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GNU Nano Announces Version 3.0, ZFS on Linux Version 0.7.10 Released, Qt 3D Studio 2.1 Beta 1 Now Available, Tor Project's New Android App in the Works and Elive 3.0 Is Out

2 weeks ago

News briefs September 10, 2018.

GNU Nano 3.0 "water flowing underground" was released yesterday. This release of the popular text editor speeds up file reading by 70%, doubles the speed of reading ascii text, changes the way words at line boundaries are deleted and much more.

ZFS on Linux has released version 0.7.10. According to the Phoronix post, the most notable change is the Linux 4.18 kernel is now supported, and the new version "also has build improvements, support for Debian DKMS builds, a default 4 KiB ashift is added to Amazon EC2 NVMe devices, and various other minor enhancements and several bug fixes". See the zfs-0.7.10 GitHub page for more details.

The Qt 3D Studio 2.1 Beta 1 release was announced this morning. The release features a new Boolean data type, a new project structure and improvements that make working with sub-projects more convenient. You can download the Qt online installer from here.

The Tor Project is working on an Android app for anonymous browsing, TNW reports. The official launch is scheduled for next year, but the alpha is available for testing from Google Play.

Elive 3.0 is out after eight years of development. The release announcement notes that "the result is simply amazing and the integration is gorgeous, it is not even possible to describe every inside feature and the new website only contains a small portion of its characteristics."

News GNU Nano Text Editor ZFS qt Tor Security Android Privacy Elive
Jill Franklin

What Is the Point of Mozilla?

2 weeks ago
by Glyn Moody

Is Mozilla a software organization or an advocacy group?

Few journeys in the world of open source have been as exciting as Mozilla's. Its birth was dramatic. Netscape, the pioneering company whose Netscape Navigator browser shaped the early Web, had enjoyed the most successful IPO up until then, valuing the 18-month-year-old company at nearly $3 billion. That was in 1995. Three years later, the company was in freefall, as the browser wars took their toll, and Microsoft continued to gain market share with its Internet Explorer, launched alongside Windows 95. Netscape's response was bold and unprecedented. On January 27, 1998, it announced that it was making the source code for the next generation of its web browser freely available under a GPL-like license.

Although of huge symbolic importance for the still-young Free Software world—the term "open source" was coined only a month after Netscape's announcement—the release and transformation of the code for what became the Mozilla browser suite was fraught with difficulties. The main problem was trying to re-write the often problematic legacy code of Netscape Navigator. Mozilla 1.0 was finally released in 2002, but by then, Internet Explorer dominated the sector. The failure of the Mozilla browser to make much of an impact ultimately spurred development of the completely new Firefox browser. Version 1.0 was launched in 2004, after three years of work.

Microsoft's failure to update its flabby Internet Explorer 6 browser for more than five years meant that successive releases of Firefox were steadily gaining market share—and fans. As I wrote in Linux Journal in June 2008:

Three things are striking about the recent launch of Firefox 3. First, the unanimity about the quality of the code: practically everyone thinks it's better in practically every respect. Secondly, the way in which the mainstream media covered its launch: it was treated as a normal, important tech story—gone are the days of supercilious anecdotes about those wacky, sandal-wearing free software anoraks. And finally—and perhaps most importantly—the scale and intensity of participation by the millions of people who have downloaded the software in the last week.

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Glyn Moody