FSM Newsletter 2 June 2008

FSM Newsletter 2 June 2008


Tue, 2008-06-03 11:14 -- admin

Hello readers, and welcome once again to Free Software Magazine 's fortnightly newsletter, keeping you up to date with all things free software... AND the top 10 FSDaily announcements for this week! Enjoy!

General announcements

Top ten Free Software Daily stories this week

  1. VIA's Open Source Notebook --If you've been scanning the news today, you might be under the impression that VIA Technologies had released an open-source notebook design. The OpenNote mini-note reference design has gotten a a sudden burst of press attention, but most of the stories don't seem to understand what's really open about this design. Read more...

  2. gNewSense distro frees Ubuntu --Free software lovers can rejoice at this month's release of gNewSense 2.0 (pronounced "guh-new-sense"), the latest version of the popular distribution based on Ubuntu Hardy Heron. Code-named DeltaH, this operating system includes only software where users have the right to run, study, adapt, redistribute, and improve all of the software and code. Read more...

  3. Dear Google: Is AGPL Evil? --Google snubs a very good software licence and makes a Web-based software feature Windows-only. Read more...

  4. "Big Buck Bunny" movie files released --The shortfilm “Big Buck Bunny”, made with the Free Software program Blender is available for download. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license. Note that the files are in a rather high resolution. Please use BitTorrent for download. There is also a game planned... Read more...

  5. Saving Students from The Latest Microsoft Lock-in (Live @ edu) --Two days ago Microsoft issued a press release heralding its plans to take over universities with its Windows-oriented, Live-branded offerings, which typically lock down students and bind them to Microsoft while they still are young. For background about this, see this older post. Read more...

  6. Novell and Mono: The Kiss of Death to Free Software --Another very interesting interpretation which shows why Novell and Mono are enemies to Free software. Read more...

  7. Brazil Protests OOXML Too! Asks Approval Be Reconsidered --South Africa was the first, but not the last. Now Brazil has sent a letter protesting the adoption of OOXML as an ISO standard also, and Andy Updegrove says he has heard there will be more... Read more...

  8. KDE Project Ships First Beta of KDE 4.1 --The KDE Project is proud to announce the first beta release of KDE 4.1. Beta 1 is aimed at testers, community members and enthusiasts in order to identify bugs and regressions, so that 4.1 can fully replace KDE 3 for end users. KDE 4.1 beta 1 is available as binary packages for a wide range of platforms, and as source packages. KDE 4.1 is due for final release in July 2008. Highlights: Plasma grows up, Kontact returns, applications grow, refinement throughout the frameworks. Read more...

  9. India Appeals Against OOXML, Joining Brazil, South Africa, Maybe More --3 nations (at least) are already confirmed to have appealed against ISO's decision. Read more...

  10. Free software vs. software-as-a-service: Is the GPL too weak for the Web? --"Preserving software freedom in the era of Web applications -- You’ve read the GPL’s preamble, you can name the Four Freedoms, and you do your best to keep proprietary bits off our computers. But what’s the future of free software in the era of Flickr, Google Apps, and Facebook? ..." Read more...

Thanks to bobamarocks, can.axis, komrad, akf, rakshita, and JRepin for these stories!

Latest content

Group interview: a graphic view of the open hardware movement. Part 2: technical and social issues --By Terry Hancock. Open Hardware project management through the lens of the Open Graphics community. Read more...

Workrave : combating RSI the free software way --By Ryan Cartwright. Thanks to FSDaily, I recently came across an excellent post regarding useful exercises for geeks. What surprised me about it was that Workrave was not mentioned at all. Here I take a brief look at this great piece of free software designed with one purpose: combating repetitive strain injury (RSI). Read more...

Free software vs. software-as-a-service: Is the GPL too weak for the Web? --By Gavin Baker. Preserving software freedom in the era of Web applications. Read more...

Reporting bugs the Debian way --By Ryan Cartwright. Following on from my recommendation for [apt-buglist][]—where you can see the reported bugs on a package before installing it—I thought it might be useful to look at the other side of the coin, reporting bugs in Debian. The best way to do this is with the dedicated tool: reportbug. Read more...

Destroy annoying bugs part 4: the end is near --By Alan Berg. In this the last part of this four-part series I will zoom carefully into the ease of use of PMD. I totally enjoy PMD. The reason for this is the relative simplicity of writing your own bug pattern-capturing rules and using them under fire. More on that later. To round off we have included an in-depth interview with Tom Copeland, the author of PMD Applied and the newer JavaCC . It is no coincidence that Tom is at the center of the PMD development thrust. Read more...

Advertising

Don't miss the North American Perl Conference, YAPC::NA 2008, being held in Chicago, Illinois June 16th-18th. This grassroots events features hours of advanced hands-on tutorials, over sixty technical talks, and keynotes from Larry Wall, creator of Perl, and Brian Fitzpatrick and Ben Collins-Sussman, key contributors to the Subversion project and to Google's Open Source efforts. Experience all three days of the conference for only $100. There is a 10% discount on the conference fee if you register with the conference code 'FSM'.

Also, don't miss out on the pre and post conference hack-a-thons, as well as, the Master Classes immediately following the conference. If you are new to Perl or an experienced Perl hacker, you'll find something for you at YAPC::NA 2008.

Latest content continued

ODF in MS Office? No, really! --By Mitch Meyran. Microsoft declared yesterday (May 21st, 2008) that Microsoft Office 2007 SP2 would include (among others such as PDF 1.5, PDF/A and some more) built-in support for OASIS OpenDocument Format version 1.1 (finalized, submitted to ISO, supported by OpenOffice.org, Kofffice, GNOME office apps and their forks) while ISO-submitted OOXML support would wait for Office 14. Read more...

Asus EeePC, Part Four: A miscellany of Tips and Tricks --By Gary Richmond. Since the first three parts of this series came out, (One, Two and Three) the beginning of May has seen the launch of the new EeePC 900 series; it’s slightly larger and heavier, with a nine-inch screen and higher resolution. Read more...

Issue 22 Released! --In this issue of Free Software Magazine Terry Hancock interviews the amazing engineers involved in the OpenHardware project. Gavin Baker casts doubts on the effectiveness of the GPL In today's web-oriented world where applications are less and less "desktop". Scott Nesbitt's article on Prism, which helps people to bring web applications to the desktop couldn't be more timely. Steven Goodwin then tries to awaken the hacker in all of us with his fantastic piece on home automation, and Mitch Meyran talks about creating web pages the "right" way. Read more...

Destroy annoying bugs part 3: FindBugs for large scale analysis --By Alan Berg. In the previous posts, I have written about personal use of static code reviews via a GUI, in this case Eclipse. However, for large projects with hundreds of thousands of lines of code or more, with the code base being scattered amongst project teams, we have a problem. The economics of Quality Assurance demand a more mass analyzed and factory-efficient approach. Do things quick, hit the code, find the worst bugs and repair. The white box looking out, in combination with the functional or load testing black box methodologies looking in. Read more...

Destroy annoying bugs part 2: Plug me into Eclipse. --By Alan Berg. Static code reviews aimed at eating bugs (!) are unbiased and neutral. If you spill coffee on their laps or are applying for the same job as them, the advice given back will remain the same. Static code reviews work via rules; some rules are accurate in their assessment and others are not so relevant—or even false. Before building a thorough infrastructure for large-scale deployment, it is well worth installing the tool’s respective plugins. You can have a lot of fun kicking the tires of the rule sets for your own particular environment. Getting your fingers into the reality of the code is the first step in the path to Quality Assurance enlightenment. Note to self, remember to ask boss for pay rise. Read more...

Updating Debian keys for the uninterested --By Ciaran O'Riordan. Despite having an aversion to configuring and maintaining security and crypto software, I accepted that I had to update my system in response to the recent big Debian security problem. If I can do it, you can do it. Below are my notes, but keep in mind that my security rank is somewhere between ignorant and uninterested. Read more...

Latest book reviews

Linux Thin Client Networks Design and Deployment by David Richards --Reviewed by Robert Pogson. A Quick Guide for System Administrators. Read more...

Professional Plone Development by Martin Aspeli --Reviewed by Alan Berg. An open source Content Management System. Read more...

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