Oct 16, 2014 GMTLike Linux desktops, free-licensed fonts started as imitations of proprietary equivalents. Today, original free fonts are becoming increasingly common, but the demand for free equivalents of proprietary fonts remains. This demand is unlikely to disapear because, although most professional designers think in terms of proprietary fonts, clients are often unwilling to pay for them. Moreover, free software advocates prefer free fonts to go along with their free applications.Exact equivalents are rare because of fear of copyright restrictions. A match as high as 75% is rare. Some equivalents, such as the Liberation fonts, are only metrical – that is, they take up the same space as their...
Off the Beat: Bruce Byfield's Blog
Oct 07, 2014 GMTJust what free software needed: another discussion of civility in the community in which half-truth counters half-truth, and nothing gets resolved.I'm referring, of course, to the reactions to Lennart Poettering's recent rant, in which he characterizes free software as an abusive community, thanks largely to the example of Linus Torvalds. Poettering is far from the first to describe the hostility that can exist in free software, and the first reactions came within hours of the posting, soon snowballing into an avalanche of criticism, most of it so careless with nuance that any sort of balanced observation is impossibleProbably, I haven't a hope of adding my own comments without offending...
Sep 30, 2014 GMTAccording to Charles H. Schulz of The Document Foundation, the unification of LibreOffice and Apache OpenOffice is not currently on anyone's agenda. "It is important to realize," Schulz tells me, "that there is no kind of news here coming from the Document Foundation, or to our knowledge the Apache OpenOffice/ Apache Software Foundation." However, the rumors persist that some sort of change is about to happen.LibreOffice was forked from OpenOffice.org in September 2010, by a group of contributors dis-satisfied with Oracle's stewardship of the leading free office suite. In June 2011, Oracle transferred the OpenOffice.org trademarks and Oracle-owned code to The Apache...
Sep 26, 2014 GMTWhen a writer criticizes a book, they are partly explaining how they would have written it. In the same way, when Aaron Seigo criticized the role of community manager last week, I assume that he partly means that he prefers not to lead that way. As a result, while I find little to disagree with, his criticism seems harsher than his topic merits.Seigo begins his comments with a frontal attack. The community manager role, he declares in his opening sentence is "a fraud and a farce." He goes on to add that a community with a manager "probably isn't a community to begin with."Instead, he views the position as either a means for an organization to act the way it wants,...
Sep 11, 2014 GMTThese days, large free software projects resemble any non-profit organization, with governing boards and obligations to release regular reports. How many users read those reports is uncertain -- not many, I would guess, because, even in free software, the reports tend to be glossy exercises in PR. However, if nothing else, their financial statements are worth a close look, because they suggest the priorities and directions of project's governing bodies.Two examples are GNOME and KDE ( I would have looked at other popular desktops, but none of the others release quarterly or annual reports). Examining their statements for the 2013 financial year shows two projects have very different...
Sep 06, 2014 GMTWhenever a major security story like the recent leak of nude celebrity photos occurs, I hope that some serious discussion will happen. But I am always disappointed, and this time was no exception. No one, apparently, wants to explore the obvious -- that, just maybe, buying cloud storage is a flawed business and security model.I understand why people buy cloud storage, of course. It's convenient, especially if you want to access your data from multiple computers and different locations. Almost certainly, it is cheaper than paying for your own system administrators or even buying new hard drives.And let's not forget the coolness factor of using the latest technology. For an industry...
Aug 31, 2014 GMTDigital typography is a mixed blessing. On the one hand, thanks to office suites and typesetting applications, as well as an increasing number of free-licensed fonts, any computer user can potentially produce professional-looking publications. On the other hand, conventions left over from the typewriter, half-understood rumors, and some odd choices in popular office suites have left most of us unable to come anywhere close to realizing that potential.True, we have calmed down enough so that we no longer feel obliged to use every design feature available. Those who remember the late 1980s, when many design features were first introduced, may still have nightmares about text that was...
Lennart Poettering wants to change the way Linux developers talk to each other.
Enterprise giant frees itself from ink and home PCs (and visa versa).
Mozilla’s product think tank sinks silently into history.
TODO group will focus on open source tools in large-scale environments.
New tool will look like GParted but support a wider range of storage technologies.
New public key pinning feature will help prevent man-in-the-middle attacks.
Carnegie Mellon researchers say 3 million pages could fall down the phishing hole in the next year.
The US government rolls new best-practice rules for protecting SSH.
Klaus Knopper announces the latest version of his iconic Live Linux system.
All websites that use these popular CMS tools could be vulnerable to denial of service attacks if users don't install the updates.