Linux in the news
All in one big page
See also: last week's Back page page.
Yet another portal site may be found at IndexOS. They look at alternative operating systems in general, and Linux in particular. Here, is their Linux page.
Other aspiring portal builders may want to check out the Linux portal mini-HOWTO on Humorix.
The Linux hardware database maintains a list of available hardware, along with ratings of how well each item works with Linux. It seems a bit thin at the moment, but if more people head on over and contribute their experience, it should easily develop into a highly useful resource.
Section Editor: Jon Corbet
June 17, 1999
Letters to the editor should be sent to email@example.com. Preference will be given to letters which are short, to the point, and well written. If you want your email address "anti-spammed" in some way please be sure to let us know. We do not have a policy against anonymous letters, but we will be reluctant to include them.
Date: Wed, 09 Jun 1999 22:57:01 -0400 From: William Hoffman <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com Subject: Sadly, you are wrong about RedHat's $80 price tag. For new users such as myself--sick of MS's buggy bloatware, actively seeking a _productive_ alternative, ambivalent in the face of a bewildering variety of near-commodity type Linux distributions lining MicroCenter store shelves--the issue breaks down like this: Slackware: $20; too bad there's no manual Debian: $30; yeah, right SuSE: $40; intriguing... but I don't read German Caldera: $40; boasts an easy install (and with MicroCenter's 30-day money back guarantee, I can experiment) Red Hat: $80; compared to the others... pricey It's immaterial that these impressions are flawed (SuSE's fully English-language manual is one of the best, though the hard-to-pronounce name gives newbies a fit). Only propellerheads will appreciate the support Red Hat has given the Linux community, or care about the controversies the company's strategies have provoked. To paraphrase an early 20th-century president of these United States, "What this country needs is a good $50 operating system." In other words, the future belongs to Corel, if they know how to take it. William Hoffman firstname.lastname@example.org
From: "Greg Mader" <email@example.com> To: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: smbmount woes. Date: Thu, 10 Jun 1999 09:24:30 -0500 Editor, For way too long, smbmount has performed poorly. The Samba team has washed its hands of it, saying "We are working on smbsh," and "SMBmount is part of smbfs, not samba." Well, the corruption problem in today's Linux Weekly News is the last straw. The Samba team has done a marvelous job creating a one way server system. Linux does not have high quality SMB clients now, and Linux probably will not have any for some time. I strongly urge the Samba team to "put up or shut up" on smbsh, or start working on smbfs to become stable, safe, and full featured. In the mean time, I will suggest Sharity to people who ask for connectivity from Linux to NT servers, and warn them that in my experience, SMBmount is a dud. Greg Mader
Date: Mon, 14 Jun 1999 18:28:26 +0200 From: Alessandro Muzzetta <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Danger of software patents in Europe Hello, I'd like to bring to your attention an article by Richard Stallman warning on the danger of software patents in Europe: http://features.linuxtoday.com/stories/5960.html The article may be copied and redistributed verbatim. Stallman has been notifying European users of the imminent introduction of software patents in Europe by the European Parliament, before Summer 1999. As you probably know already, software patents are considered a Bad Thing, especially for the Free/Open Source software community. The European Union intends to emulate the flawed US patent system. Thus, software patents that are making life hard for US programmers today (consider the GIF patent, the RSA patent restricting PGP, etc..) may find their way into Europe. There is already a group in France (www.freepatents.org) that is involved in the fight against software patents. Similar initiatives have been instituted in Germany (swpat.ffii.org) and Italy (no-patents.prosa.it). It seems people are uninformed. We are desparately trying to raise awareness on the issue and would appreciate your help in doing so. Thanks for your cooperation. Alessandro Muzzetta
Date: Mon, 14 Jun 1999 18:26:47 +0100 From: Richard Kay <Rich_Kay@ect.uce.ac.uk> To: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Look before you leap Dear Mr Morgenthal, Concerning your article in Internet Week online this gives the impression that the silly season has started in earnest this year. Have you actually used a recent version of Linux ? Much of the positive press this development has been getting has until recently been due to the very rapid pace of development of this system, based as it is on open collaboration and peer review - something the scientific community has found more effective than the alternatives for many years in other areas. However more recently this system has been able to stand up to more serious comparison. This is not to say that Linux is best in all areas yet. But Sun and IBM know well enough how to read the writing on the wall and which side their bread is buttered as they receive somewhat more revenue from services than sale of their own proprietary operating software. You state: >Linux is an open-source project; therefore, all changes to the kernel >are subject to review and approval by a small team that controls >this portion of the operating system. Companies that add features >they need, but that are not accepted into the core distribution, may >find themselves in a redevelopment and retesting cycle every time >a new version of Linux is released. Firstly only a few users need changes to the kernel and those who do are less dependent on the core kernel team if they use Linux than if they use a system to which they have no direct access to read and modify the source code. Secondly those who want to add features are free to decide their own upgrade cycle and branch the kernel development if they so wish. I don't imagine for example that those using Linux for embedded systems will ever want to incorporate all of the mainstream kernel into their subset/branch of it. Forthly the reason there has been so little branching (attested by Microsoft's Halloween documents) is testimony to the success of the core development team in incorporating features needed by the development/user community. The few who create and use dependencies through binary-only patches without providing access to source code have only themselves to blame if kernel changes make life slightly more difficult for them. The fact that desktop Windows users still outnumber desktop Linux users is somewhat irrelevant to those considering applications for which Linux is better suited, e.g. web servers where Linux servers have more web client users now than NT does. For large SMP systems Solaris and AIX will not dissapear overnight - but as has been said before IBM and SUN are not supporting Linux for reasons contrary to their own commercial interests. On the complexity front, yes there is still a problem with Linux as it is a fast growing one with NT. But it is better to build a complex system upon a sound design than a shaky one. Also an increasing range of Linux system administration facilities are being implemented using simple web front ends and Windows-style GUIs and Wizards etc. The fact of Linux's low cost is partly instrumental in its fast growth of use within my own field of higher education. The inevitable effect of this will be to ensure a very rapidly growing stream of people coming out of education with the skills needed to administrate, manage and configure this system. In light of its success as an Internet/Intranet server platform and development in other areas and the recognition of their need to support this system by IBM, HP, SUN, Oracle, Informix, Dell and Compaq etc, your calling it a "a college student's project gone astray" is just plain daft. Hence my question about whether you are writing about something which you have ever used ? Yours Sincerely, Richard Kay School of Electronic and Software Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Central England Perry Barr, Birmingham B42 2SU UK Email: Richard.Kay@uce.ac.uk
To: email@example.com Subject: Justin King on osOpinion... Date: Wed, 16 Jun 1999 16:50:15 +0100 From: kevin lyda <firstname.lastname@example.org> Just read Justin King's piece on osOpinion. I hope no one mailed him to enlighten him; it would be like sending an interior designer into a black hole to "brighten up the place." I'd love it if the "Linux is just a craze" crowd would also let us know what they thought about the net five years ago. These people wouldn't get a clue if they were caught in some freak clue blizzard, never mind a few emails. Unrelated to Mr. King's article, I'd also like the "Linux thing is just a new version of ABM" to explain just when they first heard of unix, and if they're aware that 1969 came just a few years before 1980. Opinion pieces are nice, but without any meaningful facts they should be more accurately labeled as ravings. Thanks, Kevin
Date: Thu, 10 Jun 1999 16:32:11 -0700 (PDT) To: email@example.com Subject: *code wars* [Qt reserved words] From: Leo Razoumov <firstname.lastname@example.org> Nathan Myers brought a very valid point of a library design emphasizing the fact that Qt claims several general-purpose tokens for Qt library. I do digital signal processing and telecommunications software development where 'signal' and 'slot' have their natural roots and meanings. This is why I do *NOT* use Qt. By now C++ has been around for a decade or so and people already worked out simple rules how to avoid global namespace pollution by prefixing the keywords: String => RWCString (Rogue Wave Class String) Display => XtDisplay (Xt Intrinsics library function) signal => QTsignal (proposed for Qt library) !!!! I think it is just a good taste in library design to either use namespaces as defined in C++ ISO standard or to stick with library prefixes for a while. I personally would not complain to type extra QT in front of everything which comes from their library. On the other hand the Nathan's appeal to deliberately break Qt based applications sounds strange (to put it mildly). So far Troll Tech has been receptive enough to address the needs of Open Source Community. Also they do not want a negative publicity for their flagship commercial product when people start questioning the quality of their library design. I sincerely beleive that the issue could be solved in timely manner and without drastic measures like *code-wars*. thanks, -- Leo Razoumov, Ph.D. DISCLAIMER: Statements and opinions expressed in this message are the private optinions of its author and do not represent or reflect explicitly or implicitly opinions and positions of the author's employer.