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LWN Feature Article. The Story of an Implementation covers the deployment of Linux in Jan III Sobieski Hotel - one of the biggest, most luxurious and prestigious hotel facilities in Poland. We were pleased with the oportunity to run this translation of an article originally from Polish Linux Magazine - Linux Plus 02/2000 because it not only gives a great example of the strengths of Linux, but also of the issues faced by people working with software and operating systems outside the United States and Western Europe -- issues of language support, for example, and more. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
The Linux Desktop: The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades. This particular week brought a couple of announcements that, together, have given us a new-level of optimism for the future of Linux on the desktop.
The first of the two announcements that caught our eye was the formation of LUIGUI, the Linux/UNIX Independent Group for Usability Information, discussed in more detail in this Linux Journal article. They plan on evaluating the growing variety of user-interface options currently available for Linux and applying methods used by human-computer interaction professionals and computer interface design specialists to combine them to form the ``ideal'' standard interface for Linux and then advocate it to the Linux community.
The second announcement caught the attention of the press all over. After all, it made for good headlines and interesting copy to talk about "an old team of Macintosh programmers" coming over to Linux to show us how to make a truly friendly desktop. Digging in a little bit deeper, though, and there really is some substance behind the hype.
Eazel, Inc is bringing Michael Boich, Andy Hertzfeld and Bud Tribble, all of whom were part of the original Apple Macintosh team, to work on making Linux accessible to mainstream desktop users. However, they aren't just walking in and starting yet another new project. Instead, they've come into this inspired by the work they already saw being planned and implemented by the Gnome team and wanting to be a part of it. "'We have gathered a uniquely qualified group of software architects, Linux experts and industry veterans to tackle the issue of Linux usability on the desktop,' said Michael Boich, president and CEO of Eazel. 'Our goal isn't to recreate what we did 15 years ago. It's to combine a next generation desktop with Internet-based services to deliver a superior user experience.'"
From this week's Gnome Summary, we hear that they've actually been working on the Nautilus file manager for several months without an announcement. The Gnome team is excited to have them, as well. It is a story of youthful enthusiasm (and expertise) meeting experience (and hopefully wisdom :-) and bringing the potential of a whole much greater than the sum of its parts.
Of course, these aren't the only two projects out there trying to address issues so that Linux can truly become an operating system for everyone, instead of just for the technically elite. However, they have opened a vision, not just of a Linux desktop that is useable for the end-user, but very possibly the ultimate and best desktop that the end-user has ever had available.
More coverage on the Eazel announcement can be found in:
Report from Bangalore IT.COM 99. A much delayed, lengthy and fun report from the November Bangalore IT.COM 99 conference is now available. It is a great way to learn a bit about the excitement that Linux is creating in other countries. "The fourth day was the day of the triumph of the Linux India stall. Everyday the crowds had been increasing. Well, on the fourth day all hell broke loose. We truly had completely unmanageable crowds. People kept streaming in an unending queue. As another sidelight, that day our pavilion had the largest queue in the entire exhibition. "
IEEE Opposes UCITA. The IEEE has published a "Position paper" opposing states' adoption of UCITA. It provides a nice, concise summary of the problems with this bill. Into the existing and evolving legal and business situation, UCITA would inject an ironclad statutory framework that is very easy to abuse to the serious detriment of consumers, large business users, and small business users of computer software, software developers, computer consultants and the general public. (Found through Red Rock Eater News Service.)
Speakers for Colorado Linux Info Quest announced. The Colorado Linux Info Quest, happening in Denver on April 1, 2000, has announced its first two speakers: Jon 'maddog' Hall and Dave Whitinger. LWN is one of the sponsors of this event and Liz Coolbaugh is the Board member responsible for speakers, so you can be confident that we'll keep you apprised as the event approaches. Jon and Dave are only the first two of what is shaping up to be an impressive line-up of speakers for a one-day show.
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February 24, 2000