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openSUSE Weekly News, Issue 118 is out!

April 10th, 2010 by
We are pleased to announce our new issue #118. From now on you can read the news directly inside the RSS Reader. Just click the “more” Tag.

Geeko openSUSE Weekly News is translated into many languages. Take a look at this page for currently available translations.

Contents

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Editors Note

Welcome to issue # 118 of openSUSE Weekly News. Now the fourteenth Week goes to the End, and we are pleased to announce our new issue. From this issue on, we have a new Layout. We have more Teamreports, an Kernel Review (WIP) and the Sections “From the Ambassadors” and “openSUSE in $Country”. In that Place every Translation Team can post local Events and other stuff. Also we have changed anything in the publishing Process. In the past we have just posted the table of Content into news.opensuse.org. This means, that the Reader must click an next one. From now on we publishing the full Content direct to news.opensuse.org. So we’re hoping, that you like the new Weekly News. We wish you many joy by reading it…

Announcements

Pascal Bleser: Planet openSUSE fixes and improvements

“More fixes fixes and features on the new Planet openSUSE: * RSS, FOAF and OPML feeds are now generated for each language separately, containing only the posts/authors that have a blog in that language * there’s a new “language” named “any” that aggregates the posts and authors for all languages, combined — if you want to see all the contributors who blog on our planet, use the global feed list page instead of the per-language one * many UTF-8 fixes — and, indeed, Python sucks at unicode * nothing visible, but I rewrote the whole templating and rendering to use the Jinja templating library, which is a lot nicer than the very limited home-grown templating rawdog provides”

Pascal Bleser: Planet openSUSE – improvements and call for translators

“Implemented further improvements on Planet openSUSE: * better performance, as the CSS and Javascript are now minified (thanks to the opensource YUI Compressor) * optimized all PNG files using pngcrush * the static text is now localizable, currently with translations in French and German (more on that below) * upgraded the Feedparser module that is bundled with Rawdog to its latest SVN trunk version as it fixes an annoying bug that affected at the very least all feeds served by WordPress, and ships a few improvements on markup sanitization * a small “member” tag is now also shown in the posts when applicable If you would like to help, I’m looking for translators for Polish, Japanese, Spanish and Portuguese in order to localize the Planet openSUSE interface in those languages too.”

Status Updates

[edit] Distribution

Thomas Biege: openSUSE 11.3 and SELinux

“Well there was a lot of work done regarding SELinux this week. The first step was to bring the next milestone of 11.3 to the level of 11.2 by adding load_policy to the mkinitrd scripts. The patch was submitted to Base:System a few hours ago. The next step fixed the file permissions of /etc/selinux/config to be 644 and to add some functionality to the selinux-ready script. Both are in security:SELinux now and on their way to opensuse:Factory. The last essential problem to solve was enabling pam_selinux and disabling pam_apparmor when you choose “Enable SELinux” in the yast2 bootloader menu. Mission accomplished. Jozef submitted a fresh new yast2-bootloader package (2.19.11) to OBS.”

Holger Hetterich: Samba 3.5.2 SMBTA v2 enabled packages released

“The SMB traffic analyzer software suite (in short SMBTA) is a toolset aimed at visualizing the data flow on one or more Samba servers, providing statistics about the usage of Samba services. The long term goal of the SMB Traffic Analyzer project is to provide a universal remote debugging facility for Samba. In an effort to make future testing of SMBTA v2 much easier, I have backported the VFS module code from Samba’s master to 3.5.2, including all documentation and tools. And thanks to the help of the Novell Samba Team, we can now release a SMBTA v2 enabled Samba 3.5.2 for openSUSE via the Build Service in the network:samba:STABLE project.”

Schedules for the next Week

9th April: * Milestone: installation workflow is feature frozen

* Proofreading of all software starts so that we have a new baseline.

* Milestone: Feature and version freeze for the complete distribution (exception: patchlevel update of leaf packages until Beta1+)

* Milestone: All features are coding and function complete.

* Milestone: Kernel and install works on all targeted machines.

* Milestone: Last round of software translation starts – “hard text freeze””

Bugzilla

The numbers for all openSUSE project products are this week:

Kernel Review

This Topic contains reports inside and outside openSUSE

h-online/Thorsten Leemhuis: Kernel Log: Graphics drivers and Mesa3D updated, four new stable kernels

“Almost simultaneously with the first series 1.8 X Server, the developers have also updated Mesa3D and various drivers. Four new stable kernels offer bug fixes and minor improvements. The X Server isn’t the only component for which a new version has recently been released, as many other components that impact the graphics support in Linux distributions have also been updated in the past two weeks.”

KernelTrap: Properly Creating And Testing Patches

“Linux news”If you’re wondering why I’m taking a long time to respond to your patches,”, began Theodore Ts’o on the linux-ext4 mailing list, in a thread that offered much insight into how and why to properly submit and test patches. “Patches that are accepted into mainline should do one and only one thing,” Ted continued, “so if someone suggests that you make changes to your submitted patch, ideally what you should do is to resubmit the patch with the fixes — and not submit a patch which is a delta to the previous one.” He also noted that patch submitters often greatly outnumber maintainers dictating a higher standard of quality, “consider that for some maintainers, there may be 10 or 20 or 30 or more patch submitters in their subsystem. With that kind of submitter-to-maintainer ratio, the patch submitter simply has to do much more of the work, since otherwise the subsystem maintainer simply can’t keep up.””

Team Reports

Build Service Team

Jean-Christophe Baptiste: Updates on OpenSSL CVE-2009-3555 (client renegociation)

“So there are some news from the front of OpenSSL CVE-2009-3555 (see this and this for the history). Now the latest version of Apache mod_ssl (2.2) embeds an option to reactivate old way client renegociation : SSLInsecureRenegotiation on Check the official doc for more details. With this option activated, you can now safely upgrade openSSL and mod_ssl without breaking your clients. They should have done it from the begining, shouldn’t they ?”

Build Service Statistics

The Build Service now hosts 12025 (+138) projects, 91983 (-994) packages, 21360 (+190) repositories by 22440 (+132) confirmed users.

KDE Team

Will Stephenson: api.kde.org down! so what?

“KDE Developers may have noticed that the developer documentation server at api.kde.org is down. This is due to a hardware failure which will be recovered next week. That need not put the brakes on your work though, since if you have the source code on your system you can build the API docu locally yourself, as HTML, as man pages, or as Qt Assistant help files to view in Qt Assistant or Qt Creator. Read all about it on techbase: http://techbase.kde.org/Development/Tools/apidox

Andreas Pakulat: KDevelop4 Release Candidate 1

“We’ve released RC1 of KDevelop4 today. We’ve fixed a couple of bugs and got some good performance improvements, but even more will be in RC2. RC2 will also ship with translations, for RC1 we’ve discovered a severe problem that we couldn’t fix anymore in time related to translations. On behalf of Milian and Niko we’re also releasing the first release candidate of the PHP plugins, bringing great web development to kdevelop.”

Mono Team

Miguel de Icaza: C#, Mono and the Google Summer of Code

“This year, Michael Hutchinson is the administrator for Mono’s involvement in the Google Summer of Code. We are looking for motivated students that would like to either work on one of the ideas that we listed in our Student Projects page like work on MonoDevelop’s IDE, Mono’s runtime, Mono’s class libraries and in Mono-based applications. Additionally, if you are a student and you have been thinking “The Mono guys really should do…”, do not hesitate and propose your idea. Perhaps you get to implement your idea, get paid to do so, and be mentored by our group of awesome C and C# hackers.”

openFATE Team

openFATE 308601: Drop glib/gtk/gnome 1.x stack

“We still ship the glib/gtk/gnome 1.x stack, but it’s so old that really nothing maintained should still use it. And it’s not clear whether we have a good security maintenance for this stack… So let’s try to remove this for 11.3.”

New: openFATE 309296 YaST2-Qt : Add “Action after Installation” option

“YaST-Qt package manager module should have an additional option in Configuration menu, similarly to the ncurse version (yast sw_single > Configuration > Action after Package Installation). ”

New: openFATE 309291 Add kstart packages

“Please add the kstart package into opensuse. http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/software/kstart/

New: openFATE 309290 Support of cascading credentials in OpenSSH via better GSSAPI support

“Please include the patches at http://www.sxw.org.uk/computing/patches/openssh.html into the OpenSSH package. They allow kerberos ticket renewal on remote machines if the local tickets are updated.”

New: openFATE 309289 Add opendedup

“Support for http://www.opendedup.org/ out of the box would be great.”

Statistics

Feature statistics for openSUSE 11.3:

  • total: 594 (+9)
  • unconfirmed: 360 (+7)
  • new: 11 (+1)
  • evaluation: 100 (+0)
  • candidate: 3 (-1)
  • done: 37 (+2)
  • rejected: 64 (+0)
  • duplicate: 19 (+2)

More information on openFATE

Translation Team

webtool for transaltors

“I have spent few months to test some tools which could help in my l10n works. It was not an easy process and I have found out there is no ultimate free/open source tool for professionals.”

openSUSE 11.3 Translation Roadmap

“Yes, merging will happen pretty soon now. But it does not hurt if those who are familiar with this stuff, do the merging on their own for their language. That’s at least my opinion. Instruction about merging are in the yast/50-doc/readme.txt and lcn/README, both files need some love… webyast/README is just a copy of the lcn/README ;-( Once things are settled, adjust the wiki accordingly.

Localization

In the Community

Bryen Yunashko: Speaking at Schools

“Last week, after my week-long stay in San Diego for the CSUN Accessibililty Technology Conference and GNOME A11y Hackfest, I went up north for a quick stay in Los Angeles to briefly catch up with friends and do an appearance at John Burroughs High School in Burbank, CA. This is the fourth time I’ve been invited to speak in front of students about Deaf-Blindness and fresh on the heels of having met other Deaf-Blind people at the CSUN conference, I was chockful of information to impart on these students who were studying American Sign Language and it really was an exciting experience. I’ve spoken at colleges and elementary schools, but this was my first time in front of high school students and it is interesting to see the differences in questions these students asked. Young kids are ask all kinds of funny and inquisitive questions, and college students are somewhat fazed having seen enough of the world to not be too surprised at the information they learn. But high school kids are different. They”re on the verge of exploring a new transition in their own lives from childhood to adulthood. And as they look at the things they will begin to do in their new lives, they look at a Deaf-Blind person and realize there are some unique differences in how we tackle everyday life. From work, to home, to dating, these 60 students from 3 classes asked all kinds of questions.”

Andrew Wafaa: Community Discussion – Part 4

“Yup, I’m still trying to get us, the openSUSE Community, to discuss ways we can improve ourselves. This time round I’m going to look at Education, Coaching and Teamwork. Again there is nothing groundbreaking or revolutionary here, but these are topics I feel are easily forgotten or misunderstood. One item that seems to pop up fairly regularily regardless of which side of the fence you’re on (Novell employee or not), is community contribution and ownership. Basically some people think getting code/packages/whatever into openSUSE is harder than getting a rocking horse to poop. Can I just say it isn’t – honest! You just need to know the process to do it. The flip side of the conversation is, why aren’t more non-Novellians putting more code and what not into openSUSE? Maybe because they don’t know or understand the process? So basically we are all to blame, non-Novellians for not asking for help/clarification and Novellians for not going out there and teaching.”

Events

Past:

Upcoming:

openSUSE for your ears

  • The openSUSE Weekly News are available as Livestream or Podcast in the German Language. You can hear it or download it on http://blog.radiotux.de/podcast.

From Ambassadors

Joe Brockmeier: Rock and Roll Reprise at Texas Linux Fest

“Gabba gabba hey! Only a few more days until Texas Linux Fest. I’m pleased and excited to be giving the morning keynote, A Musical Guide to the Future of Linux: Reprise. Why Reprise? This is the 2.0, or perhaps 3.0, of the keynote I gave at LinuxCon 2009 and Ontario [GNU] Linux Fest 2009. It’s revved up for 2010, new material mixed with golden oldies. Really looking forward to having the opportunity to reprise the keynote and spend a morning with a new audience. I’ll be doing this talk only one more time, at Penguicon at the end of April, and then putting it to bed. I do hope if you’re in the vicinity of Austin, TX you’ll be at Texas Linux Fest on Saturday the 10th.”

openSUSE in $COUNTRY

“Details”

Communication

lists.opensuse.org has 37229 (-33) non-unique subscribers to all mailing lists.

The openSUSE Forums have 44499 (+271) registered users – Most users ever online was 30559, 08-Jan-2010 at 13:06.

Contributors

4517 (+35) of 11664 (+63) registered contributors in the User Directory have signed the Guiding Principles. The board has acknowledged 395 (+0) members.

New/Updated Applications @ openSUSE

Packman: vlc 1.0.5-3.pm.6.1

“VLC media player is a highly portable multimedia player for various audio and video formats (MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, mp3, ogg, …) as well as DVDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols. It can also be used as a server to stream in unicast or multicast in IPv4 or IPv6 on a high-bandwidth network.”

Packman: qdvdauthor 2.1.0-2.pm.2.27

“QDVDAuthor is a gui frontend for using dvdauthor and dvd-slideshow scripts to easily build DVD menus and assemble the DVD VOB files.”

Packman: kmediafactory 0.7.5-1.pm.2.18

“KMediafactory is easy to use template based dvd authoring tool. You can quickly create DVD menus for home videos and TV recordings in three simple steps.”

OBS: New Packaged socialvpn

“On the Market we knowing Programs like hamachi, that allows to create an Virtual Private Network (VPN). Inside the Opensource Projects i now found an similar Program called: socialvpn. It is Packaged in the home:saigkill Repository. After installing the RPM, you find the Program under /usr/share/socialvpn. I’ve added an Initscript in the Package under /etc/init.d/socialvpn, that you can enable or disable with YaST/System/Runlevels. (…)”

OBS: New package upp

“The Ultimate++ integrated development environment, TheIDE, introduces modular concepts to C++ programming. It provides: * TheIDE, a visual designers for U++ libraries * Topic++, for documenting code and creating rich text resources * Assist++, a powerful C++ code analyzer providing code completion, navigation and transformation * BLITZ-build technology to speedup C++ rebuilds up to 4 times”

OBS: New package wings

“Wings 3D is a subdivision modeler with an user interface that is easy to use for both beginners and advanced users (inspired by Nendo and Mirai from Izware).”

OBS: New Package: kmymoney4 (openSUSE)

“I’m happy to Announce the kmymoney4 Package for KDE4-Unstable and KDE4-Factory in openSUSE. You can get it through adding the KDE:KDE4:Community Repository into the Repository Manager fro YaST. After that you can install it just with “zypper in kmymoney4″ or with using YaST. While the Installation zypper or YaST saying, that the old KMyMoney goes deinstalling. That’s okay, you can agree that.”

  • You can find other interesting Packages at:
  • Packman – OBS

Security Updates

To view the security announcements in full, or to receive them as soon as they’re released, refer to the openSUSE Security Announce mailing list.

SUSE Security Summary Report: SUSE-SR:2010:008

  • Announcement ID: SUSE-SR:2010:008
  • Date: Wed, 07 Apr 2010 13:00:00 +0000
  • Cross-References: CVE-2008-5515, CVE-2009-2693, CVE-2009-2901
  • CVE-2009-2902, CVE-2009-3389, CVE-2009-3555
  • CVE-2010-0082, CVE-2010-0084, CVE-2010-0085
  • CVE-2010-0087, CVE-2010-0088, CVE-2010-0089
  • CVE-2010-0090, CVE-2010-0091, CVE-2010-0092
  • CVE-2010-0093, CVE-2010-0094, CVE-2010-0095
  • CVE-2010-0547, CVE-2010-0732, CVE-2010-0837
  • CVE-2010-0838, CVE-2010-0839, CVE-2010-0840
  • CVE-2010-0841, CVE-2010-0842, CVE-2010-0843
  • CVE-2010-0844, CVE-2010-0845, CVE-2010-0846
  • CVE-2010-0847, CVE-2010-0848, CVE-2010-0849
  • CVE-2010-0850, CVE-2010-0926

SUSE Security Announcement: openSSL security update (SUSE-SA:2010:020)

  • Package: openssl
  • Announcement ID: SUSE-SA:2010:020
  • Date: Tue, 06 Apr 2010 15:00:00 +0000
  • Affected Products: openSUSE 11.1
  • openSUSE 11.2
  • SUSE SLES 9
  • Open Enterprise Server
  • Novell Linux POS 9
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 SP2
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 SP3
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 SP2
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 SP3
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 11
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11
  • SLE SDK 10 SP2
  • SLE SDK 10 SP3
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Software Development Kit 11
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 SP2 DEBUGINFO
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 SP3 DEBUGINFO
  • SLE 11 DEBUGINFO

Tips and Tricks

For Desktop Users

Ghacks.net/Jack Wallen: GNOME Shell tips

“So recently I discussed GNOME shell which gave a sneak peak at what GNOME 3 was going to look like (see my article “A sneak peek at GNOME 3“). Although there are many naysayers out there – who seem to either only want more of the same or who doubt the ability of any developer to release anything worth while – I trust that GNOME 3 is going to make quite a major impression.”

For Commandline/Script Newbies

Christopher Hobbs: Installing Ruby 1.9 on openSUSE 11.2

“It’s been a while since I’ve posted or been active in the community, so I thought I’d toss an update out there. I’ll cross post this on my personal blog and on Cool Solutions (modified for SLEx 10). This is a pretty rudimentary post as installation from source is pretty straightforward, but perhaps it’ll be useful to someone. The only requirements for this build that I’m aware of at this time are make, gcc, and the openssl/openssl-devel packages. The default Ruby distribution in 11.2 is 1.8.7, contrasting the current stable release of 1.9.1. If you already have Ruby installed via zypper, you’ll need to uninstall it (’sudo zypper rm ruby’), otherwise the first step is to grab the latest release from http://www.ruby-lang.org/en/downloads/.”

The Geek Stuff/Sathiya Moorthy: UNIX / Linux: Beginners Guide to File and Directory Permissions (umask, chmod, read, write, execute)

“Unix file and directory permission is in the form of a 3×3 structure. i.e Three permissions (read, write and execute) available for three types of users (owner, groups and others).”

For Developers and Programmers

IBM developerWorks/M. Tim Jones: Kernel APIs, Part 1: Invoking user-space applications from the kernel

“Invoking specific kernel functions (system calls) is a natural part of application development on GNU/Linux. But what about going in the other direction, kernel space calling user space? It turns out that there are a number of applications for this feature that you likely use every day. For example, when the kernel finds a device for which a module needs to be loaded, how does this process occur? Dynamic module loading occurs from the kernel through the usermode-helper process. Let’s begin with an exploration of usermode-helper, its application programming interface (API), and some of the examples of where this feature is used in the kernel. Then, using the API, you’ll build a sample application to better understand how it works and its limitations.”

For System Administrators

ITworld/Sandra Henry-Stocker: Unix How-To: the Linux /etc/inittab file

“One of the files that the average Unix sysadmin rarely looks at, almost never changes and yet depends on every time he or she reboots a system is the /etc/inittab file. This modest little file controls what happens whenever a system is rebooted or forced to change run levels. Let’s take a look at the configuration lines that tell your system what it’s supposed to do when you hit that power button.”

Planet SUSE

Sirko Kemter: New Planet need more hackagotchis

“We just have a new styled planet. But when you looking at him right now, there are often such “grey persons“. Some time ago I offered a sevice from the Art-Team to make hackagotchis for persons who cant do them self. I think I should offer that service now again. You need a (new) hackagotchis? Just send a mail with the picture (and maybe when you have special wishes) to the artwork list or to my personal mail and after a few hours you get your new hackagotchi back.”

Han Wen Kam: SUSE Engineering Quality: ASP.NET on IBM Mainframe

“I experienced, first-hand, the Outstanding quality of SUSE Engineering today. Common Code-base has always been touted as a key differentiator with SUSE Linux Enterprise, where the same operating system is compiled (AutoBuild) and ready for a number of different hardware chipsets/platforms. The implication is that the latest & greatest code/patches will be simultaneously available for SUSE Linux”

Henne Vogelsang: Kick Ass!

“You think that you are not entitled to decide something? YOU ARE -> KICK ASS! Don’t be humble. You’re the man! Despite the fact that our distribution is around for some time we are a very young open source project. We don’t have much organization. No hierarchy, very little processes, no roles or functions, no directions and only general rules. You participate in a time where it’s really you that makes a difference. If you’re humble now and try not to stick your neck out, this project will fail. Don’t be humble, KICK ASS! Don’t wait for anything “official”. There is no one official. There is only you and the people next to you. There is no one steering the openSUSE project, there is only you pushing your topic. There is no mastermind behind all this, there is only you thinking about your thing. There is no management (no also not from Novell), there is only you running your things. If you do something it’s what openSUSE does. If you decide something it’s what openSUSE decides. Don’t wait, KICK ASS!”

openSUSE Forums

Milestone 5

“A few hardened campaigners used ‘dup’ from the factory repos to get this early. But now it’s up there as a .iso. So give it a go and reporting any bugs :-)”

New User – Getting Started

“Just a few tips to get someone on their way to happiness with openSUSE.”

openSUSE Updater not working?

“I wonder how this user ended up with no repositories? A few zypper basics should put it right.”

On the Web

Announcements

Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit: Live Video Streaming

“The Linux Foundation is pleased to be offering a beta version of our live video streaming from The Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit on Wednesday, April 14th. You will be able to watch all of the keynote and panel discussions being held on the opening day of the event. A Linux Foundation account is required to access the video stream. Keep in mind this is a beta test and we would appreciate patience and your feedback.”

Call for participation

PyJunior: Call For Documentation Help!

“J ust a quick note: the PyJunior code is up on Launchpad. Please remember: I wrote this in about two hours and haven’t had any time to clean it up. So, expect warts and all. :-) The Open Sourcerer pointed me at Snake Wrangling for Kids as a great kid-friendly guide for learning Python. My dream now is that when a kid clicks the big Help button in PyJunior, that the book pops up in native GNOME help format. Problem is: I have absolutely no idea how to convert Snake Wrangling for Kids (which is available in LaTeX and PDF format) into this help format, and don’t really have any time to contribute to this either. So, I am looking for help. PyJunior provides a simple and effective of way of playing with Python for kids, but we really need the documentation to make this story rock. Is there anyone out there who would like to work on this and make clicking that Help button a fantastic experience for kids interested in learning programming? I really hope so: this could be a wonderful learning tool for ankle-biters everywhere. :-)”

The Linux Foundation’s 2010 We’re Linux Video Contest: The Linux Super Bowl Ad

“Last year, the inaugural We’re Linux video contest kicked off a storm of creativity and captured the spirit of Linux and the diversity of its community. The winning video “What Does it Mean to Be Free” was an inspirational piece that communicated the ideals of the open source operating system. To watch videos submitted for last year’s contest, including the winning submission, please click here.”

KDE.news/Aaron J. Seigo: You Be The Judge: Plasma Javascript Jam Session

“The Plasma Javascript Jam Session is a friendly competition that aims to reward creators of original, interesting and beautiful Plasma widgets written in Javascript with some great prizes and community recognition. The competion concluded on March 31st with 11 successful submissions making the deadline. Judging has commenced, and it will not be easy: many excellent submissions were sent in ranging from the entertaining to the highly useful. Ranging in size from a few dozen lines to a few thousand lines of Javascript code, the submissions showcase a variety of ideas and possibilities.”

KDE.news/Jos Poortvliet: Website for Akademy 2010 is Online, Time to Register!

“Starting July 3rd 2010, hundreds of KDE community members, employees of companies working with us and many other Free Software enthusiasts will gather at Tampere, Finland. There, at the University of Tampere, the annual Akademy summit 2010 will take place. For a full week, Tampere will be the place where stunning new technology is demonstrated, hundreds of prominent Free Software contributors walk the corridors and new plans for the future of the Free Desktop emerge. Today, the first step of this journey can be made. After months of work, the Akademy 2010 website is live, and you can begin to register yourself, book your flight and hotel, and start preparing talks!”

Reports

h-online/Richard Hillesley: Emacs & the birth of the GPL

“Emacs is not so much a text editor, more a way of life – an “extensible, customisable self-documenting real time display editor” with thousands of ready made extensions that take you way beyond its original remit as a text editor, some of which can be found at the Emacs wiki or on the Emacs Lisp list.”

GNOME Planet/Jono: Making Programming Easier For Kids With PyJunior

“T his week I am in Mexico on vacation with my wife and it has been wonderful getting out and about, catching some rays and and chillin’ by the pool. Mexico is a wonderful place and the people here are just incredible. It has been a wonderful week. Yesterday I had a break from the sun and a few hours spare and wrote a little program I have been wanting to write for a while. First though, a little back story. A little while back, Aq and I did a Shot Of Jaq shot about how back in the good ol’ days computers used to make programming more accessible to kids. The basic gist of the shot was that when you bought a Commodore 64 or Spectrum, access to the BASIC language was up-front, and your computer came with a manual that taught you how to write programs in BASIC. This was great for kids and others who wanted to explore their computers. It introduced them to programming, and taught them that you could make the computer do all manner of different things if you learned this simple language, while all the time teaching them about logic and semantics. This was an incredible thrill for me when I was such an ankle-biter: I felt this tremendous liberation that I could write any kind of program I wanted. In a nutshell, it sowed the seeds of opportunistic development in my mind.”

Ostatic/Joe Brockmeier: Taking IBM to Task on Patents: What’s Useful and What’s Not?

“IBM has made lots of friends in the open source community by pledging a fraction of its patent portfolio to the defense of open source projects, and by pouring billions of dollars into development of open source and marketing Linux and other open source solutions. Does that give IBM a free pass to attack an open source project, or are FOSS advocates justified in turning on Big Blue for one action against a history of open source support? IBM is one of a a handful of companies that have committed patents to the Open Invention Network (OIN) and promised not to go after open source projects that may be infringing on those patents. Out of more than 40,000 patents, IBM has committed 500. Now it’s going after an open source project (the Hercules mainframe emulator) using patent claims to attempt to defend its own mainframe business.”

Linux.com/Jon ‘maddog’ Hall: Becoming a “Linux Security Artist”

“”When the cost of obtaining the information exceeds the value realized by its possession, the solution is an effective one.” – A Practical Guide to Red Hat Linux by Mark G. Sobell, Third Edition (Prentice Hall), page 989. After forty years in the commercial computing business, the one idea that has been drilled into me by security professionals is the fact that there is no such thing as a secure computer system, only levels of insecurity. Therefore the cost of keeping the information and system secure has to be balanced with the cost of losing that information or system, or having it damaged. Unfortunately the speed and availability of the Internet combined with the low cost of very powerful computers and network services have made the cost of “cracking” go down and the cost of “securing” go up.”

Ben Martin (monkeyiq): Nepomuk & Social Networking: The Golden Opportunity

“After reading an article on Boxee recently which described it’s social network integration it occurred to me how wonderful this would be to have for KDE. Having tags and ratings on the desktop is a really nice thing, but having tags and ratings coming through for arbitrary pieces of information from your “friends” makes things quite interesting. From the Boxee example, why can’t I see that Fred has also scheduled to watch Program-X. At the moment such recommendations are handled by many folks through IM or email, which is quite kludgey to say the least. There is no simple click to record or accept a recommendation, you have to mentally context switch to the TV schedule and update. One thing that makes this all come together is not thinking of tags or ratings as binary or a single 1-5 range. To quote my own code, if a tag is able to also record the thoughts of many actors as a range, say a double from 0-100, and each actor has a level of trust associated, then the system itself can infer that if Fred is watching something and it is rated SciFi then automatically I want to take a peek too. By allowing tags and ratings to capture more complexity behind the scenes, the computer can infer more for us, and part of that can be a traditional 1-5 rating or whatever… hey, I work on virtual filesystems, is it really that strange that I would want to virtualize file ratings too?”

Reviews and Essays

Linux.com/Joe ‘Zonker’ Brockmeier: Everything I Ever Needed to Know About Being a System Admin, I Learned from Superman

“A few days ago, a copy of Action Comics No. 1 sold for about $1.5 million. What makes a 72-year old comic worth seven figures? More importantly, what can system administrators learn from a guy who’s been wearing tights and a cape for more than seventy years?”

Make Tech Easier/Joshua Price: 6 Tools to Easily Create Your Own Custom Linux Distro

“While it’s hard to make the claim that there aren’t enough Linux distros out there, it’s also hard to escape the fact that no distribution is all things to all people. There are all kinds of reasons to consider rolling your own, but many people never make the attempt because it seems like such a huge undertaking. Fortunately, with modern software we can create new distros, remixes, and custom configurations in a matter of minutes instead of months. Here, we’ll showcase some of the current software tools that make this so easy.”

Feedback / Communicate / Get Involved

Do you have comments on any of the things mentioned in this article? Then head right over to the news.opensuse.org story comment section and let us know! Communicate with or get help from the wider openSUSE community — via IRC, forums, or mailing lists — see Communicate.

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2 Responses to “openSUSE Weekly News, Issue 118 is out!”

  1. Great job guys!!!!

    A+++++++

    We love ‘ya out here!

    Yaaa! Kick Ass ;-)

  2. AX

    The best security change you may like to make is to disable Login for the super user that is in every Installation .
    “Novell Customer Centre User’ or ‘suse-ncc’ is created by default as a super user, but I would encourage everyone to disable Login
    unless, by some small reason, it may need to be left Enabled (default)