Linux in the news
All in one big page
See also: last week's Linux History page.
Three years ago (December 10, 1998 LWN): IBM released its "Jikes" Java compiler under an almost-open-source license. The first DB2 beta was also put up for free download. Sun announced its support for Linux on the Sparc, SGI announced support for Samba, and joined Linux International as well.
Linus Torvalds was a guest of honor in the Finnish Presidential Palace for the Independence Day celebration. This photo of Linus and Tove is still available online.
Linux is awesome in many ways, but no matter how you slice it, it's still basically an evolved port of a 20+ year-old operating system, and with that age comes a certain amount of baggage. Linux may be far more efficient than Windows, but it still carries the past on its shoulders, and (more importantly) lacks many of the futuristic technologies built into BeOS from the start.
Two years ago (December 9, 1999 LWN): Andover.Net went public on December 8, at an initial price of $18 per share; it quickly rose to $63. When the December 9 LWN hit the press, the VA Linux Systems IPO was still looming; check this space next week if you don't know what happened.
Sometime later this week, another Linux-related company, called VA Linux Systems, will go public under the ticker symbol LNUX. It will probably double or triple in price while market pundits criticize it for being another overhyped IPO.
Both Cosource.com and SourceXchange officially launched. One year later both were still around. Now both are gone.
Corel found itself at the center of a controversy again when it refused to allow minors to download its distribution.
Sun announced the release of Java 2 for Linux. The announcement contained no mention of the Blackdown Linux team, which actually did most of the work for this release.
KDevelop 1.0 was released. The XFree86 team announced that XFree86 4.0 would not be out before the end of the year.
Red Hat announced more deals with Dell, including one in which Dell systems would come with 90 days of Red Hat support - which replaced the Linuxcare support that Dell was offering before. O'Reilly, meanwhile, launched the O'Reilly Network.
One year ago (December 7, 2000 LWN) looked at a few examples of how misrepresentations of Linux reflect a misunderstanding of what we are about, and how they can be damaging. First there was this story in Wired News about a Windows virus that told its victims to run Linux.
It also creates a text file "c:messageforu.txt," that contains the following words of wisdom: "Hi, guess you have got the message. I have kept a list of files that I have infected under this. If you are smart enough just reverse back the process. I could have done far better damage, I could have even completely wiped your hard disk. Remember this is a warning & get it sound and clear... -- The Penguin"
Whew! It's nice to know that we are not all crackers.
This News.com article criticized Red Hat for dropping Sparc support in version 7.0, comparing the Linux provider with Microsoft. It doesn't bother to mention the many other flavors of Linux with continuing Sparc support.
The move parallels the gradual decline in the number of CPUs that can run Windows NT. Initially, Microsoft's higher-end operating system was intended to run on PowerPC, MIPS, Alpha and Intel CPUs, but minimal interest led Microsoft to cut back just to Intel chips.
Bruce Perens got a new job with Hewlett-Packard. The Meta Group called it "cheap insurance" in this News.com article.
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.
Conectiva Linux 6.0 was released.
Mandrake Linux moved to the 2.4 kernel in its Cooker (development) version. An official 2.4 had not yet been released, of course. The latest version was 2.4.0-test12-pre7.
Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol.
December 6, 2001