Also included: Canonical joins The Document Foundations advisory board, Chromium coming to Fedora, OpenVZ now a complete Linux distro and GNU Linux-libre Kernel 4.7 released.
FOSS Week in Review
It’s not FOSS, but I reckon the biggest story in tech this week, ignoring claims of Russia hacking for Trump, is the sale of Yahoo to Verizon for $4.8 billion. Considering that traffic watcher Alexa says the site is the fifth most visited address on the web, that seems like something of a bargain to me. Add to that Yahoo’s prime Silicon Valley real estate and the price seems to be in the “it fell of the truck” category. The sale puts Verizon in control of both America Online and Yahoo, so I suspect we’ll be seeing Verizon trying to compete with Google and Bing for a share of the search advertising market.
Meanwhile in the world of FOSS…
LibreOffice has been in the news this week. The big story, which we first heard on Tuesday, is that Canonical has joined The Document Foundation’s advisory board. In case you’re new in town, TDF is the nonprofit that controls the development of LibreOffice.
Canonical’s signing on isn’t really surprising, as the distro developer and TDF have a long history, going back to when LibreOffice began life as an OpenOffice fork in 2010. As well, Björn Michaelsen, who works full time as Ubuntu’s LibreOffice maintainer, is already an advisory board member. Canonical has already announced that the next release of the office suite will be one of the first applications to be offered as a snap package.
We also learned this week that the next version of LibreOffice, version 5.2, is due to be released on Wednesday. This release will feature quite a few changes, including the addition of an optional single toolbar mode and new spreadsheet functions for Calc. You can take a gander at some of the new features in the video from The Document Foundation included below.
Speaking of new releases, we learned yesterday that the Xfce edition of Linux Mint 18 is “almost ready.” That’s the news from Mint’s head honcho Clement Lefebvre who says “the last bug fixes got in the repository today and we’re getting ready for a stable release.” It looks like we might see a release early next week, if not before.
Although the Mint folks usually release their KDE edition at the same time as Xfce, that won’t be the case this go-round. Lefubvre explains, “There are so many differences between KDE 4 and Plasma 5, we’ve had to work on this edition as if it was a brand new product, inheriting very little from the past and with each component being added one at a time.” Expect a beta release in August.
We’ve also heard from Software Freedom Kosova, which tells us it’s issued this year’s call for speakers, which will be open through September 15. This will be the seventh year for the Kosovo event, which aims to “promote free/libre open source software, free culture and open knowledge” — all laudable goals in my estimation. Potential speakers should know “the topic must be related to free software and hardware, open knowledge and culture.” Mike DuPont, the SFK member who made us aware of the event, told FOSS Force, “There might be travel expenses for qualified speakers.” The event will take place October 21-23.
Another day, another distro: The Linux virtualization software, OpenVZ, released version 7.0 on Monday and is now “a complete Linux distribution” based on VzLinux. According to the developers: “The main difference between the Virtuozzo (commercial) and OpenVZ (free) versions are the EULA, packages with paid features, and Anaconda installer.”
Quick takes: According to Phoronix, at long last the Chromium web browser is on the way into Fedora, but there are a couple of technical issues to work out first…. The totally free-as-in-freedom GNU Linux-libre Kernel 4.7 was released on Sunday.
Parting shot: Did you hear the news back in May that Jono Bacon abruptly left his position as community manager at GitHub? We’re talking the same Jono Bacon who was community manager at Canonical forever and spent a respectable amount of time at XPRIZE. You know, the Jono Bacon who speaks at just about every major Linux and Open Source conference everywhere. Yeah, that Jono Bacon. He’s landed on his feet and is self-employed now.
He also just did a video interview with Robin Miller this week here on FOSS Force. It appears that the two are old buddies, so they got carried away, making the interview the longest, at over 30 minutes, that Miller’s ever done for us. It’s a hoot to watch, a real page turner I’d say if it were a book. Check it out.
Well, the Dems are done in Philly, the Reps are done in Cleveland and I’m done here until next week. Until next time, may the FOSS be with you…