Profile of Serdar Yegulalp
News & Commentary Posts: 760
Follow Serdar Yegulalp and BYTE on Twitter and Google+:
Articles by Serdar Yegulalp
posted in November 2008
I started an open source software project a couple of weeks ago, sort of. It's about as minor as something like this gets -- at least for now. But even at that scale, it's become a learning experience.
There's been talk here and there about how Apple needs to release a netbook-style machine to remain "competitive." It's a bad idea, and a misleading one.
To the eternal list of death and taxes, we might as well add debates about open source licensing and sales. Two recent discussions about licensing and business models got me thinking again about what's suitable to what end, and how to interpret what you see other companies doing as a model for your own work.
Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/syegulalp
This month's open source roundup include: polished Chrome, portable Office, a bird (almost) out of its beta cage, and ... another bird bearing mail.
With all the shouting about Ubuntu 8.10's release, it's easy to forget about the other distributions out there. Case in point: Fedora, which has typically been my favorite (apart from Puppy), now getting a bump to its own revision number. And so yesterday I sat down around a warm conference bridge with Paul Frields, the project leader for Fedora at Red Hat, to chat about Fedora 10.
And lo, Adobe did create a 64-bit edition of Flash for Linux. And it was good -- but now that appetites have been whetted for more Adobe software on Linux, what else may be in the pipeline? My take: Native Flash, yes, but native Photoshop, no. And not just because of Linux's currently marginal desktop market share.
When my colleague Charles Babcock spoke to Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst, one sentence that fairly leapt out at me was "[Red Hat's] biggest competitor is simply people who stop buying subscriptions." So where do they go from there?
The open-source operating system still has major problems that need immediate attention. Our expert recommends configuration, versioning, and GUI enhancements, to name a few.
Not long ago I wrote about how "closed-but-free" software may be a bigger challenge to open source than for-pay proprietary software. Looks like the open source folks at the 451 Group think the same thing: closed-but-free is a challenge to open source, but
Yes, this sounds every bit as ridiculous to me as it probably does you. The Société civile des Producteurs de Phonogrammes en France, or SPPF -- France's analogue to the RIAA -- is preparing to file suit not only against the makers of various P2P sharing apps, but SourceForge.net, which provides code hosting for many such projects. All together, now, in your best Stupefied Bill Maher Voice: What!?
No, Microsoft isn't releasing a platform-native version of Office for Linux. It's doing something a lot smarter: releasing a platform-neutral version of Office -- its vaunted Office Web suite -- that can theoretically run anywhere, Linux included.
I cringed on reading the news that Sun is slashing upward of 5,000 jobs. For me, it's sad proof that Sun has turned into the GM of IT: a beached whale, too big for its own good, that will now be picked to death mercilessly by scavengers.
Matt Asay, open source blogger for CNET, got some eye-opening feedback from CTOs about their use of open source. As with many other aspects of business, money speaks louder than freedom alone, but freedom isn't a bad bonus.
Despite all the gloom about Sun's ailing business, there's little doubt that the company has the capacity to pump out good ideas and great hardware. Its newly introduced Amber Road storage systems probably won't dig it out of the hole it's in by itself, but could be one rung on the ladder out.
If you build it, they will hack. They hacked the iPhone, the PSP, the PlayStation 3, and just about every other "closed" piece of consumer electronics out there. Now we have a hack that lets you run Debian on the Android-powered T-Mobile G1. But if Android is getting a far less restrictive application store than the iPhone, does that mean this kind of reverse engineering is ultimately irrelevant?
So goes some of the punditry I've heard from various quarters. I mentioned the Guardian's "Linux is washed up" take on the issue, and now Ian Lamont at the Industry Standard put it this way: Windows 7 will make Linux downright irrelevant on netbooks.
First Steve Ballmer was scratching his head about Android; now he's murmuring about the possibility of using open source components in Internet Explorer. Small wonder so many of us are scratching our heads, too, but there's a consistency in there, amazingly.
I don't normally live dangerously. I wear my seat belts and follow the labels on my prescription bottles with religious care. That said, stick an alpha or beta edition of an open source app in front of me, and I'm honor-bound to try it out -- within reason, of course.
IBM's Lotus Symphony -- the clever and stylish rebranding of OpenOffice.org -- is now hitting Ubuntu Linux and Mac desktops. It's another sign that for the software of the future -- especially open source software -- the platform won't be the deciding factor.
Hot on the heels of Ubuntu 8.10, Red Hat has a new version of Fedora preparing to go out the door later this month. After the remarkable level of polish on Intrepid, Red Hat's Cambridge has a tough act to follow, even if the two distros aren't meant to cover the same territory -- or even compete with each other.
The latest version of Ubuntu Linux takes a good thing and makes it even better. Our 12-step visual guide shows you how to get Ubuntu 8.10 up and running smoothly.
News of a new Linux graphics-server project called "Wayland" crossed my desk this morning. It got me thinking: are "big-box" open source vendors going to make individual programmers irrelevant?
It's inevitable. With Microsoft's showcasing of Windows 7's pre-beta edition at PDC, the Boys From Redmond have thrown down a gauntlet to the Linux community that's been angling to take over the netbook market (and then maybe the desktop). Anything you can do, they say, we can do better.
You know you're in trouble when you make the technology pages of the New York Times with a piece about how much money you're bleeding. Such is the case with Sun, which reported a $1.7 billion loss for the first quarter of 2008. And that's not the worst of it.