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January 29th, 2016

SourceForge’s New Owners, Mint’s New Apps & More…

FOSS Week in Review

Thank goodness this week is over. After our Larry Cafiero spent last week “putting out fires,” as he puts it, at SCALE 14x, I’ve spent the last couple of days doing the same here at FOSS Force. It seems our article on Slashdot’s sale attracted some unruly types to the comments, forcing us to put the shields up on our comments site-wide for the first time in our nearly six year history. You can still comment, but you might have to wait a while for us to notice it and approve it for publication. We’ll take the shields down as soon as we determine it’s safe to do so.

Meanwhile, here’s the FOSS news highlights for the week…

SourceForge’s new owners aren’t exactly what you might expect to be purchasing a site that for all intents and purposes revolves around free and open source software. The new owners, SourceForge Media, is a subsidiary of BIZX, and while that may sound like some huge and gigantic mega corporation, it’s an LLC owned by Southern California residents Roger and Logan Abbott, who are probably either father and son or brothers, we’re not sure. What we do know is that their background is in telecommunications, not exactly the sort of business experience you’d expect for someone entering the share-and-share-alike world of FOSS, where there’s no such thing as vendor lock-in.

On his Linkedin page, Roger Abbott says that for a ten year period beginning in 1991, he was founder and CEO of World-x-Change, a privately held telecommunications company which he says he sold in 2000 “for nearly $1 billion.” In addition to telecommunications and web publishing, Roger Abbott also has a hand in the “boutique hotel” business, and “currently owns and operates multiple hotels in California and Arizona.”

Logan Abbott, in addition to now being the president of the newly formed Slashdot Media, is president of Wirefly, which his one page personal website calls “the leading smartphone and cell phone comparison site on the web.” If you think this qualifies him to run two labor intensive sites like SourceForge and Slashdot, take a look at his two flagship sites: www.Wirefly.com and www.MyRatePlan.com and see what you think.

As I’ve been known to say on these pages, stay tuned…

Wirefly.com

Wirefly.com, until now the flagship web property of the new owners of SourceForge and Slashdot.

Linux Mint will soon be rolling its own apps, according to an article published Thursday on Softpedia. It appears that as GNOME goes its own direction, which is different from the direction that Cinnamon and MATE are taking, Mint’s developers are finding it increasingly more difficult to get GNOME native apps to have the look and feel necessary to blend with the overall Mint scheme, so beginning with Mint’s 18.x branch we’ll be seeing homegrown X-Apps shipping with Mint.

Clement Lefebvre, Mint’s lead developer, explained: “X-Apps will be a collection of generic GTK3 applications using traditional interfaces which can be used as default desktop components in Cinnamon, MATE and Xfce. In Mint 18, the ‘X apps’ will allow us to maintain a native look and a good level of integration because they will be used in replacement of GNOME applications which now look foreign (using headerbars and a distinctive layout).”

Just when you thought you’d heard the last from SCALE until next year: I have learned from a most secret and confidential source who’s embedded deep within SCALE’s inner sanctum — just in case your day’s been missing a little hyperbole — that the dates for next year’s SCALE — that would be SCALE 15x — have been set, if not in stone then in pixels. Mark your calendar for March 2-5, 2017, again at the Pasadena Convention Center.

Another day, another distro: Tails or The Amnesic Incognito Live System 2.0, the Debian based distro aimed at security and privacy, is ready to go. It ships with many improvements, including GNOME 3.4 as the default DE and Tor Browser 5.5. Find out more and download at Softpedia.Also from Softpedia, we learn that Zenwalk 8.0 has entered beta and has replaced Firefox with Chromium as its default browser.

Quick takes: The Google Chrome browser is dropping 32 bit support for Chrome on GNU/Linux in March. The news came as a mailing list announcement from Google’s Dirk Prank. … Mozilla released Firefox 44 on Tuesday, which includes support for the Web Push W3C standard. This means that an “application server can send a push message at any time, even when a webapp or user agent is inactive,” according to the W3C standard abstract.

Parting shot: The FOSS Force 2016 fundraising effort is at $1,216, which is much too far away from our $3,700 goal for easy breathing. Please check out our new Membership Program, which offers you the chance to help us build a community around FOSS Force for a $25 contribution or just go directly to our Indiegogo campaign and give what you think FOSS Force is worth to you. As always, we appreciate your support.

That’s it for this week. Until next week — same time, same station — may the FOSS be with you…

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Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

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