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12.13.11

Links 13/12/2011: Ubuntu at HMV Stores, Ultimate Edition 3.0 Swaps Ubuntu

Posted in News Roundup at 1:01 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • eBay Open Sources New Query Language

    eBay’s Ql.io could make e-commerce web applications faster to develop – and use

  • The Ada Initiative: Looking Back and Looking Forward

    The Ada Initiative isn’t quite one year old, but with the project embarking on a new fundraiser and as 2011 draws to a close, it seems like a good time to check in on the project. Much of the focus in 2011 has been on bootstrapping, but 2012 is looking like a very good year for the Ada Initiative.

  • The 10 Most Important Open Source Projects of 2011

    Well, here we are, another year almost done for. Time to look back and take stock of the year that was. You know what? It turns out that 2011 was a banner year for open source projects. So much so, that picking the 10 most important was pretty difficult.

    So what do I mean by “important,” anyway? Clearly, it’s not just projects that are widely used. That list would be just too long to even contemplate. You’d have to include Apache, GCC, X.org, Debian, Fedora, openSUSE, Linux Mint, not to mention a bazillion and one libraries and utilities that we depend on every day.

    So to judge importance, I looked at projects that are influential, gaining in popularity, and/or technical standouts in new areas. In other words, projects that are even more noteworthy than the other noteworthy projects. This means that many projects that are crucial didn’t make the list. And now, in no particular order, the 10 most important projects of 2011.

  • What a stint with an open source project can add to your life
  • Open source awareness growing, but misconceptions persist

    Its core business products such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) operating system and JBoss middleware remain key components of Red Hat’s growth strategy, as the open source vendor looks to strengthen its presence in Asia-Pacific, particularly Southeast Asia, even as it makes “exploratory moves into cloud”.

  • DARPA’s factory of the future looks like open source development

    DARPA is looking to solve the problem of runaway defense systems projects by reinventing how complex systems are developed and manufactured. They aim to do this by borrowing from the playbooks of integrated circuit developers and open-source software projects. And in the process, the agency’s Adaptive Vehicle Make project may reinvent manufacturing itself, and seed the workforce with a new generation of engineers who can “compile” innovations into new inventions without having to be tied to a manufacturing plant.

  • Perspective from an open source newbie
  • Adoption of Open Source Software: The Challenges and Opportunities

    Open source has opened minds and provided a great amount of freedom of choice not just to organisations but to our government as well. In my view, open source has brought about a change in the way we view and adapt to technology. We are seeing a paradigm shift from packaged software to open source standards not just within organisations, but also at the government level. A significant amount of government administration processes have been simplified by employing various open source tools. In the last five years, there has been a sudden rise in open source developers being hired. There is a huge untapped potential for developers in the open source domain. However, it remains to be seen what measures the government is taking at the central and the state levels to implement this technology and how it is addressing the challenges associated with migrating to open source.

  • New Open-Source Technology Locks Down User’s DNS Connection

    The connection between a user and his or her DNS service can now be locked down with an encrypted session to prevent man-in-the-middle attacks, spoofing, or sniffing: OpenDNS has written an open-source tool to secure that traditionally exposed link.

  • Artwork for articles is lacking for FOSS organisations

    I’ve noticed recently how badly disorganised some organisations seem to be when it comes to making their artwork easy accessible to people who wish to promote their work. Organisations, projects and groups all want their newest release covered, or what they’ve just announced is going to happen, unfortunately it’s hard to write about something when you’re missing their logo.

  • In Defense of Free Riders

    Free riders, people who contribute nothing to the software they use, are to free and open source software (FOSS) what illegal downloaders are to the Recording Industry Association of America. They’re people who are perceived as getting away with something, and are the subject of periodic rants. Really, though, I don’t see what the fuss is about.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Facing Trouble, Mozilla Argues Importance of Firefox

        Mozilla is making an emotional appeal to Firefox users amid declining market share and potential lost revenue thanks to Google.

        Mozilla has released a video, called “The Mozilla Story,” which explains the organization’s roots as a community project and the importance of Firefox as an open-source Web browser backed by a non-profit organization. The video avoids technical nitty-gritty in favor of general statements about putting users’ interests first.

      • Mozilla introduces gamepad support to Firefox
      • Google Deal or No, Firefox Can Still Survive

        Mozilla’s Firefox browser has had something of a rough year in 2011, but the past week or so has been particularly unkind.

      • Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) Renews Firefox Search Deal
      • Mozilla Chairwoman Sheds Light on Firefox Priorities

        As pundits ponder the future of Mozilla’s Firefox browser, the non-profit group’s chairwoman is banking on some pretty abstract gambles to help regain the platform’s edge over its rivals.

        By one researcher’s count, Firefox last month lost its position as the second most-used browser to Google’s Chrome offering while Microsoft Internet Explorer held it’s lion’s share, although this continues to shrink.

      • Firefox May Not Recover In 2012

        As I stumbled over a note from Mozilla’s developer staff today, I wondered how much impact feature delays in a rapid release process really have and whether delays in a 6-week release cycle matter or not? Firefox could use some good news, but there is not much that could cause some optimism in the near future. Nearly every major feature the browser could use today is delayed and the browser that Mozilla would need today won’t be available until the end of April.

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GNU Stow gets first update since 2002

      GNU Stow, the GNU utility for managing the installation of software packages, gets its first official release since 2002 after a complete refresh of the code. Stow allows users to manage multiple software packages, keeping their files in separate directories while at the same time presenting the user with a single run-time directory, created using symlinks into those separate directories. Stow is a simpler, database-less version of its inspiration, the Carnegie Mellon Depot application.

  • Public Services/Government

    • DOD to debate appropriate use of open source software

      The Department of Defense is taking a closer look at open source software, hinting at the potential for new acquisition regulations.

      Specifically, DOD will host a public meeting Jan. 12 to “initiate a dialogue with industry regarding the use of open source software in DOD contracts,” according to a notice published in the Federal Register Monday.

  • Licensing

    • Proposed DMCA Exemption Would Unchain Device Owners

      The Software Freedom Law Center submitted comments yesterday to the U.S. Copyright Office proposing an exemption from the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s anti-circumvention provisions. If granted, the exemption would ensure that owners of personal computing devices have the right to install whatever software they choose on their devices.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

      • Data.gov goes open source, first step in government being afraid of the people

        Whether or not you voted for President Obama, it can’t be said that he hasn’t made intelligent moves in bringing the US government fully into the information age. In fact, his first executive order that he ever signed created a new information portal on the web, Data.gov, to allow web users access to information made available by the Freedom of Information act. Accessing that before was difficult because of the bureaucratic hoops people had to jump through to get the data they sought. Coming fully online in 2009, Data.gov allows web users to access a range of information, such as who has visited the White House, and be able to represent that data using visual charts. This toolset makes it much easier for US citizens to hold their government accountable for its actions.

  • Programming

    • Even More Graphical Git Clients
    • Why an Open Source Forge Matters

      A few months ago, I became “Director of Engineering” for SourceForge.net. It’s a big job that includes being “Product Owner” for the two development teams, managing support, and helping everybody do what we can to improve the site. We have over a decade of accumulated features, many of which are out of date, and little used. We have lots of technical debt. We have younger competitors with a lot of online buzz.

    • Open source, coding and the Cloak of Invisibility

      In this time of magic, who needs to know what an OS is let alone how to code one?

      Our College IT has disappeared. I knew this would happen, it’s become invisible to my students. Maybe it simply faded away when we weren’t looking properly. We use computers in class every day, many times a day; my course now utterly relies on Moodle to keep in touch, store our stuff and mark our tests; the World Wide Web is our constant companion whether on the whiteboard, laptop or phone … but we don’t ‘see’ it anymore.

    • PHP 5.4 emerges from the collapse of PHP 6.0

      With the pending release of PHP version 5.4, due early next year, the creators behind the popular Web scripting language are including the best parts of the now-abandoned PHP 6.0 project.

      “I guess you could say [PHP 6] was too ambitious,” said Zeev Suraski, one of the principal contributors to PHP as well as the chief technology officer and co-founder of PHP software vendor Zend Technologies.

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