December 31, 2000

Weekly news wrapup: A mixed year for Open Source

Author: JT Smith

- By Grant Gross -

The year 2000 may very well be remembered as the year
when Open Source stocks took a dive, while major
technology vendors embraced Open Source products such
as Linux. A handful of year-end stories focusing on
anything Open Source mention the dismal stock
performances of the leading companies in the sector,
including Red Hat and VA Linux. (Our often-used
disclosure: VA Linux owns this very Web site.)

A Motley
Fool article
counted the two big Linux companies
among 2000's top 10 stock losers, while SearchEnterpiseLinux
focused on "marriages"
between major vendors such
as IBM and Hewlett-Packard and Linux.

A LinuxWorld
story proclaimed
2000 as a "very good year," with
Sun Microsystems Open-Sourcing Star Office and
Japanese retailer Lawson purchasing 15,000 IBM
machines with Linux installed.

Upside
Today took a comprehensive look
at the year for
Open Source, with a two-part month-by-month chronicle
of Open Source news. It's quite exhaustive.

More of a Christmas feature than a year-end one, but a
roundup nonetheless, Canada
Computes looked at Open Source games available

this year.

If you're more of a hardware geek than a game-player,
check
out ZDNet UK's chip review
. It was a big year in
the Chip Wars.

And then there's the
tech year iin review, haiku style, from CNet
.
Those crazy kids over at News.com.

New in NewsForge this week

News editor Tina Gasperson talks
with Adam Beberg, CTO of Mithral Communication &
Design
, who in a recent paper, wrote that Open
Source is not a business model.

Hardware reviewer Jeff Field takes
apart the Cue:Cat scanner
and looks at the Open
Source software available for it to do funky new
things.

Columnist Julie Bresnick profiles
Gerard Beekmans who Linux From Scratch
, a guide to
building a Linux operating system.

The best of NewsForge

Since NewsForge launched in mid-August, we've had a
steady increase in readers. It's been an exciting and
challenging year, and we look forward to bringing an
even better, more comprehensive Open Source news site
in 2001. For those of you who are recent converts to
our cause, here are some of the stories we've done
this year:

Gasperson interviewed
Open Source advocate Bruce Perens
, just after he
was hired by Hewlett-Packard. Perens said the union
would be good for all in the Open Source community.

Field compared
the usability of Windows Whistler with Gnome, KDE, and
Mandrake Update
, and found each could learn something
from the others.

Meanwhile, Gasperson argued
that Whistler might convince Windows holdouts
to
finally switch to Open Source.

The director of the U.S. Patent Office told
a tech audience that his hands were tied by
Congress
amid calls to tighten the kinds of
patents the office granted for software and Internet
business methods.

Two Internet veterans called
for a type of "antipatent"
to counter the problem
of too many goofy patents being issued.

Business columnist Jack Bryar countered
bad stock prices by arguing that companies can make
money
in Open Source. One growing sector: telecom.

Freelancer Eric Ries gave readers a sneak preview
of Richard M. Stallman's version 3 of the GNU General
Public License. Here's part
one
and part
two
.

Happy New Year, everyone.

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