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Linux links of the week

The Linux Hardware Database has announced its big relaunch. This site seeks to provide answers to all of the "will Linux support this device?" questions out there.

Dr. Dobb's Journal has announced its new Linux Channel. It contains recent Dr. Dobb's articles on Linux and other useful stuff.

The folks in the Linuxcare marketing department evidently took a break from the creation of ways to fool people into eating insects and launched ReRover.com on April 1. Somebody over there needs some serious help...

Section Editor: Jon Corbet

April 6, 2000



Letters to the editor

Letters to the editor should be sent to letters@lwn.net. 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.
Date: Mon, 3 Apr 2000 19:13:26 -0400
From: "Jay R. Ashworth" <jra@baylink.com>
To: letters@lwn.net
Subject: Kernel release versioning...

In last week's LWN, Jon wrote:
> We mentioned last week the new sequence of "pre"
> pre-patches. The first 2.3.99pre-4 prepatch contains


Would anyone like to comment on the idea of going back to
"traditional" versioning, maybe?


One of the things that drives me _CLEAN_ up the wall is version
numbers driven by _anything_ except engineering concerns.  If I can't
understand what the hell it means after 20 years in computing, the
structure of the numbers is wrong.  Opinionated as hell, yes; that's
what they pay me for.

But, really; is there anyone out there who can't figure out numbers
like the ones I listed above?

Do any kernel 'hats read this fine publication?

-- jra
Jay R. Ashworth                                                jra@baylink.com
Member of the Technical Staff     
The Suncoast Freenet
Tampa Bay, Florida     http://baylink.pitas.com                +1 888 806 1654

Date: Fri, 31 Mar 2000 10:44:32 +0300 (GMT)
From: Roberto Alsina <ralsina@unl.edu.ar>
To: editor@lwn.net
Subject: Selling rights.


	In your March 30 edition, you say:

"whether or not the authors of a piece of software actually create a
written instrument, "using paper and pen and a signature", to assign over
their rights. Without such an instrument, the authors may be
able sell their rights to someone else, who can then revoke the earlier

In this article, Eben Moglen, FSF general counsel and a law professor at
Columbia University, urged authors to create a written instrument, signing
over their rights to the Free Software Foundation, if they really want to
make sure their software remains under the GPL."

If I write a piece of software under the GPL, and I intend to keep it
under the GPL, it will stay under the GPL, because I won't take it off the

If I write a piece of software under the GPL and don't intend to keep it
under the GPL, I will change its license.

In both cases, signing copyright to the FSF makes no sense. Why should I
trust the GPL more than I trust myself? That's nonsense.

 ("\''/").__..-''"`-. .         Roberto Alsina
 `9_ 9  )   `-. (    ).`-._.`)  ralsina@unl.edu.ar
 (_Y_.)' ._   ) `._`.  " -.-'   Centro de Telematica
  _..`-'_..-_/ /-'_.'           Universidad Nacional del Litoral
(l)-'' ((i).' ((!.'             Santa Fe - Argentina
                                KDE Developer (MFCH)
The stone age didn't end for a lack of stone" Firoz Rasul

Date: Mon, 3 Apr 2000 16:56:11 +1000
From: James Cameron <quozl@us.netrek.org>
To: letters@lwn.net
Subject: Free Software Summer Camp - Australia

G'day from outback Australia,

In response to LWN's comment; "Here is a good project for next
summer: a Free Software Summer Camp!"

The free software summer camp may well be happening here.

Although it is sponsored by an international religious Christian 
organisation, Scripture Union, the camp to be held in Brisbane during 
September this year will undoubtably promote free software.

The main reason is the necessity to be squeaky clean with respect to 
compliance with software licenses, and the high cost of obtaining 
temporary licenses for the duration of a camp.  The moral and ethical 
basis of the owning organisation of the camp will mandate this.

Some of the camp leaders are open source users; one of them is an OSS 
project leader (me!).  We do plan to do a fair bit of technology teaching.

James Cameron   mailto:quozl@us.netrek.org   http://quozl.us.netrek.org/
Date: Sat, 1 Apr 2000 18:55:25 +0800 (CST)
From: "Hung(2) Chao(2)-Kuei(4)" <ckhung@cyut.edu.tw>
To: letters@lwn.net
Subject: Re: Use of term "viral" in reference to the GPL

> From: Stuart Ballard <sballard@netreach.net>
> To: letters@lwn.net
... (nested quote deleted for brevity) ...
> I have heard this argument many times and agree with it. However, I have
> not heard any suggestions of alternative terms for this property of the
> GPL. People are bound to continue using the term "viral" if there is no
> alternative, even if they disagree with the message it sends.

Dear all,

May I suggest the alternative term: "recursive".

I have been using this term (actually its Chinese translation) in
my talks. It is politically neutral, technically correct, and it
highlights the mathematical-thinking style of this legal document.

Chao-Kuei Hung

Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2000 18:08:20 -0800 (PST)
From: Aaron Turner <aturner@linuxkb.org>
To: letters@lwn.net
Subject: Re: Use of the term "viral" in refernce to the GPL and FDL

> From: Collins_Paul@emc.com
> To: letters@lwn.net
> Subject: Use of the term "viral" in refernce to the GPL and FDL
> Date: Thu, 16 Mar 2000 07:26:33 -0500

> The use of the term "viral" with reference to the GPL (and now the FDL)
> is unfair and prejudicial.

> The GPL is not a virus.  The GPL is written the way it is because
> otherwise, others would be able to take away freedoms that you
> explicitly grant when you choose to use the GPL.

Actually, the term "viral" in context is neither unfair or prejudicial, it
merely describes an aspect of the GPL/FDL.  Viral, when it comes to
licenses refers to how the license is enforced. The GPL is viral, the BSD
license is not.  The reason is that the GPL is viral is because it forces
the GPL to be used for all subsequent versions of the software, which
prevents someone using GPL code, making changes to it, and not having to
redistribute those changes.  Hence, many people would argue that it being
viral is a good thing.

> If you don't like the GPL or the FDL, don't use it.

> The choice is yours.


Aaron Turner, Core Developer       http://vodka.linuxkb.org/~aturner/
Linux Knowledge Base Organization  http://www.linuxkb.org/
Because world domination requires quality open documentation.
aka: aturner@vicinity.com, aturner@pobox.com, ion_beam_head@ashtech.net
The difference between `Unstable' and `Usable' is only two characters: NT



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