not all change is progress
May 26, 2014
Direct download links: MP3 & Ogg
KolibriOS – baby ‘buntus – Elizabeth Krumbach Joseph interviewNews
Confirmed: Next 3 Linux Mint Releases Will Be Based On Ubuntu
wattOS 8.0 dumps Ubuntu base for Debian
Dogecoin off the leash after Doge Vault admits server
Bitcoin Is Hiring Lobbyists
Bitcoin Foundation Hit by Resignations Over New Director
In the Bitcoin world, half the wealth belongs to the 0.1 percent
A New Unity 8 Version Of Ubuntu Proposed
Canonical offers ‘Chuck Norris Grade’ OpenStack private cloud service
Canonical Orange Box
Canonical Juju DevOps tool coming to CentOS and Windows
Adobe’s Cloud Outage Angers Users
Cloud computing is FAIL and here’s why
Reconciling Mozilla’s Mission and W3C EME
Firefox’s adoption of closed-source DRM breaks my heart
FSF condemns partnership between Mozilla and Adobe to support Digital Restrictions Management; so does the EFF
Mozilla Foundation’s justification for their US tax exempt status (2.4MB PDF)
eBay Inc. To Ask eBay Users To Change Passwords
EBay asks 145 million users to change passwords after cyber attack
LibreSSL at BSDCan (video)
Embedded Linux Conference 2014;
audio now up
Tim Bird’s keynote calling for a kernel fork (actual talk starts @ 26:40, worth listening to 5 mins from 53:27)
Bradley Kuhns’s declaration of “a ground war” against GPL non-compliance (from 42:06 )
Joe took a look at the assembly-coded KolibriOS, and handed Paddy openmamba GNU/Linux for next time.
A huge thank you to Guillaume Beaudin and Daniel Asante for the PayPal donations, and to our anonymous Flattrers.
SonOfNed shared Paddy’s concerns over systemd and the path that Debian is treading. Jens Klün told us about Podlove and Auphonic, two services that might be of interest to those starting out in podcasting.
Manfred Nilsson requested a show index on our website; there’s one up there now. Andy Mitchell, like Joe, has been suffering with screen blanking issues on a box running Xfce4’s native window manager, which he eventually tracked down to VLC.
Richard and Steven Rosenberg have both been suffering with Skype issues; Richard on Xubuntu, and Steven on Fedora. Since PulseAudio always works flawlessly, I guess they’re both holding it wrong ;)
Jack Dennahower is chuckling his way through The UNIX-Haters Handbook (3.6MB PDF). If any other listeners have feedback on this, it’d be great to receive it before the end of May as we’ll be talking about it next show.
Thanks also to Andrew Precht and Esteban for their comments on the website.
We received further feedback about Ubuntu following our recent look at the Unity LTS. Steven Rosenberg has been struggling with taking the upgrade path from Lubuntu 12.04 to 14.04. Bruno Miranda suggested that the volume change noises that Joe was talking about are known as ‘popcorn sounds’, and are currently all the rage in audio circles. Mark hadn’t noticed them; Joe said they’re only present when using hardware keys for volume adjustment.
Richard Marsh suggested that the (much beloved by us, *cough*) Ubuntu Software Centre will live on as a separate application for the ‘buntu flavours after it is subsumed into Unity’s Dash. Both Jonathan Groll and Jonathan Plews thought that we’d been a bit hard on Unity, as it seems to work well for non-technical users in their experience.
On the topic of keyboards, Jonathan Groll wondered why Joe wasn’t looking for a proper mechanical one?
Last show, Joe got a bit hot and bothered about the latest version of Firefox. Scott Dowdle pointed out that menus are still easily summoned in the new Firefox build. Jim Delahunty suggested Joe try a de-chroming extension for Firefox, whilst FriedEggs told us that the elementary Firefox theme makes things more pleasant for him. MikeF was not alone in pointing us towards Pale Moon, a Firefox fork that rips out all of the cruft. Of note is that the Pale Moon project will apparently not be including Firefox’s upcoming DRM support.
Some kind words from listeners about our interview with Blender developer Campbell Barton. SonOfNed was interested to hear Campbell’s thoughts around real-world development practices. Rob Mackenzie thanked Campbell for his honesty in the interview, and Stephen Martinez was another listener pleased that we spent some time discussing coding issues.
Oskar complimented us for digging deeper in the interview than other podcasts tend to, and Andy Jesse found it so interesting that he extended his cycle to work to listen to it all in one sitting. We’re really pleased that so many of you enjoyed the interview, and huge thanks again to Campbell for taking the time to talk with us.
Like Paddy, Steven Rosenberg is also intrigued by the possibility of Android-like ‘intents’ coming to Linux; it’s certainly something that we’ll be keeping a close eye on.
Amongst the inevitable blowback from Paddy’s comments daring to question the infallibility of St. IGNUcius, Scott Dowdle brought up a number of fair points, some of which Paddy attempted to address in the comments under the last show’s notes. Rob Landley also chimed in with some more interesting history that’s well worth a read. When the conversation got around to APIs, Campbell Barton pointed us towards the Free as in Freedom podcast 0x44. Even if you’re not particularly interested in the ongoing Oracle vs Google battle over Java APIs which was the main theme of that show, what Bradley and Karen had to say on a different topic – between 37:25 and 44:10 – could provide some food for thought.
Finally, it was noticeable that far more of you left comments on this site rather than sending us private email following our appeal last show for that to happen. That’s fantastic – none of has a monopoly on valid points of view, and having posts publicly visible means that others can contribute to the discussion. Thanks again.
We took a whistle-stop tour around the latest LTS releases of Lubuntu, Kubuntu and Xubuntu. Despite our grumbling about KDE (in particular), all are pretty solid distros and – whisper it quietly – Canonical are clearly doing something right at the underlying OS level.
We also spoke to Elizabeth Krumbach Joseph, web and marketing lead at the Xubuntu project. Thanks to Lyz for finding the time to spend with us, and for putting up with a couple of curveball questions. You can find the slides for Lyz’s presentation at LOPSA East 2014 here (786kB PDF), and anyone interested in the Ubuntu Women project can find their wiki here.
Really good podcast, gets better all the time.It has a good pace, and the interviews are great.Much as I love Linux Outlaws, I appreciate the lack of swearing and general craziness!Also like the accents- I haven t lived in the UK for a long time.
I studied computer science in the old days, wrote my first program (Noughts
and crosses or TicTacToe) on an Olivetti P101 – doesn t get more Luddite than that.Also
learned Algol, Fortran, submitted on paper tape to rooms full of white-coated technicians
who sent back error reports.
These days Im a Linux and Unix geek, so I can really relate to you Luddites.
Thanks…I will get round to signing up to Flattr when I have a minute…
P101 -check th
Hi Boys – Some time ago I heard one of you use the word fanboy. Please don’t do that! Such an ugly, unnecessary neologism is beneath a good luddite. I used the word once about a year ago and still have not forgiven myself. Otherwise keep up your great work. From a fellow grumpy guy in the US.
Thanks Paddy/Joe for the discussion & links regarding the W3C EME and Mozilla FF DRM, I had been wanting to learn more about the issue but had not gotten around to it.
At this point I am falling closer to Joe’s POV on this issue. The idealist in me wants all s/w to be FOSS, but the pragmatist see’s the difficulty of Mozilla’s situation.
Additionally, it appears to me that pragmatically there is no real change taking place; FF will have a new plug-in system that enables but does not require the installation of a proprietary DRM implementation. Isn’t that basically the situation we have with FF now?
I heard Paddy’s concern that having a more standardized DRM mechanism may facilitate wider adoption of DRM by content providers. I hope that doesn’t prove to be true, but I am not super confident about that. The one data point of optimism I can point to is what Apple eventually did with the DRM on iTunes music.
Thanks for another great show, guys.
As for upgrading from one OS version to next, it does seem to be a bit of lottery. I recently upgraded my parents new NUC (great little machine!) from Xubuntu 13.10 to 14.04. Went flawlessly. At other times, e.g. from Debian Wheezy to Jessie, it has both been good and not so good. Maybe at upgrade time, it is time to get rid of some old apps one never uses, get backups in order and do a clean install. That’s what I usually do if I had a system for a long time. Not that I know much of anything ;-)
I think Paddy says he has a “fairly duff old phone”. I do have a (fairly new) mobile phone. It has real physical buttons on it! I just cannot stand touch screen interfaces. In the long run I am probably doomed. I am a bit of a duffer and a better luddite than you two. ;-) Otoh, I use KDE…
I am not a Canonical fanboy, but I do not hate them either. I really like how you always seem to hold your own ground (sorry if that wrong English expression here) and have strong AND balanced opinions stating your arguments. Some podcasts go on about the crappiness of Canonical and Ubuntu ad nauseam. That is just boring.
Looking forward to many more episode. Your show is awesome imho. :-)
Brilliant Podcast as always chaps ;-)
Joe, like you said, I do now get that silly popping sound
when adjusting volume level with keyboard on Ubuntu 14.04
Good thing is, I was able to mute it in the ‘System Settings’ clicking on ‘Sound’ then ‘Sound effects’ then ‘mute’.
Keep up thr good work chaps ;-)
Great podcast, a really enjoyable and thought-provoking listen.
I first got into Linux with SUSE 5.3, which came in one of those big boxes with a manual and a mind-blowing six CDs in a cardboard wallet. One of the immediate things that struck me was the choice of different window managers such as Enlightenment, FVWM, CDE, early GNOME and KDE as well as this fantastic one called AmiWM which turned your desktop into – you guessed it – an Amiga clone. Not only that, but you could change window managers on the fly within a running X session, which was just amazing, even if a little unstable.
But having heard so much negativity about Unity I thought I should at least give it a go before discounting it completely – and it was… actually quite OK! It’s not for me – I mean, I don’t want the dock thing over on the left but it’s OK, and the menus appearing at the top of the screen is a bit unusual nowadays, but it’s OK (took me back to my Amiga days), but at least the close button is in its rightful place on the left. My preconceptions led me to expect a complete train-wreck of a desktop experience but it worked just fine, and I admire Canonical for at least trying something a bit different. At least we have the choice.
For me the biggest problem with Unity is the Ubuntu distribution that it’s grafted onto. With regard to your “nuke and re-install” (I can’t remember your exact phrase): as a former Gentoo and now Arch user, I have never failed to find Ubuntu a slow and lumbering beast which makes all those interesting tweaks that I like to do just that little bit harder to achieve. I can do a complete system update including the latest KDE, GNOME and LibreOffice releases on Arch in the same time it takes to do a couple of security updates on Ubuntu. My wife went away for a weekend last year and in my wisdom I decided to do a dist-upgrade while she was away. Big mistake. 27 hours it took, I kid you not. Any longer and my life wouldn’t have been worth living… I don’t think I’ll ever install another Linux disto that isn’t rolling release. Particularly Ubuntu.
Finally, I mentioned above that I’m currently on Arch after years of Gentoo. I currently use Openbox. I nicked the configuration from the rather excellent Archbang distro, which features the best Openbox set-up I’ve ever seen – it actually makes Openbox make sense. It’s not for everyone, but I don’t think I’ve ever been happier with my Linux desktop.
Anyway, enough rambling, and keep up the good work!
Thanks for mentioning the KDEconnect app for Android. My wife got a Galaxy 5 and we’ve both been frustrated that it won’t link to a computer via USB. To do that you need a Windows- or Mac-specific driver installed on your computer.
In addition to getting the Android app I needed to do a full Debian KDE install on the testing partition of my laptop, so it wasn’t quick and easy by any means, but I did manage to get it to transfer a bunch of photos from the phone.
Is there any similar non-KDE app available?
We did briefly talk about MTP woes in an earlier show, but that was whilst we still had a fairly small audience. I’ll toss this out again next show, as there is bound to be someone out there now in the same position who has probably worked around the issue.
KDE Connect can run quite happily on desktops other than KDE – a quick Google should give you a pointer in the right direction. For my money, though, if all you’re trying to do is transfer files it would probably be overkill. I must admit that since I tend to go for the simplest solution, I just spin up an FTP server on my phone when I want to shuffle stuff between it and my desktop, but there may well be slicker solutions out there that other listeners can suggest.
Thanks for the info on the Skype vs pulseaudio debacle – and I thought it was just me!
There was some talk of the difficult problem of supporting stable upgrades and rollbacks in system package management, and a short lament that nobody seems to be working on it. I think however that strides are being made in this field, namely Nix and Guix, but which other distros will come to adopt them its too early to say. The former has a Linux distro http://nixos.org/ whereas the latter seems to be of particular interest to some in the GNU Hurd community, though as a package manager it is OS agnostic. I love the idea of upgrades being transactional, of packages being relocatable and possibly private to user without disrupting the core system. This is or represents the start of what will be 21st century package management.
I also wanted to say how nice it is to find a Linux related podcast with less ranting ego and more fair-dinkum, ridgy-didge Linux content. Keep up the good work fellows.
The “something very different” that I teased at the start of the show for next time was actually a planned look at both NixOS and GoboLinux, so you’re a little ahead of the game ;) My impressions so far are mixed, to say the least. It’ll be interesting to see what Joe thinks when we talk about them both on-air.
Good to hear, though it probably is early days for NixOS, I suspect in time we’ll see a variant of a more mature distro adopt a transactional package management system, and if its a flavour of Debian I’ll be tempted to try it.
I’ve been listening to the show for 3 or 4 episodes now (heard the plug on Linux Outlaws). I think the distro-hopping + commentary on news is pretty great, please stick with it.
Now I have to chastise you about your alleged Luddism. After all, the Luddites did not resist change, but rather change which reduced the value of human labor. So I’m surprised that you are holding so dearly to the old “desktop” paradigms for computer user interfaces. Learn the new interfaces which are designed for a purpose.
Good knowledge Nathan re: the historical roots of the Luddite Movement. I certainly can’t speak for Paddy nor Joe, and AFAIK there are no existing significant organizations that claim to be the gatekeepers for the definition of Luddism, which makes its modern interpretation a rather subjective matter IMHO. I have seen a range of contemporary opinions about what Luddism is or should mean in today’s society.
Personally, I find the Podcast’s POV that ‘Not all change is progress’ a viewpoint that resonates with me in an era when technology vendors and the media over-hype all that is ‘new’ as magic panaceas. I have listened to most all of the LXLUDD podcasts and personally I have not been left with the impression that the show is advocating resistance to all change, but rather, a skeptical approach to adopting change in Linux technologies with an emphasis on meaningful ‘progress’ over the trendiness of ‘new’.
Of course, what constitutes meaningful ‘progress’ is a value laden personal decision. As much as I have enjoyed the overall POV of the LXLUDD podcasts to date, on occasion I have disagreed with the opinions expressed on certain specifics.
Your mileage may vary :-)
The UNIX-HATERS handbook
I read this last night (well, most of it).
I first met UNIX in my gap year back in ’92 when I worked for a programming house. I was writing network diagnostic stuff in C on OS/2 and had to port it over to the HP box running next door, which meant sitting in front of a VT and learning to use vi. Painful memories.
Most of the book made me laugh, but it is quite out of date now. The thing that put me off Linux in the bad old days was the way that it was held together by shell scripts and sellotape, and the random nature of command flags (still dont know what ‘tar zxvf’ stands for). Much of this is irrelevant in these days of decent GUIs. So here are my thoughts.
The stuff on X is all fair enough, and it’s surprising it’s lasted this long. Decent amounts of memory and accelerated graphics cards / drivers have smoothed a lot of the bumps.
The security chapter still seems fair enough. I know that Linux is as good as anything else out there, but it still seems weird that so many processes are running with complete root access for no apparent reason.
The chapters on C and C++ still resonated. It’s a good few years since I programmed C, and I always prefered Object Pascal to C++. I have always loathed C++. It’s like a shiny kitchen device that can peel, chop, blend and whisk – anything that like it can do, but press the wrong button and it chops your toes off. A language that has construction and destruction methods but no garbage collection, that has an object orientated design, but still lets you cast any pointer to void. It’s insane.
I’m more forgiving of C, but it should know its place and its place is to write low level drivers and nothing else. I’m still amazed at the number of modern linux applications written in new languages that seem to implement no exception handling whatsoever and explode the moment an external function returns an error code.
Other than that, I think that the world has moved on, and a lot has been fixed. The authors are very critical of UNIX’s make do and mend philosophy (it doesn’t have to work well, it just has to work well enough), but it is survival of the fittest and UNIX / Linux survived. It made me laugh that for all the lauding of the superior Macintosh, it’s modern descendants are all running BSD!
FriedEggs, good points all. I especially resonate with your thoughts on C++, it offered me my first intro into OO software development way back in the late 1980s. Initially I was enthralled but then I came to view it as a language experiment from academia that spun way out of control. I oftern felt that Bjarne Stroustrup needed some adult supervision :-). The UHH hit that nail on the head IMHO.
As an aside, I later had the misfortune of working in C++ to do MS Windows development. If C++ itself was like an electric kitchen chopper, what Microsoft did with it in their Visual C++ frameworks (MFC, ATL, COM, COM+, etc.) was akin to dropping cluster bombs on legions of software developers :-(
Agreed, programmer access to run-time exception handling was the one gem that came out of C++. I too am puzzled when I run accross a modern language that lack that facility.
Gnome and Apple:
Popey’s recent Canonical propaganda on another podcast:
Alan Pope: Mark has said before that we tired the Gnome 2 way… and it didn’t work, for our market which is mass adoption and everyone buying it in stores. And that is part of the reason we forged ahead with a different desktop. And Gnome have got their desktop. And KDE are working with their new *chuckle* new user interface. And it is funny that you’ve mentioned that the Apple announcement WWDC reflects some of the changes that Gnome Shell have done. It seems that in the future there are these desktops that are moving forward, and there are the ones that are holding back. *Ping for correct answer*. The ones that are holding back are servicing a requirement from refuse-nicks. People who flat out don’t like that new interface. Which is fine, but they are never, ever going to get mass market adoption if you’re sitting there with something that looks like Solaris from 19-whatever.
Host: I respect that. One of the things that gives me a bit of a chub (shudder) is that my Gnome desktop looks like it is from the future.
Alan Pope: … Because everyone else have moved on and they’ve got desktops that work. And they don’t have to futz around with “libfoo” or some “.so” file in a directory folder somewhere that doesn’t match so I can’t run my desktop. That stuff is just the past. Let’s move forward.
I think this is a bizarre conflating of issues. Remember when everyone was running to 3D desktops and transparencies like Vista? They were running towards a future, but it was clearly the wrong one. The mindset of “this is new, so this is the future, so lets do this” is terrible and unjustified. Having to deal with “libfoo” and “.so” files has nothing to do with the UI. I just don’t even know what that’s about.
Spotlight also now function a lot like Unity Dash with
Scopes or Gnome Do. Only better.
We also have the Safari 8 and Gnome Web similarity
referenced in first quote:
On a side note, I am tired of people saying “my grandma can use [insert DE]” (or girlfriend, or mother, or some other female relative), as if it proves something. It doesn’t. Any UI is going to be useable. I am similarly annoyed by people who say something isn’t usable because of some silly preference (like tabs on top or bottom :P ).
Yeah, I heard that episode of Unplugged. It’s a shame, really, as Popey is normally the most insightful contributor to that show, but I guess we all have to remember that there’s an (understandable) agenda there on occasions. He was also propagating the ‘refusenik’ meme on the latest Ubuntu UK podcast, when attempting to explain the appeal of environments like MATE. Still, sticks and stones (and market forces)…
WRT the Apple unveiling, we picked up on a couple of points of similarity in Yosemite to existing FLOSS projects in the show that we recorded over the weekend, but I appreciate the Apple Insider link as it’s not somewhere my browser typically takes me :)
I think as Linux enthusiasts who enjoy installing new OS’s every week you guys might be a bit blinded to the mind set of a lot of people who just want their software work without them thinking about it much. Like you guys, I would never want to have a cloud-based service instead of having an application installed on my computer except for doing things like sync’ing settings and data across devices. But cloud services do provide more benefits than you give them credit for. They make it easier to keep all employees applications up to date easily (without having each workstation updated individually). I would think companies spend less time setting up and maintaining cloud based services than individual workstations. Also, with something like Microsoft Office that is prone to vulnerabilities, keeping all users updated to the latest version provides added security. There is likely also some benefit to being able to switch machines and have access to all required applications.
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