Last week on Phoronix I wrote about Gccpy, which is an effort as part of Google's Summer of Code to develop a Python front-end to GCC that would allow compiling Python into native system binaries using the GNU Compiler Collection. This was of interest to many readers and the developer behind Gccpy, had commented in more detail in the forums. Following that news article I received an email regarding another Python compiler effort.
Celebrating the US Independence Day, while many Americans are spending time with their families, drinking (usually nasty) beer and BBQ'ing, others talking to Microsoft, the Red Hat virtualization team has released a new version of libvirt. The libvirt 0.9.3 release brings many changes.
While the FreeBSD Foundation is now paying for Linux kernel mode-setting and GEM/TTM memory management to be ported to BSD -- and they are making some progress -- this isn't the first attempt at moving major parts of the graphics stack into the kernel. Pre-dating Linux KMS/DRM is the KGI Project, which still is technically around, but it's pretty much dead in terms of new development and any hope of the Kernel Graphics Interface reaching its goals.
There's a number of open-source non-linear video editor programs that have been going for a few years, including Cinelerra, OpenShot, and PiTiVi, among others. None of these projects have been particularly promising and yet comparable to the proprietary competition in the video editing world. Lightworks is an option since it's a professional software product that was then open-sourced, but it's Linux client isn't expected until late 2011. There is though another new option coming in the Linux video world and that's Novacut. Novacut is an open-source video editor, but at least it's taking a slightly different approach than the other projects.
Coincidently there's some more file-system news after just writing about the EXT4 and Btrfs file-systems with the Linux 3.0 kernel. A Phoronix reader has pointed out that a developer at Tuxera is claiming their proprietary NTFS Linux kernel driver makes the Microsoft file-system the fastest choice under Linux. Reportedly this kernel driver that implements Microsoft NTFS support is about twice as fast as EXT4, the main Linux file-system of choice right now.
Blender 2.58 has been released as the second stable release in the Blender 2.5 series.
The Haiku operating system, which seeks to be free software and implement compatibility with the BeOS platform, has now experienced its third official release in ten years of development. Haiku R1 Alpha 3 is this new official release and it offers a lot of changes.
Yesterday we delivered the news that PathScale was open-sourcing their high-performance EKOPath compiler suite, which in previous days was talked about on Phoronix under the Dirndl codename when showing how fast this compiler was in relation to GCC. The community indeed is excited for EKOPath now being open-source (GPLv3) and in the Phoronix Forums are currently 15+ pages of comments. In this news posting are some more EKOPath details from the forums and some of what Christopher Bergström, PathScale's CTO, has relayed in our community portal.
Still trying to grasp the situation, but as I tweeted yesterday, there's some big news to deliver today beyond the AMD Llano launch. This news is that a lot of VA-API and XvBA related Linux video code is being opened up by Splitted Desktop Systems. There's also a PowerVR VA-API driver to be opened.
For those interested in GStreamer, the open-source multimedia framework commonly used by the GNOME desktop, is slowly working its way towards doing a 1.0 release.
To some frustration, the big software announcement that's codenamed Dirndl hasn't yet hit wire. I'm told the company is deciding within the next couple of hours whether they want to issue a press release on a Friday or hold off until next week, but regardless of the day of week it will generate a lot of attention due to this game-changing move. Soon as I hear it's hit the wire, a four-page Phoronix article is in the queue.
OpenMoko, one of the original projects aimed to create open-source mobile phones, is rarely heard about these days with Google's Android and Apple's iOS dominating the markets. While they had the Neo 1973 as a true Linux phone it didn't sell too much nor its successor, the OpenMoko FreeRunner, which is still available for purchase. Aside from phones, OpenMoko had developed the WikiReader as a mobile device that's capable of reading Wikipedia articles without a persistent Internet connection. Today they've also announced their latest project: Shiftd.
Pidgin, the popular open-source instant messaging program formerly known as GAIM, has just reached version 2.8. The main web-site has not yet been updated to reflect Pidgin 2.8, but this is an exciting release with a number of new features.
Yesterday we reported on a freelance researcher reverse-engineering the Skype protocol and beginning to write open-source code that would work with this popular VoIP network. A representative of Skype has now contacted Phoronix to inform us they will be taking "all necessary steps" to stop this effort.
News of Oracle handing over OpenOffice.org to the Apache Software Foundation isn't the only open-source office news this week; The Document Foundation has just announced the official release of LibreOffice 3.4.
While many Linux users are upset that Microsoft's buying out Skype and that the Free Software Foundation's GNU Free Call hasn't matured much in being a reliable replacement to Skype (not all of the FSF projects move along), there is some interesting news this morning: an independent researcher has reverse-engineered the Skype protocol.
While many users and developers are already looking forward to Qt 5, which will be released in the next calendar year, as a stepping stone towards that milestone is Qt 4.8.
There's been a lot of references this week at UDS Budapest to OpenGL ES support since this version of OpenGL is what's predominantly supported on ARM/embedded devices. There's already been talk of OpenGL ES support in QEMU, among other projects. OpenGL ES 2.0 support is also coming to the Compiz and KWin compositing window managers. An OpenGL ES 2.0 back-end for Cairo was also brought up separately.
Microsoft is buying out Skype, it's been confirmed, at a price of over $8 billion USD.
José Fonseca and Zack Rusin have spent the last several months writing ApiTrace, which formerly was known as GLretrace. This is meant to be a powerful utility to debug OpenGL and Direct3D graphics applications and drivers. It allows you to easily capture the graphics API calls, analyze them in a step-by-step manner, and to playback traces at a later point. ApiTrace also allows for real-time editing of shaders and other OpenGL/Direct3D calls to see their impact on the rendering and drivers.
While there's many Linux users looking forward towards the release of Ubuntu 11.04 "Natty Narwhal" tomorrow, having been released yesterday to the BSD world is DragonflyBSD 2.10.1.. This update to the DragonflyBSD operating system contains greater hardware support, including for multi-processor systems, among other enhancements.
Part of the beauty of open-source software is that anyone is free to work on whatever code they wish. For some developers this means working on open-source graphics drivers for old GPUs, for some it may be working on a game or desktop application, and for others it may mean bringing Microsoft DXVA support to open-source multi-media software. There's now a branch of MPlayer that supports Microsoft's DirectX Video Acceleration API.
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has announced Tesseract to the GNOME community. Tesseract is a new tool they have developed at this American university to "explore project archives and their underlying dependencies such as file dependencies, developer communications, and bugs visually and interactively." In developing Tesseract, which will eventually be open-sourced, they used the GNOME project's Rhythmbox as a guinea pig for testing.
GIMP 2.7.2 was released last week as a development stop in the road to GIMP 2.8, which itself was supposed to be released last December. But with the single-window user-interface lagging behind along with other work, GIMP 2.8 development dragged along with its limited number of core developers. It looked like it would just be a few more months until 2.8 was released, but with v2.7.2 just arriving, that's not likely to happen. Based upon a new tool developed by one of the GIMP developers, the 2.8 release isn't estimated to occur until the end of November.
It's just not open-source graphics programs dropping new releases this week like GIMP and Blender, but in the open-source audio editing scene there's also work taking place. The Audacity team just released version 1.3.3 of their popular audio editing application.
Blender isn't the only free software graphics application moving along (they just released their first stable 2.5 build), but work towards GIMP 2.8 is also moving along. Though in GIMP's case, the work has been moving along rather slowly. GIMP 2.8 was supposed to come last December and that deadline was clearly missed. At that point it looked like it was perhaps just a few months away, but only now is GIMP 2.7.2 even being released.
Blender 2.57 has been released and while its version number may seem nonchalant, this is actually an important milestone. Blender 2.57 is the first stable Blender 2.5 release that incorporates their re-designed user-interface and is nearly feature complete.
NGINX, the open-source BSD-licensed web-server designed to be lightweight and high-performance compared to Apache, has finally reached version 1.0.
The NTFS-3G project, which provides a file-system driver with read/write support for Microsoft's NTFS file-system on Linux, has merged with ntfsprogs. The ntfsprogs package provides various utilities for the Linux NTFS file-system like mkntfs, ntfsclone, ntfsundelete, and ntfsdefrag. Merging NTFS-3G and ntfsprogs was the logical move and now there's a stable release of the merged software: ntfs-3g_ntfsprogs.
Two weeks ago I shared with my Twitter followers that a Skype Linux announcement would be coming soon. Today, one of the Skype Linux announcements has happened: a new beta with new features.
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