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Software Linux

What 2008 May Hold In Store for FOSS 266

eldavojohn writes to mention that LinuxPlanet has a brief discussion on what 2008 may hold for FOSS. The list includes thoughts on KDE 4, OOXML, DRM, and 3-D desktops. What boons for FOSS are you looking forward to in 2008?
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What 2008 May Hold In Store for FOSS

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  • opengl console (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rucs_hack ( 784150 ) on Monday December 31, 2007 @02:15PM (#21867962)
    That's what I'd like, a version of bash implemented in opengl, so I can make the console apps I write look funky.

    Not perhaps the highest priority of the FOSS world, but sometimes you just gotta go with 'it`d be fun'.
    • What would you get from OpenGLing bash?

      You could render the terminal on OpenGL, but that would affect any program run on the terminal, not just bash.
    • On that general topic... I'd like a decent visualization for xmms. ProjectM would be promising if it ever worked. Again, not high priority... but it's something I'd like for parties and it would be one less things my friends goad me about for using linux.

      Though I suppose things are well if I'm complaining about visualization plugins. :P
      • Amarok? (Score:2, Interesting)

        There are other players than xmms...

        Though I suppose when you have 3D, spinning spectrum analyzers, things are looking pretty good.
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by pionzypher ( 886253 )
          Projectm whitescreens under Amarok as well. I'm sure it's some problem with the libs. At least it compiles now though, the first couple of attempts a year or two ago gave up the ghost due to (from what I could gather on forums) a compiler bug. It's all good though, I'm sure it'll end up in the repositories.
      • by Curtman ( 556920 )

        I'd like a decent visualization for xmms.

        People still use XMMS? I thought most people moved on to Amarok/Rhythmbox years ago.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by caluml ( 551744 )
          Yeah, Amarok, sure. If I need a quick little app to listen to streaming audio at work, of course I want to install some all-singing, all-dancing thing that pulls in Postgres, Ruby, etc.

          $ ldd /usr/bin/amarokapp | wc -l
          No, XMMS did fine. And now I'm using Audacious, although it doesn't do some things as well as XMMS did. Amarok, while great isn't even in the same section as XMMS.
        • by rucs_hack ( 784150 ) on Monday December 31, 2007 @05:04PM (#21869824)
          People still use XMMS? I thought most people moved on to Amarok/Rhythmbox years ago

          Aha, you must be one of those Gentoo people :-)

  • by Enlarged to Show Tex ( 911413 ) on Monday December 31, 2007 @02:17PM (#21867988)
    A Linux port of Duke Nukem Forever, now that we finally know it isn't just vaporware...
    • Actually, I'm hoping for Linux ports of ANY commercial games. I've mailed a few game distributors asking why don't they include Linux versions of their games. The same answer: Not enough market share (and how do you expect the market share if the game publishers don't make Linux games? HMPH!)

      Why do they keep selling themselves to DirectX instead of OpenGL? GRRRR!
      • A Linux port of Duke Nukem Forever, now that we finally know it isn't just vaporware...

        Actually, I'm hoping for Linux ports of ANY commercial games. I've mailed a few game distributors asking why don't they include Linux versions of their games. The same answer: Not enough market share (and how do you expect the market share if the game publishers don't make Linux games? HMPH!)

        Don't worry! All popular games will have a Linux version, right after DNF for Linux appears!

        I mean ... once they see DNF on Linux

      • by Yosho ( 135835 ) on Monday December 31, 2007 @04:28PM (#21869462)
        Why do they keep selling themselves to DirectX instead of OpenGL? GRRRR!

        Because DirectX and OpenGL are not equivalents. OpenGL is only an API for drawing graphics; with DirectX you can not only do graphics, but you can also handle sound, input, networking, and more. The only open source equivalent to DirectX that I'm aware of is SDL, which is perfectly usable, but honestly it's not nearly as powerful as DirectX is. If you want just as much power, you'll have to go hunting through half a dozen common different alternatives for every aspect of your game, and none of them will work on every Linux system out there.
        • by Trogre ( 513942 ) on Tuesday January 01, 2008 @03:43AM (#21872838) Homepage
          Oh wipe the Aspergers from your mouth and think about what the GP might have really meant, which was probably OpenGL vs Direct3D.

          Those two can most certainly be compared.

        • by kazade84 ( 1078337 ) on Tuesday January 01, 2008 @05:48AM (#21873110)
          SDL + OpenGL + OpenAL + OpenTNL (or HawkNL) + ODE + DevIL + FreeType. There you go, Windowing + Input + Threading, Graphics, Sound, Networking, Physics, Texture loading and Fonts all with a similar syntax (i.e. glEnable, alInit etc.) all also aim to be cross-platform and importantly, all bind together really well and will compile on pretty much any modern Linux distro, Windows or Mac OS. Of course Microsoft provides math functions (but honestly.. you only need to write a math lib once and there are plenty free ones out there anyway). Write a game using those libraries and you hardly need to do anything to make it completely cross-platform (just file paths *cough*boost-filesystem*cough* and a few other bits and pieces).

          There are 2 reasons Microsoft has a hold on the games market:

          1. They provided a decent, well-supported solution first (well by the time they got to DX7 or 8 anyway)
          2. Big games developers can't just change the way they work without a very VERY good reason.

          The only way we can expect a shift in Linux support in games is if Linux market share gets to about 20% and ATI/nVidia really start supporting open source drivers properly so Linux drivers can as fast (if not faster) than the Windows ones. It will happen... it'll just take time.
    • They want to port to HURD first.

      I also understand that some of the more recent portions are written in Perl 6.....
  • Free Beer (Score:5, Funny)

    by IceCreamGuy ( 904648 ) on Monday December 31, 2007 @02:17PM (#21867992) Homepage
    I've been hearing about this "free beer" with FOSS for years... maybe in 2008 we'll finally get some?
    • Actually, "Free Beer" is the name of the band that makes the sounds when opening and compiling programs. You've had it all along and didn't know it..
    • Well of course, but you might have to brew it yourself, unless you can find someone to brew it for you. The recipe is here: free beer [wikipedia.org] Personally, I plan to try it out sometime 2008.
  • by ByOhTek ( 1181381 ) on Monday December 31, 2007 @02:18PM (#21867998) Journal
    KDE4 is half of what I want.

    The other half is FreeBSD 7. Given it is on RC1 now, it'll be there in Feb is my guess.
    • by Junta ( 36770 )
      http://www.freebsd.org/releases/7.0R/schedule.html [freebsd.org]

      Of course, the 6.3 release seems to be behind schedule, but they haven't officially missed any 7.0 release milestones yet and the schedule puts it at mid January.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by ByOhTek ( 1181381 )
        actually, that site has been excessively modified.

        it was originally supposed to have the final build on Dec 12. In the new schedule, RC1 was Dec. 12 and it wasn't built until last friday morning (Dec 28), RC2 was Dec 26, and not out yet. Beta4 (not listed on the page) was, I believe, second week in Dec, and not Nov 28.

        It's perpetually late. But perpetually late is better than badly bugged.
    • I'm using FreeBSD 7 RC1 right now and I've been using it throughout all of the 7.0 beta releases. It's been very stable and I haven't run into any significant problems yet. My only gripe so far is that ion3 was pulled from ports after more of Tuomo's antics. Once GHC is back in ports I plan to make the switch to xmonad.
  • Had to be said (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MztrBlack ( 35164 ) on Monday December 31, 2007 @02:19PM (#21868008)
    I'm thinking many would not consider DRM in FOSS to be a boon of any sort...
  • "Then we'll see if Java can become a major challenger to .NET and Mono."

    • "Then we'll see if Java can become a major challenger to .NET and Mono."

      Java 6 will be released under the GPL.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by abigor ( 540274 )
        Yeah, I know. My quote refers to the "major challenger" part. There's infinitely more (well, not really, but close) Java deployed on enterprise Linux servers than .Net/Mono, free or not. I'm not sure what the "challenge" is. Obviously, a GPL'd Java is a good thing, but how that will help Java meet this "challenge" that doesn't exist mystifies me.
    • In that context, I think the author meant that we'll see Java-derived OpenJava become a competitor to .NET-derived Mono. Which is kind of silly anyway, as they would only be competing over the mindshare of the OSS community. Both are likely to be included in future Linux distributions, though OpenJava will have the mild advantage of running all Java software out of the box. Mono is still struggling to be fully compatible with its parent platform. (Not that full compatibility was ever really the goal.)

  • and I for one welcome our new FOSS overlords.
  • I really REALLY mean it this time!
  • by iminplaya ( 723125 ) on Monday December 31, 2007 @02:35PM (#21868210) Journal
    The end of the tyranny of copyright law. Only then will there be true progress. Otherwise, this and everything else will be buried under the dog pile of licensing, which has already begun.
    • Or rather, a beginning to the reformation of copyright law, as copyright is necessary. The GPL is a copyright license, for example. Or let's say I wrote a novel - I would be pissed to see it on sale as with my name crossed out and "iminplaya" pencilled in instead.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by iminplaya ( 723125 )
        That would be plagiarism, something else entirely. Copyright is about distribution, not about who created what. GPL is only necessary due to the existence of copyright law, as pointed many times by many others. Slavery is still slavery. It cannot be "reformed". It must be abolished. And remember to throw some royalties into the RIAA kitty if you plan on singing Aud Lang Syne tonight.
        • by abigor ( 540274 )
          Okay, so you'd feel okay about printing 100,000 copies of my novel and selling them and not giving me anything for them? That seems silly.

          How is the existence of the GPL only necessary because of copyright? I don't get it. If I write some code and I want it to stay open, because it is attributable to me, I use the GPL. How would abolishing copyright keep my code open? Am I missing something obvious here?
          • by MBGMorden ( 803437 ) on Monday December 31, 2007 @05:24PM (#21869994)
            Just reiterating what the other poster said. In the normal world, you get paid for the work you do, not the work of your work. If I hire Bob to come build me a gate, he doesn't get to charge me every time someone comes through it. He is paid to build the gate and then he gets the hell out of my life. He only gets paid again if I need him to return and do more work.

            Same with the novel (or insert song, program, etc in here). You might have (and without copyright likely would have) been paid to write the story in the first place. Once you've been paid to write, you write the novel. Now, you can choose to only give it (or you could technically sell it) to the people who already gave you money, but the bottom line is you will have already been paid to write it. Once it's done your part is done and if people want to make copies of it to sell, or to give away, that's their own concern. If you want to keep raking in cash you better have written a story good enough that people are willing to pay you to write another one. And you better be willing to write a number of "sample" stories to begin with if you want anybody to start reading your stuff.

            With music, it's even easier. You could in the same way be paid to write the songs, or more likely you would be paid for live performances (ie, you are actually gonna have to get out there and do work again).

            With software, GPL isn't needed because if you release a closed source version of my code I'm just gonna decompile it, reimplement the changes in a high level language, and rerelease it again. If you want to be paid for software, someone will end up hiring you to do a custom program for them (ie, you must work, not live off imagined entitlement), or you can write free stuff and charge to support it (again, working).

            You also have to understand that not EVERYTHING will/would be feasible with copyright gone. It's a shift of society, but for the better. I'm sure if we reinstituted slavery we could achieve some absolutely marvelous feats in construction and such, but that doesn't mean it's something that a fair society should support. I seriously doubt large scale motion pictures as they currently stand would still be realistically profitable (though live theater certainly might return to a much more profitable status). That's not something we can't live without though, and it's certainly not worth instituting insanely oppressive laws over.Copyright instills a limited supply (and source) onto something that by nature is unlimited (and not really even tangible). It's one of the most perverted corruption of economics ever seen.
            • by abigor ( 540274 )
              Well, your approach to novels is certainly...novel. I can't see it working though, as there is no incentive to write books essentially for free (you don't get paid ahead of time for writing one).

              As for the code example...decompile it and reimplement?? That is the most hilarious thing I've heard all day. Have you ever written software? So some company takes Asterisk, closes it, and adds a bunch of stuff. I'm going to decompile it and figure out what they did? Are you daft?

              The "write free stuff, get paid for
            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by falconwolf ( 725481 )

              Copyright instills a limited supply (and source) onto something that by nature is unlimited

              I am glad to say this is wrong. First someone has to write whatever it is, and copyrights give them an incentive to write it. Therefore copyrights are more likely to make sure something is written, and therefore increases the supply, than not having copyrights. As it is now, a writer does not have to copyright something, they can instead put whatever they create into the public domain. And how many books, movie

        • by Rakishi ( 759894 )

          Slavery is still slavery. It cannot be "reformed". It must be abolished.

          Then I take it you are actually advocating full and unlimited communism. After all property rights are also slavery, if I want to use your car then it is slavery for you to not let me do so. Likewise if I'm hungry I should simply be able to take some food from the store even if I knowingly don't do anything for society (ie: I'm a lazy bum).

          Copyright is like everythign else a social construct designed to make it easier for someone to profit from that they do. If you want something to complain about then com

    • The end of the tyranny of copyright law.

      Too often the tyranny of copyright law means simply that the Geek can't safely download a screener of a movie that won't see theatrical release for six weeks.

  • Samba 4 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by div_2n ( 525075 ) on Monday December 31, 2007 @02:40PM (#21868276)
    And while I'm at it, hopefully improved compatibility due to the Samba team finally getting the proper documentation from Microsoft.
  • by rueger ( 210566 ) on Monday December 31, 2007 @02:41PM (#21868278) Homepage
    I'm among those who would be happy if existing apps could get fixed, Firefox being the prime example. On my G4 Mac every new realease of FF brings more crashes, more memory leaks, and generally more sluggish performance. I finally abandoned it last month for Opera, which I am liking very much.

    When most Open Source apps were small, simple and fast I could tolerate the inevitable bugs, and assume that they would be fixed up in the next release. Now it feels like everyone is working to add more and more features and "widgets," but no-one is worrying about overall stability and reliability.
    • It's called Firefox 3 and it will be here soon. The beta is much better than FF2 already.
    • Agreed. I seem to recall that at one time, Firefox was spun off of the larger Mozilla project to preserve the small, feature-light, responsive browser. Now, it seems like another spin-off is necessary to get back to that dream.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by zsau ( 266209 )
        The real answer is competition. Firefox was decent when it was competing against Mozilla and, on Windows, Internet Explorer (Safari and Konqueror aren't sexy enough for Mozilla to care). Now, it only competes against IE so Linux and Mac users are secondary (or worse) and the developers clearly think it's so much better than IE that it doesn't really need to be competitive.

        If the GTK and Windows ports of WebKit can get to a state where browsers for the rest of us can be based on them, then maybe Firefox can
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by RAMMS+EIN ( 578166 )
      This is why I don't consider Firefox, OpenOffice.org, etc (basically, most of the high-profile open-source software) to be prime examples of open-source. Generally, they are similar to (sometimes clones of) commercial software, including the bloat and bugs. _Most_ of the software I use actually isn't like that. And that's why I like it.
    • Look at http://scan.coverity.com/ [coverity.com]. This is a great project to improve the stability of open source projects by looking for all sorts of coding errors that can be very hard to spot manually. It may not be true that with enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow. But is it very clear that the Coverity eyeballs are exceptionally good at exposing lots of bug. It is all clear that the open source developers are excellent at fixing these bugs. If KDE can get 4.0 out the door and drive their Coverity defects clos
  • Yes! Thank you New Year's Gods! A native linux driver for my Aspire laptop's Broadcom BCM94318MPG card!

    Yes sir. I really can't ask for more than that can I?.. The old BCM94318 w/out any damned NDIS wrapper.

    Yep. It sure would take a warm and good soul to release one of those.
  • That's all I ask.
  • I'd like to see some organization standards. Like for my Mp3's things should go seamlessly between amarok, rythembox, etc and photos, and movies. I think FOSS is really behind Apple in this area.
    • I'd like to see some organization standards. Like for my Mp3's things should go seamlessly between amarok, rythembox, etc and photos, and movies. I think FOSS is really behind Apple in this area.
      Really, Apple lets you transfer your MP3 playlists and metadata between two music player written in two different toolkits, by two different companies, neither of them Apple? The same for photos and movies?

      • I assume he's talking more about how all the Apple apps work together, like how iPhoto and iMovie show you your iTunes playlist when you want to add music to a slideshow or movie. I don't see any reason why other music players couldn't access the iTunes database either. iEatBrainz is a third party freeware app that uses the MusicBrainz database to help fix MP3/AAC file info in the iTunes database, so it's possible.
  • What they're missing (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Dasher42 ( 514179 ) on Monday December 31, 2007 @03:19PM (#21868744)
    I predict that LLVM [llvm.org] and HLVM [hlvm.org] will gain steam. People are going to realize that this pair of abstractions is cleaner, leaner, and meaner than the current virtual machine + language + API way of doing things characterized by Java and .NET. The fact that a GPU can be used as a processor transparently where appropriate, just the way Apple already has with LLVM, is going to start the rethink that was cut short by Java and .NET's fiascoes of ownership or patents. They'll also start making development in compiled languages easier.

    This will be the open source response to the blurring lines between CPU and GPU task-wise, as the vector computing tasks could be done much quicker on the GPU based on the advances of LLVM, and applications will benefit transparently. It will be very cool.
    • Thanks for mentioning that. Your post has prompted me to finally set up a page for TurboVM [inglorion.net], a virtual machine I have been working on. What makes TurboVM interesting is that it's (1) small and simple, (2) not tied into a programming model like typical VMs that are designed with a single language in mind, and (3) FAST.

      There is a bytecode interpreter which seems to outperform OCaml's [inria.fr] (widely considered fast) by about a factor 2 to 3, and a compiler that compiles bytecode to C which can then be compiled to nati
  • OLPC vs clothes (Score:5, Informative)

    by Error27 ( 100234 ) <error27@NOSpAM.gmail.com> on Monday December 31, 2007 @03:39PM (#21868976) Homepage Journal
    From the article: "And it is true that food and clothing may seem like more immediate priorities in many regions."

    Please do not send any more clothes. You've already killed off the local textile industry and put all the cotton farmers out of work with your free clothes. Who can compete with free crap? Please stop.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/1076411.stm [bbc.co.uk]

    I no longer donate clothes for exactly this reason.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Joseph Stiglitz [wikipedia.org] makes the same point regarding food in Globalization and Its Discontents [amazon.com]. Western policies of what is basically dumping (painted up like charity) prevent those in nearby regions from stabilizing their own agricultural setups. The West ships food for free, undermining the market, so farmers throughout the continent or at least subcontinent have an artificially devalued market, preventing them from eventually owning enough, or creating enough savings, to weather famine conditions when they
  • Well, that's been the prediction the last ten years, might as well be consistent.
  • I'd like to see an "infinite desktop" with a head mounted display and orientation sensor. I can turn my head and see many virtual feet of documents in every direction. I can use my mouse to slide my point of view right or left. To me this would be a useful model and could eventually be adapted to portable use on planes and such.
  • Story Tagged: yearofnextyearistheyearofthelinuxdesktop
  • More! (Score:2, Funny)

    by maxume ( 22995 )
    More cowbell.
  • by centuren ( 106470 ) on Monday December 31, 2007 @06:29PM (#21870498) Homepage Journal
    I'd like either a nice port of iTunes or to find a better jukebox-type music player. I know I can get 100 suggestions right now for players people swear by, but nothing I've tried so far handles browsing, selection, and playback of music as well. In fact, I'd like a better version of iTunes, with features like the ability to classify a song as multiple genres, and have it show up under each.

    I've yet to try setting my Linux box up as a iTunes library sharing server (which makes sense with the Macs in the house but the media on my Linux desktop), but if that's not easy to maintain (adding/editing content) I'd like to see improvement there. I suppose that falls into the network media sharing server that's compatible with iTunes as a client category.

    Also, the traditional complaint about having to fiddle around. Why should I have to assign keystrokes to 8 of my 12 mouse buttons for it to work across everything (comfiz-fusion/kde, wine/wow, fluxbox, etc)?

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