06.24.10

Mono Warning: Fresh Attempts to Inject Banshee Into Ubuntu Netbook Edition 10.10

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Ubuntu at 4:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx Netbook

Summary: New attempts are being made to push Mono-based software from Novell (falling outside the MCP and thus a patent liability) into Ubuntu GNU/Linux

F-Spot was recently made a candidate for removal from Ubuntu Netbook Edition (and Ubuntu), effective by release 10.10 (October 2010). Make no mistake however. While Canonical's CTO is aware of the Mono/C# problem, Mono boosters are always trying to push Novell’s Banshee into Ubuntu. They have been trying since 2008 if not earlier, fortunately without success. Here is their latest attempt to put Mono bloat inside Ubuntu Netbook Edition 10.10.

* From: Didier Roche <didrocks ubuntu com>
* To: banshee-list <banshee-list gnome org>
* Subject: [Banshee-List] Changes planned in Ubuntu
* Date: Wed, 23 Jun 2010 09:35:57 +0200

Hey banshee dev/users,

as some of you know, Banshee is planned to be the default for Ubuntu Netbook Edition 10.10.

The idea is to start the MeeGo interface per default, with some changes that I will push upstreamed as well (and hope you will accept them). Basically here is the summary of things that are needed and some I’m working on for default inclusion:

- HAL-free banshee:
the discussion already began with lamalex, alan and aaron. Apparently the branch should be reviewed this week for master inclusion.

- Meego interface by default:
This interface suit for UNE as it’s intended to be used on laptop. No impact on traditional ubuntu desktop as in debian/ubuntu the banshee-meego is a separate package (with an additional .desktop file). I have some tweaks (for now in bzr, but I will format them in git once I’ve finished to play the changes):
https://code.launchpad.net/~didrocks/banshee/une-modif. Those are doing:
* debranding (not in the code but in the display) replacing meego by netbook to be more generic
* starting only one interface at a time (thanks Bertrand!): either banshee (with $ banshee) or the netbook interface ($ banshee–client=MeeGo)
* quit on explicit shutdown request (still not close when clicking on the close button in the decoration bar)
* enable switching on the 2 interfaces. I think this is done in the good way: if you have the MeeGo interface installed, there is one additional button in the main interface to switch to the MeeGo one. And only one is showing at a time (that is to say, when you click on the switching button, you have either the MeeGo interface, or the traditional one)

- “ready to rock banshee”:
the idea is to minimize the amount of manipulation to be able to start listen music/reading video with banshee.
For that, avoiding prompting on first launch (do you imagine if every software you use prompt at startup) and enabling the plugin for import in ~/Music and ~/Video by default seems reasonable. Prompting is really a disruptive experience. It seems others distros are already doing that.

However, we have to show a way for people discovering the feature. It’s possible to show a status if the collection is empty (thanks Bertrand, again!) in the main interface to say “hey, your collection is empty, you can drop music there…”. If you look at the other conversion on the ML about showing things in status bar, I’m currently stuck at showing the same in the MeeGo interface, but that’s a detail.

Thoughts? Tell me things that can go upstream or not and I’ll prepare git format-patch for them.

Cheers,
Didier

Microsoft’s Community Promise (MCP) does not cover parts of Banshee, thus it’s a live patent trap.

People can politely oppose this move. It’s bad enough that MeeGo gets polluted with Novell products like Mono and Banshee [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] and while Ubuntu is not a democracy, users of Ubuntu (myself included, having used it since the first release) have a freedom of speech/expression.

Techrights Since Domain Migration

Posted in Site News at 3:47 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Scale of justice

Summary: A few words on the site’s status after transitions, including a word on load balancing

WE RARELY report any site news anymore. We believe it to be a reducer of signal, but here is a quick note to say that the improved focus which places “Boycott Novell” as a campaign rather than a domain name has paid off. Netcraft now ranks this domain 1454th for traffic on the Web (nevertheless, it’s UNIX/Linux-oriented, whereas Alexa for example is very Windows/IE-oriented).

We would hardly manage to cope with server load had it not been for caching that was set up separately. Most pages are delivered without actually touching the CMS or the database, simple by pairing requests with static copies of them*. At certain hours of the day the server does slow down considerably, but pages are usually being served at the end (not perfect for the impatient). We have a new page for those who can and wish to support the site by donating. This site is run solely by volunteers.
___
* Cache needs refreshing when a comment is left, but the requirement of registration to comment (which weeds out abusive/aggressive trolls) makes it a rarity.

Links 24/6/2010: Linux T-Shirt Contest Ends, GIMP 2.6.9 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 3:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Rethinking Windows security: Will Google’s move spur others to drop Microsoft?

    In fact, many find that even when the vast majority of an organization’s IT infrastructure is made up of non-Microsoft based systems, Microsoft Windows systems make up the majority of maintenance resource expenditures, both for security management and more mundane system administration and troubleshooting. Thanks in part to the nature of Google’s business and the size and influence of the corporation, it is even likely to be well insulated against any need for compatibility with Microsoft-specific ways of doing things, both internally and externally.

  • Smoke Screens and Linux

    Why aren’t people buying these things so easily anymore? I have the theory that, while the success of Windows was the ignorance of the user, Linux communities teach their users and this knowledge empowers people. After all, in the 21st Century, more computer users are awakening. Little by little, we are breaking this shell of fear and gullibility and we are beginning to see through the smoke generated to make us stumble. We read. We check. We double-check. We participate in forums and get informed.

    Above all, beginner Linux users are abandoning herd mentality.

  • Desktop

    • Another One Bites the Dust

      The machine is a middle to low end machine from a few years back (2001?): AMD Athlon XP 1800 (1.5gHz). 256 MB DDR266, 40 MB Hard Drive.

      [...]

      I installed a raft of games, vlc, xawtv, sound-juicer, childsplay, gcompris, ktouch and google-chrome as well as the default stuff for an XFCE4 desktop. A webcam from Logitech worked and I left a self-portrait on the desktop… I expect the owner will change that quickly.

  • Audiocasts

  • Ballnux

    • HP spins a netbook just for schools

      HP announced a netbook for students that includes a metal-hinged case, carrying handle, and worldwide V.92 modem. Available in bulk orders only, the Mini 100e includes a 10.1-inch display, customizable case, network activity light, and a 1.66GHz Atom N455 processor with DDR3 RAM, the company says.

      [...]

      Customization also extends to the Mini 100e’s operating system: In addition to Windows 7 Starter Edition, the device will be offered with SuSE Linux Enterprise 11 and Windows XP Home Edition, HP says.

    • KMail’s Akonadi migration in openSUSE

      In openSUSE’s KDE team, we’ve recently planned the migration to Akonadi, the groupware caching solution that will be the base of upcoming KDE PIM versions, notably KDE’s address book, email client and calendar app.

  • Kernel Space

    • T-Shirt Design Contest Winner Announced

      With 57 percent (4,501) of the vote, the winner of the Linux.com T-Shirt Design Contest is “The People’s Product”, designed by Mr. Said Hassan who is a marketing consultant as SADAF Information Technology in Gaza in Palestine. “This design represents that the Linux system is the collective work of people and it was done so that others can enjoy a reliable, suitable operating system away from a monopoly. So, it’s like a celebration of our efforts: Linux is our product.”

    • Linux: the people’s product

      The Linux Foundation ran a t-shirt design contest back in March to kick off the grand opening of the new Linux.com store. More than 100 designs were submitted, and of these six were selected as finalists. Almost eight thousand votes were tallied, and the community-selected winner, with 57% of the votes, is Mr. Said Hassan from the Gaza Strip, who designed “The People’s Product.” Shirts with this winning design are being produced now, and will be available for purchase at the Linux.com store soon-ish.

    • Testing Out Btrfs In Ubuntu 10.10

      The performance of Btrfs has certainly improved a great deal since it was first introduced in the mainline kernel back with the Linux 2.6.29 release in early 2009. Today’s tests show that even with old hardware both when it comes to the processor and disk drive that even still Btrfs manages to perform well both with its default mount options and then again when taking advantage of the transparent compression support. Beyond the quantitative disk results, Btrfs also provides other advantages like with the system rollback support as being worked on in Fedora and solid state drive (SSD) optimizations. We are also exploring Btrfs in other ways at Phoronix to tie it into Phoromatic for some rather unique and interesting test capabilities.

      It is good to see Canonical now pushing the Btrfs installation support into Ubuntu 10.10 after it has been available as an option in Fedora for more than a year now and is even the default file-system with MeeGo. For those interested in trying out this file-system, we certainly would recommend it and we look forward to its continued adoption.

    • Graphics Stack

      • How The ATI Catalyst Driver Has Matured Since The RV770 Launch

        It has been two years since the ATI Radeon HD 4800 (RV770) series launched so we have gone back since that monumental hardware launch and have re-tested each Catalyst driver release since then to see how the performance has changed for the ATI Radeon HD 4850 graphics card. The Catalyst driver has certainly matured over the course of two years in speeding up the OpenGL performance with this hardware along with bringing new features to their proprietary driver, but it is not exactly smooth sailing.

      • [NVIDIA] 256.35 for Linux x86/x86_64 released

        * Fixed a regression in 256.29 where Performance Level clock frequencies were reported incorrectly in nvidia-settings.
        * Fixed a 3D Vision Stereo bug that caused the stereo glasses to not toggle when the flat panel was not running at its native mode timings.
        * Fixed a bug that caused nvidia-settings to crash when rendering its thermal gauge widget if the range of valid values for the thermal sensor was empty.

        The 256.35 NVIDIA Accelerated Linux Graphics Driver

      • A CUDA Back-End For Intel’s Open-Source Driver?

        While there is the “Clover” branch of Mesa started by Zack Rusin for providing an OpenCL state tracker that can be used by Gallium3D hardware drivers, it hasn’t yet amounted to much. The OpenCL state tracker is not yet working, hasn’t been touched in months, and has yet to be integrated in the mainline Mesa code-base. However, as another GPGPU alternative, it looks like a CUDA back-end that’s specific to Intel’s open-source driver may end up being worked on.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • Linux’s old KDE 3 desktop lives!?

        For now, the Pearson site continues to be dark, but there are reports that the group has managed to deliver KDE 3.5.11 for Ubuntu. The main Trinity development site is live and on Launchpad, Canonical’s, the company behind Ubuntu, Web-based collaborative software development Website.

      • Who’s Driving the Bus?

        Others, though, are driving the bus of KDE and have chosen to “improve” the desktop. Others, who feel as I do are trying to preserve the look and feel of the 3.5 version. Whether the group doing the work can sustain an independent branch of KDE is a question. KDE is large and complex and the libraries it depends upon changed, causing some of the development of the 4 branch.

  • Distributions

    • Most popular Linux distros

      Which Linux distributions top the popularity charts?

    • Reviews

      • WattOS — a lightweight, low-power Linux

        A lightweight Linux distribution often seems to require making sacrifices — using a UI which many users would find unfamiliar and using software which is heavily cut down in functionality.

        WattOS is a really interesting lightweight Linux distribution that is based on Ubuntu 10.04 (as of WattOS R2). As the name might suggest, it is also focused on low power usage and is said to work well with older and less powerful hardware.

        [...]

        If you are looking for a lightweight Linux, WattOS is most definitely worth a look.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Let’s Lift the Red Hat and Look Inside

        The numbers we did get to see weren’t too shabby, either. Revenue increased by 20% year over year to $209 million, and a whopping $179 million of that business came from subscription fees. And like I said, Red Hat has a lot of guaranteed business in its internal books that won’t show up anywhere in the income statement until those customers start paying their subscription bills.

      • Stocks Hitting 52-Week Highs: RHT, VRX
      • Topping Leaders Bode Badly For Market

        Red Hat (RHT), which went public in August, jumped 123% from a breakout in late November to an intraday high only 10 sessions later.

      • Irrefutable Proof That GNU/Linux Costs Less on the Desktop

        Why does RedHat still provide tools for GNU/Linux on the desktop in individual installations or huge roll-outs? Their customers demand it. If RedHat did not provide the service, then someone else would and might siphon off the lucrative server/services/training business… Ah! There’s the thing. GNU/Linux on the desktop is not a huge money maker for them but it does work for the customer and RedHat gets money for consultation/setup.

      • Linux as a catalyst for a smarter planet

        In this morning’s Red Hat Summit sessions, Jean Staten Healy and Bob Sutor of IBM presented on the solutions that communities around the world are implementing using Linux as a catalyst for a smarter planet.

        The IT industry exists to solve problems. And you can solve them at a micro level, or you can look problems that are so huge, they affect countries, or the entire world. The range is huge, and complexity varies tremendously. Smarter Planet is about a macro approach. It’s meant for those really significant problems and to answer how IT can help solve those problems.

    • Canonical/Ubuntu

      • Ubuntu One good enough to convert a Dropbox user?

        I like the way Ubuntu One will sync up databases. This is a great feature for developers, and I hope more will take advantage of it. Apart from that one feature though Dropbox is the better product. It is easy to install and use, pricing is better, it works across operating systems, and is something you could recommend to your technically challenged friends.

      • Why I’m using Ubuntu now

        Well, the main reason is because trying out different Linux distributions is so much fun, isn’t it? There was nothing really wrong with Fedora, in fact it did a lot of things right, but I wanted to configure my file server with a lightweight environment and then leave it alone. I’ve spent too much time on that thing already.

        Firstly, I replaced Ubuntu with Arch and LXDE, to see if I could get it working with anything else than Ubuntu. I’ve installed Arch probably 50 times before, but this time I couldn’t get the keyboard layout right in X. Hal should take care of that, and yet it didn’t. Also, the screen resolution was way off, and I couldn’t get the nouveau drivers configured, while the chipset was too old for the regular nvidia driver. Exit Arch.

        [...]

        As always, installing and using Ubuntu is a very agreeable experience. As with Fedora, all hardware worked out of the box, and installing extra codecs and suchlike was a bit easier. It doesn’t look as sleek as Fedora, but it doesn’t look bad either. A bit heavy for a theme called “Light”, but otherwise okay. I do think the focus on looks is a good thing, and I must admit that picture of a PC that runs Ubuntu looks very good.

      • Ubuntu Won’t Become A Rolling Release Distro
      • Flavours and Variants

        • Ultimate Edition gives SourceForge the ultimate compliment

          Developer Glenn “TheeMahn” Cady created the antecedent to Ultimate Edition in 2006, a version of Ubuntu with a Christmas theme that he called Ubuntu Christmas Edition. Its successor, Ubuntu Ultimate, drew an e-mail from Canonical, the organization behind Ubuntu, asking Cady not to use the Ubuntu name or logo because of trademark issues, so he changed the name to Ultimate Edition. Over time the distribution has grown in scope and power. While it caters to new users, it also bundles powerful tools for programming, as well as software called Ultamatix that allows users to easily install additional software and games.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Better Readability Today won’t save E-Readers Tomorrow

      Here’s the problem I have with this electrophoretic technology: it’s only black and white. While that doesn’t matter with novels, having color sure does make a difference for many technical books. As my friend Carla Schroder, writer and editor of Linux Planet, put it, “Books in color is where it’s at, especially technical and how-to books. Why would I want to put my Audacity [an excellent, open-source audio editor] book on the Kindle, for one example, when being able to show blue waveforms and green level meters and red clipping bars adds tons of useful information.”

    • Playing with MeeGo 1.0

      Perhaps that is the future of Linux on the desktop – at least, Linux on the relatively small desktop. Like Android, it’s not the sort of Linux experience that we are used to, though MeeGo is far closer to “traditional” Linux than Android is. But perhaps it’s an experience that will bring in a new set of users; once they get used to this environment, the full Linux experience will be there for them to discover. That should be a good thing.

    • Ubuntu Netbook Edition for ARM gets a video demo

      One of the primary differences between the ARM version of Ubuntu Netbook Edition and the version built for x86 processors is that Ubuntu 10.7′s program launcher doesn’t require 3D hardware drivers since the whole thing is designed with 2D graphics. I have to say, the UI looks awfully snappy on the demo unit.

Free Software/Open Source

  • CMS

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • On Annoyance and Free Software

      I can’t name one major Open-Source-not-Free-Software activist that offers up any real criticism to the Free Software messaging coming out of the FSF. That’s not to say it doesn’t exist – I have covered in this blog a few lawyer and professor types that laid out very intelligent and considered issues on the GPL and Free Software in general, but they are so few and far between.

      The overwhelmingly vast majority of criticism against Free Software basically starts with “Freetard” and ends with “Communist/Socialist/Zealot”. Usually there are a lot of lies and distortions in the middle – I wonder what motivates someone to take a position they are not able to rationally defend, one which they must resort to (and repeat) logical fallacies of all flavors?

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Giving it all away

      Increasingly, due to the good offices of Creative Commons, much of the content on the web can be legally repurposed or appropriated for other use. I think this is a good thing. None of us want to waste time re-inventing the proverbial wheel, and we could bear in mind what Pablo Picasso once said: ‘Good artists borrow, great artists steal’. So OK, ‘steal’ is an emotive word, which we probably don’t want to associate with, but I get the sentiments behind the statement. A lot of art and music could be said to be ‘derivative’ – and there have been many court cases and fallings out over this grey area of creativity, but here’s my point: I don’t mind at all if other people borrow my content for their own purposes, as long as they attribute it to me and don’t make any commercial profit at my expense. Many already have – some people have actually translated my content into other languages or used as a part of larger works. I’m an advocate not only of Open Educational Resources, but also the idea of Open Scholarship, which is where academics and scholars not only make their content available for free, they also open up themselves to constructive criticism from their peers. I hope we see more of this in the coming years and I am confident we shall.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • OdfKit Hack Week starts

      OdfKit is a project that reuses WebKit technology in a toolkit for working with ODF office documents. KO GmbH is sponsored by NLnet to work on OdfKit for three months. This week, Chani, who is on her way to Akademy, is working with me on OdfKit and since she’s here an entire week, we’re calling it OdfKit Hack Week.

    • See how you can use lpOD with simple examples and tools!

Leftovers

  • Environment

  • Finance

    • The price of economic posturing

      Many economists, myself included, regard this turn to austerity as a huge mistake. It raises memories of 1937, when FDR’s premature attempt to balance the budget helped plunge a recovering economy back into severe recession. And here in Germany a few scholars see parallels to the policies of Heinrich Brüning, the chancellor from 1930 to 1932, whose devotion to financial orthodoxy ended up sealing the doom of the Weimar Republic.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • WikiLeaks May Be Under Attack

      One of our alleged sources, a young US intelligence analyst, Bradley Manning, has been detained and shipped to a US military prison in Kuwait, where he is being held without trail. Mr. Manning is alleged to have acted according to his conscious and leaked to us the Collateral Murder video and the video of a massacre that took place in Afghanistan last year at Garani.

      The Garani massacre, which we are still working on, killed over 100 people, mostly children.

    • Medical Minute 6-15: Tattletale Pills

      If you forget to do what your doctor tells you, you’re not alone. But now, engineers have created a way to make sure you’re following doctor’s orders.

Clip of the Day

CLUG Talk 10 November 2009 – Upstart (2009)


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