Syllable Launches New Browser

The Syllable project has reached another long-time milestone. It was always planned to factor out the web rendering engine of its web browser, ABrowse, into a library with a native Syllable View widget on top, so it can be embedded into more applications than just a web browser. Kristian Van Der Vliet did just that: building on Arno Klenke's WebCore port, he updated that and then stepped up the modularisation by creating the WebView class. He rewrote the browser on top of that and named it Webster . The first alpha version is available in the project's applications downloads. The latest Syllable 0.6.6 development build is required to run it, as several bugs in the system were fixed for the new browser. The next development build will have Webster included. The source code is available on the development site.

Developer Trivia Test

InfoWorld has put together a 20-question test of your programming knowledge. Questions range from 'What is the best way to preserve type safety in assembly language?' to 'Why are race conditions a problem in modern software development?' and they touch on your knowledge of the history of programming languages, how best to develop easily maintainable and secure code, and your game plan for overcoming a lack of energy drinks, Jolt Cola, and Mountain Dew at the local supermarket - in other words, your commitment to programming as a way of life. Editor's Note: Think of it as your midnight distraction (*cough* Grad Students) rather than news, you might actually enjoy it ;).

The Linux Saga: Boot Loader, Initrd & Sys V

How does the system startup look like? This question usually does not come into mind of a normal computer user. Oh, he presses the power button, goes to the kitchen to make a coffee and when he comes back, the password can be entered on the screen in the prepared field. Sometimes however, in the minds of a bit more keen computer enthusiasts, the question is born "how does it actually work?" It's no black magic. Editor's Note: An in depth three part series about the computer boot up process was covered earlier in OSNews.

Tux3, a Versioning Filesystem

Daniel Phillips has announced the prototype design of a new linux filesystem (implementation has only begun). The most interesting thing seems to be a different way of implementing versioning: "Unlike the currently fashionable recursive copy on write designs with one tree root per version, Tux3 stores all its versioning information in the leaves of btrees using the versioned pointer algorithm. This method promises a significant shrinkage of metadata for heavily versioned filesystems as compared to ZFS and Btrfs".

Are We About to Witness a Real OS X virus?

Mac Antivirus developer Intego might have stumbled across an OS X specific virus being offered for auction that targets a previously unknown ZIP archive vulnerability. From Intego's posting, it appears that an enterprising auctioneer seems determined to make sure that his name is one that is not forgotten when it comes to Apple security, claiming that his exploit is a poisoned ZIP archive that will "KO the system and Hard Drive" when unarchived.

Security Is No Secret

NSA takes its Flask architecture to the open-source community to offer an inexpensive route to trusted systems. "What it really helps out with is something called zero-day exploits," said Daniel Walsh, a principal software engineer at Red Hat and leader of the company's SELinux team. "If you have a bug in your software that allows a machine to be taken over, SELinux another layer of controls to make sure that application only does what is was designed to do. SELinux is your last line of defense."

Shuttleworth Sets Bar For Linux ‘Beyond Apple’

Mark Shuttleworth today urged development of Linux models to rival what Apple has done on the desktop and mobile devices. Certainly on the desktop experience, we need to shoot beyond the Mac, but I think it's equally relevant the mobile space, Shuttleworth said, outlining the challenge as figuring out how to deliver a 'crisp and clean' experience, without sacrificing the community process. Key to this will be services-based mechanisms for creating revenue for free software that go beyond advertising, Shuttleworth said, adding that cadence in free software releases spurs innovation, and that a regular release schedule, as well as meaningful ties to Windows, will be essential to fulfilling the vision.

Mandriva and PTech Announce Low-cost Desktop

Mandriva and Precedent Technologies (PTech) are pleased to announce a new partnership, working together on the release in September in the United States of a new low-cost desktop - the TechSurfer - with Intel Atom CPUs and Mandriva Linux preinstalled. TechSurfer is a web-centric computing platform that is designed for customers who mostly surf the web; download music; and utilize VOIP services, such as Skype. The TechSurfer platform is also suitable for light desktop applications. TechSurfer is powered by the Intel Atom processor. The Atom processor was designed especially for web-centric computers. TechSurfer prices starts at $399.99 with Mandriva Linux pre-installed: Microsoft Windows will cost an extra $100. The system will come with a three-year manufacturer's warranty. Find out more in the press release.
Editor's note: Looks like Mandriva is taking full-advantage of the Low-cost hardware arena. First the Intel's ClassmatePC then the GDium and now PTech.

Lazy Linux: 10 Essential Tricks for Admins

In this article, learn how to be a more productive Linux systems administrator. These 10 essential tricks will lead you on your way to being one powerful Linux systems administrator. Learn about SSH tunnels, VNC, password recovery, console spying, and more. Examples accompany each trick, so you can duplicate them on your own systems.

Vector Linux SOHO 5.9 Deluxe — Not Just For The Office

"I've read past reviews by other reviewers describing Vector Linux as "better Slackware than Slackware" or "what Slackware should be" and I always felt that was a bit of a stretch. With this release it isn't. You get all the reliability and stability of Slackware, better performance than vanilla Slack (at least on my hardware) and the features and most of the conveniences users of distributions touted as user friendly have come to expect."

Face Off: Windows vs Linux Real World RAM and Disk Tests

David Williams over at iTWire has done a comparison of Windows vs Linux. It is performed by doing functionally identical tasks in both the OSes. This comparison is not a fair one by any measure. The laptops running the Windows and Linux were different in the hardware config and the software used for the tests were comparable but clearly different (MS Office vs OpenOffice; IE vs Firefox 3).

The A-Z of Programming Languages: D

Walter Bright talks about D and his desire to improve on systems programming languages. Many successful concepts from other languages like JavaScript, PERL, Ruby, Lisp, Ada, Erlang, Python, etc., have had a significant influence on D, he says. He adds: "D 1.0 was pretty straightforward stuff, being features that were adapted from well-trod experience in other languages. D 2.0 has ventured into unexplored territory that doesn't have a track record in other languages. Since these capabilities are unproven, they generate some healthy skepticism. Only time will tell."