[fdn-ann] GNOME coverage round-up

Hello All,
Here is a round-up of the coverage on GNOME so far. We'll send any additional articles as we get them.
Please let us know if you have any questions.
Thanks and best regards,

ABC News.com
"A Second Look at Linux Equity Insight"
August 15, 2000

"Linux Shares Rise as Firms Join to Counter Microsoft"
David Ward
August 14, 2000

Boston Globe
"Key firms give Linux a big boost: Goal is to grab part of Windows market"
Alex Pham
August 15, 2000

Business Week
"Street Wise: A Second Look at Linux"
Sam Jaffe
August 15, 2000

CBS Marketwatch
"Gnome Gets Major Corporate Backing"
August 15, 2000

Client Server News
"Sun, IBM, Compaq, Others Rally Behind Gnome"
Maureen O'Gara
August 15, 2000
No URL available (see below for full article)

"Linux conference shows advances amid investor ennui"
Stephen Shankland
August 14, 2000

CNet News.com
"Linux desktop software gets corporate backing"
Stephen Shankland
August 14, 2000

"Rift persists between Linux interface camps"
Stephen Shankland
August 15, 2000

"Unix vendors adopt Gnome desktop"
Dominique Deckmyn
August 16, 2000

"Unix Giants Back Single Desktop Framework for Linux"
August 15, 2000
No URL available (see below for full article)

"Microsoft Quietly Pushes Office 10 Into Early Beta"
Paula Rooney
August 15, 2000

"GNOME gets major commitments"
Dan Neel
August 15, 2000

"Linux interface gets backing"
Dan Neel
August 14, 2000

Linux Journal
"Vendors Gear Up for LinuxWorld"
Phil Hughes
August 14, 2000

Network World
"New Linux Desktops to Debut at Linuxworld"
Phil Hochmuth
August 11, 2000

NY Times
"Developers of Linux Software Planning Assault on Microsoft: Hoping an Alternative Suite of Applications Will Be More Widely Used"
John Markoff,
August 14, 2000

San Francisco Chronicle
"LinuxWorld Goes Mainstream High-tech giants embrace free operating system "
Henry Norr
August 16, 2000

San Jose Mercury News
"It was geeks vs. nerds at LinuxWorld expo"
Therese Poletti
August 16, 2000

San Jose Mercury News
"VA to unveil build-to-order software model"
 Therese Poletti,
August 15, 2000

"Late Buying Spurs Dow Rally"
August 15, 2000

Smart Partner
"Linux Make a Run at Windows on the Desktop?"
Mary Jo Foley
August 14, 2000 - Also appeared on MSNBC.com, eWeek, and Linux Today

"Desktop is Next Frontier for Linux"
Barbara Darrow
August 14, 2000

"Gnome is the new face of Unix"
Rachel Chalmers
August 16, 2000
No URL available (see below for full article)

"Dell and Caldera stake claim at Linux show"
Rachel Chalmers
August 14, 2000
No URL available (see below for full article)

"Linux Mounts MS Offense"
Leander Kahney
August 15, 2000

ZDNet AnchorDesk
"Gnome Push"
Charles Cooper
August 14, 2000

ZDNet News
"Hello GNOME, Adios KDE"
Charles Cooper
August 16, 2000

ZDNet News
"GNOME throws down the gauntlet"
Mary Jo Foley
August 15, 2000  - Also appeared on MSNBC

August 15, 2000
Unix Giants Back Single Desktop Framework for Linux

Linux loyalists and major vendors will use today's LinuxWorld Expo
and Conference to announce the Gnome Foundation that will drive
development of a Linux desktop and productivity software it claims
will compete with Microsoft Corp's popular Office suite within a

The Gnome Foundation will coordinate development work of Linux
developers including Red Hat Inc and VA Linux Systems Inc with that
of Unix giants Compaq Computer Corp, IBM Corp and Sun Microsystems
Inc via a newly created Gnome Advisory Board. Linux has so far been
hindered on the desktop by lack of a viable interface and
productivity applications.

Other Gnome backers are Eazel, Free Software Foundation, Gnumatic,
Helix Code and Henzai. The companies plan to develop a suite of
desktop and productivity software sharing the same look and ease of
use, and which offers features like mail, calendar, file management
and bridge into the COM and Corba environments.

Applications from Sun's StarOffice suite will also be included in
the framework, as will Netscape's Mozilla browser. Gnome plans to
develop using the Bonbono component project, which StarOffice must
now be migrated to, and GTK tool kit.

Miguel de Icaza, Gnome project founder, said the foundation would
set the technical direction of the Gnome project and promote broader
adoption of Gnome. He said applications developed under the framework
would challenge Microsoft because the open source nature of Gnome
means developers can add new features, such as a Reuters feed.

Gnome's work will also appear on existing versions of Unix. Sun
revealed yesterday, ahead of the formal Linux World Conference and
Expo, it would adopt the Gnome desktop for Solaris, ending its
eight-year support for the CDE desktop. Sun said this desktop, also
shared by IBM's AIX and HP's UX, is dated and Gnome would offer new,
easy-to-use features and robustness.

Marco Boerries, Sun vice president and general manager for web top
application software, said: "This [Gnome framework] addresses
the weakness of Linux and Unix, where there was neither a compelling
desktop environment or structure. You need a modern user interface
and integration with key competitive productivity solutions."

A key hindrance to Unix in its fight against Windows has been the
unfriendly interface. With Microsoft's Windows 2000 Datacenter Server
set to ship next month, any improvement to the Unix interface would
be welcomed. Boerries said existing Solaris applications would be
able to work under the new interface. The ability to use existing
applications would assist Gnome on Solaris, but Gnome on Linux
remains threatened unless the Foundation can successfully drive
development and reverse a lack of applications for the desktop.


Client Server NEWS 362.1 NewsFlash
August 15, 2000

Sun, IBM, Compaq, Others Rally Behind Gnome
By Maureen O'Gara

Tuesday, August 15, 2000 - Later today Compaq, IBM, Sun, Red Hat, and
VA Linux Systems are going to throw their weight behind the Gnome
Project, the Linux desktop environment. When last we heard, Hewlett-
Packard hadn't finished its negotiations, but didn't want to be left
out either so we imagine it'll show up too to lend support. At least
the others were already counting it in.

Exactly what this support turns out to be in the final analysis
remains to be seen. Right now they're each kicking in negligible
amounts of money to back a new Gnome Foundation, which is intended to
give the development project more structure and make it easier for
OEMs to interface with the effort, find out what's going on and get
their two cents in.

It'll be a lot like the Apache Foundation, they say, with a board of
directors elected by the hundreds of Gnome developers.

However, there will also be an advisory board to set policy and
essentially help Gnome get attention and scale. Compaq, IBM, Sun, Red
Hat and VA are on the board along with the overarching Free Software
Foundation from which Gnome draws succor, Eazel, Gnumatic, Helix Code
and Henzai, start-ups you may never have heard of that are wholly
dependent on Gnome.

The foundation, according to a draft copy of the press release, is
supposed to provide the Gnome Project with "organizational, financial
and legal support...and help determine its vision and roadmap."

Collab.Net, which will be hosting Sun's first open source effort,
OpenOffice.org, its latest step with StarOffice (CSN No 359), will be
helping to organize the Gnome Foundation.

Mozilla, the AOL/Netscape property, is supposed to be integrated into
the effort but of course the long-delayed new Mozilla browser, code
named Seamonkey, the heart of Navigator 6.0, and two years in the
making so far, has just thrown in the towel on keeping to any schedule
and is apparently slipping slowly into next year.

Gnome under the new landlords is also supposed to go double-byte for a
global cachet.

Practically speaking, the whole thing will come to nothing like so
many of the industry initiatives that have gone before it unless the
supporters actually roll up their sleeves and participate.

And rest assured, given Gnome's embryonic state, today's event does
not merit the overstated impression conveyed yesterday by a story in
the New York Times that was evidentially planted by Sun on a slow news
day in high summer. This stuff ain't gonna compete against Microsoft
any time soon, even though it does include an application development
environment that is already producing apps. Participants, other than
StarOffice chief Marco Boerries and Helix Code founder Miguel de Icaza
at any rate, peg the announcement as "not that significant" and figure
Gnome is currently someplace between Windows 3.1 and Windows 95.

IBM, HP and Sun, veterans of the internecine Motif-OpenLook wars, are
old hands at this desktop environment business, having wiled away many
a weekend pointlessly negotiating things like COSE and CDE, the Common
Desktop Environment for Unix. Gnome is now the latest incarnation in a
string of unifying desktops attempts, seeking this time to unite not
only the shrinking Unix universe, but the promising new Linux one or
whatever else runs X, which could of course mean FreeBSD and OS/2. Sun
is going around telling people that Gnome will be the interface for
Solaris, but then how much desktop does it sell - comparatively
speaking. We presume we'll hear much the same from the rest of the
Unix contingent, mudding the Linux waters much like the Caldera-SCO
acquisition is doing.

Unix notwithstanding the strength Gnome does have stems from the fact
it's an x86 initiative, or was.

Of course there are a half-dozen other Linux desktop environments
competing with Gnome beginning with the more mature, if less well
architected KDE, which is backed by Caldera and Corel.

Gnome, by the way, stands for GNU Network Object Model Environment. In
the big picture it's a standard for how graphical applications should
look and act and what libraries and toolkits they should be built
with. The desktop obviously follows the standard. Although Gnome has
pretensions to a platform with a Corba-based component architecture
and a printing architecture and all, Gnome Foundation founders say the
gimmick at hand is the desktop.

Sun is apparently taking a strong hand in this Gnome thing because
StarOffice has been re-directed and is using Gnome's GTK and Bonobo,
Gnome's object broker model. We suspect that StarOffice will
eventually replace Gnome's duplicative and rudimentary productivity

There are also old school ties between Sun and Eazel, the glitterati-
run start-up that's gussying up Gnome with NeXT-like icons and a
graphical file manager called Nautilus, where Sun's one-time chief
architect and objects guru, Apple graduate Bud Tribble, is now VP,
software engineering. Eazel, which is supposed to show its stuff in
public for the first time this week, needs Gnome to succeed or else
Eazel craps out.

Ditto Helix Code, which was started by Gnome founder and mastermind
Miguel de Icaza, to commercialize a polished version of the Gnome
desktop, code named Spidermonkey, and a supposed knockoff of Microsoft
Outlook called Evolution. How its charter changes with Sun in the
picture and how De Icaza's role in the greater Gnome changes because
of the Gnome Foundation remains to be seen. Helix Code, by the way,
which like De Icaza really seems to be more interested in Unix than
Linux (or at least treats the words as interchangeable) is currently
working on three graphical-driven setup tools for networked Unix
workstations. Otherwise, Helix Gnome only supports Solaris 7 with
Creator 3D video cards, not Solaris 8 or earlier iterations of the Sun
operating system.

The greater Gnome's support of Solaris consists of binaries for
Solaris 2.7 on UltraSparc. Other Unixes are do-it-yourself affairs.
Gnome supports LinuxPPC 2000, Debian GNU/Linux 2.3 (Woody), TurboLinux
6.0, Yellow Dog Linux Champion Server 1.2, Red Hat Linux 6.0, 6.1 or
6.2, SuSE Linux 6.3 or 6.4. Linux Mandrake 6.1, 7.0 or 7.1 and Caldera
OpenLinux eDesktop 2.4.

Gnumatic Inc is equally indebted to Gnome. It's a brand new company
along the lines of Helix Code. Developers of the open source personal
finance package called GnuCash, an effort akin to Intuit's Quicken
software, one might suppose, are going to try to commercialize the

Henzai, meanwhile, another newcomer in Nantes, France that's only
three-months-old, has apparently created what it calls HUE, the Henzai
User Interface, shrinking Gnome to PDAs and mobile phones. It says
it's a sister company of Eazel and Helix Code.


Gnome is the new face of Unix
Rachel Chalmers
August 16, 2000

San Jose - For years, Unix developers have dreamed of a common desktop environment that would unite their divergent operating systems. Now 13 companies and organizations have joined forces to make Gnome that desktop standard for the Linux and Unix world. The brand-new Gnome Foundation is backed by a consortium than spans both the open source and commercial software communities: Compaq, Eazel, the Free Software Foundation, Gnumatic, Helix Code, Henzai, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, the Object Management Group, Red Hat, Sun Microsystems, TurboLinux and VA Linux.

The Foundation has already chalked up two major victories. Sun and HP have agreed to use Gnome as the default desktop environment for Solaris and HP-UX. Add that to the sizable percentage of Linux systems that ship with Gnome and the industry is suddenly confronted with a modern graphical user interface whose market share rivals or exceeds that of Apple's Macintosh.

Now approaching release 1.4, Gnome itself encapsulates the collaborative effort of 500 developers from all over the world. "We needed a way for these people to communicate with each other, so that's why we started the Foundation," explained project founder Miguel de Icaza. "The Foundation is a mechanism for letting other companies join in with the Gnome effort." The group will be modeled on the Apache Software Foundation, a kind of star chamber dedicated to maintaining and improving the Apache Web server.

As followers of the Microsoft antitrust trial are well aware, any new desktop user interface must contend with the formidable applications barrier to entry. But Gnome already has good applications up and running, with more to come. The Foundation plans to adopt Sun's OpenOffice, formerly StarOffice, and the Mozilla browser, and to integrate these as components within Gnome.

"We're really creating a very very exciting user environment, which is fully competitive in terms of products and applications shipping with it," explained Sun's VP and general manager of webtops, Marco Boerries. Boerries, who founded StarOffice and sold it to Sun, is understandably excited about the prospects for Gnome. "It's more than just another desktop," he argued, "more than an initiative."

Other applications will include Evolution, a forthcoming personal information manager from de Icaza's startup Helix Code; GnuCash, a personal finance manager from Gnumatic; and Eazel's Nautilis file manager. For its part, IBM will contribute SashXB, which de Icaza describes as a Java development environment built on Mozilla.

The announcement is a blow to KDE, a rival Linux desktop environment that began by using the then-proprietary Qt libraries. Concerned about the implications of building free software with non-free libraries, the Gnome developers started work on Gnome using the free Gtk toolkit. Trolltech, the company that wrote Qt, eventually released it under an open source license, but by then Gnome had enough momentum and vision to pull ahead of its rival.

What makes Gnome remarkable is the extent to which it is componentized. The Bonobo component model, based on CORBA, underlies everything. The display technologies, font technologies, print technologies and applications are all built up out of Bonobo components. If you want to run Gnome on your PDA, all you have to do is strip out the technologies you don't actually need. Balancing richness of features against performance on individual platforms should, in theory, be easy.

That means Gnome isn't only the new default desktop environment for Unix; it's also arguably the best choice of interface for all kinds of yet-to-be-built Internet appliances.

KDE isn't dead quite yet. "Just because we're here helping out Gnome, doesn't mean KDE ceases to exist," said VA's community evangelist Chris Di Bona. "We have no intention of dropping KDE," added Red Hat chairman Bob Young, whose company ships both Gnome and KDE. "It's up to the customer to choose. Competition is a good thing. This is not something we're defensive about."

Yet the extraordinary show of support for the Gnome Foundation recalls nothing so much as old dreams of an unfragmented Unix. Indeed, Compaq's Jim Gettys, the very model of an old-school Unix engineer, praised the initiative for fulfilling his youthful dreams. "Gnome is built on X-Windows, a project with which I had more than a little to do," Gettys explained. "I would like to thank the hackers here for working on completing our vision."

To Red Hat's Young, the most exciting thing about the Gnome announcement was that no corporate lawyers were present. "We have not signed an agreement of any sort," he said. "It's not that we've all woken up and suddenly become great friends. It's that under the open source model, we've eliminated the need for trust." On the desktop as in the kernel, the General Public License could be just what's needed to force feuding vendors to settle on a single standard, to the benefit of all concerned.


Dell and Caldera stake claim at Linux show
Rachel Chalmers
August 14, 200

San Francisco - This week's LinuxWorld conference & Expo promises a heady mix of PC industry leaders jumping on the Linux bandwagon, Linux game shows and controversial Unix critics. First up on Tuesday is Michael Dell of Dell Computer. With the zeal of a recent convert, Dell has been dropping Linux into virtually every interview he's given in the past year.

More strikingly, the CEO has been walking the floors of the Linux trade shows, dazzling smaller Linux vendors with his apparently unfeigned interest in their wares. Dell seems to know what he's talking about. His company recently expanded a long-standing relationship with Red Hat, rated Linux as a strategic operating system and, most impressively, credited the platform with half the sales for its new PowerApp caches and Web appliances.

Dell could be a hard act to follow, but Nicholas Petreley's enduringly popular game show, Linux Geek Bowl, should give the CEO a run of his money. Contestants include VA Linux's Larry Augustin, Bruce Perens of Linux Venture Capital and Red Hat boss Bob Young. Most likely to make headlines, however, is the GNOME project's flamboyant Miguel de Icaza.

De Icaza has been making the rounds of conferences lately. At Usenix in San Diego, he gave a talk describing Bonobo, the GNOME architecture for creating reusable software components. The talk was punctuated with the observation that "Unix sucks," since part of the motivation behind GNOME is to make the operating system better. Unix attendees seemed unfazed by de Icaza's opinionated address.

Not so his listeners at Ottawa Linux Symposium the following month. Where old-school Unix hackers were untroubled by de Icaza pointing out familiar flaws in the platform, Linux zealots were outraged by what they saw as hearsay. To turn back a tide of email, de Icaza published his paper along with an explanation.

"Our work is not about technology for its own sake," he wrote. "It is about bringing free technology to people. Unix is a very powerful foundation. It is here, and we can build on top of it instead of reinventing a completely new system."

Whether the Linux diehards will accept his provocative argument is one of the interesting questions this conference should help to answer.

Other, equally interesting questions present themselves. This Wednesday, Caldera CEO Ransom Love will talk about the difficulties Linux companies face as they try to attract a new, larger audience. This is a problem Love knows intimately. Caldera likes to paint itself as the most businesslike of the Linux distributors and, as a result, it has been attacked for its perceived detachment from the community. Attendance at Love's speech could be a useful clue to the credibility of Caldera in the wake of its acquisition of parts of SCO.

As ever, the informal Birds of a Feather meetings give a pretty reliable indication of what's on developers' minds. This year's hot topics include real-time Linux, a perennial hard problem; journaling file systems, an increasingly urgent need; BSD, oddly enough; and just for fun, a session on game development for Linux.

Finally, there are the official news announcements. CollabNet has struck a deal with Linux game console manufacturer Indrema, which will result in Indrema hosting a developer network using CollabNet's SourceCast and SourceXchange services. The GNOME project is plotting an announcement, to which Eazel's Mike Boich, Andy Hertzfeld and Bud Tribble will lend their collective weight. MandrakeSoft will be sporting a new CEO, Henri Poole, and a new product, Corporate Server 1.0, while SuSE Linux has expanded its relationship with VMware.

All in all, it should be a busy and productive week in San Jose.

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