For those of you not out celebrating the Independence Day / 4th of July in America, there is a new release candidate for the Linux 2.6.31 kernel that is now ready for testing. In this second release candidate there is a new DRM pull bringing various fixes and improvements, including Intel DisplayPort support for hardware with such new connectors.
Fluendo, the company that's largely behind G-Streamer and produces legal audio/video codecs for Linux, has now launched its own DVD player solution for Linux. Fluendo's new DVD player software is, of course, built upon the G-Streamer framework. This Fluendo DVD player software costs about $28 USD and is fully certified and is considered a legal piece of software free of any audio/video patent issues in the US. This software also supports DVD menus, multiple angles, CSS encryption, subtitles, etc.
For those of you using PHP in the development of web-sites or even on the desktop (like what we do with the Phoronix Test Suite), PHP 5.3.0 has finally been released! This major update to PHP5 brings support for namespaces, late static bindings, closures, new PHP extensions, plenty of bug fixes, and much more.
For managing network and Internet connections from the Linux desktop, used by most distribution vendors is NetworkManager, which is a well rounded network connection manager from Red Hat for controlling wired, wireless, and mobile broadband devices. The ModemManager project was even spun off recently for furthering the mobile broadband support on Linux. However, rather than going with NetworkManager in Moblin, Intel created its own software: ConnMan. The ConnMan software is designed to enhance the process of managing Internet connections from Linux-based devices, such as those in the mobile space.
Clutter, the open-source toolkit designed to develop rich user interfaces with OpenGL and OpenGL ES but without the complexity of programming to such APIs, is nearing version 1.0. This toolkit, which was used to create the very impressive Moblin V2 interface, is backed by Intel and continues to gain steam. Version 0.9.4 was released just this morning, which is serving as the Clutter 1.0.0 Release Candidate 1 build.
Gustavo Sverzut Barbieri, a member of the E17 development team, has written in to share that a new development snapshot of this lightweight desktop environment is now available. Gustavo also shares that they hope to have E17 released by the end of this year. Available from the Enlightenment blog is a 2009-06-14 snapshot of E17 along with a new (stable) Eet library.
Mohamed-Ikbel Boulabiar has written in to report that he and his team at the Interactive Computing Lab in ENAC, Toulouse have been successful in bringing native multi-touch support to Linux. While there is Multi-Pointer X in the mainlinue X.Org server (to be released with X.Org 7.5 / X Server 1.7), there is now multi-touch support to be able to handle gestures and other actions.
While Enlightenment E17 is still undergoing development, the Enlightenment E16 window manager has finally reached version 1.0.0. As Kim Woelders points out in the 1.0.0 release announcement, there are not any fundamental changes since version 0.16.8.15, but it just felt like it was time this X window manager reached the 1.0 status.
A new release of Blender, the immensely popular open-source 3D modeling software, is now available. This is not the much-anticipated Blender 2.5 release, but instead version 2.49, which brings forth several prominent changes and improvements while the developers continue work on the next major release. As part of the 2.49 release, the Blender Game Engine (BGE) has also received improvements too.
A relatively new product to hit the hardware scene is Pogoplug, which is a little device that can connect to a USB 2.0 hard drive and an Ethernet connection, and then instantly makes the drive an Internet-accessible storage device.
Back in March we witnessed the release of Qt 4.5 which was also met by an announcement that Qt Extended was to be discontinued and that was just weeks after the announcement came down that Qt Jambi would be discontinued. There have certainly been many changes since Nokia bought out Trolltech and then renamed it to Qt Software. Nokia also allowed these Norwegian programmers to license Qt under the LGPL. Today there are more changes coming out of Qt Software.
With NetworkManager 0.7, which can be found in most modern Linux distributions already, there is "out of the box" support for many mobile broadband / cellular cards in this excellent network management utility. Most SM, GPRS, EDGE, UMTS, HDSPA, HSUPA, and EVDO devices can then provide an Internet connection to a Linux host usually with the click of a menu item from the NetworkManager plug-in. However, not all mobile broadband devices play well with Linux right now.
A year ago Nokia had bought out Trolltech, the company behind the popular Qt tool-kit, and since then we have seen a few major changes. In September, Trolltech was renamed to Qt Software and then Nokia then decided to license Qt 4.5+ under the LGPL while still offering versions under the GNU GPLv3 and their commercial license. The latest announcement to come out of Nokia / Qt Software is that they will be discontinuing development of Qt Jambi.
NetworkManager, the exceptional free software utility for managing wired and wireless (including mobile broadband / cellular connections), is about to reach its next major milestone since the release of NetworkManager 0.7.0 in the second half of 2008. Red Hat's Dan Williams and his fellow NetworkManager engineers are preparing to release NetworkManager 0.7.1.
Last January when KDE 4 was released it was shared by Trolltech that Qt would be relicensed under the GNU GPLv3. Less than two weeks after that announcement, Nokia acquired Trolltech, the company behind the Qt tool-kit. In September, Trolltech was renamed to Qt Software. Almost a year to the day after Trolltech announced Qt would be put under the GPLv3, Qt Software has announced Qt 4.5 will be relicensed.
The Btrfs file-system was merged into the mainline Linux kernel prior to the release of Linux 2.6.29-rc1, but now a new release of Btrfs is available.
Pidgin 2.5.3 was released yesterday afternoon with 58 changes worth mentioning in its change-log. Some of the changes in this instant messaging client update include a massive code clean-up in the MSN support, improvements to MySpace IM, quite a few new patches, IM images for Gadu-Gadu, and many other changes in Pidgin and its related packages (libpurple, Finch, and the protocols).
The Python Software Foundation has this afternoon announced the much-anticipated release of Python 3.0 (a.k.a. Python 3000). Version 3.0 of the Python language breaks compatibility with Python 2.x with many deprecated features now being removed and a number of significant changes -- including numerous syntax differences.
The Xiph.Org Foundation has announced the 1.0 release of the Theora video codec. This leading free software video codec is free of patents and any royalties. As another win for open standards, Theora 1.0 will be integrated with full support into future releases of the Mozilla Firefox and Opera web-browsers.
The GIMP community has today announced the release of GIMP 2.6.2, the second bug-fix release for GIMP 2.6, which brought a number of changes including GEGL (the Generic Graphics Library) and user interface improvements. Among the bugs fixed in GIMP 2.6.2 include improving the scaling speed, being unable to build GIMP on Solaris 2.8 with Sun CC, compatibility with GEGL newer than version 0.0.20, and other improvements. Several languages also have translation updates in GIMP 2.6.2. The change-log can be found in the GIMP news file and this latest release can be downloaded at GIMP.org.
Tomorrow at the Intel Developer Forum in Taipei, gOS will announce their support for Moblin in an effort to expand the presence of this web-oriented distribution on netbooks (such as the ASUS Eee PC 901) and nettops. According to a press release we've received they have at least one major yet-to-be-announced OEM partner that will use the Moblin-ized gOS on their Atom products. Expect more information soon.
OpenOffice.org 3.0 binaries have already been out for the past few days, but this open-source office suite officially released its version 3.0 status this morning. In OpenOffice.org 3.0 there is improved Mac OS X support with users no longer needing to run it inside X11, there is ODF 1.2 specification support, Microsoft Office 2007 import filters, chart enhancements, enhanced XML support, and many other changes. All of the changes for OpenOffice.org 3.0 can be read about here.
For those using Mono to run F-Spot, Banshee, and other C# and .NET programs, you may be pleased to know that Mono 2.0 has been released. This update has API improvements, new tools, more completed interface objects, C# compiler advancements, and various other changes. The release notes for Mono 2.0 can be found at the Mono Project web-site.
GIMP 2.4.0 was released almost one year ago, but today this popular open-source image editing and graphics program has been replaced by GIMP 2.6. With GIMP 2.6, the toolbox menu bar has been removed and its functionality merged with the main menu bar, toolbox and docks are now a utility window, and there is now also the ability to pan beyond the image border. Additionally, the GIMP free select tool has been greatly improved, there is now brush dynamics capabilities, most color operations now use GEGL (the Generic Graphics Library), and many other changes. The GIMP 2.6 release notes can be found at GIMP.org. Checkout the GIMP homepage for additional information.
Trolltech, the Norwegian company behind the Qt GUI framework, is no more. Earlier this year it was announced that Nokia is acquiring Trolltech and they have now decided they don't like the names Trolltech or Qtopia. Nokia has renamed Trolltech to "Qt Software" and for their mobile/embedded Qtopia framework they are now calling that "Qt Extended". It was also announced earlier this year that Qt is moving to the GPLv3 license. Head on over to the old Trolltech website to meet the new Qt Software.
Fluxbox 1.0 was released in October of 2007, but its first post-1.0 update has now been released. The source to Fluxbox 1.1 has just hit its SourceForge page, but at this time there is no release announcement nor has their project web-site been updated. There is, however, the change-log that ships with the source package to look at.
Pidgin 2.4.0 was released back in March with a number of new features, but replacing that this week is Pidgin 2.5.0. This update delivers a number of new features such as the ability for libpurple to create custom emoticons, SSL certifications support to the NSS SSL plug-in, the MSN protocol is updated to version 15, MSN offline IM now supported, Finch improvements, and there are many other changes. The Pidgin 2.5.0 change-log can be found on their Wiki Change-Log. Download Pidgin 2.5.0 for your favorite platform from Pidgin.im.
Git, the revision control system used by the Linux kernel, X.Org, and numerous other free software projects (including our very own Phoronix Test Suite at Phorogit), has reached a new important milestone. Git 1.6.0 has been released with a number of changes since the earlier Git 1.5.6 release. Changes for building Git in a MinGW environment have been integrated into the mainline code, reduced memory consumption, performance optimizations, improved documentation, and quite a few other noticeable changes. The release announcement for Git 1.6.0 can be read on the Linux kernel mailing list.
Less than two weeks ago we shared that SplashTop Linux was hacked to run off a USB stick, run custom applications, and more importantly having it run on non-certified motherboards (meaning those not sold by ASUS with SplashTop's instant-on Linux environment embedded). These hacks were done by members of our Phoronix Forums, but now a security hole has been discovered. Kano, a member of the Phoronix Forums and the mastermind behind the Debian-based Kanotix distribution, has discovered a serious security problem.
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