Legislation and More Legislation
The subject of software patents has been a frequent topic of discussion in this and other organs of the Free/Open-Source community. An indication of the problems that lie ahead if these issues are not satisfactorily resolved is provided by the current discussions surrounding Munich's migration from Windows to GNU/Linux. In spite of much campaigning by Microsoft, including visits by Steve Ballmer, the Munich authorities have been pursuing an Open Source IT strategy. However, one pro-Open-Source Munich alderman has pointed out that ongoing doubts about the current and future status of software patents could wreck the plans. Though his concerns are largely precautionary, Jens Muehlhaus is not the only party to see the importance of patents. Microsoft, for one, certainly believes that patents are a crucial tool with which to control the market. To this end, over the past years the company has trebled the number of patents it files annually. Equally, there is a growing awareness among the Free/Open-Source community of the issue, and of possible ways to confront the problem. While the American situation seems very hard to change (with defensive patenting being one of the more rational coping strategies) the European scenario is still quite malleable, which hopefully will encourage some constructive engagement in this very political process.
French Licence - CeCILL
Three French public bodies, the ECA, the INRIA, and the CNRS, have published a new free/open-source software licence: CeCILL [ English translation]. The new licence aims to address some specific points of French law that the writers of CeCILL believe cause difficulties in the application of the GPL.
Project AMOS aims to automate reuse of open source code (a European project aimed at creating a searchable database to automate the reuse of free/open source software code).
E-Voting, a challenge to the Open Source community
Analysing network attacks by sorting through packets from your IDS.
Behind DragonFly BSD, a look at the new fork of FreeBSD 4.
Four alternative Linux window managers, Newsforge takes a look at life beyond KDE and Gnome: AfterStep, Enlightenment, IceWM and FVWM.
Real world Linux migration stories
News in General
Mandrake Storms French Government, Catalonia's Homage to CATix
The French Ministry of Equipment has chosen Mandrakelinux Corporate Server to replace 1,500 Microsoft Windows NT servers in a national scale deployment.
Debian Weekly News reports that Debian is increasing it's market share. Netcraft has reported data indicating that Debian shows market share gains among GNU/Linux distributions (Gentoo currently has the fastest percentage growth rate). Debian GNU/Linux is now running on more than 1 million web-facing hostnames.
Feather Linux is a Knoppix-derived Linux distribution. It can run completely off a CD or a USB memory-key and uses less than 64Mb of space. It provides a selection of desktop-focused software. LinuxQuestions.org has recently added an officially recognized forum for the distribution
Progeny Debian 2.0, Developer Edition Beta 1 has been released and is available for download. This release represents a sample implementation of Componentized Linux.
Red Hat is reported to be preparing to sell a subscription service supporting an open-source Java application server.
Flexbeta has reviewed Turbo Linux 10f, the multi-media geared variant of Turbo Linux 10.
Software and Product News
Linux vendor Linspire has released PhoneGaim, a free software program that adds voice-over-IP functionality to the Linux-based Gaim instant messaging client.
Maguma Workbench is a cross-platform source-level editor, also known as an IDE (Integrated Development Environment). The product contains a debugger, internal and external previews, adjustable themes, class browser, new flexible layout, and more. As well as Linux, the product is available for Windows and Mac OSX.
Motorola's Linux Smart Phone
LinuxDevices reports that US mobile phone customers will soon have the opportunity to by a Linux-based handset later this year, when operators begin offering a Motorola Linux/Java smartphone aimed at business professionals. The A780 will roll out globally in early Q4, reaching select US regions before 2005, according to Motorola.