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."
While OpenShot and PiTiVi are the two currently most talked about open-source non-linear video editing systems for Linux, that's not all there is out there. There's also Kdenlive, Kino, an open-source Lightworks is coming soon, and then perhaps the most advanced open-source video editor of them all: Cinelerra.
While many in the open-source community do not like Mono on their system as a Microsoft .NET implementation for Linux (and other operating systems), for those interested in this C# compiler and run-time library, Mono 2.8 is now available for download. Mono 2.8 offers up a large number of improvements.
Back in July we reported that there would be a 2011 Desktop Summit, a joint conference between the GNOME and KDE developers via combining their GUADEC and Akademy events, respectively, to one location at one time. There was a 2009 Desktop Summit held in the same fashion, but up until now all we knew is that there would be a 2011 Desktop Summit in Berlin during August, but the details were yet to be announced. Now we have the details for this open-source event.
At long last, the EFL (Enlightenment Foundation Libraries) have reached a beta status for their version 1.0 release. Among the libraries hitting this beta status are Eina, Eet, Evas, Ecore, Embryo, Edje, E_Dbus, Efreet, and Eeze. New snapshots are also available for Enlightenment and Elementary.
With the Gallium3D driver architecture there's state trackers for Mesa, OpenVG, OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0, and even most recently one for exposing Direct3D 10.0/11.0 on Linux. These state trackers are then what can run on the Gallium3D hardware drivers or even on the CPU in the case of Softpipe and the much more interesting LLVMpipe. There's even now a new Gallium3D state tracker being contemplated by the Lightspark Flash Player project.
OpenShot, one of the popular and promising non-linear open-source video editing projects, is out today with their first major release in nearly a half-year. OpenShot 1.2.2 is this new release and it brings a number of new features and other bug-fixes as it attempts to close the gap between open and closed-source video editors.
While we have yet to see any official release announcement, if you browse the PostgreSQL FTP server you can now find the final packages for PostgreSQL 9.0.0. This major update to PostgreSQL brings easy-to-use replication, mass permission-changing, anonymous code blocks, enhanced stored procedure support, exclusion constraints, deferrable unique constraints, and a variety of other enhancements.
We reported last month that a native ZFS module was coming to Linux and would be released in mid-September. Rather than using ZFS-FUSE that runs the Sun/Oracle ZFS file-system under the FUSE module so that it lives outside the Linux kernel (and runs rather slowly as our benchmarks show), this new ZFS module is native to Linux and open-source but due to the CDDL license it's being distributed as a module and will not be included in the mainline Linux kernel. This module has now entered a closed beta testing process.
A week ago we reported on the open-source GPU drivers causing headaches for KDE users when attempting to use the KWin compositing manager under certain conditions. Version 4.5 of the KDE Software Compilation has a few improvements to KWin and while the compositing manager does check for optional OpenGL extensions, the open-source Mesa drivers don't always do things right and it's resulted in some bugs and other issues inflicting KDE users.
Cairo, the 2D drawing API that's used extensively within GTK+, Mono, Mozilla's Gecko engine, WebKit, and many other open-source projects, is out with a new major release. Cairo 1.10 is this major release to succeed the Cairo 1.8 stable series, which was introduced back in September of 2008.
The staff behind the Free Software Developers' European Meeting (FOSDEM) have just announced that the 2011 conference will take place on the 5th and 6th of February. This is the first weekend of February, which is right around the time that the other FOSDEMs have taken place. Like always, this event will be taking place in Brussels, Belgium.
Marking the end of two years of development is the release of Vim (Vi Improved) version 7.3. While this is considered a minor release of Vim, there are a handful of new features along with many bug-fixes.
The Linux Foundation's LinuxCon is taking place this week in Boston and they have used this conference for making a few announcements, such as Qualcomm joining the foundation as a platinum member (even though they are not really open-source friendly) and rolling-out the Open Compliance Program. The Linux Foundation's Open Compliance Program is designed to be "a comprehensive initiative that includes tools, training, a standard format to report software licensing information, consulting and a self-assessment checklist that will help companies comply with open source licenses, increasing adoption of open source and decreasing legal FUD present in the marketplace."
We're just days away from the release of KDE SC 4.5, but details are now surfacing from Martin Graesslin about his planned KWin compositing changes in the KDE SC 4.6 and 4.7 releases. Compositing in KDE SC 4.6 should be much faster, support mobile rendering using OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0, and potentially offer a stable ABI. With KDE SC 4.7 is where we're looking at the KDE world to potentially begin tapping OpenGL 3.0 for a better compositing experience.
The Khronos Group came out in mid-March to release the OpenGL 4.0 specification along with OpenGL 3.3 (to bring as many OGL4 features back to OGL3 as possible for older hardware that doesn't support OpenGL 4.0), but today from SIGGRAPH in Los Angeles they have rolled out OpenGL 4.1. The Khronos Group has now put out six ratified versions of OpenGL in less than two years and the 4.1 release adds more graphical goodies to this industry standard. OpenGL 4.1 is also joined by version 4.10 of GLSL, the GL Shading Language.
Banshee, the open-source media player that's built with Mono and Gtk#, is working towards their 1.8 milestone but today they have put out a new development snapshot. What's special about this new development release, Banshee 1.7.3, is that it adds support for Amazon's MP3 store and brings other enhancements too.
Spotify, a proprietary peer-to-peer music streaming service created by some Swedish developers, is now available for Linux. The developers from Stockholm characterize this initial Linux release as being a preview build, which goes unsupported by the company and currently lacks support for decoding local music on Linux.
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