Scott Gilbertson

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Firefox Quantum: BIG browser project, huh? I share your concern

Open source insider Mozilla has been rolling out a major change to Firefox during the last year, the results of what the company calls its Electrolysis project. Electrolysis gives Firefox something Chrome has had for years now – multiple processes (in the best case scenario that's per tab). The change is a boon for speed – somewhere Firefox has …
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Is your AI being handed to you by Google? Try Apache open source – Amazon's AWS did

Open Source Insider Surprisingly, the MXNet Machine Learning project was this month accepted by the Apache Software Foundation as an open-source project. What's surprising about the announcement isn't so much that the ASF is accepting this face in the crowd to its ranks – it's hard to turn around in the software world these days without tripping …
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Two words, Mozilla: SPEED! NOW! Quit fiddling and get serious

Opinion The Mozilla Foundation has recently announced that it will refocus its development efforts on Firefox. Again. I know what you're thinking, what the heck else does Mozilla have to focus on? Well, you'd be hard pressed to find any evidence of it, but the company has been concentrating on building Firefox OS, which was supposed …
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SQL Server on Linux? HELL YES! Linux on Windows 10? Meh

Once the second biggest enemy of Linux (SCO Group takes top honours), Microsoft is positively giddy about not just supporting Linux but actually building tools that run Linux in Windows and about putting previously Windows-only software on Linux. You can run Ubuntu inside Windows 10, install CoreOS and Docker containers inside …
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Oh, the things Vim could teach Silicon Valley's code slingers

Open Source Insider Vim text editor turned 25 late last year – the first public iteration was launched on November 2, 1991, a couple of weeks after Linus Torvalds announced Linux. To celebrate Vim's anniversary, creator Bram Moolenaar recently dropped version 8.0. Ordinarily the update of a text editor wouldn't be worth mentioning, but this is …

Fedora 25: You've got that Wayland feelin', oh, that Wayland feelin'

Fedora 25 is the first of the major Linux distros to employ the Wayland graphics stack by default. Wayland is one of the biggest low-level changes to hit Linux distros in recent memory and what's most remarkable at least when it comes to Fedora 25 is the move is almost totally transparent. Provided your graphics card is …
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OpenStreetView? You are no longer hostage to Google's car-driven vision

Open Source Insider One of the great bright lights of open-source software and user-driven community projects is OpenStreetMap, which offers an open-source mapping platform similar to, but also very philosophically different than, Google Maps. It manages to duplicate most of Google Maps using primarily the contributions of enthusiastic users, too …
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Arch Linux: In a world of polish, DIY never felt so good

Dig through the annals of Linux journalism and you'll find a surprising amount of coverage of some pretty obscure distros. Flashy new distros like Elementary OS and Solus garner attention for their slick interfaces, and anything shipping with a MATE desktop gets coverage by simple virtue of using MATE. Thanks to television …
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Put Firefox DE and Chromium in blender. Devs... Is it pure Blisk?

Open Source Insider Firefox Developer Edition offers a fantastic array of tools for web developers. From profiling memory use to debugging WebSocket and other HTML5 APIs, Firefox DE is a very useful tool. Developer Edition is, of course based on Firefox, which isn't to every developer's liking. To say Firefox is slower than Chromium is, in my …

Ubuntu 16.10: Yakkety Yak... Unity 8's not wack

Canonical's Ubuntu 16.10, codenamed "Yakkety Yak", is nowhere near as chunky an update as 16.04 LTS was earlier this year. But that doesn't mean there's nothing new. In fact, the firm's second release of the year has quite a few fresh features to hold users over until the bright and shiny future of Unity 8 and Mir arrive some …
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The web is past peak innovation: It's all negative returns from here

Open Source Insider In all the years I have been using FOSS software, the most common complaint I've seen about FOSS software is that the "design" is "terrible", "laughable" or some witticism about forks and eyes. What's interesting about this criticism isn't its longevity, that's to be expected since for most of the people registering this …
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Unimpressed with Ubuntu 16.10? Yakkety Yak... don't talk back

Before I dive into what's new in Ubuntu 16.10, called Yakkety Yak, let's just get this sentence out of the way: Ubuntu 16.10 will not feature Unity 8 or the new Mir display server. I believe that's the seventh time I've written that since Unity 8 was announced and here we are on the second beta for 16.10. Maybe that's why …
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Fork YOU! Sure, take the code. Then what?

Open source insider There's an old adage in the open source world – if you don't like it, fork it. This advice, often given in a flippant manner, makes it seem like forking a piece of software is not a big deal. Indeed, forking a small project you find on GitHub is not a big deal. There's even a handy button to make it easy to fork it. Unlike …
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Looking good, Gnome: Digesting the Delhi in our belly

GNOME 3.20, released recently, sees the project beginning to find its footing again. It has been a long road from GNOME 2 to GNOME 3.20 and there's been plenty to complain about along the way - there still are things worthy of complaint - but 3.20 is the first release in a long time that feels like GNOME has its mojo back. …
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Fedora 24 is here. Go ahead – dive in

Review Fedora 24 is here, packing not just the standard group of changes familiar to any distro update, but also changes to fundamental elements. The biggest news in the default desktop version that I looked at – called Fedora Workstation 24 – is GNOME 3.20 and the continuing improvements to support for Wayland, the graphic stack …
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Facebook's turbo-charged Instant Articles: Another brick in the wall

Facebook recently opened up its Instant Articles platform to all publishers after an early test run with an anointed few publishers. In a nutshell, it strips out everything a publisher has festooned across their site. In its current form, it uses a specially crafted RSS feed to reformat articles for Facebook. The result is a …
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The fork? Node.js: Code showdown re-opens Open Source wounds

Open Source Insider Open source software rarely receives the kind of attention that the press lavishes on the latest hot new thing blessed by Silicon Valley venture capitalists. Yet these projects are the foundations of the web world. Without open source there would be no Slack, no Medium, no Github. Nor would there be Google, Facebook, or much …
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A perfect marriage: YOU and Ubuntu 16.04

Before I dive into what's new in Ubuntu 16.04, it's worth pausing to reflect on what's missing: Scopes online search, now off by default. That means no more potentially socially awkward search results when all you really wanted was to open Brasero (speaking of which, Brasero is gone too). Scopes, introduced four years ago, …
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Go nuts, brother: Ubuntu 16.04 beta – no more auto data-spaffing

Review Ubuntu 16.04, named after a type of African ground squirrel, Xenial Xerus, is here – in beta. And with it come welcome upgrades, quite a few new applications and upgraded features to Ubuntu. Some other, noteworthy aspects, meanwhile, have gone missing. Xenial Xerus is the first significant update to the Ubuntu desktop in two …
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Slack smackback: There's no IRC in team (software), say open-sourcers

Open-source software is not possible without collaboration and collaboration is not possible without communication. Collaborative communication in open source projects typically means some form of distributed chat. In the past, and indeed the present for most projects, that has meant IRC. IRC has some disadvantages, though, …
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Solus: A welcome ground-up break from the Linux herd

Review The Linux world is full of spin-offs, clones and branded distros. The most famous lineage is Mint, based on Ubuntu, which is in turn based on Debian. What's less common is entirely new distros, starting from zero and building their own stack. That's exactly what Solus has done. That's not to say Solus doesn't, like any …
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Baby Ubuntus toddle forth into the big scary world of beta

Review Canonical's next version of Linux-based operating system Ubuntu has hit its first beta stage – and while Ubuntu's Unity release is sitting out its first beta, as is Kubuntu, there are plenty of changes and new features in the rest of the Ubuntu family. This release cycle is gearing up for the next Long Term Support release, …
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Crowd-funded OpenShot 2.0 delivers graphic Linux package

Review It's been nearly two and a half years since the OpenShot video editor released an update. The long-awaited OpenShot 2.0 was beginning to feel like vaporware until a Kickstarter campaign raised more than $45,000 and promised a cross-platform release. The Kickstarter backers got their first look at OpenShot 2.0 beta at the end …
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Remember WordPress' Pingbacks? The W3C wants us to use them across the whole web

Something called Webmentions – which looks remarkably like the old WordPress pingbacks, once popular in the late 2000s – is grinding through the machinery of the mighty, and slow-moving, World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). But don’t be deceived. Lurking behind that unassuming name lies something that might eventually offer users …
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Containers! Containers! Containers! And RHEL 7.2. Employ as you wish

Review Red Hat closed 2015 with an update to Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) that bumps the venerable distro to version 7.2. That might sound innocuous but don't let the minor version number fool you, with huge leaps in software versions, a newfound love of all things cloud container and systemd updates under the hood, this is one of …

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