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News Bytes

By Michael Conry

News Bytes


Selected and formatted by Michael Conry

Submitters, send your News Bytes items in PLAIN TEXT format. Other formats may be rejected without reading. You have been warned! A one- or two-paragraph summary plus URL gets you a better announcement than an entire press release. Submit items to bytes@linuxgazette.net

Legislation and More Legislation

 FSFE Establishes Presence in Brussels

Free Software Foundation Europe has announced the employment of Ciaran O'Riordan on a full-time basis. This has been made possible through the success of FSFE's Fellowship campaign. Ciaran will work principally in Brussels and will focus on various issues of concern to the free software community. An example of this is the question of software patents, where he will collaborate with FFII.

Others interested in making a significant contribution to this work may be interested to learn that FSFE is recruiting for an intern.

Linux Links

As reported in LWN, FSF attorney Eben Moglen discussed the state of the GPL and software patents in at linux.conf.au. LWN's editor has called it one of the best talks he's seen in some time. In a related, but still relevant, article written in 2003 Moglen explained why software-controlled radios matter.

A reviewer installs Windows XP, compares it unfavourably to Linux.

Karsten Gerloff, an intern with Free Software Foundation Europe, has been keeping a blog describing the experiences and surprises he has encountered in his new job.

Bruce Perens says too many licences deter sharing.

Nokia's Linux forays.

Who's the most famous Finn? Well, one clue: the person in question is not a racing driver.

EU pledges EUR660k to understand Open Source.

News in General

 Advanced Bash Scripting Guide

A new version of the Advanced Bash Scripting Guide has been released. Distributed under a Free licence, and starting from basics, this guide describes through examples and practical projects how to get the most from your shell.

 Red Hat Open Sources Netscape Directory

Red Hat has announced that it is to open source the Netscape Directory software. Retitled Red Hat Directory Server, the release of this codebase is a valuable contribution to the open and free software community.

 LACFREE 2005 in Brazil

UNESCO in Brazil has announced that it will be partnering with a collection of other governmental and non-governmental Brazilian institutions to sponsor LACFREE 2005: Latin American and Caribbean Conference on the Development and Use of Free Software. This event will take place in Recife and Olinda, Brazil, from 28th September to 1st October 2005.

 FLOSS and Government

A new Free Software tool, supported by the UK Local E-democracy National Project of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, has recently been announced. GroupServer aims to combine e-mail lists and web forum technologies to allow diverse individuals and groups to participate online in shared discussions. The online forums already using this software provide a good demonstration of its practical application.

 Linux Kernel

The latest incarnation of the stable 2.6.x series of Linux Kernels has been made available. Linux, released on May 27th, includes a collection of fixes, constituting further minor changes to the original 2.6.11 release.

Those tracking the previous stable kernel series, 2.4.x, also have a new source tarball to play with. Released on the first of June, 2.4.31, can be downloaded from the usual mirrors.

Distro News


As we approach the launch of Debian's next stable release, the project has been pleased to announce the freeze of Sarge, the current testing release. What this means is that packages are now no longer being accepted into testing without hand-approval by a member of the release team. This surely points to an imminent new stable release. Certainly it would appear we can expect this to happen on a timescale of a week or two, though as always this final step will wait "until it's ready".


Linspire 5.0, a desktop-oriented Linux distribution, has been reviewed (very favourably in fact) at MSNBC.

 Linux From Scratch

The Linux From Scratch project, has announced that Clearly Open has published in a hard-copy, handy reference, format the documentation required to hand-build your own GNU/Linux system. Also included in the package is a CD containing the sources you need to get started. Clearly Open Linux From Scratch V.6.0 costs $19.99 and is available from CheapBytes.


Scientific Linux has been featured in NewsForge's My Workstation OS articles series.

Software and Product News


LIRC, or Linux Infrared Remote Control, has reached version 0.7.1.

 GNU Ghostscript

GNU Ghostscript, version 8.16, has been released. This release includes bug fixes as well as improved font rendering, and significantly better PDF generation and handling.


The Libtool Team have announced the release of GNU Libtool 1.5.18. This is largely a bugfix release, available for immediate download.


Mick is LG's News Bytes Editor.

[Picture] Originally hailing from Ireland, Michael is currently living in Baden, Switzerland. There he works with ABB Corporate Research as a Marie-Curie fellow, developing software for the simulation and design of electrical power-systems equipment.

Before this, Michael worked as a lecturer in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, University College Dublin; the same institution that awarded him his PhD. The topic of this PhD research was the use of Lamb waves in nondestructive testing. GNU/Linux has been very useful in his past work, and Michael has a strong interest in applying free software solutions to other problems in engineering.

Copyright © 2005, Michael Conry. Released under the Open Publication license unless otherwise noted in the body of the article. Linux Gazette is not produced, sponsored, or endorsed by its prior host, SSC, Inc.

Published in Issue 115 of Linux Gazette, June 2005

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