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Paul Nowak

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Top Stories by Paul Nowak

From the start, questions have surrounded the process and people SCO used to determine the alleged code violations in Linux. There is the phantom MIT mathematics department team which MIT itself can’t identify and which SCO has since said were people with former MIT mathematics department relationships, not MIT employees.  These former MIT people have still not stepped forward and given anyone an indication that they are up to the task, what methods they used, or that they even exist.    The MIT problem casts doubt on the process SCO uses to identify allegedly infringing code but now we have to wonder more deeply about what steps SCO is taking to validate or understand its own claims.  Is it just a Jr. programmer at SCO that has been grudgingly tasked with writing some simple scripts to do some string comparisons?  When you hear SCO mention that just a few people... (more)

Red Hat Is "Growing Up"

Today’s confirmation from the Red Hat Network that support for Red Hat 7.x and 8.0 is ending in December 2003 and that Red Hat 9.0 support will end in April, 2004, has all the trappings of a company that is growing up and growing out of its freely downloadable history. I sadly mark it as an end of an era - and yet another sign of the OSS movement moving toward the enterprise and maturing as it goes. As a Red Hat user since 1995, I know there are simply too many people in my boat for us to go without great alternatives going forward. Perhaps these will come from within Red Hat, b... (more)

The Powerful Economic Underpinnings of OSS

In 1968, Garret Hardin wrote a seminal paper that ran in Science Magazine called “The Tragedy of the Commons.” Hardin defined the commons as a place where multiple people are each endowed with the privilege to use a given resource, and no one has the right to exclude another. Think of a pasture where many farmers can graze their animals. When multiple users have such privileges of use, each user benefits directly from using the resource (one more cow in a farmer’s herd benefits that farmer directly) but the cost of each person's use is borne by all users (the increased use that o... (more)

Microsoft's Source Code Leak - A Different Perspective

Read Paul Nowak's other recent LinuxWorld essays here. Microsoft’s reported source code leak of portions of the Windows NT and Windows 2000 operating systems today has the potential to be the best thing that ever happened to Microsoft technically. Think about it from the perspective of Microsoft becoming an open source company and finally being able to take advantage of thousands of programmers reviewing their code and suggesting improvements, discussing it, and becoming, dare I say, attached to it. Yes, this is going to be a PR disaster for Microsoft both from the angle of securit... (more)

Plone and Drupal: Different Approaches, Different Results

Drupal Developer's Journal on Ulitzer Plone and Drupal are two leading open source Content Management Systems (CMS). Both were recognized in the 2009 Open Source CMS awards, run by Packt Publishing.  Both also have large installed bases and large developer communities.  This is made evident by some quick searching on Google: A search for LinkedIn profiles that mention Plone (search for 'plone site:linkedin.com/pub/') turns up 1350 pages-a large increase from 500 results in 2006. The same kind of search for Drupal developers turns up 9700 pages (search for 'drupal site:linkedin.c... (more)