Podcast Season 1 Episode 21


Title: Mammoth Mammoth

In this episode: Firefox turns 5, Microsoft allegedly borrows some GPL code and the Fat Elf is no more. We talk about what our perfect Linux distribution would look like and ask whether everyone should be compelled to contribute to free software projects.

What's in the show

Presenters: Andrew Gregory, Paul Hudson, Graham Morrison and Mike Saunders

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Your comments

Thats too bad that

Thats too bad that development for FatElf has ended and that it can't be included in the Linux kernel... I personally was looking forward to it, because of all the hassle of managing 64 bit vs 32 bit libraries, especially when dealing with a 64 bit system.

I totally agree about the package managers

I don't even mind package managers as long as all the libraries that are required to run the program and included in the package and all the program files are kept in the same folder under the name of the program

I hate Windows as much as the next guy, but they did a pretty good job of program management. I would love to see a hybrid system.

Universal OS?

there should be mac, pc and linux and no more. less fragmentation - more of collaboration. had developers worked on one single OS, we wouldn't have "could-have-been-better" Karmic (a.k.a. "Ubuntu's Vista").
Pluck best bits from every branch and build a super-OS. Kick the crap out of proprietary systems. This leads nicely to the point raised about customisation options in Linux. I have, however foolishly, fallen in love with Ubuntu for its customisation options - all the usual crap: rotating cubes, burning windows, etc. Yet I have realised that whatever i do to customise my system, I ALWAYS come back to the default theme. It is how you use your system that matters, not how pretty it looks (i think i heard this somewhere else, but where?? haha). I am all for the usability and not for 9.10
I now find myself embracing simplicity. someone once said: "simple is beautiful" (or vice versa!). having stopped wasting my time on customising the looks I now have time to contribute to Open Source community.
One Linux OS (don't care about window managers, themes, etc) would kick arse.

Perfect distro?

The TuxRadar perfect Linux distro (sensible filesystem layout, no package management, one single, shiny desktop, easy access to codecs, nice bootloader, non-firefox browser) sounds suspiciously like another OS...

OS X! It even recognises CD drives!


2 weeks of Bing and Hotmail...ouch! Why are you guys torturing yourselves?

wobbly windows

I like wobbly windows also, but only on my desktop, not on my notebook for some odd reason. :D

Whats GMAIL ?

I've had the same EMAIL address for 15 years with my local hosting provider who, at one time, was my dial-up ISP oh so long ago.

GMAIL, IMHO, is the ultimate DB the 'Cloak n Dagger" community wish they thought of but are happy enough to buy access to the analytics. Next up , a cloud called Skynet

Ubuntu 98

With the Win 7 and Ubuntu 9.10 good and bad being shared, it almost makes want to embrace a copy of Windows 98.

When I ran it for oh so many years as my main desktop, I had this great sense of security being able to recognize cruft from virus and be able to easily recognize and rectify either in short order.

I say almost since I have been quite happy with Ubuntu 9.04 is my main desktop for a while now and remain productive

man avocado_stones

Finally something I almost know about.

Not responsible for damage to self, others or property and I'm pre-alleviating my conscience by trying to be precise.

Halve the avocado so that the two halves are in the longest dimension. Hold the half with the stone in the palm of your hand, longest dimension parallel with the way your fingers run. Cup your palm around it just enough to hold it solidly, the stone is center in the palm of your hand, fingers and thumb flat and well out of it as can be whilst having a firm grip on the avocado half.

You want a proper chefs knife 10"-12" inches, sharp. Give the stone a whack, center 90 degrees to the longest dimension with the sharp end of the knife (across your palm), the knife should penetrate the stone about a quarter/third of the way, give it a small twist left-right to loosen the stone. Really important, sharp knife, firm whack, as the blade glancing off would be bad.

The stone is now stuck on the knife blade, go to your trash/recycle bin that has a good strong rim, plastic is good, metal will damage your expensive knife. Give the rim a whack with the knife blade down, striking the part of the handle ahead of your hand, but behind the blade and inertia removes the stone into the trash.

If other members of your household start complaining about the noise, you can make martial arts noises once you've got the technique down.

Once again not responsible for any damage to self, others or property etc... your mileage may vary.

Any thoughts about HP wanting to buy 3Com? It seems they want to have a go at Cisco. I'm thinking drivers and such, I recall an issue a few years back about HP laptops not seeing after market PCMCIA network cards or something like that. It put me off buying one. They have been good with printer drivers and utilities though.

HP = Death Star, 3com = Alderaan

I do not recall the last time HP did a acquisition where the acquired brand retained its value.


New listener to TuxRadar and I am confused.
Have listened to about 5 shows now and a trend is emerging to me?
Ranting about choice, and how bad it is?
I don't get this, except for Linux being free (money-wise) why do the TuxRadar guys use it?
Really, I enjoy the show, better than listening to Linux fanboys telling you how evil MS is, but surely choice is the main driving force behind opensource. Or am I missing something.

(BTW, the notification applet MUST be made configurable, BUT they don't have to give you a shinny GUI to do so. When it is hardcoded and you cant change it with a crowbar whats the difference than just using a Mac or Windows?).

Re: Choice

Mannemerak: I think the issue is about too much choice. Personally I think having a choice of web browsers, office apps, email clients etc. is essential. The more choices for desktop software the better.

But does having 1000 distros really make things better for Linux? Does having three desktops largely striving for the same goal make things better for Linux? If choice is so great, wouldn't it be fantastic if we had seven slightly incompatible kernels, 15 different glibcs and 12 X servers?

I can't speak for the TuxRadar guys, of course, but that's the way I see it. Choice is brilliant when it works - but sometimes standards are more important. All cars have pretty much the same layout in terms of steering wheel, gearstick, pedals etc. Do you criticise cars for not having enough choice in terms of internal layout?

Re: Re: Choice

The 1000 distro argument is moot, only a couple are seen as "real" distros all others are fringe. So the real issue is, are 5 distros to many? 3? 2? I dont know, I just know that if there was just 1 we will not have what we have now. One, Ubuntu it seems, should be the leader (face of Linux).
The cars example is not accurate, computers are not cars, so many analogies fall flat at some point. I would rather look at mobiles, they are closer to computers. We have a whole bunch of the things, all with diff UI, features etc, but the market and consumers somehow copes.
I agree, it feels like a waste to have KDE and Gnome trying to implement the same thing, that is why I believe they should work together on bringing a common Dialog, Sound, Input etc structure to both. I am sure if we just had one, UI innovation will surely slow down (like it did the last 15years of MS rule).
ps. also, it bugs me greatly that KDE (mainly) and Gnome implement things that is not in the WM domain - Office suits, Emailers, sound platforms; this should be handled by a "lower" architecture, not the WM.

Cool, My Idea Won!

Cool, my idea of Mammoth Mammoth won! Can´t wait for the prizws to bring to my LUG. I like Mankey Monkey too :).

Able hands

While you were a bit harsh on the wording of one of the ballot commenters, I actually found his point rather relevant: Should we encourage the contribution of those who don't know what they are doing? His example was translations: Do we really want a translation from someone ill-equipped for the task? I have experienced programs which were brilliant, but which looked amateurish because of the translations.

Camp KDE

Hey guys,

This is Jos Poortvliet from the Netherlands. I'm a volunteer in the KDE community, and I wanted to mention the upcoming Camp KDE. From januari 15 to 22 the annual US meeting of the KDE community will take place at the University of California in sunny San Diego!

So if you want to meet cool people, hear interesting talks and see what the future of the Free Desktop will look like, you should be there! It is open to anyone so you're all invited. And while there will be some technical and less technical talks, we're still looking for more interesting topics so if you have something to say, let us know! It'd be great if you could mention this on your show, of course :D

See you in San Diego.

greets and have a great show,

Jos Poortvliet

BTW feel free to contact me for an interview or something, I can probably arrange one with pretty much anyone in KDE ;-)

Re: Choice

Incompatible kernels and different Xservers would break stuff and you realize. Yet... Linux provides a indeed wide variety of distros to choose from, and you can definetly find something you like, which is impossible with other OSes.

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