Editor's Note: The Top 10 Stories for 2005
Dec 30, 2005, 23:30 (6 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Brian Proffitt)
Re-Imagining Linux Platforms to Meet the Needs of Cloud Service Providers
By Brian Proffitt
For most of us, this weekend will mark the end of an old year
and the beginning of a new year. When transitions like this occur,
it is natural to look back and figure out how the last 12 months
went. Did I have a good year or a bad year? Am I happy or sad? That
sort of thing.
Being the publication we are, it is inevitable that we will
choose to reflect on what happened with Linux in 2005.
Specifically, what stories were the most read by you, the reader?
What grabbed your attention? On what issues did you hold the
Hence, this list. No arbitrary editorial opinions about what
were the "hot" stories of 2005 here--this is all by the numbers,
the top 10 most-read stories on Linux Today in 2005.
The Linux Box: How To Speed Up Firefox
This was an early story, posted as a tutorial on Jan. 4. Firefox
has continued to be one of the strongest stories in the open source
community, very likely because so many people have been attracted
to it, whether or not they use Linux.
The success of Firefox has truly been fun to watch. Here we have
an open source product that runs so well and fills such a perfect
need that no one cares who made it or how it was made. It is, then,
Microsoft's worst nightmare: a great product they can't brand, buy,
and (apparently) copy. Here's to more success in 2006. (11705
reads, 9 talkbacks)
Editor's Note: Here Comes the Backlash
Right before LinuxWorld Expo in Toronto, I wrote a series of
articles that outlined the tension between the world of the
commercial distros and the community at large. At the time, Sun was
trumpeting OpenSolaris hard and many in the Linux community were
razzing the Mountain View company.
At the time, and today, I think there's more to it than the
rivalry of an opposing operating system. Sun, Red Hat, Novell, and
IBM have all been guilty of taking the community and its resources
for granted. They seem to be taking the "if you build it, they will
come" mentality to its least logical extreme. "Look!", they shout,
"here is product X! See how cool it is? Come help us build it!" But
the community is getting wise to this. Open source projects need to
be truly collaborative--not sources of free or cheap labor for
corporations looking to save a buck or two. (11900 reads, 31
Pocket PC Thoughts: PalmOS Is Dead
This game between Palm, PalmSource, and Linux turned out to be a
bigger "will they or won't they" event than Brad and Angelina.
Certainly it was more complicated.
The latest is this: PalmSource wanted to use Linux, but Palm
wanted to use PalmOS. Then Palm started flirting with Microsoft to
run WindowsCE on their devices. The Japanese company Access Co.,
Ltd., meanwhile, bought PalmSource and has every intention (we
think) of promoting Linux as a new successor to PalmOS on Palm.
Will Access be able convince Palm to use a Linux-based OS? Or will
Palm fall to the tempatations of Bill and his Redmond Romancers?
One thing's for sure: the fate of PalmOS seems certain. (12474
reads, 13 talkbacks)
FOXNews: Massachusetts Should Close Down
The tagline alone should have been the giveaway. Fox News comments
on OpenDocument? Hoo boy. But comment they did... or so we were led
You see, the commentary, which railed against the notion of
political actions deciding the technology to be used (and yes,
let's pause to let the irony of that statement sink in, shall we?)
by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, was penned by none other than
James Prendergast, executive director of Americans for Technology
Leadership. ATL is one of those lobbyist/think-tank organizations
that Linux Today readers know very well. And when the readers saw
the Prendergast byline, they went after Fox News pretty quickly and
got a disclaimer posted on Fox's Web site: "The column
'Massachusetts Should Close Down OpenDocument' that appeared on
FOXnews.com Sept. 28 identified author James Prendergast as
executive director of Americans for Technology Leadership, but
failed to disclose that Microsoft is a founding member of that
organization..." Nice to see the truth will out, after all. (12526
reads, 90 talkbacks)
6. ZDNet Australia: Firefox Plugin Delivers
HTML-Style Audio and Video Browsing
How hot was Firefox? Hot enough that tutorials for Firefox
and its plugins consistently ranked high on our traffic lists.
(12756 reads, 1 talkbacks)
Torvalds Re-Kindles GNOME vs. KDE
It was one of those days where you don't think a lot is going to
happen and you make plans to spend some quality time with Iagno.
Then someone sends you a link to an OSDL message thread, and all
heck breaks loose.
Clearly Linus Torvalds felt the need to speak his mind. In so
doing, he has re-kindled the age-old debate between what makes a
desktop environment good. Is there an answer here? As always, the
final decision on what is a good user environment lies with the one
person who knows: the user. (13405 reads, 38 talkbacks)
Linus Torvalds: Linux 2.6.12
Not everything Linus said stirred up such a fuss. Most of it was
very welcome news, as in the case of this announcement of the
latest stable kernel release in June.
The Linux kernel development process still tends to be one of
the best models to hold us as a success case for open source and
free software. And it's nice to see its popularity continue to
grow. (18317 reads, 8 talkbacks)
Editor's Note: Free as in... Vista?
It was a notion that took on a lot of momentum. The theory is: will
Microsoft, in its desire to compete with Linux, make at least one
of its many iterations of Vista (I think we're up to seven, now)
free as in beer?
The notion was based on the supposition that Office, not
Windows, is the real money-maker for Microsoft and that they could
afford to give a "Windows-lite" version away so it will look like
they are passing discounts on to the comsumer. Am I right or wrong?
Looks like we'll all find out in 2006. (18631 reads, 52
Editor's Note: Screed Attempts to Silence Voice Against
I don't often comment on the methods and approaches of my
professional colleagues. It's a bad habit, and it tends to lead to
the kind of yellow journalism found in the days of the New York
World and the New York American Journal, when truth was secondary
to laying a blow on your opponent.
Still, enough was enough. My voice was just one of many who
protested the alledged outing of a blogger named Pamela Jones. But
I am glad I had my say.(20282 reads, 107 talkbacks)
Community: Why Is Novell Chopping Its SUSE Linux Workstation and
Desktop Product Line?
And then there was this one. When Kurt Pfeifle first sent me this
story, I ultimately chose to run it as an community/opinion
contribution instead of a straight news story. Little did I know
that it would become news itself.
But what I found most curious at the end of the day is that this
story brought out many facts and many conclusions. Novell would
ultimately dispute many of the conclusions successfully, none of
the facts in the story were wrong--including the part about the
now-aborted plan to use just GNOME as the default interface for
Novell's enterprise product line. That revelation, and its
conformation by Novell, would bring forth a surprising amount of
animosity towards Novell, which eventually backed down from the
single-interface plan. (39818 reads, 95 talkbacks)
So there you have it. Your top 10 stories for 2005. 2006 is
already looking very interesting, with the SCO trials starting, the
release of Vista, and (I predict) another major acquisition of a
Linux company by one of the big distros for the express purpose of
enhancing their desktop efforts. The likely candidates? Linspire is
the most attractive of the bunch. Yes, technologically they are
dead-even with Xandros, but Linspire has already made some inroads
into the small- to medium-sized business space and has more
contacts with independent software vendors.
Who will buy? Perhaps Novell. They have the desktop know-how
already, what with their acquisition of Ximian, and goodness knows
their SUSE engineers will be able to re-tool anything the
Debian-based Linspire has under the hood. But don't rule out
Mandriva as a buyer. They have the desktop strengths too, as well
as a big international presence. The Debian technology hurdle may
not be a deal-killer. After all, earlier this year, it was rumored
that Mandriva was thinking about joining the Debian Core
And, just to make things interesting, don't rule out Mandriva as
an acquisition target. Novell would do well to pick them up,
because it would increase their already strong desktop offerings
and international channels.
Something to think about as the new year rolls in.
In the meantime, be happy, be safe, and be well.