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February 2016

Is SFLC Shooting Open Source in the Foot?

Filed under
OSS
Legal

The academic article by SFLC about ZFS is troubling and may unintentionally shoot free software licensing in the foot.

When I was at Sun (as part of the team that released the Java Programming Language by starting the OpenJDK project) I often heard community concerns about the CDDL license. At the time the big complaint was about the "Choice of Venue" clause.

I got involved because Sun had developed many essential Java libraries and distributed them under CDDL. The community requested a more permissive license and I was able to convince internal project leaders (and Sun's lawyers) to make a licensing change for a handful of these projects. And there was much rejoicing.

Based on my experience in helping Java to become open source I came to appreciate the legal hacks on copyright which make open source possible. It's the free software license which uses copyright to enable sharing (vs. the default of disabling sharing).

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GNOME Tweak Tool Review - More Powerful than You Can Imagine

Filed under
GNOME
Reviews

GNOME Tweak Tool is a powerful application for the GNOME-powered Linux distributions, and it's too often overlooked.

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GNOME Maps Review - A GNOME App That Could Do Much More

Filed under
Reviews

GNOME Maps is a rather new application in the GNOME stack that doesn't do a lot but is really promising. Here is a quick look at the latest stable edition.

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Open Source Evolution: From Making Better Code to Making Better Business

Filed under
OSS

Today, open-source software is thriving in the Cloud, with a whole new generation of projects – such as Docker, Heroku, Open Stack and others. Cumulatively, GNU is still the leading license, but MIT, Apache and other licenses are among the top licenses used in open-source projects.

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An open-source alternative to Android Wear OS for smartwatches emerges

Filed under
Android
OSS

Can the Android Wear and Tizen operating systems on smartwatches be challenged? French computer science student Florent Revest believes so.

Revest has developed AsteroidOS, a flavor of Linux for smartwatches, still in early beta. It has been tested on LG's smartwatches and a port is under way to Asus' Zenwatch 1.

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BrewDog’s open-source revolution is at the vanguard of postcapitalism

Filed under
Linux

Today, you can download the Linux version of Unix for free, confident in the knowledge that thousands of dedicated professionals are working day and night to improve it, again for free. Almost all the world’s fastest supercomputers run it.

The idea that the basic tools of modern life should be free, shareable and collaboratively improved, with nobody allowed to make them private property, was born in the free-software movement, spread via the Creative Commons movement and is gaining traction in the world of physical products. It doesn’t destroy capitalism, but it does challenge its dynamics.

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Firefox OS will Power New Line-up of Panasonic Ultra HD TVs

Filed under
Moz/FF

Panasonic announced today that Firefox OS will power the new Panasonic DX-series UHD TVs.

Panasonic TVs powered by Firefox OS are already available globally. These TVs have intuitive and customizable home screens which give you “quick access” to Live TV, Apps and personal connected devices. You can access your favorite channels, apps, videos, websites and content quickly – and you can also pin any app or content to your TV home screen.

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Elementary boss watches the Linux distro make great strides

Filed under
Interviews

elementary OS is a consumer-focused, open source, Linux-based operating system with a heavy emphasis on UX design. I am the founder of elementary (the company behind elementary OS). A great deal of my time is spent organizing our team, which is mostly made up of volunteers, but I also spend time coding for both web and desktop, triaging bug reports, providing visual and UX design, and of course interacting with our users.

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Does Linux need a data loss prevention solution?

Filed under
Linux

CoSoSys, a firm that offers data loss prevention (DLP) and mobile device management (MDM) solutions, today announced a private beta release of Endpoint Protector DLP for Linux.

Yes, Linux is secure by design, but that doesn't mean there won't be software bugs (Linus Torvalds has said as much, noting that bugs are part of the software development process). And, yes, there have been some critical security threats that surfaced in the last few years such as GHOST, ShellShock, Heartbleed, and the Glibc vulnerability

But CoSoSys is not about that security. It’s not about the security of the operating system itself. It’s about the data residing on these machines and protecting the data irrespective of the operating system.

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Solus 1.1 Is Going to Be Awesome, Developers Promise

Filed under
OS

The Solus developers are preparing for the first point release for their Linux operating system, and saying they are excited about it is an understatement.

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More in Tux Machines

KDE4 and Plasma 5 for Slackware

  • KDE4 and Qt4 deprecation in FreeBSD
    This is a reminder — for those who don’t read all of the FreeBSD mailing lists — that KDE4 is marked deprecated in the official ports tree for FreeBSD, and will be removed at the end of this year (in about 20 days). Then Qt4 will be removed from the official ports tree in mid-march. Since both pieces of software are end-of-life and unmaintained upstream already for several years, the kde@ team at FreeBSD no longer can maintain them. Recent time-sinks were dealing with OpenSSL 1.1.1, libressl, C++17, .. the code is old, and there’s newer, nicer, better-maintained code available generally by replacing 4 with 5.
  • KDE Plasma 5 for Slackware – end of the year edition
    I just uploaded a whole new batch of packages containing KDE Plasma5 for Slackware. The previous batch, KDE 5_18.10 is already two months old and has some library compatibility issues. The new KDE 5_18.12 for Slackware consists of KDE Frameworks 5.53.0, Plasma 5.14.4 and Applications 18.08.3. All this on top of Qt 5.11.3. Compiled on the latest Slackware -current, it’s running smoothly here on my laptop. I decided against upgrading to QT 5.12.0. This is a new LTS release, but I will wait for the other distros to find bugs in this new software. Next week, KDE will release KDE Applications 18.12.0 and that too is something I want to check a bit before releasing Slackware packages. Therefore it’s likely that a new batch of packages containing Qt 5.12 and KDE Applications 18.12 will see the light shortly after the New Year.

Programming: GCC, LLVM, Rust, Ruby and Python

  • GCC 9 Guts Out The PowerPC SPE Support
    It should come as no surprise since it was deprecated in this year's GCC 8 release, but the PowerPC SPE code has been removed. This isn't to be confused with conventional POWER/PowerPC but rather PowerPC SPE that is for the "Signal Processing Engine" on older FreeScale/IBM cores like the e500. It's not all that important these days and doesn't affect newer versions of the 64-bit Power support.
  • LLVM's OpenMP Runtime Picks Up DragonFlyBSD & OpenBSD Support
    Good news for those using the LLVM Clang compiler on OpenBSD or DragonFlyBSD: the OpenMP run-time should now be supported with the latest development code.
  • Nick Cameron: Rust in 2022
    In case you missed it, we released our second edition of Rust this year! An edition is an opportunity to make backwards incompatible changes, but more than that it's an opportunity to bring attention to how programming in Rust has changed. With the 2018 edition out of the door, now is the time to think about the next edition: how do we want programming in Rust in 2022 to be different to programming in Rust today? Once we've worked that out, lets work backwards to what should be done in 2019. Without thinking about the details, lets think about the timescale and cadence it gives us. It was three years from Rust 1.0 to Rust 2018 and I expect it will be three years until the next edition. Although I think the edition process went quite well, I think that if we'd planned in advance then it could have gone better. In particular, it felt like there were a lot of late changes which could have happened earlier so that we could get more experience with them. In order to avoid that I propose that we aim to avoid breaking changes and large new features landing after the end of 2020. That gives 2021 for finishing, polishing, and marketing with a release late that year. Working backwards, 2020 should be an 'impl year' - focussing on designing and implementing the things we know we want in place for the 2021 edition. 2019 should be a year to invest while we don't have any release pressure. To me, investing means paying down technical debt, looking at our processes, infrastructure, tooling, governance, and overheads to see where we can be more efficient in the long run, and working on 'quality of life' improvements for users, the kind that don't make headlines but will make using Rust a better experience. It's also the time to investigate some high-risk, high-reward ideas that will need years of iteration to be user-ready; 2019 should be an exciting year!
  • A Java Developer Walks Into A Ruby Conference: Charles Nutter’s Open Source Journey
    As a Java developer, Nutter began looking for an existing way to run Ruby within a Java runtime environment, specifically a Java virtual machine (JVM). This would let Ruby programs run on any hardware or software platform supported by a JVM, and would facilitate writing polyglot applications that used some Java and some Ruby, with developers free to choose whichever language was best for a particular task.
  • Good ciphers in OpenJDK
  • Don’t delete the same file in its own directory
  • Create a home button on the pause scene

Audiocasts/Shows: Going Linux, Linux Thursday and More

  • Going Linux #358 · Listener Feedback
    This month we have voice feedback from Paul, suggestions on alternatives for G+, a question on OpenVPN, feedback and problems moving to Linux. Troy provides a Going Linux story on software for Linux users.
  • Linux Thursday - Dec 6, 2018
  • Gnocchi: A Scalable Time Series Database For Your Metrics with Julien Danjou - Episode 189
    Do you know what your servers are doing? If you have a metrics system in place then the answer should be “yes”. One critical aspect of that platform is the timeseries database that allows you to store, aggregate, analyze, and query the various signals generated by your software and hardware. As the size and complexity of your systems scale, so does the volume of data that you need to manage which can put a strain on your metrics stack. Julien Danjou built Gnocchi during his time on the OpenStack project to provide a time oriented data store that would scale horizontally and still provide fast queries. In this episode he explains how the project got started, how it works, how it compares to the other options on the market, and how you can start using it today to get better visibility into your operations.

Best Lightweight Linux Distros for Older Computers

Don’t throw away that old Pentium III tower and CRT monitor just yet! While that old laptop in the closet may not be able to run Windows 10 or macOS Mojave, it doesn’t mean it’s destined for the dump. Many Linux distributions are made specifically for utilizing the ancient, underpowered hardware found in older machines. By installing these lightweight distros, you can breathe new life into an old PC thought to be long past its prime. Here are the best lightweight Linux distros that we’ve picked out from the pile. Read more