Linux in the news
All in one big page
See also: last week's Linux in the news page.
Fast Company interviews Eric Raymond. "Don't confuse the idea of free software with the idea that it must be created by volunteer labor. Increasingly, open-source developers are getting tangible rewards for the reputations they've established. As venture capital pours into open-source software and as Linux-based companies get started, companies are competing to hire stars. In our world, it's easy to find the stars: Their names are in the projects' credits."
It-Director.com ran this article about the (Linux-powered) British Royalty web site. "Microsoft cannot realistically pursue the line that Linux is not enterprise ready when it is the choice under test, by the official government agency, for the largest user of computers in the UK - the Government. The work by the CCTA confirms our own research in this area, just as we go to press. Linux is robust and it is reliable and it scales well enough to run a very very large web site." (Thanks to Gordon Perkins).
The Times looks at the Queen's (Linux-based) web site. In fact, a number of UK government web sites switched over to Linux at the same time. "The Palace couldn't say whether the Open Source Linux community would be entitled to use the By Royal Appointment tag - it would have to have its product used for a certain period of time first to the satisfaction of a member of the Royal Family, before an application for the tag could be made." (Thanks to James Heald).
News.com looks at investments in Lineo and the Linux Mall. "The Motorola investment in Lineo is one in a series of negotiations that the company is holding with different chipmakers, Lineo chief executive Bryan Sparks said in an interview today with CNET News.com. 'We're soliciting investments from most,' Sparks said."
Sm@rt Reseller reports on SCO's investment in the Linux Mall. "SCO says the investment is one step in a long-term strategy to align itself with the open-source movement and leverage the Linux market. Over the next few months, SCO will announce more products running on Linux and will use LinuxMall to bolster its Linux professional services business."
Here's an InfoWorld article about Red Hat and Compaq's joint support deal. "Red Hat officials are holding up the deal as a shining example of how major players, such as Compaq and Red Hat, can work together effectively to show off the benefits of Linux and open-source development to corporate accounts."
News.com covers Compaq's service deal with Red Hat. "The deal nudges Red Hat forward in its battle with Linuxcare to provide technical support for companies using Linux. Linuxcare won a deal to provide technical support for Dell Computer's Linux machines."
ZDNet looks at the sales of Linux box sets. "Linux vendors worry among themselves that prices will be driven so low that no Linux distributor will be able to make money. Caldera, Corel and Red Hat employ Linux developers as part of their cost of doing business and need to move quantities of commercialized versions of their product to sustain the effort."
News.com ran this article about the efforts some companies are making to look good to the open source community. "Companies benefiting from open-source efforts go to great pains to avoid acquiring the dreaded label of 'parasite'--a company that exploits the work of open-source programmers without 'giving back to the community.' Often, those efforts include contributing to the programming effort, as in the case of Red Hat and most other versions of the Linux operating system."
For those of you who are interesed in the insider trading charges being filed against Michael Cowpland, this News.com article covers the basics reasonably well. "The charges relate to Cowpland's sale of shares in 1997, just one month before Corel reported a surprising $32 million third-quarter loss, which sent the stock into a 40 percent decline to a low of $5.35 per share in Canadian currency in September. Cowpland sold his shares when they were trading between $8.20 and $8.80."
ZDNet UK covers (briefly) the Bloor Research study. "Although this is just the latest bout in the ongoing between the industry leader of server systems and the popular open source challenger, it is the first time that the OSs have matched up in an environment designed to simulate a real working conditions."
TechWeek looks at the Google search engine. "Google.com is powered by a network of some 2,000 Linux-based PCs, one of the largest installations for the upstart operating system."
PC World reports on the upcoming Corel Linux release. "Corel's goal is to offer a version of Linux that's easy enough to use to attract enthusiasts who aren't necessarily computer experts, although the company isn't targeting first-time buyers..."
InfoWorld looks at Corel's upcoming release. "A basic version of Corel Linux with no third-party applications or support will be offered for free download from the Internet on Nov. 15. By the end of next month, Corel aims to ship two packaged versions of the operating system for retail sale, the company said." (See also: our review of Corel Linux from last week).
CPU Review reviews SuSE 6.2. "SuSE 6.2 quite simply has the largest collection of software packages ready to install on from CD; far more than I've seen from ANY other distribution. Extreme Linux (clustering software), Blender (3D rendering / scene editing package), PCB layout packages, and just about every database server under the sun is included. I must admit I spent about an hour browsing around and selecting packages and I ended up with a 2.27Gb installation."
Salon Magazine reviews Bob Young's new book. They don't much like it - they call it "a hastily written and sloppily edited book." The review looks at what's happening with Linux in general as well. "And that's a point that seems lost in the self-congratulatory rhetoric of 'Under the Radar' -- as well as obscured by the frenzy of speculation and deal-making currently sweeping the Linux marketplace. Free software didn't grow because entrepreneurs saw the potential to make a killing; it grew because individual programmers sought better tools for solving their daily computing problems."
MacWorld reviews LinuxPPC 1999. "Inexplicably, the CD itself contains no installation documents-you must download those from LinuxPPC's Web site. You'll need those installation docs, too, because the install process is harshly nonintuitive." (Update: LinuxPPC points out that this review was done on a nearly release of LinuxPPC 1999; the September release of the distribution includes documentation on the disk).
OS News looks at IBM's PowerPC motherboard and Linux. "From IBM's perspective, Linux's three most attractive characteristics are its rapidly growing popularity, its status as a completely free OS (both in dollar terms, and in terms of intellectual property), and the fact that it can be made to run on a PowerPC computer."
TechWeb reports on the upcoming Star Office release, which pushes things in the direction of Sun's "Star Portal" strategy. "[StarDivision founder] Boerries said although Sun was committed to providing StarPortal on a variety of platforms, it would make money from selling Solaris servers to ISPs, 'People may start on Linux and NT, but what we believe is as utilization goes up, as connected users ramp up then people will go to a real server, a Sparc Solaris server -- Linux and NT servers will run to the wall.'"
CPU Review looks at the future prospects of Windows 2000. "Microsoft will likely be disappointed in Windows 2000 sales for at least the first half of 2000; the combination of delays, reluctance to upgrade, tight corporate purses and the ever-increasing presence of Linux will serve to depress Windows 2000 sales."
Here's a brief, amusing item in ComputerWorld's "Shark Tank" column from the Gartner IT Expo. "Analyst Michael Zbouray: 'Any good Unix security engineer can clean up any Unix box. But I'm not sure there are people even within Microsoft who know how to clean up an NT box.' From the peanut gallery: 'What operating system would you recommend?' Pause. Zbouray: 'You tempt me.' The audience of 300 sets up a chant: 'Go for it! Go for it! Go for it!' Zbouray throws arms in air, shouts: 'Linux rules!' And the crowd goes wild."
VARBusiness attended the Gartner Group's Symposium ITxpo 99. "Central to the debate was where Linux fits into enterprise customer IT departments, and whether Linux vendors were responding accordingly. While acknowledging the enthusiasm for the technology, [Microsoft's] Edwards says his company has not seen deployments in enterprise customers at levels that warrant grave concern."
Here's an article in ComputerWorld Australia following up on the Gartner Group's anti-Linux pronouncements. Numerous eyebrows had been raised by the Microsoft fine print at the bottom of the Gartner reports. "However, Gartner's Barrow, said the Webletter report had reproduced Gartner's original research in its entirety and that the research had not been funded by Microsoft."
The LA Times ran a letter to the editor by Ray Marshall regarding the real number of Linux users. "I know of one department at work that bought a single Red Hat distribution kit and used it to load up over 100 machines, about half of which are desktop workstations. Personally, I use Linux exclusively, both on my home PC and on a Dell laptop, even though the Dell was delivered to me with Windows installed. The point is that there is no way to estimate the number of Linux installations in use throughout the world."
Here's an article on Borland's site lamenting the difficulties in getting a good, dual-boot Linux box. "But it's too early in the game for most of us to just dive in. I'm looking for a transition box: something that will run what I need to run, under Windows NT for now, with Windows 2000 Professional in my near future, and Linux on the side. I need to begin experimenting with porting my work to Linux." (Thanks to Anand Rangarajan).
Information Week ran this article which looks at both Microsoft's 'Linux myths' and Red Hat 6.1. "Microsoft's rant makes some good points about Linux's weaker aspects. But when one recalls what a joke Windows NT Server 4.0 was a mere three years ago, it's clear that the weak can get stronger through perseverance. The Oct. 4 update of Red Hat Linux 6.1 proves that Linux is adroitly moving ahead."
Here's a column in Upside looking at Sun's approach to open source. "Sun simply does not provide an incentive to the outside programmer community to help enhance [Java]. Therefore, it does not gain the advantage of all those outside developers working on one project. Java does not evolve the way Linux does. Sun doesn't get it."
The (UK) Sunday Express says Linux is a threat to Microsoft. "The low prices for Linux software seem certain to persuade users to defect from Microsoft in droves." (Thanks to James Heald).
IT-Director.com says that Windows CE might go open source, since it appears to be making little progress any other way. "Microsoft boasts of the time that it turned the company round to deal with the Internet, but that was simply a technology change backed up by a heap of money. We do not believe that it can take the cultural change of adopting the open source model even for a single product stream. Windows CE looks sicker and sicker with every month that passes and may eventually have to be put to sleep."
Here's an osOpinion piece which looks at the prospects for Linux World Domination. The author concludes that it will not happen, and that that is not a problem. "Even though this analysis suggests that Linux World Domination may never take place, Linux will nevertheless put up a very respectable performance, and may even go on to dominate the mid-range server market and possibly segments of the appliance market.... Linux will without a doubt succeed in making the operating system market safe for the consumer."
Here's an interview of Brian Behlendorf which appears on sendmail.net. It talks mostly about the sourceXchange. "...let's say that next year you have 30 million Linux users who all have very general needs, and all are happy to put in twenty bucks over the course of a year to have those needs met. You basically create a mutual fund for software development."
Tim O'Reilly is interviewed on the new sendmail.net site. "Despite the excitement about Red Hat, their success at putting software in a box and selling it only helps to perpetuate the myth that most software is written for sale. In fact, as most of us know, a great deal of software is written for use in our businesses. It's a tool, like any other, with a set of build-versus-buy tradeoffs."
Computer Reseller News polled resellers on where they saw Linux. "Fifty-two percent of VARs surveyed last month said Linux would be a viable alternative to Windows in the small- and midsize-company market within the next 12 months. This was up from 45 percent in August and the highest figure since CRN began fielding this question last April."
ZDNet ran this somewhat contemptuous article about Linux security. "Our test struck the ire of the Linux community. Most of them suggest going to the Red Hat Web site and looking at its security page. This solution somewhat works but flies in the face of the whole Red Hat-is-not-Linux argument. Red Hat does offer signed versions of RPMs to verify their authenticity, but what sort of code verification do they do?"
Upside Magazine reports from the FreeBSDCon. "In light of the recent runaway success of GNU/Linux, by all accounts a bastard operating system according to the convoluted Unix family tree, the last 12 months have provided an opportunity for soul searching. With more and more businesses, investors and media outlets gravitating toward the open source message via Linux, insiders had to wonder: Was the FreeBSD community doing all it could to take advantage of the growing market opportunities?"
The Nando News ran this article about the Microsoft trial - it includes the "Linux defense." "With Red Hat's Wall Street success, experts predict an increase in the number of Linux-related IPOs. This would mean more cash for businesses to spend promoting the Linux operating system. Increased marketing could win Linux the mass-market appeal it will need to compete against Windows for desktop PCs."
The folks from Linux Magazine wrote in to let us know that they have put their August issue on the web. Included are articles by Dan Burcaw, Lee Gomes, Alan Cox, Paul Russell, Randal Schwartz, Brian Behlendorf, Eric Troan, and more.
Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol
October 21, 1999