Open Ballot: freedom or function?

TuxRadar

For our next podcast, we want to know whether the primary reason you use open source software is for its freedom or for its function. It's a choice between the freedom to potentially redistribute and modify the code, and the festival of functionality that can be found within most open source software when compared against other tools at the same price.

We realise that, for most, the answer is likely to be a mixture of both, but we're interested in which you think is the most important. If you'd like your views read out on our podcast, please post your answer below. Anonymous Penguins post at their own peril.

Text editing with Nano made easy

Command line

Nano supports syntax highlighting. Nano supports text justification. And yet, Nano is so much easier than Emacs or Vim. Discover the hidden power of this versatile command line text editor - you may never want to go back to the GUI again! Oh, and it's well worth knowing a great CLI text editor too - if you end up at the shell prompt with X not working, you'll need a backup plan. Here are the tricks, tips and shortcuts you need to know...

Podcast Season 2 Episode 10

Podcast

Title: Japanese giant flying squirrel

In this episode: Fedora 13 is out. Google drops the Windows option for new staff and yet Windows is still doing well as a server. Discover how we fared with a minority distribution and we tout our ideas on how Linux devices can beat Apple's iPad.

Podcast Season 2 Episode 9

Podcast

Title: Google Gaggle

In this episode: We discuses the three big Linux-related announcements from Google. We present our amazing discoveries from the last fortnight and ask whether anyone is excited by the HP Slate.

Say hello to Fedora 13

Fedora

Yes, it slipped by a couple of weeks - but perhaps that's not such a bad thing when you've got bugs to fix very close to a release, eh Ubuntu? So, Fedora 13 is here, and hopefully the release number won't bring bad luck for the world's third most popular distro. As with previous versions, there's a live CD along with a more beefy DVD version, and you can grab it from here. The biggest changes include: Shotwell, a new photo management tool that replaces F-Spot; Pino, a microblogging client for Identi.ca and Twitter; a new scanning utility; the Nouveau video driver for NVIDIA cards; and wider PackageKit integration (so that, for example, the Brasero disc burner can grab codecs from the internet if need be). Full list of changes after the break.

Open Ballot: are you excited by HP's Slate?

TuxRadar

With the news that HP intends to use Linux-based WebOS on its Slate tablet, do you think this is Linux's big chance to take on Apple's iPad, or do you think WebOS on Palm Pre didn't do enough to justify you parting with your cash to buy a Slate? Or do you perhaps think that an Android tablet has a better chance of success?

If you'd like your views read out on our podcast, please post your answer below and make sure you use a name other than Anonymous Penguin.

How Linux works: the ultimate guide

Linux

Ever wanted to learn how the internals of your Linux desktop work? Yes, we've already published detailed "how it works" articles about things like sound, the kernel, LVM, PAM and filesystems, but in this article we're going to take a wider view and explain how everything in a modern Linux distro works, start to finish.

We've opted for a top-down view, tackling each stratum of Linux technology from the desktop to the kernel as it appears to the average user. This way, you can descend from your desktop comfort zone into the underworld of Linux archaeology, where we'll find plenty of relics from the bygone era of multi-user systems, dumb terminals, remote connections and geeks gone by. We're also going to be showing you some commands you can use to poke around on your own system, because where's the point of learning stuff you can't use?

This is one of the things that makes Linux so interesting: you can see exactly what has happened, why and when. This enables us to dissect the operating system in a way we couldn't attempt with some alternatives, while at the same time, you learn something about why things work the way they do on the surface. Sound awesome? Sure it does - read on!

Code Project: build a PyGTK language translator

Code

Once you understand the basics of PyGTK, you can make some neat apps just by drawing upon some of the incredible APIs that are available from well-known companies such as Facebook, Twitter and Yahoo. In this video tutorial you'll learn how to work with Google's Translate API, which can translate a huge range of languages on the fly, then back up your knowledge with a simple PyGTK user interface that puts a pretty face on it all.

Code Project: build a PyGTK RSS reader

Code

As we saw in part one of this video series, Python makes it easy to create GTK apps. Well, it turns out that Python also makes it easy to read XML from the web, which means we can make something like an RSS reader in no time at all. In this video tutorial you'll learn how to work with XML, using RSS as an example, while also learning how GTK handles data in multi-line text fields and combo boxes.

This tutorial is dedicated to Evan, who donated at least $50 to support free software - if you want to see more video tutorials like this one, all you have to do is donate to support the Libre Graphics Meeting. Easy!

Help support free software - donate today!

TuxRadar

Not everyone can contribute code, documentation or bug reports to free software projects. But there are other ways to support the community, one of which is by making a small donation. The Libre Graphics Meeting (LGM) is an annual working conference for free software graphics application users and developers. The fifth meeting takes place 27-30 May 2010 in Brussels, Belgium. Teams from GIMP, Inkscape, Blender, Krita, Scribus, Hugin, Open Font Library and many other graphics projects will gather to improve their software and discuss new ideas for interoperability and shared standards.

The problem is, it costs money to cover travel costs for the volunteer developers and presenters that would otherwise not be able to travel to Belgium, and they need to raise $10,000 to help everyone get there. So, if you want to do your part to contribute just a little bit to the future of free software, please donate to their cause - every donation, even $10, helps.

All donations are tax deductible for US taxpayers. Larger donations from corporations and individuals can be done through the website or by contacting them directly at lgm@gnome.org. You can read more information at www.libregraphicsmeeting.org.

To encourage you to donate, we're going to make a simple promise: for every TuxRadar user who donates $50 or more, we'll produce another video tutorial like this one for the site. All you have to do is forward us the confirmation email from Pledgie for a contribution made between today and the start of LGM. So, you help the community, more top developers get to attend LGM and come up with awesome new ideas, and the world gets a new tutorial from TuxRadar - everyone's a winner!

Donate to support free software!

Podcast Season 2 Episode 8

Podcast

Title: Humble Bumble

In this episode: Mandriva is up for sale while Android phones are outselling iPhones in the USA. Judge our TuxRadar content challenge and we ask, should distros license codecs?

The Great Underground Empire

Open Source

The Great Underground Empire

(Graham's entry for the podcast challenge)

> r

“Stop Roon, we’ve gone too far.”

“No we haven't Teo, we’re right where we’re supposed to be.”

The glistening hull of the Capello stopped for the first time in 10.5 years. The distant sun piercing the metallic frame of the craft, green plasma rolling off the cylinder in fading arcs, flickering into the darkness.

Open Ballot: should distros license codecs?

TuxRadar

So, Canonical has licensed H.264 for its partners. Is it a good thing? Should more distros strike deals that allow end users to play DVDs, watch Flash movies and more out of the box, or is it more important that we take a united stand in the name of Free Software and support free codecs like Theora?

We're due to record our next podcast in just under three hours, so don't delay - post your comment below and we'll read out the best on the show. Don't forget to use a name other than "Anonymous Penguin" otherwise we may just ignore you.

Opinion: Competition vs cohesion

Open Source

What's more important for the success of Linux: competition between the various components and projects involved, or co-operation to present a unified front in the battle for the desktop? How do we ensure a good balance between the two? Read on for Mike Saunders's entry for the podcast challenge, and let us know what you think in the comments.

Python + PyGTK + WebKit in 20 minutes

Code

In season 2 episode 7 of our podcast we laid down the simple challenge for each of the four podcasters - Andrew, Graham, Paul and Mike - to produce something original for the website. Paul - eager to show the world how much he, er, loves Python - has now finished his entry, and you'll find it below: a video talking you through how to get started with Python, PyGTK and WebKit. It's easier than you think!

Humble Indie Bundle - last chance to buy!

Games

You have just 10 hours left to buy the Humble Indie Bundle - a collection of six indie games that run on Windows, Mac and Linux. No, they aren't open source, but we think there are four important reasons why you should seriously consider investing:

  1. You get to pay what you want. Even $0.01 gives you a licence for all the games on all the platforms.
  2. You get to choose how much of that money goes to charities, including Childs Play and the EFF. The default split is 50/50: half to the developers, half to charity, but you can customise that if you like.
  3. If you want to encourage more people to make commercial games for Linux, this is your big chance - send them some cash and you're helping fund the next generation of Linux games. And, yes, you do get to tell them you're running Linux as opposed to Mac/Windows, so they know for sure.
  4. It includes World of Goo, which we already told you is absolutely awesome on Linux.

But you know what really makes us proud? Right now, the average Windows user paid $7.74 for the games. The average Mac user paid $10.06. But the average Linux user? Well, we paid $14.24 - and we're accounting for 25% of all their sales, too. Yes, that means Linux users are almost twice as generous as Windows users, and remember - half the money goes to charity!

So, please pop over to the Humble Indie Bundle and buy it while you still can.

Podcast Season 2 Episode 7

Podcast

Title: Passive Electioneering

In this episode: Lucid Lynx, Ubuntu 10.04, is nearly here. And Valve might be porting Steam to Linux. Discover how we coped with two weeks of Z shell and what we think is the biggest threat to Linux.

Open Ballot: what is the biggest threat to the future of Linux?

TuxRadar

For our next podcast, we'd like to know what you think is the biggest threat to the future of Linux. We'll discuss the results, along with our own ideas, in our next episode, available on Thursday. Please leave some sort of name alongside your thoughts so that we don't end up reading out 20 comments from Anonymous Penguin!

Discover the new features in Ubuntu 10.04, the Lucid Lynx

Ubuntu

Ubuntu 10.04 is just around the corner, and it's shaping up to be one of the most eagerly awaited (and controversial) releases in the distro's history. What new goodies are included? How does it tap into the ever-expanding world of social networking? And most importantly, can you move those window control buttons back to the right of the titlebar, as nature intended? Read on for the gory details...

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