Open Ballot: should KDE and Qt libraries merge?

TuxRadar

"Let's merge Qt and the KDE development platform. Let's put all KDE libraries, support libraries, and platform modules into Qt." So says Cornelius Schumacher, long-time KDE coder and the current president of KDE e.V. Such a bold move would be a "massive effort and require huge changes", he says - and the community would have plenty to talk about as well. See here for the full story, and then let us know what you think for our next podcast. Is this a good move to simplify the Linux desktop stack and eliminate redundancy, or are the projects simply far too separate and distinct?

Oh, and please give yourself a slightly more imaginative name than Anonymous Penguin if you want your comment to be read out. Don't just do what the man tells you to.

Open Ballot: do you support Ubuntu's move to Unity?

TuxRadar

This is a big one: the world's most popular Linux distribution is getting a radical desktop overhaul in 11.04. Ubuntu will switch from the standard Gnome layout, as used in all previous desktop releases, to the Unity interface featured in the netbook edition. As we prepare to record our next podcast, we want your opinions on the change: is this a bold leap forward for Linux, giving it a unique GUI to clearly differentiate it from Windows and Mac OS X? Or are changes like this too risky, and Ubuntu should stick with the tried-and-tested Gnome layout?

Let us know what you think, and give yourself a more interesting name than Anonymous Penguin if you want us to read your comment out!

Open Ballot: are you excited by Panasonic's Jungle?

TuxRadar

Coming just a mere week after our last recording (sorry, we're struggling to get back on schedule!), it's time for another open ballot question where you - yes, you! - get your views read out on our podcast. This time our topic is Panasonic's "Jungle", an all-new, Linux-running device designed to be the perfect platform for online gaming. Some have described it as a non-starter, others have said that the choice of Linux could be a problem, but what do you think: is the Jungle a worthy entrant for Linux into the mainstream gaming marketplace, or is it just another attempt to make quick profit using free software?

Our standard rules apply: put a name on your post so we can read it out, and write interesting stuff!

Free Linux discs for schools and LUGs!

LXF

Note: due to the quick responses, this offer is now finished, so that everyone gets a good share of discs!

Here at Linux Format HQ we've got oodles of spare discs from previous issues of the magazine. Instead of sending them all to the recyclers, we'd love to get them in the hands of prospective Linux users. So, if you work in education, run a Linux User Group or have any other opportunity to spread the word of free software, email Mike DOT Saunders AT futurenet DOT com with your address and we'll put a collection in the post. Some of the distros are a bit older than the latest releases (eg Fedora 12) but they're nonetheless full of great Linux software.

Open Ballot: is Graham Morrison wrong?

TuxRadar

Our kid Graham has had a rough time of it on the internet recently. His article for our sister site TechRadar, "The trouble with Linux: there's too much choice", sparked off a few flamewars. Most notably, Caitlyn Martin over on the O'Reilly blog delivered a no-minced-words response: "Are you intimidated by breakfast cereal?".

We want to know what you think, for the podcast we're about to record. Read both sides of the argument and let us know. Is Graham on the right track, and the vast range of options in the Linux world is confusing for newcomers? Or is he wrong, and having many choices of distros and packaging systems is like having choices of breakfast cereals? Post your thoughts below - and use a name other than Anonymous Penguin if you want to sound like an awesome person in our podcast.

Open Ballot: what's your favourite Linux improvement?

TuxRadar

We're gearing up to record our next podcast, and we want you - yes YOU! - to contribute your views in our Open Ballot section. This time the question is, out of all the changes we've seen in the Linux world in the last year, what's your favourite? If you want to go big and say "all of Fedora 13", or if you want to go small and cite the SSE improvements introduced into Glibc 2.11, we don't mind as long as your stick to our simple rules: keep it short, and use a name other than "Anonymous Penguin."

So, if you want your opinion in our podcast, post a comment below!

Open Ballot: what would you change about Linux?

TuxRadar

We're gearing up to record a new episode of our great Linux podcast, and you - yes, you! - get to have a say. The question we're asking is this: if you had the resources, what single thing would you change? Would you merge KDE and Gnome? Would you introduce a new package manager? (eek!) Would you find all mentions of "Linux" and replace it with GNU/Linux?

If you'd like your views read out on our podcast, please post your answer below. Make sure you include a name, and please avoid running off a large list - pick one thing and one thing only!

Linux Format wallpapers

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Updated: We've had a number of reader requests to make available some of the imagery we use in Linux Format magazine. Naturally we're happy to share with you all, so we've put this page online where we'll upload artwork as it's requested.

The URL for this page is fixed so you can come back here and check for updates later. As with our podcast, we're releasing this artwork under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0, so feel free to monkey with it if you want.

Open Ballot: freedom or function?

TuxRadar

For our next podcast, we want to know whether the primary reason you use open source software is for its freedom or for its function. It's a choice between the freedom to potentially redistribute and modify the code, and the festival of functionality that can be found within most open source software when compared against other tools at the same price.

We realise that, for most, the answer is likely to be a mixture of both, but we're interested in which you think is the most important. If you'd like your views read out on our podcast, please post your answer below. Anonymous Penguins post at their own peril.

Open Ballot: are you excited by HP's Slate?

TuxRadar

With the news that HP intends to use Linux-based WebOS on its Slate tablet, do you think this is Linux's big chance to take on Apple's iPad, or do you think WebOS on Palm Pre didn't do enough to justify you parting with your cash to buy a Slate? Or do you perhaps think that an Android tablet has a better chance of success?

If you'd like your views read out on our podcast, please post your answer below and make sure you use a name other than Anonymous Penguin.

Help support free software - donate today!

TuxRadar

Not everyone can contribute code, documentation or bug reports to free software projects. But there are other ways to support the community, one of which is by making a small donation. The Libre Graphics Meeting (LGM) is an annual working conference for free software graphics application users and developers. The fifth meeting takes place 27-30 May 2010 in Brussels, Belgium. Teams from GIMP, Inkscape, Blender, Krita, Scribus, Hugin, Open Font Library and many other graphics projects will gather to improve their software and discuss new ideas for interoperability and shared standards.

The problem is, it costs money to cover travel costs for the volunteer developers and presenters that would otherwise not be able to travel to Belgium, and they need to raise $10,000 to help everyone get there. So, if you want to do your part to contribute just a little bit to the future of free software, please donate to their cause - every donation, even $10, helps.

All donations are tax deductible for US taxpayers. Larger donations from corporations and individuals can be done through the website or by contacting them directly at lgm@gnome.org. You can read more information at www.libregraphicsmeeting.org.

To encourage you to donate, we're going to make a simple promise: for every TuxRadar user who donates $50 or more, we'll produce another video tutorial like this one for the site. All you have to do is forward us the confirmation email from Pledgie for a contribution made between today and the start of LGM. So, you help the community, more top developers get to attend LGM and come up with awesome new ideas, and the world gets a new tutorial from TuxRadar - everyone's a winner!

Donate to support free software!

Open Ballot: should distros license codecs?

TuxRadar

So, Canonical has licensed H.264 for its partners. Is it a good thing? Should more distros strike deals that allow end users to play DVDs, watch Flash movies and more out of the box, or is it more important that we take a united stand in the name of Free Software and support free codecs like Theora?

We're due to record our next podcast in just under three hours, so don't delay - post your comment below and we'll read out the best on the show. Don't forget to use a name other than "Anonymous Penguin" otherwise we may just ignore you.

Open Ballot: what is the biggest threat to the future of Linux?

TuxRadar

For our next podcast, we'd like to know what you think is the biggest threat to the future of Linux. We'll discuss the results, along with our own ideas, in our next episode, available on Thursday. Please leave some sort of name alongside your thoughts so that we don't end up reading out 20 comments from Anonymous Penguin!

TuxRadar originals

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If you've been too busy to visit the site every day, relax - here's our pick of unmissable features from recent days:

Plus there's much more to come - add us to your bookmarks or follow us on Identica or Twitter to make sure you don't miss a thing.

And remember, TuxRadar is brought to you by Linux Format magazine - the #1 source for Linux news, reviews, tutorials and wit, available from all good magazine outlets worldwide. Click here for the latest subscription deals and get 2000+ free PDFs of Linux learning!

Open Ballot: is Linux sexy?

TuxRadar

Our kid Graham has an opinion piece up on TechRadar.com giving various reasons why he thinks Linux is struggling to break into the mainstream. But his third point - and the one that seems to have turned into a flash point for commenters - is that Linux just isn't attractive enough visually. He said:

"The biggest challenge is sexiness. There's very little of it in Linux unless you're an antisocial geek, and products like the Apple's iPad illustrate this massive divide painfully. As Jim Zemlin, Executive Director of the Linux Foundation, puts it, "Linux can compete with the iPad on price, but where's the magic?" Linux has the programmers, the managers, the community, the innovation, the time and the skill. But to succeed in 2010 and the coming decade, what it really needs is a magician or two."

Do you agree? Is Linux sexy enough for mainstream use, or does it still need more work? Perhaps a side issue is whether Linux needs to be sexy at all. Please post your views below for inclusion in our next podcast - don't forget to add a name other than Anonymous Penguin, and don't forget to provide some sort of explanation as to how you came about your answer. Pedants who happily answer that Linux is just a kernel might want to question whether they are indeed the "antisocial geeks" that Graham describes.

Open Ballot: will a campaign to promote Theora and open codecs be a success?

TuxRadar

A recent campaign to add more videos to Wikipedia is being used to try and push the advantages of the open source Theora video format over those encumbered by patents. For our imminent podcast, we're asking whether you think this campaign will work despite poor results in a recent quality comparison, or whether this issue is less about quality and more about freedom.

Open Ballot: would you hire the FSF for the role of Linux PR department?

TuxRadar

The Free Software Foundation has always done a great job defending the various free software licences, promoting their use, and asking for Linux to be referred to as GNU/Linux. But we're asking whether, regardless of its good work in this field, the FSF has helped free software grow or whether its hard stance against proprietary software has harmed Linux up-take. Add your comments below, preferably answering "Yes, they're the voice of free software" or "No, I prefer open source and Linux without GNU."

Get a lifetime of Linux learning for under $110

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If you wanted to learn about Linux, you might think spending $40 on a book is a smart investment. Well, we're here to tell you in our Entirely Unbiased Way that you're wrong, because we've got a better deal: for US$107 we'll give you 2,119 tutorials, features and reviews from Linux Format magazine to download as beautiful DRM-free PDFs. And whether you're in Canada, Australia, France, the UK or indeed anywhere else in the world, we've got an equally great price for you too.

You're probably thinking that's a great deal, but wait - there's more! Your money also gets you 13 monthly issues of Linux Format magazine for the next year, which means you get the magazine delivered to your door every issue wherever you are in the world, as well as all those magazines available to download as PDFs if you want them. Once your subscription expires, those PDFs you downloaded as still yours to keep, because we hate DRM as much as you. Plus, you also get our awesome free DVD with every issue, or you can download it through our BitTorrent server.

Still not convinced? Here we've put a list of just some - maybe half - of all the incredible content you get for your money. Feast your eyes on what you're missing out on, then, when you simply can't bear it any longer, click the button to subscribe online.

Subscribe to Linux Format magazine

(PS: if you were wondering, it's $107 because of the conversion rate between Queen Elizabeth's very own British pounds and the US dollar - it fluctuates, see. If you wait two weeks it might get more expensive!)

Open Ballot: will you take KDE 4.4 for a spin?

TuxRadar

KDE 4.4 is here, bringing with it improved support for social networking and online collaboration, plus thousands of bug fixes. The question is, do you intend to try it out? Post a comment below with your thoughts!

Usually our answers come down to a simple yes or no, but here you're welcome to prevaricate as much as you want - are you going to upgrade to 4.4 simply because your distro will sooner or later? Are you still using 3.5 and are going to stay there until you die? Are you a Gnome user tempted by all the new features, but unsure about switching desktop? Does the sheer number of bugs fixed scare you a little, or is it all progress in the right direction?

As per usual, we'll read out the best comments in our podcast, but please do make sure you leave a name other than Anonymous Penguin!

Learn Python with our free tutorials

TuxRadar

If you're a beginner who wants to learn Python programming, you've come to the right place. If you're a more advanced coder who wants to push their skills even further, we've got your covered there too. Below you'll find our list of code projects for Python: tutorials that help you learn Python without boring you to death with hello world nonsense - we want to help you learn how to Make Cool Things, and you'll learn along the way.

We'll be adding more tutorials as time goes by, but for now just jump in - click here to visit our Python tutorials page and get started!

(PS: if you're looking for all our coding tutorials regardless of language, visit our programming tutorials section)

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