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05.19.12

Links 19/5/2012: Mandriva Linux Freed, New Linux Mint RC

Posted in News Roundup at 10:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • The Porteus Team: We consider ourselves a “Portable Linux Community”
  • Musings on the linux audio stack

    I spent some free time today getting caught up on the large backlog of phonon-gstreamer bugs. Towards the end, I started to have delusions of grandeur: Imagine a phonon-gstreamer codebase that doesn’t require supporting a zillion different audio frameworks, and instead belays that task to something that I don’t have to maintain.

  • Desktop

    • and, nor or

      Just read another “forget desktop Linux” piece by a writer trying to cover Free software on a sight ostensibly doing the same. This is exactly the sort of thing I wrote about in a recent blog entry, and it’s sad to see it continue.

    • Will Linux Ever Experience The Year Of The Desktop? [Opinion]
    • Linux Desktop Space is no Place to Concede

      The argument goes something to the affect that “since there is a movement towards enabling more devices at work and schools, the desktop no longer really matters.”

      I understand my colleague Andrea’s passion for mobile devices and social media, but her conclusions seem seriously flawed. The reason I am writing this article is to ensure people understand the great value of Linux on the Desktop.

    • GNU/Linux Has Taken Off

      In it Maria Korolov trots out a long list of “problems” with GNU/linux for large businesses. Here’s an example: “a typical organization will have one application for every 10 users, and, today, about half of those applications require the Windows operating system”

      That makes no sense at all. It means businesses, money-making organizations, are foolishly paying for far too many applications. The largest organizations on the planet are governments and as we saw in Munich, it is worthwhile to shed unnecessary applications and rationalize the rest.

    • Yeehaw! Munich Now Has 10K GNU/Linux Machines
    • Netbook Upgrade – SSD IN, Windows OUT

      I did some very simple timing of several different Linux distributions on this system before I changed the disk drive, and found that they all took about one minute from the GRUB menu to a ready.-to-use desktop. I repeated those tests with the SSD, and found that the average boot time had been cut to 30 seconds or less! The overall impression of using the system is faster with the SSD as well.

    • Prague in the Spring

      Clearly, GNU/Linux works for them. It’s just silly that some commentators here cling to the idea that nothing can be done without that other OS. There is clear evidence to the contrary.

  • Server

    • May 2012 Web Server Survey

      nginx saw its 9th consecutive month of increased market share, gaining 894k hostnames and increasing its share to 5.48%, more than double the value it held a year ago. Apache fared the worst this month, losing 17.5M hostnames. However, it remains far ahead of the competition with two out of every three hostnames being served using Apache.

  • Kernel Space

    • Inspired by Linux? Design a T-shirt
    • Graphics Stack

      • X.Org: “A Wasteland of Unreviewedness”

        After David Airlie brought up the new DDX driver API for the X.Org Server, a new discussion was born concerning the lack of patch review taking place for the X.Org Server.

        David Airlie commented on the developers’ mailing list about the lack of patch review for the new API patches, he wonders how he’s “going to get the next 50 patches in at this rate some time this year.” Alan Coopersmith then responded with how there seems to be a harder time overall in getting patch reviews done. Coopersmith says, “I’ve got no ideas how to fix this quickly, but we need to get it fixed.”

      • A New NVIDIA Linux Binary Driver Released
      • The New X.Org Server Driver API Is Coming

        The new driver API for the X.Org Server that would finally allow for the X.Org stack to better compete with modern desktop drivers on Windows and Mac OS X, may actually see the light of day, prior to the Wayland push.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Xfce 4 Desktop Customization

      The Xfce 4 desktop offers a vast array of customization options that will leave your desktop looking nothing like the default. Take advantage of all the excellent graphical user interfaces offered for all of your options, settings, and preferences.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Kdenlive 0.9 Released

        Video editing is one of the few areas where GNU/Linux is behind Windows and Macs. There are no professional grade video editing software for Linux. However, there are many honest attempts to bring quality video editing to the Linux platform. Kdenlive is one such project.

      • The road to KDE LightDM-0.2

        Dave Edmunson, one of the lead developers behind KDE LightDM recently published an UPDATE describing some of the features (and shortcomings) already part of the first KDE LightDM release, as well as explaining a bit of what´s coming along in the next few months for the 0.2 release. Dave explained how some KDM features are still missing in KDE LightDM-0.1, but in turn, some of the screenshots he´s sharing look very promising. Among others, the benefits of using LightDM is, as its name rightly points out, its relatively low weight when compared with GDM or KDM. On top of that, there are obvious gains in terms of looks and flexibility. To give an example, changing the login screen wallpaper and/or welcome image will be very simple. Along the same lines, things like having the login screen and KSplash incorporating the same wallpaper the user has in her/his desktop should be easier. Inconsistencies between login screen and KSplash in terms of resolution and things of the like should also be out of the way thanks to the common QML thread. Here´s a picture of the Login screen control module, as it looks today. Note these are early days for this piece of functionality, so chances it may not look exactly like this come future releases:

      • Browse your activities
      • Moving Kolab 2.4 forward to 2.4.1

        I’m pleased to announce our Kolab 2.4 product series can now be labeled 2.4.1!

      • Qt 5.0 Is Going To Like LLVMpipe, Wayland
    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • Review: ROSA 2012 “Marathon”

      You may have heard of ROSA before, but you may not be sure where. Almost 9 months ago, I reviewed Mandriva 2011 “Hydrogen”, and that version of Mandriva was developed in conjunction with ROSA Labs, a Russian Linux development group. Since then, Mandriva seen quite a roller-coaster ride and is now essentially on life support. It is all but certain that there will be no new releases of a distribution with the name “Mandriva” (or “Mandrake” for that matter). One fork appeared over a year ago, and that is called Mageia; that aimed to replicate and build upon the traditional KDE desktop that Mandriva used before the year 2011. The other fork is ROSA, and it is essentially a continuation of the novel desktop introduced in Mandriva 2011 “Hydrogen”. It seems like ROSA will become the haven for all Mandriva users that had not already gone to Mageia.

    • Parted Magic gets optional firewall

      A new version of the Parted Magic open source, Linux-based, multi-platform partitioning tool has been released. Labelled “2012_05_14″, the update is based on the 3.3.6 Linux kernel and includes version 1.12.1 of X Server.

    • 4 Strange And Disturbing Linux Distros You Probably Won’t Be Installing

      Linux is the operating system of choice for those who decide to go their own way. The open source model means the building blocks are there for you if you decide that you need your very own operating system.

    • New Releases

      • Rocks Releases Mamb

        The latest version of Rocks cluster distribution – an open source toolkit for real and virtual clusters – has been released.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Kindergarden Linux

          Fast forward one day, it seems like trying Fedora 16 Live was a failure: he gets a wallpaper and a mouse cursor, nothing else. I am showing a random screenshot from the web, trying to understand if he has a normal GNOME Shell empty desktop or is a deeper problem and this drives me to a large explanation on what GNOME, Unity, KDE, Xfce, LXDE are (and a statement of my desktop preference). I am asked again about my phone number and ignore the question. Then he wants to give Ubuntu a try, I don’t have a problem with that but he has: the same empty desktop with no panel, no right-click menus, no nothing. If is not the display, then it may be video drivers (ATI), so I recommend either a newer Fedora (F17 RC1 is online) or VESA parameters for boot (me blaming AMD).

        • Fedora 17 won’t be released until 29 May

          The Fedora Project has pushed back the release of the Fedora 17 Linux distribution by a week, from 22 May to 29 May. The main reason is that the project wants to take care of four bugs classified as blockers in the current release candidates; if possible, the developers will also use the extra time to fix a dozen other problems.

        • Fedora 18 Approves Controversial Feature
    • Debian Family

      • Crunchbang Linux review

        In my continued look at out of the ordinary Linux distributions, I installed Crunchbang Linux. Crunchbang’s main version is a distribution based on Debian’s stable branch (known as “squeeze”). This review is based on the 32-bit version of Crunchbang Linux. At this time, Crunchbang offers a regular version and one with backports installed (for the new kernel, among other things). I chose to use the regular version, R20120207 “Statler”.

      • Linux Mint Debian Edition, With Mate

        The move from Gnome 2 to Gnome 3 resulted in varied emotions with many people liking the much needed change and for many, lets just say that they felt devastated.

        The Linux Mint team, after waiting out the initial change with Mint 11, released Mint 12 with Gnome 3 and now they have their work cutout with the Gnome 2 fork MATE and the Cinnamon Shell.

      • XBMC Eden on Debian Wheezy
      • Derivatives

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Who is the biggest control freak of them all?

    Recently, it appears that the program offering paradigm is the virtual store front so to speak. Google’s play or Apples App store, to name the two most well known ones for mobile devices. Linux distributions have always had a form of application store where they are commonly known as repositories. In essence these ‘stores’ all work the same way. A single access point to all programs available for that operating system.

    Shall we play a game? Just imagine you have written the program to end all programs and want to get this program into an application store for XYZ operating system. Which one do you think is the hardest to get into?

    For your program to get into a Linux distribution it has to be already popular enough for someone to decide to do the work necessary so it can be included in the official repository. That someone can be you so I would say it is very easy for your program be become part of an official distribution.

    I think we can discount windows for this exercise as it does not have an application store as such. Although there are rumours that they are working towards creating one.

  • Need a resume boost? Get involved with an open source project

    There are a lot of excellent reasons to get involved with an open source project. You can learn a new language, improve your existing skills, be challenged by a community that is at the top of their field or even get better at managing complex distributed projects. There are also dozens of ways to participate. Open up a project’s bug tracker and find an issue that needs to be fixed. Write a useful new extension or plugin. Even if you don’t code, just about every open source project out there could use more testing, more documentation and tutorials and help handling the load on their support forums and mailing lists. If you are a heavy user of open source software it feels great to give something back to the community that has contributed so much.

  • An Open Source Arsenal for Photographers

    There has never been a better time to be interested in digital photography. Not only do inexpensive digital cameras offer great high-resolution photos, but they come with very advanced feature sets. Over the years on OStatic, we’ve also covered a huge number of open source applications that can make editing, organizing and adding effects to digital photos much easier. If you’re under the impression that you must have Photoshop to be a top-notch photo editor, think again. The open source applications that are available are beyond robust. Here is our updated collection of great tools for the digital

  • Open-source messaging at (nearly) the speed of light
  • OpenFlow Protocol 1.3.0 Approved

    The OpenFlow open source protocol for software defined networking (SDN) took a big step forward today with the approval of the OpenFlow 1.3.0 specification.

  • Penguicon–Would you like some sci-fi in your open source?

    In the metaphorical space between the two worlds, there were opportunities to play with Lego bricks, try a Chaos Machine, listen to nerd comedy, and talk zombies. You could learn about Camp Luminous, which arguably teaches open source principles, or learn to build a TARDIS from open plans.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS

    • Uptime: NASA to cut involvement in OpenStack

      The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is going to stop active participation in the open-source infrastructure cloud project OpenStack – something the agency’s employees were deeply involved in creating.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • A Tale of Two Suites: Do We Still Need OpenOffice.org?

      “I wouldn’t count OO out just yet simply because of ONE reason… the license,” said Slashdot blogger hairyfeet. “It’s common knowledge that NOBODY in business will go near GPL after the V3 debacle. Apache on the other hand is MUCH more business-friendly, and the Apache server is used all across the business landscape, so I can see businesses getting behind OO for that reason alone.”

    • Lotus Symphony realigns with Apache OpenOffice

      Donald Harbinson, Program Director for Open Standards/Open Source at IBM, noted the official beginning of the transition on the [ooo-devel] mailing list on Tuesday.

      “A few minutes ago, I submitted the IBM Software Grant Agreement and Corporate Contributor License Agreement for IBM Lotus Symphony contribution. This action means infra can begin to prepare to receive the ‘Contribution’ into svn when they’re ready,” Harbinson wrote.

      The move was hardly unexpected, since IBM announced last January that the last release of Symphony, 3.0.1, would be the final one for IBM’s version of the OpenOffice.org suite.

    • Apache OpenOffice™ 3.4 Blows Past 1M Downloads
    • Thoughts on the certification

      On the 7th of May 2012 The Document Foundation has announced its first certification program. This certification is aimed at professionals who are interested in having their skillset certified in order to provide professional services to their customers. The program is currently being rolled out, in fact the first official certification meeting will take place at the LinuxTag next week. I would like to explain what we are trying to achieve in a bit more details by shedding some light on the reasons such a program came into existence.

    • IBM contributes Symphony to Apache OpenOffice

      IBM has begun the process of contributing code from Symphony, its office automation suite, to the Apache OpenOffice project, saying: “This ends the Symphony fork here with Apache OpenOffice”. Earlier in the year, the company announced its intention to make the contribution, as it plans to move customers to Apache OpenOffice. Historically, Symphony has been based on a combination of Eclipse Rich Client Platform and OpenOffice.org code that was acquired when the OpenOffice.org code was under a dual-licence which allowed IBM to use the code and not release its changes.

  • Funding

    • Need cash? NLnet advances open source technology by funding new projects

      In April 1982, exactly 30 years ago, the European Internet was launched by the Dutch researcher Teus Hagen, at a European Unix User Group conference in Paris. EUnet was the very first European Internet backbone. NLnet Foundation subsequently took the lead of this initiative, and not only helped shape the European Internet, but was fundamental in establishing the currently biggest Internet exchange on the planet, and also built out a market leadership. In September 1997, so 15 years ago, it was acquired by UUnet, now Verizon. All money was put in a fund with the sole purpose to make the Internet better.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Public Services/Government

    • WD 0019/2012 for open and collaborative government

      A few Members of the European Parliament started a Written Declaration for open and collaborative government. Gianni Pittella, Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou, Marisa Matias, Katarína Neveďalová, Marietje Schaake. Written Declarations are documents which could get co-signed by other Members of Parliament. They get adopted when they reach a majority. Written Declarations could be perceived as petitions within the European Parliament and civil society groups often pressure MEPs to sign a Written Declaration that suits their interests. Here it would be rather difficult to get them to endorse the document WD 0019/2012. The reason is simple: instead of “unrestricted” they drafted “current”. That single phrase makes the declaration appear like a Trojan horse.

  • Licensing

    • What’s next after GPL and Apache?

      At the end of April, I wrote about the idea that usage of the GNU General Public License (GPL) is declining and concluded that although new, commercially initiated open source projects were indeed tending to adopt other licenses, the use of the GPL itself is still growing — especially among projects in its core community of GNU platform development. This article explores why commercial projects pick particular open source licenses and what might happen in the future.

  • Programming

    • LLVM For Code Decompiling?

      Asked on the developers’ mailing list last week was whether LLVM could be used for a decompiler, which an independent developer is working to construct.

Leftovers

  • Finance

    • Food Stamp Use Picks Up Again, In Los Angeles County

      After a winter lull, food stamp participation in Los Angeles County picked up again in March, to rise to a new all time high of 1,036,078 persons. Other economic data points to weakness in the nation’s largest state economy, as well. Indeed, falling tax collections are largely behind the recent budget deficit blowout of 16 billion dollars. And to think: many thought the years of California’s “budget crisis” were behind us. | see: Los Angeles County SNAP Users vs. Price of Oil 2007-2012.

    • Goldman, Merrill E-Mails Show Naked Shorting, Filing Says

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) and Merrill Lynch & Co. employees discussed helping naked short-sales by market-maker clients in e-mails the banks sought to keep secret, including one in which a Merrill official told another to ignore compliance rules, Overstock.com Inc. (OSTK) said in a court filing.

    • Accidentally Released – and Incredibly Embarrassing – Documents Show How Goldman et al Engaged in ‘Naked Short Selling’

      It doesn’t happen often, but sometimes God smiles on us. Last week, he smiled on investigative reporters everywhere, when the lawyers for Goldman, Sachs slipped on one whopper of a legal banana peel, inadvertently delivering some of the bank’s darker secrets into the hands of the public.

    • The Real Volcker Rule: No Gambling with the Public’s Money

      Pundits and Wall Street reforming politicians are crowing: Wowie! Jamie D has fought for weak regulations, especially a weak Volcker rule, but now Wall Street’s goose is cooked! We’re going to get a strong Volcker rule!

  • Privacy

    • UK government staff caught snooping on citizen data

      What a surprise: the U.K. government was forced to reveal under Freedom of Information laws more than 1,000 civil servants have ’snooped’ on British citizens’ private data.

      Don’t worry about hackers illegally accessing government systems. It turns out government workers and civil servants who are trusted with private citizen data are more likely to access your data illegally.

  • DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • BitTorrent not always piracy, says Wil Wheaton

        Geek TV star uses Ubuntu 12.04 download as example of legal BitTorrent use.

        Wheaton, actor on Star Trek: The Next Generation, The Big Bang Theory, and Eureka, is deep into the geek life and has been blogging for years. He may be the most prominent geek advocate in Hollywood, which he says gets him in trouble when he argues in favor of network neutrality and against ill-considered piracy crackdowns, like ignoring legal uses of BitTorrent.

        Using his download of Ubuntu 12.04 as an example, Wheaton argues that BitTorrent saves time and resources. The direct download would take an hour, but the torrent feed did the job in six minutes. Piracy legislation that would shut down or hobble BitTorrent protocol traffic would not stop file sharing, but would ruin a good protocol.

      • ACTA

        • Time To Realize That The Obama Administration Doesn’t Even Have The Authority To Commit The US To ACTA Or TPP

          There is a major problem with the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) that has little to do with IP or the internet: how does international law get made—by the President alone, or with Congress’s involvement? ACTA’s key problem in the United States is a Constitutional question that turns on the separation of powers. The President, or an office of the executive branch like USTR, can negotiate treaties that fall within presidential powers. But for topics that fall within Congressional powers, like IP law, the Constitution requires that Congress be involved in the process.

          The most obvious and difficult way to involve Congress is through Article II of the Constitution. Under Article II, a treaty negotiated by the executive branch is presented to the Senate for ratification. The process is notoriously difficult, because it requires two-thirds of the Senate to approve. So USTR, almost understandably, wants to avoid the Article II process if at all possible.

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