Linux in the news
All in one big page
See also: last week's Linux in the news page.
Here's this week's recommended reading:
- Builder.com's Frederic Paul has a set of predictions for
1999. Number 4 has to do with Linux and open source software. "This is the year
we see a new open source killer app that runs only on Linux. Microsoft
will scramble to re-create it for Windows, but whatever this application
turns out to be, it will give open source devotees even more
- Tech Capital has
a long feature article about Linux and the businesses surrounding
it. It talks about, among others, Red Hat, Corel, Applix, and
Linux Hardware Solutions. "At a trade show like Comdex,
attendees interested in a particular company swipe their name
badges through a reader to request follow-up information. At the
1996 show, LHS got 40 swipes, 60 in 1997, and some 1,500 in
1998." (Found in
- A worthwhile read is
Nicholas Petreley's lengthy LinuxWorld column on why he thinks Linux
could lose a lot of its application support if the Microsoft trial
goes the wrong way.
- Here is
an interesting New York Times column asking a number of lawyers
what they expect to see happen in "cyberlaw" this year. The
predictions are worth reading. Most relevant here is this one,
regarding the Microsoft trial: "The right answer is to make
slight compulsory licensing changes to allow the volunteer
programmers all over the world who write the free GNU/Linux
operating system to release code freely that would make GNU/Linux
run Windows applications programs. That way anyone who now uses
Windows-based programs of any kind could run those programs either
under Windows or under a much more technically sophisticated but
completely free alternative operating system." (Thanks to John
Franks). (Note that the New York Times is a
registration-required site. As usual, "cypherpunks" as username
and password will get you in if you do not wish to register).
- Here is
an extremely positive review of the GTK+ toolkit in "PCHelp."
"The API used by GTK+ is one of the best that I have ever
used." (Thanks to Joshua Go).
Once again, the press this week was dominated by articles of the
"retrospectives and predictions" variety. Here's a selection:
We had the usual assortment of introductory articles:
- Business Week has
an introductory article about open source software. "Linux
makes the strongest case for the somewhat improbable claim that the
army of volunteers that updates and maintains it can produce better
software than Microsoft's well-paid minions." (Thanks to
- Jon Hall's
Penguin's brew column for February (in Performance Computing) is up. As
with the first one, it's of a highly introductory nature, talking
about Linux documentation.
- The New York Times has run
this positive article about open source software. "Once widely
denigrated by commercial developers as chaotic programming by
committee, open source is now expected to come into its own this
year as a business model, with potentially far-reaching
consequences for developers and consumers of computer
software." (The New York Times is a registration-required
site). (Thanks to Donald Braman).
- The L. A. Times has
an article about open source software, the threat it poses to
Microsoft, etc. "Microsoft faced an unexpectedly tough opponent
in 1998 in the form of the U.S. Department of Justice, but in 1999
the software giant is likely to contend with an even more potent
force: the free-software movement..."
(This article also appeared in the (Canadian)
And here's the remaining assortment:
an article in Salon about Transvirtual and Kaffe (their open
source Java virtual machine). Transvirtual's business model is a
centerpiece of the article.
- Multimédium has an article (in French) about some folks who are building a video recorder which records
onto disk in MPEG2 format - and which is powered by Linux. More details
(still in French) can be found in this VNU Newswire article. For folks wanting to read in English via
Babelfish, here's the links for Multimédium and VNU Newswire. (Found in NNL).
- Network World Fusion's Linux vs. NT faceoff is still going on, with a continued series
of posts in their discussion area. (Registration required).
a lightweight article in Information Week about the future of
Linux. "Such conditions could be ripe for Linux to grab enough
seats in IT shops to move out of its niche role and score that
once-in-a-lifetime hole in one."
- The Puget Sound Business Journal has
an article about the Internet and business which includes Linux in
its survey. They suggest Microsoft may offer a low-cost "embedded
NT" product as competition.
some mild support FUD from news.com. The subject is databases, and
how support may be harder to obtain than the database itself.
"[Giga Analyst] Sun adds that even if database software and
application makers offer a full range of support options on Linux,
getting answers to technical problems with Linux itself can be a
problem." (Found in
- Is the Linux desktop DOA? asks PC Week. "According to
International Data Corp.'s preliminary 1998 numbers, Linux captured
only 2.5 percent of the worldwide desktop market, positioning
itself between the Macintosh and IBM's OS/2 in the OS pecking
order. Compared to Microsoft Windows' 86 percent market share, it
isn't much to base a business on." (Thanks to Richard
- As a sign of the times we now live in, here is the entire brief
mention of Linux in
this PC Week article about the new Silicon Graphics NT box: "The
ease with which the new SGI boxes will run Linux is a question many
resellers would like answered. While SGI has worked with Microsoft
on the new systems, in 1997 the company began working with the open
source community on a Linux port."
- Sm@rt Reseller talks of
The Cathedral, the Bazaar, and the Reseller. "By focusing on
service, on exploiting our technical expertise, resellers can do
more than make profit, they can grow rich from installing and
running open source software." They also hint that they will
be reporting more on open source in the future.
- Computer Reseller News ran an interview with
Silicon Graphics' Rick Belluzzo. The last question has to do with Linux.
"Linux is increasingly important. I can't go on a customer visit without
somebody asking about Linux. Basically, people want the robustness of
Unix, but they want a more vendor approach to it. We will look at it, and I
believe we will have some announcements about that in the future."
(Found in LinuxToday).
- This article in Sm@rt Reseller talks about how great Cisco routers
are. But then: "I'm going to let you in on a dirty, little open
secret about Cisco routers. There's nothing in them that the PC on
your desk does not already have in it. You can buy a half dozen
Pentium IIs and rig them up as routers, using Linux or BSDI, for
about the price of one Cisco 4700." Great stuff. (Thanks to
- Our previous issue mentioned this PC Week article which suggested that Beowulf clusters may force
changes in U. S. export laws. This week they ran a letter to the editor from Jonathan Day explaining why he thinks any
such move would be useless.
- This article in the Australian "I.T." is about GNOME, Rasterman, and
the Enlightenment window manager. "Enlightenment now looks set
to become the default graphical user interface for upcoming
distributions of Red Hat Linux." (Thanks to Hao He).
- Performance Computing's "Unix Riot"
contemplatesthe pronunciation of "Linux," Apache's increasing market share,
WordPerfect, and so on. (Thanks to Alberto Schiavon).
- Here is
a positive introductory article (in German) in Der Spiegel. It
gives special attention to KDE, among other things. (The
Babelfish translation is available but is tough going). (Thanks to
- There is
a pair of articles (in French) in Libération. One talks of
Netscape and its "Gecko" release; the other is an interview with
Richard Stallman. The articles may also be read
in English via Babelfish. (Thanks to Gael Duval).
- The Australian
APC Magazine considers the future of Linux in the context of
previous disappointments like Java and network computers. "If
Linux has one advantage over these previous pretenders to the
throne of IT supremacy, it's that it grew a significant user base
before the hype began." (Found in
January 7, 1999