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This week in Linux history

Five years ago: Bruce Perens announced the release of Debian 1.1. The distribution was produced by "100 unpaid volunteers," and contained all of 474 packages.

Also announced was the very first version of rsync, written by Andrew Tridgell and Paul Mackerras.

Three years ago (June 18, 1998 LWN) The LWN crew took a much needed break this week, putting out a very light edition. The obvious conclusion, of course, is that very little happened.

Eric Raymond announced the Trove project, which sought to change the way software archives were organized.

I'm aiming high. I want the maintainers of the major existing archives to buy in early, so that by year-end the present creaking infrastructure can be replaced with something better.

Trove has not caught on in the way Eric might have liked, with one big exception: SourceForge uses it.

Two years ago (June 17, 1999 LWN): The "Open Source" trademark officially died, after the OSI concluded that it would never be able to get an official U.S. trademark registration. They promised an "OSI Certified" trademark instead, but that never materialized. Two years later, we seem to be doing OK without anybody's official stamp of approval. It is hard to imagine anybody trying to create such a stamp at this point.

Guylhem Aznar took over leadership of the Linux Documentation Project.

Jon "Maddog" Hall went to work for VA Linux Systems, where he remains employed. (Update: we've since been informed that Mr. Hall has left VA's employ - we were a bit behind the times there...).

The current development kernel release, 2.3.6, was fairly stable. However the 2.3.7 patch was classified as "dangerous", with 2.3.7 pre1 causing filesystem corruption in some cases. Unfriendly certainly, but only dangerous for those who don't believe in backups.

Applix announced the creation of a new Linux division within the company. The division was to concentrate on selling products to Linux users; it was also supposed to operate a web site that

...will provide an on-line knowledge base for users to search for information associated with Linux and Open Source Software vendors

The web site exists at VistaSource, however Applix no longer has much to do with it. Applix' Linux division became VistaSource in April 2000. Applix then sold VistaSource to Parallax Capital Partners, LLC last March.

One year ago (June 15, 2000 LWN) SCO announced it would launch its own Linux distribution. LWN wrote:

If you accept the idea that UnixWare shops are going to want to migrate toward Linux, the next question that comes to mind is "which distribution will they pick?"

SCO's distribution was abruptly cancelled shortly thereafter, as the company made an announcement that answered the above question: its merger with Caldera.

OpenSSH 2.1.1 was released.

Exile III: Ruined World for Linux was released.

Dave Winer says the Web is real, but open source is not in The Sixth Sense.

Thankfully the open source rage is on its last legs. If you're honest and made a bet on open source, and want to get help from the press and investors, here's some open source (free) advice. Play it down. "Oh that's an open source play" they will say, shaking their heads as they look for something else to hype. Like B2C and B2B, it's last year's trend. Avoid those trends like the plague.

Maybe so, but those "last legs" are looking fairly strong...

June 14, 2001

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2000 In Review
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