Debian 8 Updated, Kubuntu Help Wanted, Mageia 5.1

by Ostatic Staff - Sep. 20, 2016

The Debian project announced an update to their stable Debian 8 branch, the sixth such update since its release. This update is primarily to address security issues. Elsewhere, the Mageia folks announced an update to version 5, released last summer, to hold users over since 6.0 has been delayed. The Linux Grandma put out the call for help today as they're running a bit low on developers over there and the Free Software Foundation as well as Richard Stallman replied to the accusations of discrimination in the case of LibreBoot.

Last Thursday we reported on LibreBoot's lead developer publicly announcing that she is pulling the project out of the GNU project due to discrimination. Rowe said that a friend of hers had been fired from the Free Software Foundation for being transgendered. Richard Stallman answered Rowe's LibreBoot mailing list post Friday saying that her gender had nothing to do with it since she's the same gender now as she was when they hired her. The Free Software Foundation took a stronger stance and emphatically denied the charges saying, "We felt it necessary to state unequivocally that the allegations made in that email are untrue." In fact, their statement continues:

It is part of our job to celebrate and improve the diversity of the free software world. We have strong anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies to help provide a safe and supportive working environment. We uphold a safe space policy at all FSF events. The suggestion that the separation was a result of discriminatory animus is unfounded. We expect this to be our last public statement on the matter.

Former co-developer Damien Zammit, who quit the project over this, said Rowe didn't speak for all the developers of LibreBoot and went on to say "Leah (Rowe) has behaved highly inappropriately with regard to leading the libreboot project." Besides the unilateral GNU withdrawal, according to Zammit, she had used terms like "we" and "us" although she was actually only representing herself, mixed her personal views with the administration of the project, censored the IRC channel "like a child" when someone disagreed with her, and posted "irrelevant personal views on the project website." Rowe denied Zammit's claims and accused the FSF of lying in their statement. Today's LibreBoot diff reflects the name and git address changes.

Debian and Mageia announced updates to their current stable line of Linux operating systems. The Debian project announced 8.6 Saturday saying it was primarily security updates. New ISOs were uploaded for fresh installs. The Mageia project announced upcoming version 5.1 to "bridge the gap until Mageia 6 is ready." 5.1 will contain all the security and bug fixes announced since 5.0's release plus "an updated LTS kernel (4.4.x) for improved hardware support." The announcement also said that Mageia 6 development is back on track now with new hardware and new recruits splatting the remaining blocker bugs. They added that the delays enable them to included Plasma 5.8 and GNOME 3.22 in Mageia 6. Although officially on the "release when ready" schedule, they're hoping to release version 6 before the end of the year. 5.1 and a 6.0 developmental snapshot should be available next month.

Valorie Zimmerman today blogged that the Kubuntu project could use more developers. She's hoping some developers with KDE or Plasma experience might have time to help out. Specifically, Zimmerman said, "We're asking for Devels with a bit of extra time and some experience with KDE packages to look at our Frameworks, Plasma and Applications packaging in our staging PPAs and sign off and upload them to the Ubuntu Archive." They need to be ready next month when Ubuntu 16.10 is announced.

In other news:

* Happy Software Freedom Day! A few words from RMS

* Linux Began Its Invisible Conquest of Computing 25 Years Ago

* Why real hackers prefer Linux over Windows and Mac