not all change is progress
March 21, 2016
Direct download links: MP3 & Ogg
01:20:13 Jonathan Riddell Interview
The KDE project has delivered several exciting new technologies over the last few months, so we thought it high time we spoke to somebody intimately involved to find out more. Our interview with Jonathan Riddell follows a full and varied news segment, your feedback, and the announcement of a new UK FOSS event.00:01:03 News
Expanding the Dell Portfolio of Ubuntu Laptops and
After 0 successful submissions, Google doubles top reward for hacking a Chromebook to $100,000
Chromecast takes 35% of the 42 million unit Global Digital Media Streamer Market in 2015, says Strategy Analytics
Running a mainline
kernel on a cellphone or other mobile device
looks a lot closer now
Millions of Android devices vulnerable to new Stagefright exploit
BBC micro:bit review: The free Raspberry Pi rival every kid
WD Labs, Raspberry Pi, ownCloud and Ubuntu
9.0 is the biggest ownCloud release so far
Yet Another Reason Why Ubuntu MATE 16.04 Will Rock
ProtonMail, the Easy-to-Use Encrypted Email Service, Opens Up to the Public
A preliminary analysis of High Priority Projects feedback
Let’s Encrypt: New
Name, New Home for the Client
Let’s Encrypt: Our Millionth Certificate (and not just by cannibalising existing CAs)
A WebAssembly Milestone: Experimental Support in Multiple Browsers
Announcing SQL Server on Linux
Microsoft integrates Visual Studio with open-source Eclipse IDE
Microsoft submits new open-sourced networking components to Open Compute Project
A huge thank you to Robert H Nunnally Jr for the PayPal donation, and to Amateur Zen Trading Company and Joseph Aczel for joining our trusty band of Monthly Supporters — thanks, guys!
We announced FOSS Talk Live 2016, a new — but hopefully to become regular — fixture on the UK FOSS calendar. The website has full details, but if you can make it down to London on the evening of Saturday 6th August, you’ll have the opportunity to meet not only the three Luddites, but also the Linux Voice guys, the team behind the Ubuntu Podcast and also Stuart Langridge and Dave MegaSlippers, drink copious amounts of beer, and gently mock us as we try to podcast from the confines of a pub. It promises — one way or another — to be a night to remember!
Following our recent look at Tiny Core, John got in touch to let us know that it made a great OS for a router he lashed together using an old PC and a couple of NICs.
Moving on to convergence, Will suggested that docks might once again become ubiquitous as convergence takes off, and your Luddites talked around the topic a little (with Paddy self-consciously failing to mention the only mobile dock that he owns!)
Over on Twitter, Robert Orzanna brought us back to the topic of web advertising. Paddy mentioned a thoughtful blog post from Peter-Paul Koch, and we also touched upon Opera’s introduction of native ad-blocking. This topic will run and run…
01:20:13 Jonathan Riddell Interview
Joe and Paddy recently caught up with Jonathan Riddell, and talked about some of the exciting project coming out of KDE, including Neon, Plasma Mobile, KDEConnect and Shashlik. A huge thank you to Jonathan for again finding time to spend with us.
Here is a suggestion for a device to watch live TV (either DVB-T, DVB-S or DVB-C) according to the TV tuner you select at the check out.
It has an optical port to connect to a sound system but I
only use HDMI to my monitor.
The device is not too expensive and the performance is pretty good.
Value for money 9/10.
I’ve always been in full agreement with you guys when it comes to KDE – every time I’ve had the misfortune to try it, I come away feeling totally bemused and wondering why I just did that to myself! However, it has been quite a while now, and I was rather inspired by your interview with Jonathan, so this evening I wiped Cinnamon off my main Arch box and stuck Plasma on there. Wow! I was fully expecting it to look very pretty these days, and indeed it does. But I wasn’t expecting it to be so simple to use – all I’ve done so far is add my favourite icons to the panel and it’s just great. Even tricky things like a Windows app I run under Wine went happily to the panel, and even integrates itself into the systray when delivering notifications – not something I was expecting to just work under KDE.
I’m only an hour in, but so far so good. I’m really liking it! I’d say give it a go…
I think Jonathan is right about Linux on the desktop. I am an avid Linux user, my career is entirely based on Linux as I’m an HPC admin. However the average user is easily put off by the fact rhat there are so many choices, so many package types, package managers, and so on. Even updates are so non-simple that the learning curve is just so high that the Linux Desktop is rather scary. Some distros alleviate some of this but overall the complexity is what puts people off. Most people don’t need much for home use but the amount of complexity that’s exposed is still off putting. Your average punter doesn’t want choice, they want their hand held and for everything to simply work.
A large portion of my job is installing applications for use on clusters. This is slightly different than a standard install as the installs are to a cnetral location but the fact is that even installing in one’s home directory is usually more complex than the cluster users want to learn even though they’re CLI users on a Linux system. The whole mess that is dependencies is a hell that even PhD in bioscience with a minor in CS doesn’t want to deal with.
I think that containers will alleviate a lot of this. I also think that an app store style container repo, for lack of a better word, will greatly benefit your average user. Being able to simply download and install a software package without worrying about dependencies is a huge step in the right direction.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love the choice, I love tinkering, that’s why I got in the Linux in the first place and continues to be something I love. However becoming more Windows like, or having that option at least, is the only path for the Linux Desktop to gain more widespread use. It needs the be simple enough for my ma to use without calling me and most distros are simply not there.
Love the show even though you’re wrong about Unity. I don’t always agree with your viewpoints but that’s what makes life interesting.
All the talk about how necessary a Bittorrent Sync replacement is, I completely missed any past reviews of Syncthing but I’m surprised by what you must see as it’s being lacking. I completely replaced 5 or 6 instances of the BT product with Syncthing a year ago and have had nothing but great luck. I threw in an Ubuntu server on an ancient box that just sits in the corner as an always on peer and now even see my SpiderOak usage as simply a redundant safety net. Where did you guys discuss Syncthing?
I don’t think they have done a real review of Syncthing. In #37 they reviewed OwnCloud, Pydio, and Seafile and then in #52 they reviewed a few simple sync programs. They got feedback from several people about looking at Syncthing (see #54 show notes). I think they have made some negative comments about Syncthing which might relate to why they haven’t featured it but I don’t remember what their issues were.
I was listening for them to mention Syncthing when discussing BT sync but didn’t hear it. I think they only referenced the reviews of #52 — maybe I missed the reference or maybe you assumed Syncthing was part of #52? Syncthing seems to be very similar to BT sync (though at one time it was easier to peer with BT sync, not sure if that is still true).
The FSF was very terse in some of their explanations — could “does not meet any criteria” mean that a BT sync replacement no longer meets the “universal” critera (“Something that nearly every computer user needs, but for which there is no competitive free software in the category.”) because free programs like Syncthing (and maybe they would count things like OwnCloud even though they are slightly different) now exist or because it is not something every computer user needs?
Late to the party but I agree: the FSF probably sees this particular problem solved by Syncthing.
Great to see you guys talk about KDE. In versions 4.x the defaults were just abysmal and looked atrocious. The desktop was very powerful and customizable, but it was hard to tone it down a bit at first (dat window glow!) while you were getting used to using it. Plasma 5 has fixed all of that and the Breeze theme is gorgeous. The KDE team has even made Breeze GTK2/3 themes so no matter which toolkit you are using it all blends simultaneously.
Also another thing that has hurt KDE desktop usage is that distros like Mint and Fedora kind of treat KDE as 2nd class desktop environments where it is obvious that the majority of the work goes into other ones like Cinnamon and GNOME respectively. Ubuntu even freezes their versions of things like Qt which keep bugfixes from arriving to the user. The Kubuntu releases with Plasma 5 have been pretty awful in my experience and appears to be a major thing the Neon project is going to address.
In the meantime, if you are looking for a great Plasma experience I recommend trying openSUSE Leap. Yes it isn’t Ubuntu and some things like VLC require you to add the Packman repo (super easy to do in Yast) so it gets all the codecs, but it has been the most solid Plasma 5 experience I have used so far. One of the reasons I have been really happy with Leap is that even though it’s a distro that focuses on stability, using a SUSE core, it isn’t afraid to upgrade components like the Plasma desktop.
Leap 42.1 shipped with Plasma 5.4.2 but has since upgraded to 5.5.5. With Leap you get the latest stable Plasma, but not before it gets properly vetted. I think it’s worth a shot to try while waiting for Neon (which being Ubuntu guys you will probably end up liking even better).
It is a good point that most people would not be able to use the same device at home and at work. I think I was following your lead in discussing the work/home use case but it is probably not the likely one. That means that most people would likely only need a desktop experience for their personal (non-work) computer in one location (home). There is still some benefit to having access to desktop data on the same device that you carry around during the day but that benefit could likely be achieved through file sync and cloud services. I think that leaves cost (only needing to buy one computer instead of two) as the main selling point of convergence for most users.
kids learning to code with open source as the default
sounds nice, but how many of them who continue to code
won’t switch to making proprietary apps for the walled
I sure hope some of them will wonder why they can’t tinker with Windows and MacOS like they can with Linux on their *pie. Some of them will sure come across the LICENSE files on GitHub and maybe a few will bother to read them.
More people coding and big companies releasing many things as free software will give us more people working on open source but how many will care about software freedom?
On M$ SQL-Server on Linux: there’s proprietary business
software which can talk to sql-server only just as there
is oracle-db-only software.
I’m pretty sure there are many admins who have to run one or two windows servers only for those bits while everything else being Linux or BSD. And also companies thinking about ditching M$ products altogether because they have to pay expensive windows server licenses on top (or underneath :D) of the one for the sql-server.
This move keeps some of them at least partially in their ecosystem. And with .Net becoming open source and thus aspx(?) becoming available on non-windows platforms software companies would think twice about adding support for non-m$-databases when this could get them new customers who run Linux only.
And OK, the “Windows Services for Linux” (running unmodified linux-binaries and docker on windows 10 & the corresponding server versions) wasn’t out when this show was recorded, but this way they keep windows on the desktops of developers who build stuff to run on Linux only, too.
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