``The law in open code means that no actor can gain ultimate control over open-source code. Even the kings can't get ultimate control over the code. For example, if Linus Torvalds, father of the Linux kernel, tried to steer GNU/Linux in a way that others in the community rejected, then others in the community could always have removed the offending part and gone in a different way. This threat constrains the kings; they can only lead where they know the people will follow.''--``Innovation, Regulation, and the Internet'' by Lawrence Lessig for The American Prospect.
A new version of LILO is posted that is able to get past the 1024-cylinder boot limit that has plagued PC systems for years.
The latest Netcraft survey shows Apache running on just over 60% of the Web.
Caldera Systems goes public after a short delay, on March 21. The stock, which was offered at $14/share, began trading at $26 and closed at $29.44. It thus registered a 110% gain on its first day.
``Caldera knows of no company that has built a profitable business based in whole or in part on open-source software.''--Caldera SEC filing
Walnut Creek (the parent company for Slackware) and BSDi announce their merger. Yahoo! will be taking an equity investment in the new company.
Motorola Computer Group announces the release of its HA Linux distribution. This distribution is aimed at telecommunications applications that require very high amounts of uptime; it includes hot-swap capability and is available for the i386 and PowerPC architectures.
The Embedded Linux Consortium is announced. Its goal is ``to amplify the depth, breadth and speed of Linux adoption in the enormous embedded computer market''. The initial leader will be Rick Lehrbaum, the man behind the LinuxDevices.com and DesktopLinux.com web sites, among other things.
Ericsson announces its ``Screen Phone HS210'' product--a Linux-based telephone with a touchscreen that can be used for e-mail, web browsing, etc. Ericsson and Opera Software also announce that Ericsson's (Linux-based) HS210 Screen Phone will incorporate the Opera web browser.
Code is ruled to be speech. On April 4, 2000, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit published its decision regarding Peter Junger's challenge to the Export Administration Regulations that prevented him from posting information on the Internet that contained cryptographic example code. Most critical in the ruling: ``Because computer source code is an expressive means for the exchange of information and ideas about computer programming, we hold that it is protected by the First Amendment.''
Andy Tanenbaum releases the the Minix operating system under the BSD license. Had Minix been open source from the beginning, Linux may never have happened.
SuSE releases the first supported Linux distribution for the IBM S/390 mainframe.
``Approximately 140 distribution companies exist across the globe. We believe all but the top five will be bought, will go out of business or will be relegated to insignificance. Market-share leaders are currently defined around geographic boundaries. Red Hat has the largest global brand recognition and leading North American market share; SuSE leads in Europe, Turbolinux leads in Asia, and Conectiva leads in South America.''--Keith Bachman, an analyst for WR Hambrecht, predicting in The Red Herring
Commercial considerations help prompt the relicensing of MySQL under the GPL. Now the two freely available databases that are widely used in the Linux and Free Software communities, PostgreSQL and MySQL, meet the Debian Free Software Guidelines and the Open Source Guidelines. In addition, Progress Software forms a new company, NuSphere, just for the purpose of supporting MySQL.
``In a world of NDA-bound business agreements, Debian is an open book. In a world of mission statements, Debian has a social contract. At a time when commercial distributors are striving to see how much proprietary software they can pack into a box of Linux, Debian remains the bastion of software freedom--living proof that you can have a fully functional and usable operating system without needing any proprietary code.''--Evan Leibovitch, ZDNet
Sun announces that StarOffice is to be released under the GPL. The code is going to be reworked, integrated with Bonobo and GTK, and released as a set of reusable components. StarOffice will also be reworked to use a set of open XML-based file formats.
Oracle's Linux-based internet appliance system hits the shelves. The ``New Internet Computer'' (NIC) is the latest result of Larry Ellison's long personal crusade to make non-Microsoft systems available to the world. It's aimed at people who only want access to the Net; as such, it's essentially a $199 (without monitor) X terminal.
Reports first appear that SCO may be purchased by Caldera. Later in 2000 Caldera and SCO announce their intent for Caldera International to be formed from Caldera's existing operation and two of SCO's three divisions.
Ted Ts'o steps forward to become the new 2.4 status list maintainer. Alan Cox was doing the job until he said that it was time to ``find someone else to maintain it''. Ted Ts'o responded to Linus' subsequent call for a new status list maintainer.
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