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Links 31/7/2010: Google’s GNU/Linux Strategy, YAFFS2

Posted in News Roundup at 5:55 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Google

    • Google Apps for Government: Inextricably Tied to Chrome OS

      While Google Apps for Government, a version of Google Apps certified for use by the U.S. government, is much in the news, not everyone is perceiving how closely tied the move is with Google’s much-ballyhooed upcoming Chrome OS. Google’s operating system, due in a matter of weeks, with numerous high-profile hardware partners committed to making netbooks based on it, is at the center of many initiatives from the company. In the case of Google Apps for Government, Google hopes to lend credibility to its cloud-based applications because Chrome OS is, through and through, a cloud-centric OS.

  • Kernel Space

    • YAFFS2: Yet Another Flash File System

      As flash sizes increased and Linux moved into more embedded niches, the need for read-write flash file systems was answered by JFFS2 which for a long time was de-facto standard Linux flash file system. As flash sizes grew even more and devices such as cellular phones that store large amounts of information (pictures, mp3 files) started using Linux, JFFS2 reached its scalability limits. As a result, new file systems specifically designed for large NAND flash devices were developed — UBIFS, LogFS, and YAFFS. For a long time only UBIFS was part of the mainline kernel and both YAFFS2 and LogFS where available as a patches. At some point in time it looked like LogFS developed was stagnated, with the latest patch available for kernel version 2.6.24. However, LogFS suddenly resurfaced and rather surprisingly was quickly merged into kernel 2.6.34 indicating that its developers kept working on this project, albeit with little publicity. YAFFS2, which contrary to LogFS was widely used, undergoes a similar process with respect to inclusion into mainlaine Linux kernel. It looks like even though in the past YAFFS2 developers did not make any significant effort to put it into the mainline kernel, it is going to change now.

    • Graphics Stack

      • ATI R600g Gains Mip-Map, Face Culling Support
      • NVIDIA Puts Out Two Drivers, Including For OpenGL 4.1

        While there’s very few people that NVIDIA’s dead open-source driver update helps out, NVIDIA has released two new binary Linux driver updates. The NVIDIA 256.44 pre-release driver adds in support for some new GeForce and Quadro GPUs along with introduces some “Fermi” (GeForce GTX 400 series) stability fixes while the NVIDIA 256.38.02 Linux driver introduces initial OpenGL 4.1 support.

  • Applications

    • Instructionals

      • Collaborate and manage projects with Todoyu

        You’ll need a machine running the Apache/PHP/MySQL stack, or the XAMPP package.
        You’ll also need the latest release of Todoyu.

      • Free Resources For Getting Your GIMP Graphics Game On

        If you’ve spent any time at all working with graphics–whether you favor open source software or not–you’re probably familiar with the power of GIMP, one of the very best open source graphics applications. Of course, if you know your way around GIMP, you’re probably also familiar with the many effects you can execute with it. Scott Photographics has an excellent exploration of how to create see-through text effects posted, and you can learn to do so with GIMP in about five minutes. While you’re at it, check out this post’s collection of useful, free resources for GIMP.

  • Distributions

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Opinion: Re: Canonical release cycle for Ubuntu Server

          Even though my goto operating system for servers is Red Hat Enterprise Linux, lately I have been working with Canonical’s Ubuntu Server 10.04 and I will admit that it has so far been a great experience. Just like what is expected of a server operating system, it is not intended for the general user base and focused more toward an experience Linux user; especially when by default there exists no GUI. That is one of the best parts in my personal opinions. Another great thing about the OS relates to its simplified installation process and how everything is automatically installed and to an extent configured should you choose to configure the server as a LAMP, DNS, etc. A couple of years ago, I had reviewed an older 8.10 release here and here and wasn’t impressed. Now, I can see things have changed for the better. Unfortunately I will not be discussing this. But before I get any deeper into this article, I wish to share my experiences with 10.04.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Nokia/MeeGo

        • Hacking the Nokia N900 Phone

          Do you remember the Frankencamera? The API used for the Frankencamera has been released for the Nokia n900 Phone, making the phones camera programmable. For those with programming skills this could be a very interesting Journey. FCam API provides you with full low level control of your camera, enabling you to hack your Nokia N900 and program it however you wish.

      • Android

Free Software/Open Source

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla’s Tab Candy is the first step to sweeter browsing

        Tabbed browsing has arguably had a significant impact on the way that people use the Web, but the feature hasn’t really scaled to accommodate the increasing complexity of the average surfing session. The existing tab management and overflow handling mechanisms that are present in modern browsers are dated and suffer from some fundamental limitations that significantly detract from user productivity.

  • Oracle

    • The AEGIS Conference website is open for business

      As announced recently, the first International AEGIS Conference – “Access for All in the desktop, web and mobile field: an end-user and developer perspective” – will take place in lovely Seville, Spain on October 6-9, 2010. Now the conference website is open for business. You can browse the conference programme, learn about the venue, review the recommended hotels, and most importantly, register for the conference! Also, potential exhibitors are invited to review the exhibitor package.


    • GCC 4.5.1 Released; GCC 4.5.2 Is Up Next

      Just as expected, GCC 4.5.1 was released today thereby meeting their target of releasing this point update to the GNU Compiler Collection prior to August. GCC 4.5.1 targets regressions and other bugs since the release of GCC 4.5.0 in mid-April.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

      • Mapping Startup CloudMade Raises $12.3M

        Steve Coast, a cofounder of the Menlo Park, Calif.-based company founded the OpenStreetMap community mapping project in 2004, and CloudMade draws its data from OpenStreetMap. Through application programming interfaces and other tools, CloudMade helps developers take advantage of OpenStreetMap’s geographical data to power their own location apps, then takes a share from the apps’ advertising revenue.


  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Judge to RIAA: No LimeWire asset freeze

        In March, U.S. District Court Judge Kimba Wood ruled that Lime Group, parent company of Lime Wire and founder Mark Gorton are liable for copyright infringement by enabling and “inducing” users of the file-sharing software LimeWire to pirate songs from the four major record companies.

Clip of the Day

OLPC Sugar Port of the MeeGo Multilingual Virtual Keyboard

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Pages that cross-reference this one


  1. twitter said,

    August 1, 2010 at 8:28 am


    I’m tired of reading Windows users rediscover virtual desktops and pagers. In this case, I’m referring to the Ars article about tab candy:

    Mozilla’s experimental Tab Candy project, which is led by talented designer Aza Raskin, offers a simple and intuitive new twist on tab management. It allows users to visually manage tabs by organizing them into spatial groups.

    This is a way that “cross platform” development harms free software. The problem was solved decades ago by X11 window managers in a general way for all software. Putting this functionality into browsers, word processors, spreadsheets and other software is an exercise in wheel reinvention that will bloat up each. It would be better if these supposed technical experts would include a comment about X11 and GNU/Linux and be a little less breathless about it.

    At some point, free projects have to stop catering to OS with limited GUIs. Another example is the single window GIMP interface. That one did not do as much harm because you can turn the mode off, but it still bloats things up. All of it is a wasted effort that only strengthens user hostile platforms and their freedom hating owners.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    KDE has had “Activities” for several years now.

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