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05.29.15

Links 29/5/2015: ALT Linux 7.0.5, Google I/O 2015

Posted in News Roundup at 5:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Five Reasons to Use Linux

    Quite simply, most of us use desktop Linux because it’s superior to all other brands, including Windows and OS X — even including Unix and the BSDs. This is a fact, not an opinion. There are reasons why Linux runs a majority of the worlds servers and powers most big enterprises, and in an example of where the trickle down theory actually works, those reasons trickle down (or up — depending on your viewpoint) to the desktop.

  • Desktop

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Goodbye Marco

        The GNOME project is sad to have learnt that Marco Pesenti Gritti recently passed away after a long fight with cancer. Marco made major contributions to GNOME, having been the original author of both the Epiphany (also known as “Web”) browser and Evince, the GNOME PDF reader. Besides his significant contributions and technical ability, Marco was known as a good friend who served as an inspiration to many within the community.

        Members of the GNOME community have expressed their sadness at Marco’s death. Xan López, the current Epiphany maintainer, wrote: “I remember fondly working with Marco on Epiphany many years ago. His patience and good character were instrumental in getting me involved with GNOME and Free Software”. Another contributor, Tomeu Vizoso, said: “He reviewed my first patches ever to a free software project and his contagious enthusiasm was what put into motion my career in open source.”

        GNOME wasn’t the only community that Marco was a part of: he also played an important role in the development of Sugar, a platform which focused on education and the developing world.

        Our thoughts are with Marco’s family and friends at this difficult time.

      • GNOME Boxes 3.18 to Offer Express Installation for Fedora 22 and 21

        The GNOME developers are still preparing for the release of the second milestone towards the GNOME 3.18 desktop environment, due for release on September 23, 2015.

  • Distributions

    • Run the Kali Linux Penetration Testing Distro on Any Platform via Docker Images

      At the request of many users, the Kali Linux developers are proud to announce the immediate availability of Docker images for the Kali Linux operating system, helping users run Kali on various OSes.

    • Reviews

      • An About.com Review Of Bodhi Linux

        Bodhi Linux is a distribution I have followed for a number of years. I used to have it installed on my Acer Aspire Netbook and it featured in my list of “12 great distributions for netbooks” article that I wrote back in October 2013.

        The point of Bodhi Linux is to get out of your way and let you decide which applications are installed on your computer.

        I gave my previous review of Bodhi Linux the title “Quick but Quirky”.

        The reason for that title was that the desktop whilst whizzing along quite nicely had a few strange Enlightenment-isms which would have made it a probably no-no for beginners.

        How does the latest version measure up? Read on and find out.

      • Review: Ubuntu 15.04 is an amazing release, but I hate it

        I have run Ubuntu 15.04 since the day it was made available, and while it was a great release, one decision by Ubuntu is ruining it for me.

    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

      • OpenMandriva’s Next Release Will be a Tribute to Mandrake Linux

        Softpedia was among the first to report a few days ago the sad news that the French Mandriva S.A. company that developed, maintained, and distributed the popular Mandriva Linux operating system is in the process of being liquidated.

      • After 17 Years Mandriva Being Liquidated

        It’s with a heavy heart that I report that Mandriva Linux is no more. Mandrake Linux, as it was known in the beginning, was the Linux distribution that freed my computer from the lock-in and insecurity of proprietary alternatives. While saddened, no one is really surprised at this last whimper. Mandriva suffered financial issues for nearly the entirety of its existence, even filing bankruptcy at least once. Fortunately, with projects like Mageia and OpenMandriva, Mandrake Linux will live on in more than just our memories.

      • Tribute to Mandrake

        Good news everyone, a new version of OpenMandriva is ready to see the world in a few days, 2014.2 will soon bemaking its way to you. Listen out for details, features – and torrents!

      • Mandrake, Mandriva, Mageia, OpenMandriva… FOSS is FOSS!

        Yesterday we learned that Mandriva, the company, was shutting down. I read a lot of sad comments on Twitter about it and realized that few of those guys seemed to be aware that actually Mandriva, the company, wasn’t doing a Linux distribution anymore for several years. The Mandriva Linux distribution, which earlier forked as PCLinuxOS, Mageia and others, is now OpenMandriva.

    • Slackware Family

      • New calibre packages – finally

        During the previous couple of weeks I enjoyed several long weekends due to national holidays, and so it happened that I could spend some time re-visiting the calibre.SlackBuild and updating it so that it was able to compile a package for Calibre 2.x.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat: Top 3 cloud barriers for NZ businesses

        The Red Hat Cloud Adoption survey also revealed that many companies fear their applications won’t be suitable for deployment into IaaS or PaaS.

      • Tech bubble will end badly: Red Hat CEO
      • Fedora

        • F22 release & upgrades, Flock & FUDCon
        • Appstream data for RPMFusion – now available!

          I’ve been working on generating appstream data for RPMFusion packages recently. At the moment, since only Fedora packages provide appstream data, only they can be installed using Gnome software – for RPMFusion packages, a user must use another package manager – DNF and so on. Considering that a lot of the packages in RPMFusion are media player front-ends and things, it’d make it a lot easier for users if these were also listed in Gnome software. I spent a number of hours today writing appstream data files for the RPMFusion packages – both in the free and non free repositories. I believe I’ve written appstream data files for all packages that could be listed in Gnome software now. (They’re hosted here in the Github repository I set up for this purpose). I had already generated initial RPM packages for the free and non free repositories and submitted review tickets to RPMFusion. They’re still unassigned, so if you are a package maintainer with a few free cycles, please consider reviewing them. They are really simple reviews.

        • Fedora’s “Fedup” To Be Replaced In Fedora 23

          Fedup right now is the command for handling in-place Fedora upgrades from release-to-release and it’s been around since Fedora 17. However, with the Fedora 23 release due out in late 2015, that utility will likely be replaced with a new version to handle upgrading to new releases.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Innocent Until Proven Guilty

            In case you missed the latest news, Jonathan Riddell has been accused by the Ubuntu Community Council (CC) of breaking Ubuntu Code of Conduct (CoC) and has been asked to resign from his position of leader of the Kubuntu project (a title which actually does not exist and which he never claimed to hold)

            I had the chance of meeting Jonathan when I joined Canonical in 2009. I was a bit intimidated during my first Canonical real-life meeting, but Jonathan carried me around and went out of his way to introduce me to many of my then new colleagues.

            Since then he has always been one of the friendliest person I know. We often shared rooms during Canonical, Ubuntu or KDE events and went on to be colleagues again at Blue Systems. I believe Jonathan kindness is one of the reasons why the Kubuntu community has grown into such a welcoming and closely-knit group of people.

          • Ubuntu Phone Update This Month Brings Many Improvements

            This month’s Ubuntu Phone Update sent over-the-air is bringing a number of new features and improvements for Ubuntu smartphone users over the next few days.

          • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source Platform Emojidex Offers “Emojis-As-A-Service”

    Like them or not, emojis are turning into the mobile era’s lingua franca. Now a project called emojidex is offering “emojis-as-a-service,” with a platform that lets developers share new emojis with each other and add them to their websites and apps.

  • Trade agreement could prohibit open source code supply

    An international trade agreement under negotiation with Australia, the United States, the European Union and others may have wide-ranging implications for the technology users, according to civil liberties groups.

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation has analysed leaked drafts of texts for the Trade In Services Agreement (TISA) written in February this year, and claims it would prohibit countries involved from forcing vendors to disclose source code used for applications in their equipment.

  • The real road to democracy: how open source is sparking a revolution in enterprise

    Forget the dotcom bubble burst of the noughties; never before has the promise of a digital economy ranked so highly in the global marketplace. Having faced significant downturns over the last decade or so, many economies – the UK, Portugal and Iceland, to name a few – have spawned a new wave of digital entrepreneurs.

    Those who perhaps found themselves out of a job, or facing unprecedented levels of competition for limited employment opportunities after education, have created their own jobs and companies, bringing new found energy and increased competitiveness into the enterprise sector.

  • First Look Media Publishes Warrant “Canary,” Releases Software for Managing Canaries
  • Twitter open-sources Kit and Digits developer tools for Android

    In advance of Google I/O later this week, Twitter is making both Twitter Kit and its telephone sign-on tool Digits open source on GitHub for Android developers.

  • Twitter Open Sources Twitter Kit and Digits for Android
  • Events

    • Open source + big data = Apache: Big Data

      The Linux Foundation in conjunction The Apache Software Foundation has announced Apache: Big Data, an inaugural conference to take place on September 28-30 in Budapest, Hungary.

    • U.S. Moodle Conference To Focus on Open Source in Education

      The Twin Cities campus of the University of Minnesota will be hosting a Moodle conference sponsored by the main organization behind the Moodle project. “MoodleMoot US” will run Aug. 4-6 in Minneapolis and feature Moodle founder Martin Dougiamas as well as speakers from higher ed and K-12 sharing how they use open source tools, including the Moodle open source course management system, in education.

    • Hands on Embedded Linux Development Training

      This 3-day seminar focuses on how Linux has been adapted for use in embedded environments, with specific emphasis on the ARM architecture. Through extensive hands-on lab work, you learn how to install a cross-development environment, build a compact version of Linux for an embedded device, install the build on the target system, and test its operation. You’ll create and test programs that exercise I/O as well as networking applications .

    • Performance and Scalability Microconference Accepted into 2015 Linux Plumbers Conference

      Core counts keep rising, and that means that the Linux kernel continues to encounter interesting performance and scalability issues. Which is not a bad thing, since it has been well over ten years since the “free lunch” of exponential CPU-clock frequency increases came to an abrupt end. This microconference will therefore look at futex scaling, address-space scaling, improvements to queued spinlocks, additional lockless algorithms, userspace per-CPU critical sections, and much else besides.

  • Web Browsers

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • RMS, free software and where I fail the goal

      Maybe my memory is blurred due to the fact, that the seperation of firmware from the Linux kernel, and proper firmware loading got implemented only years later. I remember the discussion about the pwc driver and its removal from Linux. Maybe the situation wasn’t better at that time but the firmware was just hidden inside the Linux driver code?

  • Licensing

    • Relicensing Dolphin: The long road to GPLv2+

      Since its resurfacing as an open source project in 2008, Dolphin has been licensed under the GNU General Public License version 2 (GPLv2). This license, created in 1991, is still a fairly common license used in the open source world. But as with anything that deals with technology, times are changing at a rapid rate. More recent projects are using GNU Public License version 3 and Apache 2.0, for their additional freedoms, protections from outside liability, and improved inter-license compatibility. Unfortunately these newer licenses are not compatible with GPLv2, and any project using these licenses cannot link to Dolphin and thus, Dolphin cannot link to them.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Openness and Innovation for Smart Cities

      Apps implementation and open government data use and re-use, are examples of it, and Open & Smart Government are nowadays trends where technology has an important role. In this paper we explore this perspective, with special focus in the open innovation within the city.

    • Open Hardware

      • HACKberry 3D Printed Myoelectric Prosthesis Now Open Source

        Over the past few years we have seen rapid progress in the use of 3D printing to create low cost alternatives to traditional prostheses for amputees. The latest development involves the exiii team from Japan whom we previously reported on for their handii device. In review, the team is made up of former Sony and Panasonic engineers, they set out to create a low cost myoelectric prosthesis that was not only functional but also stylish and customizable. The result of the efforts is the HACKberry, a sleek and functional $300 prosthesis made up of 3D printed components and myoelectric sensors. The sensors interact with a smartphone to actuate the fingers of the device. The design won them a James Dyson award in 2013.

      • Can Open-Source 3D Printing Make Custom Prostheses Affordable?

        Then, in 2014, Chris read about an organisation called e-NABLE, a 5000-strong international group of 3D-printing enthusiasts. Using open-source prosthetic designs, these volunteers print and assemble prosthetic hands and arms costing as little as £40. Those wanting a prosthesis send through photos, measurements and other specifications. The organisation then matches recipients with volunteers.

  • Programming

    • Is SourceForge hijacking project accounts?
    • SourceForge ‘hijacks’ GIMP, wraps it inside ads

      SourceForge didn’t stop at taking over the GIMP account and locking Simončič out, they also manipulated the software and wrapped it inside an ad-infested installer. I checked yesterday and it was indeed adware. Unfortunately I didn’t bother to grab a screenshot and I regret it now. Today when I checked, the package had been updated and it’s now ad-free. There is no changelog on SourceForge so I can’t see what changes were made to the package, but I can see that the last update was made today.

  • Maintaining an open source project at the Guardian

    Over the 2015 Easter holiday the Scribe project received more than 3000 stars (a combination of bookmarking, liking and favouriting) on Github, making it easily one of the most popular open-source projects we have created at the Guardian.

    In addition to that milestone we also celebrated the release to our internal production systems of a number of community-contributed changes to Scribe. Guardian journalists now benefit every day from participation in the open-source community!

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