Open Source Alliance Cyberjaya

The Linux and Open Source Special Interest Group in Cyberjaya, Malaysia

Archive for May 2007

LinuxTag: Berlin to make better use of its open-source

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At the opening of the trade fairs LinuxTag and IT-Profits the Senator of Economics of the German federal state of Berlin Harald Wolf announced in Berlin on Wednesday that his department would from 2008 on be switching to Linux. The controversial IT strategy of the federal state would moreover incorporate open standards to a greater degree, the Senator declared. The shape assumed by Berlin’s IT landscape had to be “an open one,” the politician, who is a member of the left-wing PDS, said, adding that “I very much want this to go beyond lip service.” This was the only way the 3,700 IT companies in the Berlin-Brandenburg Region, most of which were small and medium-sized enterprises, with their staff of 40,000 people in all, could develop cost-effective and adaptable applications, the Senator averred.

Mr. Wolf intends to set an unambiguous example for a more open approach in his own department. According to the Senator the servers within the traditionally Novell-supported network will next year migrate to Linux. This was in addition intended to keep the option open of implementing open source on the desktops of the department, he said. For Mr. Wolf, who also at times acts as the Mayor of Berlin, the general motto appears to be: “Not either/or but and.” He was banking on a “platform-neutral infrastructure,” he declared. The fact that the Federal Ministry of the Interior was prepared to act as patron to the LinuxTag event, though controversial in some quarters, underlined the importance accorded the topic of open source by the administration of the Federal Republic, especially with regard to critical applications, the Senator stated.

So far the Senate of Berlin, the government of the federal state, has been skeptical about a relentless migration toward free software. Towards the end of 2005 the parliament of the federal state of Berlin had called for the IT landscape of the capital including the approximately 58,000 workstations used by Berlin’s administration to be migrated to Linux and open-source programs. Since then Berlin’s Department of the Interior in particular has repeatedly countered the vision of the parliamentarians with its own open systems approach that takes its cue above all from current cost-effectiveness considerations and features heterogeneous systems. On the other hand members of Berlin’s IT economy have of late pushed for a realignment of the IT strategy of the federal state and demanded a shift of emphasis toward open source. (Robert W. Smith)

Source: Heise Online

Written by syazli7

Thu, 31 May 2007 at 15:00:42 +0800

Posted in News

Linux says touch one of us, fight us all

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Microsoft’s Windows operating system and Office desktop applications are threatened by open source code.

“Touch one member of the Linux community and you will have to deal with all of us,” Linux Foundation director Jim Zemlin warned Microsoft in a column that appeared May 25 on the BusinessWeek “Viewpoint” slot of its Web site.

Labeled the foundation’s “formal” response to Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith’s statements earlier this month, the column suggested that the foundation was prepared to step in with countervailing patents if Microsoft took action against anyone.

The foundation’s board of directors includes representatives from AMD, Bank of America, Fujitsu, Hitachi, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel, NEC, NetApp, Oracle, and Microsoft’s newfound Linux partner, Novell.

The Linux Foundation in San Francisco is the organization that resulted when the Open Source Development Labs and Free Standards Group merged earlier this year. It continues to sponsor the work of Linus Torvalds, Linux originator and holder of the Linux trademark.

Read more: CRN

Written by syazli7

Thu, 31 May 2007 at 14:58:43 +0800

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Microsoft Building Open Source Bridge to China

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Microsoft and the Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics are going to create an open source translator between China’s emerging Unified Office Format (UOF) and Microsoft’s own Open XML (OOXML) file formats.

It is a burst of execution-suspected interoperability that one might lay to the number of Chinese armed with computers and the Chinese government’s determination to have its own non-Microsoft format. UOF is also based on the OpenDocument Format (ODF) and there’s been talk of those two combining, but it may or may not be technically possible – or politically viable.

According to Microsoft, “Our customers have told us their data needs can’t be addressed by a one-format or one-standard-fits-all approach. Everyone wants to use their data in slightly different ways. That’s why we are enabling customers to pick from whatever format they want to use with their Office documents – whether it’s ODF, Open XML, PDF or new standards like UOF.”

Read more: .NET Developers Journal

Written by syazli7

Wed, 30 May 2007 at 05:21:27 +0800

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A good reason to go open source at school

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This debacle over school computer software shows just how beholden the big institutions in society are to major software companies, and in particular – Microsoft.

The Government should have just stumped up the $2.7 million to keep Microsoft Office on those Macs, then vowed to go open source when the contract term ends – on all computers in the every school. That’s a good ten year plan to have anyway.

Microsoft has the right to be paid for its products and set its own licensing terms, but if the Government isn’t willing to meet its price and those terms, it has an obligation to look at more viable alternatives.

The Ministry of Education and the whole of Government need to take a coordinated look at a move to open source software. This may not have been viable before, but Linux is more user-friendly than ever before, which is why in the US, Dell has started selling PCs with Ubuntu 7.04 as an alternative to Windows starting at US$599.

Maybe Edubuntu is an option for New Zealand schools.

Read more: NZ Herald

Written by syazli7

Wed, 30 May 2007 at 05:16:05 +0800

Posted in News

Dell to Sell $599 Ubuntu Linux Systems

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Dell has started selling two consumer desktops and a notebook fitted with a factory-loaded copy of the new Ubuntu Linux 7.04, making it the first of the major OEMs to offer standard low-end Linux SKUs.

Prices start at $599 and $849. The desktops are a $599 Dimension E520n and an $849 XPS 410n. The notebook is a $599 Inspiron E1505n.

In a prepared statement Dell said, “With no software costs associated with Ubuntu, the base price for each system is competitively priced and fully configured.” Dell is prepared to provide hardware support through its normal support channels and is telling people to go to dedicated web sites and Linux forums or to Canonical for software support.

The systems are targeted at Linux enthusiasts as a result of that feedback Dell got in its ideastorm.com suggestion box. Desktop Linux merchant Linspire has predicted the best Dell can expect from the move is to sell 50,000-100,000 units. Dell could of course be opening a can of worms if the uninitiated start buying these systems.

Dell says it is offering “hardware options on each system that have the most mature and stable Linux driver support. These hardware options have been thoroughly tested and certified by Canonical. For hardware options not offered with this release, Dell is working with the vendors of those devices to improve the maturity and stability of their associated Linux drivers, and expects to have a broader range of hardware support with Linux over time.”

The default software includes the Ubuntu kernel and applications. The peripheral options offered with Ubuntu will be a subset of what is Dell offers with other operating systems. It says it’s using partial open-source or proprietary drivers where there is no equivalent open source driver, including Intel wireless cards and Conexant modems. It’s not including any support for proprietary audio or video codecs that are not already distributed with Ubuntu 7.04 such as Quicktime, MPE, WMA, WMV and DVD.

Read more: Linux.SYS-CON

Written by syazli7

Tue, 29 May 2007 at 02:04:00 +0800

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VA Software Corporation Announces Name Change to SourceForge, Inc.

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FREMONT, Calif., May 24 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — VA Software Corporation (Nasdaq: LNUX), the online media and e-commerce leader in community-driven open source innovation, today announced it has changed its name to SourceForge, Inc. The change reflects the company’s strategic focus on its network of Web properties following the disposition of its enterprise software business. The company’s Nasdaq ticker symbol will remain the same.

The SourceForge(R) network includes media sites Slashdot(R), Linux.com, ITManagersJournal, freshmeat(R), and NewsForge. The network is also home to SourceForge.net(R), the world’s largest distribution and development platform for Open Source projects, and ThinkGeek(R) one of the leading online retailers for innovative technology products.

“The technology market was built on the power of community,” said Ali Jenab, president and CEO of SourceForge, Inc. “SourceForge is a trusted brand for those on the front lines of innovation. Renaming the company around the SourceForge brand allows us to focus our energy and resources on building an ever stronger business around what we believe are the most passionate communities in any industry.”

The media industry continues to shift to a publishing model built on community-generated content and interaction, a model SourceForge, Inc. pioneered in the late 1990s. Advertisers are increasingly embracing this model and recognizing the unique role SourceForge, Inc. plays as a connector for the tech community. The global technology community that SourceForge, Inc. and its online network of Web properties bring together represents the leading edge of community-driven content and collaboration and the most influential IT buyers. The company’s evolution is consistent with both its founding principles and the future of the Web.

“We’re at the right place at the right time and we’re doing the right things,” said Jenab.

Read more: LXer

Written by syazli7

Mon, 28 May 2007 at 00:17:57 +0800

Posted in News

VM enables “write-once, run anywhere” Linux apps

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A startup in Alameda, Calif. plans to release a kind of holy software grail the third or fourth week of June. Lina said its dual-licensed Lina virtual Linux machine will run more or less normal Linux applications under Windows, Mac, or Linux, with a look and feel native to each.

The concept recalls Java, which has long promised “write once, run anywhere” compatibility. As with Java, Lina users will first install a VM specific to their platform, after which they can run binaries compiled not for their particular OS, but for the VM, which aims to hide OS-specific characteristics from the application.

In Lina’s case, the VM is essentially a Linux environment that supports standard C/C++ applications, or even perl and python, if their respective interpreters are installed. CTO Nile Geisinger explained, “You have to compile binaries specifically for Lina, but it’s fairly trivial, no different than compiling binaries for SuSE or Red Hat.”

In the big picture, the goal is really to bring the huge world of open source software to the masses, said Geisinger, explaining, “We work in an office park with dozens of companies, and we’re the only Linux users. Everyday, we are motivated to bring all the fantastic open source applications to the rest of the world.”

Open source developers will be able to use Lina for free, while commercial developers will pay an as-yet undecided licensing fee, the idea goes.

Read more: LinuxDevices.com

Written by syazli7

Mon, 28 May 2007 at 00:15:28 +0800

Posted in News