Linux in the news
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Survey finds aggressive Linux deployments planned (ZDNet). Zona Research interviewed 109 IT professionals and found half are expecting up to 25% increases in Linux users in their firms, while in the small business sector increases as much as 50% percent were expected by up to 1/3 of the respondents. "The report also estimated that, over the next two years, the deployment of Linux commerce applications, commercial and in-house-developed desktop applications, and general office automation applications will double at respondents' organizations."
Linux 2.4 kernel
Linux 2.4 To Go Gold In December (InternetWeek). Internet Week reports on the upcoming 2.4.0 release. "Torvalds, for his part, has his own reasons for ensuring that the kernel makes it out the door in December -- or this month, if possible. 'Of course, I'm also expecting my third daughter in late November, so if I can release it before that I'll be happy,' he said."
Essence of Distributed Work: the Case of the Linux Kernel (First Monday). First Monday has run a detailed study of the development of the Linux kernel. "Does every successful large-scale distributed project require one 'great person' to be in charge? Clearly this was important in the Linux case. Yet other successful open-source development projects have had different leadership models."
Torvalds: The Truth Shall Make You ... Rich? (TechWeb). TechWeb reports on Linus Torvalds' comments at a Comdex panel on Linux. "One 'company' that used to hold the truth was the Catholic Church. The church made a lot of money by having a proprietary truth. All the richest people were religious people. The Pope had a lot more money than the scientists. The analogy is that the truth became open, like open source, and the truth was science. I believe open source and Linux is about the same thing."
Linux looks to avoid fragmentation (EE Times). Here's an EE Times article reporting from the Embedded Linux Conference. "The implications of a Unix-like 'forking,' or fragmenting, of Linux were brought home by chief technology officer Tim Bird of Lineo (Salt Lake City). In a keynote address at the conference, Bird asserted that the open-source developer community cannot fulfill all of the embedded market's needs, because the 'network effects' that drive open-source development tend to be reduced in many areas of embedded technology."
The joys and perils of open-source life (LinuxDevices.com). LinuxDevices.com is running a guest column by Karim Yaghmour, on the development of the Linux Trace Toolkit. "As described above, LTT has progressed at a phenomenal rate, in a very short time -- AND with lots of outside help. It has been said that LTT has already surpassed many available tracing tools. This is confirmed by the large number of Fortune 500 companies that currently use LTT to develop Linux based applications."
Linux Seeks To Ward Off Fragmentation (TechWeb). Worries about Linux fragmentation from the point of view of the embedded Linux market are discussed in this article from TechWeb. In a keynote address, [Lineo CEO Tim] Bird said the open source developer community cannot fulfill all of the embedded market's needs, because the "network effects" that drive open source development tend to be reduced in many areas of embedded technology.
Toshiba server appliance to debut next year (News.com). News.com looks at the new Linux-based server appliance from Toshiba. "The machine will use Red Hat's version of Linux, the spokeswoman added, but Toshiba declined to say which company's CPU is inside."
Transmeta shows off a handful of embedded Linux successes (ZDNet). ZDNet reports from Transmeta's Comdex demonstration. "In all, the company showcased eleven customer applications -- including five notebook computers, five webpad devices, and one Internet server appliance. Of these, all but the notebook computers and server appliance were based on Transmeta's Crusoe-based webpad reference design combined with Mobile Linux, a Transmeta-developed port of the Linux operating system to Crusoe."
Linux sets its sights on the PDA market (LinuxDevices.com). Yopi, Agenda VR3, PocketLinux, Microwindows - a quick review of Linux-based PDA offerings and systems designed to support them is offered in this article from LinuxDevices.com.
Device profile: Sony SNT-V304 Video Network Station (LinuxDevices.com). Here's another device profile on LinuxDevices.com; this one looks at the Sony SNT-V304 Video Network Station. "The compact device, which contains an embedded Linux operating system running on an Axis ETRAX system-on-chip processor, combined with video processing technologies developed by Axis, transmits images generated by analog video cameras to remote locations where they can be viewed using ordinary GUI-based web browsers."
Linux in Use
Cookin With Linux (ZDNet). ZDNet has published a case study, looking at what happened when First Communications decided to deploy Linux. "In the end, First Comm found that simply biting into a popular Linux-based Internet server solution doesn't work. Linux itself is inexpensive, but implementing a solution, especially without completely understanding the situation, can be as expensive as any commercial setup."
FreePM Forges into a Wide Open Frontier (LinuxNews.com). The medical world is taking steps towards the open source movement, and Tim Cook is helping make sure it does. His FreePM project aims to make practice management software more interoperable.
Barriers to Open Source Use in Medicine Persist (LinuxNews.com). LinuxNews.com is carrying an article exploring the limits of to the use of open source in the medical industry. "With its variety of specialized needs, its mission-critical nature and its unique--and largely non-technical--clientele, the health care industry presents a singular and profound challenge to software developers. This challenge may best be met by the open source development model, whose responsiveness and flexibility could surmount many of these specific difficulties."
Commentary: Watching the world get Linux (ZDNet). Evan Leibovitch recounts his travels in Jamaica promoting Linux. "You can almost freeze the moment when you see the change in people's eyes as they 'get it.' You see it coming from the kinds of questions, skeptical at first, then curious, then people nodding while taking an increasing amount of notes."
ALS Review (Troubleshooters.com). In one of the few reviews of this years Atlanta Linux Showcase that has hit the ether, Troubleshooters.com interviews notable Linux figure Jon "maddog" Hall and his view of making money with Linux, talks with Peter Salus about Unix history and the future of Linux, and looks briefly at the XFree86 movement, plus various views in and around the conference and exhibit floor.
Linux use flourishing (ZDNet). ZDNet looks at the spread of Linux in non-US markets, especially in government offices. "[TurboLinux] had also entered into contracts with China's space agency and Japan's post office. The increasing utilization of Linux at this level abroad would have positive ramifications within the U.S. government down the line, [vice president of marketing Lonn] Johnston said."
Open Source Applications
KDE backers to form a league of their own (ZDNet). ZDNet reports on the expected announcement of the KDE League. "Many of the same companies that lent their name to the GNOME cause are also expected to be on hand when KDE rolls out its organization. Expected KDE League founders include Caldera, Compaq Computer Corp., Corel Corp., IBM Corp., SuSE, and TrollTech, according to sources."
Open Source Of Woe (ZDNet). ZDNet took a look at the reactions from the open source community to Netscape's apparent lack of existing standards support in their upcoming Netscape 6.0 browser. "The controversy was the direct result of the open source development model Netscape used to build the core of the new browser. Ironically, the alleged bugs in Navigator 6 - its most significant browser release in two years - might not have attracted significant attention if Netscape had kept its code secret from the outside world."
Corel: We're still full-speed ahead on Linux (ZDNet). Corel says it is refocusing its plans for Linux after its deal with Microsoft, in this article from ZDNet. "'If we end up porting our Linux products to .Net, we will be acting as a consulting arm to Microsoft,' [CEO Derek] Burney explained. He added that Corel is actively talking to Microsoft's developer division -- the unit currently leading the .Net charge for Microsoft -- but is continuing to actively compete with Microsoft in the desktop applications space.'"
Netscape's open source browser ready at last (Upside). Here is Upside's take on the Netscape 6 release. "Netscape 6 is based on the Netscape Gecko browser engine, an ongoing technology that has evolved to support a number of Web standards, opperating systems and platforms. Netscape built its newest browser based on open standards, a process that spanned more than two years and enlisted the help of thousands of open source geeks."
Who's in Charge Here, Anyway? (ZDNet). ZDNet has published an article by Cameron Laird on how the Tcl project is run. "Yet, the degree of professional support for Tcl is often not recognizable to beginners, and I realize that this can be an important factor in its development, since initial impressions create powerful realities in the marketing-intensive world of computing systems."
He speaks hacker (Upside). Here's an Upside article about Great Bridge and its PostGreSQL plans. "Comparisons between community-based software and community-based journalism go only so far, however. By employing members of the PostgreSQL team, Great Bridge possesses the power to destroy the very project that serves as its economic foundation. One of the first hurdles is learning how to adjust to the open source notion of contributing to a project without controlling it."
Software aims to ease Linux use (Boston Globe). The Boston Globe reports on Eazel's "sneak preview" release. "The announcement is important because up until now, Linux users have dealt with a clunky interface that contrasts sharply with the look and feel of, say, the Macintosh with its user-friendly menus and buttons."
Preview: Nautilus PR2 (LinuxPlanet). Eazel's PR2 release of Nautilus is reviewed by Linux Planet. " Unfortunately there's a dependency conflict between the two at the moment, at least for Debian users. Nautilus is a little further along the curve in terms of the version of Bonobo, GNOME's new backend libraries, than Evolution. At this point, it's one or the other for the curious, not both."
Eazel Nautilus Preview2 impresses, frustrates (ZDNet). While reported to be feature-complete, ZDNet says Eazel's Nautilus Preview2 lacks performance optimizations and cross platform support. "Slow performance was evident on both machines, with Nautilus taking several seconds to launch and another several seconds to build the icons in each window. This may be due in large part to Nautilus' reliance on a build of Mozilla that still has a lot of debugging code running, however."
VA Linux investors back away (Upside). Upside examines VA Linux Systems' prospects after its disappointing quarterly numbers. "Viewed through the prism of flattening consumer demand, the Sun-VA Linux showdown appears much more ominous. Add the fact that VA's second quarter traditionally has been the slowest, thanks to the annual IT spending slowdown during the holiday season, and you get a situation where the company might not have any good financial news to report for another six months."
Caldera lures Linux guru away from rival (News.com). News.com reports on John Terpstra's move to Caldera Systems. "Caldera Systems chief executive Ransom Love confirmed the move Tuesday, saying that Terpstra would help Caldera's effort to standardize how the open-source Linux operating system works, but declining further comment."
Portland, Ore., College Could Be Tapped to House New Linux Lab (Oregonian). According to this article in The Oregonian, Portland State University is expected to be named the home for the open source development lab being set up by IBM, HP and Intel.
Red Hat: Big company forms big alliances (O Linux). O Linux interviews Red Hat's Erik Troan. "Our capabilities run the entire computing spectrum from servers and high availability clustering to embedded devices and handhelds. We have server enterprise customers such as Home Depot and Toyota as well embedded customers such as Sony, Ericcson and Samsung."
Linux products, services make play for e-markets (ZDNet). ZDnet says that Linux, while established as a Web/Mail server and firewall solution, is still not a player in the e-marketplace. "Though it is gaining in popularity, some still question whether Linux can handle the high numbers of transactions commonplace in business-to-business marketplaces." Then again, they also say "more IT people are trained on Windows, giving the platform a greater support system." Does size equal quality?
French Linux company following Red Hat model (News.com). Linux Mandrake is turning from a product based business model to one similar to Red Hat's, according to this article from C|Net's News.com. "It's very difficult to charge a lot of money for a product that's available for free," [Chief Executive Henri] Poole said. "We expect most of our revenue in the long term to come from services."
What will MandrakeSoft pull out of it's sleeve next? (LinuxToday). The Australian LinuxToday profiles MandrakeSoft. "However, MandrakeSoft appears to be one of the first Linux companies to offer it's software in America's Wal-Marts - basically the equivalent of Australia's Woolworths or Big W. Stacked along the shelves, next to food, groceries, and common every day items, you can find copies of Linux-Mandrake 7.2. Revolutionary? What better place to sell this software?"
Under Construction (ZDNet). So what happened to Internet2, the solution to our tangled web of communications that is the current Internet? ZDNet looks at what has been done - and why we won't see it for awhile. "Researchers also caution that the efforts under way to create improved network technologies and applications are not intended to create a sort of "replacement Internet" that will be put into service all at once. Rather than some kind of giant switch being thrown one day, at which point the old Internet dies and a new one replaces it, the process will be far more gradual, as new technologies begin to take over for existing ones."
Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol
November 16, 2000