| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 10, 11 August 2003
Invoice is in the Mail, Says SCO
According to this story by Computer Business, SCO Group Inc is preparing to invoice customers running or developing with Linux. "Those being billed will include 1,500 end-users who were earlier this year informed by SCO in writing they should seek legal advice as running Linux violated the company's copyright. Customers running Linux who were not on SCO's original mailing list will also be targeted. SCO last week announced customers would be charged $699 per server running Linux and $199 for a client."
Ah, the fools of Utah! Like the legendary Don Quixote blindly fighting the wind mills, the SCO's executives will go down in business history as a bunch of madmen taking wild chances at achieving impossible dreams - first by suing IBM, then by harassing small businesses and individual Linux users. It's amazing how some people will stop at nothing to satisfy their greedy needs, their insane desire for easy cash without offering a solid product or a superior service in return. One day, when "SCO" is no longer in news headlines and the masterminds of this hopelessly inapropriate get-rich-quick scheme are safely behind bars, we will have a good laugh before getting on with our lives.
But in case some of you worry that somehow SCO succeeds in shutting down your favourite web site covering Linux distributions, then worry not. DistroWatch is actually hosted by a web server running on Debian Woody and powered by Linux Kernel 2.2.20, which, for some strange reason, is excluded from the SCO's harassment claim -- er, I beg your pardon -- SCO's Intellectual Property License. Still complaining that Debian is behind the times and badly outdated?
Debian's 10th birthday parties
Speaking about Debian, don't miss the project's 10th birthday party, raunchy celebrations and other festivities on 16 August (Saturday). Even if you are not a Debian fan, you have to admit that Debian GNU/Linux is an awesome project, one of the largest collaborative efforts ever created, spanning hundreds of developers on all continents. Birthday parties will be held in many countries and cities around the world, so check the schedule and do your best to attend. It will be fun!
|Released Last Week
Gentoo Linux 1.4
The long awaited official release of Gentoo Linux 1.4 finally arrived last week: "Gentoo Linux 1.4 is now available. 1.4 includes automated kernel builds, CFLAGS generation, the Gentoo Reference Platform, and support for netless installation. Stages and LiveCDs are now available on our mirrors." The announcement was followed by quick bug-fix releases of the LiveCD editions for x86 and i686 architectures: "Updated 1.4 GRP CD1 LiveCDs for x86 and i686 are now going up on mirrors. These CDs are datestamped as 20030806 and contain an updated version of the genkernel utility, fixing a bug that only affects users of the x86 and i686 CDs. Users of the pentium3, pentium4, and athlon-xp CDs are unaffected." More information on gentoo.org.
Lorma Linux 3.1
The developers of Lorma Linux have announced the release of version 3.1: "Lorma Linux release 3.1 features: Realplayer - streaming media; Webmin - a web-based administration interface for Unix systems; development tools - compiler and libraries; Yahoo Messenger - problem on invisible messages fixed; added the module for development tools; GCC compiler and libraries; upgraded the Kernel to Kernel-2.4.20-18.9; updated the yahoo messenger to ymessenger-0.99.19-1..." This is the full announcement. Unfortunately, it seems that the developers uploaded an incorrect ISO image to their mirrors and those who downloaded the original image were unable to install Lorma Linux. A workaround has now been posted and the correct ISO image uploaded - see forum thread for further information.
The Kurumin live CD project released Kurumin 2.01. The long release notes are in Portuguese, as this increasingly popular distribution with the ability to install on hard disk is made in Brazil. More information on kurumin.org.
Damn Small Linux 0.4.3
Another week and another release of Damn Small Linux, version 0.4.3. From the changelog: "Now in 0.4.3 we have desktop icons! This is possible because of the fantastically small XtDesktop X Window desktop icon manager by Dmitry Ovechkin." See the full changelog and package list.
This is a brand new version of ClarkConnect Broadband Gateway, released late on Friday evening. 2.0 is based on Red Hat 9 and both the free Home Edition and the commercial Office Edition were released simultaneously. The distribution's web site is a little skimpy on detail, so head straight for the user forums if you are interested in all the latest news, discussions, fixes and workarounds.
Lunar Linux 1.3.2
This source-based distribution called Lunar Linux released a new install/rescue ISO image on Sunday. New in version 1.3.2, code name "Captain Raymo": "Lots of modules were updated. Some small bugs were fixed. gcc-3.2.3, glibc-2.3.2, openssl-0.9.7, gettext-0.12.1, all pre-installed so you don't have to watch your lunar box cycle through a LOT of recompiles. All the ISO apps that depend on openssl were recompiled as well." Read the full announcement here.
The mysterious DeMuDi (Debian Multimedia Distribution) project appears to have released version 1.0. There has been no release announcement, but the distribution's download page provides three ISO images of DeMuDi 1.0, dated 4 August 2003. DeMuDi's sister project ReHMuDi or Red Hat Multimedia Distribution (both DeMuDi and ReHMuDi are now part of the Agnula Project) has had a 1.0 ISO image available since 3 June 2003. Unfortunately, the Agnula web site is in dire need for updates and even the README file on the installation CD contains very little useful information about the project.
- The second beta of Mandrake Linux 9.2 was released; all the details, including download mirrors are on the beta page.
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Onebase Linux 1.0 Beta 2
Onebase has announced a planned release of Onebase Linux 1.0 beta 2 on 20 August 2003. You are invited to request new features in this forum thread.
TA Linux 0.2.0
TA-Linux has posted news about the upcoming stable release of TA-Linux 0.2.0: "Stable 0.2.0 will be released soon, sometime after the next stable kernel is released (2.4.22), if nothing major shows up in that kernel. When 0.2.0 is released the Collection CVS will branch, with a 0.2.0-stable branch and HEAD is up for big changes. The 0.2.0-stable branch will only get updates to stable versions of software (no development versions, unless there are some major bug or security fixes). Major software that is now as development versions (GNOME 2) will be updated up to the next stable version and stay as such on 0.2.0-stable." The full announcement.
|Web Site News
New DistroWatch banner
Without much fanfare, the winner of the banner contest is banner 4 by MadPenguin. Giving two points for "strong preference" and one point for a "second preference", banner 4 is was clear winner. Banner 7 was doing very well in the second week, but it did not get close to the number of votes banner 4 was getting during the first week of voting. I hope that its author will be willing to modify the size and colours to fit the overall colour theme of the site. Many thanks to all of you who have submitted banners and who took the time to vote.
- The much requested GoboLinux distribution has been included in this site's database. GoboLinux is a distribution with a fairly radical idea to break with the historical Unix directory hierarchy, such as /usr and /etc and group the executable programs in /Program. Read more about it on the distribution's web site, in this kuro5hin.org review and in this Slashdot discussion. GoboLinux is not a new distribution; it has been in development for over 2 years. The current stable version is 006 and development version is 007alpha.
New on the waiting list
- Eridani Star Systems has announced on its web site that Eridani Linux is discontinued: "The end of the road has come for Eridani Linux. There will be no further updates for Eridani Linux 6.3, and our advice to
existing users is to upgrade to a current supported distribution. As a direct effect of this, this mailing list will be disbanded and erased. The FTP repository will remain in place, space permitting. Eridani Star System is not disappearing, instead we are shifting our focus to our own Linux-based software projects." Eridani Linux has been moved onto the Discontinued Distributions page.
- MSC.Linux has announced that "The MSC.Software Systems Group has been shut down. Overall maintenance level support will be provided for MSC.Linux, plus some specifically requested updates. MSC.Linux will not be generally upgraded in anything approaching the manner expected for a Linux distribution. We thank you very much for your support." Read the full message here. It isn't clear whether this is a temporary situation or a slow and painful death of the MSC.Linux distribution.
DistroWatch database summary
- AL-AMLUG Live CD is a live CD with a pre-installed Arch Linux 0.5, developed by Ananda Margii's Linux User Group.
- cAos is a new Linux distribution whose purpose is to provide a stable Linux solution for organisations and individuals that do not need or want to purchase their Linux solution. A stable release is not expected before January 2004.
- INSERT is a complete, bootable linux system. It comes with a graphical user interface running the fluxbox window manager while still being sufficiently small to fit on a credit card-sized CD-ROM.
- O2 Linux is a Japanese distribution based on Slackware (web site in Japanese).
- Number of distributions in the database: 163
- Number of discontinued distributions: 22
- Number of distributions on the waiting list: 57
On adding new distributions to the "Major Distributions" page
The Major Distributions page has a limit of 10 distributions. It is primarily designed for new and potential Linux users who would probably feel confused by the sheer number of distributions out there, so we put together a page listing the 10 most "major" ones. The main criteria for selecting the top 10 distributions for this page was the page hit ranking on DistroWatch. Of course, this is hardly an objective way of evaluating a distribution's usage, quality, popularity, etc, but nevertheless, and because there is lack of other reliable data, we decided to use this criteria. It's not the only one though, other important factors include things like how long a distribution has been around, how much attention it gets in Linux media, number of reviews, number of community web sites in different languages, number of registered users on public forums (if available) and some other subjective criteria. It is not particularly easy to select the "top" ten distributions, but we probably wasn't too far from the reality.
- "I want to inquire into our status as a distro and ask how do we get listed in the "Major Distros" section of your page? We feel as does the Linux Community that we deserve a spot there."
On site navigaion menus and their default languages
The reason why the language of the navigation menus defaults to the language of the visitor's country (as determined by the visitor's IP address) is simple. We want to bring this site to as wide as audience as possible, irrespective of the visitor's fluency in English. While some content (e.g. reviews) will be largely inaccessible to those who don't understand English, certain other pages (e.g. the individual distribution pages) are fairly easy to understand by anybody. By making the default language the same as the language most widely used in the visitor's country, we hope to keep the visitor on the site for longer. Granted, this matters little in a country like Denmark, where English is widely spoken and understood, but it could make a substantial difference in countries such as China or Korea, where not many people feel comfortable in navigating web sites in foreign languages.
- "Super site! But, the "auto language" feature is not good. Just 'cause I'm sitting in Denmark today, does not mean I want the site in Danish! (At least a "back to English" button, please!)"
To change the default language, you have to go to the main index page and click on the graphic representing your preferred language at the very top of the page. Alternatively, you can select it from the preferences dialog found at the bottom right of the page. And while on the subject of languages, many thanks to Pasi Ruhanen who has helped to translate the menus into Finnish. Now even Linus Torvalds can browse DistroWatch in his native language :-)
That's all for this week, keep well and see you next Monday,
1 • SCO (by Neurook on 2003-08-11 12:22:54 GMT) |
Thanks Bodnar, You think SCO reallly will get any money from this?
What if I refuse to pay?
2 • SCO (by motub on 2003-08-11 15:10:53 GMT)
I'm thinking that these customers will have grounds for a class-action lawsuit against SCO if SCO really follows through and bills them.
After all, these customers-- and whose customers are they, anyway? Are they just unfortunates who are listed somewhere in the tech news as having switched to Linux, or are they actual registered users of Caldera, or what?-- are basically being billed for goods/services that it is not yet proven that SCO has any right to ask of them. One could also expect harassment from collection agencies to follow, if said customers refused to pay the bills, with subsequent damage to the customer's credit rating, etc.
Doggone right I'd call my lawyer as soon as I got such a bill. Not to mention that all of the distributions of which these customers *are* registered users should support their customers by refusing to allow them to be extorted without a fight.
Who the heck does SCO they think they are?
3 • Linus (by Marty on 2003-08-11 15:43:11 GMT)
For the record, Linus Torvalds native language is Swedish not Finnish. He is a member of the swedish speaking minority in Finland.
4 • SCO (by Anonymous on 2003-08-11 17:09:25 GMT)
As mentioned, it is possible that the SCO executives might even end up behind bars. I wonder if they have really been just after some easy license & stock profit as the risk in that effort is so great when compared to those profits? If they are just interested in ptotecting their IP & making licensing profit out of it, one would expect them to behave more moderately, not try to use extortion tactics, i.e. show what proof they have for code violations before trying to sell licenses of something that people don't know what it is, and not try to arouse so much noise everywhere about Linux being risky and illegal. But that's not what they have been doing; their main goal seems to have been to spread fear, uncertainty and doubt around Linux.
I wonder if SCO & some big boys behind them (by giving SCO, a company in serious financial troubles, much bigger sums of money than they would ever get otherwise) are doing this in order to spread FUD to stop Linux and to stop companies from moving to Linux? It cannot be proven, but it is not too difficult to come to that conclusion when following the actions taken by SCO (& their friends) during recent months.
5 • SCO and "getting personal"... (by Grunt on 2003-08-11 17:58:37 GMT)
Hey there, Ladislav.
I have expressed similar concerns in the "Reader Comment Area" of DWWs before and it looks like I'm going to do it once more...
"the fools of Utah!", "bunch of madmen", "their insane desire", "are safely behind bars", "SCO's harassment claim"...
Quite possibly I'm alone in this, but I personally would like/expect a little less personal and a little more no-nonsense approach to covering Linux distro news. If OS community in general and Linux community in particular ever want to move on from the "long-haired unwashed hippies hacking away at nights on the kernel just for fun" image and get into serious business, those communities should start changing their ways of thinking. And ditching some of the outright childish and insulting accusations might be a good start.
The SCO Group (formerly Caldera International) management are neither "fools", nor "madmen", they are shrewd businessmen attempting to exercise rights they believe are given to them by the US laws. Whether they indeed have those rights or not is NOT up to individual US (or other countries, for that matter) citizens to decide, it is up to US judicial system. If at any point in time it will turn out that SCO has grounds for their claims - the US citizens will be THE ONLY ONES to blame for this, as they were the ones who elected their congressmen who in turn passed the [at times clearly preposterous, especially as far as IP goes!] laws that provided grounds for SCO claims, and who directly or indirectly set the rules for institutions like the US PTO.
Until SCO Group claims are either substantiated or disproved in court, any accusations of SCO Group lacking strong legal basis are just as groundless and irrational as current SCO Group claims seem to be to the Linux community. How does that make Linux community different from SCO Group then?
"we will have a good laugh before getting on with our lives"...
In fact, I wouldn't put more than a dime on the "good laugh" part. SCO Group's assault is nothing but one of the first shots of an all-out IP war that is likely to come in the upcoming years. There are indications that both Linux kernel and great many other key open source projects may infringe a number of patents or other forms of protected IP belonging to companies and/or individuals worldwide. Which would be highly unsurprising given open source developers (and Linus'es himself!) attitude towards these matters. Before long, other companies will start going through their patent portfolios, at which time Linux contributors will find themselves in a very difficult position of coughing up workarounds to great many established mechanisms or relying on companies like IBM, HP and others to buy those patents out. I would hardly call such situation a laughing matter!
To sum up... Passion for one's job or hobby is a nice thing. Getting blinded by one's passion and sliding into personal insults, questionable insinuations or slander is not a very nice thing.
As always - this is just my own personal opinion.
6 • Re : SCO (by Anonymous on 2003-08-11 17:09:25 GMT) (by Grunt on 2003-08-11 18:07:47 GMT)
"their main goal seems to have been to spread fear, uncertainty and doubt around Linux"...
Actually, it's quite funny that Big Blue was the one to get hit by FUD on such a large scale, given the origin of the term "FUD", and all... ;)
7 • RE: Linus (by ladislav at 2003-08-12 00:02:22 GMT)
For the record, Linus Torvalds native language is Swedish not Finnish. He is a member of the swedish speaking minority in Finland.
You are right, of course. I read "Just For Fun", but it was a while ago...
8 • RE: SCO and "getting personal" (by ladislav at 2003-08-12 00:35:46 GMT)
Passion for one's job or hobby is a nice thing. Getting blinded by one's passion and sliding into personal insults, questionable insinuations or slander is not a very nice thing.
Fools, madmen..., I had to control myself hard to use such mild insults. And I really feel sorry for Don Quixote, who was in fact a very nice person to be compared with the likes of McBride. A "shrewd businessman"? Will you feel the same way the day you receive a registered letter from Lindon demanding that you pay up or else? Maybe we are all accustomed to uncertain outcomes of sensational court battles, but any businessman offering no product or service while demanding that we all pay up deserves little respect.
Nevertheless, I understand that not everybody feels the same way. As I stated before, all are welcome to contribute stories and opinions to DistroWatch Weekly, so if you'd like your voice to be heard, feel free to submit them for publishing.
9 • Lunar Linux (by Andrew at 2003-08-12 01:48:15 GMT)
It seems fair to say that Gentoo holds 99% of source-based "market", with the remaining 1% split between Sorcerer and its offspring, SourceMage and Lunar. Yet I hear some rumblings, some suggestions that Sorcerer's solution is in fact more advanced than Gentoo's... which brings me to my point: I'd love for Distrowatch to do a review and comparison of these... Ladislav, didn't you run Sorcerer at one point?
10 • RE: Lunar Linux (by ladislav at 2003-08-12 02:19:55 GMT)
Ladislav, didn't you run Sorcerer at one point?
Yes, I used Sorcerer for 1.5 years as my main production system. I enjoyed tinkering with it while it lasted, but unfortunately I no longer have the time, so I switched to Debian last month. As for Gentoo, the last time I installed it was over a year ago. I didn't find it as impressive as Sorcerer at the time (it even went belly-up after an innocent-looking 'emerge something'), but things might have changed since then.
Anyway, not long ago I wrote a brief, two-part comparison of source-based distributions for Linux Weekly News:
Part 1: http://lwn.net/Articles/27599/
Part 2: http://lwn.net/Articles/27674/
The articles serve more like an introduction to source-based distributions for those who have never used them, rather than a solid technical comparison. I don't believe that a thorough technical comparison between them has ever been attempted.
11 • Re: Lunar Linux (by Andrew at 2003-08-12 02:36:34 GMT)
Well, it wouldn't have to be a PhD dissertation, but I had in mind something more detailed.. Sigh, as you said, I don't think something like this has ever been attempted either, which is precisely why I brought it up :)
12 • Banner (by gabbman at 2003-08-12 02:52:19 GMT)
How long before we see the winner on top. :)
Great choice too btw.
13 • SCO's intellictual property (by jim thompson at 2003-08-12 09:03:41 GMT)
just took a quick look at sco's page & the first thing that jumped at me was their UNIX trademark. kinda like mixin apples & oranges isnt it ? is linux that similar, in coding etc. ? curiosity has gotten me on this issue. whats your take on this angle? regards jim
14 • Re : RE: SCO and "getting personal" (by Grunt on 2003-08-12 12:33:28 GMT)
Thank you for your reply, Ladislav.
"Will you feel the same way the day you receive a registered letter..."
We seem to have a little misunderstanding here, Ladislav, which if you ask me stems from you - sorry, but again! - getting personal.
Whether *I* liked paying money for usage of GIF images created with free software in my website prior to June 20th, 2003, is COMPLETELY IRRELEVANT as far as business sense of Unisys management is concerned. Likewise, whether *I* like or dislike paying up for the IP that SCO Group claims to have rights to is COMPLETELY IRRELEVANT as far as SCO Group management business sense is concerned. This is precisely what I mean when I say you're getting too personal in your coverage, "too personal" to MY taste, that is. As I said this is only my personal opinion.
"...but any businessman offering no product or service while demanding that we all pay up deserves little respect."
Alas, but this line of thinking goes right out the window when we start dealing with intellectual property. LZW algorithm is no product, yet is was patented in several countries, and according to those countries LAWS, individuals or businesses using LZW algorithm were/are obliged to pay up as much as the Unisys demanded for it. Had *I* been blessed to have some new "cool idea" which was patentable, I would have likely patented it, made sure it widely known immediately afterwards and offered anyone interested to license it from me for obscene amounts of money. It would be neither product nor service, but how come I would deserve little respect for demanding money for my creativity from anyone using my creativity's results?!? "Free beer" is quite nice as long as YOU’RE paying for my pint, just don't FORCE me to share MY hard earned beer with you for a loving stare...
"...so if you'd like your voice to be heard, feel free to submit them for publishing."
Actually, I thought I have just done that :) , as my intended audience is... well, just you, Ladislav. Unlike you, I am not taking either one of the APPARENT sides in this "SCO vs IBM/Linux" brawl. If at all, I'd say that the whole IP rights protection business has gone WAY OUT OF HAND while the good people of world's greatest democracies were sound asleep, if at all - making THEM the ones to blame. Therefore, I have nothing to contribute as far as pro-SCO opinions go, especially before the case has gone on trial. My only wish is for your coverage to be slightly less personal, that's all - and I don't mean just this specific SCO debate!
15 • RE: SCO and "getting personal" (by ladislav at 2003-08-12 13:10:37 GMT)
Alas, but this line of thinking goes right out the window when we start dealing with intellectual property.
No, this whole SCO saga has nothing to do with intellectual property. It is nothing but greed, a man's insatiable desire for money and power. The Linux Kernel was developed by dozens, if not hundreds of volunteers all over the world. Now all of a sudden here comes a "shrewd businessman", hiding behind some obscure law to claim 700 bucks from every individual who uses Linux! Come on! Your "shrewd businessman" has probably never seen a line of C code!
Maybe my views are overly simplistic, but that's how I feel and that's why I felt compelled to show a strong stance. I have no respect for greed and anybody who pursues agendas based on greed. Trust me, I thought about the story carefully before publishing it. Like you, I could simply stand on the side (or get less personal, as you put it) and wait for a court in some faraway country to decide who is right and who is wrong. But I don't need that. I know who is right and no amount of clever lawyer speak will hide the inherent greed driving this whole scam.
16 • Re : RE: SCO and "getting personal" (by Grunt on 2003-08-12 14:16:26 GMT)
(MY APOLOGIES FOR DOUBLE-POSTING THE PREVIOUS POST - hit the refresh button and absentmindedly hit "OK" on the "expired-blah-blah... Resubmit?" dialog in IE. Grrr... SORRY. Ladislav : could you by any chance delete the second copy?)
"The Linux Kernel was developed by dozens, if not hundreds of volunteers all over the world."
So? SCO Group do not claim to have any sort of rights over ALL of Linux kernel. They do seem to have some issues with PARTS of it, including parts absence of which would render the kernel either totally useless or useless under certain circumstances.
"...hiding behind some obscure law..."
I would hardly call laws dealing with IP "obscure" these days, quite the contrary. :) SCO Group didn't all by itself pass any of laws dealing with IP in any of countries which have them, the lawfully elected governments did. Unfortunately, to the best of my knowledge both Czechoslovakia and South Africa are relatively young democracies in the full sense of the word (SA : ahem!), thus having at times weak laws protecting IP, so I probably can't ask you, Ladislav, what YOU did to prevent "some obscure laws" from being passed (correct me if I'm wrong). But I can easily ask this question citizens of Western Europe, USA and Far East countries, in particular those citizens who also happen to be great Linux fans bashing any and all attempts to "stab" Linux kernel as far as IP goes...
"...to claim 700 bucks from every individual who uses Linux!"
Yes, the letters to the end users of Linux are indeed a very strange move on SCO Group's side. However, in a way this seems to be an act of “desperation”, if not entirely backed by laws worldwide act, YET. Let's think about it for a second : let's say my protected IP rights are being violated by some code inside the Linux kernel. My financial interests are being badly harmed by each and every copy of Linux distributed in the world. Whom should I sue? The "author" of the misused code? But how do I tell over a decade into the development of the kernel who WAS the "author"? Should I sue Linus Torvalds for accepting this code into the kernel? But Linus himself did not misappropriate the code... Or should I just give up my rights and millions or billions of dollars of lost profit because someone was nice enough to slap a GPL license upon such misused code and anonymously mail it to the kernel dev mailing list?
Demanding money from end users indeed seems most novel (ahem! ahem!) as an approach to IP property protection, but so does the whole IP property business as well... IMHO some very serious rethinking of the existing law base must be done ASAP, both to protect the IP owners AND the users of that IP.
"Your "shrewd businessman" has probably never seen a line of C code!"
That proves NOTHING. If one of those days I were to buy out all CDMA patents Qualcomm owns for a couple of billions of dollars, I would still be the owner of those patents (that set me back by billions of dollars). And I would STILL be eligible to collect royalties from usage of technologies covered by those patents, despite ever knowing the difference between Code Division and Time Division. Businessmen do not need to code in C, they only need to know how to make money where others see no opportunity at all. If they do - that makes them "shrewd".
"I have no respect for greed and anybody who pursues agendas based on greed."
Unfortunately (or rather, as history demonstrates, fortunately), the overwhelming majority of the world has opted to go the Capitalism Way(TM), rather than Communism Way(TM). And by definition capitalism is all about MAKING MONEY, including making MORE money than one would need to buy milk and bread for his children - for instance to buy one's children a new Ferrari. Would you define me selling my property (intellectual or otherwise) for more money than necessary to buy my bread as "greed"? Even if I didn't force YOU to buy it?
"I know who is right..."
In a way I envy you... :) I'm pretty sure you also had internal information on who was right and who was wrong in the Zynot/Gentoo case... :(
17 • Double-posting (by Grunt on 2003-08-12 14:17:33 GMT)
All done, I see? :) Thanks.
18 • Yoper (by Grunt on 2003-08-12 14:36:04 GMT)
Since I'm here anyway...
I see Yoper distro finally had some news to offer, which reminds me... I wonder how Page Hit Ranking scores would change if the listing was moved away from the front page, replaced by, for instance, an alphabetical list of distros? This whole PHR thing seems to act like a snowball - the distros displayed at the top keep getting "hit" due to their "popularity" according to PHR, while those at the bottom... You get the idea.
I can find no other logical explanation to the fact that Yoper with its lifetime of 4 months, miniscule installed base and absolutely nothing special to offer keeps hanging at #3. Which makes one wonder, what purpose does PHR serve?
So, how about it, Ladislav? What do you say about measuring week-long stats using the current PHR in its current location on the front page, then replacing the PHR list with alphabetical one for a week (while TOTALLY removing PHR results from the website for that duration, for the sake of experiment) and measuring again? Or is that Yoper ad funding still dripping in? ;)
19 • About PHR (by ben on 2003-08-12 15:42:48 GMT)
I think it's perfectly fair to have those distros with higher PHR displayed more prominently. Each of these distros had to come up from the bottom of the rankings anyway to get among the first places. Once they are there, it is a GOOD thing that they have some reinforcement towrds staying there. That way, once a distro makes the first few places, they've EARNED it. Like Gentoo.
Ookok...so maybe Yoper cheated a bit by being the first distro with a large ad, but since then, their once stratospheric ranking has normalized, and, if deserved, will continue to lower.
The rankings are very fair IMO.
20 • But... (by ben on 2003-08-12 15:43:46 GMT)
But then again, I would like the alphabetical listing, because my distro of choice, ARCH, would garner some additional support. :)
21 • RE: SCO and "getting personal" (by ladislav at 2003-08-12 15:52:56 GMT)
I am going to drop this discussion before it degenerates into philosophical debates about advantages of different economic systems or reasons for creating Zynot, both of which have little to do with our original argument. However, I do appreciate your taking time to contribute your point of view.
As for your observation that the top distros are getting more hits due to their "popularity" in PHR, I have to agree that this indeed seems to be the case. I am going to give your suggestion to temporarily remove the ranking some serious thought. It won't matter this week - the Yoper page was hit 84 times (!) during the last hour. The only reason I feel reluctant to do this is that the PHR has been around for a long time and has become an integral part of the site. Yet, I agree that Yoper does not belong on the third spot or even anywhere near the top.
Is that Yoper ad funding still dripping in?
Negative. Yoper has not purchased any advertising space since 20 February 2003 and the last time this site displayed any of Yoper's advertising banners was on 7 April 2003. Since you read DWW, you know that as of early last month, Yoper has gone non-commercial and today's release is available to all who want it at no charge.
22 • Re : About PHR (by Grunt on 2003-08-12 15:56:09 GMT)
I believe a one- or two- week experiment wouldn't harm anyone - after all, the PHRs would still be collected, just not displayed during that period... It WOULD however be somewhat interesting what the results would be, as that would be a true indication of current DistroWatch visitors interests.
When I did a search for Yoper reviews some while ago (which, believe it or not, proved a bit tricky, despite Yoper's immense popularity ;) ), majority of them mentioned Yoper's presence at the top of DW PHR list as a reason for review it. Smart marketing move for Yoper, that's for sure, but once people start getting interested in a distro because its makers are... er... "shrewd businessmen"... (he-he, couldn't resist that one) rather than for technical reasons... Hmmm... ;)
23 • Re : RE: SCO and "getting personal" (by Grunt on 2003-08-12 16:01:09 GMT)
Thanks again for your time, Ladislav.
Yes, it would seem natural that distros showing up in the news would get more hits as long as they remained at the top and middle of the front page. Perhaps extending such a trial period would do the trick by allowing the news to "sink" and/or wrap around?
24 • SCO saga (by NitrousHHH on 2003-08-12 18:47:27 GMT)
I think the IP claim of the SCO is real. But this doesn't mean it is valid. This will have to be proved.
But I feel that sending threatening letters demanding payment before anything has been proved is close to extracting money with menace, which is a very uncivilised way to behave and must surely only damage their case.
It also sad that this is all damaging the reputation of linux, a comunity with little money for marketing, so a recovery from any slur will take time.
Personally i think the whole software patent and IP thing has got well out of hand and come september 1st its going to take off in europe. So if you live here (or maybe if you don't) please consider signing the petitions or stating a view to someone who might be able to help.
On IP generally and Linux....
I'm sure I'm not the only one who's used a piece of linux software and though, "how did they get away with that, its exactly like software x from company y". Closed protocols and file formats are also a big worry. I'm no expert but isn't reverse engineering illegal if you live under the DMCA ??? Which would hit much of our windows inter-operability for starters.
So don't forget about open formats and protocols or your Linux distros functionality might start getting a bit light.
25 • Doh !!! (by NitrousHHH on 2003-08-12 19:04:02 GMT)
double post, sorry.
26 • getting personal (by david on 2003-08-12 19:16:43 GMT)
Hey there, Grunt. Let there be others with some other opinion and style. Even with long hair and so on... (Linux doesn't want to move towards buisness, buisness discovers linux.) I wonder if someone insisting on respecting his opinion doesn't respect others' style. An author of a weekly news of a site aimed at linux users, can even put down the summary of his thoughts with some irony. Why not? It's a comment area and not the business news.
27 • "getting personal" (by andrew at 2003-08-12 22:21:52 GMT)
I just have to mention that one of the things I especially value about Distrowatch and its weekly column is just that it manages to provide Ladislav's personal opinions as well as dry and cut news. Don't change a thing!
28 • Re getting personal and Major Distributions list (by Warpengi on 2003-08-13 00:43:27 GMT)
I think that you, Ladislav, more than just voicing your opinion are also expressing the majority view of the Linux community. In other words you have a finger on the pulse of the community and as such I enjoy and appreciate your views most of the time. I expect that every journalist has an opinion and I tend to read those with whom I agree. It is said that opinions are like assholes... everyone has one. If Grunt had a web site I would read yours. That is my opinion.
As a complete newbie I discovered Distrowatch and the major distributions list (previously called top 10 distributions) was what I used to determine what distros I would try. This site has been a valuable resource for me. I have been a loyal follower of your site for a few years now and it just keeps getting better.
29 • Re : getting personal (by Grunt on 2003-08-13 01:57:44 GMT)
Hey there, David.
"I wonder if someone insisting on respecting his opinion doesn't respect others' style."
I presume you weren't talking about me when mentioning that "someone" ;) , as I neither "insisted" on respecting my opinion, nor have shown lack of "respect" towards Ladislav's "style".
I head for DW when I need no-nonsense up to date info on the state of things. Therefore, I simply expressed my opinion, including my expectations of DW. I am entitled to have those, no? ;)
"Linux doesn't want to move towards buisness..."
Linux per se doesn't want to do anything, as at best it's a collection of lines of code slapped together by folks from all over the world. There does seem to be a truckload of commercial/semi-commercial Linux distros fighting for their piece of the business pie, large chunks of code are being added to the kernel on a regular basis that are geared towards serious commercial environments and OSI/FSF are screaming their heads off as to how OS software (Linux being OS poster child) is a perfectly viable choice for businesses. If that's not an attempt to move on to serious business then I don't know what is... :)
30 • Page Hit Ranking (by Grunt on 2003-08-15 16:41:33 GMT)
Aha! I can see we're half-way there with that PHR thing! But no reshuffle in the alphabetical order yet, eh? Well, seeing how it goes the way it is right now might be a good start.
31 • Ladislav : SCO "fools" revisited... (by Grunt on 2003-08-15 20:02:40 GMT)
Oh, yeah, bumped into this one just now (two weeks late, I know, but better late than never) : http://www.computerworld.com/managementtopics/management/story/0,10801,83452,00.html (sorry, don't know how to embed links properly into the comments... Care to share the secret?). Still want to keep blowing your "fools of Utah" horn after reading that one, Ladislav?
Here's what : if someone out there will be persistent enough to plough through the publicly available financial reports, I say in less than 2 years time you'll be able to witness just HOW SHREWD those fellas are. Whether they're moral or immoral while at it is a laughable question, where BIG money is concerned morals have no value at all.
So much for the "madmen"... :(
Number of Comments: 31
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