Date: Tue, 07 Dec 2004 17:57:01 -0500 (EST)
From:"Linux Pipeline Newsletter" <>
Subject: [LPN] Linux Pipeline Newsletter - 12-07-04 - Learning From The Enemy Linux Pipeline Newsletter | Learning From The Enemy | 12.08.2004
Linux Pipeline Newsletter
Tuesday, December 7, 2004

In This Issue:
  • Editor's Note: Learning From The Enemy
  • Top Linux News
        - Publisher Looks To Air SCO-IBM Dirty Laundry
        - Oracle Delivers Enterprise Apps For Novell SuSE Linux
        - Beijing Gives Microsoft The Boot
        - More News...
  • Editor's Picks
        - The Future Of Software: Still A Windows World
        - The Linux Kernel's Fuzzy Future
        - Giving The Gift Of Open Source Software
        - More Picks...
  • Voting Booth: Linux Security Threats
  • Get More Out Of Linux Pipeline
  • Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

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    Editor's Note: Learning From The Enemy

    Open-source software development is, for many of the people involved, a matter of style. Whether or not that's a gross generalization, it reflects a popular image of the open-source community: freewheeling, individualistic, and either irrepressibly creative or hopelessly chaotic, depending on one's point of view.

    Naturally, Microsoft--the world's largest and most successful commercial software company--represents the opposite stereotype: centralized, businesslike, and either solidly reliable or hopelessly bureaucratic, again depending on one's point of view.

    In reality, people on both sides of the open-source fence can, and do, learn valuable lessons from the competition. And as InformationWeek's John Foley points out this week, the development philosophies behind the Windows platform and the Linux kernel both stand to benefit from these exchanges.

    The Linux Kernel's Fuzzy Future

    Today, the organizations driving Linux kernel development are launching an interesting experiment. Instead of working on parallel developers' and production kernels--the standard, time-honored Linux development model--they're experimenting with a single version from which stable production kernels could emerge several times a year. That's a far cry from the process that produced the Linux 2.6 kernel, which took nearly three years to mature after the version 2.4 release.

    One of the goals here is to get a leg up on Microsoft by delivering new features more quickly and by adapting more effectively to enterprise customers' needs. While Microsoft sticks to a philosophy that lays out product roadmaps several years at a time and generally avoids dramatic change, the Linux community is testing an approach that favors short-term adaptability and innovation over long-term predictability.

    This is a bold experiment, given the fact that Linux is just beginning to establish itself as a serious alternative for high-end enterprise applications--a change that's due, in part, to the Linux 2.6 kernel and to the process that produced it.

    It would be a mistake, however, to ignore the fact that in spite of Microsoft's often-missed deadlines and technological inertia, the company's development methodology gives companies something they often value more than innovation: the ability to see into the future and to plan their IT investments accordingly.

    As Foley observes, Microsoft is slowly moving towards a more flexible development process that still gives customers a clear technology roadmap. The Linux community's experiment with a very different approach reflects many of the traits that have made the open-source model so successful. But it would be a mistake to press ahead with change simply for the sake of change--an approach that may not win many supporters in the enterprise IT departments where the Linux community is betting its future.

    Matthew McKenzie
    Editor, Linux Pipeline

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    Top Linux News

    Publisher Looks To Air SCO-IBM Dirty Laundry
    A media firm asks a court to release confidential details of SCO's copyright infringement lawsuit against IBM.

    Oracle Delivers Enterprise Apps For Novell SuSE Linux
    The software giant announces plans to make a variety of enterprise applications available for Novell's SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 platform.

    Beijing Gives Microsoft The Boot
    Beijing's municipal government kills a $3.5 million deal with Microsoft, as government officials get serious about enforcing a "buy-China" software policy that relies heavily upon open-source software.

    Sybase Server To Support IBM Linux Hardware
    The software maker says it will ship next year a version of its Linux-based database for IBM's eServer systems.

    Firefox Users Don't Click
    Surfers who use the open-source browser are less likely to click on Web site ads than Internet Explorer users, according to an online advertising firm.

    Mozilla Delivers Email Client Release Candidate
    The open-source software foundation puts finishing touches on its standalone email client, with an eye towards giving Microsoft's Outlook Express some fresh competition.

    Microsoft and Sun: More Promises, No Deliverables
    Eight months after signing their historic pact, Microsoft and Sun have not yet delivered on identity server and Active Directory integration--even though the firms have announced additional interoperability projects.

    Most Linux Deployments On Dual Processors
    A research report indicates more firms are adopting Linux for enterprise apps, databases, and other mission-critical tasks suited for dual-processor servers.

    Will IBM 'Power' Spark Chinese Software Innovation?
    Fifteen firms join IBM in an open standards initiative, based on the Power microprocessor architecture, that could have a major impact on China's home-grown software development initiatives.

    Apple Releases Major OS X Security Patch
    Apple Computer posts security updates for Mac OS X covering a variety of issues, including fixes for the Apache Web server and Apple's Safari browser.

    Connect Computing, Mandrakesoft Tackle Small-Biz Linux
    The two firms announce an agreement to develop Linux server software tailored for small and medium businesses.

    Mandrakesoft Turns A Profit
    The Paris-based Linux vendor ends its fiscal year with a profit, reflecting the firm's ongoing financial recovery.

    Microsoft Patches IFRAME Bug In IE 6
    An Internet Explorer security flaw responsible for several recent malware attacks gets a long-awaited fix.

    The Xen Approach To Virtualization
    A consortium including several major Linux vendors unveils an open-source alternative to VMware and Virtual Server.

    Firm Grabs Patent For Hotspot 'Landing Pages'
    A recently awarded patent appears to cover Web pages that provide wireless Internet hotspot users with logon, billing, and other functions.

    Editor's Picks

    The Future Of Software: Still A Windows World
    Want to see what the operating system market will look like tomorrow? Just take a look around you today.

    The Linux Kernel's Fuzzy Future
    Is a decentralized Linux development model the best way to spur rapid innovation, or is it a potential stumbling block for enterprise customers?

    Giving The Gift Of Open Source Software
    This holiday season, give yourself the gift of open-source software. But beware, some strings are attached.

    Sun-Microsoft Alliance: Where's The Beef?
    Sun and Microsoft say they're warming to each other. But after eight months of work on ambitious interoperability plans, their anti-Linux alliance is still more talk than action.

    Hacker Heaven: Gone In 30 Seconds
    How long does an exposed PC survive on the Internet, according to security researchers? Here's a hint: Don't blink.

    Recipe For Reseller Success: Open Systems' Open Code
    Not every small business wants to make do with vanilla accounting software. With Open Systems' products, they don't have to, thanks to a policy that encourages resellers to adapt the code to meet customers' needs.

    How Do Real Bad Guys Break Software?
    A security expert breaks down the tools and techniques attackers use to build malware and to attack vulnerable systems.

    Voting Booth:

    Cast Your Vote Now!
    Linux Security Threats

    As Linux moves into the commercial mainstream, it also moves increasingly into harm's way. What is the biggest security threat Linux faces today? This is the final week, cast your vote today!

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    paperless solution; and dramatically reduce annual fax costs.
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