Serdar Yegulalp - Authors & Columnists - InformationWeek

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 Serdar Yegulalp

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Articles by Serdar Yegulalp
posted in May 2008

Firefox Or Flock? Or Both?

With a release candidate of Firefox 3 upon us and the final version set to drop sometime in June, I'm finding myself a bit torn: Do I upgrade to FF3 once it's fully baked, or stay with my current browser?  What makes the dilemma all the tougher is that my current browser isn't Firefox 2 -- well, it is, sort of, but not really.  It's Flock, which serves as great proof of how open

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Open Source And Open APIs, Facebook-Style

The more I read Facebook's statement about opening its platform to third-party developers, the more it seems like you could interpret what they say as a promise to open just their APIs, or both their APIs and their underlying platform code.  Which one's more likely?  Better to ask: which one makes the most sense for Facebook, or any other Web compan

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Paying The "Linux Tax"

Most of us know about the "Windows Tax" -- the extra cash you shell out to pay for the cost of a Windows license when you buy a new PC.  But what about a (so-called) "Linux Tax," the cost incurred by an ordinary user switching to Linux from Windows?

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Red Hat's Next Steps With RHEL 5.2

Red Hat's just delivered the 5.2 version of its venerable Red Hat Enterprise Linux, right on the heels of the version 9 release of the equally-venerable Fedora.  I took some time out to talk with Daniel Riek, product manager for RHEL, about what was new. The best new stuff all involves the "V"-word: virtualization.

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XO Gets 2.0, Sugar Goes Indie

Now that some of the furor over the OLPC XO notebook becoming -- at least in part -- the OL-XP-PC has died down, both the instigator of the project and its former software czar have announced where they're going from here.  The hardware's intriguing, but the software's here now.

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Is SaaS 'Unstoppable' For Open Source?

In yesterday's Q&A about the Honest Public License, Fabrizio Capobianco was of the opinion that in the future, most software (open source included) will be run as services.  His word was "unstoppable," which I admit raised eyebrows on my end.  But it rests on some pretty solid observations about how open source works.

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Honest Public Licensing: Q&A With Fabrizio Capobianco

The other week, I wrote about the ASP loophole in open source, in which I took the stance that the loophole wasn't as egregious as it might seem.  Not everyone agrees, of course, and some have decided to take pre-emptive action by either moving to the AGPLv3 (a variant of GPLv3 that addresses software as a service) or drafting entirely new licensing altogether.  Among those do

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Hats Off For Fedora 9

With the arrival of Fedora 9, I gave it three places of honor in my testing lab: a standalone PC, the dual-boot partition on my notebook, and a VirtualBox VM.  It's run like a champ on all three.  Fedora's actually become more appealing to me with each successive revision -- and the more I think about it, the most crucial of those reasons aren't about things as interchangeable or subjective as look-and-feel.

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Filling In The Gaps With Open Source

I turn to open source software for a lot of things -- not just the fact that it's almost inevitably free for personal or internal business use, but that it's often written by and for people who have very specific problems that need solving. They're little irritations, problems that typically don't get attention from commercial software makers, and which can be recycled into other solutions by dint of being open source. Here's a local example.

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A Black Eye For Debian

News of a massive security hole in the Debian distribution of Linux has dropped jaws everywhere, mine included.  It's the sort of thing that speaks very badly indeed for the way Debian does code review -- exactly what's required urgently for open source to work well.

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Closing The Open Source ASP Loophole

What is to be done about companies who use open source software to create something derived from open source, but provide it as a Web service and don't contribute their changes back to the community?  Aren't they violating the spirit, if not the letter, of the open source agreement?  I don't think so, for a variety of reasons.

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The Very Beta OpenOffice.Org 3

The first public-consumption beta of 3.0 has arrived, and while I'm not trusting any production work to it yet I'm still giving it a whirl.  There's a whole catalog of new and improved features, but from the outside it still looks and works like the same program.  That may be the best feature right there.

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Skype's GPL Follies

Another legal challenge to the GPL has ended, at least for the time being.  This time it's courtesy of Skype, in German court, with the kind of legal maneuvers that make you wonder what they were thinking -- although they do conveniently illustrate the nature of some of the knee-jerk arguments against the GPL (and FOSS, too).

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Asus Eee Fans Down Under Get One-Upped By Microsoft

Good news: Asus is about to unveil its next generation of Eee PC mininotebooks in both Windows XP and Linux editions, and they look downright snazzy.  Bad news for folks down under: The Linux version of the new Eee is more expensive in AustraliaWhat!?

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On MySQL's About-Face: It's About Expectations

The official word from Kaj Arnö of MySQL / Sun is out: Portions of MySQL that were originally being considered as closed-source components will now be open source as well.  Good news, bad news, or none of the above?  I take the third view.  The real issue is, again, not open vs. closed code, but how you engage the open source community -- how you clue them in to what kind

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The 'Right' Linux

Any talk of Linux brings with it talk of what it will take to get Linux on the desktop in big numbers.  Much of the talk in this vein revolves around distribution X versus desktop Y, or something of that nature.  The real issue, though, may not be a particular distribution or package model, but the mind-set of the creators.

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Opening Up To Solaris

OpenSolaris, Sun's open-source version of its Solaris operating system, gets its official kickoff today at Sun's CommunityOne conference in San Francisco.  And it's not Sun's attempt to knock Linux out of the box -- it's something a little subtler than that.

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SCO On The Stand

There are times when the jokes just seem to tell themselves.  Yesterday, during testimony for Novell's lawsuit against SCO to determine how much Novell was owed for its ownership of the Unix copyrights, none other than Darl McBride took the stand and said two things that will no doubt become fodder for .SIG files from here to eternity.

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Sun And Adobe, Both Opening Up

Two major announcements in the past day or so both caught my attention: the inclusion of an open source version of Java with Linux, and an effort on Adobe's part to open up the proprietary nature of Flash.  Both are potentially huge, and they both cover about as much territory as they overlap.

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