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05.24.11

Links 24/5/2011: Linux 2.8/3.0 May be Coming, OpenIndiana Reviewed

Posted in News Roundup at 5:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Linux World Domination

    A whole lot of things, actually, among them the fact that Linux has become the engine that runs somewhat over 90% of the world’s supercomputers, Linux servers now handle a large fraction of all traffic on the Internet, Linux powers major stock markets all over the globe, and the Android surge is currently swamping iDevices of all sorts. But then there’s the desktop…

  • PEBKAC and ID 10 T errors are coming to Linux.

    Perhaps these errors are already here, perhaps they have been here all along. These ubiquitous (like my choice of big word? :) errors which are so common in the mainstream desktop world now appear to be showing their faces more and more frequently in the hallowed Linux halls.

    Granted I have created my fair share of PEBKAC and ID 10 T errors in my computing lifetime and no doubt I will create many more. As someone who is having trouble remembering yesterday’s breakfast I would bet on it being a dead cert. I would say that when comparing the different user bases between operating systems. The frequency of PEBKAC and ID 10 T errors is much lower for Linux than for the others.

  • Desktop

    • Ed Tech Battle Royale: Tablets and netbooks and hybrids, oh my!

      The 2120 I have, for example, sports a high resolution touch screen. It’s a resistive touch screen, so it’s no iPad with a keyboard, but many kids with development disabilities can handle a touch interface while their instructors and aids can make use of the keyboard. The touch screen works out of the box with Ubuntu Linux 11.04 as well as the included Windows Vista (yes, really, and no, I don’t know why they’re still shipping Vista) and the optional Windows 7.

  • Kernel Space

    • What Not To Expect From The Linux 2.6.40 Kernel

      Since the release of the Linux 2.6.39 kernel on Thursday, Linus Torvalds opened the merge window for the Linux 2.6.40 kernel and it will stay open until month’s end. While the 2.6.40 kernel will bring several open-source graphics driver improvements (performance improvements, Intel Ivy Bridge support NVIDIA Optimus, etc), new hardware enablement, and other enhancements, there’s a few features that you will not find in this next major Linux kernel release.

      [...]

      - Along the same lines as Poulsbo, there still is no open-source upstream kernel driver for other PowerVR SGX hardware from Imagination Technologies. The Free Software Foundation deemed creating a reverse-engineered PowerVR driver for Linux to be a high priority, but there’s no active ongoing work towards reaching this goal. Fortunately, something good will soon be happening, but not to be found in the Linux 2.6.40 cycle.

    • Linus Talks Of Linux 2.8 Or Linux 3.0; Ending Linux 2.6

      In a message to the Linux Kernel Mailing List today regarding the shortened merge window for the Linux 2.6.40 kernel, Linus Torvalds brings up that there’s already been many Linux 2.6 kernel releases and that he could end up tagging this as the Linux 2.8.0 kernel.

      Linus issued an e-mail address today entitled (Short?) merge window reminder As mentioned last week when tagging the Linux 2.6.39 kernel, the Linux kernel creator expected the 2.6.40 merge window to be shorter than usual due to his travels concerning LinuxCon Japan at month’s end. The merge window is likely just to be shorter by a few days than normal, which is usually about two weeks following the major release of each kernel.

      [...]

      The Linux 2.6 kernel series is now on its way to its 40th release in the past seven years of development.

    • The End Of The Road For Linux 2.6 Looks Likely

      It was just a few hours ago that we were the first news site to point out the message by Linus Torvalds on the kernel mailing list about his desire to end the Linux 2.6 kernel series and move future releases to the Linux 2.8 or even Linux 3.0 series. While efforts to change the Linux kernel versioning have been voiced in the past and ultimately failed, it looks like the effort this time around is building momentum and the change could very well happen.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Calligra Announces First Snapshot Release

        The Calligra project has announced the first snapshot release of the Calligra suite, five months after Calligra and KOffice split ways. During that time, the Calligra team has improved the core libraries and all the applications.

        This is a technical preview, not recommended for production work. Inge Wallin, the marketing coordinator for Calligra, says, “We have worked very hard to improve the underlying engine, making it more versatile and improving stability. The time has come to improve the user interfaces. This is why we are releasing the snapshot now. We want feedback on the user experience as it improves in future snapshots.”

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Open Source, Free Software, and GNOME

        So where did this all start? Well you know the tinkering thing I was talking about? That is pretty much the ethos of the “hacker” subculture. Popular culture tells us this: hackers are the bad guys[1]. The actual definition is way more complicated. For the most part, if you ask someone in Linux/GNOME culture about the word hacker, they are going to distinguish between the computer criminals (which are referred to as black hats, crackers, or script kiddies) and the people who abide by the law but like to see how things work, fix them and/or repurpose them. This is where the need for Open Source comes in.

      • How to request GNOME 3 PromoDVD for an event or a user group

        As mentioned several times, we are lucky to have GNOME 3 PromoDVDs to give away, either at events, or in user groups. They really make a great material to distribute in order to promote GNOME 3, and to help people play with it once they get home. We dispatched 2,000 DVDs to five locations: China, Europe (Berlin), Europe (Paris), India and USA.

      • Gnome Shell Weather Extension

        Gnome Shell Weather extension displays the weather next to the clock in Gnome Shell. Unfortunately there’s no GUI to configure the extension so you must manually enter the YAHOO weather ID for your city in the extension.js file.

      • GNOME 3 Live image release 1.3.0 – VirtualBox, here we come

        good news for Virtual Machine addicts : VirtualBox team has fixed issues which were preventing VirtualBox to work properly with GNOME Shell. You need VirtualBox release 4.0.8 (minimum) and GNOME 3 live image release 1.3.0 (it contains updated VirtualBox guest additions, required for openGL).

  • Distributions

    • Should Your Business Remaster Its Own Linux Distro?

      As things stand now, there are more Linux distributions available than most of us know what to do with. However, there are still instances where going along with the crowd and using a ready-made distribution might not be the right fit for your company.

      Whether it’s from a branding perspective or marketing opportunities, the reasons to seek out an alternative to the “big name” distros could easily run on all day. In the end, though, the goal is find a way to integrate the advantages of the Linux desktop into your workplace without feeling like you’re being “re-branded” with the name of the chosen distribution itself.

    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mageia 1 RC1, as seen by a two-year Mandriva user

        Even though Mandriva picked up my wi-fi without any problem, it did not work in Mageia because the b43 files were missing. I read in the forums that they are planning to correct that problem and I ignore if they did it in the RC1. Anyway, one can get the same situation in Mandriva if one updates the kernel. I described how to solve this unexpected complication in Mageia here.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat-IBM pact, OVA launch will drive more KVM use in enterprise

        Like its parent operating system, Linux, and its open source rival, Xen, the kernel-based virtual machine (KVM) hypervisor is said to be ready for prime time enterprise use.

        That’s the message that Red Hat tried to broadcast at its recent annual summit in Boston. The Linux leader – the biggest corporate backer of KVM – announced at its recent summit a major partnership with IBM designed to advance KVM in the enterprise.

      • Big technology vendors form open virtualization alliance

        Seven vendors recently launched the Open Virtualization Alliance, an organization aimed at promoting the Linux Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) for enterprise applications. Initially formed by Red Hat and IBM, the Alliance also includes Intel, HP, BMC Software, Eucalyptus and SUSE Linux and is aiming to attract others involved with enterprise virtualization. The members clearly hope that KVM can provide an alternative to VMware, though they appear to have slightly different aims: the hardware vendors want to commoditize the hypervisor, the software vendors to leverage it as a way to sell service and support.

      • Oh no, not another open source alliance

        Well, this “consortium” of consorts is made up of BMC Software, Eucalyptus Systems, HP, IBM, Intel, Red Hat and SUSE. It’s rasion d’etre is to foster the adoption of open virtualisation technologies including Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM).

      • Fedora

        • The Fedora 15 Robotics Suite

          In a nutshell, the Fedora Robotics SIG has been working hard over the past few releases to create a fast and easy way to dive into robotics development, for newbies and seasoned developers alike. The first visible result of this effort is the Fedora Robotics Suite, a package group that brings together many different robotics related libraries to make it as easy as possible for developers to use Fedora in their robotics projects.

        • Fedora 15 Spins Custom Linux Distros

          For some use cases, a one size fits all operating system doesn’t fit the bill. That’s where customized operating systems can come into play, with Linux being a key enabler.

          As part of the upcoming Fedora 15 Linux release, there will be multiple ‘spins’ or customized variants of the general-purpose Linux operating system release, to meet specific needs and use-cases.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Confity & Gunity- 2 Simple tools to configure Unity the easy way
          • Ubuntu Power Users

            I bought a coffee machine just before the UDS. It’s a very user-friendly machine: you put in a capsule, pull a trigger, and voilá… latte macchiato (or capuccino, or espresso, or chococino, or whatever you like) is ready. You don’t need to know too much about coffee. You don’t even have to know how to froth milk… and you won’t burn your hand with the steam for sure. This machine provides me the perfect user experience: I can focus on my job which is turning caffeine into text.

          • An Ubuntu Adventure: Latitude 2120 Certification and UDS

            It has been over 3 weeks since I wrote about my adventure with the Latitude 2120. Time for an update!

            After confirming that the DELL image I downloaded from the manufacturer’s site seemed to work fine, I ran the certification tests on the 10.10 build. They all passed! no glitch.

          • ‘Bleedingedge’ script lets you quickly add beta software to Ubuntu

            Sometimes it seems like there just aren’t enough ways to endanger your stable Ubuntu set-up.

          • Has Canonical Convinced Linux Users to Pay for Applications?

            The Linux crowd has a reputation as a group that doesn’t like paying for things. That stereotype may or may not be fair, but either way, it hasn’t stopped Canonical from introducing more than a dozen for-purchase software packages to Ubuntu Desktop users over the last 10 months. Here’s a look at what the company has done, and what it says about end users in the open source channel.

            It might be hard to believe, now that the Software Center has assumed such a central role in Ubuntu for adding, removing and maintaining software applications, that back in the day — until 2009, to be exact — the Software Center didn’t exist at all.

          • Community Team Plans For Oneiric

            In the interests of transparency, at the beginning of each cycle I tend to summarize my team at Canonical’s plans for the forthcoming six month period of work. This is the result of an extensive process of assessing requirements, gathering needs, discussing topics at UDS, fleshing out actions, documenting blueprints, and determining resource availability. Part of the goal of this process is to ensure the team (Daniel Holbach, Jorge Castro, David Planella, and Ahmed Kamal) knows exactly what to do, but to also clearly communicate to other entities (such as senior management and the community) what the team is seeking to accomplish.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Lubuntu set to go mainstream.

              It’s been a while since the buzz of the Open Source community has been wandering around Ubuntu and its various distro variants. Lubuntu, claimed to be a lighter version of Ubuntu, has now been officially recognised as a derivative of Ubuntu and will be released as Lubuntu 11.10 in October 2011. This is expected to be a milestone in the evolution of Light weight desktop environments and hopes to make its presence among smaller devices like net books and smart phones. Lubuntu is finally going mainstream and let us see what it brings to the table.

              [...]

              Lubuntu is growing into an amazing project with phenomenal contribution from the OpenSource community.

            • Pinguy OS – Jack of all trades, master of none

              Pinguy is a decent if confusing Ubuntu fork. It has a solid set of programs, although a third could be pruned away without blinking. Multimedia and desktop effects work really well. There were not many configuration errors or bugs, which is a nice thing considering the complexity of the interacting elements bundled with the distro.

            • Mint 11: The “Un-Unity” Ubuntu desktop Linux

              Instead of Unity, Mint 11, which is now at the release candidate stage, uses the old Linux Mint desktop layout, mintMenu system, and the same desktop elements featured in previous releases. It also doesn’t use GNOME 3.0. That’s fine by me since I don’t care for GNOME 3 at all, but my reasons for that are a story for another day. Today, I want to tell you why I think Mint 11 is a great desktop Linux for experienced Linux users.

              To put Mint 11, Katya, which is based on Ubuntu 11.04, through its paces, I first installed it on one of my main Linux workstations. This is a Dell Inspiron 530S powered by a 2.2-GHz Intel Pentium E2200 dual-core processor with an 800-MHz front-side bus. This box has 4GBs of RAM, a 500GB SATA (Serial ATA) drive, and an Integrated Intel 3100 GMA (Graphics Media Accelerator) chip set.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Linux Foundation boss makes the case for MeeGo

      The executive director of the Linux Foundation has outlined the financial and development virtues of the MeeGo mobile platform.

      Jim Zemlin told developers at the MeeGo Conference in San Francisco that the mobile version of Linux could enjoy the same type of success claimed by its 20 year-old enterprise server counterpart.

    • Linux Foundation chief dubs MeeGo ‘unstoppable force’

      That was the message delivered at the MeeGo Conference in San Francisco on Monday by the executive director of The Linux Foundation Jim Zemlin and his supporting keynote cast.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • One Laptop per Child takes off in Suhum Kraboa Coaltar District

        In its quest to impart the knowledge of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to school children at a tender age, the previous government initiated what was termed ‘One Laptop Per Child Policy (OLPC).’

        The initiative is to stimulate local grassroots initiatives designed to enhance and sustain over time the effectiveness of laptops as learning tools for children living in lesser-developed countries.

        Since its introduction, the desire and anxiety of school children in the Eastern Region, particularly, those in the rural areas, to have a feel of computers have been in the balance.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source software users voluntarily pay more

    If you search the Web for flame wars between open source and proprietary software advocates, you will surely find more examples than you can use. Even just searching TechRepublic for such fights is likely to provide a glut of examples. Among such flame wars, it is dismayingly common to find a case of someone on the pro-Microsoft side of the divide blaming draconian licensing on people “stealing” software (never mind that theft and copyright infringement are not just distinct areas of law, but distinct concepts), and blaming the piracy on open source software advocates. This unfairly characterizes anyone who uses Linux — the most visible target amongst open source software advocates — as someone who just wants something for nothing, regardless of the consequences.

    [...]

    In fact, if the people offering the Humble Frozenbyte Bundle had access to such information, I would bet you $50 right now that the lowest-paying Linux users were — on average — the people who had most recently made the switch from MS Windows to open source operating systems. Given time to get acclimated to their new software choices, their generosity would grow.

  • Opening up the Open Source Initiative

    One of the ironies of open source over the years has been that the organisation formed to “educate about and advocate for the benefits of open source”, the Open Source Initiative, was itself *perceived to be* something of a closed shop [see the comments for clarification on this point].

    That is set to change as the OSI has publicly launched its plan to encourage greater participation by shifting to a membership model and elected board members. The plan was announced during a session at the Open Source Business Conference (slides) and is part of an effort to focus on the second half of the organisation’s mission statement: “to build bridges among different constituencies in the open source community”.

  • When FOSS Became Mainstream

    With so much turbulence going on in the FOSS world these days — let’s not even mention the “U” word this week, shall we? — it’s always nice when a straightforward and unambiguous piece of good news comes along.

    That, fortunately, was just what happened last week during the Open Source Business Conference in San Francisco, where North Bridge Venture Partners announced the results of its annual “Future of Open Source Survey.”

  • 55 Open Source Replacements for Information/Project Management Tools

    Experts say that interest in IT project management has grown substantially in recent years. A December 2010 report from Dice.com put project managers fourth on its list of the most in-demand IT jobs for 2011. And a Forrester report found that for 2011, CIO priorities are shifting from cost reduction to improving execution. As a result, they’re looking to the disciplines of project management and project portfolio management to help them “allocate resources effectively while killing off bad ideas quickly.”

    Project managers have a huge list of software tools that can help them do their jobs, ranging from simple spreadsheets to groupware with collaboration features to full project management solutions. These tools can be very expensive, but a growing number of open source projects offer similar functionality without the high price tag.

  • CMS

    • Drupal 7 simplifies Web site management

      Drupal. the open source Content Management System (CMS) used to power everything from personal sites to the White House’s Web site, is legendary for its flexibility and power. But Drupal has also been known for its labyrinthian administrative interface.

    • IKEA using Drupal

      IKEA is everywhere. With over 300 megastores in dozens of countries, it’s one of the world’s most recognizable brands. Chances are you have some IKEA furniture in your home — I certainly do.

  • Public Services/Government

    • No forking, says DoD open source report

      A new Defense Department-sponsored document urges the department to adopt more open source technology development.

      The May 16 report, sponsored by officials from the assistant secretary of defense (networks & information integration) and the under secretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, touts open source development as a way to increase innovation, agility and application security even in an environment of constrained resources.

    • EU/UK: FSFE appeals for information on OSS deployments

      On 18 May 2011, the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) launched an appeal for users to supply information on recommended open source software applications for use in the UK public sector. The FSFE’s intention is to write a paper which shows how widely deployed the applications are, thereby making them as attractive as possible to UK public sector procurers and suppliers.

Leftovers

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