March 19, 2001, 2:34 PM —
Well, it's predictions time again -- and boy, is it easy this year. My first prediction is that we will see the 2.4 version of the Linux kernel arrive early in 2001, and version 2.4.1 arrive by the middle of the year. Version 2.4.1 will include support for the Reiserfs journaling filesystem, as well as a host of other nice enhancements. Unfortunately, 2.4.1 will not include the ability to create a core dump of all running threads when a multithreaded application crashes, nor will it include the ability to assign each thread its own process identification. I predict that people will submit patches for those features, but Linus Torvalds will not approve them, so the next kernel will not implement them.
I predict that this is the year Sun will license Java under the GPL as part of a multiple licensing scheme. The open source community will continue to shun Java on the grounds that it's not true open source -- community members will still resent the fact that Sun wants to approve changes to the official Java platform before they are implemented.
This will be the year Linux-based appliances gain more notoriety, although you won't see a flood of them quite yet. In future years, we'll see Linux-based microwave ovens that read the bar code on your frozen dinner and program themselves for optimum cooking. Eventually, frozen dinners will include disposable smart chips that communicate directly with the oven. And, thanks to Linux, those appliances will be cheaper than they would be if they were based on proprietary software. Of course, Free Software Foundation leader Richard Stallman will call all the consumer magazines and insist that the editors refer to the ovens as "GNU/Microwaves" because the ovens depend on GNU software.