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02.13.10

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: February 13th, 2010

Posted in IRC Logs at 8:16 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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To use your own IRC client, join channel #boycottnovell in FreeNode.

Links 13/2/2010: GNU/Linux Nearer to Société Générale’s Albania Subsidiary, OpenOffice.org 3.2 Coverage

Posted in News Roundup at 7:58 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Professional Audio Production on Linux

    With Linux, the more you learn the more you can do. And that, I think, is the shortest and best answer to “Why Linux?”

  • Delta Informatique looks to Mandriva Linux 2009 for its core banking system in Société Générale’s Albania subsidiary

    Mandriva, Europe’s leading Linux publisher, devolps and releases every six months a new version designed to respond simply and efficiently to all users’ needs, whether they are destined for professional or private activities.

  • Dell and Standards

    I have tried to do business with Dell and I have worked with a lot of good equipment from Dell, but they make everything so hard. Try:

    * finding anything with Linux on their site
    * finding anything on their site if you are in the wrong class of customers
    * finding identical kit running GNU/Linux or that other OS as options
    * now, installing a hard drive on their servers just got harder

  • Why Use Linux?

    Often I get the question, “Why should I use Linux?”. Obviously this is a very nebulous question that may have as many different reasons as there are Linux users, but let’s try and answer it anyway.

  • Kernel Space

    • Kernel Log: Coming in 2.6.33 (Part 4) – Architecture and virtualisation

      Several changes to the X86 and KVM code are to speed up the kernel’s own hypervisor. The kernel developers once again revised and considerably extended the still emerging tracing infrastructure. The Power and PowerPC code now also supports the Gamecube and Wii games consoles.

      When releasing Linux 2.6.33-rc7 at the end of last week, Linus Torvalds expressed some dissatisfaction because the main development branch currently contains more flaws than he would like. He asked the developers to take another close look at the list of known bugs in the predecessor of 2.6.33 and indicated that he will probably release an eighth RC before finalising Linux 2.6.33.

  • Applications

  • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

  • Distributions

    • Top 5 Linux Distributions 2010

      This is the list of the most popular searches / clicks on Distrowatch.org for this year. Looks like Ubuntu still owns the throne.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Who Is Developing KVM Linux Virtualization?

        Mike Day, chief virtualization architect at IBM, noted during the Red Hat-sponsored Open Source Cloud Computing Forum this week that the KVM development community has become very active in 2009 — encompassing a wide array of organizations.

        He said that after examining the project’s mailing list to gauge the activity taking place in KVM development, he found that there were some 884 unique participants in the mailing list, roughly equivalent to the number of active KVM developers. Those participants were spread across 382 unique address domains from somewhere in the range of 250 to 300 separate. According to Day, organizations that participate in KVM range from large corporations, to government and educational organization, as well as individual contributors.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 12 installation media updated

          The Fedora-related Fedora Unity project has made respins of Fedora 12, which was released last autumn, available to download as ISO files for i386 and x86_64 systems. The respins are updated versions of the traditional CD and DVD installation media of Fedora 12 which already contain many updates that have since been released; once installation via such a respin is complete, users only need to install the package updates released by the Fedora project in the past few days.

    • Debian Family

      • Registration now open for DebConf10
      • Simply Mepis 8.5 beta4 review

        Despite being a self-confessed distro-hopper, I have dwelled for a long time with Sidux. As a hardcore KDE fan, the obvious choice was to test Simply Mepis 8.5 beta 4. I carry a high opinion about Simply Mepis since I have used it some 5 years ago. It was a perfect desktop and the reason for my liking towards KDE. Later I have hopped to Kubuntu, Debian testing and finally to Sidux.

      • Parsix 3.0r2 review

        Parsix is a Linux distribution based on Kanotix and Debian. It is purely a desktop-focused distribution. The last major release was Parsix 3.0r0 (aka Kev). This review is of Parsix 3.0r2, the second update release of Kev.

      • Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu 10.04′s Nouveau Stack Gets Ready

          One of the slated features for Ubuntu 10.04 early on in its development cycle was support for the Nouveau graphics driver on NVIDIA hardware since it’s much better than the xf86-video-nv driver mess and has a much brighter future, which is especially important with 10.04 “Lucid Lynx” being a Long-Term Support (LTS) release. This was prior to Nouveau going mainline with Linux 2.6.33, but Ubuntu Lucid is running with the Linux 2.6.32 kernel so as a result Nouveau’s DRM was back-ported.

        • Ubuntu Linux Used in the Making of Avatar

          Weta Digital is the digital visual effects company which worked on the visual effects of the flora and fauna of Pandora. To achieve the impressive visual effects, Weta Digital have modified their in-house software Massive and used their 10,000 square foot Data Center with more than 40,000 CPUs.

        • Should you upgrade your Ubuntu – and how?
        • My (Updated) Experiences with Ubuntu 9.10

          While I almost completely switched to Arch Linux for all of my computers, my wife is still an Ubuntu girl, and probably always will be. She just loves it, and all of her computers run it. She recently purchased a netbook that came with Windows 7, and she immediately wanted me to wipe it and put Ubuntu on it. While I offered to install the UNR version (Ubuntu Netbook Remix) on it she made it clear that she just wanted standard Ubuntu, and that’s what I did. In addition, I inherited a netbook as well, though I decided that I would give the UNR edition a try.

        • X-IVi (Human Deluxe) – Proposed Lucid Theme
        • Awesome Lucid Mockup

          Luc Deon emailed me yesterday to share his mock-up for Lucid.

        • Ubuntu Manual Alpha Released – Gets New Name, Chapters, More

          The Ubuntu Manual project today released the first Alpha of the highly popular and eagerly anticipated “beginners guide”.

        • Derivatives

          • Review: Crunchbang Linux 9.04.01

            I’ve used Crunchbang Linux (‘#!’ to its friends) for the last several months as the secondary Linux distro on my Aspire AS1410. It’s simple and elegant, although its default settings tend towards dark themes — if #! had a favorite color, it be black. The distro is built on the base provided by Ubuntu 9.04, but replaces Gnome with the lightweight and flexible Openbox environment and a different selection of default applications and utilities.

            [...]

            To sum up, Crunchbang is a fabulous distro for an intermediate-or-above Linux user. The CLI-phobic should not apply, nor those afraid to edit a config file. #! is not my main distribution, mainly because I use it to play with, discover and experiment. (Not Crunchbang’s fault, but I’ve learned the hard way over time to keep things I depend on having around safely on another partition, if not on a completely different machine.) It is a good fit for users with a good technical abilities or newbies with the curiosity (and occasional intestinal fortitude) to explore the possibilities it offers, and who don’t need or want to do everything through a GUI. It stands as another great example of what a small but inspired group can do in the OSS world.

          • Linux Mint 8 Fluxbox and KDE64 Editions Out Now

            A few minutes ago, Clement Lefebvre and the hard working community behind the Linux Mint community announced the immediate availability of two new editions for the Helena release: Linux Mint 8 Fluxbox and Linux Mint 8 KDE64! While the latter contains exactly the same amount of new features like the Linux Mint 8 KDE Community Edition, but compiled especially for 64-bit processors, such as Intel Core 2 Quad, Intel Core 2 Duo or AMD Athlon X2 64, the Fluxbox edition is brand-new and it is powered by Linux 2.6.31, X.Org 7.4 and Fluxbox 1.1.1.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • 3G router serves both wired and wireless users

      NetGear announced a Linux-based 3G mobile router developed in collaboration with Ericsson. The NetGear MBRN3300E 3G Mobile Broadband Router combines an internal 3G radio, an 802.11n WiFi access point, an Ethernet swtich, and four Ethernet ports, sharing 3G bandwidth over WiFi and Ethernet, says the company.

    • Android

      • Mobile World Congress Preview: All About Android

        Mobile World Congress — the global annual gathering of mobile mavericks — kicks off in Barcelona, Spain on Feb. 15 but is already being anointed as an All-About-Android affair.

      • 18 Essential Apps For Your Android Phone

        Like any other operating system, most Android phones come preinstalled only with a minimum set of applications that are sufficient to get you started. But to really get the best out of it, you have to go into the Marketplace and grab the third-party apps.

      • Garmin and Asus Show nüvifone with Android

        The Mobile World Congress in Barcelona from February 15-18, 2010 will have the Garmin and Asus alliance presenting their nüvifone A50, a smartphone with navigation capabilities.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • HP tips more details on Android netbook

        HP has tipped an Android-based netbook, heading for the Spanish carrier Telefonica, according to several reports. HP’s Compaq Airlife 100 is said to run a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor clocked to 1GHz, with 16GB of flash storage and a 10-inch 1,024 x 600 touchscreen.

      • KDE 4.4 SC Released [A Glimpse of KDE 4.4 Netbook Interface]

        Overall I still like the KDE Netbook desktop better than the Ubuntu Netbook Remix, which is Gnome-based. I hope that in addition to Kubuntu, some of my other favorite distributions will include the KDE Netbook desktop in their next release.

    • Tablets

      • iFreeTablet, interview with Carlos de Castro, project

        Research Group, to whom we have made some questions to better understand what the project iFreeTablet, where to expect to get with him and what future awaits us in the digital home.

        [...]

        The iFreeTablet, like OLPC (one computer per child), intended as a solidarity project. Special Network Foundation Spain’s main objective is to try to reduce the digital divide. Obviously, we can not conduct ourselves as a partner and we have a technology-based companies and

      • Thousands sign up to anti-iPad petition

        In an open letter to Jobs, the FSF writes: “DRM will give Apple and their corporate partners the power to disable features, block competing products (especially free software) censor news, and even delete books, videos, or news stories from users’ computers without notice – using the device’s ‘always on’ network connection”.

        [...]

        If you want to add your name to the list, then you can head over the DefectiveByDesign site now where there’s more info to be had on why the “iPad is iBad for freedom.”

Free Software/Open Source

  • Cafu 3D graphics engine goes GPL

    Carsten Fuchs Software has open sourced its Cafu 3D graphics engine and game development kit, formerly known as the Ca3D-Engine. The Cafu Engine includes support for a number of 3D rendering and material system features, multi-player network support, and cross-platform and cross-compiler portability.

  • Open Source — May the source be with You

    A development method for software that harnesses the power of distributed peer review and transparency of process is how it is often defined by The Open Source Initiative (OSI). This non-profit corporation was formed to educate about and advocate for the benefits of open source and to build bridges among different constituencies in the open-source community. The promise of open source is simply better quality, higher reliability, more flexibility, lower cost, and an end to predatory vendor lock-in.

    [...]

    The common misconception is that open source is about free as in software thats costs nothing. On the contrary it’s about freedom. It’s about control. Access to the source code gives you the freedom to tailor make it to your requirement and situation. Public domain information must be free from barriers to access or reuse traditionally copyrighted, so when you create make it free from any copyright protection or if you have already created something, let it free and watch it soar.

  • Why Open Source Software Isn’t Exactly ‘Free,’ But Offers Other Advantages

    However, the presence of an open source product in one-third of an established market is still nothing to sneeze at. And a majority of companies are, to some extent, embracing the LAMP (Linux operating system, Apache middleware, MySQL, and Perl, Python and PHP programming languages) stack at least for some applications.

  • Linux Outlaws 135 – So Good, They Tried to Patent Him

    This week on Linux Outlaws: Company tries to patent Bradley Kuhn, Symbian now open source, Matt Asay becomes new Canonical COO, Windows 7 kills laptop batteries and much more…

  • Open Source Think Tank 2010: Registrations are Open!

    If you never got a chance to join the Open Source Think Tank, the leading invitation-only commercial open source brainstorm and networking conference, get a gist of what you can hear, below an excerpt of my notes from the 4th Open Source Think Tank.

  • Matt Asay Moves to Ubuntu

    The GPL is what makes FLOSS work. Period. There is nothing wrong with the licence that folks trying to sidestep it would fix. Live with it Matt.

    The world needs cheap IT and they can get it using mass production/Moore’s Law/FLOSS. A side effect of Free Software licences is that you cannot charge a high price for it because others can distribute the same stuff for less. This is a good thing, Matt. It means more affordable IT in emerging markets and greater innovation because the barriers to entry in any field of IT is less. Sell services, not FLOSS.

  • OpenOffice.org

    • OpenOffice.org vs. Microsoft Office

      How does OpenOffice.org (OOo) compare with Microsoft Office (MSO)? The question is harder to answer than you might expect. Few users have the experience or patience to do a thorough comparison. Too often, they miss features that have different names or are in different positions in the editing window. Or, perhaps they overlook the fact that some features, although missing in one, easily can be added through customization. Yet another problem when comparing something to MSO is which of the eight current versions of MSO do you use for the comparison?

    • Open Office 3.2: Faster, More Office Compatibility

      The concept of an office suite, with word processing, spreadsheet and presentation software, is one that is well understood by users, which is also why it’s often difficult to improve them. Users already expect their office suites to do certain things, making the job of office suite developers often one of fit and finish.

  • Databases

    • Database developers – take a walk with SchemaCrawler

      If you’re a database manager, and your database runs on multiple platforms, your job is pretty complex. Ensuring the consistency of a schema under active development across different operating systems is a tedious task. But take heart – a tool called SchemaCrawler may make your job easier.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU

    • I ♥ Free Software

      Valentines Day is a celebration of love and affection between intimate companions. This year why not take the opportunity to show you care about the people and Free Software that show you love all year round? Here are our suggestions for making this February the fourteenth a very special day.

    • GNU Hurd/ news/ 2010-01-31

      A month of the Hurd: Arch Hurd, FOSDEM preparations and a thesis on mobile Hurd objects.

      This month, we saw the first booting version of an Arch Hurd system, which seconds the Debian GNU/Hurd distribution that already provides two third of the Debian software archive compiled for GNU/Hurd.

      Nine Hurd developers will meet at FOSDEM 2010 on February 6th and 7th in Bruxelles, Belgium. On Sunday, Olaf will be giving two presentations in the Alt-OS Developer Room: Why is Anyone Still Working on the GNU Hurd? (10:30), and Porting KGI graphics drivers from Linux to GNU Hurd (13:00). The day before, on Saturday, Bas will be giving a talk about Iris, his new kernel (18:00, Embedded Developer Room).

    • Richard Stallman @ RIT February 23rd 2010

      The bad news – his talk will be in the Innovations Center and it’s going to fill to capacity before 200 people get in the door.

      I asked and was told that they will be setting up video in other rooms, but I’m going to suggest you contact RIT and ask them to find a bigger space and/or stream the talk live.

      I would also suggest that you not let the space limitations and time of day stop you from making plans to attend or prevent you tweeting, forwarding, etc to anyone you think might want to attend.

    • Richard Stallman speaking in Bern and protesting against Berne Convention

      On Thursday, 11 February 2010 at 1 pm, Richard Stallman, co-founder of GNU/Linux, will lead a protest on the Unterer Waisenhausplatz in Berne against the Berne Copyright Convention.

      The protest criticizes the Berne Copyright Convention as unacceptable in the Internet era, for several reasons.

      * Copyright lasts far too long.
      * Works should only be covered by copyright if published with copyright notices.
      * The “three step test” for exceptions to copyright places the copyright holders above the public, and interferes with liberties that the Internet-using public must have.

    • richard “prioritization” stallman

      Even if the guy has his weirdnesses (but which genious doesn’t?), I’ve always admired Richard “rms” Stallman for his uncompromised integrity. As Gruber puts it, say what you want about him but he walks the walk.

      But after watching [fr] the discussion RMS held about [fr] his biography, I find myself reconsidering the reasons of my admiration. For integrity is not a quality, it is one of the perceived results of intrinsical qualities.

    • Fully Free GNU/Linux Presentation Next Week

      I will be giving a talk about the fully free GNU/Linux distribution movement in the Free Software Foundation Europe’s Berlin meeting on Thursday, February 11th, next week. The talk will start at 19:30 in the Newthinking Store, Tucholskystraße 48. Hopefully, we will have a chance to continue discussing the topic over a few beers right after the meeting, too.

  • Government

    • CZ: Open source to fix mandatory e-government’s service

      At least three open source projects in the Czech Republic are working to allow platform independent access to the government’s electronic message service. The mandatory service, called ‘Datove schranky’ (Data boxes) is currently only accessible on computers running Microsoft’s proprietary operating system.

  • Openness

    • Wikimedia donates servers to deserving non-profits.

      Every year, Wikipedia usage goes upward, and every year the technical folks working and volunteering with Wikimedia have to plan, purchase, and implement new servers to keep up to the growing popularity of Wikipedia and its sister projects. With the advances in computing, running 9 new application servers this year took the load of 36 application servers from 3 years ago.

Leftovers

  • Millimeter-scale, energy-harvesting sensor system developed

    A 9-cubic millimeter solar-powered sensor system developed at the University of Michigan is the smallest that can harvest energy from its surroundings to operate nearly perpetually.

  • Is Google planning to fibre Britain?

    Google has emerged as a surprise contender to invest in Britain’s fibre broadband network.

    The search giant yesterday announced plans to build a gigabit fibre broadband network in the US. The test network will see Google deliver fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) connections to up to half a million US homes.

  • Finance

    • Goldman Sachs and OneWest Bank

      The guys at thinkbigworksmall link all the pieces together about how Goldman’s elite have once again rigged the game against the taxpayer in a sweetheart deal.

    • Goldman Sachs, Goldman Sachs, clicking in the votes?

      With hindsight, perhaps it should have looked fishy from the start that the ­British public had decided to take sides with the Sheriff of Nottingham.

      Campaigners for a “Robin Hood tax” watched with alarm as thousands of votes poured into their website, rejecting their proposal for a levy on City wheeler-dealing, to raise money to fight poverty and climate change.

      After a bit more investigation, though, the unlikely backlash against the rob-the-rich plan – almost 5,000 no votes against the Robin Hood tax within 20 minutes – turned out to emanate from just two computer servers, one of which was registered to the investment bank Goldman Sachs.

    • Ex-Goldman programmer indicted over HFT code theft

      A former Goldman Sachs Group programer was indicted on charges he stole computer code for the investment bank’s high-frequency trading platform, federal prosecutors said on Thursday.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • Pubs win court battle over recorded music charges

      Pubs, restaurants and hotels could share £20m in refunds after winning a court battle over the charges they pay for playing recorded music.

      The High Court upheld a ruling from a copyright tribunal that the tariffs introduced in 2005 were unfair.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Christian Einfeldt’s DTP presentation in Berlin 2004 02 (2004)


Digital Tipping Point is a Free software-like project where the raw videos are code. You can assist by participating.

Novell News Summary – Part III: SCO Updates, Financial Results Are Near

Posted in Finance, Google, Interview, Marketing, Microsoft, NetWare, Novell, Ron Hovsepian, SCO, Security, Servers, UNIX, Virtualisation, Xen at 3:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Davis Canyon moonrise

Summary: News touching on Novell’s non-Free/libre component of the business

THIS is the third part which covers Novell news from the first two weeks of February. This part covers Novell’s proprietary side, of which there is a lot (Novell is predominantly a closed-source company). What we happen to have found along the way this week is that Novell is not just a company that makes jewelry; there is yet another company called Novell Pharmaceutical Laboratories. Here is what we gather from the press release:

Read the rest of this entry »

Novell News Summary – Part II: Update on SUSE, OES, Linspire, Samsung, LG, and Kyocera Mita

Posted in GNU/Linux, Kyocera Mita, LG, Linspire, Microsoft, Novell, Patents, Samsung, SLES/SLED, Xandros at 11:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Baby lizard gecko

Summary: News about the different types of “Ballnux” distributions (ones from which Microsoft extracts profit through intimidation and collusion)

SUSE (SLES/SLED)

THERE HAS BEEN NO major news about SLE* in the month of February, but the product in being used or deployed in some areas. Novell’s marketing people write about the SUSE appliance of ROC EasySpooler. Here is the press release (also here):

ROC Software Systems Inc. announces the first release of the ROC EasySpooler SUSE-powered appliance. Based on the reliable ROC EasySpooler core technology and a fully supported version of SUSE Linux Enterprise from Novell, the appliance provides the highest level of print output management available to any business environment.

Here is something related that was mentioned two or three weeks ago when the press release came out.

Read the rest of this entry »

Novell News Summary – Part I: OpenSUSE at FOSDEM 2010, 11.3 Milestone 1, and Build Service 1.7

Posted in GNU/Linux, Kernel, Novell, OpenSUSE at 10:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Lizard on leaves

Summary: A collection of news surrounding OpenSUSE so far in February

THIS post accumulates news and developments from the past couple of weeks. There was no such post last week due to lack of sufficient activity that makes a post worthwhile. So let’s look at what was missed.

Events

The KDE Plasma team is preparing to meet SUSE folks later this month. OpenSUSE is currently spreading many KDE4 desktops, whose implementation is considered very solid.

Earlier this month, OpenSUSE folks also attended FOSDEM. Some took an “OpenSUSE Bus” to get there:

We arrived, very relaxed, yesterday at 21:00 thanks to our awesome openSUSE Bus.

Here are some experiences from SUSE/Novell folks who attended [1, 2, 3]. Here is FOSDEM content that relates to OpenSUSE:

Last week we updated Hermes on our production servers, they’re running a version now which will become a first Hermes release. I hope to get it packaged and released this week to present it on FOSDEM where I’ll give a talk about Hermes. Don’t miss it if you’re interested in this useful technology.

OpenSUSE is going to deliver survey results some time soon, based on this call for participation.

Participate in the openSUSE survey 2010 to give feedback to the openSUSE project about the distribution, the openSUSE tools environment and the project in general.

Releases

Henne, not Zonker, announced the first milestone of OpenSUSE 11.3. He also put it in the mailing list:

People of Earth.

Its here! The first openSUSE 11.3 Milestone. This is the first step toward the next openSUSE release. The most important goal of this first milestone is to test the build interactions between newly added features in openSUSE Factory, also known as “get the snapshot to build”. It is in no way feature complete or ready for daily usage. There is no code freeze for any component yet, so many major changes are still to come.

This 11.3 Milestone build will give you a first glimpse of the direction we are pushing the distribution. Read more on news.opensuse.org to learn about the major changes that happened since the release of openSUSE 11.2.

http://bit.ly/113_milestone_1

Have a lot of fun…

The Register gave that milestone some coverage and so did a few other news sites [1, 2, 3].

The openSUSE Project has reached its first milestone for the upcoming 11.3 release, due in July.

Milestone 1 is the first of seven planned between now and late May. The development team said its primary goal is to test build interactions between newly-added features.

The first milestone features version 2.6.32 of the Linux kernel, development version 2.29.5 of GNOME, and the first release candidate of KDE 4.4 desktop environment.

AstroGarrobo, a GNU/Linux distribution which is based on SUSE (constructed with SUSE Studio just like Bloatnux) is making its debut as public beta:

So, I’ve decided to build a Live CD using SUSE Studio, focused entirely in provide the same basic tools for learning the sky and their basic steps in Amateur Astronomy.

The name of the Project: AstroGarrobo

Reviews

We have managed to find some reviews over the past fortnight, one of which is more of a story about fitting OpenSUSE to specific hardware which is stubborn:

Some things of opensuse need some extra work like SUSPEND and HIBERNATE, I also didn’t managed to get dual head working “out of the box” and I’m reluctant to change the Xorg.conf… something I did when I had my first thinkpad a second-hand 340…

As mentioned earlier, OpenSUSE is a solid KDE4 distribution and the next release of OpenSUSE seems to work well based on the tests of Linux Magazine:

OK, I’ll say it. KDE 4.4 is far superior to any release before it. Brace yourselves folks, it’s time to (finally) let go of version 3.

Here are installation instructions for KDE 4.4 in OpenSUSE 11.2.

OpenSUSE Education was put to the test as well. From the summary:

It’s a breath of fresh air to see a distribution singling out the educational institutions. This is exactly what schools need. Now the hardest part is making those schools aware of its existence. If OpenSuSE Edu can tackle that, they will have a huge success on their hands.

Here is a new video of someone talking about OpenSUSE (not in English) and here is the third part of a new OpenSUSE walkthrough.

Artwork

Some nice new Geeko artwork is being created [1, 2, 3] for whatever purpose, maybe marketing.

Technical

There were some OpenSUSE-specific problems and HOWTOs in various blogs [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], especially in HowToForge [1, 2, 3]. SJVN wrote about GNU/Linux upgrades and from his IDG blog, here is the OpenSUSE part:

With openSUSE, you’ll need to download and burn a boot CD to start the Network upgrade, but after you get it going, you can go unpack the pots and pans while the upgrade automagically does its thing. In my case, with a 20Mbps cable Internet connection, I could only unpack the pots before the server would be ready for its first reboot with the latest version of openSUSE.

The most major news was OpenSUSE Build Service 1.7, which turned from a release candidate into a final release. It is finally available and The H gave this coverage (Heise has many readers who use SUSE):

The openSUSE developers have announced the availability of version 1.7 of the openSUSE Build Service. The latest update features the addition of a new attribute system that can store information related to packages or projects, and even faster build speeds. According to the developers, the SAT Solver improves the speed of dependency calculation “by [a] factor of 1,000, which means a package change submitted to the build service starts building in seconds instead of minutes”.

Other than The H, there does not appear to be any news coverage of this, even though Novell’s marketing people tried to create buzz. A lot of people just don’t treat OpenSUSE as important anymore. In fact, one of the YaST developers finds that depressing and writes:

I no longer feel the sense of accomplishment from the things I’m working on and I’m unhappy with the way where something I was always doing with passion (ie. YaST hacking) is heading. The fact that I can do absolutely nothing to change that further deepens my blues.

Petr Mladek has been building OpenOffice.org 3.2 until its final release when he also made Novell’s version of it available.

Masim Sugianto is still deploying mail applications on SLES even though he could use RHEL or CentOS (free of charge, unlike SLES).

Leftovers

Sascha ‘Saigkill’ Manns is still running many things around OpenSUSE.org, which includes OpenSUSE Weekly News (there is this new issue online). They need more contributions to it, as well as wiki translations.

ODF Roundup: News from Scandinavia, OpenOffice.org 3.2, and Symphony 3.0 Beta 2

Posted in Europe, Free/Libre Software, IBM, Microsoft, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument, Oracle at 5:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Norwegian flag

Summary: A potpourri of news from the past week or so, starting with success stories and proceeding to releases of new software that supports OpenDocument Format (ODF)

ODF is facing resistance from Microsoft and its extended family that includes Alex Brown and Miguel de Icaza, as we showed last night. Despite this opposition, ODF keeps winning in more nations and corporations that help dispell the myth of ODF as a “poor man’s standard”. Some of the world’s most civilised nations are embracing ODF. A few days ago we wrote about Norway and now is the time to add some more references, such as:

A week before that we wrote about Denmark, with additional coverage including:

This is a key milestone that can quickly spread to neighbouring countries. Here is the official word from The ODF Alliance, which is appended at the bottom in full.

The ODF Alliance today applauded the final decision of the Danish Parliament requiring the use of open standard document formats by all central government bodies.

There is even a page about it in Facebook and from Brazil come the cheers that accompany a formation of ODF Alliance América Latina. Rob Weir (IBM) wrote: “Time for ODF TC call. Members from US (east, west north and south), Brazil, China, Germany and Japan dialing in.”

Those who study ODF (e.g. most recently in Norway) reach the conclusion that ODF is simply the better option.

Moving on a little, Weir said he was “Discussing release plans for ODFDOM 0.8, our Java libary for ODF. Should be done next week.” This was done a little later and there is a new instructional page about it. Weir and Bob Sutor happen to announce the second beta of Lotus Symphony 3, which is based on OpenOffice.org. Here is an article about it:

IBM/Lotus took another stab at Microsoft Office, releasing a beta 2 version of Symphony 3.0, its free suite of productivity applications.

The much more important release was the release of OpenOffice.org 3.2. It’s an improvement in many ways.

The OpenOffice team have made version 3.2 of the open source office suite for Windows, Mac OS, Linux and Solaris available to download. It offers numerous enhancements over its predecessor which offer both stability and speed benefits. Writer and Calc, for example, should now start twice as fast as in version 3.1.1.

Improved Microsoft Office filters now make it possible to open protected Word, Excel and PowerPoint files (after entering the correct password). The project tem has also improved compatibility with the OpenDocument standard.

More at The Register:

Improvements in the latest release of the open source office suite include faster start-ups, improved compatibility with other office programs, and several new features (with special attention to the Calc spreadsheet program.)

Here is the press release from OpenOffice.org (not Oracle) and more coverage in many different languages [1, 2, 3, 4]. The Master Server is here.

According to this new survey, OpenOffice.org exceeds the market share of 20% in some countries.

Another noteworthy and active project that relates to ODF would be lpOD (previously mentioned in [1, 2, 3]). Git repository access to it is finally available:

Since its beginning the lpOD project has provided regular snapshots of important milestones. Today we are happy to open the access to our Git repository! It is now possible for anyone to check out our developments live.

According to this, Oracle is bringing ODF and databases closer together. These are signs of further commitment. Here is the page in question:

The Open Document Format for Office Applications (OpenDocument) format defines an XML file format for office applications.

It is getting easier to open ODF files from more and more applications [1, 2], but Apple is lagging behind, as usual. Jan Wildeboer from Red Hat writes: “So I understand why apple doesn’t like flash on iPod, iPhone and iPay but why do they refuse open standards like ODF,ogg?”

Bart Hanssens says that “it’s raining #odf implementations: MS-Office 2010 RC, OOo 3.2 rc5, IBM Symphony 3 beta 2…”

Microsoft Office does not belong there until it implements ODF properly [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7].


Denmark Opts for ODF

Washington, DC, January 29, 2010. The ODF Alliance today applauded the final decision of the Danish Parliament requiring the use of open standard document formats by all central government bodies.

“Today’s decision by Denmark reflects the growing specific demand and support for OpenDocument Format (ODF), especially among governments,” said ODF Alliance managing director Marino Marcich. “Open standards-based interoperability through ODF offers real value to governments in terms of choice of IT solutions, savings, and long-term access to data.”

“Eighteen national and eight provincial governments around the world have now officially endorsed ODF for document exchange.”According to the parliamentary decision, beginning 1 April 2011 governmental authorities in Denmark will be obligated to be able to send and receive documents in formats included in a reference list of open standard formats. ODF is unique as the only editable format listed that fully satisfies the five-part “openness” criteria for open standards for document formats whose use will be obligatory in the public sector. PDF/A-1 is listed for non-editable published documents. The action today was taken in accordance with Danish parliamentary decision B103 of 2006 requiring the government to ensure that the use of information technology by the public sector is based on open standards. The requirement applies to new IT and software purchases and major updates, which must be expense neutral.

“Today’s decision will serve as a model for the many governments planning to put their open standards policies into practice,” added Marcich. “The ability to implement support for the format fully on multiple platforms is an important criterion that the Danish Parliament has added. Vendors should take note of the open standards-based interoperability that their customers, particularly in the public sector, are demanding.”

Eighteen national and eight provincial governments around the world have now officially endorsed ODF for document exchange. For a comprehensive list and description of pro-ODF government policy initiatives, see: http://www.odfalliance.org/resources/Adoptions-ODF-2010-Feb.pdf.

About the ODF Alliance:

The OpenDocument Format Alliance is an organization of governments, academic institutions, non-government organizations and industry dedicated to informing policy makers, IT administrators and the public on the benefits and opportunities of ODF.

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