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This Week in SMGL (Nov. 12th 2007)

Last week was a busy week for Source Mage GNU/Linux. Topped off by a Source Mage Developers meeting.

NotMac Challenge frees OS X users and pays developers

Apple's .Mac service -- commonly known as dotMac -- is a suite of online utilities integrated with OS X. It is wildly popular with Mac owners, but it costs $99 per year. That annual hit to the wallet prompted J. Kent Pepper to commence a bounty-driven contest to create a free, open source replacement: the notMac Challenge. And he has found a winner.

It's Time To Stop Playing Catch-Up: Intel, Drivers and WiMAX

  • J_K9@Linux (Posted by J_K9 on Nov 12, 2007 6:27 PM EDT)
  • Groups: Intel
Too frequently in the past has Linux had to spend months—even years—implementing support for the latest technologies for which the manufacturers have not bothered to make Linux drivers (either due to the extra costs or merely disinterest in the platform). Linux developers had to reverse engineer each technology to find out everything about it that wasn’t disclosed by the manufacturer in the hardware’s official documentation so that they could provide support for it in an Open Source driver. It's time for this to change.

Ubuntu Server: Considering Kernel Configuration

  • Enterprise Networking Planet; By Carla Schroder (Posted by tuxchick on Nov 12, 2007 5:30 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: Reviews, Tutorial; Groups: Linux
Last week we looked at Ubuntu Server's documentation, discussed hardware requirements, tried to figure out what sets Ubuntu Server apart from Ubuntu Desktop, and what's included in the current release, 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon). Ubuntu itself is not very helpful with these things, and I don't like to write reviews that complain without also offering some answers, so today we're going to learn how to dig into Ubuntu without installing it and find out these things for ourselves.

We're taking such a deep dive into the very bowels of Ubuntu Server that this is expanding into a three-parter, so hold on to your hats and enjoy the ride.

Is Novell the Avis of Open Source?

Whenever I hear chatter about Novell, I think of Avis — the Number 2 rental car company that proudly declares “We try harder” as it pursues the market leader (Hertz, er, Red Hat). Hmmm. Is 2008 the year that all of Novell’s hard work in the open source market finally pushes the company into the fast lane? UBS, the Wall Street analyst firm seems to think so. But I'm not so sure. Here's why.

OpenSUSE's first governing board is set up

Novell has recently decided to start setting openSUSE free from direct Novell oversight by setting up the first openSUSE board of directors. In an openSUSE blog notice, Novell and openSUSE announced the first openSUSE board. The openSUSE board will lead the overall community Linux project.

Report: The Gobuntu Mission Examined

There's disagreement about whether Gobuntu lives up to its goal as the "strictest possible interpretation of the Free Software Foundation's 'Four Freedoms'."

OLPC XO laptops publicly available today

Beginning today, anyone interested in getting an XO computer through the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) program has a chance to grab one. The Give One, Get One (G1G1) program is open to US and Canadian residents who want to purchase one XO laptop for themselves for $399. Order between today and November 26, and you'll receive one of the green and white laptop computers. The other will be sent on your behalf to a child in a developing nation. US donors will also receive free access for one year to T-Mobile wireless hotspots located throughout the country.

Create an OpenOffice.org extension the easy way with BasicAddonBuilder

So you've written a nifty OpenOffice.org macro and want to share it with the world. You can, of course, publish the code on your Web site, but a better way to go is to pack it as an easy-to-install OpenOffice.org extension. An extension is just a plain zip archive containing, besides the macro itself, a few XML-based files that OpenOffice.org needs to properly install the package. Theoretically, it's possible to create the required XML files in a text editor, but it would be as effective as digging a garden using a teaspoon. Fortunately, there is a tool that you can use to create an extension in a point-and-click fashion.

Easy to install software stacks for Trac and Redmine with Subversion

In less than 5 minutes, have Trac or Redmine installed and configured with Subversion, Apache, and all other required software.

Console tricks: The art of using manuals

  • PolishLinux.org; By Adam Zieliński (Posted by michux on Nov 12, 2007 11:19 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: Editorial; Groups: GNU
Detailed and proper documentation of source code and programs is the milestone of Unix culture, as we may read in “The art of Unix Programming” by Eric Steven Raymond. The first application on Unix was the platform to prepare documents. The platform was used by Bell Labs to prepare patent documents. Effective work with documentation and searching for needed information is the key feature when working on unix-like systems.

Ubuntu 7.10 & Fedora 8 Performance

Back in March we had compared the performance of Ubuntu and Fedora as we tested Ubuntu 6.10 and Fedora 6 along with development versions of Ubuntu 7.04 and Fedora 7. During those benchmarks, Ubuntu 7.04 Alpha 5 had a slight lead over Fedora but the race was extremely close. In August we compared Ubuntu and Fedora again along with Xubuntu, Mandriva, and SimplyMEPIS, but using older PC hardware. In these benchmarks, the results were also close but Mandriva was the leader. Now with the release of Fedora 8 last week, we have run a new set of benchmarks comparing it to the month-old Ubuntu 7.10.

But Everyone Uses It

Microsoft Office isn't quite as ubiquitous as you'd think. If you break it down by the many versions out there, the alternatives may be in use just as much, and probably offer more bang for your buck.

I have a dream

  • wolfgang.lonien.de; By wjl (Posted by wjl on Nov 12, 2007 8:28 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story; Groups: Community
I reported about James Burgett and his non-profit organization ACCRC already - so why am I repeating it? Simple answer: first, it is a really outstanding thing he’s doing, and second, because of personal ideas and involvement. It should be done everywhere, including here. And I’m willing to do it.

Novell, Dell bring SUSE Linux desktops to China

Promises made are promises kept. Novell announced at August's LinuxWorld in San Francisco that it would be bringing SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 Service Pack 1 to Chinese users, and that day is almost here. In a blog posting, Kevan Carmony, a Novell spokesperson, announced that SLED systems preinstalled on Dell OptiPlex 330 and 755 commercial desktop PCs will be available later this year.

Installing Lighttpd With PHP5 And MySQL Support On Mandriva 2008.0

  • HowtoForge; By Falko Timme (Posted by falko on Nov 12, 2007 6:38 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: Tutorial; Groups: Mandriva
Lighttpd is a secure, fast, standards-compliant web server designed for speed-critical environments. This tutorial shows how you can install Lighttpd on a Mandriva 2008.0 server with PHP5 support (through FastCGI) and MySQL support.

Comparing Linux Distributions - Final Results

I have been experimenting with many different Linux distributions over the last month as I posted here and here. In my review of the various distributions, I was looking for ease of install and ease of use as the most important factors in my personal ranking system. I believe for Linux to win the desktop war over the next few years they have to appeal to more then just the technical folks who can install distros in their sleep and are wizards at the command line. With that said, here are the distributions I tested:

How to Name a Software Product

  • avangate.com; By Avangate B.V. (Posted by avangate on Nov 12, 2007 5:12 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
The name of the software product is an introducing element, the best way to make your business appear in the SERPs and the differentiating element from competitors. An article regarding the steps that any software producer has to take in order to choose the most suitable name for his product.

Preserving browser tab collections with Session Manager

Firefox includes an option for bookmarking all open tabs, but heavy users of tabs will find that this option is hardly enough. When you are researching a subject, the particular combination of tabs matters as much as the individual ones -- and, besides, selecting the tabs to open individually can be tedious if you are dealing with several dozen. And what happens if your session crashes before you have a chance to bookmark? You can address such concerns by installing Session Manager, a highly customizable add-on for preserving the state of the window after you close the browser.

Feature plans for Fedora 9

Fedora 8 has just been released, but of course plans for the next version are already under way: a Fedora 9 Feature List has been created in the Wiki, just like the one for Fedora 8, and people and groups now add their plans and aims. Two outstanding aims are the inclusion of KDE 4 as the default KDE version and the usage of PackageKit as an alternative package management frontend. Since the Fedora 9 release schedule aims at May 2008 both aims should be realistic and possible: KDE 4 is supposed to be released in a working state around christmas, and PackageKit already works pretty well now.

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