Workplace Solutions

by Marjorie Richardson
Workplace Solutions

Linux is spreading like wildfire through businesses these days. The proof is in the number of articles and article suggestions that I receive every month. The majority of these articles describe how Linux is being used at work by a surprisingly varied group of authors from all over the world. Usually we print only one of these “Linux Means Business” articles each month, but this month we focus on workplace solutions and give you five feature articles of this type. We have even more but there is just not enough space for all of them, so we will continue to publish one each month. We also have a few product reviews to help you select office applications that support Linux.

Last year there were several news items proving that Linux is being taken seriously by the big companies. At the LISA'97 Conference in San Diego in October, LJ's publisher, Phil Hughes, talked to a programmer who is porting Linux to SGI hardware. UMAX Technologies invested in VA Research, a company that sells its computers with Linux installed, even though UMAX is also a manufacturer of PowerMac clones. In Canada, Corel Computer Corporation announced that Linux will be the operating system installed on their new Video Network computer. We have an interview with Corel's President, Mr. Eid Eid, in this issue.

Another item of note is that Netscape has announced that Communicator 4.04 will include JDK 1.1 with support for Linux. This is definitely a step in the right direction, since Netscape has not provided any kind of support for Linux before. This is most likely due to the fact that Caldera is providing a Linux version of Netscape in their OpenLinux Standard.

A Brief Note

As I am writing this in January, Microsoft is again being charged with unfair business practices, this time for bundling Internet Explorer with its Windows operating system. I must admit to brief sympathy on this one—I mean, Microsoft did announce in the beginning that this was their plan, and no one objected until it became a reality. However, I lost all sympathy when yesterday (and I paraphrase here) the Microsoft spokesman was asked if he truly thought that when the judge said Microsoft should supply a Windows version without IE, the judge meant for Microsoft to supply a version that didn't work, and the spokesman said “Yes.” You have to wonder what these guys are thinking.

Upcoming Events

Some upcoming Linux events that you might be interested in are:

  • Spring Comdex Linux Pavilion, April 20 through April 23, 1998, Chicago, IL. For more information see or visit the Linux Journal WWW page (

  • USENIX Conference on Object-Oriented Technologies and Systems (COOTS), April 27 through April 30, 1998, Sante Fe, NM, El Dorado Hotel. For more information see

  • 4th Annual Linux Expo, May 28 through May 30, 1998, Chapel Hill, NC, Bryan Center at Duke University. For more information see

  • 23rd Annual USENIX Technical Conference, June 15 through June 19, 1998, New Orleans, LA. For more information see

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