Tony Bemus and Mat Enders
Kernel News: Mat
Kernel release status
The current development kernel is 3.2-rc1. It was released on November 7. People should use it and bang on it hard. There shouldn’t be anything big and ugly hiding in there, but there is a huge amount of stuff in there.
Stable updates: the 188.8.131.52 and 184.108.40.206 stable updates were released on November 7; both contain a long list of important fixes. 220.127.116.11 was released on November 8 to fix some build problems introduced in 18.104.22.168. 2.6.33 users should note that 22.214.171.124 is the final planned update for that kernel.
The second half of the 3.2 merge window
On November 7 Linus announced the 3.2-rc1 release which closed the merge window. During the two-weeks that the window was open, 10,214 non-merge changesets were pulled into the mainline kernel. Making this the most active merge window ever, beating out the previous record holder (2.6.30, at 9,603 changesets) by quite a bit.
Some of the User-Visible changes merged this week were:
- Processes can now use poll() on files under /proc/sys; the result is the ability to get a notification when a specific sysctl parameter changes.
- The btrfs filesystem now records a number of previous tree roots which can be useful in recovering damaged filesystems. Btrfs has also gained improved readahead support.
- The I/O-less dirty throttling patch set has been merged; that should improve writeback performance for a number of workloads.
Even though this development cycle was so huge, several trees did not get pulled in. Linus intentionally avoided some controversial ones like FrontSwap and the KVM tool. Others were simply passed over. It is time for this code to stabilize. If things progress in the usual manner then the 3.2 release should be seen sometime in January.
Distro News: Tony
- 11-11 Parted Magic 11.11.11 – Based on the Linux 3.1 kernel, the new release introduces a new versioning system (the previous version was 6.7) and upgrades a number of the included applications.
- 11-10 Sabayon Linux 7 “Experimental” – three experimental editions of Sabayon Linux 7, containing the LXDE desktop environment, Enlightenment 17 and the Awesome window manager
- 11-09 Oracle Solaris 11 – Oracle Solaris 11, a UNIX operating system originally developed by Sun Microsystems and known for its scalability and innovative enterprise features
- 11-08 Fedora 16 – Linux distribution sponsored by Red Hat
- 11-08 CDlinux 0.9.7 – a compact mini live CD featuring the Xfce desktop and just a handful of popular applications
- 11-07 Fuduntu 14.12 – Linux distribution recently forked from Fedora
Distro of the Week:
Other Distro News:
Linux Mint 12 Preview
Finally the Mint people have a preview of Linux Mint 12, codenamed “Lisa”.
Even though they stuck with Gnome 2 in their last release they realize that this is not a workable situation. So they are moving to Gnome 3 in Mint 12. With some fantastic add ons.
The good things about Gnome three are most importantly it is shiny, then it is also elegant, modern, and sleek. However there are also some problems. It changes the way people use their computers. We are currently used to working in a task centric environment. But in Gnome 3 we are asked to switch to an application centric environment. In other words switching between applications instead of windows. It does not do multitasking well you can’t see open windows or the system tray icons among other things.
The mint guys have come up with an excellent solution. They have developed a way for you to interact with your computer the way you want to, the traditional way and the new way. So they developed “MGSE” (Mint Gnome Shell Extensions), it is desktop layer that rides on top of Gnome 3. We have used the traditional desktop for as long as there have graphical environments with things like application menus and window lists. They may have looked different depending on weather you were using Gnome, KDE, XFCE, MAC, or Windows, but they all shared these familiar components.
With MGSE you can choose how much or how little of the traditional or new interface you use. With this you can ease yourself into the new way or keep right on using your desktop the way you always have.
The main features of MGSE are:
* The bottom panel
* The application menu
* The window list
* A task-centric desktop
* Visible system tray icons
Gnome 3 requires video acceleration which most modern systems have. They do have a fallback mode iff your hardware is not compatible. Even though it resembles Gnome 2 do not be confused it has nothing to do with Gnome 2 and it will eventually disappear as Gnome 3 progresses.
They are also adding MATE as an option. Mate is a fork of Gnome 2.32 and works exactly like Gnome 2. As you can’t run both Gnome 2 and Gnome 3 on the same machine as it causes many conflicts in the repositories. Mate is supposed to solve this and allow both to be installed on the same system. In reality though there are many conflicts between MATE and Gnome 3. The Mint team is working diligently in collaboration the MATE team to correct these and allow MATE to be installed by default along with Gnome 3.
For the full story see the Linux Mint blog post here. http://blog.linuxmint.com/?p=1851
The RC release was on 11/12 for an expected full release on 11/20.
Stop Installing Outdated Ubuntu!
You can use the “Installation Minimal CD” and get a fully up-to-date system the first time it boots.
Google Depricates GMail App For The BlackBerry
Google anounced that on 11/11/2011 they will stop offering their GMail app for BlackBerry. In the announcement Google claimed tha they will focus on “building a great Gmail experience in the mobile browser,”.
I am a BlackBerry user and a GMail user. I use GMail on my BlackBerry but I did not even realize there was an app for it. I hust plugged the GMail settings into my BlackBerries email feature and all works well. I have been using it this way for years. I really do not think this will affect the majority of BlackBerry Gmail users.
OpenJDK Defeats Apache Harmony in the Open Source Java Battle.
The Apache Harmony Developers voted to shelve Harmony which was once the shining light in open source Java. Things have changed since the project started, Sun open sourced Java, Oracle acquired Sun. Then both Red Hat and IBM backed OpenJDK.
OpenJDK works and is the home of open source Java. The Apache Software Foundation has issues with the JCP, which they left in December of 2010. Java today is open source, which it wasn’t back in 2005 when Harmony got started. Harmony’s failure has to more with OpenJDK’s success, then the failure of open source.
Barnes & Noble’s Slideshow Says Microsoft’s Android patent campaign is total B.S.
A 29-page set of slides, made public this week in Microsoft’s patent lawsuit against Barnes & Noble. Lays out in extensive detail how B&N believes Microsofts attempts to collect Licensing fees for Android are total BS.
The first slide says that this was a presentation given to the DOJ in July. This slideshow became public this week as it was filed as an exhibit with the International Trade Commission. You can see the slides here: http://www.seattlepi.com/business/tech/article/Microsoft-using-dirty-tactics-against-Android-2262459.php#photo-1743549
Google Algorithm Updated
Google recently rolled out a massive change to their search algorithm. The change is designed to return fresher results for a significant number of search queries, and highlights just how much power the search industry has over the Internet. The updates will focus on three areas, according to the blog post: recent events or hot topics, regularly recurring events, and searches with frequent updates, like electronics reviews
Linux Trojan Attacking Mac OS X
An old Linux Trojan virus has been ported to the Mac OS X and is terrorizing users of the newest Macintosh operating system. “Tsunami”
Mozilla Developing Open Web Mobile OS
The developers at Mozilla have developing an experimental mobile operating system. They’re calling it Boot 2 Gecko, or B2G for short.
C64x Extreme: Quad Core in a Classic Commodore Chassis
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