openSUSE Weekly News, Issue 175 is out!

14. May 2011 | Sascha Manns | No License

We are pleased to announce our new openSUSE Weekly News 175.


openSUSE Weekly News

### openSUSE Weekly News Team

175 Edition

Legal Notice

This work (compilation) is licenced under Creative Commons attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. The rights for the compilation itself are copyright by Sascha Manns.

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Copyrights of the referenced articles are owned by original authors or copyright owners. If you want to reuse those articles, ask each original copyright owner which license should be applied. We don’t reprint any Article without a free license, we just introduce it then under the Agreement of the German Copyright Law.

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Published: 2011-05-14

Table of Contents

Announcements Status Updates

Distribution Team Reports In the Community

Postings from the Community People of openSUSE Events & Meetings openSUSE for your Ears Communication Contributors New/Updated Applications @ openSUSE Games Corner Security Updates Kernel Review Tips and Tricks

For Desktop Users For Commandline/Script Newbies For Developers and Programmers For System Administrators Planet SUSE openSUSE Forums On the Web

Reports Reviews and Essays Warning! Feedback Credits Acknowledgements Copyrights

List of our Licenses Trademarks Translations

We are pleased to announce our 175th issue of the openSUSE Weekly News.

You can also read this issue in other formats here.

Enjoy reading :-)

Header PictureAnnouncements▼

openSUSE 11.2 has reached end of SUSE support - 11.2 Evergreen goes on!

With the release of a kdelibs4 security fix on Thursday 12th of May SUSE has released the last update for openSUSE 11.2.

openSUSE 11.2 is now officially discontinued and out of support by SUSE.

However the openSUSE Evergreen community effort is going to continue the openSUSE 11.2 maintenance similar to 11.1.

The overview page of this project, how to activate and use it, and other details, is on:// The Evergreen project is lead by openSUSE community member Wolfgang Rosenauer.

Here are some security statistics: openSUSE 11.2 was released on November 12th 2009, making it 18 months of security and bugfix support.

Some statistics on the released patches (compared to 11.1, which had 7 months more):

(As comparison would otherwise be difficult due to the different lifetimes, I did adjust the 11.1 numbers by *18/25)

  • Total updates: 489 (-19)

  • Security: 317 (-19)

  • Recommended: 172 (+ 3)

  • Optional: 0 (- 3)

Read more: //

License: GFDL 1.2

Header PictureStatus Updates▲▼

Header PictureDistribution

Important Links

Team Reports

Header PictureBuild Service Team

Build Service Statistics. Statistics can found at Buildservice

Header PictureKDE Team

      [Sebastian Kügler: What’s new in Plasma Active?](//

We’ve been busy bees in the growing Plasma Active team, so it’s time to post some progress updates. In case you forgot, Plasma Active is a KDE project to create a desirable user experience for the device spectrum, with its first focus to create a system suitable for tablet computers. In my first post about Plasma Active, you can see the basic shell running on a 10 inch Viewsonic Viewtab. In this post, I’m using a Wetab to demo the current state of Plasma Active. The Wetab is one of our test devices. It’s a nice target device since it’s Intel Atom-based, which makes building Plasma Active a bit easier, and thus shortens our development-testing-deployment cycles considerable. The Wetab can currently be gotten from German Ebay for 219⃽ + shipping, so it’s also quite affordable.

Back to the software, though. Our focus in the past weeks has been two-fold, we’ve done a lot of “small fixes” which greatly improve the user experience. The other class of changes is less visible at this point, but still fun and exciting. (…)

      [Aaron Seigo: Qt5 .. KDE5?](//

As most of those who read my blog have already heard, Qt5 is on its way. The target is 2012 and the focus is QtQuick where there is a high degree of separation between display and data and things are rendered using a hardware accelerated (read: OpenGL) scene graph. This is very much in line with where we are heading with Plasma as well. Exciting times!

What does this mean for KDE? Will there be a KDE5 in 2012 as well? What would a KDE5 look like? I know these are the questions on some of your minds, if only because some of you have already started asking myself and others about it. ;)

The short answer is that we don’t know yet, but we’re working on it. Not a very satisfying answer is it? Well, short answers are rarely much fun. So here’s the slightly longer version.

Header PictureMedical Team

Thanasis Rous: Medical Report

Report from FOSSCOMM (Patras,Greece) Conference

As a distro tester and openSUSE Ambassador, I ‘m very happy to report what took place in the conference (it was my first conference as an ambassador and member of openSUSE Medical Team)

So the conference lasted 2 days

1st Day : Booth and presentation

We set up the booth as an openSUSE Community. All the related stuff (about Medical and openSUSE) was available around the booth.

Furthermore me and Stathis Iosifidis we presented the openSUSE Medical project as well as the applications which are available via the openSUSE Medical Distro.

I would like to note that we presented the following applications :

  • openEMR

  • GNUMed

  • FreeMedForms

  • FreeDiams


And finally we presented the new application for diabetics (which is available in the medical repository) “ plasmoid-glucose “

The presentation is available at: //

The presentation was really interesting, people (doctors)ýduring the presentation asked us about the distro, the project and how to setup and use the applications in general.

2nd Day : Feedback and Booth support

During the second day , we informed the people (via the booth) about the openSUSE Medical project and it’s applications and features. Many people asked us about the aim of the project, and how to use the application.

In addition with the questions people were surprised with the whole idea of the project and that are able to use this kind of applications as FOSS software.

According to me it’s very important to present and show the openSUSE Medical project to doctors and students, because this project will be alive only with the collaboration of developers and medical students+doctors.

Feedback :

Something new for a FOSS conference , many people are interested in this project!

You can take a look at the photos of the presentation and the booth as well :


  2. (Me and Stathis , you can take a look and in the other photos as well)

Have a lot of fun! Rousinopoulos Athanasios-Ilias

Header PictureopenFATE Team

Top voted Features

        [decouple download and installation (Score: 348)](

Network installation could be improved by running package download and package installation in parallel.

        [Look at plymouth for splash during boot (Score: 183)](

I wanted to open a fate feature about this when I first heard of plymouth, but reading // really makes me think we should go this way.

Ray’s comment starting with “Every flicker and mode change in the boot process takes away from the whole experience.” is especially interesting. Is it okay to track the “don’t show grub by default” here?

        [Replacement for Sax2 (Score: 129)](

We need a replacement for sax2 in 11.3, as a safety measure for when auto configuration fails to detect certain monitors/keyboards/mice. (…)

        [Update to GRUB v2 (Score: 120)](

Every single bug or feature that anyone has developed for GRUB 0.97 has been rejected by the upstream project in favor of using GRUB 2. There has been resisitence in the distribution community to switching boot loaders, but this stalemate isn’t going to go away. The code itself isn’t well written or well maintained. Adding a new feature involves jumping through a lot of hoops that may or may not work even if you manage to work around all the runtime limitations. For example, a fs implementation has a static buffer it can use for memory management. It’s only 32k. For complex file systems, or even a simple journaled file system, we run into problems (like the reiserfs taking forever to load bug) because we don’t have enough memory to do block mapping for the journal so it needs to scan it for every metadata read. (Yeah, really.) (…)

        [Popularity contest (Score: 98)](

We need a feedback about packages that are preferred by users and actively used. Debian already has a tool named Popularity contest (popcon)

  • reusing popcon will give us results that are directly comparable with Debian and Ubuntu

  • packagers team can take care of the package

  • we need a configuration dialog in YaST that is visible enough

  • we need a server infrastructure on (There are certain privacy issues, see Debian FAQ for details)

Recently requested features

Features newly requested last week. Please vote and/or comment if you get interested.

        [make yast gtk gui more complete](

The yast2 qt interface have (at least) one very usefull function that is not found in the gtk interface: when there is a problem in an install, being able to force reinstall of all the already installed packages is very handy.

In qt, it’s enough to clic right and select update all the selected.

so I would be fine to have the same in gtk (I just had a corrupted kde4 install and could only run gnome)

        [Fix Printing in SuSe by Having gutenprint](

On Ubuntu there are many many printer drivers on the distribution by default because of the package gutenprint . SuSe has this package in the Repos, but not default. When I tried to set up my printer, nothing but the generic driver was found, but I manually installed gutenprint after 3 hours of searching on Google, and the Driver was there. gutenprint should be there by default.

        [don't install postfix by default anymore](

postfix slows down system boot and runs on every installation even though it’s not actually needed anymore on the average desktop. Even mutt can send mails without local mta nowadays. Therefore we shouldn’t install postfix anymore by default.

cron may need adjustments to report output of cron jobs via other means such as syslog.

        [cups-pdf Drucker wieder per default installieren](

I think that openSUSE should install a pdf-printer as default again.

        [allow configuration of offline local printer](

Now it’s impossible to configure a local printer is it’s not detectedn why?

        [Provide gccgo packages](

It would be awesome to ship gcc 4.6 with support for Google Go (gccgo) with openSUSE 12.1.

Debian already provides gccgo for sid: //

        [Installing video card drivers from the official](

While searching through many pages of information about Linux and OpenSUSE that I found complaining. For the installation of graphics card drivers from the manufacturer. These appear in the repository often result in errors and critical system states.

I think that when you install an option I should be asking whether to install the drivers or compile a formal closed. When chosen to be the official drivers are able to download the script itself from the pack, and compile the relevant modules into the kernel. Also, the appropriate settings in the xorg configuration. This is mainly on the users complain that they used Ubuntu.

Feature Statistics

Statistics for openSUSE distribution in openFATE

Header PictureTranslation Team

Header PictureIn the Community▲▼

Postings from the Community

Jos Poortvliet: Events - LinuxTag and HCC linux themadag

I’ll be going to two VERY different events this month: Linux Tag with thousands of visitors and a big openSUSE team and the Dutch HCC Linux Themadag which I expect to be slightly smaller - by a factor of 10 or so.

I’m not really sure what kind of event I like most. At LinuxTag I’ll probably be more busy to talk to people who know a fair bit about Free Software, get interviewed, discuss things with other FOSS people in many one-on-one or small meetings etcetera. At HCC, well, there will be few people I know and most visitors are probably quite new to Linux. I really look forward to meeting the dutch openSUSE people (most of whom I don’t know yet) and yes, I always enjoy talking to newbies. But LinuxTag has lots of friends, both from within openSUSE and from other projects - that’s also awesome.

I think I’m gonna decide that they’re both equally cool.

And if you live close to either, be sure to be there & say hi to me!

If you want to pick me out of the crowd, a helpful tip: my hair (both on head & chin) got a bit longer since the pic above was taken!

People of openSUSE

People of openSUSE: Jos Poortvliet

On this issue of people of openSUSE, you can read about our friendly SUSE community manager, Jos Poortvliet. Read about his job at the SUSE, what he does in openSUSE, his personal opinion of Free Software, openSUSE and more!

Events & Meetings



You can find more informations on other events at: openSUSE News/Events. - Local Events

openSUSE for your Ears

The openSUSE Weekly News are available as podcast in German. You can hear it or download it on //



Header PictureNew/Updated Applications @ openSUSE▲▼

Michal Ìihař: StarDict dictionaries for openSUSE

While working on dictionaries for StarDict today, I’ve decided to finally bring them to openSUSE as well.

First step was to fix my favorite tool to access them - sdcv. The fixed package is now in my home project and will be hopefully soon accepted to Education project so that it is more visible (see request 69901 if it is already the case).

When I had the tool working, it was time to package dictionaries themselves. It was quite simple task and the rpms are available in my home project.

To install packages on openSUSE 11.4 simply do:

zypper ar // \stardict zypper ref zypper in stardict-czech stardict-english-czech stardict-german-czech

Holger Hetterich: SMB Traffic Analyzer 1.2.4 supports multiple databases and delivers webSMBTA

If you don’t have a clue what you are reading here, this article is about the** SMB Traffic Analyzer** project, check it’s homepage for more information about it.

The development team is proud to announce the release of version 1.2.4 of SMB Traffic Analyzer. With a much longer development cycle than usual, we took the time to do real ground work on** SMBTA, and reworked the whole database handling. As a result, SMBTA will from now on access it’s databases via libDBI, a generic database layer. Via libDBI, **SMBTA is potientially able to run with sqlite, MySQL, and postgresql as database backend. Since both, smbtad and smbtatools have been rewritten to use the libDBI layer, smbtaquery can know run completely independent from smbtad, as it uses** libDBI** directly to access the database (bso#8065). We have tried hard to crash smbtad in test suites since we made the move to libDBI, and moved several tens of terabyte over samba shares without getting smbtad to fall (we are currently using** postgresql** as database). We strongly believe, since smbtad does not have to function as a network gateway to the database for the clients any more, the move to libDBI will make SMB Traffic Analyzer much more stable. SMB Traffic Analyzer 1.2.4 provides an upgrade path if the user wants to use the sqlite database that has been created with SMBTA version <= 1.2.3.

Figure 1. The object selector of webSMBTA

![The object selector of webSMBTA](//

Furthermore,** SMB Traffic Analyzer 1.2.4** debuts Benjamin Brunner’s work on webSMBTA, a web interface to all functions of the smbtaquery program. It is a modern, rails3 based, intuitive interface, that reduces object selection to a few mouse clicks, and makes running statistic functions on the objects a breeze. webSMBTA automatically retrieves all the objects known in your Samba network, and displays them in a way that gives an idea of the network structure. Out of these lists, you click the object you want to run a function on, and get a descriptive dialog for the function’s options. The output of functions is HTML rendered, and attached to the webSMBTA main page. Our ground work on XML in smbtaquery finally pays off, as webSMBTA is consuming HTML output of smbtaquery directly. Once a function has been chosen, it can easily be re-run by clicking it’s reload button,** or removed from the page.

We have added a new chapter for the documentation on webSMBTA, as well as to the libDBI change.

All of smbtatools can now use a single configuration file, serving all of them (bso#8097). The “top” function of smbtaquery can now operate descending as well as ascending. (bso#8095).

You can download SMB Traffic Analyzer from the download page. Please be aware that currently binary packages of smbtatools 1.2.4 do not contain the code for webSMBTA, as webSMBTA is in Beta, has not yet been employed with Apache, and is not ready for being packaged. Of course, the 1.2.4 source tarball of smbtatools does contain the webSMBTA sources. Nevertheless, you can find a README file in the smbtatools tarball, describing how to run the webinterface by using the internal rails webserver. For more information on SMB Traffic Analyzer, check it’s homepage.

Header PictureGames Corner▲▼

The Section provides the Game of the Week, and Updates in the Game Repository

Nelson Marques: Unknown Horizons, a nice strategy game, now on openSUSE

A few days ago I was wandering on the openSUSE Forums, once more in the games section when I saw one more post from one of our users asking for Unknown Horizons… I’ve search a bit and found 2 entries on OBS (openSUSE Build Service), one for Fedora packages and another for openSUSE packages.

I’ve joined #unknown-horizons on FreeNode and found out that Unknown Horizons is very active and people are very nice. I’ve made a few questions around and offered myself to package this nice game for openSUSE (home:ketheriel:UnknownHorizons). Some of the dependencies are provided by the games repository, to which I want to submit the major releases, and if possible enable builds for Fedora (and friends).

A few packages need some tweaks to enable builds for Fedora (allegro, libenet, guichan), and I’m working already on that. Meanwhile for everyone who wants to check out the latest development snapshot of Unknown Horizons, feel free to do so… Currently packaged for:

  • openSUSE 11.3

  • openSUSE 11.4

  • openSUSE Factory

  • openSUSE Tumbleweed

Figure 2. Unknown Horizons - Settings Menu - openSUSE 11.4 GNOME3

![Unknown Horizons - Settings Menu - openSUSE 11.4 GNOME3](//

The 1-Click installer can be found on Unknown Horizons download page. There’s also a nice article (bumping ego) about the new openSUSE packages on Unknown Horizons Figure 2, “Unknown Horizons - Settings Menu - openSUSE 11.4 GNOME3”webpage!

This is a title that all openSUSE users who like RTS games should try (supports openGL and sdl) and is powered by the FIFE Engine.

Header PictureSecurity 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 Announcement: postfix (SUSE-SA:2011:023)](//
Table 1. Security Announce
Package: **postfix**
Announcement ID: SUSE-SA:2011:023
Date: Wed, 11 May 2011 10:00:00 +0000
Affected Products: openSUSE 11.2 openSUSE 11.3 openSUSE 11.4 SUSE SLES 9 Open Enterprise Server Novell Linux POS 9 SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 SP3 SUSE Linux Enterprise Teradata 10 SP3 SUSE Linux Enterprise Software Development Kit 11 SP1 SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 11 SP1 SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP1 SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 SP4 SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 SP4
Vulnerability Type: remote code execution

  [SUSE Security Announcement: IBM Java 1.4.2 (SUSE-SA:2011:024)](//
Table 2. Security Announce
Package: ** java-1_4_2-ibm**
Announcement ID: SUSE-SA:2011:024
Date: Fri, 13 May 2011 11:00:00 +0000
Affected Products: SUSE SLES 9 Open Enterprise Server Novell Linux POS 9 SLE SDK 10 SP3 SUSE Linux Enterprise Java 10 SP3 SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 SP3 SUSE Linux Enterprise Teradata 10 SP3 SUSE Linux Enterprise Java 10 SP4 SUSE Linux Enterprise Software Development Kit 11 SP1 SUSE Linux Enterprise Java 11 SP1 SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP1 SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 SP4
Vulnerability Type: remote code execution

Header PictureKernel Review▲▼

  [h-online/Thorsten Leemhuis: Kernel Log: Coming in 2.6.39 (Part 4) - Drivers](//

The kernel now supports USB 3.0 hubs, the latest Radeon graphics cards and Intel’s previously problematic GMA500 graphics. Other new additions include drivers for notebooks by ASUS and Samsung, and for audio and multimedia hardware from various other vendors.

Linus Torvalds released the seventh pre-release of Linux 2.6.39 on Monday night. He wrote: “So things have been pretty quiet, and unless something major comes up I believe that this will be the last -rc”. If Torvalds sticks to his usual work patterns, then 2.6.39 could well be released early next week.

As Linux 2.6.39 is approaching completion, the Kernel Log will conclude its “Coming in 2.6.39” mini series with a discussion of the advancements in terms of drivers – including audio, graphics and multimedia hardware drivers. Part 1 of the mini series discussed the changes to the network drivers and infrastructure; part 2 was about the file system code as well as the storage drivers and infrastructure; and part 3 discussed the architecture code and general infrastructure. (…)

Rares Aioanei: kernel weekly news – 14.05.2011

This weeks Issue of Rares Aoianei’s Kernel Weekly News.

Header PictureTips and Tricks▲▼

For Desktop Users

    [jun auza: 7 Nifty Tricks to Get the Most out of LibreOffice Writer](//

Since the death of OpenOffice and the release of Ubuntu 11.04, LibreOffice has gained a lot of popularity in such a short amount of time. Though there is not much of a difference between LibreOffice Writer and its Oracle-owned predecessor, there are some tricks that can help you get the most out of it. Here’s a look at 7 such tricks. (…)

    [Linux Journal/Doug Roberts: Ebook Publishing Using Linux Tools](//

Digital books, aka “ebooks” are going to change the publishing world just as iTunes and digital music have changed the music industry. At the moment, Amazon’s Kindle seems to be the biggest fish in the pond. While the actual numbers are fuzzy, Amazon’s Kindle appears to be driving ebook growth, as suggested by this article.

Recent news points to authors making a dramatic shift from traditional publishing houses to self-publishing, as pointed out in this article that describes why Barry Eisler turned down a $500,000 deal from a mainstream publisher, choosing instead to self-publish. This particular article was in fact my own tipping point: I had written a science fiction novel 30 years ago that I was unable to get any of the publishing houses interested in at the time. I thought to myself, “Why not?” So I dusted off the old digital manuscript, completely rewrote the story, and recently published it on Amazon’s Kindle publishing site. BTW, for more info on how the original digital manuscript migrated from machine to machine over that thirty year period, see the Author’s Note on the home page for my novel, Second Cousins .

    [Hubfolio/Matthew Casperson: Installing Gnome Shell Extensions in OpenSuse 11.4](//

Gnome Shell Extensions provide a number of official enhancements to the Gnome 3 desktop. There is an RPM called gnome-shell-extenions available in an OpenSuse repo, but this did not work for me. Instead you can download and make the extensions for yourself using the following commands. (…)

    [Andrew Wafaa: Pixel Limits With The Intel 945GME](//

Just a quick post to enlighten those that use an Intel 945GME powered machine of a certain pixel limitation that you may not know about.

I’m a full time user of the spiffy new GNOME3 with the fancy gnome-shell mojo. As such it’s on my primary machine, which at the moment is an eeePC 1000HE. Yup, that’s a netbook with a small 10” screen and relatively low resolution of 1024x600 pixels.  As I’m sat at my desk I thought I would use my 17” Dell LCD monitor. So I plugged it in and selected ‘System Settings>Displays’ Without any issue it saw my external monitor and allowed me to enable it. I chose not to mirror displays as I’d like to take advantage of the larger screen. (…)

For Commandline/Script Newbies

    [ Linux stat Command](//

The stat utility allows you to see all information about either a file or a directory. You can use wildcards if you want to see info for more than one object at a time.

stat File: `’ Size: 158 Blocks: 16 IO Block: 4096 regular file Device: 305h/773d Inode: 98134 Links: 1 Access: (0644/-rw-r–r–) Uid: ( 0/ root) Gid: ( 0/ root) Access: 2010-08-18 11:16:37.000000000 -0600 Modify: 2010-08-16 09:44:57.000000000 -0600 Change: 2010-08-16 09:44:57.000000000 -0600


    [Linuxaria: Signals in Linux](//

While i was surfing the net i’ve found this article By Matteo Ferrone about Linux signals, that i want to repost:

A signal is an event sent by the kernel to a running program.

The signals can arrive at any time and software can choose what to do when it arrives: it can decide to ignore it or may decide to execute a signal handler and continue with what he did. (…)

For Developers and Programmers

    [Python4Kids/Brendan Scott: New Tutorial - Baby Steps With Our Text Editor](//

In this tutorial we’re going to start using the power of the text editor that I’ve been badgering you about over the last few tutorials. We are going to go back to the earlier tutorials and resurrect some of the code there.


Create a new document with your text editor

Save the document to a file called You need to be careful that your text editor doesn’t add ‘.txt’ to the end of the file’s name as some have the habit of doing.

copy the following function into the file (originally found here, with some comments dropped): (…)

    [Database Journal/Robert Gravelle: Three Ways to Identify Non-matching Records in MySQL](//

There are many times as a database developer and administrator that you’ll want to know what entities are being excluded from a straight table join. For instance, it would be instructive for management to identify sales people who haven’t received any bonuses, as these might be deemed to be the underperformers. To provide the requestor with the statistics, you’ll have to determine which sales people are absent from the bonuses table. This is commonly referred to as a Non-matching query, although it is sometimes called a Subtract or Set Difference query as well. MySQL provides not one but three standard means of producing non-matching results. I will be presenting each here, along with another that you might not have considered. (…)

    [ Gilmore: Mono Development 101: Build Linux Desktop Apps with .NET](//

I’ve spent the majority of my career focused entirely on open source Web development, having only occasionally dabbled in .NET development. Of course, the great thing about the open source community is that if you do happen to need a particular application, chances are somebody else has already created it. But what if it doesn’t exist, or if an existing application doesn’t work precisely as you believe it should?

I recently encountered this very problem when searching for streaming radio applications (plenty such applications exist, I just don’t like any of them), and concluded that perhaps the only way to scratch this particular itch was to build my own application. This decision immediately prompted two questions: how in the heck are Linux desktop applications built in the first place, and could I harness my minimal .NET experience in the process?

As it turns out, there are quite a few open source solutions, but one in particular happens to be .NET-specific. That solution is Mono, an open source, cross platform C# implementation. In this article I’ll document how I’ve begun using Mono. (…)

For System Administrators

    [Novell Cool Solutions/jrecord: supportconfig for Linux](//

The updateSupportutils command compares the current versions of supportutils and its plugins to those installed on your server. Those that are outdated or missing are automatically downloaded and installed. Only those plugins that apply to your server are installed. The command supports creating a weekly or monthly cron entry to automatically check and update the supportutils package and its plugins. Click here to see a list of the current supportutils and plugin packages. The updateSupportutils command help screen follows: (…)

Header PicturePlanet SUSE▲▼

Jos Poortvliet: Code of Conduct or anti-harassment policy

I went to LCA 2011 in Januari. There, a ‘mild controvercy’ (or rather ‘nuclear war’) developed around a keynote by Mark Pesce and how it was handled by the conference team. Now personally, I had little issue with Mark’s keynote. Ok, there was some harsh language and some explicit imagery, but nothing that offended me. So when an apology was made during the closing ceremony, I was suprised and later on spoke out with some others against the ‘censorship’.

Changing mind

But after a while I realized that the point of all this isn’t about censorship or Freedom of Speech (vs freedom of ‘not being insulted’). Those issues surely play in the wider, public area. I don’t want to have laws which allow our government to prosecute anyone who talks about something they don’t like! But that is not relevant here. LCA is NOT a public place. It is a conference organized by a team which has EVERY right to tell us under what condictions we can join! It is their conference, after all. And yes, one of those conditions is that we are supposed to watch what we say so we ensure a welcoming place for everyone.

As I’ve already been convinced that we do need to think about diversity, openness and anti-harassment after reading this LWN article about the darker side of open source conferences by Valerie Aurora, I’ve decided to draft up a Code of Conduct for the openSUSE Conference today.

You can find the Code of Conduct draft on the wiki and would love input!

Michael Meeks: LibreOffice is the future of Free Software Office suites

This is of course my view, and I hope yours, but naturally it is worth presenting at least some rational and working for this conclusion. Unfortunately, there are so many reasons why TDF and LibreOffice are done right, that I can’t list them all in linear time. However, I’ll try to address some of the major ones recently raised by congenital worriers.

LibreOffice is vendor neutral

LibreOffice does not belong to any single vendor, neither is it a single vendor’s product. To characterise it that way is just silly. We have full-time developers from Novell, RedHat, Canonical and Lanedo working currently, with many key volunteer contributors, and contributions from other companies and distributions eg. CodeThink’s Unity integration work, or the many Google Summer of Code students we’ve enjoyed working with. No-one is excluded from our governance - oh, except over-dominant corporations, there are strict limits in our bylaws on the proportion of representation (one third) that any single company can have in any of our key institutions. Elections will be by a fair method (Single Transferable Vote), and be participated in by all significant contributors equally. The contrast with the mess of ridiculously gerrymandered governance, with layers of stacked privilege given to a single corporation in a previous project is quite stark.

SUSE is the largest corporate contributor to TDF, though we are small compared to our huge group of motivated volunteers. My aim is to ensure that no vendor dominates (including SUSE): and that there is room for all contributors. Looking at our structures: the Steering Committee, Membership Committee, and the Engineering Steering Committee, we seem to be doing well there.

Of course, having vendor neutrality around open standards is also good, but this is someone else’s fight. I’m interested in the best result Free Software implementation possible, with a fun community to stand behind it, rather than the different good of enabling competition between implementations. (…)

Header PictureopenSUSE Forums▲▼

  [Please share experience with SD card 'drive' use in Linux](//

  In most linuces the developpers spent lots of time and energy to improve boottime and startup time of applications. Work has been done to the kernel, we have systemd and the desktop environment developpers have done their share too. The last couple of years we've also seen the introduction of Solid State Disks, "disks" based on memory cards, instead of turning platters. One of the main advantages of these SSDs is that their access for reading and writing is much faster than the traditional HDD's, so booting and starting applications should be faster, and indeed is faster. Disadvantage is the difference in price per GB of storage. Recently less expensive SSDs have appeared on the market, our admin oldcpu is asking people to share their experiences.

  [Microsoft buys Skype](//

  Since Skype, the free (as in free of charge) Voice Over IP Client for internet telephony, had linux versions available, it was clear that the news of Microsoft buying it would draw a lot of attention, This thread shows how users react, additions to the initial news are quoted. Always interesting to see how the community takes news like this.

  [Problems updating or dowloading certain softfware openSUSE 11.4](//

  People coming from "the other operating system" are used to download desired software, install it. Linux distributions are different, they all use some form of "package management". One could see this thread as a collection of detailed information on how to use such a package management system. Nice read for those starting with openSUSE to get some basic knowledge on how downloading and installing software works in openSUSE.

[Do you use Anti-Virus on openSUSE? Which one?](//

  A returning issue in the forums. Of course, linux is not invulnerable, but we've never seen serious linux virusses out in the wild. Yet we have anti virus programs available. Our member Daax pops the question, the replies flying in show it's still some kind of a hot issue. If you want to know how openSUSE users respond to the title's questions, read ahead

Header PictureOn the Web▲▼


    [ZDNet/Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols: Novell will continue to support LibreOffice](//

While Attachmate has talked a lot about its plans for Novell after it bought Novell, no one saw Attachmate closing down Novell’s Mono programming effort. Indeed, other than cutting Novell’s work-force by 25%, Attachmate has said little concrete about the company’s open-source plans. I have learned from sources though that LibreOffice, the open-source office suite, will continue to receive Novell’s support. (…)

    [Christoph Feck: Troubleshooting kded4 Bugs](//

Not just recently, but as long as KDE exists, we are getting bug reports for the KDE process “kded4“. These include:

  • kded4 crashes

  • kded4 leaks memory

  • kded4 eats 100% CPU

  • kded4 process

Before I dive into troubleshooting those problems, let me explain what kded4 does and how it works. (…)

Reviews and Essays

    [ZDNet/Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols: Return of the Linux Quiz](//

Hi there, it’s Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols again, ZDNet’s resident Linux expert, with yet another Linux quiz. This test is purely for your amusement and should not be used to determine if you’re ready for your RHCE exam.

Instructions: Click on your answer and then see how many others agree with you. Then click to see the answer and the next question. (…)

    [Datamation/Bruce Byfield: Are Usability Studies Hurting the Free Desktop?](//

The recent history of new interfaces on the free desktop is not a happy one. Three years ago, the release of KDE 4.0 resulted in a user revolt whose like had never been seen. This year, the releases of GNOME 3 and Ubuntu’s Unity have produced similar revolts, but on a smaller scale.

Looking at these reactions, I am starting to wonder: Are the developers of free desktops become obsessed with design principles at the expense of what users actually want? (…)

    [QT Labs/Lars Knoll:
      Thoughts about Qt 5](//

Qt 4.0 was released in June 2005, almost six years ago. A lot has changed in the software industry over these years. While application development back then happened mostly on desktop systems, mobile devices connected to the web have become increasingly popular. User interface technology has moved from static widgets to a fluid touch based experience. Since Qt 4.0 we have released seven minor versions of Qt to stay ahead of development needs, for example by releasing Qt Quick. Within the growing Qt user base, we have had a strong up-take and new needs from embedded and mobile app and UI developers.

To also, in the future, be a leading edge development framework across multiple industries, Qt needs to continue to renew itself. Qt 4 has been an evolution, and I have been thinking about what future Qt versions might look like from a technical perspective. Over the last years we have been working on laying the foundations for the next major release. I see Qt Quick, QML Scenegraph and Project Lighthouse– combined with an increased focus on Qt Webkit – as the foundation which we plan to use to move towards a new major release of Qt.

Given that Qt is moving into open governance mode in the upcoming months, I wanted to share my thinking with the Qt community in order to kick off the discussions about what I see as the technical architecture for Qt 5. (…)


JP Rosevear: WebGL

Recently Context Information Security Limited gathered a lot of attention for a blog post on the state of WebGL security. For Mozilla, WebGL was first released in Firefox 4, and there are implementations in Chrome, Safari and Opera as well. The blog post outlines an abstract concern that WebGL is inherently insecure because it allows fairly direct access to the hardware, along with two specific attacks, a Denial of Service and a Cross-Domain Image Theft.

The Denial of Service attack does not generally endanger user data or privacy, but it can be highly annoying for users, not unlike sites that pop up multiple dialogs or have long-running javascript that hangs the browser. The Khronos WebGL working group has been aware of this type of issue for some time and has discussed it openly. Shader validation can help somewhat, as can GL_ARB_robustness, but the forthcoming GL_ARB_robustness_2 extension will help even more. There are also user confirmation approaches available as well depending on what real world data we uncover over time. (…)

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