| 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 :-)
1 • distrowatch weekly in our mailbox? (by Marco Castellani at 2003-10-13 12:40:10 GMT) |
Thanks to distrowatch for the very nice work!
It would be nice if we could receive distrowatch weekly directly in our mailbox. Is it possible?
thanks in advance,
2 • fonts (by Nguyen Gia Thinh at 2003-10-13 13:12:10 GMT)
Thank you very much for your work.
Thanks to DW and its links, I'm learning a lot about Linux. I'm switching to Mandrake. It's a long journey for me.
About the fonts. Why do you think to fix it when it runs so well. I can no longer read your main page.
3 • mailbox (by deech on 2003-10-13 13:27:03 GMT)
I 2 would like DW weekly in my mailbox.
4 • Font size (by Ariszlo at 2003-10-13 13:37:37 GMT)
Best ever! Thanks for taking the trouble.
5 • Font size is wonderful! (by Vm. at 2003-10-13 13:47:36 GMT)
The font size is wonderful now! Thanks a lot. :)
6 • NewsLetter (by Charles at 2003-10-13 14:16:10 GMT)
I also vote for the newsletter idea.
7 • New group : Fonts are fine (by Benoît Audouard at 2003-10-13 14:22:49 GMT)
Thanks ladislav for your great work !
I would like to announce the creation of the group "Fonts are fine"... they were indeed small once upon a time (mostly on IE), I adapted, they became huge later on, I adapted. Now they are just ... fine.
You are too hard on you to tell it's a disaster, well that's the result of the experiment, good or bad, now it's fine. Haven't you ever burned what you were just trying to cook ?
I'm glad you are so user driven, that's what's keep you in such a good business.
As for DWW in the mailbox, a link would be suficient : it would help you keep managing feedback via the website rather than only by mail... IMHO DistroWatch is always worth a look around every week (or more) !
8 • Redhat9 -> Fedora Upgrade (by pr0c at 2003-10-13 14:22:52 GMT)
Just so you all know... You can very easily upgrade from redhat9 to fedora by using apt4rpm. It took a few short hours for me and went off without a single error! You don't have to waste bandwidth and media to get the new cds..
9 • RE: Newsletter (by ladislav at 2003-10-13 14:46:55 GMT)
There is virtually no chance of a DistroWatch Newsletter coming into existence. The reason is quite simple - my confidence in email as an effective means of communication is at all-time low and unlikely to rise again. No, it's not because of spam - most of spam is easy to block based on content. It's because of the anti-spam measures that many brainless system administrators implement. Instead of checking the content, many of these anti-spam measures are based on checking the origin of the mail (!) and deem it perfectly fine to block entire domain names, entire IP address ranges, even entire countries! This is frustrating beyond belief! I'd estimate that good 10% of my email bounces with a message "don't send us spam" or something similar. While my ISP doesn't have the best track record when it comes controlling spam, there are RBL services that even block mail from the distrowatch.com mail server!
Anyway, I don't want to rant for too long about this, but I am thinking about patenting an invention of mine - a brilliant and 100% effective spam blocking measure. And it's simple as well - all you need to do is to block mail from the IP address range of 0.0.0.0 to 255.255.255.255. I can guarantee that no spam will ever sneak through, or your money back. Judging by the brain power behind some of these anti-spam measures, I think that many sysadmins could easily fall for this.
So the answer is "no". We'll keep things on the web site, where you can visit any time you please :-)
10 • Fonts, sizes, blah blah (by madhunter at 2003-10-13 15:13:45 GMT)
The site looks great.
The site has always looked great.
You do a good job updating, and regardless of the font size (which has always been good, regardless of the changes made) I'll keep coming back without ever a complaint.
11 • newsletter (by ray carter at 2003-10-13 15:17:41 GMT)
Perhaps you could make a newsletter an optional feature available for a small subscription price?
12 • Newsletter = RSS? (by Chris at 2003-10-13 15:49:26 GMT)
Why not just publish the newsletter or updates into an RSS feed? Then it would be easy for people to check for updates and things on the site while also saving on bandwidth charges and even more importantly...you won't get silly system admins blindly blocking it.
13 • Fonts (by opx on 2003-10-13 17:00:23 GMT)
The fonts look really good now. :)
14 • Fonts (by Adam on 2003-10-13 17:32:30 GMT)
I agree, fonts look good. Thanks for all the hard work on it.
15 • Fedora Core Release (by Charles at 2003-10-13 17:37:14 GMT)
It looks like the beta is being populated now. I visited several mirrors and all of the "severn" folders are not accessible.
So, maybe we will have a new release today?
16 • Update Fedora with YUM ??? (by TheClient at 2003-10-13 17:54:36 GMT)
Does anyone has experience using YUM (Yellow dog Updater, Modified) to keep the system up-to-date? The link to the site
I couldn't find much info on how to use it except guessing.
17 • congrats for your amazing work! (by Stephane rouberol at 2003-10-13 19:30:16 GMT)
Connected every day or so since a long time now.
I really appreciate your day to day work
thanks from sunny France
18 • fonts, newsletter (by andrew at 2003-10-13 21:29:21 GMT)
Add me to the "fonts are fine" group! Though I didn't find it this much work to adjust them before...
Newsletter... I don't think it is neccessary: it's easy enough to visit your site :) But I want to reply to your comment about ranges of IP addresses being blocked: I can see how it would be frustrating to you, since you are based in Asia, aren't you? But while my ISP doesn't block mail by IP address, I would fully support this policy. I get a lot of spam from Asia, and unless you decide to create your newsletter after all I know there will be no legitimate mail coming to me from that part of the world. Blocking the lot would save me a lot of bandwidth and aggravation. Furthermore, while I agree such policy hurts a lot of legitimate users, unfortunately that's the whole point: unless they get up in arms and push for anti-spam policies at their end, nothing will ever change. It is sad, but I do think this is one solution to spam that *is* likely to work.
19 • Fonts are PERFECT! (by Adam at 2003-10-13 21:41:22 GMT)
I love the fonts now! It's a bit bigger so that I can read the stuff much easier and not too big. Awesome work on the fonts and on this site!
20 • font size (by janek kozicki on 2003-10-13 22:25:10 GMT)
I use galeon 1.2.5, and 1280x960 resolution, on 19" monitor.
I have to increase font size _always_ and _everywhere_, to something around 150%-190%. I didn't even notice that fonts here are 'bigger' than somewhere else..
Now my fonts (on this site) are at 190%, and If I remember correctly, last week my fonts were around 150%.
PS: My sight is quite good. I just like comfortable reading. Letters on this page, are circa 2.5 time bigger than my GTK menu letters, which I can read without any problems.
PSS: here are my screenshots:
21 • RE: fonts, newsletter (by ladislav at 2003-10-14 01:10:50 GMT)
But while my ISP doesn't block mail by IP address, I would fully support this policy. I get a lot of spam from Asia...
This is exactly the kind of brain-dead attitude I was talking about in my earlier post. People like you keep forgetting that by blocking entire IP address ranges, you also block legitimate email from those addresses! Just imagine that your ISP has such a policy and your girlfriend, wife or whoever travels to Asia. She won't be able to email you! And what if _you_ travel to Asia and while there, you will be unable to email to anybody back home! Can you understand the frustration seeing how your long happy email bounces with a message "we don't accept spam"? Just imagine these examples and think twice before coming up with any more stupid ideas!
Of course it's beyond the point that while looking through my mail box, I can see that a good 95% of all spam still originates from the good ol' US of A...
22 • Last Week's issue of DW Weekly (by Honaby at 2003-10-14 14:49:32 GMT)
Hmmm... can't seem to find a link to last week's issue of DW weekly. The last issue on the archive link is Issue 17. I wanted to read last week's comment area if somebody replied to my last comment. Anyway, I was able to view it by typing the URL directly (eg. weekly.php?issue=20031006)
By the way, did I mentioned that the fonts are great?! Thanks.
23 • Re: newsletters (by Honaby at 2003-10-14 14:59:16 GMT)
I can see that a good 95% of all spam still originates from the good ol' US of A...
I second the motion... Most spam I get is from the US or A... specially the Viagra stuff!!! Hehehe. We asians seldom use emails for spamming. But my friend who is an american thinks spamming is good for his business.
By the way, on M$ Outlook 2003, every email that contains a link is being treated as a junk mail (As long as it doesnt come from their domain.) hehehe! I think its stupid!
24 • What's up with the fonts now? (by Ernesto at 2003-10-14 17:38:52 GMT)
I wanted to let you know that the font size is too NORMAL now. I liked it better when it was too little or too big.
Just kidding... I never had any problem browsing this site with Mozilla.
25 • Dynamically Resizing Fonts (Or Re: Whats up with fonts now?) (by Chris at 2003-10-14 19:29:36 GMT)
I agree with Ernesto...its too normal. You should have dnymaically resizing fonts that change everytime a user refreshes the page. Think about the potential! Arial too bland for you? Well next time you'll get MS Symbol! What could be better?!?
Number of Comments: 25
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