Linux in the news
All in one big page
See also: last week's Linux in the news page.
OK....here's some of the recommended reads for this week:
Once again, much of this week's press was in the form of reviews of
specific Linux distributions and products, almost as if Linux were a normal
- This Mac Opinion column delves into the problems of operating system
development, starting with The Mythical Man Month and
heading forward from there. The conclusion: "The only way to
deal with this problem is to follow the lead of Linus Torvalds and
Linux.... he proved that only open source code, subject to the
review of anyone, can produce an OS without shenanigans, backdoors,
but with high a quality implementation of security and great
- Here is
an Internet World column predicting many more gains for open
source software. Some interesting things, including the idea that
Microsoft will get out of its Java difficulties by adopting Kaffe.
"Both IBM and Compaq's Digital division will contribute vast
amounts of source code to the Linux project in 1999. Given that
neither company really makes money on OS sales, each one has more
to gain in hardware and consulting revenues from endorsing Linux
and providing customers with the smoothest possible migration
- The LA Times has
a lengthy article about free software and Linux, and how they
relate to the rest of the world. "What seems to be shaping up
is a fascinating duel between two models of Net culture, both of
them gaining strength in the last year: the commercial culture of
big corporations and the 'gift economy' developing among thousands
of computer programmers who are contributing to 'open source'
software such as the operating system Linux." (Thanks to Eric
Potter and Mark Brady).
- Inter@ctive Week
reports on the "delay" in shipping the 2.2 kernel. As if a release
date had ever been given out....
- When you've got some time, Tim O'Reilly's article in
Release 1.0 about open source is worth a read.
There were a number of other articles about the business of Linux and free
- ZDNet ran
a lengthy comparison between BeOS and Linux. "The most
important difference, though, is the potential that BeOS has to
offer as a result of its 'fresh start' approach. Linux is awesome
in many ways, but no matter how you slice it, it's still basically
an evolved port of a 20+ year-old operating system, and with that
age comes a certain amount of baggage."
- PC Week
reviewed S.u.S.E. Office Suite 99. "S.u.S.E. Inc.'s Linux Office
Suite 99 comes up short in usability when compared with other Linux
productivity packages, including Corel Corp.'s WordPerfect 7 for
Linux and Star Division Corp.'s StarOffice."
reviewed Red Hat 5.2, and weren't entirely happy with that either.
"Red Hat's desktop interface looks like CDE (Common Desktop
Environment) and Windows after a nasty car accident."
- ZDNet UK has announced their
Technical Innovation Awards for 1998. The winner of the
editorial fellows' award was Red Hat 5.1, which also was a runner up for
the "best operating system" and "best network operating system"
categories. No other distributions seem to have been considered.
(Thanks to Chris Lewis).
- InfoWorld reviews Sybase ASE. "... this database manager is the real deal.
Highly optimized, extraordinarily powerful, thoroughly documented, mature,
and bulletproof. I expect this to be, in the server realm at least, Linux's
killer application." (Thanks to Didier Legein).
- Computer Reseller News put out a review of sorts of
This Computer Currents article compares Red Hat's and Caldera's
offerings. "Both products are similar,
but Red Hat continues to focus on simplifying installation--a boon for new users.
Caldera, though easy enough to set up, is really geared for Linux power
users." (Thanks to Alex Shnitman).
We found small number of articles in the non-English press:
- This Wired News article discusses the new Java license and why not
everybody is entirely thrilled with it. "But according to
leaders of the open source movement -- most notably Eric Raymond's
site, Opensource.org -- there's more to open source than just
access to a particular source code." (Thanks to Stuart
- InfoWorld has
an article on the Jay Jacobs Linux deployment. "Now the
company is on the verge of implementing one of the most
cutting-edge and cost-effective systems around: Linux as the
operating system in the stores, running Apropos retail software
with an Informix back-end database." (Found in
- VARBusiness ran an article on
how the Linux value added reseller (VAR) business is growing.
- The (Raleigh, NC) News and Observer has
a story about Red Hat and its commercial success. "The
company has grown from 50 to 85 employees in just a few months.
And Young expects sales -- projected to be $10 million in 1998 --
and employment to double annually in the coming years."
(Thanks to John Thacker).
a TechWeb story about Sendmail going commercial.
"...questions remain that are unique to a company attempting to
convert an OSS customer base to a commercial one."
News.com also has an article about Sendmail, Inc..
Wired News has an article about
Star Division and the new Star Office offering. "...the company is
profitable and revenues should exceed $100 million in 1999. An IPO is
planned for the second or third quarter of next year."
Novell is denying reports that they will release their NDS product under an
open source license, according to this ComputerWorld article.
- Here is
the Computer Reseller News article about Sun's support of Linux on
the UltraSparc processor. "Sun expects Linux support to be most
critical for its entry-level Ultra 5 and 10 workstations,
particularly in vertical markets such as education..."
CRN also has
an introductory article on the business of Linux, and
the obligatory interview with Linus.
- Internet Week
talks about the increasing amounts of middleware available for Linux.
Middleware applications, of course, are another crucial component
for many types of corporate adoption of Linux. "A Linux port is
on the to-do list of most of the major application server vendors,
though few commitments exist so far."
- ZDNet UK
talks to some corporate Linux users about the system. "Frankly
the Linux community has provided answers to my questions more
readily than Novell or Microsoft ever have."
And here is a remaining mixture of introductory articles, etc.
- Instrumentation and Control Systems Magazine ran
an introductory column on our favorite system. "There also is a lack of
drivers for the more esoteric printers, scanners, and other
hardware, but this, too, is changing as more requests come in. For
example, in the industrial market Opto 22 has taken the lead by
releasing a set of PAMUX drivers for Linux. I asked Bob Sheffres,
Opto?s vp of marketing, what led Opto to release these. He told me
Opto had enough demand from customers to make it worthwhile. "
- Open source gathering steam uncovers ZDNet. It also gathers another
chunk of "no support" FUD in this article.
- ZDTV broadcast a Linux installation, evidently a daunting thing for
them to do: "We don't even know how long it will take. We had to clear
out half the show to make room for this daring stunt. Install an operating
system on live TV? We must be craaaazy!" See this Screen Savers page for more information. ZDTV has also put out
an interview with Linus. Both are available in RealPlayer format.
(Thanks to Jonathan Day).
a ZDNet column about Linus: another personality piece.
"That's why I say Torvalds ... is such an unlikely giant
killer. There is a decided normalcy to his demeanor. He displays no
aggressive instincts." (Grazie a Alberto Schiavon).
- Nicholas Petreley
looks at free software licenses. "There's no better way to ignite
the flamethrowers than to discuss the relative merits of the GNU
General Public License (GPL), the Berkeley-style license, or any
variations of these two licenses. Why? I haven't a clue."
- ZDNet covers the
Linux beer hike that
Electric Lichen is putting together for next August in Bavaria. (Thanks to
- Wired News covers the open source petition.
- Lessons to be learned from Linux in Sm@rt Reseller tries to make some
suggestions to Microsoft on how they could try to get Linux's good
press. Included are things like "open up the NT source." Seems
unlikely. "The open-source community is where the action is
these days. The Linux hackers of today have the fervor sported by
the Visual Basic developers of a decade ago. A little imitation
could take Microsoft a long way. What's Microsoft got to lose,
other than its perceived arrogance?"
- Eric Raymond is featured on
the front page of the Washington Post. "... Eric Raymond has
evolved from a childhood pariah to a hacker cult figure to an
unlikely industry player who is being consulted by some of Wall
Street's biggest investors." (Thanks to Scott Crittenden and
December 10, 1998