I love dog food.
Nothing helps to improve the quality of software quite so much as when companies dive right in and live, day to day, in the software they create. This forces them to see, and understand, the pain their customers go through...and fix those problems. Read more
As someone who spends a great deal of time releasing new versions of software for Linux, packaging has become the bane of my existence.
Okay. That's not entirely fair. Package management on Linux is a pretty amazing thing. A flexible, consistent way to install (and update) software across an entire system? That's pretty killer. Read more
Every spring I make a pilgrimage up to Bellingham, Washington, for Linux Fest NorthWest. It's a great little, community driven event all about Linux. Okay. "Little" is the wrong word. This last weekend, Linux Fest NorthWest broke 1,500 attendees – their biggest attendance to date. That's over a thousand Linux nerds hanging out, attending sessions, going to tutorials and eating good food. Read more
Open Source software is great. On that, I am fairly confident, we can all agree. The ability to obtain and modify the source code to the software that you rely upon...well, it's a major win.
But there's something even better than access to the source code itself: seeing Open Source project teams, of what seem like competing tools, work together to make everyone's lives better. That is exactly what happened during this year's Libre Graphics Meeting in Madrid. Read more
A few days ago, Canonical posted a list of the top 10 paid software downloads from the Ubuntu Software Center, which makes now a pretty good time to talk about how sales of software are doing in the software store that is included in the world’s most popular version of Linux. Read more
This week, the team at Digia rolled out the first alpha release of Qt 5.1.
Side note: You may know "Qt" as the framework powering KDE.
Why is this so interesting? Why, with so much cool tech news going on in the world, should we care about an alpha release of a Point-One version of a software development toolkit? Read more
Yesterday, we saw the release of GNOME 3.8.
And with it came significant enhancements to searching, application launching, new privacy settings and some seriously major improvements to smoothness and performance of the user interface animations. These are all awesome things. Very awesome, in fact. But let's talk, for a moment, about one new feature in particular...
Classic Mode. Read more
Funding Open Source software isn't easy – heck, in some cases, it can be darn near impossible – but it is certainly a worthwhile goal. And, right now, we're seeing a number of people and organizations tackling this challenge. Read more
Playing a video game is fun. Winning a trophy is fun.
The makers of the major video game systems learned this lesson long ago. You can now earn "Trophies," "Badges" and "Achievements" in just about every video game on every console known to man.
Part of the fun of earning those rewards is to display them to the world – or, at least your close friends. Being able to taunt your, obviously inferior, friends with phrases like "Oh, you haven't beaten Bio-Terminator-Blast 5K on Mega-Crazy-Hard yet? Check this trophy out" is a truly enjoyable experience. Read more
I've made no secret about it: I love having Linux-powered phones and gadgets.
A big part of that draw for me is how customizable they tend to be. Custom themes, launchers, shell replacements... heck, in some mobile distributions of Linux you can even get a full desktop environmentup and running. I have both KDE and LXDE running on an old N900. Just because I can. (Who doesn't want to run a full desktop version of The Gimp on a 3-inch phone?) Read more
There are a number of great websites that report on Linux-related news. But sometimes it's nice to listen to your news while driving to work...or playing in the background while getting some actual work done.
For that, you need podcasts. But with so many out there, where do you start? With that question in mind, I present to you some of the best podcasts (both audio and video) that the Linux world has to offer. Read more
It’s hard to put a number on success. How much money does a technology company need to make in order to be considered successful?
On the Linux side of things there are (for many) three "big dogs" that we tend to think of: Canonical (Ubuntu), Red Hat (Fedora) and SUSE LLC (SUSE). Let’s take a look at how each of these companies are doing financially.
Some people buy phones and tablets because they want one operating system or another. This one runs iOS, that one runs Android. But isn’t it even more awesome when there are several options for operating systems that we can toss on our devices? Who wants to be limited to just one?
Luckily, for owners of Nexus hardware (such as the Nexus 4 and Nexus 7), the number of OS options is exploding. Read more
I have talked briefly, in past articles, of my laziness. This isn't mere hubris (or the lazy-man's version of hubris...which I could take two seconds to look up in the thesaurus... but... think of all those letters I'd have to type...). I truly am a lazy person. It, in large part, defines who I am as a man.
This laziness applies to my computing as well. Specifically: setting up new system installs. Read more
Commercial software going Open Source doesn't happen very often. In fact...I have a hard time thinking of good, successful examples off the top of my head. That's how rarely it happens.
Occasionally, someone makes a go of it, to take a good piece of closed source software and release the source code under a nice, open license. In fact, I did just that about a year ago. I tried to take a software development tool (along with some video games) that I had developed (and was earning a good living from) and migrate them to the GPL with continued development funded via donations. Read more
According to Canonical’s Kernel Team Manager, Leann Ogasawara, it is possible that Ubuntu will get rid of the current "new release every six months" model and move to a rolling release. (You can find more info in this recent video.)
Before we begin, let me just say that what you are about to read is, for lack of a better word, ridiculous. I know it is ridiculous. It is almost boundless in its ridiculousness. But I am going to write these words anyway.
This is the story of how a Linux user...switched to Windows 3.1. At least in part.
You read that right. Windows 3.1. Yes. That Windows 3.1. The 16-bit one that came out in 1992...over 20 years ago. Many of you will replay, "WHY?!?! Are you INSANE?!?!" And that would be a perfectly valid and warranted reply, punctuation and all. Read more
The Mozilla Foundation (in partnership with GeeksPhone) has just revealed that the first "Developer Preview" phones will be shipping with the new, Open Source, "Firefox OS" very, very shortly - possibly as early as just a few weeks from now.
A few things worth noting: Read more
Over on DistroWatch’s popularity ranking list of Linux Distro’s, you’ll find the top 10 dominated by familiar names like "Mint," "Ubuntu," and "Fedora." A little ways down you stumble across such names as "Pear," "Slax," and "Puppy."
Farther down still, nestled somewhere between "CrunchBang" and "Chakra" (seriously...we have some awesome project names in the Linux world), you’ll find Lubuntu, a spunky little Linux distro that deserves to be much, much more popular.
Here’s the basic overview of what Lubuntu is: Read more
Video editing on Linux has, for the expanse of recorded history, sucked eggs. This isn’t a terribly big secret.
Sure, we’ve had a variety of high-end, commercial-grade tools available that we all like to point at - such as Cinelerra (which I still can’t get to run properly) - in order to try to convince ourselves (and others) that the video editing situation on Linux is far less dire than it really has been. Read more