LXer Weekly Roundup for 15-Jun-2008
First off, It is Father's Day in the U.S. and I want to wish a Happy Fathers Day to my beloved Father and to all the Dads across the world. In this week's Roundup we have stories from the big OOXML vote fiasco that has been brewing. We have an LXer Feature written by Thomas King entitled "The future is bright for Linux filesystems", How to buy the wrong color laser printer, a review of Slackware 12.1, IBM rolls out Symphony support, The inevitability of open source Windows, Richard Stallman attacks Oyster's 'unethical' use of Linux, Are there any evil distros? and last but not least I end things with a couple of very funny articles that should bring a smile to your face. Enjoy!
Microsoft OOXML opponents won’t back down: After Hillary Clinton spoke last night I listened closely for what the loudspeakers would play. It was Tom Petty’s hit “I Won’t Back Down.” (UPDATE: Clinton did back down Wednesday, with the official announcement now expected in two stages Friday and Saturday. OOXML opponents, meanwhile, fight on.)
ISO puts OOXML standardization on hold: After member states filed four complaints against the standardisation of Microsoft's Office Open XML (OOXML) document format, the International Standards Organisation (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) in Geneva have responded by postponing publication of the revised specification. As the ISO announced, the planned ISO/IEC DIS 29500 cannot be published until these complaints have been heard. Procedure requires that they be dealt with by the end of June, when the ISO and IEC have to hand over their comments on the complaints to two management committees for a final decision.
The future is bright for Linux filesystems: In a recent article, Linux File Systems: Ready for the Future?, Henry Newman expands on what he feels are shortcomings in current GNU/Linux filesystems. Specifically, he believes current Linux filesystem technology cannot meet the demands that massive implementations of 100TB or larger require. He states he received some emotional responses trying to either refute his information or impugn his character, although those comments do not show on either of the article's pages. This prompted me to get the real scoop on how Linux filesystem technology is trying to keep pace with the ever-growing need for storage space.
How to Buy the Wrong Color Laser Printer: Despite the title, I think my experiences could be useful guide for others. Should you need to replace a printer quickly, my choices of criteria could be instructive. I should note too, much of the information I had was based upon faulty inputs and mis-diagnosed problems. Nonetheless, my criteria yielded a decent unit, just more than what was needed. In part that was due to my daughter needing a quick replacement. Moreover, the printer had to function on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. Given those constraints and misinformation, I could have done much worse.
KDE 4 sucks big time: I’ve been a KDE user for many years. Maybe it’s just me, maybe the UI world is changing, but the newest incarnation of KDE sucks big time. All was fine until the 4.x series, then suddenly, the switch was made and what do we have now? All glitter, all bloatware. And what’s with the desktop icons? Where’s the simplicity? Do you want to confuse new users to death?
Slackware 12.1 - The Newest Release of the Oldest Surviving Linux Distribution: Slackware has a well earned reputation for reliability, stability, and performance. It may also be the least user friendly major Linux distribution on the planet short of building Linux From Scratch.
IBM takes on Microsoft with ODF-based Symphony: IBM has launched a commercially supported version of its Lotus Symphony productivity suite, ready to take on Microsoft Office. The software is free, with unlimited technical support for around US$25 (£13) per user, and it supports the ODF document format--which could cast an unflattering light on the confusion around Microsoft Office
The Inevitability of Open Source Windows: Microsoft is going to become an OSS company, not a FOSS company. We are already seeing the early signs of this. They have created a couple of open source licenses and have submitted them for approval successfully with the Open Source Initiative. Microsoft has pledged to become a more open company. Although the said pledge has been received with a lot of skepticism, I think they really mean it. They have to. Microsoft is now hard at work trying to convince the world that they really have changed. Is all this going to be enough? I don’t think so. They have to still go a little further. Lets see why.
Revenge of the Nerdette: As geeks become chic in all levels of society, an unlikely subset is starting to roar. Meet the Nerd Girls: they're smart, they're techie and they're hot.
OpenOffice.org template collections: Stubbornly, OpenOffice.org continues to ship with only a handful of templates. Despite the efforts of several sub-projects and individuals to change the situation, the standard OpenOffice.org download includes only a couple of slide show presentations and a few templates to accompany the wizards available in the file menu. This lack of templates is a serious handicap for many users, and often leaves a poor impression on new users who are accustomed to the selection of templates found in other office suites.
3 Reasons Why Your System Might Be Slow: Computer users expect their systems to work well at all times, but unfortunately this isn’t always the case. If your system becomes slow, there certainly is something you can do about it. This article will help you understand what’s happening on the system, whether it’s the computer in front of you or a system you’re accessing remotely. Naturally, I presume you’re running Linux, and the tools described here are Linux tools. If you’re on some other weird system ( ;) ), your mileage may vary.
Stallman attacks Oyster's 'unethical' use of Linux: Free-software advocate Richard Stallman has spoken out against the association of open-source software with London's "unethical" Oyster-card system. In an email sent to ZDNet.co.uk on Monday, Stallman criticised the use of open-source software, such as Red Hat Linux, JBoss middleware and Apache web-server software, in the online payment system for the Oyster contactless cards used on London's underground rail network.
Desktops in trouble: There are some disturbing developments and they are happening in the key components of our systems: the desktop. KDE has spawned a new release. People are not only complaining about its instability, but also about its direction. Gnome is in trouble as well. There is the Mono controversy and some people feel it has become a dead project, because it has ceased to be "exciting and innovative".
Are There Any Evil Distros?: If you take a gander at the number of Linux distributions listed at Distrowatch, you'll find there are tons of "forks" and "offshoots" from one distribution to another. With Linux, we have the freedom to do that, but I'm curious if there are any Linux flavors that are truly offensive to people. There has been some controversial uprisings in the past, but it begs the questions -- does the freedom to fork ever cross over into creepville?
The Definitive Guide to VoIP for Linux Users: Have you tried lately to figure out which Linux operating system you’d like to use? And, did you think about adding a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) device to that Linux system? We can guess that you probably overwhelmed with the choices available to VoIP users today. In fact, to write a truly definitive guide to VoIP for Linux users, we would need to write a book. Instead, we combed the online Linux and VoIP Wikis to find the most-used combinations of Linux and VoIP according to the systems and devices that were most talked about on these support and documentation pages.
How to write a Gnome Application: By popular demand, a guide to writing a Gnome app: Find some reasonable app from another platform (Windows, Mac, KDE, whatever, but preferably, Mac). Bonus points if there are already 3 other gtk-based alternatives who don't want to integrate with Gnome...
Gates Says Linux Best OS Ever: At a hastily convened press conference Bill Gates announced that he personally thinks that "Linux is the best OS ever." Linux #1. He added, "Mundie and Ballmer are idiots. Their talk about how open source software damages intellectual property or how Linux is a cancer, is moronic. When I heard these attacks I felt sick to my stomach. How could a company that I poured my blood, sweat and tears into spread these untruths? My conscience guides me, that's why I'm before you today."
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