Now that Debian Sarge is finally out the door (insert big applause for the Debian folks for passing that milestone), what comes next? Obviously, work begins on Etch, the next release -- but what should Debian's priorities be?
Linux and Open Source
The latest news and views on all things Linux and open source by seasoned Unix and Linux user Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols.
Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols
Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols, aka sjvn, has been writing about technology and the business of technology since CP/M-80 was the cutting edge PC operating system. SJVN covers networking, Linux, open source, and operating systems.
Paula Rooney is a Boston-based writer who has followed the tech industry for more than two decades.
Amid all the hoopla about Nokia tying up with Apple and open source, developing a version of the Safari browser for its Series 60 cell phones, what has not been mentioned is its impact on the continuing BSD vs. GPL debate.
One of the odd things about the operation of the social welfare system is that somebody, somewhere, in at least one arm of the total system - justice, wellfare, immigration, mental health services -somebody knows what the social worker needs to know. Did Joe, a violent career criminal from anothercity, announce his intention of living with his sister -and twin three year olds- to an outreach workerat the John Howard Society's halfway house? Somebody somewhere in the system knows, but the case workerdoesn't.
When a closed source project gets most of the way there, its owner will redouble efforts to win market share. When an open source project gets most of the way there, its developer doesn't have a big incentive to make changes -- it works fine for them.
Oracle is not universally beloved, and is at serious risk of seeing its market retire as more andmore systems decision making falls to younger people whose first loyalties might be toMicrosoft or Open Source, instead of to IBM or Oracle. That's the market enterpriseDB is going after,and by all reports I've seen so far, they might well have the product to do it.
Expansive predictions just don't work in this space. So it's important that we get our heads around what open source is and isn't.
The court didn't buy the "I'm too smart to have done that" argument, but the Europeans may have just done itto themselves too -and face the same bottom line Apple did: getting exactly nothing from Microsoft.
Sourcelabs is 100% behind the "political" aspect of Perens' life, his work against software patents and the DRM shut-out of Open Source from content players. You might say they like him, they really like him.
It may strike you as interesting that it's 1998 and he still thinks of Linux as "free Unix for the 386" but whatshould be thought provoking is the clarity of his decision. There's no absolutism or partisanship here: he choose the GPL, not because it was morally better for everyone,but because it offers a better fit to his personal needs.