LXer Feature: 18-Jul-2011
In the LXWR this week we have the 10 best open source apps you never heard of, the freeload factor in FOSS, why Jason Perlow is smarter than an Open Source surrender monkey, IBM donates its Lotus Symphony code to OpenOffice and will Toyota's membership in The Linux Foundation actually spur it to contribute? Enjoy!
The 10 best open source apps you never heard of: There are thousands of excellent open source programs to choose from. Here are 10 of my favorites that rarely get breathless buzz or make top 10 lists, presented in no particular order, rhyme, or reason.
FOSS and the Freeloader Factor: The GPL "needs to be replaced with 'free for noncommercial use' so that the hackers can still have a 'free as in beer' OS to hack on, the poor can also have a free OS, but those corps that are actually making money on Linux will HAVE TO contribute some of their profits back into the community," opined Slashdot blogger hairyfeet. "... Many of these companies wouldn't be enjoying their massive profits if it wasn't for Linux."
The Linux Desktop: We've Arrived: Linux Desktop articles are all over the place. I can hardly open up a browser without tripping over one. Most of them are negative whine-fests, complaining that Linux is too hard for new users, or has become too dumbed-down for technical users, or the fonts are ugly, or the next generation desktop environments are too different, or... well I could go on, but I think you get the point.
FOSS advocate who's free, frank and fearless: Journalist, FOSS advocate, feminist - Carla Schroder is all these and more. But more than anything it is her straight talking that marks her out - when she takes a stand on issues she is driven by conviction. This means that often she is at the receiving end but it is something that she can more than handle. The good thing about dealing with her is that she never allows her personal and professional worlds to mix - even her worst enemy will be allowed to have his/her say on a site which she edits. This is indeed a rare trait..
Microsoft Tax on Linux Devices: Does Microsoft actually hold valid patents being infringed by Android? Who knows? That would be for the courts to decide and, so far, nothing’s gone to court. OEMs are just ponying up and buying MS licenses on the strength of Microsoft threats. So much so that Redmond is evidently making more money on Android than on Windows Phone 7.
Why I'm smarter than an Open Source surrender monkey: Many Open Source advocates have turned into Open Source pragmatists. That doesn’t mean we’ve surrendered. We’ve evolved. It came to my surprise last week when a fellow Open Source advocate and DATAMATION contributor, Bruce Byfield, called yours truly and my ZDNet colleague Adrian Kingsley-Hughes out in his piece Tech Pundits Surrender: The Retreat from Free Software and Open Standards. What set Bruce off? Well, he seems to think that as a group, “Tech Pundits” are collectively giving up on Open Source and Open Standards under the auspices of pragmatism and convenience.
Creating the Perfect Fluxbox Desktop on Linux: Fluxbox is a fast, lightweight, very customizable window manager for X. Fluxbox is a great choice for Linux users who favor speed and efficiency, and setting up their working environment just the way they like. Today we'll look at some super-saver speed tricks such as grouping applications with tabs, tear-off menus, sticky buttons, the infamous slit, and more.
Linux in Cars, or Why Toyota Chose Freedom: Will Toyota's membership in The Linux Foundation spur it to contribute to FOSS? Thoughts on Technology blogger Jeff Hoogland hopes so. "At the very least I think it is a sign that Meego will be appearing at some point as an in-car operating system," he said. "Here is to hoping Meego can eventually give the pseudo-Linux Android a run for its money."
IBM Donates Lotus Symphony Code To OpenOffice: IBM is donating the source code of its Office suite (Lotus Symphony) to the OpenOffice project. IBM is looking to accelerate the development of open source software by donating the IBM Lotus Symphony source code to the Apache OpenOffice project. According to the IBM announcement, this is intended to provide this open source community with new capabilities, “further accelerating the development of the OpenOffice platform.”
Expected Changes In GNOME Shell 3.2: Here's a list of what to expect in GNOME Shell 3.2 (to be released on September 28), according to Allan Day, one of the main GNOME Shell developers: