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January, 2000

Look for Linux to duke it out with Windows CE for kiosks, gas pumps, egg-beaters, and other appliances that need a small but super-stable operating environment.
-- TIME Digital's technology predictions for 2000
One can almost pity the DVDCCA. Like the feeble minds behind the misnamed 'Communications Decency Act' in 1996 and the NSA's key-escrow power grab back in 1994-95, they're about to find out what happens when you try to step on the Internet community's liberty.
-- Eric Raymond writing about the DeCSS affair
Linux survives the year-2000 bug in fine form. A number of small problems turned up, and some last-minute fixes were rushed out, but nothing serious happened. Of course, that also pretty well describes the rest of the world's experience with Y2K.

The DVD case takes an ugly turn with the questioning of Jon Johansen, the 16-year-old Norwegian hacker who first posted the DeCSS code. The Global Internet Liberty Campaign publishes this Member Statement on the case.

The Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act (UCITA) continues to attract opposition. If adopted as law by the U.S. states, this act would give new teeth to "shrink-wrap" licenses. Cem Kaner gives a good summary of the problems with this act in this article.

[Source Forge logo] VA Linux Systems announces SourceForge. VA Linux Systems put out this press release announcing SourceForge to the world. (SourceForge had actually been up and running since November 1999). SourceForge also makes the code for its operation available under the GPL. By the end of the year, SourceForge hosted over 12,000 projects and 92,000 registered developers.

Dave Whitinger announces the launch of the Linsight network.

Creative Computers announces the launch of eLinux.com, which "will provide the Linux community with a single source for products, news, discussion groups, services, support and information."

Salon announces a deal with Red Hat to carry Salon's content on Red Hat's Wide Open News site.

Red Hat completes the acquisitions of Hell's Kitchen Software and Cygnus Solutions with the announcement that: "The acquisitions make Red Hat, Inc. the largest company in the world dedicated to providing open source technology, information and services..."

The US government is about to relax the crypto export regulations, in ways we could not have anticipated 6 months ago, vis-a-vis open source and publicly available cryptography. The first draft of the regulations were, unexpectedly, promising but held some ambiguities for the open-source community. The second draft can only be considered a Christmas present with the open source regs being reduced to little more than 'tell us where it is and then do it'
-- Michael Warfield, January 11, 2000

Michael Tiemann becomes Red Hat's Chief Technical Officer, replacing Marc Ewing, who has held that position since the founding of the company.

New U.S. cryptography regulations went into effect on January 14 prompting Michael Warfield to send his January 11th note to the linux-kernel mailing list proposing that security-related patches, here-to-fore carefully excluded from the primary kernel tree, should be expedited into the 2.4 kernel.

[2000 Linux Stock Index]

The LWN Linux Stock Index hits its high level of the year (199) on January 10, 2000 although many expected it to keep climbing to much greater heights.

[Caldera logo] Caldera Systems files for its initial public offering leading off an expected stampede of Linux companies going public in 2000. LWN's review of Caldera's S-1 is here . this feature article. Caldera also announces a $30 million round of venture capital funding from Sun, Citrix, Novell, SCO, Chicago Venture Partners, and Egan-Managed Capital; and settles the Microsoft lawsuit as described in this News.com article.

Linuxcare files for its initial public offering of stock which LWN summarizes in this article.
If word gets around quickly enough, this IPO might not make it out of the starting gate, because investors will be aware of its sketchy business model and will turn away when the stock is offered to them by a cold-calling broker. Then again, with the frenzy of today's IPO market and with many investors trying desperately to get in on the next hot IPO, maybe LinuxOne will find enough customers to buy the only product it has: Its share certificates.
-- LinuxOne May Be One Linux Company to Avoid by Sam Jaffe, Business Week January 10, 2000

Red Hat completes a 2 for 1 stock split that was announced in 1999.

TurboLinux receives $50 million in investments, according to this News.com article. Investors include Dell, Compaq, BEA Systems, and others.

The auction of 250 Linux® related domain names by a domain name scalper (er - "reseller") is discontinued at the request of attorneys for Linus Torvalds, trademark owner of Linux®. Linus in this posting to the linux-kernel list attempts to answer some concerns about appropriate the use of the the Linux trademark.

Transmeta breaks its long silence and tells the world what it has been up to.

[SGI logo] SGI releases OpenGL under an open source license, another important step in the preparation of Linux for high-end graphics applications. It is a generous donation to the community; it should also help to preserve OpenGL as the standard interface for 3D graphics.

Inprise (a.k.a. Borland) announces that it will open source InterBase. InterBase is a serious database system and will become a valuable contribution to the open source portfolio.

LWN completes its second year of publication.
In a move aimed at Linux, Sun said it will announce Wednesday that it is making the source code for its new Solaris 8 operating system 'open.' Webster's has lots of definitions for the word, including 'not sealed, fastened, or locked.' But when you dig into the details of Sun's announcement, you'll find that what it is offering doesn't come close to meeting the dictionary's definition, let alone that of the open-source movement.
Lawrence Aragon writing for Redherring.com , January 26, 2000

[Linux Professional Institute] The Linux Professional Institute announces the availability of its first Linux professional certification exam.

Jim Blandy steps down as guile maintainer. Maciej Stachowiak steps in as the new maintainer.

The first PHP Developers' Conference is held in Tel Aviv.

Mastodon INST0050 is announced. This distribution, supported by David Parsons, strives to assure that a.out lives on.

Debian announces a code freeze in preparation for the release of Debian 2.2.

[Software Carpentry logo] The Software Carpentry Project announces its software design competition to help bring about the creation of a set of software tools (replacements for make, autoconf, and bugzilla, and a regression testing system).

The Journal of Linux Technology is announced by O'Reilly and VA Linux Systems.

Mozilla M13 is released.

Linux-Mandrake 7.0 is released.

Linux wannabe press releases flow from companies trying to ride on the success of Linux stocks. LWN picks this one from Vitamins.com as the Linux wannabe press release for the week for January 27th. In it we learned that "Vitamins.com has further distinguished itself in the competitive Internet health industry race by being one of the first to integrate the Linux Operating System, produced by Red Hat, the leading developer and provider of open source software solutions."

February, 2000

I saw that the whole business of typesetting was being held back by proprietary interests, and I didn't need any claim to fame. I had already been successful with my books and so I didn't have to stake it all on anything. So it didn't matter to me whether or not whether I got anything financial out of [TeX].
Donald E. Knuth, from an interview by Advogato

Linus releases development kernel 2.3.47. This release includes devfs support thanks to the determination and persistence of Richard Gooch. The devfs inclusion brought an end to a multi-year flame war.

The kernel.org FTP/web site and its mirrors begin hosting cryptographic software which is seen as a significant next step towards including cryptographic code in the Linux kernel. This policy is the result of the recent change in U.S. export regulations.

[IA64 project logo] The Trillian project releases its code for Intel's 64-bit Itanium chip to the open-source community. The Itanium is still months away from release by Intel. Red Hat, Inc. subsequently announces the immediate public availability of GNUPro tools for IA-64.

Continued distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks inspire Jens Hektor to backport features from the Linux v2.3 ipfilter package to augment the capabilities of the Linux v2.2 kernel. In addition, Dragos Ruiu makes a klog patch available to provide "a quick and dirty forensic logger to track down or follow the path to the origin of attacks".

...I think the fight we are now fighting is a very important fight for free speech and for the open source community. ... if reverse engineering is banned, then a lot of the open source community is doomed to fail. -- LinuxWorld interview with Jon Johansen.
UCITA is a proposed law, designed by the proprietary software developers, who are now asking all 50 states of the US to adopt it. If UCITA is adopted, it will threaten the free software community(1) with disaster.
-- Richard Stallman, Feb 6, 2000
Copyleft donates $10,000 to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) to aid the legal defense being mounted by the EFF in response to lawsuits by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the DVD Copy Control Association (DVD CCA).

The IEEE publishes a "Position paper" opposing states' adoption of UCITA. It provides a nice, concise summary of the problems with this bill which has already passed the Virginia legislature with a unanimous vote.

Tobias Hoevekamp writes about the European Union's "Framework Programme 5," a 3.6 billion Euro effort to improve the competitiveness of the European software industry. The program recognizes open source software and money is available for projects which advance the program's objectives.

Veteran RTLinux hacker Victor Yodaiken in this posting describes plans for his patent number 5995745 on the RTLinux concept.

For the moment, it appears many IT managers are making sensible decisions about integrating Linux: Where it works, they're either using it or looking into giving it a try.
-- Eve Epstein for Infoworld
The latest IDC report, as quoted in News.com now ranks Linux as the "second-most-popular operating system for server computers" with 25% of the server operating system sales in 1999. Windows NT is first with 38% and Netware ranks 3rd with 19%. IDC previously predicted that Linux would get up to the number two position - in 2002 or 2003. The revolution appears to be well ahead of schedule.

The latest Netcraft report turns up over 11 million sites - and 58% of them are running apache.

[Eazel logo] Eazel, Inc announces that Michael Boich, Andy Hertzfeld and Bud Tribble, all of whom were part of the original Apple Macintosh team, joined Eazel to work on making Linux accessible to mainstream desktop users.

Given the huge rises in Linux companies' shares in 1999, we can expect about 10 initial public offerings from open-source companies this year.
-- Mike Kwatinetz, head of technology research at Credit Suisse First Boston
Late January and February hosts a flurry of mergers and acquisitions including:

The Linux Fund on the IPO path The Linux Fund announces that it will do an initial public offering of its stock soon. (The LinuxFund IPO was never even filed in 2000.)

How will the Linux community change as a result of this flood of cash, jobs, and stock options? When everybody who wants to has made their deal, will the volunteer spirit remain? At LinuxWorld a year ago, the .org area was known as "the ghetto." This time around, your editor heard it referred to as "acquisition alley" instead. Times have changed.
Jonathan Corbet for LWN.net
[LinuxWorld logo] The LinuxWorld 2000 trade show arrives in New York City. The Linux world is changing quickly, and there is no better summary of what's up - at least on the business side - than LWN's LinuxWorld summary. Also see this ZDNet article for a round-up of the barrage of press releases that accompanies the show.

Linux Expo/LinuxWorld Paris was held at the same time as the New York event.

XFree86 wins the IDG/Linus Torvalds Award, check included, at LinuxWorld 2000 in New York City.

Advanstar Communications announces a deal with the Linux Journal to create a set of Linux events beginning with "Linux Canada," May 15-20, 2000 in Toronto.

[Red Hat logo] Red Hat wins InfoWorld's "Product of the Year" award for the fourth time in a row...

Red Hat sells 4 million shares at $95/share in a secondary offering. Of the shares sold, 2.75 million were issued by the company, and 1.25 million were sold by insiders.

Red Hat software's Bob Young receives Business Leader magazine's Entrepreneur of the Year award at the 16th Conference on Entrepreneurship.

IBM makes code to its Journaled File System (JFS) available to the Linux community by releasing it under the GPL.

Sun releases NFS v4 component source code under the Sun Industry Standards Source License which is "designed to meet the requirements of the Open Source Definition as articulated by the Open Source Initiative." But Eric Raymond isn't immediately satisfied with Sun's new license. Welcome elements of the announcement include increased funding for a project to develop a Linux NFS v4 implementation and the release of Sun's rights on the NFS trademark,

The Linux/PPC Developers announce release 1.1 of their Reference Release designed for use as the basis of other PowerPC Linux distributions.

[OpenSSH logo] The first stable release of the Linux port of OpenSSH (version 1.2.2) is announced.

WorldPilot 1.0 is released. WorldPilot is a free personal information management system based on Zope.

CMU Sphinx is transitioned to open source with a BSD-style license. The first component to be released is a speech recognizer and library, suitable for real-time applications.

[] IBM's port of Linux to the S/390 is available for download. LinuxPlanet subsequently takes a look at Linux on the IBM S/390 mainframe to find that it is here and it is looking good.

SOT announces that it will release an English version of its Best Linux distribution at CeBIT. Best Linux is is a popular distribution out of Finland.

LinuxDevices announces the results from its survey, Which Linux distribution(s) will you use?. A large split showed up between the distributions that have been used for embedded systems up until now and the ones that people expect to use in the future.
As I mentioned yesterday, venture capital is a major topic in this year's conference. The morning keynote speaker was Hadar Pedhazur, the initial major investor in Digital Creations, the creators of Zope. A year ago, Pedhazur advised Digital Creations to make its software Open Source, much against the initial impulses of the Digital Creations principals.
Frank Willison reporting on the Eighth International Python Conference

Embedded versions of Linux are popular this month as:

TurboLinux announces the availability of TurboLinux 6.0 in both workstation and server versions.

Corel announces that the first beta version of Word Perfect Office 2000 has gone to the beta test sites.

David Hoggan's The Internet Book is made available on-line and under a liberal copyright, allowing both reproduction and electronic transmission (with proper credit). "'The Internet Book: Introduction And Reference' provides both an introduction to the internet protocol suite and a reference guide in a single volume."

[O'Reilly Network logo] O'Reilly Network announces the launch of two new sites, a technical portal, http://www.oreillynet.com and a LinuxDev center, http://oreilly.linux.com.

[LinuxSecurity.com logo] Guardian Digital announces LinuxSecurity.com a "pro-Linux and Open Source site that strives to provide objective and helpful information for the general Linux and Open Source community."

OpenSales, Inc. names Oracle and Netscape veteran Bonnie Crater as president and CEO. Later this year OpenSales will change its name to Zelerate.

Nicholas Petreley resigns as Editorial Director for LinuxWorld, though he will continue to write a column for them, to focus his time on the Linux Standard Base.

Jim Pick, the guy behind kernelnotes.org, is hired to be the new webmaster at kernel.org.

[Source Forge logo] The KDE and CMU Sphinx projects announce they are moving to SourceForge. A substantial part of Larry Augustin's LinuxWorld keynote is devoted to SourceForge

Brave Gnu World celebrates its first anniversary. Congratulations to author Georg Greve!

March, 2000

There's some NFSv3 and other stuff pending, but those who have pending stuff should all know who they are, and for the rest it's just time to say nice try, see you in 2.5.x.
-- Linus Torvalds in his announcement of the pre-2.4 series
The pre-2.4 series begins. Linus sent out this announcement with the 2.3.51 release announcing that he is getting ready to start the pre-2.4 series - which is why this month's current release is 2.3.99-pre1.

A new version of LILO is posted which is able to get past the 1024-cylinder boot limit that has plagued PC systems for years.
I find it amazing that an operating system ... has been developed by young volunteers - not tied by a contract or monetary remuneration, outside of a business organization - and that this system is able to compete with that elaborate system from a large multinational corporation, which is the richest company in the world.
-- Italy's Prime Minister on Linux (Editor's translation from the Italian)
[Penguine found on Timpanogas site]

The Timpanogas Research Group announces the release of its NWFS 2.2 NetWare file system under the GPL.

Helix Code makes its first desktop release (announcement here). This is not only the beginning of Helix GNOME, but of Helix as a (visible) company as well.

Amazon.com is awarded yet another patent. This time around, it claims patent rights for its affiliate program - which is much like many other such programs on the net. Advanced technology like "referral links" may now be proprietary. Tim O'Reilly comes out strongly against the Amazon patents. The O'Reilly Network also creates a software patents page with resources and news on this subject.

[Apache logo] Netcraft: Apache now at 60%. The latest Netcraft survey one shows Apache running on just over 60% of the web for the first time.

Version 1.1 of the GNU Free Documentation License (FDL) is published by the Free Software Foundation, the FDL is an extensively thought-out attempt to codify user freedoms; this time with regard to documentation. It recognizes, however, that documents raise different issues than source code; thus many of the provisions of the FDL differ from those of the GPL and LGPL.
Naturally, you can write poor programs in any language. C++ is a powerful tool and in the wrong hands it can generate code that is *obviously* contorted and bloated. That may be preferable to the traditional spaghetti that poor programmers produce in C. Note that someone who is a good C programmer isn't automatically a good C++ programmer. Many problems have been caused by good C programmers assuming that they could adopt a semi-random collection of C++ language features and then magically become a good C++ programmer in a week.
-- C++ creator Bjarne Stroustrup in this Slashdot interview

XFree86 4.0 is released. This is a major release of the X server that provides the view that most users see of a Linux system. Some of the highlights of this release include OS-independent loadable modules for video drivers, X extensions, font renderers, input device drivers, and so on. See the release notes for the full feature list.

[Book cover] Grokking the Gimp is available online. New Riders' new book Grokking the Gimp (by Carey Bunks), happily, is also available online.

An updated version of Using Samba is also online. Jay Ts has set up a web site with a version of Using Samba by Robert Eckstein, David Collier-Brown, and Peter Kelly that has been repackaged for easier download, has better internal linking, and has a number of errors fixed.

Salon's Free Software Project web site launches. It's an online book in progress on the open source movement being authored by Salon writer Andrew Leonard, who has been responsible for much high-quality coverage of the free software world.

[Caldera] Caldera Systems goes public, after a short delay, on March 21. The stock, which was offered at $14/share began trading at $26 and closed at $29.44. It thus registered a 110% gain on its first day.

Caldera announces a partnership with SCO to sell SCO's professional services to Caldera's customers foreshadowing Caldera's acquisition of most of SCO later in 2000.

A cooperative group has been formed to develop open source customer relationship management (CRM) applications. This group (OpenSourceCRM.org) is sponsored by a handful of companies, including VA Linux Systems.

The secret is straightforward. de Raadt and his peers assume that every single bug found in the code occurs elsewhere. de Raadt admits it sounds simple, but just rooting security bugs out of the entire source tree took 10 full-time developers one and a half years to complete.
-- OpenBSD developer and recognized security guru Theo de Raadt, from A Secure and Open Society in ComputerWorld Canada

Trustix 1.0, a "secure Linux" distribution out of Norway, is released. It is aimed at server tasks in particular, and includes strong encryption support.

LinuxPPC developer Jason Haas is hit by a drunk driver and badly injured in a car accident. By August Jason was out of rehabilitation, and generally doing OK.

[Mandrake Soft logo] Macmillan announces the shipment of Linux-Mandrake Secure Server 7.0.

Donovan Software announces its own 64-bit Chinese Linux Distribution, covered in this (Singapore) Business Times article. The new distribution is the Chinese Penguin64 . for software developers, hobbyists and even students to port and develop applications for the 64-bit SparcLinux machines.
So will Linux ever make any sort of dent into Microsoft's formidable 90 percent market share on the desktop? Hohndel [sic] reckons the current trend toward the open source model has only one conclusion: that Linux will become as prevalent as Windows on the desktop within the next two to three years.
-- SuSE's Dirk Hohndel talking with ZDNet

MandrakeSoft announces its purchase of the Bochs x86 emulator and its subsequent release under the LGPL. In addition, Kevin Lawton, lead developer for both Bochs and the Plex86 project, a free alternative to VMWare, has joined the MandrakeSoft team. He will be continuing to move forward with the development of Plex86, now with access to the code base for Bochs to speed his team's implementation. "MandrakeSoft recognizes the value brought to our Linux users, by offering them an open source way to concurrently run Windows or other PC operating systems", commented Jacques Le Marois, President of MandrakeSoft.

Red Hat 6.2 is officially released to the web.

Rick Collette announces the launch of his new venture, deepLinux. Rick Collette, used to be the guy behind the SPIRO-Linux distribution. DeepLinux will be primarily focusing on the OEM market, but will include embedded projects involving game systems and network appliances.
The law in open code means that no actor can gain ultimate control over open-source code. Even the kings can't get ultimate control over the code. For example, if Linus Torvalds, father of the Linux kernel, tried to steer GNU/Linux in a way that others in the community rejected, then others in the community could always have removed the offending part and gone on in a different way. This threat constrains the kings; they can only lead where they know the people will follow.
-- Innovation, Regulation, and the Internet by Lawrence Lessig for The American Prospect.

ZipSpeak, an "Easy-to-Use, Talking Linux Distribution", is announced. "ZipSpeak is a talking mini-distribution of Linux for blind and visually impaired people, based on version 7.0 of the ZipSlack distribution and version 0.08 of the Speakup screen reader. ZipSpeak is designed to be easily installed on an existing MS-DOS or Windows system, so that the user can start using a talking Linux system with a minimum of difficulty."

The Debian Project receives a donation from Sun of an UltraSparc 60 dual-CPU system, accompanied by a large storage array.

FreeBSD 4.0 is released. . Learning, apparently, from its sibling OpenBSD, a much heavier emphasis on security shows up in this version, including support for OpenSSL, OpenSSH, encrypted telnet and IPsec support.

ROCK in the news. This European Unix Platform (EUP) article describes how to configure a ROCK Linux System as an ISDN Dial-on-Demand Router.

[Slackware logo] Walnut Creek (the parent company for Slackware) and BSDi announce their merger. Yahoo will be taking an equity investment in the new company. This Slashdot interview with Bob Bruce, president of Walnut Creek, Jordan Hubbard, FreeBSD core team member and release co-ordinator, and Gary Johnson, CEO of the new company, mentions the impact on Slackware. "Our Slackware division will be spun off as an independent company: Slackware Linux, Inc. But our Linux and BSD developers will continue to work closely together. Patrick Volkerding has moved out here from Minnesota and is now managing Slackware development on a day-to-day basis. We will be releasing Slackware 7.1 by summer."
As far as development goes, currently one of the biggest security problems are buffer overflows. Thus, from a security point of view I'd suggest using a programming language that prevents buffer overflows; Python, Perl, Java, Ada, Eiffel, LISP, and lots of others fit that bill. [Otherwise] be sure to use libraries that defend you against buffer overflows and be especially careful with every line of code.
-- David A. Wheeler, author of the Secure Programming for Linux HOWTO, in this interview with LinuxSecurity.com

The Think Blue Linux distribution for the IBM S/390 from Thinking Objects Software, GmbH. is available. The website itself runs on Linux for S/390, which is based on Red Hat 6.1. Both rpms and srpms for the distribution are available.

Motorola Computer Group announces the release of its HA Linux distribution. This distribution is aimed at telecommunications applications that require very high amounts of uptime; it includes hot-swap capability, and is available for the I386 and PowerPC architectures. News.com covers this new high-availability distribution. "Telecommunications companies, disdainful of computers that crash, would be a powerful new segment of customers for Linux."

The Open Network Management Software project announces its existence and starts its bi-weekly development reports. . "In three weeks since OpenNMS.org went on-line, more than 275 contributors have joined the consortium, more than 350 people have downloaded the source code, the website has received 5,000 page hits a day..." OpenNMS is building an open source network management package. (The company that created OpenNMS.org is subsequently acquired by Atipa in September, 2000.)

The SEUL project announces the SEUL/sci project, to foster the development of useful open source scientific software for Linux. It issues its first weekly Linux in Science report.

Lutris Technologies announces the release of Enhydra 3.0. Enhydra is an Open Source Java/XML application server.

[perl.com logo] Perl v5.6.0 is released. The details were posted to the perl5-porters list. "After almost two years of intense deliberation, patching, troubleshooting, and testing, the Perl Porters are proud to bring you the newest major release of Perl. Welcome to Perl v5.6.0!"

ActiveState announces the release of ActivePerl 5.6. ActivePerl is a value added, binary distribution of Perl that can be downloaded for free (but which is not open source). ActiveState provides commercial support for ActivePerl under Linux, Windows and Solaris.
It was at the closing plenary of ApacheCon 2000, in Orlando FL, that a long-anticipated release of software was announced: an alpha release of Apache 2.0. With a few short keystrokes, the Apache Software Foundation announced to the crowd of developers at AC2K that Apache 2.0a was available for download.
-- Apache developer Jim Jagielski in this Freshmeat editorial

NEdit 5.1 is released under the GPL. NEdit, is a multi-purpose text editor for the X Window System used by people working in the scientific community.

The GNOME Users and Developers Conference (GUADEC) in Paris is declared much fun and a great success. Havoc Pennington covered the event in this Gnome Summary. It appears that a lot of important decisions were made at the event: a nine-person Gnome steering committee was appointed and a Gnome Foundation is being created. " All decisions will still be discussed on gnome-hackers or gnome-devel-list as appropriate. That is, the committee will basically just gather information and maybe come up with proposals, it won't be actually making decisions."

[Zope logo] Digital Creations announces that its Zope Enterprise Option package will be released as open source. ZEO was formerly a proprietary add-on to Zope that enables the creation of distributed servers. Thus, ZEO allows Zope-based servers to scale across both processors and continents. It's another great contribution from DC, and can only help encourage the continued success of the Zope platform.

The first crypto-enabled builds of Mozilla are now available on-line, including support for SSL, the Security Advisor, and IMAPS.
'Without rivalry -- at least the potential for rivalry -- you don't get anything done,' Torvalds says. `So we've often had cases where there's been two people maintaining very similar kinds of things, and what ends up happening is that I often accept both of them . . . and see which one ends up getting used.'
-- Linus Torvalds from this article in the San Jose Mercury

Loki Entertainment Software announces a multi-company project to create and distribute OpenAL, an open-source, cross-platform 3D-Audio library, licensed under the LGPL. "Until now, games running on Linux have not had access to the advanced 3D-Audio features available on other platforms. OpenAL provides those advanced features with an open-source, nonproprietary implementation which is available not just for Linux, but for Windows and MacOS games as well. What SGI's OpenGL has done for 3D-Video, OpenAL will do for 3D-Audio."

Cobalt Networks announces a deal to acquire Chili!Soft, a vendor of active server pages (ASP) software for Linux. The deal is for 1.15 million shares of Cobalt stock.

Linuxcare submits a new S-1 (IPO) filing ending a period of silence from that direction. There is little exciting to be found therein - the price range remains $11-13. Linuxcare also announces the opening of its Japanese office (Linuxcare Kabushuki Kaisha) in Tokyo.

The Embedded Linux Consortium announces its existence. Its goal is "to amplify the depth, breadth, and speed of Linux adoption in the enormous embedded computer market;" the initial leader will be Rick Lehrbaum, the guy behind LinuxDevices.com, among other things.

VA Linux Systems announces the acquisition of TruSolutions and NetAttach. TruSolutions is a maker of rack-mount server systems. NetAttach is in the network storage appliance business. TruSolutions went for 1.8M shares of VA stock plus $10 million in cash; NetAttach got 286,000 shares plus $10 million.

A project (called "Nupedia") to create an open content encyclopedia is announced. For more information see the Nupedia web site

[Bluepoint] Bluepoint Linux stock quietly began trading in the over-the-counter market under the symbol BLPT. Bluepoint is a vendor of Chinese-localized Linux distributions, based in the city of Shenzen.

LinuxMall.com and Frank Kasper & Associates announces the completion of their merger. The new company retains the name LinuxMall.com.

MontaVista Software, the company behind the "Hard Hat Linux" real-time and embedded distribution, announces that it has received $9 million in investments and the appointment of David Warner as chief financial officer.

Inprise Corporation announces that C. Robert Coates, CEO of Management Insights, Inc., has resigned from the Board of Directors in protest of the merger with Corel. Mr. Coates does not seem to disagree with the merger itself; it mostly seems to be an issue of how much compensation Inprise stockholders (he is a big one) get out of the deal.

Red Hat announces the appointment of Harold Covert, Adobe's ex-CFO, as Chief Financial Officer.

[HS210] Ericsson announces its "Screen Phone HS210" product - a Linux-based telephone with a touchscreen that can be used for email, web browsing, etc. Ericsson and Opera Software also announce that Ericsson's (Linux-based) HS210 "Screen Phone" will incorporate the Opera web browser.

TurboLinux appoints T. Paul Thomas as the new President and Chief Operating Officer of the company, replacing founder Cliff Miller (who remains CEO). Thomas was previously the President and CEO of Artisoft.

Centura Software Corp.went live with its open source database for Information Appliances on OpenAvenue's hosting site at http://www.openavenue.com/db.linux.
...without bootlegs, the Grateful Dead and Phish would be playing the blues in some dumpy bar in South San Francisco. Indeed, with the band's official support of sharing performances, it could be argued that the real source of everything Open Source is the Grateful Dead.
-- "Napster on Linux: From a Whisper to a Scream Why Music Fans Should Embrace Napster" by Kevin Reichard for LinuxPlanet

Jean L. Francois becomes chief technology officer for EBIZ Enterprises.

O'Reilly & Associates, Inc. announces that Jon Orwant is the new Chief Technology Officer.

[Linux as rap music] TwoMobile.com comes up with a new analogy for Linux. "Just like Linux, rap music was something that scared corporations until it was big enough to be profitable, and suddenly everyone wanted a piece of the action."

Linux Expo merged with the Atlanta Linux Showcase . The Linux Expo that was held in North Carolina for several years in a row.

Donnie Barnes posts the story of Linux Expo on the web. It covers the history of the event, and why it isn't happening this year.

April, 2000

[Colorado Linux Info Quest] The Colorado Linux Info Quest (CLIQ) is held on April 1, 2000. It is the first Linux conference and exhibition to be held along the Colorado front range.

I believe this movement has got to get beyond black and white. We have got to wake up from this dreamland where people believe that we neither need government nor need to pay attention to what government does. The argument that government has not played an important role in bringing about the environment within which the revolution of the Internet was possible is just wrong -- historically wrong.
-- Lawrence Lessig from a discussion on the American Prospect site
A proposed law is announced that would require adherence to open standards and availability of source for all software used within the French government. For more information see this statement from the Association Francophone des Utilisateurs de Linux et de logiciels libres supporting this bill in French and English via Babelfish.

Code is ruled to be speech. On April 4th, 2000, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit published its decision regarding Peter Junger's challenge to the Export Administration Regulations which prevented him from posting information on the Internet that contained cryptographic example code. Most critical in the ruling: "Because computer source code is an expressive means for the exchange of information and ideas about computer programming, we hold that it is protected by the First Amendment."

[VA Linux logo] IDC declares Linux is red hot in the server market. Here's a press release from IDC on its latest report on the server market. Server shipments grew 166% between the fourth quarters of 1998 and 1999. "In a recent IDC survey of 200 Linux users ... the majority of participants estimated that their Linux servers offered at least 4 9s in availability, which translates to less than one hour of unexpected downtime per year."
The initial press release stated that Compaq was the #1 Vendor in Linux Server Market but companies like VA Linux Systems were not even on the list. Within a week IDC announces that VA Linux is a "brand-name" vendor after all, and re-issued the press release (and report) ranking VA Linux as the #5 Vendor in Linux Server Market.
So there are some -- and I'd list myself among them -- who believe that the return to earth is a Good Thing. There's nothing wrong with making a buck, but Linux doesn't benefit from being elevated beyond reality on a shaky foundation.
-- Evan Leibovich takes a look at the post-Rush world of Linux.

Motorola unveiled plans to expand its product line through DSL and Linux-based solutions that will support broadband communications and other platforms.

Red Hat 'Piranha' vulnerability draws attention. A security advisory from Red Hat about Piranha, their in-house heartbeat package, noted that a binary package had shipped with a default password.

IBM puts in another registration to sell 250,000 shares of Red Hat stock. This is the third such registration; the total number of shares registered to be sold by IBM is now 750,000.

The Raleigh/Durham Business Journal reports on how Red Hat got dumped by its advertising agency. "Red Hat Software's advertising agency dropped the account only six months after winning the business, complaining that the Linux distributor doesn't have its marketing act together."

Red Hat's Embedded Developer's Kit is announced and all tools on the EDK will soon be open source. As a result, Source Navigator will be released on the Cygnus Sourceware site under the GPL.

The Linux Business Expo is held in Chicago. Although somewhat smaller than the Las Vegas version there was a good turnout.

[MontaVista Software logo] MontaVista Software announces a port of its Hard Hat Linux distribution to IBM's PowerPC 405GP processor.

Neoware Systems announces NeoLinux a Red Hat-based distribution for "business-to-business" information appliances, including cash registers and interactive web kiosks, amongst others.

EMJ Data Systems announces they have spun off White Dwarf Linux into its own company.

Corel Word Perfect Office 2000 ships, but exhibits some stability problems.

The Internet's early communalist enthusiasm for open-source software-which is free, unpatented and uncopyrighted-has now given way to a land-grab. Internet companies are rushing to patent their ideas. Ownership of a patent (or, since getting a patent takes a couple of years, a provisional patent application, which gives some rights) is a big help in raising finance.
-- The Economist
Ateon Networks, which makes Linux-based internet appliances, announces the receipt of a patent on "remote storage for internet appliances." The patent is not written in the most clear manner, but it would appear to cover serving files from a protected internal network.

The Maryland General Assembly passes UCITA becoming the second state to adopt this law, which has a number of unfortunate implications for users of licensed software. The lawmakers in Maryland have, however, marked up UCITA considerably.

[Running the CEO out of town] Linuxcare runs into trouble with this announcement of a delay in the initial public offering, the departure of the Chief Executive Officer and restructuring of the executive management team.

Oracle Japan funds the creation of a new Linux company, called "Miracle Linux," which will operate in Japan.
...it is, instead, a warning signal of the weaknesses inherent in applying venture capital insta-company strategy to the world of free software. Just because you have the billions necessary to hire name-brand executives and PR firms and throw huge parties doesn't necessarily mean you know what Linux is all about. And from that perspective, the news that [founder Art] Tyde has been named a member of Linuxcare's new four-headed 'office of the CEO' monster is encouraging, because Tyde does understand Linux and the value of the open-source approach to software.
-- Andrew Leonard writing for Salon about the troubles at Linuxcare.

Rackspace.com files for an initial public offering of stock. Rackspace is a large-scale web hosting provider; its particular angle is that (1) they provide a dedicated box for every customer, and (2) most of those boxes run Linux. Linux figures prominently in Rackspace's lengthy S-1 filing - the word "Linux" appears in the document sixty times. (The Rackspace IPO has not actually happened as of December 31, 2000.)

Applix announces the spinning off of its Linux division into a separate company called VistaSource. VistaSource looks like a determined attempt to be a "half way" open source company. It has a few open source products, such as its SHELF scripting language. CoSource.com, acquired by Applix a while back, is also part of VistaSource now. But its flagship products, such as its office suite, will remain proprietary.

LinuxSolve announces its existence. LinuxSolve is another vendor of Linux-based server appliances; its particular angle seems to be an especially strong emphasis on security. Its systems run the Immunix distribution.

I would disagree (with the notion that) we're a classic IPO that popped and dropped. We came out at a very reasonable valuation, and then the market itself went through a major correction. You can't attribute that to a lack of confidence in our company.
-- Caldera CEO Ransom Love in an interview with CBS Marketwatch

Oracle and Turbolinux announce an agreement for Oracle to take an equity position in TurboLinux and Turbolinux to make a version of its operating system optimized for Oracle8i.

[Lineo] Lineo announces the acquisition of FirePlug, the Vancouver-based providers of the ThinLinux embedded distribution and a deal with MIPS to make Lineo's Embedix distribution work optimally on MIPS processors.

VA Linux Systems completes its acquisitions of TruSolutions and NetAttach.

ZDNet announces the acquisition of LinuxDevices.com.

Red Hat acquires BlueCurve, a provider of Internet performance management services.

Lynx Real-Time systems announces the receipt of investments from Turbolinux and Motorola in undisclosed amounts.
In a democracy, a law that prohibits a popular, natural and useful activity is usually soon relaxed. But the powerful publishers' lobby was determined to prevent the public from taking advantage of the power of their computers, and found copyright a suitable weapon. Under their influence, rather than relaxing copyright to suit the new circumstances, governments made it stricter than ever, imposing harsh penalties on readers caught sharing.
--Richard Stallman in an article on Tech Review

Eazel, Inc. announced that it has received $11 million from Accel Partners in first round funding.

Red Hat launches its redhat.com Marketplace e-commerce site for technology professionals.

Acrylis Inc. announces WhatifLinux.com, a Web-based service that helps Linux Administrators monitor and manage open-source software assets.

The press discovers that Microsoft's FrontPage server software contains a back door deliberately inserted by a Microsoft engineer. See Eric Raymond's take on the issues it raised for one view from the community.

Andy Tanenbaum releases the the Minix operating system under the BSD license. Had Minix been open source from the beginning, Linux may never have happened.

LWN is acquired by Tucows.com in an agreement that insures complete editorial freedom for LWN.

[Hiking penguin] The 2000 version of Die Linux Bierwanderung, or Linux Beer Hike, is announced.

Several hundred developers from the U.S. and around the world gathered in San Jose for Software Development 2000. See this report from Software Development 2000 on the O'Reilly network. "But it was the scope of Python at the conference that was truly striking."

Wichert Akkerman releases doc-central, a new system for browsing Debian's documentation easily with a web browser.

The Linux Hardware Database announces its big relaunch. This site seeks to provide answers to all of the "will Linux support this device?" questions out there.

Dr. Dobb's Journal announces its new Linux Channel. It contains recent Dr. Dobb's articles on Linux and other useful stuff.

Lucent announces the release of Libsafe, a library which defends against buffer overflow attacks. Libsafe is an excellent addition to the available security tools, but not a panacea, nor a full replacement for existing stack protection tools.

SGI releases sample source code from a number of modules in its "Trusted IRIX" system as open source; it can all be found on the SGI open source site.

[Gimp] Gimp 1.1.20 is available for download. [Using Samba]

Samba 2.0.7 is released. This is the first release of Samba to include the O'Reilly Using Samba book.

Open CASCADE 3.0 is released. CASCADE is an extensive graphic modeling library.

[Vine Linux logo] Vine Linux 2.0 is released. Maya Tamiya describes Vine Linux and its recent 2.0 release in more detail here. "Vine Linux is probably the most popular community-based distribution in Japan."

Plamo Linux 2.0, another community-based distribution is Japan, also is released. See this page for more information.

Applixware 5.0 is announced. This commercial product is based on the GTK+ toolkit.

Coollogic announces that it will begin shipping its "Coollinux" distribution this month. Coollinux is aimed at embedded tasks, and seems to be intended for set-top boxes and other "Internet access devices" in particular.

Enhanced Software Technologies releases CRU for Linux (Crash Recovery Utility) under the QPL open source license.

[Axis Communications ETRAX 100] Axis Communications announces the release of a journaling filesystem intended for use on flash ROM devices. It's thus aimed at embedded systems; it is licensed under the GPL.

Axis Communications opens up the source code for its Bluetooth drivers and its applications using Bluetooth. Bluetooth is a technology for wireless communications between mobile phones and other portable devices.

Filesystem Hierarchy Standard 2.1 is released by the Linux Standard Base project. This is the important piece of the LSB that says where all the files are supposed to go.

SCO releases Cscope under the BSD license. Cscope is a developer's tool for browsing source code. Although not specifically ported to Linux, we're told that it compiles cleanly on Linux.

[GNU Portable Threads] Version 1.3.5 of the GNU Portable Threads library (GNU Pth) is released.

Mozilla M15 is released.

RTAI 1.3 is announced. This is the latest version of the Real Time Application Interface. RTAI is available under the LGPL. [Trolltech]

Qt 2.1 is released by Trolltech. This is the latest version of this cross-platform C++ toolkit (on which KDE is based).

The FreeGIS project project announce the release of version 1.0.3 of the FreeGIS-CD, including new versions of GRASS (stable and development), tkgeomap, GMT data, PROJ, shapelib and gen2shp. For more information, check Bernhard Reiter's development report.

Netscape 6 preview release 1, based on the Gecko engine, is available for download.

Inprise/Borland announce plans to release Delphi for Linux.

IBM introduces DB2 Universal Database Version 7.

NEC announces that the Linux 2.3 kernel has been ported (with VioSoft's help) to NEC's 64-bit RISC chips.

Apple announces the release of Darwin 1.0. This release also includes an open source version of its QuickTime streaming server software.

The first release of Sentinel is out, see the announcement for details. Sentinel attempts to find hosts on a network which might be running password sniffers.

[TrustedBSD project logo] The TrustedBSD project is launched, as detailed in this announcement.

SecurityFocus.com sets up a new Linux focus area with information of interest to Linux users. It starts off with an editorial from Bruce Perens.

The 1.0 version of Trustix Secure Linux is released. Trustix is working at building a secure, server-oriented distribution.

O'Reilly announces its new Python Dev portal.

Version 1.1 of the KDE tutorial is available. This tutorial is aimed at developers wanting to create KDE applications, rather than at users.

LPI announces the completion of the development of exam 102, the second of two exams required to obtain Level 1 certification.

Open Source Education Foundation. The formation of the Open Source Education Foundation is announced. A non-profit corporation based in Tucson, Arizona, OSEF is working to make the technology used in schools superior to that used in business and industry. [Debian logo]

Wichert Akkerman is re-elected as Debian Project Leader. Here are the final election results.

Brendon Grunewald has stepped down from management of the OpenClassroom project and Jose Lacal has stepped up, according to this announcement.

[Pingoo Tux]

The LWN Penguin Gallery now has no less than 233 penguin.

"Yellow Dog Linux adds Klingon support", claims this April Fool's story.

Magic Software Enterprises sent the winner of its "Magic for Linux Really Cool Contest" to Antarctica. The press release reads more like a travel log (with pictures). "When the World Discoverer docked, the passengers climbed into Zodiacs, the virtually unsinkable 12-passenger crafts designed by Jacques Cousteau, to investigate uninhabited islands and to travel up winding tributaries and get a closer look at marine life. One encounter was almost a little too close for comfort."

May, 2000

[Digital Creations] The folks at Digital Creations turn up a widespread web security problem in how the web handles authentication. Hostile web pages can be crafted which can cause your browser to take actions under your name on web sites where you have authenticated yourself (LWN coverage here).

The Linux Standard Base (LSB) and Linux Internationalization Initiative (LI18NUX) announce that they have incorporated as the Free Standards Group.

Approximately 140 distribution companies exist across the globe. We believe all but the top five will be bought, will go out of business, or will be relegated to insignificance. Market-share leaders are currently defined around geographic boundaries. Red Hat has the largest global brand recognition and leading North American market share, SuSE leads in Europe, TurboLinux leads in Asia, and Conectiva leads in South America.
-- Keith Bachman, an analyst for W. R. Hambrecht, predicting in The Red Herring
Linuxcare lays off a substantial portion of its workforce - by one report, 80 people, or about 35%. It seems clear, however, that Linuxcare has the dubious honor of being the first open source downsizing.

Linuxcare also officially withdraws its IPO filing (withdrawal letter here).

[PHP web site] PHP 4.0 is released. PHP is perhaps the most common Apache add-on, running on millions of web sites.

The Corel/Inprise merger is cancelled. Some would argue that it was never a good deal for Inprise and its shareholders. The recent drop in Corel's stock made the deal even worse for Inprise, and so now the deal has been cancelled.

How many times do users of Windows need to be kicked in the head? It's as if we have a community of people who, upon discovery of 'kick me' signs attached to their backs, do nothing -- and then complain when they eventually do get kicked.
-- Evan Leibovitch writing in ZDNet about the "ILOVEYOU" virus.
The question of "Who do you sue?" when damages are attributable to open source software may be less important after the lessons learned from the "ILOVEYOU" virus/worm. Millions of people were evidently affected, with damages estimated in the billions of dollars. Microsoft's denial of any responsibility puts the lie to the claim that proprietary software comes packaged with somebody to go after for damages.

[LinuxMall.com] LinuxMall.com and EBIZ sign a letter of intent to merge.
We believe a royalty-based business model is the Linux model that will have the greatest long term revenue potential, while still respecting and supporting open-source and the rules of GPL.
-- Lineo CEO, Bryan Sparks in this interview on LinuxDevices.com

Lineo files for an IPO. See LWN's analysis of Lineo's IPO filing for more information. (Lineo subsequently does not launch its IPO during 2000.)

[Red Hat logo] Red Hat lays off most of the staff from its Wide Open News site, and ceases doing original writing there.

Red Hat goes into the venture capital business (press release here). "Red Hat Ventures" will make investments of $500,000 to $2 million in new, open source-related companies; the first investments were made in Sendmail, Inc., Rackspace.com, and e-smith.

The point that 2.4 remains a distant goal is reinforced when Alexander Viro posts a list of changes which will go into the 2.3 directory cache with a warning to anybody who maintains a filesystem that is not part of the standard kernel tree: talk to him soon or watch your code break. The need for filesystem changes this deep indicates that 2.4 is still a ways off.

SGI continues its push toward Linux with the announcement of a new line of workstations.

SGI announces the release of its C, C++, and Fortran compilers for the IA-64 architecture under the GPL.

[Linux for S/390 logo] IBM announces that Linux is available for its S/390 mainframe system.

SuSE and Turbolinux both subsequently announce support for the IBM S/390, with a beta version of SuSE due in late June and Turbolinux for the S/390 scheduled for "later this year".

VA Linux Systems announces its revenues for the quarter ending April 28. Its revenue was $34.6 million for the quarter with just over 4%, or $1.5 million, in services-related revenue.

VA Linux Systems acquires Precision Insight. PI works with XFree86, providing support services, developing video drivers, and so on.

Caldera Systems reports results for the quarter ending April 30, the first such announcement since the company went public. It brought in $1.4 million - up from $544,000 a year ago with losses during the quarter of $9.2 million.

[Nessus logo] Nessus 1.0, a free, open-sourced (GPL-ed), and frequently updated security scanner, is released. "Nessus performs as many security checks as you could expect from a commercial security scanner (over 400) and is very up-to-date regarding this issue. It also has its own unique features, such as services recognition (so that a web server running on port 8080 will _also_ be tested), its own scripting language, and many more.".

The first stable release of the nmap security scanner in slightly over a year is available (nmap 2.50) and contains many new features.

PostgreSQL 7.0 is released with a large list of new features (announcement here).

PostgreSQL is also the primary focus of a new company, Great Bridge. This new subsidiary of Landmark Communications "is trying to integrate smoothly with the open-source community responsible for the development of PostgreSQL "

[Red Escolar project] The initial release of Red Escolar Linux is announced. Red Escolar Linux is the Linux distribution being developed and supported by the Red Escolar Project, which will be deploying the distribution throughout schools in Mexico.

The first public BitKeeper source management system release is available. BitKeeper promises some good things for software management. It's not 100% "open source" software, however; see this 1999 LWN feature on for details on its licensing.

[Orbiten logo] The first Orbiten Free Software Survey is out. They looked at some 25 million lines of free software code, trying to get a feel for what its developer community looks like. They turned up some 12,000 developers working on more then 3,000 projects.

DocBook V4.0 and DocBook XML 4.0 are released. "DocBook is an SGML DTD maintained by the DocBook Technical Committee of OASIS. It is particularly well suited to books and papers about computer hardware and software (though it is by no means limited to these applications)."

[OpenMotif] Motif becomes almost open source when the Open Group announces that the Motif toolkit, long the standard X toolkit on commercial Unix systems, has been released under a "public license." This license is GPLish but the Open Group recognizes that its license is not "open source," and deals with the issue explicitly in the Open Motif FAQ.

Eric Raymond first releases CML2, his new implementation of a kernel configuration system, CML2, written in Python.

resize2fs, a utility to resize ext2 filesystems written by Ted Ts'o is released under the GPL. The utility was announced back in May, 1998 as software done under contract to PowerQuest that, after a period of time, would cease being proprietary software.

[Contest logo] The Software Carpentry contest announces its finalists that will go to the last round of judging. The contest is trying to spur the development of replacements for some well-known development tools; the entries at this point consist of proposals for new tools. There is no code available - yet.

Attrition.org makes available charts showing moving 29-day averages of the number of reported web-site defacements, sorted by operating system. Add this to your statistical fodder, for comparing the security of various operating systems.

[The Embedded Debian Project] The Embedded Debian Project is announced. As the name suggests, this project seeks to help get the Debian distribution into embedded applications.

[ActiveState logo] ActiveState will donate its Python and Perl work to the Mozilla project under the terms of a deal signed between Netscape and ActiveState this May. ActiveState gets Javascript and they have agreed to cooperate on some development projects. ActiveState has also chosen Mozilla as a cross platform development framework for Komodo, its Perl and Python integrated development environment (IDE).

The Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) is jointly proposed to the Worldwide Web Consortium (W3C) by UserLand Software, Ariba, Commerce One, Compaq Computer Corporation, Developmentor, Hewlett-Packard Company, IBM, IONA Technologies, Lotus Development Corporation, Microsoft Corporation, and SAP AG.

TimeSys Corporation announces the release of TimeSys Linux/RT 1.0, its real-time Linux distribution.

[Open magazine logo] Andover.Net announces a new print magazine called "Open", which will launch in August. It offers trade-rag style free subscriptions.

The Linux Journal announces the launch of the LinuxBazaar.com Linux-related hardware and software e-commerce site.

Jason Haas recovers from his car accident and returns to work at LinuxPPC.

MontaVista hires Gregory Haerr, the leader of the open source Microwindows project, as "Chief Strategist".

June, 2000

[MySQL logo] [NuSphere logo] Commercial considerations help prompt the re-licensing of MySQL under the GPL. Now the two freely available databases that are widely used in the Linux and free software community, PostgreSQL and MySQL, meet the Debian Free Software Guidelines and the Open Source Guidelines. In addition, Progress Software forms a new company, NuSphere, just for the purpose of supporting MySQL.

I was dumbfounded to discover that installing Linux was easy. Why? Well, the world has changed. No more do you have to understand everything about Linux before you install it, downloading the many chunks of code necessary to run a complete system and getting them all to work together. That was BSW--before shrink-wrap. With companies such as Red Hat and Corel putting all the software you need in a box, the pain is (nearly) gone.
-- John Schwartz in this column for the Washington Post
Lutris.com announces the release of the Enhydra Enterprise source code to the Open Source community. Lutris.com previously released the base Enhydra server code under a FreeBSD-style license. Enhydra Enterprise is being released under the EPL, derived from Mozilla Public License. Enhydra is a Java/XML application server.

Plan 9 is released under an open source license. Plan 9 is a longstanding project by Rob Pike and others to develop a "beyond Unix" operating system. Many have seen it as the "next great thing" from Bell Labs for years, but in the past the system has been slow to develop (the third release has just come out, the second was in 1995) and hard to come by.

Franz, Inc. announces the release of its AllegroServe web server under the LGPL. Franz, Inc. is a longtime providers of LISP implementations.

Today I received a polite phone call from a fellow at Microsoft who works in the Windows Media group. He informed me that Microsoft has intellectual property rights on the ASF format and told me that, although I had reverse engineered it, the implementation was still illegal since it infringed on Microsoft patents. I have asked for the specific patent numbers, since I find patenting a file format a bit strange. At his request, and much to my own sadness, I have removed support for ASF in VirtualDub 1.3d, since I cannot risk a legal confrontation.
-- Avery Lee, author of VirtualDub
Microsoft asserts a patent on a file format. VirtualDub has removed support for the Active Stream Format (ASF) at Microsoft's request. VirtualDub is a GPL'ed video capture and processing program. Microsoft has a patent on the Active Stream Format format, and apparently wasn't pleased with the existence of a free implementation.

[Petition for a Software Patent Free Europe] The creation of a petition against the implementation of software patents in Europe is announced (in English and in French) by the Eurolinux Alliance of European software companies and Open Source associations.

The Microsoft antitrust judgment is in. It offers no real surprises, stating that Microsoft is to be split into two companies. One company would concern itself with operating systems, the other with applications. Those who are interested can read the full text of the final judgment, and the memorandum that accompanies it.

[OpenEDA.org logo] The OpenEDA.org web site, intended to host the EDA open source community, is launched.

The Rock Linux BOF at SANE 2000 in Maastricht, The Netherlands apparently took the prize for longest BOF, running from 4 PM Wednesday to noon on Thursday.

[Handheld] Compaq (in the form of Jim Gettys) announces the creation of Handhelds.org as a focal point for the development of free software operating systems on handheld computers.

Gnucash 1.4 is announced. This is the first stable release based on GNOME, and is probably the first that is suitable for a wide range of users.

Bastille Linux 1.1 is released (home page here).

[Powered by Zope logo] Digital Creations announces it will add Perl scripting to Zope, in cooperation with ActiveState.

The Linux Knowledge Base Organization has announces the formation of the Open Object Directory Services Group with the goal of creating a scalable, modular, distributed directory service built upon CORBA.

[Klowner's cool JAILBATE mascot] Jailbait is a new "fully functional" distribution that fits into 16MB of disk, based on work from the LEM project. Jailbait seems to have had the Netpliance iOpener in mind in its development.

While BSD folk write code just to 'get it out there,' and the open source movement (at least as expressed by Eric Raymond) advocates that its use makes economic sense, the GNU rationale is based mainly on righteousness. While others seem to value the merits of free software on practical merits or even pure self-interest, the people behind GNU say, when it comes down to it, this is a simple matter of right and wrong.
-- Evan Leibovitch writing about software licenses on ZDNet

Websprocket releases JEMIni, a free, open-source Java programming language for embedded networked systems.

[BlueCat Linux logo] BlueCat Linux release 2.0 is announced by LynuxWorks with a number of new features aimed at embedded systems applications.

[Mission Critical Linux logo] Source code for Kimberlite is released under the GPL. Kimberlite is Mission Critical Linux's high-availability cluster technology>

Intel announces the open source release of its Common Open Policy Service (COPS) network configuration package under an open source license, and a computer vision library, which "will provide a wide range of functions, including gesture recognition, object-tracking, face recognition and camera calibration."

A new real-time Common API has been announced by Lineo Industrial Solutions Group. The API supports both the NMT RTLinux and DIPARM RTAI implementations of real-time Linux.

Quantum announces its new Ultra ATA/100 IDE interface. Thanks to the efforts of Andre Hedrick, Linux already has support for several ATA/100 chipsets well ahead of any number of well-known proprietary systems.

We see Linux as being as much of a fad as the Internet was in 1995. Linux is more like the Internet in being an industry-wide initiative that all vendors can support. That makes it very different from supporting Windows or other technology that's very good but that one vendor has all the control over.
-- Irving Wladawsky-Berger, IBM VP of technology and strategy in this interview for News.com.

IBM announces the donation of its SOAP implementation to the Apache Software Project. IBM is a member of the group which jointly proposed the Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) to the Worldwide Web Consortium (W3C) in May, 2000.

Some folks at IBM post a Power4 boot log showing that Linux already runs on this under-development processor, despite the fact that commercial Power4 systems are not expected to be out there for another year.

IBM has posted a "RedBook" for Linux on the S/390. RedBooks are detailed documents aimed at IBM's serious customers - this one is 424 pages long.

IBM announces its Thinkpad laptops will soon be available with Caldera OpenLinux preinstalled. By December 21, 2000 IBM has only one of the three Thinkpad models offered with Caldera OpenLinux preinstalled in stock.

Red Hat launches its University program with the goal of encouraging/accelerating the use of Open Source software in the education environment. The initial action involved the donation of bundled software, such as the GNU Pro Dev Kits and Code Fusion packages, to several Universities.

Red Hat announces its results for the quarter ended May 31, 2000. Red Hat brought in $16 million in this quarter, with a loss of $2.5 million. Red Hat also files its 2000 annual report. It is now up to 435 employees.

Red Hat announces the completion of its acquisition of Bluecurve, Inc..

Dell announces that Linux is now its third "strategic, global operating system," along with Windows and NetWare. And the distribution of Linux that Dell will install will be Red Hat, according to a separate announcement about the Dell/Red Hat "One Source Alliance."

TCS announces the opening of a Linux Research and Development facility in Texas to develop "Linux-related technologies" for Dell Computer Corporation.

Corel successfully completed its sale of new common shares, guaranteeing it will stay afloat for at least some time longer. Corel also reported revenues for the quarter ended May 31, 2000 of $36.6  million, producing a net loss of $23.6 million.

[Mandrake Soft logo] Macmillan will be the exclusive retail distributor of the English version of the Linux-Mandrake operating system in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, India, South Africa, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Australia and Indonesia under an agreement between Macmillan USA and MandrakeSoft.

Linux-Mandrake 7.1 is released (announcement here).

Lineo launches a new website, http://opensource.lineo.com, "dedicated to open source projects funded or maintained by Lineo and its employees".
Normally, when you integrate almost 5MB of patches, bad things happen. This time, a miracle occurred. As I uploaded the resultant kernel, a specter of the holy penguin appeared before me, and said "It is Good. It is Bugfree".

As if wanting to re-assure me that yes, it really =was= the holy penguin, it finally added "Do you have any Herring?" before fading out in a puff of holy penguin-smoke. Only a faint whiff of rancid fish remains as I type in these words..

In short, not only are most of Alan's patches integrated, I have it on higher authority that the result is perfect.

So if it doesn't compile for you, you must be doing something wrong.
-- Linus Torvalds' announcement of the 2.4.0-test2 release

VA Linux Systems announces the completion of its acquisition of Andover.Net.

LinuxWorld was pretty happy to announce that exhibit space is sold out for the event coming up in August in San Jose. Boasting an impressive 60% increase in exhibit floor space, clearly business oriented Linux conferences are a hit.

Gateway and America OnLine (AOL) announce that they will bring a family of new Internet Appliances (IA) to market based on Transmeta's Crusoe processor running Mobile Linux.

Conectiva announces the addition of Andrew Clausen to the Conectiva payroll. Andrew is an Australian developer, currently also a student at University of Melbourne, who is working on the GNU Parted project (partition editor).

July, 2000

In a world of NDA-bound business agreements, Debian is an open book. In a world of mission statements, Debian has a Social Contract. At a time when commercial distributors are striving to see how much proprietary software they can pack into a box of Linux, Debian remains the bastion of software freedom -- living proof that you can have a fully functional and usable operating system without needing any proprietary code.
-- Evan Leibovitch in this article for ZDNet

Sun announces that StarOffice is to be released under the GPL. The code is going to be reworked, integrated with Bonobo and GTK, and released as a set of reusable components. StarOffice will also be reworked to use a set of open, XML-based file formats.

Larry Wall and Nathan Torkington announce plans for a complete rewrite for Perl 6. Perl will also be moving from following Larry Wall's vision to becoming a community-driven development effort.

Testimony concludes in the the 2600 case. 2600 Magazine is being sued by the MPAA in the form of Universal City Studios for having mirrored the DeCSS code.

The ACLU sends a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the FBI, asking for details on the "cybersnoop" programs, Carnivore, Omnivore and Etherpeek.

Siegmar Mosdorf, German Secretary of State in the Federal Ministry for Economy and Technology, voiced his government's support for Open Source at last week's LinuxTag conference. "I am convinced that open source development can form the European base model in the information age."

[Alexander Hamilton] The AT&T Publius project is announced. Publius is another effort similar to Freenet and Gnutella, that seek to build a distributed system for the distribution of content of any kind, including software or articles that might otherwise be banned. The name Publius was chosen because it was one of the pen names used by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and James Madison to anonymously publish the Federalist Papers.

Oracle's Linux based "Internet appliance" system hits the shelves. The "New Internet Computer" (NIC) is the latest result of Larry Ellison's long personal crusade to make non-Microsoft systems available to the world. It's aimed at people who only want access to the net; as such, it's essentially a $199 (without monitor) X terminal.

The Linux movement has been independent of anything Microsoft is doing. It's one of those cosmic movements in the industry, like the emergence of the Internet, or microprocessors.
-- Irving Wladawsky-Berger, IBM VP for technology and strategy, in this interview with InformationWeek
IBM announces plans to spend $200 million over four years to make it easier for European companies to bring its software to Linux as covered in this article from cnet News.com.

Reports first appear that SCO may be purchased by Caldera, such as this ZDNet article. Later in 2000 Caldera and SCO do announce their intent for Caldera International to be formed from Caldera's existing operation and two of SCO's three divisions.

Red Hat, Inc announces the promised release of Source Navigator under the GPL license.
Add the numbers together, and you quickly get the sense that last year's IPO frenzy, while disappointing from an investment perspective, has served its ultimate purpose. By giving early front-runners a chance to separate themselves from the rest of the pack, the stock market has effectively narrowed the future commercial Linux market down to four main runners...
-- Sam Williams writing for Upside in this article

Red Hat is running on 72% of the Linux servers in a June 2000 Netcraft web server survey according to this press release.

Red Hat's chief financial officer, Harold Covert, resigns. Mr. Covert moves on to a new job as CFO at SGI after less than five months in this position at Red Hat.

The news site Kuro5hin, is temporarily forced off the net by a sustained series of denial of service attacks. Fortunately, the vandals didn't succeed and Kuro5hin is still with us at the end of 2000.

Volunteers at SecurityFocus offer vulnerability reporting assistance free of charge, and, they promise, no-strings-attached. This generosity was prompted by record-levels of vulnerability reports, and the erratic quality of some of them.

The DevelopVNC website launches to serve the virtual network computing (VNC) developer community.

Plans to launch Real Time Linux Consortium are announced in this article on LinuxDevices.com. "The RTL community expressed their interest in a uniform and standardized API which they can rely on."

SSH 1.2.30 is released with a new restrictive license that no longer allows free commercial use. There is a free software alternative available, OpenSSH, from the folks at OpenBSD.

DemoLinux 2.0 is announced. DemoLinux 1.0 was based on Linux-Mandrake. The new version, 2.0, is based on Debian instead. It is a Linux distribution on a CDROM that runs Linux without installation, disk partitioning, or other hassles.

As promised, Borland/Inprise releases the InterBase 6.0 source code under a variant on the Mozilla Public License (MPL) V1.1.

[pSOS 2 Linux.org] The pSOS community is given a new Linux choice with Montavista's announcement of an open source pSOS-to-Linux transition kit, to aid in moving from the pSOS proprietary embedded operating system to Linux.

Version 1.0 of the FreePascal compiler is now available.

Aquarium, a new open-source web site development framework, is now available. The license for Aquarium is modeled after the BSD license.

Go.com releases several of its development tools under an Open Source license, similar to the Apache license.

RTAI, the "Real Time Application Interface", is now available for the 2.4 kernel series. RTAI is a real-time extension for Linux.

Chinese distributor Bluepoint Linux Software announces its entry into the embedded Linux arena with "Bluepoint Embedded."

e-smith server 4.0 is released. e-smith is a small distribution targeted at server and gateway appliances.

[Counterpane Internet Security]Counterpane Internet Security announces plans to offer a "first-of-its-kind, comprehensive risk management insurance solution". Yet another business model for open source based services, this insurance is offered exclusively to customers of Counterpane, whose network are actively monitored by Counterpane.

Ted Ts'o steps forward to become the new 2.4 status list maintainer. Alan Cox was doing that job until he said that it was time to "find someone else to maintain it". Ted Ts'o responded to Linus' subsequent call for a new status list maintainer.

Preference for DocBook/XML as the canonical format for open source documentation is the major conclusion reached by the attendees at the Open Documentation Summit pre-conference meeting to the Open Source Convention. Participants included representatives from the Linux Documentation Project, GNOME, KDE, FreeBSD, BSDI, SourceForge, Samba, OASIS, Los Alamos National Labs, Python, and Open Content.

The Embedded Linux Consortium announces the election of its first board of directors: Inder Singh, Michael Tiemann, James Ready, Tim Bird, Dan Bandera, and Greg Wright.

Progeny Linux Systems, the startup created by Ian Murdock and Bruce Perens, announces the completion of its first round of financing.

Arne Flones, formerly of Linuxcare, resurfaces over at OpenSales. [Parliament]

Mr. Yongming Wei, founder of the free software project MiniGUI, joins the Bluepoint Beijing Research and Development Center.

LWN attends the Ottawa Linux Symposium. This was a good place to find the Linux development community. With a program dominated by Linux developers, lots of time set aside for people to talk, access to good beer, and no exhibit floor it was truly a hacker's event. Have a look at LWN's OLS coverage for reports and pictures from the event.

The Open Source Printing Summit is hosted by VA Linux Systems (writeup here).

August, 2000

We have a special responsibility because we are the king toolmakers of the digital age; our work and our values will have a large part in shaping the future of communications and media everywhere. We have a special need because the way these intellectual-property issues work out will come back to haunt us more than most if we get then wrong.
-- from Eric S. Raymond's Two faces and Big Lies, August 2000
The first round of the DVD case is over, and the MPAA has won. Judge Kaplan's ruling is available as a 90-page PDF file. The judge found in favor of the MPAA on every front. This case is far from over, of course; now it moves into the appeals stage. This verdict is a chilling one for users of free software (and those who value freedom in general). Our ability to write software to meet our needs has been significantly restricted - at least, in the United States.

[Tux + Daemons] The August 2000 LinuxWorld Conference and Expo is held in San Jose, California. Everything about this conference, from its long sold-out exhibit space to the incredible pile of commercial announcements, has told the wider world in a language it understands that Linux and free software are here to stay. LWN's coverage from the conference is available here.

Even Forrester Research seems to join in the celebration with a new report, covered in Wired News, which predicts great gains for open source software. "Forrester analyst Carl D. Howe predicts that Microsoft's business model will clash so severely with the new open-source-fueled development and distribution models that the company's market share will shrink for the first time in its history. And eventually, the report forecasts, MS will become little more than a 'legacy vendor,' offering support for its antiquated products."

[Debian logo] Debian wins the IDG/Linus Torvalds Community Award, check included, at the August 2000 LinuxWorld conference.

Debian 2.2 is released. The first major release out of Debian in a year and a half contains no end of new features, additional packages, and more. LWN covered the press conference, see Liz Coolbaugh's report for the details.

Caldera Systems and SCO announce the purchase deal that has been rumored. Caldera Systems will pick up the Server Software and Professional Services divisions of SCO. A new holding company, called simply "Caldera, Inc." will be created to take possession of the new groups. Ransom Love will be Caldera Inc.'s CEO, while David McCrabb from SCO will become the President and COO. For more information, see this SEC filing from Caldera.

Transmeta puts in its IPO filing.

The Netscape and Java "Brown Orifice" exploit is reported by Dan Brumleve. He reports that Netscape could be used to "allow arbitrary network access and read-access for local files and directories." He put up a website, entitled "Brown Orifice", under which he ran a webserver to demonstrate the problem.

We feel that we have a superior product than GNOME, and that people will see this when KDE 2.0 released. The press GNOME is getting will make us re-double our development and our PR efforts. In fact we do not have much of a PR presence, we prefer to rely on our technology. But that is going to have to change. GNOME is getting a lot of backing and we have to speak up. We plan on getting KDE out there more in the press. We will let GNOME have their week, but the war is not over :-) I will tell all of our millions of users out there, that KDE is here to stay!
-- KDE spokesperson Robert Williams from an email to LWN
GNOME goes for world domination. If any one group could be said to have dominated the August 2000 LinuxWorld Conference and Expo, it would have [GNOME] to be the GNOME project.

[Pocketlinux] Transvirtual announces the of the "PocketLinux Framework" for handheld systems, complete with a companion web site at PocketLinux.com.

Agenda Computing announces the "Agenda VR3" Linux-based PDA in three variants, with the entry system going for $149. A good look at the Agenda system can be found in this LinuxDevices.com article.

[The Linux watch] IBM's Linux-powered wristwatch,announced on August 7, 2000, drew a great deal of attention this month

Bluepoint Linux Software announces that it has the top spot for software sales in China, according to Federal, "the largest Chinese software vendor." Note this is not a comparison of Linux sales, but of general software sales. "Bluepoint Linux 1.0, Tianhe Mechanical CAD and Microsoft Office 2000 (Chinese version) are currently ranked as number one, two and three on the Top 10 list".
Having seen Linux from its early days as a fun toy through to the latest figures on its usage the one thing I have learned is that predicting the future in computing is not very practical.
-- Alan Cox in this interview with O Linux

Sleepycat Software joins with the MySQL folks to launch a new system called MaxSQL. Essentially, Sleepycat's Berkeley DB transaction engine has been grafted into MySQL, giving the latter the full transactional capability that it has lacked for so long. The result has been released under the GPL, and is available from MaxSQL.com.

The Tux2 filesystem is released for the first time. Tux2 resembles the journaling filesystem efforts in that it seeks to produce a crash-proof system. Initial tests appear to confirm that its "phase" tree approach yields better performance than journaling. Tux2 is the work of Daniel Phillips; it was sponsored by innominate AG.

IBM announces the release of the Andrew Filesystem (AFS) under the IBM Public License. The IPL is, according to the FSF's license list, not compatible with the GPL. Thus, AFS will not become part of the standard Linux kernel.

[SashXB for Linux]IBM releases SashXB as open-source under the LGPL license. "SashXB is a technology that allows web developers to access the native GUI". See the SashXB for Linux page for more information.

IBM announces that the Jikes Java compiler project is now available as an open-source project. It's now licensed under the IBM Public License.

Unofficial word that IBM plans to release the large number of OS/2 printer drivers as open source surfaces from a "printing summit" convened by VA Linux Systems in Sunnyvale

[OSDL] The Open Source Development Lab is created. "Enable Open Source developers to build data center and telco class capability into Linux, accelerating its growth into enterprise e-Business deployment and development.", reads the OSDL mission statement. The OSDL is a well funded collaboration between HP, IBM, Intel and NEC, with additional support from Caldera, Dell, Linuxcare, LynuxWorks, Red Hat, SGI, SuSE, TurboLinux, and VA Linux Systems.

High Availability and Clustering is the subject of a number of August 2000 LinuxWorld announcements. Such as:

HP announces its increased interest in Linux. Included is the designation of Linux as a "strategic operating system," the intent to release MC/ServiceGuard - its high availability clustering system - for Linux; the ability to run Linux binaries on IA-64 HP-UX systems; a couple of its workstations will be made available with TurboLinux installed; and there is a 64-bit PA-RISC port available. Check out the Linux HP web site for more information.

Michael Cowpland resigns as the President of Corel. He plans "to dedicate his time and resources to new start-up opportunities." [VA Linux Systems]

VA Linux Systems reports its results for its fiscal year ending July 28, 2000. The company brought in $120 million over the year, a nice increase over 1999's $18 million. The company is still losing money, of course, but less so than before.

VA Linux Systems launches the Open Source Developer Network site, a repackaging of the Andover.Net sites with Linux.com and SourceForge.. VA also announces a number of "charter members" of OSDN, including Compaq, EMC, Hewlett-Packard Company, IBM, Intel and Sun.

Red Hat announces that it is acquiring C2Net, providers of the Apache-based Stronghold web server. The acquisition is happening for just under 2 million shares of stock.

[Jabber logo]The plans for Jabber, an XML-based instant messaging platform, are unveiled by Webb Interactive Services.

EBIZ and LinuxMall.com announce the finalization of their merger agreement. The balance of power would appear to have moved a little toward EBIZ during the negotiations: the headquarters of the company is now in Scottsdale, AZ, and LinuxMall's founder Mark Bolzern now has the role of "open source community evangelist."

Caldera Systems posts its quarterly results (announcement here). Revenue for the quarter was $1.2 million, up 9% from the year before. They turned in a net loss of $7.5 million in that time.

Matt Robinson releases the 2.0 version of his Linux kernel crash dump analyzer.

Dan Farmer and Wietse Venema release The Coroner's Toolkit (TCT), a set of tools for doing a post-mortem on a Unix system after a break-in. The tools are released under a combination of the IPL (IBM Public License) and a modified version of the BSD license.

XEmacs/GTK is released. William M. Perry has completed his project (sponsored by BeOpen) to bring XEmacs into the GNOME world.

The Tcl Core Team is created. In July 2000 John Ousterhout posted a call for volunteers for a "Tcl Core Team" to manager the Tcl core. By August, Michael McLennan posts the announcement for a community election of the new Tcl/Tk Core Team. []

The LI18NUX2000 Globalization Specification is released by the Free Standards Group. This specification is aimed toward standardizing the internationalization features of Linux distributions. The standard itself can be found on the LI18NUX site. LI18NUX has taken a step toward showing how best to support the world, and that is a good and useful thing.

Grant Taylor launches his web site, LinuxPrinting.org, dedicated to information about printing under Linux.

The Linux Test Project is announced by Nathan Straz of SGI. The project has set out to provide a comprehensive regression test system for the Linux kernel - something that has been missing for a long time.

The Timpanogas Research Group announces a project to create an open source, NetWare-compatible operating system in 2001. TRG has already been supporting a free NetWare filesystem for Linux; the kernel for the new system is available as well.

HA-Linux is a new, high-availability distribution from Motorola, which is based on Red Hat 6.2 and runs on Motorola's boards.

Blue Cat Linux 3.0 is announced by LynuxWorks. [SuSE Linux 7.0 Professional Edition]

SuSE 7.0 is announced. With 7.0, SuSE is splitting the distribution into flavors: the "personal" and "professional" editions. The personal variant is aimed at newcomers and desktop applications, while the professional version is set up for servers.

SSH Communications eases the restrictions placed on its licensing terms for ssh in July 2000. It can now be used free of charge on Linux and the BSD variants for any purpose. There is a free software alternative available, OpenSSH, from the folks at OpenBSD.

VINE integrates mail and news into VI If you are tired of the VI editor's small memory footprint and fast execution speed, check out VINE, the Vim Integrated News and Email project. Kidding aside, this might be a useful addition for the VI die-hards. (Found on NTKnow - where else do you look for that sort of thing?).
"Like acid and Jimi Hendrix at the Woodstock of old, lager and Linux drew 160 programmers to England's Lake District. So what happens when technosavants -- all but four of them men -- gather amid the majesty that inspired William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge? They compute with abandon."
-- The Wall Street Journal covers the Linux Beer Hike

VAR'AQ: Finally, programming support for Klingon For the fearless only, NTK reports on var'aq, a "stack-based, Forth-ish language, with Lispish data structures, and an object-verb-structure grammar designed for use by Klingons." Comments project leader Brian/B'Rian Connors/C'onnarrghs, "'If you are afraid to tread in hostile territory like this, you might want to hold off on playing with var'aq for a while.'" NTK retorts, "But then, maybe you are weak, and dishonour us all with your cowardice, toDSaH!"

September, 2000

Also, where code was copied from other GPL-covered programs, their copyright holders need to be asked for forgiveness. To lead the way, the FSF hereby grants this forgiveness for all code that is copyright FSF. More precisely, those who as of September 4, 2000 have used some FSF code in violation of the GPL solely by linking it with Qt, and thus have forfeited the right to use that code under the GPL, will once again have full GPL permissions to use that code upon switching to a GPL-covered version of Qt. I appeal to all the other copyright holders of affected code to grant similar forgiveness and thus help resolve the situation quickly.
-- Richard Stallman, ending the situation less quickly than many would have liked.
[Trolltech] Trolltech releases the Qt library under the GPL, putting a definitive end to a long-running and unpleasant license flamewar. (Announcement here).

The :CueCat fiasco begins. Digital Convergence attempts to shut down programmers who have written Linux drivers for its ":CueCat" barcode scanner. The company has given out large numbers of these scanners for free, expecting people to use them with its proprietary software and web site. The threats cause the drivers to become marginally harder to find for a short period, after which the company declares victory and moves on.

The TUX gets loose. TUX "Hawaii", the first public release of the kernel-based webserver that (as of this writing) holds the web serving speed record, is announced. It was followed, at the end of the month, by TUX 1.0, the first stable release.

Python 1.6 and 2.0b1 are released. Version 1.6 was the last to come out of CNRI, while 2.0 was to be the first (and last, as it turns out) to originate at BeOpen.

RSA Security Inc. releases the RSA encryption algorithm into the public domain (announcement here). This release might have seemed more generous had RSA not exploited the patent for two decades and released it less than three weeks before its expiration.

MontaVista announces a preemptable Linux kernel, and claims to have the first such kernel. Both Lineo and FSM Labs (RTLinux) disagree...

I'm a bastard. I have absolutely no clue why people can ever think otherwise. Yet they do. People think I'm a nice guy, and the fact is that I'm a scheming, conniving bastard who doesn't care for any hurt feelings or lost hours of work if it just results in what I consider to be a better system.
-- Linus Torvalds tries to change his image.
[SmoothWall] SmoothWall hits the net. SmoothWall is a specialized Linux distribution aimed at firewalling tasks; it fits within a single 18MB ISO image.

NewsForge hits the net; NewsForge is a new open source news site run by VA Linux Systems.

Sun purchases Cobalt Networks in a deal valued at about $2 billion.

Caldera Systems invests $3 million in EBIZ; the investment takes the form of the transfer of Caldera's "Electronic Linux Marketplace" division to EBIZ.

MontaVista Software receives a $23 million investment from W.R. Hambrecht and others.

Linux-Mandrake Corporate Server 1.0 is released (announcement here).

Debian drops security support for 2.1 shortly after the release of Debian 2.2.

The Secure Digital Music Initiative holds a cracking contest to test out its music copy protection scheme. Numerous members of the free software and cyber rights movements call for a boycott of the challenge.

[Embedded LJ] Linux Journal goes embedded. The Linux Journal, aiming to get into the embedded arena, announces the publication of the Embedded Linux Journal, a new, controlled-circulation print magazine.

Linus Torvalds declares that there are no major known bugs in the 2.4.0-test kernel series. He decrees that only patches which fix a critical problem will be accepted. "So when you send me a patch, either bug Ted to mark the issue as 'critical' first, or pay me money. It's that easy." Some hackers decide that bribing TODO list maintainer Ted Ts'o with exotic liquor is a better way to go.

TimeSys announces its own preemptive kernel for real-time applications (announcement here).

Raph Levien takes over as the maintainer of ghostscript, taking the torch from L. Peter Deutsch. [Kuro5hin]

Kuro5hin returns to the net after a two-month absence.

The Red Hat Network launches (announcement here). The Network is Red Hat's latest attempt in the support arena. Along with that, of course, came the other announcement from Red Hat...
I don't know why RH decided to do their idiotic gcc-2.96 release (it certainly wasn't approved by any technical gcc people - the gcc people were upset about it too), and I find it even more surprising that they apparently KNEW that the compiler they were using was completely broken.
-- Linus Torvalds on Red Hat 7

Red Hat 7 is released (announcement here). This release, which dropped the ".0" suffix, was controversial due to its use of a CVS snapshot version of the gcc compiler.

Lineo releases Embedix Realtime 3.0, a software development environment for embedded applications (announcement here).

The Tcl project formalizes the Tcl Core Team and its development structure in general. It wasn't yet clear that the world was about to change for the Tcl development community...

NuSphere launches its MySQL distribution.

The Embedded Systems Conference is held in San Jose (LWN coverage here).

October, 2000

Corel currently plays an important role in Linux. Many other Linux companies look to it for its skills, tool sets and the work it does on key Linux committees. Therefore, Corel can be a valuable ally for Microsoft in Linux, allowing Microsoft to influence key questions, such as how the user interface, setup and deployment will look and function.
-- The Meta Group, via News.com.
Microsoft buys almost 25% of Corel, to get Corel's support on .NET. The future of Corel's Linux work is thrown in doubt.

Tuxtops releases a laptop Debian distribution (announcement here). The release is available separately or as part of a Tuxtops laptop system.

SOT moves into the U.S.. SOT, the Finnish publisher of Best Linux, announced the opening of its first U.S. office.

[OpenNMS] Atipa acquires the OpenNMS project (announcement here). This project, striving to take over the network management space, is to become part of Atipa's enterprise strategy.

VA Linux Systems hires Wichert Akkerman, the leader of the Debian Project, as part of its move into Europe.

There is a general consensus that the KDE project, despite its technical superiority among various desktop environments, has had a poor PR record, especially in North America.
-- KDE discovers PR

Scyld Computing releases Beowulf 2 (announcement here). Scyld was founded by Donald Becker, creator of the first Beowulf cluster.

CERT opens up a little. The Computer Emergency Response Team, famous for holding onto security information until it was too late, announced a change in policy that would let it send out alerts a little sooner.
It has come to our attention that some GNU/Linux distributions are currently shipping with ``GCC 2.96''. We would like to point out that GCC 2.96 is not a formal GCC release nor will there ever be such a release. Rather, GCC 2.96 has been the code- name for our development branch that will eventually become GCC 3.0.
-- The GCC steering committee on Red Hat 7's compiler.

Debian tries to dump non-free, but a vote on the issue is cancelled for procedural reasons, and the issue fades away.

PostgreSQL hackers Bruce Momjian, Tom Lane and Jan Wieck go to work for Great Bridge, where they will be part of an effort to turn PostgreSQL into a profitable product (announcement here.

KDE wins the Linux Community Award at The LinuxWorld Expo in Frankfurt, Germany.

Semyon Varshavchik wins a judgement against E*Trade as a result of his being excluded from Red Hat's initial public offering in 1999.

The Free Standards Group releases the Linux Development Platform Specification, a stopgap effort on the way toward the full Linux Standard Base. (Specification here). [Plan 9]

SAP announces that it will release its relational database under the GPL. Development is to be centered around sapdb.org.

Vita Nuova releases a packaged version of Plan 9. This will be the first commercial distribution of this operating system, which was only recently released under an open source license.

EBIZ and LinuxMall.com finalize their merger several months after its initial announcement.

Turbolinux receives $30 million in venture funding from a list of companies including Fujitsu, Hitachi, IBM, SGI, Dell, and Intel. [OpenOffice]

The StarOffice source hits the net at OpenOffice.org. It consists of 35,000 files in 2,100 directories, and few comments (and many of those in German). The KDE project immediately starts looking for useful pieces to carve out to help KOffice.

Is it just me or does this seem a like putting 450 rugged individualists on a ship and launching them to sea, while we stand on the dock waving our Linux flags -- never expecting to see them again? More casualties of war and adventure. I hope they at least have fun.

I will repeat what I said when Netscape launched its public-source Mozilla.org effort for Communicator 6: This is a desperation play. Commercial software doesn't become free software until the vendor has determined the market won't support a real development effort.
-- ZDNet is unimpressed with the OpenOffice release.

Turbolinux Workstation Pro 6.1 ships; it includes an IA-64 version which is, according to the company, the first commercial IA-64 Linux distribution.

Larry Wall gives the keynote speech at the Atlanta Linux Showcase (slides here). This event will be the last Atlanta Linux Showcase; starting in 2001 the conference will hit the road, with the next one being in Oakland.

Python 2.0 is released (announcement here).

Ajuba Solutions is acquired by Interwoven. Ajuba was the home of Tcl development, while Interwoven has no interest in Tcl. Result: Ajuba stops doing Tcl and its products are discontinued. Fortunately the groundwork had been laid for the transfer of control of Tcl to the Tcl Core Team. pig-eared penguin

KDE 2.0 is released after a last-minute, one-week delay to fix some final problems (announcement here).

Microsoft says that penguins can mutate in a European Print ad which quickly becomes famous.

Mountain View Data announces its existence. This company is founded by Turbolinux founders Cliff and Iris Miller, and filesystem hacker Peter Braam; it will provide open source filesystems and managed storage services.

You'll find that open-source developers are eager to welcome HP to the fold, and can be extremely valuable allies in growing your markets and increasing your product value. But you'll also find that we're rather cynical about ringing endorsements; we've heard those before without result, and they won't earn you a lot of cred by themselves without actions and commitments that back them up.
-- Eric Raymond's open letter to HP CEO Carly Fiorina
LynuxWorks files for an IPO (LWN writeup here).

OpenBSD turns five on October 18.

The Python team moves again, this time to Digital Creations. Here is Guido van Rossum's announcement of the move; see also our talk with Guido as well as our interview with Digital Creations CEO Paul Everitt.

Turbolinux files for its IPO (LWN writeup here).

Linuxcare reappoints founder Art Tyde as CEO, ending its period with brand-name, IPO-oriented management. The company also closes down its European operations, laying off numerous people.
This has no _known_ bugs that I consider show-stoppers, for what it's worth. And when I don't know of a bug, it doesn't exist. Let us rejoice. In traditional kernel naming tradition, this kernel hereby gets anointed as one of the 'greased weasel' kernel series, one of the final steps in a stable release.
-- Linus releases 2.4.0-test10.

Progeny Linux Systems ships its first beta distribution, based, of course, on the Debian "woody" development release (announcement here).

Linux-Mandrake 7.2 ships (announcement here).

The GNOME Foundation election begins with a list of 33 candidates from which eleven are to be chosen.

Red Hat founder Bob Young joins the Tucows board of directors.

November, 2000

In my ideal world, the single resulting project would include both the historical StarOffice team and the historical AbiWord team, and the best code from all of StarOffice and AbiWord and Gnumeric and Guppi and so on. The only reason that won't happen is ego or lack of trying. So, I'm asking both teams to please try; and to think about the end goal of delivering a full-featured office suite to end users as soon as possible, putting ego aside.
-- The GNOME project grapples with office suite decisions

Richard Stallman declares his support for FreeDevelopers.net, a widespread group trying to create a truly democratic, open source company. Beginnings are difficult, however, and the company remains unable even to afford its own mailing list server.

GreatBridge.org launches as a developer support site for the PostgreSQL relational database.

SuSE releases SuSE Linux S/390, the first commercial distribution for the IBM mainframe system (announcement here).

VA Linux Systems warns that revenue will be below expectations, with the result that its stock gets pounded down to a fraction of its IPO price. [KDE League]

The KDE League comes into existence at the Comdex Linux Business Expo (announcement here). The League will handle the KDE project's public relations while staying, they promise, entirely out of the development side of things.

The first GNOME Foundation election completes; the winners are Miguel de Icaza, Havoc Pennington, Owen Taylor, Jim Gettys, Federico Mena Quintero, Bart Decrem, Daniel Veillard, Dan Mueth, Maciej Stachowiak, John Heard, and Raph Levien.

The fact that the company has been able to steer itself without a media- and industry-friendly figurehead only begs the question, though. If Tyde and other managers were competent enough to keep the company afloat during its most desperate period, couldn't Linuxcare have saved itself a whole lot of misery -- and money -- by keeping him in on as CEO 16 months ago?
-- Upside questions the IPO game.
Digital Creations receives $12 million in venture financing (announcement here). See also LWN's conversation with CEO Paul Everitt on this investment.

Randy Dunlap steps down as the Linux USB maintainer after almost a year in that position. He was the first to take responsibility for the USB subsystem, and, under his supervision, it grew into a highly functional, stable piece of code. Randy's replacement is Johannes Erdfelt.

Debian 2.2r1 is released (announcement here). Debian also announces that over 100 new maintainers have been admitted to the project since the process was restarted.

Netscape 6 is released; it's the first version of the browser to contain code from the Mozilla project.

Turbolinux does not endorse breaking passwords on Microsoft software or any other products.
-- Turbolinux announces that it has been breaking Microsoft passwords.
[Penguin] The Polish government taxes a company for its free software use, saying that Linux must be accounted for as a donation.

Jay Beale is hired by MandrakeSoft as the director of its security group (announcement here).

Red Hat finally gets a new CFO; it's Kevin Thompson, who had joined the month before as the vice president of operations.

The Linux Business Expo happens in Las Vegas as part of Comdex. See LWN's coverage of the event.

Corel considers selling its Linux operation according to many persistent rumors.

Celeste Amanda Torvalds is born on November 20.

This time significant names such as IBM, Compaq, TurboLinux, HP and Borland are trying to play Switzerland by putting their names behind both the GNOME and KDE efforts. Such a play makes no sense; each camp seeks to make its project the definitive Linux desktop, and an organisation that supports both would-be standards appears more ignorant than one that stays out of the fray. This divided support is akin to sending arms to both sides of a war; it may be a neutral action, but it intensifies the confrontation and makes coexistence that much harder to achieve.
-- ZDNet doesn't believe in supporting both camps
EBIZ acquires Jones Business Systems, a "white box" Unix systems vendor. The resulting company, it is said, will have $50 million in annual revenue.

No FrameMaker on Linux. Adobe sends out a note saying that the beta of FrameMaker for Linux will be pulled and that no Linux product is forthcoming.

No Red Hat on Sparc. Red Hat confirms, finally, that Red Hat 7 will not be released for the Sparc architecture. Support for the Sparc remains in the "Rawhide" development distribution.

Red Hat 7 on the Alpha is released, followed by a flurry of updates.

SuSE Linux 7.0 for the Alpha is released (announcement here).

The Debian Project joins the GNOME Foundation board (announcement here).

HarperBusiness will publish a book by Linus Torvalds called "Just For Fun: The Story of an Accidental Revolutionary." It will be co-written with David Diamond. (Announcement here).

[TclPro] Interwoven releases TclPro as open source, an action the Tcl community had been hoping for since the company acquired Ajuba Solutions and discontinued the product in October.

The European Patent Convention votes against legitimizing software patents - for now.

Trustix Secure Linux 1.2 is released (announcement here).

December, 2000

Hewlett-Packard is taking out cheap insurance with its hiring of open-source advocate Bruce Perens, just in case Linux becomes more of a force in the marketplace than anyone expects. Users negotiating with HP can use this new commitment to Linux as a ploy in negotiations, but they should not expect HP to develop Linux into a replacement for HP-UX.
-- Wisdom from the Meta Group via News.com
Bruce Perens moves to HP, putting an end to his career as a Linux venture capitalist.

The Debian new maintainer process draws complaints for its length and slowness. Not everybody agrees that it is a problem, however; some do not want it to be easy to become a Debian maintainer.

[Conectiva] Conectiva 6.0 is released (announcement here). Among other things, it includes a version of Debian's Advanced Package Tool (apt) modified to work with RPM.

Debian 2.2r2 is released (announcement here). [OpenBSD]

OpenBSD 2.8 is released (yes, announcement here).

[Mailman] Mailman 2.0 is released (announcement here).

Red Hat claims a 40% market share in Japan with Red Hat 7. Meanwhile...

MandrakeSoft claims a 29% market share in the U.S., beating Red Hat for the number one spot by one percentage point.
Call us cynical, but the choice of Gnome/Nautilus is what you'd expect if you dragged a trainee PR intern off the street, and threatened to hit them with a rock until they came up with two leading open source names. This really is strategy dictated by short-haul in-flight magazines.
-- The Register was not impressed.

Sun Microsystems releases the source to Solaris 8, albeit under a non-free license.

Dell and Eazel announce a partnership (announcement here). Dell will ship Eazel's code on its Linux-installed systems, and also makes an equity investment in the firm.

SuSE and SGI announce a partnership which involves SGI taking an equity investment in SuSE (announcement here). [IBM]

IBM sells an S/390 running SuSE Linux to Telia, replacing a network of 70 Sun servers.

VA Linux Systems launches SourceForge OnSite, wherein customers can rent a SourceForge-like system for their internal networks (announcement here). [CodeWeavers]

CodeWeavers launches its Wine development site at wine.codeweavers.com.

FreeDesktop.org launches its window manager specification; it is the result of a cooperative effort between GNOME and KDE developers (announcement here).

[Postgres boxed set] [NuSphere MySQL] Great Bridge launches its boxed PostgreSQL distribution, along with a series of service and support offerings (announcement here).

NuSphere launches its boxed MySQL distribution, along with a series of service and support offerings (announcement here).

CodeWeavers announces its preview version of CodeWeavers Wine, along with a series of service and support offerings. The boxed set will have to wait until 1.0.

The m-o-o-t project launches with a plan to create a secure distribution that uses storage in remote data havens and is immune to various governmental snooping initiatives (home page here).
Ahh.. The challenge is out! You and me. Mano a mano.
-- Linus takes the challenge.

Alan Cox releases stable kernel 2.2.18, and declares that 2.2.19 will emphasize virtual memory and be faster than 2.4.0.

Numerous Linux distributions fail to boot on Pentium 4 processors. Distributors rush out patches...

NetBSD 1.5 is released (announcement here). [Certificate]

Mozilla 0.6 is released (release notes here).

Linux Professional Institute certificates begin to ship two years after the LPI's beginning in the fall of 1998.

IBM announces plans to invest $1 billion in Linux in 2001.

IBM installs a 1024 node Linux cluster for Shell (announcement here).
If anyone had told me back then that getting back to embarrassingly primitive Unix would be the great hope and investment obsession of the year 2000, merely because its name was changed to Linux and its source code was opened up again, I never would have had the stomach or the heart to continue in computer science.
-- Jaron Lanier actually likes open source... (Upside).

Sun Microsystems completes its acquisition of Cobalt Networks (announcement here).

IBM sponsors LinuxLab.dk, based at the IT University of Copenhagen (announcement here).

Debian inaugurates its new testing branch, which is intended to be kept always in an "almost releasable" state. The "woody" unstable branch becomes "testing", and a new unstable branch begins.

Red Hat releases an Itanium beta of its distribution (announcement here).

Sendmail, Inc. acquires Nascent Technologies (announcement here).

[Stock index chart]

The LWN.net Linux Stock Index falls into the 30's, as part of the general disaster in the stock market. It peaked, remember, at 199 in January.

British Telecom files suit against Prodigy Communications, alleging infringement of its alleged patent on hyperlinks.

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