Open source news: May 23 - 29, 2015

Goodbye to Mandriva, Google's double dose of open source, and more news

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In this week's edition of the open source news roundup, we take a look at Madriva's liquidation, Google double dose of open source, and more!

Open source news: May 23 - 29, 2015

Mandriva liquidated

Before there was Ubuntu, there was Mandriva. Starting life in the late 1990s as Mandrake Linux, Mandriva was an easy to install and use Linux distribution that was a viable alternative to Microsoft Windows. But times have changed. This week, Mandriva S.A, the French software company behind Mandriva, announced it is being liquidated.

The company has been on borrowed time since 2012, when it was near bankruptcy. Mandriva's notice of the liquidation (in French) states the company had a net loss of EUR 488,500 for the last year. According to Business Insider Australia: "Although Mandriva generated €553,000 in revenue in 2013, that wasn’t enough to make it thrive in 2015".

It's a sad end for the company, but the Linux distro it developed and promoted clings to life in the form of Open Mandriva.

Google's double dose of open source

Google is one of those companies that's built on open source, and though it doesn't share its crown jewels with the wider community, it does release quite a bit of open source into the wild. This week, the world got a double dose of open source from the search giant.

According to a report at The Next Web, "Google has uploaded the bulk of the remaining code into the open source Chromium repository." That's not just good news for developers who want to build a desktop browser. It's also good news for anyone wanting to code a browser based on Chrome for Android as the mobile browser is now almost open source. As Mic Wright states at The Next Web, "The almost part means that any Chromium Android browser you compile using the code can’t include a handful of media codecs and proprietary Google features."

Google also made its Roboto font for Android open source. According to VentureBeat, "the company is organizing the files and the font production toolchain into a fully realized open source project". If you're interested, check out the Roboto GitHub repository.

Open 3D retinal scanners

Medical equipment is expensive. And if you're a doctor or patient in a developing country, sometimes that equipment, which can make a difference in a number of lives, is well out of reach. 3D printing is changing that. New Zealand opthamologist Sheng Chiong Hong is taking advantage of the technology to make a difference.

His company, OpthalmicDocs, has released the 3D printing files for a smartphone retinal imaging adapter as open source. According to Dr. Hong, "Within five days of the launch we had more than 700 downloads and more than 30,000 hits on the company website." With the adapter and a smartphone, doctors in developing countries can "can diagnose and monitor eye conditions and act as a portable electronic record for the patient." The cost to create the adapter? NZD $55.

In other news

A big thanks, as always, to the moderators and staff for their help this week.

About the author

That idiot Scott Nesbitt ...
Scott Nesbitt - I'm a long-time user of free/open source software, and write various things for both fun and profit. I don't take myself all that seriously and I do all of my own stunts. You can find me at these fine establishments on the web: The Plain Text Project, Open Source Musings, The Monday Kickoff...