LXer Weekly Roundup for 06-Apr-2008
In this week's Roundup we have all kinds of ISO and Microsoft related articles like Microsoft's Great Besmirching, OpenXML ISO approved and Microsoft's new weapon against open source: stupidity, amongst others. Also we have So why don't I run Linux?, Time is right for Linux PCs to emerge, Linux's Impact: The Return of XP and we have a tutorial written by Thomas King on how set up a letterhead in OpenOffice. With April fools just having passed I decided not to have a FUD section this week, it would have been just a little too much fun.
Third Party Driver Modder Threatened by Creative Labs: In a move that has shocked consumers, Creative Labs has ordered Daniel_K to cease providing modified drivers that offer complete functionality for many Sound Blaster audio cards under Windows Vista.
Microsoft's Great Besmirching: I have been covering Microsoft for over 25 years - I've even written a few books about Windows. During that time, I've developed a certain respect for a company that just doesn't give up, and whose ability to spin surpasses even that of politicians. To be sure, Microsoft has crossed the line several times, but it has always worked within the system, however much it has attempted to use it for its own ends. No more: in the course of trying to force OOXML through the ISO fast-track process, it has finally gone further and attacked the system itself; in the process it has destroyed the credibility of the ISO, with serious knock-on consequences for the whole concept of open standards.
Adobe Joins Linux Foundation But Forgets About Flash for Linux: Adobe is joining the Linux Foundation as part of an effort to show its commitment to Linux. It sure sounds all fine and nice, but there is still is a major problem in my view. Adobe does not lead with Linux, it barely stays even with Linux. Adobe's product releases for Linux.
Reports: OpenXML ISO approved: According to multiple observers, Microsoft's OpenXML is on its way to becoming an ISO standard. The three sites that have been following the International Organization for Standardization re-vote on the OpenXML standard—Command Line Warriors, Open Malaysia and ConsortiumInfo—are all reporting that, barring some unforeseen circumstances, OpenXML will become an ISO standard. Since none of the authors at these sites is pro-OpenXML, it seems a foregone conclusion that Microsoft was successful in its OpenXML standardization efforts.
Microsoft's new weapon against open source: stupidity: An Information Week article published last week appears to position Microsoft as trying to do something right when it comes to open source. And it positions the open source community as being not quite ready to make nice after past insults, threats, and abuse. Speaking for myself, I am always ready to see what somebody has to say when they say they want to work with the open source community. Unfortunately, Microsoft seems to be continuing its campaign of defining open source on its own terms, terms that violate the basic principles of our community.
DIS 29500 passes with minimal approval: Please find the official results for the ISO vote for OOXML (DIS 29500) below. Probably the impact on the adoption of ODF of the OOXML process will be minimal, but surely there will be some interest from the public around this. OOXML which was submitted by Microsoft to ECMA, and by ECMA to ISO, has literally crawled through the needles eye.
So why don't I run Linux?: I'd love to run Linux. I'm ready for Linux. But Linux isn't quite ready for me. Or perhaps even you. But it's getting closer.
Setting up a nice looking KDE - For Beginners: KDE is my preferred choice of desktop and every time I install a distribution I spend around an hour customizing it to my taste. Most of the distributions provide customized KDE but most of the customization go into the functional aspect of KDE(which should be the case) . This guide does not intent to point out to a specific choice but rather tells what can be done with a fresh KDE.
School districts serve up lessons in Linux: Windows may boast the lion's share of the desktop education market, but the economic and technical benefits of open source software has seen many schools and education institutions implement various flavours of Linux across their desktops and server back-ends. In a two-part series, Computerworld investigates the role of Linux and open source software in education institutions in Australia and North America. In this, Part 1, the technology co-ordinator and network support technician from two large school districts in Canada and the US explain why Linux and other open source software is the plat du jour on their education menu.
One step forward: a review of GNOME 2.22: The latest release of the GNOME desktop environment includes a number of significant architectural enhancements and new applications that offer increased power and usability. Released after six months of intensive development, GNOME 2.22 will be included in Ubuntu 8.04 and Fedora 9, which are scheduled for release in April. This article will examine many of the new features and programs included in GNOME 2.22 and illuminate how the changes and improvements impact the overall user experience.
Time is right for Linux PCs to emerge: Prognosticators perennially say Linux is on the verge of gaining desktop traction, yet Linux PCs still represent less than 2 percent of the market. This time, though, there's actually evidence of momentum. While the best features in Vista require expensive top-notch configurations, one of the hottest segments of the industry involves inexpensive computers.
Phoronix Releases Linux Benchmarking Test Suite: Back in early February we announced that we were in the process of formalizing and releasing our internal test tools as a platform for facilitating easy to use, accurate, and reproducible Linux benchmarks based upon the testing work that we have been doing at Phoronix for the past four years. The goals with this are really to make it easier for Linux end-users to run reliable (both qualitative and quantitative) benchmarks for their own personal use, push more open-source projects to making their software more testable, and pushing hardware and software vendors for greater Linux testing based upon a standardized set of tests.
An OpenOffice Letterhead Tutorial: This tutorial is a guideline on making your own letterhead on Open Office. Although there are letterhead templates in the wild, you may have a design in mind that you can only put together yourself. This should give you enough background information to do this on your own. Depending on how much glitter you want on it, it may take some artistic skill - sorry, I cannot impart that in this document. :)
This new small Linux distro could be huge: In this week's Distrowatch, I read about a new, small Linux distribution called SliTaz GNU/Linux that packs itself into 25 MB of space, loads and runs quickly -- and entirely into memory with 128 MB of RAM -- and can even run with 16 MB of RAM. Sounds a lot like Damn Small Linux and Puppy, but there's always room for one more project that runs like the proverbial wind on new hardware (SliTaz features a modern 2.6.24 kernel) and keeps the old hardware I use working as well as it can.
Linux's Impact: The Return of XP: The good news is that Linux has been remarkably successful at the low end of PCs, the new UMPC (Ultramobile PCs) like Asus' Eee line and Everex's CloudBook. Better still, Intel's new Atom processors were made specifically to power UMPCs and Intel's cross between a smart phone and a UMPC, the MID (Mobile Internet Device).
Is Ubuntu becoming the generic Linux distro?: Has anyone else noticed an increasing number of Linux newbies who seem to think that Ubuntu is Linux and Linux is Ubuntu?
GNU/Linux: Too Much about Hate, Not Enough about Pride: Ever since I wrote "It's Time to Get Over Microsoft," people have demanded in blogs and emails how I could ignore the obvious threat that Microsoft represents to free software. Usually, I ask them to read the article more carefully, and note that it suggests that free software has grown strong enough to take care of itself. The fact that so many free software supporters persist in a negative identity -- that is, one defined by not being a Microsoft user -- frankly puzzles me when the community has so much to be proud of in its own right.
PenguinPolitik: Only Ballmer could go to Linux: In my previous post about last week’s Microsoft Technology Summit, I talked a little bit about the structure of the event and the overtures that Microsoft seems to be making towards the Open Source community. Some of my esteemed industry colleagues feel that Microsoft is never to be trusted, that they are a snake in the grass and a dangerous aggressor, and they are out to crush anyone who opposes them at any cost.
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