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Leftovers: OSS

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OSS
  • Is free software too good?

    The average free software (free hardware still being too new for trends to be obvious) has always had the same obsessive-compulsive drive to perfection that was so common in the 19th Century. Just as Charles Darwin was obsessed with establishing the case for evolution beyond any doubt, or Richard Francis Burton sought to write the definitive book on swords, so the developers of Krita or the GNOME Shell have always done their best to be be as thorough and complete as they could.

    The same perfectionism also explains why so many pieces of free software include plugins or extensions -- needs vary, and change with time, and free software users and developers are unwilling to wait until new features are fully incorporated into the code. Perfectionism, you might say, has made free software what it is, and, personally, it is one of the traits I admire most in its developers as they satisfy their own sense of fitness to make sure that their code is the best it can be. It is free software's freedom of economic constraints such as the cheapness of plastic compared to hard wood, allows developers to concentrate on excellence.

  • A 100-year-old organization's journey from mainframe to open source to DevOps

    A first step out of this impasse was to look at virtual servers as a way of saying, “How can we get more bang for our buck?” Our server room represented a lot of very pricey real estate, but it only seemed to keep growing. We asked ourselves, why did additional growth have to mean a new electrical circuit and adding new cooling? Within about three years we were 90 percent virtualized, and we got very comfortable with running virtual machines.

  • Attending technical conferences: What's the big deal?

    Law and technology are becoming increasingly entwined, and many technical folks don't or can't make time in their regular schedules to stay on top of the issues. Conferences are a great place to learn about upcoming legislation, important court cases, and the organizations that are keeping an eye on the developments that affect both the FOSS community and the broader tech industry.

  • Award for Ireland building regulations software

    Ireland’s Building Control Management System has won the 2016 eGov ‘Open Source Award’. The document work-flow solution was developed in 2014 for the Local Government Management Agency (LGMA), and is now used by all 31 local authorities in the country.

  • Hacking the farm with low-cost, open source tool designs

    After starting his own farm in Missouri, Marcin Jakubowski quickly discovered it's an expensive business. The tools he needed to start and maintain a sustainable farm didn't exist, so he set out to design them himself.

    Marcin published a collection of his open source designs, called the Global Village Construction Set, to the Open Source Ecology wiki. Soon, just as in open source software, others from around the world began to collaborate with him in designing these new machines.

    According to the wiki, "Global Village Construction Set is a modular, DIY, low-cost, high-performance platform that enables fabrication of the 50 different industrial machines that it takes to build a small, sustainable civilization with modern comforts."

More in Tux Machines

LWN (Now Open Access): Kernel Configuration, Linux 4.14 Merge Window, Running Android on a Mainline Graphics Stack

  • A different approach to kernel configuration
    The kernel's configuration system can be challenging to deal with; Linus Torvalds recently called it "one of the worst parts of the whole project". Thus, anything that might help users with the process of configuring a kernel build would be welcome. A talk by Junghwan Kang at the 2017 Open-Source Summit demonstrated an interesting approach, even if it's not quite ready for prime time yet. Kang is working on a Debian-based, cloud-oriented distribution; he wanted to tweak the kernel configuration to minimize the size of the kernel and, especially, to reduce its attack surface by removing features that were not needed. The problem is that the kernel is huge, and there are a lot of features that are controlled by configuration options. There are over 300 feature groups and over 20,000 configuration options in current kernels. Many of these options have complicated dependencies between them, adding to the challenge of configuring them properly.
  • The first half of the 4.14 merge window
    September 8, 2017 As of this writing, just over 8,000 non-merge changesets have been pulled into the mainline kernel repository for the 4.14 development cycle. In other words, it looks like the pace is not slowing down for this cycle either. The merge window is not yet done, but quite a few significant changes have been merged so far. Read on for a summary of the most interesting changes entering the mainline in the first half of this merge window.
  • Running Android on a mainline graphics stack
    The Android system may be based on the Linux kernel, but its developers have famously gone their own way for many other parts of the system. That includes the graphics subsystem, which avoids user-space components like X or Wayland and has special (often binary-only) kernel drivers as well. But that picture may be about to change. As Robert Foss described in his Open Source Summit North America presentation, running Android on the mainline graphics subsystem is becoming possible and brings a number of potential benefits. He started the talk by addressing the question of why one might want to use mainline graphics with Android. The core of the answer was simple enough: we use open-source software because it's better, and running mainline graphics takes us toward a fully open system. With mainline graphics, there are no proprietary blobs to deal with. That, in turn, makes it easy to run current versions of the kernel and higher-level graphics software like Mesa.

Beautify Your KDE Plasma 5 Desktop Environment with Freshly Ported Adapta Theme

Good morning! It's time to beautify your KDE Plasma 5 desktop environment, and we have just the perfect theme for that as it looks like the popular Adapta GTK theme was recently ported to Plasma 5. Read more

Roughing it, with Linux

I have been traveling for about two weeks now, spending 10 days camping in Iceland and now a few days on the ferry to get back. For this trip I brought along my Samsung N150 Plus (a very old netbook), loaded with openSUSE Linux 42.3. Read more

Red Hat: Ansible Tower, Patent Promise, and Shares Declining

  • Red Hat’s automation solution spreading among APAC enterprises
    Red Hat recently shared revealed its agentless automation platform is spreading among enterprises in APAC countries like Australia, China, India and Singapore. The company asserts its Ansible Tower helps enterprises cut through the complexities of modern IT environments with powerful automation capabilities that improve productivity and reduce downtime. “Today’s business demands can mean even greater complexity for many organisations. Such dynamic environments can necessitate a new approach to automation that can improve speed, scale and stability across IT environments,” says head of APAC office of technology at Red Hat, Frank Feldmann.
  • Red Hat broadens patent pledge to most open-source software
    Red Hat, the world's biggest open source company, has expanded its commitment on patents, which had originally been not to enforce its patents against free and open source software.
  • Red Hat expands Patent Promise
    Open-source software provider Red Hat has revised its Patent Promise, which was initially intended to discourage patent aggression against free and open-source software. The expanded version of the defensive patent aggregation scheme extends the zone of non-enforcement to all of Red Hat’s patents and all software under “well-recognised” open-source licenses. In its original Patent Promise in 2002, Red Hat said software patents are “inconsistent with open-source and free software”.
  • Red Hat Inc (RHT) AO Seeing a Consistent Downtrend
  • Red Hat, Inc. (RHT) noted a price change of -0.14% and RingCentral, Inc. (RNG) closes with a move of -2.09%