."

Here's an article in Technocrat describing a "trivial, easily remedied GPL violation" on the part of Softway Systems, which is owned by Microsoft. Says Bruce Perens: "One of these examples comes up at least once a month, and I'm going to keep running these stories until the situation improves. Maybe that means forever."


Time interviews Neal Stephenson. "The single most useful thing about the Internet is that it facilitates using Linux. To use Linux, you need so much goddamn technical information that if you don't have a really good source of technical support, you're just screwed."

ZDNet talks with Red Hat CTO Michael Tiemann about proprietary document formats. "While Red Hat has achieved a high degree of independence from Microsoft products, Tiemann said he's aware of how hard it can be for other parties to make the transition. He served recently on a federal government panel to investigate the value and uses of open source code. When the agenda for the first meeting came out, it was distributed in Microsoft Word format."


The first word on the TurboLinux layoffs appears to have come from this Slashdot article. It includes a brief interview with TurboLinux VP Lonn Johnston. "The main thing is that there were some layoffs today, and some expenses cut. Little impact on our developer teams, and no future layoffs are planned. The basic gist of this is getting our bottom line in line with our expenses, and on target with our revenue and profit growth. We're fortunate that we're sitting on a large pile of cash, because we raised a record round for a Linux company in January."

Here's a News.com article about the layoffs at TurboLinux. "The TurboLinux layoffs affected the whole company but were deepest among administrative staff and marketing and lightest in development and services..."

And here is ZDNet's take on the layoffs at TurboLinux. "Citing TurboLinux's status as a private corporation, company officials declined to provide a count of the total number of employees let go. But Lonn Johnston, the company's vice president of marketing, confirmed that sales and marketing were hit hardest, and development lost a total of two employees, worldwide."

News.com looks at the leadership change at TurboLinux. "The CEO shuffle and the layoffs are 'completely unrelated,' [new CEO Paul] Thomas said. He and Miller had planned the CEO change for weeks, and the board approved the move this week after Miller's suggestion, Thomas said. 'We knew from the start this is what we'd like to do', he said."

Upside also looks at the events at TurboLinux. "TurboLinux, the San Francisco-based Linux distributor, offered explicit evidence this week as to how much and how quickly the rules have changed for pre-IPO companies when it announced Wednesday the layoffs of approximately 70 employees." The article also contains comments from Alan Cox on software patents and reporting from Larry Augustin's London keynote.


News.com covers IBM's donation of its SOAP implementation to the Apache project. "The software, called Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) for Java, is based on a Web standard for exchanging data called XML (Extensible Markup Language). The product is a working version of a communications technology developed by Microsoft, IBM, Lotus Development and others that could potentially become an Internet standard for linking Web-based software."

Here's an article in The Register about Linux support for Ultra ATA/100. (Thanks to Dan York).

Compaq announced a new line of servers aimed at the ISP market. "Compaq expects 75 percent of Photons to run Windows NT or 2000, 20 percent Linux and the rest Novell NetWare."

Rick Lehrbaum reports from this year's Applied Computing Conference, held in San Jose, CA. "Thing 2: the TEENY WEENY WEBSERVER -- as if to balance the image of the GIANT PENGUIN, and practically sitting in its shadow, was the most amazingly small single-board webserver."

Upside looks at a Linux Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) project. "Recently rechristened as the Puffin PLC project, an avian homage to the Linux penguin mascot, LinuxPLC also hopes to take advantage of a few other characteristics of the Linux operating system, namely seamless Internet integration via built-in TCP/IP controls."

Here is an article on Hypercosm's release of its next-generation 3-D authoring technology for Linux. It is available for free download (see the license for restrictions), though it is not an open source product. "Hypercosm 3D applets store geometric information and coded instructions that power interaction by the end user. Because Hypercosm employs a modern general purpose programming language, Hypercosm Studio users can create sophisticated animation and simulation applications."
Note that the Linux version of the Hypercosm Player does not yet support sound.


The Industry Standard looks at the round of investments in Collab.Net. "If Collab.Net succeeds, it will mark a dissonance between investors skittish about the open-source model and major software companies that don't want to be left behind by a growing movement."

Here's an Upside profile of Eazel. "Mammon has subtle ways of converting the righteous, and someone has just ponied up $11 million. 'I came out of retirement to make Linux more usable,' says Hertzfeld. 'Until now the wealth of programmers contributing to Linux has made it the most sophisticated operating system in the world. All available, all open. Now we're going to make it usable.'"

ZDNet also looks at Eazel. "Eazel also faces tension in the open source community, where there is some resentment of the mainstream press attention bestowed on the former Apple stars while far less credit is given to the longstanding and continuing volunteer efforts that have led to advancements in Linux and Gnome. Younger Linux fans may be more familiar with the accomplishments of Linus Torvalds, inventor of Linux, and Miguel de Icaza, a guiding force behind the Gnome project and chief technology officer at Helix Code. Indeed, many were toddlers when the Macintosh was unveiled."

The Los Angeles Times examines the consequences of Gateway's alliance with Transmeta. "Analysts called the announcement a breakthrough for Transmeta, a privately held Santa Clara, Calif.-based company whose chips are reasonably powerful and compatible with Intel's products, but give off less heat and require a fraction of the power--key considerations for the battery-operated hand-held devices expected to dominate the Internet appliance industry. "

LinuxDevices.com looks at a company called Adomo. "What Adomo wants, is to fill your home with a network of low-cost, easy-to-use information appliances. All over the place. And they will all have Linux inside."

Jesse Berst takes aim at Sun's stance on Java. "Promises about Java pour out of Sun CEO Scott McNealy almost as freely as his venom for Bill Gates: by the bucketful. That's because McNealy wanted Java to become the next Windows, namely, a proprietary platform that could turn into a monopoly."


Miguel de Icaza is the primary focus of this article, which, nonetheless, looks at open source software from a variety of angles. "'I wouldn't want to say that everyone is going to be using open source software in two years,' said de Icaza. 'But in five years, it's going to become obvious that using any other kind of software is like flushing your money down the toilet.'"

Internet Week takes on the operating system wars. "Enough. There are indeed very real differences among OSes in terms of price, reliability, scalability and manageability. But those differences must be discussed rationally, not religiously. The zealots forget--or never understood--that computers are a means to a business end. They're tools, not tabernacles."

PC World attended Larry Augustin's keynote at the European Linux Conference in London. "'The wrong way is to open a Linux company that acts as a wall between the developer and the user,' Augustin said. 'The right way is to help users and developers communicate, he added."

News.com reports on stocks coming out of their lockup periods. "Meanwhile, VA Linux--which posted the largest first-day gain ever for an IPO with a 697 percent jump--will have nearly 23 million shares available for sale on June 7. That represents a 5-to-1 ratio, based on the 4.4 million shares offered in the IPO." (LWN covered the lockup expiration in its May 18 issue).

ZDNet UK looks at layoffs and declining stock values. "Regardless of the rhetoric, I believe there is enough promise in the basic concept that software is best developed via a cooperative, rather than a competitive model, to continue to propel Linux and other open software forward. As one Linux enthusiast pointed out recently, as operating systems get increasingly bigger and more complex, where will companies find enough programmers to hire to develop and test them? The concept of cooperative programming would seem to be a novel way to circumvent this limitation."

This osOpinion piece calls for resistance to corporate pressure and intimidation. "...it bothers me to see so many Open Source advocates speaking bravely but then capitulating under the threat of legal action. I've read the comments of some such people (I won't mention names), and it boils down to this: they're afraid. Afraid of losing their jobs, their homes, their cars. Afraid of hardship and loss. Afraid of *pressure*. Afraid of being wrong. The corporations and individuals applying legal pressure know all this, and count on it."


Linuxcare has posted this white paper on migrating to a Linux environment. "Most IT managers already understand the 'why' of Linux and Open Source, and many are considering adopting Linux. Microsoft Windows NT network administrators are now facing a forced migration to Windows 2000. For many, however, a migration to Linux makes more sense."

LinuxPlanet looks at the GNOME office suite, as much of it as exists currently, anyway. "GNOME Office is an interesting challenge for anyone who plans on a simple stroll down a list of features and failings. Unlike just about anything else identifying itself as an office suite, GNOME Office is cheerfully formless at this point. The project Web site prefers to refer to GNOME Office as a 'meta project' oriented towards coordinating the development of the disparate elements of an office suite."

Here is the June Embedded Linux Monthly Newsletter from LinuxDevices.com. It consists of a large number of pointers to coverage of events in the embedded arena over the last month.

FirstLinux has made a number of new additions to its I've installed Linux: What Next? series of articles. New pieces cover playing MP3s, writing CDs, scientific applications, and more.

ZDNet has some helpful hints on getting the most from your Linux system. "Linux is getting easier to install, but it can be a long road from getting Linux running to making it run like deer."

Here's an introductory piece in Signal Ground which explains just what distributions are and how to choose between them. "You're probably not going to want to build your operating system from scratch. Instead, you would hope that somebody could bundle all of these things up into a neat package for you. Put another way, it'd be nice if somebody could provide Linux systems that you could drive off the lot today."


News.com chimes in on the 2.4.0-test1 kernel with what seems to be an increasingly common theme. "While the new version is a step closer to the real thing, Torvalds says the '2.4.0-test1' kernel still is a prototype. The nomenclature is reminiscent of the methods of Microsoft, famed for coming up with a variety of different definitions to describe the pre-release state of its software."

ZDNet writes about the 2.4.0-test1 kernel. "Like Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), the Linux camp claims to be aspiring toward less all-encompassing, more timely upgrades to its core operating system. But, again, as is true with Microsoft, that goal seems to be more of a dream than reality, at least at this point."


ZDNet takes a look at FreeNet. "Unlike Napster, FreeNet has no central server, but moves information around from node to node without identifying source or destination. Users request information by sending keywords to a node, which then passes them along to adjacent nodes. This carries on until one reports it has a matching file, at which point a copy of the file is passed back along the chain of nodes until it reaches the requester."

Nick Petreley takes a look in this LinuxWorld column at how using Linux has changed his computing attitude -- without him even being aware of it. "Linux (and Unix in general) has not only taught me to think modularly; it has taught me to think in terms of simplicity and efficiency. ... And if a power user like me can get off the bloatware feature wagon, perhaps most other users could benefit from a trimmed-down environment."

Here's an article on CNN about Linux certification. It looks at the two principal distribution-neutral certification options: LPI and SAIR. "Will SAIR and LPI ever merge? I don't believe it would be a bad thing if they did, but I personally don't see how it can happen. A founding principle of LPI was the separation of training and testing, and SAIR is owned by a training firm. So in certification, just like so many other aspects of Linux and the open source community, we are blessed with choice."

CNN has run this report from Linux Expo 2000 from IDG. "Although the operating system has become a real alternative for the server market, with vendors offering it on a range of higher-end machines, the consensus here on the show floor was that there are still interface and application issues that keep it off the desktop."

Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol

June 8, 2000


 Main page
 Linux in the news
 Back page

See also: last week's Announcements page.



wannabees e-mail list. There's a new email list called 'wannabees' (see wannabees.org.) Its a place for present and aspiring Free Software/Open Source Software developers to discuss related logistical and personal issues, e.g.: How do I work on Free Software and make a living doing it?

Dutch Linux & Open Source book reviews. Overzichtspagina NL Linux Recensie is a book review page provided by NL.Linux.org, the "Netherlands Linux Home Page". On it, you'll find a categorized, searchable list of over 40 Linux and Open Source book reviews in Dutch. Readers are also invited to add their own book reviews.


CINA Entrepreneur Day 2000. Open Country, Inc., publishers of Linux and other Open Source desktop software packages, has been selected as one of three Silicon Valley start-ups to speak at the annual Entrepreneur Day conference at the Santa Clara Convention Center on June 10, 2000.

LinuxFest2000 announces more participants. LinuxFest2000, June 20 through 24, 2000 in Overland Park, Kansas has announced some new participants. Red Hat, Inc., JBSi, Vovida Networks and Rational Solutions.

AUUG Annual Conference. The Australian National University, Canberra presents the AUUG annual conference - Enterprise Security, Enterprise Linux - June 28 to 30, 2000.

Real-time and Embedded Systems Forum. The Inaugural meeting of the Real-time and Embedded Systems Forum will be on June 27/28 in Austin Texas. Several Linux Real-time companies will be participating.

Embedded Systems Conference Summer. Here's a reminder about the Embedded Systems Conference Summer, running from July 10-12, 2000 in Boston.

Schedule for 2001 U.S. Embedded Systems Conferences. CMP Media's Electronics Group announced the 2001 schedule for the US Embedded Systems Conferences; San Francisco: April 9-13, 2001; Chicago: July 9-11, 2001; and Boston: September 4-7, 2001.

Businesses Embrace Linux At Industry Conference. Here's a wrapup of last week's European Linux Conference in London hosted by SuSE Linux.

Web sites

Spanish and Portuguese portal for Linux. Linux Alianza.com (LA) is a Spanish and Portuguese portal for Linux information and ecommerce in Latin America.

Real-Time Search Engine Prototype. InfraSearch.com a technology prototype search engine that lets online content providers respond to search queries in real-time and with dynamic data, was announced by key contributors of the Gnutella movement.

User Group News

AZSAGE Meeting. The topic will be IBM and Open Source & Building a Firewall with Linux 2.2.x, presented by Der Hans, at the Arizona System Administrators Users Group (AZSAGE) meeting. June 13, 2000 at 6:30 in Phoenix.

SCLUG - LUGFest III. The Simi-Conejo Linux Users Group will be holding LUGFest III on October 28th, 2000, in Simi Valley, California. If you have a special skill with Linux or a Linux application, or if you're a Linux vendor who would like to show off his products, SCLUG would love to have you participate in the October LUGFest.

June 8, 2000



Software Announcements

Package Version Description
adept 0.3 Webbased learning system
alogin 0.10 Automatic login of Linux consoles.
ALSA driver 0.5.8a An alternative implementation of Kernel sound support
analog 4.11 WWW logfile analysis program
AndyChat 3.00 Build 0602 A multi-protocol curses-based console chat program.
AniTMT 0.1.3 A flexible application to create films.
Apache 2.0a4 High performance, UNIX based HTTP server
APCComm 1.0.0 Amiga-PC file transfer program.
Arad-OneTable-Editor 0.2.1 Editor and dialog for a single-table SQL query
arianne rpg A Role Playing Game project.
audit.sh 0.6 A simple, reliable way to detect changes in your system under Linux.
authlocal 1.0.3 Automatic authentication of connections from localhost
Autofs 3.1.5 Kernel based automounter for linux
Bastille Linux 1.1.0.pre10 A comprehensive hardening program for Redhat Linux 6.0.
BatchGrab-CGI 0.6.0 A CGI-based multiuser download manager.
bayonne 0.2.1 Bayonne is the telephony server of the GNU project
beecrypt 1.0.0 A cryptography library.
BibleTime 0.24 A bible study program for KDE
biew 5.1.0 Binary/Hex/Disasm viewer/editor
Big Brother 1.4g Highly efficient network monitor
BLADE 0.23.0 Broad Language Aided Document Environment
BLINKE 0.1.0 A BLADE hash file editor.
blq 1.8 Query spam and email abuse block lists.
BlueJ 1.0.3 Java Development Environment aimed at teaching
botnet 1.4.3 Communication package for making IRC bots (or even clients)
Bubbling Load Monitor Applet 0.9.7 Displays system load as a bubbling liquid.
buffer 0.82 A large-scale command-line general-purpose data buffer.
bufplay 0.82 A command-line large-scale-buffering OSS audio player.
BUGS 3.0.0 Private key algorithm and applications
Build Your Linux Disk 1.0alpha3 Package that helps you to build a floppy Linux distribution.
BWap 1.3a A console Napster client.
C-Forge IDE 1.6-1 Multi-user C/C++ integrated development environment.
c3dse 1.0 Enables the 3D Stereo Enhancement of your SoundBlaster.
c3t 0.2 Client-server action strategy game.
calc 2.11.2t1 C-style arbitrary precision calculator
Calcium 3.0 powerful & flexible interactive web-based Calendar
Canvas 7.0b3.0 Technical Illustration, Bitmap editing, web design, and publishing app!
Castor 0.8.7 Java to XML binding, Java Data Objects (O/R) and DSML.
cd-2-mp3 0.2-PL A text-based frontend to the dagrab CD ripper and bladeenc MP3 encoder.
CDDB / CDDB_get 0.91 This module/script gets the CDDB info for an audio cd
cdrecord 1.9a02 Allows the creation of both audio and data CDs
cgiLicenseKey 1.1 Serial number-based authorization to run CGI scripts
CGIProxy 1.3.1 Anonymizing, filter-bypassing HTTP proxy in a CGI script (in Perl)
chkstat 1.0 Small process monitoring script
chkwww 0.4 Tool for checking what Web server a site is running.
ChordApp 0.9 A Java Application to match musical scales to user-defined chords.
Cilk 5.3 A multithreaded parallel programming system based on ANSI C.
CMUbikdb 0.0.2 A lightweight distributed database system.
CMVision 1.1 Real-time color classification and segmentation library.
CodeCommander 0.6.7 Multi language programming IDE.
ColdSync 1.2.0 PalmPilot synchronization tool
Cons 2.0 A Perl-based software construction tool (i.e., make replacement).
CoreLinux++ 0.4.23 A set of C++ class libraries to support common patterns in software development.
Courier-IMAP 0.33a IMAP server for maildirs
Coyote Linux 1.20RC1 A single-floppy distribution for sharing an Internet connection.
CPM Cyberlot Password Manager 3.0 Web based password management system
Crypt::RC4 1.0 A Perl implementation of the RC4 encryption algorithm.
CSS - Cameron Simpson's Scripts 1.0 large collection of scripts and perl modules
CVS Manual Translation Project 0.3.0 An effort to translate the CVS Manual into other languages.
CyberScheduler template 1.0.1 A CyberScheduler Web-based client/server groupware suite with Palm support.
cypr 1.0.1 Web-based passwordchanger (PAM).
Cyrus IMAP server 2.0.4 Full featured IMAP server
DarcNES dn9a0530 An X/SVGALib multi-system emulator.
deadlink.pl 1.0 Finds unused shared libraries
DejaSearch 1.9.0 DejaSearch is a frontend to DejaNews, the leading Usenet archive
DGS Search 0.9.1 A PHP-based search capable of filesystem and database searches.
DJ In A Box 0.6b2 Re-encoding MP3 streaming server.
DNews 5.4d4 Advanced news server software NNTP Software
doxygen 1.1.4 A documentation system for C and C++
dribble 0.1 A simplistic workflow library.
dspspy 1.1.1 A software voice activated recorder.
Dump/Restore 0.4b17 Utilities to dump and restore an ext2 partition
dvgrab 0.82 A utility to save video data from a Mini-DV Video Camcorder.
dynacc 0.5.0.PRE9 Dynamic Internet access accounting.
E-Weather 0.3 An Enlightenment weather epplet.
Easysoft JDBC-ODBC Bridge Provides JDBC Access for Java Applets/Applications to ODBC Data Sources
EasyTAG 0.6 A utility for tagging MP3 files.
ecasound 1.7.8r12 Sound processing, multitrack recording and mixing
eFire 1.0 A PHP firewall configuration tool.
EiffelFox 0.7 An Eiffel language wrapper for the FOX C++ GUI library.
EJBWizard 1.0.2 Java GUI app to generate EJBs for the JOnAS system.
Eldritch Dreams 0.5 A console framebuffer RPG.
elfvector 0.4 transfer vector for app<->.so linkage on Linux/x86
EnergyMech Bot for irc with eggdrop like features to manage a channel
EPIwm 0.5-5 window manager
Epona 1.1.1 Nick, chan, memo, and bot IRC services.
eSS 0.86 0.86 A remote security scanner.
Ethereal Realms 1.1.1 A Web-based chat server.
Ethernet Firewall 0.2 An Ethernet Firewall for FreeBSD.
eTktab 1.1 beta Guitar tablature editor for X11.
expiredir 1.10 A Perl script to expire and remove files in a directory structure.
Exult 0.30 Ultima 7 world viewer.
FastHuitre 0.3.0 Fast file sharing system.
fdutils 5.4 Floppy disk utilities. Put 1992 KB on a simple high density disk
FEddy 1.4.03 Fidonet editor.
fetchmail 5.4.0 A free, full-featured, robust, well-documented remote-mail retrieval utility.
flog by Jerrad Pierce 0.02 A real time log splitter and viewer.
FOX 0.99.123 C++-Based Library for Graphical User Interface Development
FreD 0.0.4B Address book software.
FreeBIOS 20000602 Open source firmware (BIOS)
Freecell Solver 0.4 Program to solve Freecell games
ftpgrab 0.1.2 FTP mirror utility
fwlogsum 0.2 A FW-1 log summarizer.
g3data 1.00 A program for extracting data from graphs.
gAgenda 0.21 A diary editor and HTML exporter.
gaim 0.9.18 GTK based AOL Instant Messenger
gdpc 1.24 Visualisation tools for molecular dynamic simulations.
genext2fs 1.0 An ext2fs generator without the need for root privileges.
gfurby 1.0 A GNOME furby control program.
gHW 0.1.1 A GTK+ app for browsing the installed hardware via /proc.
GIMP Imagemap plug-in 1.3.2 GIMP plug-in for creation of clickable imagemaps.
GKrellm SNMP Monitor 0.7 A GKrellM plugin that lets you monitor SNMP vars.
Glade 0.5.9 GTK+ interface builder
glade-- 0.5.7c An extension to glade to create C++ sources
global premises control 6.0.4 package for DIY home automation
GnewsAlert 0.7 Semi-Real-Time news alert for the GNOME
gnome-find 0.4 An easy-to-use GUI of find.
gnomerar 0.4.0 A GUI frontend to rar.
gnotepad+ 1.3.1 An easy-to-use and feature-rich text editor.
GNU Parted 1.0.17 A partition editor, for creating, destroying, resizing and copying partitions.
GNU Scientific Library 0.6 A collection of routines for numerical computing.
GNU V.E.R.A. 1.6 Virtual Entity of Relevant Acronyms.
GnuCash 1.3.99 A program to keep track of your finances
gnutrition 0.1 Nutritional analysis software for GNOME.
gpg4pine by Marcin Marszalek 4.1 Bash script that allows using PGP under PINE
gps3d 1.11 A GPS 3D visualization utility.
GQL 0.0.6 Generic C++ SQL interface library.
gRio500 0.4 A program for transferring MP3s to the Rio 500 (USB).
Griostat 0.1 Diamond Rio 500 utility
Grok 0.4.1 A library of Java components for natural language processing.
gsmlib 1.3 GSM mobile phone control library using AT command set
GSwitchIt 0.5 Xkb state indicator for the GNOME panel
GTK Bookmark Editor 0.08 A Netscape bookmark organizer written in GTK.
GTK+XFce 3.4.0 Easy-to-use and easy-to-configure environment for X11
GtkEditor 0.1.8 Source code editor widget for GTK.
GtkHx 0.4.2 A GTK+ Hotline client.
GTKstereograph 0.13.1a A GTK user interface for stereograph 0.19 and above.
gtv 0.09 A program for looking up German television shows.
GuardDog 0.9 User friendly firewall generation/management utility for KDE.
Guile-gtk 0.18 guile bindings for GTK.
gView 0.1.15 A GTK/ImLib image viewer.
hagelslag 0.7 A Gnutella clone.
Harvey 0.55 Publishing groupware for schools (discussions, webpages, photos).
Heroes 0.2 Nibbles-like game, just better.
HtmlHeadLine.sh 5.0 Script that automatically fetches news headlines.
HTMLjar 0.1.0 Java HTML construction Package
httpMonitor 0.1 An HTTP monitor.
i4lctrl 0.6.6 An isdn4linux monitor and config tool for Webmin.
IceMe 1.0.0 A graphical menu editor for IceWM written in Python and GTK+.
Ide.php 1.1 A web-based editor for PHP.
IglooFTP-PRO 1.0.0 Powerfull and User Friendly FTP client
ImageMagick 5.2 Package for display and interactivemanipulation of images for X11
IMHO 0.98 IMAP webmail module for Roxen
IMHO-DE 1.3 Module for activating the German language for IMHO v.0.97+.
ipac 1.09 Linux IP accounting package
ircd 2.10.3p1 The original IRC daemon, mainly used by IRCnet.
IRIS Performer for Linux 2.3.1 A high-performance 3D scene graph-rendering toolkit.
irssi 0.7.90 GTK+ based IRC client with GNOME panel support
Ishmail 1.9.12 Very powerful GUI e-mail tool
J.O.O.D.A. 0.3.20 Java-IDE with nice features
J2EE for Linux 1.2.1 Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition
JADE Framework 1.4 A software framework for the implementation of multi-agent systems.
jake 0.5.2 Facilitates management of and linking between eresources for librarians.
Java HTML Generator 0.9 Small flexible HTML generator package
Java Napster 0.7 Java GUI clone of the Napster client for downloading MP3s.
jEdit 2.5pre5 Powerful text editor
jnerve 0.32 Alpha A Java implementation of a Napster server.
juice 0.03e User friendly dialog-based frontend for mpg123 and other players.
ka.pl 0.0.3 Perl based script to kill processes based on a search string
Kalamaris 0.6.0 Advanced mathematics research framework.
kcd 4.17.3 Directory change utility.
KCounter 0.93 Traffic monitoring program for Linux/KDE
KDEStudio 2.0pre IDE for Linux
KHangMan 0.1 The Hangman game.
Kit Client 1.0b9 KDE-based client for the AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) service.
KLines 0.5 A simple logical game.
klm 0.6.0 KDE frontend for the LM SENSORS linux kernel
Kobaz Eggdrop Scripts 1.9.0 A collection of Eggdrop TCL scripts.
Komba 0.2.8 Samba share browser
Korseby Icons 1.8 A rich set of icons.
kPersianCalendar 0.8.8 A Persian (jalali) and Gregorian calendar for KDE.
KUnit 0.2 Unit converter
KWav2CD 0.7 A CDRDao frontend to create audio CDs from .wav files.
Larbin 1.1.0 A fast Web-crawler.
LaS 0.03 A document describing how to setup Linux as a server.
latd 0.7 A LAT terminal server daemon.
lavacgi.lib 0.3.4 A Perl library with many functions/subroutines for CGI-related programming.
lavaps 1.13 A lava lamp of currently running processes
ldap-abook 0.2.0 An LDAP-based addressbook application.
Ledcontrol 0.4.0 Shows info on your keyboard's LEDs.
leechmp3 0.5 Grabs all mp3s from an mp3.com page and renames them sanely.
LEKSBOT 1.1 An explanatory dictionary of botanic and biological terms.
LFP Fixed Width X Fonts 0.80 Fixed-width fonts for X.
LFP Variable Width X Fonts 0.80 Variable-width fonts for X.
libdockapp 0.4 A dockapp-making library.
libmdate 0.0.4 Mayan date library
libunicode 0.7 A library of unicode string functions and charset converters.
Licq 0.84a Advanced graphical ICQ clone and more for Unix
LightningFax 6.5 SP1 Communication Fax Server
LiMez 0.6rel A C++ listserver with built-in SMTP.
LinCVS 0.3alpha2 A graphical frontend for the CVS-client.
Liner 1.07 Simple strategy game, as a java applet
Linux-Mandrake 7.1 A Linux distribution based on RedHat but with many added features.
Linuxconf 1.18r6 Sophisticated administrative tool
LinuxTaRT 3.02 Feature-rich email signature generator
LoserJabber 1.6.0 livejournal.com online journal client.
LuteLinux 1.0.2 Linux distribution with an easy-to-use installer.
LXPoint 1.4.03 Point setup for fidonet.
LyX 1.1.5 Advanced LaTeX-based typesetting and text-editing program for X11
M3X 0.1.8 An all purpose music-media catalogizer.
MAD 0.11.0b A fixed-point MPEG audio decoder.
Mailink 1.0 A POP mail checking program.
md5mon 1.1 File checksum monitor with md5sum/shasum.
mdate 1.2.2 A freely-available mayan date program
MeBay 0.2 A client for eBay.
MemoPanel 5.6 A tiny memo applet on the GNOME panel.
MH checksums.pl 0.4 Validate MD5 or SHA1 sums against a text file.
micq2html.pl 0.5 A mICQ log HTML formatter.
Midnight Commander 4.5.50 Unix file manager and shell
Mister Proper 0.2 GNOME time scheduler for cyclic tasks
MixMagic 0.1.4 A hard drive sound mixer for GNOME.
MM.MySQL 2.0.1 JDBC Drivers for MySQL
mode-Db 0.9b2 A PHP/MySQL database object abstraction class.
mode-Tracker 0.9 User Tracking System with graphs.
ModLogAn 0.2.0 A modular logfile analyzer.
mod_extract_forwarded 1.1 Extract and process the X-Forwarded-For header.
mod_layout 1.8 Layout module for Apache.
moodss 8.19 Modular Object Oriented Dynamic SpreadSheet
Mork 0.2.4 A stream processing tool.
MOSIX 0.97.5 Single-system-image clustering software for Linux.
Motif Launcher v0.1.4 Application Launcher for Motif-MWM or Lesstif-MWM.
motion 0.99 A motion detector for video4linux devices.
Mount Linux Olympus 0.3.5 An advanced graphical administration system.
mp3munch 0.01 A mp3 to cd audio tool.
mp3recode 0.02 one step mp3 re-encoder
mp3_check 1.9 A utility which analyzes MP3 files for errors and standards conformance.
mpatrol 1.2.1 A library for controlling and tracing dynamic memory allocations.
mtools 3.9.7
Muddleftpd 1.3.3 A small, fast configurable ftp server that can run without root.
MusicScript 0.1 Music scripting language.
Naken Chat 1.22 Chat Server ported from Javachat
NAMG 0.2.4 Downloads mail from a NetAddress account and forwards it locally
nano 0.9.10 Pico editor clone with enhancements.
NeatSeeker 0.14 Simple collection of Java classes for constructing search engines.
NeoMail 1.0pre1 A Web-based interface to user mail spools on a system.
NetPBM 9.3 The classic image manipulation/conversion utils
netToe 1.0.5 A Tic Tac Toe game for the Linux console.
new_script 1.0.1 A shell script template generator.
Nokia Logo Editor 0.0.0 Nokia operator logo editor.
NTP 4.0.99j A time synchronization daemon which keeps your system time accurate.
OpaL Repository Maintainer 0.0.8 A repository maintainence tool.
OpaL RPM Automation Toolkit 0.1.3 Automates the process of upgrading and installing rpm-packages.
OpenGUI 2.32 A very wonderfull C/C++ graphics library
OpenH323 gatekeeper 0.12 An H.323 gatekeeper.
OpenMap 3.5 JavaBeans tool kit for building applications/applets with maps
opennap 0.30 An open source Napster server.
Oregano 0.17 Schematic capture and circuit simulation application
Orion Application Server 1.0 Java application server.
OSSIM 0.1.0a Remote Sensing/Image Processing/GIS Open Source Software
otarie 2.2.3 An IRC bot with C plugin capabilities.
pat2pdf 0.95 Fetch patents from the USPTO in PDF format.
penemo 0.6 Network Monitoring, using SNMP, HTTP, and ping checks and notification.
Perl-RPM 0.25 Perl bindings for the rpm 3.0.X API.
PerlBeans An implementation of the Java Beans framework in Perl.
PHP-MySQL Counter 1.01 A PHP-MySQL driven page hit counter.
php3guest 1.6.0 A Web guestbook written in PHP3 with a MySQL backend.
phpDoc 0.2.1 A multilingual system for PHP class documentation.
PHPNoLeech 0.1 A registered download application.
phpPhotoAlbum 0.9.5 Dynamic PHP photo album.
phpShop 0.4 E-Commerce System based on PHP and PHPLIB.
PHPTimeSheet 1.1.0 A Web-based timsheet with an SQL backend.
PIDPort 0.91 Shows which PIDs are binding to which ports. Can run as CGI.
PIKT 1.10.0pre11 An innovative new systems administration paradigm
plfingerd 0.1 Finger daemon that replies bogus data and logs every finger request
Pliant 39 Efficient and extendable programming language
PM3 1.1.14 Modula-3 compiler, debugger, libraries, and applications
pmc 0.8-d.3 A Perl/GTK mail client.
pmudmon 0.5 A battery monitor for the iBook.
Polarbar Mailer 1.16c A POP3/IMAP4 GUI Java email client.
PoPy 1.1 A Postgresql driver for Python.
Port Spy 3.5 A port scanner.
Post Office 0.7.3 X11 Emailer/Newsreader
Powertweak-Linux 0.1.16 System performance enhancer.
PPresenter 1.10 Program presentations in Perl/Tk.
PRepS 1.4.2 The Problem Reporting and Tracking System.
proconfig 0.9.5 A Linux kernel patch to produce compile info in /proc/config.
Project Clock 0.5 A point-and-click task and project time recorder.
Pronto! 1.0.0 A full-featured Perl/GTK+ mail client.
ptkdb 1.107 A Perl debugger with a Tk GUI.
PTkPPP 1.0 Perl::Tk frontend for modem dialers
PTlink ircd 5.2.1 New featured ircd with a great services integration
PTlink Services 2.7.1 IRC Registration Services
PyBiff 0.2.0 Extensible email monitor.
PyGantt 0.3.0 PyGantt reads a xml project description and outputs a html Gantt diagram
QHacc 0.5.1 A personal finance application.
qmail-ldap 20000601 A patch to add LDAP user database and server clustering to qmail.
QUB 0.3.3 A front-end for playing any boardgame on your computer.
Quesa 1.6d12 An Open Source implementation of QuickDraw 3D.
Quotes 1.6-2 Financial Quotations and Linux headlines
QVocab 0.22.2 A program to learn the vocabulary of a foreign language.
rawPlay 0.02 Interrupt driven sound player with nifty features.
RealityX IRC 1.0.0 Huge script for KVIrc 2.0.0.
RealPlayer 7.0 beta2 Plays streaming audio and video over the Internet
RearSite 1.7b Tool for updating personal www pages
Referendum 0.9.1 Tools for Group Understanding and Empowerment.
reiserfs 3.6.8 A filesystem which stores the files themselves in a B*-tree, gaining speed.
Relay-JFC Snapshot-000601 Open Source IRC chat program with a graphical user interface similar to mIRC
Request Tracker 1.0.3 Web, command-line and email based trouble ticketing and bugtracking package
retepPDF 1.1.1 A PDF generator library for Java
Rhyming Dictionary 0.4 A rhyming dictionary.
RMC 0.67 A MUD client for X.
RotNN.py 1.1 Python library to do rotational encryption (rot13, for instance)
RPM Explorer 0.0.5fix Explore your computer through the RPM database.
Rudiments 0.6 C++ foundation classes.
RunQ 1.4 A performance management utility.
ScanErrLog 1.2 Apache Error_Log parser and presenter.
SCREEM 0.2.5 Site CReating & Editing EnvironMent
SDL 1.1.3 SDL is a library that allows you portable low level access for graphics/sound
seafelt 1.0.20000602 A network traffic monitoring package.
searchbox 0.6 A Perl script to add a search box to a Web page.
Seawall 3.1 An easy-to-configure, ipchains-based firewall/gateway.
sendmail-tls 0.24 SSL/TLS Wrapper for sendmail (and other MTAs)
SkinLF 0.2.3RC2 A skin "Look And Feel" for Java Swing
SmallEiffel -0.76Beta#3 The GNU Eiffel Compiler
Smart BootManager 3.2-1 A OS Independant boot manager.
SMS-Tools 1.0 SMS send and receive tools for GSM modems.
sortmp3 0.2 MP3 uncompressing and sorting script
Spazz test1 An image viewer for X.
Speed Dragon Tools 1.1 Tools and C++ class library for Hagenuk Speed Dragon
Spindle 0.1 A graphical Napster client implemented in Java 2.
SPLASH 1.0 xmessage on steroids
SplitFire 1.35 Complete IRC script for IRCII-EPIC.
splitvt 1.6.4 A program to provide split terminals.
SQL Relay 0.10 A persistant database connection daemon with C, C++, and Perl APIs.
SQLite 2000-06-02 An SQL frontend to GDBM
star trek ency reader 0.7.8 Reads the star trek encyclopedia under linux
Stereograph 0.25.1 A powerful truecolor stereogram generator.
Sun JDK 1.3 Java Development Kit
tcpdump2ascii 2.10 Perl program which decodes tcpdump hex output to ASCII
TEG 0.2.3 Yet another RISK clone.
Terraform 0.6.9 Interactive digital terrain (height field) editor/viewer
Test::Cmd 1.00 Perl module for portable testing of commands and scripts
Tetradraw 1.93 Full featured linux ansi editor
TeXmacs 0.2.5-1 W.Y.S.I.W.Y.G. technical text editor
tgw 2.9 A tcp gateway.
ThatPHPware A PHP/MySQL news backend.
The Harbour Project Alpha Release 34 An open source, cross platform xbase compiler
The Quipu Maximum Entropy Package 0.2.0 Java package for maximum entropy statistical modeling
The Quipu OpenNLP API 0.4.0 A Java API for natural language processing components.
The Rich Men's Document Management System (rmdms) 0.3.1 A free, document-oriented, 99% pure XSLT application server.
tinc 1.0pre2 Virtual private network daemon
tipxd 1.1.0 IPX tunneling daemon
tkgate 1.4 A hierarchical digital circuit editor and simulator.
trio 0.20 very portable *printf() clones and generic string functions
TWIG 2.3.0 A web-based IMAP client written with PHP3
uCON64 1.9.1 The (ultimate) handheld/console/emulation tool with 70+ options.
UdmSearch 3.1.0-pre1 Fast WWW search engine for your site
UltimateIRCd 2.8.1-a1 Advanced IRC daemon based off the DAL DreamForge daemon with many new features.
unADF 1.0 Extract files from an Amiga Disk File dump (from UAE). Same syntax as unzip.
unmaintained 0.2 The software that drives unmaintained.sourceforge.net.
unp 1.0.0 A command-line frontend for un-archiver programs.
usbmgr 0.3.1 Load Linux USB kernel modules automatically.
uspoof 0.9 public beta Fool any script or program by setting output of any other script or program
Utopia Windowing System 0.0.1 Simple windowing system for the Linux framebuffer
VDK 1.2.1 Easy to use C++ wrapper for Gtk++
VDKBuilder 1.2.1 A RAD tool based on the VDK Library (a C++ wrapper of GTK+).
VeteScan 06-06-2000 Bulk Vulnerability Scanner
VFS 0.1.1 Virtual File System in PHP.
VFU File Manager 3.01 Extensivelyl featured console (text-mode) file manager.
VINTKIT 0.2 Intranet suite written in PHP
Virtual X68000 X68000 emulator
vrrpd 0.2 A userspace vrrp implementation
VTun 2.3 Virtual Tunnels over TCP/IP networks.
W3Mail 1.0.0pre2 A Web gateway to POP3 eMail.
W3Perl 2.68 WWW logfile analysis program
w3reg 0.23 Automatic Web page registrar.
WaveForge 0.1.0 A Sound Forge Wave Editor Clone for Linux.
wbmptopng 0.1 A WBMP to PNG image converter.
Web Secretary 1.3.4 Web page monitoring software
Web-FTP 0.9alpha A lightweight Perl/CGI FTP client
WebCalendar 0.9.13 A multi-user PHP/MySQL-based calendar.
Webdistro 06062000 A Web-based software suite.
webfeed 1.4 Simple Perl CGI program to send formatted form-based messages.
WeirdX 1.0.12 A pure Java X Window System server
WIMS 2.32 Interactive Mathematics Web Application Server.
WinLux Dialer 0.3 A PPP-dialup server/client package.
WMixer 2.0 Neat ALSA Mixer for Window Maker with a digital on-screen display
wmlog 0.1 A system log dock app
WMpop 0.45 WidowMaker DockApp for monitoring a POP3 mailbox
WorldOS 0.1 Application server for Gnutella or Freenet style apps
wxWindows/GTK pre-2.2 GTK port of the cross-platform wxWindows C++application framework class library
X-Chat 1.5.3 GTK+ based IRC client, similar to AmIRC (Amiga).
Xalf 0.3 A utility to provide feedback when starting X11 applications.
XawTV 3.15 A TV viewing application and a few TV utilities.
xdb 1.2.0 An xBase-compatible C++ class library.
XDBM 1.1.11 Database Manager designed specifically to hold XML data
XEmacs/GTK 21.1.10 beta 3 A version of XEmacs that uses the GTK widget set
xinetd Powerful inetd replacement
XMail 0.48 An SMTP/POP3/popsync/finger server.
XML::Twig 2.00 A Perl module used to tree-process XML documents of all sizes.
xmlBlaster 0.77 An Open Source project for MOM (message oriented middleware).
xpat2pdf 1.0 A GUI frontend for pat2pdf.
XSane 0.59 A GTK-based X11 frontend for SANE, also a GIMP plugin
XSet 2.0.0 Fast in memory XML search engine in Java
Xskat 3.3 Skatordnung card game, playable against humans or the computer
xtail 2.1 Watch the growth of multiple files.
Yacas 1.0.36 Yet Another Computer Algebra System
Yet Another News Fetcher 0.3a News fetcher.
YumfK 0.5.2 A libmikmod/mpg123/MySQL frontend.
Zapping 0.5.0 A TV viewer program for GNOME.
ZenToe.cgi 0.-1.20000602D A Slashdot-like WebChat using only Perl.
zgv 5.1 graphic file viewer for VGA and SVGA displays
zimg 3.0.0 zimg - Display 2-D data of arbitrary format
ZPoPyDA 0.3 Postgresql database adapter for Zope
Zsh 3.1.9 Powerful UNIX shell
ZZIPlib 0.10.6 Read zip-archives in place of a normal subdirectory.

Our software announcements are provided courtesy of FreshMeat


 Main page
 Linux in the news
 Back page

See also: last week's Back page page.

Linux links of the week

Those of you who are interested in software licensing may want to have a look at The Software Market, by Jordan Pollack. This lengthy proposal calls for a new form of licensing, called "Permanent Use and Resell Licenses", or PURLs. They would be issued on a limited basis, and traded on the markets like securities.
Finally, this proposal works for the Open Source movement as well, which suffers from the fact that commercial software pays much better. Some see the OSS as a communist movement to deny creative people of the value of their labor and destroy the market for software. PURLS can be used as a solution to the joint tenancy problem for software. Imagine the next project after Linux, in which talented and hardworking volunteers receive (initially worthless) securities for their efforts...
The author can not be accused of having too deep an understanding of how free software is developed, but the idea is an interesting thought exercise anyway.

Section Editor: Jon Corbet

June 8, 2000



This week in history

Two years ago this week, the Open Group held out the possibility that Linux might be awarded "Unix98" certification. It seems that Linux was starting to look competitive in the low-end server market, which the proprietary Unix vendors had already written off to NT. Very little has been heard about Unix98 certification since, however - now the Unix vendors are working on Linux compatibility.

Stable kernel 2.0.34 was released, as was development kernel 2.1.101. Cobalt Microserver (now Cobalt Networks) announced that it supports the open source development model. Ralph Nader sent Dell a note suggesting that some people want to buy computers without Windows installed. Gimp 1.0 was released - finally, as was GNOME 0.20.

ZDNet sounded off this week with this column by an author who admits at the beginning that he has never tried Linux:

Yes, the Linux camp, like a fat, speedy penguin, is making noise. However, some of the 25 letters I've gotten on Linux simply refer to it as a Windows alternative, not something they worship or even use. Still, it's easy to like the idea of it.... Linux has a snowball's chance in hell of making perceptible inroads against Windows.

One year ago this week saw the return of an old nasty proposed law called UCC2b under the new name "UCITA." UCITA continues to make the rounds at present, and it still threatens the rights of software users throughout the U.S.

The development kernel was 2.3.4; the stable kernel release remained at 2.2.9. Conectiva Linux announced its Spanish-language version. Linux-Mandrake 6.0 was released. Rasterman resigned from Red Hat after disagreements with his supervisor. ActiveState contracts with Microsoft to port Perl.

And News.com worried about the Linux IPOs which were just rumors at that point:

If a company such as VA or Red Hat went public and made a lot of money off Linux, "What does that mean for all those people who've done a lot of work and don't necessarily" make money out of it? Will they still want to contribute to Linux? "That's one of the issues we're struggling with," [VA Linux CEO Larry] Augustin said.


Letters to the editor

Letters to the editor should be sent to letters@lwn.net. Preference will be given to letters which are short, to the point, and well written. If you want your email address "anti-spammed" in some way please be sure to let us know. We do not have a policy against anonymous letters, but we will be reluctant to include them.
Date: Thu, 1 Jun 2000 18:12:37 -0400
From: "Bill Rugolsky Jr." <rugolsky@ead.dsa.com>
To: letters@lwn.net
Subject: Free Software and Embedded Systems

I strongly agree that freedom is an issue with embedded systems,
particularly as those systems become "ubiquitous," and we have
little choice but to use them.  There are hazards ahead, though.

Certification requirements present a potential roadblock to the
distribution of free software with embedded systems.  This has
already become an issue for the ISDN drivers for Linux -- many
countries place restrictions on what can be connected to the public
telephone system.

In the past, when most device functionality was implemented in
hardware, it was simpler for implementations to be certified as legal,
safe, and interoperable.  Today we have software modems; soon we will
have software-controlled radio (see http://www.sdrforum.org/mmits.html).

How should the FCC classify a handheld communications device
that is capable of morphing into a transmitter or receiver across
a significant portion of the spectrum, or switching between various
signalling standards?  How will it enforce restrictions, such as the
the frequency range restrictions that were implemented in consumer-grade
frequency scanners to prevent eavesdropping on (analog) phone calls?

The issues of security, privacy, and reliability that the digital
revolution has forced us to address will soon touch the remote corners
of engineering.  Ironically, the adoption of software monocultures built
on standards (whether it is TCP/IP, Java, etc.) may increase
systemic risks in the short-run.  With freedom must come a heightened
sense of individual responsibility, as the digital world offers an
individual unprecedented leverage for achieving good or ill.

If we, the engineers and the coders, do not address these issues
adequately, the time will quickly arrive when the politicians,
lawyers, and bureaucrats address it for us.  I doubt we will be
happy with the outcome.


   Bill Rugolsky
Date: Thu, 01 Jun 2000 17:39:23 -0500
From: Bret Indrelee <breti@ancor.com>
To: lwn@lwn.net
Subject: Embedded source code

In your editorial about access to the source code for embedded systems,
you failed to mention some of the problems with providing open access to
the code.

Some devices have design requirements and operating ranges that they
depend on software to enforce. If it is open source, what are the legal
issues? If someone changes the embedded code in a device and it causes a
fault, whom is at fault?

Do you really want someone hacking their car's engine control or ABS
system? These are embedded systems.

An embedded system isn't supposed to be a computer. It is supposed to be
a widget that performs a specialized task. The manufacturer of a DVD
player doesn't provide a complete schematic to the buyer, why should
they be expected to provide source code?


Bret Indrelee        Ancor Communications, Inc.
breti@ancor.com      6321 Bury Driver, St 13, Eden Prairie, MN 55346

Date: Mon, 05 Jun 2000 02:45:32 +0000
From: Oliver White <ojw@iinet.net.au>
To: lwn@lwn.net
Subject: Possibilities for free CASE tools

Whilst the likes of Linus and other veterans of the linux coding camp
have done an impressive job with the tools at hand - gcc, gdb, vi, emacs
and so forth, I really do enjoy using CASE tools to develop software.
That is not to say that I don't enjoy sitting down with vi and hacking
up some raw code, but tools like UML (the object oriented modeling tool)
are very useful in visualising code in early stages. Some people are
fond of other tools, but UML is first on my wishlist.

The most popular UML modeling tool around is Rational's Rose. Whilst
certainly full of useful features, it is far from easily customisable,
and with a price tag of around $2500 it's not something a team of
hackers can use to share and distribute easily modifiable models.

There are a couple of Free alternatives for developing UML models. The
most popular would be the gtk based 'Dia'. Whilst great at diagrams, it
is lacking in a number of ways. The first and foremost is that it is a
diagramming tool, not an object modeling tool. The development team
don't seem focused on pushing development this way. Perhaps they
shouldn't, and continue making it a great diagramming program. This is
all well and good.

The only other product I've seen is ArgoUML. This Java based product is
actually quite good, being able to produce code from diagrams and vice
versa. However, as a Java tool it has many disadvantages. Rather than
list flaws in the platform itself, I'll simply make the point that one
has to install non-free software on one's computer in order to use the
program. This defies the point of having a free product in the first
place, in my opinion.

More to the point, linux developers are far more interested in making
their software interoperable with systems written in C++ than in Java.
Interoperability is one of the main requirements for any UML tool I'm
willing to use. This is the principle of linux development that really
appeals to me - I can tie in any number of components to make my life
easier as a programmer. Indeed, should the dia team create a module
simply for rendering UML diagrams to the screen, this would be quite a
reasonable component for any modeling tool, perhaps using components
from my tool, perhaps not.

What I'm saying here is that as we mature into a massive, distributed
development team, tools like UML and other CASE products we can conceive
of will be necessary for some kinds of systems development. No one would
argue against the usefulness of combining various tools to develop
software, and with free software interoperability is a cherished goal,
rather than something an industry has to have forced upon it by
customers unwilling to standardise on one vendor.

Big companies must spend millions of dollars on CASE tools. If they
would pool their resources they could begin development of free software
CASE tools for a fraction of that cost. It seems like a good investment
to me, anyway. I'd like to hear from companies and distributed internet
development teams on how we could get the ball rolling. Once it starts
it will beget it's own future.

Yours truely,

Oliver White

Date: Thu, 08 Jun 2000 05:33:26 +0530
From: Anand Srivastava <anand@aplion.stpn.soft.net>
To: evan@starnix.com, letters@lwn.net
Subject: RE: Fatal Flaw in BSD


BSD License has a big loophole and we have witnessed the consequences for
as long as we can see. If BSD Unix was licensed under something like GPL,
it would have developed like it has always developed, even more so, because
the major modifications would not have gone proprietory. Sun would be a
hardware company. IBM would still be a service company. HP wouldn't have to
go into Software at all. The academic community would have had a voice when
we had those horrible GUI wars.  Linux would not have been required.  Of
course companies may not have used BSD at all instead they may have
preffered SVR4. But some companies (IBM ??) would have discovered the
benefits of software that is developed in an open environment. And the
conditions that we have today would have been then. Maybe Microsoft
wouldn't have developed Windows at all, and would have just done what it
does best ie making Software to run on whatever GUI unix had.

OK this is all surmises, but I expect the software world to have been a
much better place if only BSD was released under GPL. Just imagine that you
had a unix just when those microprocessor kits where coming out.


Eklektix, Inc. Linux powered! Copyright © 2000 Eklektix, Inc., all rights reserved
Linux ® is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds