Serdar Yegulalp - Authors & Columnists - InformationWeek

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 Serdar Yegulalp

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Articles by Serdar Yegulalp
posted in April 2008

ReiserFS Without Hans Reiser, Continued

In my post the other day about whether or not work in the ReiserFS file system would continue after Hans Reiser's murder conviction, I mentioned that this being an open source project, it wouldn't be hard for someone else to pick up where others leave off.  And as it turns out, that's precisely what's happening: according to folks on the ReiserFS team, work on ReiserFS will
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A ReiserFS Without Hans Reiser

After three days of deliberation and six months of testimony, a jury found Hans Reiser, creator of the ReiserFS file system for Linux, guilty of first-degree murder. There's no end of commentary about the trial itself, but now that the verdict is in, I thought I'd contemplate a related issue: What happens to an open source project when one of its main instigators suffers calamity?

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Not Just About Code, Part 2

The hardest part about open source isn't the code -- it's the community.  Examples of this come up all the time, with Sun being one that has come up a good deal lately -- not just because of its acquisition of MySQL (which I'm still fairly positive about), but the way perceptions of its behavior can affect its acceptance.  Even if you do the right thing, it needs to also look like you're doing the right thing. 

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Microsoft's Patents, Under The Microscope

Microsoft's whole Catch-22 of Linux infringing on certain patents claimed by them has gone on long enough.  We all know this -- but barring some major (and I do mean major) changes on Microsoft's side, it's looking fairly futile to expect them to come out and say what the infringing patents are.  Time to bring in some third-party muscle, and that's what Tom Kemp of Centrify has just attempted to do.

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One Laptop Per Child -- And For Microsoft, Too

Looks like the OLPC project, much vaunted for its use of open source to bring commodity computing to developing nations, is about to become yet another Microsoft-by-default domain.  In an AP article, OLPC founder Nicholas Negroponte talked about how the OLPC's XO notebook ought to soon be available as a dual-boot with either Linux or a cut-down version of Windows XP ... and maybe someday become an XP-o

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The Real Cost Of Open Source Is...?

Word has been circulating about a Standish Group research report that's apparently guaranteed to turn heads.  "Free Open Source Software Is Costing Vendors $60 Billion" is apparently one of the claims made in this report, titled "Trends in Open Source," and while I haven't been able to get my hands on it, the press blurbs about it make me wonder what really is the best way to quantify open source adoption.  Talking about it

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Shuttleworth's Case For Linux

When mention of Ubuntu -- or Linux in general -- makes it into mainstream media, it's always worth reading about, if only to see how badly they mangle it.  The latest bit of blurbage from the BBC (or "Beeb", as some are wont to call it), a thumbnail rundown of Mark Shuttleworth's work with Ubuntu and the progress of that particular Linux distro, won't be earth-shattering news to the existing open source faithful.  But it's yet another sign that Linux is finally out of the tech-geek c

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No Desktop Linux For Red Hat? No Problem

Is it really the worst thing in the world if Red Hat doesn't want to make a consumer-grade desktop Linux distribution?  I don't think so.  With all the things Red Hat already does so well, it's not as if it's missing out -- and if other people already are hard at work on that project, Red Hat still won't be missing out.  This is open source, remember?

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When Open Source Closes Up A Little

When MySQL / Sun announced the other day that some advanced features of future versions of MySQL would only be made available in the enterprise (read: for-pay) edition of the product, people began fulminating openly about Sun's commitment to open source.  The MySQL situation itself isn't anywhere nearly as dire as it might sound, but that doesn't make people bristle any less.

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Open Source Census: Stand Up And Be Counted

Just how much open source software are people using?  Getting hard numbers about open source usage is one of those tough-to-crack problems that doesn't seem to have a definitive solution -- partly because of the nature of open source itself.  Self-reporting seems to be about the only way to get any numbers at all, unreliable and biased as that may be.  But if self-reporting open source usage is made as easy as a couple of mouse clicks, why not do it?

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Putting Windows On A Diet ... To Compete With Linux

How scared is Microsoft of Linux?  There's a hint or two of its fear in the fact that MS is preparing a special slim-and-trim version of Windows XP, within the next month or two, to run specifically on Asus's Eee PC.  You'd think maybe it could have done this slimming-down sooner -- something that Linux already does without breaking a sweat.

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OpenMoko's Next Step: Running Free

Remember OpenMoko, the makers of the Neo 1973 handset that runs Linux and is designed from the ground-up to be a hacker's and customizer's paradise?  They're back again with more tinkerer's delights: the FreeRunner.  They've also learned a few things from their experiences with marketing and developing the Neo -- not just hardware and software, but how to sell something this unusual.

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HP's Got Linux On The Low End

Seems like everyone's getting into the low-end notebook market these days.  Hewlett-Packard is the newest of the bunch to step up to the plate with its VIA-driven HP 2133 Mini-Note, a nifty-looking machine that clocks in at $499 for a Linux edition.  A little pricier than the ASUS Eee, but it looks like low-cost computing is one niche for Linux to derive wider market penetrati

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Another Red Letter Day For Open Source At ... Microsoft?

Time for some open source news from a place where such a thing ought to be an oxymoron: Microsoft.  Sam Ramji, who used to head up Microsoft's Open Source Software Lab, has been promoted to the head of that company's worldwide open source / Linux operations team.  Great, but what will it really mean for MS's stance on open source?

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VIA'S Turn To Open Up

Slowly, more and more hardware manufacturers are getting clued-in on the idea that open source drivers will help both them and their customers.  Now VIA's stepping up to start offering driver source code for many of their current chipsets.  Pop the champagne!

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Google App Engine: Just Code It

After Amazon EC2's service went online, I waited for other companies to follow suit with similar ideas.  Now it looks like Google is about to take a stab at the same idea in their own way with the Google App Engine -- and from the look of it, the App Engine might be the more immediately accessible of the two.  It's for coders, not coders who now have to moonlight as

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ASUS's Eee, Virtually Free

How'd you like to try out the ASUS Eee without paying a dime, sort of?  ASUS just posted the software development kit for its groundbreaking Linux-powered notebook on SourceForge, along with a fully functional system image of the Eee's Xandros OS.  It's not quite the same experience as the machine itself, but for those itching to develop for it, this is a way to get a jump-start on that without

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What's (Not So) Great About Firefox 3

You've probably read Mitch Wagner's post extolling the virtues of the just-released Firefox 3 Beta 5.  I've had experiences that are no less grand than his, albeit with one little exception that illustrates the hazards of beta-to-beta upgrades.

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Choices vs. Consequences

A big buzzword with open source is that you have that many more choices available to you, and Choice, as we all know, is a Good Thing.  The problem is that too much choice is as bad as no choice at all -- especially when it's not clear what the consequences of those choices are.

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