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April 2007

First Look: Firefox 3 Alpha 4

Filed under
Moz/FF

Mozilla has reached another milestone in the development of Firefox 3, releasing version alpha 4 over the weekend. As with the previous alpha releases, Gran Paradiso Alpha 4 is intended primarily for the developer community and is not yet ready for prime-time use.

Alpha 4 brings a number of new enhancements to Firefox 3, which we outlined yesterday.

Dell to choose Ubuntu

Filed under
Ubuntu

Officially, Dell Inc. hasn't said a word yet about which Linux it will be preloading on its desktops and laptops. Several sources within Dell, however, have told DesktopLinux.com that Dell's desktop Linux pick is going to be Ubuntu.

Review of PCLinuxOS 2007 Test Release 4

Filed under
PCLOS
Reviews

I find it hard to explain why I love PClinuxOS as much as I do, especially considering the other day when I decided to drop into Ubuntu to perform some basic tasks. PCLinuxOS is an excellent release and PCLOS2007 is looking like a real contender for most usable Linux 2007. Let's see how test release 4 behaves.

Reject Windows addiction, says advocate

Filed under
Microsoft

Outspoken Australian free software advocate Con Zymaris has labelled Microsoft's plan to offer Windows for $3 dollars to developing nations as an attempt to "addict" users to Microsoft software.

WHY is the transition from Windows to Linux easy for some people?

Filed under
Linux

After I'd closed the lid on the "Ubuntu is not Linux" , uh, mess, Eric over at Binary World has taken up the idea and tried to grapple with it. I don't know, maybe I should dig it up and check for a pulse. But I'm thinking again... (that's always a dangerous sign!)

Here's the nut of the matter: moving from Windows to Linux is easy for some people and hard for others. WHY?

New mutt 1.5.15 has a very nice new feature!

Filed under
Software

Just found today when I was looking to see if I missed something with the mutt sidebar patch (still irritates me that I have to sync a mailbox before jumping to another mailbox in order for the counts in the sidebar to be updated properly), that mutt 1.5.15 was released earlier this month. This is an extremely worthwhile upgrade, especially because it now has SMTP support built-in.

Introducing Ubuntu’s Add/Remove Packages

Filed under
HowTos

Last week, my fellow FOSSwire blogger Jacob introduced you to APT, the powerful package management system that is underneath Ubuntu.

The command line interface is the most powerful way to manipulate the software installed on your system, but to users who aren’t familiar with a command line interface, it can be a bit daunting.

Standard Office

Filed under
KDE

June 21th 2005 was the day KOffice released version 1.4. I highlight that release because it was the first release where KOffice switched its native format to the OpenDocument Format. That would become an official ISO standard in May 2006.

PCLinuxOS Magazine May 2007 Issue 9 Released

Filed under
PCLOS

It is my privilege to announce on behalf of the team members of the PCLinuxOS Magazine Project sponsored by MyPCLinuxOS.com, the May 2007 issue (#9) is available for download!

Some highlights include:

1. KDE User Guide Part 2
2. Scroogle and Konqueror Integration
3. Top Ten Reasons for Using Linux
4. Linux in Education
5. Updating PCLinuxOS to 2007

Japanese schools may convert aging computers to Linux

Filed under
Linux

A recent article in OhMyNews.com discusses the results of a conference in Tokyo at which educators recommended converting aging computers running Windows 98 and ME to Linux. About 400,000 such machines exist in Japan's public schools and either can't run more up-to-date operating systems or the cost of upgrade is prohibitive.

More in Tux Machines

Geoffrey Knauth elected Free Software Foundation president; Odile Bénassy joins the board

The Free Software Foundation (FSF) today announced the addition of a new director to its board, and the election of a new president. Long-time free software activist and developer Odile Bénassy, known especially for her work promoting free software in France, was elected to the FSF's board of directors. Geoffrey Knauth, who has served on the FSF's board for over thirty years, was elected president. On her election, Bénassy said, "I'm happy and proud to accept FSF's invitation to be part of the board. I want to help keep steady the principles of free software, and the philosophical values around it. Free software counts among what the world badly needs nowadays." Knauth welcomed Bénassy, saying, "I am delighted that Odile Bénassy has agreed to become a director of the FSF, FSF's first director from Europe. Odile is a mathematics educator, researcher, software engineer, and leader of the GNU Edu project. She has been advocating for and developing free software for more than twenty years." FSF's executive director, John Sullivan, added, "Being on the FSF's board of directors means first and foremost standing as a guardian for free software and the associated user freedoms. With such a long track record, Odile has shown herself to be someone FSF members and supporters can count on. I'm really looking forward to working with her, and I'm excited to see all the ways she'll help the FSF be better and stronger." Describing his approach to his new position as president, Knauth posted a statement which begins, "The FSF board chose me at this moment as a servant leader to help the community focus on our shared dedication to protect and grow software that respects our freedoms. It is also important to protect and grow the diverse membership of the community. It is through our diversity of backgrounds and opinions that we have creativity, perspective, intellectual strength and rigor." Read more

Android Leftovers

Review of Firefox “Fenix” for Android

Mozilla has begun a staged roll-out of its redesigned and rearchitected Firefox browser for Android (codename “Fenix”). So far, Fenix has only been released in 14 countries through the Google Play Store. Here’s my review of Mozilla’s new flagship mobile browser as a long-time user and as an extension developer. Fenix’s user interface is minimal, but it represents a large amount of work under the hood. It’s built on GeckoView and Mozilla Android Components (MOZAC); a set of reusable components for mobile app developers that makes it easier to build a web browser based on Mozilla technology. These components are a modernization of the old codebase as well as a direct competitor to WebView — the web engine that’s built-in to Android, as well as Google’s ChromiumView. Read more

Interview: RISC-V CTO Mark Himelstein

RISC-V doesn’t have the necessary sacks of cash to spread around, however. The brute force approach is closed to Himelstein and his colleagues, so how does he motivate developers who might be on the fence? “I’m working on it,” he admits. “Look at Linux, at Hadoop, at Eclipse, at Apache… They grew up around the contributor model. Contributors to Hadoop are rock stars. It’s exciting. There’s cachet. It’s like being in an exclusive club. It’s hard to say how that happened. It just evolved.” He contrasts that process to seemingly similar open-source processors like OpenSPARC or OpenPower. Those examples are ex post facto open source, he says. They started out as proprietary commercial products (at Sun and IBM, respectively) and then backed into the open-source world after the fact. “They just hopped on the open-source train.” Nobody in those groups seems to have the same level of enthusiastic self-motivation that you see in, say, Hadoop or Linux circles, he says. “We want to be more like Linux or Hadoop.” Read more