Released to OpenSolaris.org today was the ZFS Test Suite, Solaris Test Framework, Checkenv, and Runwattr test tools. Both the source-code and binary packages are available now from OpenSolaris.org. This announcement of the new OpenSolaris packages can be read on the forums.
The 1.4 Beta of Skype has entered the world for Linux with a number of improvements. Most noticeably, the Skype GUI has seen many improvements, and a number of new features. Some of the other features include animated emoticons, call forwarding, and status of birthday notifications are just some of the features. This Skype 188.8.131.52 Beta release has also seen a number of clean-ups and bug fixes. You can try it out at Skype.
It was only recently that the GIMP 2.3.17 development release was made available, but some crashes in GIMP 2.3.17 warranted a quick release of GIMP 2.3.18. Some of the other changes include adding support for loading .abr v6 Photoshop brushes, improved usability of color scales, and improved display quality of zoomed-out image view. More information is available at GIMP Developer.
While not completely Solaris related, this week Sun's CEO Jonathan Schwartz announced that Apple will be switching to the Solaris ZFS file-system as default for the upcoming "Leopard" version of Mac OS X. Apple will officially anounce the move to ZFS next week during Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference. More information is available at eWeek.
Another OpenBox 3.4 preview release is now available along with packages for a variety of Linux distributions. OpenBox 3.3.995 fixes a variety of bugs along with updating some translations. The change-log for OpenBox 3.3.995 is available here with the project being hosted at Icculus.org.
With GIMP 2.4.0 slowly approaching, the seventeenth development release in the GIMP 2.3 series is now available. GIMP 2.3.17 supports improved importing of multi-page TIFF files, reduced rounding errors in Blur routines, further improved parameter checks in the PDB, added support for loading .abr v2 Adobe Photoshop brushes, improved border behavior of the Blur tool, shows the brush outline at the Clone tool's source position, added libgimpbase API to retrieve the user's Pictures folder, added a shortcut to the user's Pictures folder, improved the quality of the Motion Blur filter, save paths in TIFF files, let the screenshot plug-in name the new layer after the window, use memory slices to reduce memory fragmentation, some code cleanup, and the usual assortment of bug fixes.
Samba 3.0.25 is now available for downloads and contains a collection of bug fixes along with several new features. Some of the new major features in Samba 3.0.25 include improvements in the winbind off-line log-on support, secure DDNS updates, rewritten IdMap interface, new plug-in interface, new file change notify subsystem, support for passing Windows security descriptors to a VPS plug-in, improved compatibility with Microsoft Windows Vista clients, and new IdMap and VFS plug-in man pages. There are also three security fixes present in this new product release. The Samba 3.0.25 release notes can be read here.
Blender, the open-source 3D modeling program, is now at version 2.44 with some interesting features. Among the new features in Blender 2.44 include new modifiers, the addition of some composite nodes, a revamp of the old mesh primitives, and most interestingly was the addition of sub-surface scattering support. Blender 2.44 is also fully 64-bit compatible. More information on this new open-source release can be read at Blender.org.
Earlier this week Bugzilla 3.0 was finally released by the Mozilla Foundation. Bugzilla 3.0 supports new custom fields, mod_perl support, skins, XML-RPC interface, automatic update notification, and much more. More information on version 3.0 is available here.
With a number of PHP vulnerabilities and bugs entering the public spotlight in recent times, PHP developers have announced the immediate availability of PHP 5.2.2 along with PHP 4.4.7. The new PHP 4 release consists of about 10 bug fixes, but the new PHP 5 release contains over 120 bug fixes! Outside of bug squashing, PHP 5.2.2 also features improvements to the PHP memory manager, GD / SQLite / PCRE library updates, and additional methods being added to two SPL classes. The release announcement for PHP 5.2.2 can be read here and here for PHP 4.4.7.
If Enlightenment is your window manager of choice, be sure to head on over to SourceForge and grab the update for Enlightenment E16 0.16.8.7 along with epplets v0.10. There are a number of bug fixes in this Enlightenment release, but two of them include an option for showing windows on all desks in the focus list and the CM now rendering to the composite overlay window.
With the legal issues regarding GAIM now settled, the Pidgin (GAIM) development team is free to release Pidgin 2.0. Pidgin 2.0 comes after being in development for two years and features a brand new user interface, a new status management system, universal buddy icon management, a smooth scrolling system, and many more improvements. Pidgin 2.0.0 for all major platforms is available from SourceForge.
If you're wanting to see what new things you can expect from Skype, an Alpha 1.4 release of Skype is now available for all Linux users. Skype 1.4 Alpha is the first test version of the next major Skype release. While there is already a stack of known bugs and missing features, some of the improvements in Skype 1.4 include a major user interface overhaul, audio quality improvements, calls are now contained in a separate window, file transfers are grouped to a common window, and a few other small changes. More information and download links are available here.
Over at Kernel Trap is the Linux kernel mailing list message along with a brief summary that highlights the current status of the ext4 journaled file-system. Development has been going a bit slow and the complete closure on the fallocate system call calling convention isn't yet reached. A number of ext4 patches are currently under review as well. Recently we had also passed along a development update on the status of the Reiser4 file-system.
Since Hans Reiser was accused of murdering his wife, the future of Reiser4 has really been up in the air. However, coming out of Kernel Trap this afternoon is some additional information on Reiser4's future. This article comes after a discussion on the Linux Kernel Mailing List as to whether Reiser4 will be introduced into the Linux 2.6 kernel anytime in the near future. While Reiser4 is in disarray, the EXT4 file-system is actively being worked on.
In January we had told you about Linden Labs opening up the source-code to the Second Life client, but now they are also making the code available to their Second Life server. More information on the Second Life server code is available from ZDNET.
With GIMP 2.4.0 still not being ready for prime-time, GIMP 2.2.14 has been released. Today's GIMP release serves as a bug-fix release with a total of 26 fixes. The changes in the GIMP 2.2 series can be read here. More information is available at the GIMP project site.
GAIM, or GTK+ AOL Instant Messenger, is no more! The GAIM project has been renamed from GAIM to Pidgin. No, this is not an April Fool's Day Joke, but it has really happened. GAIM had been secretly under fire by AOL for "GAIM" and this has also prevented them from releasing a final version of GAIM 2.0. GAIM has also moved away from SourceForge, but with the legal issues now out of the way we can expect Pidgin (GAIM) 2.0.0 next week! More information is available at the Pidgin website. Farewell GAIM!
OpenOffice.org 2.2 has been released. Some of the improvements to make OpenOffice.org a much more viable alternative to Microsoft Office 2007, version 2.2 features improvements to the quality of text display, PDF export improvements, and many more improvements specific to the various components. OpenOffice.org can be downloaded here.
A new development snapshot of GIMP is now available. GIMP 2.3.15 is another development release in the road towards GIMP 2.4.0, which is shaping up to be quite a nice journey. The release of GIMP 2.3.15 makes the development process about half way there until we see version 2.4. There are fifteen changes in the release notes in addition to the bug fixes and other changes.
Miguel de Icaza has announced on his blog the race to Linux 2.0. This is a race for ASP.NET developers to port their applications from Windows to Linux. The prize? Nintendo Wii console systems. More information is available here.
The open-source NTFS read/write driver, NTFS-3G, has reached version 1.0! More information is available at the project's homepage.
If GNOME, KDE, or Xfce isn't your thing, you may want to try out the new Enlightenment release. new in Enlightenment 0.6.18.6 is fixing the window move through desktop switch, fixing crash on opening certain dialogs when sound is enabled, and other miscellaneous bug-fixes and enhancements. Download links and more information are available through SourceForge.
For those using Blender, the open-source 3D modeling application, a new release is now available with plenty of changes. Among the new features in Blender 3D 2.43 is sculpture modeling, improved render pipeline, multiple UV and vertex color layers, fluid particles, and a whole lot more. The Blender website has also been redesigned. The Blender 2.43 change-log is available here.
As pointed out by Slashdot, Adobe will be releasing the specifications the full PDF specifications to the International Standards Organization (ISO). Certainly this is a great move especially for Linux users with open standards.
The sixth and final beta release for GAIM 2.0.0 has now hit SourceForge! GAIM 2.0.0 Beta 6 addresses a great deal of bugs, new user interface changes, some Google Talk features, new plug-ins, and an assortment of other improvements. Release notes and download links can be found at SourceForge. With GAIM 2.0.0 now coming out very soon, be sure to share your thoughts at the Phoronix Forums.
After the recent release of OpenOffice.org 2.1, AbiWord 2.5.0 has been released. AbiWord 2.5.0 is a development release in the way to AbiWord 2.6.0. Among the changes for this word processor release is a new Pango-based renderer, libgsf and Glib integration, improved build system, AbiWord GTK+ widget, tool-bar improvements, plug-in improvements (collaboration plug-in and GNOME Office integration plug-in), and a great deal of other improvements. If you're interested in trying out AbiWord 2.5 head on over to the download the source. The release notes are also available.
Second Life, the 3D virtual world game, is being made open-source today. Second Life clients for Windows, Linux, and Macintosh will comply with the GPL. More information on today's announcement can be found here.
AbiWord 2.5.0 will be released soon, and Marc Maurer is calling out users to help in testing AbiWord 2.5.0 along with the plug-ins (primarily the collaboration one). More information is available from the AbiWord home-page.
The Free Software Foundation has launched the BadVista Campaign. This FSF campaign is to make users aware of the harm that would be inflicted if they use Microsoft's Vista operating system. Another objective is to promote free software alternatives. More can be read at the BadVista website.
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