Cliff’s List Filter – April 22 – 27


Author: Ian Palmer

It’s been another week, so it’s time for another update with the news, tips, and other tidbits from various open source mailing lists that we’ve been monitoring. While following the Linux Kernel, GNOME, KDE, and Mozilla circles, we’ve heard word of a new GNOME 2 Developer’s Guide, a handy Flash blocking utility for Mozilla-based browsers, thoughts of KDE & .NET, and the usual gathering of other useful miscellany.

Linux Kernel

  • A new patch released to the Linux Kernel mailing list adds ethtool support to the RTL8169 devices.
  • Matt Mackall has more ketchup to go with those fries. His automatic kernel patching utility is now up to
    version 0.7.

  • Owners of a PCMCIA SCSI with the Symbios 53c500 controller, who are on the bleeding
    edge with Linux 2.6.5, may want to try another attempt at a 2.6.x driver for their hardware.

  • Jeff Garzik posted some corrections which should help users of Serial ATA drives, who are currently having
    problems with Linux 2.6.x not recognizing their drives during the initial hardware probes. That’s not all, of course. Since Intel was nice enough to create a SATA controller with an open AHCI specification, Jeff decided to write a driver for that, too!

  • Not long after the publication of an integer-overflow exploit against certain Linux kernels, a kernel hacker was able to create a
    fix for the problem
    that won’t require you to reboot your machines. Even so, if you have an exploitable kernel, it might be best to upgrade to the latest fixed kernel (2.4.26 for the 2.4 series and 2.6.4+ for the 2.6 series), when the time allows.

  • Finally, this bit of Important News: There are binary kernel modules out there which are lying about their license, and this has sparked quite a bit of discussion as to what to do about them. For more coverage on this issue you can also read the opinions
    from Slashdot




  • Users who use Mozilla Calendar should be aware that the nightly Mozilla 1.7 builds
    post RC1 will break some of the calendar’s functionality
    . If you use the calendar heavily, you may want to hold off on those upgrades for a bit.

  • It seems the Mozilla Calendar is becoming quite the polyglot. Czech users will be happy to note that the Mozilla calendar now has a localization appropriate for your language from Pavel Cvrcek, while Hungarians should feel right at home with new translations from Tímár András, the new maintainer. If you are interested in the number of localizations currently supported by the Sunbird project, take a look at the current translator list. That’s quite a lot of languages!
  • Javascript programmers may want to read up on the new
    changes to the tree widget
    that are upcoming in the later versions of Mozilla. There
    may be new features among these changes that you may want to make use of.

  • If you dislike Flash content popping up unexpectedly, then FlashBlock might be the thing for you. Thanks to John Thompson for the reference. Currently FlashBlock blocks all Flash content at page load times, replacing it with a tame placeholder that you can click on to view the content. New versions plan to implement a whitelist, so that clicking will be unnecessary on specific pages.
  • Interested in adjusting the Mozilla splash screen to your tastes? If so, then
    thread probably contains some valuable information