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Novell News Summary - Part I: HackWeek, SUSE Studio, and OpenSUSE 11.2 Milestone 4

Chameleon



HackWeek



THE very latest HackWeek has quietly passed by (no press coverage) and over the past week or so people wrote about noticeable output. There are some less enthusiastic participants:

Hackweek Fail



Failure IS an option for hackweek ;). While things looked fairly optimistic on the icon theme/font front, the actual results don’t look so good.




Progress on SELinux in the latest build of OpenSUSE:

This week was HackWeek, unfortunately I didn't had the time for hacking something because SELinux does not work in Milestone 4.


There are many more reports not only about SUSE but also about cross-platform applications. Here is Kohei Yoshida on OfficeOffice.org at HackWeek and another summary from Henne Vogelsang.

The latest Weekly News accumulation has some more bits about HackWeek.

Issue #80 of openSUSE Weekly News is now out!

In this week’s issue:

* Call for openSUSE Core Test Team * Hackweek IV

[...]


Appliances



Some days ago we argued that Novell lied about its appliance programme because it was not quite a first of its kind.

SUSE Studio is something that we wrote about last week and it is related to appliances. Zonker even connects the two:

One of the great things about Linux is that it’s possible to do almost anything with the OS – scale it up, scale it down, customize it to suit your needs. But it’s much easier said than done. Creating your own Linux-based OS is no small feat. Or wasn’t. Using SUSE Studio, creating a custom Linux distro is so easy even I can do it.

[...]

Check out the list of appliances on the openSUSE wiki so far. I expect to see quite a few more by the end of the week.


From the OpenSUSE Web site:

Today the SUSE Appliance program was launched by Novell. The interesting part for openSUSE is the launch of SUSE Studio. SUSE Studio is a web-based tool to build complete software appliances based on SUSE Linux Enterprise and also openSUSE. A software appliance is a ready-to run image that you can copy on your harddisk and start directly - or it comes packaged as a virtual image that you can boot using e.g. Xen. Normally software appliances are custom made for a specific purpose, e.g. a database server.


This received coverage from many other places, including Novell employees like Miguel de Icaza and Nat Friedman, who was close to the project. He explained it in a lot more depth.

I’ve removed all of the pages that don’t contain step-by-step technical instructions, so what’s left are 68 pages that the poor IT guy has to read.

The first 55 pages of “preinstallation” are the things that you have to do to make sure the operating system is ready to install the application. That’s 55 pages, before you even touch the application!


Interestingly enough, Novell could not help connecting appliances with Microsoft's Visual Studio.

Novell has released SUSE Studio, a tool used for creating Linux appliances. Related to that, the Mono team has created a plug-in to generate such SUSE powered appliances from within Visual Studio.


It's because of the Mono developers again. To be fair, efforts are being made to offer people Mono-free equivalents of Ubuntu.

Mono developer Jo Shields has created a couple of Mono-free Ubuntu remixes. Here are the torrent links for i386 and amd64 architectures. There is talk of maintaining a regular Ubuntu edition sans Mono over on the Mono-Nono site. It’s a little unfair to expect Jo to do it all by himself, and it’s a good chance for people suspicious of Mono to do something about it rather than simply grumble about the whole thing. The Ubuntu Technical Board have made it clear that they don’t see inclusion of Mono-stuff in Ubuntu to be that much of a problem, so rather than start another flame war, head on over to Dan Serban’s proposal on the Mono-Nono site and volunteer to help out.


More Mono in the news:

The UseNeXT software is available for Windows and Macintosh. Both require the Microsoft .NET framework, and in the case of the Mac OS, you'll need to install a free open-source version courtesy of Novell, namely the Mono project.


Lots of Mono dependencies are gradually made out there and Ubuntu has a potentially new patent policy. Going back to the original points, Novell's appliance programme was covered in many more sites that either copied the press release, offered a translation, used it to advance SUSE, or offered rather superficial coverage that adds little information. Here is one interesting factoid:

Currently available through the programme is SUSE Studio Online, as well as SUSE Linux Enterprise Just Enough Operating System. Full support for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 is also offered and will be deployed through the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud.


Also noteworthy:

Note: To clarify, Novell defines an ‘appliance’ as, “A pre-configured combination of an application, middleware and operating system integrated into a single image and tailored to run on industry-standard hardware.”


even a new press release from BitRock mentioned it:

"We are delighted to see leading companies such as BitRock choose openSUSE and SUSE Linux Enterprise to transform the way they package and distribute their software offerings," said Kevin Pereau, director, ISV Ecosystems, Novell. "Their support for the SUSE Appliance Program from Novell is a smart example of how ISVs can quickly deliver existing applications to physical, virtual and cloud computing environments; reduce sales cycles and pursue new business opportunities."


OpenSUSE 11.2 Milestone 4



When it comes to OpenSUSE development, the release of 11.2 Milestone 4 made some impact on Zonker and other SUSE people. Here is the direct link. Some people already dabble in it.

Misc.



This nice new page contains a curious "world map showing client distribution of accesses to an openSUSE mirror in Germany."

Zonker wrote a widely-syndicated post about OpenSUSE's rather unique policy on desktop environments. They remain true to choice and offer similar treatment to KDE and GNOME. A few other vendors do this, but the level of parity in attention varies.

For me, our selling point is choice: Come for GNOME, come for KDE, we have both, plus Xfce, and a whole slew of other great software (like YaST, Zypper, etc.) and project tools (the openSUSE Build Service).


Here is a post about Smolt (from a SUSE person) and another about Apache and OpenSUSE 11.1. On OpenSUSE visual effects:

The installation went smooth without any error. I found that the compiz-fusion features offer more choice of effects compared to it's sibling compiz. And the thing that I am really impressed after read the glxgears, I am getting constantly rate whooping up to 1200+ fps compare to the previous at 140 fps!


OpenSUSE Education also received a quick mention this week.

This week, I've been going over some options students have for setting up a computer with educational software and applications. Monday, I gave readers an overview of Edubuntu, an education edition of the popular Linux distribution Ubuntu. Today, let's take a look at openSUSE Education, a community-driven project backed by Novell.


All in all, not a bad week for OpenSUSE.

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