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Letters to the editor should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Preference will be given to letters which are short, to the point, and well written. If you want your email address "anti-spammed" in some way please be sure to let us know. We do not have a policy against anonymous letters, but we will be reluctant to include them.
October 11, 2001
From: Gary Lawrence Murphy <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Disinformation Campaigns Date: 04 Oct 2001 11:28:38 -0400 I'm a little disappointed here: "Last week, the Gartner Group suggested that businesses should consider moving away from IIS toward other, more secure web servers. The latest Netcraft survey suggests that a number of businesses are doing exactly that - tens of thousands of IIS-based web sites have disappeared from the net recently. ..." This is disinformation, at minimum misleading; a quick trip to that Netcraft survey turns up "It has been a very mixed month for Microsoft. Although the top line figures appear to present steady growth in adoption of Microsoft-IIS, this masks some significant events. "The impact of Code Red has resulted in around 150,000 Microsoft-IIS sites on 80,000 ip addresses disappearing from the internet, one of the most visible proponents of Microsoft technology for mass hosting has closed down, and Gartner Group has issued a strongly worded advisory, recommending that people presently running Microsoft-IIS should replace it as quickly as possible. "On the plus side, receipt of a site list from homestead.com which has over a million small sites based on NT, has more than offset the losses from Webjump, and from the empirical evidence to date it appears that people are not yet inclined to act on Gartner's advice. ... "However, the implications for Microsoft are better than one might initially expect. Of the 80,000 ip addresses no longer running Microsoft-IIS, only around 2,000 are now running a competing web server. Notwithstanding the fact that when a web server is replaced, the replacement will not necessarily be on the same ip address, it does seem that in most cases sites have been taken down, or port filtered as part of a general tightening of security in the wake of Code Red, rather than the Windows disks being formatted and replaced with Linux/Apache." Thus, what the Netcraft survey really reports is that MSIIS use is up dramatically in September, and that it's Active Host growth rate is 3x the growth rate of Apache, but more importantly than this, what the survey _really_ says is that statistics on their own mean _nothing_ without context. I've used both, and I will never again willingly use a Microsoft server, but that's no excuse for trying to pump up opposition by twisting reports and inflating statistics. Lying about it only opens ourselves up to attack ("(ahem) about those stats you gave us at the last meeting ..."). Where Opensource is better for the task, and I believe that covers most server cases, it will succeed on its own merits. My $0.02 -- Gary Lawrence Murphy <email@example.com> TeleDynamics Communications Inc Business Innovations Through Open Source Systems: http://www.teledyn.com "Computers are useless. They can only give you answers."(Pablo Picasso)
From: "Sujal Shah" <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com Subject: Your editorial re: RAND licensing and the W3C Date: 05 Oct 2001 14:08:52 -0400 To whom it may concern: I am writing to express my disagreement with both the Patent Policy and the reporting of this activity. After reading much of the emails, public comments, and reporting of the W3C's implementation of a new patent policy, I've been appalled at the misunderstandings that have been perpetrated by many folks, including, respectfully, LWN. From my understanding of the W3C's action, and reading through much of the W3C's patent policy draft (http://www.w3.org/TR/2001/WD-patent-policy-20010816/), I would like to express my opinion that the policy could be a step in the right direction. Characterizing the W3 as attempting to create a "proprietary web" is not reasonable or productive. It's important that we realize that a new policy is necessary, and that certain aspects of the proposal are actually beneficial to an open web. Specifically, the W3C proposal imposes, for the first time by my understanding, a full-disclosure policy for all members regarding patents that may apply to standards being considered by the W3C. This is indeed a good thing. A policy would go a long way in assuring those of us that work on Free software that our work is indeed clear of intellectual property concerns. In addition, full disclosure would allow pressure to be applied when the standards are being created. I believe, quite strongly, that there will be strong voices in favor of RF licensing for W3C recommendations. As each standard comes up for review and public comments, the general public, as well as W3C members facing the prospect of accounting for and managing royalty requirements, will lean in favor of RF standards. This being said, I do disagree with the selection of RAND as the minimum requirement for a standard. My personal opinion is that if a member is not willing to relinquish royalty payments for a particular technology, we as a development community don't need it as a standard. To be honest, do we really need "standard" at all costs? If a company is unwilling to part with royalties, then they should bear the costs of creating their own market penetration. I hope that LWN and others try to clarify the need for the PPF and problems with this specific writing of it. Specifically, if the W3C pushed the minimum requirement from RAND to RF, most everyone should be happy. If a member is not willing to allow for a RF license, then that technology should not be part of teh standard, or the standard shouldn't be a standard. Thanks, Sujal -- ---- Sujal Shah --- firstname.lastname@example.org --- http://www.sujal.net Now Playing: Rage Against the Machine - Mic Check
From: Bob Goates <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: W3C Patent Policy Framework working draft Date: Mon, 08 Oct 2001 14:39:25 -0600 Cc: email@example.com WWW Patent Policy Working Group Sirs: I have a comment regarding the Working Draft of 16 August 2001 of the W3C Patent Policy Framework. In section 4.(a)2 it is stated that Essential Claims will not include "claims which would be infringed only by ... enabling technologies that may be necessary to make or use any product or portion thereof that complies with the Recommendation but are not themselves expressly set forth in the Recommendation (e.g., semiconductor manufacturing technology, compiler technology, object-oriented technology, basic operating system technology, and the like)." I am concerned that this limitation on the definition of "Essential Claims" will allow a standard to be adopted, without appropriate licensing requirements, that depends on the proprietary API (Application Programming Interface) of a proprietary operating system. In other words, the standard would require users to purchase a specific proprietary operating system in order to use products based on the standard. I believe such a situation would be unacceptable and contrary to the tradition of World Wide Web usage. A similar problem might crop up with the implied exclusion of other software interfaces from the definition of "Essential Claims". A possible solution to this problem is to remove the wording "compiler technology, object-oriented technology, basic operating system technology" from section 4.(a)2 and add to the definition of "Essential Claims" the statement: "Any claim regarding a software interface, which interface is required by a standard, will be considered an Essential Claim." Thank you. Bob Goates firstname.lastname@example.org
From: Wesley Felter <email@example.com> To: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Blame Apple? Blame Sorenson? Date: Wed, 3 Oct 2001 23:10:52 -0500 (CDT) LWN editors, As you noted, Apple blames Sorenson for not releasing a Linux version of their codec, but Sorenson claims to have an exclusive contract with Apple preventing them from releasing anything except Mac and Windows versions. I stopped caring a long time ago about who's lying to us. Meanwhile, there may be an alternative. On2 recently open-sourced their VP3 codec, which is supposed to be comparable in quality to Sorenson Video. While VP3 won't help you watch the movie trailers from Apple's site, it does provide open source tools to encode video that can be played on Mac, Windows, and Linux. All that's needed is for someone to plug the VP3 code into OpenQuicktime. http://www.vp3.com/ http://openquicktime.sourceforge.net/ Wesley Felter - email@example.com - http://felter.org/wesley/
From: John George <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com Subject: Making Money in Linux Web Distribution Date: Sat, 6 Oct 2001 09:06:56 -0700 (PDT) I am a download customer of my favorite Linux distribution. I have used both DSL and Cable Modems. My favorite distro is largely distributed by mirrors on the internet which actuall slow down when new releases come out. I used to buy boxed sets, but it gets expensive to order several competing versions of Linux to find which one works best for your particular equipment. I would be willing to pay for "high bandwidth" downloads of my favorite distros. It seems to me that getting downloads quickly "by subscription" or "fill out a web form with your credit card" would be a way to make money from the bandwidth that modern internet companies currently offer for free even though it is an expense to them. I am sure that there is some price between "free, but slow and flakey" and "expensive boxed set, even slower" that would work for someone like myself. I find it hard to go back to my distro website and donate after spending up to a week to get a download completed. I usually buy my ticket to the movie before I go in, not the other way around. Perhaps there is a multiple of the raw bandwidth cost that would work. I know there is at least one customer asking for this service, me. I am sure there are many more, especially if this service was included in "exclusive club" membership or as a side benefit of on-line stock purchases. Come on, Linux Distros, get your marketing hats on! Make money off of the internet. Thanks. __________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? NEW from Yahoo! GeoCities - quick and easy web site hosting, just $8.95/month. http://geocities.yahoo.com/ps/info1
From: "Kim J. Brand" <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com Subject: a new message: LINUX LASTS LONGER Date: Mon, 08 Oct 2001 06:24:29 -0500 it seems to me that the 'costs less/works better' message of linux marketing messages has been ineffective. microsoft's campaign advertising 99999 reliability will simply be believed through the magic of repetition. consumer awareness of microsoft's products sells most of them before they are advertised; the rest get sold due to the success of microsoft's FUD campaign. i would like to suggest a new PR theme for linux which can be used to communicate an idea that consumers will understand and which microsoft can't defend: microsoft's new 2 year licensing strategy for their Office and OS products. i propose that all vendors of linux simply use the service mark: LINUX LASTS LONGER on their products. this will establish a 'brand' that is identified with performance, economy, and simplicity unencumbered by complicated licensing restrictions. the fact that multiple vendors use it will help to create an awareness of linux and start moving it from off-beat to main stream. i've received many benefits from open-source in general and linux in particular. i hope this 'gift' to the linux community begins to repay my debt. kim
From: James Cameron <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com Subject: The Venerable Netrek Date: Tue, 9 Oct 2001 12:31:27 +1000 G'day from outback Australia, Thanks for the mention of the venerable Netrek in LWN, October 4th. I'm the OSS project leader for the Netrek server. Our problem in the Netrek project is lack of packaging. It is difficult to install Netrek, so we fail to compete. Netrek evolved in a community of technical expertise, and has not changed with the times. We need help. We need to improve the GUI; it is too venerable. We need to package the game on the popular Linux distributions. We need a SETUP.EXE style installer for Windows users. If anybody is interested, please contact me. An update on LWN, April 2000: http://lwn.net/2000/0406/backpage.php3 Netrek was played at the two computer camps in the past year. Other games that were popular were BZFlag and StarCraft. The open source games (Netrek, BZFlag) were easier for us to use because of licensing. I commend the BZFlag development team, it is quite an improvement on the venerable xtank! -- James Cameron mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org http://quozl.netrek.org/