Samba 4.11.0rc1 Released, Firefox 68.0esr Now Available, SPI Board Elections, Microsoft Admitted to linux-distro List and SoftMaker FreeOffice Now Includes Anniversary Update

News briefs for July 10, 2019.

Samba 4.11.0rc1 was released yesterday. Note that this release is for testing purposes only and not intended for production. New features include default samba process model, authentication logging, LDAP referrals, Bind9 logging, samba-tool improvements and much more. See the full Release Notes for more information, and go here to download the source code.

Mozilla released the latest Firefox update for iOS and Desktop. Highlights of Firefox 68.0esr include blackout shades for Firefox Reader View, Firefox Recommended Extensions (a curated "list of recommended extensions that have been thoroughly reviewed for security, usability and usefulness"), more customization for IT Pros and more. See the Release Notes for more details.

SPI board elections coming soon. The announcement notes there are three seats available for the Software in the Public Interest board, each for a three-year term: President and two General board member seats. Nominations are open now and end July 15th, 2019. Voting begins July 17th and ends July 30th, and the results will be announced on July 31st. From the announcement: "The ideal candidate will have an existing involvement in the Free and Open Source community, though this need not be with a project affiliated with SPI."

Microsoft has been admitted to the closed linux-distro list. ZDNet reports that "Microsoft wanted in because, while Windows sure isn't Linux, the company is, in fact, a Linux distributor. Sasha Levin, a Microsoft Linux kernel developer, pointed out Microsoft has several distro-like builds -- which are not derivative of an existing distribution—that are based on open-source components." The ZDNet article also noted that open-source security expert David A. Wheeler supported the decision as "the purpose of the list is to enable 'everyone to coordinate so that users get fixes.' That includes Linux users on Windows and Azure. So, he supported Microsoft being allowed into the private list."

SoftMaker FreeOffice now includes the Anniversary update. This new version has many new features for the TextMaker word processor and spreadsheets, and improved user-friendliness. See the press release for details on the office suite's update, and go here to download.