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05.31.11

Links 31/5/2011: Linaro Milestones, Ricoh Makes Linux Tablets

Posted in News Roundup at 5:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linaro

    • Linaro: Now a Year Old, the Linux Effort Begins to Deliver

      It was just about a year ago that IBM, Samsung, ARM and others formed Linaro, the not-for-profit organization that aims to make it easier for developers to use Linux on ARM-based devices, and over the past few weeks the group has made several announcements that reveal some of the fruits of its labors.

    • Linaro Non-Profit is Rapidly Hitting Embedded Linux Milestones

      For years, many Linux users wished for it to achieve a level of success on the desktop that in never did achieve; however, a funny thing happened on the way to that state of affairs: Linux succeeded off the desktop. Linux is growing very rapidly on servers, and already powers much of the server infrastructure behind the Internet and many corporate networks. Linux is also gaining traction as infrastructure within mobile operating systems such as Android, and the cloud-centric OS Google Chrome. One remaining non-desktop arena where Linux does very well is in embedded systems and applications. On that front, Linaro, a non-profit organization concentrating on embedded Linux, is maturing.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Linus says “absolutely nothing” changes in Linux 3.0
    • New Linux 3.0 kernel, same as the old kernel

      After noodling it around for a while, Linux kernel maintainer Linus Torvalds has decided to shift the version numbering from the 2.6 kernel scheme to a 3.0 version scheme, the first significant change to the kernel numbering system since 2004.

      It’s a change that’s been a long time coming for many kernel developers, and one that will inevitably bring hype.

    • Linus Torvalds Approves Linux 3.0 RC1

      Nearly 20 years after Linus Torvalds’ first Linux post and after 39 major releases for the Linux 2.6 kernel, the OS inventor signed off on Linux 3.0. The new kernel is now available as RC1.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • The Compositing Modes of KDE Plasma Workspaces Explained
      • Plasma Active: Quick Catch-Up!

        We’ve been a bit quiet lately around the Plasma Active farm. This is mostly due to us being rather busy, both with technical as well as organizational tasks. On the technology front, things continue to plow forward at a very brisk pace with Contour shaping up with every passing day and libplasma2 (a big part of the Plasma Quick track) zipping ahead nicely.

      • libplasma2

        The motivation for these changes is based on the history of the library, which grew over the last couple of years in response to changes in Qt (the biggest being the arrival of QGraphicsProxyWidget which was first used in the KDE Platform 4.2 release) and the needs of the increasingly sophisticated applications using libplasma.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Configure Your Gnome 3 Desktop With Gnome Tweak Tool
      • Eye Candy : Faenza – Gnome Icon Theme
      • Ready for Gnome 3.2? Welcome back the weather applet!

        After the world clock, its time for another feature that is added to the 3.2 arsenal of the ‘awesome’ desktop. This time its one of the most requested features of gnome 3.0 that people complained about again and again. Yes, the gnome shell gets a replacement for the weather applet that is missing from the new version our favourite desktop.

      • GNOME 3 in Fedora 15: A Case of Acclimatisation and Configuration

        When I gave the beta version of the now finally released Fedora 15 a try, GNOME 3 left me thinking that it was even more dramatic and less desirable a change than Ubuntu’s Unity desktop interface. In fact, I was left with serious questions about its actual usability, even for someone like me. It all felt as if everything was one click further away from me and thoughts of what this could mean for anyone seriously afflicted by RSI started to surface in my mind, especially with big screens like my 24″ Iiyama being commonplace these days. Another missing item was somewhere on the desktop interface for shutting down or restarting a PC; it seemed to be case of first logging off and then shutting down from the login screen. This was yet another case of adding to the number of steps for doing something between GNOME 2 and GNOME 3 with its GNOME Shell.

      • GNOME 3! My experiences so far…

        The big news with GNOME right now is the official release of GNOME 3.0 happened on April 6, 2011. This UI is slick. Majorly slick. The Activities menu gives you an incredibly quick and intuitive overview of everything you have open, a bookmarks bar, and all your workspaces. Before you realize what happened, you’re viewing the window you need on a new workspace and you’re ready to go. If you are used to a little more customization, it can be hard to get used to at first. I’ve found that I have had to change the way I use the computer somewhat to use it efficiently, and train myself to actually work differently. I suppose this is true of any new interface, but it is still a bit of a shock.

      • Elections 2011: fostering the GNOME commercial ecosystem
      • Mixing the old and the new

        A lot has been written on GNOME 3 and, truth be told, I don’t have the digital horsepower (yet) to run GNOME 3 to give an adequate assessment. I think I get what they’re trying to do and, to be honest, I’m not sure I agree with the direction GNOME is taking here.

        Juan Rodriguez is taking the proverbial bull by the horns and has initiated a project called BlueBubble, which marries GNOME 2.32 to the newly released Fedora 15, “breaking the least amount of packages possible.”

  • Distributions

    • A Fun Weekend with AntiX!

      After my antiX installation, I’ve been exploring my new system and I have to say that, as they call it, it is “lean and mean”!

      I still have to adapt my KDE mentality to the Rox/IceVM enviroment of this distro, but so far I’ve managed to find all the applications I’ve needed. Besides, it’s a great brain exercise…routines kill neurons! :P You see, I’m even posting this on antiX!

      [...]

      Oh, one of the best things of antiX is that, in my case, it does not take much CPU usage…actually, it seems it barely uses it. The most it has used so far is about 20%

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • The Perfect Server – Fedora 15 x86_64 [ISPConfig 3]
        • Fedora 15 Lovelock is not my love – Review

          Fedora 15 is a different story altogether. It’s a distro designed for power users, adorned with a toyish desktop that simply ruins everything. Slow and ineffective, just the opposite of what Fedora has always been.

        • Sometimes the bleeding edge cuts

          Of course once in a while there are some painful hickups. Gedit had been crashing for me since the upgrade to FC15, so I decided to run a yum upgrade this weekend. It grabbed an updated gedit along with some other stuff. Gedit now seems more stable, but unfortunately a lot of other stuff stopped working. Most critically it seems NetworkManager is down and out, so I had to fall back to the trusty old ‘ifup’ command to get online. Also it seems docking station support got an accidental axe in the back, because if I connect my laptop to the docking station, both screens just go black now.

        • Project BlueBubble

          Building on the previous post, I decided to make a ‘clean’ implementation of Gnome 2.32 for Fedora 15 (And beyond!). Specifically for those of us who have already updated, and dislike the new experience.

          Project BlueBubble aims to bring Gnome 2.32 packages in a Fedora-15 compatible way, breaking the least amount of packages possible. It’ll be a repository you can set up, and just “yum install gnome-desktop-classic”to get up and running. The only catch? It’s either Shell or Classic, a lot of packages conflict, but I’m trying my best to allow Gnome-Classic with Gnome 3.0 packages like gedit and totem.

        • Fedora 15 Review | LAS | s17e01
        • Small happy things: Fedora 15 and Bluetooth

          It’s always nice to write about something positive, so I thought I’d just say a quick thanks to whichever mystery person improved Bluetooth support for my Sony Vaio Z (VPCZ1) in the upstream and Fedora kernel revisions between 14 and 15. I have a Bluetooth mouse and also use Bluetooth tethering with my phone. In Fedora 14 kernels, it never quite worked well enough; the mouse would work at first but would not wake up again as soon as it went idle, and tethered data connections were similarly unreliable, the flow of data would just seem to stop after a while.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Thoughts on inverted jellyfish, or my week with SimplyMEPIS 11.0
        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • How Unity, Compiz, GNOME Shell & KWin Affect Performance

            Those that follow my Twitter feed know that over the weekend I began running some benchmarks of the various open-source and closed-source graphics drivers. But it was not like the usual Phoronix benchmarks simply comparing the driver performance. Instead it was to see how each driver performed under the various desktops / window managers now being used by modern Linux installations. In this article are the first results of this testing of Unity with Compiz, the classic GNOME desktop with Metacity, the classic GNOME desktop with Compiz, the GNOME Shell with Mutter, and the KDE desktop with KWin. These configurations were tested with both the open and closed-source NVIDIA and ATI/AMD Linux drivers.

          • Ubuntu 11.10 “Oneiric Ocelot”: 11 Great Features You Can Expect to Find

            In the past few weeks, we have covered a lot about Ubuntu 11.04 as well as its controversial Unity interface. However now, it’s time to take a look at the future of Ubuntu, which is 11.10. Despite being a standard release, Oneiric Ocelot, the upcoming version of Ubuntu will include many important changes. With the somewhat unexciting response Ubuntu Natty received after its release, the onus is now on developers to make sure Ubuntu reaches its 200 million users goal as early as possible.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Tasting some Peppermint Ice

              Lately, I’ve been running into a bit of a problem. My main laptop is getting old. I’ve had it for over four years and while it’s definitely not ready for the scrapheap, I’ve really begun to outgrow it. Either that, or maybe my computing needs are morphing. More details about that another time …

              Seeing as how more and more of my work is moving into the so-called cloud, I’ve been investigating some alternatives to standard desktop Linux distributions — for example, Joli OS. But instead of falling back on the familiar, I decided to try something different. And for me that was Peppermint Ice.

              You can read more about it here. Suffice it to say that Peppermint Ice fairly lightweight and designed for people who use Web-based applications. It uses Openbox as the window manager and, like Joli OS, Web apps launch in a browser window that lacks all the usual adornments and cruft that comes with a browser. There are some applications installed on the hard drive, too; you can get more desktop applications if you need them.

              [...]

              Overall, I’m quite impressed with Peppermint Ice. It’s fast, lean, and easy to use. It didn’t take long to adapt to using the Web for most (if not all) of my work. My only complaint is that the version of Chromium that comes with Peppermint Ice is a bit out of date. A small problem, but one I’m sure would be remedied by doing a full install and update.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets/MeeGo/Qt

      • Laptops,
        ASUS Eee PC X101 runs MeeGo, costs only $200 (video hands-on!)

        The latter model will come out at the groundbreaking price of just $200. Check out its scarlet construction in the gallery below or jump past the break for our video hands-on.

      • Asus Eee PC X101: $200 netbook that will run MeeGo Linux or Windows 7

        Asus is getting back into the Linux netbook game with the introduction of the Eee PC X101. The company is positioning the new netbook as a thin and light model, measuring just 0.7 inches thick and weighing just 2.1 pounds. Those figures aren’t exactly revolutionary, but they do mean that the new netbook will be thinner and lighter than the original Asus Eee PC 701 which was launched in 2007.

      • A QML Presentation System

        When I was preparing for Qt Developer Days last year, I started out with an unnamed tool to create my presentation and was annoyed with some of its shortcomings. At the time, I decided to do my slides in QML instead, partially to learn it a bit better and partially because I thought it would be kinda cool. I have since then simplified it a bit and by now I have something that I personally find useful, so maybe someone else will too. It’s all QML and JavaScript, so no compilation required.

      • Ricoh Announces Enterprise Device With Tablet Features

        The tablet runs a version of Linux, and its support for advanced scripting language allows developers to write customized forms that can be viewed through a web browser interface.

      • Elaine Negroponte on Computer Usage in Schools

        Back in February, we reported that in OLPC Thailand, XO Students Show No School Improvement. The post was quite controversial – generating the response Roger Siptakiat on OLPC in Thailand on the official OLPC blog.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

    • Open Source In Action at CeBit – stand N04

      Australia’s Open Source Industry Association (OSIA) will be showcasing lead examples of “open source in action” at this week’s CeBit conference in Sydney. The OSIA stand N04 will display a selection of local open source solutions and is highlighting three member companies:

      Pretaweb- PretaWeb is a specialist in development and top tier support for scalable, high availability web content management solutions built using Plone, one of the largest and most dynamic open source projects in the world. PretaWeb has developed and support Plone powered feature rich websites, intranets, mulit-site and e-government shared web platforms for major clients such as the NSW State Transit Authority, Greens Party, CSIRO and O’Brien Glass Industries.

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