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Oracle Layoffs and Analysis of Impact on Solaris

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OS
  • 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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OS
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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OSS
  • 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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today's leftovers

  • Black screen of death after Win10 update? Microsoft blames HP
    Microsoft is pointing the finger of blame at HP's factory image for black screens of death appearing after a Windows Update. Scores of PC owners took to the HP forums last week to report that Windows 10 updates released September 12 were slowing down the login process. Users stated that once they downloaded the updates and entered their username and password, they only saw black screens for about five to 10 minutes. The forum members said that clean installs or disabling a service called "app readiness", which "gets apps ready for use the first time a user signs in to this PC and when adding new apps" seemed to fix the delay. Today, a Microsoft spokesperson told The Register: "We're working to resolve this as soon as possible" and referred affected customers to a new support post.
  • GNOME 3.26 Released! Check Out the New Features
    GNOME 3.26 is the latest version of GNOME 3 released six months after the last stable release GNOME 3.24. The release, code-named “Manchester”, is the 33rd stable release of the free, open-source desktop.
  • Arch Arch and away! What's with the Arch warriors?
    If you choose to begin your Linux adventures with Arch Linux after trying Ubuntu for a month, you're probably doing it wrong. If there's a solid reason why you think Arch is for you; awesome! Do it. You will learn new things. A lot of new things. But hey, what's the point in learning what arch-chroot does if you can't figure out what sudo is or what wpa_supplicant does?
  • Setting a primary monitor for launching games in a dual monitor rig
  • AMD Zen Temperature Monitoring On Linux Is Working With Hwmon-Next
    If you want CPU temperature monitoring to work under Linux for your Ryzen / Threadripper / EPYC processor(s), it's working on hwmon-next. The temperature monitoring support didn't make it for Linux 4.14 but being published earlier this month were finally patches for Zen temperature monitoring by extending the k10temp Linux driver.
  • Fanless Skylake computer offers four PCI and PCIe slots
    Adlink’s MVP-6010 and MVP-6020 embedded computers run Linux or Windows on Intel 6th Gen CPUs, and offer 4x PCI/PCIe slots, 6x USB ports, and 4x COM ports. If Adlink’s new MVP-6010/6020 Series looks familiar, that’s because it’s a modified version of the recent MVP-5000 and last year’s MVP-6000 industrial PCs. The top half appears to be identical, with the same ports, layout, and Intel 6th Gen Core “Skylake” TE series processors. Like the MVP-6000, it adds a PCI and PCIe expansion unit on the bottom, but whereas the MVP-6000 had two slots, the MVP-6010 and MVP-6020 have four.
  • How Qi wireless charging works, and why it hasn’t taken over yet
    Qi has been an Android staple for a while, and now it’s coming to iPhones, too.
  • W3C DRM appeal fails, votes kept secret
    Earlier this summer, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) — the organization responsible for defining the standards that make up the Web — decided to embrace DRM (aka "EME") as a web standard. I wasn’t happy about this. I don’t know many who were. Shortly after that, the W3C agreed to talk with me about the issue. During that discussion, I encouraged the W3C to increase their level of transparency going forward — and if there is an appeal of their DRM decision, to make that process completely open and visible to the public (including how individual members of the W3C vote on the issue). The appeal happened and has officially ended. I immediately reached out to the W3C to gather some details. What I found out was highly concerning. I’ll include the most interesting bits below, as un-edited as possible.

Red Hat News

OSS: Blockchain, Innersource, SQL and Clang

  • Banks are turning to open source for blockchain, says Google engineer
    Banks have historically developed all software in-house and maintained a fierce secrecy around their code, but more recently they’ve embraced open-source. They’re likely to use open source for one of the most hotly tipped technologies out there – blockchain.
  • Innersource: How to leverage open source in the enterprise
    Companies of varying sizes across many industries are implementing innersource programs to drive greater levels of development collaboration and reuse. They ultimately seek to increase innovation; reduce time to market; grow, retain, and attract talent; and of course, delight their customers. In this article, I'll introduce innersource and some of its key facets and examine some of the problems that it can help solve. I'll also discuss some components of an innersource program, including metrics.
  • Reflection on trip to Kiel
    On Sunday, I flew home from my trip to Kiel, Germany. I was there for the Kieler Open Source und LinuxTage, September 15 and 16. It was a great conference! I wanted to share a few details while they are still fresh in my mind: I gave a plenary keynote presentation about FreeDOS! I'll admit I was a little concerned that people wouldn't find "DOS" an interesting topic in 2017, but everyone was really engaged. I got a lot of questions—so many that we had to wrap up before I could answer all the questions.
  • A quick tour of MySQL 8.0 roles
    This year at the Percona Live Open Source Database Conference in Dublin, I'll be discussing a new feature introduced in MySQL 8.0: roles. This is a new security and administrative feature that allows database administrators to simplify user management and increases the security of multi-user environments. In database administration, users are granted privileges to access schemas, tables, or columns, depending on the business needs. When many different users require authorization for different sets of privileges, administrators have to repeat the process of granting privileges several times. This is both tedious and error-prone. Using roles, administrators can define sets of privileges for a user category, and then the user authorization becomes a single statement operation. Roles have been on the MySQL community's wish list for a long time. I remember several third-party solutions that tried to implement roles as a hack on top of the existing privileges granting system. I created my own solution many years ago when I had to administer a large set of users with different levels of access. Since then, anytime a new project promised to ease the roles problem, I gave it a try. None of them truly delivered a secure solution, until now.
  • MyDiamo Expands Open Source Database Encryption Offerings to Include PostgreSQL
  • Clang-Refactor Tool Lands In Clang Codebase
    The clang-refactor tool is now living within the LLVM Clang SVN/Git codebase.

Games: Ostriv, Back to Bed, EVERSPACE, Hiveswap: Act 1