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This week in open source

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OSS

The LinuxWorld conference is proving to be more than just a meeting of Linux fans and sellers. It's now a venue for all sorts of open-source advocates.

In fact, allies gathered there this week to prevent software patents from putting a crimp in open source. Red Hat will finance outside programmers' efforts to obtain patents that may be used freely by open-source developers, the company announced at the San Franscisco show. At the same time, the Open Source Developer Lab launched a project that will provide a central list of patents that have been donated to the collaborative programming community.

The threat of patent-infringement lawsuits has long dogged collaborative development, leading some open-source programming advocates to turn against the patent system altogether.

The new initiatives signal a willingness on the part of the open-source community to combat the threat of such lawsuits more directly--and within the existing patent system.

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Beignet is the project out of Intel's Open-Source Technology Center for exposing GPGPU/compute capabilities out of Ivy Bridge hardware and newer when using a fully open-source Linux stack. While Beignet differs greatly from Gallium3D's Clover state tracker, this Intel-specific open-source OpenCL implementation is working out quite well for Ubuntu Linux. While I've been writing about Intel's Beignet project since early 2013, it's probably been about a year now since I tried out the code, which is developed by Intel's OTC graphics team in China. This weekend I tried out Beignet v0.9.2 as trying out the newest Intel OpenCL code has been on my TODO list for a while and it's been working out rather well in my initial tests. Read more