If you're using Matrox EpicA TC2 or EpicA TC4 graphics cards, you'll be pleased to know that new Linux drivers are available. This new driver features a new GUI control panel for configuring multiple displays with Matrox thin client solutions. The Matrox 1.4.5 Linux driver supports up to X.Org 7.2.0 and the Linux 2.6.20 kernel. More information on the Matrox 1.4.5 Linux Driver can be found in this press release.
A new snapshot of OpenMoko is available that is called OpenMoko 2007.2 "August Snapshot". This release offers a new user-interface and application set, gcc-based toolchain 4.1.2 with EABI, synchronized against org.openembedded.dev, and an easy upgrade path for OpenMoko. OpenMoko can now be upgraded using ipkg update && ipkg upgrade. On the new UI framework is a new dialer, contacts, today, calculator, and feed-reader programs. The new interface is designed to better support the FIC Neo1973 with the screen's ultra-high DPI capabilities, offer performance improvements, and rearranging where buttons and other options are displayed. While the new interface is available from their SVN repository or the latest snapshot, it's still said to be a work in progress. The announcement can be found on the OpenMoko mailing list along with the OpenMoko 2007.2 August snapshot. Remember, Google is also looking at OpenMoko for their mobile gPhone.
If you are a Linux user with an ATI Radeon X1000 "R500" graphics card and would like to help out the X.Org developers working on developing an open-source R500 driver, consider providing a VBE mode-setting dump. It takes barely no time, requires no development experience, and can go a long way in helping to work out the current issues in the Avivo driver. For more information read our article entitled Your First Date With Vbespy and post the dumps in this forum thread.
We told you at the end of July that GIMP 2.4.0 would be coming soon, and now the GIMP team has announced the first release candidate for GIMP 2.4.0. The first release candidate marks the point where all new features to be contained in GIMP 2.4.0 can be found and the GIMP API is now frozen. Left to be tackled before the final release of GIMP 2.4.0 are some bug fixes and "minor changes". The GIMP Bugzilla reports about nine open bugs left before GIMP 2.4.0. You can grab GIMP 2.4.0 RC1 from their official mirrors. It looks like GIMP 2.4.0 will be a late August or early to mid September release.
The first CUPS 1.3 release is now available with a great number of new features and other changes. CUPS 1.3.0 introduces Kerberos authentication, Zeroconf support, new web interfaces, Internet printer sharing, localized printer drivers, and new functions for various CUPS APIs. In total there are over 30 new features and changes in CUPS 1.3.0. This is also the first release since it was announced Apple acquired CUPS Printing.
BitTorrent 6.0 has been around now for a little over a week and today Slyck News is reporting new information and that BitTorrent is now closed-source. Older versions of BitTorrent remain open-source, but there will be no open-source version of BitTorrent 6. The President of BitTorrent, Ashwin Navin, has told Slyck News that there will always be an open-source version of BitTorrent but not necessarily the latest mainline version. BitTorrent blames those who take the source code and mixes it with spy-ware and those who resell the BitTorrent client for profit. Specifications for the latest BitTorrent protocol will, however, be available for those who obtain their SDK.
Version 1.8 of the ZFS Test Suite has been released, which is for testing the ZFS file-system on Solaris. The version 1.8 announcement can be read on the OpenSolaris Forums. It was back in June that the ZFS Test Suite was originally made available on OpenSolaris.org.
OpenBox 3.4.4 has been released with three new features and a handful of bug fixes. Vertical and horizontal padding sizes can now be specified independently in themes, a notification is displayed when switching desktops, and new focus stealing prevention are among the new features. For those out of the loop, OpenBox is a lightweight next-generation window manager that complies with FreeDesktop.org standards. More information on OpenBox 3.4.4 is available from Icculus.org.
Pidgin 2.1.0 has been released with a brand new conversations window interface. Pidgin's formatting tool-bar was completely redone. More information on the other Pidgin 2.1.0 changes are described at Ars Technica and at the Pidgin homepage.
The GIMP team is preparing for the release of GIMP 2.4.0. Today marks the release of GIMP 2.3.19, which fixes a host of issues to the point where most outstanding GIMP problems are now fixed or will be fixed in the very near future. The GIMP news file notes that long layer names in PSD files has been fixed, improved EXIF handling in the JPEG file plug-in, added control for the playback speed in the Animation Playback plug-in, improved rectangle tools, and improved print plug-in are just some of the changes. Download links and additional information is available from the GIMP site.
A regression in the GIMP 2.2 branch have led to the release of GIMP 2.2.17. Specifically, this release addresses a regression in the PSD loader and fixes a crash when loading a corrupt PSD file and a minor workaround for Pango. All the news in the GIMP 2.2 branch is available here and additional information from the GIMP homepage.
Michael Sweet has announced today on the CUPS website that Apple Inc has purchased the source-code to the Common UNIX Printing System and has hired him to continue work on CUPS. Michael went on to add that CUPS will continue to be released under GPL2/LGPL2 terms.
The Samba Team has announced today they will be adopting the GPLv3 and LGPLv3 licenses for all future versions of Samba. The next version of Samba planned was going to be Samba 3.0.26, but the first GPLv3 version will be in the Samba 3.2 branch. The Samba Team will continue to maintain the Samba 3.0 branch, but all future development efforts are focused on Samba 3.2 and later. The announcement of Samba adopting the GPLv3 and LGPLv3 license can be read at Samba News.
Less than a month after Apple had launched the iPhone, OpenMoko has launched the OpenMoko.com Store where you can now order the Neo Base Developer Preview. The first phone available through OpenMoko is the FIC Neo 1973. For $300 USD you can get the Neo Base that includes the mobile phone, but for $450 USD there is the Neo Advanced Kit. This launch is targeted for developers and Linux enthusiasts, while at a later time OpenMoko will be aimed for mass market sale. Additional information is available at OpenMoko.com.
Last year it was at Linux World Boston where the winners of the Source Forge Community Choice Awards were announced. Among the winners last year were Azureus, eMule, FileZilla, BitTorrent Queue Manager, A PHP Paypal API, WinSCP, phpMyAdmin, WINE, and GAIM. However, voting for the finalists year's Source Forge Community Choice Awards is now open. Among the finalists for 2007 include phpMyAdmin, Zimbra Collaboration Suite, ScummVM, Audacity, Pidgin, ISP Control Panel, Firebird, Xbox Media Center (XBMC), Tikiwiki, and Webmin. The two new award categories this year are Technical Support and Collaboration. The project winners for the 2007 SourceForge Community Choice Awards will be announced on July 26 at O'Reilly's OSCON 2007.
While not quite as popular as Mozilla Firefox or Thunderbird, Sunbird 0.5 was released earlier today by Mozilla. New in this latest calendar application is a much more polished user interface, working hours have returned, improved printing friendly functionality, support for Google Calendar, improved reliability, performance improvements, and usability improvements. Mozilla Sunbird 0.5 can also handle automatic migration of data from Sunbird 0.2, iCal, and Evolution. The release notes are available at Mozilla.org.
Released to OpenSolaris.org today was the ZFS Test Suite, Solaris Test Framework, Checkenv, and Runwattr test tools. Both the source-code and binary packages are available now from OpenSolaris.org. This announcement of the new OpenSolaris packages can be read on the forums.
The 1.4 Beta of Skype has entered the world for Linux with a number of improvements. Most noticeably, the Skype GUI has seen many improvements, and a number of new features. Some of the other features include animated emoticons, call forwarding, and status of birthday notifications are just some of the features. This Skype 220.127.116.11 Beta release has also seen a number of clean-ups and bug fixes. You can try it out at Skype.
It was only recently that the GIMP 2.3.17 development release was made available, but some crashes in GIMP 2.3.17 warranted a quick release of GIMP 2.3.18. Some of the other changes include adding support for loading .abr v6 Photoshop brushes, improved usability of color scales, and improved display quality of zoomed-out image view. More information is available at GIMP Developer.
While not completely Solaris related, this week Sun's CEO Jonathan Schwartz announced that Apple will be switching to the Solaris ZFS file-system as default for the upcoming "Leopard" version of Mac OS X. Apple will officially anounce the move to ZFS next week during Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference. More information is available at eWeek.
Another OpenBox 3.4 preview release is now available along with packages for a variety of Linux distributions. OpenBox 3.3.995 fixes a variety of bugs along with updating some translations. The change-log for OpenBox 3.3.995 is available here with the project being hosted at Icculus.org.
With GIMP 2.4.0 slowly approaching, the seventeenth development release in the GIMP 2.3 series is now available. GIMP 2.3.17 supports improved importing of multi-page TIFF files, reduced rounding errors in Blur routines, further improved parameter checks in the PDB, added support for loading .abr v2 Adobe Photoshop brushes, improved border behavior of the Blur tool, shows the brush outline at the Clone tool's source position, added libgimpbase API to retrieve the user's Pictures folder, added a shortcut to the user's Pictures folder, improved the quality of the Motion Blur filter, save paths in TIFF files, let the screenshot plug-in name the new layer after the window, use memory slices to reduce memory fragmentation, some code cleanup, and the usual assortment of bug fixes.
Samba 3.0.25 is now available for downloads and contains a collection of bug fixes along with several new features. Some of the new major features in Samba 3.0.25 include improvements in the winbind off-line log-on support, secure DDNS updates, rewritten IdMap interface, new plug-in interface, new file change notify subsystem, support for passing Windows security descriptors to a VPS plug-in, improved compatibility with Microsoft Windows Vista clients, and new IdMap and VFS plug-in man pages. There are also three security fixes present in this new product release. The Samba 3.0.25 release notes can be read here.
Blender, the open-source 3D modeling program, is now at version 2.44 with some interesting features. Among the new features in Blender 2.44 include new modifiers, the addition of some composite nodes, a revamp of the old mesh primitives, and most interestingly was the addition of sub-surface scattering support. Blender 2.44 is also fully 64-bit compatible. More information on this new open-source release can be read at Blender.org.
Earlier this week Bugzilla 3.0 was finally released by the Mozilla Foundation. Bugzilla 3.0 supports new custom fields, mod_perl support, skins, XML-RPC interface, automatic update notification, and much more. More information on version 3.0 is available here.
With a number of PHP vulnerabilities and bugs entering the public spotlight in recent times, PHP developers have announced the immediate availability of PHP 5.2.2 along with PHP 4.4.7. The new PHP 4 release consists of about 10 bug fixes, but the new PHP 5 release contains over 120 bug fixes! Outside of bug squashing, PHP 5.2.2 also features improvements to the PHP memory manager, GD / SQLite / PCRE library updates, and additional methods being added to two SPL classes. The release announcement for PHP 5.2.2 can be read here and here for PHP 4.4.7.
If Enlightenment is your window manager of choice, be sure to head on over to SourceForge and grab the update for Enlightenment E16 0.16.8.7 along with epplets v0.10. There are a number of bug fixes in this Enlightenment release, but two of them include an option for showing windows on all desks in the focus list and the CM now rendering to the composite overlay window.
With the legal issues regarding GAIM now settled, the Pidgin (GAIM) development team is free to release Pidgin 2.0. Pidgin 2.0 comes after being in development for two years and features a brand new user interface, a new status management system, universal buddy icon management, a smooth scrolling system, and many more improvements. Pidgin 2.0.0 for all major platforms is available from SourceForge.
If you're wanting to see what new things you can expect from Skype, an Alpha 1.4 release of Skype is now available for all Linux users. Skype 1.4 Alpha is the first test version of the next major Skype release. While there is already a stack of known bugs and missing features, some of the improvements in Skype 1.4 include a major user interface overhaul, audio quality improvements, calls are now contained in a separate window, file transfers are grouped to a common window, and a few other small changes. More information and download links are available here.
Over at Kernel Trap is the Linux kernel mailing list message along with a brief summary that highlights the current status of the ext4 journaled file-system. Development has been going a bit slow and the complete closure on the fallocate system call calling convention isn't yet reached. A number of ext4 patches are currently under review as well. Recently we had also passed along a development update on the status of the Reiser4 file-system.
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