Linux in the news
All in one big page
See also: last week's Commerce page.
A web marketing company (WebCMO) is doing a survey of Linux users. If you feel inclined to give them your input, head over to the survey page. They claim in their announcement that the results will be freely available. By filling out the survey, you get a promise from them to get a copy of the results ("45 days sooner than everybody else") when they are ready.
Alta Technology has started selling pre-built Beowulf clusters. Systems can allegedly be configured "to 1000 or more processors," a number which exceeds any known Beowulf currently in operation. The clusters come in specially-designed boxes with special power supplies and such. They look like nice systems, and are undoubtedly expensive (though less so than your typical supercomputer, to be sure). See Their AltaCluster page for pictures and more info.
We spoke this week with Susan Carney, Product Manager for TriTeal, producers of the CDE package dropped by Red Hat last week. This package, which they call TriTeal Enterprise Desktop (TED), was dropped ostensibly due to a security problem which could not be quickly resolved because the software was not open-source. When asked for a comment, Susan said, "I think that Red Hat's decision to stop selling CDE was a good idea from their point of view. With the recent announcement of investments by Intel and Netscape, it is clear that Red Hat is positioning itself as an Open Source Vendor. It is unfortunate that they spun the decision as a result of the security problem."
She went on to indicate that TriTeal had been in the middle of negotiations with Red Hat for a new version of the product which would have resolved the security problem when Red Hat announced its decision to drop the product instead. TriTeal is now evaluating their position, since their contract with Red Hat was their only link to the Linux community. A statement on their position should be announced soon, but was not available by press time. That statement should also include information on whether or not a patch for the afore-mentioned security problem would be released for current TED customers and whether or not a newer version of TED would be made available.
On a smaller scale, we forgot to include last week a reference to this page, which describes a project to build a single-board Beowulf, based on StrongARM processors. An initial run of these boards seems to be in the works, and it may still be possible to get in on it for those who move quick. See the page if you're interested.
Kirk Bacon wrote in to point out that Red Hat 5.1 is currently at #14 on the shopper.com top 1000 list, well ahead of that other operating system. Of course, they list it as a DOS program...
SybasePeople testing ASE have run into a minor snag, where a problem in the 2.0.35 kernel causes connection problems. The problem disappears completely with kernel 2.0.36pre12. The issue is mentioned in the sybase/README.sybase-ase, but that file is missing in some of the installations.
Users are also calling for the creation of a sybase-linux mailing list, to provide them a forum to share experiences and get unofficial help with the product. It was suggested that this is Sybase's responsibility, but if they do not provide one shortly, it seems likely that someone else will step in.
Meanwhile, if you are in the Rockville, Maryland area, you probably want to check out this Sybase Adaptive Server Enterprise (ASE) Presentation by Tim Graham of Sybase.
Oracle has put the release version their Oracle8 database for Linux up for free download. This seems to be a change of direction for them - they had planned to sell it at a fairly high price. You can get it at the Oracle technology network page. Registration is required to obtain the software. The license allows development use only - no production use. (You also have to certify that you're not on the State Department list of "Specially Designated Terrorists," presumably not a problem for most Linux users). Note that it is a 142 MB download!
Maybe this is Oracle's way of making up for the fact that many of us who signed up for the early release CD never got it.
Oracle embraces Linux. That is the name of an article on Oracle's web site. There are those who claim that Oracle is not serious about Linux, but you wouldn't gather that from what they're saying: "Oracle understands that Linux is becoming an accepted mainstream platform for enterprise-level business applications, and is backing up this understanding by committing research and development dollars to the operating system." They even feature the penguin on their main page. (Thanks to Didier Legein).
Here is an InfoWorld review of Oracle for Linux. "Core database services in Oracle may also get some added competition from an unlikely place -- the open source database called PostgreSQL. This academia-based open source database also has many of the same core features and has already been widely adopted." (Thanks to Didier Legein for the pointer).
October 8, 1998