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openSUSE 11.4 review – KDE 4.6 and Tumbleweed shine

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SUSE

If you have experience with various Linux distros, it’s hard to be excited about openSUSE, as on the surface it doesn’t seem to have changed that much in recent years. Of course, open source development doesn’t stand still, so you’ll find a lot of major version bumps in the distribution’s software when you upgrade from openSUSE 11.3 to 11.4, especially if you choose the KDE desktop environment. OpenSUSE 11.4 gives you the newest KDE 4.6, LibreOffice 3.3.1 and even beta 12 of Firefox 4. Under the hood the developers have also integrated the newest components, including Linux kernel 2.6.37 (the 32-bit kernel supports 4 GB of RAM, no need to install a PAE kernel), X.Org 1.9 and Mesa 7.9.

Most of the new features you’ll encounter in daily use are due to the KDE project. KDE 4.6 has made its Activities system more easy-to-use and the file manager Dolphin has added ‘faceted browsing’: you can search through your files using their metadata as filters. A new sidebar shows these filters you can select, e.g. the rating you gave to your music files. KDE 4.6 also includes smarter power management preferences and a new Bluetooth back end. A couple of KDE applications have gained support for social networks: the image viewer Gwenview has a Share button to export pictures to popular photo sharing and social networking websites, and the screenshot program KSnapshot has received the same functionality. Of course you’re not obliged to run KDE: the openSUSE 11.4 DVD also offers GNOME, Xfce and LXDE to choose from, although KDE is still the distribution’s focus.

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Collaboration Events: Pakistan Open Source Summit, GNOME+Rust Hackfest, DataworksSummit Berlin

  • Pakistan Open Source Summit 2018 concludes [Ed: Not about software]
    A large number of attendees from industry, academia, government, and students participated in the summit. Portuguese Ambassador to Pakistan Dr Joao Sabido Costa was the chief guest at the opening ceremony while former Naval Chief Admiral (r) Asif Sandila graced the occasion as the chief guest at the closing ceremony.
  • ‘Open Summit key to create industry-academy linkages’
    Ambassador of Portugal to Pakistan Dr Joao Sabido Costa has said that events such as the Open Source Summit are excellent for spreading awareness and for creating industry-academia linkages and enhancement of the information technology. He stated this while addressing a concluding ceremony of the two-day informative ‘Pakistan Open Source Summit 2018’ attended by large number of people from industry, academia, government and students. Former naval chief Admiral (R) Asif Sandila co-chaired the concluding session. Dr Joao Sabido Costa said that the organisations should utilise open source platforms to build their IT infrastructures in future. To build open source culture in Pakistan, he recommended roadmap with future activities and timelines for spreading open source.
  • Madrid GNOME+Rust Hackfest, part 2
    Yesterday we went to the Madrid Rust Meetup, a regular meeting of rustaceans here. Martin talked about WebRender; I talked about refactoring C to port it to Rust, and then Alex talked about Rust's plans for 2018. Fun times.
  • DataworksSummit Berlin - Wednesday morning
    Data strategy - cloud strategy - business strategy: Aligning the three was one of the main themes (initially put forward in his opening keynote by CTO of Hortonworks Scott Gnau) thoughout this weeks Dataworks Summit Berlin kindly organised and hosted by Hortonworks. The event was attended by over 1000 attendees joining from 51 countries. The inspiration hat was put forward in the first keynote by Scott was to take a closer look at the data lifecycle - including the fact that a lot of data is being created (and made available) outside the control of those using it: Smart farming users are using a combination of weather data, information on soil conditions gathered through sensors out in the field in order to inform daily decisions. Manufacturing is moving towards closer monitoring of production lines to spot inefficiencies. Cities are starting to deploy systems that allow for better integration of public services. UX is being optimized through extensive automation.

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