Linux Looking Back: Review of LinuxWorld Coverage in 2003
Linux Looking Back: Review of LinuxWorld Coverage in 2003
By: Linux News Desk
Jan. 1, 2004 12:00 AM
Joe Barr talked to Bruce Perens, the former Linux/Open-Source strategist for HP,about his work with the Cyber Security Policy Institute at George Washington University, his new Prentice Hall book series and his life since departing HP.
One of the key questions Barr put to Perens was "Who do you think will be the first major PC OEM to preload and sell Linux desktops in the United States?"
Here was the ever-prescient Perens's reply:
FEBRUARY: "In February Maureen O'Gara told of the formation of the Desktop Linux Consortium, which she described thus: "A bunch of companies and open source organizations have indulged in a favorite industry activity and have formed a consortium, this one to promote Linux on the desktop, something they're doing without Linux-on-the-desktop's biggest flag waver Lindows.com."
"Its current membership," O'Gara wrote, "includes ArkLinux, CodeWeavers, Debian.org, DesktopLinux.com, KDE, the Linux Professional Institute, Lycoris, the Linux Terminal Server Project, MandrakeSoft, NeTraverse, Open-Office.org, Questnet (Support4Linux com), Samba.org, theKompany, SuSE, TransGaming Technologies, Trust-Commerce, Xandros and Ximian."
One key engine of the desktop Linux drive, Lindows.com, was - O'Gara noted - "conspicuously absent from the consortium although it was reportedly invited to join." In a posting on the Lindows.com Web site, she added, Lindows president Kevin Carmony said the consortium "didn't have any clear direction on what exactly they were going to do, and so we said we'd take another look later in the year after they get some sort of order."
Nick Petreley - People had been underestimating how quickly Windows' market share was being eroded by Linux
Nicholas Petreley wrote about how there are dozens of reasons why people had been underestimating how quickly Linux has been grabbing Windows' market share. "Windows starts out with a false boost and maintains its illusory market share even as it gets replaced by Linux," he opined. "In 2004, don't be surprised when Linux overtakes Windows to become the main focus for developers."
"But are people really installing Linux over Windows?" Petreley asked rhetorically. "The answer is a resounding yes," he answered. "More than 70 percent of developers say they install Linux over whatever OS happens to be pre-installed on the machines they buy. Could that pre-installed OS be another flavor of Linux? Sure. In that case, Linux gets counted fairly, since one uncounted copy of Linux replaces a copy that is counted by being pre-installed. But does anyone want to place a wager on which OS is more likely to be pre-installed on those machines?"
SCO Sues IBM for a Billion Dollars over IP
March was memorable above all though for SCO Group's decision to launch a $1 Billion lawsuit against IBM. SCO charged that Big Blue consciously destroyed the economic value of the Unix operating system - which SCO claimed (and claims) it is supposed to own - in the name of aggrandizing IBM's new Linux services business.
SCO filed suit in state court in Utah, where it lives, charging IBM with misappropriating its trade secrets, tortious interference, unfair competition and breach of contract.
abandoned Debian and declared Gentoo to be the new kid on his box. "The increasing popularity of Gentoo is almost difficult to explain," he wrote, "given that it's clearly a distribution by geeks, for geeks and for nobody but geeks. Obviously a geek can set up a Gentoo system for a non-geek, so you may find novices using Gentoo. You just won't find many novices installing it."
"To be more precise," Petreley continued, Gentoo Linux "is not really a distribution but a meta-distribution. You don't usually install pre-compiled binaries when you add software to a Gentoo system. You most often compile and build the binaries yourself, according to your own personal optimization and configuration settings. Gentoo gives you the ability to treat almost the entire system this way, but it also lets the less-patient users start with a basic pre-compiled system. After that, you can build your own higher-level packages on top of that core installation."
"Do I still like Debian? I absolutely love it. But until further notice," he concluded, "Gentoo is now my flavor of Linux."
In May, too SCO announced that it was suspending further sales of its own version of Linux, and sent a letter to SCO partners in which CEO and President Darl McBride said that SCO was "alerting commercial users to the fact that legal liability for the use of Linux by businesses may extend to end users."
June brought a first look at Ximian Desktop 2"A polished, polished, polished Gnome-based desktop," wrote Joe Barr, who had given it up last fall when he installed Red Hat 8. "My overall impression, beta or no, is Ximian has done an outstanding job on Ximian Desktop 2," he continued. "Not just in bringing its desktop up to the latest version of GNOME and the latest releases of major distributions, but in the additions, tweaks, and tuning as well. I'm very happy to have a Ximian desktop again, and I hope I don't have to go a long time without it in the future."
Miguel de Icaza - "It's a huge step forward for the open source community to gain strong support from a company like Novell."
Novell snapped up Ximian. Cofounder Miguel de Icaza was transformed from CTO of Ximian to chief technology officer for the Novell Ximian Services business unit of Novell and said: "It's a huge step forward for the open source community to gain strong support from a company like Novell. Initiatives like GNOME and Mono will only improve with Novell's resources behind them."
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