The Skype team is out with their Skype 2.0 Beta for Linux, which does present one very interesting feature. Skype 2.0 for Linux will support video communication. Other features in the Skype 2.0 Linux beta include the ability to automatically answer incoming calls, full-screen video support, icon updates, and a variety of bug fixes. The complete list of changes for Skype 188.8.131.52 can be viewed at the Skype Garage.
For those that require NDISwrapper to use the Windows driver for their wireless network card on Linux, a new release is now available. NDISwrapper 1.49 includes a fix for invalid MAC addresses (some Atheros devices are affected), kernel crashes with non-preempt kernels, NDISwrapper working with RT-preempt and non-preempt kernels, and dropped support for Linux 2.4 kernels and early Linux 2.6 kernels. All of the details are available from the NDISwrapper SourceForge page.
We've been covering the development of GIMP 2.4.0 for a number of months, and GIMP 2.4.0 is finally available! GIMP 2.4.0 is so new that their website hasn't been updated yet, but if you check out the GIMP FTP it is available for download as of October 23. We have some screenshots from an earlier GIMP 2.4 testing build.
We've just received confirmation from DeviceVM that the lightweight window manager they use for SplashTop is based upon Blackbox. As we shared earlier today, SplashTop currently uses the Linux 2.6.20 kernel. Once we get any other technical details we will pass them along.
Fluxbox, the window manager based upon Blackbox, has reached version 1.0.0. Fluxbox 1.0 introduces a new default style, new alternate styles, fixed shape handling, added a fluxbox-remote utility, and updated languages. There are also a lot of bug-fixes in Fluxbox 1.0.0 and other updates since the Fluxbox 1.0 release candidates. All of the changes can be found on their SourceForge page with source and binary download links.
Not only did Fedora 8 Test 3 and OpenSuSE 10.3 hit the web today, but so did Skype 1.4. Skype 1.4 for Linux lays the framework and a "solid foundation" for what Skype engineers are looking to build upon in future releases. Skype 1.4 also features a new user interface to offer a simplified experience. Other features for this VoIP program include streamlined file-transfer manager, birthday reminders, and call forwarding. Find out more about the release in this Skype announcement.
Pidgin 2.3.0 is already in development, but these open-source chat developers have pushed out a Pidgin 2.2.1 release to back-port some bug fixes on top of Pidgin 2.2.0. The changes in Pidgin 2.2.1 include a few Solaris build fixes, improved Gmail notifications through libpurple, closing multiple memory leaks, and fixed detection of X11 with Pidgin are among the ten changes officially making up this minor release. There is also a Pidgin 2.2.2 release already planned. You can download Pidgin 2.2.1 from Source Forge.
Remember Greg Kroah-Hartman's comments earlier this year about offering up free Linux driver development for all companies willing to provide hardware specifications to the developers? Novell has realized the potential of this open-source work and is now allowing Greg Kroah-Hartman to work full time on developing free software drivers that are free of charge to companies that are interested. Not only is Greg willing to develop these free drivers but over 100 other developers already have stepped up to the plate to provide development help. A new Wiki has been launched at LinuxDriverProject.org to kick off this initiative now that Greg can work on this project full time. Greg and his posse of developers are even willing to sign Non-Disclosure Agreements to access a company's specifications and pool of information. In addition to the new project Wiki, Greg has provided additional information on the LinuxDriverProject.org mailing list. Additional information can be found on the Kroah blog.
GIMP 2.4.0 is coming soon and as a sign of that, the third release candidate for GIMP 2.4.0 is now available. GIMP 2.4.0-rc3 offers a variety of bug fixes as well as improved handling of JPEG settings, switching tabs by just hovering over them, conversion options for the color profile conversion plug-in, and a few other changes make up this release candidate. You can read about the eight changes in GIMP 2.4.0-rc3 in their GIMP Developer News File and the latest code is available from their GIMP mirrors.
We missed reporting this news last week due to the Intel Developer Forum, but the MadWiFi team has announced that they will be abandoning the proprietary HAL currently required to make this Linux wireless driver functional. In fact, new work on the MadWiFi driver will really cease as they are now focusing their work on a new completely free and open-source driver. For those that do not know, MadWifi is a Linux driver for use with Atheros 802.11 Wireless Chipsets, but it had depended upon a proprietary Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) for regulatory reasons.
The official release of OpenOffice.org 2.3.0 is scheduled for Monday, September 17, but it is available already. OpenOffice.org 2.3.0 introduces a number of new features and changes for all OpenOffice.org components. There is a new charting wizard, the ability to create Wiki pages using a new Filter in the OpenOffice.org Writer, and performance improvements are among the many changes found in the OpenOffice.org 2.3 branch.
Pidgin, the open-source instant messenger program previously known as GAIM, is out with version 2.2 this morning. Pidgin 2.2.0 introduces MySpaceIM support, XMPP enhancements, Yahoo Chat fixes, and other improvements. The Pidgin 2.2.0 source can be downloaded from SourceForge.
This past week the Phase 2 "Mass Market" schedule for the OpenMoko Neo1973 was revised. OpenMoko now expects the GTA02v3 design to be finalized by September 20 while on December 10 it will begin production in "moderate volumes". On December 20 the OpenMoko Neo1973 GTA02v3 will go on sale, and with "Santa's Sleigh Package Service", the OpenMoko Neo1973 will arrive on December 25 for those celebrating Christmas. In the new OpenMoko Neo 1973 is 802.11b/g WiFi support, Samsung 2442 SoC, SMedia 3362 Graphics Accelerator, 256MB of flash memory, and a faster S3C2442/400 processor. For those not wanting to wait until Christmas, the OpenMoko Developer Preview model is already on sale. It was also recently announced that there is a new OpenMoko interface and that it may be the base of the upcoming Google gPhone. The new OpenMoko Neo1973 schedule is available on their Wiki. David Lin has posted more information on his blog.
For those using the Opera web browser, Opera 9.5 Alpha with a Linux binary has been released. The Opera 9 rendering engine has been rewritten for Opera 9.5 which resulted in several speed and memory enhancements, improved layout algorithm, a more responsive user interface, synchronization support with My Opera, full history search, and many more improvements. The Opera 9.5 release announcement can be found at Opera Software.
In time for the release of X.Org 7.3, Ian Romanick has pushed out the XGI X.Org 1.5.0 driver release. The xf86-video-xgi 1.5.0 driver uses the SiS DRM and contains a number of code fixes along with cleaning up the code. Romanick announced the availability of the XGI X.Org 1.5.0 driver on his blog while all of the details and git information is available at FreeDesktop.org.
If you're using Matrox EpicA TC2 or EpicA TC4 graphics cards, you'll be pleased to know that new Linux drivers are available. This new driver features a new GUI control panel for configuring multiple displays with Matrox thin client solutions. The Matrox 1.4.5 Linux driver supports up to X.Org 7.2.0 and the Linux 2.6.20 kernel. More information on the Matrox 1.4.5 Linux Driver can be found in this press release.
A new snapshot of OpenMoko is available that is called OpenMoko 2007.2 "August Snapshot". This release offers a new user-interface and application set, gcc-based toolchain 4.1.2 with EABI, synchronized against org.openembedded.dev, and an easy upgrade path for OpenMoko. OpenMoko can now be upgraded using ipkg update && ipkg upgrade. On the new UI framework is a new dialer, contacts, today, calculator, and feed-reader programs. The new interface is designed to better support the FIC Neo1973 with the screen's ultra-high DPI capabilities, offer performance improvements, and rearranging where buttons and other options are displayed. While the new interface is available from their SVN repository or the latest snapshot, it's still said to be a work in progress. The announcement can be found on the OpenMoko mailing list along with the OpenMoko 2007.2 August snapshot. Remember, Google is also looking at OpenMoko for their mobile gPhone.
If you are a Linux user with an ATI Radeon X1000 "R500" graphics card and would like to help out the X.Org developers working on developing an open-source R500 driver, consider providing a VBE mode-setting dump. It takes barely no time, requires no development experience, and can go a long way in helping to work out the current issues in the Avivo driver. For more information read our article entitled Your First Date With Vbespy and post the dumps in this forum thread.
We told you at the end of July that GIMP 2.4.0 would be coming soon, and now the GIMP team has announced the first release candidate for GIMP 2.4.0. The first release candidate marks the point where all new features to be contained in GIMP 2.4.0 can be found and the GIMP API is now frozen. Left to be tackled before the final release of GIMP 2.4.0 are some bug fixes and "minor changes". The GIMP Bugzilla reports about nine open bugs left before GIMP 2.4.0. You can grab GIMP 2.4.0 RC1 from their official mirrors. It looks like GIMP 2.4.0 will be a late August or early to mid September release.
The first CUPS 1.3 release is now available with a great number of new features and other changes. CUPS 1.3.0 introduces Kerberos authentication, Zeroconf support, new web interfaces, Internet printer sharing, localized printer drivers, and new functions for various CUPS APIs. In total there are over 30 new features and changes in CUPS 1.3.0. This is also the first release since it was announced Apple acquired CUPS Printing.
BitTorrent 6.0 has been around now for a little over a week and today Slyck News is reporting new information and that BitTorrent is now closed-source. Older versions of BitTorrent remain open-source, but there will be no open-source version of BitTorrent 6. The President of BitTorrent, Ashwin Navin, has told Slyck News that there will always be an open-source version of BitTorrent but not necessarily the latest mainline version. BitTorrent blames those who take the source code and mixes it with spy-ware and those who resell the BitTorrent client for profit. Specifications for the latest BitTorrent protocol will, however, be available for those who obtain their SDK.
Version 1.8 of the ZFS Test Suite has been released, which is for testing the ZFS file-system on Solaris. The version 1.8 announcement can be read on the OpenSolaris Forums. It was back in June that the ZFS Test Suite was originally made available on OpenSolaris.org.
OpenBox 3.4.4 has been released with three new features and a handful of bug fixes. Vertical and horizontal padding sizes can now be specified independently in themes, a notification is displayed when switching desktops, and new focus stealing prevention are among the new features. For those out of the loop, OpenBox is a lightweight next-generation window manager that complies with FreeDesktop.org standards. More information on OpenBox 3.4.4 is available from Icculus.org.
Pidgin 2.1.0 has been released with a brand new conversations window interface. Pidgin's formatting tool-bar was completely redone. More information on the other Pidgin 2.1.0 changes are described at Ars Technica and at the Pidgin homepage.
The GIMP team is preparing for the release of GIMP 2.4.0. Today marks the release of GIMP 2.3.19, which fixes a host of issues to the point where most outstanding GIMP problems are now fixed or will be fixed in the very near future. The GIMP news file notes that long layer names in PSD files has been fixed, improved EXIF handling in the JPEG file plug-in, added control for the playback speed in the Animation Playback plug-in, improved rectangle tools, and improved print plug-in are just some of the changes. Download links and additional information is available from the GIMP site.
A regression in the GIMP 2.2 branch have led to the release of GIMP 2.2.17. Specifically, this release addresses a regression in the PSD loader and fixes a crash when loading a corrupt PSD file and a minor workaround for Pango. All the news in the GIMP 2.2 branch is available here and additional information from the GIMP homepage.
Michael Sweet has announced today on the CUPS website that Apple Inc has purchased the source-code to the Common UNIX Printing System and has hired him to continue work on CUPS. Michael went on to add that CUPS will continue to be released under GPL2/LGPL2 terms.
The Samba Team has announced today they will be adopting the GPLv3 and LGPLv3 licenses for all future versions of Samba. The next version of Samba planned was going to be Samba 3.0.26, but the first GPLv3 version will be in the Samba 3.2 branch. The Samba Team will continue to maintain the Samba 3.0 branch, but all future development efforts are focused on Samba 3.2 and later. The announcement of Samba adopting the GPLv3 and LGPLv3 license can be read at Samba News.
Less than a month after Apple had launched the iPhone, OpenMoko has launched the OpenMoko.com Store where you can now order the Neo Base Developer Preview. The first phone available through OpenMoko is the FIC Neo 1973. For $300 USD you can get the Neo Base that includes the mobile phone, but for $450 USD there is the Neo Advanced Kit. This launch is targeted for developers and Linux enthusiasts, while at a later time OpenMoko will be aimed for mass market sale. Additional information is available at OpenMoko.com.
Last year it was at Linux World Boston where the winners of the Source Forge Community Choice Awards were announced. Among the winners last year were Azureus, eMule, FileZilla, BitTorrent Queue Manager, A PHP Paypal API, WinSCP, phpMyAdmin, WINE, and GAIM. However, voting for the finalists year's Source Forge Community Choice Awards is now open. Among the finalists for 2007 include phpMyAdmin, Zimbra Collaboration Suite, ScummVM, Audacity, Pidgin, ISP Control Panel, Firebird, Xbox Media Center (XBMC), Tikiwiki, and Webmin. The two new award categories this year are Technical Support and Collaboration. The project winners for the 2007 SourceForge Community Choice Awards will be announced on July 26 at O'Reilly's OSCON 2007.
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