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05.29.11

Links 29/5/2011: KDE 4.7 Previews, MeeGo With Wayland Likely

Posted in News Roundup at 9:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • If Microsoft made Linux
  • Heart of Linux – part 2
  • Heart of Linux – part 3
  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux mainline contains all the Xen code bits for Dom0 and DomU support

      After a relatively long road traveled with a few bumps along the way, as of yesterday, Linus’s mainline tree (2.6.39+) contains literally every component needed for Linux to run both as a management domain kernel(Dom0) and a guest(DomU).

      Xen has always used Linux as the management OS (Dom0) on top of the hypervisor itself, to do the device management and control of the virtual machines running on top of Xen. And for many years, next to the hypervisor, there was a substantial linux kernel patch that had to be applied on top of a linux kernel to transform into this “Dom0″. This code had to constantly be kept in sync with the progress Linux itself was making and as such caused a substantial amount of extra work that had to be done.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Is AMD Open-Sourcing Something Next Week?

        Some Linux users seem to think that next week, Advanced Micro Devices will be open-sourcing — something — relating to their graphics stack. Firmware? ATI Avivo? OpenCL / Stream work? UVD unit specifications?

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • XMonad: a tiling window manager

      It’s an intelligent window manager written in Haskell whose ‘main’ peculiarities is to automatically position windows without overlapping. Xmonad has several advantages (which i found on the homepage of the project): tiling windows, minimalism, stable (and having tried hard, I can confirm), extensibility, many features (for example, supports xinerama), simple, supported .. .

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE Commit Digest for 22 May 2011
      • Five cool KDE widgets for your desktop!

        With all the hype around Unity and Gnome 3, KDE fans might be having a lousy time and feel ignored. We are bored with those two anyway ;-). Its time for a change. KDE fans rejoice!! KDE has many very cool and useful widgets which you can add on your KDE desktop or in your taskbar. Lets have a look at the top 5 widgets.

        [...]

        Great plasmoid for tracking your system processes. In this widget you’ll get six segments – CPU monitor, HDD status, Hardware info, Network monitor, Memory status and Hardware temperature.

      • The Underlying KWin Improvements In KDE 4.7

        Now that the first KDE SC 4.7 beta is available, Martin Gräßlin, the lead developer of the KWin, has blogged about some of the underlying improvements made to the compositing window manager for KDE during this development cycle. Of course, most Phoronix graphics junkies will already know what’s changed based upon previous articles, but here’s an overview for those not caught up to speed.

      • Plasma Compositor and Window Manager in 4.7

        With the first Beta for KDE Plasma Workspaces 4.7 out of the door it is time to look back what we achieved in the last half year for the KDE Plasma Compositor and Window Manager. Personally I think this will become a very great release with hughe improvements for our users. The best about it is, that users should not even notice that anything changed at all. Almost everything we did is under the hood improving performance, stability and rendering.

      • KDE 4.7 – A First Look At Beta 1

        In my view, 4.7 is looking like it’s going to be a solid release. Nothing earth shattering in there, just delivering more polish, refinement and (in the case of akonadi) promises made some time ago.

  • Distributions

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • The Cauldron is Bubbling!

        Will the Cauldron bubble for a long time, or will magic fade away?
        Will this distribution bedazzle a simple computer user who, following a star like one of the Magi, came to the world of Linux to discover a different reality?
        In three days, will we see a magical light?

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat (RHT) Could Fall Through $42.42 Support Level
      • Red Hat gives executives raises

        Red Hat, the Raleigh software company with a booming business, gave its top executives modest annual raises this week.

        CEO Jim Whitehurst’s base salary rose to $775,000, for example, a 3 percent increase, Red Hat reported Friday in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. Chief Financial Officer Charlie Peters and others got similar raises.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 15

          As usual, the odd number release is what I update to. I don’t know what it is, it just seems like even when multiple new huge features that the odd releases go smoother. Prior to my joining the QA team, this was the case, all the way back to FC1 (of course, I did skip FC2 because I didn’t realize it had been released until after FC3).

          I’ve been running Fedora 15 for about a month now, and I think it’s great. I love the new features, even Gnome 3. The only thing that really doesn’t seem to provide me any real improvement is systemd. systemd’s parallelization is only a real benefit on multi-core hardware, which does not apply to my graying machine. That said, I’m not going to knock it like some folks seem to be doing.

          [...]

          How does it compare to Ubuntu 11.04? Well, besides having newer technology, Fedora lacks the little things in Ubuntu that mommick me for dear life.

        • Intel Sandy Bridge On Fedora 15 Is Decent

          For those Intel “Sandy Bridge” hardware customers that may be trying out the recent release of Fedora 15, the experience is decent and is in much better shape than the troubling support in Ubuntu 11.04. It is not in tip-top shape as there are some recent optimizations in the Linux kernel and Mesa that haven’t landed in Fedora 15 (at least not yet in the form of an update), but it’s suitable overall.

          Installing Fedora 15 (x86_64) to the HP EliteBook 8460p that Intel sent over had went very well. This notebook is being used for per-commit Intel Linux driver benchmarking, but prior to that I’ve been running a few other Linux SNB tests under different environments. This Hewlett-Packard notebook has an Intel Core i5 2520M CPU, 160GB Intel SSD, 4GB of system memory, and Intel HD 3000 graphics.

        • Fedora 15 KDE: When New Old Is Better Than New New.

          But Fedora is not GNOME-only oriented system. It features several “spins” with different desktop environments: KDE, LXDE, XFCE. Actually, there are some other spins for specific purposes, but that is not part of our today’s discussion.
          Having used different distros for some time, I still prefer KDE to any other desktop environment. That’s why I could not pass by opportunity to try Fedora’s KDE spin.

    • Debian Family

      • Changes to Ruby in Debian (and Ubuntu)
      • Derivatives

        • SimplyMEPIS 11 – My First Experience with MEPIS, Ever

          I thoroughly enjoyed my time with MEPIS 11. If I was in the market for a new KDE 4 centric distribution it would be a strong contender. It has a helpful community and good documentation. It’s got several graphical tools that make administration painless and comes with wireless drivers through Ndiswrapper, multimedia players that have not been crippled, the necessary codecs and Adobe Flash preinstalled. It benefits from access to a huge range of packages through the Debian repositories, enhanced by the additional repositories MEPIS offers. As such it could appeal to users relatively new to Linux just as much as it could appeal to old hands who just want a functional system quick, tired of the rigmarole of having to set up everything by hand. This sounds similar to the user base of PCLinuxOS and Mint.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) end-of-life reached on April 30, 2011.

            This note is just to confirm that the support period for Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) formally ended on May 1, 2011 and Ubuntu Security Notices no longer includes information or updated packages for Ubuntu 9.10.

          • Ubuntu Power Users: first meeting

            The Ubuntu Power Users Community had a meeting on Thursday, May 26, 2011 at 17:00 UTC in the #ubuntu-meeting channel. This was the first meeting of this new community, and we had many things on our agenda: the organization of the team, the team logo/branding, the overall team goals and purpose, our long term goals and the goals for the Oneiric cycle. Although we discussed many topics, we didn’t manage to talk about everything we originally planned.

          • Problems Open Doors To Solutions

            The folks who have reached out to me that I described at the beginning of this blog entry have faced these kinds of challenges, and I would like to encourage everyone to view these challenges as an awareness of problems that now allow us to make today the first day of the solution. This not only puts us in a better mental state (process the problem sucks, working the solution is far more empowering), but I think it also demonstrates a positive personality trait about constantly striving for self-improvement. It is also a very attractive attribute from a career perspective.

          • ShuttleworthDon Quixote Tilting at FLOSS

            Mark Shuttleworth doesn’t get FLOSS, the concept. He gets FLOSS as a business, but doesn’t understand that an essential element is that Free Software remains Free.

          • Look Out, Future: Ubuntu CTO Matt Zimmerman Joins Locker Project & Singly

            After seven years as the Chief Technology Officer of the world’s leading Linux distro Ubuntu, Matt Zimmerman announced today that he’s leaving that position to join a technology project we said was “aimed directly at the future of the web” when we wrote first about it earlier this year: open source personal data locker platform The Locker Project and its corporate counterpart, Singly.

          • Why I’m excited about joining Singly
          • Issue #49 is out for the taking!
          • Canonical and Ubuntu Needs to Settle Down

            I am not averse to changes. I like experimenting with new applications and features every now and then. I have no problem with that. But that is not the case with majority of Computer users out there. For them, Computer is just a tool to get things done in a much faster and efficient manner. The sooner Canonical realize this, the better.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • The Lubuntu 10.04 Experiment

              On my “middleweight” PC, having been dissatisfied with Linux Mint 9 LXDE, I decided to try Lubuntu 10.04. This is Ubuntu with the lightweight LXDE desktop, and is claimed to run in a Pentium II with 128 MB of RAM (though 160 MB is required for the standard installer). Unlike version 10.10, 10.04 will also work with older “i586″ (Pentium I and AMD K6) CPUs.

              Installation went smoothly. I was already familiar with the LXDE desktop from my testing of Linux Mint; it’s a good basic GUI that should be reasonably familiar to any Windows or Linux user. The default set of applications for Lubuntu is remarkably similar to Linux Mint 9 LXDE, except that Lubuntu offers the Chrome browser and Sylpheed for email.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • MeeGo Could Switch Over To Wayland This Year

      Even since Canonical decided that they are planning to ditch X.org and are planning to switch over to Wayland, I have been quite excited about the possibilities of Wayland. Today, we have more Wayland related good news – MeeGo might switch over to Wayland before the year ends.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • As netbook sales fall, Intel will slash Atom pricing

        Intel will respond to falling netbook sales by slashing the price of its upcoming “Cedar Trail” Atoms, bringing the cost of complete devices below $200, reports say. The 1.86GHz Atom N2800 and 1.6GHz Atom N2600 will both sport dual cores, while TDPs will be 3.5 and 6.5 Watts, respectively.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Does Amazon “owe” open source? Maybe a little

    When most people look at Amazon, they probably see a retail giant that’s constantly growing and reaching into new markets. But at the core of almost all of Amazon’s success is open source — yet you rarely see Amazon participating and contributing. What’s up with that?

    Glyn Moody raised this point on Wednesday, and I have to say he’s spot-on. Moody compares Amazon and Google — companies of similar size, that both depend heavily on Linux and open source. Yet Google is an active participant and contributor in open source, and Amazon largely sits on the sidelines.

    Consider, for example, the Linux kernel. Amazon uses tons of Linux, not only to power all the servers that it uses for retail but also for Amazon Web Services — and in its own Kindle device, which is by all accounts selling like hotcakes. But Amazon doesn’t turn up in the top 20 kernel contributors. (Google does, though a bit lower than one might think — just after Samsung and Oracle.) Why isn’t Amazon more active?

  • Open source used to be the John Lennon of computing
  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Intros Website Permissions Manager In Firefox 5; More Power To The User

        The internet has two faces to it. One is that it is becoming more and more complex day by day and the second is the fact that this complexity is underlying because if you look at it this way – The Internet is simplifying a lot of things for users these days. Well, with all this happening one question arises is that how secure is the user on the Internet? Privacy issues have been one of the most debated topics on the web ever since Facebook was under fire for it’s complex user privacy options.

        [...]

        There is some work still remaining about this new Website Privacy manager such as a more polished UI and addition of more granular controls plus the incorporation of features like “always access securely” (HSTS).

      • Get a Sneak Peek of Firefox 6

        Mozilla on Friday flipped what’s to become its Firefox 6 browser over to the Aurora channel where it’s now available for download and testing. The Aurora channel is where Mozilla offers up early builds with the “newest innovations” before they make the jump to beta, and then eventually released as a final build.

      • Firefox Aurora Jumps To Version 6

        I’m probably not the only user who thinks that the increase in Firefox builds has made it difficulty to keep up to date with the latest features and improvements. Just like Google Chrome, it has gotten to a point where I’m less interested in keeping track of the development progress. The main reason for that is that it requires more work to stay up to date with development of all different channels.

      • All New FireFox 5
  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • 4 LibreOffice Splash Screens Worth Checking Out

      Alternative LibreOffice splash screens. If you don’t like the default LibreOffice splash screen or if you just want to try something new, here is a collection of 4 LibreOffice splash screens for Ubuntu with installation instructions.

    • Developer Interview : Rob Snelders
    • Real-Time Ready

      Java has long been one of the central technologies of enterprise applications. The speed and scalability of the JVM, in particular, have endeared it to large IT organizations. But today, companies need more than just fast performance; they are increasingly searching for deterministic, real-time performance.

      Determinism in this sense means that a given action will occur within a fixed time interval, such as delivery of a stock quotation within some number of microseconds. Historically, Java has not been used to fill that role, because of some early design decisions in the platform. However, new options and new technologies are enabling IT organizations to use Java for both standard business needs and situations where deterministic, real-time requirements must be met.

  • Business

  • Funding

    • Moodlerooms Inc., a Baltimore startup, raising $1.5 million

      Moodlerooms Inc., a company that got its start in Baltimore’s Emerging Technology Center incubator, disclosed with the SEC today that it is raising a $1.5 million round of investment in the form of debt and unsecured promissory notes that will turn into equity.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • OpenFormula Success!

      After years of work, the world is making a step forward to letting authors own and control their own documents, instead of having them controlled by office document software vendors.

      Historically, every office document suite has stored data in its own incompatible format, locking users into that suite and inhibiting competition. This lack of a free and open office document format also makes a lie out of archiving; storing the bits is irrelevant because formats change over time in undocumented ways, with the result that later programs often cannot read older files (we can still read the Magna Carta, but some powerpoint files I created only 15 years ago cannot be read by current versions of Microsoft Office). Governments in particular should not have their documents beholden to any supplier; important government documents should be available to future generations.

      Thankfully, the OASIS Open Document Format for Office Applications (OpenDocument) Technical Committee (TC) is wrapping up its update of the OpenDocument standard, and I think they are about to complete the new version 1.2. This standard lets people store and exchange editable office documents so they edited by programs made by different suppliers. This will enable real competition, and enable future generations to read the materials we develop today. The TC has already approved OpenDocument v1.2 as a Committee Specification, and at this point I think the odds are excellent that it will get through the rest of the process and become formally approved.

Leftovers

  • A computer is not a toaster!

    Now today’s mobile telephones are thousands of times more powerful, yet all this power is utilised for nothing more than useless electron spinning. Today’s modern computers are way over powered for what they are used for and their real capability and potential is hidden away from the average person, bringing it down to, in those persons eyes, the same class as the humble kitchen toaster.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Flu Warning: Beware the Drug Companies!

      In February 2009, a spike in influenza cases was detected in hospitals around Mexico City. Mexican government officials sent samples of throat cultures from patients to the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Canadian National Laboratory in Winnipeg, whose scientists found a new version of the H1N1 influenza virus, named for the type of hemagglutinin and neuraminidase molecules on its surface that enable it to spread within the body.

      The discovery of what came to be known as “swine flu”—because pigs were the original source of the virus—aroused enormous concern in public health circles. The 1918 flu pandemic that killed tens of millions of people globally was also caused by an apparently new version of H1N1 influenza. Although other H1N1 viruses had been circulating in US populations for more than thirty years,

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