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Leading items and editorials


IBM's Linux-powered wristwatch drew a great deal of attention this week after being announced on August 7. [The Linux watch] The world loves a cool gadget, and this one certainly qualifies. Click on the image to the right for a picture.

The device itself has an ARM processor, 8MB of memory and another 8MB of flash. IBM has not only crammed the Linux kernel into that space, but they claim to have the X window system working as well. It can talk to other devices via either infrared or RF; the user talks to it with a "roller wheel" interface and a touch screen. As a wrist watch it's a little awkward, however: it measures 56x48x12mm (2.2x1.9x.5 inches), and the battery only lasts for a couple days or so.

Of course, nobody is in danger of having to wear this watch around for a while anyway - it has been built as a research prototype, not as an actual product. It is interesting because it shows just how small a Linux system can be made to be. The embedded Linux folks are onto something - before long we may find ourselves surrounded by Linux systems, perhaps without even being aware of it.

Another interesting role for Linux is highlighted by this device. People who are working on research projects of this nature are going to gravitate to a system like Linux. The freedom of the Linux system not only allows researchers to dig into the code as needed; it also, crucially, lets them distribute the results of their work. Expect to see Linux running in more prototype devices in the near future - and in the commercial products that eventually are derived from those prototypes.

(See also: this News.com article which talks about IBM also putting Linux on its new "Blue Gene" supercomputer, and this LinuxDevices.com interview with Alex Morrow, the leader of the Linux watch project).

Miguel de Icaza: Let's Make Unix Not Suck. Miguel de Icaza has put together a document entitled Let's Make Unix Not Suck, which clarifies and expands upon his Unix Sucks! talk at the Ottawa Linux Symposium. It tries to bring out the points that Miguel thinks were skipped over in the coverage of his talk, and it nicely lays out his vision for making Unix-like systems better for their users. Recommended reading.

The LinuxWorld Conference and Expo is being held next week in San Jose, California. Expect lots of hype, press releases, loud music, and all the usual trappings of this event, which has apparently outgrown the San Jose convention center. The next west coast LinuxWorld will apparently be held in San Francisco, where more room is available.

LinuxWorld is certainly the premier U.S. event for those involved in the business of Linux. All of those journalists who have written off Linux as last year's stock craze should wander by the show floor to see how much activity there really is here. The Linux stock craze has gone away since the last LinuxWorld conference, but Linux business is stronger than ever.

LWN will have two people present at the conference. Editor Liz Coolbaugh will be giving her "Tour of Linux Distributions" talk on Tuesday at 4:00, and Dennis Tenney will (along with Michael Turner of VA Linux Systems) be teaching a full-day tutorial on Linux system administration in a large network environment. They will also be reporting from the conference, for all of us who are not able to be there.

For those wanting to participate in the next LinuxWorld conference (New York, January 30 to February 2, 2001) should note that the deadline for the call for papers is August 25.

Last week's editorial countering Steve Ballmer's claims that Linux is a communist phenomenon drew rather more than the usual amount of responses. In retrospect, we perhaps should have known better than to wander into that sort of territory... A subset of the responses can be found on this week's back page, though we have been fairly heavy-handed in trimming them down to a small number.

A reminder: letters intended for publication should be sent to letters@lwn.net.

Inside this week's Linux Weekly News:

  • Security: Reports from DefCon; Brown Orifice
  • Kernel: Crypto code in the kernel; the Linux Test Project; how did JFFS get in?
  • Distributions: Another look at Red Escolar; Debian wins a prize.
  • Development:KDE 2.0 & Nautilus screenshots, real-time networking
  • Commerce: MaxSQL launches; Oracle's application server for Linux
  • 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:


August 10, 2000

   

Sections:
 Main page
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 Kernel
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 Development
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See also: last week's Security page.


News and Editorials

Reports from DefCon. At this point, those of you following security-related media news have been inundated with reports from this year's DefCon conference in Las Vegas. Given an attendance of over 5000 people, the event is large enough and controversial enough to attract more main stream media attention, for better or for worse. We were unable to attend, so, instead, we've picked out some amusing highlights for your enjoyment.

Forbes noted the heightened presence of members of the CIA, Department of Defense and the NSA. Their mission ... to hire hackers.

Such recruitment did not go unnoticed and sparked articles with warnings from professional security firms against hiring "Grey Hats" or "DefCon hackers". Check this Fairfax IT or this GlobalTechnology.com article for examples.

Our choice for an interesting report from DefCon, though, was this technically detailed report on Palante's server entry into the Capture the Flag contest. It used a modified Linux kernel with Domain and Type Enforcement added in.

Access to a root shell was made fairly easy and straightforward (for a "DefCon hacker" :-). After that, though, the hackers soon found that a root shell did not equate to a flag capture. From the description of Domain and Type Enforcement: "Imagine someone "popping a root shell" on your box and not being able to do anything with it, and you not having to panic and reinstall. This is one of the many advantages of Domain and Type Enforcement, which groups similar (with respect to security) subjects and objects (e.g. processes and files) into clumps whose interactions are strictly and incessantly controlled."

Netscape/Java "Brown Orifice" vulnerability. Dan Brumleve reported security holes in Java and Netscape that could be used to "allow arbitrary network access and read-access for local files and directories." He put up a website, entitled "Brown Orifice", under which he ran a webserver to demonstrate the problem. Elias Levy provided a clear description of the two vulnerabilities demonstrated.

Amusingly, Hiromitsu Takagi, in turn, found and reported a vulnerability in Dan's demonstration server.

So far, it appears that Mozilla is not vulnerable (but if you've hacked your version of Mozilla to use Java support, you may be) and that the Netscape 6 PRE 1 and PRE2 version are not, either. Netscape 4.74 definitely is and no update to Netscape has been released as of yet. Until one is released, disabling Java support in Netscape is strongly recommended.

So far, so good. However, give an exploit a "cool name" and you'll immediately garner more media attention. The "Brown Orifice" label on this vulnerability was apparently irresistible. As a result, you can check out media coverage in a variety of different articles:

The worst of the coverage culminated with this SiliconValley.com article, riddled with so many errors that it provoked a response from SecurityFocus' Elias Levy. "Please fact check your stories. Double check any statements made by people in the computer security industry. Including those from us, SecurityFocus.com. This industry likes to exaggerate the danger of vulnerabilities. Nothing sells products like fear."

The introduction of media antics like the above always seem like a rude interruption in the arena of security reporting. Usually, we get a technical report of a problem, commentary, confirmation or negation posted in reply and preferably quick patches to fix the problem. In the middle of a storm of news articles, finding the real information gets more and more difficult.

Sandia Red Team hacks all computer defenses. This press release from the Sandia National Laboratories reports on their Information Design Assurance Red Team or IDART. "The typical IDART group, which may consist of three to eight hackers, sometimes explains to clients in advance exactly how and when they will attack. System defenders have time to prepare specific, automatic, and even redundant defenses for their software, platforms, firewalls, and other system components. Yet results disconcert clients every time: their defenses are breached."

Linux Sux Redux: A Rebuttal. SecurityFocus Director of Site Content, Ben Greenbaum, put out a rebuttal to Fred Moody's Linux Sux Redux, which took manipulation of statistics to a high level of inaccuracy. "The worst situation by far is when the statistics are not only "massaged" to serve personal or corporate goals, but interpreted incorrectly in the first place. The Bugtraq stats have been used and referenced in various articles and endeavors, with varying degrees of accuracy. The most egregious example of misuse and misinterpretation by far to this point is in the article referenced above, where Mr. Moody states that Linux is the most insecure OS available. This is based on a gross misreading of the available data."

Since it was SecurityFocus' data that was misread, Ben's rebuttal to this article seems most appropriate.

Security Reports

suidperl/mailx vulnerability. Sebastian Krahmer and Michal Zalewski took undocumented "features" in /bin/mail (mailx) and a poor programming choice in suidperl and demonstrated the resulting local root exploit. This has been confirmed with sperl 5.00503 and newer. Fixes for this problem repair both the perl and mail packages. For the exquisite details, check this additional posting. This is one that you'll want to fix immediately.

You'll notice below that some distributions have issued updates to mailx, some to perl and some to both. It is true that the described vulnerability will be prevented as soon as one or the other package is fixed, but both packages should be fixed sooner or later to prevent other, similar vulnerabilities. None of the advisories particularly explain their decision-making process, so for now, we'll assume that updates for both mailx and perl will eventually be made available, as soon as the distributors have a repaired package with which they are satisfied.

Note for the Red Hat update: an error message is generated by rpm when the new perl package is installed, complaining about a dependency on rpmlib. To resolve the problem, you can either install the rpm 3.0.5 packages or just add the "--nodeps" to your rpm command.

Red Hat security update to umb-scheme. Red Hat has issued an update to the umb-scheme package which fixes a file permissions problem in which two files are installed world-writable. This is likely a Red Hat-specific problem. Conectiva and Linux-Mandrake have confirmed that they are not impacted.

Diskcheck 3.1.1 Symlink Vulnerability. You, Jin-Ho reported a symlink vulnerability in Diskcheck 3.1.1. Diskcheck is a perl script that monitors disk usage and is generally run via cron. The default configuration uses a temporary file in /tmp. A simple modification to the configuration file to choose an alternate, safer location should fix the problem. Stan Bubrouski commented that the problem was reported last month (though it apparently missed our radar as well) and is fixed in Red Hat's pinstripe and rawhide versions. It is apparently not shipped with earlier versions of Red Hat (and possibly not many other distributions, as well).

PCCS MySQLDatabase Admin Tool Manager. A recent posting to BugTraq pointed out problems with the PCCS MySQLDatabase Admin Tool Manager which could allow unauthorized remote administration of the database and/or access in plaintext to the administrator password.

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

Updates

Mailman. A vulnerability was reported in mailman 2.0beta3 and 2.0beta4 and fixed in 2.0beta5. Check last week's Security Page for more details.

ntop. In web server mode, ntop can be used to remotely read any file on the system. Check last week's Security Summary for more details. ntop 1.3.1 has been reported not vulnerable. The Debian update below appears to contain a patched version of 1.2a7.

  • Debian (Debian 2.1 not vulnerable, "potato" (soon to be Debian 2.2) and "woody" are)

Netscape/Mozilla JPEG marker vulnerability. Check the July 27th Security Summary for more information.

SuSE omnibus security advisory. SuSE has sent out a combined security advisory describing several current issues, including Netscape, NFS, PAM, kon2, mailman, and the home account of the "nobody" user. SuSE users should have a look and act on the issues that affect them.

Resources

Nessus 1.0.4. An updated version of the Nessus security scanner has been made available, with new security checks and several bug-fixes.

Crypto list for beginners. A new cryptography list for beginners has been announced. "This list is to talk about different cryptology and how it's used both at home and in the workplace. We will also discuse any security issues with different versions of PGP and how to fix these issues."

ICAT Searchable Vulnerability Index. The National Institute of Standards and Technology has announced their ICAT searchable vulnerability index. It is based on the CVE vulnerability naming standard. "ICAT does not compete with publicly available vulnerability databases but instead is a search engine that drives traffic to them."

Events

August/September security events.
Date Event Location
August 14-17, 2000. 9th Usenix Security Symposium Denver, Colorado, USA.
August 14-18, 2000. Ne2000 (Networking 2000) Lunteren, The Netherlands
August 18-20, 2000. Hack Forum 2000 Ukraine
August 20-24, 2000. Crypto 2000 Santa Barbara, California, USA
August 22-23, 2000. WebSec 2000 San Francisco, California, USA
September 1-3, 2000. ToorCon Computer Security Expo San Diego, California, USA.
September 11-14, 2000. InfowarCon 2000 Washington, DC, USA.
September 13-14, 2000. The Biometric Consortium 2000 Gaithersburg, MD, USA.
September 19-21, 2000. New Security Paradigms Workshop 2000 Cork, Ireland.
September 26-28, 2000. CERT Conference 2000 Omaha, Nebraska, USA.
For additional security-related events, included training courses (which we don't list above) and events further in the future, check out Security Focus' calendar, one of the primary resources we use for building the above list. To submit an event directly to us, please send a plain-text message to lwn@lwn.net.

Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh


August 10, 2000


Secure Linux Projects
Bastille Linux
Immunix
Khaos Linux
Nexus
Secure Linux
Secure Linux (Flask)
Trustix

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
munitions
ZedZ.net (formerly replay.com)

Miscellaneous Resources
CERT
CIAC
Comp Sec News Daily
Crypto-GRAM
LinuxLock.org
Linux Security Audit Project
LinuxSecurity.com
OpenSSH
OpenSEC
Security Focus
SecurityPortal

   

Sections:
 Main page
 Security
 Kernel
 Distributions
 Development
 Commerce
 Linux in the news
 Announcements
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See also: last week's Kernel page.

Kernel development


The current development kernel release is still 2.4.0-test5. Work continues with the 2.4.0-test6 prepatch, currently in its tenth revision. This patch includes a large Mylex DAC960/DAC1100 RAID driver update, some MIPS and Super-H architecture fixes, an IBM MCA SCSI driver update, a big USB storage update, an ISDN update, ext2 and JFFS filesystem updates, and a reorganization of user process accounting. And, of course, a bunch of spelling fixes.

The latest 2.4 status page was posted by Ted Ts'o on August 9.

The current stable kernel release is 2.2.16. The latest prepatch is 2.2.17pre16, which was released on August 9. There is no word on when the official stable kernel release might happen.

Crypto in the kernel? Inspired, perhaps, by the twin blessings of the liberalization in U.S. crypto export laws and the expiration of the RSA patent (September 20 or 21, depending on who you ask), more people are wondering about when cryptographic code will make it into the Linux kernel. The answer is, seemingly, that it's getting closer. But a kernel with full cryptographic support is still going to be a little while in coming.

As an initial step, the International Kernel Patch has been available from kernel.org (in the pub/linux/kernel/crypto directory) since mid-July. This patch provides a basic cryptographic infrastructure, which is used mainly to implement encrypted filesystem support. The patch does not look like it will be part of the 2.4.0 release, though it looks like work to start integrating it could happen for later 2.4 versions.

So encryption of local data will be covered, eventually. What about network communications? The obvious code to merge would seem to be FreeS/WAN, an implementation of the IPSec protocols. When one investigates that idea, however, one discovers that the crypto cold war is not quite over yet.

The FreeS/WAN project is located in Canada as a way of avoiding the obnoxious U.S. laws that were in effect when the project was founded. An interesting interaction between U.S. and Canadian law required that any cryptographic code of U.S. origin not be exported from Canada. As a way of insuring that the FreeS/WAN code remained legitimately exportable and usable, the project adopted a rule that no code could be accepted from the U.S. Everything that was to be part of FreeS/WAN had to be developed elsewhere. That rule remains in effect, seemingly, because the FreeS/WAN people are afraid that the U.S. could change its mind and restrict cryptographic code anew.

There is nothing preventing FreeS/WAN from going into the Linux kernel. But Linux kernel code is far from static; as soon as FreeS/WAN is part of it people will start changing it. Patches will surely flow in to fix bugs, improve performance, add features, and so on. But the FreeS/WAN project will not accept those patches - at least, not those which come from (or through) the U.S.

So, if FreeS/WAN is to go into the kernel, the code will essentially be forked. Since changes from the Linux side will not go back to the main code base, the kernel developers will be faced with the choice of either maintaining a separate patch to apply to each FreeS/WAN release, or simply forking off a separate version of FreeS/WAN altogether. This is a situation that does not benefit anybody; it may be time for FreeS/WAN to reconsider its position.

How did JFFS get into the kernel? The 2.4.0-test3 release included one interesting surprise: the Journaling Flash Filesystem (JFFS). JFFS was originally developed by Axis Communications, and is intended to provide a stable filesystem on flash memory in embedded systems. It's a nice bit of code, but some were surprised to see it show up in the mainstream kernel at such a late date.

It turns out it slipped in by mistake. It was included as part of the "memory technology devices" patch, which had been planned to go in for some time. Once it was there and didn't cause any troubles, there didn't seem to be any real point in taking it out again. So JFFS remains.

One linux-kernel poster, however, saw something more sinister here. He posted a long and somewhat offensively-worded message accusing Linus of having integrated JFFS to meet Transmeta's needs for "web pad" devices and such. The accusation is clearly without basis - as others have pointed out, Linus is probably capable of maintaining a separate kernel branch for Transmeta if need be. But accusations of vendor bias seem to be on the increase, unfortunately. It will not be a good thing if the kernel developers increasingly have to defend themselves against such attacks.

The Linux Test Project was announced this week by Nathan Straz of SGI. The project has set out to provide a comprehensive regression test system for the Linux kernel - something that has been missing for a long time. They have 96 tests available now, and are looking to add many more. They are looking for input on what a full test suite should look like; there will also, hopefully, be a BOF on the subject at LinuxWorld.

Other patches and updates released this week include:

  • Rik van Riel has posted a virtual memory patch which implements many of the changes described in his new VM subsystem design discussed in last week's LWN. The design itself, after some discussion, has essentially received Linus's blessing, and may yet find its way into a 2.4.x kernel.

  • Michael Elizabeth Chastain has released the sixth and (probably) final draft of his documentation of the kernel build system.

  • Modutils-2.3.14 was released by Keith Owens.

  • For those who want another new kbuild system, Paul Vojta has released one called "qconfig".

  • Andreas Gruenbacher has announced the release of version 0.6.0-pre38 of the Linux access control list (ACL) patch.

  • Gregory Leblanc has started work on a Linux RAID FAQ.

Section Editor: Jonathan Corbet


August 10, 2000

For other kernel news, see:

Other resources:

   

Sections:
 Main page
 Security
 Kernel
 Distributions
 Development
 Commerce
 Linux in the news
 Announcements
 Back page

See also: last week's Distributions page.

Lists of Distributions
distrowatch
ibiblio
Kernelnotes
Linux.com
LinuxLinks
Woven Goods

Embedded Distributions:
3ilinux
Bifrost

BluePoint Embedded
Compact Linux
Coollinux
DSPLinux
ELinOS
ELKS
Embedded Debian
Embedix
Etlinux
FlightLinux
Hard Hat Linux
Jailbait
Linux/Coldfire
LEM
Midori
NeoLinux
OnCore Systems
PeeWeeLinux
RedBlue Linux
RedIce-Linux
Royal Linux
RTLinux
Tynux
uClinux
White Dwarf Linux

Handhelds/PDAs
Agenda-VR
Familiar (iPAQ)
Intimate (iPAQ)
Linux DA
PocketLinux
PsiLinux

Distributions


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

News and Editorials

PowerPC kernel archives. To help support Linux distributions on the PowerPC architecture, Toby McNulty has started the PowerPC Kernel Archives. His web-site automatically archives and builds the latest compiles from the PowerPC kernel sources. "The trees monitored are: paulus (stable and development), benh (stable), and bk (stable and development). If you choose, the web site will notify you automatically when a new build of a certain source tree is available."

Case of Success: Red Escolar Project in Mexico (OLinux.com.br). Olinux.com.br interviews Arturo Espinosa, one of the principals of the Red Escolar Project. Arturo reports the development phase of Red Escolar is now complete; only the installation phase remains. "I'm transplanting any responsibility on my side to the Red Escolar people, as I am now working for Helix Code."

The interview does hint of both successes and small problems along the way. For successes, "As for Red Escolar Linux, we have 7 interested states of the mexican republic, and one of them is using it extensively." For problems, "We also offer a GNOME workstation, for maximum software cost reduction, but a dependency from the teachers to certain Windows-only multimedia CDs have made this impossible to accept."

We first heard Arturo speak about the Red Escolar project over a year ago. One of his inspiring goals for the project was to bring a personal identity to students. At the time, even schools with Internet access had only one mailbox per school. The ability to read and send mail with a personal identification was an important step to empower students. We certainly wish the best of luck to the Red Escolar people who will be responsible for carrying this vision, and all of Red Escolar's goals, onward.

Linux 2.4: To ship or not to ship? (ZDNet). This ZDNet article takes a look at how different distributions will be handling the upcoming 2.4 release. "Red Hat will release the final version of Pinstripe with a 2.2 kernel, and when the 2.4 kernel is ready, the company said it will provide a 2.4 kernel build that customers can run on top of the 2.2 Pinstripe release."

Alternately, Caldera has chosen to make available a "technology developer preview release" based on Linux 2.4. Though clearly a beta product, it will cost you $19.99 -- but they offer a $20 rebate.

Linux distros revamp for summer (The Register). The Register looks at upcoming distribution releases from Red Hat and SuSE. "Whether these releases matters much to anyone other than SuSE or RedHat ... we're not quite sure. As Linux systems are typically used for a specific function - for example web serving, mail serving, graphics or as development systems - then the big events in the calendar are releases of Apache, the webserver and its allied caching or clustering add-ins, or Sendmail, or XFree86, or Perl and Python, respectively."

Bluepoint

Bluepoint Linux sales ranked number one. Bluepoint Linux Software announces that it has the top spot for software sales in China, according to Federal, "the largest Chinese software vendor." Note this is not a comparison of Linux sales, but of general software sales. "Bluepoint Linux 1.0, Tianhe Mechanical CAD and Microsoft Office 2000 (Chinese version) are currently ranked as number one, two and three on the Top 10 list".

Caldera OpenLinux

Caldera joins Linux-on-Itanium race (News.com). Here's a News.com article about Caldera's alpha version for the IA-64 architecture. "All the companies have cautioned that their releases are prototypes, though, and Caldera is no exception. The company's Itanium twist lacks the slick Lizard installer, some password management software or the X Windows graphical systems."

New FAQs. This week's new FAQs include answers to several printing-related questions, as well as installation and disk problem questions

Coyote Linux

Coyote 1.20 Release Candidate 5 is now out. Bugfixes for PPP and PPPoE appear to be the main changes since the last development release.

Debian

This week's Debian Weekly News indicates high times for Debian. The announcement of $25,000 IDG/Linus Torvalds Community Award to Debian and the planned release of Debian 2.2 at next week's LinuxWorld has everyone hyped. The release announcement is already being written and a major party at LinuxWorld is planned.

A micro how-to for "upgrading" a Corel distribution to a full Debian installation was also announced.

Linux-Mandrake

Linux Magazine published an interview with Linux-Mandrake's new CEO, Henri Poole, entitled Q and A with Mandrakesoft's new CEO. It appears that a full slate of new management may be planned. "I'm recruiting management for the company to assist in growing the business and meeting the challenges we're faced with. ... And in order to effectively compete we need a very seasoned executive team that has the psychological attributes that will work in this industry. It's very difficult to find these kind of people."

MkLinux

New PowerMacs supported by MkLinux. The MkLinux project has announced that its distribution now supports PowerMac 5200/5300/6200/6300 systems, albeit with a remaining issue or two. "Note that this is bleeding edge development, and is not necessarily stable. It is, however, mostly working."

PeeWeeLinux

PeeWeeLinux 0.48 has been released. The new version has been updated to use the RPM package manager. PeeWeeLinux is a small Linux distribution for embedded applications and floppy-based systems. They also have a new website, at http://peeweelinux.com.

Stormix

Stormix introduced their Storm Linux 2000 series this week, including their Starter Edition and Deluxe Edition. Both are based on the (still unreleased) Debian 2.2.

The starter edition comes with Partition Magic, StarOffice 5.2 and Netscape Communicator 4.73. The deluxe edition adds some interesting additional commercial packages: "We have a one year license of StarNet Communications X-Win32, an application that allows for ease of conversion from a Windows(R) to a Linux environment, Adobe(R) Acrobat Reader 4.05, and Macromedia Flash Player 4.0. And for the game enthusiasts, we have included a Loki's turn-based fantasy game port a limited edition, of 3DO's Heroes of Might and Magic III".

Trinux

Packetstorm reported on the resumed development of Trinux:
After a year-long hiatus, Trinux is now under active development and a major release was just completed. Trinux combines Slackware Linux 7.1 with an impressive collection of precompiled open source security tools to bring you a powerful network security workstation which runs entirely in memory. The new release is the most stable and compact Trinux release to date.

Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh


August 10, 2000

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


Leading
Caldera OpenLinux
Debian GNU/Linux
Linux-Mandrake
Red Hat
Slackware
SuSE
TurboLinux

Also well-known
ASPLinux
Best Linux
Conectiva Linux
e-smith

Progeny
Rock Linux

Non-technical desktop
easyLinux
Icepack Linux
Independence
LibraNet
Redmond Linux
WinSlack

Education
Boston University
kmLinux
LinuxFromScratch
OpenClassroom
Red Escolar

General Purpose
Alzza Linux
aXon Linux
Bad Penguin Linux
BearOps
Black Cat Linux
BluePoint Linux
BYO Linux
CAEN Linux
Cafe Linux
ChainSaw Linux
Circle MUDLinux
cLIeNUX
Complete Linux
Console Linux
Corel Linux
CRUX
Darkstar Linux
DLite
easyLinux
Elfstone Linux
ESware Linux
Eurielec Linux
eXecutive Linux
Fried Chicken
FTOSX
FullPliant
Gentoo
Go!Linux
HA Linux
Halloween Linux
HispaFuentes
IceLinux
Ivrix
ix86 Linux
J-LINUX
JBLinux
Jurix
KRUD
KSI-Linux
Lanthan Linux
Laonux
LASER5
Leetnux
Linpus Linux
Linux Cyrillic Edition
Linux MLD
LinuxOne OS
LinuxPPP
Linux Pro Plus
Linux-SIS
LNX System
LoopLinux
LSD
Lute Linux
MageNet
Mastodon
MaxOS
minilinux
MSC.Linux

NoMad Linux
Omoikane GNU/Linux
PingOO Linux
Plamo Linux
PLD
Project Ballantain
PROSA
Rabid Squirrel
Repairlix
Root Linux
Scrudgeware
Serial Terminal
Sorcerer
spyLinux
Stampede
Stataboware
TechLinux
TimeSys Linux/RT
Tom Linux
Trinux
Turkuaz
Ute-Linux
VA-enhanced Red Hat
Vine Linux
Virtual Linux
WholeLinux
WinLinux 2000
XTeamLinux
ZipSpeak

Country-specific
Argentina
GNU/Linux Ututo
Britain
Definite Linux
Eridani
China
COSIX
Red Flag
France
Linux/MNIS
Italy
LinuxEspresso
Madeinlinux
Vedova
Spain
Linux Esware
Thailand
Kaiwal Linux
Thai Linux Extension

Related Projects
Chinese Linux Extension

Historical (Non-active)
Dualix
Gentus
Giotto
MCC Interim Linux
OS2000
Storm Linux


   

Sections:
 Main page
 Security
 Kernel
 Distributions
 Development
 Commerce
 Linux in the news
 Announcements
 Back page

See also: last week's Development page.

Development projects


News and Editorials

3D Window Systems? What will window systems look like in the future? Nobody can tell for sure, but here are some thoughs on where it could go. Linus has always said that Linux should be FUN, imagine how much fun a 3D desktop could be.

Consider some points along the evolution of computer-human interfaces: front-panel switches, printer-terminals, card punches, dumb and smart video terminals. Then came graphical video devices, window systems, and virtual desktops. The next major step in computer interfaces could very well be a 3D desktop.

Each new evolution of the computer interface made the computer easier to use and increased productivity. Imagine working on a large software project with a single screen or a slow printer-terminal. Been there, done that, don't want to go back. With a good design, a 3D interface could add even more efficiency to the user-interface.

Gnome and KDE have taken the 2D desktop a long way from the days of early Macintoshes, SunView, and X10, but there's only so far you can extend the basic concept of 2D. Imagine your computer's screen looking more like a 3D video game than a flat pile of pages. There could be numerous cubes on the screen, each one with different terminal sessions on the sides. Mousing over the cubes could cause them to rotate and expose other windows. You could then fly into the side of the cube to run the application. Standard desktop apps like clocks and mailboxes could be spiffed up by turning them into 3d floating gadgets. Flying around in the space of the screen could bring you to various regions with applications that live there. Extending the idea of the virtual desktop, the whole screen could also be one side on a cube with other work areas on the other sides, i.e. different spaces. Iconified windows could turn into unique trinkets on the screen. Screen themes could be such things as outer space, the ocean, a city street, or a particular landscape. The possibilities are vast and in the realm of sci-fi.

Today's computing and video hardware is already capable of performing the necessary processing to do 3D rendering in real-time. The 3D window system could be run on true 3D screens, but that would require special hardware which is currently rare and expensive. A true 3D mouse could be advantageous in some circumstances, but such devices cause tired arms and user-fatigue. A standard game joystick might be a better controller for zooming and steering around the screen. A standard mouse could be the best movement interface since it is so common.

The software would, of course, take time to design and perfect, but none of the concepts are really that difficult or new. Such a project would be very FUN and might attract a lot of talent. LWN looks forward to the days of a 3DWM, GNOME-3D or a K3DE.

Browsers

Mozilla M17 released. The 17th Mozilla milestone release is out; details can be found in the release notes. This is apparently the last Mozilla release that will include new features - from now on, they will focus on stability and performance issues only. New stuff includes tooltips, plugin capability for Linux, helper apps, "improved cookie management," and more. Your LWN Development editor has been playing with M17 and it seems to be fairly robust so far.

Netscape 6 preview release 2 available. Netscape has announced the availability of the second preview release of Netscape 6.

Education

The Organization for Free Software in Education and Teaching (OFSET) has announced the launch of the Freeduc Workshop, a hierarchical database of free education software. They are, of course, looking for submissions to help fill out the database. The Freeduc FAQ is a good starting point for those wanting to work with this system.

Embedded Systems

How will you learn to develop with Linux? (Linux Devices). Linux Devices is taking a poll on how developers learn to develop with Linux. "The new poll will assist Embedded Linux product, service, and training providers in understanding the needs of developers who use Linux in their embedded system projects."

Nano-X and Microwindows 0.88 released (LinuxDevices.com). LinuxDevices.com has put up an article describing the 0.88 release of the Nano-X and Microwindows system, which provide a graphical windowing environment on smaller (i.e. embedded) systems.

Lineo announces GPL real-time networking for Linux: RTnet (Linux Devices). Lineo has announced a GPL based modification to the Linux networking code for real-time networking applications. "RTnet is a modification of the existing Linux networking subsystem to provide real-time performance for sending and receiving packets over standard IP networks. The IP, ICMP, and UDP protocols are supported."

Interoperability

Wine 20000801 released. A new Wine snapshot has been released as of August 1, 2000.

Network Management

OpenNMS Update V1.20. The OpenNMS Update for August 8, 2000 has been released. A new Correlation Engine Spec is being looked at, and there is a JSDT update among other things.

Office Applications

New Nautilus screenshots available. The folks at Eazel have put up a new set of Nautilus screenshots showing the sorts of things this new file manager can do.

Dia 0.86 diagram drawing program released. Version 0.86 of Dia, a diagram drawing program has been released. Dia may be used for drawing flow diagrams, entity relationship diagrams, circuits, and more. Dia is modeled after the commercial program Visio. Dia is distributed under the GPL license.

On the Desktop

New KDE 2.0 screenshots. The KDE 2.0 screenshots page has been updated with a number of new images. Check it out for a view of what's coming.

See also: this review of the KDE 2.0 beta in LinuxPlanet. "Last week the KDE developers imposed a feature freeze for the 2.0 release, so for the first time we have a solid idea of what the new KDE will comprise. It will be great (it already is), so the complaints I raise here and there (or, more likely, here, and here, and here) are minor whines and quibbles, which isn't to say that the KDE developers are not cordially invited to follow my sage advice."

Qt 2.2.0 beta released. Trolltech has released the first beta of Qt 2.2.0. It has a number of new features, including the "QtDesigner" visual GUI design tool.

New GNOME Translation Project Website. The GNOME translation project now has a new web site. See this announcement for the details.

First GNOME Doc. Project status report. A GNOME Documentation Project status report has been posted; it's intended to be the first of a biweekly series. Among many other things, it covers the new GNOME FAQ by Telsa Gwynne.

Helix setup tools announced. Helix Code has released a set of "Setup Tools" which is, essentially, another graphical system administration tool. The three tools available now are all oriented toward networking administration, and are in a beta form.

Science

Problem solving with Common Optimization INterface (IBM). IBM has announced an open-source project called COIN for working on optimization solutions. "Need to develop an online auction for combinations of goods? Devise a production schedule that minimizes overtime hours? Figure the shortest delivery route that serves all your customers? Or build a portfolio from your savings that maximizes the expected return? Then think operations research. Operations research is the field of mathematical optimization devoted to finding an optimal allocation of limited resources by choosing an alternative that maximizes payoff, or minimizes cost, from among those that satisfy the given constraints. " Thanks to Shailendra.

Web-site Development

Apache 2.0alpha5 released. The latest Apache 2.0 alpha has been released. " It is intended for developers and experienced Apache HTTPD administrators to play around with and work on. It is not a production release."

Zope Weekly News for Aug 2, 2000. The August 2 edition of the Zope Weekly News is out. News includes preparation for Zope 2.2.1, and a preview of a new Zope book.

Section Editor: Forrest Cook


August 10, 2000


Project Links
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Development tools


C/C++

POSIX threads explained (IBM). Daniel Robbins has written an article on using Posix threads. " If you've ever had to make massive modifications to one of your programs so that it supports IPC, you'll really appreciate the simple memory-sharing approach that threads provide. POSIX threads don't need to make expensive and complicated long-distance calls because all our threads happen to live in the same house."

Software Carpentry second round results. The second round results from the Software Carpentry Design Competition have been announced. There are winners in three categories who will now be funded to proceed with the implementation of their designs. See the announcement for details.

Java

New versions of JDK available. Blackdown.org has announced several new stable and beta versions of JDK for the i386 and power pc platforms.

What are Enterprise JavaBeans components? (IBM). Ken Nordby from IBM has written part 3 of an article on deploying Enterprise JavaBeans components.

Perl

Cultured Perl: Writing Perl programs that speak English (IBM). Teodor Zlatanov has written an article on using Perl's Parse::RecDescent to make text based user interface code.

Perl conference papers available. The Perl presentation materials from the recent O'Reilly Open Source Software Convention have been made availble online.

New Perl mailing lists (Perl News). Perl News has announced that several new Perl 6 mailing lists have recently been created.

Python

Python 1.6 beta 1 is out. Python.org has announced the availability of Python 1.6 beta 1. New features include full Unicode support and a new regular expression engine. Also see the announcement from Guido Van Rossum which discusses the new CNRI license that Python is released under.

Python-dev summary, July 16-31. The second Python-dev summary is out, covering the period from July 16-31. Check it out for the latest on the Python license situation, some proposed Python extensions, and more.

Python-URL for August 7. Dr. Dobb's Python-URL for August 7 has been posted; check it out for the latest in Python development activity.

Charming Python: My first Web-based filtering proxy (IBM). David Mertz has written an article describing Txt2Html, a public-domain Python based web filtering proxy. The article describes using Python for programming web server cgi-bin scripts.

Tcl/tk

Tcl-URL for August 6. Here is Dr. Dobb's Tcl-URL for August 6, with the latest from the Tcl/Tk development world.

Section Editor: Forrest Cook

 
Language Links
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Linux and Business


MySQL and Sleepycat launch MaxSQL. "All of the VA Linux and Andover.Net web sites-including Slashdot.org, Freshmeat.net, SourceForge and Linux.com - have been built on MySQL," said Dr. Larry M. Augustin, president and CEO of VA Linux Systems, when MySQL was released under the GNU General Public License (GPL) and made available to developers on SourceForge.

Sleepycat Software builds, distributes, and supports the Berkeley Database (Berkeley DB). Berkeley DB is also an Open Source product.

Now the MySQL folks have joined up with Sleepycat Software to launch a new system called MaxSQL; see the announcement for details. Essentially, Sleepycat's Berkeley DB transaction engine has been grafted into MySQL, giving the latter the full transactional capability that it has lacked for so long. The result has been released under the GPL, and is available from MaxSQL.com. (Or it will be - that site still maps through to MySQL.com as of this writing).

Oracle Internet Application Server For Linux. Oracle has announced the availability of its Internet Application Server (iAS) product on Linux. The company has also set up joint marketing agreements with Caldera, SuSE, TurboLinux, and VA Linux Systems that include iAS. TurboLinux has put out an announcement of its own on its "TurboLinux DataServer Optimized for Oracle8i" product.

In a separate announcement, Oracle claims that Oracle's products for Linux are being downloaded at four times the rate of the Windows versions. Deja.com and NetLedger, among others, are listed as Linux Oracle users.

Email for Linux. Bynari Inc. has "focused the efforts of its resources on Linux, the Open Source paradigm and support of Free Software as advocated by GNU", according to its website.

The company has been working on a Linux/Unix alternative to Microsoft Exchange/Outlook, and they have announced TradeServer, the latest addition to its TradeSuite. TradeServer is a standards based suite of mail, directory and collaboration services.

Hewlett Packard has announced that its OpenMail product for Linux now has over 1 million users. They would appear to be counting downloads to get a good part of that user count, but they also have deals with ATT and PSI which account for part of the total as well.

Debian wins IDG/Linus Torvalds Community Award. IDG World Expo has announced that it is awarding the IDG/linus Torvalds Community Award to the Debian Project.

The Open Group launches Real-Time And Embedded Systems Forum. The Open Group has announced the creation of the "Real-time and Embedded Systems Forum," evidently another industry group for embedded systems providers. Founding members include Lineo, Montavista, and NASA.

Lineo has sent out its own announcement that it is a founding member of this group.

Mass of Linux press releases. The LinuxWorld flood of press releases appears to have begun a little early this time around. Here's a selection:

  • AbriaSoft is partnering with O'Reilly & Associates to put together a commercial packaged MySQL distribution.
  • Atipa Corporation has launched a new series of Linux-based firewall systems.
  • Candle Corporation is providing support for Linux users on the IBM S/390 mainframe.
  • e-smith announces that its Server and Gateway product is in use at Japan's Sagami University.
  • Linux Wizardry Systems has begun production of the "Wizard Penguin Linux PC," a Red Hat-based Pentium system.
  • VA Linux Systems announces the Open Source Printing Summit, recently held in California.
  • VA Linux Systems has also announced a new support offering; they will now provide support for a number of applications, including Apache, Squid, and the Linux Virtual Server system (with heartbeat).

eLinux debuts Compaq-compatible catalog and online store. eLinux has announced the publication of a 68-page catalog dedicated to Compaq's Linux-compatible products; there is an online version as well.

DVD-Cracking Lawsuit Targets T-Shirt-Borne Code . Here's a Newsbytes article about the addition of CopyLeft as a defendant in the DVD case. "[CopyLeft founder Steve] Blood said $4 from every $15 T-shirt is donated to the EFF to help cover its costs in fighting the lawsuits. So far, T-shirt sales have raised some $12,000 for the EFF, he said."

Redhat.com unveils affiliate program. If you run a Linux web site, here's your chance to make it big: Red Hat has announced a new affiliate program where they will pay two cents for every click-through that your site generates to redhat.com.

Press Releases:

Open Source Products.
Unless specified, license is unverified.

  • OpenMind Publishing Group (DURHAM, N.C.) brings textbook publishing to the web by incorporating an open source model.

  • SWsoft (SAN FRANCISCO) announced the beta release of ODBC driver for Btrieve based on the MySQL database engine. SWsoft will also develop OLEDB provider for MySQL to be distributed under open-source GPL license.

  • Webb Interactive Services, Inc. (DENVER) unveiled plans for Jabber, an XML-based instant messaging platform.

Commercial Products for Linux.

  • Apiva.com Web Corporation (VANCOUVER, British Columbia) announced the release of ezTerm 2.0, the newest version of its Linux terminal reference software.

  • Chilliware, Inc. (LOS ANGELES) announced Mentor, a Linux application designed to speed up the process of creating help-file documentation.

  • Digital River, Inc. (MINNEAPOLIS) announced the launch of an e-commerce site for Loki Software, Inc., a developer of Linux-based PC games. As Loki's e-commerce partner, Digital River hosts, manages and provides e-marketing services for Loki at http://store.lokigames.com.

  • Fonix Corporation (SALT LAKE CITY) announced the commercial release of its FAAST (Fonix Accelerated Application Solutions Technology) Text-To-Speech (TTS) Software Development Kit (SDK) for Linux x86.

  • Mission Critical Linux has announced that its "Convolo" high-availability clustering solution is ready to ship.

  • Overland Data Inc. (SAN DIEGO) announced that its AIT LibraryPro enterprise tape library has been certified by Knox Software as compatible with Knox's Arkeia network backup software for Linux.

Products Using Linux.

  • Lineo, Inc. has a press release about products that use uCLinux.

  • M-Systems Flash Disk Pioneers Ltd. (FREMONT, Calif.) announced that its DiskOnChip 2000 is currently being used as the local storage device in Acer's Linux-based Altos SA50 server appliance.

  • Rackspace Managed Hosting (SAN ANTONIO) has developed a new proprietary online configurator for multiple servers.

  • Wann Connection Devices Inc. (OTTAWA, Ontario) announced the release of its CD62, a Serial to TCP/IP conversion device that internet-enables legacy serial based products.

Products with Linux Versions.

  • The Computer Systems Group (CSG) of Toshiba America Information Systems Inc. (TAIS) (IRVINE, Calif.) announced new SCSI hot-swap models for the company's M500D entry-level server series. Red Hat certified.

  • Dirig Software (NASHUA, N.H.) announced RelyENT, an intelligent, real-time monitoring and proactive application management solution.

  • I-Link, Inc. (DRAPER, Utah) announced the GateLink open-API programming and testing platform.

  • Inprise/Borland (SCOTTS VALLEY, Calif.) announced the shipment and immediate availability of the Inprise Application Server 4.1.

  • InterVideo (MILPITAS, Calif.) and Panasonic announced that InterVideo's complete product line of DVD and MPEG-2 video editing, production and playback solutions support Panasonic 4.7GB DVD-RAM drives and media.

  • Real-Time Innovations, Inc. (SUNNYVALE, Calif.) introduced the ControlShell version 7.0 application development environment.

  • RightNow Technologies (BOZEMAN, Mont.) announced RightNow Metrics 2.0, a new survey tool for Web customer service.

  • SafeStone Technologies (PRINCETON, N.J.) announced the release of SuperCypher, a 1024-bit encryption tool for use on multiple applications across multiple platforms.

  • SiS (TAIPEI, Taiwan) announced the SiS730S, a 3C integrated single chip which optimizes the performance of AMD Athlon and AMD Duron CPUs.

  • Vertical Computer Systems Inc. (LOS ANGELES) announced the official beta release of two of its MLE (Markup Language Executive) Solutions Suite products: the XML Catalog Enabler Agent and the XML Database Agent.

  • Vicarious Visions is shipping Terminus, a space RPG game.

Coming to LinuxWorld Expo (Aug. 15 - 17).

Java Products.

  • eOneGroup (OMAHA, Neb.) announced the release of jCommerce, version 2.1, its 100% Java web development software.

  • SilverStream Software, Inc. (BILLERICA, Mass.) announced the general availability of SilverStream Application Server 3.5, the latest version of its Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) application server. Now with Linux support.

Books & Training.

  • REBOL Press and Osborne/McGraw-Hill, announced the publication of REBOL: The Official Guide, the first and only official book about the REBOL Internet Communications Language.

  • Wave Technologies International, Inc. (ST. LOUIS) has partnered with Information Quarry Systems (IQS) in Tokyo to provide Linux training to the IT industry in Japanese.

Partnerships.

  • eOn Communications Corporation (MEMPHIS, Tenn.) announced an expanded partnership with Johnston Communications, Inc. (NORTH ARLINGTON, N.J.) Effective immediately, Johnston Communications will market, install and service eOn's Linux-based eNterprise line of communications servers and software, including the eOn Web Center software suite.

  • Linux NetworX, Inc. announced an agreement to utilize API's (Alpha Processor, Inc.) high memory and I/O bandwidth Alpha technology to deliver high-performance, Linux-based clustered solutions.

  • Pogo Linux (UNION CITY, Calif.) announced that it has finalized an agreement with VMware, Inc. to bundle and preconfigure VMware's desktop software with a Pogo Linux desktop system.

  • ProLogiX Distribution and Enhanced Software Technologies, Inc. (EST) (PHOENIX) announced that ProLogiX will distribute EST's line of BRU backup and recovery solutions in Germany and the surrounding region.

  • Schneider Electric's Automation Business and Control.com announced a web services based partnership that will focus on a technical and marketing collaboration in online community services. Control.com is driving the creation of an open source PLC to run under the Linux operating system.

  • SolutionInc Limited and inter-touch Pty Ltd (HALIFAX, Canada & SYDNEY, Australia) have executed a Commercial Agreement that will see inter-touch purchase a number of Linux-based SolutionIP VBN Server Software products from SolutionInc over the next two years.

  • Trolltech, too, will be working with Ericsson on its wireless "Screen Phone," according to this announcement. Troll will be providing the embedded version of the Qt toolkit for this application.

Investments and Mergers.

  • EBIZ and LinuxMall.com have announced the finalization of their merger agreement. The balance of power would appear to have moved a little toward EBIZ during the negotiations: the headquarters of the company is now in Scottsdale, AZ, and LinuxMall's founder Mark Bolzern now has the role of "open source community evangelist."

  • MediaQ, Inc. (SANTA CLARA) completed its third round of venture capital financing, securing $23.4 million. MediaQ plans to use the capital to fund the development of integrated circuits (ICs) for Web terminals/pads, handheld PDAs and communicators, and smart phones. The products will be available for Linux.

Financial Results.

  • Ariel Corp. (CRANBURY, N.J.) reported net sales of $1,097,211 for the three months ended June 30, 2000.

Personnel.

  • Cybernet Systems (ANN ARBOR, Mich.) announced the appointment of Gena Lodolo as chief executive officer of Cybernet's NetMAX Division.

  • MandrakeSoft has announced that Henri Poole, former CEO of Vivid Studios, has been brought in as MandrakeSoft's CEO, replacing founder Jacques Le Marois.

  • Metro Link Inc. (FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.) is hiring "the best X Window System programmers" in the industry.

  • Red Hat, Inc. (RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C.) announced that Gene McDonald, "a seasoned executive with broad experience in finance and investment management", has joined its board of directors.

Other.

  • Lineo, Inc. (LINDON, Utah) announced that USE, the 100 percent Lineo-owned Japanese engineering subsidiary, has been reincorporated as Lineo Japan, Inc.

  • Linux NetworX announced the opening of its Houston office.

Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol.


August 10, 2000

   

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

Linux in the News


Recommended Reading.

Linux has a difficult road to adoption in China, according to this Salon article. "Because of the lack of computer geeks and Linux-compatible Chinese language software applications China, Linux-based operating systems do not meet the needs of the Chinese market. But economic circumstances are also preventing Microsoft from taking over China's computer world with licensed, purchased, 'accounted for' Windows operating systems. Piracy rules -- and given the current public animosity targeted at Microsoft, most people don't see it as a problem."

The Wall Street Journal covers the Linux Beer Hike with this lengthy article. "Like acid and Jimi Hendrix at the Woodstock of old, lager and Linux drew 160 programmers to England's Lake District. So what happens when technosavants -- all but four of them men -- gather amid the majesty that inspired William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge? They compute with abandon." (Thanks to Lenz Grimmer).

News.com looks at the Caldera/SCO deal. "With its acquisition of SCO's Unix products, Caldera has inherited SCO's main sales challenge: telling customers why it's worth spending thousands of dollars on Unix when Linux is often just as good for many tasks, such as running a few dozen point-of-sale terminals in a retail outlet." (Thanks to CÚsar A. K. Grossmann).

Companies.

News.com looks at IBM's Linux wristwatch (See this week's front page.) "The IBM prototypes are no ordinary wristwatches, however. On one hand, they're bulkier, and the rechargeable lithium-polymer battery lasts only two to four days. Yet the watches have as much memory and storage space as an older desktop computer. In two years, IBM expects battery life to improve to last several months..."

OpenSourceIT has run this article about Linux on the S/390. "IBM bestowed its official seal of approval on Linux for the S/390 mainframe in May, giving a boost to a platform that has been in use informally since January of this year. While IBM's recognition of the port as a fully-supported IBM product should boost acceptance of Linux S/390, Linux as a mainframe operating system still has a ways to go before it is widely accepted."

ZDNet looks at the future of SCO and Caldera. "According to Ransom Love, Caldera Systems' CEO and soon to be CEO of the combined SCO divisions and Caldera Systems, 'Caldera has a proven track record of releasing the most important stuff to the open community. We haven't decided on which license to use yet. For standards, GPL makes a lot of sense and every product we'll ship with source code.'"

Here's the Salt Lake Tribune's take on the Caldera/SCO deal. "Caldera will have exclusive distribution rights for Santa Cruz Operation's OpenServer product line. The company, known as SCO, dominates the market for computers that run on the UNIX operating system, the software that runs a computer's basic functions."

Evan Leibovitch writes about Unix in this ZDNet column. "I come not to bury Unix, but to praise it. Without Unix, there would be no Linux -- so indulge me if I'm not as quick as others to pronounce Unix dead. If anything, the recent purchase by Linux distributor Caldera of SCO's Unix assets signifies, at the very least, a rebirth of Unix rather than a death."

News.com takes a look at Sun's new T3 data storage device and Linuxcare's Linux driver for the device. "A four-person team at Linuxcare created the driver, which will be released in a week and a half at the LinuxWorld Conference and Expo, said Linuxcare chief technology officer Dave Sifry. The driver will be released under the General Public License, a necessity for incorporating it into the heart of Linux, called the kernel. "

Upside looks at the Red Hat/Ericsson deal. "The deal is interesting in one respect: It formalizes Red Hat's desire to use Red Hat Linux as a base platform for embedded Linux development. Officially, the company has yet to come out with a separate embedded version of its popular Red Hat enterprise distribution, preferring to guard its own real-time embedded operating system EL/IX, acquired during last fall's merger with Cygnus Systems."

The EE Times is covering the Red Hat/Ericsson deal. "Red Hat will also help Ericsson integrate Java into such home communication platforms. Further, the leading Linux provider is expected to play a key role in establishing a community of open-source and third-party developers to write applications for Ericsson's new platform."

According to this News.com article, some people are starting to play around inside their (Linux-based) TiVo boxes. "The latest company to face hacking is TiVo, which markets a digital video recorder that saves TV shows on a hard disk. Some customers have begun tinkering with the boxes to add a second hard drive, letting them skirt an official upgrade, which is more expensive and inconvenient."

Business.

The Register looks at the adoption of Linux in China. "The penetration of Linux in China is impossible to assess accurately because it is of course copied from machine to machine, although one report attributed to a foreign PC executive suggested that around 10 per cent of new PCs in China will have Linux pre-installed this year." (Thanks to Richard Jones).

A ZDNet columnist wonders what will happen if other countries join China in backing Linux. "Think about what would happen if India, one of the largest markets for software development, also decided to back Linux. There's ample reason to do so... Together with China, that would account for roughly 40 percent of the world's population. Couple that with IBM's push to run Linux on all of its hardware platforms, and the popularity of Linux in Europe, and it's not that farfetched to see the balance of power shifting very rapidly. No wonder the folks in Redmond are worried."

News.com reports on the final briefs filed in the DVD case. "'A better analogy is not to a barn from which the horses have all been let out, but to defendants' torpedo attack on plaintiffs' ship, which may be leaking but not fatally so,' the studios' attorneys wrote today. 'Plaintiffs believe that the damage can be patched and properly have asked the court for its help in that reparative work.'"

This Inter@ctive Week column looks at the European Commission's warning against Microsoft this week, and how it might affect Linux. "Without some sort of action, Microsoft could end up taking over the server market as it has done in the client space, despite an inferior operating system, said Rudiger Berlich, UK managing director for Germany's SuSE Linux."

Resources.

Here's the weekly Embedded Linux Newsletter for August 3 from LinuxDevices.com. As usual, it contains a comprehensive rundown of embedded Linux press coverage and events for the last week.

This Wired News article looks at Extreme Blue, IBM's summer intern program. "Other Extreme Blue 2000 projects included a performance-monitoring tool for Linux applications and a Linux remote-install application. IBM has not announced the release date for these tools as yet. "

Reviews.

ZDNet reviews the VA Linux Systems 420 workstation. "Running Red Hat Linux 6.2, we found this system to be a compelling Linux workstation. And make no mistake about it, the word is Linux. If you already know Linux, the box is ready to go. Unlike Corel's software-only package-Corel Linux OS-this is not a system with which someone who doesn't know Linux can sit down and start working immediately."

News.com reports on the upcoming Apache 2.0 release. "Another major change to the software is the ability to plug in different core engines... Apache currently is used to deliver Web pages, a service governed by a set of rules called Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP). The new architecture allows the easy use of new modules that can handle other technologies, notably the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP)."

LinuxToday.com.au reviews (and advocates) KMail. "Kmail is an email client which has received very little attention in the press, but is one of the sturdiest little email clients out there for Linux, and unless you're willing to delve into the command line worlds of Pine and MH, there aren't that many clients out there which old regular Joe Citizen would be willing to use."

DukeOfURL reviews SuSE 6.4 for the PowerPC. "Secondly, the manual clearly says 'Disk 4' on several occasions when referring to 'Disk 1.' I'm not sure how consistently the wrong disks are referred to in the manual, but nonetheless it is not very comforting when they don't even know where their own files are."

LinuxPlanet reviews Corel Linux OS Second Edition, looking almost exclusively at the installation process. "It may lack the sense of being uniquely slick it carried just nine or ten months ago, but it still provides one of the most unthreatening and easy introductions to Linux out there. For the most part, little new ground is broken with this edition. There are some additional tweaks and features that are very welcome, but the core distribution remains largely the same: no surprise for a point release."

The Duke of URL examines CD recording on Linux. "Did you just spend all that money on a brand-new 12x CD recorder only to find out it's IDE? Never fear, there is still hope for you-let's just hope you're hardware-savvy (which is unfortunately not the case for many IDE users), or willing to tweak a few configuration files. "

Interviews.

LinuxLock.org interviews Josh Guilfoyle (a.k.a. Jasta), the developer of Gnapster. "Actually, when I first started coding Gnapster I didn't really have anything in mind but trying to replace that god awful closed source console nap client. As the development went on I became more and more aware of things like security, coding style, and portability."

The Red Herring interviews Bill Gates. "There's no new features in Linux. Linux is just 1960s-era Unix deployed in a very interesting development model. But when you look at management, user interface, security -- people have to buy things to make it do those things. So, it's a competitor. But there's no place in the world where Linux has been mandated by the government."

Finally.

Web Review has posted a followup article to a previous piece that wondered if open source projects lacked originality (which was covered in last week's LWN). "Readers quickly wrote to remind me of the innovations due to Free Software/Open Source: the Internet, email, news groups, the World Wide Web, Perl, TeX. The lack of originality of Free Software/Open Source is a myth, and I shouldn't be perpetuating it. Fair enough. But I think the rest of my argument still works. Free Software/Open Source is all about building on what others have done, and the admonition to steal (in the artistic sense) rather than borrow (also in the artistic sense) is still good, and still needs saying, it seems to me."

Arne Flones reports from the O'Reilly Conferences in this article on the OpenSales.org site. "At Peter B's Brew Pub evenings reached a climax. Geeks held court, discussing practical application and exchanging ideas. According to Peter B's brew master, during the last two nights of the conference over two hundred and fifty gallons of the heady brew were consumed by the nearly two thousand conference attendees. Many thanks to Sendmail, Inc. and Eazel, Inc. for the complimentary beer."

Emmett Plant reports on his experiences at the Ottawa Linux Symposium. "The best thing about the show was that it was a strictly technical conference -- no tradeshow floor, no booth babes, no T-shirt giveaways. Just tech, tech, tech, the way it should be." (Thanks to CÚsar A. K. Grossmann).

Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol


August 10, 2000

   

Sections:
 Main page
 Security
 Kernel
 Distributions
 Development
 Commerce
 Linux in the news
 Announcements
 Back page

See also: last week's Announcements page.

Announcements


Linux Myth Dispeller. Jon Tillman wrote to tell us that he would like to take over the Linux Myth Dispeller page from Kenneth R. Kinder, who has not updated it since 1997 and is not to be found. So Mr. Kinder, if you are reading this please email Mr. Tillman (anti-spammed email address : tillmanj (at) sccoast.net). Others can send contributions to the same email address.

(Note that Christopher Browne also has an updated version of the Linux Myth Dispeller online).

Resources

Helpfile: Getting USB printers to work. LinuxNewbie.org has put up a new helpfile on getting USB printers to work. Since many users on 2.2 kernels will also have to make the USB backport work on their systems, that task is covered as well.

Linux filesystem hierarchy smart card. Firstlinux.net has put up a one-page "smart card" describing the Linux filesystem hierarchy.

Linux Website War!. HardcoreLinux is sponsering a "Linux Website War!" to promote Linux and related websites.

Events

The Linux Superclusters Users Conference will be held in Albuquerque, NM, on September 11 to 15. There's a number of prominent speakers, and the grand opening of the Los Lobos cluster will happen as well. See the call for participtation for more information.

The Telluride Tech Festival. Here's an announcement for the first Telluride Tech Festival, to be held in Telluride, Colorado on August 11-14. The program includes Raymond Kurzweil, Richard Stallman, and John Perry Barlow. And, of course, Telluride is an amazingly beautiful place. See the festival web page for more.

Michael Dell at LinuxWorld. Michael Dell, Chairman & CEO of Dell Computers will deliver the opening keynote at LinuxWorld on Tuesday, August 15. The topic, "Putting Linux on the Fast Track".

LINUX Business Expo Moves. Key3Media Events announced that due to the tremendous growth of the LINUX Business Expo brand, the November event has been moved from the Las Vegas Hilton to the Sands Convention Center and Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada. LINUX Business Expo is co- located with COMDEX/Fall; both events run November 13-17, 2000.

2001 O'Reilly Conference on Java. O'Reilly & Associates has posted a Call for Participation soliciting masters of Java technology, who are interested in leading tutorial and conference sessions at the 2001 O'Reilly Conference on Java.

Pictures from the Ottawa Linux Showcase. Dana Echtner has posted an extensive set of pictures taken at the Ottawa Linux Symposium in July. Some of them are quite nice.

Additional events can be found in the LWN Event Calendar. Event submissions should be sent to lwn@lwn.net in a plain text format.

Web sites

KinderStart.com. KinderStart.com utilizes Linux-based, custom-designed software. "KinderStart.com isn't for everybody, but it is for mothers, fathers, grandparents, siblings, expectant parents, teachers, health care practitioners, caregivers and anyone else interested in infants, toddlers, and children."

User Group News

AaLUG Linux Clustering Weekend. The Aarhus, Denmark Linux Users Group will be connecting desktop computers in a MOSIX Cluster at the Linux Clustering Weekend, August 19-20, 2000. You will find more info in Danish at http://www.aalug.dk/alcw/.

Omaha Linux User Group Meeting. The Omaha Linux User Group is meeting on August 20, 2000. The topic is network security, both "normal" firewalls and the Medusa DS9 system.


August 10, 2000

   

 

Software Announcements


Package Version Description
0verkill 0.6 A bloody action 2D deathmatch game in ASCII art.
3Delight 0.5.1 A RenderMan renderer.
3Dwm 0.2 A three-dimensional window manager.
ABClock 0.9 A clock that's clear even in very small bitmaps.
AcidGimp 0.5 Add effects to video footage using the metaphor of an analog synth.
actionpoll 1.0.0 A simple PHP-based polling system with customizable output (HTML, WML, etc.).
Akopia Interchange 4.5.5 Powerful ecommerce software based on MiniVend and Tallyman.
alienated.org Grabber 1.0 A simple PHP script to display news items from alienated.org.
ALSA driver 0.5.9 An alternative implementation of Kernel sound support
Alt+Connect 2.4.0/9 A program to manage dialup connections.
Antivore 0.9 An email server that manages encryption server-side.
Apache 2.0a5 High performance, UNIX based HTTP server
Apache Compile Kit 7.5 A compilation kit for Apache with PHP and other modules.
apacompile 1.0.1 A full-featured Apache compilation HOWTO.
APG 1.27 A Java app that generates Web photo galleries.
arla 0.34.1 A free AFS client and server for Linux, *BSD and others.
asp2php 0.75.3 Converts Active Server Pages (ASP) to PHP3 scripts
Aspell .32.1 Intelligent Spell Checker
Averist 0.5.4 Authentication layer to any web based application
AweMUD 0.4.4 A C++ based MUD server for fantasy settings.
Balsa 0.9.1 A GNOME mail client with support for local mailboxes, POP3, and IMAP.
BASHISH sr1.8 A modular Bourne-shell theme engine.
Beeyond BeeCenter 1.0beta13 A secure communication and transaction client.
Beeyond BeeHive 1.0beta13 A secure communication and transaction server.
bftpd 1.0.9 An inetd-based Linux FTP server.
Bind 9.0.0rc2 Berkeley Internet Name Domain
BioJava 1.0 Open Source Java components for biological computation.
BioMail 0.61 A program to send new references from a Medline database to its users.
Blocks 0.15 Anonymous distributed file sharing utility.
BlueJ 1.1 Java Development Environment aimed at teaching
Boa 0.94.8.2 Lightweight and High Performance WebServer
Bomberman 1.0 A bomberman game in Java.
Bubbling Load Monitor Applet 0.9.10 Displays system load as a bubbling liquid.
BUGS 3.3.2 Private key algorithm and applications
ButtonBox 0.02 Executes shell commands with a single click.
C++ Debugging Support library 0.99.0 An output and memory allocation debugging library.
C++ Money Class r2 A C++ class for money denominated in decimal numbers.
CAEL 1.5 Cellular automata engine
Caller Id Presentation System 0.1 A system for loggin/presenting caller Id information.
cal_up.sh 3.3.0 Automate updates to any Caldera box.
CamStream 0.20 Tool for streaming and saving snapshots from a webcam.
Cannon Smash 0.4.4 3D tabletennis game
casse-tete 1.2 A little game.
CBE 0.2.5 Pure Java revision control system.
CDR-Toaster 1.09 Tk frontend for cd-burning. Uses mkisofs and cdrecord
cdrecord 1.10a02 Allows the creation of both audio and data CDs
Changepass.cgi 0.3 Web-based LDAP user password changer.
Checkservice 0.9.6 A service checker for multiple (remote) hosts.
Chessy 0.5.2 An Internet Chess Club interface for KDE.
Chinput 3.0 A Chinese XIM Server.
chkproc 0.3b Small process monitoring script
Classman 0.0.2 A tool for managing your classpath.
Claymore 0.2 Intrusion detection/integrity monitor, uses md5sum to verify a list of files.
comics.pl 1.8 A Perl script to download all of today's online comics.
Common UNIX Printing System 1.1.2 Internet Printing System for UNIX
CompuPic 5.1 build 1063 CompuPic Graphical Digital Content and File Manager for Linux
Computer History Graphing Project 0.02 A computer family tree.
Courier 0.25 ESMTP/IMAP/POP3/Webmail server.
Coyote Linux 1.20rc5 A single-floppy distribution for sharing an Internet connection.
Crosstalk Analizer 1.0 A tool to find crosstalk problems in microcircuits.
CSSC 0.11alpha.pl4 SCCS clone
Cugar 1.0.3 C++ with Python-like formatting rules.
curl 7.1 Command line tool for getting data from a URL
Cyrus IMAP server 2.0.6 Full featured IMAP server
dbm 0.15 A command-line based DBM file editor.
detect library 0.9.70 A hardware detection library.
Dia 0.86 gtk based diagram drawing program. Much like Visio.
dillo 0.2.3 An HTML browser.
DimX 0.5 A dynamic form system.
djukebox 0.0.0 A distributed (streaming) MP3 jukebox.
DNSTools 1.0.9 A web-based and command-line tool to administer DNS
Downloader for X 1.18 Downloads files from the Internet via both FTP and HTTP
DragonFlyMail 0.9 A Webmail client.
dvgrab 0.86 A utility to save video data from a Mini-DV Video Camcorder.
DX0 pre1.0-3 Browser-specific Dynamic HTML from PHP
e-Squirt 1.0 Appliance interaction via the CoolTown protocol.
e2fsprogs 1.19 Ext2 Filesystem Utilities
EasyNet 1.2 Lightweight C++ TCP/IP stream class library
EasyTAG 0.9.6 A utility for tagging MP3 files.
ECLiPt Roaster 2.0b7 GTK Interface to MkIsoFs and CDRecord for writing CDs on the fly
EditTag 1.0 A Web-based semi-WYSIWYG Web page content management tool.
EJBWizard 2.2.1 Java GUI app to generate EJBs for the JOnAS system.
Elvin4 C library 4.0a10 C client library for Elvin notification/messaging service
elvind 4.0a2 Content-based notification service/message router.
Emacs JDE 2.2.1 A complete Java development environment for Emacs.
Email Security through Procmail 1.117 Email filter to remove remote security exploits of email clients
ENBD 2.2.25 An enhanced network block device for Linux 2.2.
Environ 1.0.3 An interface for manipulating your UNIX environment variables.
EO 0.8.7 Templates-based, ANSI-C++ compliant evolutionary computation library
Eteria IRC Client 20000803 An RFC-1459-compliant IRC chat client written in Java.
Ethereal 0.8.11 GUI network protocol analyzer
Fast Light File Manager 0.02-1 A small graphical X11 file manager.
FBShot 0.1c Takes screenshot from framebuffer devices.
FemFind 0.71 SMB and FTP crawler/search engine.
FireDog 0.6 Firewall for stand-alone machines with high-speed connections.
FireMasq 0.7 Masquerading firewall for securely connecting a LAN to the Internet.
FireWall Log Spawn 1.0.2 A firewall log reformatter.
foXcontrol 0.1 Control center for foXdesktop.
foXcontrol-desktop 0.0.6 Allows you to change FOX application settings easily.
Free Standard Game Server 0.7.1 Battle.net-compatible game server
FreeCheck 0.2 A free check-printing application.
FreeMind 0.1.0 A mindmapping tool.
frgpasswd 0.2 A utility to set both the Samba and shadow passwords.
FutureForum Web Discussion Software 1.32 Web based discussion forum written in Perl and MySQL
Fwctl 0.28 High level configuration tool for Linux 2.2 packet filters firewall
g3data 1.03 A program for extracting data from graphs.
gBootRoot 1.0.2 Tool to create a separate boot and root Linux system.
gdpc 2.00 Visualisation tools for molecular dynamic simulations.
GdrDAO 0.3 A simple GTK frontend for CDRDAO (including a TOC editor).
GeekLog 0.5.0 A PHP and MySQL weblog.
gFTP 2.0.7b A multithreaded ftp client for X Windows
Gibraltar Firewall 0.90pre2 A Debian-based router/firewall distribution runnable from a bootable, live CD-RO
Giram 0.1.7 Giram is a modeller, written in GTK+
Give 1.1 Utility to allow users to share files without worrying about file permissions.
gmail 0.5.3 Gmail is an experiment in an sql vfolder-based email system.
Gnapfetch 0.3 Fetches opennap servers for gnapster.
gnomerar 0.4.4 A GUI frontend to rar.
GNU Light Desktop 0.0.3 A small, simple, user-friendly desktop.
GnuMICR 0.21 A Postscript Type 1 MICR font.
GnuPG.pm 0.06 Perl interface to the Gnu Privacy Guard
GNUSearch 0.0.6 A Perl search engine.
gnutrition 0.2 Nutritional analysis software for GNOME.
GotMail 0.6.1 A Perl script to fetch mail from a HotMail account.
GPLTrans 0.9.4 Web-based machine translator.
gPS 0.9.2 GTK-based process status reporting like ps, top and task manager
gpsim 0.20.1 A software simulator of Microchip's PIC microcontrollers
GPSMan 5.1 A graphical manager of Garmin GPS data.
gRustibus 0.42 A GNOME M.A.M.E frontend.
GtkLP for CUPS 0.4 A frontend for printing with CUPS.
GTKtalog 0.1.3 Fast Disk Catalog using a friendly interface.
gtktetcolor 0.4.0 A small Tetris clone for X.
Gtk_VCR.pm 0.29 An addition to GTK Perl to record/replay events.
GTuxNES 0.2.1 GTK based GUI lanuncher for TuxNES emulator
GuitarTex 1.0.3-online Create songbooks or sheets for guitarists.
hagelslag 0.8.1 A Gnutella clone.
HardDrake project 0.9.1 Tools for hardware configuration
HLmaps 0.94 A Perl/CGI script for Half-Life servers to present a list of loaded maps
hostup 0.0.6 Remote host update utility
ht://Check 1.1.0b2-utero A link checker that gets information through HTTP/1.1 and stores in a MySQL db.
HTML Include System 1.0 beta1 HTML Include System (Pre-Processor)
HtmlHeadLine.sh 12.8 Script that automatically fetches news headlines.
HTMLjar 0.2.0 Java HTML construction Package
Hu-Go! 1.28 A PC engine emulator.
i4lmondaemons 0.1 Monitoring daemons for ISDN calls.
IBM WebSphere Homepage Builder V4.0 for Linux 4.0 A WYSIWYG HTML editor for beginners and experts.
IDS 0.31 CGI that produces image galleries on-the-fly.
iGal 1.1 An image gallery generator for the Web.
InnerSpace 1.0 A text-based game framework.
inoize 1.07 MP3 sharing software with encrypted streaming to prevent copyright violation.
IntelliJ Renamer build 128 A Java source code management tool.
interdiff 0.0.8 Create incremental patch from two against a common source.
IpLogLed 0.0.2 An IP logger via keyboard LEDs.
IrNET for Linux-IrDA v2 Efficient and flexible TCP/IP over IrDA.
ISPMan 0.2 An ISP manager.
ISQL-Viewer 1.23.2033 An RDBMS independant console and morpher.
ixjiff ixbiff 1.1 A Java IMAP mail checker.
Jargon File 4.2.0 Description of common hacker words and phrases
Java Bomberman 06.aug.2000 A multiplayer game for Java.
Java Napster 0.76 Java GUI clone of the Napster client for downloading MP3s.
JChessBoard 1.0 A Java-based chess board.
JIGS 0.3.1 GNUstep Java Interface.
Jikes 1.12 Java compiler that translates Java source into bytecoded instruction sets
JOrbis 0.0.1 A pure Java Ogg Vorbis decoder.
Joyitas 0.5 A columns game for GNOME.
JStream 0.2 A Java MP3 streamer and player.
Just Another GTK Tetris 0.4 Small and simple GTK Tetris clone.
Kaim .41 An AOL Instant Messenger using the Qt library.
Karchiveur 2.0pre5 A little archiver for KDE, like ark but more powerful
kcd 4.18.0 Directory change utility.
kdbg 1.1.5 A graphical KDE front end to the GDB debugger. Also used by kdevelop.
KFontinst 0.7.1 KDE-based TrueType and Type1 font installer & previewer.
KGuitar 0.1 KDE guitarist environment
Kimberlite 1.0.1 Linux clustering technology software.
KIsdnmon 0.5 Monitoring tool for ISDN users.
KMovisto 0.2.0 A molecule viewer.
Koala Graphics 3.0 A 100% Java 2D graphics high-level toolkit.
KOF91 2D Fighting Engine for Linux 0.1 2D fighting game engine.
LAME 3.86beta open source MP3 encoder and graphical frame analyzer
lanoche 0.4 generates a report about laptop hardware in HTML
Laptop-Guide 3.1 How to make the best of Linux features with laptops.
larswm 5.6 A tiling window manager built on 9wm.
LCDmail 1.0 A client for use with LCDproc to show new mail.
ldapusersync 0.1 Synchronizes user info from/to LDAP directories.
Leafnode 1.9.15 NNTP server for small leaf sites
Lexmark Z11 Color Printer Driver 0.5 A Lexmark Z11 color printer driver for Linux.
LFS 1.2.0 Large file summit support for Linux 2.2.x
libfoXcontrol 0.1 libfoXcontrol is a library for writing foXcontrol components.
libhtmlparse 0.1.0 An HTML parsing library in C.
libmng 0.9.2 The reference library for the MNG image format.
libnode 1.1.0 Small library for vectors (automatically resizing arrays) and other miscellany
libstocks 0.4.0 A library for fetching stock quotes.
libsx 2.0.3 Simple X library toolkit.
libtcp++ 0.1.1 C++ class library to create TCP/IP clients/servers
Linebreak Converter 1.0b1 Converts linebreaks between Unix, DOS, and Mac.
LineControl Server 2.0.2 A remotecontrol for internet connections.
lineget 3.90 Receive newline terminated strings from buffer/stream/file.
LinkCAD 3.1.1 CAD drawing conversion software for DXF, GDS-II, CIF, PostScript, Gerber, and mo
Linux General Ledger r2 Bookkeeping and accounting software.
Linux Logo 3.9b1 Displays an ANSI or ASCII Linux penguin, along with some sytem information
LinuxFacile 2.1 An Italian manual for learning GNU/Linux.
lloop 0.1.0 Application server and portal framework in Python with wireless and HTML support
LoserJabber 1.9.6 livejournal.com online journal client.
ls -l 0.1 Graphical file-manager.
Lynx 2.8.4 dev 7 Fully-featured, text-based World Wide Web browser.
m2o.pl 1.8 A MySQL to Oracle create syntax converter.
Magick 2.0b2 IRC services.
mailTOfax 1.02 Sends faxes through your e-mail client.
Majordomo Stats 0.1 Generates statistics for majordomo archives.
Market Analysis System 1.3 market data analysis software
MartiCast 1.1.3 A libshout Perl wrapper and CGI suite for icecast.
Mathfun.py 2 A Python math library.
mcfeely 3.41 fault-tolerant, asynchronous, ordered remote job execution
mconv 1.1.18 Internet BBS working as an overlay on top of the UNIX file system
MemoPanel 6.8 A tiny memo applet on the GNOME panel.
METAGRAF-3D 1.0.4 A graphical editor for MetaPost.
MFMail 0.4.1 A command-line multiple file mail in Python.
Mike's Classifieds 1.0 A simple Perl CGI implementation of online classifieds.
Mike's Vote CGI 1.0 A simple Perl script for taking surveys on Web pages.
MiniGUI 0.3.06 A mini-GUI support library on the Linux console for embedded systems.
MiniVend 4.04a Powerful freely redistributable shopping cart package.
MisterHouse 2.24 Home Automation with Perl
MixMagic 0.1.6 A hard drive sound mixer for GNOME.
mjpeg tools 0.4b1 Tools for MJPEG/MPEG capture/editing/compression.
mmake 2.0 mmake will generate a Makefile for your Java programs.
ModLogAn 0.5.1 A modular logfile analyzer.
Mojo Mail 2.0 An html based mailing list manager.
Mojo Nation beta 0.8241 Data sharing system with micropayments and reputation filtering.
moodss 8.23 Modular Object Oriented Dynamic SpreadSheet
Mork 0.2.5 A stream processing tool.
MOSIX 0.97.7 for linux 2.2.16 Single-system-image clustering software for Linux.
motion 1.5 A motion detector for video4linux devices.
Mozilla m17 A Web browser for X11 derived from Netscape Communicator.
MP3Master 0.1.4 A Web-based MP3 jukebox with ID3 tag support.
mrtg 2.9.0pre14 Multi Router Traffic Grapher
Musicale 0.6 A MIDI playlist builder and player.
Mutt 1.3.7 A small but very powerful text-based mail client.
MyNapster Webclient 1.0 A Web client into the MyNapster, Napster, and OpenNap networks.
mytop 0.2 An application similar to top for monitoring a MySQL server.
nabou 1.2 Perl file integrity checking tool.
nail 9.20 A MIME-capable version of the Berkeley Mail user agent.
nano 0.9.15 Pico editor clone with enhancements.
NeoMail 1.11 A Web-based interface to user mail spools on a system.
Nessus 1.0.4 A free, open-sourced and easy-to-use security auditing tool
NetPBM 9.7 The classic image manipulation/conversion utils
Netscape Communicator 6 preview release 2 All-in-one browser and communications suite
NetStream2000 Linux Driver 0.1.24.0 MPEG-2 decoder driver and DVD player.
new_script 1.0.4 A shell script template generator.
nget 0.11 auto-resuming command line nntp file grabber
Nicq 0.4.0 A new clone of the popular ICQ messaging system for Linux.
noflushd 1.8.5 Daemon that sends idle disks to sleep (for kernels 2.2.11+)
Object-Oriented MPI 1.0.3 An object-oriented interface to the Message Passing Interface (MPI).
oMail-admin 0.90.3a A PHP/Perl-based qmail+vmailmgrd maildomain administration Web interface.
OpenMap 3.6.1 JavaBeans tool kit for building applications/applets with maps
OpenSales AllCommerce 1.0.1 An e-commerce package, content manager, and shopping cart written in Perl.
otarie 2.2.4 An IRC bot with C plugin capabilities.
p5-Palm 1.1.12 Perl modules for manipulating Palm databases.
palette 0.70 A program to adjust the palettes of colors.
Pan 0.8.1 beta 3 Gnome/GTK Newsreader
passwdGen 2.01 A console-based random password generator.
PCP 1.34 Stubborn upload/download program
pdnsd 1.0.7 A proxy DNS server with permanent cache for dial-up systems and small networks.
PeeWeeLinux 0.48 A small linux distribution for embedded applications.
Per-User Bandwidth Monitor 0.1 SImple script to monitor per user bandwidth.
Perl-RPM 0.27 Perl bindings for the rpm 3.0.X API.
Photo Collection 0.3.1 A web-based picture organizer.
Photoaddict 0.4.3 A Perl thumbnailing script.
PHP Class Generator 0.1.1 A class generator that takes a XML file and generates SQL and PHP source files.
PHP-Nuke 2.5 PHP Interactive Web Portal System
PHP-ORBit 0.0.1 A CORBA interface module for PHP4.
phpESP 1.0 Design/create/use/report surveys online.
PHPGem 1.8 A generator of PHP-scripts for working with tables on SQL-servers.
PHPGem-PhotoAlbum 1.4 A PHP-powered photo album generator.
phpGroupWare 08072000 A Web-based software suite.
phpMyAdmin 2.1.0 Handles the basic adminstration of MySQL over the WWW
phpmyfortune 0.0.1 Show a cookie fortune via the Web.
PHP_Fourier 0.0.3 A Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) routine for PHP.
PIMP 3.0 beta A Web mail client.
Pnuts 1.0beta8 A scripting language specialized for Java.
PontisCTRL 0.2 A console interface for controlling mp3 player from pontis
POPular 1.2 POP3 server and proxy for large mail systems.
PoPy 1.3.3 A Postgresql driver for Python.
Postaci 1.0.5 A POP3 Webmail application with multilanguage and multidomain support.
ppp 2.4.0
PresTiMeL 20000805 A tool to create HTML presentations.
Prometheus-Library 4.0-beta Object-oriented PHP API
Pronto! 2.0.1 A full-featured Perl/GTK+ mail client.
ProZilla 0.99.9.4 A download accelerator for Linux.
Pspell .11.1 Portable Spell Checker Interface Library.
PTimeTracker 1.6.0 Track the time spent on different activities.
PTlink Services 2.10.0 IRC Registration Services
PyGCS 1.5.0 A very stripped down MUD-like chat-server written entirely in Python.
PyGTK 0.6.6 A set of bindings for the GTK widget set
PyGuiXml 0.4 Generates wxPython interfaces from XML specification.
PySol 4.60 A Python-based Solitaire card game
Python X Library 0.2 An X library for Python, written entirely in Python.
QtHello 1.0 Othello game and toolkit.
Quadra 1.1.4 A shareware, TCP/IP multiplayer T*tris-like game.
Quick and NASTY 1.00 Allows non root users to increase the priority of certain approved tasks
Radiator 2.1.1 A hierarchical radiosity package.
rawrec 0.95 A utility to record and play back raw audio data.
ReactOS 0.0.16 A GPL open source implementation of an operating system like Windows NT
Recovery Is Possible! 1.8 A floppy Linux boot/rescue system.
reiserfs 3.5.24 A filesystem which stores the files themselves in a B*-tree, gaining speed.
Relay Tester 0.2 A relay testing program.
Replicator 1.5pre4 Automatic replication of a Debian GNU/Linux installation.
Return-RST 1.0 ipchains tool for returning RST packets in firewall rules.
RHU .2 Keeps a Red Hat installation in sync with released updates.
Robust Audio Tool 4.2.7 An RTP audio conferencing and streaming application.
Rodian 0.6.6 Layer for handling, representing and storing information objects in a tree
ROX-Filer 0.1.26 Drag-and-drop based filemanager.
rpmproc 1.6 simple Perl wrapper to help manage and build RPM packages
rproxy 0.5.5 Improves web performance by the way of caching and differential updates.
Rudiments 0.12 C++ foundation classes.
runas 3.11.1 Execute a process as any user and/or group in a non-interactive manner
sawfish 0.30.3 An extensible window manager.
saydate 0.3.0 Speaks the date and uptime.
ScriptBasic 1.0.19.2 Cross-platform BASIC scripting language.
SDL 1.1.4 SDL is a library that allows you portable low level access for graphics/sound
SDL Perl 1.07 An SDL wrapper for Perl.
Search And Rescue 0.3 Helicopter rescue simulation
sfront 0.64 Translates MPEG 4 Structured Audio to C
Siag Office 3.4.0pre1 Free office package for Unix
Site in a Can 0.3 A PHP- and MySQL-based news backend.
Small Window Manager 1.1b A small and fast windowmanager for X11.
Smart BootManager 3.5-1 A OS Independant boot manager.
sms-queue 0.3 An SMS queue handler.
Snoopy Logger 1.00 An execve() wrapper that allows logging for system administrators
snortstart 0.15 a wrapper to snort that aims at install snort in a chroot jail
Solfege 0.7.17 GPL'ed eartraining for Gnome
Sony PCG-C1XS Picturebook Camera Capture 0.2 Make photos/films using the camera in your SONY Vaio C1XS.
Soth DPE 0.1 Distributed Processing Environment with inverse client server philosophy.
Spruce 0.7.3 A simple email client coded for X with the GTK widget set.
SQL Relay 0.17 A persistant database connection daemon with C, C++, and Perl APIs.
Squid 2.4devel4 High performance Web proxy cache
SquirrelMail 0.5pre1 A PHP4 Web-based email reader.
Stellation 268.281 A Web-based space conquest game.
Surfraw 0.5.6 Shell Users' Revolutionary Front Against the World wide web.
svgalib 1.4.2 Low-level graphics library that provides VGA and SVGA modes in a console
SWARM 0.32 Simulation of an ARM processor in C++.
swigphp 0.1 PHP extension for SWIG
sysstat 3.2.4 The sar and iostat commands for Linux
TARP 0.3 PHP-based web template engine
tcpify 0.0.0 TCP enablement for simple commands.
tcsysmon 1.42 System monitor dock app for WindowMaker/AfterStep
Terminality 1.3 A cross-platform terminal manipulation library.
tgif 4.1.35 Vector-based draw tool
ThatPHPware 0.3 A PHP/MySQL news backend.
The HACK Project 1.0801 A Computer simulator for learning computer architecture.
Thermal 0.1 Thermal monitoring with LMSensors; plots daily graphs.
tin 1.4.4 Curses based threaded NNTP and spool based UseNet newsreader
TkNotePad 0.7.6 A simple notepad editor written in Tcl/tk
TkPasMan 1.2 Personal Password Manager, easily store and paste usernames and passwords
tmk 0.9beta Cross-platform, Tcl-based software development tool
TNT Packet Radio Terminal 1.9.1 A curses-based Packet Radio Terminal for Linux, Solaris, NetBSD.
ToDoList.php 0.9.3 PHP-based todo management system.
TradeClient 0.3.0 A graphical email/calendar application for Linux.
Trebuchet Tk 1.0a83 A powerful cross-platform GUI MUD client written in TCL/Tk.
Trianii 0.1.2 Script to create a Pine address book from an LDAP directory
TSambaClass 1.4 Cross platform C++ class library for accessing smb.conf file.
Tunez 0.8 An MP3 Web jukebox with voting.
TutorShooter 1.0 An educational game for kids.
Typhon 2.1.0 Unix utilities: text/file/directory processing, systems administration utilities
UdmSearch 3.1.3 Fast WWW search engine for your site
UESQLC 0.8.0 Universal Embedded SQL Compiler for C++
Universal Toolkit 0.1.1a A layer between a program and different toolkits such as Gtk or Qt.
UW Imap Server 2000 release-candidate 4 Univerity of Washington Imap server
VA Cluster Manager 2.0.0 beta 2 A cluster management software toolkit.
VA-CTCS 1.2.6 VA Linux Systems' Diagnostics Package
VAMP Webmail 1.9.9-3 Flexible PHP-based Web mail.
var'aq 080200 A Klingon programming language.
VeePee 0.3 GUI-enabled scripting for GNOME and KDE applications.
Video4linux loopback 0.2 A video4linux driver providing video pipes.
VideoLAN 0.1.99f A software MPEG2 and DVD player.
VIP 0.1 Perl ICQ Web Pager.
Vis5d+ 1.0 Volumetric visualization of scientific data.
vmanpg 1.1 svgalib man page viewer.
VSound 0.3 Allows you to record the audio stream of most sound applications
wayV 0.1 Create gestures/draw shapes with your mouse to start programs.
Web-FTP 1.3.3 A lightweight Perl/CGI FTP client
web2ldap 0.7.9 A Python LDAP-client running as a CGI-BIN.
WebCalendar 0.9.21 A multi-user PHP/MySQL-based calendar.
WebCPULoad 0.1 Small CGI that displays the CPU usage on a web page.
WebNap 1.0.0 A Web-based Napster client written entirely in PHP.
Weborama 0.9.3 Automatically display all the pages of a Web site.
website news manager 0.15 Manage the news on your site.
Webtools 0.7 Useful CGIs, C++ classes, Javascripts, and images for Web-based apps.
WeSQL 0.27 An HTML extension for SQL.
whatsnewfm 0.0.3 A filter for the Freshmeat newsletter.
wi 2.1 A simple console interface to the new 'whois' format.
Winie 1.0.5 HTTP/1.1 Put Tool
wmNetscapeKiller 0.3 A WindowMaker dockapp to Netscape when it freezes.
xdmphoto 2.03 An xdm clone with user photos and X/WM configurability.
xfax 2.13 X-Windows fax program with TeX/LaTeX/PS support.
xfs 08012000linux-2.4-test5 A high-performance journaling filesystem.
XML for SCRIPT 0.21 A simple, fast, non-validating XML parser, written in JavaScript.
XMPS 0.1.2 A fully skinnable Gtk Video MPEG-1 player with playlist support.
Xplanet 0.73 An Xearth wannabe
xprintutil 1.5 A collection of X utilities for printing ASCII and DVI files.
xpuyopuyo 0.9.1 Tetris-like puzzle game with AI
XRally 1.0.pre3 An X11 clone of the Rally X arcade game.
xreversi 2.0 A networked Reversi/Othello program.
YIFF Sound Server 2.9.0 Sound server with multi-client and network-transparent io library.
Zorp 0.5.4 A proxy firewall.
ZPoPyDA 0.6.1 Postgresql database adapter for Zope
ZZplayer 0.6 An MPEG-I video player.
 

Our software announcements are provided courtesy of FreshMeat

   

Sections:
 Main page
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 Kernel
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 Commerce
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See also: last week's Back page page.

Linux Links of the Week


The gnulinux.com visitor screenshots page showcases the most interesting desktops that have been submitted by readers. If you're interested in better decorating your desktop, this page can be a good place to look for ideas.

If, instead, the Linux-powered watch is of interest, wander on over to wearcomp.org to see more work that is being done with wearable computing.

Section Editor: Jon Corbet


August 10, 2000

   

 

This week in history


Two years ago (August 13, 1998 LWN): Bruce Perens, Eric Raymond, Ian Murdock, and Tim Sailor announced the formation of the Open Source Initiative. The OSI's job was to be to police the use of the "Open Source" trademark and to promote open source in general. Since then Mr. Perens has left in anger, the trademark application was denied, and the OSI seems to be mostly dormant (the "what's new page" on the OSI web site was last updated in July, 1999).

The formation of the OSI was greeted with a great deal of criticism and anger, and there are certainly many who do not lament its fall from prominence. But the OSI did play a useful role in advocating open source, and in keeping early adopters of the term honest. An article in Upside this week explained it well:

But to a large extent the new visibility of open source is due to a clever marketing strategy on the part of Torvalds and his compadres--and a new willingness to talk the language of the corporation. These days, open source advocates talk less about freedom than about reliability--pointing out that when source code is opened up to the masses, the masses tend to locate and eliminate bugs very quickly.

The OSI was the embodiment of that marketing strategy.

Bruce Perens also left, angrily, the Linux Standard Base project, which he had been heading, this week.

Richard Stallman called for free documentation to accompany free software.

Please spread the word about this issue. We continue to lose manuals to proprietary publishing. If we spread the word that proprietary manuals are not sufficient, perhaps the next person who wants to help GNU by writing documentation will realize, before it is too late, that he must above all make it free.

Since then, the amount of free documentation available has expanded greatly - even if it still is not enough. Publishers no longer panic at the idea of making manual content free. Progress has been made.

The development kernel release was 2.1.115; Linus announced a hard code freeze with this release. This freeze proved less than firm, however, and the 2.2 stable release turned out to be more than five months away. The stable kernel release, meanwhile, remained at 2.0.36.

One year ago (August 12, 1999 LWN): the second LinuxWorld Conference and Expo was held this week; see LWN's coverage of the event if you are curious.

But the big news, of course, was the successful completion of Red Hat's initial public offering of stock. The actual event caused yet another round of trouble for those participating in the community offering, since a last-minute raise in the IPO price required a reconfirmation of interest. Many of the participants, who were at the conference, had a hard time doing that, though just about everybody got in before it was done.

The stock shot up to a (split-adjusted) price of $26, which seemed amazingly high at the time. The real significance of the IPO was to mark Linux as a truly interesting business phenomenon. A year later, with the Linux stock frenzy behind us, Linux remains more vital and interesting than ever.

Andover.Net announced the acquisition of FreshMeat this week.

The development kernel was 2.3.13; the long-awaited 2.2.11 stable kernel release also came out this week.

Red Flag Linux, a high-profile Chinese distribution, was announced this week. The newly-renamed Lineo announced its Embedix distribution.

 
   

 

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: Fri, 04 Aug 2000 12:10:36 +0200
From: David Balazic <david.balazic@uni-mb.si>
Subject: Napster, DeCSS and copyright
To: lwn@lwn.net

On lwn.net front page on August 3, 2000 you wrote :

> One thing that's worth adding to this discussion: remember that the free
> software world, too, is dependent on copyrights. Licenses like the GPL
> depend on copyright law. The free software world has a lot to contribute
> to the discussion on just how far copyright protections should apply, but
> if we promote the ignoring of copyright altogether, we are polluting our
> own well.

Specially "if we promote the ignoring of copyright altogether".

I don't think anybody ( except some unimportant kids ) is promoting the
ignorance of copyright law. In the DVD case , watching a DVD you purchased
is not and can not be held for a copyright infringement. And that is the
main purpose of DeCSS.

Napster : Here is no copyright infringement either ( at least Napster
claims so ).  Downloading a song for your home use is legal ( as per Audio
Home Recording Act ).  All tough I must admit that I find it hard to label
the act(*) of distributing a song to millions of napster users as "home
use".

* - I mean the act of a napster user marking a song on his HD as
"shared-over-napster"

Just my 0.02$

David Balazic
   
From: "Aaron J. Seigo" <aseigo@mountlinux.com>
To: letters@lwn.net
Subject: Elliot Lee's Response to my letter to the editor on July 28
Date: Thu, 3 Aug 2000 14:03:39 -0600

Hi.

LWN posted one of Elliot Lee's responses to my letter to the editor regarding
Miguel de Icaza's "Unix Sucks" rant that was covered on the front page of LWN.
Elliot and I went back and forth quite a bit on this one via email, and I'd like
to have the opportunity to make the result of our conversation available.

I wrote:
> I point to Icaza's own project Gnome as an example that he is (to
> quoth him) "smoking crack" when spouting these arguments. Gnome sets
> policy, and in the right place, too: on the application level.

Elliot responded:
> That is incorrect - all desktop-generic policy is set in gnome-libs and
> the other Gnome libraries, not in the applications themselves. gnome-libs
> and related pieces would generally be accepted as part of the operating
> environment, rather than part of the application.

After much running around the mulberry bush, we discovered (surprise!) that
Elliot (and apparently Miguel) and myself (and apparently many others) have
different definitions of the words "application" and "system".

To Elliot, the "system" is everything below the actual final app. This
includes the kernel, system libs, windowing subsystem, window manager, desktop
libraries shared by apps, etc. 

To me, in Linux an application is anything that isn't a system library
or  in the kernel. Everything else is an application.

Therefore, when I said that Gnome sets policy on the application level I meant
that by apps being compiled against the gnome libs which are optional in Linux,
that counts as occuring on the "application level". 

To Elliot, however, its virtually the same as linking to a system library: it's
all part of the "operating environment".

This may seem like a semantic issue, but I think it shows deeper differences in
viewpoint. The MOMENT someone views their software contribution to our Open
Source world as "being part of the system", they are creating a potential break
point between themselves and the rest of the community who doesn't use their
software. It is to say: "Hey, we're aren't just an application layer built
on this framework (Linux) and therefore optional (however useful and important),
we are part of a new foundational system."

Remember, this isn't Gnome/Linux. In fact, all it takes is a quick CTRL-ALT-F#
while running Gnome (or any X session), or a quck edit of an Xclients script to
make this absolutely clear. But by approaching it with the attitude that Gnome
is part of the Operating Environment , it can quickly become the way people
(especially those new to Linux) view it and therefore start using it, treating
it, and developing for it.

Instead we should be striving to reinforce the idea of choice and option.
We should be clear that things such as Gnome are applications only and
completely optional; that they are not part of the Linux "Operating
Environment" and that Linux does not suck just because it doesn't have such a
system as part of its default environment. 

I think that Unix desktop environments are a terrific idea and important to
the adoption of Linux on the desktop. However, the consequences of failing to
communicate clearly that these are _optional_ environments seperate from the
underlying system are potential fragmentation and a perceived loss of choice and
options on the part of the user.

____________
Aaron J. Seigo
   
Date: Thu, 03 Aug 2000 10:57:55 +0200
From: Bernd Paysan <bpaysan@mikron.de>
To: letters@lwn.net
Subject: Ballmer: Linux = communism

I know that this Ballmer thing from hell spits and throws dirt whenever
it can. But in this case, I really don't understand. Isn't he saying
that the thing people like about communism is that "it's free"? The only
thing I'm quite sure about communism (the real existing socialism) is
that it was all but free. Is he using newspeek or what ("freedom is
slavery")?

Free software, if at all, is "communistic", because:

* no alienation of workers (people write software because it scratches
  an itch, not because their boss demanded it)
* no exploitation by greedy capitalists, voluntary work instead

The main problem I see here is that the *real* communism (or socialism)
was all but that. Workers were alienated, because some stupid
functionaries directed them, and their work wasn't volutnary. In real
communism, you also had to fear that the people with power wanted to
know where you want to go today, and kept a detailed record of your
actions, if you were suspicious (or even if you weren't, just to find
out if you are suspicious). That is, Microsoft clearly matches real
communism much more than free software ;-).

-- 
Bernd Paysan
"If you want it done right, you have to do it yourself"
http://www.jwdt.com/~paysan/

   
From: Jeff Buck <JeffB@umci.com>
To: "'letters@lwn.net'" <letters@lwn.net>
Subject: Fearing the word
Date: Thu, 3 Aug 2000 13:01:40 -0700 

The "communist" label does come out every now and 
then to describe linux and the free software community, 
and most of the time it's pretty clearly FUD, but there
is something that almost always gets overlooked by the
free software community. The fact is, that in many ways
they are right. We are in a way a communist community.
Now don't misunderstand me here, I don't mean to say
that we're like the old Soviet republic, or any of the
other "communist" governments that ruled (or currently
rule) their countries.  In fact, we're a much better
example of communism than any real government ever has
been.  The original ideas behind communism were really
aimed at creating a sort of a utopian society, where
everyone works for the common good.  They use their
talents for the common good, and in turn the reap the
benefits of everyone else using their talents for the
common good.  We've also taken the best of a democratic
society and thrown that into our virtual community
melting pot, and the combination seems to work quite
well.  The next time someone accuses the free software
community of being communist, we might do well to simply
point out that they're right, but that we're also
democratic and libertarian as well.

It seems pretty ironic that it took a pure democracy
(absolutely everyone votes, either with code, or with
their (virtual) feet), to make a communist society that
works.

-Jeff Buck (jeffb@umci.com)



   
Date: Fri, 04 Aug 2000 00:36:41 -0500
From: beasley <beasley@hiwaay.net>
To: lwn@lwn.net
Subject: Linux, Open Source, and Communism

Sir / Madam

Regarding Mr. Ballmer's recent comments [Open Source = Communism],

LWN wrote: 

 "In any case, one wouldn't think that a communist phenomenon
  would be so thick with libertarians and venture capitalists.
  Free software is a capitalist phenomenon: free agents are
  contributing to a public good because it is in their own
  selfish interest to do so. Use of words like "communist"
  show either a lack of understanding of free software
  or a great fear of it - or both."

I believe you're entirely correct here.

As a Libertarian Linux user, acting very much in my own
selfish interests, I'd like to submit these interesting
links:

The "Linux FAQ"
http://www.mainmatter.com/linux-faq.html

The "Open Source FAQ"
http://www.opensource.org/faq.html

The "Museum of Communism FAQ"
http://www.gmu.edu/departments/economics/bcaplan/museum/comfaq.htm

Oh, and here's another minor difference:

According to Professor R.J. Rummel of the University of Hawaii:

 "Communism has been the greatest social engineering experiment we
  have ever seen. It failed utterly and in doing so it killed over
  100,000,000 men, women, and children, not to mention the near
  30,000,000 of its subjects that died in its often aggressive
  wars and the rebellions it provoked."

http://www2.hawaii.edu/~rummel/COM.ART.HTM#*

The total loss of life attributed to "Open Source"
and "Linux" is unknown, but is most probably very much less.

Michael Beasley
   
Date: Fri, 4 Aug 2000 12:09:39 +1000
From: Rev Simon Rumble <simon@rumble.net>
To: lwn@lwn.net
Subject: Communist?

The communist label for free software is always a laughable one.  When
Americans say "communist" they invariably mean Soviet Socialist, ie
USSR.  The USSR was in fact a centrally planned totalitarian regime
using communist imagery in its propaganda.

That means that "the State knows what is best for you and you'll do what
the State deems you should do" was the way it operated.  This has more
in common with the centrally planned (Cathedral) Microsoft telling
users that they WILL have a browser embedded in the operating system 
than with free software.  To claim free software is communist is to
reveal a distinct lack of understanding of political terminology,
although that is very common in post-McCarthy America.

Free software has more in common, although most free software geeks
don't realise it, with anarcho-syndicalists.  Anarcho-syndicalists
believe in absolute freedom with coorperation between individuals when
it helps all the individuals (ie a syndicate).  This means that
anarcho-syndicalists may even elect or inherit a leader, but anyone in
the syndicate is free to leave at any point they want -- kind of like
Linux kernel development with Linus controlling it.

It's curious how apolitical most free software geeks are, even though
using free software over non-free software is an intensely political
act.  Anarchists talk about freedom being the natural state of man,
which would ring true when you see free software geeks without a
conscious political bone in their bodies becoming intensely political
and unconsciously gravitating towards anarchical structures.

I'm sure in future years the free software movement will be studied by
political researchers everywhere.

-- 
Rev Simon Rumble        It seemed the world was divided into good
simon@rumble.net        and bad people.  The good ones slept better
http://www.rumble.net   ... while the bad ones seemed to enjoy the
                        waking hours much more.
                        -- Woody Allen, "Side Effects"
   
Date: Mon, 7 Aug 2000 20:24:04 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Donald J. Barry" <don@astro.cornell.edu>
To: lwn@lwn.net
Cc: don@isc4.tn.cornell.edu
Subject: Editorial on the 3 August 2000 Linux Weekly News

Dear Jonathan and Elizabeth,

I must take issue with your claim that "Free software is a capitalist 
phenomenon: free agents are contributing ... because it is in their
own selfish interest to do so."

Not everyone in the free software game (and out of it) is a capitalist, 
you know, and not all of us despise either the term or the philosophy 
of communism.

I'm a dedicated marxist and I tend to go, when possible, by the philosophy
of the greatest good for the greatest number.  Remember us when you deliver 
your all-encompassing evasions from the accusations of the proprietary crazies.

Cheers,

Don Barry, Ph.D.
Cornell Astronomy
   
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