Article Source Community-cation
May 12, 2009, 9:54 pm

The relaunching of Linux.com has been, without a doubt, one of the most challenging professional tasks I have ever been a part of. And I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

The opportunity was stunning–to be part of a team that would take a marquee site that’s been a part of the Linux community and infrastructure for years and change it to something even better.

When the word got out amongst the community that the Linux Foundation was undertaking this task, there were a lot of questions on what we were going to do with the site. Consistently the answer we gave was “make the site for the community.” Now that you can see the results, I think you will agree we’ve achieved that goal and more.

To get started, click Login to use or Register to get your free Linux.com account. Prior Linux.com users, take note: your old account should work on our new Linux.com. You will land on your Profile page in the Community section. From here, you can start your participation.

Socializing with other Linux users on Linux.com is very worthwhile, but it’s not the only opportunity to participate in the community. You can contribute your own content to Linux.com, too.

Here are the other ways you can contribute:

The News section contains in-depth analysis and reports for software, hardware, embedded, business, and enterprise topics. It also contains the Featured Blogs from Linux community luminaries and Linux Foundation leaders.

With all of those distros out there, it can be hard to keep up with the current advances, so we’ve created the Distribution News section so you can find out the latest happenings, releases, and events for your favorite Linux distributions, or all of them. Get insights and knowledge about Linux distributions directly from the source: the community leaders and developers who are building the next version of your preferred distros. In the Distribution Blogs section, we’ve got leaders from the Fedora, Ubuntu, openSUSE, and Debian communities to start, with more folks on the way. The Download Linux section will point you to the right distribution for your needs.

One of my favorite sections of the site is the Answers area, where you find answers to other user’s questions or post your own! It’s in the Learn section, where we’ve also got a Documentation section with all of the Linux man pages and Linux Documentation Project Howtos. Look for this section to really grow in the coming weeks! The same for the Tutorials section, where users can add their own helpful manuals on how to get things done in Linux. The Learn section also has whitepapers from the Linux Foundation and industry analysts, detailed reference articles, and a Careers/Training section that gives expert advice on how to stay current in your job with career advice and advanced training opportunities.

The Linux.com Directory is a user-contributed and -reviewed database of software applications that run on the Linux operating system; Linux-compatible hardware; and books, hosting, and other professional services in the Linux ecosystem. This is another area where user contributions will only make the site better: the directory’s listing are entered by users who share what they know about these items. What software is the best of its class? How do you get the drivers for that piece of hardware? These are all questions that the directory can answer. As time goes on, and the directory becomes more complete, it will be an invaluable resource for Linux users of all experience levels.

We’re asking for lots of participation for Linux.com, but that’s not to say it won’t be without rewards.

Here’s the really cool announcement: As you contribute to the site, you will gain Guru points, which will showcase your skill level to Linux.com visitors. The top 50 annual Linux gurus on Linux.com will be included in an annual report from the Linux Foundation. The top five contributors to Linux.com annually will receive invitations to the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit and have a seat at the annual Linux.com planning meeting as community representatives. The top Linux.com user will be recognized each year as the ‚ÄúUltimate Linux Guru‚Äù and be given a fully loaded ‚Äúdream‚Äù Linux notebook, personally autographed by Linux creator Linus Torvalds, as recognition of his or her guru status. The top five Linux gurus and ultimate Linux guru will be determined by Guru points total on Feb 15 every year.

The work put into the site thus far has involved nearly every person working for the Linux Foundation, and their efforts must be recognized here, as well as all of the IdeaForge users who contributed ideas and then gave direct feedback during our beta program. Thanks to all! This was a tremendous team effort and a lot of work done in a short space of time.

It’s a lot to start with, but believe me, we’ve got more planned. So now, go in and check it out for yourself, see what there is to see, and let us know what you think! For content and design suggestions, please continue to visit our IdeaForge site.

More later, thanks for being here at the beginning!

Article Source Linus Torvalds’s Blog
May 11, 2009, 6:07 pm

So in between testing -rc5 on all the machines I can find (and in the process being a total PITA when I find just configuration idiocies and a random “my wireless doesn’t work – oh, wait, yes it does”), I’ve been reading more.

And yes, I finished off the Soldier Son trilogy. And yes, Nevare was fat and stupid and whiny, up until the last chapter. Oh well. Not unexpected.

On the positive front, there’s “Why Evolution is True” by Jerry A Coyne.

I’m not quite sure who this book is for (the people denying evolution certainly don’t have enough braincells or background to read it), but I suspect that if you’re sitting on the fence, and want to educate yourself, but have been talking too much to people who tell you that evolution can’t be true because [ insert some odd reason here] then this might be the book for you.

It’s a pretty good read, with a lot of examples from different areas. It made me think that I’ll be really happy to give this book to the kids when they are ready for it, which is probably not for a few years, but still..

Currently reading “The Brain that Changes Itself” by Norman Doidge. I have no idea where that book came from, but Tove claims I bought it. So it must be so. I clearly buy too many books, and some of them get forgotten and then found again. It’s like a mild case of Alzheimer’s – every day is a new adventure.

Anyway, I got sidetracked there a bit: the book started out like some crazy persons rant against the “establishment”, and I was sure I could not possibly have bought it, and Tove had decided that it was time to get me to read some odd new-age literature. But once you get past the preface, and get over the point where Norman claims that brain plasticity is somehow a radical new thing, the book actually is quite interesting.

Ok, so I’m only about two-thirds through, and parts of it really do seem to be a bit too overly excited and over-hyped (and read as a commercial for some of the things mentioned), but I’ve been enjoying it. I suspect there are much more balanced accounts out there, but with the caveat that you should probably read this book with a healthy dose of critical thinking, it’s been a good read.

Article Source News and Thoughts from Inside the Linux Foundation
May 8, 2009, 2:00 pm

Some months ago, we received a steady stream of reporter questions asking, “With the emergence of Cloud computing, what will happen to Linux?” Somehow they thought it was a zero sum game and that the rise of Cloud meant the extinction of Linux. Clearly the message that Linux *is* the operating system behind virtually all, if not all, commercial cloud computing offerings was not well understood in the market. (Can you guess the one Cloud offering that doesn’t use Linux?)

Those questions and answers resulted in the latest Linux Foundation white paper: Linux, the Operating System of the Cloud. It’s a high-level overview of how Linux is powering cloud environments with some discussion of why Linux is the obvious choice. And just why is it? Because Linux is configurable, ubiquitous, flexible (in terms of licensing *and* technology), manageable (its very easy to find staff to administer it), and available on all architectures, which drives the costs down for its users.

This isn’t the first time we have seen Linux dominate a new field of computing: “Like the web architectures it spawned from, cloud computing platforms are often composed from many other open source projects, from databases to file systems to application and web servers to language runtimes. By virtue of its quality, ubiquity, and open source nature, Linux is a first choice deployment target for developers of all of the above. As a result, cloud vendors benefit from the wide application catalog available to the Linux platform.”

Cloud providers care about about two things: price and performance (stability, reliability security, etc.) Linux has proven to be impossible to beat in those two areas. Microsoft’s technology may offer developers nice support and features, but its licensing practices make it nearly impossible for cloud vendors to base their business on it. For instance, could Google have ever been Google if they’d had to pay Microsoft per server licensing?

From the paper: “The second wave of online business, typified by Google and Amazon, will move farther into consumers’ digital lives, running in multiple devices, handling off-line interruptions, improving the browser interface, facilitating mashups between diverse user-chosen services, and a myriad of other issues that are just starting to be glimpsed. This flexibility and utility, based on Linux, is now pushing the cloud into enterprises, governments, and small businesses the world over.”

Google revolutionized the Internet through the scale provided by Linux. I think Amazon’s EC2 network is now going to revolutionize the way we interact with data and applications, as a whole new generation of developers make use of the kind of infrastructure and scale that Google and Amazon painstakingly built. Can you imagine the creativity that will be unleashed when you grant developers the ability to create new applications without worrying about operational cost or specifics? I wish I could (so I could invest in the right ones) but I do know that their work will be built on the backs of the hard work and creativity of those developers who have contributed to the Linux kernel.

Article Source News and Thoughts from Inside the Linux Foundation
May 8, 2009, 2:00 pm

Some months ago, we received a steady stream of reporter questions asking, “With the emergence of Cloud computing, what will happen to Linux?” Somehow they thought it was a zero sum game and that the rise of Cloud meant the extinction of Linux. Clearly the message that Linux *is* the operating system behind virtually all, if not all, commercial cloud computing offerings was not well understood in the market. (Can you guess the one Cloud offering that doesn’t use Linux?)

Those questions and answers resulted in the latest Linux Foundation white paper: Linux, the Operating System of the Cloud. It’s a high-level overview of how Linux is powering cloud environments with some discussion of why Linux is the obvious choice. And just why is it? Because Linux is configurable, ubiquitous, flexible (in terms of licensing *and* technology), manageable (its very easy to find staff to administer it), and available on all architectures, which drives the costs down for its users.

This isn’t the first time we have seen Linux dominate a new field of computing: “Like the web architectures it spawned from, cloud computing platforms are often composed from many other open source projects, from databases to file systems to application and web servers to language runtimes. By virtue of its quality, ubiquity, and open source nature, Linux is a first choice deployment target for developers of all of the above. As a result, cloud vendors benefit from the wide application catalog available to the Linux platform.”

Cloud providers care about about two things: price and performance (stability, reliability security, etc.) Linux has proven to be impossible to beat in those two areas. Microsoft’s technology may offer developers nice support and features, but its licensing practices make it nearly impossible for cloud vendors to base their business on it. For instance, could Google have ever been Google if they’d had to pay Microsoft per server licensing?

From the paper: “The second wave of online business, typified by Google and Amazon, will move farther into consumers’ digital lives, running in multiple devices, handling off-line interruptions, improving the browser interface, facilitating mashups between diverse user-chosen services, and a myriad of other issues that are just starting to be glimpsed. This flexibility and utility, based on Linux, is now pushing the cloud into enterprises, governments, and small businesses the world over.”

Google revolutionized the Internet through the scale provided by Linux. I think Amazon’s EC2 network is now going to revolutionize the way we interact with data and applications, as a whole new generation of developers make use of the kind of infrastructure and scale that Google and Amazon painstakingly built. Can you imagine the creativity that will be unleashed when you grant developers the ability to create new applications without worrying about operational cost or specifics? I wish I could (so I could invest in the right ones) but I do know that their work will be built on the backs of the hard work and creativity of those developers who have contributed to the Linux kernel.

Article Source Linus Torvalds’s Blog
May 6, 2009, 9:24 am

.. by Barbara Oakley.

I have to say that I was a bit disappointed in the lack of any actual science (it starts out much more promising than it then ends up being).

But that disappointment is balanced by the fact that it was actually a fun read, mostly because you end up trying to match some of the traits being discussed to yourself, your crazy relatives, your psychotic co-workers etc.

So I’d say that it ended up having not a lot about genes, and a lot of armchair psychology of people Barbara never actually met (apart from her sister). But I’ll still have to give it a thumbs up just for being entertaining.

The merge window is calming down, so I’ve been reading other things too, but they’ve been eminently forgettable. I’m now steeling myself to begin “Renegade’s Magic”, the third installment of Robin Hobb’s Soldier Son trilogy. The two first ones were big disappointments, and I had already decided that I’m not even going to bother finishing the trilogy, but I guess I can’t.

Here’s to hoping Nevare turns out to be less of a fat whining idiot in the third book. But I’m not really holding my breath.

Article Source Linus Torvalds’s Blog
May 4, 2009, 9:33 am

Ok, so I have lots of pet peeves, and if I wanted to blog them all I’d have no time for anything else (and a lot more blog posts than the occasional one), but this one struck me the other day.

I was at the optometrist with Patricia, who is near-sighted like me. Or rather – not like me, since I’ve had lasik, and since she’s more nearsighted than I ever was. She’s blind as a bat without glasses or contacts, in other words.

Also like me, she’s allergic to pollen. She gets itchy, watery eyes. So at the optometrist, when they ask about whether she’s had problems with her eyes, the allergies come up. And what do you know, they have eye-drops for that.

Ok, not surprising. But what I do find surprising is the kind of eye-drops they have. This is a doctor’s office, you’d expect them to be professional. But their eye-drops are homeopathic, and the doctor talks them up as not having any harsh medication in them. Well, duh! They’re saline solution.

So I sit there quietly, and don’t call him out for being a quack, because real doctors do actually prescribe placebos, and maybe he does know better. And there’s also no question that plain saline solution isn’t a fine thing to use when your eyes are itchy.

So afterwards, I spend some time afterwards talking to Patricia about placebos and homeopathy and quackery, in my never-ending hope that my kids won’t grow up to be morons. But it’s been a few days, and quite frankly, it still disturbs me. I’ve not had any other issues with that optometrist, but I’m seriously wondering if this is worth switching eye doctors over.

Do I want somebody who sells snake-oil (ok, so he gave a free sample, and no way would I have paid for it anyway) looking at my kids eyes? Even if it’s harmless and even beneficial?

I’d much rather have seen free samples of “sterile saline solution”. And oh yes, please feel free to make a big deal out of the “sterile” part, and feel free to talk about how it is “all natural” and free of Tetrahydrozoline or other chemicals.

But this piece-of-crap saline solution talked about the magical homeopathic “active ingredients” (non-existent and bogus), and while it did list the “inactive ingredients” (ie water and sodium chloride – aka “saline solution”), it was basically a huge advert for teaching people bad science and paying extra for it.

And I’m not crazy. I’m not going to make my own saline solution to save money. I’ll happily pay extra for “sterile”. I’ll pay extra for nice prepared droppers in tiny sizes, even if it means you pay actual money for just tiny amounts of water with some table salt in it (no iodine – get the “kosher” salt if you want to make your own, and use distilled water). I’ll happily pay for the convenience of having somebody else prepare saline solution of the proper strength and in a convenient package.

And the funny thing is, I don’t mind it when I see the same thing at the checkout counter in the organic grocery store I prefer to go to. I go there because quite frankly, the average meat department in something like a Safeway or Albertsons leaves a lot to be desired. And hey, it’s an organic store, so I kind of expect it to then cater to the ignorant and the crack-pots too.

But at the doctors’ office?

Article Source angelabianca’s blog
May 1, 2009, 9:36 am

The 3rd Annual Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit, held this April 8-10 in San Francisco, left me surprised and in high spirits.Â¬â  Why you ask?Â¬â  Because although I am fully aware that the downturn the economy has taken is affecting both individuals and businesses alike across the board, it didnâÃôt seem to have this effect on the summit this year – not in a lack of attendees, enthusiasm among the participants or spirit of the collaboration.Â¬â  In fact, I would say this was our most successful Collaboration Summit to date, which I think speaks very highly for Linux both as a technology and a community, and its ability to not only maintain but persevere in hard times.Â¬â  So kudos to the over 400 participants in attendance, our largest audience to date!Â¬â  Thank you to those events that co-located with us – the CE Linux ForumâÃôs Embedded Linux Conference and the Linux Storage & Filesystems Workshop – which allowed attendees to trim travel costs by attending multiple events at once.Â¬â  And a hats off to all of our speakers who did not fail to provide educational, interesting and thought provoking content. Â¬â  We look forward to seeing everyone again next year!

For those that could not join us this year, I am happy to announce the videos from the Wednesday plenary sessions, as well as interviews with some of our attendees, are now available to view here on our video gallery.

Videos Include:

Happy Viewing!

The conference takes place September 21 – 23, 2009 in Portland, Oregon at the Marriott Downtown Waterfront, and is co-located with the Linux Plumbers Conference.

The LinuxCon keynotes represent both community and industry in keeping with the audience.

Current confirmed keynotes are:

  • Joe ‚ÄúZonker‚Äù Brockmeier, openSUSE community manager, Novell
  • Bdale Garbee, open source & Linux chief technologist at Hewlett Packard, and well-known kernel developer
  • Mark Shuttleworth, founder of the Ubuntu distribution and Canonical
  • Bob Sutor, vice president of Standards and Open Source at IBM

LinuxCon welcomes everyone who has a stake in Linux. Linux users and developers will meet and learn from their peers as well as teach others, such as up-and-coming developers and new Linux users. LinuxCon eliminates the traditional tradeshow environment to provide a forum where attendees can educate themselves on the latest technical advances of the Linux platform.

Three tracks – developer, business and operations – will provide the foundation for sessions that include tutorials, keynotes, a technology showcase and targeted mini-summits on topics such as mobile, desktop
and embedded, and much more.

For more information: http://events.linuxfoundation.org/events/linuxcon

Register Now at the Early Bird Rate of US$299!
Early Bird Registration Ends June 1st.
Discounted Group Rates are also available – receive 15% off of each
registration if 3 or more people from your company attend!  Email us
to receive a group discount code.

To register to attend:
http://events.linuxfoundation.org/component/registrationpro/?func=details&did=1

Questions?  Contact us at events (at) linuxfoundation.org

Article Source Community-cation
April 21, 2009, 6:51 am

I have a confession to make: I am a map geek.

Even my friends may find this a bit of a surprise; it’s not something I generally advertise. Not out of any particular need to keep it secret, mind you, but for the simple reason that maps simply don’t come up in conversation very often. My social skills may be awkward, but they’re not that bad.

For me, maps are a great way to show where things are now and where they have been before. One of my hobby-ish things to do is pour over Google Maps’ satellite view and look for old railroad track beds, to see where the old iron roads used to ply across the country before the age of the automobile, the truck, and the plane.

You can imagine, then, the little thrill I got when I heard about Red Hat’s new Open Source Index, which includes an interactive map that compares and contrasts open source activity and environment in the 75 countries studied for the Index. Red Hat did the study in conjunction with the Georgia Institute of Technology, measuring open source using two separate indices: one for activity and another for environment. According to Red Hat’s announcement, the activity index measures the amount of open source currently present in a country and includes concrete factors such as existing open source and open standards policies and the number of open source software users or producers. The environment index includes factors at a country level that may further, or coexist with, open source activity such as a high number of Internet users.

Researchers from Georgia Tech developed the framework for measuring open source usage after reviewing an extensive collection of academic literature, professional, and general media and holding in-depth interviews with open source experts and practitioners. Each of the 75 countries identified in the study received a summary score for activity and environment. Both activity and environment were measured on three dimensions: government, industry and community/education. Then, each dimension within activity and environment was measured along several quantitative indicators, the announcement added.

“Red Hat hopes the Open Source Index will serve as a resource for those within the open source community along with others who are curious about open source to start building relationships and further foster worldwide open source growth,” stated Tom Rabon, vice president, Corporate Affairs for Red Hat. “The message of the benefits and value open source delivers is resonating across the globe and there are several geographies that present a great opportunity for open source adoption.”

How did the countries stack up against each other? I thought the ranks were pretty telling, because the US almost didn’t make the top 10. This seems pretty surprising, until you consider how entrenched other proprietary software is within US markets. Here’s the top 10, based on Activity score:

Rank Country Activity
1 France 1.35
2 Spain 1.07
3 Germany 1.05
4 Australia 1.04
5 Finland 1.03
6 United Kingdom (of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland) 1
7 Norway 0.95
8 Estonia 0.89
9 United States of America 0.89
10 Denmark 0.79

If you look at some of the other data, the ranks change quite a bit. In terms of Community Activity, the top 10 are:

CA Rank Country Community Activity
1 Estonia 1.86
2 United States of America 1.82
3 France 1.09
4 China, People’s Republic of 1.02
5 Germany 0.84
6 Japan 0.76
7 United Kingdom (of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland) 0.76
8 India 0.74
9 Ireland 0.72
10 Spain 0.62

There’s a lot of data in here, so check it out and see how your location fares as an open source environment.

Article Source Zemlin’s Blog
April 20, 2009, 11:04 am

It’s no surprise that the executive director of the Linux Foundation would see good news for Linux in the unexpected announcement this morning of Oracle’s acquisition of Sun Microsystems, but I do feel it necessary to shed some light on how it may or may not affect Linux.

– Oracle is strategically aligned with Linux: Oracle is a Linux distributor, and all its products are developed and run on Linux. As Edward Screven, chief architect of Oracle, said in a keynote at our Collaboration Summit two weeks ago, “entering the Linux market was the right choice for Oracle.‚Äù They are also a major user: Oracle’s entire enterprise runs on Linux, and they are major contributors to the Linux kernel among other Linux projects.

– While Oracle specifically is calling out the software assets and upside in this deal, specially the acquisition of Java and Solaris, this does not mean they will lessen their support for Linux. In fact Oracle‚Äôs support for Linux is so crucial to the company, they felt it useful to say in the official press release that they will continue to be “committed as ever to Linux.”

РOracle is first and foremost an applications and business software vendor, meaning they need to support the OS that the customer wishes to deploy their software on. Solaris has traditionally been a very popular OS choice for the Oracle DB. This acquisition makes a lot of sense for Oracle to fine tune Solaris for their products, but it certainly will not lessen the support or investment Oracle has in Linux. This isn’t a zero sum game. Much like IBM or HP who continue to build out their Linux businesses while sustaining their Unix investments, it’s about granting customers choice and making sure your software is optimized to run on the OS of their choice. In fact, Sun has an existing Linux business that has been growing in recent years.

– Oracle is a key supporter of open standards such as ODF and we believe this only strengthens that stance. This acquisition could prove fruitful for Open Office and ODF support in the enterprise. Both Oracle and Sun’s commitments to open standards based products and services that enable customer choice and effective integration amongst the variety of technology it takes to run a business is a win for technology consumers.

Both Sun and Oracle are members of the Linux Foundation, with Oracle a prominent supporter of the Foundation with its platinum membership. We look forward to working with the combined company to further the growth of open source, open standards, and Linux.