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March 7, 2002
From: Leon Brooks <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Backslapping, security incidents, kernel versions Date: Thu, 28 Feb 2002 14:13:59 +0800 >From http://lwn.net/2002/0228/ : > Once again, congratulations are due to the community: we won this one. Actually, congratulations are also very much due to the W3C, they've been more responsive in this case than the vast majority of manufacturers, and many nominally independent bodies. > the last Linux-related vulnerability with a full CVE number is > CVE-2001-0489, a format string vulnerability in gftp which was > reported in May, 2001. This is a problem: time is often of the > essence when dealing with security incidents. The only obvious solution is to promptly (timescale of at most a few hours) allocate numbers to all submitted *reports* and provide a simple means of checking whether a report was ever validated or disqualified as an *incident*. > Now that 2.4 is finally getting truly stable, few people would > like to see it be destabilized again. On the other hand, the 2.6/3.0 > kernel could well still be two years away Must it? If we stop revolutionising the kernel with new MM, scheduling and FS concepts at the end of July, we might have a 2.6 by Christmas. Then we can cut loose with a new set of fabulous and totally new features in 2.7 with an eye to releasing that in turn at the end of 2003 (Linux 3.0 for 2003?). One release a year done like this would help the stable kernel to stay so. If the split was done at the start of December, most of the bug-echoes would have died down by new year. There are arguments against against deadlines, and they should be flexible, but it seems to help many projects along to actually have them in the first place. It lends impetus to events like bug-killing weekends. Cheers; Leon
From: Leandro Guimar„es Faria Corsetti Dutra <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: StarOffice goes proprietary Date: Thu, 28 Feb 2002 11:56:37 +0100 StarOffice was always proprietary -- it was just a free download, not free software. OpenOffice is free, and will continue to be for the foreseeable future, but lacks things like Adabas D that are present in StarOffice; by the way it shouldn't be to hard to integrate either SAPdb, a direct descendant of Adabas, or any other free RDBMS like Interbase (Ph?nis?), GNU SQL or PostgreSQL. The only thing I think Sun could do to assure us that OpenOffice will always be free except by a catastrophe would be to assign the copyrights to the FSF or a similar entity. But at this time it doesn't seem that we are really running the risk of a proprietary fork of OpenOffice, and even if Sun was dumb enough we could just fork it ourselves and keep and develop the last free version. As you pointed most of this at the end of the relevant section in your main page, I trust the headline was only an oversight or at worst an eye-catcher, because many people will read only the headline and the first two or three paragraphs and will inadvertently spread unintended FUD until they are challenged by someone who knows better. -- _ / \ Leandro Guimar„es Faria Corsetti Dutra +41 (21) 216 15 93 \ / http://homepage.mac.com./leandrod/ fax +41 (21) 216 19 04 X http://tutoriald.sourceforge.net./ Orange Communications CH / \ Campanha fita ASCII, contra correio HTML +41 (21) 644 23 01
From: "K.Hayen" <K.Hayen@digitec.de> To: email@example.com Subject: Staroffice never was non-proprietary Date: Thu, 28 Feb 2002 16:45:27 +0100 You write: "StarOffice goes proprietary" Since when was StarOffice not proprietary? Your further writing indicates that you understand it was never Free Software. So why do you imply news where is no news? I am disappointed, this doesn't feel like good journalism. The valid speculation about Sun's motives is that Sun recognizes Linux distributions more now as a threat and concurrent than it did before. It wants Solaris to have an added value over other Unix versions. That's only legitimate. This need not involve a Linux from Sun. But it would only be true for a Sun-Linux. I actually like that name besides. I only hope they follow HP and pick Debian as the open distribution they can influence through their good engineers. Closed Distributions like Redhat (normal people cannot make or participate in decisions, nor contribute) will fail just like Closed Source failed. If Sun wants to turn from a late comer to people who have the future, I advise them to make a nice setup. Get their QA after a small selection of packages they specifically care for (probably Gnome, some servers like Apache, NFS stuff, etc) and trust Debian community for the rest. Oh and yes, I hear you say that only a Closed Group of people can do the real thing. That's why Microsoft will reign with Windows forever, ... not? ;-) Yours, Kay Hayen
From: Chris Hanson <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: "Robert A. Knop Jr." <email@example.com> Subject: Cruft has become our life Date: Thu, 28 Feb 2002 13:30:24 -0500 Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org Rob, I couldn't agree more; this is the #1 problem I have with GNOME, which in many other respects I like. I can't count the number of times I've had to delete all the GNOME configuration files and directories and start again from scratch. And of course, it's impossible to copy a configuration from one machine to another, something that was routine with my pre-GNOME configurations. Not to mention that none of the configuration information is programmable, which means it can't be written once in a way that will adapt to different machines, different screen sizes, etc. (As my old configuration could be, albeit with difficulty.) Note that this is in sharp contrast to (the ".sawfishrc" file of) my Sawfish window manager configuration, which is completely programmable and adapts to each of my machines. (Unfortunately the Sawfish "custom" file suffers from many of the problems of other GNOME applications.) The ideal solution would: define the contents of the configuration files in some common language (e.g. XML); document each possible setting; allow hand-editing of configuration files; and provid the ability to script the files so that they could be adapted to the current environment. None of these is hard to do, and each provides clear advantages. I hope the GNOME developers wake up and understand that the current situation is unacceptable to many users. Chris
From: Joe Klemmer <email@example.com> To: "Robert A. Knop Jr." <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Re: Cruft has become our life Date: 28 Feb 2002 13:57:25 -0500 Cc: email@example.com > Perhaps I should just go back to my roots and run FVWM, and get away > from the Gnome/KDE/GUI madness. Alas, I want to have my cake and eat > it to; I want the features that come along with the configuration > cruft. Perhaps you might try XFce <http://www.xfce.org>, then. If you want cake and eat it I think you'll find that XFce might be just what you're looking for. -- Using Linux since 11/91 | http://www.linux.org Linux user #29402 | http://counter.li.org Red Hat Linux | http://www.redhat.com
From: Dick Middleton <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com Subject: Fast Keyword Searching Tool Date: Fri, 01 Mar 2002 11:07:15 -0000 I'm not trying to promote this product but I have been using the Powermarks bookmark manager from Kaylon for a few weeks now find it is remarkably effective tool. It is different because instead of managing a hierarchical data base as most such tools it operates on a single list using fast keyword searching to find items of interest. The company has also used the technique in a MP3 track manager but neither tool is available on Linux (yet). For me I would really, really like this concept to be used in an email manager. No more filing but nevertheless quick access to obscure or long forgotten items. I think it would transform the email experience. I think such a tool, particularly a generalised one which could handle anything (bookmarks, addresses, emails, mp3 etc) and could be integrated with standard utilities (emailers, browsers etc) could be the killer application for Linux. It could do for the desktop what Apache has done for servers and transform Linux office offerings from also-ran to leaders. Any free software fast keyword search gurus want to bite? Dick Middleton firstname.lastname@example.org
From: Eric Smith <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Microsoft is afraid of the GPL Date: 28 Feb 2002 20:42:05 -0000 Gentlemen, On 28-Feb-2002, LWN.net daily updates referenced an article in ZDNet News which quoted Craig Mundie of Microsoft as saying "The problem with General Public License advocates is that they don't understand that people need the opportunity to commercialize software." As usual Microsoft tries to divert attention from the real issue. Suppose for a moment that Microsoft was right, and that the GPL did somehow deny them "the opportunity to commercialize software". Why would this be a problem? Microsoft isn't exactly well-known for allowing other people the opportunity to commercialize the software which Microsoft has written. Surely it is not anyone else's responsiblity to provide Microsoft with "the opportunity..." when they themselves don't provide that opportunity to others? However, in point of fact the GPL does not deny anyone the opportunity to commercialize software. A number of companies have been successful doing so; one of the most visible is Red Hat. What Microsoft really means is that they're afraid of having to compete on a level playing field. They're perfectly happy to take advantage of software written by outsiders; they've been doing that for years with such things as the BSD TCP/IP networking software. But when they look at software which is GPL'd, they realize that they can't use it and still keep their participation strictly in the "only benefits Microsoft" direction that they like. It's fine for volunteers to slave away for months and years writing code, but if Microsoft would be forced to contribute back a few minor changes and improvements to that code, they don't want it. They want to reap the benefits of free software, while not contributing to the process themselves. Note that even for non-GPL'd free software that Microsoft uses, such as the aforementioned TCP/IP software, which was distributed under the BSD license, Microsoft has not done a good job of complying with the relatively minimal license requirements. In particular, for many years the BSD license required acknowledgement of the use of their code in product documentation, which Microsoft never did. This particular instance is no longer an issue because BSD has since dropped the advertising clause, but it does demonstrate that Microsoft has no willingness to cooperate with the developers of free software to even the most minimal extent. When you look at just how loudly Microsoft decries the GPL, you can see how scared they are. After all, why should they be so vocal about it? No one is forcing them to use GPL'd software. It's simply another choice. Of course, Microsoft doesn't want people to have choices, but isn't it strange that they complain that choices are available to them? To illustrate just how ridiculous it is for Microsoft to devote so much effort complaining about the GPL, imagine instead that they were complaining about something other than software. Suppose that they needed to buy cardboard boxes for their products. Perhaps one vendor of cardboard boxes, MegaBoxCo, would only provide them to Microsoft under the Public Box License, with terms Microsoft didn't like. Would Microsoft devote all this effort to convincing the world that the Public Box License was bad and that people who offered boxes under the PBL were Unamerican? Of course not. They'd just buy their cardboard boxes from another vendor. There's no monopoly on cardboard boxes, so there are plenty of vendors to choose from. Similarly, there is no monopoly on the GPL'd software Microsoft is complaining about, and there is absolutely NOTHING that prevents Microsoft from simply ignoring the GPL'd software and instead using non-GPL'd software from other authors. Or writing software themselves -- Microsoft is after all a software company, isn't it? Surely they have at least a few programmers on staff? Sincerely, Eric Smith