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Links 21/6/2011: Mozilla Firefox 5, GCC 4.6.1 RC

Posted in News Roundup at 5:42 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Linux: OpenType Font Challenge

    To see if this is truly a difficult task, or if the challenger is just another anti-Linux FUDster that is too ignorant to know how easy it can be to administer a Linux PC. This person does not really explain what is meant by “all apps”, so I am guessing that to mean usable in Office suites and programs like The GIMP by any user on the PC to set the font for creating documents and text in graphics.

  • Softpedia Linux Weekly, Issue 152
  • This Was a First…

    The Linux user spent the next ten minutes showing the other guy his system. He fielded the “complaint” of needing Windows for certain things by opening VirtualBox and demonstrating his Windows XP install within. He let the other student navigate throughout his laptop and provided instruction when needed.

    In the end, the biggest obstacle was convincing him that the entire shootin’ match didn’t cost anything, aside from a Windows and MS Office license for his VirtualBox and even then, it was going to be largely unnecessary.

    They then retrograded into a comparison of their classes the first semester, where each was from and other mundane conversation. After a few more minutes, the Linux guy shut down his computer and stood to leave. I glanced up at him and he looked in my direction.

  • Desktop

    • Why Can’t Free, Open Source Linux Beat Windows?

      The answer is simple: Microsoft has a better, more aggressive marketing strategy. Moreover, companies prefer to purchase licenses so that that they can blame somebody when something goes wrong.

  • Server

    • LinuxCon Preview: Marten Mickos on Why Linux Dominates in Cloud

      Eucalyptus was one of the first companies on the cloud computing scene and Mickos is among the most respected open source entrepreneurs in the industry (having been CEO of MySQL AB before its acquisition by Sun Microsystems).

      Mickos took a few minutes to share his thoughts on cloud computing and Linux, the new Open Virtualization Alliance, and how Linux has shaped our lives over the last 20 years.

    • On Mainframes, Religions & Buggy Whips

      Mainframes are dead! I was told this when I first started working in the computer industry in 1994. However, in 2010 Mainframe revenue was approximately $2.55 billion. Perhaps Mr. Twain stated it best when he said, “the reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.”

  • Kernel Space

    • Xen Enters Mainline Kernel

      Future versions of the Linux Kernel (such as 3.0) will include support for the Xen hypervisor. This means that Linux distributions will typically offer out of the box support for both hosting Xen and running as a guest operating system under Xen.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • DS call for participation: BoF’s and Workshops
    • Call for Participation – Workshops & BoFs for the Desktop Summit 2011

      The Desktop Summit 2011 is a joint conference organized by the GNOME and KDE communities in Berlin, Germany from the 6th August 2011 to the 12th August 2011.

      The organizing team is now inviting applications to hold workshop and Birds of a Feather (BoF) sessions at the Desktop Summit. Read on for more details and how to make a proposal.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • How can I be a KDE power user?

        How do I make my debugging with KDE more productive? What steps do I take? How have you debugged KDE-based applications? I know about the KDE wiki page, but is there anything else?

      • GNOME vs. KDE Apps: Which Are Best For You?

        A desktop is more than just panels and widgets. It’s also an ecosystem of applications specially written to use its resources and to fit its concepts of usability. That means that when you weigh GNOME against KDE, you need to consider their applications as much as the desktops themselves.

        Not all software categories vary with the desktop, of course. The time is long gone when KOffice and the only partly realized GNOMEOffice vyed with each other for users — although KOffice is becoming increasingly mature, and GNOMEOffice’s AbiWord, and Gnumeric are all going concerns, most people just use LibreOffice.

  • Distributions

    • DoudouLinux 1.0 is released! Great debian based distro for Children

      DoudouLinux is a Debian-based distribution targeting young children, with a goal to make computer use as simple and pleasant as possible. The project’s version 1.0, code name “Gondwana”. DoudouLinux provides tens of applications that suit children from 2 to 12 years old and gives them an environment as easy to use as a gaming console. Kids can learn, discover and have fun without dad and mum always watching!”

    • 3 Cloud-based Linux Distributions Worth Trying

      Cloud is the next big thing when it comes to desktop computing. There are many big software companies who are busy readying themselves for the cloud in one way or the other. First it was cloud-based or online backup services, and then cloud-based music, and now cloud-based operating systems are here.

    • Specialized Linux Distributions – AV Linux 5.0

      I always keep an eye out for interesting and different Linux distributions. There are quite a few which are very specialized, either for a particular purpose or application, or for particular kinds of hardware. One of those which caught my eye recently was AV Linux, a Debian-based distribution which includes a lot of audio and video creation and editing software. It is described on the AV Linux home page as first and foremost a well-rounded OS suited for most common daily computer tasks and runs on most Windows PC’s and Intel Macs. That’s fair enough, because it is a nice, solid derivative of Debian GNU/Linux – oh, and I should mention here that it is running Linux kernel, making it the first full release I have seen running 2.6.39 – but then they go on to describe the operating system optimizations they have made and the packages they have included in the base distribution, and it becomes clear that multimedia creation and editing is where this distribution is really interesting.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • First glimpse of Ubuntu Software Centre 5.0!

            One thing in Ubuntu, which has always hit rock bottom in terms of popularity, is Ubuntu Software Centre. The reason often cited is its weak design and layout. Lot of attempts were made, but none of them brought a wind of change in perception among the user community. The guys at Canonical have been under fire recently to resolve this problem. One more attempt is round the corner, Ubuntu Software Centre 5.0 is expected to launch soon.

          • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Linux ARM support: A hot mess, an ugly clean-up

      I’ll tell you what, after all of that talk about forks last week, it’ll be nice to turn my attention to something less controversial today. Let me check my Topic O’ the Day board and see what’s next for discussion… Monday… ah, here we go…


      But despite the quiet origins of these forks, the problem has grown to the level where Linux kernel maintainer Linus Torvalds has publicly threatened to stop pulling ARM-related changes into the mainline Linux kernel; a threat that could effect dozens of companies’ livelihoods and the course of embedded Linux development.

    • Phones

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Panasonic reveals Android tablet for the enterprise

        anasonic announced it will release a ruggedized, “enterprise-grade” Android tablet in the fourth quarter of this year. The Toughbook-branded device will have a daylight-viewable, 10.1-inch touchscreen with active stylus, a GPS receiver, “full-shift” battery life, and an optional 3G/4G cellular modem, the company says.

      • Huawei’s seven-inch tablet features Android 3.2

        Huawei announced a seven-inch tablet that will apparently be the first to include an upcoming Android 3.2 version of Honeycomb — said to be better optimized for seven-inch designs. The MediaPad offers a dual-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon, as well as a WSVGA display with a pixel density of 217 points per inch (ppi), and is set for a global launch in the third quarter.

      • India’s $35 tablet expected to launch this month

        It’s been a while since we’ve heard any major news about India’s ambitious $35 tablet, but a new report suggests that it’s finally inching toward reality. According to the Times of India, the controversial project is approaching the finish line with 100,000 units expected to ship this summer, starting this month. The government is expected to deliver 10,000 tablets to IIT Rajasthan in late June, while another 90,000 units will be rolled out over the next four months.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Keeping the Desktop Dream Alive: Q&A With Linux Foundation’s Jim Zemlin, Part 2

    Zemlin: Yeah. When you have open source components within a product — let me back up — today if you have a dedicated supply chain, you use a product data management product or some sort of supply chain management product to have data about your bill of materials across your supply chain. You get different components from different suppliers, they’re getting integrated into a factory somewhere, and so on and so forth.

  • Web Browsers

    • Friday Funnies: IE9 Reality Check
    • Chrome

      • 7 Exciting Games in the Chrome WebStore!

        Chrome Web Store is all the more important after the arrival of Chromebooks powered by Chrome OS- a radical-re-thinking of Google that assumes all the programs reside on the web. Chrome Web Store has almost anything you can look for! And thankgod, its not just apps related to work you will find some addictive games as well.

    • Mozilla

      • Download Firefox 5 Final for Linux

        Ladies and gentlemen, a few minutes ago (June 20th) Mozilla unleashed the stable version of the highly anticipated Mozilla Firefox 5.0 web browser for Linux, Windows and Macintosh operating systems.

      • Two little Firefox search helpers
      • Mozilla to release Firefox version 5 today
      • Mozilla releases Firefox 5

        As expected, the Mozilla Project has released version 5.0 of Firefox. The update to the open source web browser comes just three months after the project’s last major version, Firefox 4.0, which suffered a number of delays – Mozilla has adopted a version model similar to that used by Google for its Chrome browser.

        One of the most important additions in Firefox 5 is support for CSS animation, a feature that browsers such as Safari have offered for some time. When creating a CSS animation, a developer specifies the animation’s duration and name in the CSS rules for the HTML element in question. The @keyframes selector associated with this name is followed by the rules that describe the element’s beginning and end points as well as optional intermediate stages.

      • Webian Shell is a cross-platform full-screen browser that gives prominence to web apps

        Webian Shell is a full screen web browser that has been designed to replace your current operating system. It can be used with Windows, Linux and OS X. Get the free download here.

      • Firefox 5 Speeds to Release

        Mozilla today released Firefox 5, three months to the day after Firefox 4 was released. The new Firefox 5 release marks the successful debut of Mozilla’s rapid release process, which iterates new releases every three months.

        Firefox 5 includes new performance, standards and privacy improvements as well as improving the overall stability of the browser for Windows, Mac, Linux and Android users.

        “Firefox 5 is the fastest Firefox ever, and also the fastest ever to market,” Johnathan Nightingale, Director of Firefox at Mozilla told InternetNews.com. “Our new rapid release cycle means that the improvements get into users hands more quickly. The latest version of Firefox includes more than 1,000 improvements and performance enhancements that make it easier to discover and use all of the innovative features in Firefox. “

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • BSD

  • Licensing

    • Linux Foundation Releases New FOSS Compliance White Paper

      Now, we’ve released a freely available new white paper, “A Five-Step Compliance Process for FOSS Identification and Review” that discusses key aspects of two compliance actions: identifying open source in a product’s code baseline, and performing architecture and license reviews on the path to approving FOSS inclusion. The white paper reviews inputs, outputs, and essential process elements involved in five interrelated compliance steps: scanning source code; positively identifying FOSS, its licensing, and its provenance; reviewing licenses and license compatibility issues; reviewing architectural interactions of proprietary and open source components; and achieving final approval for FOSS use. So, download the white paper for some useful information!

    • German company claims it can disregard GPL requirements in aggregated software

      A Germany company that provides DSL modems, using in part the Linux kernel, is trying to deny another company the right to modify GPL’ed software. The company, AVM Computersysteme Vertiebs GmbH (AVM), says that Cybits AG is violating its copyright by distributing Internet filtering software that modifies AVM’s software. Harald Welte, who has spent a great deal of time pursuing GPL violations has intervened in the case.

  • Programming

    • GCC 4.6.1 RC Arrives; Official Release Not Far Off

      Version 4.6.1 of the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) is imminent. A 4.6.1 status report issued this morning signals there are no outstanding P1 regressions and that this point release branch is now frozen. The GCC 4.6.1 release candidate was subsequently issued.

    • How GitHub Saved OpenSource

      For a long time I’ve been thinking about just how much Github has revolutionized open source. Yes, it has made managing the code base significantly easier but its real impact has likely been on the social aspects of managing open source. Github has rebooted how the innovation cycle in open source while simultaneously raising the bar for good community management.

      The irony may be that it has done this by making it easy to do the one thing many people thought would kill open source, more easy: forking. I remember talking to friends who – before Github launched – felt that forking, while a necessary check on any project, was also its biggest threat and so needed to be managed carefully.

    • Release logs are important!
  • Standards/Consortia

    • ODF Interoperability: Berlin ODF Plugfest, 14-15 July 2011

      This Plugfest is a two day interoperability workshop on open document exchange formats hosted by the Federal Ministry of the Interior and the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology in Berlin, in collaboration with OpenDoc Society, the OASIS ODF TC, OASIS ODF OIC and the OASIS ODF Adoption TC.

    • Adobe Cuts Off Linux’s AIR – ‘and Nothing of Value Was Lost’

      Adobe simply “is not serious about GNU/Linux,” said blogger Robert Pogson. “They’ve made many of their GNU/Linux releases second-rate and refused to release many products for GNU/Linux.” The longer the company continues on that path, “the more irrelevant they will become. … If Adobe cannot or will not compete in the FLOSS market, to hell with them. The world can cooperate to make the software it needs.”


  • IBM’s Centennial

    So, as The Economist observed in 1100100 [100 in binary] and Counting in its June 9, 2011 issue:

    “The firm’s centenary is an occasion to reflect on many things digital, but one question stands out: why is IBM still alive and thriving after so long, in an industry characterised perhaps more than any other by innovation and change? This is not just of interest to business historians. As IBM enters its second century in good health, far younger IT giants, such as Cisco Systems, Intel, Microsoft and Nokia, are grappling with market shifts that threaten to make them much less relevant.”

  • Special Feature Week 1st Digital Agenda Assembly – ITW Joe McNamee
  • Haiku OS Advances With New Official Release

    The Haiku operating system, which seeks to be free software and implement compatibility with the BeOS platform, has now experienced its third official release in ten years of development. Haiku R1 Alpha 3 is this new official release and it offers a lot of changes.

  • Security

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Big media in the hot seat at CRTC hearings

        The CRTC’s hearings on vertical integration begin Monday. For the next two weeks, this means that the four major vertically integrated media companies in Canada – Bell, Shaw, Rogers and Quebecor – could face tough questions about whether they have the clout to dominate telecom, media and Internet services across the country and, if so, what should be done to curb that potential?

      • ACTA

        • Legal questions about ACTA

          Sources say that the European Parliament’s Trade Committee (INTA) will tomorrow consider asking the Parliament’s Legal service to answer questions about ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement). Here are some questions the FFII would like to suggest. The questions may resolve uncertainties regarding ACTA.


          Join us for an informative discussion on the effects of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement on music. Known as ACTA, the agreement has been for years under international negotiation and is designed -amongst other issues- to drastically change the policies concerning counterfeiting copyrighted works.

          While ACTA has attracted strong support and fierce opposition, this talk brings together trade associations, artists and academics with different views to discuss the effects of the legislation to the creative process. The panel will tackle important questions like: How the proposed ACTA will affect ‘fair use’ and equivalent practice? What will be the effects of the enforcement practices on the creative economy and music creativity? Issues of finance, property and matters of sampling/remixing will also be discussed.

Clip of the Day

Ubuntu 11.04 ‘Natty Narwhal’ Awesome New Plymouth Theme!

Credit: TinyOgg

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