October 23, 2000

Weekly news wrapup: Fear of forking

Author: JT Smith

By Grant Gross

Managing Editor

Some weeping and gnashing of teeth in the Open Source world this week, as print-and-file server vendor Samba Corp. announced plans to fork its code base because of two warring camps in the company. Reactions were mixed at best, with some in the community concerned about the potential for other products to fork, including Linux. If you want to know what forking's all about, check out a LinuxPlanet article on the subject.

Open Source from closed-source companies

Sun's StarOffice continued to get press this week after the company Open Sourced a version of the product. InfoWorld reported that while the source code was released, the Web-based StarPortal version of the software was delayed. ZDNet reviewed the release and wasn't particularly impressed, saying, "OpenOffice is to StarOffice what Mozilla is to Communicator." Meanwhile, TechWeb reported that Sun's CEO promised that his company will become the No. 1 Linux company, by a long shot.

Four spankin' new Linux desktop applications will hit the stores this week. ZDNet News reported on Chilliware's unorthodox business plan of using Linux as a "jumping-off point for selling non-Open Source applications. Starting this Monday, the company was shipping its version of Linux, plus a contact manager, a documentation wizard, a desktop publisher, and a server configuration product. But will Linux users embrace closed-source products just because they work in Linux? Stay tuned.

The digital divide extends to Norwegian Nynorsk

Most people in the Open Source community are no fans of Microsoft, but here's one of the oddest reasons around to stop using our favorite anti-trusters: They don't support both the Norwegian Nynorsk and Bokmål languages, only Bokmål. A group in Norway is urging a boycott in favor of KDE.

Speaking of the Boardwalk of software companies, Microsoft's Bill Gates spoke at a "digital divide" conference this week, saying it makes no sense to wire up people in developing countries if they have no food to eat or they can't read. Is the guy starting to make sense in his old age? On the outside of the conference, a group of protestors advanced Linux as a solution to putting computers in the hands of the tech world's have-nots.

New at NewsForge

Columnist Jack Bryar tries to sort out the differences between Bush and Gore, at least as far as their attitudes about technology and Open Source.

Columnist Emmett Plant wonders what they're smoking over at Caldera. He's not sure the Linux distributor actually "gets" the Linux philosophy.

Corporate and government security professionals don't seem to understand kids who like computers, we found out at the 23rd National Information Systems Security Conference in Baltimore last week.

Click Here!