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10.09.12

Links 9/10/2012: Cinnarch Debut, KDE Manifesto

Posted in News Roundup at 1:48 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Report on LiMux to Munich City Council 2012-03-21
  • Linux Top 3: Arch, ARM and LibreOffice

    Torvalds merged code in last week that will fundamentally change the way ARM is handled in Linux.

  • The true legal vulnerability of Linux

    A recent focus on the problem of software patents raises the question: could Linux be sued off the face of the Earth?

    The not-so-random thought came up this weekend when I read the New York Time’s special report, “The Patent, Used as Sword.” This article, which I highly recommend you read when you get a chance, comprehensively examines the broad landscape of software patents without really coming down too hard on one side or the other. It does, I should add, leave you with the sense that something is wonky with this whole idea that billions can be spent and companies can go down just because one side’s lawyers are quicker on the draw than others.

  • Desktop

    • Explosion of Interest in GNU/Linux at Distrowatch.com

      he last week saw the number of distros with 1000 or more hits per day increase from 9 to 15 compared to the last month. What happened is that the total hits/day for the top 100 distros increased 9%, but the hits/day for the top 15 increased 20%. This means the world is becoming more focussed on the popular distros. A consolidation of distros is happening.

    • Compare different cloud-oriented Linux-based Operating Systems

      The new form of personal computing sits in the cloud. As computer users rely more and more on Internet services, and spend most of their computing time working online, it makes sense that operating systems would begin to focus usability around the Internet browser. We see that this exactly the case with Chrome OS as they have built an entire operating system platform and corresponding hardware systems around the Google’s Chrome browser. The XPUD operating system is actually designed to run completely within the browser. The Peppermint distro is a sleek, streamlined system that relies completely on cloud based apps and web services while maintaining something of a traditional desktop look and feel.

  • Kernel Space

    • One Linux for all ARM systems

      ARM processors and Linux have been married for years. You name an ARM-based device—smartphones, Raspberry Pi, tablets—and you’ll find Linux running beside it. It’s not been a happy marriage though. For every ARM system on a chip (SoC) there had to be a different Linux spin. With the forthcoming Linux 3.7 kernel we’re on our way to seeing all ARM processors working with a single Linux kernel.

    • Stable kernel 3.2.29
    • Linux Kernel Whackos: Drop Everything But ARM

      It’s not even Friday yet, but there’s more awkward entertainment today at the expense of Linux kernel trolls. The latest in the series of weird messages hitting the Linux kernel mailing list is a proposal to drop support for all CPU architectures but ARM and a new “invisible” file-system feature.

      There’s been a string of messages on the kernel mailing list lately from alleged trolls requesting various functionality be removed from the mainline kernel or other weird changes that don’t make too much common sense: Linux doesn’t need x86 32-bit support, Linux doesn’t need keyboard support, and then last Friday was Linux doesn’t need multi-monitor, multi-user, Ethernet, and optical drive support.

    • Arch Linux Switches To Systemd
    • Arch Linux switches to systemd

      A new installation image for Arch Linux is now available that sees the distribution’s default boot process switch from the previous System V implementation to systemd for booting the live system. Because of the change, initscripts are no longer available on the live system. However, the developers note that they are still installed by default, but this “is likely to change in the near future”.

    • Samsung contributes F2FS NAND filesystem to Linux
    • Linux Support For HDMI CEC Still In Development

      A brief status report was shared concerning supporting the Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) feature of HDMI under Linux.

      Back at the Linux Plumbers Conference in August, the Linux developers meeting in San Diego decided to create a CEC bus with CEC clients that is independent of the Video 4 Linux 2 and DRM APIs, so that both those sub-systems along with other “clients” could use this HDMI feature.

    • Graphics Stack

      • OMAP DDX Driver Sees Improvements
      • The Second DRM Pull For The Linux 3.7 Kernel

        The second DRM pull request was submitted and subsequently pulled for the Linux 3.7 kernel.

      • Unvanquished Pushes Its OpenGL 3 GLSL Renderer

        The eighth alpha release of Unvanquished was released this weekend with some major changes to its graphics renderer.

        This open-source first person shooter that is a very promising non-commercial title with impressive graphics (similar to Xonotic) continues to see new alpha releases on a monthly basis.

      • Mesa 9.0 develops OpenGL 3.1 support

        Mesa 9.0 is the latest development version of the open source implementation of OpenGL’s specification for rendering interactive 3D graphics. The new release sets out to implement version 3.1 of the OpenGL API for selected hardware; the developers do note that the software reported version will vary dependant upon what is supported by the hardware and drivers.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Rekonq 2 Web Browser Enters Development For KDE

        Work on version 2 of Rekonq, the popular QtWebKit-based web-browser focusing upon the KDE desktop, is now underway.

      • Video Editing on GNU/Linux: It’s Easy with Kdenlive

        I wrote a quickie on Kdenlive last time and wanted to do a more thorough job this month because this is one killer video editor. If you like to make movies and show them to your friends, or even need software for a presentation, Kdenlive is your candidate. If you want to create something that looks professional, I can tell you that while it may not stand as tall as Final Cut Pro, Kdenlive comes quite close to Sony Vegas Pro or Adobe Premiere.

        It doesn’t matter if you have a Web cam, a mobile phone camera or a high-definition camera; Kdenlive is ready with all the punches. The software supports so many formats that it’s not possible for me to give the list without missing out something (for the full list, visit kdenlive.org/about-kdenlive/audio-and-video-formats).

      • Here Comes A Plasmoid For Apper Software Updates

        KDE users love Plasmoids, the small little widgets that you can put in your desktop or system tray. Well the default KDE comes with Plasmoids for RSS Feed, System monitor, comic strip reader to even a web browser! So why not a plasmoid for Apper updates?

      • The KDE Manifesto

        Since it began more than 15 years ago, the international KDE community has grown bigger and more diverse than could have been imagined at the beginning. These forces created a need for clarity about what pulls us together as a community. Over the last six months or so, we have examined this critical issue, moving beyond assumptions and what has been taken for granted. In a rigorous project led by Kévin Ottens, many thoughts were distilled down to essentials. Today, we present the result of that effort: the KDE Manifesto.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • List Of New Apps Shipping With Gnome 3.8

        Gnome 3.6 has been released, and developers are now busy with the next Gnome release, Gnome 3.8. We have compiled a list of new apps that may ship with the next Gnome release, along with some handy screenshot for each. For time to time, we will keep you updated about development of these apps, most of which are currently in design phase.

      • Gnome Online Accounts To Support OwnCloud

        Gnome developers are working to integrate the web services in your desktop, and Google, Facebook and Windows Live! have already been tightly integrated. This means you can access your Google and Windows Live! mails, documents, photos and more right from default Gnome apps. This makes working easier, specially if you use cloud services more than desktop ones.

      • Gnome Reads To Make Ebook Reading A Breeze

        Newer Gnome apps are set to make our lives even easier. Earlier we covered a few apps that will debut in Gnome 3.8. Gnome Reads is another new app that is being designed to make ebook reading easier, both online and offline.

  • Distributions

    • ODROID-X – a call to ARMs
    • AriOS 4.0 – Persian Perfection!

      When a woGue reader sent an email to us suggesting that we should try AriOS I wasn’t very optimistic. The description was showing the same trodden approach that we saw in so many other projects that is “an Ubuntu based distribution that offers a more ready to use Ubuntu”

      AriOS is really not just simply one of those distributions… It is a truly carefully tailored operating system that offers exactly everything you need, combined with elegance and a sense of opulence!

    • Two Slackware Derivatives Still Alive

      Two Slackware derivates recently made it known that they are still alive and developing. One released their first new work in over three years. The other is an update to a release now a year old. AgiliaLinux is known to release once a year, but most thought Draco was pushing up daisies.

    • Three Linux distros get key updates, plus one fades away

      With so many Linux distributions out there, it can be difficult to keep tabs on all the updates that come out over the course of an average week or month.

      I’ve featured a few key arrivals over the past few months–including PCLinuxOS 2012.08, OpenSUSE 12.2, the Ubuntu 12.10 Beta 1, and Sabayon 10–but several others have appeared in short order as well, making the challenge more difficult than ever.

    • Cinnarch – Where Arch meets Cinnamon

      Arch Linux is now one of the most popular Linux distributions out there and that is for a good reason. It is the distribution with the largest number of available packages, the most recent/up-to-date packages, the rolling release nature, one of the most complete and comprehensive documentations and one of the biggest userbases out there (that is certainly the most knowledgeable too).

    • Solus Eveline 1.2: good for newbies

      I am new to Linux and about 3 months ago tried Zorin 5.2 Core. I was very impressed with a Linux based operating system and decided to make my laptop a dual boot with Win7. I wanted a very stable Debian distro. I found Solus OS which seemed to have what I was looking for in a distro.

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Expands OpenShift Ecosystem with Zend Partnership to Offer Professional-Grade Environment for PHP Developers

        The new Zend Server for Red Hat OpenShift offering provides a professional-grade PHP development and runtime environment, delivered with the benefits of the OpenShift PaaS. PHP applications deployed to Zend Server for OpenShift can access built-in debugging, monitoring and application performance tuning capabilities, making application development and management easier.

      • Jim Whitehurst’s big idea: Effective leaders must operate as catalysts

        Every year, Marbles in downtown Raleigh holds their annual Big Idea Forum. The lunchtime discussion aims to highlight ways corporate and community leaders shape organizations and people through inspiration and innovation.

        Jim Whitehurst, President & CEO of Red Hat, Inc., opened up to Ron Wilder, a business author and executive coach, this past Wednesday, October 3rd, to talk about his big idea.

      • Fedora

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Unity 6.8 Doesn’t Change Much For Performance

            While LLVMpipe may be a different story, when using hardware-accelerated graphics drivers with the recently released Unity 6.8 desktop, the performance doesn’t change much. For at least one driver, there’s even a new OpenGL performance regression under certain workloads. Here’s some test results of Unity 6.6 vs. Unity 6.8 on the Radeon and Nouveau drivers.

          • 23 Brand New Features in Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal [Screenshots Tour]

            The Ubuntu juggernaut is moving ahead and huge improvements and brand new features keeps pouring in. Every new Ubuntu release cycle gives you the impression that, things have really been improved and enough features have been added, until you start seeing the changes being done in the next release cycle. Case in point is the latest Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal Beta 1 and Beta 2 releases. Lets see what makes Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal one of our favorite releases till date. 23 things new in Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal.

          • Pre-Order Ubuntu 12.10 DVD Now

            Guess what? Two weeks ahead of the final release of Ubuntu 12.10, Canonical decided to open up their shop with DVDs for the next major release of Ubuntu.

          • Here Comes The GitHub Unity Lens

            Customizing Unity is easy and fun, specially because of its ever growing set of lenses, with new ones coming out almost everyday. Previously we had featured a Python Doc search lens for developers, and this time, Unity GitHub lens will also come handy for devs to search GitHub repos and users.

          • Ubuntu 12.10 DVDs Now Available For Pre-Order

            Ubuntu 12.10 release is coming closer and Canonical has just opened up a new section in its store for Ubuntu 12.10 DVDs. While you can download the .iso file for free and burn it into a disk, it becomes handy to keep a DVD with you, specially if you want to install it on multiple computers and show it off to your friends.

          • Canonical Releases Updated Enterprise Management Solution for Ubuntu Linux
          • Amazon and Ubuntu: A match made for profit?

            A few of the new features will be in the installer (see the state of manual LVM and full disk encryption configuration in Ubuntu’s Ubiquity), while most will be on the running desktop environment itself. If you have been following the development of this next edition of Ubuntu, especially via the blog of Jono Bacon (see On The Recent Dash Improvements), I am sure you must be familiar with the issue surrounding the search results that the system throws in front of you when you use the Dash to search for content.

          • Ubuntu: Breaking the Industry Barriers

            Canonical has come under some heavy criticism in the past couple of weeks with its controversial decision to include Amazon shopping results in the Ubuntu Dash search results. I have to admit, when I first read of the news I was also enraged with a certain amount of anger and honestly couldn’t believe that our beloved Ubuntu had fallen victim to the commercial trap. The more I thought about the issue the more accepting I become of the concept. Allow me to delve a little deeper in to my thoughts and explain to you what I mean.

          • Access Ubuntu Software Center with any Distro!

            Ubuntu Software Center (USC) other than making software installation easy, it is more important because it helps us to discover Apps and the see their ratings and comments from people that they already have used them.

            Unfortunately USC is only available in Ubuntu and Ubuntu spins and derivatives, but apparently it seems there is a web-interface (somewhere hidden) that everyone can access no matter the distro. Even with Windows and Mac.

          • Ubuntu Tweak 0.8 Comes With Integrated Apps Store

            Ubuntu Tweak is a open-source teaking tool for Ubuntu that allows you to customize your Ubuntu desktop the way you like. Apart from regular tweaks, the updated version Ubuntu Tweak 0.8.0 comes with a native app store.

          • Efficiently Using the Launcher

            Learning some basic methods to navigate and customize the launcher can make it an efficient tool that is used to complete daily tasks. With several icons located in the launcher, reordering the applications may reduce your time searching for your desired program to execute.

          • Canonical Responds to Complaints Over Amazon Search

            In an effort to appease users, Canonical has pushed out some updates to its Unity interface in the upcoming Ubuntu 12.10 release that include a simple turn-off function for the controversial Amazon.com “lens” feature. But will this be enough to calm an unruly community in near revolt over the company’s original plans to push this functionality on users?

            The “fix” for the much-berated Amazon feature comes among a slew of updates, most of them simple bug fixes, that landed with version 6.8 of Unity. It was uploaded into the development version of Ubuntu 12.10 Oct. 5.

          • Is Ubuntu Shutting Out Old PCs?

            Looking back at the progress of Ubuntu over the years, including the various off-shoot distributions based on it, I cannot help but be amazed. I find myself amazed at the improvements made to the desktop, both in usability and new features.

            But sadly, some of these improvements mean that slower performing PCs will be left out in the cold.

            In this article, I’ll discuss what Ubuntu is doing to make using the Unity desktop more difficult for older PCs, examine whether or not this matters and talk about options are for all of us going forward.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Bluelight Powering Auroville With OpenSource

    Few weeks back I visited Auroville to meet my friends from BlueLight. BlueLight is a non for profit shop which does all the consulting related to IT and Open Source software. They manage infrastructure for many organizations inside Auroville. They have a diverse team with people from Russia, Gemany, India, France and other countries. They manage a Cyber Cafe which is running on Ubuntu and I was surprised to see the internet savvy users had no issue in using Linux.

  • Open source hobbyists now in high demand

    It struck me this morning when I was reading up about this cool little open source operating system called Contiki, a very lightweight embedded OS designed to work well with the Internet of Things.

    My colleague Rohan Pearce has a great write-up about Contiki over on Techworld Australia, detailing what Contiki and the Internet of Things are and how they work. But the passage that struck me was this one:

  • Catalyst notes shift in open source attitude

    The Hong Kong newspaper, which has 1.3 million page views and about 500,000 people visiting the website each week, approached Catalyst originally as one of four companies it had selected worldwide to invite to tender.

  • Which freaking PaaS should I use?

    Most of the buzz around the cloud has centered on infrastructure as a service (IaaS). However, IaaS is no longer good enough. Sure, you can forgo buying servers and run everything virtually on Amazon’s EC2 server farm. So what? You still have to manage it, and to do that you’ll have a growing IT bureaucracy. Companies that want to focus on writing their code and not have to think about application servers at all are now looking to platform as a service (PaaS).

  • Events

    • Never too early for SCALE

      Now that Ohio Linux Fest is in the books and now that the only thing really left on the Linux horizon is LISA in San Diego just after Thanksgiving — but then, LISA is not for us mere mortals, but for the hallowed and revered system administrators. So we get to set our sights on Linux/FOSS events for next year.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Reditr Comes To Linux, Thanks To Google Chrome

        Reditr is to Reddit what Tweetdeck is to Twitter. And now you can experience it under any GNU/Linux based system thanks to Google Chrome. Today Reditr has made its desktop app available for download. At the moment the app is available for Mac, Windows and Ubuntu. It’s may be disappointing for some users as the app is not yet available for rpm based systems such as Fedora, openSUSE or Mandriva.

      • New Version Of Google Chrome Released With Updated Flash And Better Audio Support

        A new stable release of the Google Chrome browser is now available. This version, 22.0.1229.92 fixes a number of stability issues and security venerabilities and also features an updated version of Flash. Google Chrome, and Chromium browser features inbuilt support for flash from version 20.

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 16.0 What’s New

        Mozilla is in the process of updating all Firefox channels in the coming ways. Firefox 15.0.1 will be updated tomorrow to version 16.0, followed by updates for the browser’s beta, aurora and nightly channels bringing the respective versions of the browser to 17, 18 and 19.

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 3.6.2 Released, Comes With Over 90 Bug Fixes
    • LibreOffice vs. OpenOffice, Part Deux

      “I use LibreOffice, and will no longer use OpenOffice,” said Google+ blogger Linux Rants. “Oracle’s heavy-handed attempt at taking it over soured me to the entire project. I realize at this point that it’s been given back to the community, but the damage has been done for me. I moved to LibreOffice as soon as it was available, and have no plans on returning to OpenOffice.”

    • Why Is Google Not Supporting The Open Document Formats?

      For ages I have been convincing people to switch from close source to open source, from Microsoft Office to LibreOffice. I have been telling people to ditch the controversial docx format and adopt .odt only to find myself in an embarrassing situation, thanks to Google.

  • CMS

    • Best Free Content Management Systems 2012

      “A content management system (CMS) is a computer program that allows publishing, editing and modifying content on a web site as well as maintenance from a central page. It provides procedures to manage workflow in a collaborative environment. These procedures can be manual steps or automated cascade. The core function of Content Management Systems is to present information on web sites. CMS features vary widely from system to system. Simple systems showcase a handful of features, while other releases, notably enterprise systems, offer more complex and powerful functions.”

    • Brain Drain Holding Back Mainstream Adaptation Of Drupal – Doug Vann

      Drupal is one of the most powerful open-source CMS platform available currently, but in spite its power and flexibilty, the software suffers from contributor crisis and unpopularity. In a recent interview to opensource.com, Doug Vann, a training consultant at Drupal community cited brain drain as the main reason preventing widespread adaptation of Drupal.

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD On ARM Is Still In Severed State

      Following the recent Phoronix news articles about an easy way to try out FreeBSD 10 in its current development state along with Clang becoming the default compiler, there’s been questions raised by Phoronix readers about the FreeBSD ARM support. Simply put, at the moment it’s not in as good of shape as it is for Linux. ARM is considered a “Tier 2″ architecture of FreeBSAD with no official releases or pre-built packages being made by the project.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Optionally Free Is Not Enough

      There are distros we decline to recommend that offer the user the option of installing only free software. Given that option, a user who values freedom strongly enough, and thinks about the issue, can make those distros respecting her freedom.

      A distro that offers that option is clearly better than one that fails to offer that option. But that option does not make the distro ok to recommend in general. After all, most people in our community are not conscious of this issue. We cannot expect most of them to reject nonfree software just because the distro offers a way to do so.

    • GNU patch version 2.7 released
  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

      • EnterpriseDB – competing with giants

        From time to time, I have the opportunity to speak with someone from EnterpriseDB, a company devoted to bringing the open source PostgreSQL database to organizations of all sizes. The propose of the call was introducing EnterpriseDB’s new Multi-Master Replication (MMR) capability. The conversation then went on to focus on how EnterpriseDB was trying to compete with giants, such as Oracle, to win over decision-makers and database architects.

    • Open Hardware

      • A New Open Source Robot Wows with Its Soccer Skills

        For the last several years, some of the more interesting work in the field of robotics has been driven by open source efforts. In fact, an Open Source Robotics Foundation is now driving many global efforts to produce next-generation robots and share source code for them. Now, a brand new open source hardware platform created by the University of Bonn’s Team NimbRo performs many specialized functions and can even play soccer.

      • The open GSM future arrives

        In previous articles, we’ve looked at the question of how free are the phones that people use every day, and looked at the theory behind building your own GSM phone network using open source software. Now, in this article we take a look at the sysmoBTS, a small form-factor GSM Base Transceiver Station (BTS) built around these principles and the steps required to configure it to provide a standalone mobile telephone network that is useful for research, development and testing purposes.

  • Programming

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Standards and the Status Quo

      Standards do anything but drive the status quo – they enable new devices and networks to become possible that never did before the standards were agreed upon.

Leftovers

  • Amazon Opens Portal for Mobile App Distribution in Japan

    Amazon has announced that developers can now submit apps for distribution later this year in Japan. It’s all part of their plan for developers looking to build, market, and monetize their apps and games.

  • Security

  • Finance

  • Censorship

    • Don’t make me laugh

      Yesterday Matthew Woods was given 12 weeks in a youth offenders institution for posting jokes about the missing 5 year old girl April Jones (see Padraig Reidy’s write up of this yesterday on the Index on Censorship blog). Today Azhar Ahmed was given a community order for posting some very stupid and offensive comments about soliders.

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