Tag: open sauce

Cyberfox is officially dead

The web browser Cyberfox appears to have been torn apart by hounds while rich toffs on horses stand by applauding and another makes loud farting noises on a bugle.

In a blog entitled Cyberfox and its future direction, the browser’s lead developer of Cyberfox proclaimed the death of their web browser.

Toady, said that the project was taking too much of his personal time, and the changes required by Mozilla were requiring more and more time to maintain.

He said: “This project has been amazing no one could ask for a better project or community sadly as much as i love this project my heart is no longer fully in it, dreams of pursuing game development were pushed aside and lifestyle steadily declined ultimately slowly coming to this point where changes and choices have to be made ones that will affect this project and the future of what i have spent all these years building.”

The issue appears to be that Mozilla announced major changes to Firefox, some of which landed already, some are in process, and others are announced for 2017. These include multi-process Firefox, the removal of plugins and WebExtensions will replace all other add-on systems of the browser.

That’s too much change, for projects that are maintained by a small but dedicated group of developers such as Cyberfox.

The author of Cyberfox made the decision to switch the browser’s release channel to Firefox 52.0 ESR. This means that Cyberfox will be supported with security updates for the next eight release cycles, but new features that Mozilla introduces in Firefox Stable won’t find their way into the browser anymore.

Munich might still stick to Linux agreement

The poster child for the use of Linux by government authorities, the City of Munich, might stick to its commitment to the operating system after all.

There had been ructions in Munich over whether its move to Linux had been such a good idea and if it had saved as much as it thought it had.

Most media have reported that a final call was made to halt the LiMux and switch back to Microsoft software, but the Free Software Foundation Europe says this is fake news.

What happened was that the opposing parties were overruled, but the decision was amended such that a strategy document must specify which LiMux-applications will no longer be needed. This was not killing off the project but postponing it until more facts were known such as the extent in which prior investments must be written off, and a rough calculation of the overall costs of the desired unification.

The FSFE said that so far mayor Dieter Reiter was forced to postpone the final decision, and this was possible through the unwavering pressure created by joint efforts between The Document Foundation, KDE, OSBA, and the FSFE together with all the individuals who wrote to city council members and took the issue to the media.

Although the mandate hints that the existing vendor-neutral approach is to be replaced with a proprietary solution, it leaves the door open.

Some politicians said they’d never received this much input from the public before, and the Free Software Foundation Europe says the city’s issues were caused “from organisational problems, including lack of clear structures and responsibilities,” which should not be attributed to the Linux operating system.

“LiMux as such is still one of the best examples of how to create a vendor-neutral administration based on Free Software,” the FSFE said.

KDE project at risk as developer disappears

An open sauce video editor project has stalled after the project leader, known by the handle Jean-Baptiste Mardelle, disappeared.

Kdenlive development efforts have stopped completely after Mardelle stopped posting in July and has not been seen since.

So far no one has been able to find Mardelle to establish if he is ok, but it does pour cold ice cubes down the pants of those who see Open Sauce as reliable. Without Mardelle it has been impossible to get commits moving and the software development has stopped completely.

According to Phoronix,  with the leadership and commits are gone and there was a risk that there would never be a new release again as people drift away.

The hope is that someone could see the news and fork the project off, or pick it up and keep it going. The problem with this case is that no one is actually aware that there is a problem.

There have been some questions on KDE Forums recently whether Kdenlive development is over, only to have the only response being from a user saying, “no one answers, you might think that the development is finished.”

There’s been no communication from Jean-Baptiste and one of the mailing list threads created one month ago still doesn’t have any actual answer on what’s going on with the project. 

Open source CubeSats satellites go into orbit

From next week it will be possible to run science projects on the world’s first open-source satellites.

ArduSat-1 and ArduSat-X were launched to the International Space Station on 3 August aboard a Japanese resupply vehicle which will arrive tomorrow.

New Scientist reports the 10cm volume CubeSats contain an array of devices including cameras, spectrometers and a Geiger counter.

The satellites will then be deployed using a robotic arm and put into orbit around Earth.

Since there will be no need for a dedicated launch vehicle the satellites will be on the cheap.

Chris Wake of NanoSatisfi, which built and will operate the satellites, said that no one has given people access to satellites in the same way before.

The launch was partially funded by a Kickstarter campaign, with backers buying some of the satellites’ time slots to run experiments.

Customers will also be able to program controls on the satellites and run experiments for three days for $125, or for a week for $250.

ArduSat-1 and ArduSat-X run the Arduino open source software which will let anyone write code for an app, game or research project that uses the on-board instruments.

Initial projects includes tracking meteorites and making a 3D model of Earth’s magnetosphere.

The first two satellites will orbit for three to seven months before burning up as they fall to Earth. The plan is to get as many of the cube satellites up as possible and reach half a million students. 

Spanish region saves a fortune by moving to open source

In a victory for the free software movement, the Spanish autonomous region of Extremadura has started to switch more than 40,000 government PCs to open source.

All the computers will be migrated this year. Extremadura estimates that the move to open source will help save 30 million per year.

It is Europe’s second largest governmental desktop migration, after the French Gendarmerie, which is migrating some 90,000 desktops. Europe’s third largest project is the German city of Munich, which has to date switched 13,000 PCs.

Most of the software will be based around a Linux distribution, Sysgobex, which has been tinkered with to meet the majority of requirements of government tasks.

At a press conference, Extremadura’s CIO Theodomir Cayetano announced that the government’s Linux desktop includes an open source corporate email system and office productivity suite.

The system will link the government’s medical record system and can be used in combination with the health card to manage prescriptions. The desktops will be centrally managed and won’t need IT administrators to perform local updates and configurations.

The system has been tested in a roll out of 150 Linux-based computers in pilot programs in departments of the Ministry of Development, the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, the Ministry of Economy and Finance, and the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development, Environment and Energy, Cayetano said.

The Extremadura region has been a poster child for the open source movement. Under the previous government, 70,000 desktop computers were in use in the secondary schools and 15,000 PCs used in health care, and were fitted with a local GNU/Linux distribution, Linex.

Cayetano noted that since the implementation of incident management using CAUGobex software, the system was able to handle more than 18,000 requests for service or incidents related to the operation and maintenance of computer equipment for public employees. 

Torvalds splits open sauce community

The open sauce community is apparently split over whether its founder, Linus Torvalds, is allowed to call presidential hopeful Mitt Romney a “fucking moron”.

Torvalds used the colourful phrase on Google+ in response to Romney’s much-ridiculed suggestion that air passengers should be able to open aircraft windows in an emergency.

It seems that Torvalds has also used his Google+ soapbox to call Romney’s religion, Mormonism, “batshit crazy”.

While most Linux and open saucers are supportive of both Torvalds’ right to speak his political mind and his criticism of Romney, there are those who feel that Torvalds should be like the Queen. He is so important he should not be allowed to express any political views.

As one Republican weirdie beardie pointed out he would not ask Mitt how to recompile his kernel if Linus doesn’t tell him how to vote. Of course the implication in that statement is that Mitt tells people how to vote, which we are not sure if that is how democracy is supposed to work.

Network World’s Paul McNamara  didn’t have a problem with Torvalds expressing political and religious views in a public forum. But he thought that the vitriol and obscenities were unprofessional. Clearly he has not heard Torvalds talking about Gnome, but the question then becomes do we insist that inventors of operating systems subvert their natural means of self expression just because they are suddenly famous.

McNamara said that it was an open question is whether having Torvalds toss these haymakers and stoke flame wars reflects poorly on the Linux community that he leads.

Not really, we would have thought that swearing was a natural part of being a software or hardware developer. Open sauce is supposed to be about self expression so asking open saucers not to swear is a bit like asking David Cameron not to be a twat or Boris Johnson to act sensibly. If it was in their DNA then it would be a choice. It is not in Torvalds DNA to call a rubbish dump a refuse recycling facility.

David Stilson, an IT professional from San Diego on Torvold’s bog that he was surprised to see all of these visceral attacks on Romney and each other.

” When did all the Linux nerds lose their logical approach to problem solving? People install Linux in part due to the fact that they are joining a community of supportive users. If you were new to Linux would you install it after reading these posts? “

So in other words you have to be some sanitised no-view, no personality if you want to peddle Linux.

Torvalds has dismissed criticism of such outspokenness as being grounded in “idiotic politically correct fears” he is probably right. Linux was always about “getting real” and ignoring marketing. It seems that Torvalds makes the perfect figurehead. 

Richard Stallman pours cold water on Steam

While many open sourcers have welcomed the news that the games company Steam might be making thousands of games available for Linux, Free Software Guru Richard Stallman is not impressed.

Writing from his bog, Stallman said that while the availability of popular nonfree programs on GNU/Linux can boost adoption of the system, it may not bring enough freedom.

He said that nonfree games were unethical because they deny freedom to their users. So if users want freedom the only way they can do that is to only have free software on their computer.

Stallman admits that if you must use these games you’re better off using them on GNU/Linux rather than on Windows. In other words, if it comes to which is better to lose your freedom on, it is better Linux than Voleware.

He thinks that Steam’s move might do both harm and good. It could encourage GNU/Linux users to install these games, and it might encourage users of the games to replace Windows with GNU/Linux.

While Stallman thinks that the direct positive effect will be larger than the direct harm, it will teach bad things to little outsourcers.

He claimed that any GNU/Linux distro that comes with software to offer these games will teach users that the point is not freedom. He already thinks that nonfree software in GNU/Linux distros works against the goal of freedom, and this would make matters worse.

Stallman said that if hardline open sourcers want to promote freedom they should not talk about the availability of these games on GNU/Linux as supporting their cause. 

Instead you could tell people about the Liberated Pixel Cup free game contest, the Free Game Dev Forum, and the LibrePlanet Gaming Collective’s free gaming night, which are much more exciting than getting the latest Halo. 

Richard Stallman wades into Microsoft

After being uncharacteristically quiet on the matter of Microsoft’s Window’s 8’s secure book, Open Source Guru Richard Stallman has finally vented his spleen.

In an interview with Bytes Media, Stallman dubbed Windows 8 secure boot a disaster.

He said that it was not really a secure boot at all, just a restricted one.

Stallman said that when it was under the control of the user a secure boot was a security feature because it allowed the user to control which programs can run on a machine and stop unexpected malware from running.

But what Microsoft’s version does is cause the machine to only work with programs that are signed with a certain key which are not controlled by the user.

Microsoft demands that ARM computers sold for Windows 8 be set up so that the user cannot change the keys.

Stallman thinks that this is abuse of the users and ought to be made illegal.

He added that this sort of thing proved that non-free software was wrong because users deserve to have control of their computers.

If the user doesn’t control the keys, then it’s a kind of shackle, and that would be true no matter what system it is, Stallman said. 

Richard Stallman gets mugged in Argentina

Open Saucy guru Richard Stallman did not get a particularly warm welcome in Argentina.

Apparently, his dedication to free software did not impress local muggers who took his bag containing his laptop, medicine, money and passport.

According to one bog Stallman had just given an inspiring address, in flawless Spanish at the University of Buenos Aires.

Stallman has a ritual where anyone in the audience can walk up to him, exchange a few words, and get a sticker and a picture. Unfortunately, on this occasion someone decided to take advantage of the ruckus and nick his bag.

Shortly after he realised his bag was gone, according to Partido Pirata, Stallman found himself in “utter despair, cursing out loud”.

The local paper described  “a hopeless RMS sitting at the university staircase, crying”.

He was forced to cancel his talk in Cordoba, and it’s still unknown how this will impact the rest of his speaking engagements throughout the world, the bog continued. 

Department of Justice's watchful eye shuts on Microsoft antitrust

After ten years of government control, a US District Court judge decided that Microsoft is no longer a threat to the technology sector and can be rehabilitated into the real world.

Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson said Vole had “placed an oppressive thumb on the scale of competitive fortune” and ruled that the outfit had to be split up,

Jackson’s break-up order didn’t survive appeal, but Microsoft was saddled with a set of rules to keep it from punishing equipment makers who sold rival products. It also had to give code details to rivals so that they could make software which worked with Windows.

However, the US Department of Justice supervision ends today and Vole is now as free as a bird.

While it is a amusing to think of the mighty Vole humbled before the force of US Justice, the feeling in the IT industry is that the punishments did not do much.

Vinton Cerf, Google’s chief internet evangelist, said the regulation did very little to harm Microsoft.

It was more damaged by the rise of open source, which bought the world Linux, Android, or Chrome and the Chrome OS.

Simon Crosby, the CTO of Citrix told Computer World that open source saved his outfit.

At the time of the antitrust case, the competitive threats from Google-like companies, cloud computing, and smartphones were not even dreamed up.

Microsoft had a huge market share in desktop operating systems and productivity apps, and it controlled the world wide web with Internet Exploder. If the court had known what was going to happen, chances are it would have not needed to be as hard on Microsoft as it was.