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Talk to the IBM Linux Hackers

Roblimo posted more than 12 years ago | from the billion-dollar-men-and-women dept.

Linux 245

We've all heard plenty about IBM's investment in Linux, but we don't hear much from -- or about -- the actual Linux developers at IBM. This interview is not with one person, but with a number of IBM Linux people spearheaded by Dave Hansen, who volunteered to help us with this interview. Of the group responding to your questions, Dave says, "There are more people, but the majority of the group's skills are represented. No surprise that we'll have our responses reviewed before we send them back to you, but we'll try to expedite that."A little background: The group's experience is pretty broad. Most members were Sequent employees who worked on Dynix/PTX before IBM acquired Sequent (we are still mostly based in Beaverton, OR). Not everyone was with Sequent; Matt Dobson and Dave Hansen came into the group last summer, right out of college. A few of our Austin colleagues are long time IBM employees who worked on the AIX kernel before moving to Linux. Ask about anything from the rmap VM, to PTX's crashdump facilities, to life in Portland :)

As usual, please ask only one question per post. We'll forward 10 of the highest moderated questions to Dave, and run all the answers, verbatim, as soon as we get them back.

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hello people (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3596124)

What's my name?

Re:hello people (-1)

IAgreeWithThisPost (550896) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596133)

dirty scum AC

Re:hello people (-1, Offtopic)

CLIT (581942) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596174)

I agree with this post.

Re:hello people (-1, Offtopic)

CLIT (581942) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596202)

WTF? I responded to IAWTP's comment.

Dirty Slashcode!

Frank (-1)

Anonymous Cowrad (571322) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596231)

cause you're a weenie

VM's? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3596137)

I noticed you're doing some work with virtualization and virtual machines. Care to elaborate some?

Here we go! Let's hear it! Say it loud! (-1)

News For Turds (580751) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596144)

Let's hear it for all da logged in trolls! Woohoo!

Ok... Say it with me...

G to da mutha phukken oatse []
C to da mutha phukken izzzzzzex
HellZ yeah, you know how it is bizznitch

[][]dumbass[slashdot . rg]

Who's the man! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3596145)

Fp my bitches.

Multi-CPU Scalability (5, Interesting)

morbid (4258) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596151)

Now that Linux has been ported to run on high-end machines under virtualization, when will we see a kernel tuned for (e.g.) scalability to 64-128 processors natively?

Re:Multi-CPU Scalability (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3596293)

Minor correction on this - Linux already runs both natively AND under virtualization on high-end machines, like IBM's zSeries mainframes.

That says nothing about the main point of the question of 64-128 processor multi-processors.

OS Blending (5, Interesting)

2names (531755) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596158)

Will IBM try to blend aspects of AIX and Linux together, or will the 2 development paths remain discreet?

Re:OS Blending (5, Interesting)

2Bits (167227) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596220)

As Linux developers inside IBM, do you get to see the AIX source code? If you do, are you allowed to "steal" some ideas from AIX and implement them in Linux? If not, why not, and what's the IBM official line?

Re:OS Blending (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3596328)

I'm a developer for AIX. I can tell you there is NO sharing of source between the two areas. AIX is the old proprietary world of software engineering. The licenses are your typical "if you copy that floppy you're a BAD BAD person...". I know people in the LTC and none of them have read access to the AIX source repository. IBM is as paranoid of the GPL as Microsoft is. Since I do device driver work, I'm not even allowed to look at the Linux kernel source.

There's a pretty large (virtual) fence between the AIX and Linux hackers. That doesn't stop IBM from trying to get AIXisms into Linux (read JFS and powerpc optimizations).

If the economy wasn't so damn bad I'd have transferred over to the LTC long ago...

(posting anonymously to keep my job...)

Re:OS Blending (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3596455)

"one question per post"

Re:OS Blending (3, Interesting)

spudnic (32107) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596430)

We already see IBM bringing Linux compatibility into AIX with the current release AIX 5L [] . The L apparently stands for the "Linux Affinity" part of the system that they have plastered all over the site. What part, if any, does this team play in this? If it is another group, do you assist each other, hang out together, or do you even know who they are?

Story is a troll (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3596163), anal porn, troll, AC scum karma whore etc...

Mod down, please.

My question for the linux hackers at IBM (-1)

IAgreeWithThisPost (550896) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596164)

Most linux geeks seem to have overinflated egos but very little substance. They also seem to have a large amount of jealousy and bitterness. Why is this?

gnome? (3, Interesting)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596169)

ok, this isn't directly related to the linux kernel, but are there any plans to replace CDE with GNOME (like Sun) or other free desktop environment?

Re:gnome? (1)

EnderWiggnz (39214) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596262)

you should've seen V2R1 :-)

Re:gnome? (2)

Ewan (5533) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596549)

AIX5.1 already ships with Gnome and KDE in addition to CDE, though CDE is the default still.

which of you guys are dating? (-1)

neal n bob (531011) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596176)


Re:which of you guys are dating? (-1, Troll)

CLIT (581942) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596248)

They're dating each a massive homosexual cluster fuck. That is all.

Features! (5, Interesting)

coryboehne (244614) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596181)

What *new* feature(s) are you most excited about developing?

compiler (3, Interesting)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596186)

What compiler do you use for the kernel - gcc or xlc?

from AIX to Linux (5, Interesting)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596189)

Care to tell us if there is anything in Linux kernel or other GNU programs that can profit from your previous AIX experience? How big a paradigm shift was it for you to move from AIX to Linux? Were you pleasantly surprised, unpleasantly surprised or not surprised at all with what you saw in Linux kernel? Did you learn anything in Linux that you would like to see implemented in AIX?

Women in computing (2, Interesting)

Telastyn (206146) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596205)

For the women in the group:

What are your opinions regarding the shrinking number of women in the industry? (actually I believe the numbers are rising again in schools)

Re:Women in computing (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3596254)

Who cares?

Unless they're hot, of course.

Re:Women in computing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3596333)

HP's Carly Fiorina has totally abolished any hope for women getting a sold foot in the IT industry but, we will be seeing the effects of her foolishness and lack of direction for years to come. Maybe women should be banned from the industry all together... well we want to equal opportunity so we can let them have the MCSE.

Re:Women in computing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3596485)

Iteresting question, you ask for an opinion on something that is non-existent.

Will Linux be free over the long run? (3, Interesting)

astrashe (7452) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596209)

Linux seems to be drifiting, very slightly and relatively slowly now, towards a place where a couple of companies exert a kind of defacto control over it.

The licenses are still open, but as a practical matter, most of the core development is being done by corporate people that are concentrated in a few companies like RedHat, and to a lesser extent, IBM.

Do we low end users have cause to worry about this? Does IBM worry about the control that a company like RedHat has over IBM's Linux initiative? And is it really possible, as a pratical matter, for technology as complex as GCC to be forked by volunteers?

Re:Will Linux be free over the long run? (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596239)

Debian, Mandrake, Slackware, etc.
Large companies can create their own distributions, in fact even other large organizations can create their own distributions (NSA for example is working on a high security distribution.) IBM or RedHat have market for their distributions and it does not mean that there is no market for Debian.

My question . . . (-1)

News For Turds (580751) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596211)

Does Katz totally suck balls, or what?

Re:My question . . . (-1)

Anonymous Cowrad (571322) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596446)

Not totally. He sort of nibbles at them.

I love this kind of publicity (1, Troll)

Bladerunner2037 (516233) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596222)

Our state may be rainy and gray, but we have things like the IBM team and a big chunk of Intel that make us shine above the silicon valley...we are the silicon forest. :)

Re:I love this kind of publicity (1)

Bladerunner2037 (516233) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596465)

And just why is this a TROLL? From the Jargon files: troll 1. v.,n. To utter a posting ...designed to attract predictable responses or flames; or, the post itself. Predictable responses? Don't know of any that would be predictable to my post. Flamewar? hardly my intent. My post was just an expression of pride in my region and the techie aspect we have to offer...nothing more. of course, i am now feeding the troll that modded me a troll...the vicious cycle continues.

Filesystems (4, Interesting)

Arallok (555634) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596223)

Is there any work on the file system limitations or software RAID device restrictions (I was told no more than 12 devices per RAID setup)? What changes are being made.

My work is particularly interested in filesystems > 64 TB and RAID with > 20 devices.

Re:Filesystems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3596386)

My work is particularly interested in filesystems > 64 TB and RAID with > 20 devices.

damn that's a lot of porn

The Open Source model (5, Interesting)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596224)

IBM will be using linux to help sell their hardware. Other companies have tried this (VA Linux, which owns Slashdot, once had linux hackers on their payroll). Obviously, IBMs hardware is in a different league as an x86 clone, but do you have any thoughts on Open Source business models and their validity? Once the kernel is running smoothly, will you be disposable since the "Open Source community" can continue development for free?

Linux? (5, Interesting)

quasi_steller (539538) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596225)

Why does IBM feel that Linux is important to IBM, and how important does IBM feel Linux is to the future of computing in general?

Re:Linux? (2)

brooks_talley (86840) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596494)

Wouldn't this be a better question for IBM's marketing department, or business/technology strategist types? I'm sure the IBM Linux developers are bright folks, but I'd be surprised if they're in a position to comment on IBM's strategic vision for Linux (let along IBM-as-a-whole's estimation of the "importance of Linux to the future of computing in general").

No offense, but I'd rather see questions that the interviewees are well suited to answer.


Getting your changes accepted? (5, Interesting)

korpiq (8532) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596230)

Is Linus accepting your changes well? How directly do you submit patches, and what are your experiences on the overall Linux kernel development style?

Mod this up... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3596257)

Mod this up.!!! Good question

Hackers? (0, Flamebait)

JanusFury (452699) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596243)

Does the IBM l33t lunix kernel #4x0r team have any plans to #4x0r the living bejeezus out of Microsoft?

An IBM Business OS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3596245)

Is there any plans on creating another "OS/2" based on Linux? Most probably not, but it is nice to think about. Imagine an OS from IBM that runs Lotus Notes, SmartSuite, apache, bash, mysql, postgresql, Java, OS/2 apps, Windows Apps (through Wine?), etc etc. Maybe with a standardized desktop environment similar to the way Apple has done with their Mac OS X. Apple did it. I'm sure if IBM packages viable business apps as well as server apps, a lot of people would consider it over Windows or other Linux Distros.

Re:An IBM Business OS? (2)

Havokmon (89874) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596467)

Imagine an OS from IBM that runs Lotus Notes, SmartSuite, apache, bash, mysql, postgresql, Java, OS/2 apps, Windows Apps (through Wine?), etc etc.

OS/2 in it's current form pretty much does all that, or is very close. The big advantage OS/2 has, is it was made for 486's, so it screams on current hardware, if you have supported hardware. For example, you have to grab a newer IDE driver, and create a new install disk just to install Warp 4 on a >4GB HD. See Odin [] for Win32 support, and see EcomStation [] for the latest version of OS/2

Marketing? (1, Flamebait)

GMontag (42283) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596246)

Are your Marketing folks going to continue with the "Warm Dead Chickens" marketing approach, like OS2, or are they going to get a little flashier like that other OS?

Re:Marketing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3596397)

the expression is "IBM would market sushi as Cold, Dead Fish - just in the interests of being accurate"

Re:Marketing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3596432)

the expression he was referring to is "If IBM bought KFC the new marketing campaign would be "Warm Dead Chicken"

perhaps *you* never heard that one, but it has been around for ages

dork (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3596463)

man, how much under 20 yrs old are you? he tagged the original, pre-1985 quip, on the nose. just in the interest of accuracy of course

linux on thinkpads (5, Interesting)

Olinator (412652) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596247)

IMHO, IBM makes some of the best mobile hardware out there -- one of the professors I support raves about his ThinkPad 600, that went with him into the Israeli desert for several months and is still running strong, no service required -- but the linux support for that hardware has been, um, erratic at best. Yes, we've been occasionally been able to purchase the odd model with linux preinstalled (usually it's *more* expensive than the comparable model with MicroSoft preinstalled, grr) but an awful lot of the hardware (mini-pci modems, &etc) is rather difficult to drive with a penguin behind the wheel. Why does IBM's linux enthusiasm fade so quickly at the small (physical) end of the hardware scale? Is there momentum underway to change this?

Re:linux on thinkpads (2, Informative)

vluther (5638) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596506)

Just to clarify, you mean for the older laptops right ? I have had the pleasure of owning an a20p, a22p, and now an a31P, all of them were freed from windows within the first day that I got them. Apart from the modem, everything worked flawlessly.

This new a31p has a built in wireless card, that was the only thing that needed work, and once I put 2.5.13 on it, even that card worked fine. I used the stock redhat 7.3 CD to install everything. Even X.

The video card on this laptop is an ATI Mobility Fire GL 7800 (64MB video card), it's supposed to be bad-ass, only Dell ships with a 64MB nvidia to compete with this a31 model btw.

Apart from the modem, I think IBM's laptops are the greatest mobile machines to install Linux on.

But aside from that, I agree with the final question. About this time last year, you could find Linux pre-installed on the website, hell it was even advertised .. thinkpads with Linux. Was the market really that low ? Or was there pressure from outside forces to sell only MS Laptops ?.

souce forge ads (-1)

Anonymous Cowrad (571322) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596250)

Aren't these source forge "star wars" ads violating some sort of copyright law?

Even if they aren't, they're still lame.

Linux On The Desktop (5, Interesting)

Iguanaphobic (31670) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596259)

Do you see any place for Linux on the desktop? If so, will you be able to fend off the PC hardware group better than the OS/2 group did in the past?

Re:Linux On The Desktop (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3596382)

Large organizations such as IBM could very instrumental in moving Linux to the desktop. As an AS/400 developer, I would like to know if IBM sees a future in the Linux desktop -- eg. will Client Access be ported??

Best way into the Professional Linux world? (5, Interesting)

pgpckt (312866) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596261)

As many people here, I am a huge Linux fan, but I am so much so that I am trying to figure out how to get into the professional Linux world when I graduate.

I attend Clemson University [] and am in the Computer Information System (CS + business) program [] (and doubled in Political Science [] ). My goal is to become a Linux sys admin, or perhaps some other Linux guru type job. The work that IBM is doing with Linux is also very appealing to me.

So, how did you get your job, and what would you recommend as the path to follow for us geeks just getting started in the professional world as to how to get into Linux? How can I become as entrenched with Linux as the professionals at IBM? I have had two internships (not with IBM, nor with Linux, but with other CS stuff), but how can I get an entry-level job in a Linux intensive environment like IBM? How can said job lead me into a career where I can be deeply involved in the Linux world?

Re:Best way into the Professional Linux world? (0, Troll)

MisterBlister (539957) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596490)

There is no professional Linux world...Do you think its still 1999 when any silly communist OS based company could get funding?

Get over it...Learn Windows!! Its the FUTURE!!

distros? (5, Interesting)

elykyllek (543092) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596265)

I would love to know what distros are popular on your desktops, at work and at home.

Also explaining why you chose that distrobution would be great.


Issues with middle management (5, Interesting)

Consul (119169) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596278)

When you were starting out as a group, did you encounter a lot of friction and resistance from middle and/or upper management about your wanting to work on Open Source projects for IBM? If so, what did you do to overcome the objections and become the team you are now? I think the answer to this would help a lot of other people in other companies get mainstream acceptance of the idea of OSS in corporate environments.

What is Linux Missing? (5, Interesting)

dasunt (249686) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596280)

What features do you find linux most lacking in?

(If we don't examine our weaknesses, we will be crippled)

Will the kernel jiffies get fixed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3596484)

C'mon, only 497 days of uptime? Fix the jiffies, the world will love you.

Re:What is Linux Missing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3596619)

Perhaps reword to "What is wrong with Linux and why?"

not laid off? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3596285)

It's widely known that IBM is laying off Linux specialists and indeed laid off many in Portland just last week (which was widely discussed in the local Linux user-group discussions, so it's not exactly a secret). Considering that IBM laid off a bunch of Linux folks in Portland last week, are we sure this interview group is still employed? And can you comment on IBM's commitment to Linux when it is in fact laying off Linux specialists nationwide?

When do you estimate Linux can surpass Solaris? (5, Interesting)

wytcld (179112) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596290)

Solaris 9 is getting great reviews [] . Between the strengths of the traditional open source community and IBM's resources, do you see a point in the next several years where you expect Linux to surpass Solaris in all of its core strengths? Or does Solaris have some unique values which will allow Sun to continue to position itself to advantage, at least for some applications? Please answer this as a technical rather than marketing question.

IBM's LTC buddies up with UTexas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3596296)

Somewhat on topic...

At the University of Texas at Austin, IBM's Linux Technology Center hosts about 2-3 seminars every semester.

The seminars that I have gone to include discussion on JFS, EVMS, and the Pervasive Technology Group (not Linux specific). Very interesting stuff.

Also, one of IBM's kernel hackers teaches an upper-division course at the university on guess what... Linux Kernel Programming. This is not surprising since the university actively tries to get Industry involved in education (good or bad, you be the judge). IBM also has 2 other instructors at UT, one for OS another for Advanced Java.

Various other tech companies have instructors at the university as well, including Motorola and Sun.

My question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3596308)

If Linux becomes sucessful on the desktop, what would IBM do in terms of support for commercial setups?

More about *nixs as a whole, and your view. (3, Interesting)

Neck_of_the_Woods (305788) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596309)

Most everyone in the world would say that Linux/Unix is not as user friendly as say OSX and Windows/add suffix here.

With that in mind do you guys see this complexity as a bonus or a henderance to all *nixs moving forward, and please let us know why you feel this way.

FreeBSD (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3596311)

Now that IBM has endorsed the Free Source movement, how about working on venerable BSD line, upon which AIX is based? It's much closer to the IBM way of doing things and should be more familiar, as well as being a techically strong base on which to do future work.

IBM's Linux engagement (2)

quigonn (80360) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596324)

If anybody wants to see two 1024-node clusters based on Linux and built by IBM, and lives in or near Austria, go to the Linuxwochen [] ("Linux weeks").
IBM was so kind to support this Linux event, and therefore they present really cool stuff, namely two Linux-based 1024-node clusters.

Corporate oversight .vs. free flow of information (3, Insightful)

Ashurbanipal (578639) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596335)

You're right, I'm not suprised that your responses have to be vetted by management. But, I'd love to know what guidelines IBM has for hackers' interaction with the rest of the GNU/Linux/Internet community. Are you allowed to criticise IBM management, or other IBM products, for example?

OS/2 Developers (5, Interesting)

reaper20 (23396) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596337)

I'm one of the few people who really enjoyed the OS/2 desktop and it's features. Have any of the former OS/2 developers been contributing to Linux?

Specifically, the user interface and accessability people - OS/2 was very polished - does IBM see a benefit by offering this expertise to the GNOME/KDE projects?

If so, how does this tie into IBM's vision of Linux of the desktop, if you have one? :)

Older IBM Machines (3, Interesting)

Universal Nerd (579391) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596339)

Here at my job we have quite a few older IBM machines (PPC RISC IBM 7248 and 7006) and I was searching for a Linux distribution that I could install them - I found a few for the 7248s but nothing for the 7006. I'm planning on building a cluster out the old iron, they may not be fast but they are semi-retired and there are a lot of them.

My question is this, along with bringing linux to the newer machines, are there plans to support the older machines?

Linux development tied to IBM hardware? (2)

morhoj (573833) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596342)

Being that IBM builds it own proprietary systems, platforms, and components, does it focus most of its development for Linux to run on IBM gear? Technologies, however advanced, like the Power4 processor or ChipKill, aren't exactly the kind of systems that I would guess the Linux "masses" actively develop and work on.

Linux on AS/400 (4, Interesting)

MAXOMENOS (9802) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596348)

About a year ago it was announced on the Linux for AS/400 web page [] that "OS/400 V5R1 will support the first version of Linux for AS/400's." I haven't heard much since then, and there doesn't seem to be much information about Linux on AS/400s on the IBM web page. Can you comment about if, and how, porting of Linux to AS/400 machines is developing? Thanks.

ViaVoice and Linux -- what's happening? (5, Interesting)

xerofud (555327) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596350)

I was quite disappointed recently to learn that IBM has discontinued support for the Linux ViaVoice SDK.

What can IBM tell us about the company's future plans for voice recognition under Linux, and in particular, if IBM found supporting the ViaVoice SDK economically unviable, is there any chance that they could open source the code so that volunteers could continue to maintain/develop it?

As evidence of the open source community's interest in the SDK, check out the projects in Sourceforge that rely on it. I just hope that IBM doesn't let the Linux ViaVoice SDK go the way of Blender !!!

Re:ViaVoice and Linux -- what's happening? (1)

deveco (576846) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596508)

I have been checking the IBM website, hoping for a ViaVoice update. Voice dictation is the most important app for me and many others. This is disappointing news.

I would think with staroffice/openoffice now out, it would be a good time for IBM to release an update to this desktop-productivity product (ViaVoice). Any offices that convert to openoffice/staroffice will need to have a dictation product for its disabled employees (guaranteed sales).

pSeries Support (1)

mmcgreal (259944) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596361)

Does IBM have plans, or hopes, to make Linux as powerful on the pSeries platform as AIX is? Accomplishing that would likely take some significant kernel patches which may not be accepted into the official source tree, so would IBM then simply maintain a set of patches for pSeries use?

Martin McGreal
St Louis, MO

Does IBM view OSS as better, or just different? (2)

drew_kime (303965) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596392)

The business units promoting Linux recognize the advantages of the Open Source development model, yet IBM still produces proprietary software. Does this indicate that support for OSS is simply a marketing position, or is it that IBM believes OSS is good for some types of development but not others? If it's the latter, what types of development are viewed as not conducive to OSS, and why?

C++ compiler for Linux? (4, Interesting)

scherrey (13000) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596394)

IBM's C/Set C++ compiler (becoming Visual Age C++) was one of the best C++ implementations of its time for both performance and standards compliance. Now the product's been discontinued for Windows & OS/2 but still exists for AIX & S/390. Is there any hope for Linux support for this compiler?

Name of the Game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3596395)

Will IBM be entering the embedded linux PDA market with a reponse to the new Sharp Zaurus PDA? If so, when can i pre-order mine? :)

IBM's the good guy now? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3596408)

I've read a great deal about IBM shifting from the old-bad-guy to new-good-guy with their commitment to Linux. So far, the community seems fairly convinced that IBM's intentions are honest and that they are in fact bringing a lot of credibility and respect to open source and Linux. However, historically, IBM attacked the unified UNIX which GNU/Linux is in some ways becoming. As the developers, you are on the front line of IBM's test as a Linux-friendly force. I'd like to ask what efforts you are making to keep this the case.

Lin Vs Win (2, Interesting)

coryboehne (244614) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596414)

What's everyone's stance on the eternal Windows versus Linux battle? Are you firmly entrenched in the everything Linux standpoint, or more towards the Windows for idiots and Linux for power users standpoint? In addition to this do you feel that linux will soon be capable of capturing a significant amount of marketshare in the personal desktop market segment, or do you feel that the place for Linux is in server applications?

Linux Distribution Flavors (2, Interesting)

Ruger (237212) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596425)

How are the different flavors (Redhat [] , SuSE [] , etc.) of Linux affecting IBM's development efforts? What are the teams' favorite(s)? Why?


Which came first? (2, Insightful)

programic (139404) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596473)

Did IBMs embrace for Java spawn the emphasis on Linux, or was it the other way around.

Or are the two entirely unrelated?

what AIX stands for (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3596501)

Does AIX really stand for Aliens Invaded uniX?

Is IBM's commitment to Linux political hype? (3, Interesting)

dazdaz (77833) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596503)

With all of this investment in Linux, does IBM put it's money where it's PR is and utilise Linux on the desktop and servers worldwide?

CAN YOU SAY "C A T I A" (2, Interesting)

phrostie (121428) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596513)

When will CATIA on Linux see daylight?
The only shops that i know of that are going to V5 are changing to NT from AIX.

NUMA and AMD Opteron (2)

emil (695) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596514)

AMD's Opteron (Hammer) will integrate Non-Uniform Memory Access (NUMA) features. IBM has had significant NUMA design experience through its own products and acquisitions.

Does IBM plan any major NUMA efforts for Linux? Is there any synergy with NUMA-Q? How will any NUMA efforts impact IBM's Itanium commitments? Any possibility that we might see an Opteron port of AIX 5L?

And, perhaps most importantly, if AMD's NUMA efforts prove fruitful, might IBM be forced to de-emphasize it to protect its competing product lines? After all, AIX only recently became "partitionable", while Solaris has had this feature for some time...

Linux within IBM's Profesionnal Services (2, Interesting)

dazdaz (77833) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596517)

Is Linux support part of IBM's professional services and if so can this be explained in some more detail. I'm sure there are many qualified people who would and could make a lifelong career here, but IBM being the huge monolith it is, makes it difficult to know whose door to knock on.

Evangelizing Linux on PowerPC (3, Interesting)

ddkilzer (79953) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596519)

What steps are you taking (if any) to evangelize Linux on "low-end" PowerPC systems such as the Apple Power Macintosh line? Is there any chance of seeing low-end PowerPC-based motherboards with out-of-the-box Linux support from IBM in the near future?

Portland the beautiful (1)

Glanz (306204) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596520)

All I have to say is that you are missing someone on your team.... Daniel Robbins. I am sure you all know who that is. As for Portland, I know t well after the turbulent years at Beserkeley.
All I have to say is keep up the good work, and make Robbins an offer for chrissssss Sake.

Sports (0, Offtopic)

nirvdrum (240842) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596527)

What are your feelings on Linux being the star basketball player? Personally I don't like hotshots in any sport, but are there plans for Linux to play anything else?

IA64 (5, Interesting)

sabre (79070) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596537)

Before IBM downsized [] the former Sequent hardware division, Sequent was actively involved in IA64 platform design, and continues to be active in many open source IA64 projects...

In general, the Itanium has seen quite poor adoption rates and even Intel/HP admit that their initial public silicon is really only fit for software developers and platform work (due to low performance, and altready established players in the 64-bit field).

Do you think that IPF64 line will see any kind of broad industry adoption? Will it become just like rest of the (non-embedded) processor architectures designed since the x86 -- constantly fighting for 5% of the market? Do you think the AMD Hammer architecture will be a meaningful player in the field?

Since your group is a key player in the Linux on IA64 and GCC for IA64 projects, can you give us any status information about recent developments in the project since the IA-64 Summit [] ?


-Chris []

The Linux Perception... (3, Interesting)

ThomasMis (316423) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596546)

While meeting with a fellow software consultant recently, I queried him on his plans to expand his business. Specifically, I was curious to know what information infrastruture he plans to grow around. He returned a puzzled look. I had asked if he had considered Linux as a possible server platform, to handle internal source code control, email, and file shares. I suddenly diminished in his eyes. He responded as if I had just asked him if he wanted to buy used Yugo. To him, Linux isn't business worthy... isn't a real stable, capable OS... and worse yet... a threat to the software industry!

Linux needs positive marketing. So my question is, what can you do to champion Linux with IBM's giant huge marketing machine? Not every IT person in the world reads Slashdot (I'd venture to say less than 1%), but a large number of IT people read MS marketing. So the perception most IT people have about Linux is through a Microsoft lens.

390 code (5, Interesting)

buss_error (142273) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596548)

What were the major porting problems the 390? Do many people use it? How has management accepted Linux in the 390 world?

IBM support for Linux (3, Interesting)

denisbergeron (197036) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596561)

I want to konw when IBM will begin to support Linux at an OS for it-self instead like an tools for selling hardware.

IBM never release any desktop tools for Linux. The Lotus SmartSuite never hit the Linux Desktop, nor Notes. By doing this, IBM it's the only company with Microsoft do not port they office suite to Linux.

The IBM's Lexmark company never provide any driver for the home /SOHO printer (the only Lexmark printer driver was marked experimental at linuxprinting). By doing this, IBM it's the only company in the world do not offer support for there printer to the Linux Home users.

IBM also dicontinue the support for ViaVoice under Linux!

IBM also doesn't support they desktop and notebook hardware under Linux or other free OS! IBM even take the FreeBSD partition number to use it for it's "suppend to disk" on the bios of ThinkPad making them unusable for FreeBSD !

I really think that's IBM only take the Linux part they need now, and don't look at the future.

The grid computing it's right there at our door, and already desktop begin to replace mainframe in batch processing. We are now using lost cpu cycle do process job under the Windows and Linux desktop. If IBM doesn't investigate this oppurtunity (and the Linux Desktop) in the neer future, IBM will just don't get the next wave and will begin to clash !

Affects of OS on features ... (1)

binaryDigit (557647) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596593)

Are there any "features" that might have (or that you would like to have) made it into your distro of Linux that won't/didn't because of the open source license?

Mainstream, not Mainframe (1)

no reply (581967) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596606)

Hi, I'd like to ask if any of IBM's contributions can be found in any mainstream distributions or will it be soon? And, will any source be distributed?

IBM Linux? (5, Interesting)

sc00p18 (536811) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596609)

Does IBM have any plans to create its own Linux distribution? Doing so would certainly generate a great deal of publicity for IBM's Linux strategy, as well as serve to make Linux a household name. What are your thoughts on this?

Any future outside of Mainframe shops? (2, Interesting)

altarity (238277) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596622)

With high-end pc servers closing the reliability and performance gap, what advantage is their to moving to Linux for S/390?

A example, widely sited, states that great cost savings can be achieved by consolidating 100's if not 1000's of pc servers. This only works, if the servers being replaced are under extremely low work loads. Many argue that a much greater savings could be achieved in consolidating serives on existing x86 systems.

The only example that've heard that makes any sense, is using linux to extend the cabilities of Mainframe OS's (i.e. using linux, to run apache to create on-line reports, replacing printouts).

Outstanding Linux Kernel Issues (5, Interesting)

worldwideweber (116531) | more than 12 years ago | (#3596629)

There are a few debates raging in linux kernel development these days. I was just interested in hearing IBM's take on a few of these subjects:

[1] Rik van Riel VM (RMAP) or Andrea Arcangeli VM?
[2] Is a new kernel build system needed for the linux kernel?
[3] Modules/InitRAMFS or regular ol' monolithic kernel?
[4] Which journaling file system does IBM see becoming the de facto journaling file system for Linux? In other words, what's so cool about JFS :)?

I apologize for sneaking in a few too many questions.
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