Linux in the news
All in one big page
See also: last week's Commerce page.
What should we expect from commercial distributions?.
LinuxOrbit carried an article this week covering LinuxMandrake's release of
their 7.2 distribution. In the article the author talks about Mandrake's
decision to include
the last KDE beta (version 1.99) in their latest box set instead of the
official 2.0 release. This decision is said to have been made to meet
Linux-Mandrake's shipping deadlines.
Did I say KDE 2.0? Oops, I meant to say KDE 1.99. See, MandrakeSoft had to
have its new retail OS ready to ship to stores by a certain date,
and in order to do so, they
stuck KDE's final beta in the box, instead of waiting
for the final release. That's not
very good business practice in my book. Now, in
MandrakeSoft's defense, they did put
the version containing the full KDE 2.0 release in later
boxed sets, and on their FTP
site. There was also a notation on the packaging,
stating that it contained the beta
version of KDE 2.0, but those things can't help you when
you when you are ordering
off the web, or if you don't have fast web access
Not a good business practice? That seems a bit much. It will prove
difficult for commercial distributions to arrange to have 3 or
4 thousand open source projects make their projects' public releases
coincide with the distributions' own shipping schedules. Most projects
don't have anyone in charge to set schedules, not to mention developers
interested in actually adhering to them.
Of course distributors can't get the latest version of each package in
every release. Linux projects don't follow each others' release
cycles, much less those of individual distributors. Buyers of packaged
distributions must expect that some distributions will come with beta
versions of some popular software. In the long run many Linux
distributions may begin to focus on key projects such as KDE and GNOME
and base releases primarily around those projects. However, neither KDE or
GNOME is ready to meet specific deadlines yet, so consumers will still see
some rough edges in some of the most important pieces of the total package.
Hard though it may be to swallow, it's the truth: open software is
no better at releasing public versions than commercial software. At least
But expecting Linux distributions to be able to match the moving targets
that are open source release dates is unreasonable. Who, for example,
could have know it would take almost 2 years to make the final 1.2 release
of the GIMP?
HarperBusiness Signs Book By Linux Creator.
division of HarperCollins, announced that it will
a book by
Torvalds will give an inside account of how he came to write the
Linux kernel in
JUST FOR FUN: The Story
of an Accidental Revolutionary, co-written with David Diamond, to be
published by HarperBusiness in 2001.
Interwoven releases TclPro as open source.
As had been hoped, Interwoven (the company that acquired Ajuba Solutions)
TclPro under the BSD license. Source is available now on SourceForge.
Europe votes against software patents - for now.
Here's a bulletin from the EuroLinux
Alliance (also available in French)
stating that most of the countries of the European Patent Convention have
voted against extending patent protection to software. This is an
important victory, but it's not yet the end of the story. Now the
European Commission will continue its consultation on software patents,
at which point the issue will be considered again.
IBM, Linux, and Structural Bioinformatics.
Here is an announcement from IBM that it has
made an (undisclosed) equity investment in a company called Structural
Bioinformatics. Not coincidentally, said company has announced that its
future developments will be done using IBM's DB2 on Linux. DB2 will be
handling a substantial job - there's over two terabytes of protein
structure data to be managed.
5NINE Announces WAPLinux.org.
launch of WAPLinux.org, an open source
development project for modifying the Linux kernel to fully support
the Wireless Application (WAP) protocol and bearers such as the Short
Message Service (SMS), Mobitex and third generation (3G) technologies
such as the Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS).
EBIZ Announces 37% Revenue Increase for 1st Quarter.
Enterprises Inc., a
vendor-neutral Linux solutions provider, announced a 37%
increase in revenues, 46% increase in gross profit margin and a 60%
decrease in losses for its fiscal first-quarter which ended Sept.
30, 2000 compared to the 4th quarter of fiscal 2000 which ended June
SGI OpenGL Performer 2.4.
SGI announced the
Performer 2.4 application
programming interface (API) upgrade for both IRIX and Linux operating
Oracle Gets Top Marks in Linux Database Survey.
Zona Research, Inc. posted polling results that show
the Linux database of choice for
e-business. A survey of 109 IT professionals
found that Oracle8i ranked highest in Linux database deployments
over nearest-rival IBM.
Open Motif ported to IA64 TurboLinux.
ICS has ported
to run on Intel's IA64 (Itanium) architecture
running TurboLinux. (Thanks to Mark Hatch)
Oracle pushes NIC for Christmas.
"In time for holiday shopping" The New Internet Computer Company has put
press release on what a great deal the (Linux-based) NIC Internet
Computer is. Linux is now being pushed as a Christmas present...
Commercial Products for Linux
- Micro Firmware, Inc. (NORMAN, Okla.)
announced the availability of its ATA PRO UDMA card, a
32-bit PCI Personal
Computer add-in card with two UDMA-100/Ultra ATA-100 IDE interfaces.
Driver support for Linux is freely available.
- The Random Factory released the first in
their series of Linux for Biotechnology CD sets.
- Sangoma announced support for RFC
compliant ethernet bridging over Frame Relay.
Products and Services Using Linux
- Forlink Software Corp. (BEIJING, China)
has become the number one local mail system provider in
China, according to the results of CCID Consulting's most recent market
survey on enterprise-scale mail systems.
- Performance Technologies, Inc. and Motorola Computer Group (ROCHESTER, N.Y. and TEMPE, Ariz.)
announced they are working on
high availability SS7/IP- signaling gateway solutions for Motorola's
Aspira systems. PTI will
integrate its MicroLegend SS7/IP distributed
software architecture stack and CompactPCI CPC380 network I/O
access modules with MCG's high-availability, Linux-based, CompactPCI
CPX8216 hardware platform for use in wireless systems being built for
Motorola's Aspira architecture.
- Trustix AS (TRONDHEIM, Norway)
announced the release of XSentry Firewall 1.5, a
network security administration firewall.
Products with Linux Versions
- Artificial Life (BOSTON)
announced the release of a new data mining product: ALife-Logator.
is designed to help companies analyze the natural language conversation log
files of their client discourses with the Artificial Life software robots,
such as ALife Webguide.
- Evans & Sutherland (SALT LAKE CITY)
announced that the company's PC-based image
generator, simFUSION, now has the capability to run SGI's IRIS
- T3 Software Builders, Inc. (ROCKVILLE, Md.)
announced the release of SiteMaestro which is used
monitor computer systems and networks using a web browser.
Books and Training
Minds (NEW YORK), formerly IDG Books Worldwide, published Red Hat
Linux 7 Bible, Unlimited Edition. The first in a series of
Unlimited Editions, this 900 page book will be updated on the web on a
- Axis Communications (LUND, Sweden)
technology partnerships in which Axis' technology platform is to be sold for
use in safety and security services via broadband, in industrial applications
based on Bluetooth, and for mobile positioning. The customers are
Trygghetsbolaget, Free2move and Translogic Consulting & Service.
- GraphOn Corp. (MORGAN HILL, Calif.)
announced it has signed an OEM licensing agreement with Caelus Inc. to
web enable the Caelus Management System suite of software
products using GraphOn's Bridges software.
- iMimic Networking Inc.
(HOUSTON) announced a license agreement for the Web Caching software
with Cintel Co., Ltd, a Korean company.
- Metro Link (FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.)
announced it has been selected to become a premiere partner in
ATI Technologies, Inc. Technology Access Program (TAP).
- Multi-User Solutions (ATLANTA), a
subsidiary of Computone Corporation,
announced that its has finalized an agreement with UnionBuiltBox
to provide on-site services to customers of UnionBuiltBox's
Linux based Athlon computers throughout North America.
- RedWire (London, UK) RedWire
Limited anounced it has signed a Distribution / Partnership agreement with
Pyramid Computer Systems of Germany.
- SGI (MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.)
and AEA Technology announced that they are cooperating to provide
solutions for fluid flow analysis compatible with the 64-bit Itanium
StorNet, Inc. and Legato Systems, Inc.
(ENGLEWOOD, Colo. and MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.)
announced that they have extended
their relationship under Legato's Premier Enterprise Solution
Partnership program to add new networked storage services and products
designed for SAN and NAS environments.
Investments and Acquisitions
- EnReach Technology, Inc. (LOS ANGELES)
announced today an
investment from Sojecci Ltee, the former majority shareholder of Le Groupe
Videotron Ltee (Videotron), a Canadian cable operator.
- ArsDigita Corporation (CAMBRIDGE, Mass.)
announced it has named Richard McNulty its Chief People Officer.
In this newly created position, Richard McNulty will
ensure that ArsDigita continues to attract, develop and retain
personnel throughout its organization.
announed that Samba project co-founder and ex-TurboLinux executive
John Terpstra has joined Caldera as technology vice president and OEM
- CollabNet (BRISBANE, Calif.)
announced that it has named Ken Comee Vice President of Worldwide Sales for the
- VA Linux Systems (FREMONT, Calif.)
announced that it has named Gary Green as
vice president of strategic sales.
- Linbox is working
together with DemoBox, a an organization that produces CD-ROMs that
enable users to run Linux without installing it, to produce a turnkey
LNA solution for business, based on a DemoLinux's bootable CD-ROM, that
automatically installs a server-centric network architecture.
(PROVO, UT) announced it is on target to surpass
9,000 titles by the end of the year.
- Open Country has launched a web site
targeted at providing rewards for home/small office
users of Linux that have written programs that they might want to
share with fellow users.
- Red Hat (RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C.)
announced that new economy companies
are using Red Hat Linux Enterprise Edition for Oracle 8i.
- Xybernaut (FAIRFAX, Va.)
Chairman and CEO Edward Newman was invited by the Peoples Republic of
China's (PRC) intellectual property body, its media and press to
speak on the future of world technology and the importance of intellectual
property policies and procedures.
Section Editor: Michael J. Hammel.
November 30, 2000