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Xshare looks like another attempt to compete with FreshMeat. The graphic design is nice; the quality of the database to be determined.
The Giant Java tree is a project to create a comprehensive set of Java classes, all implemented with open source code.
December 24, 1998
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From: firstname.lastname@example.org To: email@example.com Subject: Free Software (Gift) Exchange Registry - FSEX Date: Thu, 17 Dec 1998 10:59:14 -0600 I have been known to write essays on occasion :-). The latest is more directly a "call to action" than most of the others. See the URL <http://www.ntlug.org/~cbbrowne/fssp.html> The premise is that I would like to establish a "registry" where reasonably authoritative lists of addresses of developers of free software may be collected. - Individuals would be encouraged to send gifts to people on the list. - By collecting (voluntarily contributed) information on what gifts had been sent, this allows people to "optimize" their preferences towards where contributions may "need" to go. Thus, they have opportunity to pick developers themselves based on some perception of "need." [This building of a distributed self-optimizing economic system somewhat parallels the way Linux development works... That can't be a bad thing!] - This approach *avoids* the bureaucracy entailed by the formation of a formal charitable organization. I would expect this to discourage corporate "gifts," but avoids a whole host of complexity by its informality. - From a tax perspective, gifts may not be tax deductible to the giver, but by the same token, would not be taxable in the hands of the one who receives it, so that the overall situation is a "wash." As the Christmas season arrives, a thought to pass on: Why not locate a nice Christmas card with a penguin on it (has everyone noticed that penguins are "in" this year?), drop $20 into it, and send it to some developer that has built software you found useful? (And remember that if Linus' wife has to fight through bags of mail, she knows martial arts, and may have complaint about this! Rather better to distribute any wealth...) -- firstname.lastname@example.org - What have you contributed towards Linux today? North Texas Linux Users Group <http://www.ntlug.org/~cbbrowne/fssp.html>
From: Matthew Benjamin <MBenjamin@comshare.com> To: "'email@example.com'" <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Pretreley Linux Fandom on the Wane? Date: Mon, 21 Dec 1998 13:21:06 -0500 I found your "rat out of an aqueduct" remarks disturbing. Seeing as you have been active in promoting Linux of late, are you now trying to be among the first to sling mud at Linux? Quite frankly, I don't think those ISVs supporting Linux are significantly motivated by the MS anti-trust action. (The case may be different among PC vendors, I don't know.) At my company, there is significant support among developers to do Linux--because "Linux is cool." Strategic marketing is potentially interested in _anything_ that customers say they want, and many are saying they are interested in Linux. This has the power to change opinions at companies large and small. I, for one, had enough "Windows NT is the future" sloganeering years ago, and I question its relevance now. Microsoft, of course, can say whatever they want. However, they will find that consumers take a quite different attitude towards such posturing than they did pre-Linux emergence, and, indeed, pre-anti-trust. Microsoft is big, but they are neither invincible nor the permanent direction of technical evolution. As consumers become more sophisticated, in fact, Microsoft looks less like a technology company, and more like KMart. That is inevitable, and will not assist Microsoft in the least. Meanwhile, the Linux and OSS communities have evolved their own (very effective) mechanisms for generating publicity, and they are so informative and effective that I believe no trade press FUD campaign can have the choice-damaging effects that the all-commercial trade press allowed previous MS campaigns to exert. This, of course, resounds to the benefit of consumers. Linux, for its part, got where it is by being technically viable _before_ a single one of the usual suspects had anything to do with it. Larry Ellison and Nicholas Pretreley can abandon Linux whenever they like--but since they neither own nor develop Linux, I submit that this will only leave a desirable market to the new generation of ISVs and IHVs who have made Linux their business over the past 4 years. In accounts where I've deployed Linux commercially, there is no intention to replace it with anything. It just works too well, is too hassle-free. There is talk about migrating other functions to Linux. Hard as it may be to believe, Linux, the free UNIX, is winning on quality, not cost. Just the same, are you suggesting that you're a rat looking for a way out of this aqueduct? I think a lot of Linux supporters would be interested to know. Matt Benjamin email@example.com
Date: Tue, 22 Dec 1998 11:05:35 -0500 (EST) From: Jonathan C Day <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com Subject: "Newsmaker of the Year" article Dear editor, ZDNN's "newsmaker of the year" award was a blatant confidence trick, IMHO. Their "results", as described in the article, have NO connection with the results actually given in the poll. In the poll itself, Linus beat Jenni by over 10%! It seems very clear that the "poll" results had a fixed outcome, regardless of the votes cast. It is one thing for an editor to "prefer" one newsmaker over another. Indeed, it would be very unusual for an editor to have so suppressed their own feelings as to have no preference at all. It is another to produce an article which is completely false, in an effort to "promote" that preference. Linus won that poll, fair and square. (Well, as fair as on-line polls ever get. :) He deserves the credit for that achievement. Jonathan Day
Subject: Re: (Online News, 12/10/98 05:17 PM) Date: Tue, 15 Dec 1998 01:15:44 -0700 From: Alan Robertson <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: Tom_Diederich@cw.com Mr. Diederich: In the article referenced above, you state: However, because Linux predates Windows NT and has problems taking advantage of capabilities packed in current-generation hardware, Enderle said he doubts the operating system will ever become a mainstream desktop alternative. I believe this information is incorrect and misleading. Version 1 of Linux came out in 1994. Version 1 of Windows NT predated that by several years. Linux takes advantage of every chip feature (including 3D graphics) of each of the various PC manufacturers, in addition to those of Sun's chips, COMPAQ's Alpha, SGI's MIPS chips, IBM/APPLE's Power PC chips, and numerous other chips in addition to the three major Intel vendors. According to Microsoft, older releases of Linux run Netscape roughly 30% faster than NT runs Internet Explorer. This is not likely to be due to being unable to take advantage of the hardware. Additionally, (in the second of the so-called "Halloween" documents) Microsoft has also stated that doing OS development for Linux is cheaper and faster than corresponding development for NT. This is likely to be a result of Microsoft NT designers carrying over large parts of the VMS system they had designed before. [Microsoft hired away Digital's key VMS designers to create their New Technology operating system in the late 80's - this resulted in a lawsuit against MS for stealing Digital technology, which was settled by MS agreeing to port NT to the Alpha] Linux is slated to run the new Merced chip in 64-bit native mode within a month or so of its introduction. Intel is rumored to be already running Linux on it in their labs. This is a reasonable thing for Intel to do, since if they port Linux to it, then they can have a solid test base for their new chip architecture, without relying on outside vendors (since they already have the source). In some ways, it is a CPU designer's dream come true -- a portable, retargetable compiler, a highly portable modern OS inside, and no need to motivate an outside software company to do the work, or disclose details of your design to them. As you are no doubt aware, Microsoft does not claim that Windows NT will run native on the Merced line until sometime in late 2000. 64-bit mode will take longer. If history runs true to form, it is nearly certain that there will be some delay from a prediction made this far in advance. If recent history were used as a guide, one might conclude that a significant delay is likely. Although it started later than NT, it already runs in 64-bit mode on the DEC Alpha, and the Sun UltraSparc CPUs. On Sun's UltraSparc line, it currently runs on 14-processor complexes. Sun has committed to provide test time for Linux developers on their 64-way multi-processor systems. It seems to me that it if one were to make a comparative claim about the age and modernity of Linux and NT, that a very different comparison would be in order. If you would like references for any of the information I presented above, I would be happy to provide them on request. Thank you for listening, -- Alan Robertson email@example.com
Date: Tue, 22 Dec 1998 07:51:26 +0800 (CST) From: Hung(2) Chao(2)-Kuei(4) <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com Subject: Re: Bittersweet victories Dear Editor, Most of us know that it will be good for the proprietary UNIX vendors to become Linux VARs. Let's make this option clear to the proprietary UNIX vendors. And there is something they need help each other with along the way. For one thing, the general public need to realize that the key to productivity does not lie so much in obtaining and installing a lot of software programs, be it proprietary or open source. Very often it is how well they are configured that makes a real big difference in productivity. As OSS goes main stream, 2 more dimensions of activities, which were previously too costly with proprietary software, emerge to affect productivity, namely choosing which programs to download and hiring people to customize programs. Choosing, configuring, and customizing free software (how about calling it "3C's for OSS") requires IT proficiency. It is necessarily too customer-specific for the free copying of OSS to do much help (or harm, if one takes the vendor perspective). In short, it is where business can make money while customers can really see their IT expenditures turn into productivity. We know this all along, but the proprietary UNIX vendors (and proprietary apps vendors, too, for that matter) need be shown a clear .. uh .. road ahead. Instead of spreading FUD against Linux in vain (read: resistance is futile), it will benefit themselves and customers much more by lining up their propaganda towards showing the difference that effective 3C's can make. Their business can sail better along with rather than against the OSS currents, by emphasizing that their experience in UNIX helps them supporting Linux better, and that "that other operating system" lacks flexibility in 3C's regard. And we as a community should credit vendors for advertising 3C's, perhaps even more so than vendors porting apps to Linux. Personally I am glad to see Corel releasing WordPerfect binary for Linux, but can't help worrying about the sweet relationship turns sour and bitter when an OSS alternative takes over. By helping the proprietary software business seeing further, we help making our community perceived as more helpful to the business. Besides, most of us (and the future Linux professionals) depend on a prosperous VAR business model. Yet a very large potential portion of the market seems still very unmature and only vaguely defined as "support". The OSS community will also benefit in the long term if the losing proprietary UNIX vendors systematically advertise 3C's. Any comments on these points are appreciated. If these points are valid, I will expand this note and keep it at: http://www.cyut.edu.tw/~ckhung/published/oss3c.shtml Thank you and Merry Christmas! Chao-Kuei Hung firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.cyut.edu.tw/~ckhung/