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The Epeios Project has set out to make a large set of programming libraries available under the GPL. They have an initial set now, and are actively working to create more (and to recruit helpers, of course).
It is nice to see that the GNU echo command has finally gotten some proper documentation.
Section Editor: Jon Corbet
August 19, 1999
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From: "Tery Hamer" <email@example.com> To: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Dedication Date: Fri, 13 Aug 1999 22:26:33 +0100 I've just received my Oracle Technology Network Evaluation copy of Oracle8i CD via DHL. (Thankyou! Thankyou! Thankyou!) Now for the joys of trying to install it, configure it, figure it out, etc on Red Hat and SuSe. But I noticed that the Oracle CD label is "Release 8.1.5 for Linus" Aw. Isn't that sweet! tery
From: "Matt.Wilkie" <Matt.Wilkie@gov.yk.ca> To: email@example.com Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: ESR's 'Will You Be Cracked Next?' Date: Fri, 13 Aug 1999 16:46:00 -0700 Hi Eric, I normally await with interest your next piece. Usually they are thought provoking and promote content over hype. However in "Will you be cracked next?" I feel you have begun to blur the line and are slipping into marketspeak. The phrase which raised my hackles was: "Non-Microsoft operating systems such as Linux are invulnerable to macro attacks, immune to viruses, and can laugh at Back Orifice." This statement while factually accurate, is misleading (according to my understanding anyway - I am not a security expert). Yes Linux is immune to viruses; I have no idea about macro attacks. Although Linux can laugh at Back Orifice itself, Linux is -not- immune to a BO style of attack: a trojan wrapped inside an innocuous program which the recipient/user does want to run. (rootkits anyone?) Not to take away from the main point of the piece: monocultures are by their very nature more suceptible to (epidemic) disease. I couldn't agree more wholeheartedly. I just wish your writing was less hyped. In this world of mucho over hypedness, even the smallest application makes me dig for my salt cubes. ;-) cheers, -matt
Date: Sat, 14 Aug 1999 19:32:02 +0100 (BST) From: Richard Simpson <rs@rcsimpson.CutThisOut.demon.co.uk> To: email@example.com Subject: Intellectual property Sir, We read much these days of the threat posed to the open source community by software patents. I realise that patent law is fiendishly complicated and that there are critical differences between the rules here in Europe and those in the USA, but we really need an authoritative legal opinion on some of the questions which relate specifically to open-source software and particularly that which is non-commercial. For example: + I thought (possibly naively) that patents give exclusive rights to the commercial exploitation of an idea. If I give software away for free then I am not commercially exploiting it and therefore not infringing the patent. Right? Wrong? Only true in some countries? + If software has been developed by 50 different people spread all over the world then who do you sue? Questions of this nature tend to produce numerous responses which begin "I'm not a patent lawyer, but it seems to me...". Well, frankly, these are not a lot of use. I guess most patent experts are far too busy making loads of money to bother with Linux, but surely there is a LWN reader who is related to a suitable expert. If we do have a problem with intellectual property then perhaps we need to start creating a counter strategy. Fortunately, we have one extremely powerful weapon in our armory - The Internet. Can I propose that we create some software which will allow developers to establish a virtual presence in a legally untouchable country and communicate via a secure channel. Patent owners will then not be able to find out who developed the software - so they won't be able to sue and if we choose the host county correctly (somewhere like Nigeria or China) then they won't be able to get the site shut down. Obviously, such a system would make it easier for US developers to cooperate in international cryptography work, but due to the same laws it would initialy have to be developed outside the USA. Thank you, Richard Simpson --- Richard Simpson @ home Linux - Where do you want to go tomorrow? www.linux.org
Date: Tue, 17 Aug 1999 14:46:28 -0400 (EDT) From: Clemmitt Sigler <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com Subject: Trillian versus Monterey. Hi, I've been reading the same web pages as most everybody else about Trillian (Linux on IA-64) and Monterey (new commercial Unix flavor designed for IA-64 and supported by IBM, Compaq, and SCO). I guess it's confusing for Linux users to understand at first why someone like IBM would pour resources into both projects. Lots of us would expect Linux to displace a closed source OS like Monterey in short order. But it makes business sense if you look at it another way. There are any number of companies that shy away from Linux because of its Open Source nature. As a result, the Monterey devleopers see the ability to sell and/or support *more* Unix by backing both Trillian and Monterey. Companies looking for "traditional" solutions can go for Monterey. Those who recognize the power and utility of Linux will have Trillian there for them, and they can buy support from a mainstream hardware/OS vendor if they want to. More Unix is used, and everybody wins. It's a case of "A rising tide raises all boats in the harbor." It looks like the only real loser if this scenario plays out will be Microsoft because the penetration of NT won't be as high as they originally hoped for, and even at that NT penetration will probably increase somewhat from current levels as time goes on. But even if upcoming versions of NT are better than the present, the crack that was opened in the door allowed Linux and Unix to step in, push it open, and gain market share. Clemmitt Sigler