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Debian Weekly News - August 1st, 2006

Welcome to this year's 31st issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for the Debian community. Christoph Berg [1]announced nine new members of the QA team who already work on outstanding issues in the [2]etch release. Gintautas Miliauskas [3]reported that he has been working on an integrated l10n infrastructure for Debian based on the framework used by the [4]WorldForge project.


Based on an XML standard developed by Microsoft called Systems Definition Model, SML promises to lower the cost of maintaining data centers by offering a common language for servers, networking equipment, and other computing devices to share information.

[So that leaves the _existing_ ODF standard...where? Bob-]

[From the article, "The goal of SML is to establish a lingua franca for computing resources--servers, networking gear, applications and the like--to exchange operating information, such as security requirements or performance problems."
Not exactly in the same realm as ODF - dcparris

New LAMP Layer: FileMaker API for PHP?

A three-way collaboration among FileMaker customers well-versed in PHP, engineers and commercial PHP vendor Zend Technologies has enabled FileMaker to roll out the first public beta preview of a new Application Programming Interface (API) for the popular PHP open-source scripting language.

[Be wary of running your mouse over the MS banner ad. If MS ads annoy you, this one will really tick you off. But if you need to worry about Filemaker... - dcparris]

Put your laptop to sleep

  •; By Jonathan Oxer, Kyle Rankin, and Bill Childers (Posted by dcparris on Aug 1, 2006 10:14 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: Tutorial; Groups: GNOME, Ubuntu
Part of proper power management is the ability to put your laptop to sleep. ACPI sleep is defined as a state where the system is still technically powered on, but the screen and hard disk are powered down and the computer is using just enough power to keep the contents of RAM alive. The Ubuntu development team has devoted an immense amount of effort toward getting ACPI power management working properly. As it stands, Ubuntu is power-management-friendly right out of the box, thanks to the recent addition of the gnome-power-manager package. It turns out there's not much required to get most modern laptops to sleep and wake up correctly.

Quick Look: Mandriva One 2007 Beta 1

  • ReviewLinux.Com; By Michael Perks ( (Posted by ReviewLinux on Aug 1, 2006 9:41 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: Reviews; Groups: Mandriva
ReviewLinux.Com takes a quick look at the latest beta release of Mandriva One 2007. Mandriva One is both a live cd as well as an install cd so if one likes this distro it is very easy to install to a hard drive. Mandriva strives on having a polished look and very professional Linux distribution. We hope you enjoy the quick screenshot tour.

Red Hat's affair with XenSource is back on

Misquote won't keep them apartRed Hat today scrambled to repair its relationship with XenSource after areport fromZDNet Australia presented a major technological rift between the two companies.…

RubyConf*MI, OSCON, and"Ruby for Rails"

Coming off of a big week at OSCon it's time to announceRubyConf*MI, the first regional Ruby conference. It's being held in Grand Rapids Michigan on Aug 26th. It looks like a good conference,David Black will be speaking (the word is he'll be presenting a day of training throughRuby Power and Light ahead of the conference as well). I'm going to be speaking there too, along with several local Ruby hackers. You can see the speaker list or register for the conference at their website.

Medsphere sues the Shreeves over sourceforge release

  • GNU/Linux And Open Source Medical Software News; By Fred Trotter (Posted by dcparris on Aug 1, 2006 8:03 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story; Groups: GNU, Linux
Health IT StrategistModern Healthcare's daily IT newsletter, revealed thatMedsphere is suing the Shreeve brothers From the article:A $50 million, 12-count lawsuit charging misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of contract, breach of duty of loyalty, violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act, commission of computer crimes, intentional interference with contract relations, unfair competition and other complaints has been filed by Aliso Viejo, Calif.-based Medsphere Systems Corp. against the company's co-founders, brothers Steve and Scott Shreeve. The suit seems to be over some code deposited on sourceforge against the companies wishes...Steve Shreeve announced that Jumps and Kickstand source codes were freely available on, which"came as an unwelcome and startling surprise" to Kizer and other Medsphere executives. -Fred Trotter

KOffice 1.6 Alpha Released

  • KDE Dot News; By Inge Wallin (Posted by dcparris on Aug 1, 2006 7:31 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story; Groups: KDE
Swiftly following the latest bugfix release for KOffice 1.5, the KDE Project today announced the release of KOffice 1.6 alpha. This is the first preview release for KOffice 1.6, scheduled for release this October. KOffice is an integrated office suite with more components than any other suite in existence. KOffice 1.6 is mainly a feature release for Krita and Kexi while the new revolutionary KOffice 2.0 is being developed, Read the full announcement and the changelog for more details or read on for the full article.

Open Source Proponent Bill Vass Appointed COO of Sun Federal

  • SYS-CON Media; By Staff (Posted by dcparris on Aug 1, 2006 6:58 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story; Groups: Sun
Bill Vass (pictured), formerly Sun's Chief Information Officer (CIO), was named President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Sun Microsystems Federal, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Sun Microsystems, Inc., and Anthony Robbins was hired as Vice President of Federal Sales.


  •; By Shamus McGillicuddy (Posted by dcparris on Aug 1, 2006 6:25 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story; Groups:
Midmarket CIOs who yearn for high-end functionality but can't foot the bill are turning to emerging open source vendors. Although there are risks, experts say it's an opportunity to get in on cutting-edge technology for a more reasonable price.

Fsf Should Stand Firm on Patents Despite Pressure from Large ...

MUNICH - Florian Mueller, the founder of Europe's award-winning NoSoftwarePatents campaign, believes the Free Software Foundation's (FSF) should not soften the patent-related provisions in its draft GPLv3 license.

[I wholeheartedly agree with Mueller. - dcparris]

Symphony OS marches to a different drum

Symphony OS is a GNU/Linux distribution designed to innovate from the ground up. Although originally based on Knoppix and now on Debian stable, it quickly differentiates itself from the bulk of distros by implementing the ideas articulated in a so-called grey paper on user interface design by Jason Spisak, one of the co-founders of Lycoris. Often, Symphony's implementations challenge UI assumptions on any platform. At other times, the possible shortcomings of Symphony OS' solutions raise issues themselves. Either way, in putting the May 2006 beta through its paces, I found it impossible to stop thinking about UI design. Even when Symphony OS does not provide ultimate answers, it raises questions about usability that are too often ignored.

“The Easiest Linux Guide You’ll Ever Read - an introduction to Linux for Windows users” - a book by Scott Morris

Most of the time, when someone who uses Windows wants to check out Linux, they don't know where to start. As Scott Morris wrote his 160-page book about Linux, this is the problem he sought to solve. This book is free of charge. It's perfect for that one person who you've always wanted to introduce to Linux, but never had the time. Well, now you can.

A New Open Source Approach to Weakness

More than 270 years ago, Carolus Linnaeus in his book Systema Naturae, attempted to categorize all biology on the Earth into a series of kingdoms. Web application security vendor Fortify thinks that the same kingdom approach can be taken to classify Web vulnerabilities.

[Let me guess.... They're just standing on the shoulders of giants. - dcparris]

Free software without the strings

Getting something free has a price, whether it’s learning how to use a piece of software or making sure that something you’ve downloaded doesn’t have spyware or malware tagging along with it.

mysql security

  • - Feature Stories; By Ryan W. Maple (Posted by dcparris on Aug 1, 2006 2:10 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: Tutorial; Groups: MySQL
Several steps can be taken to secure the default mysql installation.

McAfee cries wolf on open source

According to the editor's letter in last week's inaugural edition of Sage, a magazine produced by anti-malware vendor McAfee, "Open source is not to blame for current security trends." Maybe not, but apparently it's still expected to take the fall.

Letterman's Tribute to Bill Gates and Microsoft

OK, this has nothing to do with Linux or Free/Libre Open Source Software. But, darnit, it's funny.

[Gotta admit, it explains clearly why I use GNU/Linux. - dcparris]

IBM Shows Sustained 207 Teraflops Performance on Blue Gene/L with Qbox App

  • IT Jungle; By Timothy Prickett Morgan (Posted by grouch on Aug 1, 2006 11:18 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story; Groups: IBM, Linux
Twice a year, the supercomputer market and the IT industry at large, gets a sense of the massive amount of performance in supercomputers thanks to the Top 500 rankings. This ranking of supers, which are based on the Linpack Fortran benchmark test, are interesting, and it is only a slight exaggeration to say that companies and careers are affected dramatically (if not made or broken) by how many systems with a particular brand and using certain components are on the list.

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