Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Tux Machines Plans for 2014 and Beyond

The snowflakes in the background are a gentle reminder of this winter's very peak of the season (it's already below zero here) and the transition between years. Tux Machines attracted about 300,000 hits per day just half a decade ago and we hope that in the future we can return to those levels (it is achievable, but it required dedication). Based on the past week's statistics we are heading in the right direction and the goal remains for the site to be a public service, not a platform for PR and/or advertising. This site is not a business. What drives it is a rather ideological passion for FOSS. The rewards from FOSS transcend finance. It is about trust, truth, and altruism through sharing.

With help from my wife we now have the capacity to run and update the site every day, several times per day. The goal is to share all the important news (high-impact events), as soon as the news comes out, and without repetition. These are the three points which make the difference between worthwhile aggregation and just yet another aggregator. If slightly older news items occasionally appear, then it's probably because these are important but previously overlooked. In order to cluster together several news sources about the same topic a bit of lag is imperative (withholding publication until more is known); this too can lead to deferral in publication. Leftovers and multi-link items typically contain lesser important news or updates on news which was previously shares. It all helps improve the signal-to-noise ratio and saves readers time (while not compromising on scope or angles).

We always listen to readers' feedback, we will never delete comments, and due to spam (bots creating dozens of accounts per day) we kindly ask anyone who wants a registered account to contact us (this is being done manually since last year because of script kiddies that misuse Drupal).

Registration

Hi Roy and Rianne,

I really like the work you two have been doing since taking over from Susan. I'm glad to see that the site is not only continuing, but getting better. To my knowledge, Tux Machines is maybe the best site for collecting Linux News, discounting very technically-oriented sites like LWN.

I have just a couple of suggestions that I feel would make the site even better. First, one thing I would really appreciate is the ability to comment anonymously, a la Distrowatch. I understand that there is a huge gap between that and the current practice, but if you can find a way to tackle the spam, moving in the direction of a more permissive commenting system would be great.

Second, I think a slightly cleaner, more modern look would be really be handy. (And what's with the links to Jacksonville carpet cleaners and such?)

Anyway, please take my comments in the constructive, appreciative spirit that they are intended in. And keep up the excellent work!

Anonymous comments and spam

bugme wrote:

Hi Roy and Rianne,

I really like the work you two have been doing since taking over from Susan. I'm glad to see that the site is not only continuing, but getting better. To my knowledge, Tux Machines is maybe the best site for collecting Linux News, discounting very technically-oriented sites like LWN.

LWN is different because it contains original stories from paid writers and it has time-limited paywalls. It's syndicated here at the bottom left.

bugme wrote:

I have just a couple of suggestions that I feel would make the site even better. First, one thing I would really appreciate is the ability to comment anonymously, a la Distrowatch. I understand that there is a huge gap between that and the current practice, but if you can find a way to tackle the spam, moving in the direction of a more permissive commenting system would be great.

I agree and I can give it a go. Bear in mind, however, that a year after registration for new users was disabled I tried to enable it again and within hours I already saw a lot of spam registrations, making it impossible to discern real from fake. I have the same problem at Techright's Drupal side (version 7); it took the spammers just a few days to run their scripts on it. This is basically killing Drupal as a participatory platform. Maybe I will search for some spam-resising plugins (and blind-respecting too) when I upgrade Drupal. See below.

bugme wrote:

Second, I think a slightly cleaner, more modern look would be really be handy. (And what's with the links to Jacksonville carpet cleaners and such?)

A Drupal upgrade might break compatibility with the existing theme. I am still focusing on migration; later will come patching, which may inevitably alter the look.

The links at the side relate to advertising deals which Susan says are still in effect. I don't invite new advertising deals, but I have to honour existing ones.

bugme wrote:

Anyway, please take my comments in the constructive, appreciative spirit that they are intended in. And keep up the excellent work!

Anonymous comments I can try to enable for a period of time. Hopefully spam isn't the reason they were disabled in the first place; but I suspect it is.

Testing anonymous comments

I have just spent over half an hour investigating this. The short story is as follows.

There are two issues with anonymous comments; first, there is a bug, which is described in https://drupal.org/node/501286 ; second, there are ongoing spamming attempts (by bots).

Now, the longer story:

I have learned the Drupal configuration GUI (I am a WordPress person, so relatively new to Drupal), finding in turn the comments administration panel and also "permissions". In the latter, different categories of people can have privileges assigned to them. One category/group is "anonymous" user (UID 0, apparently). I tried tinkering with various settings there, but the test comments posted (from two Web browsers) would never show up, neither in the comments moderation queue nor in the posts, no matter which moderator/administrator is logged in. That's a bug. Even if comments are permitted without moderation, anonymous comments just won't show up. Maybe it's a collusion with some Drupal extension; it's hard to tell. I tried posting the following comment three times with variations in fields completed (e.g. E-mail and homepage):

"This is Roy testing an anonymous comment, in which E-mail and other fields are not required. The policy being tested right now is that in order to reduce spam all anonymous comments need to enter a moderation queue first. If this queue is not bombarded with spam, then this policy will stay."

This comment never showed up, even with the most permissive policy for anonymous comments. In the mean time I noticed spam appearing in "Recent comments", which confirms that spammers already run scripts against Drupal; it only took minutes, so expect something like dozens of spam comments per hour.

I guess I now understand why Susan had anonymous comments set to "disabled". It's far too much trouble is not an impossibility due to technical issues.

Wow - everythings different

Wow, leave the States for a few months and everything goes wonky.

Best of luck to Susan, she did a EXCELLENT job and seems to be a very nice person. Best of luck to your future adventures Susan.

I don't see the reason for enabling anonymous comments - if people can't take 5 minutes to register whatever name they want to use - then they're either flakes or spammers.

Or go with Disqus - one registration and you have comment access to many different sites.

Disqus

Disqus presents a whole raft of issues (more than I'd care to list, but JavaScript, dependence on third party, no anonymity etc. are among them).

I am an advocate of anonymity for those who need it and I spent some time writing several articles explaining the importance of anonymity.

I tried (at the expense of almost one hour of work) to enable anonymous comments here, but spammers pretty much rendered anonymity dead; you can imagine who benefits from this.

vonskippy, let me welcome you to a "everything's different" TM. Smile If you find areas you think need improving, please let us know. This site if for you guys.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

More in Tux Machines

Qt/KDE: Qt5 in Debian and Slackware, QtCreator on Android, KDE Discover, and Plasma's 10th Anniversary

  • moving Qt 4 from Debian testing (aka Buster): some statistics, update II
    We started filing bugs around September 9. That means roughly 32 weeks which gives us around 5.65 packages fixed per week, aka 0.85 packages per day. Obviously not as good as we started (remaining bugs tend to be more complicated), but still quite good.
  • [Slackware] Plasma5 – April 18 edition for Slackware
    The KDE-5_18.04 release of ‘ktown‘ for Slackware-current offers the latest KDE Frameworks (5.45.0), Plasma (5.12.4) and Applications (18.04.0). The Qt5 was upgraded to 5.9.5. Read the README file for more details and for installation/upgrade instructions. Enjoy the latest Plasma 5 desktop environment.
  • Perfect Debugging Experience with QtCreator on Android
    While I was working on a yet-to-be-announced super secret and cool Qt on Android project, I had to do a lot of debugging. This way I found that debugging Qt apps on Android using QtCreator was ok, but it had some issues, which was kinda frustrating.
  • Discover – Easily Install Software on KDE Neon Desktop
    KDE Discover is an Open Source GUI app installer that comes packaged with KDE Neon. It was particularly built from the ground up to be compatible with other modern Linux distros with emphasis on beauty and convenience. KDE Discover was also designed to allow for an intuitive User Experience as it features a clean and clear layout with a high readability value which makes it easy to browse, search for, install, and uninstall applications.
  • Almost 10 years of Plasma-Desktop
    Last week I was at work and start to listen my boss said: “We need to show this to our director”. So I went to my coworker table to see what was happening. So they were using Gource to make a video about the git history of the project. Gource is a software version control visualization tool. So that triggered in my mind some memories about a friend talking about Python and showing how the project as grow in this past years, but I never discovered about the tool that made that amazing video. So well, I started to make some Gource videos, and because my love about KDE Community, why not make one about it?

GNOME: Getting Real GNOME Back in Ubuntu 18.04, Bug Fix for Memory Leak

  • Getting Real GNOME Back in Ubuntu 18.04 [Quick Tip]
    Ubuntu 18.04 uses a customized version of GNOME and GNOME users might not like those changes. This tutorial shows you how to install vanilla GNOME on Ubuntu 18.04. One of the main new features of Ubuntu 18.04 is the customized GNOME desktop. Ubuntu has done some tweaking on GNOME desktop to make it look similar to its Unity desktop. So you get minimize options in the windows control, a Unity like launcher on the left of the screen, app indicator support among some other changes.
  • The Infamous GNOME Shell Memory Leak
    at this point, I think it’s safe to assume that many of you already heard of a memory leak that was plaguing GNOME Shell. Well, as of yesterday, the two GitLab’s MRs that help fixing that issue were merged, and will be available in the next GNOME version. The fixes are being considered for backporting to GNOME 3.28 – after making sure they work as expected and don’t break your computer.
  • The Big GNOME Shell Memory Leak Has Been Plugged, Might Be Backported To 3.28
    The widely talked about "GNOME Shell memory leak" causing excessive memory usage after a while with recent versions of GNOME has now been fully corrected. The changes are currently staged in Git for what will become GNOME 3.30 but might also be backported to 3.28. Well known GNOME developer Georges Stavracas has provided an update on the matter and confirmed that the issue stems from GJS - the GNOME JavaScript component - with the garbage collection process not being fired off as it should.

Graphics: AMDVLK, XWayland and Vulkan

  • AMDVLK Vulkan Driver Stack Gets Updated With More Extensions, Optimizations & Fixes
    AMD developers maintaining their official Vulkan cross-platform driver code have pushed their end-of-week updates to their external source repositories for those wanting to build the AMDVLK driver on Linux from source. This latest AMDVLK push updates not only their PAL (Platform Abstraction Layer) and XGL (Vulkan API Layer) components but it also updates their fork of the LLVM code-base used for their shader compilation.
  • EGLStreams XWayland Code Revised Ahead Of X.Org Server 1.20
    It's still not clear if the EGLStreams XWayland support will be merged for xorg-server 1.20 but at least the patches were revised this week, making it possible to merge them into this next X.Org Server release for allowing the NVIDIA proprietary driver to work with XWayland.
  • Vulkan 1.1.74 Released With Minor Fixes & Clarifications
    Vulkan continues sticking to the "release early, release often" mantra with the availability today of Vulkan 1.1.74.

Xfce Releases/Updates

  • Xfce Settings 4.12.3 / 4.13.2 Released
    Fixes galore! Xfce Settings 4.12.3 and 4.13.2 were released on March 18th with several improvements, feature parity, and translations.
  • Xfce PulseAudio Plugin 0.4.0 (and 0.4.1) Released
    Stable as a rock. Xfce PulseAudio Plugin hit a new stable milestone with the 0.4.0 release. This release wraps up the awesome development cycle we’ve had on this over the last few months and is recommended for all users.
  • Xfce Settings Update Brings Better Multi-Monitor Support
    While still waiting on the long-awaited Xfce 4.14, out this weekend is an Xfce Settings 4.14.2 preview release as well as an Xfce Settings 4.12.3 stable series update. Both of these Xfce Settings updates bring better multi-monitor support, including visualization of all display configuration states, visually noting if two displays are mirrored, always drawing the active display last so it's on top, and a number of fixes pertaining to the multi-monitor display handling from this Xfce desktop settings agent.