As you may already know, this is the Free Software Foundation's thirtieth year fighting for computer user freedom. It has been a great year already, with our biggest LibrePlanet conference ever and an article about GNU in the New Yorker. But what's a birthday without a party?
Jeff Hoogland today posted some updated information for fans of his Bodhi Linux distributions as well as requesting help testing new desktop Moksha. Elsewhere, Clement Lefebvre today said the upgrade path from 17.0 and 17.1 to 17.2 is now open to all. Also, The Linux Foundation today announced its keynote speakers for upcoming conferences in Dublin and QEMU is the Software Freedom Conservancy's newest member.
As I learned more about Linux, it became easier to use with time. I was impressed by the contributions of open source developers to it as well. Use cases that were really hard for me at first became easier as more advancements were made in the Linux community. At one point, finding and installing codecs to play multimedia files was annoying, but later it became a cinch. Proprietary drivers (when absolutely necessary) required me to recompile my kernel, but it is now often just a checkbox. Free drivers have also made leaps and bounds.
Richard Stallman, the founder of the Free Software Foundation and the GNU Project known by many in the open source worlds as rms, is not the sort of person you'd expect to endorse a product. But Stallman and the FSF have formed a partnership of sorts with Crowd Supply, a crowdfunding company that has been largely focused on open source hardware and software projects.
Although the Linux kernel forms the beating heart of the Android operating system, it's still a very different platform from most distros. In fact, beyond the kernel, most of the libraries, services and applications are completely different. While there are hundreds of different Linux distros out there, they all share components from the GNU project. Android, on the other hand, has taken a completely different route, tailored to the requirements of mobile devices.
As a result, it's not been possible to run Android apps natively on GNU Linux systems without using a virtual machine. Obviously running a VM and the complete Android stack adds a lot of overhead, and as a result, Android apps tend to run much slower. This is bad news for developers, who must run their apps thousands of times over during development and testing, and although it is possible to run tests through a device via a USB connection, it's still clumsy.