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Links 21/06/2009: A Lot of Progress for Free Software, New Threats to the Web

GNOME bluefish



  • ZHMICRO Releases the New Linux Visual ’09 IDE for the ZHMICRO Software Development Platform
    HMICRO LLC, a leading provider of enterprise software development tools based on the C++ Software Development Language, today announced availability of the new Linux Visual ’09 IDE (Integrated Development Environment). ZHMICRO has created a familiar but easier way for software development organizations to create Mobile, Desktop, and advanced Enterprise Applications that meet todays cost and time sensitive requirements. This Linux version is the only “Complete” IDE available in the market today and has all the same features and functionality as the Z++ Visual ’09 Windows version. Its features include a built-in Text Editor, Debugger, Compiler, Memory Leak Detection, and many other features that focus on simplifying the software development process allowing Developers greater ease in the creation and building of complete end to end solutions.

  • How old does your hardware go?
    You can also run Linux on PowerPC-vintage Macs. Yellow Dog Linux, which is a Red Hat Linux spin-off, is probably the best Linux for giving your Blue and White Power Mac G3 or later a new life as a Linux desktop. You can also run Linux on 68K Macs, but here you really need to know what you're doing since there's little support for these processors. Your best shot at running Linux on an early Mac, Atari, or Amiga is to use the Debian port.

    Of course, you don't have to run Linux to get useful work out of your old PC. I'm still using CP/M-80 on my KayPro. I do find it amazing though just how much you can get out of ancient hardware though with Linux.

  • More about Moblin on the Nettop (Part 3)
    So, there you have it, a somewhat less than brief overview of the Moblin desktop.

  • Kernel Space

    • Mesa 7.4.3 Brings A Handful Of Fixes
      Mesa 7.4.3 is the latest stable release for this open-source 3D graphics stack and officially it just contains eleven bug fixes. These fixes in Mesa 7.4.3 range from addressing build issues to GLSL pre-processor bugs to a frame-buffer memory leak in the Intel i945/i965 DRI drivers. Below is the official change list.

    • State of sound in Linux not so sorry after all
      Sound in Linux really doesn't have to be that sorry after all, the distributions just have to get their act together, and stop with all the finger pointing, propaganda, and FUD that is going around, which is only relevant to ancient versions of OSS, if not downright irrelevant or untrue. Let's stop the madness being perpetrated by the likes of Adobe, PulseAudio propaganda machine, and whoever else out there. Let's be objective and use the best solutions instead of settling for mediocrity or hack upon hack.

  • Applications

    • Clutter 1.0 Reaches RC1 Milestone
      Clutter, the open-source toolkit designed to develop rich user interfaces with OpenGL and OpenGL ES but without the complexity of programming to such APIs, is nearing version 1.0. This toolkit, which was used to create the very impressive Moblin V2 interface, is backed by Intel and continues to gain steam. Version 0.9.4 was released just this morning, which is serving as the Clutter 1.0.0 Release Candidate 1 build.

    • The Wine development release 1.1.24 is now available.
      What's new in this release (see below for details): - Support for freedesktop file associations. - Support for exception handling on 64-bit. - Improved ARB shaders. - Fixes for the FBO mode. - Many listview improvements. - Various bug fixes.

  • Distributions

    • Debris 1.8.0/1.8.1/1.8.2 BETA
      Please check up on those "fixes". Hardware releated issues can only be fixed by me in theory, since I usually lack the hardware to actually test them. for this release I can only vouch for the powernow-nx module.

    • Fedora 11 Provides Glimpse of Future for Red Hat Enterprise Linux
      The Fedora Project, a Red Hat, Inc.-sponsored and community-supported open source collaboration project, has announced the availability of Fedora 11, the latest version of its free open source operating system.

      Fedora 11's feature set provides improvements in virtualization, including an upgraded interactive console, a redesigned virtual machine guest creation wizard and better security with SELinux support for guests. There are also numerous desktop improvements such as automatic font and content handler installation using PackageKit, better fingerprint reader support, and an updated input method system for supporting international language users.

    • Ubuntu Satanic Store issue cleared up
      OK, I checked into it and I have managed to clear this up. Some kind of mistake occured and the Ubuntu Satanic Edition folks should not have got that letter. I spoke with our trademarks folks and they will be sending them an explicit trademark license as their merch is clearly under parody, which we are indeed cool about in the trademark license. Rock on!

  • Devices/Embedded

    • MS steps on a Snapdragon
      That brings us back to the Asus and what was billed as the best netbook/smartbook of the show. You have a company that kicked off the netbook craze two years ago with the Eee, an OS that is not only MS free, but Linux based as well, and a chipmaker that actually delivers product. The buzz was growing at Computex, and that would create a PR disaster for MS.

      So it went away. No really, it went *POOF* in the middle of the show. No explanation, no excuses, just that it was there one day, and gone the next. PR disaster averted for Redmond, phew.

    • The Truth Behind the Death of Linux On the Netbook

Free Software/Open Source

  • Making sales and savings with open source-derived software
    Indeed, during Red Hat's recent EMEA Partner Summit in Malta, the momentum and health of the open source partner community was evident with more than 400 partner delegates from 38 countries, including not only representatives from vendor partners such as HP and IBM, but from 1,700 smaller partners from around Europe.

  • Opennet offers SMB-focussed open source support packages
    Opennet Middle East and Africa, the master distributor and authorised Certified Training Centre of Red Hat Linux products for Middle East and North Africa (MENA), has announced the availability of new open source support packages targeted specifically at the SMB sector.

  • Deploying Free or Open Source Software in the SMB
    OpenOffice 3.0 Released to Rave Reviews was written late last year, and OpenOffice 3.1 has since been released. However, the earlier blog does provide some important background for those who have not heard of it. Of course, productivity software is more than just Office suites, and I also suggested a possible replacement for Adobe's PDF Reader in A Free Alternative to Adobe Reader.

    Finally, folks facing strong resistance towards change in their SMBs might want to consider settling for a partial or gradual switch. Find out more about this idea in Do a Partial Switch to Open Source Solution.

  • RBC Capital Markets Taps Open Source Platform for Fixed Income Applications
    RBC's project is also another sign that open source technology is gaining traction on Wall Street in the wake of the credit crisis. Cash-strapped investment banks that have slashed their IT staffs can use open source solutions -- with their free code and worldwide communities of developers -- to build applications with shared components. In fact analysts are beginning to suggest that brokerage firms look beyond the buy-versus-build paradigm or outsourced solutions and consider open source code as a third alternative to reduce software development costs.

  • Healthcare

    • AMA Adopts Policies on EHR Subsidies, Security, Open-Source Systems
      AMA delegates also called for the organization to support policies that increase the availability and affordability of open-source EHR systems (Modern Healthcare, 6/17).

    • Open Source EHRs Set to Grow
      On the surface, open source technology seems questionable -- software engineers finagling with code and cobbling together a system that constantly evolves from countless minds. In reality, open source is a viable option for HIT, and its ability to retool and reshape rapidly may prove beneficial as new technologies and health care innovations emerge.

    • CCHIT proposes three certification paths
      Some of the impetus for change stems from the open-source community. Leavitt said feedback from a CCHIT-hosted forum in April showed open-source developers are concerned with the cost of certification. As for meeting all of CCHIT’s criteria, open-source developers run into licensing issues when they attempt to include certain code sets, Leavitt added.

  • Ogg

    • Open Letter to Mozilla Regarding Their Use of HTML5 Video
      Simply put, "Video for everybody" uses the <video> tag if your browser supports it, using OGG video. If your browser does not support it, it falls back to Flash. Is Flash not supported either? QuickTime will be used (which allows playback on the iPhone). Don't have QuickTime either? Internet Explorer in Windows Vista and up will switch to Windows Media Player.

    • [whatwg] Google's use of FFmpeg in Chromium and Chrome
      Saving a megabyte here and there is less important than having a video format that is free and open for all to use. has understood this and their recent offerings using <video> and Ogg Theora is laudable [1]. This was exactly what I've been hoping for, and arguing for, since the <video> element was proposed [2][3].

      [1] [2] [3]

      At Google, you have a unique opportunity to be part of this. You have the video clips, the disks, the processing power, and the talent to launch a service that will firmly establish <video> and Ogg Theora as the video solution for the web.

      However, it seems that Google doesn't care much for having a free and open video format. Most of the bits you put out on the web are in patent-encumbered formats, and this doesn't seem to bother you. Rather, you promote patent-encumbered formats in your new experimental service [4].

  • Business

    • MySQL Creators Move to Keep MySQL Open
      MySQL originator Monty Widenius and Percona CEO Peter Zaitsev have recently formed the Open Database Alliance (ODA) , a vendor-neutral consortium that aims to become a hub for the MySQL open source database community and its associated eco system. The ODA said it is also seeking to be a forum for derivative code, binaries, training and support.

    • OrangeHRM Releases Version 2.4.2 of Open Source HRM
      In the past, when installing OrangeHRM, its installer creates the required MySQL database. For this, OrangeHRM requires MySQL administrator user details.

    • Zimory Adds to Open Source-Powered Cloud Tools
      The idea of the "cloud" is all about offering distributed computing resources. Yet simply offering resources is not enough -- there is a real need for management and control, too.

  • Funding

    • Lucid Imagination scares up funds for open-source search software
      Lucid Imagination, maker of open-source search software tailored to enterprise applications, has added undisclosed funds from In-Q-Tel to its first round of capital. It had previously raised $6 million in the round from Granite Ventures and Walden International, according to VentureWire.

    • In-Q-Tel embraces open-source search
      Lucid, of San Mateo, Calif., will use the funding to develop applications around Lucene and Solr and build the infrastructure to support customers in the intelligence community. The amount of funding from In-Q-Tel was not disclosed. Since September 2008, Lucid has raised $6.2 million in venture capital, including the money from In-Q-Tel.


    • We speak about Free Software
      Free Software is often referred to as "Open Source." This is a result of an attempt by the Open Source Initiative (OSI) to create a marketing campaign for Free Software.

      The OSI set out to maintain the integrity of the movement and prevent abuse by proprietary vendors by introducing "Open Source" as a trademark for Free Software; but this initiative failed.

  • Releases

    • Liferay Portal Enterprise Edition 5.2 Released
      Liferay, Inc., recently announced the availability of the next major release of Liferay Portal Enterprise Edition (EE), the commercial subscription to its award-winning open source portal software. Enterprise customers are using Liferay Portal EE to build flexible, cost-effective business solutions, leveraging open source innovation with the reliability of a long-term subscription model.

    • OpenSplice DDS: Interoperable and Open Source!
      Following up the successful multi-vendor interoperability demonstration performed at the latest OMG Technical Meeting in March 2009, PrismTech is releasing today, as part of OpenSplice DDS v4.1.1, the first and only Open Source implementation of the OMG DDS Interoperability Wire Protocol.

  • Government

    • Mayor's keynote calls on city, open sourcers to do more
      Sitting in this morning at Open Source Bridge, one of two new open source conferences in Portland this year. I'll aim to spend most of the day here, but need to write Sunday's feature, too, so may duck out at some po

    • Open source information sharing system for mobile devices offers potential for pandemic alert system
      The US-based Academy for Educational Development (AED) is responding to this need with its GATHER system, a technology platform designed to address data collection and information-sharing challenges across all development sectors. GATHER is a collection of software programs that work together in one package on cell phones, PDAs, and other mobile computing devices.

    • Swiss Users Stand Up For Open Source
      The French-speaking Lemanique area around Geneva and Lausanne may seem like a quiet and sleepy backwater, but on 3rd June, open source developers and users gathered there to show, to a much wider audience, some of the interesting solutions open source software has provided within Switzerland.

  • GIS

    • to Unveil Version 1.4.0 Of Open Source GIS Software
      A team of expert GIS developers from Belgium have released today Geomajas version 1.4.0. This new version is the stable release of version 1.3.0, announced in September 2008. Geomajas is the open source GIS software enabling geographical editing and support for complex relation models in the web browser.

    • The open source geospatial BI components GeoMondrian and Spatialytics are available!
      After the release of a new version of its open source spatial ETL tool, GeoKettle yesterday (please see the announcement for more details), the GeoSOA research group at Laval University, Quebec, Canada is proud to announce the availibility as new open source projects of GeoMondrian, the first implementation of a Spatial OLAP (SOLAP) server and Spatialytics, a lightweight cartographic component which enables navigation in SOLAP data cubes. GeoKettle, GeoMondrian and Spatialytics are components of the complete geospatial BI (Business Intelligence) software stack developed by the GeoSOA research group.

    • Event: 'Open Source GIS UK Conference'
      First Open Source GIS UK Conference, CGS, University of Nottingham The Centre for Geospatial Science of the University of Nottingham, Open Source Geospatial Foundation (UK Chapter), ICA Working Group on Open Source Geospatial Technologies, SOSoRNET and Open Knowledge Foundation are organizing the First Open Source GIS UK Conference on 22nd June (Monday), 2009 at the University of Nottingham.

  • Events

    • OpenSource World Unlocks the Word on Keynote Speakers
      The OpenSource World conference — previously known as LinuxWorld — is fast approaching — it convenes in San Francisco from August 12 - 13, showcasing everything Open Source and more. Conference organizers this week drew back the curtain on one of the conference's main attractions, its keynote speakers, and the lineup promises to be an interesting listen.

    • Linux Plumbers Conf 2009 proposals
      The Linux Plumbers Conference 2009 is now accepting proposal submissions. Proposals can be edited and created until Monday 22 June 2009 PDT (7 AM Tuesday June 22 2009 GMT).


  • ISP spying begins in UK, as Universal, Virgin ink a deal
    (I would have described “unauthorized downloading” as “piracy,” for the sake of simplicity, but a forthcoming book by William Patry convinces me that words matter, and that “piracy” is the wrong metaphor.)


    There’s nothing innovative about making ISPs into police dogs for the copyright industry.

  • Porn-filtering software: It's up to users
    Computer makers are required to include a government-sponsored porn-filtering software but it is up to buyers to decide whether they want to use it, an official said yesterday.

  • Government Introduces Bill To Require Surveillance Capabilities, Mandated Subscriber Disclosure
    As expected, the Government has taken another shot at lawful access legislation today, introducing a legislative package called the Investigative Powers for the 21st Century (IP21C) Act that would require mandated surveillance capabilities at Canadian ISPs, force ISPs to disclose subscriber information such as name and address, and grant the police broad new powers to obtain transmission data and force ISPs to preserve data. Although I can only go on government releases (here, here), the approach appears to be very similar to the Liberal lawful access bill of 2005 that died on the order paper (my comments on that bill here) [update: Bill C-46 and C-47]. It is pretty much exactly what law enforcement has been demanding and privacy groups have been fearing. It represents a reneging of a commitment from the previous Public Safety Minister on court oversight and will embed broad new surveillance capabilities in the Canadian Internet.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Alexandro Colorado, international open source evangelist 03 (2004)

Digital Tipping Point is a Free software-like project where the raw videos are code. You can assist by participating.


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