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April 12, 2001
Date: Thu, 05 Apr 2001 12:59:20 +0000 From: Oliver White <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com Subject: Auto-upgrades and trust Some very valid points have been made, this week, regarding automatic upgrades of software. I love debian's upgrade features and frankly, I consider the risk of getting unwanted software worth it. At the end of the day, if I have to reinstall my system I'll survive. I don't run critical services on my box. The folks at Eazel are looking at creating a business model around automatic updates (or so you report). Trust is of the utmost importance to this business model. If they can keep a clean record of user satisfaction then they'll have a steady income. We can stop being system administrators (unless we want to be) and get on with the business of using our tools. This is all very good. A server administrator might want to use authentication and authorisation for their upgrades. Someone like myself might just want to be offered the release notes before allowing the system to upgrade itself. Upgrade service vendors are going to have to keep their customers very happy if they want to stay in business. I think this fact alone ought to comfort us. -- Oliver White WorldForge Developer http://www.worldforge.org
Date: Sat, 7 Apr 2001 11:35:42 -0600 From: firstname.lastname@example.org To: email@example.com Subject: Kernel hackers meeting Couple of things that struck me: 1. NUMA discussion. This was not really focused on NUMA (in case anyone cares, I think NUMA is good architecture, and cc-numa is a major advance on SMP for _small_ numbers of processors -- less than 8). The issue was how to design kernels for big MP machines and there is a major argument between people who think that IRIS was a success and should be emulated and those of us who think IRIS shows exactly how dangerous the "fine grained locking everything" approach to kernel development is. My position is that people should look at other designs like VMS Galaxy and Puma and at the real needs of applications before blindly following IRIS into disaster. I also think that it's very wrong to believe that one can easily add complexity to the kernel and make it an option that "compiles out". 2. Rik's memory management talk. Critical point: scaling up should be also considered in terms of effects on scaling down. The design tradeoffs between low-end and embedded and the upper end servers are becoming critical issues and the issues raised in the NUMA boff are important everywhere. 3. Bitkeeper. Both RTLinux and PowerPC Linux trees are bitkeeper based and have been for some time. -- --------------------------------------------------------- Victor Yodaiken Finite State Machine Labs: The RTLinux Company. www.fsmlabs.com www.rtlinux.com
Date: 6 Apr 2001 22:04:34 -0000 From: Eric Smith <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com Subject: Wind River vs. GPL Gentlemen, In the lead story of your 5-APR-2001 issue, you wrote: > Part of the explanation, certainly, is Wind River's distrust of the GPL. Not surprising. In 1995-1996 I worked for a company using VxWorks in an embedded product. VxWorks is, of course, not GPL'd. But the development tool chain was GCC, GDB, etc. Wind River had a somewhat customized version of GDB, which, for instance, was task-aware. When we requested the source code to their GDB in order to use it on another platform, they provided us with only the unmodified, official GDB source distribution. When we pointed out that the GPL required them to provide us with the sources used to build the binaries that they had shipped us, they refused, saying that their modified version was proprietary. I left that company before I could pursue the matter any further. But others have told me that they've had the same experiences with Wind River since then. Apparently Wind River was unafraid of section 4 of the GPL, which provides that if they copied or distributed GDB without complying with the GPL terms, their license to use GDB would be terminated, and they would henceforth be unable to use or distribute GDB in any form. Sincerely, Eric Smith
Date: Fri, 6 Apr 2001 17:18:54 -0400 (EDT) From: Joe Klemmer <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: <email@example.com> Subject: The Stability of 2.4.x Regarding the stability of the 2.4.x kernel - > The 2.4.0 kernel was about as stable as it could have been, really. > The last set of problems takes a wider community of users to find; > that's what "dot-zero" releases are for. Every stable kernel series > has taken a few releases to truly stabilize, and 2.4 is no exception. > Some rough edges remain, but it's getting there. Everyone knows that the "stable" kernel isn't really stable till it reaches the .10 level. When 2.4.0 was released I remember a bunch of us Linux people were all saying the same thing when asked by lay-people if they should upgrade, "Wait till .10". Maybe that should be a motto... "It's good to go at one dot oh!" Joe "No, I _don't_ have anything better to do" Klemmer --- If I actually _could_ spell I'd have spelled it right in the first place.
Date: Tue, 10 Apr 2001 03:06:19 -0700 From: Seth Johnson <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com Subject: Information Producers Initiative I am starting an project called the Information Producers Initiative. I have pasted a draft of a basic position paper below. I would like very much if I could obtain comments on it, perhaps through this list and/or other public fora. It is a very general foundation on which specific policy positions are meant to be based. I am presently considering developing commentaries on HIPAA (a federal law addressing medical records privacy) and the Tasini and Napster cases. I am specifically interested in obtaining any information regarding other initiatives that might be similar to this, and what's been tried and what happened to these initiatives. I have set up a list for people who are interested in these matters. Subscription is by sending an email saying "subscribe C-FIT_Community" to ListServ@realmeasures.dyndns.org. Forward this message freely as you wish. The text below is also available at: http://RealMeasures.dyndns.org/C-FIT Thanks for your help, Seth Johnson Committee for Independent Technology firstname.lastname@example.org The Information Producers Initiative A Project of the Committee for Independent Technology The Committee for Independent Technology holds that a proper consideration of information-related public policy must focus on what the state of technology means for all citizens. We believe that a well-founded understanding of the condition in which citizens presently find themselves as a result of information technology, should focus on one fundamental principle. This principle is that information is used to produce new information. To put another cast on the same point, information that is accessible in whatever form has never merely served the purpose of consumption. This may seem to be an obvious point, but when it is considered in light of the new modes of public access that have developed, and the flexible means of using information that are now at hand, one sees that this principle is more important now than it may ever have seemed to be before. In the past, only specific groups of people, engaged in specific types of activities, had their interests assessed in terms of their capacity as information producers. The public at large has been treated as mere consumers of information in many areas, with public policy reflecting this tendency. Now, however, we all have the capacity to participate in the development of human knowledge, on a reasonably equal footing with all other citizens, because of the forms of access to the public sphere that are now available, and to the forms of information that may be found there, by means of public communications networks such as the Internet. This puts us all in an entirely new position with respect to our abilities to access, manipulate and produce information. We may now manipulate information in a profoundly flexible way. We may quickly access any work that is available electronically on public communications networks. We may, with great facility, decompose any digitized work into component parts. We may manipulate, analyze, synthesize, select and combine the conclusions, observations, discrete facts, ideas, images, musical passages, binary bits and other elements of any information in digital form. We may efficiently produce useful, meaningful and creative expressive works on the basis of this flexible access to information. But perhaps the most far-reaching way in which information technology affects our condition as citizens, is in the fact that we may all now distribute our information products to the public at large in a powerful and convenient manner that obviates the need to rely on publishers and other intermediaries who have traditionally provided public access to information producers. We must no longer allow our rights in the area of the access to and use of information and information technology, to be regarded merely as rights of consumption. All citizens must assure that policy makers no longer treat their interests in information merely with respect to their capacity as consumers. We must advocate for and guard our broader interests as information producers in equal standing in the public sphere, possessing essential powers and rights in the access, use and communication of information. The Committee for Independent Technology seeks to assure that the rights and capabilities of all citizens are not undermined through public policies that restrict the ordinary exercise of their rights to access and produce information by flexible means.