LXer Weekly Roundup for 25-Jul-2010

Posted by Scott_Ruecker on Jul 26, 2010 1:46 AM
LXer Linux News; By Scott Ruecker (Phoenix, U.S.)


LXer Feature: 25-July-2010

Fedora vs Ubuntu: Ubuntu is the Linux head-of-state but Fedora offers an exciting alternative. There was a time when Ubuntu was the upstart: a new Linux distribution that was more promise than substance. When it was launched in late 2004 it was up against a number of distributions that had been in development for years: Red Hat, Fedora, Suse Linux and Mandriva (then still called Mandrake). These were well-developed distributions with their own fans and unique features. Ubuntu, based on Debian, had a solid base but had a long way to go to be as user-friendly as it planned.

50 Open Source Replacements for Popular Financial Software: Whether you just want to balance your checkbook or you need to track the finances of a large global corporation, you can find open source software to do the job. For our list of open source financial tools, we cast a wide net and included applications related to enterprise resource management, point-of-sale and even employee time tracking. Not to mention traditional accounting and financial management tools.

London Stock Exchange CTO leaves during move to Linux: he London Stock Exchange, which is currently in the process of moving its trading platforms to Linux, has lost its chief technology officer, Robin Paine. Anyone trying to contact Paine via email receives the following message, “Robin Paine no longer works for the London Stock Exchange”.

Blackboard - No Linux for Online Education: Earlier this week however I was curious as to just want browsers were "supported" by the Blackboard (online education) system. It was then that I discovered what they really meant by "supported browsers" was "supported operating systems and browsers".

Three Apps for Monitoring Performance in Linux: Most Linux users are familiar with the top command. Top shows you a list of processes on your system and provides a ton of useful information such as their CPU usage and owner. Unfortunately, this isn’t always enough data and many people don’t know where to turn next. This article covers three performance monitoring applications that show information top doesn’t tell you, and can greatly help in troubleshooting bottlenecks or just finding out more about your system. These utilities are iftop, iotop, and pv.

Five deadly sins of Android development: Committing these sins will cause you to burn in Android hell and you will have no place in the Market. Kunal Deo reveals all and he really means business...

Woah, It Looks Like Oracle Will Stand Behind OpenSolaris: Since Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems last year, the future of the Solaris and OpenSolaris operating systems have been called into question especially as the OpenSolaris 2010.1H release was missing and has been that way for months now with no official communication from Oracle. A new OpenSolaris release hasn't come in more than a year and we still are left wondering if or when it will arrive. Even the OpenSolaris Governing Board is out of the loop and they may abandon the cause in August if Oracle doesn't make their OpenSolaris intentions clear and appoint a liaison. This evening though is one of the first signs that Oracle may let the OpenSolaris operating system live on with their support.

Linux Desktop: Command Line vs. User Interface: In the Linux desktop world, the graphical user interface is here to stay. Old Unix hands may grumble, but the fact remains that, without all the efforts poured into GNOME, KDE, Xfce and others, Linux would not be as successful as it is today. The reason for the desktop's success is obvious. A desktop requires much less knowledge than a command line, and is suited to maybe 80% of the most common tasks that an average user needs. If the desktop needs much larger applications, that hardly seems a problem on a modern computer.

India's $35 PC is the Future of Computing: The government of India has unveiled a prototype of a touchscreen, tablet computer which it expects to sell for $35 initially... The Indian prototype is impressive--especially at a $35 price point. The device runs on a variation of Linux.

Resizing images with correct gamma using PHP and GD: A short while ago "Ty W" posted an interesting question on StackOverflow. Apparently, most graphics software cannot scale images the right way. Usually it's hard to notice the flaw but the linked article does a great job of explaining the problem. PHP's GD library suffers from the same issue, but Ty discovered that the sample PHP program provided with the article did not work on partially transparent images. After a couple of hours of fiddling I managed to get a working solution. Apparently, the imagegammacorrect() function in PHP deals badly with images that have an alpha channel. I suspect that it tries to apply the same calculation to the alpha channel that it applies to the red, green and blue channels. To work around this, my solution splits the aplha channel from the original image. The alpha channel is resampled regularly while the red, green and blue channels are resampled using gamma correction.

Free open source books: Want to learn more about open source? Download some books for free. It doesn't matter if you're new to open source or a long-time user, there is always more to learn about. We scoured the Web for the best open source books. All of these are free books that can be downloaded and shared.

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