Linux in the news
All in one big page
See also: last week's Linux in the news page.
Some of the news stories this week were about Red Hat's IPO offers to developers and the problems some of them had with E*Trade.
Salon Magazine ran an article about all the folks who have found themselves "ineligible" for the Red Hat IPO. "We coders had been abruptly disenfranchised, after having had silver carrots waved in front of our noses. I'd opened my first money-market account just now, in order to take part in the commercial future of something I believed in -- and the door had been slammed in my face." (Thanks to Doug Everitt).
The San Jose Mercury News has another story on Linux developer's reactions to Red Hat's IPO offerings. "Many of the developers were unaware of the fine print, which cautioned recipients of the offer that E*Trade could reject applicants not able to meet its IPO investment criteria. When the programmers tried to acquire their shares on E*Trade, they were indeed rejected. Venting their anger in Web discussion groups, some blamed Red Hat while others sounded off against E*Trade, which was caught in the middle of the dispute."
Obviously this is only part of the story. This story in Wired News provides a bit more balance.
Kevin Lyda complains in osOpinion about the reporting in LWN (and elsewhere) on Red Hat's community stock offering. "All of us are the 'Linux media,' and our community will grow better if we make reasoned contributions to it. It is not helpful to flame journalists, nor is it helpful to incorrectly (or incompletely) report facts."
Also in osOpinion: this response to Keven Lyda's piece. Other lead stories:
The Free Software Foundation's Richard Stallman says the U.S. Congress threatens to establish a new kind of monopoly in this article in LinuxToday. "Companies that want monopoly powers to control public use of the information we get from data bases are trying to pass a law this year in the U.S. -- creating, for the first time, a private monopoly over repeating publicly known information. They are using the "good bill, bad bill" method; the "bad" bill is HR 354; the "good" bill is HR 1858."
This InfoWorld story is not really about Linux, but it will be of interest to software developers. [found in LinuxToday]
"A U.S. group that works to unify state laws on Thursday overwhelmingly approved a controversial proposal to adopt common licensing rules for software and other information technology transactions that critics contend would hold IT companies hostage to the whims of software vendors.
The UCITA was a leading item in the June 3 edition of LWN.
InfoWorld's Bob O'Donnell uses his final column on a set of predictions. "...the open-source movement will implode as its community-based approach is crushed under the weight of the movement's popularity. Egos will weigh in and the result will be splintering into multiple factions, which will greatly reduce the movement's effectiveness."
SGI, VA Linux and IBM:
Here is an InfoWorld story about 'Lintel', a Linux variant for Intel's IA-64 chip. "The "Lintel" effort, known as the Trillian Project and funded by Intel, is currently being cobbled together by a consortium led by Linux developer V.A. Linux Systems. It includes Hewlett-Packard, SGI, Intel, and Cygnus, and will soon include IBM. The first open-source code should be available early next year, or about the time Intel's IA-64 chip -- Merced -- is ready."
Performance Computing's "Unix Riot" column looks at SGI's moves. "The 1400 L will come with Linux and cost about $8,000; the M will ship with Windows NT and run you near $9,000. The price difference, one SGI source said, is due to the 'tax' Microsoft imposes for its OS."
Here's an InfoWorld article about the effort to port Linux to the IA-64 "Merced" processor. "HP, for example, is contributing operating system kernel expertise to the project, and SGI is pitching in with operating system and compiler technologies designed to extend the robustness of the operating system. If Linux is to compete on an enterprise level with the other offerings that will be available, such as IBM's Project Monterey, that robustness could be key."
News.com comments on SGI's plans to emphasize Linux on their Intel-based server computers. "Windows NT just won't be ready in time for what SGI has in mind. The company needs an operating system that can run on machines with dozens of processors, said Jan Silverman, SGI's new vice president of marketing for computer systems. "
Network World Fusion ran this article about SGI's new Linux-based server. "The release of the SGI 1400L shows the company's commitment to providing Linux solutions, and SGI intends to add more value to the Linux system by providing it with more support..." (NW Fusion is a registration-required site).
For those who do not want to register, it turns out that ComputerWorld has the same article available.
TechWeb looks at SGI's plans to offer multiprocessor systems with Linux installed. Quoting an analyst: "They are making it easier for their customers to do more business with them. They are really looking at Linux as their long-term operating system of choice"
Here's a Forbes article about VA Linux Systems. "Larry Augustin, the chief executive of Sunnyvale, Calif.-based VA Linux Systems (VA) wants to build a billion dollar company selling Linux-based computers. And this past quarter, he got one step closer to that target."
Computer Reseller News has an article about VA Linux Systems' plans. "VA Linux Systems plans to unroll a formal channel program soon and also is considering an initial public offering in the near future..."
VA Linux Systems will be opening ten new offices across the U.S., according to this brief News.com article. (Thanks to Richard Myers).
IBM is looking more and more like a big blue penguin proclaims this PC Week article about IBM's upcoming LinuxWorld announcements. "IBM's Linux leader, Mike Riegel, said the company is ahead of projections in Linux sales and sees no tapering of interest on the part of users." (Thanks to Cesar A. K. Grossmann)
This ZDNet article gives a good overview of the many ways IBM is supporting Linux. "Among the major server vendors, IBM is emerging with a clear story of end-to-end support for Linux that can't help but give the operating system a boost in the eyes of corporate information technology managers."
News.com ran this article about the release of IBM's DB2 for Linux. "...the introduction of a Linux version of one of Big Blue's most prestigious software products is another sign of the gradually increasing respect given to the upstart Unix clone."
The Triangle Business Journal reports on Red Hat's IPO and how Linus Torvalds feels about it. "Analysts are predicting that Red Hat, which has priced its shares between $10 and $12, will spike up to as much as $60 to $100 in its first few days and stay there for a while. With more than 67 million shares outstanding after the offering, Red Hat's market cap could top $5 billion after the first day of trading."
PC Week reports on Motorola's entry into the Linux world. "Motorola... will target embedded devices, a market that not many have addressed. That would bring Linux to the appliance market within and beyond the traditional IT infrastructure..."
Wherehouse (a U.S. music chain) will be deploying a system in its stores that allows consumers to listen to sample tracks from any CD in the store, according to this ComputerWorld article. The system? An IBM Netfinity server running Linux. "The cost of the bandwidth and the servers will be offset by the lower cost of Linux compared with other systems, such as SCO Unix. Beyond the lower cost, Wherehouse preferred to use Linux because it's an open standard with substantial support from a vast, albeit loosely affiliated, online community of developers..."
This Doctor Dobbs Journal article worries about Linux fragmenting under pressure from large corporations. "What if [Microsoft] tried to do to Linux what it did to Java: introduce a free version that was missing some important components, and had some other, custom parts, added?" (Found in Slashdot).
Linux vs. Microsoft:
This LinuxToday opinion piece talks about the war between Linux and Microsoft. "Like it or not, we are at war. Wake up and smell the Kaffe. Sound the alarm, but do it with a clear head. And don't be lulled by kind words about us all "just getting along". I'd like to see it someday, but judging from past experience, it's going to be quite a while, if ever, if it involves Microsoft."
Will Linux Replace NT? asks Seybold Publications. It's a very positive report, but it sees, like many others, a stronger role for Linux in the server role. "It is important to keep in mind that open source involves a cultural phenomenon as much as a technology. It's advocates revel in the process of developing, sharing and updating programs that are equal to or better than their commercial counterparts." (Found in NNL).
Worth Magazine ran this introductory article by Robert X. Cringely. "But the most threatening part for Microsoft is that Linux debunks parts of the Microsoft story that makes the company worth so much: that only Bill Gates can make a good product and that it takes thousands of programmers and billions of dollars to do the job. Linux redefines, by placing it in a different context, the very idea of software quality. And Microsoft comes out on the losing end of most quality comparisons." (Thanks to Alexander V. Voinov).
News.com has an article about improvements to Linux which will make it more appealing to desktop markets. "Linux is derived from Unix, which got its start in servers. As such, it competes with Unix, Novell Netware, and Windows NT. However, Linux has a growing popularity in desktop machines, where it competes with Windows, MacOS, and other operating systems aimed at average consumers."
ZDNet writes about Time's "Person of the century" poll. "Microsoft CEO Bill Gates currently is No. 16 in Time's poll. That fact alone might inspire Linux participants. What Linux supporters wouldn't be pleased to see their man ranked above Mr. Windows?" (Linus is currently at number 15). (Thanks to Cesar A. K. Grossmann).
Evan Liebovitch writes about the "post-FUD era" in the context of Bob Metcalfe's recent anti-Linux articles. "This new stuff is a very different animal. Incapable of confronting Linux based on what it actually is and does, this new generation of Linux-bashing hauls out various piles of suspect and irrelevant minutiae, and chooses to attack the creators rather than the creation."
LinuxPower interviews Hakon Wium Lie, the leader of the project to port the Opera web browser to Linux. "Personally, I'm a fan of the Mozilla project. I know some very smart people working on it, and they have understood the need to fully support standards. The new layout engine has great support for CSS, and the Opera programmers will have to work hard to make a better product. But we work very hard :-)"
The Atlantic Monthly has an article detailing the author's experiences with Linux. "But it is clear that living with Linux, which I have been doing for a while now, is not at all like spending time with Windows or Mac OS. Whereas Windows and Mac OS are intended in part to shield users from their machines, Linux forces people to grapple with their relationship to technology -- an experience that was for me both salutary and disquieting. "
The article also includes a sidebar comparing KDE and GNOME.
This Performance Computing column checks out recent Linux releases - especially GNOME and Enlightenment - and is most pleased. "The troika of GNOME, GTK+, and Enlightenment creates a wholly engaging graphical environment that looses the bonds of tradition." There is also a review of Windows NT 2000 beta 3 for comparison.
Found in LinuxToday is this article about Mandrake 6.0 and a program called Lnx4win.exe. "Hidden away, however, is a program called Lnx4win.exe. I'm certain the Linux purists among us will recoil in revulsion, but the idea behind Lnx4win is very good. Many current MS- Windows owners have powerful computers with plenty of hard drive space, but are understandably confused about the repartitioning involved to install Linux on an ext2 partition. Next to ppp issues, partitioning seems to be the source of much frustration from new-to-Linux users. "
CPU Review has run a review of WordPerfect 8 for Linux. "...I was pleased that WordPerfect's import capabilities did not extend to Word virii..."
Linux is just an ordinary program says an article (in French) in Le Monde Informatique. The author claims that Linux is well adapted to the market economy, even if its development model seems strange to some. English translation (of a sort) available via Babelfish. (Thanks to Fabian Rodes).
Here's an article in Hindu Online about clusters which mentions Linux briefly. "He put together 140 standard computers running on 533-MHz Alpha 21164A processors, on an ethernet; loaded the system with the ``rogue'' operating system Linux, added 35 GB of memory and ended up with a system that gave him 48.5 giga flops." (Thanks to Radha Krishna).
Here's a pessimistic editorial along the "Linux will fragment" lines. "To stabilize Linux, corporations should weigh in now, emphatically pushing for vendor-neutral standardization and application support. If they hit roadblocks, they should avoid Linux vendors and their add-ons altogether and opt only for entirely open-source Linux distributions." (Thanks to Dylan Griffiths).
Here's an introductory article in The Philadelphia Inquirer. "With the stamp of approval of the major computer vendors in place, Linux's budget price and reputation for reliability are starting to catch the attention of large corporations." (Thanks to Chris Fearnley).
Linux, Linux: Enough Already says ENT Magazine. "I have something close to an ethical problem here: These enthusiastic Linux developers seem in some ways exploited, in that someone else is deriving the economic value produced by their work." (Thanks to Ron O'Rourke).
Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol
August 5, 1999