| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 19, 13 October 2003
The "New Releases" Season
It happens about twice a year that all major commercial distributions are lining up to entice us with their brand new releases. Red Hat will be a slightly late this year due to all the structural changes currently taking effect, but both MandrakeSoft and SUSE LINUX are expected to announce their latest and greatest later this week. Mandrake is rumoured to get their long awaited version 9.2 out of the door tomorrow, with priority access given to its Club members, but pre-orders are now also being taken by MandrakeStore. Three editions of Mandrake Linux 9.2 will be available - Discovery (US$39), PowerPack (US$69) and ProSuite (US$199). Also this week, SUSE will release its new SUSE LINUX 9.0 in Europe, while the rest of the world will have to wait slightly longer; in North America, the Personal (US$36.99) and Professional (US$64.99) editions can now be pre-ordered from Amazon.com. Whichever brand you prefer, the increasing competition between the main Linux integrators should result in some of the best product releases ever!
Vector Linux 4.0
In sharp contrast to all the upcoming excitement, last week was a particularly quiet one. From among the better-known distributions, only Vector Linux announced a new release - version 4.0. It is based on Slackware 9.0, a distribution which itself released a new version during Vector's 2-month beta testing period, making Vector 4.0 slightly obsolete in the process. Even more worrying though is the departure of Tony Brijeski, from the distribution's development team for family reasons. Tony Brijeski, also known as "tigger", was the Chief Architect of the SOHO branch of Vector Linux. As a result, Vector Linux is now looking for new developers; interested parties can find more information in this forum thread.
|Released Last Week
Vector Linux 4.0
Vector Linux 4.0 was released: "After two release candidates we have finally released the final version of Vector Linux 4.0. This release is based on Slackware 9.0 and the 2.4.22 kernel. It comes with auto hardware configuration and enough software to make your day to day computer chores a breeze. We think you will find our alternative desktop system easy to use and very quick. I'm not going to give the full run down here but see the features page for more information. Interested and want to try it out? Your wish is my command....:)" See the full release announcement of the distribution's web site.
Blin Linux 1.3 (GNOME2 Edition)
The developers of Blin Linux released Blin Linux 1.3 GNOME2 Edition. This is the distribution's first release based on GTK+2 and GNOME2, with updates of all GNOME applications. It is based on the 2.4.23-pre2 Linux kernel, glibc 2.3.2 and XFree86 4.3.0, a good combination for most modern hardware. Version 1.3 comes with office applications, support for popular printers, Java (jre-1.4.3) and Flash Player. See the full release announcement (in Russian) and the package list for further details. Blin Linux is an independent live CD distribution with excellent support for the Cyrillic alphabet, as well as English.
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Mandrake Linux 9.2
It seems that the much awaited Mandrake Linux 9.2 will finally be available to members of the MandrakeClub later this week. From Mandrake's TWiki: "Mandrake 9.2 has been sent to manufacturer! ISO images will be available for Mandrake club members starting October 14th, 2003, and worldwide by the end of October.". The same source informs us that Mandrake Linux 10.0 is scheduled for release in March 2004.
Fedora Core 0.95
Expect a new Fedora beta release, version 0.95 and code name "Severn", which should be announced later today.
A new version of the Knoppix-based educational distribution Freeduc, currently in its 7th beta, is to be released at the end of this moth.
Once again, the LRs GNU/Linux has been resurrected "LRs/GNU - Linux is alive, we have found a lot of Developers from www.linuxforen.de and we Develop again for one of the fastest distros ever seen :-). I think in one or two months we release 'Creme-13.'" The above comes from this mailing list post. As soon as "creme" is released, we'll add LRs back to the list of active distributions.
|Web Site News
Many thanks to Thomas Blechinger for updating the German translation.
New on the main page: news headlines are now clickable. The resulting page will display a single story, with further information related to the specific distribution - click on any of the headlines to see for yourself. As always, if you find any bugs, I'd appreciate your email telling me about them.
I have fallen behind the schedule of adding new distributions due to my working on the LindowsOS review, which should have been done a long time ago, but there was always something more important to do. I'll hope to catch up with adding Burapha Linux, NBROK ZIP-drive-Linux, Zeus Linux, AbulEdu, ThePacketMaster, Drinou-Linux, guadaLINEX, Berry Linux, Locust Mesh AP Linux, BlackRhino GNU/Linux, Kix and Pilot Linux by the end of this week.
- Pequelin. Metadistro-Pequelin is a Knoppix-based Spanish live CD distribution designed specifically for children and educational use.
New on the waiting list
- According to this story at MozillaZine.org, OEone has discontinued its Linux distribution called HomeBase Desktop: "OEone, the company that gave rise to Mozilla Calendar and Mozilla Sunbird, has ended distribution of their Homebase DESKTOP product, the UI of which is written entirely in XUL. While they had said earlier that development was being frozen for a time, and they are still selling the full distribution HomeBase SUITE, I hate to see this truly-different desktop vanish. Any chance they could open-source the full desktop without killing the Homebase ANYWHERE (server storage space) revenue stream?"
DistroWatch database summary
- CEMF Linux is a new Brazilian distributions based on Slackware.
- PHLAK is a modular security distribution, geared to be used as a live CD.
- Viper Linux is an operating system that is perfect. No flaws, no cracks in the code, just perfection.
- Number of distributions in the database: 180
- Number of discontinued distributions: 24
- Number of distributions on the waiting list: 69
I am afraid to report that the font experiment turned out to be a disaster. Those who used to complain about the font sizes being too small were happy after all font-size specifications were removed from CSS files, but as you can see from the above comments, a new, fonts-are-too-large group of complainants quickly replaced them.
- "I wanted to let you know that the font size is a tad too big now. I adjusted my font size on my browser to accommodate, but I have to change it back after leaving your site because the other site's words are then way too small."
- "Why all of a sudden has the fonts gotten so big? I can't see the whole page with out reducing my font size. Happens only on this site."
I looked at other web sites using UTF-8 encoding to see how they solve the problem. MandrakeClub.com goes around the font issue by specifying the font size at 12 pixels. I did the same here, so everybody who hasn't overridden the font size in their browser preferences should get the same font size - 12 pixels high.
Please let me know how things look now. This is yet another experiment on the road to a perfect, flawless and bug-free web site full of useful information and no reasons for any complaints what so ever :-)
That's all for this week, keep well and see you next Monday :-)
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