Linux in the news
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See also: last week's Linux in the news page.
Triumph of the free-software will (Salon). The spirit of the open source world runs the gamut of emotion, from short chastising to verbal battery to praise and worship. Andrew Leonard takes a deeper look at himself and the movement in this Salon piece: "Accusations of betrayal cut pretty deep. And yet, even as I wince every time I check my mail, I am paradoxically heartened by the anger. I originally became obsessed with covering the free-software movement because I was fascinated by the passion that motivated so many free-software developers or advocates. The severity of their response to my article proved to me, once again, that I was playing with a fascinating holy fire."
Red Hat boss joins Tucows board. The word is out: this story in the National Post covers the appointment of Red Hat founder Bob Young to the Tucows board of directors. "Mr. Young has earned a reputation as a pioneer and respected activist in the Open Source and Linux communities. Because of that he will bring an additional degree of legitimacy and notoriety to Tucows, known to most consumers as a repository of popular software programs." Tucows is, of course, LWN's parent company. (Thanks to Gary Lawrence Murphy).
Riding on the open-source wagon (ZDNet). ZDNet looks at how e-commerce players Akopia and Zelerate (formerly OpenSales) are dealing with an open source business model. "There's no question that commercial versions of applications that are built in adherence to open-source development procedures are proliferating. To qualify as a true open-source product, software is expected to be licensed under the GNU General Public License. Any changes made to the base source code by vendors, service providers, and/or customers must be returned to the developer community."
Covalent mixes proprietary and open source software (Upside). Upside looks at Covalent and Transmeta in this two part article on open source related companies. "Because translating programs through a layer of software takes longer than running the instructions on base silicon, Crusoe chips operate slowly at first as they adapt to programs they run. Once this adaptation process is complete, however, Transmeta demonstrations have shown that the chips do achieve speeds and efficiencies competitive with traditional chip designs."
Can Transmeta buck the IPO market? (CBS MarketWatch). CBS MarketWatch (via ExciteNews) takes a brief look at Transmeta's history and IPO future. "But perhaps the most notable member of the Transmeta team is Linus Torvalds. Yep, he's the guy who invented Linux and revolutionized computing with open source development. At Transmeta, he helped develop the Code Morphing software." Ok, maybe invented might not be the right word here...
Linuxcare co-founder resumes CEO job (News.com). News.com reports on the latest from Linuxcare: co-founder Art Tyde is back running the company, and the entire European operation has been shut down. The article says that only sales and administrative people were laid off, but Linuxcare most certainly did have technical staff in Europe, too.
Linux firm Lineo woos industry veterans (News.com). Changes in the management team at embedded Linux vendor Lineo is the focus for this C|Net News.com article. " Lineo has wooed three new executives from better-established companies in its effort to hasten the adoption of Linux in non-PC computing devices."
Fork gets Samba back in tune (Upside). Upside has posted a lengthy article on the split in the Samba project. "So what lessons can the open source community learn from the Samba-TNG episode? [Jeremy] Allison sees it as a reminder that forking can and should be a healthy part of the open source development process."
IBM Japan to Install 15,000 Linux Servers in Lawson Stores (AsiaBizTech). In one of the larger rollouts of Linux systems we've seen in some time, IBM will be installing 15,000 Linux-based "e server X Series" systems in Lawsons stores throughout Japan. Total rollout of this installation should be complete by March 2001. (Thanks to Maya Tamiya)
Those nagging open source details (Upside). Open source databases and the developers who love them is the focus of this Upside piece. "Open source database developers have a reason to be optimistic. At a time when projects such as Apache and the Linux kernel are losing their media luster, aging database projects such as MySQL and PostgreSQL have suddenly been recast as the fresh-face of the open source community."
The Fourth Member of ZZ Top? (Business 2.0). Business 2.0 worries that there is no succession plan should Linus get tired of kernel work. Much of the article is spent talking about Alan Cox's appearance (thus the title) and mistakenly puts him in England (he's in Wales). "When a corporation is headed by a charismatic leader who won't spell out a clear path of succession, investors usually get spooked. Are Linux customers worried? There is little evidence at the moment. But they may be unaware of how loose and uncertain is the structure that Torvalds sits upon."
But will user expectations spoil its chances? (ZDNet). ZDNet reports on the OpenOffice release, and raises some interesting concerns... "Mike Doyle, IT manager at charity Cooperation Ireland, where Office 97 is deployed, said managing user expectations could be a problem with an open source office suite. 'If people know we have the source code they may expect us to fix a bug, but we are not staffed up to do this sort of work. Managing user expectation, which is already difficult enough, will become even more difficult.'" (Thanks to Wesley Darlington).
Office politics (ZDNet). Depending on who you talk to or what you read, GNOME seems to be replacing AbiWord with Sun's recently released OpenOffice word processor. ZDNet has posted an article fanning the flames of this debate, questioning if the politics of GNOME are more than they appear. "How can I put this lightly? The GNOME Foundation, clearly salivating over OpenOffice and Sun's embracing of its desktop, appears to be abandoning some of GNOME's longtime friends."
Getting Beyond the Innovation Fetish (Fortune). Innovation overflows in our computer culture, and in this article from Fortune, credit for at least part of this is given to the open source community. "The `open source' movement--perhaps the most influential initiative in software today--is the apotheosis of these innovation economics."
Redboot -- an open source boot/debug environment (ZDNet). A closer look at the Redboot bootstrap and debugging environment comes from a reading of this article from ZDNet. "Because RedBoot is based on eCos, which is capable of running on many architectures, and because its debugging support is based on gdb, RedBoot can become a common embedded standard." One statement suggests Redboot could replace the standard BIOS in PCs. Note that the article was written by someone from Red Hat.
Plain Text Editors - Unsung Heroes. WebTechniques is carrying an article on the use of text editors for developing HTML, a rather interesting comparison of using Netscape Composer and DreamWeaver versus a traditional text editor. "Another problem with generated markup from a visual tool is that it's less organized. Dreamweaver's markup is all jammed together. I would write my document with a lot of white space, flush certain tags to the left, and add comment tags. I would add the DOCTYPE declaration and accessibility features like the ALT attribute, and follow a standard. If I were truly writing this code today, I'd write it as XHTML 1.0, which Dreamweaver UltraDev-a brand new product-can't do."
November Linux Gazette is out. The November 2000 issue of the Linux Gazette is out. It includes an article by Chris Jones on The Australian History of Tux (the penguin): "During the 1940s and 50s in Australia there was a literary magazine called, of all things, The Angry Penguins. This magazine was an avant-garde modernist poetry magazine edited by Max Harris and had modernist painters and writers grouped around it whose names are now legend in Australian art. But at that time they were just considered weird and way out. You know, the stereotype of mad deluded poets and artists starving and living in sub-standard housing."
KDE brings Linux closer to corporate desktop (ZDNet). eWeek takes a look at KDE 2.0 and decides Linux must be ready for the desktop. "In eWEEK Labs' tests of the software's final release candidate, KDE2 impressed us with the progress it has made in the areas of user experience and included applications -- we recommend that sites looking at Linux as a future desktop alternative take the time to evaluate KDE2." The review isn't of the official 2.0, but the reviewers seemed pleased anyway.
.comment: KOffice Is A Good Start (LinuxPlanet). LinuxPlanet reviews the KOffice suite as found in KDE2. "KDE2 in general benefitted from the participation of someone at Corel Corporation who did little but find and holler about inconsistencies among applications. As a result, KDE2 has a consistent design. Because Corel also markets its own office suite for Linux, it did not provide this service to KOffice, and it shows."
Linux is cooking in my kitchen (The Guardian). The Guardian Unlimited gives us another " I tried Linux" article, this one with a little success, a few failures and some basic honesty. "A first piece of advice: read the (expletive deleted) manual. Linux may well be, as claimed, stable as a rock compared with Windows, logical and in open code for teccies; but intuitive it is not." Note - "teccies" is the authors spelling, not LWN's.
Interview: Richard Stallman (France-Invest). France-Invest.com has posted an interview (in French) with Richard Stallman. It covers the sale of free software, software patents in Europe, and other topics of interest. English text is available via Babelfish. (Found in Da Linux French Page).
Interview: Sergey Brin (O Linux). O Linux interviews Sergey Brin of Google.com. "Linux is used everywhere...on the 6,000+ servers themselves, as well as desktop machines for all of our technical employees. We chose Linux because if offers us the price for performance ratio. It's so nice to be able to customize any part of the operating system that we like, at anytime."
Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol
November 2, 2000