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GNOME 2.26.3 Out

Softpedia has the news...

"The GNOME developers, through Lucas Rocha, have announced early this morning in a press release that the last maintenance release of the popular GNOME 2.26 desktop environment is now available for download. Just like the previous maintenance releases, GNOME 2.26.3 is here mainly to fix many of the remaining bugs, but to also introduce a few interesting features..."


Build virtual appliances using the OVF Toolkit

See how the toolkit for Open Virtualization Format standard (OVF), an open, secure, portable, efficient, and extensible format can help you package and distribute the software you want to run on virtual machines.

WebServices Wars: Creating a basic webservice using Eclipse, php and apache

Here I am,
That's a lot of time since my last blog, well, I was quite busy with something else (still have my private life ok ?) but now I'm back again with WebServices, PHP, Eclipse, Apache.

A lot of folks are asking me about some sort of short howto/sample/easy doc for dealing with webservices and php, there's a lot of information spread all around the web so I've decided to collect information from my projects and write down some notes for a quickstart howto with webservices and php.

Now if you like to write down everything from scratch you can surely do but if you're working on a big project you're surely already using an IDE of some sort.

I've tried a lot of different commercial and open source IDEs and after a lot of evaluation I've choosen Eclipse because it's mature, stable (quite), reliable, studied for big enterprise class projects ...and I've a fast and huge pc with a ton of ram on it.

Eclipse is reliable, well known and supported, one of its major drawbacks are about system resources, it eats a lot of ram but if you've a recently updated PC with a good linux distro and a good amount of ram you can surely use it and you'll never go away from it. PHP folks will surely install PDT ( PHP Development Toos Project for Eclipse, it's now a mature plugin for eclipse, reliable and suited for php professional development.

I don't wanna bother you about details on configuring eclipse/pdt/apache/php and so on (maybe another blog argument ?) I'll assume you've this configuration :

  • Eclipse and PDT up and running in your workstation, don't care about operating system but of course if you're using linux it's better :-) (gentoo linux like me even better). But I really don't care, just need Eclipse up and running
  • Web Tools Platform plugin for Eclipse, not really required but useful, it provides: web page editor inside Eclipse, WSDL editor, HTML Validators. WSDL editor is very important if you wish to create webservices with a GUI interface, if you're mastering xml/soap/rpc files and you want to write them on your own you're free to do this.
  • A webserver with php extension installed, Apache2 and PHP5 are used in this sample but every webserver suitable for php is good (here again, apache2 and php5 are better than everything else)
  • Common PHP knowledge and some Object Oriented programming skills, here used for these samples
  • Basic SOAP and WebServices knowledge, at least you need to know what they can do and what is this technology for, later you'll better understand soap after reading samples

This blog is just an intro and a "bill list of materials" before getting started


This is an intro, next article will be the first "hands on" with eclipse and WSDL creation
As usual feel free to ask and write down some comments when needed, hope it helps

Next, featuring: Episode 1: WebServices Wars: "The Phantom Menace": Creating the WebService WSDL file

Andrea Benini (Ben)



Linux based Solar-powered networking anywhere

Less than 25 percent of the world's total population has access to the Internet. In many parts of the world, computers are scarce, and connectivity is even rarer. Indeed. SolarNetOne is novel initiative to span the divide. Learn how SolarNetOne can deploy a turnkey Internet hotspot—conditioned, renewable power; computers; WiFi; and an uplink—anywhere the sun shines with Linux and open source technologies.

openFATE - Adding New Features Now Open for Everybody

From openFATE’s launch in January ‘09 the addition of a new feature was limited to openSUSE members. Due and thanks to several requests out of the openSUSE community we changed this and are happy to announce today that openFATE now allows feature requests for non-members as well. This will lower the bar again to participate directly in the project and in the development of openSUSE, openSUSE Build Service and openFATE itself.
 We’re looking forward to receive more qualified feature requests to make our openSUSE distribution and the project itself fit your needs better from day to day. To use openFATE please check first here
Have a lot of fun!

Linux Netbooks now almost as cheap as cell phones

Computer manufacturer Acer is now offering the Acer Aspire One A150-Aw in the UK for just £149.99, which is not much more than the cost of advanced smart phones such as the iPhone. In fact, Acer promotes the Aspire One A150-Aw as a communication device, more so than a general purpose computer, as shown below.  Linux netbooks are changing the rules of the game in the PC market.  Consumers are learning that they can get decent basic computing services inexpensively and they don't need Microsoft Windows or Microsoft Office for their most basic computing needs.  Click the Read more button below to get the rest of this story. Acer is smart in the way that they are changing the expectation of the consumer.  Acer is not trying to place its Aspire One A150-Aw against a general purpose computer such as a Microsoft Windows Vista machine or an Apple Macbook.  Instead, they are promoting the computer as a "communications device":

The Aspire one is more than just another ultra-mobile notebook: its an all-new communication device designed to deliver continuous access to the internet and a simplified wireless experience no matter where you are.  The Aspire one was designed to get you online in no time at all and thanks to the Linpus Linux Lite operating system, start up and shut down times are reduced to the minimum. With the Aspire one running on Linux environment, the simplicity continues with the intuitive and specifically optimized software interface.

By changing the consumer's expectations, Acer is avoiding consumer rejection of the Aspire One 150-Aw as being underpowered.  Acer doesn't want the consumer to expect to use the Aspire One 150-Aw as a substitute for a desktop computer or a more powerful notebook, because the consumer would always be unhappy with that comparison. 

Instead, Acer is signaling to the consumer to acquire a specialized netbook dedicated to just getting on-line and doing simple email, web-browsing, word-processing and spreadsheet functions with a much lighter, much cheaper netbook that is is meant to supplement the more powerful machines already available to the consumer.

This is a brilliant move, because Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen has shown that new disruptive techonologies like Linux often get their start by changing consumer expectations and opening up new markets below the market leader's target market.  Acer is saying, "We know that Microsoft and Apple can make more powerful, snazzy general purpose computers.  We're not competing in that market.  We're offering a less expensive netbook for use on the go."

There has been a flurry of activity lately in Linux on netbooks.  Netbooks are proving to be a big growth area for GNU-Linux and thus a major threat to Microsoft's revenue base.  Many more companies are offering small, inexpensive notebooks, called netbooks, with GNU-Linux pre-installed, and Microsoft has responded by extending the live of Microsoft Windows XP far beyond their original plans.  All of this is good for consumers, because it gives them more choice at lower price points.

Netbook maker Acer also plans to manufacture Google Android Linux netbooks in 2009 (this year).  That is huge, because Google is a product name that people know and trust.  These netbooks will be cheaper & faster than the comparable Microsoft Windows netbooks. 

Netbooks are already selling with GNU-Linux pre-installed.  GNU-Linux installs amount to of Dell Inspiron Mini 9s netbooks.  Even Microsoft Windows XP netbooks come with Free Open Source Software pre-installed.  And number one world-wide computer maker HP is planning to offer Linux netbooks at $50.00 below the XP netbooks.

Intel makes the Atom processors that are so prevalent on netbooks, and OSstatic reported before on the fact that Microsoft has attributed some of its recent revenue shortfalls to the success of netbooks. In a recent 10-Q filing that came just before the Microsoft laid off 5,000 employees, there was this quote:

"The decline in OEM revenue reflects an 11 percentage point decrease in the OEM premium mix to 64%, primarily driven by growth of licenses related to sales of netbook PCs, as well as changes in the geographic and product mixes."
There is still a huge, long competition before GNU-Linux reaches 50% install base, but Microsoft has some huge challenges in front of it, as is shown from the above-referenced mandatory investor disclosure in its recent US SEC annual 10K filing.  If you want to know what worries a US corporation, look at its SEC 10k filing.  Microsoft has been talking about Linux, Free Open Source Software and in its 10k annual filing for years.

Oh, and by the way, Microsoft's stock has been flat since 2002.


Building object-oriented modular PHP applications

Separation of concerns is a concept in object-oriented (OO) software design that allows you to build more-modular applications. Modular applications are easier to maintain and add new features to. PHP's OO language features allow you to apply design concepts to build more robust, maintainable applications.









An Eclipse Galileo flyby

The Eclipse Galileo release of 33 major projects showcases diversity and innovation. The goal of this article is to take you through the Galileo release train and showcase some of the projects that are part of the release. It accomplished this by giving a tour of some Galileo projects, including quotes from project leaders along the way.

Crunchbang and me

So ive been using crunchbang for a few days now on my laptop, and must say it has done a remarkable job in everything ive thrown at it. Weather it was using gimp to create custom wallpapers, firefox to watch youtube vids or listening to music, crunchbang has done it all and in great fashion.  This may or may not impress everyone but considering that my machine is a pentium 3 with 192 ram and 4mb video its damn impressive to me, especially since when I bought the laptop it had windows xp and took literally 5 minutes to boot and anothe 15 to connect to the internet.  I will continue to support the crunchbang team in anyway i can, thanks for reading my idiotic ramblings lol.

Austrian capitol Vienna familiarizing employees about Linux

On 24 June 2009, it was announced that the city administration of Vienna will begin teaching its employees about open source so they will better understand an eventual move to this type of software on the desktop, according to reporter Gijs Hillenius writing for the European Open Source Observatory and Repository (  According to Hillenius, the purpose of the training will be to prepare end users for a migration to FOSS on the desktop:
"In an emailed statement, Marie Ringler, local Green Party councillor involved in the proposal, said: 'If we want to switch to GNU/Linux and other open source applications, we should take the fears and concerns of our users seriously. Future open source users should be better informed.'
"The city council unanimously adopted a proposal from the SPÖ (Social Democrats) and the Greens to begin a comprehensive information campaign on open source, aimed at the desktop users working for the city of Vienna. The information campaign should help create understanding for a possible switch to open source.

"In an emailed statement, Marie Ringler, local Green Party councillor involved in the proposal, said: 'If we want to switch to GNU/Linux and other open source applications, we should take the fears and concerns of our users seriously. Future open source users should be better informed.'"
This development is signficant because it shows that the primary lesson of the Munich migration, called "LiMux", seems to be taking hold outside of Munich in another major European city, Vienna.  That lesson is the importance of involving all of the stakeholders in a migration to Free Open Source Software (FOSS) in a systematic fashion, rather than imposing the change from the top down, or just letting FOSS filter into an organization from the IT department without coordinated effort by business managers and users.  The following passage is taken from an extensive OSOR article by reporter Karsten Gerloff and explains in detail what has been learned from the Munich migration project:
"Florian Schießl [the manager responsible for implementing the LiMux project] says that the project team has learned two major lessons in the course of the LiMux project. First, that it is absolutely necessary to convince people to be ready and open for change; and second, to break complex technical problems (“none of them are unsolvable”, says Schießl) into small tasks, so they can be handled more easily.

"'LiMux is not a technical project', he says. Initially, the team approached the migration as a classical IT problem, but the real issues turned out to be different. 'It's all about managing change for and with people.'

"'Convince employees and managers (especially in the IT area of the administration) to be open to change, to take them by the hand and lead them down the new road. This has nothing to do with technology. It's about emotions.' Users need to feel that they are being taken seriously. It is just as important to secure political and managerial backing for the project and its strategy. This helps to minimise resistance and speed up progress."
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