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Leading items and editorials

GNOME goes for world domination. If any one group could be said to have dominated the LinuxWorld Conference and Expo this time around, it would have [GNOME] to be the GNOME project. We'll start with an overview of what has been announced, then get into some thoughts of what the implications are.

  • A group called the GNOME Foundation has been formed (press release). The purpose of this foundation is to oversee the overall development of GNOME, decide which technologies get included, and to keep any one company from dominating the development of the system. It will provide "financial and legal" help to the project, and do release coordination. It will also handle the project's PR.

    The Foundation will have a board of directors elected by the GNOME developers. A number of companies and organizations have announced support; they include Compaq, Eazel, the Free Software Foundation, Gnumatic, Helix Code, Henzai, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Object Management Group, Red Hat, Sun Microsystems, TurboLinux and VA Linux. There is also to be an advisory committee populated with people from that same list of companies.

    No people have been named in the Foundation thus far, and it appears to have no web site. One assumes they will get around to those details once the show is over.

  • Sun Microsystems, not content with joining the GNOME Foundation, has also announced that GNOME 2.0 will be the desktop for the Solaris system, replacing CDE. Sun will be assigning 50 engineers to work on GNOME. As of this writing, Sun's web page features GNOME prominently.

  • HP is planning a shift to GNOME on its desktop, though there is no announcement from the company to that effect.

  • IBM will be shipping laptops with Helix GNOME. Much of the publicity this week made a smaller deal of the fact that KDE, too, is available from IBM on the same laptops.

  • TurboLinux has announced a working version of Helix GNOME on the IA-64 architecture.

  • GNOME put out a separate press release detailing its plans for World Domination. It covers the previously-announced integration of the GPL version of StarOffice into GNOME, and claims that Mozilla will be so integrated as well.

In a way, the most interesting part is that last press release. Nobody can accuse the GNOME folks of being insufficiently ambitious; according to the release they plan to "establish the GNOME user environment as the unifying desktop for the Linux and UNIX communities," as well as working toward "establishment of the GNOME framework as the standard for next-generation Internet access devices."

Those are big goals. And with the sort of support that GNOME is drumming up, there is a possibility that those goals could even be achievable. The addition of StarOffice and Mozilla - if it can be made to work well - will also help. If GNOME achieves its goals, it will have a fundamental role in assuring the long-term success of Linux as a whole.

Of course, there are a few little obstacles to overcome. The easiest will be CDE and Motif, which can probably be considered dead as of this announcement. The recent Open Motif effort is far too little, far too late. GNOME has surpassed it, and the Unix vendors are abandoning it.

But then, there is the matter of KDE. ZDNet has already written an obituary for KDE in an article entitled Hello GNOME, Adios KDE: "In the end, one side had to win. And in this zero-sum game, that meant the other side had to come up empty." Let us ignore the fundamental misunderstanding of free software betrayed by calling it a "zero-sum game;" the important question is: is KDE doomed?

The KDE project has done a more than credible job of creating a top-quality desktop environment that is arguably still ahead of GNOME. KDE has a large and committed development community, and is rapidly heading toward a long-awaited 2.0 release. One can probably assume that the KDE team isn't ready to just give up. It is also worth noting that the distributors most closely associated with KDE - such as Caldera, Corel, MandrakeSoft and SuSE - are not a part of the GNOME Foundation.

We asked KDE spokesperson Robert Williams what he thought of the matter; here's what he said:

We feel that we have a superior product than GNOME, and that people will see this when KDE 2.0 released. The press GNOME is getting will make us re-double our development and our PR efforts. In fact we do not have much of a PR presence, we prefer to rely on our technology. But that is going to have to change. GNOME is getting a lot of backing and we have to speak up. We plan on getting KDE out there more in the press. We will let GNOME have their week, but the war is not over :-) I will tell all of our millions of users out there, that KDE is here to stay!

(Also see LWN's conversation with KDE hacker Kurt Granroth on this subject).

The free software world is certainly richer for having two approaches to desktop software to choose from; better cooperation between the projects might be nice, but it's not necessarily a good thing for one of them to "unify" everybody's desktop in the near future.

GNOME may not take over quite as quickly as it might hope. But these developments are good news; Linux has just gotten stronger. World Domination is that much closer.

(See also: "we're joining" press releases from Eazel, Red Hat, Sun, and the Object Management Group; this transcript of the press conference by Raph Levien; and Sun's home page which, as of this writing, features GNOME prominently).

LinuxWorld. The LinuxWorld Conference and Expo is still going on as your increasingly frazzled editors write this. You will find coverage of [Tux + Daemons] LinuxWorld events and announcements throughout this week's LWN. So we'll limit ourselves to one observation in this space.

The most important thing that has come out of the fourth LinuxWorld may well be that it has served notice to the world as a whole that Linux is alive, well, and getting stronger. The end of the weirdness in the stock market was in no way indicative of the demise of Linux. It will likely seem strange to most readers of this publication, but an awful lot of people seemed to think that, once the ridiculous stock prices went away, Linux's hour had passed. Much of the coverage in the mainstream press served to reinforce this perception. Linux was a passing fad.

Everything about this conference, from its long sold-out exhibit space to the incredible pile of commercial announcements, has told the wider world in a language it understands that Linux and free software are here to stay. The Linux stock shakeout did not even slightly slow their momentum. After all, free software never had anything to do with stock prices. Free software is about freedom. And the advantages of freedom are compelling. Free software is the future, and LinuxWorld is helping to make that clear.

LWN's coverage from the conference so far includes a report from Michael Dell's keynote, and a summary of the Debian press conference. More to come.

Linux-based palmtops are here. A few announcements at LinuxWorld have made it clear that the days of running proprietary operating systems on handheld systems are almost over. Here's a quick look at what's up.

[Pocketlinux] Transvirtual has long (by Linux standards) been known for its "clean room" Java implementation Kaffe. The Kaffe system has been pitched for use in embedded systems for a while, so it is not that much of a stretch for Transvirtual to get into handheld systems. That they did in a big way this week, with the announcement of the "PocketLinux Framework," complete with a companion web site at PocketLinux.com.

PocketLinux starts with a 2.4 kernel which has been "reengineered" for small devices. Added onto that is, of course, a version of Kaffe; Transvirtual sees Java as a way of writing code which is portable across a wide variety of handheld systems. Throw in heavy use of XML to "represent all data in the system," and there should be enough buzzwords here to satisfy just about anybody. There are also nifty tools (such as a synchronization utility) and the obligatory theme support.

PocketLinux is currently running on two systems: Compaq's iPAQ and VTech's Helio. VTech has announced that it will be supporting PocketLinux directly. Compaq has been more quiet, but the rumor mill says that helped support the development of PocketLinux on the iPAQ.

None of the PR says anything about which distribution is used in PocketLinux. However, the Debian logo on the PocketLinux site and Jim Pick's presence at Transvirtual provide some fairly strong hints. PocketLinux is licensed under the GPL, and it can be downloaded from this page.

Meanwhile, Agenda Computing has announced a Linux-based PDA of its own. The "Agenda VR3" comes in three variants, with the entry system going for $149. A good look at the Agenda system can be found in this LinuxDevices.com article; author Rick Lehrbaum wants one...

Inside this week's Linux Weekly News:

  • Security: ActiveState releases PerlMX; ssh license change.
  • Kernel: vger dies; multistream files - again
  • Distributions: Debian 2.2
  • Development: Releases of sketch, QTCUPS; LI18NUX2000 Globalization Specification
  • Commerce: VA Linux Systems, HA & Clustering.
  • 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 17, 2000


 Main page
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See also: last week's Security page.

News and Editorials

PerlMx beta available from ActiveState. ActiveState has released a beta copy of its PerlMx extension to sendmail. PerlMx allows the creation of Perl scripts which run inside the sendmail system; these scripts can do things like reject, log, or rewrite mail. Clearly it's a scheme which gives administrators a flexible way of managing their mail systems.

LWN asked ActiveState about the security implications of having a Perl interpreter running as part of sendmail. It turns out that the PerlMx system runs as a separate process in its own context. Thus, it can run without any sort of special privileges, which makes a lot of things easier. As long as the communication channel between sendmail and PerlMx remains secure, it should be very hard to introduce new security problems with PerlMx.

SSH Communications changes ssh license. SSH Communications has announced a change to its licensing terms for ssh - it can now be used free of charge on Linux and the BSD variants for any purpose. It can also be included in distributions - but you have to be a "qualified developer" and get a license first. Most other applications still require a license fee from the user, though they do generously allow university contractors to use it for free.

This change is an obvious response to the increasing popularity of OpenSSH - why else would it be targeted at users of free systems?. It looks much like too little too late, however. It is still not free software in any way; OpenSSH, instead, is truly free and highly capable. The outcome of this particular battle seems fairly predictable.

August 15 Crypto-Gram newsletter. Bruce Schneier's Crypto-Gram newsletter for August 15 is out. Included therein is a description of Mr. Schneier's new book Secrets and Lies, which, like most of his stuff, should be very good. There is also a heads-up on the possibility of security problems in the Bluetooth protocol. "If Bluetooth is secure, it will be the first time ever that a major protocol has been released without any security flaws. I'm not optimistic."

Security Reports

Vulnerability in Zope 2.*. Digital Creations has issued an advisory regarding a security problem with all versions of Zope prior to the (just announced) 2.2.1 beta 1 release. The vulnerability could allow users who already have sufficient access to edit DTML to give themselves a higher level of access; it does not appear to expose Zope-based sites to the world as a whole. There is a "hotfix" available which closes the hole; see the advisory for details.

There is also a new release of ZEO available; ZEO users who are upgrading to the 2.2.1 beta 1 release will need to apply this upgrade as well.

A number of distributors have issued updates to fix this problem:

Trouble with usermode. The usermode utility allows unprivileged users to shut down and reboot the system. It also, apparently, allows them to put the system into single-user mode, which may not be what the administrator had in mind. A couple of vendors have shipped fixes:

Buffer overflow in UMN gopherd. Some people, evidently, are still using Gopher after all these years. A buffer overflow problem in UMN's gopherd was reported this week. A fix is available, see the announcement for the location (but don't use the patch in that message, see this update instead).

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

  • Brian Masney has reported a problem with the Totalbill system (a billing application for ISPs) which allows remote users to run programs as root.
  • The version of FlagShip which is distributed on the Red Hat Linux 6.0 application CD was reported to have some world-writable executable files.
  • VeriCAD, too, has a world-writable file problem.


More on Brown Orifice. For those of you wanting to read more about the Netscape "Brown Orifice" vulnerability, here is an advisory from CERT on the subject. "As of the writing of this document, we have not received any reports indicating exploitation of this vulnerability outside of the context of obtaining it from the Brown Orifice web site."

Also of interest is this posting by Andreas Greulich exploring some of the scarier implications of the Brown Orifice problem. It seems that, with some cleverness, BO can be exploited to explore internal web sites (behind) a firewall, and to make use of a user's personal certificates. This is actually a pretty scary bug, at least for some users.

SGI kernel update. SGI has finally gotten around to putting out a kernel update fixing the capability vulnerability closed by 2.2.16.

Trustix updates apache-ssl. Trustix has issued an update to its apache-ssl package, which has some file permissions problems.

Perl/mailx updates continue to trickle in; see last week's security page for details on this vulnerability.

NFS/rpc.statd . Check the July 20th LWN Security Summary for the initial report.

This week's updates:

Previous updates:

MandrakeSoft updates MandrakeUpdate. Linux-Mandrake's MandrakeUpdate utility has a /tmp race problem which is fixed with this update. The problem is described as "a very low security risk."

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

Update to diskcheck. Conectiva's diskcheck package has a /tmp race problem; an update has been provided.


A new mailing list for discussion of penetration testing and network auditing techniques has been announced.

Here's the Linux Security Week Newsletter from the folks at LinuxSecurity.com.


August/September security events.
Date Event Location
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 17, 2000

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

Security List Archives
Bugtraq Archive
Firewall Wizards Archive
ISN Archive

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

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

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


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See also: last week's Kernel page.

Kernel development

The current development kernel release is 2.4.0-test6, which Linus released just moments after LWN was published last week. There is a 2.4.0-test7 prepatch out there, currently in its fourth revision. Linus has picked up a nice new habit: sending out changelogs for his releases; here's the changelog for 2.4.0-test7-pre4.

The current stable kernel release is still 2.2.16. A prepatch (2.2.17pre17) went out on August 15, but there has been no announcement for it, so far.

vger.rutgers.edu is down due to a disk failure as of this writing, and has been for about a day. That means that the linux-kernel mailing list (along with many others) is not currently functioning. For those who are used to the 150-200 message per day linux-kernel stream, things seem awfully quiet and peaceful.

At the Ottawa Linux Symposium David Miller said that the lists were going to move over to a new machine (vger.redhat.com). It may be that he'll take this opportunity to make the move.

Multistream files - again. Every so often, the kernel development list seems compelled to go through a discussion of whether - and how - Linux should support multistream files. This time around it started with a query as to whether Linux had any sort of support for streams along the lines of NTFS. The requester got his answer ("no") fairly quickly, but the discussion went on rather longer than that.

A lot of people like multistream files. They let you do things like attach a thumbnail to an image file, attach "sticky notes" to a document, any many other things. Complex information can be attached to a file which simply stays out of the way for most actual uses. The concept is not without its merits.

Nonetheless, quite a few kernel developers feel that Linux has no business supporting multistream files. Such files certainly twist the normal Unix way of dealing with data. They also present practical problems: how do you make cp copy a multistream file properly; how do you get tar to back it up? Most network protocols (i.e. FTP, HTTP, NFS, etc.) also do not understand multistream files.

Just as the kernel developers were getting going with the ritual trashing of the multistream file idea, Linus joined in with a statement that Linux should support the concept. His reasoning is simple: like it or not, there are several filesystems out there which implement the multistream concept. If Linux is to play well with other systems, it has to support those filesystems. And a proper job needs to be done of it - meaning that multistream files need to be supported well.

A number of ideas were raised on how to implement the multistream concept. At one end of the scale is Pavel Machek's unfortunately named Podfuk utility, which shoves the work into user space. A commonly-raised idea is to make a multistream file appear to be a directory, with each stream looking like a file within that directory. If the file itself is opened, the operation is remapped to a default stream (often known as the "data fork") within the file. There are even schemes for automounting some sort of specialized filesystem on top of multistream files when they are opened.

Those are all just ideas, however. The fact is that Linux is far from any sort of proper multistream file implementation, though a hack for Apple's HFS does exist now. But the door has been opened, and such a thing will probably go in at some point.

The OpenXDSM project launches. XDSM is the "Data Storage Management" API; it is apparently oriented toward hierarchical storage and data migration tasks. The OpenXDSM project, which announced its existence this week, has set out to create an open source XDSM implementation. Thus far they have some support from BigStorage, Inc, a SourceForge page, and not a whole lot more. Obviously, they are looking for interested people to help out.

Other patches and updates released this week include:

  • Rik van Riel has posted another version of his new virtual memory system patch. It is, says Rik, "fully stable now and has received a whole 3 hours of performance tuning." Rik is most interested in seeing the patch tested under a variety of workloads; if you would like to help out kernel development, giving this patch a try could be a good way to contribute to better memory management in 2.4.0.

  • Jeff Dike has released a new version of user-mode Linux which has been updated to the 2.4.0-test6 kernel. "This release is also very unstable. I've updated only the patch so that people can play with it and hopefully find more informative crashes than I've been able to get so far."

  • Version 1.4 of the performance monitoring counters driver has been released by Mikael Pettersson.

  • Andries Brouwer has announced version 2.10o of the util-linux package. Among other things, it has a version of fdformat that works with 2.4.0-test6.

  • Eric Raymond has released cml2-0.7.6 - the latest version of his new kernel build system.

  • Andrew Morton has released a new low-latency patch which is in need of testers.

  • ReiserFS 3.6.12 has been released.

  • A new version of the DC10plus video capture card has been posted

Section Editor: Jonathan Corbet

August 17, 2000

For other kernel news, see:

Other resources:


 Main page
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See also: last week's Distributions page.

Lists of Distributions
Woven Goods

Embedded Distributions:

BluePoint Embedded
Compact Linux
Embedded Debian
Hard Hat Linux
OnCore Systems
RedBlue Linux
Royal Linux
White Dwarf Linux

Familiar (iPAQ)
Intimate (iPAQ)
Linux DA


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

News and Editorials

Debian 2.2 released. It has finally happened: Debian 2.2 has been released. The first major release out of Debian in a year and a half contains no end of new features, additional packages, and more - see the announcement for an overview.

A worthwhile quote from the announcement:

Debian GNU/Linux 2.2 is dedicated to the memory of Joel "Espy" Klecker, a Debian developer, unbeknownst to most of the Debian Project, was bedridden and fighting a disease known as Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy during most of his involvement with Debian. Only now is the Debian Project realizing the extent of his dedication, and the friendship he bestowed upon us. So as a show of appreciation, and in memory of his inspirational life, this release of Debian GNU/Linux is dedicated to him.

Free software releases seem to require a press conference anymore, and Debian was no exception. The conference at LinuxWorld featured numerous Linux luminaries (including Linus) and a big screen showing an IRC session with Debian developers worldwide. LWN's Liz Coolbaugh was there; see her report for the details.

The list of new features in Debian 2.2 is long; it includes:

  • Support for the ARM and PowerPC architectures.
  • The 2.2.17 kernel ... even though that kernel has not been released yet...
  • Numerous installation improvements.
  • Debian finally supports PAM - the pluggable authentication modules. PAM is most helpful to administrators who want to be able to configure how authentication is done on their systems.
  • Better internationalization, including integrated Japanese support (no separate -JP packages).
  • 3950 packages.
Plus, of course, current versions of every package in the system.

Congratulations are due to all members of the Debian team, who have worked for many months to get this release out.

Caldera OpenLinux

Caldera's new management tool is coming. Caldera has announced that its "Cosmos" management product is going into a (closed) beta test. No word as to when it will be more widely available.


Corel Launches Corel(R) Linux OS: second edition. Corel has announced the release of the second edition of its Linux distribution. It will begin shipping by the end of the month. CorelDRAW has also been released.

By all accounts, the second edition is not a radical change from Corel's first effort - it's mostly a polishing and fixing up sort of release.


Debian Weekly News. The Debian Weekly News for August 15 is out. It covers, of course, the release of Debian 2.2 and LinuxWorld.

Worth a read: here's a posting from acting release manager Anthony Towns containing acknowledgements of those who slaved away to make the 2.2 release happen, a sort of post-mortem on what could have been done better with the 2.2 development cycle, and a first look forward at what Debian plans to do in the new, "woody" development cycle.

Wondering whether to try Debian? If so, consider having a look at the Debian Advantages HOWTO for a bit of advocacy...


Lineo announced the release of "Embedix Realtime," a version of its embedded distribution with hard realtime support. There is no mention in the PR of which realtime Linux patch has been used, but, chances are it's RTAI since Lineo is a supporter of that development. Lineo also announced plans to make a version of its Embedix developers kit for Windows users.

Fd Linux

Fd Linux is a floppy-based mini distribution which has just had its 1.0 release. It's based on Red Hat, but, obviously, is rather smaller.


What is HA-Linux? It's a new, high-availability distribution from Motorola, which is based on Red Hat 6.2 and runs on Motorola's boards. Some more information can be found in this announcement.


MandrakeSoft announces Corporate Server 1.0 SPARC and UltraSPARC platforms. MandrakeSoft has announced the availability of its "Corporate Server 1.0" product on SPARC systems. "This port will significantly expand the reach of Linux-Mandrake within the enterprise."

MandrakeSoft has also announced that it will be bundling OpenSales' products with the Linux-Mandrake distribution. This release also, interestingly, refers to Linux-Mandrake twice as "the world's most popular Linux distribution."

Red Hat

Red Hat has announced that it will provide a distribution and support for AMD's 64-bit processors.

ROCK Linux

The ROCK Linux PowerPC Port. IBM sponsored an RS/6000 B50 box for the PowerPC port of ROCK Linux. "It's not ready for production use at the moment, but most of it builds allready fine and works as one would expect. First binary releases for RS/6000 systems are planed for the next weeks."

Stampede GNU/Linux

Stampede GNU/Linux 0.90 ("HappyValley") has been released. There does not appear to be any sort of announcement or release notes available; a brief news item and downloads are available on the Stampede web page.

SuSE Linux

SuSE to port Linux to AMD's 'Sledgehammer' processor. SuSE and AMD have announced that SuSE will "drive" the port of Linux to AMD's new, 64-bit "Sledgehammer" processor. Much of the work - the compiler and binutils - has already been done by SuSE hacker Jan Hubicka.

IBM to ship a SuSE disk with every European Netfinity. IBM and SuSE have announced an "advanced marketing agreement" where every Netfinity server sold in Europe will be shipped with a SuSE 7.0 disk. It will be a single-disk version of the distribution, and one which can run directly off the CD so that people can try it out easily.

SuSE 7.0 certified for Oracle 8i. SuSE has announced that its 7.0 Professional Edition is "tested, certified and optimized" for Oracle 8i. The announcement talks about the features included by SuSE which support high-end Oracle use, including raw I/O, large memory support, large file support, the logical volume manager, and ReiserFS - all of which are 2.4 kernel features or (in the case of ReiserFS) not currently included even in the 2.4.0-test series.


TurboLinux does some deals. [NetVista] TurboLinux would appear to have made some corporate inroads recently. According to this announcement, IBM will be using TurboLinux 6.1 for its NetVista thin client systems.

Moving upscale, TurboLinux has also announced that HP is preinstalling its distribution on all of its "Kayak" Linux workstations sold in North America and Europe.

Finally, TurboLinux and SGI have announced a deal where TurboLinux's upcoming IA-64 distribution will include SGI's "breakthrough" compiler.

64-bit GNOME. TurboLinux has ported Helix GNOME to the IA-64, and makes a big deal about being the first to do so.

Section Editor: Liz Coolbaugh

August 17, 2000

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

Caldera OpenLinux
Debian GNU/Linux
Red Hat

Also well-known
Best Linux
Conectiva Linux

Rock Linux

Non-technical desktop
Icepack Linux
Redmond Linux

Boston University
Red Escolar

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

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

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

Related Projects
Chinese Linux Extension

Historical (Non-active)
MCC Interim Linux
Storm Linux


 Main page
 Linux in the news
 Back page

See also: last week's Development page.

Development projects

News and Editorials

In last week's development page editorial, we ventured into the realm of sci-fi and discussed the idea of a 3 dimensional window manager. As it turns out, 3DWM is already a real project from Chalmers Medialab and a new version (0.2) has recently been released. 3DWM is licensed under LGPL. This week's back page also has a few letters to the editor discussing 3D window managers. Maybe the future's already here.

The LI18NUX2000 Globalization Specification has been released by the Free Standards Group. This specification is aimed toward standardizing the internationalization features of Linux distributions; it "includes the best of globalization functionality that commercial UNIX systems have successfully implemented and compliments the functionality with extensions that will make Linux Internationalization comprehensive for all national and local requirements." The standard also prescribes practices for programmers who want to write truly portable, internationalized code.

The standard itself can be found on the LI18NUX site. A quick glance reveals an immediate obstacle to adoption: it looks like the output of standards committees everywhere. It will take a dedicated programmer, well equipped with caffeine, to get through it.

But that is the nature of the beast. Linux is very much an international system, and it is good practice to code with a whole world full of users in mind. LI18NUX has taken a step toward showing how best to support the world, and that is a good and useful thing.

Case study: Porting DB2 to Linux. IBM has put up an article on its DeveloperWorks site detailing how the port of the DB2 database to Linux was done. "As is the case with many Linux projects, the original DB2 port was done when no one was looking. Way back at the end of 1997, two Linux fans on the IBM DB2 project team, Leo Comitale and Peeter Joot, copied the DB2 source code tree to their desktop Linux boxes and worked on compiling it in their spare time." Worth a read.


Mozilla Developer Meeting and Dinner, Aug 18, 2000. Alphanumerica is sponsoring the second Mozilla Developer Meeting at the Netscape campus in Mountain View, California on August 18, 2000. The Mozilla Developer Day Dinner 2000 is being held afterwards in Mountain View. An RSVP is requested.


PostgreSQL benchmark results. Great Bridge LLC has issued this press release claiming that PostgreSQL has not only beat two commercial databases in a set of benchmark tests, but that it stomped MySQL and InterBase as well. "The two industry leaders cannot be mentioned by name because their restrictive licensing agreements prohibit anyone who buys their closed source products from publishing their company names in benchmark testing results without the companies' prior approval."


Red Hat and Indrema establish Linux distribution for gaming. Indrema and Red Hat have announced an alliance to jointly manage a distribution called "DV Linux", which will be oriented toward gaming and home entertainment applications. "The Red Hat and Indrema partnership will ensure that a universal standard for next-generation video game development emerges to avoid fragmentation in the various Open Source multimedia initiatives."

Indrema has also announced a deal with Collab.Net to build the "Indrema Developer Network." And if that weren't enough, there is also a deal with Linuxcare to provide support for game developers.

bombermaze 0.5.1 released. Bombermaze is a Bomberman clone for Gnome that involves running around in a square grid maze, dropping bombs, and collecting power-ups.


Wine Weekly News for Aug 14, 2000. This week's Wine Weekly News is out. Topics include numerous bug fixes and dealing with wininit.ini.

Office Applications

Sketch 0.6.8 released. Sketch 0.6.8 is a general purpose vector drawing program written in Python. Sketch can import and export EPS format files. Sketch is released under the GPL license.

VINE integrates mail and news into VI. If you are tired of the VI editor's small memory footprint and fast execution speed, check out VINE, the Vim Integrated News and Email project. Kidding aside, this might be a useful addition for the VI die-hards. (Found on NTKnow - where else do you look for that sort of thing?).

On the Desktop

Selecting GTK+ Widgets for a Simple Application (Linux Programming). Linux Programming has run this article by Donna S. Martin on selecting GTK+ widgets. The article takes you through the process of finding the right GTK widgets and assembling them into a working program.

QTCUPS-0.2 released. A new release of QTCUPS has been released. QTCUPS gives Qt applications a common printer interface GUI to the CUPS (Common Unix Print System) package. CUPS is an improved Unix network printing system and version 1.1.2 has recently been released.

The Quanta HTML Editor (Linux Gazette). The Linux Gazette takes a look at the Quanta HTML editor for KDE. "There has been some time since I looked at Quanta and I must admit to being a bit impressed at the progress of the editor.All in all Quanta is a very nice HTML editor, very powerfull but with a major bug for non-English users that rely on extended ASCII for their webpages. I've also found somewhat more minor irritants in Quanta than when using Bluefish."

Web-site Development

ZopeLDAP 1.0b4 / 1.0b4.1 patch. A new patch is available for ZopeLDAP that improves LDAP methods with Zope 2.2.

Zope EventFolder 1.0 (final) release. A final release of the Zope EventFolder has been announced. EventFolder implements a calendar of events for Zope based web sites.

Section Editor: Forrest Cook

August 17, 2000

Project Links
High Availability

More Information



Development tools


IBM releases Jikes Compiler as open-source. IBM has announced that the Jikes Java compiler project is now available as an open-source project. It's now licensed under the OSI-approved IBM Public License.

JavaML A markup language for Java source code (IBM). IBM's developer works has run this article on JavaML. "The classical plain-text representation of source code is convenient for programmers but requires parsing to uncover the deep structure of the program. While sophisticated software tools parse source code to gain access to the program's structure, many lightweight programming aids such as grep rely instead on only the lexical structure of source code. I describe a new XML application that provides an alternative representation of Java source code. This XML-based representation, called JavaML, is more natural for tools and permits easy specification of numerous software-engineering analyses by leveraging the abundance of XML tools and techniques. A robust converter built with the Jikes Java compiler framework translates from the classical Java source code representation to JavaML, and an XSLT stylesheet converts from JavaML back into the classical textual form."


Perl 5.7.0 Release Imminent (Use Perl). Perl pumpking Jarkko Hietaniemi will be releasing Perl 5.7.0 (a development release) in the next few days.


Python-URL for August 15. Here is Dr. Dobb's Python-URL for August 14. Check it out for the latest in Python development activity, including the release of Quixote 0.002 and the new location of the Daily Python-URL.

Python 1.6b1 released under a new license (O'Reilly). The latest release of Python has been released under a new license. "So negotiations began with Eric S. Raymond, Bruce Perens, and Richard Stallman in attendance. The negotiations were successful, and Python 1.6b1 was released with the new and improved CNRI license on August 4th."

Latest additions to Python FAQTS. The latest additions to the Python FAQTS have been released. Integrating Python into a FORTRAN program is discussed among other things.

Call for participation - IDLE. There has been a call for participation for the IDLE project. A separate fork has been created at sourceforge.net.


Newsgroup comp.lang.smalltalk.advocacy created. A new newsgroup, comp.lang.smalltalk.advocacy has passed the vote and will be created.

IBM announces VisualAge Smalltalk 5.5. IBM has announced the new version 5.5 release of VisualAge Smalltalk. New features include XML support and enhanced Java integration.


This week's Tcl-URL. Here is the Dr. Dobb's Tcl-URL for August 14 with the latest in Tcl/Tk development news.

Section Editor: Forrest Cook

Language Links
IBM Java Zone
Perl News
Daily Python-URL
Tcl Developer Xchange

 Main page
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See also: last week's Commerce page.

Linux and Business

Va Linux Systems. VA Linux Systems is working hard at becoming a one stop shop for all your Linux and Open Source needs. They provide hardware, software, service and information. Now they have launched the Open Source Developer Network site. OSDN looks a lot like a configurable front-end to VA's other sites; future plans evidently include email hosting and instant messaging.

VA has also announced a number of "charter members" of OSDN, including Compaq, EMC, Hewlett-Packard Company, IBM, Intel and Sun. eGrail has jumped in and announced its charter membership in OSDN.

There is a separate announcement for its new online ordering system, which lets customers pick out the operating system components they want installed on their systems.

High Availability and Clustering. A number of LinuxWorld announcements were about high availability and/or clusters. Here are some examples:

  • Lineo announced a high-availability cluster product. It runs on CompactPCI systems, and costs $2000 per CPU board.

  • PolyServe announced that its "Understudy" high availability clustering and load balancing software will be shipped with SuSE Linux 7.0.

  • SteelEye Technology has announced a high availability solution for servers running Apache and Sendmail.

  • Technauts has announced a high-availability solution for Apache servers.

  • SGI and SuSE have announced the release of SGI's FailSafe high availability solution for Linux.

  • Mission Critical Linux announced the porting of its "Convolo" cluster code to the IA-64 architecture.

  • Linux NetworX, Inc. introduced Evolocity, an integrated cluster system with a vertically rack-mounted chassis.

  • Bay Mountain announced a clustered Linux server product.

  • Alpha Processor, Dolphin Interconnect, and Scali have announced an Alpha-based clustered server system.

HP expands commitment to Linux. HP announced its increased interest in Linux. Included is the designation of Linux as a "strategic operating system," the intent to release MC/ServiceGuard - its high availability clustering system - for Linux; the ability to run Linux binaries on IA-64 HP-UX systems; a couple of its workstations will be made available with TurboLinux installed; and there is a 64-bit PA-RISC port available.

Informix, Compaq and SuSE deliver Alpha Linux platform. Informix has announced the availability of its Informix Dynamic Server 2000 database running on the Alpha platform with SuSE's distribution.

More certification news from LinuxWorld.

  • The Linux Professional Institute has announced that its Level 1 certification is being accepted by IBM as a prerequisite to its "solution technologist" certification.

  • Corel has announced a deal with SAIR Linux; Corel will be using SAIR's training program for its own Linux training offerings.

  • SAIR is partnering with Global Linux Network to provide training and certification in Korea.

  • SAIR has also announced that Productivity Point International has signed an agreement to provide SAIR Linux certification training.

  • TurboLinux announced the launch of a series of Linux training courses aimed at LPI certification.

  • TeamLinux has chimed in with an announcement that it is partnering with TurboLinux to provide these courses.

  • The Linux Professional Institute has announced that its Linux certification exams will be translated into Japanese.

  • SAIR, meanwhile, announced that "more than 275" people signed up for its free training and certification "boot camps" at LinuxWorld.

BSDI News. BSDI is getting into the hardware business with a line of rackmount server systems. They can be had with either BSD or Linux.

Loki Software has announced an alliance with BSDI to port games to FreeBSD.

Trolltech AS. Trolltech announced a collaboration with Lineo; Qt/Embedded will be packaged with Embedix.

Trolltech also announced the preview release of Qt 2.2.

And Trolltech's Qt/Embedded GUI code has come out of beta.

Linuxcare. Linuxcare has announced a set of open source tools that manufacturers can use to determine if their systems are compatible with Linux. [Editor's note: Linux itself seems like a very good tool for that purpose...]

Sun and Linuxcare announced the availability of Sun's StorEdge disk array for Linux, with Linuxcare providing support.

Linuxcare has certified a number of systems from HP.

Linuxcare has also developed a configuration tool for HP's OpenMail.

TimeSys. TimeSys has announced its TimeWarp integrated development environment for its real-time distribution. Also, in a separate announcement, TimeSys talks about the cool features of TimeSys Linux/RT, and yet another PR announces the addition of multiprocessor capability.

OpenSales unveils partnership program. OpenSales has announced a new partnership program "designed to provide its customers with a menu of services critical to conducting e-commerce -- while ensuring that the OpenSales AllCommerce(TM) application suite is freely available through multiple channels and interoperable with leading-edge technologies." The plan itself seems somewhat vaguely defined, but it has clearly drawn some interest. Here are announcements from Penguin Computing, Linuxcare, and CollabNet on their joining the program. OpenSales has also announced that Guardian Digital will be bundling AllCommerce with its business server system.

Red Hat, Inc. to acquire C2Net. Red Hat has announced that it is acquiring C2Net, providers of the Apache-based Stronghold web server. The acquisition is happening for just under 2 million shares of stock.

Blur Media releases 'Evolution of Linux' preview. Blur Media has announced the release of a preview of its "The Evolution of Linux" documentary. "'It's a hyper-postmodern project,' said film director Curtis Lee Fulton, 'I take the superfluous sounds and images I encounter around the different environments of interview sights and rearrange them, distort them and fold them into the context of my subject, creating a new meaning.'"

Michael Cowpland quits. It's official: Corel has announced the resignation of Michael Cowpland as the President, CEO, and Chairman of the company. He plans "to dedicate his time and resources to new start-up opportunities" - evidently in the Linux area.

Press Releases:

Open Source Products.
Unless specified, license is unverified.

  • ArsDigita Corporation (CAMBRIDGE, Mass.) announced the general availability of version 3.4 of the ArsDigita Community System (ACS), which provides the core applications for building collaborative Web services.

Commercial Products for Linux.

  • Atipa Corporation (KANSAS CITY) unveiled the new File Server and File Server Plus as the latest additions to its Product Solution Series of scalable products. Both feature a pre-installed internal tape backup system powered by BRU.

  • Aurema Pty Limited (DUBLIN, CA) announced that its ARMTech product will provide enterprise Linux users a complete solution for the allocation and control of major system resources on servers and appliances.

  • Chilliware, Inc. (Los Angeles, California) announced the availability of its "Mohawk" configuration tool for Apache; Mentor, a Linux application designed to speed up the process of creating help-file documentation; Sculptor, a desktop publishing application for Linux; and Xtreme Ice a new distribution of Linux operating system.

  • ei Corporation (MILPITAS, Calif.) introduced Aries, a small, robust, dedicated Linux based microserver.

  • Embedded Planet (SAN JOSE, Calif.) announced the availability of Linux Planet 1.2, its next-generation application development platform supporting embedded Linux.

  • Netword, Inc. (GAITHERSBURG, Md.) announced Networds, Internet keywords that are used instead of complex and cumbersome URLs. The software is free for Linux users.

  • Nothing Real showed Tremor Version 1.0, a front room, client-based compositing solution engineered to handle the needs of the HDTV, broadcast and video markets.

  • Perle Systems (WESTMONT, Ill.) announced the addition of a Linux dial-out modem pooling client for its line of 833 Access Servers.

  • Sanchez Computer Associates has announced that its "enterprise banking system" PROFILE has been ported to Linux.

  • SteelEye Technology Inc. (MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.) announced a premium support program that gives LifeKeeper for Linux customers 24x7 help desk support service.

  • Stormix has announced the release of its "Storm Firewall" product - an application-level package which provides a graphical firewall configuration interface.

Products with Linux Versions.

  • Apogee Networks (ROCHELLE PARK, NJ) announced the NetCountant line of Content Settlement and Billing products.

  • Group 1 (LANHAM, Md.) announced the release of MailStream Plus 6.2.4, its presort software solution.

  • Inprise/Borland (SCOTTS VALLEY, Calif.) delivered the second version of Inprise Application Server (IAS) and VisiBroker object request broker (ORB) for CORBA.

  • ParaSoft (MONROVIA, Calif.) announced the integration of Java and C/C++ tools into WebKing, a Web application development and testing tool.

  • Rave Computer Association, Inc.(Sterling Heights, Michigan) announced a new SCSI hard drive option for its RackMount-1UAXe (RM1U-AXe).

Java Products.

  • Apogee Software and MontaVista announced that Apogee's "Aphelion" Java tools are being ported to MontaVista's Hard Hat Linux.

  • Apogee also announced that Aphelion will be ported to LynuxWorks' LynxOS and BlueCat Linux.

  • Inprise/Borland has announced that it will be licensing IBM's Java Developer Kit to bundle with its products.

  • Sun Microsystems has announced distribution deals for Java 2 with SuSE and TurboLinux.

Books & Training.

  • O'Reilly (Sebastopol, CA) announced "HTML & XHTML: The Definitive Guide, 4th Edition".


  • Alpha Processor has also announced a partnership with Stormix Technologies.

  • Bluepoint Linux Software signed a deal with Jiajun Keji Ltd. to market Bluepoint Linux in Hong Kong.

  • HotDispatch (SCOTTS VALLEY, Calif.) announced that OpenAvenue (MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.) would use HotDispatch technology to help service the community of source code developers using OpenAvenue's collaborative development Web site.

  • Intrinsyc Software, Inc. (VANCOUVER, B.C.) announced a strategic alliance with MontaVista Software Inc. (SUNNYVALE, Calif.). Look for new Internet devices from Intrinsyc running MontaVista's HardHat Linux.

  • Intrinsyc Software, Inc. (VANCOUVER, B.C.) announced a strategic alliance with Lineo, Inc. (LINDON, UT), that will provide Original Equipment Manufactures (OEMs) with tools to create, link and manage Linux-based Internet devices and Information Appliances.

  • Linksys (IRVINE, Calif.) announced a joint marketing agreement with the Tzolkin Corporation (BOSTON). Under this agreement Linksys will bundle a Free 30-Day trial CD-ROM of the TZO.COM Dynamic DNS Windows and Linux client software and a 20% discount option in all packages of popular selling Linksys Cable/DSL Routers, throughout North America.

  • Mission Critical Linux will be offering support for SGI systems running Linux.

  • NetMaster Networking Solutions Inc. (CHILLIWACK, BC) entered into a licensing agreement with Psionic Software Inc. (AUSTIN, TX) to include PortSentry and HostSentry technology into NetMaster's Linux-based Gateway Guardian line of Firewall and VPN software products.

  • SuSE has announced a deal with VMware that will have SuSE distributing VMware's software products in Europe.

  • TeamLinux (AUSTIN, Texas) entered into an alliance with Knox Software Corporation, a Carlsbad, California-based data backup software provider. The partnership features the integration of Arkeia software with TeamLinux' strategic suite of professional services.

  • TheLinuxStore.com (SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.) announced it has signed an agreement with 1mage Software Inc., a provider of electronic document imaging systems for Linux and UNIX environments.

  • VERITAS Software Corporation and Cobalt Networks, Inc. (SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA) announced they are collaborating to bring VERITAS Software's Linux backup solutions to Cobalt's Linux server appliance products.

  • WireX Communications, Inc. (PORTLAND, Ore.) announced an OEM licensing agreement with Microbits (ADELAIDE, South Australia). Under the terms of the license, Microbits will use WireX's Immunix Linux server appliance software for their newest workgroup server.


  • Nitrosoft Linux (OTTAWA, ON) announced the appointment of Derik Belair to the position of president. Prior to joining Nitrosoft, he played a key management and consulting role in Corel Corporation's Linux business.

Linux At Work.

  • Baymountain, Inc. announced that Getloaded.com's move to Baymountain ASP has been successfully completed.

  • StoreBusters Inc. (SALT LAKE CITY) named Caldera Systems' OpenLinux as its e-commerce operating system platform of choice.

More LinuxWorld Announcements.By press time LinuxWorld will be nearly over. For those who missed it, or would like a recap, here are some press releases that came in prior to or during the event.

  • Here is LinuxWorld's own summary of the news for August 15.

  • 3ware, Inc.: Escalade, for building creative applications.

  • 5NINE has announced the launch of WMLBrowser.org, which hosts an open source project to make a Wireless Markup Language browser.

  • Agenda Computing Inc. (Irvine, Calif.): Agenda VR3, a new Linux-based portable PC.

  • AMD seeks to publicize all of the Linux companies that are working to support its new 64-bit processors.

  • Applied Data Systems: embedded Linux on golf carts; Internet browser for embedded systems.

  • Arkeia has announced a free version of its network backup software for Linux.

  • Century Software Embedded Technologies(SALT LAKE CITY, Utah): a Linux-based windowing system and graphical development environment for the new Compaq iPAQ handheld computer.

  • Cirrus Logic Inc.: Maverick processors running embedded Linux.

  • Cleanscape Software International: a new company that intends to provide broad-based software tools for supporting Linux application development.

  • Compaq Computer Corporation: new Linux products and partner-based offerings.

  • Dell proclaims that a PowerEdge server was used to generate the great SPECweb benchmark results back at the end of June.

  • Global Knowledge Network, Inc. (BURLINGTON, Mass.) introduced updated training and certification curriculum for Red Hat Linux 6.2.

  • GraphOn released Bridges 1.1.

  • IBM announced a deal where Red Hat will be bundling IBM's Linux-based software. The announcement also includes the donation of over 100 printer drivers as open source.

  • IBM announced its new "NetVista" thin client systems.

  • IDG Books Worldwide, Inc. (FOSTER CITY, Calif.): showing more than three dozen Linux titles.

  • InfoExpress announced a deal to package its virtual private network solution with Rebel.com's systems.

  • Linuxcare, Inc. and Motive Communications, Inc.: an automated, highly scalable e-service solution for Linux.

  • LynuxWorks has announced support for Motorola's MBX2000 board.

  • Maximum Linux Magazine announces a makeover as a more technical publication.

  • Metro Link, Inc. (FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.) CTO Garry Paxinos and Technical Director Stuart Anderson speaking on the advantages of using the X Window System in embedded systems.

  • MigraTEC demoed 64Express at LinuxWorld. This product is apparently a migration tool which helps in the porting of 32-bit applications to 64-bit systems.

  • MobileSys announced that its wireless messaging engine will be supported on Linux.

  • MontaVista Software has released the Hard Hat Linux Cross Development Kit version 1.2.

  • MontaVista also announced a deal with IBM's Object Technology International; OTI's "VisualAge Micro Edition" will be packaged with HardHat Linux.

  • NetMAX announced the release of the NetMAX Professional Suite, a security and file/print serving package.

  • Omnis Technology Corp. (SAN CARLOS, Calif.) in cooperation with IDG and VA Linux, will sponsor the "Show Favorites" awards.

  • Penguin Computing has launched a new rackmount server system.

  • SGI and Enlighten Software announce that SGI will be providing Enlighten's system management package on its Linux and IRIX-based systems.

  • SGI has also announced the release of its "Open Inventor 3D" graphics toolkit as open source.

  • StarNet Communications Corp.: X-Win32 Version 5.0, Windows-to-Linux/Unix connectivity software.

  • SteelEye Technology Inc. announced a systems integrator partnership with Sierra Associates.

  • SuSE Linux (OAKLAND, Calif.) demonstrated the flexibility of SuSE Linux software and its cross-platform implementations from IBM S/390 through the Macintosh G4 down to WAP phones.

  • Tech Soft America is releasing HOOPS 3D v5.0 for free "personal use" on Linux.

  • TurboLinux and NEC demonstrated 16-way Itanium system.

  • VistaSource announced the launch of the beta program for the latest version of AnywareOffice. They also announced that the ISP "Zoned In" will be providing AnywareOffice as part of its service.


  • The Computer Museum of America (LA MESA, Calif.) announced that voting on the Hall of Fame Web site has been extended until September 15. Currently among the top 10: Linus Torvalds -- author of Linux operating system (1993); Marc Andreesson -- lead developer of the NCSA Mosaic graphical browser (1993), co-founder of Netscape; Larry Ellison -- founder of Oracle database company (1977).

  • IBM (LAS VEGAS, NV) announced the WebSphere Developer Domain, a new online resource that provides free software and technical information for developers who want to build applications based on IBM's WebSphere* software platform.

  • ibooks.com (AUSTIN, Texas) announced that ibooks.com's technology will power IBM's developerWorks digital bookstore service.

  • LinuxPPC Inc. has sent out this press release describing how it intends to fix up its customer service - which, evidently, has not been up to the level they would like - in the near future.

  • Netscape announced that the Open Directory Project has exceeded 2 million listings.

  • Penguin Computing is opening an office in Houston.

Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol.

August 17, 2000


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

Linux in the News

Recommended Reading.

Here's a Motley Fool "Fool on the hill" column about intellectual property. "A system based on charging people for copies they can easily make for themselves for free is not a stable situation. It just doesn't make any sense. More restrictive laws can't substitute for the consent of the governed.... The only way to deal with industries that refuse to change, and bet their existence on sustaining an obsolete status quo, is to hasten their destruction. Call it a mercy killing."

Perhaps even a second quote is called for: "The reason Red Hat has been so much more successful than, say, Caldera Systems, is that Red Hat sees what it does as a service, and Caldera sees its intellectual property as a product it can control."

Reports from LinuxWorld.

Upside looks forward to LinuxWorld. "Here at Open Season headquarters we noticed the number of press releases, party invites and phone calls from P.R. folk rising about three weeks ago. In our heroic efforts to protect those downstream from a crushing wave of strategic partnership and incremental upgrade announcements, we've done our best to stem the flow. Unfortunately, with LinuxWorld only two working days away, we're going to have to resort to a controlled release."

The Red Herring reports from LinuxWorld. "Trade shows like the Linuxworld Expo remain a safe haven for geeks, thanks to leaders like Linus Torvalds. Mr. Torvalds feels comfortable taking the main stage wearing shorts, white socks and sandals, and a yellow polo shirt featuring a Bugs Bunny cartoon. But Linuxworld is also now a must-attend event for buttoned-down executives like Michael Dell, whose keynote speech here Tuesday morning reinforces a growing theme: Linux is not only safe for business, it's a great way to make money."

The San Francisco Chronicle covers LinuxWorld. "One sign of Linux's changing role was a keynote speech by Michael Dell, chief executive of Dell Computer, who has long been considered one of Microsoft's most loyal supporters in the industry." (Thanks to Michael J. Miller).

The San Jose Mercury covers the LinuxWorld Geek Bowl. "The CEOs of three leading Linux companies did the worst -- Ransom Love of Caldera, Bob Young of Red Hat Inc. and Larry Augustin of VA Linux. Apparently CEOs don't have enough time to be geeks."

The DukeOfUrl has put up some brief coverage of the first day at LinuxWorld. "This year's Expo is a bittersweet review of the whirlwind that the Linux community has gone through in the last year. We have seen numerous Linux companies go public and fall out of the IPO sky like flies. Yet, despite the financial backlash that Linux has received, we have not given up the fight."

A couple of articles have popped up reporting on Michael Dell's LinuxWorld keynote:

  • Dell looks to keep Sun at bay with Linux is News.com's contribution. "Dell's presence is among the strongest indicators of the widespread adoption of Linux. At the same time, though, Dell hasn't tried to buddy up with open-source programmers the way IBM, SGI, Compaq Computer, Hewlett-Packard and other competitors have."

  • Michael Dell sings out Linux's praises is ZDNet's version. "Dell Computer Corp. Chairman and CEO Michael Dell needed to walk a fine line in his LinuxWorld keynote address here Tuesday to praise Linux without dissing Windows. And despite some fairly obvious skepticism on the part of attendees toward his opening speech, Dell seemed to accomplish his task well."

The San Jose Mercury looks at LinuxWorld with a heavy emphasis on the end of the Linux stock mania. "This week's conference will focus less on stocks and business models and more on new products. From wristwatches to supercomputers, companies will show the 17,000 attendees the products they've only talked about in the last year."

The Mercury has also put out a Linux timeline which begins in 1998.

Articles Inspired by LinuxWorld Announcements.

  • Flocking to LinuxWorld (ABC News) is a routine summary of what's up at LinuxWorld. "As the new kid on the block, the Linux computer operating system once had few friends besides the stereotypical technology geek whose idea of fun was spending hours rewriting software code. But as that same kid begins to gather dozens of new electronic toys around it, Linux has suddenly become part of the in crowd - and an increasing threat to Microsoft Corp.'s Windows monopoly."

  • News.com looks forward to upcoming announcements at LinuxWorld. "IBM will announce a plan to release several software packages to the 'open-source' community of programmers who collectively create Linux, said Robert LeBlanc, vice president of IBM's software group. Among them are the Andrew File System, a software package for sharing files across a network; a collection of 100 new printer drivers and the Omni printer driver framework for writing new drivers; and 'dynamic probe' software to uncover bugs in software."

  • The New York Times reports on upcoming GNOME announcements at LinuxWorld, including the establishment of the "GNOME foundation," funded by IBM, HP, Sun, and others. "Sun Microsystems also plans to announce that it will adopt the Gnome desktop user interface for its Solaris operating system. The move is part of the Linux effort to create a larger market for application developers." (The New York Times is a registration-required site).

  • News.com covers the establishment of the GNOME Foundation. "A future version of the Gnome user interface will be adopted by Sun Microsystems for its Solaris operating system, and Sun will contribute more than 50 programmers to the effort to advance Gnome, sources familiar with the plans said. Sun uses the CDE user interface but will first add Gnome, then eventually make it the default."

  • ZDNet's Charles Babcock reports on the GNOME press conference. "Jim Gettys, a developer at Compaq Computer and developer of the X Window System on which Gnome and other Unix user interfaces sit, said his company sees Gnome as a potentially rich user interface for the iPaq handheld computer, or pocket PC, which sports a 2-inch by 3.25-inch screen manipulated with a stylus."

  • Here's Information Week's take on HP's Linux support. "HP's support for Linux, which follows IBM's endorsement of the platform, will give Linux a boost with infrastructure companies, says AMR Research analyst Dennis Gaughan. But Linux won't really take off until application vendors begin to adopt it, he adds."

  • Gnome Linux to attack Windows is about the upcoming GNOME announcements. They have a real scoop: "Another company expected to back GNOME in a major way is Helix Code Inc."

  • Key firms give Linux a big boost (Boston Globe) looks at companies jumping onto GNOME. "In the consumer market, Linux is expected to gain further momentum from IBM, which is set to announce today a line of ThinkPad laptop computers that will run a Gnome version of Linux."

  • IBM to Sell Computers With Red Hat Software (LA Times) reports on developments at the show. "The Gnome Foundation is designed to be a neutral group that will establish standards that developers can use to build software that runs on Linux. Establishing an independent body ensures that no one company can set standards that would make the programs favor its systems over a rival's product."

  • Sledgehammering Linux? looks at AMD's new processor chip and the lack of enthusiasm for supporting it.

  • SuSE to help AMD bring Linux to Sledgehammer covers AMD's funding of SuSE to make Linux work on its latest processor. "SuSE said one of its programmers, Jan Hubicka, has produced the first versions of programming tools necessary to develop Linux and other software for Sledgehammer."

  • ZDNet: VA Linux Offers Customization For Servers is about VA Linux Systems' new ordering setup.

  • ZDNET: VA Linux: Have it your way is a completely different article about VA's new ordering system.

  • VA to unveil build-to-order software model is the San Jose Mercury's look at VA's new ordering system, and LinuxWorld announcements in general.

  • Linux Designers Stay Course is a general "state of Linux" article.

  • Red Hat and Caldera get in the ring looks at competition between distributors, and predicts a big showdown between Caldera and Red Hat. This one is worth a look.

  • Red Hat buys secure Web server maker is Upside's look at Red Hat's latest acquisition. "The deal gives Red Hat a foothold in the secure Web server market, of which Stronghold claims about a 30 percent share."

  • IBM, Red Hat tighten Linux alliance (News.com) reports on the latest deal between the two companies. "Although the deal isn't an exclusive relationship for either company, it's the most important Linux pact IBM has signed thus far on its road to weaving Linux into the fabric of the entire company..."

  • Transvirtual putting Linux on PDAs covers Transvirtual's "Pocket Linux Developer Kit" which will be announced on Tuesday.

  • Caldera-SCO deal may scuttle Monterey sees the end of SCO's Unix efforts, and suggests that maybe it's all an IBM plot.

  • Caldera sails Monterey down the river on ZDNet UK predicts the death of Monterey. "Monterey may be good technology, but that does not automatically equate with customer acceptance. In the Intel space, it is possible now to see such 'acceptance' leaning in just two directions: Windows 2000 and Linux."

  • Linuxcare's Near Death Experience checks in with Linuxcare and finds that things are going well.

  • Was MS right about Linux? (ZDNet) explores whether Microsoft's antitrust trial claims that Linux is a strong competitor were true. "Microsoft was characteristically overstating the threat; more than a year later, however, Linux is rapidly emerging as the real deal -- not enough to upset the constellation of forces in the software world, but surely enough to merit serious consideration by business and increasingly, home users."

  • Eazel Interface Puts Linux Against Windows is Forbes' latest look at Nautilus. "Nautilus could be just the thing to kick-start Linux in the PC market--the only area in which the free operating system has not caught fire."

  • Linux Enjoying Enthusiastic Growth (San Francisco Chronicle) is a conversation with Bob Young. "Our success is not dependent on getting people to unplug their working Windows desktop. Our opportunity is the rapid growth that's occurring on Internet servers talking to Internet appliances."

  • Linux wins acceptance in computer mainstream (Atlanta Journal-Constitution) also reports from the show. "If you still think Linux isn't legit, you should be here right now."

  • Linux stocks land in the poorhouse (Red Herring) is about Linux stock prices. "It's just that the Linux companies are having a hard time figuring out how to make money from something that's free. Quelle surprise. Last year the entire sector generated a measly $67 million in revenue, which pales in comparison to operating system revenue from Microsoft alone. The Evil Empire, Linux is not."

  • Hewlett-Packard supports Linux (USA Today) covers HP's announcements. "H-P's announcement underscores growing demand for the Linux system, which in two years has risen from geek gear to being used by nearly one in five companies in some capacity."


ZDNet looks at IBM's server deal with SuSE. "Unlike a traditional bundling deal, where customers have the option of having an operating system pre-installed on a server when they buy it, IBM will load SuSE Linux 7.0 with all of the Linux servers it ships, according to sources familiar with the two companies' plans."

ComputerWorld has posted this look at IBM's upcoming AIX release. "Linux application programming interfaces will be rehosted and optimized for AIX, while standard AIX libraries will be enhanced to support Linux. Linux applications on IA-64 based systems will be able to run on IA-64 based AIX 5L systems with a simple recompilation of the source code, according to IBM."

Network World Fusion looks forward to IBM's LinuxWorld announcements. "Allowing Linux to exploit IBM's Chip Kill technology is a first for the open source operating system, according to IBM officials. The capability allows users to recover from 8-bit memory failures or even entire chip set failures."

The Industry Standard reports on IBM's Linux watch. "Beyond telling time, the prototype has a to-do list, phone numbers, a condensed calendar, and the ability to store an image. IBM is working on enabling the gadget to understand voice commands, and eventually, the wristwatch would be able to download applications from a desktop and connect to the Internet and other devices through infrared."

Upside chimes in on IBM's Linux-powered watch. "Sometimes you have to wonder what really goes on inside IBM. I mean, despite the Lou Gerstner makeover, the company still looks like a blue-suited behemoth that out-earns (and outspends) most developing nations. And yet, every once in a while, something beautifully trivial bubbles to the surface, giving a hint of the tortured engineering soul lying just below."

Wired News looks at IBM's Linux watch. " When IBM announced that its research department had produced a Linux-powered watch on Monday, officials expected the news to be greeted with joy, if not downright reverence. Instead, many in the media and open source community responded with jokes about 'cluster clocks' and 'Dick Tracy watches.'"


ZDNet comments on Michael Cowpland's departure from Corel. "Time and trouble had finally caught up with Cowpland. There was no longer enough belief in his early magic--magic that had enabled him to draw the fire of the Microsoft dragon and survive. With ever-mounting losses, key personnel departures and few left who believed that Corel was one more transformation away from profitability, Cowpland's day was done."

Upside looks at the BSD systems, and cites applications and support issues as the reason for BSD being less popular than Linux. "However, as [Jordan] Hubbard and other FreeBSD loyalists are quick to point out, a savvy user can install MySQL or PostgreSQL -- two open source databases -- in a matter of minutes, using only a few make commands. To make things any simpler is to invite in users who have no business using the software."

News.com looks at HP's Linux plans. "Like IBM, HP is bringing its entire server software line over to Linux. The effort started with HP's OpenMail email software, already used on Linux servers to power more than a million email accounts. It will be extended to include management software such as OmniBack backup software, Web QOS (quality of service) software to ensure priority Web site visitors get a snappy response, the TopTools device manager, and the Network Node Manager component of HP's OpenView management software."

Reuters has run a brief article anticipating an announcement from HP. "Computing giant Hewlett-Packard Co on Monday will designate Linux as one of its three 'strategic operating systems' and add new products and services to support it."

The Salt Lake Tribune inquires into the whereabouts of Lineo's IPO. "Lineo does have the advantage of selling Linux software for embedded devices -- considered a promising market. That is Lineo's saving grace, said Corey Ostman, chief technology officer of Alert IPO, a Web site on pending IPOs. He expects Lineo to complete its IPO, although the company may have to delay it until this fall."

EE Times reports on the upcoming release of Blue Cat Linux 3.0. "LynuxWorks engineers say that the new operating system, known as BlueCat Linux 3.0, will serve as a foundation that ultimately could take Linux into new territory, including mission-critical applications in military and aerospace, as well as in printers and other low-end consumer products."

News.com covers the posting of AOL for Linux on Techpages.com. "The company plans to use its Linux-based service in future Net gadgets. It has already struck partnerships with chipmaker Transmeta and PC maker Gateway to produce Linux-powered appliances slated for release later this year."

Dan Gillmor looks at Aimster (a marriage of Gnutella and AOL's instant messaging system) in this San Jose Mercury column. "I'm no lawyer, but I suspect that the paranoid recording industry will sic its well-paid legal sharks on Aimster. I also suspect they'll lose this time, but the law has been tilted strongly toward copyright holders lately." The column also contains a long quote from John Gillmore on copying protocols which is worth a read.

Here's a NewsBytes article on Aimster. "[Aimster spokesman John] Deep said that the company hopes to make Aimster an open-source platform capable of making other messaging programs such as ICQ available to Aimster users."

News.com looks at the release of AOL's messaging service for Linux. "The move highlights the increasing legitimacy of Linux, a clone of Unix mostly used on heavy-duty server computers but increasingly popular as a desktop operating system."

Gamecenter.com has an article about Indrema's upcoming console. "Indrema is a six-month-old California firm that's hoping to give Sony, Nintendo, Sega, and Microsoft a run for their money with its Linux-based open-source console platform. The Indrema L600 console will have a 600-MHz processor, 64MB of memory, an Nvidia graphics chip, and a GPU Slide Bay, which will allow gamers to upgrade the graphics processor every year for between $50 and $100 so they won't need to purchase a new console."


Here's a Business Week Daily column which suggests that Linux stock prices may have bottomed out. "Linux was practically unknown for the first seven years of its life until the media discovered it in 1998. Then it was hailed as the cure-all for every computer woe. This hubbub has finally died down. That's good news for those with money to invest. Even as the Linux stocks reenter the atmosphere, prospects for the operating system are blasting off."

c't has run a detailed comparison (in German) of Linux and Windows, focusing on three particular usage scenarios. English text (partial - the article is long) is available via Babelfish.

Heise Online has run a brief article on the comparison, talking primarily about web server performance (which was more-or-less identical between the two systems). Here's the Babelfish link. (Thanks to Manfred Scheible).

ZDNet reports on the release of Oracle Internet Application Server for Linux. "If you doubt that this is anything save Oracle making a public relations point, think again. The Linux version of Oracle iAS is available for order today. Its Windows NT/2000 brother won't be out until September. Oracle is dead serious about supporting Linux as an enterprise platform."

Here's News.com's take on the Netscape and Mozilla alpha releases. "Having seen Netscape's once dominant market share steadily eroded by Microsoft, some question whether the latest releases are too little, too late. Mozilla, which has long enjoyed the near-unanimous backing of the Web standards community for its commitment to producing a standards-compliant browser, has seen some support crumble in recent weeks because of continued delays."

ZDNet questions the extent to which companies are really using Linux. "That Linux has appeal among Internet service providers and application hosting firms is a given. But just how much of a hold Linux already has established among Fortune 500 companies continues to be up for debate."


The LinuxDevices.com Embedded Linux Weekly Newsletter for August 10 is out.


Tom's Hardware reviews five NVIDIA 3D cards under Linux. "One thing is a fact, NVIDIA's new Linux driver philosophy has finally opened up Linux as an operating system for serious 3D-gamers as well. It is certainly true that Linux doesn't support DirectX games, but there are quite a few Linux ports of OpenGL-based 3D-games available." (Thanks to Douglas Gilbert).

Here's a review of HancomWord on the LinuxOrbit site. "In addition to the font problems, HancomWord doesn't have a spell checker in the pre-release version. I think most users will agree that a word processor without a spell checker is like eating soup with a fork, mighty frustrating and not very satisfying."

LinuxDevices.com has posted this in-depth look at the Aplio Internet phone. "Since the idea of embedding Linux in small devices has only been around for a little over a year, the Aplio/Phone which was introduced in March, 1998 used the pSOS 'embedded' operating system as its initial software platform. But when it came time to design the next generation device, the Aplio/PRO, Aplio opted to switch to Embedded Linux -- for two main reasons: first, Linux is free from royalty costs; second, Linux source code is fully and freely available, resulting in great flexibility and configurability."


O Linux interviews Brian Behlendorf. "The software development is done without much serious coordination; basically we all just share a CVS tree and check in changes and enhancements. We do split it up by project and module, and each small subgroup has their own way of deciding what new features to add (or remove). Again, very decentralized."

Linuxdevices' Rick Lehrbaum interviews Victor Yodaiken, project leader for RTLinux. "Yodaiken: I came up with RTLinux at NMT, but I had been working on realtime and related issues even back to my graduate student research. I started working at real-time programming to get a feeling for what were the hard things to understand, and it came to me that one of the hardest and most difficult things in trying to validate that a real-time program works, was to show that the non-real-time components didn't interfere with the real-time components. This led me to think about how you could make sure this didn't happen. "

LinuxDevices has an interview with Alex Morrow, "IBM Fellow" at IBM's TJ Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, New York, and project leader of the IBM Linux Wrist Watch project. "Morrow: We think [the Linux Wrist Watch] is a breakthrough in Linux, getting Linux down into this size device. It's a good example of what we're trying to do, which is to see how broadly we can use Linux, and to demonstrate our commitment to having open platforms. Did you see the news about [Linux] going up into the Blue Gene computer, with Linux?"


ZDNet looks at criticisms of Linux in this column. "These pieces, while not incorrect, indicate an ongoing and fundamental misunderstanding of Linux by chunks of the investment community. Linux is gaining market share while dramatically shrinking the operating system revenue base. There's no question that the hype of Linux is gone, but then it was these same analysts, not the Linux technical community, that superheated these prices in the first place."

CFONet says to stay away from Linux in this report on servers. "[Meta group analyst Peter] Firstbrook objects to the very feature that most tout as Linux's number one asset--the fact that anyone can tweak the code--because it creates a situation in which an IT staffer may make changes that no one else knows about, and that probably go undocumented."

News.com has run a column from Gartner analyst George Weiss that is dismissive of HP's Linux strategy. "HP has been somewhat disorganized in its earlier attempts to articulate its position, as fragments of Linux and open-source projects--for example, print servers, E-Speak and Linux for PA-RISC--have appeared in numerous parts of the company, with no unifying management or central focus."

Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol

August 17, 2000


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



Guide to choosing a modem for Linux. SignalGround has put up this guide on how to choose and install a modem for a Linux system. It is detailed and comprehensive.


ApacheCon Europe 2000 speakers announced. ApacheCon Europe 2000 has announced its speaker lineup for the October conference.

Caldera will co-host Forum2000. The Santa Cruz Operation, Inc. announced that Caldera Systems, Inc. will co-host Forum2000. Forum2000 is an international conference on server-based computing. The conference runs August 20-23 on the campus of the University of California at Santa Cruz.

LuteLinux at the Linux Business Expo. Jay Daunheimer, President of LuteLinux will be presenting 'Getting to the Desktop. Breaking Windows', Tuesday, November 14th. The Linux Business Expo/COMDEX/Fall 2000 runs November 13-17, in Las Vegas Nevada.

Pictures from LinuxWorld. LinuxPower has put up a few photos from LinuxWorld.

LinuxNewbie.org has put up a set of pictures from the first day at LinuxWorld.

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

Web sites

IQLinux - Looking for a few good brains. IQLinux.com announces its new Linux support website - they are looking for "Linux Brains" to actually provide the support.

apps.kde.com launches. A new site, apps.kde.com has hit the web. It is a large, hierarchical database of KDE applications; if you're looking for something specific that runs with KDE, this is the place to go.

August 17, 2000



Software Announcements

Package Version Description
.wHy. demo 6.6.6 A music & graphics demo.
A Helpful TTY 0.3.11 An automatic helper for command prompts and shells.
ABClock 1.0 A clock that's clear even in very small bitmaps.
Accutron 2000 0.9 A small, simple, unobtrusive IRC bot.
adns 0.9 An advanced alternative, asynchronous resolver
adzapper 0.3.0 HTTP proxy that filters ads
Afghan Hound Quote of the Day Daemon 0.5.0 A TCP/UDP quote-of-the-day server.
ALE One hand keyboard release 4 One hand typing with standard keyboard
Alpha Linux JumpStart! 1.0 Improves Linux installation on Alpha systems.
ALSA driver 0.5.9a An alternative implementation of Kernel sound support
amber 1.0.2 A granular synthesis tool for computer musicians.
amf 0.3.0 Another mpg123 front-end.
APG 1.28a A Java app that generates Web photo galleries.
Arping 0.8 ARP level ping utility.
Array-util 1.0 Util to monitor Compaq Smartarray controllers
Artstream 2.1a1-2 Vector illustration and page layout program with OpenGL acceleration.
Autogallery 1.1 Automatic Thumbnail Gallery Generator
AutoGen 5.0.7 & 4.5.12 Templatized program/text generation system.
Automated support for compound RPC calls 0.2 Augments RPCGEN to support NFSv4-style compound procedures.
Averist 0.5.5 Authentication layer to any web based application
AweMUD 0.4.5 A C++ based MUD server for fantasy settings.
Awka 0.7.0 An AWK to C translator and library.
bacKgammon 1.9.1b KFibs is a KDE client for FIBS.
BANAL 0.10 Book-keeping (and other stuff) for small businesses
BasiliX 0.9.5 PHP and IMAP based web mail application
bigFORTH/MINOS 15aug2000 Forth with GUI library and RAD tool
bigloo-lib 0.13 Libraries for Bigloo, the Scheme compiler.
Biglook 0.5 A graphical Toolkit for Bigloo
Bind 9.0.0rc3 Berkeley Internet Name Domain
BMConf 0.6 A Linux configuration tool for the Smart Boot Manager.
bookmarker 2.7.0 WWW based bookmark manager
Bubbling Load Monitor Applet 0.9.11 Displays system load as a bubbling liquid.
C++ Debugging Support library 0.99.1 An output and memory allocation debugging library.
CableTV 1.2 A CableCrypt decoder for Linux.
Cascade 1.0b4 a web-based system to manage an arbitrarily large hierarchy of resources.
Central Data SCSI Terminal Server Daemon v1 Linux driver for SCSI Terminal Servers.
cfv 1.3 Tests and creates .sfv, .csv, and md5sum checksum verification files.
cgichk 2.42 A simple Web vulnerability scanner.
Chessy 0.5.3 An Internet Chess Club interface for KDE.
chrony 1.14 Network time protocol client/server tailored for dial-up client use
Common C++ 1.2.0 A portable environment for C++ threads, sockets, etc.
CompaqArray Daemon 1.0 SmartArray controller monitoring daemon.
Computer History Graphing Project 0.03 A computer family tree.
CompWork 1.1e TCL compiler.
ConTemplate 0.3.1 Contextual Templates for Emacs.
Cooledit 3.16.0 Full featured text editor for the X Window System
CoreLinux++ 0.4.26 A set of C++ class libraries to support common patterns in software development.
Courier 0.26 ESMTP/IMAP/POP3/Webmail server.
crUD 08.16.2000 A MUD built from the ground up, with emphasis on stability.
ct2600-code 3.0.0 A PHP and MySQL Web site RAD.
cursel 0.1.3 An interpreter for a character GUI.
Cyphesis 0.0.9 The AI/ALife server/client used by the WorldForge project.
datedif 0.9.1 Calculates the difference in days between two dates.
DayDream BBS 2.11 Old school pce/pcb-style BBS software.
DeadFTP 0.0.6 A Graphical FTP Client
Do'SSi Zo'la 1.0 A board game. Block the opponent by destroying the cases which surround him.
DooM Legacy 1.30 An enhanced port of id Software's Doom.
doxygen 1.2.1 A documentation system for C and C++
dupl.pl 0.4 snort rules beautifier.
e:doc 0.1.2 WYSIWYM frontend for LaTeX, HTML, XML, etc. for Unixes and Win32.
eGrail 2.5 Server-side Web Content Management Software
ELE 2.0 Realtime audio effects and sample looping.
electricsheep 0.4 Collaborative screensaver.
Encompass 0.1.2 A web browser for GNOME based on GtkHTML.
enprt.csh 0.2 Entitled Printing from Netscape Navigator under UNIX-like OSes
EPIC 4-0.9.5 An ANSI-capable textmode IRC client.
Eteria IRC Client 20000813 An RFC-1459-compliant IRC chat client written in Java.
exiscan 0.5 An email virus scanner for the Exim MTA.
ez-ipupdate 2.8.0 utility for updating the dynamic DNS service offered at http://www.ez-ip.net
ezconfirm 1.6 Web-based confirmation mechanism for ezmlm.
Fast Rendering Toolkit 0.2 A fast rendering toolkit.
Fd Linux 1.0 A small, networkable mini Linux distribution.
fetchmail 5.5.0 A free, full-featured, robust, well-documented remote-mail retrieval utility.
file 3.32 File type identification utility
fixDos 1.2.1 Fix DOS type problems with files (filename case, CR/LFs, TABs).
fmail 1.4 A simple script to safely mail the contents of a form to a specified user.
foXcontrol 0.1.1 Control center for foXdesktop.
foXcontrol-desktop 0.0.7 Allows you to change FOX application settings easily.
foXman 0.1 A foXdesktop man page viewer.
FreeCheck 0.21 A free check-printing application.
FreeVSD 1.4.4 A virtual server daemon for Linux.
Fusion GS v2.07 Telnet BBS-like system.
fwipe 0.1 Securely overwrites and deletes files.
g3data 1.04 A program for extracting data from graphs.
Galeon 0.7.2 A GNOME Web browser.
Gamma Patrol 0.1 Old-style, vertical scrolling space shooter.
GASP 0.91 Generic protocol encoder and decoder
Gcover 0.1.1 A CD cover editor.
gDC3-Play 0.1b Digital camera software.
Gepetto 0.12 An animation studio to design choreographies
gimp-print 4.0a2 Print plug-in for the GIMP and GhostScript driver for Epson printers.
GKrellM Distributed.net Plugin 0.4 A Distributed.net plugin for GKrellM.
gladepyc 0.3 Generates low-level pygtk/Python code from Glade XML files.
Gnapster 1.3.11 A GNOME Napster client.
GNOME Animation Studio 0.1.0 Video creator and editor for GNOME.
Gnome Toaster 0.4.20000813 create CDRs the easy way with Gnome/Gtk
GNU Denemo 0.5.4 A GTK+ musical score editor.
GNU Parted 1.2.7 A partition editor, for creating, destroying, resizing and copying partitions.
GNU xhippo 2.6 A GTK-based playlist manager for various UNIX sound players.
GnuCash 1.4.4 A program to keep track of your finances
GnuMICR 0.22 A Postscript Type 1 MICR font.
GnuPG.pm 0.07 Perl interface to the Gnu Privacy Guard
GNUstep 0.6.6 GNU OpenStep API
GotMail 0.6.3 A Perl script to fetch mail from a HotMail account.
GPLTrans 0.9.6 Web-based machine translator.
Grany-3 1.0.0 The cellular automaton simulator.
Gtk-- 1.2.2 C++ interface for the popular GUI library gtk.
GtkExtra 0.99.10 A widget set for GTK+.
GtkExtra-- 0.7.1 C++ wrappers for GtkExtra, for use with Gtk--.
GtkGLMaterialDialog 1.0 beta 2 A GTK+ dialog for editing OpenGL material properties.
GtkSpell 0.3 A GtkText addon for MSWord-style spell checking.
GTKtalog 0.1.4 Fast Disk Catalog using a friendly interface.
gtktetcolor 0.4.2 A small Tetris clone for X.
GtkWaveform 0.2 A robust GTK+ widget for displaying PCM waveforms
hagelslag 0.9 A Gnutella clone.
Hanzim 1.03 A visual, interactive Chinese character and word dictionary.
HartMath 0.6.121 A computer algebra applet/servlet written in Java.
Headless Horse-MP3 0.2 A Web-based tool to play MP3s on the Web server.
Hershey Fonts for Java 1.4 Hershey Fonts for Java.
hodie 1.1 Classic latin replacement of date(1)
hsftp 1.9 A lightweight FTP emulator for ssh1.
HtmlHeadLine.sh 14.3 Script that automatically fetches news headlines.
i-no Chart 0.12 Dynamic chart generation for AOLServer.
ICI 3.0.0a A dynamic, interpretive language with C-like syntax
IdooXoap pre-2 A Java package for communication over SOAP.
Image::Grab 1.2 Perl Module to grab images with dynamic URLs from the Internet
iMake 1.5.0 08/13/2000 A platform independent make processor.
imsptool 0.93 A command line program to communicate with an IMSP server.
inertianews 0.02b A PHP news management class.
ipaudit 0.93b3 Summarizes ip traffic bytes/packets broken down by host/port pairs and protocol.
irssi 0.7.95 GTK+ based IRC client with GNOME panel support
ISDN Router 0.82 A masquerading ISDN router on one disk.
iServer 1.9.0 08/13/2000 A platform independent Application/Web Server and Servlet engine.
j 0.5.0 A programmer's editor written in Java.
JavaFreePHPWebChat 2.5 A simple webchat project using PHP.
JBidWatcher 0.3alpha A tool for auction site bid monitoring, sniping, bidding, and management.
jbofihe 0.34 Parses Lojban text and provides rough English translation
JChessBoard 1.1 A Java-based chess board.
jEdit 2.6pre2 Powerful text editor
JEL 0.9.1 A compiler for one-line expressions into java bytecode.
Jellybean 0.09a A Perl Object Web server.
Jetty 2.4.6 HTTP/1.1 Servlet server written in Java
JFS for Linux 0.0.10 The IBM JFS source code.
JHTML 1.0pre5 A Java-based HTML editor
Jigsaw 2.1.2 W3C's leading-edge Web server platform
JLJ 1.4 A text-only LiveJournal.com client.
joinpic 1.0 Attaches split images together.
JOrbis 0.0.2 A pure Java Ogg Vorbis decoder.
JReferences 0.1 A reference manager for DocBook References.
JScream 1.1 A Java MP3 streamer.
K-3D 3D modeling, animation, and rendering system
k12admin-server 0.3.15 A web-based server administration tool for K-12 school systems (server package).
Kaim .43 An AOL Instant Messenger using the Qt library.
Kazlib 1.18 Robust ANSI C data structure library.
kcd 5.0.1 Directory change utility.
KFontinst 0.7.3 KDE-based TrueType and Type1 font installer & previewer.
kinst 0.1.23 Application Installer for KDE
KIsdnmon 0.6 Monitoring tool for ISDN users.
klogic 0.999 update Digital circuit simulation in KDE GUI
Klumhru's Admin Tool for Quake 3 Servers 0.3.0a5 A Web-based tool for administrating Quake 3 servers.
knapster 0.13 KDE napster client.
Koala Complete MUD Server 0.3.1a A complete MUD server.
KOF91 2D Fighting Engine for Linux 0.2 2D fighting game engine.
kpl 1.2 Program for two-dimensional graphical presentation of data sets and functions.
Ksetiwatch 0.5.3 SETI@home monitor and work unit manager
KTamaga 0.7 The KDE-Tamagotchi-emulator
KTouch 0.7 A touch-typing tutor program.
KYahoo 0.2.2 KDE port of Yahoo Messenger.
latd 0.9 A LAT terminal server daemon.
LdistFP 0.1.1 An identd fingerprinting tool.
Leafnode 1.9.16 NNTP server for small leaf sites
Leetnux 0.1 A GNU/Linux distribution for more experienced users.
libsndfile 0.0.21 A library for reading and writing sound files.
libsqlora8 2.0.2 A simple C library to access Oracle databases.
libyama 0.1 A leak tracking memory allocator.
libzdt 4.0.0 A general purpose library written in C.
Linux Internet Messaging Program 1.04 Lightweight cross-plaform messaging.
Linuxconf 1.20r2 Sophisticated administrative tool
Magick 2.0b3 IRC services.
mailTOfax 1.03 Sends faxes through your e-mail client.
makepp 0.90 A safer, easier-to-use, syntax-compatible reimentation of make.
ManyaPad 0.5 A simple GUI text editor for Linux.
Martin's Photo Album 1.1 A PHP script for publishing photos on the web
MasqMail 0.1.2 Offline Mail Transfer Agent
Mathfun.py 2.1 A Python math library.
Maximum Space 0.35a A 3D space game.
mboxgrep 0.2.0 A mailbox searching utility.
Medusa DS9 0.7.11 A security improvement package.
Meeting Room Booking System 0.9pre1 Multiple site meeting room bookings.
Merchant Empires 0.8.1 A Web-based game of combat, strategy, and role-playing.
ModLogAn 0.5.2 A modular logfile analyzer.
modutils 2.3.14 Linux module utilities
mod_db 0.1 Memory resident database module for Apache.
mod_layout 2.3 Layout module for Apache.
mod_ssl 2.6.6-1.3.12 Apache Interface to OpenSSL
moodss 8.24 Modular Object Oriented Dynamic SpreadSheet
moof 0.6 mp3 player on one floppy
Motif Launcher v0.1.7 Application Launcher for Motif-MWM or Lesstif-MWM.
MoxQuizz 0.5.28 A quizbot for IRC.
MP3info 0.8 A simple utility to read and write MP3-TAG info.
MP3Master 0.2 A Web-based MP3 jukebox with ID3 tag support.
mp3rename 1.2 A Perl script to rename and organize MP3 files and get rid of nasty characters.
Mpgtools 1.02 Tools for creating mpg123 playists and converting spaces to underscores.
mrtg 2.9.0pre18 Multi Router Traffic Grapher
MuSE - Multiple Streaming Engine 0.2 Multiple Streaming Engine
MyDB 0.8 Web IDE and classes for php/MySQL
mymp3s 2.0 An MP3 collection manager.
MyNews 2.1 A weblog for sectioned news items.
mynotify 0.2 A kernel update SMS based notifier.
MyPhpTracker 0.0.1b A Web tracking system; shows every page/file a visitor requested.
mytop 0.3 An application similar to top for monitoring a MySQL server.
nabou 1.4 Perl file integrity checking tool.
Naken Chat 1.24 Chat Server ported from Javachat
NanoXML 1.6 A very small XML parser for Java.
NcFTPd 2.6.2 High-performance File Transfer Protocol (FTP) server for UNIXsystems
NCO 1.2 Operators for netCDF and HDF self-describing data files.
NeatSeeker 0.20 Simple collection of Java classes for constructing search engines.
Negative One Encryption Scheme 2.2.4 A simple encryption scheme using an XOR shift from a key file.
neon 0.7.0 HTTP and WebDAV client library
NetHack 3.3.1 A single player dungeon exploration game.
NetMage 0.6.1 A Java-based game that lets two players play Magic over a network.
Network Security Analysis Tool 1.22 A high-performance network security scanner.
newsq 0.9.0 An interactive program to manipulate messages in slrnpull's outgoing queue.
NiceSTEP Java Components 0.1a Java components with the N*XT look and feel.
Nicq 0.4.1 A new clone of the popular ICQ messaging system for Linux.
nmap 2.54beta3 A full-featured, robust port scanner.
Normalize 0.3.2 A WAV file volume adjuster.
note 1.1.0 commandline note tool
NotLame MP3 encoder 3.86 A high quality MP3 encoder based on the LAME patch.
nullmailer 1.00rc3 A simple to configure relay-only MTA.
Number Theoretic bc 0.19 A fast prototyping scripting language for use in number-theoretic applications.
NUNE News Script 2.0pre1 Yet another news script featuring Web-based posting and admin.
ocicpplib 0.0.2 A very simple library to communicate with Oracle 8.x through OCI.
ODBC-ODBC Bridge Provides ODBC access from Unix to remote ODBC data sources
oMail-admin 0.93.2 A PHP/Perl-based qmail+vmailmgrd maildomain administration Web interface.
Open Image Library 1.5.8 Extensible image library.
Open Inventor 2.2.15 3D graphics toolkit
OpenMuscat 0.2.1 High performance probabalistic search engine library.
opennap 0.36 An open source Napster server.
Orgasm 0.22 Machine code assembler for 6502 microprocessors
OSS 3.9.3o Provides sound card drivers for most popular sound cards under Linux
Owl Intranet Engine 2000814-2 A PHP knowledgebase.
palgen 1.0 generates printable lists of passwords for users.
ParaGUI 0.5.1 A highlevel crossplatform GUI framework.
passwdGen 2.02 A console-based random password generator.
PCCS MySQLDatabase Admin Tool 1.2.5 A Web hosting and MySQL administator tool.
PeeWeeLinux 0.49 A small linux distribution for embedded applications.
Perl Chat 0.0.5 Perl Chat Client and Server
Perlfect Search 3.09 Web site indexer and search engine.
Persistence Layer 13082000 Maps objects to a relational database.
PGPacket 3.1 View PGP packet contents.
Phase 0.1.0 An HTTP and Application Server for Emacs.
PHP-ORBit 0.0.2 A CORBA interface module for PHP4.
PHPGem 1.9 A generator of PHP-scripts for working with tables on SQL-servers.
phpGroupWare 08152000 A Web-based software suite.
PIKT 1.11.0pre5 An innovative new systems administration paradigm.
playm3u 2.1 An m3u playlist parser.
ptgnlfsr 2.3 An EPROM programming table generator & BILBO signature generator.
pthttpd 2.18b thttpd Web server with embedded Perl interpreter.
PTlink Services 2.11.0 IRC Registration Services
PyApache 4.19 An Apache module for speeding up Python scripts.
PyGantt 0.4.0 PyGantt reads a xml project description and outputs a html Gantt diagram
python-fchksum 1.0 A Python module to find checksums of files.
QTCUPS 0.2 CUPS front-end and development library for Qt.
qtisdnlinux 0.4.2 A frontend to isdn4k-utils.
QTPortFrawl 0.2b A simple TCP port scanner built using Qt.
QVocab 0.22.4 A program to learn the vocabulary of a foreign language.
R 1.1.1 A language and environment for statistical computing.
rdf2html 0.0.1 This class file produces a news ticker from a given Netscape channel file.
RealPlayer 7.0 Plays streaming audio and video over the Internet
Recall 0.7 Framework for replicated fault-tolerant storage servers.
reiserfs 3.6.12 A filesystem which stores the files themselves in a B*-tree, gaining speed.
Remote Tea 0.83.1 ONC/RPC for Java.
Return-RST 1.1 ipchains tool for returning RST packets in firewall rules.
REXEC 1.3 A secure, decentralized remote execution environment for clusters.
RPilot 1.4.1 An interpreter for the IEEE-standard language PILOT.
rsort 0.10 The MSD radix sort.
Ruby 1.4.6 An object-oriented language for quick and easy programming
rwhois.py 1.1 A recursive whois client/module and record parser.
Saint 2.1.3 Security Administrator's Integrated Network Tool
Saint Jude 0.03 A kernel module for the Saint Jude model for improper privilege transitions.
SambaLink/Q 1.0 Qt version of smb.conf file editor
SANE 1.0.3 Provides standardized access to anyraster image scanner hardware
SARA 3.1.7 SATAN/SAINT like security auditing tool - takes advantage of nmap if present
sash-readline 3.4 A patch for sash which adds readline features.
Scout 1.3.2 A CGI script that displays information about client's browser, hostname, etc.
SDL Perl 1.08 An SDL wrapper for Perl.
sendEmail 1.31 A tool for sending SMTP email from a command prompt.
Sendmail 8.11.0 Powerful and flexible Mail Transport Agent
Services 4.4.5 Provides nick/channel/memo services for IRC networks
SffToBmp 2.0 Graphics converter
Siag Office 3.4.0pre2 Free office package for Unix
SIDPLAY 1.36.44 C64 music player and SID sound chip emulator
Sketch 0.6.8 Vector drawing program, implemented in python
slash2hdml 0.1 A simple CGI written in Python to convert Slashdot's XML output into HDML.
Smart BootManager 3.5-2 A OS Independant boot manager.
smbfax 1.1 Sends a fax to a Samba print share without any Win32 client software.
smpeg-xmms 0.2.5 MPEG video plug-in for XMMS.
sms-mail 1.3.4 An SMS message to email gateway.
snarf 7.0 Command-line URL retrieval tool with some unique features.
snmpup 0.5.2 An SNMP-enabled client for the Uptimes Project.
snortstart 0.16 a wrapper to snort that aims at install snort in a chroot jail
SoundTracker 0.5.7 A music tracker for X / GTK+
SpiralSynth 0.1.2 A software synthesizer.
Spread 3.13 Group Communications Toolkit for Reliable Multicast
ssi2php 0.1c Converts SSI code to PHP code.
Stampede Linux 0.90 PGCC/Glibc optimized distribution
star 1.3a7 The fastest known implementation of a tar archiver.
SteelBlue 2.0b3 An HTML-embedded Web application language.
StockTicker Applet 0.2.0 A gnome-panel applet to display stock quotes and graphs.
stowES 0.4 Easy install and maintainance of software using stow.
StripCmt 0.1.2 Strips comments from C, C++, and Java source code
stripmime 0.8.3a A Perl script to filter MIME sections out of email messages.
SunSky 1.0 Utilises the Utah sun/sky model to draw plots of the sky.
surf 1.0.2 Visualization of algebraic geometry.
Surfraw 0.5.7 Shell Users' Revolutionary Front Against the World wide web.
SWARM 0.33 Simulation of an ARM processor in C++.
taglog 0.1.12 Computerised logbook, reports time spent by project, todo manager.
TclTexEd 2.6 LaTex Editor
TCMixer 2.0 Yet Another Mixer App
tcpstat 1.3 Displays network interface statistics.
teapop 0.26 A POP3-server with thoughts for virtual domains
Terraform 0.7.3 Interactive digital terrain (height field) editor/viewer
tgif 4.1.37 Vector-based draw tool
The DVD Database Project 1.0 DVD sharing and exchanging Application
The PING Utility Library 1.2.2 A C library for UNIX systems software development.
Thorn 0.1.a9 UML Modeling Application
Ticketsmith 0.2 A Web-based email support ticket system.
timbot 1.4.2 A simple C++ factoid-storing IRCbot.
tiny cobol COBOL compiler.
TinyLIB 0.6 Tiny game development library
TinyMAZE 2.7a An online game server.
TkUsr 0.62 A Tcl/Tk app for managing the Self-mode of a USR/3COM MessagePlus modem
Toaster 0.8.11 C program testing tool for working with gdb.
toolame 02h Optimized MPEG 1/2 Layer II audio encoder
total order class 1.0.0 An efficient arbitrary total order class.
Trianii 0.1.3 Script to create a Pine address book from an LDAP directory
Trophy 1.0.1 An action car racing game.
Unacorn 0.1 Help compile RISC OS sources on Unix.
Universal Toolkit 0.1.2a A layer between a program and different toolkits such as Gtk or Qt.
Unix Amiga Delitracker Emulator 0.01g Plays old Amiga tunes by emulating Delitracker players with UAE.
unixODBC 1.8.11 Provides ODBC 3 connectivity for Unix
Usenet Binary Harvester 1.1 A Perl script to find and download single and multi-part Usenet binaries.
User-mode Linux 0.29-2.4.0-test6 User-mode port of the Linux kernel
UserIPAcct 0.9 Per User IP Accounting for the Linux Kernel
VA-CTCS 1.2.9 VA Linux Systems' Diagnostics Package
VacationAdmin 0.8.0 A Webmin module for vacation (.forward).
VCDImager 0.3 VCD (VideoCD) BIN/CUE CD image generator.
VCS - Version Control System 1-1.2 A utility to find out the latest available version of your applications.
very simple guestbook 0.1 A simple yet powerful Perl guestbook.
VICE 1.5 Versatile Commodore Emulator
VideoLAN::Client 0.1.99g A software MPEG2 and DVD player.
Virtual X68000 1.1.2 X68000 emulator
vmailmgr 0.96.8 Powerful qmail addon package for virtual domain email
vp7wkp 0.4 GTK application which simulates the decay of radioactive nuclei.
WaddleSoft Message Board 1.10 A message board system with polls.
wagon 1.0 Simple pull-model job distribution framework.
wApua.pl 0.02 alpha A WAP WML browser written in Perl/Tk.
waterfall spectrum analyzer 0.10 XMMS visualization plugin
web2ldap 20000813 A Python LDAP-client running as a CGI-BIN.
webCDwriter 1.0pre4 Network CD writing.
WebCPULoad2 0.1 A CGI which displays CPU load averages.
Webgallery 1.2.0 Creates a Web-based gallery of images with thumbnails.
WebMail 0.7.2 Web frontend for Unix system mailboxes.
WebNap 1.0.1 A Web-based Napster client written entirely in PHP.
Weborama 0.9.9 Automatically display all the pages of a Web site.
werkmail 0.0.1 webmail application written in php
wipl 000811 A very flexible program to gather statistics about packets seen on a LAN.
wmnetselect 0.85 Send X selection to Netscape or Mozilla as an URL or search engine query.
wrr 000811 A bandwidth-distributing extension to Linux 2.2.
wsmake 0.5.10 Website make tool written in C++
X Printing Panel 0.5 A graphical printing frontend for CUPS.
XDBM 1.0.19 Database Manager designed specifically to hold XML data
xfsm 2.1 A point-and-click file system manager and mounter.
xine 0.1.3 A Unix video player.
XJay 0.0.1 An XMLSchema to Java object mapper.
xjigmgr 1.3 Jigsaw puzzle game front-end.
XMLBoard Solo 1.3.1 XMLBoard alternative
XMMS-Tool (X-Chat Script) 1.0 X-Chat script to control XMMS
XMPS 0.1.3 A fully skinnable Gtk Video MPEG-1 player with playlist support.
Xpdf 0.91 Viewer for Adobe PDF files
xpuyopuyo 0.9.2 Tetris-like puzzle game with AI
xquarto 2.5 A two-player board game based on logic.
xscorch 0.1.9 Annihilate enemy tanks using overpowered guns.
Xscrabble 2.10 Internationalized version of the Xscrabble program.
Xsox 0.77 Gnome X interface for sox.
xterm patch #141 A terminal emulator for the X Window System
Yacas 1.0.39 Yet Another Computer Algebra System
yafc 0.5.7 Yet Another FTP Client
Yahoo! Messenger 0.93.0 Instant messages, friends list, and conferencing.
Yahp 0.1 HTML pre-processor
Yaunc 0.05 Yet Another Uptimes.Net Client.
Zdisk 1.76 Create a boot/rescue floppy with any kernel.
Zorp 0.5.12 A proxy firewall.

Our software announcements are provided courtesy of FreshMeat


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See also: last week's Back page page.

Linux Links of the Week

GigaLaw is a site dedicated to legal issues on the Internet. Like it or not, such issues are increasingly pushing their way into the free software world. Here's a site which can help interested people to stay on top of the situation. A discussion list has just been added as well.

It may well be that not too many Linux people care about this, but spare a moment for us older folks... September 30 is the last day to order a VAX system. There was a (long!) period where an 11/780 running BSD was the computing platform of choice; it was the system that brought Unix into the virtual memory era. A moment of silence for a system that served us well...

And for a dignified retirement for an 11/780, it's hard to beat the VAXbar.

Section Editor: Jon Corbet

August 17, 2000



This week in history

Two years ago (August 20, 1998 LWN): It appeared the Linux Standards Base might be in more trouble, as Bruce Perens' departure from the project was quickly followed by the announcement of two competing efforts. The Linux Compatibility Standards Project was announced as a collaboration between Debian and Red Hat to build a written specification on the "right way" to build a proper Linux system. It was designed to complement the LSB and guide application developers on how to build their applications for compatibility with multiple Linux distributions. Only the timing made this look like a competitor to the LSB, though. It was designed to be complementary and was eventually folded into the LSB.

Not so innocuous was the announcement of the Linux Standards Association. As opposed to the community-based LSB, the LSA was designed more like traditional commercial standards organization; members were corporations that paid money. The content was not to be made available for free, founding members would have veto privileges and the initial website was created with Frontpage. The announcement was greeted with outrage on Slashdot and indifference from the community.

Nowadays, we've proven that Open Source is a better way to produce cooperation between companies than membership fees. The LSA is gone and the http:www.linuxstandards.org/ site contains a letter indicating that the site will be redesigned to serve as a clearinghouse for information on standards relevant to Linux.

More recently, the Linux Development Platform Specification version 1.0-beta (LDPS) was released by the Free Standards Project, the umbrella organization that now encompasses the LSB, the LDPS and the LI18NUX Project (Linux Internationalization Initiative). It is still hoped that a final draft of the Linux Standards Base will be available by the end of year; certainly effort in this area is alive and well.

Red Hat announced its "Rawhide" distribution - Red Hat's development version.

One year ago (August 19, 1999 LWN): Red Hat shares jumped from an initial (split-adjusted) high of $26 after their IPO to a new level, $40 per share. Predicting many more public Linux companies to come, LWN announced its Linux Stocks Page and the LWN Linux Stock Index to track the performance of this sector as a whole. Also announced that week was the Red Hat Wealth Monitor, which tracks the value of the Red Hat stock distributed to the Linux community. Two years ago, it was worth $60 million. Even though Red Hat stock is back down to around $25 per share, the Linux Community stock is still worth around $39 million.

For the umpteenth time, someone paved paradise, put up a parking lot. For the thousands of Linux coders who've build the utopian open-source movement - offering free help to create a free operating system - the IPO of Red Hat Software was a sure sign of Wall Street cutting the ribbon on the new Linux mall.
-- The Industry Standard, August 12, 1999.

A Debian "potato" freeze was proposed for November 1.

The Internet Auditing Project released the results of a year-long scan of the Internet. This ad-hoc project searched for sites with previously announced and fixable security vulnerabilities. For example, out of a list of 10 well known vulnerabilities, between 1 to 26 percent of the sites with the given service installed were running a vulnerable version. They likened these vulnerable systems to "wounds" in the Internet, indicating wide-spread illness.

Certainly their findings predicted the potential for the distributed denial-of-service attacks that later took advantage of the proliferation of vulnerable systems to launch broad-scale attacks on well-known websites later that year.

The project recommended the creation of an "International Digital Defense Network" to pro-actively search for vulnerable sites and work to get them to close their vulnerabilities. Discussion on the topic did not seem to take off and there have been no efforts in that area, to our knowledge.

Meanwhile, Magic Software took some real grief for the two live penguins it brought to the LinuxWorld show floor. It seems the animal rights activists weren't too pleased with the idea...



Letters to the editor

Letters to the editor should be sent to letters@lwn.net. Preference will be given to letters which are short, to the point, and well written. If you want your email address "anti-spammed" in some way please be sure to let us know. We do not have a policy against anonymous letters, but we will be reluctant to include them.
Date: Thu, 10 Aug 2000 10:50:27 -0400
From: "Eric S. Raymond" <esr@snark.thyrsus.com>
To: lwn@lwn.net
Subject: OSI "mostly dormant"?  Not hardly!

Anybody who thinks the Open Source Initiative is "mostly dormant",
as claimed in the 10 Aug LWN, hasn't been paying attention.

We continue to work hard -- and successfully -- at what have always
been our primary missions.  We help develop and certify OSD-conformant
licenses; we act as a trusted channel between the hacker community and
the corporate world; and we occasionally speak out on issues affecting
the entire open-source community. Just recently, for example, we played
an important role in negotiating the new Python license with CNRI
and BeOpen.

We may not be making the visible splash some other organizations are,
but we're listened to where it counts -- by Fortune 500 executives 
and heavy Wall Street investor types on the one hand, and by leaders
in the open source community on the other.   

As for the lack of "what's new" updates -- anybody want to volunteer 
to be our webmaster?  Otherwise, I have to do it...and on my travel
and work schedule, that's not going to happen really often.
		<a href="http://www.tuxedo.org/~esr">Eric S. Raymond</a>

Hoplophobia (n.): The irrational fear of weapons, correctly described by 
Freud as "a sign of emotional and sexual immaturity".  Hoplophobia, like
homophobia, is a displacement symptom; hoplophobes fear their own
"forbidden" feelings and urges to commit violence.  This would be
harmless, except that they project these feelings onto others.  The
sequelae of this neurosis include irrational and dangerous behaviors
such as passing "gun-control" laws and trashing the Constitution.
Date: Thu, 10 Aug 2000 19:40:08 -0400
From: Ian Danby <atdanby.KILLSPAM@mediaone.net>
To: lwn@lwn.net
Subject: Re:3D windows.

I really like the idea of a 3D desktop system. I believe that 3D done at
the GNOME/KDE level makes a lot of sense, and will be necessary for 3D
window managers to be written effectively while maintaining
compatibility. While the following is a long way off, I have a vision of
the future: 'Q3AFM'

'Q3AFM' will be a filemanager that looks like Quake3 Arena, whereby
other users are running around the file system at the same time.
Directory permissions will appear as rooms that only some users could
enter, with the door lock displaying the permissions. Other users can
pick up 'invisible' objects that you can't see. Deleting files is a lot
more fun! (Rocket Launcher ;)

Seriously though, this is a big step in office productivity, whereby an
office file server appears as an arena extension to the local users
arena, collaborative files appear as objects in that arena that can be
picked up and edited or moved to another location. (Of course, some
ojects are 'glued' in place as they are read-only, although you can take
a clone of the object.)
Traversing the directory tree downward involves moving down a slope to
the next room. Symlinked directories appear as portals to other areas.
Symlinked files have a shimmering blue appearance to them. RCS locked
files are in a cage. Executable objects appear as sleeping animals (/bin
is an ark maybe??). Lib files will appear as encyclopedias in an ornate
wooden library. Document objects are 'projected' onto walls for viewing.
('Conference' areas will be set up with a with lots of wall space, and a
umask that allows all documents in the room to be viewed by the
participants.) 'Copy and paste' becomes 'clone and drop'. 'Cut' becomes
'pick up'. File modification timestamps are visualized by organic growth
around the base of the object. Directory and file sizes are readily
apparant from the size of the room or object. Superusers appear as God,
and can make objects and users disappear. Users logging off collapse
before your eyes. 'du' sends you sprinting around the filesystem looking
at all the objects. Your $PATH is visualised as a series of viewports to
other rooms.

Personal arenas are set up according to the user's tastes, with weird
and wonderful textures to be found on on the walls, floors and ceilings.

Of course the reality will be:

Corporate arenas will probably all end up being dull gray corridors,
that fade over time and end up getting 'refreshed' only when user
'painter' logs on again in 2 years time.
An NT lava pit will have replaced that arena that held that really
important document that you needed.
Everyone would always be running through the hallways because they're
late for their 'chat' meeting or conference.
Monsters will start appearing in any arena that wasn't hidden behind a
wall of fire...The 3l33t r00t k1t monster looks really nasty.

Unfortunately, I don't have the coding skills necessary to do this. Any
Date: Thu, 10 Aug 2000 23:17:32 -0600
From: Bruce Ide <nride@uswest.net>
To: lwn@lwn.net
Subject: 3D Interfaces

I have considered 3D interfaces. The first thing that jumps to mind
(What you describe in the August 10 issue) buys you nothing over a 2D
environment and adds a lot of expensive computation. It may be cute but
it's not the Interface of the future.

I suspect augmented reality will be the next big step, and it's already
available in the Airline industry if I recall correctly. Almost all the
current market for wearibles is for airline mechanics who want to be
able to see schematics overlaid on top of their current working
environment. A lot of the uses are promising -- the MIT Remembrance
agent, the facial recognition stuff the wearible guys were doing,
attaching data to environments, and having the computer seamlessly
integrate into your environment without forcing you to shift modes to
use it... THAT will almost certainly be the next big interface step.

I see a 3D interface evolving from that. Once you have the augmented
reality, there will be times when people want to interface with the
computer. Programmers will need to do it a lot. Chances are the 3D
interface will have the user IN the environment. Turning ones head will
cause the data to shift. Reaching out and grabbing or touching an object
will operate on it. No need for a mouse -- the computer will be able to
track your hand. Chances are by the time we get there, there will also
be very smooth voice commands and the computer should be able to
understand medium-complex commands. Moreover I foresee the concept of
the rembrance agent becoming much more complex, such that when I'm
working on spreadsheet data for the 2000 budget figures, a remembrance
agent would make available to me an E-Mail thread about the 1999 budget
figures (Perhaps popping up a 3D object on the edge of my vision?)
Implementing rembrance APIs in Gnome/CORBA would be relatively straight

The hardware to implement most of this already exists. 3D is easy when
you're using a headset. The amount of hardware you can fit into the
space the size of a cigarette pack is enough to give you the basics of
the Interface now. Much of the software already exists and only needs to
be glued together. Expect to start seeing movement in this direction
within the next two to three years.

- -- 
Bruce Ide                   greyfox@paratheoanametamystikhood.net
Date: Thu, 10 Aug 2000 13:10:40 -0500
From: "John J. Adelsberger III" <jja@wallace.lusArs.net>
To: letters@lwn.net
Subject: FreeS/WAN and Linux

No US crypto law has changed.  An executive order was signed, and that is
all.  Constitutional protection against ex post facto does not apply to 
executive orders, which are basically nothing more than "current" 
interpretations of laws.  They are not the legally binding interpretations,
which are set by court rulings, but rather are the interpretations the
executive branch uses to decide what to prosecute and what not to.  Nothing
which was legal before is illegal now, and vice versa.

Think about what would happen if, at some future time, a US president
signed a new executive order requiring the prosecution of everyone who
exported any strong crypto code, retroactive to the day the previous
order was signed.  Contrary to "common sense," this would be legal and
quite effective.  Canadians might well then be prohibited from exporting
their own code on account of the actions of the leader of a nation they
don't even live in.  Moreover, many foriegn governments would happily
prosecute people who "illegally" imported sources, although this is not
an issue in Canada.

(I'm not a conspiracy theorist, and I try not to ascribe any malicious
motives to my government(I live in the US.)  However, if the giant
crushes you, you will be no less dead on account of his having been
ignorant and/or stupid rather than vicious.  Do not trust government, 
for it is big, stupid, and far more careless than anyone wants to 

Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2000 14:54:19 -0400
From: "Jay R. Ashworth" <jra@baylink.com>
To: letters@lwn.net
CC: timreason@cfopub.com
Subject: CFONet's "Don't use Linux" report, LWN Daily, 14 Aug

In his CFONet piece, Tim Reason tackles the (no longer especially)
tough topic of server uptime.  Modulo a couple of missing lines in the
copy -- which make us wonder if *CFONet's* servers might be having
uptime problems, it's a pretty decent piece, delving into the topic in
more depth than the typical "number-of-9's" approach, and, indeed,
pointing out why that's not the best way to evaluate reliability in
the first place.

How much money you spend is not nearly as important, as the piece
noted, as what you spend it on. He goes on to note, and quote (Meta
Group's Peter Burris), that Total Cost of Ownership is a much larger
item than the cost of the box -- or, by implication, the operating

In a sidebar ("The Cost Of Cool"), Reason quotes Meta Group analyst
Peter Firstbrook as saying "Linux should be shunned.  It should not be
a part of the business process."  He has two reasons, both of which
display, in my perception, a fundamental misunderstanding of the topic
at hand; I'll take them one at a time.

"It's free.  So what."

Ok, so what?  The *monetary cost* of Linux is not now, nor has it ever
been, the major issue... except, of course, that Linux' market
penetration is *substantially* wider due to it's low cost than it
might otherwise be.  We won't go into the fact that this is a major
contributing factor to the current success -- and quality -- of Linux.

At the enterprise level, though, while purchase price of the OS is
indeed only a part of TCO, I don't believe it's even reasonable here
to say that it's so low a percentage as to be negligible. I'm sure
that the difference between $1,600 per machine and $69 per machine was
*not* unimportant to Jay Jacobs, who bought ~250 copies, nor the 1200
stores Burlington had to equip, and it damned well mattered to
Cendant, who are buying 4000 copies.  And if you can download the free
version of RedHat and use that, well, 4000*$69 wouldn't be a bad bonus
on my salary this year, either.

Now, in these cases, admittedly, the amount of system adminstration
labor is not likely to be much different in cost than it would have
otherwise been: I'm pretty sure the competition was SCO Unix, et al.

But Firstbrook's other assertion is that the McGuffin here is that the
admin crew can modify the OS, and that this is a bad thing both for
traceability and in the amount of time spent just doing it, and I
think that this is pretty short-sighted for two reasons.

First, it is similarly untraceable when Microsoft or SCO make small
changes to *their* operating systems which might have a large effect
on your operations -- but at least with Linux, *you* have control over
whether such changes are made at all, and you can *impose* tracking.
(And, of course, saying "Well, I won't upgrade" isn't practical, due
to vendor support requirements.)

If you *can't* successfully impose such restrictions in a Linux
environment... well, that's not *Linux's* fault, now, is it?

Secondly, the very fact that you can modify the OS when necessary
isn't a bug, it's a feature (:-).  I suspect almost everyone reading
this, if they have not been bitten already by the slow response of OS
vendors to security holes needing patching, has been at risk.

Stipulated: not everyone *does* keep up with such things, but isn't it
nice, from the viewpoint of a 4000-installation company, to know that
you *can*?  If I was that big, I'm sure I'd have an employee tasked to
be all over that topic like a bad smell.

> Linux is out there and people are using it, but it is mostly because
> of the cool factor," he says. "Having somebody who can screw around
> with my operating system would make me very, very nervous," he says.

I hate to tell him this, but people can screw around with his
operating system, no matter what it is.  Much of Linux's competition
in this space does not now, nor will it ever, give him the tools to
*prevent* it.  As far as I can see, the ability to *audit* the OS to
make sure you know what it's doing is much pricier.

"...mostly because of the cool factor"?


People are using it because, in general, to quote Tom Peters, "It
works, and it never breaks."

-- jra
Jay R. Ashworth                                                jra@baylink.com
Member of the Technical Staff     
The Suncoast Freenet
Tampa Bay, Florida     http://baylink.pitas.com                +1 727 804 5015

Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2000 01:23:00 +0200
To: letters@lwn.net
From: Hanno Mueller <kontakt@hanno.de>
Subject: How ridicilous political discussions on Linux are


I find the current discussion on LWN about the correct description of Open
Source politics extremely irritating, if not ridicilous.

Does the open source community have a shared political goal? One that fits
in one of those already existing, neat little boxes labeled communism,
socialism, anarchism?

Almost every time this topic comes up, individuals try hard to back their
personal views by referencing the "community". But good grief, have I heard
lots of differing political views justified that way, sometimes by
celebrities of the movement, and despite being a part of "us" as a
long-time user, I hardly ever shared any of these opinions. And still use
the software, even while I strongly disagree with ESR's views on gun
control or RMS's ideas about the evils of closed-source.

Last time I checked, the Kernel didn't come with a copy of the Communist
Manifesto, there was no anti gun-control declaration included with
Fetchmail, there was no una-bomber mode in Emacs and Apache didn't include
transcripts of Great Chairman Mao's best speeches.

There is a reason why this software is being used: It's useful and it
works. There is a reason why people contribute: They can, it helps
themselves and others and contributing gives them something back. But
that's about it folks agree upon.

"We" hardly ever agree on anything, the standard mode of software
development in the open source world is the flame war. We can't even agree
on the topic of the "best" open source software license. So how could we
agree on a common political goal?

I'd welcome a *serious* study about the politics in open source, but could
people please stop claiming that they know what everybody else in the
community thinks?

Does open source have a political impact? Yes, of course. But is this
really the prime reason why the developers are doing it?


Long-time & happy user of Linux in corporate settings. (Gasp! Evil
commercial conglomerates!)

Hanno Müller, +49-40-5603170, http://www.hanno.de
Meet the digital politician: http://www.phrasemonger.org

"Scientific, but true."

From: "The Phantom" <thephantom@psn.net>
To: <letters@lwn.net>
Subject: Napster, DVDCCA and Freeware
Date: Sat, 12 Aug 2000 00:32:33 -0500


Steve Ballmer's claims that Linux is a communist phenomenon are hilarious!
Your editorial puts him in his proper place, but even you missed something
pretty fundamental.

The Linux kernel is a gift from Linus Torvalds.  Yes indeed, a gift.  He
wrote it, (or parts of it anyway) it is his PERSONAL PROPERTY just like a
car or a toothbrush, and he gives it away.  He's a cool guy, and a smart
He is smart because he knows "Freeware" isn't free.  The people who work on
it don't get paid money for the most part, but they do get cool points in
the computer industry.  Cool points are definitely worth money in a job
interview. Linus gets mega cool points AND the world's best resume.  Hell,
it may even get him a frigging Green Card. Worthwhile return on time
invested?  Oh yeah.  Capitalism at it's finest, I'd say.

Napster on the other hand is organized crime, as Eric Raymond so ably said
last week.  When you buy a CD with Linux on it, you can post it to the web
and broadcast a billion copies if you want because Linus said it was OK.
Madonna did NOT say it was ok to do that with her CD.  So if you give away
a billion MP3s of her stuff, you are STEALING.  Morally, even if there is
some weasel way the lawyers can wiggle out.

I think something like Napster would be great if record companies put their
whole back list on there and charged admission.  Five bucks for all the
obscure dreck you can download.  THAT would be cool, because then you could
find all those obscure one hit wonders out there, make your own CD's, and
what have you without ripping off the owners.

If bands want to do an end run around the established companies, release
free samples, publish on the web etc, far out.  Napster is a great place
for that too.  Give away MP3s for free, sell CDs for cheap.  Even starving
students can pony up a buck or two for a CD, which is what they would sell
for if you took Columbia and RCA out of the loop.

The DVDCCA lawsuit is in a third category.  This is clearly somebody trying
to make balky hardware work with their Linux box, not a nefarious scheme to
rip off the DVD decoding secrets from the manufacturers.  I'm coming down
on the side of the defendants for the following reasons.
First, DeCCS is not a work of art, it is worthless without the associated
hardware, and sold AS PART OF the hardware.  The kids bought the hardware
AND the software and are now the owners of their copy.  They are not
licensees or renters or any other such thing because they did not agree to
any such contract when they bought the DVD drive.  If a guy sells a book
with a secret message in it, does he have any right to be upset if you
decode the message ?  I think not.  He sold the message to you with the

Second, the manufacturer looses NOTHING if some teenagers make a device
driver to run the DVD hardware under Linux.  No loss, therefore no harm,
therefore no foul.

Third, If you buy a Chevy does GM still own the software that runs the
engine management computer?  Doubt it!  You bought it fair and square, it's
yours.  If you hack the computer and develop a gizmo to tweak your spark
curve or fuel injectors are you stealing?  Nope.  What if you show your
tweaker gizmo to other people, maybe even sell it?  Nope.  If you copy the
computer in the car and sell it or give it away, THEN it's stealing.  Same
as a fake Swiss Army watch.  However the law may differ on this point, I am
not sure.  Laws seldom follow morality, except by accident.

So there you go.  Nice news magazine you have here too.  Keep up the good

The Phantom http://www.neptune.psn.net/~thephantom/

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