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10.12.10

Links 12/10/2010: KDE-GNOME Comparisons, Mandriva Activity

Posted in News Roundup at 6:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • New Linux Foundation User Survey Shows Enterprise Linux to Achieve Significant Gains

    The survey was conducted by The Linux Foundation in partnership with Yeoman Technology Group during August and September 2010 and received responses from more than 1900 individuals.

  • 10 Reasons Not to Use Linux (Reflexion)
  • Using Youtube to Promote Linux and Free Software

    It is very clear to me that Linux, GNU, and free software are more popular than ever. It is also very clear that this makes a lot of people in high places very afraid. Patent lawsuits and propaganda seem to be the customary responses to Linux’s ever increasing popularity. However, there is a great infrastructure that has been built that provides a powerful platform to combat the Linux-naysayers: Youtube. With billions (perhaps trillions) of video views, it is very clear that Youtube has become the dominant force for spreading information freely. I recently produced a 3 part video series on C++ programming that I posted onto Youtube. I produced the entire video series on my Fedora 13 Linux laptop using free software. What more powerful demonstration could I have come up with to prove that Linux is indeed ready for the prime time? In fact, the only problem that I ran into along the way was Youtube’s inability to process my Ogg Theora videos, the default file format on my system. In this article, I will talk about my experience, and what it means for the future of Linux on the desktop.

  • Desktop

    • A Linux that works

      With Ubuntu 10.10, I’m well along my migration to Linux as my main operating system

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • FLOSS Weekly 138: Cappuccino

      Cappuccino is an open source framework that makes it easy to build desktop-caliber applications that run in a web browser.

  • Ballnux

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • Nouveau Needs Help With Timing Management

        For those owners of NVIDIA graphics hardware that are already using — or interested in using — the open-source Nouveau driver that is developed by the community as an alternative to NVIDIA’s proprietary driver, the developers could use some help. Martin Peres has issued a testing request for people to try out new code for the Nouveau driver that deals with memory timing management.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • GNOME 3, Activites, and KDE 4

      The thing is, GNOME Activities has essentially the same concept (and even the same name) as KDE 4 Activities. So I was thinking for quite a while: how can this be called “revolutionary” with a straight face? Today it hit me: while KDE may have had the idea first, GNOME presents a far superior execution of this idea; GNOME Activities in the alpha and beta versions of GNOME 3 was very usable and improved with each iteration, while KDE Activities remained very slow, very buggy, and nearly unusable until the release of KDE 4.5.

    • KDE 4 vs. GNOME 3: An Early Comparison

      How will GNOME 3 compare to KDE 4? The picture is still emerging, since GNOME 3′s official release is still months away. However, with GNOME Shell available as a preview in the latest GNOME releases, a general outline is starting to be visible.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • The King is dead, long live the king!

        Have you ever wondered what became out of KSensors? I did. Many times. Well the sad but inevitable fact is: its dead :-( . And as far as I can tell there are no real successors standing in the doorstep. All the sensor apps available for KDE4 are hardly replacements. Most of them are plasmoids and I’d rather consider them toys then the real deal.

      • A slides sorter in KPresenter

        As you may know, KOffice is on the way to release its 2.3 version. The presentation application of the suite, KPresenter, will embbed a really necessary feature for an end user application which is the slides sorter. A slides sorter view is a window that displays thumbnail versions of all your slides, arranged in horizontal rows. This view is useful to make global changes to several slides at one time. Rearranging slides is easy to do in Slides Sorter view.

      • Plasma Mobile Technology Preview Features in Kubuntu 10.10

        Yesterday’s Kubuntu 10.10 release features new KDE software for your phone. Working with KDE’s Plasma Mobile team, Kubuntu have created Kubuntu Mobile, suitable for smart phones and available for i386 and ARM platforms. This is a technology preview of the upcoming Plasma Mobile workspace and is not ready for day to day use.

  • Distributions

    • Larry and Me

      I want to thank Steve Dibb for all the effort he has put into building and running Planet Larry over the years, and for entrusting me to continue running it on behalf of the Gentoo community.

    • Reviews

      • Experiencing Arch Linux with the Archbang Live CD

        So I got my new laptop ready for a hardcore multi-boot install, and one of the distributions I’ve always wanted to test is Archbang. I’ve tried Arch before and installed it a couple of times just for fun, both in a virtual environment and on disk, but haven’t been serious about it. It was just to practice the installation and play around.

      • ArchBang Linux 2010.10 Review

        Released Oct. 7th, ArchBang 2010.10 is a ARCH linux based OS targeted at new and experienced linux users. The developer’s describe it as a simple, light-weight distro featuring the Openbox Window Manager and many small but useful apps.

        The “Bang” suffix is a clue to the original idea of a light Openbox desktop presented first in CrunchBang linux, a Ubuntu/Debian distro already established as a awesome Linux distribution targeted at laptops, netbooks, and older PC’s that I have used previously. I have followed the early development of this distro and thought I’d install the new version for x86 and see what’s changed.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Know thy packagers..

        So, in April, Funda Wang managed an impressive number of 600+ commits. He was followed by jquelin and goetz, with almost 200 commits each, then neoclust and cfergeau (I’ll mark Mandriva current/former employees with bold marks for the sake of clarity) with a bit more than 100 commits, and then by many others.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • PlayDeb Makes Getting the Latest Games on Ubuntu Easy

        Many games for Ubuntu are nicely packaged into an installable .deb file, which is great because it makes installing and running the game a piece of cake. But sometimes you’ll find a game that looks awesome, but it involves some command line incantations to get it to compile. Or perhaps, you installed version 1.0 some time ago, but version 2.0 came out last week and Ubuntu’s update-manager didn’t know about it.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Upgrade to the Latest Ubuntu the Easy Way

          Ready to jump on the latest Ubuntu, but don’t want to mess up your current Ubuntu installation? Here’s how you can painlessly upgrade to Ubuntu 10.10, or any later normal release of Ubuntu, directly from the Update Manager.

        • Re: The Register Maverick Review

          The first app and possibly others will be proprietary as well as commercial; but we are hoping for the sale and economic viability of Free and Open Source software in order to ensure that we don’t end up with proprietary people being rewarded and enabled while Free Software developers are punished and disabled.

          Canonical could have bee stronger message too, in my opinion. Not quite telling journalists if they’ll be selling FOSS software or just proprietary software. We need strong leadership and the best people to deliver a strong leadership on economic viability are platform providers who can communicate and provide the avenues built in to the platform.

        • 9 Things I Did After Installing Brand New Ubuntu 10.10 “Maverick Meerkat”

          The final release of Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat is here with a ton of improvements. I think, it’s time to stop talking about the great strides Ubuntu 10.10 has made on the usability fronts and lets just concentrate on the things you need to do and you could do with the new Ubuntu 10.10 “Maverick Meerkat”.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Screenshot Tour Of Kubuntu 10.10 “Maverick Meerkat”

            Yesterday we published screenshots of the changes in Ubuntu 10.10. Today, we take a look at KDE-based Ubuntu derivative Kubuntu.

          • Linux Mint Fail
          • Xubuntu 10.10 – Xfce

            Another Ubuntu “Community” distribution, Xubuntu is basically the main Ubuntu distribution with an Xfce desktop. This makes it somewhat smaller and lighter than the standard Ubuntu Gnome distribution. I particularly like it for netbooks and sub-notebooks.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Fascism

        Every one has complied with the dictator’s wishes that a phoney “7″ should run on such-and-such a platform.

        [...]

        We shall see. One of the beauties of GNU/Linux is that being a well-designed OS it will run on anything.

      • Android

        • All myTouch 3G Series Phones to See Android 2.2

          An internal screen shot is being passed around showing T-Mobile’s Cole Brodman pledge of “no phones left behind” when it comes to the latest Android release and their flagship phones. It appears the carrier isn’t going to be pushing out vanilla Android updates but rather something along the lines of their Espresso build for the myTouch 3G Slide. Features include the Genius Button and MyFaves Gallery, both of which are new and custom for their phones. So all of you guys and gals with Fender edition phones, get ready. It’s “coming soon”.

        • Rumor: Android Gingerbread SDK To Drop Next Week

          Take this with a large grain of salt as it’s just a rumor at this point, but one of our sources very close to the Android core who has been testing and working with Gingerbread for quite a while recently shared a little tidbit of info. According to the source, we won’t have to wonder what exactly Gingerbread, the next Android OS, is going to bring to the table for too long because the Gingerbread SDK is going to go public next week.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS

    • Cloud Computing: Is there a threat?

      Perhaps the most sensitive aspect in the issue of cloud computing is the issue of privacy and personal security. Personally, I have no idea how storing all my personal data and personal files (images, documents, audio and video stuff) can be even remotely as private, safe and secure as storing them on my personal machine and then sharing them with the world as I wish. The irony is that when I tried to tell Noha that there will be many people who will refuse to place all the personal stuff on the cloud, her only response was something like: “Oh, of course there will be a great consideration for personal preference!”. But then, how is there going to be any kind “relevant” personal preference when the ability to store files and data on a completely isolated machine will not be available anymore? In my opinion (please correct me if I’m wrong), cloud-hosting service providers can brag all they want about the levels of privacy and security they provide, but the fact remains that the cloud will never be even half as trustworthy, when it comes privacy and security, as the desktop.

  • Oracle

    • Which OOo bugs are fixed in LibreOffice?

      Laurent asked me quite a good question this afternoon: should we add some comment in IssueZilla to indicate that a bug has been fixed in LibreOffice? It’s pretty obvious to me that it’s politically incorrect to do that… but we can extract the bug numbers from the LibreOffice git logs. First I started with some simple shell script to generate the list of the bug numbers, then I created my first GreaseMonkey script to change the IZ page for these bugs.

    • IBM joins the OpenJDK community, will help unify open source Java efforts

      When people talk about open source, the notion of “forking” often comes up. The idea is that some folks are not happy with the direction in which a project is going, so they take a copy of the source code, come up with a new name, and set up shop elsewhere. This is no guarantee that the newly forked project will be successful, but it functions as an important escape valve for those who have donated time and effort to a community project and want to see the work done in what they believe is the right manner.

  • Business

    • Freemium: The Web’s Counter-Intuitive Business Model

      It’s not a simple way to go, though, because as Aaron Levie, CEO at online collaboration vendor Box.net, pointed out at a recent talk called “6 Reasons You Would Be Crazy Not to Give Away Your Software For Free,” presented at the Web 2.0 Expo in New York City last month, it’s not easy to convince people to pay for something they are getting for free.

      In fact, Levie admitted that Box.net didn’t start out freemium. They charged for their services the old-fashioned way, and they actually made money — more money than they have since on a month-by-month, per-user basis. It seemed there was no reason to change.

      [...]

      By giving away storage and sharing services, Box.net was able to get inside organizations it might not otherwise have been able to penetrate. Freemium, it seems, is the Trojan Horse of business. You sneak inside an organization with freebies, then use your presence as a way to leverage sales of the pay version of your product.

Leftovers

  • Competition

    The latest campaign to compete head to head with Apple may be one of the costliest. This is good. It means they perceive the threat to their monopoly is real.

  • FULL DISCLOSURE: The Letters That Caused All This Drama
  • Thank a software developer today

    I think writing software—or just about any act of creation, really—is accompanied by the hope that others will find that what you’ve created is useful/beautiful/good. That’s true for commercial software, too, but I think it’s especially true for free and open source software.

  • Pay Per Patch: A Free Software Market Model

    If programmers are paid for work whose end product is released as free software, it follows that complete applications can be viewed as sort of a public good — virtually everyone can benefit from them. That being the case, there is no need for buyers to pay for applications. Instead of paying for complete software solutions, buyers may wish to pay only for specific program elements they want, which the software lacks. All such elements, regardless of whether they be basic functionality or new features, can be submitted in the form of patches. Paying for patches costs the buyer less than it would cost to pay for the whole application, and it ensures further development of the software they are using.

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Protect police from lawsuits, says Met chief

      Sir Paul Stephenson, the commissioner of the Metropolitan police, has privately lobbied the home secretary to make it harder for people to take legal action against his force, the Guardian has learned.

  • Finance

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Waxman, Boucher Release GAO Report on Global Broadband Deployment and Adoption

      Today Rep. Henry A. Waxman and Rep. Rick Boucher released a report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), examining the deployment and adoption of broadband in developed nations.

      At the request of Chairmen Waxman and Boucher, GAO conducted a case study of broadband initiatives in seven countries identified as being particularly successful in increasing broadband deployment or adoption. It found that all seven countries had achieved higher levels of either broadband deployment or broadband adoption than the United States as of the fourth quarter of 2009.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • ACTA

        • Areas where the Oct 2, 2010 ACTA text is inconsistent with U.S. law

          As an agreement, ACTA provides for a number of obligations for Parties to the agreement regarding the enforcement of intellectual property rights. The agreement either does or does not provide guidance as to the availability of exceptions to those obligations. Given that several exceptions are written into the agreement, for example the 2nd paragraph of the injunctions article, and footnotes 4, 5 an 6 in the border measures section, footnote 13 in Article 2.18, and the several areas of disputed text, one could reasonably ask, are the enumerated exceptions to remedies the only ones allowed by the agreement, or is there a different understanding that these norms are not to be taken literally. Are the dozens of cases where ACTA conflicts with current laws in the countries negotiating ACTA implicitly allowed by the new agreement? Or are have negotiators, wittingly or unwittingly, proposed changes in these law?

        • Senator Wyden asks for legal review of ACTA

          Noting the ACTA is being negotiated as an “executive agreement” because “it is not intended to impact U.S. law, but that “some experts outside of government are raising concerns that the ACTA text is contrary to U.S. law and its application or would present a barrier to changes in U.S. law in the area of reform to damages for patents, or access to orphaned copyrighted works,” Senator Wyden has asked in an October 8, 2010 letter (link here) that the American Law Division of the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress undertake and provide to Congress…

        • S’pore could be among the first to sign intellectual property agreement

          The 24-page finalised draft of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (Acta) was released last Wednesday, with some provisions that had earlier raised eyebrows scrubbed out.

        • Brasil ataca acordo de ricos contra falsificação [Brazil says it does not recognize the legitimacy of ACTA]
        • Article 29 Working Party assessment of ACTA
        • ACTA Conclusion Leaves Flexibility for Made-in-Canada Approach

          Negotiations on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement concluded earlier this month, with Canada, the United States, the European Union, and a handful of other countries releasing the text of a near-complete agreement. While several key issues are still unresolved, no further negotiation rounds are planned as participants plan to use the coming weeks to iron out the remaining differences.

Clip of the Day

Google Chrome OS Demo


Credit: TinyOgg

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8 Comments

  1. twitter said,

    October 12, 2010 at 8:35 pm

    Gravatar

    I answered the 10 reasons not to use gnu/linux at creative century, but I doubt such a trolly place will “moderate” my submission to make it visible, so I’ll post my answers here.

    Here are some quick answers to these: They are mostly reasons why non free software is a bad deal that no one should make.

    1. You want a free software email reader/phone to avoid data rape. You can never verify non free software, so you should never trust it.

    2. Everyone should want to live in freedom. You might never run a newspaper, but you benefit greatly from freedom of speech. Non free software can only really be fixed by it’s owners and it will always be stale because of that.

    3. It is a sad reflexion on our society that people who want their freedom can be called names for it, but using free software is now as mainstream as turning on a gnu/linux powered TV or android cell phone. Real friends would never demand that you surrender your freedom and all the features and performance of free software just to fit in with them. Only a coporate luser does that.

    4. There are very few tasks where non free software still has an edge, usually because some obnoxious patent. Free software has both simple tools and specific technical tools that are excellent and it never data rapes you, threatens you with expiration or restricts you in other obnoxious ways before letting you get your work done.

    5. Only a fool throws away a tool that works well. Free software command interpreters are not your grandfather’s DOS screen, and they offer great power and speed to those willing to learn.

    6. I can tell you about Vista Failure and I can tell you about gnu/linux success because I use it for everything. Because non free software owners hate free software enough to sabotage everyone’s hardware, you still have to be careful about buying things. As of now, however, no OS works more hardware than gnu/linux and few desktops are as stable as one that’s free.

    7. Your “moment of truth” cost’s $50/hour if you call Microsoft for help, but you are right – all software depends on a support community. Free software has as good a support community as any, perhaps better, and surely has better manuals. Show me a Windows or Apple install fest run by enthusiastic volunteers who will then help you out via mail lists for months. I helped run such a class for gnu/linux for six years and am starting a new one. Can you show me the Windows equivalent of the Blog of Helios?

    8. If you do X and work you should do X at home? Legacy applications at work are a drag that few people would impose on themselves if they had a choice. Workplaces benefit from software freedom the same way everyone else does and these should try to virtualize their legacy applications to get off the upgrade treadmill.

    9. gnu/linux lacks vanity, for the most part, this is true. I’m not sure why that would make anyone want to run OSX. Macs have always been a little tricky, but they usually work well with free software like gnu/linux.

    10. Almost no one sleeps on a bed of nails. Windows has about the same level of cool, if you want it.

  2. NotZed said,

    October 13, 2010 at 12:45 am

    Gravatar

    Hmm, the KDE/GNOME devs are coming up with some weird stuff. Per application virtual screens eh? Hmm, welcome to 1992 and amgiaos3.

    But apart from that it seems to be moving in a very strange direction. Adding a command line … oh hang on, search box, to the menu and lots and lots of clutter. Just as well we have a choice I guess.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I never got the point of Activities myself.

    twitter Reply:

    I like to lay out my work by project in a nine virtual screen desktop, so I can edge flip between things easily from a central screen. Back when I was a KDE and Window Maker user, I’d try to fit tasks and projects into a particular desktop. E16 does a better job of this, but I think this is the point of “activities” that everything you use for a particular task is in one place. KDE might now offer a one button start for an activity that remembers your layout and project files. That would be nice.

    I have a 3×3 Boycott Novell and news desktop, for example. It has Akregator in the center screen with Konqueror and Iceweasel in side screens. I’ll pull up a new instance of Konqueror for anything I want to research in depth. Occasionally, there will be a mail dialog and pidgin in the mix, but those move around to other “activities” as I go to work or do other things like manage my pictures. I leave all of this up all the time, so I can leave it and resume when I can. Each new activity is left in place on it’s desktop until it is done and some things are never done.

    Being able to move things between E16 pages is a great strength, one that Kpager was starting to offer in KDE 3.5 and might do better now. The clear distinction between pagers and screens in E16 is the reason I like E16 so much.

    These concepts may be old, but most desktop users don’t take advantage of them. Another point of activities may be making it easier for new users to discover propper organization. Good software makes difficult things obvious and previously impossible things practical.

    twitter Reply:

    My current concern is what Microsoft may do to QT now that they basically own Nokia. I’m not in a position to judge this roadmap but the move from C++ to javascript and other turbulence such as, “a “libplasma2″ which is binary and source incompatible to the current libplasma,” is disturbing. I have to trust the QT community to keep things in order, but I can see how non free software owners have targeted as much corporate controlled free software as they can. Their injections to Gnome though Novell are only the most obvious of their attacks.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Qt is cross platform. It will be interesting to see if Nokia keeps Symbian and Linux at the forefront (e.g. with multi-touch).

  3. Agent_Smith said,

    October 13, 2010 at 9:57 am

    Gravatar

    From the folks that allude to the fact one doesn’t need to know what goes on under your car’s engine to drive it, I answer with a question:
    What is best for you: Coca-Cola(where you don’t know what goes in the formula) or home made orange juice, squeezed and made by you ?
    I go with orange juice any day. ;-)

    twitter Reply:

    It’s not that you might want to program anything for yourself, though you can, it’s that Microsoft gets to decide who can help you and who can’t. Think of the difference between an East German grocery store and the Grand Epicerie in Paris. Freedom brings choice, efficiency and excellence. Taking freedom away from people is wrong and it eventually makes them poor.

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