Dealing With Microsoft, KDE's New Vision, XScreenSaver Battle

by Ostatic Staff - Apr. 06, 2016

The fallout from last week's Canonical-Microsoft announcement continues to rain. First reactions ranged from enthusiastic to shocked and this week distrust is a common theme. Elsewhere, the KDE project presented its new and improved philosophy and is working on the mission statement. Apparently XScreenSaver is causing a bit of a kerfuffle in Debianland and Bruce Byfield ranked desktops from most customizable to "little more than launchers."

For years Microsoft was considered the enemy mainly because of its hostility towards Open Source and Linux. Even when a new head honcho began claiming a fondness for Open Source and Linux most were skeptical. That was a skepticism that hasn't diminished much which is why last week's announcement of an Ubuntu shell running on Windows 10 was met with mixed reactions. Ubuntu-ites were overjoyed, but many figured it was Microsoft's way of elbowing Linux off of some machines while others said Microsoft needed Linux for its cloud and other endeavors. However, the weekend didn't change the subject and opinions are still being posted.

Paul Venezia yesterday said, "I’m pretty sure there won’t be a mad rush of devs and admins dying to run a highly limited Ubuntu user space on Windows 10. They'll stick with their Macs and Mint boxes."

Bruce Byfield wrote yesterday, "Until Microsoft can bring itself to become a part of the open source community, making a disinterested gesture or two, few community members are going to believe that it has changed in any meaningful way."

Today Ken Starks said in his famously eloquent manner, "Loves Linux my…er, behind. Microsoft, you don’t love Linux any more than I love liver and onions. You have merely realized that the only way you are going to survive into the next decade is to integrate Linux into your strategies. Let’s face it. You need us. More than we need you."

Michael Vizard noted today, "The ultimate goal is to create a critical mass of applications on Azure that will enable Microsoft to counter Amazon Web Services for supremacy in the public cloud."

KDE today announced its official "Vision for the Future" saying, "A common desire unites all of KDE: to change the world for the better." Thomas Pfeiffer said that common desire wasn't well known according a survey conducted among KDE users and contributors. So, KDE decided they needed to explicitly state "a shared vision." That vision statements reads:

A world in which everyone has control over their digital life and enjoys freedom and privacy.

Pfeiffer explained the vision was the "what" and now they need a "how." So, now KDE will be pounding the clay to create an official mission statement. Brainstorming has already begun.

A Debian user filed a bug report wishing the out-of-date warnings in XScreenSaver disabled/removed. The original developer, Jamie Zawinski, of XScreenSaver was not happy at the request as his comment in the source code specifically asks that the warning not be removed. In fact, it also states if a distribution can't provide a recent version, he prefer they'd remove it completely. Some ideas are to remove the upstream email address so Zawinski won't be bothered with bug fix requests on older versions from Debian users and another posted a patch to remove the warning. Many asked the Debian maintainer, Tormod Volden, to upgrade the Debian version, but stable is stable. The maintainer also asked for patience and politeness because the thread took an ugly turn for a while. No definitive solution is decided as of yet, but Volden at least wants to make it clear where Debian users should file bug reports - at Debian.

Zawinski said of removing his warnings or email address, "The issue here is taking advantage of a creator's work, ignoring their wishes, and giving nothing back in return. That's just lame." Chiming in, Matthew Garrett said, "Now is probably a good time to start thinking about what value Debian bring to its upstream authors and how that can be increased. Failing to do so doesn't serve users, Debian itself or the free software community as a whole."

In other news:

* Mozilla is in a time of change

* Choosing Linux Desktops: Customizers vs. Launchers

* Full Linux-on-PS4 hits Github