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07.18.14

Links 18/7/2014: Slackware Turns 21, Spotify Switches to Ubuntu

Posted in News Roundup at 8:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source Storage Bolsters Its Boards With Oracle Alumnus

    Open Source Storage has a bit of a struggle on its hands. Despite having existed (kind of) for well over 10 years, the storage company is relatively unknown compared to incumbent players (NetApp and EMC for example) and newer storage industry disruptors (Inktank and StorSimple for example) alike. The company has had something of an on-again, off-again life as the GFC caused its early investors to back out and the company waited until this year to relaunch.

  • Adobe, Google Develop Open-Source Font for Asian Languages

    Adobe and Google have teamed up to develop a new open source font that supports seven different languages.

  • Open-Source Blu-Ray Now Works For BD-J / Menu Rendering

    For users of libbluray for limited open-source Blu-Ray disc support, there’s some updates worth fetching.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • WebKit’s FTL JavaScript Engine Shows Off Potential For LLVM

      Earlier this year we wrote about Apple working on an LLVM-based JIT compiler for WebKit. This new JIT engine, called “Fourth Tier LLVM” (FTL), is enabled within the latest open-source code for this browser rendering engine and is faster than WebKit’s earlier JavaScript implementations.

    • Breach Browser: an open-source and hackable browser for geeks

      While you are reading this, the chances are you are using Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera or Internet Explorer (IE). That is because these tend to be the only choices on offer. Although each of the big browsers will try to convince you that you have a choice. The simple truth is you do not. You are confined to using these five main choices which generally-speaking are increasingly converging and becoming more alike with each update. That is until now!

    • Chrome

    • Mozilla

      • The Rust Language Is Improving, But Not Yet Ready For 1.0

        Rust, the programming language born at Mozilla for developing a “safe, concurrent, practical language” continues to evolve and experience greater adoption. Rust certainly seems to have a good future ahead of it as shared by the latest status update on the project, but a few more release cycles are needed at least before the Rust developers look toward version 1.0.

      • State of Rust 0.11.0

        Over the past 6 months since the last one of these updates was written, Rust has evolved significantly: the standard library was refactored to make Rust more convenient to use in embedded or bare-metal platforms, the language has been greatly simplified (moving most pointer types into libraries) and the package ecosystem has been thriving under a new package manager.

      • Firefox OS Ecosystem Shows Strong Momentum and Expands Across New Devices, Markets and Categories

        Firefox OS has unlocked the mobile ecosystem and is quickly expanding across a broad range of devices and product categories in Europe, Latin America and Asia Pacific. Just one year after the first devices were launched, Firefox OS is now available on seven smartphones offered by five major operators in 15 countries, showing strong signs of ecosystem momentum and widespread industry adoption.

      • Firefox OS lands in Germany – with France, Asia, and more to come

        Mozilla’s Firefox OS continues its slow march across the globe, with carriers set to begin shipping devices running the open source, browser-based smartphone platform in additional developed markets this week.

        Spanish telecoms giant Telefónica has previously sold Firefox OS phones in Spain, but the bulk of its efforts have been focused on its subsidiaries in Spanish-speaking emerging markets, including Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice-from-Collabora 4.2 released to the channel

      LibreOffice from Collabora is the enterprise-ready build of the widely used Open Source office suite. The newly announced LibreOffice-from-Collabora 4.2 provides an enterprise-hardened build which can be maintained by patch updates for many years.

  • CMS

  • Funding

    • Open Source Madness

      The Yorba Foundation, a non-profit group that produces open source Linux desktop software, reported last week that it was denied tax-exempt 501(c)(3) status by the IRS. The group had waited nearly five years for a decision. The IRS stated that, because the software Yorba develops can be used commercially, the organization has a substantial non-exempt purpose and is disqualified from tax-exempt status. We think the IRS’ decision rests on a fundamental misunderstanding of open source software.

    • PredictionIO’s $2.5M money bag suggests open-source is right for machine learning

      PredictionIO, a startup that has crafted an open-source program to let developers add machine-learning smarts to their applications, might just be setting the tone for the next wave in data technology.

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GCC 4.9.1 Released, Adds OpenMP 4.0 To Fortran

      Jakub Jelinek of Red Hat announced this morning the GCC 4.9.1 release that has many bug-fixes and other minor improvements to GNU Compiler Collection 4.9 that was released in April with many improvements and features. More than 88 regressions and serious bugs were fixed in GCC 4.9.1 while a new feature now supported is OpenMP 4.0 support for Fortran, to complement the GCC 4.9.0 OMP 4.0 support for the C and C++ languages.

    • First steps with Liberty-Eiffel

      The first thing I notice is a different terminology. An executable is called system and a set of classes is refereed as universe. The classes can be grouped in clusters into the universe. And the routines (operations) of a class, and its attributes, are called features. The routines are divided in functions or queries (which return a value) and procedures (which do not return a value). As opposed to C language, where we need a function named main, on Eiffel we can designate any procedure to start the execution.

    • Denemo – Release 1.1.8 is imminent
  • Public Services/Government

    • OFE: ‘Continued discrimination in IT procurement’

      Public administrations across Europe continue to discriminate in their IT calls for tender by asking for specific brands and products, concludes OpenForum Europe, and organisation advocating for an open, competitive ICT market. “Thousands of small IT firms are excluded from competing in the public procurement process by restrictions such as the naming of trademarks in calls for tender”, said Graham Taylor, OFE’s CEO, in a press statement.

    • A juggernaut like the NHS won’t find it easy to drop Windows for open source – but it should

      Microsoft is a commercial venture so it is reasonable for them to sell their products, which they do via licensing per unit. The NHS has about 100,000 computers, so it pays a considerable amount and also has a lot of work to do each time there’s a required update for any of their server technologies or desktop computers. While it needs some technical tweaking, Windows is sold as something that comes out of the box and should work. Designed to work with a wide range of different types of systems, the one size that fits (almost) all computers is a bonus for many technical managers.

      But it hasn’t been problem-free. Most hospitals still have thousands of PCs running Windows XP which stopped being supported earlier this year.

    • Kerala Legislature announces smooth transition to free software

      The Kerala Legislative Assembly has made a significant transition to the free software platform for recording its voluminous business.

      The Speaker’s announcement to this effect a couple of days ago represented a milestone not just for the IT Department of the Niyama Sabha, but also for the International Centre for Free and Open Source Software (Icfoss) based here, the larger free software community, and free software enterprises in Kerala.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

  • Standards/Consortia

    • AllSeen IoT Group Adds 8 New Members

      The AllSeen Alliance, which is one of several open-source consortiums working to develop standards for the Internet of things, is adding eight new members to a lineup that includes such tech heavyweights as Microsoft, Qualcomm, Cisco Systems and Symantec.

    • Community Blog Series: Red Bend Software

      Red Bend Software is a community member of the AllSeen Alliance and a leader in mobile software management. More than 2 billion Red Bend-enabled devices use the company’s software and services for firmware over-the-air (FOTA) updating, application management, device management, device analytics and mobile virtualization. Customers include more than 100 leading manufacturers, mobile operators, semiconductor vendors and automotive companies worldwide.

    • New wireless mesh standard hatches from Google’s Nest

Leftovers

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