Profile of Serdar Yegulalp
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Articles by Serdar Yegulalp
posted in February 2009
Voices from all sides are rising to further discussion of Microsoft vs. TomTom, with Linux and open source possibly caught in-between. It's not looking like
Open source folks are nervous about a Microsoft lawsuit against in-car GPS maker TomTom, allegedly because of possible implications for Linux.
It's $49, fits in a space the size of a "wall-wart" power converter, uses a meager five watts of power, and could easily replace any number of standalone machines in a small office or home environment. And I want one.
People talk a lot about "going open", or leaving proprietary apps of various kinds for open source equivalents. My way of putting it has been to say "leaning open", to emphasize that you don't need to do this by diving into the deep end of the pool and praying you learn how to swim right then and there. In this and future installments I'm going to be talking about that process in detail.
Seems like every open source OS project these days is throwing at least some of its effort behind speeding up boot times. Mark Shuttleworth mentions it in his discussion of Ubuntu 9.10; the Moblin alpha is all about getting up to speed in seconds; and so on. But with suspend/resume and other power conservation measures also standard now, what's the big deal about boot time?
Starting with basic Ubuntu and working his way through Fedora and Debian, space-saving Puppy Linux, powerful Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and more than a dozen others, our open source expert matches Linux distros to specific needs.
Educational institutions are consistently cited as one of the best places for open source to take root and flourish. The best way to find out more about how that works is to ask the people right in the trenches, and so this week I spoke with, Scott Hershauer, director of technology for the Greensburg, Ind., Community School District, about the use of Linux and open source in a high school setting. And aside from saving money, they also cooled off the classrooms a bit.
It's been a bit since I touched on some updates to the the open source goodies I use myself and recommend to others. Here's the haul for February 2009!
Once upon a time, there was BeOS. The brainchild of former Apple alum Jean-Louis Gassée, it looked for a time like a genuine alternative to both Windows and Mac, but its star fizzled. An attempt to create an open-source clone of BeOS, Haiku, is underway -- but to what end, you might ask? Don't we have enough platforms?
Over at Forbes.com I spied an article with the intriguing title "The Open-Source Collaboration Gap," which delves into the whole question of why the vast majority of contributions to open source projects come from individuals and not companies or institutions. Two questions came to my lips: 1) Is that the case? and 2) If so, why?
Early reaction to Windows 7 is that it's a winner. Could the successor to Vista be Microsoft's last gasp, or does open source have a formidable new rival to Linux?
I'm becoming resigned to the fact that whenever Linux and Windows are mentioned in the same breath, it'll be as "Linux vs. Windows". Worse things could happen, I guess -- and if the tone of the L vs W discussion we get is mature and sensible, that's probably the best we can hope for. Here's an example of that.
The most commonly cited alternative to anything that's expensive and closed (Windows, Office) is something that's free and open (Linux, OpenOffice). But a third alternative has made headway: something proprietary, but either free or so cheap you won't care.
Sun's GlassFish stack is, in a way, Sun at its best: creating infrastructures around and powered by its star product, Java. It's also its newest attempt at monetizing several pieces of its portfolio at once -- including MySQL, which many people outside the company are now biting their nails over.
If there's an authority on the concept of open source, it's probably Bruce Perens: after all, he helped found the open source movement in the first place. Over at Datamation, he's got an article on a subject few people understand well: the tricky practice of combining open source and proprietary software.
Scarcely a single open source- / Linux-focused blog hasn't been abuzz (or a-Twitter) with news about a job opening at Microsoft for a "director of open source strategy." From the outside, it looks like the first of many pre-emptive strikes against the likes of Ubuntu and the Linux-powered netbook world. But is it a sign Microsoft is desperate, or just smart?
After the news broke about the DOD setting up its own open-source forge site, Forge.mil, I grabbed some time with Sourceforge.net's own Ross Turk to get his feelings about the whole thing. He was, in a word, elated, and he thinks it's a strong sign of how forges, plural, are a natural for open source's future. "It's a vindication of the way forges work," was how he put it.
India's plans for a $20 notebook have "too good to be true" written all over them. And no, at that price, I don't think it's feasible -- not even with Linux at the core. In fact, I don't think it's just infeasible. I think it's a bad idea, period.
DistroWatch chatted with none other than Linus Torvalds about Linux in general, wherein he admitted "multiple [Linux] distributions aren't just a good thing, I think it's something absolutely required". I'd agree, but is it required as a first step or a last one?
No, VMware isn't going open source with their core products any time soon -- at least, I don't think so. But there's little question they understand how important it is to have at least one toe in that water. To wit: the VMware View Open Client, an open source app that lets you connect from Linux desktops to remote Windows machines managed by VMware Vie
Last week I had a long chat with Michael Meeks of Novell, he of the (in?)famous blog post about the stagnation of OpenOffice. The post itself has been chewed over and thrown around by so many other big dogs, I thought I'd go right to the man himself and ask him some questions. The biggest one was this: How is it that one of the biggest success stories in the open source software world (at least in terms