LXer Weekly Roundup for 11-Apr-2010

Posted by Scott_Ruecker on Apr 12, 2010 2:01 PM
LXer Linux News; By Scott Ruecker (Phoenix, U.S.)


LXer Feature: 12-Apr-2010

This week we have Jim Zemlin and SJVN weighing in on IBM's supposed breaking of their own pledge to open source many of their patents. Are HP and Dell giving up on netbooks? What will come after Linux? Jack Wallen sees the future, a review of Tiny Me and much more in this week's LXWR.

Are HP and Dell giving up on netbooks? : Faced with disappointing sales, HP and Dell are scaling back investments in 10-inch netbooks, with HP possibly quitting the format entirely, according to DigiTimes. Other motivators were said to include expectations for re-invigorated sales of larger, more expensive notebooks fueled by a recovering economy.

I have seen the future, and it is GNOME 3 : Today I finally managed to get GNOME Shell installed so I could get a preview of what is to come on the Linux desktop (at least through the eyes of GNOME). This new GNOME will arrive sometime this year (2010) and will, I promise you, change the way you use your desktop. Finally someone has looked at the current desktop metaphor and said “It’s over!” Think about it, the current paradigm has been in play since, when, Windows 95? Earlier you say? CDE? Let’s stick with Windows 95, because that really solidified the whole “taskbar, start button, icons, notification try” metaphor in the eyes of the public. Well, public, that is about to change - drastically.

IBM breaks OSS patent promise, targets mainframe emulator: IBM is threatening to pursue legal action against TurboHercules, a company that sells services relating to the open source Hercules project, an emulator that allows conventional computers with mainstream operating systems to run software that is designed for IBM System Z mainframe hardware. In a letter that IBM mainframe CTO Mark Anzani recently sent to TurboHercules, Big Blue says that it has "substantial concerns" that the Hercules project infringes on its patents. The letter is a brusque half-page, but was sent with nine additional pages that list a "non-exhaustive" selection of patents that IBM believes are infringed by the open source emulator.

Top 5 most useful commands or tools for Linux administrators: There are plenty such tools which are definitely very useful for Linux admins. Here I am just trying to figure out 5 of such useful tools which are used by a normal Linux administrator in day to day operations. A tool which I think is most useful may not fit in your usage and its definitely possible that you know some awesome tool which I forgot to include here, for such case, I am requesting hereby to please mention the tool in comments. One more thing, I am mentioning here tools which are somewhat optional and not absolutely required for everybody and excluding tool which have no viable alternative and every Linux admin have to use them.. such as SSH, SCP etc.

What will come after Linux?: Lets face it. Nothing lasts for ever. No matter how much we enjoy that perfect meal, movie, romance or whatever it will always be relegated to the past. The same with operating systems. They have come and gone. While there still may be pockets of them floating around in obscure places, such operating systems like DOS, OS/2, AmigaOS, GEOS and windows are either dead, dying or, like a turtle on its back, scrabbling around feverishly but going nowhere.

Is the Desktop Becoming Legacy?: A few years ago I wrote on OSNews several articles (1,2) about workstations. After three years I had to stop, because there were no workstations left on the market, they became legacy and were not sold any more. Now with the rise of mobile devices with touchscreen and wireless network connectivity virtually everywhere, the question becomes valid, what will happen with the desktop computers, are they still needed, or will they follow the workstations on their way to computer museums?

IBM’s Open Source Patent Pledge: For those of us that have worked for years in open source, rumors in the press of IBM “breaking its open source patent pledge” were met with a bit of dismay. IBM is one of the top contributors to the Linux kernel and dozens of critical open source projects. For more than a decade IBM has been a good citizen in the open source community. To get to the bottom of things I contacted Dan Frye, VP of Open Systems Development at IBM and member of the Linux Foundations board of directors, to “say it wasn’t so.” Fortunately all of us can breathe easy - IBM remains true to their word.

Opinion: Get Off IBM's Back Already!: The recent attacks on IBM patent use by some in the open-source community are way out of line. First things first, I hate software patents as much as the next open-source supporter, but the recent claims that IBM has betrayed open-source with recent patent claims are way over the top. If it were just one person throwing mud at IBM I wouldn't bother with responding to this, but with many other open-source advocates are jumping with both feet on IBM over the issue, I have to address it.

Proprietary Licenses Are Even Worse Than They Look: "There are lots of evil things that proprietary software companies might do. Companies put their own profit above the rights and freedoms of their users, and to that end, much can be done that subjugates users. Even as someone who avoids proprietary software, I still read many proprietary license agreements (mainly to see how bad they are)."

Ubuntu Is A Poor Standard Bearer For Linux: While Linux is a power to be reckoned with in the enterprise server room it continues to struggle for acceptance on the consumer desktop. On the desktop the most popular distributions, far and away, are Ubuntu and Fedora. Which one is more popular is an ongoing debate between the companies. However, when it comes to Linux media and the wider tech press there is no contest: Ubuntu has mindshare and gets the lion's share of media coverage. For Linux on the desktop Ubuntu is the de facto standard bearer. To whatever part of the general non-geek public is even aware of Linux the names "Linux" and "Ubuntu" are all but interchangeable. Over the past few years I've come to the conclusion that this state of affairs is, at best, unfortunate.

TinyMe - A tiny OS for old computers: TinyMe is a lightweight linux OS, it is aimed at making the computing experience as bloat- and lag-free as possible. It is well-suited to older computers, enthusiasts devoted to small/fast systems.

Microsoft to develop own open source platform: Open source developer at Microsoft, Garrett Serack announced today plans to bring a native running open source platform to Windows. In a blog posted today, Serack announced the Common Opensource Application Publishing Platform (CoApp). The post outlines the challenges of developing open source applications in a Windows environment and the differences between developing on UNIX and Linux and Windows.

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