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Netscape, the Web browser that opened up not only the Web, but the entire Internet to mass use, is dead. It died after a long decline caused by its murderer, Microsoft's Internet Explorer. It was only 15 years ago that only a handful of nerds knew about the Internet and the Web. Even after CIX (Commercial Internet Exchange) opened up the Internet for business in 1991, only the kinds of people who now use Linux were using the Internet.
Over the past year or two I’ve been drifting away from Fedora, Ubuntu, and Mandriva towards distros derived from Slackware for desktop use. The reason is simple: these distributions tend to have the best performance I’ve found, particularly on older or limited hardware. Slackware itself lacks some graphical tools and user friendly features that more popular distros have but is outstanding in terms of stability and reliability. A number of Slackware derived distros retain those benefits while offering the ease of use many of us have come to expect. AliXe is such a distro, albeit one designed to be small and compact, making it particularly suitable for older hardware. True to it’s Canadian heritage, AliXe also offers full support for both French and English despite it’s small size.
xine-lib is the backbone of many Linux multimedia players, from xine itself, to Totem, Kaffeine and Miro. It's a great library to use to build your own media player, but unfortunately, documentation for it is rather hard to find. This tutorial provides some starting steps for using xine-lib to play audio in your own code.
Weave ; It's the newest Mozilla Labs project. It allows the user to save his browser settings on Mozilla servers (Favorites, sessions ,passwords...etc..) and be able to load it wherever he is. With this project. Mozilla is trying to be an online services provider which is an important step. But can Mozilla labs get over the privacy issues ?
We learned a lot in 2007, and we hope you did too! Here’s a list of the top 10 most popular articles of the year.
No operating system, no not even Linux, is ever completely secure. So it is that the Debian Project released on Dec. 27 its second update to Debian 4.0, Etch, with an eye to improved security. While not a new release as such, Debian's core features and functionality remain unchanged, this new security rollup includes multiple fixes that have been released over the last few months. For example, this release includes numerous repairs to the Linux kernel.
Abdel Benamrouche announced that he has updated the original 0.01 Linux kernel to compile with GCC-4.x, allowing it to run on emulators such as QEMU and Bochs. After applying his series of small patches, Abdel explains that the 0.01 kernel can be built on a system running the 2.6 Linux kernel. He added that he's successfully ported bach-3.2, portions of coreutils-6.9, dietlibc-0.31 (instead of glibc), bin86-0.16.17, make-3.81, ncurses-2.0.7, and vim-7.1 all to run on his modified 0.01 kernel.
Marc Fribush, a former "Microsoft guy," is a telecommunications industry entrepreneur who discovered the benefits of open source when he launched a turnkey SAAS telephony business based on Asterisk. "It's really powerful stuff," Fribush says.
Last week I came acrossGodwin's Law. Many of you may already be familiar with it. For those of you who aren't, Godwin's Law, according to wikipedia, states: "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one."
It seems to be a very famous question : how can free software developers make money to live. They spend a lot of time and effort on something that they'll never sell.. The problem is : are they supposed to earn money ? If they don't code for money what is their motivator ?
The Reusable Computer Network (ReCoN) builds networks of computers from mini-itx, USB ThumbDrives and older computers. ReCoN uses two Linux distributions to create a powerful network of computers that can be built for next to nothing. The concept is based on the fact that, most homes, schools and businesses now have at least one new computer at their location and they also have a number of older computers they just do not know what to do with.
The most important thing that came to light this year is how much Linux and FOSS drive the computer industry. It's not the oldtime traditional commercial companies that are "driving innovation" as they like to say, and which makes me want to hit something every time I hear it because it's such a big fat fib, but Linux and the FOSS world. So rather than getting all violent, let's take a look at some of the ways that Linux is leaving everyone else in the dust.
Great! Now that java's finally about to be freed, it's losing ground. According to Bill Snyder, Java is losing ground to Ruby on Rails, PHP, and AJAX for web development and being pushed by .Net in the enterprise.
Developers are puzzling over recent clues blogged by a few Microsoft employees regarding a new “Emacs.Net” tool the company is building.
[No, you're not drunk, it's not April Fools' today, but yes, hell just froze over - hkwint]
Whenever people discuss software that they would like to see ported to Linux, they mention desktop publishing (DTP) applications like Adobe InDesign and QuarkXpress. But Linux already supports an application aimed at DTP users. Scribus is an open-source page layout program that runs on Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X. Is it a viable alternative to proprietary products for professional production work? For nearly a decade, starting in the mid '90s, my primary responsibility at work was editing and laying out graphics and text in documents. QuarkXpress was the first page layout program I used, followed quickly by various versions of Aldus (and later Adobe) PageMaker. A few years ago, I started to work with Adobe's successor to PageMaker, InDesign.
There's little question that open source software -- and the open source philosophy -- has made giant strides in 2007. As tempting as it can be to just look back and feel good about our progress, it's the right time for the community to take a long look forward and figure out what needs to be done to continue -- and even accelerate -- momentum. To get the conversation started, I've compiled a list of five suggested "to-do" items for open source in 2008. Some of the items are evangelical; some are introspective. All of these things garnered at least some notice in 2007 and are bound to remain at least as important or gain that much more attention in '08. It's not an exhaustive list and isn't intended to be one; it's simply meant to spark further thought.
About a week ago, Joe Barr posted a feature on Linux.com titled "New Alien Arena 6.10 blows away its FPS competition" yet gave no real comparisons with other similar games, regretable since his conclusion was that it "blows away its competition". This was done in the same style as Barr's previous feature, "Tremulous: The best free software game ever?" which described Tremulous but also lacked comparisons and relations to other games. This feature hopes to be a thorough comparison of the major free software shooters.
This is not the usual Linux/Mac fanboy “Microsoft is Dead, Long Live [insert OS of choice here]” rant. Microsoft is a multikajillion (yes, I am a math teacher) dollar giant and it isn’t going anywhere any time soon. However, I think it has some pretty significant obstacles ahead of it in the Ed Tech market which just might have a ripple effect in the years to come. It’s been noted before that I should alert readers to my pro-open source biases, so here you go: I am biased towards open source solutions for education wherever they make practical, financial, technical, and pedagogical sense. You have been warned.
I've spent the better part of the past 2 weeks banging away on 2 LTSP servers for our school district. I find myself lamenting to those around me, and being an otherwise cranky guy as well. This morning it dawned on me that people probably think I'm having such a hard time because I'm using Linux instead of the "norm" -- but that's just not the case.
LXer Feature: 2-Jan-2008
Lately, some articles appeared which stated the open-source way of development didn't bring us any innovation. Jaron Lanier even goes further by saying closed source is the better approach to innovation. However, these people miss a lot of important points and facts about innovation, and therefore the conclusions they make are false. Having read a lot about innovation myself lately, I will try to show that the open-source way of doing things leads to more innovation, and more important, I will give some real life examples showing the closed-source inventions aren't that innovative at all, and pointing to some open-source inventions the other writers missed.
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