From Wired: "It started as a crusade for free source code. Linux zealots turned it into a full-frontal assault on Microsoft. Now the battle for the desktop could snatch defeat from the jaws of moral victory." This is the teaser of a four page interesting editorial from Russ Mitchell found on Wired. The author recognises that "Linux has a real shot in the enterprise business", but he believes that Linux is never going to get a respectful share of the desktop market, and he presents a number arguments for it. He also includes statements from many people like Rob Malda and Red Hat employees who, surprisingly, state that the real enemy for their business today is not Microsoft (where most of their joe-user customers are far reached from Linux's "nerd" market), but companies like Sun and the "traditional" Unices like Solaris, IRIX, HP-UX and Tru64.
LinuxJournal has released the results of its 2001 Reader's Choice Awards, voted by 6,500 Linux users. Red Hat took the top spot for favorite Linux distribution, KDE for favorite desktop environment, and C for programming language.
Linus Torvalds in the Linux kernel mailing list: "2.4.11 had a fix for a symlink DoS attack, but sadly that fix broke the creation of files through a dangling symlink rather badly (it caused the inode to be created in the very same inode as the symlink, with unhappy end results). Happily nobody uses that particular horror - or _almost_ nobody does. It looks like at least the SuSE installer (yast2) does, which causes a nasty unkillable inode as /dev/mouse if you use yast2 on 2.4.11." So, 2.4.12 was born, changelog here.
Two more Linux companies are taking drastic measures to cope with financial problems. Lineo is ridding itself of more than half of its work force, and Ebiz Enterprises has filed for bankruptcy protection. Get the rest of the scoop at C|Net's News.com.
"Some oppose a preemptible kernel because of throughput concerns. Others oppose preemptibility because of concerns about growing complexity in the kernel. This argument is specious, because the preemption approach takes advantage of already required and in place SMP locking. No additional complexity is created. All Linux kernel engineering must already take into account SMP requirements. Some oppose continued refinement of SMP locking to achieve better SMP scaling (on higher way SMP systems); such refinement has the beneficial side effect of also reducing preemption off periods in a preemptible kernel." Read the rest of the editorial at LinuxDevices by Kevin Morgan who is the Vice President, Engineering at MontaVista Software.
While a lot of Linux companies are closing one after the other and a lot of people are starting to wondering if GPL software can actually bring some money in, Hewlett Packard gave Linux a big boost yesterday as they announced they would use the operating system to power everything from cell phones to stereos. HP said it would develop new security software for Linux, as well as HP Chai-LX, a program to develop Linux applications for small consumer devices like stereos and cell phones. This may very well be the fruit of the work of one of the most important people in Linux history, Bruce Perens, who was recently hired by HP. Our Take: Even if Linux never make it to the desktop market and be able to beat Microsoft's OS offerings (Linux covers about 1% of the desktop market surveys report), it sure can have lots of usages in the embedded market, where some say that "this is where the real money is."
ZDNet writes: "Over the last decade, Linux has evolved from the pet project of a Finnish university student to a worldwide platform. The undisputed strength of Linux in the server arena has led to widespread adoption in the business arena--case in point, the ubiquitous Apache Web server, which serves roughly 65 percent of the world's Web sites." ZDNet continues with a full review of seven well-known Linux distributions, an interesting read especially for those who are still undecided as to which distro suits them better.