eWeek ran an article yesterday titled Linux Losing Market Share to Windows Server. The article quoted IDC sales figures. There is a real problem counting this way. Quoting from the article:
IDC analyst Al Gillen pointed out that the number of servers shipped does not perfectly equal the number of operating systems in the market. This is particularly the case with Linux where a substantial portion of the overall market opportunity comes from deployments aboard recycled servers, PCs and workstations deployed as servers, and Linux deployed as a guest operating system.
“This does not contradict any trending taking place on server hardware,” Gillen said.
He added: “But we do need to remember that the Linux software ecosystem does not track exactly the same as does x86 hardware shipments.”
I should note that eWeek often functions as a cheerleading section for Microsoft. Take, for example, the links to other articles with such catchy titles as:
- Windows Server Woos Linux Customers
- Is open source dying?
- Windows Server 2008 features address the Linux challenge.
It is not surprising that Mr. Gillen’s statement and that the article as a whole tries to minimize the fact that sales figures are not an accurate way to measure Linux market penetration. What is surprising is that the article mentioned this at all.
At intervals I get complaints that one of the printers isn’t responding from a given machine. On investigation via the CUPS frontend the error is:
Restarting the printer from there works, but it is slightly irritating.
This has happened several times in the last couple of days on one particular (aging) machine, which prompted me to seek a better solution. I found this entry which explains at the bottom how to change the CUPS setup appropriately. Edit
/etc/cups/printers.conf and change the
ErrorPolicy for each printer from
retry-job. So far this seems to be working fine and I shall be rolling it out across the network.
Josef Spillner writes on the desperate need for a Freedom Grid system:
In the old days, vendor lock-in was on the radar of free software developers. Many systems based on Linux and BSD are used to host internet applications, so many that in fact the server side was considered safe and forces gathered to conquer the desktop. The real push towards a free desktop began 10 years ago - with KDE and GNOME being founded, bringing many powerful applications to the average users. But that’s still 10 years ago - and times have changed.
Today, many user use a free desktop to check their GMail, then tune in to some Shoutcast beats, and finally think of doing their daily backup by uploading some files to Amazon S3. At the end of the day, they did use some free client applications - but likewise they did leave precious data at proprietary service providers. When freedom and privacy are equally challenged, people should shout loudly and stop using those services. But instead, they spend their time developing more interfaces for them.
The Four Freedoms Applied to Software as a Service talks a lot about the value of data, but there are pragmatic questions about the use of a service hosted elsewhere as well. If your work or data depends on the good attitude of someone else’s server (think CDDB versus the truly-free replacement, FreeDB), are you truly free?
Helloooo out there- in case anyone was wondering why years-old entries are suddenly the Top 25, it’s because they’re all getting spammed all to heck.
What’s with Movable Type- isn’t there some way to set it to filter spam, especially when the same spam is posted a few hundred times?
I still think spammers should be rounded up and “volunteered” for one-way missions to Pluto.
In How Far Behind is Linux?, WSJ writer Lee Gomes sets up a beautiful strawman about the security of GNU/Linux versus Windows and knocks it down with its own answer. (The emphasis is mine).
Almost every productive person I know wishes that he or she had more time. Most of us wonder where our time really goes; often it’s noon by the time I finish reading my feeds and following up on interesting URLs. (Fortunately, I’m not a morning person, so I wouldn’t accomplish much before noon anyway.)
I’ve often wished for a short X.org program that would run in the background and monitor which window had active focus. If I tracked that for a few hours or days, I’d be able to perform some interesting statistical analysis to see where I actually spend my time.
Writing a prototype took about ten minutes, thanks to Dennis Paulsen’s X11::GUITest Perl module (see Test-Driving X11 GUIs by George Nistorica for more):
After trying out a number of Linux photo-management applications, I have settled on Digikam. It has some great tools for managing vast photo archives, wonderful RAW support, and an array of good photo-editing-and-fixing features. Two introductory articles are on Linux Planet:
Digital Photo Management In Linux, Part 1
Digital Photo Management In Linux, Part 2
Not mentioned in the articles are Digikam’s Plugins, which extend its usefulness considerably. Such as Noise Reduction, Refocus for rescuing blurry pictures, BlowUp for good-quality enlargements, white balance adjustment, and many more.
Over on LXer.com you might find some useful information on photography fundamentals, such as lens types and quality, and understanding how to use aperture to make your photos say what you want them to:
Adventures in Digital Photography With Linux, part 4: Fundamentals
I’ve been enjoying Wade Olson’s KDE weblog posts, and especially his wonderful images. His latest image in the What Does KDE Mean to You? series is an effective description of the goal of community-driven free software development. It’s also a nice pun for OO programmers.
Russell Coker just posted Who Can Contribute to Free Software, building off of a theme by Pia Waugh. Using the words “hacker” and “coder” sometimes makes it sound as if the only (or most valuable) contributions to free software are code.
That’s not true. It’s also not true that everything else is unglamorous scut-work, like sifting through bug reports. You could run a web site, write a weblog, answer questions on mailing lists, set up smoke tests, file bugs, review documentation, recommend the project to people who need it, and more. It’s well-on time that people who make non-code contributions receive the full accolades and appreciation they deserve. (That’s why every time I praise a project in my “Thank You” series, I praise all contributors, not just developers.)
k3b installed locally for users to burn CDs/DVDs/etc. This only gets used very infrequently, and it seems that something else has broken every time it does get used.
This time it was a “Cannot find writer” error. I checked for the presence of cdrecord and dvd-rw-tools; all fine. Eventually it turned out to be a permissions error - that
/dev/cdrom was set to be only user- and group-writable; and the user was not in the relevant group. Added them, log in & out, all well.
This is curious, because I am 100% confident that I haven’t changed anything on either
/dev/cdrom (or the relevant group membership). Which implies that it has been changed with an update at some point. I’m not sure I see the point of this. Is being able to write to
/dev/cdrom really such a security risk?
The longer-term solution is (assuming this doesn’t break anything; I haven’t checked yet) to set the cdrom group to come from LDAP and automatically put all users in it, to avoid having to do this for multiple machines.
I’ve just been informed by e-mail that not only are some defenders of Puppy Linux flaming me on the new DistroWatch Weekly comments but one actually issued a death threat against me for being “negative” about his or her favorite distribution in a recent post here on O’ReillyNet. It’s one thing for a distribution to be well liked and inspire loyalty. It is something very different indeed to threaten the life of someone who disagrees. The point of my post which so outraged this person was that I couldn’t review Puppy Linux because the distro won’t run on my laptops.
If you’re curious about the threat see post #90 on DistroWatch Weekly’s comments. I have not responded there and I will not. I also won’t back down or be intimidated and I stand behind my previous post.
This is a public appeal to Barry Kauler and the Puppy Linux user community to speak up against anyone who would resort to threats of violence to defend their distro. Indeed, I’d like to see some of that community speak up against the personal attacks on me in general. Do you believe there should be “hell to pay” (quoting post #90 again) if
someone has a bad experience with Puppy Linux and reports on it?
The Free Software Foundation has defined Four Freedoms related
to software. These freedoms apply to users of software, not
necessarily developers. In the view of the FSF, these freedoms are
ethical in nature, so much so that they argue that software which violates
these freedoms is unethical.
Like many other rights, the four freedoms are specific expressions of
abstract freedoms in the context of software. They represent concrete
examples of underlying notions of freedom. You can see this principle if
you ask “Why should I be able to run my own printing press or weblog?”
I’ve argued before that I don’t care about Google’s source code, for example,
but if those underlying principles exist, then it should be possible to
identify them. It should also be possible to extrapolate concrete
expressions of those principles in new contexts… such as software run by
vendors to provide a service to users.
Since her posts here on O’ReillyNet, Carla Schroder has tried in vain to get some sort of response from Linux Journal after offensive ads were run and articles were published. The same is true for Linux Journal’s sister magazine, Tux Magazine. Carla has gone ahead and chronicled the whole sordid mess in an article for LXer.com.
“I have to wonder- where on Earth did Ms. Fairchild get the idea that alienating her customers is a good business practice? So what if she finds sexist, demeaning humor funny? It doesn’t belong in Linux Journal. I paid my subscription money in good faith for many years, trusting to receive good Linux articles. If I want to read about blowjobs or read about how helpless and stupid women are, I don’t expect to find it in Linux Journal. There are abundant sources for that elsewhere.”
As far as I am concerned the whole article is a must read.