Here is LWN's fifteenth annual timeline of significant events in the
Linux and free software world. We have broken the timeline up into
quarters, and this is our report on October-December 2012 (updated on
December 31). Eventually, the
quarterly timelines will be stitched together to create a timeline for the
year as a whole, but in the meantime, you can find the other quarterly
This is version 0.8 of the 2012 timeline. There are almost certainly
some errors or omissions; if you find any, please send them to email@example.com.
LWN subscribers have paid for the development of this timeline, along
with previous timelines and the weekly editions. If you like what you see
here, or elsewhere on the site, please consider subscribing to LWN.
If you'd like to look further back in time, our timeline index page has links to the
previous timelines and some other retrospective articles going all the way
back to 1998.
That is not how open source works, you need to do 90% of
the work upfront, people only join when you have something useful.
Samsung releases the F2FS filesystem (blurb and article).
KDE releases a manifesto (LWN blurb).
HTTPS Everywhere 3.0 is released (announcement).
Systemtap 2.0 is released (announcement).
The first Korea Linux Forum is held in Seoul, October 11-12 (LWN report).
When I was on Plan 9, everything was connected and
uniform. Now everything isn't connected, just connected to the cloud, which
isn't the same thing. And uniform? Far from it, except in mediocrity. This
is 2012 and we're still stitching together little microcomputers with HTTPS
and ssh and calling it revolutionary. I sorely miss the unified system view
of the world we had at Bell Labs, and the way things are going that seems
unlikely to come back any time soon.
-- Rob Pike
Canonical provides users with a mechanism to directly fund development
of Ubuntu (LWN article).
NetBSD 6.0 is released (announcement).
The Whonix distribution makes an alpha release (LWN article).
The Privacyfix browser plugin is released (LWN article).
Plasma Active Three is released (LWN blurb).
The 2012 Realtime Minisummit is held in Chapel Hill, North Carolina,
in conjunction with the 14th Real Time Linux Workshop, October 18-20
(LWN minisummit coverage; LWN coverage of
workshop sessions: Modeling systems with Alloy; Realtime Linux for aircraft).
An ext4 data corruption bug receives wide media coverage, but in
practice is rather difficult to trigger (LWN blurb and article).
The Debian technical committee renders a judgement regarding
long-standing difficulties between the maintainers of various Debian Python
packages (LWN article).
Ubuntu 12.10 (Quantal Quetzal) is released (announcement).
Apache OpenOffice graduates from the Apache Incubator (announcement).
If you want to pick a fight, insult a designer by asking
why we don’t “just learn to code.”
Git 1.8.0 is released (announcement).
Wayland and Weston 1.0 are released (announcement).
Arduino 1.5 is released (announcement).
Yocto 1.3 "danny" is released (announcement).
The Linaro Enterprise group is formed (announcement).
The openSUSE project releases openSUSE 12.2 for ARM (announcement).
Put another way, having the career of the beloved CIA
Director and the commanding general in Afghanistan instantly destroyed due
to highly invasive and unwarranted electronic surveillance is almost enough
to make one believe not only that there is a god, but that he is an ardent
Greenwald, commenting on the process leading to the fall of CIA
Director David Petraeus
The Fedora project announces an alpha release of Fedora 18 that
supports ARM; the Fedora ARM developers hope
to make F18 the first release that supports ARM as a primary architecture.
OpenBSD 5.2 is released (LWN blurb and article on some challenges that OpenBSD the
other BSDs face in trying to keep pace with Linux).
Asterisk 11 is released (LWN blurb).
The release date of Fedora 18 slips significantly, from the
originally expected November to January (announcement, LWN article).
LinuxCon Europe is held in Barcelona, Spain, November 5-9 (LWN
coverage: Challenges for Linux networking;
Systemd two years on; The failure of operating systems and how we can
fix it; All watched over by machines of
loving grace; Realtime, present and
future; Checkpoint/restore in user space:
are we there yet?; Don't play dice with
The GNOME project announces that fallback mode will be dropped in the
upcoming 3.8 release (LWN blurb; a
short time later, the project announces
plans for a "classic" mode).
Our patent system is the envy of the world.
Kappos, head of the United States Patent and Trademark Office
Android 4.2 is released (LWN article).
The VLC projects completes relicensing much of its code from GPL
to LGPL (LWN article).
The Portuguese government adopts ODF (LWN blurb).
A backdoor is inserted into the Piwik web server; the problem is
quickly fixed and notified (LWN blurb).
Linux Mint 14 is released (announcement).
Upstart 1.6 is released (LWN blurb).
The CyanogenMod project starts releasing stable builds of
CyanogenMod 10 (LWN article on running this version on the Nexus 7
Wikipedia rolls out an HTML5 video player (LWN article).
Ubuntu makes a distribution for the Nexus 7 (LWN article).
Darktable 1.1 is released (LWN article).
So next time you're not happy about something: just prefix your criticism
with "I think". You may be surprised what difference it makes to the
Oh, two other magic words: "for me". Compare "This workflow is
completely broken" vs "This workflow is completely broken for me". Amazing
what difference those two words make...
The Google Summer of Code Doc Camp 2012 takes place in Mountain
View, California, December 3-7 (LWN coverage: Documentation unconference; Book sprints).
NetBSD 5.2 is released (announcement).
The MariaDB Foundation is formed (announcement).
Ekiga 4.0 is released (announcement,
The first "shim" UEFI secure bootloader is released (announcement).
Linux 3.7 is released (announcement; KernelNewbies summary; LWN
merge window summaries: part 1, part 2, and part
3; LWN development statistics article).
I once scoffed at the idea that anyone would write in
COBOL anymore, as if the average COBOL programmer was some sort of
second-class technology citizen. COBOL programmers in 1991, and even today,
are surely good programmers — doing useful things for their jobs. The same
is true of Perl these days: maybe Perl is finally getting a bit old
fashioned — but there are good developers, still doing useful things with
Perl. Perl is becoming Free Software's COBOL: an aging language that still
Perl turns 25 years old today. COBOL was 25 years old in 1984, right at
the time when I first started programming. To those young people who start
programming today: I hope you'll learn from my mistake. Don't scoff at the
Perl programmers. 25 years from now, you may regret scoffing at them as
much as I regret scoffing at the COBOL developers. Programmers are
programmers; don't judge them because you don't like their favorite
Firefox OS Simulator 1.0 is released (LWN article).
SparkleShare 1.0 is released (LWN blurb).
Bison 2.7 is released (announcement).
Richard Stallman criticizes desktop searching in Ubuntu Unity,
which relays search terms to Canonical servers (LWN blurb and article).
Samba 4.0 is released (announcement and earlier article).
A number of Samsung Android phones are revealed to have a
significant security hole, a device file that gives write access to all
physical memory on the phone (LWN blurb).
Eudev, a project to create a Gentoo-based fork of udev,
is launched (announcement, LWN
Qt 5.0 is released (LWN blurb).
PulseAudio 3.0 is released
The status.net service is phased out, and replaced by pump.io
Gnumeric 1.12 released (announcement).
The Perl programming language turns 25 this month
from Perl Foundation News).
So after I released 3.7-nohz1, I shut down the light then sat down
in front of an empty wall in my flat and waited in the darkness with
a black tea for december 21th's apocalypse.
But then after a few days, I've been thinking I should have taken a
second cup of tea with me.
So I eventually got up and turned the light on. Then I booted my
computer and started working on that new release of the full dynticks
-- Frederic Weisbecker learns that the apocolypse
is not nigh
A hash-based DoS attack on Btrfs is disclosed (LWN blurb).
LLVM 3.2 is released (announcement, release notes).
Discontent in the GNU project becomes evident as the GnuTLS
maintainer moves the project outside GNU and the GNU sed maintainer
resigns (sed maintainer resignation note, LWN article on events in the GnuTLS project).
Awesome 3.5 is released (LWN blurb
and earlier article on this window manager).
Enlightenment 0.17 is released (announcement and earlier LWN article on this window manager).
The GNU C library (glibc) version 2.17 is released (announcement).
FreeBSD 9.1 is released (announcement,
BlueZ 5.0 is released (announcement, LWN article).
GNU Automake 1.13 is released (announcement).
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