Oct 01, 2009 GMT(Ordinarily, I wouldn't report on an event that happened almost two weeks ago. However, considering how little attention the Free Software Foundation (FSF)'s mini-summit on women in free software has received, and the importance of the issues it discussed, I'm making an exception here).According to Stormy Peters, executive director of the GNOME Foundation, the subject of women's lack of involvement in FOSS is not new. "It was just time again to have the conversation," she says. Deobrah Nicholson, FSF membership coordinator, sees things differently, suggesting that reactions to incidences of sexism brought attention to the problem and that "this year, a lot of people saw it...
Off the Beat: Bruce Byfield's Blog
Sep 23, 2009 GMTOK, I'm conflicted.According to one report, last Saturday at the Software Freedom Day event in Boston, Richard Stallman called Miguel de Icaza “a traitor to the Free Software community" because of de Icaza's involvement with Microsoft-based technologies like Mono and Moonlight. On the one hand, I can easily imagine the frustrations that led to this description. But, on the other hand, before members of the free software movement applauds the description, I hope they will look for another reaction that would do more to advance its goals.Before saying anything more, I should probably explain that I consider myself a supporter of the free software movement. I am not an uncritical one,...
Sep 16, 2009 GMTQuarterly reports are the stuff of business. In most people's minds, they are as far from the spirit of free and open source software (FOSS) as anyone can imagine. All the same, as non-profit organizations, many FOSS projects issue them. And while your first reaction may be to avoid quarterly reports, they can give some insights into projects, especially if you read between the lines. For instance, if you have been assuming, as I have, that GNOME has more corporate support than KDE, and a larger budget, a look at the latest report for GNOME and KDE may surprise you. Together, the two reports give an entirely different impression than you might assume.Neither quarterly report has much in...
Sep 13, 2009 GMTOne key configuration tool that has been missing from GNOME for years is a font manager. In fact, years ago, I often installed KDE primarily so I would have a graphical font manager. In recent years, the situation has improved with applications like Fonty Python and Fontmatrix, but I'm always watching for new applications that will save the drudgery of manual installation and management. Font Manager is a relatively new effort, but, at 0.3 release, is already showing the promise of becoming one of the simplest font managers available.Font Manager is available as source code, and in packages for Fedora 11 and Ubuntu 9.04. It is designed for GNOME, but works with both KDE and Xfce so long...
Sep 03, 2009 GMTTwo years ago, when I last looked at LXDE (Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment), no code had been committed for over a year, and many believed that the project was dead. Since then, LXDE has greatly revived, attracting a new team of developers, and being offered on a number of distributions. Recently, the project has released a test release of LUbuntu, an official mutation of Ubuntu that may one day become official. Running Openbox for a window manager and requiring less than half a gigabyte of RAM to run, LXDE is a desktop worth looking into if you appreciate speed and minimalist interface design. Use it long enough, and you just might reconsider what you actually need.LUbuntu is...
Aug 31, 2009 GMTFor years, tiling window managers have been a popular, but minority interface choice for GNU/ Linux. Ion, dwm, awesome and others differ in implementation, but what all have in common is that they divide the desktop into separate frames to avoid problems with overlapping windows. You can even mimic tiling in Windows by selecting them in the taskbar while holding the Ctrl key, then making a choice from the context menu. Now, thanks to X-Tile (http://open.vitaminap.it/en/index.htm), you can mimic tiling in GNOME as well.Why would you want tiling? The answer is that Metacity, GNOME's default window manager, does not open windows efficiently. Although Metacity makes some effort to avoid...
Aug 27, 2009 GMTThe Free Software Foundation is following up its Bad Vista campaign with a new campaign called The Windows 7 Sins. The campaign is timed to coincide with the upcoming release of Windows 7, but is aimed at not only Microsoft products, but at proprietary software in general.What distinguishes the campaign from the typical anti-Microsoft complaints is that its focus is not the technical problems with Windows, but the ethical issues involved. Peter Brown, the FSF executive director, notes that enlisting people against Windows Vista was relatively easy because of the widely known problems with the release. Now, however, the FSF is stressing the ethical arguments against proprietary software in...
Kernel king admits his tone has alienated volunteers, but says the demands of the process require directness.
New flaw in an old encryption scheme leaves the experts scrambling to disable SSL 3
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.