How closely did you follow the news about Linux and free and open source software this week? You can get an idea about how well informed you are (and have some fun in the process) by taking our weekly Open Source News Quiz. Once you’re done, scroll down to the comments section and let us know how you did!
#1. What emerging general purpose Linux distribution that was thought to have died on the vine announced this week that it was back on track with a new development roadmap?
About a month ago the website Debugpoint reported that Cutefish OS, an under-development Linux distribution that would feature its own homegrown desktop environment, apparently had been abandoned. On Sunday, the same website reported that the project was officially back in business:
“On July 31st, the main GitHub repo of Cutefish OS is updated with the following:
Your Favorite CutefishOS are back now！
New website in the works (coming soon)”
The last not-ready-for-prime-time release was 0.8. There will probably be a 0.9 to fix some issues with the keyboard, settings windows, Flatpak apps, and so forth. After that we’ll see if this fish can fly!
#2. What open source operating system that's said to be able to operate on computers built as long ago as the late 1980s recently had its first release in 15 months?
On August 10, when the latest and greatest NetBSD 9.3 was released, El Reg pointed out that the new release offers new and updated drivers, improved hardware support (including for some recent AMD and Intel processors), and better handling of suspend and resume.
Pretty typical stuff, eh? Yup, until they wrote:
“The next sentence in the release announcement, though, might give some readers pause: ‘Support for wsfb-based X11 servers on the Commodore Amiga.'”
Ready to upgrade your old Commodore?
#3. What company did Peter Zaitsev, founder and CEO of Percona, call out this week for calling the fauxpen proprietary Elastic License open source?
The company was StarRocks, which is something of a competitor to Percona as it supplies real-time SQL engines for analytics.
Li Kang, a StarRock’s VP, responded by commenting, “Duly noted. This is an honest mistake on our end. In that page we actually explained our license. But nevertheless we missed the menu.
“Will ask the web team to correct it. And thanks for pointing it out!”
We love a happy ending.
#4. The recently introduced “Patent Eligibility Restoration Act” seeks to make it possible to get a patent for just about any process "done on a computer." What 2014 court ruling would this effectively negate?
The answer is Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank. For more information, read this article from Electronic Frontiers Foundation.
#5. What free online product has been accused of showing results for anti-abortion clinics when people attempt to find an abortion clinic online?
According to Bloomberg, Google Maps shows results for anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) when users search for a nearby abortion clinic. These are organizations that don’t provide abortions but instead attempts to persuade people not to have an abortion, often by using misinformation. For more information, read this article.
#6. What FOSS office suite that can trace its code lineage back to a proprietary StarWriter app from the 1990s celebrated the release of version 7.4 this week?
LibreOffice on Thursday announced the release of version 7.4 here. LibreOffice started life as a fork of OpenOffice, an open source application started by Sun Microsystems and based on Star Office, which it had purchased from Germany-based Star Division in 1999. The Star Office suite initially grew out of the StarWriter word processor. The naming of all of the components in StarOffice, OpenOffice, and LibreOffice are the same: Writer, Calc, Impress, Base, etc.
#7. Greg Kroah-Hartman, the Linux kernel's stable maintainer and second in command to Linus Torvalds, this week suggested avoiding laptops using what processor?
The answer is Intel Alder Lake.
In an article published Monday, Phoronix’s Michael Larabel explained, “While much of the Alder Lake laptop support for Linux is in good shape, the exception is around web cameras. These newer laptops with Intel’s latest web-camera tech are not currently supported by the mainline kernel and require proprietary software for use. Some platforms like Ubuntu and ChromeOS are picking up these blobs for now while a proper open-source, upstream solution is likely months — or likely about one year — away.”
Kroah-Hartman’s statement came in a thread on the Linux kernel list started by Paul Menzel, who explained the situation with Alder Lake processors, finishing with the statement: “With the current situation I can only recommend to
FLOSS users to *not* buy these devices.”
To which Libcamera developer Laurent Pinchart replied, “For the time being, I agree with your recommendation to not buy these devices if you care about camera support.”
This prompted Kroah-Hartman to write, “I second this, don’t buy these devices if the vendor is not willing to get their drivers upstreamed properly.”
Later on in the thread, after it was joined by a Google engineer, Kroah-Hartman reaffirmed his position: “Ok, so getting this merged is a good year out at the best, realistically 2 years given that once you submit the first version for review, the real work will start happening.
“So I’ll stick with my original statement, don’t buy this hardware as the vendors don’t seem to want to upstream the drivers any time soon :(“
#8. What Linux distribution announced this week that it now makes .NET available on its latest and greatest version?
The answer is Ubuntu.
If this had been SUSE back in the day when it was owned by Novell, we’d still be writing negative things about it today. By the same token, if Hanes Mills had opened an underwear factory in Hanoi in 1969, we’d be still be giving that negative coverage today too, even though we now import all sorts of clothing from Vietnam-based factories.
In other words: times change.
#9. What FOSS painting software released version 5.1 of it's app on Thursday?
Krita. In announcing the release, the project said, “This release sees updates to usability across the board, improved file format handling, and a whole lot of changes to the selection and fill tools.” Learn more here.
Ya done good! The way we figure it, Red Hat’s probably got a job for you. You know your open source news!
Oops! Not so good. We suggest you follow our Christine Hall on Twitter (@BrideOfLinux). She’ll keep you up-to-date.