Are Linux repositories a bad idea?

Also in today's open source roundup: Linux gaming might get a boost from Vulkan graphics and new hardware, and new iOS 10 features that were borrowed from Android

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Are Linux repositories a bad idea?

Repositories have long been an important tool for most Linux users. But what happens when a repository is no longer available to support your system? A writer at Network World examined this issue and wondered if repositories were ultimately a very bad idea.

Bryan Lunduke reports for Network World:

The core problem isn’t that an organization doesn’t have the resources to keep a repository online. The problem is in the package repository model itself.

I’ve long championed of the benefits of repositories. The ability to quickly find and install software packages is a wonderful thing. And being able to use this mechanism to apply updates to all of the packages on your system, on a regular basis, is absolutely freaking fantastic.

But the cost of this functionality is that each system relying upon these repositories is, by design, rapidly approaching end of life. Before too long (typically only a few years) the repository that your system relies upon will go offline. Maybe the company that maintained it will go out of business or simply not have the resources to continue supporting it. Whatever the reason, it will happen. And when it does, your system will no longer get updates.

Worse than that. Your system will no longer have the ability to install new software intended for your platform. And if you need to re-setup your system from scratch? Well, you’re in bad shape there, too. No repo, no packages. No packages, no software.

More at Network World

Linux gaming, new hardware and Vulkan graphics

Linux gaming has been getting more attention from developers in recent years, but Linux has still lagged behind Windows. New hardware and Vulkan graphics might help turn that around, according to one writer at PCWorld.

Agam Shah reports for PCWorld:

At E3 this week, Dell announced new Linux-based Alienware Steam Machines gaming PCs with Intel’s latest Skylake CPUs and Nvidia GTX 960 GPUs. The catalog of top-line titles – also called AAA titles – for the Linux-based SteamOS will grow by the end of the year, said Chris Sutphen, senior marketing manager at Alienware.

Vulkan-based games can also run on Windows, but the API is seen as a big breakthrough for Linux gaming. Vulkan was introduced in February by industry consortium Khronos Group to replace the aging OpenGL, which was introduced in 1991.

Most of the games today are written mainly for Windows. It’ll be easy to port games from DirectX 12 – which drives gaming in Windows 10 – to Vulkan. Before Vulkan, porting games from Windows to Linux took significant time and effort.

Game developers have better access to hardware features with Vulkan, which helps render better graphics while reducing the power overhead. That’s an improvement over OpenGL, which didn’t provide game developers direct access to hardware and components.

More at PCWorld

New iOS 10 features that were borrowed from Android

Apple released a slew of details about iOS 10 during the company’s keynote address two days ago. A writer at Phandroid has noticed some similarities between new iOS 10 features and features that already exist in Android.

Chris Chavez reports for Phandroid:

Unveiled today at WWDC, Apple is touting iOS 10 as “the mother of all releases” for the platform. There’s no denying that there are a bevy of new features headed to iOS. Since many of you might have missed Apple’s big keynote (where they also announced MacOS Sierra and WatchOS 3), we figured we’d help bring you up to speed on Apple’s upcoming iOS 10 release and how it compares to some of the Google apps and services found on Android.

New lock screen UI

Clear all notifications

Raise to wake

A more open Siri

Intelligent QuickType keyboard

Photos app with facial recognition

A more open Apple Maps

Smarter phone app

Updated Messages app

Uninstall stock apps

Notes collaboration, Live Photos editing/stabilization, and split view Safari tabs

Handwritten letters in watchOS

More at Phandroid

Did you miss a roundup? Check the Eye On Open home page to get caught up with the latest news about open source and Linux.

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