LXer Weekly Roundup for 06-Jul-2008

Posted by Scott_Ruecker on Jul 6, 2008 3:11 PM EDT
LXer Linux News; By Scott Ruecker (Phoenix, U.S.)
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LXer Feature: 06-Jul-2008

The big news this week was Xandros buying Linspire with all the respective fallout included, a review of 11 video players for, Linux's dirty little secret, Glyn Moody's "Sir Bill and Sir Tim: A Tale of Two Knights", Which Linux Distributions Are Dying?, Beyond the desktop with KDE4 and Carla Schroder's Sidux review.

The big news this week was Xandros buying Linspire with all the respective fallout included, a review of 11 video players for, Linux's dirty little secret, Glyn Moody's "Sir Bill and Sir Tim: A Tale of Two Knights", Which Linux Distributions Are Dying?, Beyond the desktop with KDE4 and Carla Schroder's Sidux review.

KDE: It's time for a fork: OK, I've now tried KDE 4.1. I'd been assured that it would be better than KDE 4.0x. It is. That's the good news. The bad news is that I still find KDE 4.1 to be inferior to KDE 3.5x. KDE's developers believe that KDE 4.1 can fully replace KDE 3 for end users.?? I don't see it.

Web Input - Securing Data, Hybrid Approach: In this installment, I will cite an example of automated email code designed for another purpose. Nonetheless, I see it is a critical step to confirm the validity of the form's input. Moreover, unless and until I have received the expected human confirmation, that input is left in limbo [1.]. This is another means to prevent spurious, but uncaught data inputs. Thus, this limited human energy expenditure is a high return investment.

11 Video Players for Linux - Review: A review of 11 different video players that run on Linux.

Linux's dirty little secret: OK, so over the past few months I've grown from being a Linux skeptic into being quite a Linux fan. I've still got lots to learn but its great having the ability to roll out a no-cost OS onto systems that don't need to have Windows on them (I understand that not everyone reading this will need Linux, but I do...). That said, there are a few aspects of Linux that do annoy/frustrate/anger me/make me hulk out* (delete as overall mood dictates), and one of these aspects is so core to an OS that I'm surprised that it hasn't been addressed already.

Sir Bill and Sir Tim: A Tale of Two Knights: There's something strange going on. As Bill Gates steps down from active involvement in the day-to-day running of Microsoft, there's a natural tendency to speak about the "end of an era". That's certainly true enough, but people are going beyond this factual statement to indulge in some serious revisionism.

The critics are wrong: KDE 4 doesn't need a fork: After the recent release KDE 4.1 beta 2 and openSUSE 11 with KDE 4.0.4, some critics have been especially vocal in expressing their displeasure with the KDE 4 user interface paradigms. The debate has grown increasingly caustic as critics and supporters engage in a war of words over the technology. The controversy has escalated to the point where some users are now advocating a fork in order to move forward the old KDE 3.5 UI paradigms. As an observer who has closely studied each new release of KDE 4, I'm convinced that the fork rhetoric is an absurdly unproductive direction for this debate.

Surprise Desktop Linux Move: Xandros Buys Linspire: In what seems like a battle of ants in a case full of lions, Practical Technology has learned that Xandros has bought Linspire. "In an announcement that was sent out today, June 30, to Linspire stockholders, CEO Larry Kettler wrote that the stockholders had decided to sell all of Linspire's assets. This deal specifically includes Linspire, Freespire, and the company's distribution agnostic CNR (Click 'N Run) desktop installation platform." Not everyone is very happy with this one, though.

Linspire + Xandros = Anything of value?: In math, two negatives make a positive. In the fledgling world of desktop Linux, unfortunately, this is unlikely to be the case. According to reports from OStatic and others, Xandros is buying Linspire. Who cares, you ask?

Linspire Chairman Frustrated By Futility Of Desktop Linux, Rebuts Carmony: Michael Robertson, chairman of Linspire, said the assets of his company were sold to Xandros after "years of frustration in trying to achieve the goal of desktop Linux." Robertson couldn't disclose the terms of the deal with Xandros, a rival Linux distributor, but said Linspire's Click'N'Run download technology would fit in well with Xandros' own bid to establish Linux on end-user machines. To date, its biggest success has been on the Asus Eee PC, a small notebook with long battery life and a low price tag from Taiwanese laptop maker Asustek Computer. It comes with either Xandros Linux or Windows XP.

Michael Robertson--Where's the Cash?: Linspire Shareholders, When I left Linspire there were lots of assets in the company (computers, furniture, servers, trademarks, employees, and millions in cash), and virtually no liablities. What happened to these assets and cash? I have been contacted by several Linspire employees and shareholders, asking me what the Linspire asset sale to Xandros means. I put together this short video using "buckets" to try and explain what happened in very simple terms, based on what information was provided in the 3-paragraph "memorandum."

UnConfusing The Issue Of Disabling Root On Linux or Unix: A look at various ways to secure the root account against system users and some in-use methods that seem to cause more harm than good.

Which Linux Distributions Are Dying?: I just read Louis Gray’s post titled “On the Web, If You’re Not Growing, You’re Dying.” It gave me a chilling realization about web services. Like everything else, what goes up must come down. This must apply to Linux distributions too, right? So, what’s happening with Linux? Which distributions are growing? Like Louis Gray, I’m going to use data from Google Trends. People searching the name of Linux distributions on Google can be considered new users. After all, wouldn’t experienced Linux users already know where the websites of the big Linux distributions are?

Beyond the desktop with KDE4: Lately, there has been quite some bitching on the fringes of the KDE project about KDE4 and the direction it takes. Some people go as far as saying: "Give us back our old desktop!" I beg to differ. The old desktop has served us well for thirty-odd years since its invention by Xerox. It is beyond its due date by now. We need something new that meets the reality we are living in now.

Why Is So Hard for Windows Users to Understand That Linux Is Not Windows: This is just a rant (hopefully it will be regarded as pertinent and non-'laming') on why Windows users try Linux and return frustrated to Windows after several hours or days. I won't praise Linux and the way it works, I won't even compare and say 'here Linux is easier because ...', instead I have a few questions for all of you who blame Linux for not being and behaving like Windows.

Sidux, a Great Alternative to Ubuntu: Sidux is a new Debian derivative that's still just a baby, born in January 2007. Sidux announced a brand-new release on June 26, Sidux 2008-02, so we're going to kick the tires and take it for a drive, and see what sets it apart from other children of Debian. Currently it offers a choice of the KDE or Fluxbox desktop, and it supports both 32-bit i686 and AMD64. There is also an XFCE variant. Before trying it out for yourself, be sure to read the Quick Start section in the excellent and exceptionally helpful Sidux manual before burning it to a CD.

» Read more about: Story Type: LXer Features, Roundups; Groups: Debian, GNU, KDE, Linspire, Linux, LXer, Microsoft, Ubuntu, Xandros, Xfce

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