June 26, 2001

Tonight on the Linux Show

Author: JT Smith

Tuesday, June 26th, 2001
from the home of Wayne's World, Aurora IL
Tonight LIVE on
At 6pm pt, 7pm mt, 8pm ct, and 9pm et.... Kevin Hill, Jeff Gerhardt, PJ
Hyett, Doc Searls(Linux Journal), and Arne Flones have what looks to be a
controversial show lined up tonight on The Linux Show!! (and yes the Loki
tribes server is up and running)
In Segment One - Hot News: We will be covering the hot Linux news of
the week. In particular, the change for the Caldera OpenLinux Workstation
3.1 that will require a "Per System" license & Linux Community infighting
and the Andy Tai "Software Wars" Map (very cool).

In Segments Two- "More Hot News:"-
Because of the week off, last week we will have lots to catch up on.

In Segments Three- The TV Linux Alliance Is this the beginning of a
new era, and end to community control, or a non-story?
We will be joined by Cathleen Collett, Senior product marketing
manager for Lineo to discuss the announcment of the creation of a new
development co-op, the TV Linux
. We will also be joind by Fran Helms a representative
from Liberate, another member firm of this new organization.

The creation of the TV Linux
and the participation in this group by Lineo, along with Sun,
Motorola and Liberate(to name but a few), should cause one to stop and take
notice. Two weeks ago we attended a press conference announcing this new
"dot org". We went away with far more questions than when the press
conference started.

The proposed goal of the TV Linux Alliance will be to integrate the
Linux-based digital media expertise of 24 leading companies in the DTV
market. Those "leading" companies include:

ACTV, ATI Technologies, Broadcom Corporation, Concurrent Computer
Corporation, Conexant, Convergence Integrated Media, DIVA, Excite@Home,
iSurfTV, Liberate Technologies, Lineo, MontaVista, Motorola, nCUBE, OpenTV,
Pace Micro Technology, Qpass, ReplayTV, STMicroelectronics, Sun
Microsystems, TiVo, Trintech, TV Gateway and WorldGate

The hypothetical long term goal would be to align resources to bring Linux
to digital cable set-tops, and provide a means to speed the development and
deployment of robust software solutions with lower development costs. This
new organization was annouced at the Chicago NCTA Show (Cable TV Inustry
Show) on June 12, 2001. We noted that the press conference did little to
draw the crowds away from the lines at the Playboy Channel booth.

We were told during the meeting that the new alliance will define a standard
application programming interface (API) that will simplify the
implementation of TV middleware and device drivers for the Linux operating
environment, allowing network operators to select from a variety of vendors
whose offerings are interoperable with the common API. The alliance plans to
capitalize on Linux designs already underway among various founders and
harmonize early work across the industry to ensure that Linux is delivered
to the digital set-top under a common framework of evolving standards-based
specifications. Linux is a proven, stable, and robust open source operating
system with a strong developer community, making it an intelligent choice
for network operators, infrastructure providers, and hardware manufacturers.

We at TLS understand how this standard API will help people in the supplier
chain and the operators of cable networks. However there are a number of
issues here that need to be explored. First and most important, WHY is
there no participation in this group by a single existing community "dot
org" or development project. It is primarilly cable channel providers(and
wannabees). The web site seems more a marketing opportunity than the
typical "Dot Org" development site.

Plus, there a a couple of long term implications we should look at here.
This alliance has the potential of being looked back on as a
landmark toward preserving a future without digital Tyranny. But, it could
also be looked back on as a day when a major part of Linux was pulled away
from community control.

The new Linux specification developed by alliance members is expected to be
available later this year. Parties that are interested in tracking the
progress of the TV Linux Alliance or in accessing resulting specifications
should visit www.TVLinuxAlliance.org. A listing of all participating TV
Linux Alliance members and their contacts can be found at

Other opinions are welcome at GeekCast. If you would like to join
on the show, check our IRC Chat(irc.thelinuxshow.com #linuxshow).

Remember tune in at 6pm pt, 7pm mt, 8pm ct, and 9pm et.
Catch the Linux show at

Click Here!