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No avatar February 03, 2001 17:00 The Linux Kernel and Linux Distributions

Whenever a new kernel comes out, there's a lag time between when it's adopted by those who don't mind compiling it themselves and by those who are waiting to get it bundled in an already-tested package from the maintainers of their distributions. In part, the delay is just the result of the difference between those who live on the edge and those who stick with the tried-and-true, but could it be shortened by reducing the work that the distributions have to do to adopt the new kernel? In today's editorial, Jeff Garzik of MandrakeSoft describes the process of fitting the two together.

Update: Developers from Conectiva have written to share their thoughts on the subject.

January 30, 2001 02:53 Red Hat: Updated inetd packages available

The inetd server as shipped with Red Hat Linux 6.2 fails to close sockets for internal service properly. This could make services stop working when the system had leaked sufficient resources.

January 30, 2001 02:29 freshmeat II launched

It's here. It's new. It's freshmeat II. (/me quits rhyming) -- Way too much time has passed since the last rewrite. The first baby-blue freshmeat went online Jan 1st 1999, more than 2 years ago. Here's baby-blue freshmeat II, codenamed 'Verdi'. Besides being completely restructured database wise to better cope with with the project data, this release incorporates most of the features users requested in the past months. Click the link for a quick rundown.

Update: Yes, you convinced me the select boxes suck and as such they will be replaced with link icons as soon as I get a chance.

January 29, 2001 02:48 Red Hat: Updated bind packages available

Some security problems, including a remotely exploitable information leak allowing anyone to read the stack, have been found in bind versions prior to 8.2.3. Updated packages are available from

January 29, 2001 02:45 Debian: New version of BIND 8 released

BIND 8 suffered from several buffer overflows. It is possible to construct an inverse query that allows the stack to be read remotely exposing environment variables. CERT has disclosed information about these issues. A new upstream version fixes this. Updated packages are available from

No avatar January 27, 2001 23:59 We are losing the browser war

Anonymous has had his eye on his Web server logs lately, and is worried at the shift in the ratio of Netscape to IE browsers hitting his pages. He worries that, if we're not careful, this trend on the desktop could undo all the progress Linux has made in the server room, and he offers some ideas on how we could fix things.

January 27, 2001 02:47 Debian: New version of cron released

The FreeBSD team has found a bug in the way new crontabs were handled which allowed malicious users to display arbitrary crontab files on the local system. This only affects valid crontab files so can't be used to get access to /etc/shadow or something. crontab files are not especially secure anyway, as there are other ways they can leak. No passwords or similar sensitive data should be in there.

No avatar January 20, 2001 23:59 Freecode's Stance on "Trivial" Software


Every day, dozens of hackers send us news of their code and hope for a spot in the appindex. Since we know how much our approval can mean, it honestly does hurt us more than it hurts you when we have to frown over a submission and write back, “You know, this really doesn’t fit here…” In today’s editorial, Nathan Hurst, part of Freecode’s Australian crew, explains what goes through our minds and why we sometimes feel we just have to say “no”.

No avatar January 13, 2001 23:59 What Aduva's Up To

A recent Slashdot story sparked a great deal of discussion about Aduva's plans for simplifying Linux administration. Aduva's Izar Tarandach says it sparked a great many misconceptions as well. Today, he tries to put the record straight.

No avatar January 06, 2001 23:59 Introducing a Third Option

Recent freshmeat editorials have dealt with the current state of package management systems. Today, Alex Botero-Lowry and David Eklund look to the future and discuss the work they're doing to create an alternative that draws on the best features of the current "big two".

No avatar December 30, 2000 23:59 The Importance of Avoiding Zs

Jeffrey Fulmer offers YAPFILA (Yet Another Plea For Intelligent Linux Advocacy), focusing on the culture clash between those who choose the technology and those who have to use it.

No avatar December 23, 2000 23:59 The Case for Centralized Computing

Dan Feldman offers an analysis of the systems available for centralized computing in a computer lab, and how Linux can fit into them.

No avatar December 16, 2000 23:59 Spam: Beyond Email

Spam in the inbox is bad enough. Spam that announces itself with a cheery little tune and steals the focus from your application is much closer to intolerable. Andrew Macks (one of freshmeat's Australian Submission Bin Warriors) offers his guidelines for ICQ users who want to avoid spamming others, and we ask what can be done about this new and more intrusive type of spam.

No avatar December 02, 2000 23:59 An RPM port of APT

In a followup to Claudio Matsuoka's "Is it Time to Change RPM?", Alfredo Kojima offers news of Conectiva's APT/RPM integration work, gives the reasons he thinks it's superior to other RPM frontends, and hopes it will provide a means for bringing the various Linux distributions closer together.

No avatar November 20, 2000 23:59 Setting Data Free

I see two trends in progress. In one, we're continuing movement towards application-independent data storage. In the other, we're witnessing a proliferation of devices that each store the same data in a unique and incompatible way. I believe it's a time to watch developments carefully, and to be ready to move our advocacy efforts to a new arena.

No avatar November 11, 2000 23:59 Making it Easier to Announce New Software

When you want to announce changes in your project to several Web sites, you go to the first one and fill in a form with your new info. Then you go to the next one and do it again. And again with the next one. And again. And again. Doc O'Leary thinks he has a solution. Please read to the bottom for my comments and a couple of questions I'd like to ask everyone.

No avatar October 28, 2000 23:59 Linux -- The New CP/M?

Kenneth Broll brings an historical perspective to the debate over supporting Windows languages and applications under Linux, and offers a warning drawn from his own experience.

No avatar October 21, 2000 23:59 Linux Internationalization Problems

Linux continues its march to the desktop, strengthened by the arrival of Open Office and other non-hacker applications, but what good are these apps to you if they don't speak your language? In today's editorial, Juraj Bednar asks that the community not forget localization if it wants Linux to be an alternative for the non-English-speaking world.

No avatar October 14, 2000 23:59 Why are we bringing VB to Linux?

Projects are appearing that attempt to bring Visual Basic clones to Linux. Marc Boorshtein, a former VB programmer, thinks this is a mistake, and that we should be innovating with what we already have instead of spending time working at emulating what he considers a technological dead end.

No avatar October 07, 2000 23:59 Optimization

If you want to write really fast code, what should you do? Hone your assembly skills? Erik Greenwald thinks that's a mistake too many people make, and that it's possible to write even better-optimized code in a high-level language.

No avatar September 30, 2000 23:59 Linux -- A Viable Alternative For The Blind?

Blind computers users had more difficulty than most people when they made the transition from DOS to Windows. Would a switch to Linux be as great a problem? Saqib Shaikh thinks it would instead make their computing experience easier and richer.

No avatar September 24, 2000 23:59 The Importance of Bug Testing

Luke Andrews writes: "The following whitepaper discusses the importance of bug testing with respect to client and vendor environments. Various responsibilities are placed on either side of product development, and it is necessary to understand the reasons behind practicing secure coding and ethical loyalty."

No avatar September 19, 2000 13:16 Response to Bill Gates

In today's editorial, representatives from Linux-Mandrake rebut Bill Gates's recent comments about Linux and Open Source.

No avatar September 16, 2000 23:59 Is it time to change RPM?

New Linux distributions usually base their package management on one of two options -- Red Hat's or Debian's. Brazilian distributor Conectiva decided to go with RPM, but has reservations about its ability to provide smooth automated upgrades. In today's editorial, Conectiva's Claudio Matsuoka describes the problems he sees and what he thinks should be done.

No avatar September 09, 2000 23:59 VM Code as a Software Distribution Mechanism

Dave Gudeman writes: "A developer who wants to make a piece of software available to others faces the daunting task of software delivery. There are several strategies for delivering software, primarily source code, machine binaries, and virtual machine binaries, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. I'm going to discuss each of the alternatives, then suggest a variation that is potentially better than any of the other solutions for commercial as well as Open Source software projects."

No avatar September 04, 2000 23:59 Qt 2.2 To Be Released Under the GPL

Thanks in part to the discussions held here by the freshmeat community, Trolltech has decided to release the next version of Qt under the GNU General Public License. In today's editorial, Eirik Eng and Matthias Ettrich explain the reasoning behind their decision.

No avatar September 02, 2000 23:59 Call for a Cease Fire in the KDE/GNOME War

freshmeat has presented a number of editorials this summer about both sides of the conflict over Qt, KDE, and Debian. At the recent Linuxworld Conference and Expo, news about desktop environments went beyond the community and into the mainstream press when several commercial vendors said they would adopt GNOME as the standard GUI for UNIX systems. Today, Gaël Duval explains the problems he sees with this and why Mandrakesoft will not commit to a single standard environment.

No avatar August 26, 2000 23:59 Six Reasons Not to Use an ASP

Application Service Providers bring the mainframe + dumb terminals model to the Web, and users get all the benefits of a centrally-maintained system. Unfortunately, the distance from your house to is longer than that from your office to the admin down the hall, and it can be harder to hold your provider accountable. In today's editorial, Paul Reiber points out the downsides of ASPs.

No avatar August 18, 2000 23:59 Of Deadlines and Due Dates

Cal Evans writes: "Unless you are working on an Open Source project, deadlines are probably a fact of life for you. Like most of us, you have missed your share of them; we all do. The trick is to make more than you miss, and to always make the important ones. To that end, let me offer you the lessons learned by a Nerd Herder who has hit more than he has missed and has the scars to prove it."

No avatar August 12, 2000 23:59 How to Survive A Crash Landing

Dennis Faust writes: "The vast majority of technology companies fail. That is market Darwinism at work. Through no fault of your own, chances are you currently work at one of the eventual losers. If you are prepared, this experience will be little more than an opportunity for an unpaid vacation. If you are caught flat footed, it can be a very traumatic experience. With a little forethought, effort, and strategy, you will be in control."

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