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Manjaro 17.1.6 Hakoila Xfce - Whither goest thou?

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Manjaro 17.1.6 Hakoila Xfce edition is a decent distro. But it's different from the Plasma version, and that's not good. These two systems have a radically different user experience, hardware support, and overall quality, and there's little overlap among them. Almost as if they were developed in isolation. Xfce does media and smartphone support well, but it has sucky network support by default.

It's stable, robust overall, very fast, but the visual side of things is tricky, especially the fonts. You will need to invest time taming the distro, and I'm not talking just about pure subjective aesthetics. Most of the problems that I encountered are solvable, so why not just fix them from the start? If you're looking for a good, friendly Linux desktop, Hakoila is a reasonable choice, partly because it gives you Microsoft Office Online in a way no other distro does. Which makes the Samba and printing issues confusing. The Xfce version has some brilliant moments, marred by incomplete execution and various visual bugs. Overall, 7.0/10, I'd say, and it could easily be much much more with some attention to detail.

Lastly, I deeply worry about the inconsistencies between the Plasma and the Xfce versions. Neither was Hakoila perfect in any form, and worse yet, Gellivara was actually better. Lots of homework required, but then, Manjaro is at the forefront of innovation, a rare thing in Linux nowadays. Despite what we saw today, I'm quite optimistic about this distro. Let's see how it evolves.

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ArcoLinux Kirk Release 6.6

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At the time it seemed not a big task to change names from ArchMerge to ArcoLinux but in retrospect we had quite a big drain in resources because of it. It involves everything till the social media channels, websites etc. But luckily not a financial drain thanks to our partner

We are happy with the new name as it shows we do more then just merge 3 desktops in one iso.

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Joey Hess on LibrePlanet and Other Events, LibrePlanet GPL Talk

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  • Joey Hess: three conferences one weekJoey Hess: three conferences one week

    First was a Neuroinformatics infrastructure interoperability workshop at McGill, my second trip to Montreal this year. Well outside my wheelhouse, but there's a fair amount of interest in that community in git-annex/datalad. This was a roll with the acronyms, and try to draw parallels to things I know affair. Also excellent sushi and a bonus Secure Scuttlebutt meetup.

    Then LibrePlanet. A unique and super special conference, that utterly flew by this year. This is my sixth LibrePlanet and I enjoy it more each time. Highlights for me were Bassam's photogrammetry workshop, Karen receiving the Free Software award, and Seth's thought-provoking talk on "incompossibilities" especially as applied to social networks. And some epic dinner conversations in central square.

  • A usability study of the GPL

    We want software creators to use the GPL and its cousin licenses. We also know that people make mistakes in the process, or don’t even try because they’ve heard it’s "too complicated." Just as we do when we develop software, we would do well to study these failures and use them as opportunities to improve the usability of the GPL. This talk aims to start that process by identifying some known problems and considering some possible solutions. (None of these solutions are a new version of the license!)

Become an Arch Power User with Pacli and PacUI

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Before I introduce you to these applications, let me explain what they are and why you may find them useful.

Both of these applications are designed to help you install packages on Arch and Arch-based Linux distros (both from the repos and from the Arch User Repository). They are also designed to fix some system errors. Both of them run in the terminal and both give you access to complex commands with the tap of a key.

In terms of usability, they stand somewhere between using pacman (Arch’s package manager, generally used from the terminal) and Pamac (the graphical frontend for pacman).

For some, pacman (and other terminal package managers) are difficult to use because they don’t know all of the possible commands. The man is a couple keyboard strokes away, but it can be difficult to understand at times. On the other hand, when you use Pamac, you might have to search through a number of menus to find what you are looking for.

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Latest Few LibrePlanet Talks

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  • It's real! Free software has been changing Mexico

    The use of free software in the research and development of technology in the educational field is essential for a better society with more solid values. Mexico has initiated the development and use of free software, thanks to the creation of free software labs in higher education institutions. In this talk, we will discuss the creation of these labs, and the positive impact it has generated.

  • The dark side of free software communities

    When you think of free software, what things come to mind? Freedom, obviously, but what others? A shared community? An open culture? Within free software culture, there is a perception and expectation of openness and collaboration within the community: all are welcome to the table, and your contributions speak for you. When you get outside the community by enough, however, the answer changes. Contemptuous, confusing, elitist, and abrasive are words that some outsiders use to describe free software communities. Some go out of their way to avoid the communities we've worked so hard to build. Why?

  • Browsing the free software commons

    The ambition of the Software Heritage project is to collect, preserve, and share the entire body of free software that is published on the Internet in source code form, together with its development history.

    Since its public announcement in 2016, the project has assembled the largest collection of freely available software source code for about 4 billion unique source code files and 900 million commits, coming from more than 60 million projects.

    Initially focused on the collection and preservation goals -- which were at the time urgent, due to the recurrent disappearances of development forges -- Software Heritage has since rolled out several mechanisms to peruse its archive, making progress on the sharing goal.

    In this talk, we will review the status of the Software Heritage project, emphasizing how users and developers can, today, benefit from the availability of a great public library of source code.

  • Pathways for discovery of free software

    Software dependencies. Software citation. Scientific reproducibility. Preservation of legacy software. These phrases bring to mind times we need to communicate about free software. From people who write software to people who organize and provide documentation of software, to end users searching for software, we all need to unambiguously refer to software in its complexity.

    We are representing two different initiatives actively building the semantic web of free software by sourcing software metadata, and creating mappings and links to software artifacts. Morane is the metadata lead for Software Heritage, an initiative striving to become the Library of Alexandria for software by collecting all publicly available software in source code form, together with its development history. Kat is metadata lead for Wikidata for Digital Preservation, a collaboration between the Wikidata community and the digital preservation community. Together, we are working to ensure that our approaches to solve the software metadata challenge are interoperable.

My Linux Workstation Environment in 2018

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I’ve been wanting to make another list of the apps on my workstation since the last one but I couldn’t because I was switching between my Linux Mint and Ubuntu PCs on an almost daily basis. Now, I have settled on using one PC to work and let go of the other so I can dive right into the topic.

My distro of choice is – you guessed it, Ubuntu. I run 17.10 and am waiting to see what 18.04 will officially bring when it is released in April. “Why 17.10 and not 16.04 LTS?“, I hear you ask. Well, I have always been one to test Ubuntu’s builds and it includes the new shell, so heaven yeah!

It wouldn’t be resourceful to list every single installation on my PC so my list will regard the apps that I use the most, especially for my web development and writing jobs. For my design gigs, I mainly use a Mac and easy-to-use online tools whenever I’m away from home.

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Also: Librem laptop orders now shipping within a week

Desktop: OpenHMD, Talos II Workstation, 'Windows For Warships'

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  • Linux Gets An Open-Source VR Desktop, Built Off OpenHMD

    Remember Arcan, the open-source game engine powered display server? This project that has been going strong for several years now and began venturing into VR has now announced what we believe to be the first open-source VR Linux desktop environment.

  • Test Driving A 64-Thread POWER9 Workstation, Initial Performance Against A 96-Core ARM

    As of yesterday, Raptor Computing Systems has begun shipping the Talos II Workstation in volume. This POWER9 system is open down to the firmware and schematics while delivering quite a practical performance punch compared to today's proprietary x86/ARM servers.

    The Talos II is the new POWER9 system that we've been looking forward to for months. and includes a motherboard with PCI Express 4.0 and single/dual POWER9 CPU configurations.

  • Going Dark(er) For A Little While

    My job keeps me pretty much tied up. I know I probably surprised some people with bugs showing up on Launchpad. I'm testing Bionic Beaver at home the hard way by using it day by day and watching things break as I try to use them. Sadly we are still using Windows For Warships at work since we are still not cleared to attempt to upgrade to Windows 10 safely. Our current enterprise network isn't handling its current load safely as it is now.

LibrePlanet on Free Software in Public Services/Government

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  • The battle to free the code at the Department of Defense

    A battle is underway at the US Department of Defense (DoD) to improve the way DoD develops, secures, and deploys software. The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is not common reading for most people, but buried within the DoD’s 2,000-page budget authorization is a provision to free source code. The lively history behind this provision is simultaneously frustrating and encouraging, with private industry giants, Congress, and other federal agencies jockeying around the effort to free the code at DoD. Come listen to this important, but perhaps lesser known, chapter of the free software narrative, and learn how a small group of impassioned digital service experts are defying all odds to continue the fight for free software adoption.

  • Free software in academia

    This panel will offer a well-rounded discussion on various ways to incorporate free software into university curricula and scholarly projects, as well as ways to promote further engagement between scholars and the free software community. The panel will explore how free software fits into both computer science programs, such as the Free and Open Source Software and Free Culture Minors at RIT, and into digital humanities projects. What are the barriers to free software in academia? How does terminology cloud the issue? How do we promote the ethics of "free as in freedom" when the draw to many academics is "free as in beer"? How do free software and free culture interact in digital humanities and humanitarian projects?

  • San Francisco's free software voting system

    Elections in the US rely heavily on software. Whether we cast our votes using a computer, or on paper ballots that are then scanned, software interprets our votes, counts them, tabulates the results, and calls the winner. Almost all of this software is proprietary, and owned by a handful of large companies.

    A few jurisdictions have plans to move to free software, are funding its development, or are already using it. I'll give an overview of free software projects for election-related software around the US, with a focus on San Francisco's project, where I'm on the Technical Advisory Committee.

FSF: LibrePlanet 2018 a smashing success -- thanks to you!

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  • LibrePlanet 2018 a smashing success -- thanks to you!

    It's always hard to know how to sum up LibrePlanet -- the Free Software Foundation's (FSF) annual conference is an inspiring, information-filled, and seemingly non-stop weekend celebrating everything about free software.

    Friday marked Day Zero of the conference -- before the regular program started, the FSF was overrun with volunteers helping to pull together last-minute details for the conference. At 5pm, general conference attendees began showing up to pick up badges, socialize, meet each other, and generally have fun at the office. This was followed by a Welcome Dinner, kindly sponsored by IBM. The Welcome Dinner was for all women, genderqueer, and nonbinary people who were interested in meeting each other before the event, and to better encourage building diversity and inclusiveness in free software and the greater tech community. (Thanks, IBM!)

    Saturday and Sunday brought Day One and Day Two of the conference. With 24 sessions on Saturday and 30 on Sunday (including lightning talks), it was hard for many people to decide what to do. The long list of topics included automated cars, copyleft, education and academia, health and medicine, project updates, and various technical topics. There were workshops for children and adults, working sessions, and hours of conversations in the conference venue. The lively Exhibit Hall brought thirteen exhibitors, including communities, companies, non-profits, and even a library. At the end of each day was a raffle, with prizes donated by Aleph Objects, No Starch Press, Technoethical, JMP, and Aeronaut Brewing.

  • In business: Keeping free software sustainable
  • ibreCMC: The libre embedded GNU/Linux distro

    Embedded devices are all around us, and have become deeply "embedded" into our daily lives: from microcontrollers to "smart"-watches, routers, and televisions, they are all around us. Many of us don't think twice about the root of control in these devices, or even the software that runs on them. In some cases, manufacturers lock users out from controlling these devices, and cause a security nightmare when they stop supporting them. This session will cover a wide range of topics including: what libreCMC is, the project's goals / developments, and why free software is crucial in securing control and freedom in embedded devices.

  • Free Software as a catalyst for liberation, social justice, and social medicine

    In this non-technical session, I will talk about the philosophical aspects of GNU Health as a social project. I will discuss implementations in places around the world, including Argentina, Cameroon, and Laos, and the different actors involved, including governments, academia, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

    Finally, we will talk about the community, ethics, risks, challenges, and ways to keep these projects healthy and sustainable in the long term.

  • Friday Free Software Directory IRC meetup time: March 30th starting at 12:00 p.m. EDT/16:00 UTC
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