Now that openSUSE 12.3 is out, the openSUSE ARM Team want to step up a gear. As the cycle was shorter than normal, there are a few wrinkles that need to be ironed out and also a whole heap of new things that can be added. After some discussion at FOSDEM, it was decided to hold a Hackathon to address these items. The Hackathon will take place on 8 to 12 April, both at the SUSE offices in Nuremberg as well as online for those that can’t attend in person. (more…)
A month’s work since Milestone 1 shows that the new Release Team are hitting their stride, as they have reviewed and checked in more than 470 updated packages, far more than early milestones in previous releases.
Desktops and apps
The biggest update is in LibreOffice, which jumps from 3.5.4 to 3.6.3. This new version of the office suite fixes a lot of annoying bugs and improves DOCX compatibility. Also this release includes a lot of new functionality, like adding the Lanczos image algorithm for resizing, which reduces aliasing in resized images. In Calc, there are several new functions, like support for color scales and data bars in XLSX and ODS document formats. Please check the release notes for a full description of the main fixes and new features.
In a change to policy, KDE 4.10 Beta 2 has been added to Factory already. Usually only finished KDE releases are added, but since more KDE team developers are working on Factory, it made sense to perform early integration and testing in Factory now. So, if everything goes as planned, the final version of openSUSE will arrive in March including KDE 4.10.0 or 4.10.1 (expected in the first week of March). This new version of KDE increases the Qt Quick usage in Plasma Workspaces. In 4.10, additional desktop components are implemented using this declarative technology instead of C++ for greater stability and easier theming. Okular now uses less memory when zooming in on big PDFs, and a new indexer replaces the last Strigi components, allows faster and more reliable indexing of documents. You can expect much more functionality and bug fixing in the final release of KDE 4.10.
Other KDE changes include kwebkitpart 1.3, which adds Access Key support, automatic scrolling and manual spell checking support for forms, as well as on demand plugin loading; and appmenu-qt joins the standard installation, allowing application menus to be shown at the top of the screen or in a menu button on the window border.
After a period of stabilization work, GNOME 3.6.3 found its way into this milestone. The GNOME interface for PackageKit is at version 3.6.1, which fixes a segfault error when a distribution upgrade is available. This GNOME version is better integrated with systemd, and has a new “Airplane Mode”, that switches off all radios, including Bluetooth.
Claws Mail has been updated to 3.9. This little GTK email client and news reader is known for being fast, extensible and easy to configure. It adds IMAP server side search, has several speed-ups and optimizations, a better GnuPG integration and more than thirty bug fixes.
The GNU C library was updated. glibc 2.17 improves ARM and multi-arch subsystems, and adds fixes for crypto bugs. DBUS 1.6.8 includes new service ownership rule possibilities, and many security, bugs, and performance fixes.
Another updated package is QEMU, which goes from 1.2.0 to 1.3.0. With QEMU we can easily create and run virtual machines. This new version improves live migrations of virtual machines. That means that we can now stop a virtual machine and continue the execution in another place without noticeable problems. QEMU 1.3.0 adds many newly virtualized devices and chipsets.
LLVM is one of those cool projects that everyone knows, but few can exactly say what it is. Fascinate Xmas parties with the knowledge that LLVM is a set of libraries that allow aggressive optimizations of a intermediate ad-hoc language (known as LLVM IR) and the compilation of this language to a specific architecture and processor. Clang is a C / C++ / Objective-C compiler that translate the high level language to this IR language, and is a really fast compiler. If this description interests you, then you’ll be pleased to know that M2 updates LLVM/Clang to 3.2rc2. This version of LLVM improves the Clang diagnostics, this means that we will have better error messages that explain more clearly what mistakes we are making. LLDB is the new command line debugger for LLVM/Clang. It uses the Clang parser for the C++ debugger. And there is a lot of new functionality in the optimizer, like a new high-level loop optimizer and the automatic parallelizer.
Mono 3 now has a complete C# 5.0 compiler, with all the async functionality enabled, and adds interesting optimizations in the garbage collector (mainly for SMP systems) and in the runtime library. This is a big version change, so may cause breakage with Mono 2.10 code.
This milestone comes with a 3.6 kernel, but don’t despair, packages for 3.7 are already cooking.
libzypp 12.5 includes new package management transaction logging features.
As part of the SuSEconfig removal work, permissions now applies changes following installation or upgrade, to ensure new permissions are effective regardless of package installation order.
This summer, openSUSE had a great experience for the fifth time participating in the Summer of Code. While working on the list of ideas for GSoC projects, we decided to encourage students to apply not only for openSUSE-specific projects, but also for projects that would be useful to our upstreams and to other distributions. We love working with other organizations, and that is why we always try to push for more collaboration.
Nine of our students successfully completed their projects, and we’d like to share what they’ve done. (more…)
One of the ways SUSE and its developers contribute to openSUSE is through Hackweek: – a week long sprint permitting developers to work on something entirely of their own design or wishes as long as it is FOSS-related. Started in 2007, it has become a regular part of SUSE’s development. This is in keeping in line with the openSUSE Project’s goal of being more than just an organization that benefits itself. We believe in a project that benefits the greater good of free and open software.
Some 150+ developers will have free reign to work on new applications or make improvements to other software projects. Hackweek also permits developers to push away from the grind of deadlines and “must fix” bug fixing (unless it’s a critical customer situation) which can be at times stressful and tedious.
So, how does this relate to the larger openSUSE community? First, some ideas come directly from openFATE, the openSUSE tracker for wish-list items and ways to help guide development of the distro: You can see the list of proposed Hackweek projects here, which will surely grow in the next few days.
Second, nothing blocks people outside the SUSE staff from participating. Most importanly, it shows that SUSE is an innovative distribution whose contributions make open source better for everyone.
And third, it follows openSUSE’s motto: Have a lot of fun ! Hackweek has it’s own motto: “No Motto, do what you want, but do it!”
We asked Jürgen Weigert and Pavol Rusnak, developers from SUSE, to explain how they participate
Q: How does someone from the openSUSE community participate Can they also have their own project?
Jürgen: Yes, they can work together with others (check openFATE for a list) or do their own project.
Pavol: But for doing their own project they don’t have to wait for Hackweek, right? :-)
Q: Can you give some examples of projects which were started from Hackweek ?
Pavol: SAT-solver used in zypper by Michael Schroeder, Fifth Leg font by Jakub Steiner, SUSE Paste by Michal Hrušecký and cnetworkmanager by Martin Vidner.
Jürgen: Polka by Cornelius Schumacher, YaSTroid by Stephen Shaw.
Q: What will you work on during this coming Hackweek ?
Jürgen: Make EyeFI sdcard work with Linux – see Fate#312811
Pavol: Rewrite spec-cleaner into Ruby – see Fate#312823
Q: What other projects are planned for this upcoming Hackweek ?
Pavol: Getting Enlightenment 17 into Factory, various openQA additions, Continuous YaST testing in Jenkins and much much more!
Jürgen: Also hackers need catering and thus we will have food provided in the common area – and the common meal is also a great chance to discuss Hackweek projects face to face. The camera team will go around and record videos and upload those to blip.tv and YouTube. Also, there’s a rumor about some nice surprise. :-)
Q: For developers what is the most satisfying part of Hackweek ?
Jürgen: Switching topics to something completely different and extend my comfort zone by looking at new areas. This year it’s wireless, an area I never touched before as developer.
Pavol: Yeah, I think working on something unknown, unexplored is always exciting and challenging
Q: How does the openSUSE and the larger open source community benefit ?
Jürgen: Quite often it’s scratching my own itches – and if something is successful, it might become a successful open source project. I’ve seen some people interested in projects like Bretzn or ARM support for openSUSE that will benefit openSUSE directly. Some people which are surprised by the late announcement of this Hackweek have said that they will just have a look into the upcoming beta of openSUSE 12.1 – getting familiar with new technologies like systemd, report bugs and improve the distribution.
Pavol: Lots of the projects that are started during Hackweek are directly integrated into the following openSUSE release. Also if they are usable by others they are adopted by other distributions as well or merged directly into upstream which is cool!
Q: Are there any awards or competitions during Hackweek ?
Pavol: Previous years we had a small group of judges that went through the finished Hackweek projects in openFATE and awarded three developers with nice gadgets. I expect it will be similar this year, but I am not sure.
Jürgen: Yes – for those that register their projects in FATE. Details will be announced later.
Q: Is there anything else the larger openSUSE community should know about ?
Jürgen: The infrastructure teams will also participate in Hackweek and thus not make major changes – and also might not review openSUSE:Factory submissions directly. Please let them know if you run into serious issues.
Pavol: If you see a project in openFATE which you like, tell us so in the comments or vote for the feature. Also if you have some nice idea, feel free to put it in openFATE, maybe some undecided developer will find it interesting and implement it.
Q: Thanks for the interview.
Both: Thank you and have a lot of fun!
So, stay tuned for the results of Hackweek where everyone has a lot of fun!
article submitted by Peter Linnell
Last Friday Stephan Kulow, our openSUSE Release Manager, started a discussion on Factory mailing list about show-stoppers for the 12.1-Beta release scheduled for 2011-09-22.
It became clear that Factory still needs some polishing to become a useful Beta for large numbers of testers to try out..
Particularly, one of the reasons is the challenges relating to the switch to use systemd by default, which means that it is also used during install and first boot (which has the special configuration stuff). And between the timing of last week’s openSUSE Conference and next week’s planned Hackweek, the Factory team agreed it is better to take the time to ensure a release that meets the level of quality that our openSUSE Distro is known for.
You can read more on this thread via our mailing list archive here.
This means, the Beta will be up to two weeks later than planned, and we’ll be sure to let you know as soon as it is ready for download. On the bright side, this also means you have more time to prepare for the Beta Pizza Party in your home area. And our final release date for openSUSE 12.1 is still targeted for November 11th.
The openSUSE Education team is proud to present openSUSE-Edu Li-f-e (Linux for Education) based on openSUSE 11.4. The image is a “hybrid” iso image which can be used to burn a Live DVD or to create a Live USB stick.
This release includes the latest carefully selected software for students, educators as well as parents. The software selection encompasses everything required to make a productive computing experience e for either home or educational use without having to install anything additional. We plans to update the Edu Li-f-e 11.4 image regularly with both official updates from openSUSE 11.4 and from the education project.
Right out of the box, educators and parents will be pleased to see over 150 applications to fit their student’s needs. A wide range including mental exercise tools like Brain Workshop and GBrainy, science apps like Chemtool, mathematical programs like Euler, artistic development like TuxPaint and GIMP, study aids like the popular IGNuit flash cards app makes getting started right after installation a pleasing experience.
And education administrators will love the inclusion of highly-regarded server applications such as Moodle, ATutor, and FreeSMS. Deploying services for your institution with the underlying rock solid stable openSUSE 11.4 operating system has never been better!
The Live DVD contains KIWI-LTSP server that can be enabled even by a non-technical user, it comes bundled with tons of useful applications from openSUSE Education, Build Service and Packman repositories. With the KIWI-LTSP server you can PXE (network) boot other PCs to use this live DVD without installing or modifying anything on them. Booting from hard disk again will leave those PCs as they were. (Please note that running LTSP from Live DVD/USB is meant for demo/testing purpose only, install on the hard disk to use it in production).
This distribution includes LAMP stack (LAMP stands for Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP) that is needed for developing or hosting PHP websites and all other major development tools. It also provides a rich multimedia experience out of the box.
The aim of this DVD is to provide complete education and development resources for parents, students, teachers as well as IT admins running labs at educational institutes, if you think there is something missing that you absolutely must have on the DVD, drop us a line, see “Communicate” here.
Here are some trailers of what you can expect to see in this distribution:
The presentation videos are created on Li-f-e distribution using Openshot video editor.
You can find screenshots here.
Use download manager or Metalink client such as aria2c for most efficient way to download.
Article contributed by Jigish Gohil (Cyberorg).
A bit over one week ago, we released openSUSE 11.4 introducing many exciting new features. The result was, as we wrote on Friday: a big splash. The 100.000 downloads in the first 24 hours and large numbers of blogs, articles and reviews all over the world were certainly impressive! So today we have a look at how the stats looked after one week. Did we keep the momentum going? (more…)
Dear openSUSE Community. Users. Contributors. Fans and friends. The time has come: openSUSE 11.4 has arrived!. After 8 months of hard work, you can learn what is new, download it and upgrade!
We are proud to announce the launch of 11.4 in the openSUSE tradition of delivering the latest technology while maintaining stability. The 11.4 release brings significant improvements along with the latest in Free Software applications. Combined with the appearance of new tools, projects and services around the release, 11.4 marks a showcase of growth and vitality for the openSUSE Project! Read on for more details about this release…