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06.10.11

Links 10/6/2011: $35 Linux Tablet, Free Software Foundation Backs LibreOffice

Posted in News Roundup at 3:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux On The Road.

    This past week, I found myself on the road and away from my studio. It was just for the day, but I needed to get some work done on my comic features.

    Luckily, I’m running Linux on all my computer systems. I run it on my studio desktop, my notebook, and my large (and slightly older) 17-inch laptop.

    Now, here’s the neat thing. Because all three systems are hooked into the same Linux repository, I download and install identical software programs. (Note: I’m running the same Linux distribution on all computers.)

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Podcast Season 3 Episode 11

      In this episode: Mageia 1.0 has been released while ASUS promises three new netbooks running Linux. Meanwhile, back in California, Oracle tries to give OpenOffice.org to the Apache Foundation and you can hear some of our best discoveries, our worst challenge results, and your own opinions in our Open Ballot.

  • Kernel Space

    • What’s in a Number? Linux Hits the Big 3.0

      If “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” as the great Bard wrote all those many years ago, shouldn’t the same be true of our beloved Linux kernel?

      That, indeed, is the question of the day, thanks to Linux creator Linus Torvalds’ recent decision to christen the next version of the Linux kernel “3.0″ rather than “2.6.40,” which would otherwise have been the next step on its longtime 2.6 path.

      [...]

      “Numbering does not matter,” blogger Robert Pogson offered, but “3.0 is a fine number — it’s prime, odd and short.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • New Kontact Suite Brings Next-Gen Groupware to Desktop and Mobile

        KDE is proud to announce the release of KDE’s next generation Kontact Suite based on the Akonadi framework. In addition to these we are also proud to announce the June maintenance update of the KDE Software Compilation 4.6. The KDE PIM hackers are happy to have beaten Duke Nukem Forever, if by only a small margin.

      • KDE Commit-Digest for 5th June 2011
      • Exclusive Interview With KDE Developer

        Muktware: What is the statues of Qt post Nokia’s deal with Microsoft? What is the sentiment within the Qt/KDE community?

        Shantanu: I’d like to say that first of all, Nokia is still contributing heavily to Qt’s development. Secondly, Qt has been moving to a fully community driven development process under the Qt Open Governance initiative, so it has a very bright future, irrespective of whether there is official support from a company or not. About the second question, the KDE community is not affected much with what happened, we are working with the same enthusiasm to make KDE even more better each day.

        [...]

        Shantanu: Calligra has seen lot of improvements since the beginning of this year. Our base platform is improved, the community has grown stronger and bigger with lots of new contributors joining in, which by the way, includes a lot of Indians. Then, we have added two new applications – Flow which is a flowcharting application and Braindump, a notes taking application which uses the Open Document standard and Calligra’s core. With help of our contributors, Calligra has undergone usability tests, and we have improved our UI according to the test findings.

        And as far as LibreOffice is concerned, Calligra has a better foundation codebase and structure. Coupled with the flexibility Qt provides us, we are sure Calligra is not just an Office Suite, its also a framework for others to build related applications. A simple example would be the Calligra Active project which I will describe shortly. If it wasn’t for the flexible and modular Calligra code, it wouldn’t have been possible to get Calligra Active up and running in just couple of months.

      • KDE’s Kontact Suite Brings Next-Gen Groupware To Desktop, Mobile

        KDE Project has announced the release of the Kontact Suite, based on the Akonadi framework. The project has also announced the June maintenance update of the KDE Software Compilation 4.6. Unsurprisingly, the port of Kontact to Akonadi is finally being released the same day as Duke Nukem Forever, making it relatively timely.

        KDE’s Kontact Suite – a set of Personal Information Management applications – is receiving a major architectural boost. The team has invested years of development in its new infrastructure layer, Akonadi, and in porting Kontact to the new foundation while keeping the familiar user experience.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Presenting GNOME Contacts

        GNOME Contacts is a new feature that is planned for GNOME 3.2. It includes both a GNOME-wide contacts framework that can be used by different applications as well as a dedicated contacts application. I’ve been working hard on the design of the application part for a while now and thought it was about time I showed the work off.

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • India’s $35 android tablet-PC all set to roll out

        Nearly six years after the idea of low cost laptop was conceived for Indian students, the much awaited $35 tablet-PC for Indian students is all set be launched this june ending. The first lot of 10,000 laptops would be delivered to IIT-Rajasthan. Once it is launced it will be the world’s chepest tablet in the world.The HRD Ministry officials confirmed each Indian state would be given 3,000 devices once the supply of 1,00,000 devices is made. The Central government would contribute about 50 per cent of the cost and a student would need to pay Rs. 1,000 for the device. The device is basically targetted at students for educational content. It is perhaps the cheapest innovation of all time. The government of India would contribute about 50 per cent of the cost and a student would need to pay Rs. 1,000 for the device.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Analogies for FLOSS

    I came across an analogy for Free versus non-FREE software on Italo Vignoli’s blog today. The blog is in Italian which Google translates passibly but the analogy is an image of people under an umbrella, a dependence on some supplier of non-free software, and a bowl, filled with people sharing.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Want Fast, Private Browsing? Look Into SRWare Iron

        SRWare Iron originated as a German project. You can get it for Windows, the Mac OS, or Linux. You can find out more about the browser and get it here (note that you have to close an annoying ad to see the page). This page takes you directly to download links.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • OpenOffice.org ⇢ Apache

      I don’t think much of this is really relevant. I’m not sure IBM care too much about who develops the code, and I don’t think an LGPL’d code base would fundamentally stop them from shipping a proprietary product if that is what they wanted to do (it makes it harder, of course). I actually think this is all about OpenDocument Format, which is a subject virtually no-one has raised.

      If you look at the OASIS TC, you can see it’s pretty obviously dominated by Oracle (was: Sun) and IBM. There are a few representatives of various other companies and open-source projects, but fundamentally this is a closed shop with a pay-to-play rule which means you have to pony up to join. The v1.2 spec – which has been used by OpenOffice.org since 2008 – has only just managed to crawl out as a committee specification, incredibly late. What this means for OpenDocument v1.2 documents as read/written by OpenOffice.org 3.0, who knows. But with Oracle fading into the sunset (sorry), large chunks like OpenFormula finally done, maybe v1.3 will actually show up on time.

    • The Document Foundation promises enterprise-ready Libreoffice 3.4 by August

      THE DOCUMENT FOUNDATION (TDF) has said the final bugs in Libreoffice 3.4 are being worked out, and the open source application suite should be ready for corporate use in two months.

      Version 3.4.1 of Libreoffice will come out next month, and will deal with the final bugs created, in part, by a reorganising of software modules. In August TDF would release version 3.4.2, which would be stable enough for widespread deployment in business, co-founder and steering committee member Italo Vignoli told The Inq.

      “LibreOffice is going to become a completely different product in time,” he said.

      “For example we’ve completely changed the way icons are handed from Openoffice. That had duplication of icons, not a single, central icon repository. Our developers completely changed this.”

    • [FSF] Statement on OpenOffice.org’s move to Apache

      When OpenOffice.org moves to a non-copyleft license, there’s a ready replacement for people who want a productivity suite that does more to protect their freedom: LibreOffice.

      Oracle, IBM, and the Apache Software Foundation jointly announced last week that OpenOffice.org would become an official Apache project. OpenOffice.org is an important piece of free software, and many of its supporters suggest that this change will give them more control over the project’s future direction. However, users and contributors should be aware that, as part of this transition, it will become easier for proprietary software developers to distribute OpenOffice.org as nonfree software.

    • Free Software Foundation favors LibreOffice over OpenOffice

      When Oracle, IBM, and the Apache Software Foundation jointly announced last week that OpenOffice.org would become an official Apache project, some open-source developers were not happy. The Document Foundation’s LibreOffice programmers were really not pleased. Now, the Free Software Foundation (FSF) is coming out against the deal.

      In a statement that will be released later today, June 10th, 2011, the FSF states that the “OpenOffice.org is an important piece of free software, and many of its supporters suggest that this change will give them more control over the project’s future direction. However, users and contributors should be aware that, as part of this transition, it will become easier for proprietary software developers to distribute OpenOffice.org as non-free software.”

  • CMS

  • Programming

    • Eclipse Foundation Survey: Android, the Cloud and Mobile Rule the Roost

      Android is the most popular platform (85.3 percent)… Finally, the Eclipse Foundation noted in this year’s survey that it is the first survey ever that shows an increase in Windows usage among respondents and a decrease in Linux usage. Linux users dropped from 32.7 percent a year ago to 28 percent this year. That’s an incremental reduction, but notable since many of the Eclipse respondents come from the open source community.

Leftovers

  • Security

  • Finance

    • Wall Street Probe Illustrates Clout of Levin’s Senate Investigative Panel

      When U.S. Senator Carl Levin declared that Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) “clearly misled their clients and misled the Congress,” few analysts predicted his allegations would still be reverberating two months later.

      The firm’s shares have fallen 16 percent in New York trading since April 13, when Levin’s investigative panel released an exhaustive report on the roots of the 2008 economic meltdown. The Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission are examining the findings. The Manhattan District Attorney last week joined in with a subpoena to Goldman Sachs.

    • Goldman Tries, Fails to Sell Soul With Libya Deal

      It was hard not to be amused to see this story by CNBC’s John Carney the other day with the following provocative headline: “Goldman Dodges a Bullet.”

      In the story an unnamed Goldman banker told Carney that there was a widespread feeling of relief within the walls of the bank after news broke that Goldman a few years ago offered to sell Moammar Qaddafi a $3.7 billion equity stake in their company. The relief, it seems, stemmed from the fact that the deal was never struck – and therefore Goldman doesn’t have to answer charges now of having funded repression in the Middle East. From the Carney piece:

    • Goldman Closes the Door on Subprime

      When Goldman Sachs (GS) bought Litton Loan Servicing, a firm that collects mortgage payments from homeowners, in 2007 for an unannounced price, it seemed like a simple way to get an on-the-ground view of the subprime market. The insight would help Goldman Sachs figure out how much to pay for loans, and Litton would work with borrowers to get them back on track. Other sophisticated investors, including billionaire Wilbur L. Ross and private equity firm Centerbridge Capital Partners, bought mortgage servicers with a similar strategy in mind.

      It didn’t work out as planned. While there were plenty of distressed mortgages and lots of eager buyers, the loan holders had little incentive to mark down prices because that would mean taking a big loss on their books. “The distressed-asset market never got as hot as people were hoping it would,” says Dean H. DeMeritte, an executive vice-president at Phoenix Capital, a Denver brokerage for mortgage servicing contracts.

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