Linux in the news
All in one big page
See also: last week's Commerce page.
Response to Microsoft. Here is an open letter to Microsoft from "the Open Source Community" regarding the murmurings that they might open up some of the Windows source. It's signed by Eric Raymond, Larry Augustin, Russell Nelson, L. Peter Deutsch, Larry Wall, and Guido Van Rossum. "We'd like to remind Microsoft that (as Jamie Zawinski put it recently in his Mozilla resignation announcement) open source is not magic pixie dust. Code that's badly designed or non-functional won't instantly improve simply by being open-sourced."
Incidentally, this letter drew some complaints from those who didn't like its claim as being "from the open source community." From what we have been able to establish, that title was added at the very end, and it's not clear just how it got there. The signatories of the letter did not intend to represent anybody but themselves.
Sub-$500 Linux computers. The folks at TheLinuxStore have intensified their push for the bottom with the announcementof a Linux system for $495. It even looks like a reasonably configured system, lacking only the monitor to be truly usable. The first 1000 people to order one get an upgrade to 64MB of RAM...
An eight-headed penguin. At the other end of the computing scale, Penguin Computing has announced a new eight-processor Linux server system. Looks like a nice box...
For yet another type of hardware, see this announcement from Splash Technology. What they are offering seems to be a Linux-based front end box for color copiers and printers that adds a whole new set of capabilities.
Memory debugging for Linux. Geodesic has announced the upcoming availability of their "Great Circle" memory leak detection software. Linux has been a little short of top-quality memory debugging tools; this product should be a helpful addition in that area.
Dharma Systems Inc. has announced what they claim is the first ODBC (Open Database Connectivity) software development kit for Linux. There is a "lite" version available for free download. Of course, the folks behind the FreeODBC project might dispute their claim to being the first.
The "International Alliance for Compatible Technology" has announced a petition to ask hardware vendors to sell systems with Linux installed. Things seem to be already headed in that direction, but sign up here if you want to give an extra push.
A different definition of "open source". Who better than Ed Muth to start Microsoft's backpedaling on the hints that they may open up the source to Windows 2000? "[Muth] says comments made by Microsoft President Steve Ballmer and other executives at the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference in Los Angeles earlier this week were misinterpreted because attendees may not clearly understand the company's definition of 'open source.' Muth says Microsoft's definition differs from the one used to describe Unix and Linux."
Section Editor: Jon Corbet.
April 15, 1999