Fedora 24, openSUSE 42.2 Alpha, Snappy Coverage

by Ostatic Staff - Jun. 22, 2016

Fedora 24 was released today to many headlines and LinuxConfig.org posted the first official review. openSUSE 42.2 saw an alpha release today giving users a bit of a sneak peek. Interestingly, Matt Asay and Bruce Byfield both authored stories today on the press coverage of Canonical's Snap announcement - both saying the press believed the hype hook, line, and sinker.

Fedora 24 was released today June 21 as decided last week. It was the top story today in Linuxland, although not as many wider general news sites carried the news as Ubuntu's last release or Snaps announcement. Nevertheless, it carried the day on tech sites catering to Open Source and/or Linux. Matthew Miller made the announcement on FedoraMagazine.org today saying this is another step on their journey to "redefining what an operating system should be for users and developers." Highlighted are GNOME 3.20 and Flatpak. A separate announcement introducing Flatpak also appeared on Fedoramagazine.org saying it "brings standalone apps to Fedora." Flatpak has its own web presence now as well at flatpak.org and today the site featured its own introduction to Flatpak. In fact, half of today's Fedora headlines led with Flatpak. So, hopefully the team is happier today with the amount of press coverage.

Also highlighted was the further refinement of Wayland, a new graphical stack poised to replace X11 in Fedora 25. Paul W. Frields posted a more detailed listing of the new features in Fedora 24 Workstation. He said besides GNOME 3.20, Wayland, and Flatpak, the new graphical upgrade in GNOME software can, in a Windows Update-like fashion, download the "content" which will run after reboot. He also mentioned LibreOffice 5.1 and QGnomePlatform, the latter of which provides improved GNOME and KDE interface consistency. Christian Schaller had a lot more on Flatpaks saying with their Software manager integration "users shouldn't have to care about if your application is a Flatpak or a RPM."

Canonical's Snap announcement, or rather the press coverage of it, was the subject of two articles today - both contending that the press just believed and regurgitated Canonical's claims of software nirvana. Matt Asay said of the coverage, "The lack of thoughtful scrutiny of the claims by the tech press beggars belief." He said, "Who doesn't want to believe that the packaging wars have come to an end?" Asay then said that despite most of Canonical's claims in the announcement being false, 'really the problem is with a fawning tech press that accepts anything that sounds like "open source community" as gospel truth, when a more critical analysis is needed.'

Bruce Byfield basically said the same thing today in his latest at Datamation.com beginning, "When Canonical announced that developers from other distributions were working on Snappy packages, the media pumped a minor announcement into a major story." If the story had been true then the press might have been justified he said, but it just wasn't. He then sorted through the claims, good and bad, and concluded:

This summary makes two clear that the stories about Snappy have been distorted beyond credibility.

It also makes clear that, Snappy is a technology that is at early beta stage at the very most. It attempts to solve problems that many do not see any pressing need to solve, and, like many new technologies, its advantages seem to depend tradeoffs.

More than one observed has linked to an xkcd cartoon that suggests the result of making a universal standard is only one more competing standard, and, so far, that seems the likeliest outcome — something as far away from the reporting in the open source media as is possible to imagine.

Jon Brodkin compared and contrasted the competing containerized formats at ArsTechnica.com with his overarching thesis being that the package wars are not over by a long shot. After his comparison he concluded, "Developers of both Snap and Flatpak say they hope to decrease the fragmentation that makes it hard to package applications for all Linux distributions—though that might be difficult with multiple systems for cross-platform distribution. Snap and Flatpak aren't the only new cross-distribution application packaging technologies either."

Sam Varghese followed up yesterday's news of Jacob Appelbaum's banishment from much of the Open Source community, most recently Debian development, over allegations of sexual misconduct. Today Varghese reported that Appelbaum is also banned from Debian events. Quoting project lead Mehdi Dogguy he said that Appelbaum's Debian membership was revoked after two weeks consideration and he was not welcome at Debian events.

Varghese also reported that some have come to Appelbaum's defense and said he shouldn't be banned until found guilty with one suggesting it could all be a setup. After a council meeting, Linux Australia issued a statement saying they would not bar Appelbaum until they had evidence of wrongdoing. So, as it stands now, it appears Applebaum can attend the next linux.conf.au if he chooses.

In other news:

* openSUSE Leap 42.2 Alpha2 released

* Fedora 24 Workstation Review: All Work and Very Little Play

* Sony agrees to pay millions to gamers to settle PS3 Linux debacle