According to Universal Time, it's just a few seconds after
midnight, January 1, 2007. Another year has come and gone, and it
is most definitely not the year I thought it was going to be. I,
along with many other pundits, were pretty sure that at least one
major OEM company would break ranks and start distributing Linux
machines on a wide scale. That hasn't happened yet, and what a
shocker when it was Microsoft itself that decided to put its toe
into the penguin waters.
I think it is save to say that we are all waiting to see what
will happen, no matter what your feelings on the Novell-Microsoft
collaboration. I for one, have to publicly admit that at least one
of my early predictions is not likely to happen: when confronted
with Oracle's "Unbreakable Linux" plan and Novell's partnership
with Redmond, I openly stated that Red Hat was going to be in for a
world of hurt. Clearly, after seeing their last quarterly results,
I was in error. So, while my early thoughts about the Novell deal
were very pessimistic on Novell's behalf, I am withholding any
predictions until more time passes.
Instead of predictions about the year ahead today, I am much
better prepared to continue what has become a Linux Today
tradition: the publishing of the most-read stories of 2006, with
some commentary to put the decisions behind posting these stories
in context. So here, without further ado, are the 20 most popular
LT stories in 2006.
Linux Journal: Xen Virtualization and Linux Clustering, Part
1 (10909 reads)
Among all of the different media sources we link to, Linux
Journal is one of the most trusted. This year's departure of
Don Marti as Editor in Chief marked a change in the online
editorial direction for the site, but the popularity of this story
in early January reflects the quality of the work that does get
posted on their site.
Computerworld Australia: Sun to Sink in the West?
This is the only story on the Top 20 list that wasn't posted by me;
it was posted by Contributing Edtior Rob Reilly in July when I was
taking some vacation time. (Rob, by the way, just got a full-time
job with a major defense contractor, and will be spreading the
Linux gospel in his new office this coming year.) The title of this
story says it all: another prediction of Sun Microsystem's sure
demise. And while Sun could be doing better, it's clear that
they're still going to be around for a while.
internetnews.com: Linux Desktops Get a Graphics Boost
Okay, so Novell may not be high on a lot of holiday gift-giving
lists right now. But back in February, they released Xgl and
Compviz to the X.org Project, and the interest generated was pretty
high. But then, stories about new eye candy usually get the
Editor's Note: Diamonds and Rhinestones (11118
I came to LinuxWorld Boston. I saw LinuxWorld Boston. I left
LinuxWorld Boston. There isn't going to be another LinuxWorld
Boston. Don't blame me. Or thank me, for that matter.
ZDNet UK: Stallman Leads the GPL Off a Cliff (11164
I have often maintained that its important to hear what the
Opposition is saying, in order to better counter their arguments.
And John Carroll's column on how Richard Stallman and GPL 3 is
going to ruin Linux is certainly as Opposing as you can get.
Editor's Note: Change or Die (11252 reads)
One of the events I attended this year was the Open Source Business
Conference in San Francisco. That one was fun, though the
presenter from SAP chose this venue for an odd attack on some of
the "immature" open source companies cometing with SAP--like
SugarCRM and Compiere. I laughed, and picked his argument apart.
Yeah, SAP, thouse little furry creatures running around under the
dinosaurs' feet weren't going to amount to much, either. Wait,
what's that big glowing thing falling from the sky?
DesktopLinux: Why Windows Vista Will Suck (11443
Hey, did you hear Vista came out this year? Did you care? My
father-in-law asked me about it, and I pointed him to this
excellent March article from Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols (whom I
think we should just all call "Steve-O" from now on, for brevity's
sake). Okay, so it was yet another "Vista bites" article. But this
one was among the first, and among the best.
Notes from a Senior Editor: Elvis Linux Is
Everywhere (CES Day One) (11863 reads)
Stories covering events were among the most popular in 2006, and
this first report from the Consumer Electronics Show from Senior
Editor James Turner certainly proved that. While not entirely about
Linux, James' coverage wove our love of geeky toys with the
industry's embrace of open source to provide an excellent
travelouge of CES. Also voted best gratuitous use of a Mojo Nixon
NewsForge: Linus Says No to GPLv3 (12122 reads)
GPL version 3 was supposed to be the biggest thing since sliced
bread. It still might be, but don't try running that past Mrs.
Torvalds' boy Linus. His public commentary about the fitness of the
upcoming version of the GPL started a firestorm of community debate
about the nature of the license.
Community: Open Scrutiny of Open Source Code (13096
When Coverity announced they were going to get a grant from the
Department of Homeland Security to implement automated testing of
various open source projects, the staff at one of those projects,
Zmanda, contributed this column touting the fact that Zmanda had
the lowest error rate per lines of code among the projects Covery
tested. Sure, it was a cheerleading session. But you know what? I
think all open source projects deserve a little time in the
Editor's Note: Google May Hold Big Key to Desktop
Linux (13246 reads)
Here's what I wrote in January 2006: "Jiminy crickets, the next
thing we'll hear is that Google's going to launch a space probe and
become the first Internet search engine on Ceti Alpha V." Here's
the headline from December 19: Google
Reaches Far Out For Users," a story detailing Google's
partnership with... NASA. Dear Chris DiBona: feel free to send
payment to my favorite charity, the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
Editor's Note From the Road: When Everyone Wins (15484
I got a chance to go to SCALE 4X this year (where I met Hans Reiser
for the first time) and came to the conclusion that we need more
community shows like this one. Whether it's SCALE, Northwest
LinuxFest, or the Ohio LinuxFest... if there's a Linux community
show near you, go.
Google's Picasa Painted to a Linux Canvas (22340
The nature of LT means we don't get "scoops" very often. I will
just as happily link to someone elese's story if they have it
first. But in this case, early news from Google was very welcome.
And, judging from the response, not just welcomed by me.
Editor's Note: Tipping Point Ahead (28218 reads)
The news was underreported, but it was very significant: according
to the Spring 2006 North American Developer's Survey from Evans
Data, by the end of the 2006, it is expected that the number of
developers expected to be working on Linux will match the number of
expected Windows developers. Starting this year, 2007, the number
of Linux developers is expected to exceed Windows developers. It's
just one survey, but I am confident that its a good sign of things
Morton Gets Googled (29000 reads)
All I did was e-mail Andrew Morton a question about a totally
unrelated matter, and he mentioned he was just starting a new job
at Google that day. Even a old-time newspaper editor from Indiana
is going to jump on that. The story becomes that much more
significant when you consider that just four months later, the
organization that really pays Morton's salary (and Linus
Torvalds'), the Open Source Development Labs, downsized
significantly. Changes within the OSDL are definitely going to be
something to keep an eye on this year.
Editor's Note: Beware of Suits Bearing Code (84994
And the story that blew them all away this year was the July 28
column I wrote surrounding the demise of the OpenDarwin Project. To
me, the closure of OpenDarwin was an important lesson in how far
corporate involvement in community projects should be trusted. Many
of the Linux readers of the article saw my point, but the OS X
readers who Dugg the story seemed to think I was trashing Apple.
Sensitive folk, those Mac users. The allegory, I think, still
And there you have it, the 20 most read stories on LT in 2006.
They may not all be the most important stories, but they are the
ones you liked the most. Thank you all for making this another
growth year for LT, and I look forward to seeing what the next 365