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You couldn’t do this with proprietary software

Late last week I had the chance to participate in a call with Bob Bickel and Rich Friedman of Ringside Networks who talked us through their plans for the new open source social networking technology vendor. In short, Ringside’s Social Application Server is designed to add social networking capabilities to existing applications and content. It does this providing hooks into enterprise data sources while delivering compatibility and interoperability with Facebook applications via the Facebook API, while support for Google and MySpace’s OpenSocial is also on its way.

Ralink Wireless Woes Explored in Linux

  •; By Matt Hartley (Posted by gsh on Apr 9, 2008 9:53 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: Editorial; Groups: Linux
A lot of people have been reporting issues with Ralink (rt61, especially) chipsets and the Gutsy upgrade. Some users are struggling so much that they have gone ahead and reverted to using NDISWrapper and the Windows driver for their Ralink chipsets.

Customizing the Menus Menu in Joomla!

  •; By Hagen Graf (Posted by MeebaAbraham on Apr 9, 2008 8:40 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: Tutorial

There are numerous menus in the front end of every application. They are often displayed as standalone boxes. The menu items are generally arranged one below the other. Menus can also be integrated into the design horizontally so that at first sight they aren't even recognizable as cohesive menus. CSS menus, which can even be transparent, are very cool.

Pundits weigh in on Atom-based MIDs

After last week's unveiling of Mobile Internet Device (MID) prototypes based on Intel's Atom Centrino chipset, the pundits are weighing in. At ZDNet, Dana Blankenhorn blasts the whole lot as "ugly" while at TechNewsWorld, Rob Enderle calls the new Linux-based Lenovo MID an "iPhone killer."

Why I Can't Use Flash for Game Development

  • GBGames' Blog; By Gianfranco Berardi (Posted by gberardi on Apr 9, 2008 6:38 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story; Groups: Linux
People everywhere love Flash. It has become the Web’s de facto standard for all manner of interfaces. From simple menus to full-blown games, you can bet that Flash is there. It has been called one of the best prototyping tools available, and game designers love it because they don’t need to be computer science graduates to use it. Most people browsing the web today have a Flash plugin installed, making it a fairly ubiquitous platform. With all of these things going for it, why won’t I use it? Because if I can’t even watch YouTube videos without it crashing Firefox on my Ubuntu system, then it can’t be that ubiquitous.

Performance Tradeoffs of Linux TCP SACK

Recently there has been significant discussion of Linux's TCP SACK implementation, and its weakness within the Linux TCP stack. SACK is an optional feature of TCP necessary for effective use of all available bandwidth of some networks. However, processing this type of acknowledgment can be CPU intensive for the TCP sender, and thus a weakness which can be exploited by a malicious peer.

Not so happy with FreeBSD and PC-BSD

The same thing has happened to me more than once. I install a FreeBSD-derived operating system on the $0 Laptop (the Gateway Solo 1450) and I marvel at the way it manages the noisy CPU fan right out of the box. Then, the next day, it's all over. The fan blows. And blows. Even a complete reinstall won't get back my fan-managed bliss.

Citadel: A Bastion of Groupware Functionality

  • Enterprise Networking Planet; By Carla Schroder (Posted by tuxchick on Apr 9, 2008 3:47 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: Tutorial; Groups: Linux
Which brings us to my favorite groupware and messaging server, Citadel BBS. Citadel is 100% GPL, and doesn't play games with making either binary or source downloads easily available. If I had to describe Citadel in a word, it would be "simplicity". It is a complex application with a lot of power and flexibility, but it's easy to install and administer. It has an excellent installation script that builds the whole works from source code, and the same script is also an upgrader. Unnecessary complexity may wow the PHB set, but we real people know that simplifying the management of a complex application takes some real engineering skills.

Interview: Jeremy Katz on Fedora Live CDs

Live CDs are still something that are relatively new to the Fedora Project, but because of their integration to the build system and the user facing tools such as livecd-tools allowing for easy re-spinning, they’re a fairly central part of what Fedora can offer people. Could you give us a bit of background on this and explain the current state of live spins in Fedora 8?

Microsoft discloses 14,000 pages of coding secrets

Microsoft today lifted the lid on 14,000 pages of sketchy versions of tech documentation for core software code. On show for the first time in public are underlying protocols for Office 2007, Office SharePoint Server 2007 and Exchange Server 2007. This is Microsoft's latest effort to satisfy anti-trust concerns of the European Union, which is possibly a tougher adversary for the company than Google.

Web Console 0.2.5 beta has been released!

Web Console 0.2.5 beta has been released – that is a second public release of the Web Console. Web Console is open source application that provides access to a web server command prompt from an Internet browser. Furthermore, it includes file manager, files upload/download feature and text files editor, which allows to edit files directly on a web server through browser.

VIA Announces Strategic Open Source Driver Development Initiative

Today at the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit, VIA Technologies, Inc., a leading innovator of power efficient x86 processor platforms, announced a new initiative to improve support for the Open Source development community. As the first step in this initiative, VIA will open its official VIA Linux website at this month.

Is open source for Windows worthwhile?

Over at Seeking Alpha, uber-schmoozer Joe Panettieri (left), now running Nine Lives Media, has one of those pieces that makes me go “waah?” Short version: open source is Microsoft’s secret weapon. Billgatus of Borg close-upThis is not another paeon to Firefox or OpenOffice. Panettieri is talking about Microsoft’s Windows Server business, its true crown jewel, and the effort to make sure open source projects work on it. Specifically he’s talking about working with Spikesource, whom I wrote about earlier today, in certifying programs to work with Windows Server. Open source, he says, is how Windows will kill Linux.

The new WordPress

How do I like WordPress 2.5? In a word, "wow." Its developers promised that WordPress 2.5, released last month, was more than just "a fresh coat of paint." Instead, they said, 2.5 was a "from the ground up" redesign. The goal was to create a new WordPress that would be powerful but easy to administer. After upgrading my WordPress installation and using the new format, I found that the WordPress development team has done a fabulous job of making WordPress even better than it was. It's not perfect, but it's darn close.

Embedded computer vendor adds Ubuntu

Ampro will begin distributing a Ubuntu Linux derivative with its x86-compatible single-board computers this month, it said. "Ampro Embedded Linux" (AEL) combines a choice of standard or real-time Linux with a standard Ubuntu 7.10 filesystem, giving customers a well-tested open-source leg up on evaluation and development, the company suggests.

Look out VirtualPC and VMWare... VirtualBox is in the house

VirtualPC and VMWare have a new (and 100% free contender) called VirtualBox. I took this new piece of software for a spin, and just may be completely removing VMWare and VirtualPC from all of my development machines.

This week at LWN: Atomic context and kernel API design

An API should refrain from making promises that it cannot keep. A recent episode involving the kernel's in_atomic() macro demonstrates how things can go wrong when a function does not really do what it appears to do. It is also a good excuse to look at an under-documented (but fundamental) aspect of kernel code design. Kernel code generally runs in one of two fundamental contexts. Process context reigns when the kernel is running directly on behalf of a (usually) user-space process; the code which implements system calls is one example. When the kernel is running in process context, it is allowed to go to sleep if necessary. But when the kernel is running in atomic context, things like sleeping are not allowed. Code which handles hardware and software interrupts is one obvious example of atomic context.

Dealing with, um, Wastewater

MARENA, the government agency responsible for the environment in Nicaragua, has asked us to use a biofilter waste water treatment system instead of a traditional septic tank and drain field for the Geek Ranch. The reasoning is that as we are building in a nature reserve, we are being held to higher standards than is typical outside the reserve. While we don't claim to be waste water system experts, we are geeks so this sounded like a technology challenge. Beyond that, the good news, is that a local friend retired from being a wastewater engineer (even though there are many other titles associated with the job) so we have the resources to combine his knowledge of the, shall we say, material handling part of the system with our knowledge of control systems.

Share Your Thoughts on Linux-Based Systems!

We are trying to gauge the level of interest consumers like you have in buying a new computer that features a Linux-based operating system. Help us to stay in touch with the needs of consumers by taking a quick moment to answer the following questions.

Unattended Fedora 8 Installation With NFS And Kickstart

  • HowtoForge; By Oliver Meyer (Posted by falko on Apr 8, 2008 6:47 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: Tutorial; Groups: Fedora
This document describes how to set up an installation environment with kickstart and NFS on Fedora 8. With the resulting system you will be able run unattended Fedora 8 installations on the client systems in your LAN - additionally, you will save lots of Internet bandwidth. The whole client configuration can be included into the kickstart file (especially the post-installation script) so you, the admin, will also save a vast amount of time.

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