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Adios, MeeGo

September 29, 2011 1 comment

First things first: As most of you already know, I’m not much of a mobile guy. “Mobile” to me means carrying the Targus backpack with the ThinkPad nestled snugly inside. I long ago tired of cleaning up the Pavlovian slobber that many writers and bloggers have produced when it comes to the inevitable “march” from real computers to handheld devices. So rather than fight it, my efforts center around keeping my eyes from glazing over when the reading about the subject.

However, this is not to say that I ignore FOSS and mobile completely.

So with that caveat firmly in place, read on: MeeGo is going the way of the dodo and, in the face of what seemed to be an earlier commitment by Intel to MeeGo, will be replaced by Tizen.

You’ve probably seen this already in the FOSS media, so I won’t labor the point. Sponsored by the LiMo Foundation and the Linux Foundation, Tizen’s development will be led by Intel and Samsung. It will emphasize HTML5 apps and support multiple device categories including tablets, handsets, smart TVs and in-vehicle entertainment.

MeeGo’s Imad Sousou urges MeeGo developers to join in the effort in a blog item featured on the MeeGo site. “Over the next couple of months, we will be working very hard to make sure that users of MeeGo can easily transition to Tizen, and I will be working even harder to make sure that developers of MeeGo can also transition to Tizen,” Sousou writes.

On the surface, this change doesn’t lend itself to the appearance of a whole lot of stability. If recent history serves, Maemo and Moblin combined to become MeeGo, and MeeGo was left at the altar, so to speak, by Nokia when a former Microsoft executive took the reins at Nokia and embraced — surprise! — Windows Phone 7.

Perhaps the most poignant observation of this, um, “transition” is made by Ryan Paul in an article he wrote for Ars Technica: “By starting over on the userspace stack and switching to a new set of development tools, Tizen is throwing the existing MeeGo community and a lot of open source labor under the bus. Getting existing contributors and third-party developers who were burned by MeeGo involved in the new effort could prove challenging.”

That’s hard to argue, but I hope Ryan is wrong here and I hope that current MeeGo developers will heed Sousou’s call to join Tizen.

Nevertheless, I’m going to give the LiMo and Linux foundations the benefit of the doubt in this case and trust that they’re going to release a version of this operating system in the digital wild next spring that will make us all proud.

This blog, and all other blogs by Larry the Free Software Guy and Larry Cafiero, are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs CC BY-NC-ND license. In short, this license allows others to download this work and share it with others as long as they credit me as the author, but others can’t change it in any way or use it commercially.

[FSF Associate Member] (Larry Cafiero is one of the founders of the Lindependence Project and has just started developing software in his new home office. Watch this space.)

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Eliminate DRM!

Button, button, who’s got the button?

September 28, 2011 Leave a comment

A while back, someone asked me where I got the buttons at the bottom of this, and other, Larry the Free Software Guy blog items. Some of them I inherited a long, long time ago, and if you go back to the first Larry the Free Software Guy blogs, you can find which is which.

However, some of them are new, and because they didn’t exist when I first started the blog, I had to either go look for them or make them myself.

Let’s talk about making them one’s self, because it’s fairly easy thanks to a few sites, namely the Brilliant Button Maker and Zwalen Design, and Adam Kalsey’s site.

Using one of these three, you can make buttons like the ones below for your favorite program, or blog, or whatever.

Give it a shot. Also, if you’d like to use any of the buttons below, have at it.

This blog, and all other blogs by Larry the Free Software Guy and Larry Cafiero, are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs CC BY-NC-ND license. In short, this license allows others to download this work and share it with others as long as they credit me as the author, but others can’t change it in any way or use it commercially.

[FSF Associate Member] (Larry Cafiero is one of the founders of the Lindependence Project and has just started developing software in his new home office. Watch this space.)

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Eliminate DRM!

Categories: GNU/Linux, linux, Linux Tags: ,

Linux users, start your engines

September 26, 2011 4 comments

Unless you’re a motorhead to a varying degree — and an older one at that — you probably don’t know who John Cooper is. His contributions in racing circles — putting the engine behind the driver in his Cooper Formula 1 cars in the late 1950s — would normally cement his place in automotive history, but he didn’t stop there.

The thing for which Cooper is more widely known is modifying the British Motor Corporation’s Mini in the 1960s, adding his name to make it the Mini Cooper while adding a higher degree of performance that won the little car that could a warehouse full of rally trophies and Sports Car Club of America club racing victories.

Around the same time as the development of the first Mini Coopers, across the pond in America Carroll Shelby took the Ford Mustang and with a vision of making it faster and better, he gave us the Shelby Mustang along with the whole Shelby Cobra series (not to mention, later, the Dodge Viper). Shelby’s association with Ford started a trend in the U.S. of taking a mass produced car and making it into a high performance machine.

So go ahead and ask: “Larry the Free Software Guy, what the heck does this have to do with Linux and FOSS?”

It’s simple. Linux and FOSS has their own versions of John Cooper and Carroll Shelby making high performance versions of mass produced distros, building on the foundation of one of the “big three” Linux distros to make fire-breathing, pixel-burning distros; distros that are the digital equivalent of vehicles that are more than just for taking the kids to soccer practice or zipping over to the grocery store.

Not everyone can drive a Cobra or a Testarossa, nor does everyone want to. But knowing that the option is there, and that there are people out there providing those options, is one of Linux/FOSS’s strengths.

We see this in distros like Kororaa, where Chris Smart and his team once based their distro on Gentoo and switched “manufacturers” to use Fedora in producing a solid, quick distro that works well right out of the box.

Jeff Hoogland and his band of developers at Bodhi Linux marry the lightweight Enlightenment desktop environment to Ubuntu. A combination of the lightweight desktop and the users’ choice of what to include in their own digital vehicle makes this perhaps the best combination of getting the best performance out of one’s machine.

Pixel-burning performance is one of the hallmarks at Crunchbang. Philip Newborough, a web developer and GNU/Linux enthusiast living and working in Lincoln, England, takes John Cooper’s legacy to heart — in a digital sense — while he and his team provide a Openbox-based window manager with Debian rumbling under the hood.

We even see this high performance riff on the enterprise Linux side, where in a digital “garage” Derek Carter, Clint Savage and others are gearing up GoOSe Linux. This project deserves special mention because not only is the performance measured on the instruments, but also on the community building process in an enterprise realm.

Examples are abundant, and forgive me if I don’t get to all of them. There are others who deserve mention: Salix OS provides a distro worthy of flamed fenders and racing stripes. Kenneth Granerud had a high performance distro in Wolvix which, due to some personal upheavals, became dormant, but in talking with him recently we might see it come back sometime soon.

So when someone complains about the fact that there are 320-something distros out there, bear in mind many of them are not for everyone.

So buckle up, and let’s be careful out there.

[FSF Associate Member] (Larry Cafiero is one of the founders of the Lindependence Project and has just started developing software in his new home office. Watch this space.)

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Eliminate DRM!

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