LXer Weekly Roundup for 11-Nov-2007
Some of the big stories this week include the Open Document Foundation, a call for papers for SCaLE 6x, four ways to extract the current directory name, the BBC admits a massive underestimate of its Linux users, Linux Backups For Real People, Part 2, a Linux game company opens its doors, Vista vs. desktop Linux: One year in and never use Babel Fish to talk to a foreign minister.
Choice: The system of Checks and Balances in Linux: In an article submitted by one of our readers, Gary Maxwell writes "For many years Linux has flourished as distros big and small have dotted the landscape. That's the beauty of Linux. Each distro is created to either meet a need, solve a problem or scratch a developer's itch. Either way, most distros roll merrily along with their release schedules without ne' er a worry."
Monitor your drives to extend their life: Last week saw a slew of articles suggesting that Ubuntu Linux was damaging hard disks. The truth is a little more complicated than that but just in case, try this trick for monitoring the state of your hard disk load/unload cycles before you make any rash decisions.
Automatically generate PHP documentation from Subversion with phpDocumentor: Our own Sander Marechal writes "The longer I program, the more structured my programming methods have become. Currently I am busy playing with generated documentation and unit testing. Generated documentation is an all round great idea, but it has a drawback: You need to generate it all the time. So I set out to use Subversion’s post-commit hook to generate fresh documentation for my PHP projects using phpDocumentor.
Now it’s Open Document Format’s turn for the FUDmeisters.: Okay, lets get one thing straight… Repeat after me : “The Open Document Foundation has nothing to do with the Open Document Format” “The Open Document Foundation has nothing to do with the Open Document Format” “The Open Document Foundation has nothing to do with the Open Document Format”
Linus Torvalds on Open Source: 'A Much Better Way to Do Things': "Linux really wouldn't have gone anywhere interesting at all if it hadn't been released as an open source product. I also think that the change to the GPLv2 from my original 'no money' license was important, because the commercial interests were actually very important from the beginning. The commercial distributions were what drove a lot of the nice installers and pushed people to improve usability," said Linux creator Linus Torvalds.
Call for papers for the Sixth Annual Southern California Linux Expo: A call for papers for the Sixth Annual So Cal Linux Expo. Registration is now open, speakers and exhibitors are signing up steadily for the February 8th-10th event.
Four ways to extract the current directory name: When you're programming a shell script, you often only need the current directory name, not the whole path that the pwd command returns. Here are four ways you can extract only the current directory.
OpenBSD: The proverbial thrill of victory ... and the agony of defeat: So giddy was I that the OpenBSD CD agreed to boot on my converted Maxspeed Maxterm thin client (with a VIA C3 Samuel processor that wouldn't allow the install of FreeBSD, NetBSD, DesktopBSD or PC-BSD) that I immediately launched into an install today. Whoa. I can't remember an installation process that was this geeky. You MUST have the instructions in front of you, or you will get nowhere fast.
BBC admits massive underestimate of Linux users: The BBC has backtracked on claims that it has only hundreds of Linux users accessing its website. Last month, the BBC's director of BBC Future Media and Technology, Ashley Highfield, told a magazine that just 400-600 Linux users visited the BBC sites every week. Now, Highfield claims on his blog that the figure could be as high as 97,600.
Giving the Lie to Patents and Innovation: One of the enduring soap operas this year has involved the ongoing patent infringement threats by Microsoft against “Linux, OpenOffice, email, and other open source software.” According to Microsoft, 235 of its (unnamed) patents are being infringed, and it should be entitled to be paid for this use of its intellectual property. Steve Ballmer believes that Microsoft owes it to its stockholders to file patents to protect its innovations, and then to assert these intellectual property rights in this way, and at this time.
What's up at the OpenDocument Foundation?: The OpenDocument Foundation, founded five years ago by Gary Edwards, Sam Hiser, and Paul "Buck" Martin (marbux) with the express purpose of representing the OpenDocument format in the "open standards process," has reversed course. It now supports the W3C's Compound Document Format instead of its namesake ODF. Yet why this change of course has occurred is something of a mystery.
Tutorial: Linux Backups For Real People, Part 2: Our own Carla Schroder writes "Last week we got our backup hardware in order, so today we're going into detail on backing up our data to a locally-attached backup device. We'll learn how to configure which files to backup, and create an easy one-word-command backup."
Linux Game Company Opens Doors: Sixth Floor Labs LLC, a Linux game development company, has launched their business today. Founded by Ethan Glasser-Camp and Carl Li, the company aims to improve Linux's desktop feasibility through the creation of high-quality games. Games are "sold" to the Internet community through the "ransom model" -- for one large payment, the product is released under the GPL and freed forever.
Fedora 8 Installation Guide: This guide describes how to configure Fedora 8. Learn how to set up extra repositories, add video/dvd and audio codecs, install useful applications, configure Firefox's plugins, install compiz-fusion and much more!
VirtualBox: The best virtualization program you've never heard of: Quick, name some virtualization programs that run on Linux. Time's up. If you're like most people, you probably named VMware or Xen first. Many of you probably know of one or more of the following: Parallels, QEMU, KVM, Virtuozzo and OpenVZ. However, few of you probably know about VirtualBox. And chances are if you know about VirtualBox 1.502, you're already running it because it manages the trifecta of being good, free and, sort of, open source.
Too many free operating systems? I don't think so.: Some people say that there are too many GNU/Linux distributions, too many people just doing their own instead of joining an existing effort. In essence their criticism is towards the fact that so many people in the Free Software community actually take their freedom and pursue their dreams instead of finding their place in somebody else's vision. Sometimes the criticism is pointed towards those who duplicate a lot of the effort, just for a few small modifications. They are for consolidation. They want to build a cathedral out of the bazaar.
2 Pound Mini PC Powered by Debian Linux: Manufactum, a German web retailer, has released a portable PC that is sure to delight Linux users. Weighing in at only 2 pounds, with dimensions of 7.1x4.4 x1.9 inches (180 x 112 x 48 mm), the "Manuscriptum" comes pre-loaded with Debian Linux with a KDE desktop environment, and other essential software like Firefox, Open Office and the Foxit PDF reader. Available for around $650.
Vista vs. desktop Linux: One year in: After almost a year since Microsoft released Vista to manufacturing, it's time to re-evaluate it and decide if it's finally the equal of the best of the desktop Linuxes. That's not a facetious question. Yes, in terms of market share, desktop Linux hovers just over 1 percent of all users, while Microsoft claims that Vista by this summer had already sold more than 60 million copies. I'm not impressed, and you shouldn't be either.
Babbling Babel Fish sparks international incident: In our funny article of the week,a word of advice: Never use Babel Fish to communicate with the Dutch Foreign Minister. Last weekend, a group of Israeli journalists used the popular online translation site in sending an email message to the Dutch Consulate in Tel Aviv. They wanted to discuss an upcoming visit to The Netherlands for a seminar on Dutch politics, but they ended up asking the minister several nonsensical questions about his mother.
You cannot post until you login.