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Oracle Layoffs and Analysis of Impact on Solaris

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  • Solaris update plan is real, but future looks cloudy by design

    Ever since Oracle quietly announced it would not deliver any more point-zero upgrades to its Solaris operating system and instead move to continuous delivery, The Register has wondered exactly what Big Red plans to deliver, and when. Our interest grew after Solaris boss John Fowler left Oracle and then grew again as soon-to-be-former Oracle staffers told us of big cuts to he Solaris and SPARC teams.

  • Oracle Cuts More Jobs in Its Hardware and Solaris Units

    Oracle has laid off what appears to be a significant number of employees working on its hardware and Solaris operating system efforts, according to anonymous posts on TheLayoff.com, the gist of which were confirmed to Fortune by former Oracle employees.
    Both Oracle's server and Solaris efforts emanated out of Sun Microsystems, a company Oracle acquired in 2010 for $7.4 billion. Before then Oracle had been a software company specializing in databases and financial applications, so jumping into computer servers and SPARC microprocessors—another Sun business—was a stretch. Solaris was Sun's version of Unix, a powerful operating system that powered its servers.

The sudden death and eternal life of Solaris

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As had been rumored for a while, Oracle effectively killed Solaris on Friday. When I first saw this, I had assumed that this was merely a deep cut, but in talking to Solaris engineers still at Oracle, it is clearly much more than that. It is a cut so deep as to be fatal: the core Solaris engineering organization lost on the order of 90% of its people, including essentially all management.

Of note, among the engineers I have spoken with, I heard two things repeatedly: “this is the end” and (from those who managed to survive Friday) “I wish I had been laid off.” Gone is any of the optimism (however tepid) that I have heard over the years — and embarrassed apologies for Oracle’s behavior have been replaced with dismay about the clumsiness, ineptitude and callousness with which this final cut was handled. In particular, that employees who had given their careers to the company were told of their termination via a pre-recorded call — “robo-RIF’d” in the words of one employee — is both despicable and cowardly. To their credit, the engineers affected saw themselves as Sun to the end: they stayed to solve hard, interesting problems and out of allegiance to one another — not out of any loyalty to the broader Oracle. Oracle didn’t deserve them and now it doesn’t have them — they have been liberated, if in a depraved act of corporate violence.

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Oracle Layoffs and Sun Projects/Staff

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  • Oracle Layoffs Hit Longtime Solaris Developers Hard

    It looks like the Oracle layoffs just before the US Labor Day indeed hit the SPARC and Solaris groups hard.

    There hasn't been any official announcement from Oracle, but unconfirmed reports put it at 1,000~1,500 Oracle staff losing their jobs, particularly in the Solaris and SPARC divisions.

    Solaris has been slowly dieing and these latest layoffs seem to further reinforce that and some anonymous reports as well that Solaris 11.4 isn't going to happen, or at least not as planned, and Solaris 12 can definitely be kissed goodbye.

  • Oracle could leave Java EE to an open source foundation and more news

    Database giant Oracle wants to hand Java EE over to an open source foundation. With this move, Oracle hopes a foundation will be able to "adopt more agile processes, implement more flexible licensing and change the governance process." Possible candidates are the Apache Software Foundation and the Eclipse Foundation, to which Oracle has passed software in the past. Oracle got Java EE as part of its acquisition of Sun Microsystems back in 2010.

ReactOS 0.4.6 released

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The ReactOS Project is pleased to release version 0.4.6 as a continuation of its three month cadence.

0.4.6 is a major step towards real hardware support. Several dual boot issues have been fixed and now partitions are managed in a safer way avoiding corruption of the partition list structures. ReactOS Loader can now load custom kernels and HALs.

Printing Subsystem is still greenish in 0.4.6, however Colin Finck has implemented a huge number of new APIs and fixed some of the bugs reported and detected by the ReactOS automated tests.

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Petition Asks the Developers of Phoenix OS to Open Source the Kernel

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Android
OSS

Android is mainly considered an open source mobile operating system, but there are a number of closed source elements that hundreds of millions of people use every day. The actual requirements of Android is that the kernel be open sourced for the public. This is enforced by the GPL but sadly this is one of those gray areas where someone actually needs to take legal action to enforce it. Some companies have violated this time and time again, and a new petition is calling for the developers of Phoenix OS to do the right thing.

For those who are unaware, Phoenix OS is one of the only full desktop versions of Android that is still being maintained. We’ve covered another popular platform, RemixOS, on a number of occasions but even they dropped out recently to focus on being a 2B2 company. This has left a lot of people to look towards Phoenix OS as their desktop Android solution, but there’s one glaring flaw here. The developers have yet to release the source code for the kernel that’s being used.

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Operating Systems Genode and Haiku

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  • Release notes for the Genode OS Framework 17.08

    The flagship feature of Genode 17.08 has been in the works for more than a year: The support for hardware-accelerated graphics on Intel Gen-8 GPUs. This is an especially challenging topic because it is riddled with terminology, involves highly complex software stacks, carries a twisted history with it, and remains to be a moving target. It took up a lot of patience to build up a profound understanding of the existing driver architectures and the mechanisms offered by modern graphics hardware. On the other hand, with the proliferation of hardware-based sandboxing features like virtual GPU memory and hardware contexts, we found that now is the perfect time for a clean-slate design of a microkernelized GPU driver. Section Hardware-accelerated graphics for Intel Gen-8 GPUs introduces this work, which includes our new GPU multiplexer as well as the integration with the client-side Mesa protocol stack.

  • Genode 17.08 Now Supports Broadwell Graphics, Xen DomU Support

    Version 17.08 of the Genode open-source operating system framework is now available with a variety of changes.

    Genode OS 17.09 now features support for Intel "Gen 8" Broadwell graphics thanks to its ported open-source Intel Linux driver code and also upgrading to Mesa 11.2.2. They have made other improvements too for their graphics driver stack in Genode, including an experimental GPU multiplexer.

  • BeOS-Inspired Haiku OS Had A Successful GSoC 2017: Swift, Btrfs, Preferences GUI

    With Google Summer of Code 2017 now in the books, the final reports on the various projects carried out within the BeOS-inspired Haiku operating system are now available.

Jolla demos Sailfish OS on Sony Xperia X, software ready for sale soon

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At MWC 2017, Jolla announced that the company was determined to see Sailfish OS in phones of more users this year, and it came up with a plan to put the Android alternative in Sony Xperia devices. Now we have a video from Jolla showing just what Sailfish OS can do on a Sony Xperia device.

Jolla was one of the companies that sprung from the old Finnish giant Nokia, after it decided to stop selling phones. Jolla made Sailfish OS, a software for mobile devices that was based on Linux, but also combining some elements from Android – all the while being totally different from Google’s mobile platform. If you want to see what Sailfish OS can do, check out the video below.

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Asus Tinker Board – TinkerOS Android 13.11.0.5 – Anything Special?

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Android

Asus published their first beta Android release (version 13.11.0.2) for the Tinker Board back in April. It was an important step for this single board computer, as Android is a hugely popular operating system with a phenomenal range of open source and proprietary software available. While the initial release was withdrawn from Asus’s support website, Asus followed up the initial release with some minor updates (versions 13.11.0.3 and 13.11.0.4) boasting some fairly modest improvements.

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Zorin OS 12.1 Lite, the Xfce one

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Reviews

Zorin OS 12.1 Lite is the first distribution from the Zorin team featuring Xfce desktop environment. Maybe that's the reason why I was not too convinced with its stability.

Apart from the issue with Parole player that I mentioned above, I also received a black screen during my Live run of this operating system. The system restored after few seconds, but I was forced to enter the username (guess it: zorin without password), and all the open applications were closed.

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Solus 3 Released Here Is What's New in Solus 3

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Linux

The newest Solus releases are ready for download from here for installation on most modern Intel and AMD based personal computers. Remember that you can choose between Budgie, GNOME, and MATE desktop options. Thanks for reading and share your thoughts and comments with us.

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GNU/Linux, Docker Gain in Rented Space

LibreOffice Help From FSF, Mike Saunders

  • New FSF membership benefit: LibreOffice certification
    The Free Software Foundation (FSF) today announced that the opportunity to apply for LibreOffice certification for migrations and trainings is now available to FSF Associate Members. LibreOffice is a free software project of The Document Foundation (TDF), a non-profit based in Germany. An office suite, LibreOffice encompasses word processing, and programs for the creation and editing of spreadsheets, slideshows, databases, diagrams and drawings, and mathematical formulae. It uses the ISO standard OpenDocument file format (ODF).
  • Marketing activities so far in 2017: Mike Saunders
    Thanks to donations to The Document Foundation, along with valued contributions from our community, we maintain a small team working on various aspects of LibreOffice including documentation, user interface design, quality assurance, release engineering and marketing. Together with Italo Vignoli, I help with the latter, and today I’ll summarise some of the achievements so far in 2017.

Debian/Ubuntu: Q4OS, Ubuntu Dock and LXD Weekly Status Update

  • There's Now a Windows 10 Installer for the Debian-Based Q4OS Linux Distribution
    The Q4OS development team is pleased to inform us today about the immediate availability for download of a Windows installer for their Debian-based GNU/Linux distribution, Q4OS, allowing users to create a dual-boot environment on their PCs. For those not familiar to Q4OS, it's an open-source and free Linux distro based on the popular Debian GNU/Linux operating system and built around the Trinity Desktop Environment (TDE), which resembles the look and feel of the old-school KDE 3.5 desktop environment. Created with an emphasis on Windows users who want to migrate to a free, open-source, and more secure operating system, Q4OS now lets them install the distribution alongside Microsoft Windows in an easy manner, without having to do any modifications to your personal computer or install any other apps.
  • Ubuntu Dock Now Has Dynamic Transparency
    Ubuntu devs have listened to our gripe on the jarring contrast between GNOME 3.26's transparent top bar and the Ubuntu Dock.
  • Ubuntu Dock Features Adaptive Transparency on Ubuntu 17.10, Here's How It Works
    Ubuntu contributor Didier Roche continues his development on the look and feel of the upcoming Ubuntu 17.10 (Artful Aardvark) operating system, and today he announced that Ubuntu Dock is getting adaptive transparency. Canonical confirmed that Ubuntu 17.10 would come with the GNOME 3.26 desktop environment by default, though the default session has suffered numerous modifications compared to the vanilla one to make things easier for those using the Unity interface on Ubuntu 17.04 (Zesty Zapus) or Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus). Most probably, Ubuntu 16.04 LTS users won't upgrade to Ubuntu 17.10, but we're sure Ubuntu 17.04 users will because it'll reach end of life in about four months from the moment of writing, sometime in January 2018. Therefore, Canonical wants to make their Unity to GNOME transition as painless as possible.
  • LXD: Weekly Status #15
    This week has been pretty quiet as far as upstream changes since half the team was attending the Open Source Summity, the Linux Plumbers Conference and the Linux Security Summit in Los Angeles, California.

Events: KDE/Randa 2017 and Linux Foundation

  • KMyMoney’s Łukasz Wojniłowicz in Randa
    Please read the following guest post from Łukasz who joined me last week in Randa to work on KMyMoney.
  • Randa 2017 – Databases are back to KMyMoney
    On the morning of Day 5 we chased and fixed a problem that was introduced a long time ago but never caused any trouble. The code goes back into the KDE3 version of KMyMoney and was caused by some changes inside Qt5. The fix prevents a crash when saving a transaction which opens an additional dialog to gather more information (e.g. price information). With the help of other devs here in Randa, we were able to drill down the problem and update the code to work on KF5/Qt5 keeping the existing functionality.
  • Randa 2017 – Days 3 and 4
    On Day 3, we started out at 7:02 as usual with the team responsible for breakfast meeting in the kitchen. KMyMoney wise, we worked some more on keyboard navigation and porting to KF5. The dialog to open a database and the logic around it have been rewritten/fixed, so that it is now possible to collect the information from the user and proceed with opening. The database I have on file for testing does not open though due to another problem which I still need to investigate.
  • Watch the Keynote Videos from Open Source Summit in Los Angeles
    If you weren’t able to attend Open Source Summit North America 2017 in Los Angeles, don’t worry! We’ve rounded up the following keynote presentations so you can hear from the experts about the growing impact of open source software.
  • uniprof: Transparent Unikernel for Performance Profiling and Debugging
    Unikernels are small and fast and give Docker a run for its money, while at the same time still giving stronger features of isolation, says Florian Schmidt, a researcher at NEC Europe, who has developed uniprof, a unikernel performance profiler that can also be used for debugging. Schmidt explained more in his presentation at Xen Summit in Budapest in July. Most developers think that unikernels are hard to create and debug. This is not entirely true: Unikernels are a single linked binary that come with a shared address space, which mean you can use gdb. That said, developers do lack tools, such as effective profilers, that would help create and maintain unikernels.