03.21.11

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Links 21/3/2011: KDE and Red Hat Raves

Posted in News Roundup at 7:11 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • A bid to keep LUGs relevant

    Hence the question of the relevancy of LUGs does come up for discussion at least occasionally. It’s something the president of the Perth Linux User Group, James Bromberger, has been thinking about.

    “For a LUG to survive, it needs energy from the members. There’s a lot to talk about on this subject,” Bromberger told iTWire. “Linux is mainstream these days compared with 10 years ago, and access to remote resources is trivial. LUGs used to be the only lifeline that people had to share ideas, but as an enabling technology, the internet has shifted people’s reliance on local resources.”

  • Desktop

    • Introducing Your Honey to Linux

      “A couple years ago, I bought my wife a new Thinkpad,” Slashdot blogger Chris Travers recalled. “She made a specific request: ‘I don’t want to use something weird, like Linux.’” Though the laptop came with Vista, it “never worked right. It had video card issues, power management issues and networking issues.” After a few days, Travers’ wife asked him to “‘do anything you can to make this work or return it,’” he said. “So I installed Fedora Linux.”

    • Should I Switch to Linux?
  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • Gallium3D OpenGL 4.1 State Tracker Redux

        There was a Gallium3D OpenGL 4.1 State Tracker proposed for this year’s Google Summer of Code to benefit X.Org / Mesa. As this state tracker was going to be written from scratch and without any dependence on Mesa itself, the consensus among the core developers was that the work was simply too ambitious for a lone student developer to complete over the course of a summer. A new proposal has now been drafted by Denis Steckelmacher, the Belgian student developer interested in open-source OpenGL 4.1 support.

      • Gordon’s Thoughts On Open-Source GPU Drivers

        Being discussed this week in our forums is an interview that Ryan “Icculus” Gordon gave last week to the Czech AbcLinuxu web-site. In particular, comments made by Ryan regarding the state of open-source graphics drivers and how they basically are just in bad shape.

        Ryan Gordon is perhaps the most well known Linux game developer that began at Loki Software and since then has independently been responsible for porting various games to Linux and Mac OS X such as Unreal Tournament 2004, America’s Army, and many others. He’s also been involved with Google Earth on Linux and various other projects, including the defunct Unreal Tournament 3 port.

      • Nouveau’s OpenGL Performance Approaches The NVIDIA Driver
  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Holding on to KDE 3.5.x and Gnome 2.x in 2011
    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Towards a declarative Plasma: Containments and tablets

        In the KDE Plasma Workspace 4.6 there was for the first time the possibility to write Plasmoids completely with a mix of the QML declarative language and Javascript, part of QtQUICK, this makes development dramatically faster (and with dramatically I mean that in around 2 days, c++ plasmoids developed since 4.0 can been rewritten from scratch)

      • Small applications missing in KDE 4

        I have been working in the last weeks in the removal of the last pieces of KDE 3 from the Debian archive and I have found there are a lot of packages that is sad having to remove.

      • KDE Look Part 6: 4 Months In

        So, in general, I’m still loving KDE. I hate that I can’t use it at work. It makes everything about using a computer a pleasure. I love that I’ve been able to customize it to my specific needs and I look forward to doing that even more once KDE 4.6 lands in Fedora and I can make better use of Activities. It makes me really feel that Gnome 3 and its rigidity is probably not for me. I’ve mentioned before that I don’t do radical customization of my desktops. But I do like to make it work for my unique situation. I’m going to reserve final judgement until I get to use it. Who knows, maybe it sucks me into its madness. But somehow I doubt that will be the case. I’m really loving KDE too much.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME 3 Live image, release 0.1.1

        This week release is a polish release :

        * very few package changes
        * many services are disabled when booting live CD, improving its loading speed
        * password is no longer asked at all in live CD for root or standard (tux) user
        * when installing the image on a system (add liveinstall parameter on bootloader), some services are enabled back (apparmor, preload, firewall), thanks to Chris comments

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Looking over Crux again

        If you recall a speed jump when you moved from something gluttonous and bloated, like Ubuntu, to something sparse and clean, like Arch … well, you’ll see the same improvement when you move to something skeletal and streamlined.

    • New Releases

      • Gentoo Linux 11.0 Released, Try It Now

        Gentoo team has announced the release of version 11.0. Gentoo is traditionally known for geeks who want to compile the distro from scratch to optimize performance. But, Gentoo is well suited for regular users as well, if you are successful in installing it.

    • Red Hat Family

      • GPL expert gives Red Hat the all-clear

        Well-known free software activist and GPL expert Bradley Kuhn says Red Hat’s recent change of policy with regard to provision of its kernel source appears, on the surface, to be GPL-compliant.

      • Red Hat Global Support Team Honored As A Leader In Support Excellence

        “Red Hat’s Global Support Services team is responsible for earning and maintaining the loyalty of our subscribing customers. Through the reliable products we offer, the collaborative work we engage in with customers and partners and the high level of service we provide, we place our customer needs first,” said Marco Bill-Peter, vice president, Global Support Services at Red Hat. “We’re excited to be recognized by HDI for the updates we have been driving to improve our support delivery to our global customers and extend the value of our subscriptions.”

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Sqeeze Gets First Update

        The Debian project has announced the first update for the stable version of Debian, 6.0 aka Squeeze. According to the mailing list post, this udate mainly adds corrections for security problems to the stable release, along with a few adjustment to serious problems.

        This version doesn’t mean a new version of Debian, it just updates some of the packages. There is no need to throw away 6.0 CDs or DVDs but only to update via an up-to-date Debian mirror after an installation, to cause any out of date packages to be updated.

      • “It’s called Debian”
      • DEX: Bridging Gaps Between Debian and Derivatives

        Zimmerman explains, “DEX is all about action: merging patches, fixing bugs, crunching data, whatever is necessary to get changes from derivatives into Debian proper. DEX doesn’t try to change the way any existing project works, but adds a “fast path” for getting code from one place to another.”

        Ubuntu has been accused of not contributing code back to upstream projects, but Debain acknowledged that the process for this has been difficult to navigate. The Debian Front Desk seems limited to linking interested parties, but DEX is an attempt to grease the wheels by actually merging code, recording statistics, and updating bug reports. It appears it is going to do the dirty work.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Is Natty Heading In The Wrong Direction?

          Canonical is investing quite a lot of resources in 11.04. I do appreciate the way Natty looks and feels at the moment, but to whom does it matter? When you tested Alpha of Natty what was the new feature that amazed you? Was there a new application that let you do things in a better way? Did Natty address any problem which GNU/Linux distros face in general?

          I like Ubuntu for 3 reasons: 1) It is based on Debian and I love the way apt-get resolves dependencies. 2) I like Ubuntu Software Center as it makes my job quite easier to install apps. 3) PPAs allow me to add applications without much worry.

        • Yay for Open Source!

          So I’ve avoided talking about the latest kerfuffle in Ubuntuland because I might be biased, working as I do for Canonical.

          [...]

          Not that such discussions aren’t worth having, but it’s easy to get caught up in navel-gazing. We’re all on the same team. We’re trying to change the world, and it’s worth remembering every now and then that we are succeeding!

        • Ubuntu Manual Project calling for Project Leader, Editor-in-Chief
        • An Interview with CharlesA
        • Open Ballot: is Canonical good for free software?

          On the other hand, Canonical would argue that it’s trying hard to give back to the community, for instance with the new DEX project. We want your opinions for our upcoming podcast: do you think, on the whole, that Canonical is a good or bad force for free software and Linux?

        • Ubuntu is NOT part of Google Summer of Code 2011
        • Razing the Stakes

          Ubuntu cheerleading blog OMG! Ubuntu asks the question, “Has the new Ubuntu One Control Panel raised the stakes in app appearances?”

        • Has the new Ubuntu One Control Panel raised the stakes in app appearances?
        • Flavours and Variants

          • Expect Better Collaboration Between Linux Mint And Lancelot

            Ivan Čukić recently blogged about the status of collaboration within FOSS projects. He was pointing at one of the most popular GNU/Linux distributions Linux Mint. The Debian/Ubuntu based operating system uses Lancelot as the default menu in Linux Mint. But it seems Ivan was not even aware of it. He wrote that he found about it through a bug report.

            The report stated that, “This is also the reason Mint 10 KDE could not use Lancelot as the default launcher. This bug was considered a showstopper for one of the world’s most popular Linux distributions.”

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Apple and Android app marketplace insight

          Apple still dominates the mobile device app market but Android is gaining strength

          For some time Apple has dominated the app marketplace space, outpacing rivals with literally hundreds of thousands of applications on offer – but Android is catching up and could well surpass Apple’s app share.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Best Linux distros for netbooks

        There are now some fantastic varieties of Linux that make ideal replacements for the operating system that’s currently installed on your netbook.

        The latest version of Ubuntu UNR, for example, features brilliant hardware support alongside the expanding Unity interface, which Canonical is pinning its hopes on as a Gnome replacement for the next mainstream Ubuntu release.

      • Killing Linpus Linux, reaching for Ubuntu on netbooks

        One final note, Ubuntu on an Acer netbook is sweet, but it is slower than Linpus, so balance that factor too before you go diving in.

    • Tablets

      • Creative Upgrades ZiiO Tablet To Android 2.2, 10 Inch Tablet Expected In April

        Creative has upgraded its Android powered tablet ZiiO 7″ to the version 2.2. The company says in a statement that “Current Creative ZiiO 7″ owners will be able to enjoy a free upgrade via support.creative.com or the ZiiO Space portal found on their tablets, beginning 25 March 2011.”

        The company will also start shipping new Creative ZiiO 7″ with Android 2.2 on 18 March 2011. The 10″ version of ZiiO is expected to ship with Android 2.2 by April 2011.

Free Software/Open Source

  • OSI Landmark

    The Open Source Initiative (OSI) Board meet this weekend in San Francisco for its annual face-to-face meeting. There were two significant topics on the agenda. First, we had to review the substantial number of nominations for the two Board seats that become vacant on March 31st when Danese Cooper and Russ Nelson leave the Board due to term limits after a decade each of service.

    After a long series of discussions which finally had to come down to a vote, we elected Karl Fogel, Jim Jagielski and Mike Godwin (yes, that Godwin) serve as Board members in 2011-12. That’s one more than the number of new vacancies, but we really could not pick between the three successful candidates so we used our discretion to create an eleventh Board seat to accommodate all three of them. If it’s not obvious to you why, just take a look at their respective web pages!

  • Web Browsers

    • No FAFSA for FOSS Users

      Now even though three of these browsers are cross platform, the only operating systems you are able to use with these browsers are Windows and OSX. The kicker at the end of all this? At the very bottom of the page there is a citing of standards compliance as the reason for certain browsers being redirected:

      “For the past few years, every major Web browser released has been built around a set of open standards designated by the World Wide Web Consortium, a non-profit organization charged with overseeing the continuing development of the Web. What this means is that one piece of code now looks the same on every modern browser, whether it be Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Opera, or others. The majority of our users are using these modern browsers, so we can present content which is optimized for them. “

    • Mozilla

      • Taming Firefox 4 – The annoyance-less guide

        Firefox 4 remains utterly configurable, as it always was, which is one of its strongest selling points. You will be able to restore old looks and feel easily, with a bit of hard work and only a handful of extra extensions. That said, I expect existing profiles not to be changed and not to remove the Status bar for Firefox 3.6 users.

      • Mozilla Releases Firefox 4 RC2

        It turns out that we were a bit quick to quote Mozilla that the first release candidate of Firefox 4 would also be the last and be published as the final version of the browser. Mozilla unexpectedly released a second release candidate. Future Firefox updates will not be referred to by version numbers anymore, but by codenames, which will be released in alphabetical order.

  • Education

    • Not enough open source in schools?

      FOSS is a feminist issue.

      Schools are highly feminised workplaces. Overall over 70% of the teachers are women and 90% of the admin and class support staff (which broadly are equal in number to the teaching staff) which means that the overwhelming majority of adult computer users in schools are female.

      So unless you believe that men and women have similar attitudes and dispositions to technology, schools present a gender-skewed marketing challenge.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • News: Gnash 0.8.9 released

      …Gnash community are happy to announce the release of Gnash v0.8.9. Gnash the GNU Flash player is a free/libre SWF movie player, with all the source code released under GPLv3.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • ‘Free’ Culture Folks Discuss Models For Sustainable Creativity

      Last year, I was invited to attend the FCForum’s event on creating sustainable models for creativity in the digital age in Barcelona. Unfortunately, due to timing and conflicts, I was unable to attend, though I heard from many who were able to make it and enjoyed it. Out of that event, the FCForum has released their version 1.0 document which is described as a “How to for Sustainable Creativity.” I take a bit of an issue with the title, which implicitly seems to suggest that creativity isn’t naturally sustainable, and needs some sort of outside help. However, the document itself is an interesting read. It digs into what the current state of the market is in music, filmmaking, writing & publishing, fashion and software, and then looks at various economic models that can be used to support all of those.

    • Crowd-sourcing aids Japan crisis

      People living close to the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan are collaborating to plot local radiation levels.

      The RDTN.org website allows people to submit their own radiation readings and maps them alongside official data.

    • Open Data

      • TileMill Puts Web GIS on the Map

        If you’re anything like me, you love a good map graphic, particularly one that brings what would otherwise be dull and boring data to life. The technical term for tools that render statistics into visual form with maps are geographic information systems (GIS). Open source has a wealth of top-notch GIS tools like GRASS and gvSIG, but their power comes with a learning curve. TileMill is a new tool that bucks the trend, letting complete newcomers to GIS build slick looking static or interactive maps with minimal fuss.

  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

  • Five Things the Internet Brought About That I Can Live Without…
  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Ellsberg: Wikileaks Logs Show Clear US War Crimes in Iraq—Manning Was Reportedly Motivated By Conscience

      Edited transcript of today’s Democracy Now interview with Daniel Ellsberg

      ELLSBERG: The conditions under which Manning is being held clearly violate the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution against cruel and unusual punishment—even for someone being punished, having been convicted. Here we have someone who has not yet been tried, not yet convicted, being held in isolation, solitary confinement, for something over 9 months. This is something that is likely to drive a person mad, and may be the intent of what’s going on here.

      The Wikileaks revelations that Manning is charged with having revealed, having to do with Iraq, show that in fact the US military in which Manning was a part, turns over suspect to the Iraqis with the knowledge that they will be and are being tortured. Turning these suspects over, with that knowledge, is a clear violation of our own laws and of international law. It makes us as much culpable for the torture as if we were doing it ourselves.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • A legacy from the 1800s leaves Tokyo facing blackouts

      East Japan entered its fifth day of power rationing on Friday, with no end to the planned blackouts in sight. The power shortages began last week when a massive earthquake and tsunami knocked nuclear power stations offline. The local electrical utility can’t make up the shortfall by importing power from another region, though, because Japan lacks a national power grid, a consequence of a decision taken in the late 1800s.

      Japan’s electricity system got its start in 1883 with the founding of Tokyo Electric Light Co. Demand quickly grew and in 1895 the company bought electricity generation equipment from Germany’s AEG. In west Japan the same evolution was taking place, and Osaka Electric Lamp imported equipment from General Electric.

  • Finance

    • Ex-Goldman Banker Behind WSJ ‘Smear Campaign’ Against Elizabeth Warren

      A Wall Street Journal editorial writer who has been closely involved with the paper’s recent attacks on Elizabeth Warren is a former Goldman Sachs banker. The same editorial writer, Mary Kissel, is readying another piece critical of Warren and the new consumer agency, according to a source familiar with the coming article.

      Like most major newspapers, the Journal does not disclose the authors of its editorials. Kissel recently appeared on the John Batchelor radio show as a representative of the Journal’s editorial board to discuss Warren, and repeated the main arguments used in the editorials.

    • Let Them Eat…iPads!: William Dudley Antoinette Visits Queens

      Dudley, a former chief economist for Goldman Sachs, gave a speech in Queens in which he spoke about the economy’s progress and the Fed’s successes. When the question and answer period rolled around, people in the audience wanted to know why the prices for food and gas were rising. As noted in a Wall Street Journal article—“the Fed doesn’t think food and gas prices matter to its policy calculations because they aren’t part of “core” inflation.”

      Dudley told his listeners that the economy was recovering and that inflation was under control. He tried to explain to his audience that the prices of some goods and products were indeed falling. “Today you can buy an iPad 2 that costs the same as an iPad 1 that is twice as powerful,” he said. “You have to look at the prices of all things.”

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/UBB

    • ISPs defend plans for two-tier net

      ISPs have defended their right to operate a two-speed internet, at a key debate into the future of the web.

      The debate was organised by the government, which is keen to see the principles of a free and equal net maintained.

      ISPs are increasingly looking to prioritise some traffic on their networks and block some.

      After the meeting the BBC called for the creation of a broadband content group to represent content providers.

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