Open-Source Development: LinuxWorld roundup

Attendance at last week's LinuxWorld Expo was on a par with the previous year's show (between 10,000 and 11,000, according to conference organizers), but the exhibit floor was busting at the seams. More than 190 vendors (around 55 more than last year) pitched their tents in San Francisco's Moscone Center to flog their latest Penguinesque offerings.

In addition to the headline-grabbing revelations from IBM, Red Hat and Novell (previously reported here), a wide range of vendors used the show as a platform for significant Linux announcements. Here is a roundup of some of those activities:

  • Computer Associates disclosed that it will open source Version 3 of its Ingres Enterprise Relational Database under its own CA Trusted Open Source License (CA-TOSL). Under CA-TOSL, software vendors can incorporate Ingres into their products as long as the Ingres source code is provided with it. Version 3 replaces the current release 2.6 database and is scheduled to be available on Linux at the end of September. CA also launched a contest at the show, offering a $1 million prize to encourage open-source developers to create tools that will enable users to migrate applications from major enterprise databases to Ingres. The Ingres Million Dollar Challenge will pay $400,000 for the best application for migrating from an Oracle database, and $300,000 for a tool that supports migration from IBM's DB2. The contest began last week and submissions can be made through February 1, 2005. Five winners will be announced the following April at CAWorld, Computer Associates' annual user conference in Orlando. 

  • Sun Microsystems previewed Project Janus, software designed to provide Linux application compatibility on its forthcoming Solaris 10 OS. Janus technology will let users run Linux binary applications unmodified and un-recompiled on Solaris without having to acquire extra x86-based hardware. Janus is designed to be compatible with Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the company said, as well as x86 processors from both Intel and AMD. 

  • Hewlett-Packard used the LinuxWorld stage to outline plans to provide what HP officials claimed is the world's first laptop from a major manufacturer with the Linux OS pre-installed. The Compaq nx5000 business notebook will be powered by Intel's Centrino mobile chipset and will run Novell's SuSE Linux, the company said. 'Linux is a key part of the HP Adaptive Enterprise strategy as it is central to HP's unique approach to IT standardization,' said HP's Martin Fink during his conference keynote. The laptop will come equipped with OpenOffice, CD-R/RW support, DVD and media player, wireless and Bluetooth connectivity. Priced at $1,140 and up, it will be sold at first only in the U.S.
  • Utility computing vendor Veritas launched its first big Linux promotional push at this show. (You couldn't get into the Moscone Center without running a gauntlet of Veritas flyer distributors dressed in fuzzy penguin suits.) 'This is the first time we are spending a lot of energy around promoting our overall Linux message,' Ranajit Nevatia, Veritas' director of Linux strategy, told eADT. The company has been progressively expanding its Linux product portfolio, Nevatia said. It now includes data protection, high availability, storage management, server automation and application performance management software. Veritas also disclosed that it has joined the Open Source Development Labs (OSDL) and will participate in its Data Center Workgroup. Participation in the OSDL will help to further the company's Linux commitments to customers, Nevatia said, and it hopes also to accelerate the process of making Linux enterprise-ready. 

  • CRM vendor E.piphany unveiled a Linux-friendly version of its E.6 CRM software suite at the show. The San Mateo, Calif.-based company went with Red Hat as its initial supported Linux platform, and it has joined the Red Hat Ready partner program. The E.piphany E.6 software solution is based on an extensible J2EE infrastructure optimized for the Linux operating system as well as other industry platforms based on Unix and Microsoft Windows. 

  • Unisys launched its first Linux-based system for its ES7000 servers at last week's show. The Blue Bell, Penn.-based systems integrator had recently partnered with leading Linux distros Novell and Red Hat to implement 20 Linux-based systems at customer sites. Those systems are now available to all of its customers. The ES7000 systems can run either Intel's 32-bit Xeon processors or 64-bit Itanium 2 chips. 

  • The Eclipse Foundation , the non-profit corporation that hosts community-based open-source projects, revealed the creation of an open-development platform that can be used to test frameworks and services. This expanded initiative extends the Eclipse Hyades project which, over the last year and a half, has developed an extensive Eclipse-based infrastructure and tooling for test and performance. The platform includes data collection services and user interfaces for tracing, test-case execution, logging, and statistical behavior in local or remote execution environments. Intel has committed to leading the project, according to the foundation. 

  • Desktop Linux vendor Xandros used the LinuxWorld show to launch its long-awaited Linux server product, the xDMS Xandros Desktop Management Server. Xandros had unveiled its latest desktop offering, the Xandros Desktop OS 2.5, a week before the show. The Xandros Desktop is based on Debian-based Linux assets from Corel, acquired by the company in 2001. Speaking at the show, Xandros chairman and CTO Frederick H. Berenstein outlined Xandros' product roadmap for the next two years, which calls for the release later this year of a Linux server OS and Version 3 of the Xandros desktop to come out in 2005. 

  • Radiant Data Corp. released what may be the first peer-to-peer data replication software for Linux-based enterprise apps. The Colorado-based company's new PeerFS software is designed to enable secure, semi-synchronous, N-way replication of data with guaranteed consistency. The product brings 'mission-critical data protection characteristics to Linux-based enterprise applications,' the company said. PeerFS eliminates scheduled and unscheduled application downtime by replicating data to one or many locations, over any network medium. 

  • Quest Software touted the increasing popularity of its Toad open-source database development and administration tool for MySQL. Within the first four months of the product's availability, Quest claims, it accumulated more than 13,000 user downloads. The company also announced that the preview release of Toad for MySQL will be available for Linux desktops sometime in August.

About the Author

John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached at



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