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Top 10 Linux Today Stories of 2004

Jan 01, 2005, 16:00 (2 Talkback[s])

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Lawsuits, patents, copyrights... it seemed a never-ending legal battle surrounded free and open source software. And while these stories were widely read, LT readers chose other topics of interest to focus their attention, too. Find out what your most popular stories were in 2004 as we enter the new year.

10. XFree86 License Causes Distros to Rethink Plans

When David Dawes changed the license of XFree86, it caused quite the stir in the community. Licence 1.1, many maintained, would make the prolific X environment incompatible with the GNU General Public License. Dawe's change was earth-shattering for the environment, as distribution after distribution halted further updates of XFree86 and then later began adoption of the X11 environment as a replacement.

Complete Story Feb 18, 2004, 14,778 reads, 19 talkbacks.

9. Groklaw: More Changes in the New [SCO] SEC Filing

SCO continued to be one of the most-read topics on Linux Today in the beginning of 2004, when this story was posted. Now, as this year draws to a close, many journalists and analysts are wondering if there's any life left in this company's story. Meanwhile, Groklaw marches on.

Complete Story Jan 17, 2004, 14,790 reads, 41 talkbacks.

8. PR: Novell Announces Evolution 2.0, Release of Connector for MS Exchange Under Open Source License

If Firefox was the unexpected smash hit in the open source software world this year, then Evolution 2.0 was certainly the most popular expected application to hit the virtual shelves in 2004. Evolution 2.0 had a (very) few birthing pains, but quickly became a strong asset to the open source on the desktop campaigns.

Complete Story May 11, 2004, 17,274 reads, 31 talkbacks.

7. Toronto Star: Ballmer Chuckles Over Linux Woes

Steve Ballmer is still capable of flinging FUD whenever the occasion arises. Lately, however, his rhetoric has died down, as Microsoft tries new subtler approaches to keeping its customers (oddly enough, none seem to involve actually improving their products or their tyranical relationship with customers). In this instance, Ballmer's amusement over Munich's alleged migration problems was sharply silenced by Munich's eventual full committal to Linux.

Complete Story Feb 28, 2004, 17,441 reads, 60 talkbacks.

6. Stolen SCO Code in Linux Cannot be Displayed

The patent fights in Europe, the Microsoft "Get the Facts" campaign... so many things to choose from as fodder for those of the humorist bent. But above them all, the juiciest target was certainly The SCO Group. This mock Web page got a lot of hits and, hopefully, a lot of laughs.

Complete Story Jan 29, 2004, 18,530 reads, 9 talkbacks.

5. InfoWorld: IBM to Launch MS Office for Linux

After huge success with Linux on their server line, IBM made big waves in the entire technology commmunity when they announced a plan to either port or fully emulate Microsoft Office to the Linux platform. While the progress of this produce remains very vague, it did signal the start of IBM's 2004 push--both in sales and marketing--for Linux on the desktop.

Complete Story Feb 15, 2004, 18,634 reads, 70 talkbacks.

4. eWeek: Why Linux Users Hate Red Hat

Red Hat has seen a lot of commercial success this year, this much is certain. But their credentials in the Linux community are far lower than they have ever been. Painted as the villian by former friends and competitors alike, Red Hat continues to be the flagship distribution for Linux while enduring the slings and arrows of many. Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols analyzed the situation and came up with his own answers to all of this ire.

Complete Story May 15, 2004, 19,473 reads, 59 talkbacks.

3. Tridgell: Samba4 Reaches the "Susan" Stage

The private lives of coders often plays a key role in the development of popular open source software. Debian takes part of its name from Ian Murdock's wife, and Samba gets seriously tested by chief developer's Andrew Tridgell's spouse, as indicated in this announcement. One wonders what Mrs. Torvalds contributes to the Linux kernel...

Complete Story Nov 20, 2004, 24,616 reads, 4 talkbacks.

2. Community: Beyond an Open Source Java

One of the most theorized issues in 2004 was the open sourcing of Java. As the debate began, guest contributor Ganesh Prasad entered his own arguments for why Sun should release the code for Java. As it turned out, Sun would later make peace with its old adversary Microsoft, and plans for a truly open Java fell by the wayside. For now.

Complete Story Feb 24, 2004, 36,650 reads, 127 talkbacks.

1. Editor's Note: Blocked Sites and Fair Use

Linux Today seemed to be the center of a lot of media and commuity attention this year. An event that has the potential to be most far-reaching of all was the decision by CMP Media to block Linux Today's links to excerpted articles. The use of copyrighted material under fair use practices is a long-established methodology for many Web sites, both in and out of the "formal" media arena. CMP's decision to block incoming traffic was puzzling, made the more so by later CMP requests to essentially redesign Linux Today in order to link to their content. In the end, Linux Today continues to avoid linking directly to CMP content, particularly on CMP's US sites.

Many other media outlets gave us their support, both public and private, which helped assure us that this was not the beginning of an alarming trend.

Complete Story Mar 19, 2004, 50,752 reads, 110 talkbacks.