Distrowatch Disappearance, RentOS 7 Coming, and OSS Lost

by Ostatic Staff - Jul. 07, 2014

In tonight's Linux news, Distrowatch.com went offline for much of Sunday. Serdar Yegulalp looks at the upcoming CentOS7, the first since joining hands with Red Hat officially. Bruce Byfield says Open Source has lost its way and is now wandering aimlessly with no purpose. And that's not all.

Distrowatch.com, needs no introduction, was offline Sunday July 6 for what turns out to be a snafu with the domain registrar. When I visited Distrowatch.com in the early afternoon it was down with a real ugly placeholder coming up instead. In today's Distrowatch Weekly, Ladislav Bodnar, owner/operator, explained, "the distrowatch.com domain name was suspended by the domain's registrar." He didn't feel up to relaying the entire incident, but he is back up today. In today's DDW, Jesse Smith reviews LXLE 14.04 and answers questions about home/small office Linux security. In the news section, they've introduced SimpleDE, a desktop especially for OpenBSD and a link back to an April Fool's joke in which Linux users would be looked at as "extremists and even terrorists by the authorities in certain countries." Don't miss that.

Bruce Byfield today said:

As we trudge the endless treadmill of release upon release, there's one question you don't hear much any more: where is open source heading? Or, perhaps, should it have a purpose at all?

Not too long ago, the answer to either question was obvious. The goal was to provide a free alternative to proprietary systems. But progress got stalled at a good-enough ninety percent or so, and looks likely to stay there for the foreseeable future.

The Free Software Foundation still talks about promoting user's freedoms, but, although it has a small band of adherents, most users apparently prefer convenience to principle. Nor, despite the FSF's best efforts, has anyone gathered enough resources to convince large numbers of people outside the tech-industry that their selection of software has some connection to their ideals. These days, you don't even hear much about closing the digital divide, and helping the poor get online, or developing countries to build their infrastructure.

Serdar Yegulalp at InfoWorld.com said today that CentOS 7 is right around the bend according to posts he saw on the CentOS blog. This is the first after the big Red Hat handshake. Yegulalp briefly discusses the merger before looking at CentOS and its new governance policy. He said of it:

The single largest change to CentOS as an organization -- and one of the most potentially worrisome -- has been the creation of a governing board for CentOS. The board is made up of the nine existing CentOS members, one community-nominated member, and three Red Hat-appointed members. As Donne Berkholz of RedMonk pointed out, Red Hat can make decisions on behalf of the rest of the board members if they can't agree on something, so the long-term effects of such a governing structure are unclear.

In other news:

* Linux Receives Its First Batch of Unreal Engine 4 Demos

* Build the best Linux desktop

* Open source's identity crisis