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DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 521

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Linux

Welcome to this year's 33rd issue of DistroWatch Weekly! What makes a graphical interface good? That's a question that has seen many answers over the years and solutions have taken many forms. In this issue of DistroWatch Weekly we will hear from projects and commentators who offer answers to these difficult interface questions. In an interview, the elementary OS team talks about how they want to empower users and a review of the latest version of FreeNAS offers some further suggestions for interface behaviour.

While the debate for the ideal graphical interface rolls on, Jesse Smith shares some fun aspects of the Linux command line interface. Read on to learn how to add more fun to this fundamental component of GNU/Linux. In other news this week we look in on Haiku and find out how the project is progressing with packages and third-party ports. We also learn about a proposal for changing the way Fedora is developed. Might we soon see the return of Fedora Core? Plus we get a first impressions look at a Fedora-based project, Korora. The Korora distribution tries to lower the bar for users interested in Fedora's cutting-edge technology and we will find out how the latest version performs. In this issue we will look at distributions released over the past week and look ahead to exciting new developments. We wish you all a great week and happy reading!

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Mozilla Firefox Quantum

  • Can the new Firefox Quantum regain its web browser market share?
    When Firefox was introduced in 2004, it was designed to be a lean and optimized web browser, based on the bloated code from the Mozilla Suite. Between 2004 and 2009, many considered Firefox to be the best web browser, since it was faster, more secure, offered tabbed browsing and was more customizable through extensions than Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. When Chrome was introduced in 2008, it took many of Firefox’s best ideas and improved on them. Since 2010, Chrome has eaten away at Firefox’s market share, relegating Firefox to a tiny niche of free software enthusiasts and tinkerers who like the customization of its XUL extensions. According to StatCounter, Firefox’s market share of web browsers has fallen from 31.8% in December 2009 to just 6.1% today. Firefox can take comfort in the fact that it is now virtually tied with its former arch-nemesis, Internet Explorer and its variants. All of Microsoft’s browsers only account for 6.2% of current web browsing according to StatCounter. Microsoft has largely been replaced by Google, whose web browsers now controls 56.5% of the market. Even worse, is the fact that the WebKit engine used by Google now represents over 83% of web browsing, so web sites are increasingly focusing on compatibility with just one web engine. While Google and Apple are more supportive of W3C and open standards than Microsoft was in the late 90s, the web is increasingly being monopolized by one web engine and two companies, whose business models are not always based on the best interests of users or their rights.
  • Firefox Nightly Adds CSD Option
    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Firefox 57 is awesome — so awesome that I’m finally using it as my default browser again. But there is one thing it the Linux version of Firefox sorely needs: client-side decoration.

First Renesas based Raspberry Pi clone runs Linux

iWave’s “iW-RainboW-G23S” SBC runs Linux on a Renesas RZ/G1C, and offers -20 to 85°C support and expansion headers including a RPi-compatible 40-pin link. iWave’s iW-RainboW-G23S is the first board we’ve seen to tap the Renesas RZ/G1C SoC, which debuted earlier this year. It’s also the first Renesas based SBC we’ve seen that features the increasingly ubiquitous Raspberry Pi 85 x 56mm footprint, layout, and RPi-compatible 40-pin expansion connector. The board is also notable for providing -20 to 85°C temperature support. Read more Also: GameShell Is An Open Source And Linux-powered Retro Game Console That You’ll Love

Games: SuperTuxKart, Tannenberg, Observer