On the Desktop
Linux in the news
All in one big page
See also: last week's Linux in the news page.
Unsung heroes: Linux Kernel Janitors (NewsForge). NewsForge looks at the Kernel Janitors Project. "The chosen name, Janitors, indicates the relative glory of code cleanup. Still, the prestige of contributing to a major piece of free software is hard to ignore. Half of becoming a free software developer is knowing where to start."
A Constitutional Right to Decode? (Wired). Wired examines the EFF's battle over the DeCSS rulings. "During oral arguments on May 1, the three-judge panel appeared to be siding with copyright over free speech, but then took the unusual step a week later of sending both sides 11 questions to answer. The queries included "Does the dissemination of DeCSS have both speech and non-speech elements?" and "Does the use of DeCSS to decrypt an encrypted DVD have both speech and non-speech elements?""
Brazilian Army adopts free software. According to this portuguese language article, the Brazilian Army is set to adopt free software. "The Brazilian Army also is in phase of implementation of free software, already using the Linux, StarOffice and Direto - developed in partnership for the Procergs and university - as solution for the e-mail." The Babelfish translation is failry clear with this one. (Thanks to Cesar G.)
Itanium: New Opening For linux? (ZDNet). Interactive Week thinks Itanium may be just the ticket that Linux vendors need to get into the high end server market. "Intel has teamed with Linux vendors to bring the open source OS to the new chip. And those vendors are eager to raise Linux to a high-performance platform."
Linux forklifts in the data warehouse (ZDNet). Last week's LinuxWorld Tokyo showed just how involved database vendors, both proprietary and open source, are getting in the Linux arena. For example, Oracle has taken more than a 50% stake in the Japanese Miracle Linux distribution. "PostgreSQL lists a Web page full of commercial support organizations, of which the best-known (or at least best-funded) is GreatBridge. For those in Japan who don't need all the horsepower of Oracle, Miracle Linux offers a Linux/PostgreSQL bundle."
Free Web: Its days are numbered? (ZDNet). While some free web services are drying up, access to wide spread free content will never go away, even as some sites are learning to make a successful business out of sbuscription based content, according to this ZDNet special report. "Copyrighted or not, most of the basic information that viewers found for free yesterday will be freely available tomorrow. For this reason, many industry experts doubt that Yahoo and other portals will be able to charge for some content because it is so widely available through other online sources."
Looking Ahead To Linux 2.5, 2.6 (Byte). An interesting and rather detailed look at what may be ahead for the 2.5 and 2.6 kernel series comes from this Byte article. "Next to the inclusion of SGI's XFS and IBM's JFS file systems in the current 2.4.x source tree, several other new features might show up in 2.5. For one thing, senior Linux people and I have discussed including the Mosix clustering software in the standard source tree. Activating the Mosix cluster on any given Intel machine would just require re-compiling the kernel with the Mosix option = TRUE."
Open-source spat spurs software change (News.com). News.com covers the IPFilter licensing debate. "The squabble illustrates some of the pitfalls of the open-source software movement, in which philosophical principles can butt heads with the legal complexities of intellectual property law. Though proprietary software isn't immune from such tangles, companies writing proprietary code typically have better access to legal advice than the open-source programmers, often volunteers working on their own time."
Sun promotes Java on Cobalt servers (News.com). Sun has released a developer's kit to make Java software run on Linux-based Cobalt servers run. "The software kit comes with features that let the servers run Java programs called servlets and deliver custom Web pages using the Java Server Pages software, Sun said. These technologies are built into an open-source software package called Tomcat that ships with new Cobalt servers."
Sharp picks Intel for handheld (Reuters). A brief Reuters note indicates that the Sharp Linux-PDA will be using a StrongARM chip from Intel. "Until now, Japan's Sharp has used Hitachi chips. Compaq Computer's iPaq handheld already uses Intel's StrongARM chip. Sharp's upcoming handheld will run on the upstart and increasing popular Linux operating system".
Open Source-onomics: Examining some pseudo-economic arguments about Open Source (FreeOS.com). The failure of Linux stocks is not representative of the truth behind Linux economics, as this article tries to prove. "At a certain point in time, commercial vendors may be reduced to selling differentiated features that 90 percent of the market doesn't need, while the most commonly-required features will be available to all, free of charge. Those common features will conform to standards, while proprietary, differentiating features will remain exactly that, -- proprietary and non-standard. It is such commoditization of the market that could slaughter proprietary commercial software, driving it into niches and ensuring that the mainstream goes Open Source." This is a well thought out treatise on the value of Linux both for business and individuals and is definitely worth a read.
Taking linux in hand (ZDNet). ZDNet examines the Linux-based VR3. "The VR3 runs Linux-VR, a branch of the Linux 2.4 test kernel from Silicon Graphics Inc. The VR3's GUI is driven by a slimmed-down X server and the Fast Light Window Manager."
Python Documentation Tips and Tricks (ONLamp). Cameron Laird looks at the documentation of Python code in this ONLamp article. "The culture of the Python community reinforces high standards in documentation. Since the existing documentation is good, code authors expect that they will need to do as well for new contributions."
Linux on the Desktop--an Impossible Dream? (Linux Journal). Is the usable desktop an unattainable goal for Linux? Not according to this Linux Journal opinion piece. "I believe there's a bright future for Linux on the desktop, but understanding this future requires going beyond viewing the Linux desktop in isolation. Smith's point focuses on the difficulties of Linux in 'pulling' users away from Windows and Mac OS--but that's only part of the story. As the history of personal computing reveals, major usage shifts involve 'push' as well as 'pull.'"
Section Editor: Forrest Cook
June 7, 2001