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April, 2000

[Colorado Linux Info Quest] The Colorado Linux Info Quest (CLIQ) is held on April 1, 2000. It is the first Linux conference and exhibition to be held along the Colorado front range.

I believe this movement has got to get beyond black and white. We have got to wake up from this dreamland where people believe that we neither need government nor need to pay attention to what government does. The argument that government has not played an important role in bringing about the environment within which the revolution of the Internet was possible is just wrong -- historically wrong.
-- Lawrence Lessig from a discussion on the American Prospect site
A proposed law is announced that would require adherence to open standards and availability of source for all software used within the French government. For more information see this statement from the Association Francophone des Utilisateurs de Linux et de logiciels libres supporting this bill in French and English via Babelfish.

Code is ruled to be speech. On April 4th, 2000, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit published its decision regarding Peter Junger's challenge to the Export Administration Regulations which prevented him from posting information on the Internet that contained cryptographic example code. Most critical in the ruling: "Because computer source code is an expressive means for the exchange of information and ideas about computer programming, we hold that it is protected by the First Amendment."

[VA Linux logo] IDC declares Linux is red hot in the server market. Here's a press release from IDC on its latest report on the server market. Server shipments grew 166% between the fourth quarters of 1998 and 1999. "In a recent IDC survey of 200 Linux users ... the majority of participants estimated that their Linux servers offered at least 4 9s in availability, which translates to less than one hour of unexpected downtime per year."
The initial press release stated that Compaq was the #1 Vendor in Linux Server Market but companies like VA Linux Systems were not even on the list. Within a week IDC announces that VA Linux is a "brand-name" vendor after all, and re-issued the press release (and report) ranking VA Linux as the #5 Vendor in Linux Server Market.
So there are some -- and I'd list myself among them -- who believe that the return to earth is a Good Thing. There's nothing wrong with making a buck, but Linux doesn't benefit from being elevated beyond reality on a shaky foundation.
-- Evan Leibovich takes a look at the post-Rush world of Linux.

Motorola unveiled plans to expand its product line through DSL and Linux-based solutions that will support broadband communications and other platforms.

Red Hat 'Piranha' vulnerability draws attention. A security advisory from Red Hat about Piranha, their in-house heartbeat package, noted that a binary package had shipped with a default password.

IBM puts in another registration to sell 250,000 shares of Red Hat stock. This is the third such registration; the total number of shares registered to be sold by IBM is now 750,000.

The Raleigh/Durham Business Journal reports on how Red Hat got dumped by its advertising agency. "Red Hat Software's advertising agency dropped the account only six months after winning the business, complaining that the Linux distributor doesn't have its marketing act together."

Red Hat's Embedded Developer's Kit is announced and all tools on the EDK will soon be open source. As a result, Source Navigator will be released on the Cygnus Sourceware site under the GPL.

The Linux Business Expo is held in Chicago. Although somewhat smaller than the Las Vegas version there was a good turnout.

[MontaVista Software logo] MontaVista Software announces a port of its Hard Hat Linux distribution to IBM's PowerPC 405GP processor.

Neoware Systems announces NeoLinux a Red Hat-based distribution for "business-to-business" information appliances, including cash registers and interactive web kiosks, amongst others.

EMJ Data Systems announces they have spun off White Dwarf Linux into its own company.

Corel Word Perfect Office 2000 ships, but exhibits some stability problems.

The Internet's early communalist enthusiasm for open-source software-which is free, unpatented and uncopyrighted-has now given way to a land-grab. Internet companies are rushing to patent their ideas. Ownership of a patent (or, since getting a patent takes a couple of years, a provisional patent application, which gives some rights) is a big help in raising finance.
-- The Economist
Ateon Networks, which makes Linux-based internet appliances, announces the receipt of a patent on "remote storage for internet appliances." The patent is not written in the most clear manner, but it would appear to cover serving files from a protected internal network.

The Maryland General Assembly passes UCITA becoming the second state to adopt this law, which has a number of unfortunate implications for users of licensed software. The lawmakers in Maryland have, however, marked up UCITA considerably.

[Running the CEO out of town] Linuxcare runs into trouble with this announcement of a delay in the initial public offering, the departure of the Chief Executive Officer and restructuring of the executive management team.

Oracle Japan funds the creation of a new Linux company, called "Miracle Linux," which will operate in Japan.
...it is, instead, a warning signal of the weaknesses inherent in applying venture capital insta-company strategy to the world of free software. Just because you have the billions necessary to hire name-brand executives and PR firms and throw huge parties doesn't necessarily mean you know what Linux is all about. And from that perspective, the news that [founder Art] Tyde has been named a member of Linuxcare's new four-headed 'office of the CEO' monster is encouraging, because Tyde does understand Linux and the value of the open-source approach to software.
-- Andrew Leonard writing for Salon about the troubles at Linuxcare.

Rackspace.com files for an initial public offering of stock. Rackspace is a large-scale web hosting provider; its particular angle is that (1) they provide a dedicated box for every customer, and (2) most of those boxes run Linux. Linux figures prominently in Rackspace's lengthy S-1 filing - the word "Linux" appears in the document sixty times. (The Rackspace IPO has not actually happened as of December 31, 2000.)

Applix announces the spinning off of its Linux division into a separate company called VistaSource. VistaSource looks like a determined attempt to be a "half way" open source company. It has a few open source products, such as its SHELF scripting language. CoSource.com, acquired by Applix a while back, is also part of VistaSource now. But its flagship products, such as its office suite, will remain proprietary.

LinuxSolve announces its existence. LinuxSolve is another vendor of Linux-based server appliances; its particular angle seems to be an especially strong emphasis on security. Its systems run the Immunix distribution.

I would disagree (with the notion that) we're a classic IPO that popped and dropped. We came out at a very reasonable valuation, and then the market itself went through a major correction. You can't attribute that to a lack of confidence in our company.
-- Caldera CEO Ransom Love in an interview with CBS Marketwatch

Oracle and Turbolinux announce an agreement for Oracle to take an equity position in TurboLinux and Turbolinux to make a version of its operating system optimized for Oracle8i.

[Lineo] Lineo announces the acquisition of FirePlug, the Vancouver-based providers of the ThinLinux embedded distribution and a deal with MIPS to make Lineo's Embedix distribution work optimally on MIPS processors.

VA Linux Systems completes its acquisitions of TruSolutions and NetAttach.

ZDNet announces the acquisition of LinuxDevices.com.

Red Hat acquires BlueCurve, a provider of Internet performance management services.

Lynx Real-Time systems announces the receipt of investments from Turbolinux and Motorola in undisclosed amounts.
In a democracy, a law that prohibits a popular, natural and useful activity is usually soon relaxed. But the powerful publishers' lobby was determined to prevent the public from taking advantage of the power of their computers, and found copyright a suitable weapon. Under their influence, rather than relaxing copyright to suit the new circumstances, governments made it stricter than ever, imposing harsh penalties on readers caught sharing.
--Richard Stallman in an article on Tech Review

Eazel, Inc. announced that it has received $11 million from Accel Partners in first round funding.

Red Hat launches its redhat.com Marketplace e-commerce site for technology professionals.

Acrylis Inc. announces WhatifLinux.com, a Web-based service that helps Linux Administrators monitor and manage open-source software assets.

The press discovers that Microsoft's FrontPage server software contains a back door deliberately inserted by a Microsoft engineer. See Eric Raymond's take on the issues it raised for one view from the community.

Andy Tanenbaum releases the the Minix operating system under the BSD license. Had Minix been open source from the beginning, Linux may never have happened.

LWN is acquired by Tucows.com in an agreement that insures complete editorial freedom for LWN.

[Hiking penguin] The 2000 version of Die Linux Bierwanderung, or Linux Beer Hike, is announced.

Several hundred developers from the U.S. and around the world gathered in San Jose for Software Development 2000. See this report from Software Development 2000 on the O'Reilly network. "But it was the scope of Python at the conference that was truly striking."

Wichert Akkerman releases doc-central, a new system for browsing Debian's documentation easily with a web browser.

The Linux Hardware Database announces 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 announces its new Linux Channel. It contains recent Dr. Dobb's articles on Linux and other useful stuff.

Lucent announces the release of Libsafe, a library which defends against buffer overflow attacks. Libsafe is an excellent addition to the available security tools, but not a panacea, nor a full replacement for existing stack protection tools.

SGI releases sample source code from a number of modules in its "Trusted IRIX" system as open source; it can all be found on the SGI open source site.

[Gimp] Gimp 1.1.20 is available for download. [Using Samba]

Samba 2.0.7 is released. This is the first release of Samba to include the O'Reilly Using Samba book.

Open CASCADE 3.0 is released. CASCADE is an extensive graphic modeling library.

[Vine Linux logo] Vine Linux 2.0 is released. Maya Tamiya describes Vine Linux and its recent 2.0 release in more detail here. "Vine Linux is probably the most popular community-based distribution in Japan."

Plamo Linux 2.0, another community-based distribution is Japan, also is released. See this page for more information.

Applixware 5.0 is announced. This commercial product is based on the GTK+ toolkit.

Coollogic announces that it will begin shipping its "Coollinux" distribution this month. Coollinux is aimed at embedded tasks, and seems to be intended for set-top boxes and other "Internet access devices" in particular.

Enhanced Software Technologies releases CRU for Linux (Crash Recovery Utility) under the QPL open source license.

[Axis Communications ETRAX 100] Axis Communications announces the release of a journaling filesystem intended for use on flash ROM devices. It's thus aimed at embedded systems; it is licensed under the GPL.

Axis Communications opens up the source code for its Bluetooth drivers and its applications using Bluetooth. Bluetooth is a technology for wireless communications between mobile phones and other portable devices.

Filesystem Hierarchy Standard 2.1 is released by the Linux Standard Base project. This is the important piece of the LSB that says where all the files are supposed to go.

SCO releases Cscope under the BSD license. Cscope is a developer's tool for browsing source code. Although not specifically ported to Linux, we're told that it compiles cleanly on Linux.

[GNU Portable Threads] Version 1.3.5 of the GNU Portable Threads library (GNU Pth) is released.

Mozilla M15 is released.

RTAI 1.3 is announced. This is the latest version of the Real Time Application Interface. RTAI is available under the LGPL. [Trolltech]

Qt 2.1 is released by Trolltech. This is the latest version of this cross-platform C++ toolkit (on which KDE is based).

The FreeGIS project project announce the release of version 1.0.3 of the FreeGIS-CD, including new versions of GRASS (stable and development), tkgeomap, GMT data, PROJ, shapelib and gen2shp. For more information, check Bernhard Reiter's development report.

Netscape 6 preview release 1, based on the Gecko engine, is available for download.

Inprise/Borland announce plans to release Delphi for Linux.

IBM introduces DB2 Universal Database Version 7.

NEC announces that the Linux 2.3 kernel has been ported (with VioSoft's help) to NEC's 64-bit RISC chips.

Apple announces the release of Darwin 1.0. This release also includes an open source version of its QuickTime streaming server software.

The first release of Sentinel is out, see the announcement for details. Sentinel attempts to find hosts on a network which might be running password sniffers.

[TrustedBSD project logo] The TrustedBSD project is launched, as detailed in this announcement.

SecurityFocus.com sets up a new Linux focus area with information of interest to Linux users. It starts off with an editorial from Bruce Perens.

The 1.0 version of Trustix Secure Linux is released. Trustix is working at building a secure, server-oriented distribution.

O'Reilly announces its new Python Dev portal.

Version 1.1 of the KDE tutorial is available. This tutorial is aimed at developers wanting to create KDE applications, rather than at users.

LPI announces the completion of the development of exam 102, the second of two exams required to obtain Level 1 certification.

Open Source Education Foundation. The formation of the Open Source Education Foundation is announced. A non-profit corporation based in Tucson, Arizona, OSEF is working to make the technology used in schools superior to that used in business and industry. [Debian logo]

Wichert Akkerman is re-elected as Debian Project Leader. Here are the final election results.

Brendon Grunewald has stepped down from management of the OpenClassroom project and Jose Lacal has stepped up, according to this announcement.

[Pingoo Tux]

The LWN Penguin Gallery now has no less than 233 penguin.

"Yellow Dog Linux adds Klingon support", claims this April Fool's story.

Magic Software Enterprises sent the winner of its "Magic for Linux Really Cool Contest" to Antarctica. The press release reads more like a travel log (with pictures). "When the World Discoverer docked, the passengers climbed into Zodiacs, the virtually unsinkable 12-passenger crafts designed by Jacques Cousteau, to investigate uninhabited islands and to travel up winding tributaries and get a closer look at marine life. One encounter was almost a little too close for comfort."
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