Open source and Linux in 2014

In today's open source roundup: Looking back at open source and Linux in 2014. Plus: Switching from Apple laptops to Chromebooks, and the best gaming mouse for Linux?

Open source and Linux in 2014

Since we've reached the very end of the year, it's always fun to look back and review what's happened in open source and Linux. 2014 was certainly an eventful year, with more than its share of controversy and drama.

SJVN at ZDNet ruminates on what happened in 2014 with Linux and open source:

linux 2014 year in review Image credit: Unixmen

Taken together, it's been a good year for Linux and open-source software. Next year will be even better. Don't mistake me. 2014 also had more than its share of problems, but with everyone now backing Linux and open-source, 2015 really is the year that these two twin technologies will dominate all of IT. There may never be a year of the Linux desktop, but the year of Linux IT is almost upon us.

The bad:

1) Heartbleed

2) Systemd wars

3) Open-source licensing not being used

4) Neither Ubuntu Touch nor Steam Machines shipped

The good

1) The top end-user operating system is probably Linux

2) Open source becomes the top programming methodology

3) Open source rules the cloud

4) Red Hat and Canonical to battle for the cloud

5) Docker redefines data-center and cloud computing

More at ZDNet

Games were certainly a big part of Linux in 2014. Robin Muilwijk at Opensource.com looked back at Linux gaming in 2014:

We started the year with OpenPandora, which further opened its hardware by releasing its designs. We looked at the Oculus VR, who acquired and open sourced their networking engine, and later in the year they released a software development kit. The Raspberry Pi is on the list, with emulating retro OSs. And we covered a few controllers, like the one from Steam, the Microduino-Joypad, and Gamebuino: an 8-bit 'maker movement' Arduino console.

Games need an engine to run on, and this year we saw a few of them released. The first one was Game Develop, the easy-to-use, no-programming game engine, which failed to fund its Indiegogo campaign back in May, and is now open source. Unity, another well-known engine in the gaming world, opened up and released its source code. We also looked at Chukong Technologies who launched Coco2d-x game engine.

More at Opensource.com

Switching from Apple laptops to Chromebooks

Apple has long had a dedicated customer base for its laptops, but at least one Macbook Pro user at InfoWorld has made the jump over to Google's Chromebook. And he seems quite happy with the switch.

Simon Phipps at InfoWorld reports on his transition from MacBook Pro to Chromebook:

Not only am I still using my Chromebook, now my business and family do too. Swapping out of Apple’s walled garden for Google’s fenced yard was the right move. I still long for a fully open source solution — an open field in the commons — but I don't want to make a full-time hobby of keeping my laptop working.

Overall I am still a happy Chromebook user. Chromebooks run on an open source foundation, which means Google invests in open communities in varying degrees. The apps I use leave me free to switch suppliers to varying degrees, and I’m trying hard to find open source alternatives among them. I've spent much less money to stand pat than I would have in either Apple or Microsoft’s ecosystem, while the functionality steadily expands. The biggest lock-in is Google’s login and identity management system, but an alternative seems beyond the reach of the noncorporate user.

More at InfoWorld

It's not just journalists like Simon Phipps that have ditched an Apple product for a Chromebook. Back in 2013 there was an interesting thread in the MacRumors forum that was started by a user who switched from the Macbook Air to a Chromebook.

Airforcekid shares his experience using a Chromebook:

Using a Chromebook I could:

Accomplish same amount of work as on my air.

Do the same things as on my Ipad in the same amount of time.

What little maintenance I needed to do is now gone.

I can relax more with this computer if its lost or stolen EVERYTHING is backed up and I can replace it several times before hitting the cost of replacing an air.

Local storage on the machine allows me to access my content offline and still do just about the same amount I could do with an air offline.

Overall I am glad I made the switch and would highly recommend this laptop if you have an iMac or desktop to remote control or if your looking for something hassle free to recommend to someone with simple uses (I know 2 people who use it as their sole computer.) Worst case if you truly hate it you can dual boot Linux and you can resell it without losing too much money.

More at MacRumors Forum

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