While Nokia has effectively abandoned the MeeGo Linux operating system, Intel is still supporting MeeGo along with AMD and other vendors, including SplashTop. SplashTop has today announced the release of their MeeGo-based operating system.
Yesterday's announcement of Microsoft and Nokia hooking up over Windows Phone 7 on Nokia's smart-phone has rattled the free software / Linux communities. There's more than 100 comments in our forums about this announcement and this isn't the only tech community where there are outraged customers and other parties disappointed in Nokia's decision. In particular, many are upset because with Nokia's decision it basically pushes the MeeGo Linux operating system and the Qt tool-kit to the back-seat.
ALSA 1.0.23 was released in April 2010 as a major update to the Advanced Linux Sound Architecture, but it's finally been outdone by ALSA 1.0.24. The ALSA 1.0.24 update is also very significant and delivers on quite a number of sound card / audio processor driver improvements.
Jos Poortvliet has written more information about the Bretzn project, the effort to provide a multi-distribution application framework and effectively a "app store" for Linux.
Along the same lines as the Enlightenment Foundation Libraries hitting the v1.0 milestone and MPlayer slowly nearing version 1.0, the Portable C Compiler is also preparing for its 1.0 release. PCC is also now able to build the current 64-bit FreeBSD stack with minimal modifications.
If you missed it this Friday night, version 1.0 of the core Enlightenment Foundation Libraries (EFL) have been released.
Recently in Germany there was a cross-distribution meeting among the major vendors (Red Hat, Canonical, Novell, Debian, Mandriva, etc) to discuss a common application installer for Linux and one unified application store / market-place. The goal would be to have a common user-interface for application installation, how/what meta-data to use, determine a defined protocol for non-static meta-data, and decide what meta-data to share across distributions. Fortunately, this was a very successful meeting.
Embedded Linux GPU driver support is a great big mess. There's no doubt about it. There's some partial open-source driver code, but nothing that's been quite popular or welcomed for integration into the mainline Linux kernel. There might be an open-source PowerVR SGX driver later in the year, but that's still months out. However, with more mobile Linux devices emerging that utilize these closed-up ARM GPUs, clean-room reverse engineering to write open-source drivers is going to be inevitable unless the vendors step up their Linux support game.
Since a few hours ago when talking about how a company is ripping off open-source projects on Amazon, more information has come in. Sure, what the company is doing might be technically legal under the GPL (though in at least the case of Dangers of the Deep, not complying with the artwork's license too), but arguably unethical with the company in question. Butterfly Media is even taking screenshots from the free software projects' pages and then voiding them of their titles, but on at least one account is distributing a non-free software program in likely violation of its license.
It's been brought to my attention today by a Phoronix reader that several major open-source projects are being ripped off and sold for-profit on Amazon by a small company out of the United Kingdom. FlightGear, InkScape, and Scribus are among the free software projects being affected right now and Amazon apparently has yet to catch onto this or act.
Luc Verhaegen, the former Novell employee who previously worked on the RadeonHD driver and is known for butting heads with other X developers and making ambitious proposals like modularizing DRI and Mesa drivers, has out a new blog post. In something not too far off from where he said the Linux desktop will be dead if Keith Packard got his way in merging graphics drivers back into the X Server, his new blog post is entitled "This way, the free software desktop is never going to make it."
At the end of December we talked about GIMP 2.8 struggling to make it out the door and now there's official commentary from the GIMP project.
One of the points that Linux users commonly say in lobbying hardware vendors to provide open-source drivers and/or documentation -- particularly for GPU drivers -- is that the open-source community will take the released code or documents and from there develop it into a reliable, working open-source Linux driver. However, that isn't exactly true.
GIMP 2.8 has been talked about for more than a year and back in January there was a GIMP 2.8 release schedule by Martin Nordholts that had set the final release for the 27th of December. That date has now passed and, sadly, this major update to this leading open-source graphics program is still not close to being released.
There's lots of new software being released this week prior to the holidays and year's end, including the release of the Opera 11.0 web-browser. The Norwegians have been hard at work on Opera 11 and it's now officially available.
Oracle is evidently trying to end out the year with an open-source bang as it releases frequent VirtualBox 4.0 betas, they just pushed out the long-awaited MySQL 5.5, and they have now released Oracle Open Office 3.3. At the same time, they have also introduced Oracle Cloud Office.
One of the open-source projects that Oracle is keeping around from Sun Microsystems is MySQL and just in time for the holidays they have put out the MySQL 5.5 release. The general availability release of MySQL 5.5 brings many new features to this popular database server.
Heroes of Newerth, the multi-platform game where we gave away thousands of beta keys last year (more than any other web-site), has now reached version 2.0.
A month after making some small progress towards "hybrid graphics switching" on Linux to allow notebooks with dual GPUs (usually a low-power integrated graphics processor and a performance-oriented but high-powered discrete GPU), Red Hat's David Airlie is beginning to get things working for Intel and NVIDIA GPU combos on notebooks such as the Lenovo ThinkPad T410. Hybrid graphics on Linux still sucks, but at least it's getting better.
There's long been a desire by KDE users to have a Phonon back-end for the VLC media player (there's 4 year old bug reports on the matter) and just now there is finally a Phonon-VLC release that is considered "stable enough for day to day use." Phonon-VLC is a version of VLC that uses the Phonon back-end from KDE4 as it's back-end. This multimedia API was originally provided by KDE libraries and then integrated into Qt is abstracted and can then target a particular multimedia back-end like GStreamer or Xine.
It was precisely one month ago I was wondering what happened to SplashTop and found the company that we jump-started by our first-in-the-world coverage was still pushing out their instant-on Linux OS to various OEM vendors but they have lost their roots of using the Linux environment embedded on a motherboard's flash chip to instead being nestled away on the user's hard drive, which defeats much of its uniqueness and benefits (not to mention it was hacked by Phoronix readers). SplashTop, which was formerly named DeviceVM before the company took up the same name as their premiere product, also started pushing out Apple iPad applications in recent months. Today the company is announcing another set of peculiar changes to their instant-on Linux OS.
Here's another interesting bit of news that just arrived into the Phoronix inbox this Thanksgiving: it's now possible to do TrueHD, DTS-HD, and E-AC3 over HDMI on Linux via FFmpeg. The TrueHD/DTS-HD/E-AC3 support is added to one of FFmpeg muxers to allow HDMI pass-through for these formats. DTS-HD/DTS-HD MA audio up to this point hasn't been supported under Linux and it's used by a sizable portion of the Blu-ray media currently on the market.
The Enlightenment Libraries haven't even hit version 1.0 yet (though they're getting close and in beta right now), but these libraries and other parts of Enlightenment are already in production use. Besides Samsung getting in bed with Enlightenment for their smart-phone Linux OS, this open-source software is now appearing in... refrigerators.
A month ago there was the 1.0 beta release of the Enlightenment Foundation Libraries, which are the software libraries created to help in the development of the E17 desktop. EFL 1.0 also marks a point of API/ABI stability and is being used by projects outside of E17 proper, such as with Samsung's Enlightenment usage. Today the second beta of the Enlightenment Foundation Libraries is now available.
Last week Microsoft decided to open-source their F# programming language in the form of its compiler and their language's core libraries. Microsoft's F# was opened up under the Apache 2 license and following that release comes a MonoDevelop plug-in and an announcement from Miguel de Icaza that they will begin distributing F# in Mono.
ARM yesterday introduced the Mali-T604 graphics processor that is a major step-up from their current-generation Mali graphics. The Mali-T604 is not only compatible with OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0 and OpenVG 1.1, but it also brings OpenCL 1.1/1.2 support to this embedded graphics processor for GPGPU computing. Additionally, the Mali-T604 is said to deliver up to five times the performance of current Mali graphics processors and is scalable up to four cores, but what kind of Linux driver(s) will it bring?
Earlier this year we reported that the Lightworks video editor was going open-source. This was big news as Lightworks is a professional-grade non-linear video editing application that has received scientific and technical Academy Awards and Emmy Awards. This software has been used for editing films like Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Shutter Island. While many have been excited that this application is going open-source, the Linux port will not be available until late 2011.
Do you remember SplashTop? It's the instant-on Linux environment that was originally embedded into select ASUS motherboards three years ago and from there worked its way to other motherboards and then onto notebooks and other devices from a variety of vendors. We effectively launched SplashTop for DeviceVM, the company behind this instant-on Linux distribution, when we got our hands on SplashTop early and were the first in the world to provide a detailed analysis of SplashTop. It was one of our most popular articles that year and of over the past six and a half years that Phoronix has been around. Recently though we haven't heard much about SplashTop at all.
While last month several OpenOffice.org members had left the free software office suite project to form LibreOffice and The Document Foundation, there's no signs that OpenOffice.org is going away anytime soon; Oracle has just announced the first release candidate for the upcoming OpenOffice.org 3.3.0.
The developers behind the GeeXboX multi-media Linux distribution have written in to inform us a new framework they have been developing and just released called OpenBricks. The OpenBricks Embedded Linux Framework is "an enterprise-grade embedded Linux framework that provides easy creation of custom distributions for industrial embedded devices. It features a complete embedded development kit for rapid deployment on x86, ARM, PowerPC and MIPS systems with support for industry leaders."
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