November 6, 2000

Weekly news wrapup: Linux 2.4 on the way; Open-Sourced Java, who knows?

Author: JT Smith

By Grant Gross

Managing Editor

A popular game in the Open Source community seems to be guessing what company will Open Source what application. This week, Sun and its Java project were targets of the game. ZD Net reported that the company is slowly "loosening its grip" on Java by tweaking its Java Community Process 2.0 to allow partners more say in its development.

Meanwhile, NewsForge news editor Tina Gasperson examines the reason Sun isn't moving forward with plans to Open Source Java, at least not yet. One Sun spokesperson says the company isn't comfortable with the GPL. And LinuxWorld made the case that an Open-Sourced Java would undermine the supremacy of Windows.

The biggest thing since Godzilla

Another company having a large impact on Open Source issues these days is IBM, which sold more than 15,000 computers running Linux to Lawson, a Japanese convenience store chain. The sale was reported to be the "biggest ever commercial use of Linux."

In other IBM news, the tech giant announced that it is releasing a small-business suite of programs for Linux, including DB2 Universal Database, WebSphere Application server, and Lotus Domino.

We've maybe heard this before, but promises of the 2.4 version of Linux appear to be real, as its beta version was released on Halloween, the same day as Microsoft's Whistler beta. Linux godfather Linus Torvalds said there are no "showstopper bugs" in the 2.4.0 test10-final version, and that the final 2.4 kernal could be released in the coming month.

A quiet revolt

A group of IT professionals in Italy planned to deliver an open letter to the Italian government, calling for an end to the "excessive dependence" on Microsoft. The letter, signed by about 1,000 Italian IT workers, called for the government to use more Open Source products.

In perhaps the oddest news of the week, Hasbro Inc. has released a dot-com version of its famed Monopoly game, with Linux as one of the utilities, and sites such as Yahoo! and Monster on the board. Funny, but Microsoft doesn't seem to have a space on the board.

New in NewsForge

Freelance writer Eric Ries interviews Free Software movement founder Richard M. Stallman about the upcoming version of the GNU General Public License. Among other things, RMS is working on making the GPL more business friendly.

Columnist Jack Bryar compares an attempt by many companies to work the words "Open Source" into their business plans to the watered down Half-Way Covenant the Puritans made with early American settlers.

Columnist Julie Bresnick profiles Marcel Gagne, writer of the column, Cooking with Linux, and an amateur astronomer.

NewsForge editors read and respond to comments posted on our discussion page.

Click Here!