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    Interesting FOSS News

    It seems there's a lot of interesting stuff going on in the free/open source software (FOSS) front these days. On graphics we've gotten Wayland, Mir (as a Wayland compositor instead of its own thing) and Vulkan in just the past decade. Now we're getting stuff like this:

    Flickerfree boot for Fedora

    A big project I've been working on recently for Fedora Workstation is what we call flickerfree boot. The idea here is that the firmware lights up the display in its native mode and no further modesets are done after that. Likewise there are also no unnecessary jarring graphical transitions.

    Basically the machine boots up in UEFI mode, shows its vendor logo and then the screen keeps showing the vendor logo all the way to a smooth fade into the gdm screen. Here is a video of my main workstation booting this way.
    But even more exciting, there's a project hoping to create a free (as in the FSF definition) GPU and software stack, in other words: not only free software but free HARDWARE as well!

    Also I'm really geeking out over AppStream as well, which may very well enable good distro-agnostic package management.

    Honestly this is a pretty exciting time for FOSS (and especially GNU/Linux), it's certainly the most excited I've ever been!

    Zukaro you might like this thread too. ;3
    Rusakov's Signature
    "You drongos will have to do better than that if you want to beat the devil!"-Hugh Dawkins, alias: Tasmanian Devil
  • #2

    This is pretty cool. That's one thing that Linux has had problems with is its display stack. Hopefully this will develop quickly, though I doubt it. There's a lot of proprietary stuff that needs reverse engineering.

    I did go in and look at the DOS source code that Microsoft posted on GitHub. That was kind of fun.
    Daryn's Signature



    “Just when you think humanity has found the limits of stupid, they go and ratchet up the standard by another notch.” - Bob

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    • #3

      Originally posted by Daryn View Post
      This is pretty cool. That's one thing that Linux has had problems with is its display stack. Hopefully this will develop quickly, though I doubt it. There's a lot of proprietary stuff that needs reverse engineering.
      *Nods* Though I've heard Xorg was pretty temperamental before Canonical. O.o

      Some desktop environments are moving towards Wayland already. GNOME, Pantheon and KWin are slowly moving towards a Wayland implementation (though some are saying Wayland itself needs some polish still). Cinnamon, MATE and RazorQt aren't currently moving things over last I heard.
      Rusakov's Signature
      "You drongos will have to do better than that if you want to beat the devil!"-Hugh Dawkins, alias: Tasmanian Devil

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      • #4

        I can't wait for open source hardware; it's something we desperately need as a society, especially with all the happenings in the world in respect to privacy concerns not only in software but in hardware as well. As they say, sunlight is the best disinfectant. In this case, by having the hardware open source it means the community can and will dig into it and discover any and all vulnerabilities and malicious functionality (and as such, those issues will be addressed and progress will move forward).

        Then there's also the whole right to repair thing. A lot of companies don't want you to repair their things these days, so they make it increasingly difficult (which is the exact opposite as things should be). So open source hardware will allow people to more easily repair their electronics as well.

        Furthermore, I've heard there's some projects working on making an open source RISC CPU. The thing about Intel (and, the x86 architecture in general) is it's not exactly efficient. There's a lot of built in instruction sets that just don't need to be there, whereas the whole point of RISC is that the instruction set is reduced (thus the acronym RISC; Reduced Instruction Set Computer). As far as I understand, the benefit of a reduced instruction set is fewer cycles per instruction, and as such the CPU runs faster as a whole. There is a benefit to having some built in instructions though, since when you program for that CPU you could do more with fewer lines by taking advantage of the instruction set (except I don't think that really applies for most programmers since most people are using a programming language rather than pure assembly).

        However I don't know too much about the benefits of RISC vs the more complex instruction sets. But what I do know is I absolutely want an open source CPU, and furthermore, I think from an education standpoint that is absolutely vital as then anyone whose interested in CPU architecture could look at the open source CPU and learn how and why it works, and then potentially build their own.

        But on top of that, it might finally mean there may be more than two CPU vendors in the world (or at least, more than two desktop CPU vendors; I know in the mobile space there's a few more although I think it's still dominated by a small few).


        Also, entirely unrelated (but still very important), but Valve is also doing a lot of good work in bringing gaming to Linux (they're working on Proton, which is a modified Wine distribution specifically aimed toward getting Windows games to run on Linux, and the work is open source and is being contributed back to the Wine project itself (any relevant code anyway, as Proton is aimed towards gaming specifically whereas Wine is less specialized Steam for Linux :: Introducing a new version of Steam Play)). It's great for gaming but also great for moving applications out of the Windows ecosystem. I really don't agree with Microsoft's current near monopoly on the personal computer industry (although I think Microsoft sees the times are changing as they've been starting to open source parts of the .NET framework; my guess is to keep people using it so they can profit more off training instead of just locking everyone into their ecosystem, as I think the trend is for large enterprises to move toward Linux for their servers).

        Although most of what I said is probably speculation. I can't remember the quality of anything I've said *and have forgotten mostly everything I've just written about too*
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        • #5

          Originally posted by Zukaro View Post
          *Snip*
          I recall the right to repair thing, there's actually a movement going on in support of it (not sure if a link to it would be be frowned upon though...).

          And I didn't know about Steam's WINE work. I've heard of Winepak, but not Steam's efforts. That's cool! x3
          Rusakov's Signature
          "You drongos will have to do better than that if you want to beat the devil!"-Hugh Dawkins, alias: Tasmanian Devil

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          • #6

            Thought you guys might be interested in this podcast about Sway.

            FLOSS Weekly 501 Sway
            Daryn's Signature



            “Just when you think humanity has found the limits of stupid, they go and ratchet up the standard by another notch.” - Bob

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