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Weekend Wrap: OpenSuse plans, KDE4 gets serious, open source microblogging and more …

By   |  March 8, 2009

With week 10 firmly behind us it’s time for a short review of what has been. It was a week that started off slowly with free software magazine news and downloads but picked up pace as it headed for the weekend. By the end of the week OpenSuse had named its future releases, announced a new release schedule, we had a new free software microblogging platform and Firefox had not only added a new beta for Firefox 3.1 but had decided to rename it 3.5.

Retailers: Undermining Linux?

That’s the question that guest writer Nic Ludick put asked this week. Judging by many of the comments it seems there are many that agree with him that retailers could be doing more damage to the reputation of Linux than good. But not everyone agrees. OStatic writer Kristin Shoemaker was one reader who had her own take on the debate.

KDE4 in various guises

It seems that KE4 is now finally emerging from under the dark cloud of negativity that has dogged the early 4.x series releases. Many KDE fans have, over the past year, expressed unhappiness at the direction that KDE4 was taking. But it seems that with the release of KDE 4.2 many of these reservations are fading. The Linux Mint project this week announced its first KDE4-based release candidate and the KDE team added a little more polish to its KDE 4.2 series with the bugfix KDE 4.2.1 release.

See also: KDE 4.2 out, not just for enthusiasts say developers and our long-running KDE3.5 .vs KDE4 poll.

Firefox woes turn into 3.5

Firefox 3.1 has hit snag after snag over the past few weeks. Originally only three beta releases were planned for the new browser but after problems the development team announced last week that it was planning a fourth beta. This week the team said it planned to release Firefox 3.1 as Firefox 3.5 to better reflect the amount of changes added to latest release.

Get all the week’s top news, including a wrap of open source news from elsewhere on the Web, every Friday in your inbox by subscribing to the Tectonic Newsletter.

OpenSuse plans ahead

Of late OpenSuse has been in the news for many reasons, some of them not all good. Mostly these negative reports have been speculative pieces that suggested that Novell’s layoffs would undermine the OpenSuse project. OpenSuse’s Joe Brockmeier has, however, responded to these suggestions by saying that while the layoffs had affected the OpenSuse community, Novell was still committed to the future of the distribution. To date Novell has confirmed 100 layoffs out of its staff of 4 200.

In more positive news, the OpenSuse development team this week announced that it would now follow a fixed release schedule, much like distributions such as Fedora, Mandriva and Ubuntu. OpenSuse’s Stephan Kulow said that the community had decided to adopt an eight-month rotating cycle with the first release being OpenSuse 11.2 in November. The team also announced its plans for “Fichte”, the OpenSuse 11.2 release.

Initiative of the week

New initiative of the week goes to SA free software advocate Karl Fischer with his FLOSS.pro microblogging service for open source professionals. Built on the free software Laconica platform, FLOSS.pro is a Twitter-like service that aims to fill a gap between usergroup mailing lists and mass microblogging services such as Twitter.

Want to see what readers are discussing on Tectonic? Catch up with the comment roundup.

From the archives: A year ago

Looking back a year, March 2008’s most popular stories were: Sun Microsystem’s Microsoft Office ODF plugin, cloning disks with Clonezilla, backing up Linux with ease and the South African minister that slammed software patents.

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