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Leading items and editorials

A bit of perspective.  Late last week, we were preparing to work on our lead in pieces for the front page. At the time, the Linux business market was ending what looked like a rather ugly week. Caldera's future looked bleak, according to a report from C|Net's News.com, based on the Linux distributors recent quarterly filings.

In the third quarter ended July 31, Caldera had $18.9 million in revenue. In the fourth quarter, the company expects revenue of $15 million to $20 million and an operating loss of $20 million to $24 million, including restructuring charges.

Even more scary were the layoffs from Lineo and closing of Great Bridge. Lineo announced that it was restructuring around its core embedded platform business. About 60 employees are to lose their jobs and another 100 will be "spun out" as Lineo divests itself of many of the acquisitions it has made over the last couple of years. The leaner, meaner Lineo will be left with about 110 people. Great Bridge had even less luck, announcing they would be closing their doors after being unable to find a suitable investor.

Great Bridge LLC announced today that it has ceased business operations. Great Bridge, founded in May 2000 by Norfolk, Virginia-based media conglomerate Landmark Communications, Inc., initiated a search for additional investors or an acquirer in July of this year. This search did not generate a qualified investor or acquirer, and Great Bridge's board decided to close the business.

With the Linux world crumbling around us, due mostly to a difficult economic condition and companies finding it difficult to make business plans function, we began to wonder just what could make it worse.

Yet now, with life in a very new perspective, business problems just don't seem to be worth the worry. New businesses will arise. Old ones survive. For most of us, we're okay. Life has changed. But it's still the same too. Our spirit is unbroken. Tomorrow, we pick up the pieces. And then we'll build again.

If you thought the DMCA was bad... just wait until the SSSCA takes effect. The Security Systems Standards and Certification Act is an impressive bit of big-brotherism currently under consideration in the U.S. Senate. The core of this proposed law is this text:

It is unlawful to manufacture, import, offer to the public, provide or otherwise traffic in any interactive digital device that does not include and utilize certified security technologies that adhere to the security systems standards adopted under section 104.

The definition of a "digital device" is just as broad as it sounds - essentially, anything - hardware or software - that is capable of moving and storing bits.

In particular, a computer running Linux is certainly such a digital device, as is Linux itself or any of a number of other free programs. The "security standards" mentioned are to be developed in the future; one can, without too much trouble, imagine that these standards to not specify "source available so that the security systems can be changed."

In other words, this is a law that would ban free software. No source-available system will ever be able to conform to the security standards that the industry will come up with; these people are not interested in something that can be turned off. The outlawing of free software seems outlandish, to say the least, but remember that we are dealing with the people who are trying to put Dmitry Sklyarov in jail for 25 years.

This law will probably not pass in this form. It bears careful watching, however. It could emerge, after a high-profile "compromise," as something just as nasty with bipartisan support. It could really happen here.

Interview: Lawrence Lessig. LWN's Dennis Tenney had the opportunity to interview Lawrence Lessig at LinuxWorld. The discussion covered the Sklyarov case, what the government might do next in support of the DMCA, what could happen in the supreme court, and more. "I think that things have gone pretty well up to this moment. The real fear is that the next layer of struggle, at the network layer, will have a profound tilting effect away from open source projects. If that is true then open source won't continue to provide an opportunity to check improper power."

Inside this LWN.net weekly edition:

  • Security: Bugzilla bugs, vulnerabilities in mailman, uucp and xinetd, updates for fetchmail, apache-contrib, sendmail, xloadimage, OpenAntivirus.
  • Kernel: Defining network addresses, min/max solutions, USB developer job hunts.
  • Distributions: The Proxyfloppy Linux distribution; A Distribution is (Re)born; Installing KDE 2.2 from source on Slackware 8.
  • On the Desktop: Hancom for any desktop, Gobe GoProductive for Linux, Konqueror wins award.
  • Development: Broadcast 2000 pulled, two new versions of mSQL, Gerber Viewer, OpenNMS 0.8.1, Internet C++ goes GPL, new Lisp newsletter.
  • Commerce: Restructuring at Lineo; EBIZ Enterprises files Chapter 11; FSMLabs RTLinux Provides Realtime for Red Hat Linux Systems.
  • History: Six years ago: Miguel de Icaza released Midnight Commander version 3.0; two years ago "Channel One Gmbh" registered the "Linux" trademark in Germany; Real-time competition heats up.
  • Letters: In defense of Sourceforge, Linux and education.
...plus the usual array of reports, updates, and announcements.

This Week's LWN was brought to you by:

September 13, 2001


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


News and Editorials

With the recent terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington D.C., security advisors are recommending that now is a good time to be on the lookout for cyber attacks, which have reportedly increased by an order of magnitude. The usual monitoring of log files is recommended, and the latest patches should be applied to all vulnerable software.

Security workers: Copyright law stifles. C|Net is running an article on the effects of the DMCA law on writers of security code. Security software developers are wary of lawsuits and are removing projects from distribution.

First open virus scanner released. The OpenAntivirus Project has been announced, and has produced an open source anti virus scanner. Currently the scanner can detect 5 different viruses with 11 variants. (Thanks to Lenz Grimmer)

Introducing ssh-agent and keychain (IBM developerWorks). IBM's developerWorks introduces readers to the ssh-agent and keychain utilities. "ssh-agent, included with the OpenSSH distribution, is a special program designed to make dealing with RSA and DSA keys both pleasant and secure...[and] for the sole purpose of caching your decrypted private keys."

New Unix worm could be next Code Red (ZDNet). A new worm known as X.C apparently exploits a hole in the telnet daemon according to this ZDNet article. Telnet is, of course, already vulnerable to clear text password sniffing and sites concerned with security usually replace it with ssh.

Linux Trojan spotted in the wild (Register). The Register reports on another Linux-based Trojan known as Remote Shell, which should not be confused with the ancient rsh utility. "Qualys suggests Remote Shell can be disseminated by inconspicuous emails and replicates itself on the infected Linux-based system. The Trojan installs a backdoor that listens for incoming connections on UDP port 5503 or higher, enabling remote attackers to connect and take control of the system."

Security Reports

Red Hat advisory for bugzilla. Red Hat has posted their advisory for bugzilla. See: Red Hat (September 10, 2001) . This advisory addresses several security problems with bugzilla in which valid users can obtain confidential data without authorization, also addresses a problem where parameters were not being checked properly.

Conectiva security update to mailman. Conectiva has issued a security update to mailman which fixes a number of vulnerabilities, some fairly old. See: Conectiva (September 5, 2001) .

Uucp local user exploits. There is a vulnerability in the command-line argument handling of uucp which can be exploited by a local user to obtain uid/gid uucp. The following updates address the problem:


Apache-contrib command injection vulnerability. The Apache module mod_auth_mysql 1.4 was found vulnerable to possible bypass authentication by MySQL command injection. See last week's LWN security page for a discussion of the SQL injection problems with a number of Apache modules.

Previous updates:

Buffer overrun vulnerabilities in fetchmail. (Found by Salvatore Sanfilippo). Two buffer overrun vulnerabilities exist in the much-used fetchmail program. Given a hostile server, arbitrary code can be run on the system running fetchmail. The solution is to upgrade to fetchmail 5.8.17. See the August 16 Security page for the initial report.

Previous updates:

Format string vulnerability in groff. A format string problem exists in groff; apparently it could be remotely exploited when it is configured to be used with the lpd printing system. (First LWN report: August 16, 2001).

The stable release of Debian is not vulnerable.

New updates:

Previous updates:

Vulnerabilities in Horde IMP Horde IMP has several vulnerabilities which are fixed in version 2.2.6; see Bugtraq ID's 3066, 3079, 3082, and 3083 for more details.

Previous updates:

Linux Kernel 2.4 Netfilter/IPTables vulnerability. Check the April 19 LWN Security Summary for the original report. The NetFilter team has provided a patch for Linux 2.4.3.

Previous updates:

Denial of service vulnerability in OpenLDAP This problem was first identified in a CERT advisory issued in July, 2001. It was covered in the July 19, 2001 LWN security page.

Previous updates:

OpenSSL Pseudo-random number generator weakness A weakness has been discovered in the OpenSSL Pseudo random number generator that can allow an attacker to discover the PNRG's state and predict future values. (First reported July 12).

Previous updates:

Procmail race conditions. See the July 26 Security page for the initial report.

This week's updates:

Previous updates:

Input validation problem with sendmail. An input validation error exists in versions of sendmail prior to 8.11.6 (or 8.12.0Beta19) which may be exploited by local users to obtain root access. See the August 23 Security Page for the initial report.

This week's updates:

Previous updates:

SQL injection vulnerabilities in Apache authentication modules. Several Apache authentication modules have vulnerabilities that could allow an attacker to feed arbitrary SQL code to the underlying database, resulting in a compromise of database integrity and unauthorized access to the server. See the September 6 security page for more information.

New updates:

Previous updates:

Squid httpd acceleration ACL vulnerability. This vulnerability could result in unauthorized access to the squid server. See the July 26 Security page for details.

This week's updates:

Previous updates:

Multiple vendor telnetd vulnerability. This vulnerability, originally thought to be confined to BSD-derived systems, was first covered in the July 26th Security Summary. It is now known that Linux telnet daemons are vulnerable as well.

This week's updates:

Previous updates:

Buffer overruns in Window Maker A buffer overrun exists in Window Maker which could, conceivably, be exploited remotely if the user runs a hostile application. This problem initially appeared in the August 16, 2001 LWN security page.

New updates:

Previous updates: Security audit of xinetd and resulting fixes. Solar Designer has performed an extensive audit of xinetd, looking for certain types of security vulnerabilities. So many problems were found in the code that the resulting patch weighed in at over 100KB. This patch was only fully merged as of xinetd 2.3.3. See the September 6, 2001 LWN security page for the initial report.

This week's updates:

Previous updates: Buffer overflows in xloadimage This problem was first covered in the July 12 Security page.

Previous updates:



Upcoming Security Events.
Date Event Location
September 13, 2001New Security Paradigms Workshop 2001(NSPW)Cloudcroft, New Mexico, USA
September 28 - 30, 2001Canadian Association for Security and Intelligence Studies(CASIS 2001)(Dalhousie University)Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
October 10 - 12, 2001Fourth International Symposium on Recent Advances in Intrusion Detection(RAID 2001)Davis, CA
November 5 - 8, 20018th ACM Conference on Computer and Communication Security(CCS-8)Philadelphia, PA, USA
November 13 - 15, 2001International Conference on Information and Communications Security(ICICS 2001)Xian, China

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: Forrest Cook

September 13, 2001

LWN Resources

Secured Distributions:
Astaro Security
Engarde Secure Linux
Kaladix Linux
NSA Security Enhanced
Openwall GNU/Linux

Security Projects
Linux Security Audit Project
Linux Security Module

Security List Archives
Bugtraq Archive
Firewall Wizards Archive
ISN Archive

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

BSD-specific links

Security mailing lists
Linux From Scratch
Red Hat
Yellow Dog

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

Miscellaneous Resources
Comp Sec News Daily
Security Focus


 Main page
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 Linux History

See also: last week's Kernel page.

Kernel development

The current kernel release is still 2.4.9. Linus is currently up to 2.4.10-pre8, which includes a note from him that appears to settle the min/max issue for now. Prior to that was 2.4.10-pre7, a relatively large patch which included a great deal of stuff merged in from the "ac" series. Linus has suggested (scroll to the bottom) that, once the merge with Alan is complete, the 2.5 series will begin:

It still sounds very much like a 2.5.x thing (and hopefully I and Alan can merge enough that it's going to be RSN), but if done right it should be trivial to back-port to 2.4.x after testing.

Alan, meanwhile, is not standing still; his latest is 2.4.9-ac10. Among other things, Alan is claiming far better virtual memory performance for his kernels. Users of "ac" kernels, it seems, do not have to put up with the "living out of swap" feeling of the Linus series...

Alan also released 2.2.20pre10. This one includes a fix for 2.2 lockd when talking to HP/UX systems, NFS client fixes and cleanups for 64bit ISDN support.

What, exactly, is a local network address? Wietse Venema, the author of the Postfix mailer, has a bit of a problem on his hands. Postfix has to be able to handle mail addressed to recipients like user@[]; that involves figuring out whether is a local address or not. This determination, as it turns out, is not as easy as one might think.

The immediate problem is with IP aliasing. Linux has, for a long time, allowed more than one IP address to be assigned to a physical network interface. In more recent kernels, however, it is possible to set up aliases that do not have a separate name (i.e. eth0:0); if you ask the kernel for a list of local interface addresses (using the SIOCGIFCONF ioctl call), these "anonymous" aliases will be returned with an incorrect netmask. This is a relatively simple problem to fix, and Matthias Andree has put out a patch to deal with it.

It turns out, though, that SIOCGIFCONF does not return a complete list of local addresses. For example, is a local address on almost all systems, as is the whole loopback subnet. The use of the advanced policy routing and proxying features in the 2.4 kernel complicates the situation further. The end result is that there is currently, no way to ask the kernel for the full list of local IP addresses. There are ways of finding out whether a specific address is local (the netlink interface), but there is no way of getting a list.

And, even if there were, life would not get easier for mailer authors. It is not unheard of to configure a system with different mailers operating on different IP addresses. So an address which is "local" for the purposes of the kernel should be treated as remote by the mailer. To complicate things even further, a properly configured mailer should look at the source of a message before deciding whether the IP number it is addressed to is local.

In other words, with modern networking stacks, there is no way for the kernel to provide a mailer with a list of "local" IP addresses. The best solution would appear to be to stick with the old SIOCGIFCONF interface, and to have the mailer support a configuration file for systems with more complicated setups. Or, more likely, do nothing; continue to use the old interface, and get local delivery wrong in some rare situations.

Yet another min/max implementation. One would think that the min/max discussion would fade away, and it mostly has. Morten Welinder, however, managed to come up with yet another implementation which uses the old, two-argument interface, avoids side effect problems, and catches comparisons between signed and unsigned values (which was part of the motivation for the original change). It works by using a pointer comparison, which brings about a more specific type comparison at compile time.

Linus proclaimed "we have a winner," and stated his intention to include the patch in 2.4.10-pre5 - though a real solution wasn't posted until -pre8.

Will write USB drivers for food. USB subsystem maintainer Johannes Erdfelt, once of VA Linux Systems, has announced that he will be taking a short break from his duties while he looks for a new job. It seems that, as VA cuts back, it is no longer able to support as many kernel hackers. One hopes that Johannes will find a new position which allows him to continue working with the kernel. Meanwhile, Greg Kroah-Hartman is running the USB show.

Other patches and updates released this week include:

  • David Miller has posted an updated 64-bit PCI patch with a number of fixes.

  • Alex Bligh has posted a proposal for dealing with fragmentation in the kernel's memory allocation code. It boils down to the creation of many new memory zones dedicated to certain types of tasks.

  • A new preemptible kernel patch is available from Robert Love. It fixes a few problems, and adds a new CONFIG_PREEMPT configuration option. Note that this patch is still not well-tested on SMP systems.

  • Andrew Morton has posted a new ext3 filesystem patch which incorporates some important fixes from Stephen Tweedie.

  • A new version of Richard Gooch's patch for the handling of large numbers of SCSI devices has been posted.

Section Editor: Jonathan Corbet

September 13, 2001

For other kernel news, see:

Other resources:


 Main page
 On the Desktop
 Linux in the news
 Linux History

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

Secured Distributions:
Astaro Security
Engarde Secure Linux
Kaladix Linux
NSA Security Enhanced
Openwall GNU/Linux

Special Purpose/Mini
2-Disk Xwindow System
Mindi Linux

Coyote Linux
Fd Linux
Fli4l (Floppy ISDN/DSL)
Linux in a Pillbox (LIAP)
Linux Router Project
Small Linux

BBLCD Toolkit
Crash Recovery Kit
innominate Bootable Business Card
Linuxcare Bootable Business Card
Sentry Firewall
Timo's Rescue CD
Virtual Linux

Zip disk-based

Small Disk
--> Peanut Linux
Relax Linux

Bambi Linux
Flying Linux

ARM Linux
Scyld Beowulf
Think Blue Linux
(Oracle's NIC)
NIC Linux
Black Lab Linux
Yellow Dog
(Older Intel)
Monkey Linux

DOS/Windows install
Armed Linux
Phat Linux

Diskless Terminal
GNU/Linux TerminalServer for Schools


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

News and Editorials

The Proxyfloppy Linux distribution. It seems like it's been awhile since we've found a truly new Linux distribution. Other distributions have been introduced here, but they weren't really new, just new to our list. So we were happy to see Proxyfloppy show up on Freshmeat. It appeared, fully formed at version 1.0 on September 10.

Proxyfloppy puts a bootable, minimal Linux system along with different types of web proxies and assorted tools all on a floppy, allowing a desktop system to become an anonymous proxy server. When your always-on Internet connection isn't otherwise engaged, of course. It is released under the GNU General Public License (GPL) and is available at nameless.cultists.org.

OK, why should I run proxyfloppy ?

Because it's really fast to set up, and quite safe. By booting a minimal operating system that doesn't do anything but run proxies, we've enormously reduced the risk of having your machine hacked. And the proxyfloppy is set up to limit the risk to the other machines on your network. It's almost certainly safer than your normal machine on the Internet.

A Distribution is (Re)born (ConsultingTimes). ConsultingTimes interviewed Michael A. Bego, President of Xandros about the company's plans for the Corel Linux distribution. "Bego: It's basically a Debian-based distribution. We're going to support both KDE and GNOME. We will be releasing several different applications, such as utilities, that have been in development since before 2.0, that are really very impressive."

Installing KDE 2.2 from source on Slackware 8. If you've been waiting to install KDE 2.2 on your Slackware 8 system, this article on userlocal.com tells all, or at least some. "I want to point out from the start that this is no in-depth explanation of all the various compilation options and switches that can be applied to this proccess, it is merely a description of the procedure I used to get it running on my box. If you are a very inexperienced with building programs from source or are affraid of messing up your existing (nicely configured) system, then I suggest you wait for binary, pre-build packages to become available. You should also know that during the cause of this document I deliberately remove my previous version of KDE and all it's settings to start with a completely clean slate, so if you do not want to do that then don't follow these instructions."

Distribution News

Debian Weekly News. This week's news on the Debian projects includes news on Jigsaw Download for distributing large filesystem images, and news of an effort to optimize Debian for Pentiums.

Mandrake News. This week's Mandrake Linux Community Newsletter includes news on the opening of the MandrakeExpert Support Center, a little update on trading their stock, and a story on moving from ext2 to ext3.

The third beta release of Mandrake Linux 8.1 is now available, and the Mandrake Cooker Weekly News for September 10 looks at what's new in beta 3.

Redmond Linux Release Candidate. Redmond Linux announced build 39, also known as RC0. This build is stable but needs a lot of testing.

Virtual Linux. Virtual Linux version 1.0 was released on September 8, 2001. Virtual Linux is based on Mandrake 8.0, modified to run from CD ROM. Modifications include a new startup script, automatic search and mount of found CD ROM, hard drives, etc, and it now has cloop compression. The CD contains 1.7 GB of software.

Minor Distribution updates

Debian. The Netwinder box debussy.debian.org has been upgraded and is once again available for every Debian developer.

Red Hat Updates. Red Hat released a slew of updates last weekend.

Slackware: Slocate package at Linuxmafia.org. If you downloaded the slocate.tgz package for Slackware 8 from Linuxmafia.org before September 6, 2001, read on.

It seems the ownership and permissions were set incorrectly for the / directory. You can - as root
chown root.root /
chmod 0755 /

or you can grab a new package with the correct permissions. (Found on userlocal.com)

Distribution Reviews

Work-Ready Linux (TechWeb). TechWeb reviews and compares Caldera OpenLinux Server 3.1, Mandrake ProSuite 8.0, Red Hat Professional Server 7.1 and SuSE Linux Professional 7.2. "We focused on how well Linux played in an existing NT environment network, what new features were provided in each distribution and how easy each package was to install, use and manage. We tested them on a Compaq ProLiant ML350, with a 933-MHz Pentium III processor, a 9-GB SCSI hard drive and 256 MB of RAM."

Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol

September 13, 2001

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
 On the Desktop
 Linux in the news
 Linux History

See also: last week's On the Desktop page.

Note: An asterisk (*) denotes a proprietary product, (w) denotes WINE based tools.

Office Suites
Ability (*)(w)
Anywhere Desktop (*)
(formerly "Applixware")
GNOME Office
StarOffice / OpenOffice
Siag Office
WordPerfect Office 2000 (*)(w)

Java / Web Office Suites
ThinkFree Office (*)
Teamware Office (*)
Cybozu Office (*)

Desktop Publishing
iceSculptor (*)
Maxwell Word Processor
Mediascape Artstream (*)

Web Browsers
Netscape (*)
Opera (*)

Handheld Tools
Palm Pilot Resources
Pilot Link

On The Desktop

Hancom isn't just for KDE.  Joe Klemmer wrote in response to last week's story on HancomLinux's HancomOffice suite being a good thing for KDE.

I would like to say that this is not quite accurate. While Hancom/theKompany are Qt based and thus have a tie-in to KDE, in actuality Hancom Office doesn't need or require KDE. It will run just fine under GNOME. In fact it runs great on my box and I use XFce. I think that Hancom Office is closer to being good for Linux rather than a specific desktop environment.

Good point. While this suite will make a handsome edition to any KDE based distributions, its ability to work well under GNOME will make it beneficial to any Linux user.

Desktop Environments

Minutes of the GNOME Board meeting 4 September 2001. At the GNOME Board meeting this past week, discussions included an interoperability conference the day before the X Technical Conference at ALS, details on getting better fonts for GNOME, and a summary report on GNOME at LinuxWorld.

KDE 2.2.1/3.0 Release Schedules Updated/Posted. KDE 2.2.1 has been packaged as a tarball and will be officially released on September 17, 2001. A schedule for KDE 3.0 has also been announced.

Office Applications

Gobe annouces Linux office suite. A new entry in the office productivity suite market, Gobe Productive is a suite of applications including a word processor, spreadsheet, vector graphics program, and page layout tool. The package was originally built for BeOS but is being ported to Windows and Linux now, with the Linux version due to ship this fall. The suite is being written by Gobe, the team that did the original ClarisWorks tools for the Mac. Gobe's new license, known as the "Gobe Family License", allows installing the application on all user systems at home plus one at work.

Evolution 0.13 (Beta 3) released. A new beta release of Evolution, Ximian's GNOME-based personal information manager, has been announced. This beta is being released to encourage more thorough bug stomping efforts, with Ximian noting that "prizes will be awarded to those reporting the nastiest, thorniest, and the most total bugs. To report a bug, visit bugzilla.ximian.com or use the GNOME Bug Report tool, bug-buddy."

Desktop Applications

Konqueror wins Tuxie Award. KDE Dot News reports that Linux Magazine has awarded KDE's Konqueror browser the Tuxie for Best Web Browser.

NVidia launches Linux drivers (ZDNet). ZDNet reports that nVidia has released new video drivers covering their TNT, GeForce and Quadro chipset lines as well as support for Toshiba 3000-series laptops.

Note that Kernel maintainer Alan Cox isn't happy with people who use these drivers because they seem to look to Alan for free help even though he doesn't know anything about these proprietary drivers. See last week's Kernel page for details on Alan's comments on these drivers.

And in other news...

Setting up a Multitrack Audio Recording Studio (Linux Journal). Linux Journal shows how to use Linux to do multitrack sound recordings using GMurf and Broadcast 2000. "Multitrack recording, in its simplest form, is simply multiple single tracks recorded and played in synch, so that the resulting music sounds like one composition. An audio CD is a multitrack recording consisting of two tracks that are played through a machine that sends one track to the left speaker and one to the right." Unfortunately, due to DMCA lawsuit issues, Broadcast 2000 is no longer available for download, see this week's Development Page for the details.

Delivering the Linux Desktop (Consulting Times). This editorial, posted prior to the Xandros buyout of Corel's Linux division (or takeover, or whatever you might call it), provides a manifesto for companies to provide a Linux desktop , which is code named "Riptide Linux" in the article. "Riptide stands above the KDE/GNOME and other controversies, but its primary mission is to deliver optimal solutions to corporate clients and end users. The most mature solutions will be given primacy, though alternate selections will be provided wherever there are close substitutes or well-defined constituencies."

Section Editor: Michael J. Hammel

September 13, 2001

Note: An asterisk (*) denotes a proprietary product, (w) denotes WINE based tools.

Desktop Environments

Window Managers (WM's)

Minimalist Environments

Widget Sets

Desktop Graphics
CorelDRAW (*)(w)
Photogenics (*)

Windows on Linux

Kids S/W
Linux For Kids

Send link submissions to lwn@lwn.net


 Main page
 On the Desktop
 Linux in the news
 Linux History

See also: last week's Development page.

Development projects

News and Editorials

Broadcast 2000 source code pulled. A note on Slashdot mentions that binary and source code versions of the excellent audio/video editing package Broadcast 2000 are no longer available for downloading due to worries about potential liabilities.

This action has been done as a result of concerns over liability:

"We've already seen several organizations win lawsuits against GPL/warranty free software writers because of damage that software caused to the organization. Several involved the RIAA vs mp3/p2p software writers. Several involved the MPAA vs media player authors."

RPMFind carried a link to an RPM of a slightly out of date version earlier this week, but even that seems to have disappeared in the last few days. In any case, without the support of the author, this useful tool may become a thing of the past. Broadcast 2000 will be missed.

At least one backup site still has the code available for now.

For those who are looking for a replacement, VirtualDub is an open source video editing program, although no Linux version exists yet.


Vorbismodule 0.0b released. An early version of vorbismodule, a Python interface to the Ogg Vorbis audio compression tools, has been announced by Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams.


Two new releases of mSQL. Hughes Technologies has announced a new version of mSQL 2.0.12, which features a security patch, and the third pre-release of mSQL 3.0.

PostgreSQL vs. MySQL (Web Techniques). Web Techniques compares PostgreSQL and MySQL. "One of the larger areas in which PostgreSQL and MySQL differ is in the functions you can use in a SQL statement. Because SQL is a standard data query language, you would expect to be able to apply it equally across different databases. Unfortunately, adherence to a standard is one place where SQL databases need the most improvement."


LDP Weekly News. The latest weekly news summary from the Linux Documentation Project covers the new Conexant+Rockwell Modem HOWTO, along with a number of updated documents.


SEUL/Edu Report #52. The September 3, 2001 edition of the SEUL/Edu report includes a list of schools that are using Linux, a Linux distribution for schools, a Student Information System called OpenSIS, and a new version of GPeriodic which produces a nice online periodic table of the elements.


Gerber Viewer 0.0.3 released. A fairly early version of Gerber Viewer, version 0.0.3, has been released on the gEDA site. Gerber files are used for printed circuit CAM data, and Gerber Viewer allows such files to be inspected.

Embedded Systems

Embedded Linux Newsletter for Sept. 6, 2001. LinuxDevices has posted the latest Embedded Linux Newsletter. This issue covers Rick Lehrbaum's trip to LinuxWorld, a new Linux PDA on the way from Korea, and Motorola's choice of Embedix for its set-top box.

A developer's review of leading Embedded Linux toolkits (LinuxDevices). LinuxDevices is carrying a special feature from Jerry Epplin describing a host of embedded Linux toolkits. "Several open source toolkits, such as Transmeta's Midori Linux, provide a simple way to configure and build a minimal Linux system suitable for embedded systems. And because the non-commercial systems typically make use of the standard Linux methods for configuring and building a system, they may be more appropriate for users already familiar with Linux."

Network Management

OpenNMS 0.8.1 released. A new version of the OpenNMS network management system has been announced. Changes from the previous version include a JNI replacement for icmpd, IP handling improvements in capsd, DHCP poller updates, updated configurable categories in the Web UI, and more.

Printing Systems

LPRng 3.7.6. Patrick Powell's LPRng web page has recently been updated to include lots of new documentation and screenshots for LPRng and its associated tools. A new version, LPRng 3.7.6, is mentioned on the page, but downloads are not yet available.


Medical Open Source Achievement Award (LinuxMedNews). LinuxMedNews is seeking nominees for an open source medical achievement award that will be presented on November 5th, 2001 at the American Medical Informatics Association meeting.

Web-site Development

mnoGoSearch bug reporting system. A new bug reporting system has been added to the mnoGoSearch web site to improve the ability to track bugs.

Mod_python 3.0.0 Alpha released. Version 3.0.0 Alpha of Mod_python has been released. This release only runs under Apache 2.0.

ZopeNews for September 10, 2001. The September 10, 2001 version of Zope News is out. This issue looks at the Wing IDE, ZQuest 1.0.0 beta 2, DBObjects 1.3.0 beta 1, a re-release of ZtoP, ZMySQLDA-2.0.8, and more.

The Go-ForIt Chronicles : Memoirs of eXtreme DragonSlayers, Part 6 (IBM developerWorks). Indran Naick looks at input data validation from web based interfaces in an IBM developerWorks article.

Section Editor: Forrest Cook

September 13, 2001

Application Links
High Availability

Open Source Code Collections
Le Serveur Libre



Programming Languages


Internet C++ Goes GPL. Internet C++ is an open source alternative to Java and .NET that is being developed on SourceForge.


Caml Weekly News. The latest Caml Weekly News includes an announcement of a new version of OcamlMakefile and a discussion of the Bedouin project, which aims to generate a web application framework for generating dynamic HTML content.


Threading lightly : Reducing contention (IBM developerWorks). Brian Goetz looks at three methods for reducing contention between Java threads. "Contended synchronizations are slow because they involve multiple thread switches and system calls. When multiple threads contend for the same monitor, the JVM has to maintain a queue of threads waiting for that monitor (and this queue must be synchronized across processors), which means more time spent in the JVM or OS code and less time spent in your program code. Moreover, contention impairs scalability because it forces the scheduler to serialize operations, even if a free processor is available. When one thread is executing a synchronized block, any thread waiting to enter that block is stalled. If no other threads are available for execution, then processors may sit idle."

Getting Up To Speed with JXTA (O'Reilly). Richard Koman and Steve Anglin give an overview of JXTA in an O'Reilly article. "JXTA, or Juxtapose, began in the summer of 2000 as a Sun Microsystems research project, or 'intrapreneuring incubation,' led by Chief Scientist Bill Joy. Beginning with conversations with innovators in the P2P space, the JXTA team began assembling a picture of what a core common distributed computing framework would look like. In the months since, the sketch became an API, 'crufty code,' and finally, an open source release on April 25th, 2001."


Free the X3J Thirteen! Lisp newsletter. A new online newsletter for Lisp, known as Free the X3J Thirteen!, has been announced. Topics from the first issue include new and updated cCLan packages, the asdf system definition tool, OpenMCL on Debian, and more.


Perl 5 Porters for September 3, 2001. The September 3, 2001 edition of Perl 5 Porters looks at Perl testing modules, improvements to %INC, random seeds, and more.

Perl 6 Porters for September 1, 2001. The September 1, 2001 edition of Perl 6 Porters covers implicit @_ passing, the difference between finalization and destruction, multiple dispatch on objects, program metadata, and progress on the Parrot interpreter base.

Parrot 0.0.1 is Released (use Perl). An early version of the Perl 6 Parrot interpreter has been released. The license is currently the same as for Perl 5, a choice of either Artistic or GPL.


PHP Weekly News for September 10, 2001. The September 10, 2001 edition of the PHP Weekly News is out. Topics include the upcoming PHP 4.0.7 RC2, a bug with Autoconf 2.52, CVS and sticky tags, a fix for base_convert(), and several bug fixes.


Python for Beginners. Guido van Rossum has put together a Python for Beginners page, full of information of use to those just starting (or thinking about starting) with the Python language.

Python 2.2 alpha 3. The third alpha release of Python 2.2 is out. People interested in how their applications will work under the next major Python release may want to give this one a try.

Dr. Dobb's Python-URL!. This week's Python-URL! includes pointers to discussions on python graphics and systems administration tasks, as well as other Python information.

Dive Into Python, Chapter 4 released. The fourth chapter of Dive Into Python has been released. It covers HTML processing and a number of related Python modules.

jabber.py 0.2 released. A new version of jabber.py has been released. "jabber.py is a Python module for the jabber instant messaging protocol. jabber.py deals with the xml parsing and socket code, leaving the programmer to concentrate on developing quality jabber based applications with Python." This release includes bug fixes, more documentation, and improved examples.


The latest from the Ruby Garden. This week, the Ruby Garden looks at Eiffel's Selective Export feature, discusses the upcoming Ruby conference, and includes other Ruby items of interest.


Dr. Dobb's Tcl-URL!. The latest Tcl-URL! includes the news that threads have official arrived for Tcl, plus many more interesting tidbits.

Section Editor: Forrest Cook

Language Links
Caml Hump
g95 Fortran
Gnu Compiler Collection (GCC)
Gnu Compiler for the Java Language (GCJ)
IBM Java Zone
Free the X3J Thirteen (Lisp)
Use Perl
O'Reilly's perl.com
Dr. Dobbs' Perl
PHP Weekly Summary
Daily Python-URL
Python Eggs
Ruby Garden
MIT Scheme
Why Smalltalk
Tcl Developer Xchange
O'Reilly's XML.com
Regular Expressions

 Main page
 On the Desktop
 Linux in the news
 Linux History

See also: last week's Commerce page.

Linux and Business

Corporate bad news - redux; Restructuring at Lineo; EBIZ Enterprises files Chapter 11. Lineo has announced that it is restructuring around its core embedded platform business. About 60 employees will lose their jobs now, and another 100 will be "spun out" as Lineo divests itself of many of the acquisitions it has made over the last couple of years. The leaner, meaner Lineo will be left with about 110 people.

EBIZ Enterprises, owner of LinuxMall.com, has voluntarily filed chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. CEO Dave Shaw said the companies plans to reorganize, not liquidate.

FSMLabs RTLinux Selected to Provide "Hard" Realtime for Red Hat Linux Systems. Here's a press release from Finite State Machine Labs, Inc. (FSMLabs) and Red Hat, Inc. on a new alliance to expand hard realtime processing capabilities for embedded systems and emerging technologies.

On2 Technologies open sources VP3 codec. On2 Technologies announced that the source code and open source license for their VP3.2 video compression algorithm can now be accessed at www.vp3.com. According to the press release, both RealNetworks and Apple have added support for VP3.2 in their video players.

Fujitsu Introduces Miniature Humanoid Robot, HOAP-1. Here's our choice for "cool toy of the week". Fujitsu has small robots running RT-Linux. "Weighing 6kg and standing 48cm tall, the light and compact HOAP-1 and accompanying simulation software can be used for developing motion control algorithms in such areas as two-legged walking, as well as in research on human-to-robot communication interfaces." The robots are expected to run for about $40,000, according to various Japanese news sources.

TruSecure, Red Hat Co-Author open source security white paper. TruSecure Corporation announced that it has co-authored a white paper with Red Hat, Inc. The paper, " Open Source Security: A Look at the Security Benefits of Source Code Access," addresses the security advantages and advancements presented by open source systems.

Sun Microsystems Awards Grant to the Open Bioinformatics Foundation. Sun Microsystems, Inc. announced that it will grant hardware, including servers and a secure storage system, to the Open Bioinformatics Foundation, which distributes, develops and supports standards-based open source tools for life science research and data integration.

MandrakeExpert V2 Support Center. MandrakeSoft has announced the launch of the second phase of its "MandrakeExpert" support operation. The new site includes a paid support option. "The pricing starts from $10 when buying a unique incident down to $6.7 per incident when buying 10 incidents, for subscribed users."

IBM Software on Linux. If you are looking for IBM software for Linux here it is. IBM says Linux is "Ready for Business".

Evil3D Contest. E3D has a little teaser up for a project they have been watching. The.Vertex.Project has a preliminary web page up, but no details. So what is it? They aren't saying, instead, they are holding a contest to see who can guess. The winner will be awarded a copy of Tribes 2, Soldier of Fortune, and Shogo:MAD, all which are for Linux. So, take a look at the page and make your guess here: A drawing from all the winning entries will be done on 21st of this month.

Linux Stock Index for September 06 to September 10, 2001.

LSI at closing on September 06, 2001 ... 22.70
LSI at closing on September 10, 2001 ... 22.46

The high for the week was 22.75
The low for the week was 22.46

Press Releases:

Open source products

Proprietary Products for Linux

Hardware and bundled products

Products and Services Using Linux

Products With Linux Versions

Java Products

Books & Training


Personnel & New Offices

Linux At Work


Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol.

September 13, 2001


 Main page
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 Linux in the news
 Linux History

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

Linux in the news

Recommended Reading

Locking up the lock-pickers (Financial Times). Here is a Financial Times column about Dmitry Sklyarov. "It is easy to romanticise his case: the 26-year-old Mr Sklyarov (who looks like a Slavic version of Hugh Grant) seems genuinely baffled by his predicament. Seven short weeks ago, he left a young wife, toddler son and infant daughter in Moscow for an innocent jaunt to a software hacker convention in Las Vegas. Once in the land of the free, he was promptly arrested for thought-crimes."

Copyright in a Frictionless World (First Monday). This lengthy article examines copyright law, its origins and how it applies in the Internet age. "Another innovation of the Internet age has been the creation of new methods of research and development. These methods seek to harness the collective input of a number of skilled individuals (often on a volunteer basis) in return for those individuals, or the wider community, taking the benefit of that research and development. An early example of this was the work of the Free Software Foundation and Richard Stallman in the 1980s. From this movement grew others such as the GNU ("GNU's not Unix"), Linux and the Open Source movements. Under these arrangements individuals take on the responsibility to co-ordinate the coding of software by independent third party programmers." (Thanks to Karl Vogel)

Can't Linux do any better? (News.com). An editorial on C|Net's News.com says Linux shouldn't just duplicate old Microsoft tools and formats. "The redundancy in our software reaches the point of absurdity. How many word processing modules are on the average computer? WordPad, Notepad, Word, small ones in Excel, Access, and many other applications with many of the features such as copy, cut and paste repeated. I must have over a half a dozen photo-editing type programs loaded, some simply because they provide a single feature not available in another."

Linux Gains Respect (ZDNet). At LinuxWorld last week, Compaq's keynote speaker said Linux wasn't ready for the enterprise. But IBM said it is. "IBM, meanwhile, put the Securities Industry Automation Corporation on display as exhibit A for Linux's viability as a serious e-business platform. SIAC, which operates the computers and communications networks of both the New York Stock Exchange and the American Stock Exchange, is running a key customer application under Linux on an IBM zSeries mainframe."

Brazil opposition slams 'arrogant' Microsoft. Brazil's government has a mandate to get computers into their schools, but their choice of Windows as the operating system is meeting stiff resistance. "PT Congress leader Walter Pinheiro, who sought the cancellation of the tender after the choice of Windows, slammed Microsoft this week after the software giant issued a statement in Brazil criticizing its competitors."

A Healthy, Helpful Epidemic (Linux Journal). Linux Journal says that XP and Microsoft licensing may be good things, at least for Linux. "Another data point was from El Salvador. There used to be two Linux users registered with the Linux Counter. Microsoft did a license crack-down and the number jumped to 141."

Preemptible Linux -- a reality check (LinuxDevices). LinuxDevices.com is running a guest editorial by MontaVista's Kevin Morgan on preemptable kernel technology for Linux. "Some oppose a preemptible kernel because of throughput concerns. Others oppose preemptibility because of concerns about growing complexity in the kernel. This argument is specious, because the preemption approach takes advantage of already required and in place SMP locking. No additional complexity is created."


Caldera faces losses, delisting, layoffs (News.com). Caldera's future looks bleak, based on their recent quarterly filings, according to this C|Net report. "In the third quarter ended July 31, Caldera had $18.9 million in revenue. In the fourth quarter, the company expects revenue of $15 million to $20 million and an operating loss of $20 million to $24 million, including restructuring charges."

Open-source database company closes (News.com). C|Net reports that Great Bridge is working with Red Hat and other companies to help find positions for the staff let go today. ``In retrospect, it would have been a good idea to sell the company to Red Hat, Batten said. Red Hat this spring offered a "modest price, but it would have been better to have sold the company for something rather than nothing," Batten said.''

HP + Compaq: Server powerhouse (ZDNet). While Wall Street seems dismayed at the pairing, this ZDNet article says the Compaq + HP alliance is a big win for Linux. "Linux, though, will be the real winner. Both companies have strong Linux commitments that will grow even stronger. Red Hat and Caldera, both of which have strong relationships with Compaq, should do the best here. That is, if Compaq, as rumor has it, doesn't buy a Linux company between now and the merger. If I were a betting man, I'd put my money on seeing Linux as a standard offering across the hardware line (except for the Himalayas) within the next year."

Embedded Linux powers new set-top Internet Appliance (LinuxDevices). Here's a look at a new Internet appliance based on National's Geode "set-top box on a chip", developed by Japan Computer Corporation. '"JCC pioneered the Internet Appliance market in Japan, introducing the world's first product in the new category in 1996," said Takatoshi Ishii, president of JCC. "By integrating National's [chip-level Internet Appliance] solution and Linux operating system into our new Internet Appliance, we are able to find new customers for our device in market segments like educational and medical institutions and local government offices, in addition to home markets." Another key feature of the new device is its built-in broadband (Ethernet) interface which enables users to surf the Web much faster than with telephone lines.'

Red Hat To Make India A Primary Business Base (NewsBytes). Red Hat is planning on moving its operations in the Philippines, U.K., Australia and Japan to a facility in India in mid-2002. This move will make India the only software development and support center outside of the U.S. for Red Hat.

Red Hat chooses RTLinux for real-time Linux technology (LinuxDevices). LinuxDevices reports on the announcement that Red Hat will use FSMLabs' RTLinux for its hard real time embedded offering. "Since there has been considerable ongoing controversy over which approach is superior, Red Hat's endorsement of the dual-kernel RTLinux approach is certain to spark a lively renewed debate."

Linux smartphone heads for Europe (Register). Samsung's Linux smartphone is expected early next year in the U.S. following its European launch later this year, accodring to a report in the Register. "We know that Nokia has invested in Linux, and not just because of the Finnish connection, but strictly for set top boxes and webpads, and Nokia hasn't gone as far as committing to launching real retail product. In fact almost every European consumer device manufacturer has flirted with Linux."

Could Linux Be Too Open for Our Own Good? (ITWorld). ITWorld has taken a look at the NSA's secure distribution. "That's sort of what I was feeling when I first saw that the National Security Agency was releasing a secured version of Linux 2.2 into the 'open source' community, along with the background on the testing models it used for verification. It was just too weird to be happening. The people behind the triple fence in Fort Meade, Md. giving out something?" (Thanks to Cesar A. K. Grossmann).


Introduction to Bonobo: Bonobo & ORBit (IBM developerWorks). Michael Meeks, Component software engineer, at Ximian Inc., begins a series of articles examining Bonobo in detail. "Using Bonobo also solves one of the tricky problems in Free Software that is also one of its strengths: diversity. Often in the Free world (and in the non-Free world as well, for that matter), people cease maintaining projects due to time pressure, and replacements are rewritten from scratch. Or again, competing projects, such as CD player applications, arise. Allowing these applications to share the same Bonobo interfaces makes it easy to provide functional replacements, and tracing the entry points allows you to better understand an old application."


The Truth Behind the Great Server Heist (Consulting Times). Consulting times talks with Jimmy Lee, Director of Professional Services for Equant, to find out how much of IBM's new commercial using Linux on their zSeries mainframes might be realistic. "Now look what happens to the costs. The Exchange/Intel solution, again, is $ 8.65 per user per month. The Linux groupware solution now comes out to a mere $ 2.02 (compared to the original estimate of $16.73). Pretty compelling math! The IFL solution can be fully justified wherever you have comparable PC vs. mainframe applications." You have to read all the way through to see how Linux scales more cheaply than the MS Exchange option in this article - the initial numbers look bad for Linux if you stop reading too early.


What's Linux without Microsoft? (CNN). Linux couldn't exist without Microsoft having driven the movement, according to some open source advocates at LinuxWorld quoted in this CNN report. "Augustin and Hohndel joined other open source leaders in a panel debate at the conference, which turned into a discussion of how open source and proprietary software will coexist in the future. Linux creator Linus Torvalds emerged as the most vocal antagonist to the theory that Microsoft and open source will continue to exist as polar opposites."

WinXP: an OS for Linux lovers (ZDNet). ZDNet has posted an opinion piece stating that XP makes Windows as bad as Linux, and in the process gives users a reason to try Linux instead. "I've always maintained that for Linux to become as popular as Windows, someone needs to talk Microsoft into developing a version of its desktop operating system that's as freaky as Linux. When that happens, Windows will drop in popularity to the same level as Linux and the two will finally be on equal footing. By going in a direction that's extremely opposite to Linux (closed source?), Microsoft seems to be headed toward doing just that."

Section Editor: Forrest Cook

September 13, 2001


 Main page
 On the Desktop
 Linux in the news
 Linux History

See also: last week's Announcements page.



Linux audio user mailing list. The Linux Audio User mailing list has been started for those who want to discuss the ups and downs of serious audio applications on Linux systems.

How to ask smart questions. Eric Raymond and Rick Moen have written How to ask smart questions, a resource for newbies trying to obtain help from the Linux community. "In the world of hackers, the kind of answers you get to your technical questions depends as much on the way you ask the questions as on the difficulty of developing the answer. This guide will teach you how to ask questions in a way that is likely to get you a satisfactory answer."

LinuxLookup Tip of the Week. The LinuxLookup tip of the week for September 10, 2001 covers the sort utility. Check it out for an overview of this essential Unix utility.


Stallman and Moglen to speak in Washington, D.C.. Richard Stallman and Eben Moglen will give a speech on October 10, 2001 at George Washington University in Washington D.C. on: "Free Software: the Free Market/Free Speech Solution to the Microsoft Antitrust Problem."

Linux@work dates for 2002. LogOn Technology Transfer has announced the dates of ten Linux@work events to be held across Europe from May through June of 2002.

Events: September 13 - November 8, 2001.
Date Event Location
September 17, 2001XML Information DaysAmsterdam
September 17 - 21, 2001O'Reilly P2P & Web Services ConferenceWashington D.C.
September 18 - 21, 2001O'Reilly Peer-to-Peer ConferenceWashington, DC.
September 18, 2001XML Information DaysBrussels
September 19, 2001XML Information DaysMunich
September 20, 2001XML Information DaysZurich
September 21, 2001XML Information DaysMilan
September 23 - 28, 2001Australian Unix User Group's Annual Conference(AUUG 2001)Sydney, Australia
September 24, 2001XML Information DaysParis
September 25, 2001XML Information DaysCopenhagen
September 26, 2001XML Information DaysOslo
September 27, 2001XML Information DaysStockholm
September 28, 2001XML Information DaysHelsinki
September 30 - October 4, 2001XML OneSan Jose, California
October 1, 2001XML Information DaysBudapest
October 2 - 5, 2001Federal Open Source Conference(Ronald Reagan Building)Washington DC
October 8 - 12, 2001IBM pSeries and UNIX Technical University(Hotel Munchen)Munich, Germany
October 10, 2001Richard Stallman and Eben Moglen to speak on: "Free Software: the Free Market/Free Speech Solution to the Microsoft Antitrust Problem."(George Washington University)Washington, D.C.
October 11 - 13, 2001Wizards of OS 2(House of World Cultures)Berlin, Germany
October 22 - 25, 2001XMLEdge International Developer Conference & Expo 
October 22 - 26, 2001The Open Group Quarterly ConferenceAmsterdam, Netherlands
October 30 - November 1, 2001LinuxWorld GermanyFrankfurt, Germany
October 30 - 31, 2001tech-u-wear 2001(Madison Square Garden)New York City
November 6 - 10, 2001Annual Linux Showcase and ConferenceOakland, CA
November 6 - 8, 2001LinuxWorld MalaysiaKuala Lumpur, Malaysia
November 8, 2001NLUUG Annual Autumn conferenceDe Reehorst, Ede, Netherlands

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

Web sites

User Group News

St. Louis Linux Group News. The following meetings have been announced by several Missouri Linux user groups:

Linux Group of Davis Installfest. The Linux Group of Davis, California is running a Linux installfest on Sunday, September 16, 2001 in Sacramento, CA.

Linux Group of Davis meeting on Netfilter. The Linux Group of Davis, CA meeting next week will feature a presentation on Netfilter by Jan Wynholds. Also, Gabriel Rosa will give a talk on screen.

LUG Events: September 13 - 27, 2001.
Date Event Location
September 13, 2001Phoenix Linux Users Group(PLUG)(Sequoia Charter School)Mesa, AZ.
September 13, 2001Kernel-Panic Linux User Group(KPLUG)San Diego, CA
September 13, 2001LinuxLab.dk: Linux Install PartyDenmark
September 14, 2001LinuxLab.dk: Extreme programming i praksisDenmark
September 15, 2001SVLUG InstallfestSilicon Valley, CA
September 15, 2001North Texas Linux Users Group(NTLUG)(Nokia Centre)Irving, Texas
September 15, 2001KPLUG Installfest(National City Adult Center)San Diego, CA
September 15, 2001TALUG InstallfestToledo, Ohio
September 15, 2001SSLUG: Linux Demo Day 2001 - Linux fylder 10 rDenmark
September 16, 2001Beachside LUGConway, South Carolina
September 16, 2001Mesilla Valley Linux User Group(MVLUG)(Village Inn on El Paseo Rd.)Las Cruces, New Mexico
September 16, 2001Linux InstallfestSacramento, CA
September 17, 2001Linux User Group of Davis(LUGOD)(Z-World)Davis, CA
September 18, 2001Bay Area Linux User Group(BALUG)(Four Seas Restaurant, Chinatown)San Francisco, CA
September 18, 2001Phoenix Linux Users Group(PLUG)(Glendale Community College)Glendale, AZ
September 18, 2001Kansas City LUG Demoday(KCLUG)(Kansas City Public Library)KC, Missouri
September 18, 2001Linux Stammtisch(Bandersnatch Brew Pub)Tempe, AZ
September 18, 2001
September 25, 2001
Kalamazoo Linux Users Group(KLUG)(Western Michigan University)Kalamazoo, Michigan
September 19, 2001Central Iowa Linux Users Group(CIALUG)West Des Moines, IA
September 19, 2001Linux User Group in GroningenThe Netherlands
September 19, 2001Washington D.C. Linux User Group(DCLUG)(National Institute of Health)Bethesda, Maryland
September 19, 2001New York Linux User's Group(NYLUG)(IBM Building)New York, NY
September 20, 2001St. Louis LUG(SLLUG)(St. Louis County Library, Indian Trails Branch)St. Louis, MO.
September 20, 2001Omaha Linux User Group(OLUG)Omaha, Nebraska
September 20, 2001South Mississippi LUG(SMLUG)(Barnes & Noble)Gulfport, Mississippi
September 20, 2001Gallup Linux Users Group(GalLUG)(Coyote Bookstore)Gallup, New Mexico
September 20, 2001Linux Enthusiasts And Professionals of Central Florida(LEAP-CF)(DeVry Institute)Orlando, FL.
September 20, 2001New Orleans Linux Users' Group(NOLUG)(University of New Orleans (UNO) Mathematics Building)New Orleans, Louisiana
September 21, 2001Rock River Linux User Group(RRLUG)(Rockford College)Rockford, Illinois
September 22, 2001Consortium of All Bay Area Linux(CABAL)Menlo Park, CA
September 23 - 28, 2001Australian Unix User Group's Annual Conference(AUUG 2001)Sydney, Australia
September 24, 2001Roseville Area Linux Users Group(roselug)(Nerd Books)Roseville, California
September 25, 2001Hazelwood Linux User Group(HLUG)(Prairie Commons Branch Library)Hazelwood, Missouri
September 25, 2001Western Cape Linux Users Group(CLUG)University of Cape Town, South Africa
September 26, 2001Linux User Group in AssenNetherlands
September 26, 2001Nashville Linux User's Group(NLUG)Nashville, Tennessee
September 27, 2001GalLUG Installfest(Connecting Point Computers)Gallup, New Mexico
September 27, 2001K-LUGRochester, Minnesota

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

Section Editor: Forrest Cook.

September 13, 2001



Software Announcements

Here are this week's Freshmeat software announcements. Freshmeat now offers the announcements sorted in two different ways:

The Alphabetical List and Sorted by license


Our software announcements are provided courtesy of FreshMeat


 Main page
 On the Desktop
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 Linux History

See also: last week's Linux History page.

This week in Linux history

Six years ago: Miguel de Icaza released Midnight Commander version 3.0, a Unix file manager and shell. Red Hat Commercial Linux 2.0 was released.

Four years ago: Linux Systems Labs was offering the latest version of Redhat, 4.2 GPL, for $6.95 (which included a $5.00 donation to Linus Torvalds). Of course you could still get the CD for $1.95 without a donation.

Three years ago (September 17, 1998 LWN): Some people began to question the role that Richard Stallman was playing in the Linux world. An LWN article on the subject drew more hostile mail than anything else we have ever written. RMS is as uncompromising as ever, but somehow he seems less controversial these days (KDE "forgiveness" editorials notwithstanding). To an extent, that may be because his points on freedom have sunk in.

The development kernel was 2.1.112; it was in the 2.2 feature freeze. 2.0.36 was in the prepatch stage; people were complaining because Alan Cox would not include patches to make gcc 2.8 and egcs compile it correctly (due to stability concerns).

Shipments of the international version of SuSE 5.3 were halted due to an unpleasant installation problem.

Our "must read article of the week" showed a high degree of clue, in spite of this seeming bit of prime-time FUD.

Yet, the idea that Linux could become a serious alternative to Windows still seems absurd, a dream born of desperation. How could any responsible company think about putting an operating system with no unified marketing or support organization to work in "mission-critical" situations? After all, Apple Computer Inc., Novell Inc. and Sun all seem unable to stop Microsoft Corp. from dominating the desktop and, eventually, the server. How could a piece of free software, like Linux, ever hope to turn the tide?
-- ZDNet

Two years ago (September 16, LWN): a company called "Channel One Gmbh" registered the "Linux" trademark in Germany. Whatever their plans were, they didn't last long. Under great pressure, they caved in and signed the trademark over.

IBM's first "Red Hat Certified" laptop turned out to not run Linux very easily or well; see the lengthy instructions on how to make it go.

The development kernel was 2.3.18; this kernel saw the long-awaited integration of PCMCIA support into the mainline source tree. Linus also announced a feature freeze:

The feature freeze should be turning into a code freeze in another two months or so, and a release by the end of the year. And as everybody knows, our targets never slip.

One year (and quite a few new features) later the 2.4.0 kernel was still in testing.

Caldera 2.3 was released that week, as were LinuxPPC 1999 Q3 and Yellow Dog Champion Server 1.1. Corel put out its first call for beta testers for its upcoming distribution. And SuSE 6.2 got a review:

My view is that, if you study SuSE Linux, you'll see a revolution in the making that will devastate current hi-tech business models, causing a fundamental shift in the computing world. I found that Linux was the Aladdin's Cave of computing.
-- The Guardian.

Cobalt Networks surprised people by becoming the second Linux company to file for an IPO.

One year ago (September 14, 2000 LWN):  looked at the "intense competition" in the Real Time Linux scene. The two largest players were RTLinux and RTAI. Lineo, through its acquisition of Zentropix, favored the RTAI approach. MontaVista had just joined the party with its own "hard real-time fully preemptable Linux kernel prototype".

"Real-time capability is the final barrier to comprehensive adoption of Linux throughout the embedded systems industry," said MontaVista president and founder Jim Ready in the release. "MontaVista's hard real-time fully preemptable kernel technology advances Linux to the responsiveness attributes of proprietary kernel products."
-- Upside.

Not everyone agreed that MontaVista's approach provided "hard" real-time capabilities.

The current development kernel release was 2.4.0-test8. This version seemed to finally fix the file corruption bug that had proved particularly difficult. Linus added a note that only the current version of the GPL applies to the source - any future versions of the GPL would not automatically be applicable.

Bob Young and Marc Ewing, founders of Red Hat, Inc., announced the Red Hat Center, a non-profit, private foundation. Now renamed the Center for the Public Domain the project appears to be alive and well, having awarded over $5 million US in grants to projects worldwide.

Andrew Leonard wrote How Big Blue fell for Linux: chapter 7, part 1 of his Free Software Project book (Salon).

The story of how IBM made friends with free software hackers, from the early days when it dipped its toes into the Apache Project to its current headfirst plunge into Linux, is not the story of a carefully executed strategy. It is instead a tale of contingency, luck, a few committed engineers and a few canny executives. Its twists and turns hinge on the results of combating agendas, political maneuvering and software ambition. At its most mundane, it is a story that hints at how the battle for dominance over new software markets will be waged over the next few years. At its most metaphysical, it is a story that illuminates the contradictions inherent in the very concept of a "corporation."

Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol.

September 13, 2001

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See also: last week's Letters page.

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.

September 13, 2001

From:	 dps@io, stargate.co.uk@io.stargate.co.uk
To:	 letters@lwn.net
Subject: Linux and the education market...
Date:	 Thu, 6 Sep 2001 17:33:03 +0100

Linux will not make the eductaion desktop anytime soon, primarily because
certain very specific programs are only aviale on M$ l#paltofrms. For a
long tiem M$ was locked out of the educational desktop market of exactly
this reason. To win the educational desktop market we do not need to defeat
M$ office---the M$ prices are doing that already. We need a convincing way
to run those specific applications.

Given that and a large number of free or very cheap educational programs
linux can tarke the education desktop market. The eudctaional server market
is mich easier---I know of one place with a web proxy server that runs
linux and mail on a box running sendmail and amilstudio @message (700 user
licence, which is moderately expensive). I might contribute something as
I have a very popular program for solving linear equations of a single
variable, which nobody has replaced yet. (This is a small program which
would be very inexpensive at most).

Ph, and I forgot to mentuin the sam,e shcool uses squid as a web proxy,
and recntly upgraded to a newer box with 10Gb of cache (on U160 SCSI
10K rpm disc). The boxen just sit their and nobody notices that they are
not using M$ software.

From:	 Don Waugaman <dpw@CS.Arizona.EDU>
To:	 letters@lwn.net
Subject: Re: VA Linux and selling free software
Date:	 Thu, 6 Sep 2001 11:06:49 -0700
Cc:	 mlcarn1@home.com, jacob@jacob.remcomp.fr

Dear LWN:

In your latest edition, you ran a pair of letters, one by Michael Carniello
and one by Jacob Navia, which showed a lack of understanding of the
concept of free software.  Both of these letters claimed, in paraphrase,
that it is impossible to sell something that is free.

This would be a great shock to such organizations as Gannett, The Washington
Post Co., the New York Times, and the like, all of whom make quite a bit
of money by selling the product of a free press.  "Free" in English of
course has two separate definitions; and free software naturally focuses
on the definition having to do with the liberty of use, rather than the
definition of no-cost.

    - Don Waugaman (dpw@cs.arizona.edu)    O-             _|_  Will pun
Web Page: http://www.cs.arizona.edu/people/dpw/            |   for food
In the Sonoran Desert, where we say: "It's a dry heat..."  |     <><
I believe in getting into hot water; it keeps you clean.  -- G. K. Chesterton

From:	 deivu@tomigaya.shibuya.tokyo.jp (David Moles)
To:	 letters@lwn.net
Subject: Jacob Navia's "Selling free software" comment
Date:	 Fri,  7 Sep 2001 03:10:35 +0900 (JST)

On 1 Sep 2001, jacob navia <jacob@jacob.remcomp.fr> wrote:
> I would like to point you to this sentence in your magazine:
> "According to Eric, VA is not changing its focus as an open
> source company in any way, it's just finding a way to more
> readily sell its free software"
> Excuse me but if it's free of charge it can't be sold, and if it
> is sold, int can't be free of charge. I am sorry but I think
> logic should at least play a part in this discussion. VA Linux is
> beginning to fail financially, because there is no way around
> logic, no matter how many lengthy explanations you come up with.

I would never have thought it would take an American to explain
the difference between "libre" and "gratis" to a Frenchman, but
apparently it does.

No one said "free of charge", M. Navia. They just said "free".




David Moles

From:	 Richard Corfield <richard@littondale.freeserve.co.uk>
To:	 letters@lwn.net
Subject: Would LiVid be safe from the DMCA
Date:	 Fri, 07 Sep 2001 13:35:05 +0100

A couple of articles I've just read would imply that the copyright 
circumvention clauses of the DMCA are not applicable if the defendant is 
not making a profit from their work. This appears on both the Anit-DMCA 
site and the US Department of Justice press release concering Elcomsoft. 
In this case, would projects such as LiViD and the DeCSS code be immune 
from the DMCA as, being GPLed code, they are quite clearly not for profit?

As much as I'd like to see the DMCA gone, and wonder how in the future 
people will look back on things like this, I'd also like to see more of 
LiViD and DeCSS and similar research.

 - Richard

   _/_/_/  _/_/_/  _/_/_/ Richard Corfield <Richard@Littondale.freeserve.co.uk>
  _/  _/    _/    _/      Web Page:       http://www.littondale.freeserve.co.uk
 _/_/      _/    _/       Dance (Ballroom, RnR), Hiking, SJA, Linux, ... [ENfP]
_/  _/  _/_/    _/_/_/    PGP2.6 Key ID:0x0FB084B1   GPG/PGP5 Key ID:0xFA139DA7

From:	 LucFrench@aol.com
To:	 torsten@inetw.net
Subject: In Defense of SourceForge the Site
Date:	 Fri, 7 Sep 2001 06:30:27 EDT
Cc:	 letters@lwn.net

Torsten Howard wrote:

> Sourceforge has hidden all communication to its projects behind
> a "login."  It is the attempt to control communication, mailing lists,
> and access to emails which is an abuse of power.  It is this very 
> communication which is the lifeblood of open-source contributive 
> projects.   Now we see the insanity of repetition, and failure to
> change the way things are done.

This is flat out wrong.

I can access just about everything on SourceForge anonymously, including the 
mail archives, CVS, bugs, etc.

Without logging in, I can subscribe to mailing lists (with, admittedly, the 
requirement that you submit your email address (huge surprise there) and go 
through the usual contortions associated with GNU Mailman), submit bug 
reports, and reply to bug reports.

In fact, the only thing I can't do without a login are things that *should* 
require a login from a security standpoint; i.e., uploading files, changing a 
CVS repository, submitting news, creating a project, and posting anything as 
a registered user.

The only thing I could really ask further from an anonymous standpoint is for 
a raw text version of the mailing list traffic, and the HTML versions of 
Mailing list items to include the real email address, and I can understand 
why these are not done (spammers).

In other words, have you ever actually *used* SourceForge?

Luc "Fact Checking Department, Ho!" French

From:	 LucFrench@aol.com
To:	 torsten@inetw.net
Subject: Re: In Defense of SourceForge the Site
Date:	 Sat, 8 Sep 2001 03:02:46 EDT
Cc:	 letters@lwn.net

[CCed to letters@LWN.net]

In a message dated 9/7/01 1:48:36 PM Pacific Daylight Time, torsten@inetw.net 

> I have been unable to access sourceforge-based mailing lists without first
>  being required to have a login.  I have also been unable to view email 
> addresses
>  for other developers wihthout a login.  Our experiences here are very 
> different,
>  would you mind explaining to me how to access this information - as well as
>  post notes to lists, without a login?

You don't *need* a full SourceForge login. Go to whatever project you're 
interested in. Click on mailing lists. Click on 
Subscribe/Unsubscribe/Prefrences for the mailing list you're interested in. 
You should see a page wherein you are asked to provide an email and a 
password. Yes, this is a login, but it's associated with the mailing 
software, rather then the rest of SourceForge.  If you don't understand why a 
login of some kind is necessary to subscribe, I have just two phrases for 
you: Forged email addresses; email bombing. (The password is necessary for 
simple security; would you want someone posting a forged "unsubscribe" note 
for your favorite mailing list?)

>From there, it's like any other mailing list. Follow the instructions in the 
message you receive from the Mailman software, and you'll be a full 
subscriber, able to send and receive messages.

Luc "Simpleton" French

From:	 "Joe \"piman\" Wreschnig" <piman@sacredchao.net>
To:	 letters@lwn.net
Subject: VP3.2 is not "open source"
Date:	 Fri, 7 Sep 2001 12:09:43 -0500
Cc:	 sales@on2.com

Editors at LWN,

Your news article concerning On2's new "open source" codec is
incorrect, as is all the information on On2's site. Specifically,
sections 2.1(e) and 2.2(e) of the license do *not* permit modification
of the code to make it anything but VP3, or VP3 plus something else.
This type of clause has been found in violation of the Debian Free
Software Guidelines, upon which the Open Source definition is based.
Most often cited are OSD sections 3 and 6, concerning derived works
and discrimination against fields of endeavor. 2.1 and 2.2(e) make the
code useless for people that do not wish to write video codecs.

Although IANAL, and I may be misinterpreting the license, I strongly
believe that this license is neither open source nor free software. I
am CCing this letter to On2, with the hope that they will either a)
help me understand why this license is free/open, b) change their
website and remove "open source", or c) preferrably, change the
license so it does comply with the Open Source Definition.
 - Joe "piman" Wreschnig <piman@sacredchao.net> - http://www.sacredchao.net
  "What I did was justified because I had a policy of my own... It's okay
   to be different, to not conform to society."
                                         -- Chen Kenichi, Iron Chef Chinese

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