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News For Open Source Professionals
Updated: 1 hour 12 min ago

SAP Embraces Serverless Computing Frameworks

Saturday 12th of October 2019 03:52:23 AM

SAP has begun to make available extensions to its cloud platform that enable customers to leverage a framework running on top of Kubernetes to invoke serverless computing frameworks. The framework is based on the open source Kyma project spearheaded by SAP. Thomas Grassl, vice president for developer relations and the SAP Community, says SAP expects developers to make extensive use of serverless computing frameworks running on public clouds to not only dynamically invoke additional compute resources when needed, but also reduce the size of their applications by relying on functions as a service to, for example, run an analytics process. (Container Journal)

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Stallman: No radical changes in GNU Project

Saturday 12th of October 2019 02:40:37 AM

Richard Stallman has issued a brief statement saying that there will not be any radical changes in the GNU Project’s goals, principles and policies. “I would like to make incremental changes in how some decisions are made, because I won’t be here forever and we need to ready others to make GNU Project decisions when I can no longer do so. But these won’t lead to unbounded or radical changes.” (LWN)

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SIOS Offers SAP Certified High Availability And Disaster Recovery For SAP S/4HANA Environments In The Cloud

Saturday 12th of October 2019 02:39:04 AM

High availability is critical to many businesses that can’t afford any downtime. They need redundancy built into the applications themselves so that they can automatically recover in a matter of minutes. SIOS specializes in IT Resilience through intelligent application availability. It’s the first provider of Linux clustering services. SIOS recently announced the latest releases of SIOS LifeKeeper 9.4 and SIOS DataKeeper 9.4, at the SAP TechEd event. SIOS integrates with SAP to deliver overall availability protection through automation of setup, monitoring, and failure management within SAP environments. (TFiR)

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Plasma 5.17 Beta in openSUSE Tumbleweed

Saturday 12th of October 2019 12:07:13 AM

The Beta version of Plasma 5.17 was released with many new features and improvements such as per-screen fractional scaling on Wayland, a new User Interface (UI) for configuring permissions of Thunderbolt devices and network statistics in KSysGuard. The latter requires some more privileges than usual for a user application, so is currently being looked at by the SUSE security team. (openSUSE Blog)

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Tails 4.0 Anonymous OS Release Candidate Out Now with Tor Browser 9.0, Linux 5.3

Friday 11th of October 2019 07:32:34 PM

The development team behind the Tails amnesic incognito live system, also known as the Anonymous OS, have announced today the Release Candidate (RC) version of the upcoming Tails 4.0 release. Powered by the latest Linux 5.3.2 kernel, Tails 4.0 Release Candidate is packed with up-to-date technologies to better protect your privacy when surfing the Internet. It comes with the latest alpha version of the upcoming TOR Browser 9.0 anonymous web browser based on Firefox 68.1.0 ESR, as well as the newest Tor release. (Softpedia)

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GNOME 3.34 Desktop Gets First Point Release, It’s Now Ready for Mass Adoption

Friday 11th of October 2019 05:52:12 AM

The GNOME Project announced today that the first point release of the latest GNOME 3.34 desktop environment is now available for download with various bug fixes and updated translations. Released last month on September 12th, the GNOME 3.34 “Thessaloniki” desktop environment introduced many new features and enhancements, such as support for custom folders in the application overview, visual refreshes for several apps and the desktop itself, as well as lots of performance improvements. (SoftPedia)

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System76 launches two Linux with Comet Lake chips and Coreboot

Thursday 10th of October 2019 11:02:52 PM

Linux computer company System76 is updating its laptop lineup with its first two models to ship with 10th-gen Intel Core “Comet Lake” processors. The new 14 inch Galago Pro and 15.6 inch Darter Pro laptops also ship with the open source Coreboot firmware rather than a proprietary BIOS. As Phoronix points out, these laptops still have some Intel proprietary blobs, so it’s probably best to think of them as more open than most laptops rather than computers running 100-percent free and open source software. (Liliputing)

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Why Linux Developers Should Reconsider IBM Mainframes

Thursday 10th of October 2019 05:27:19 PM

When mainframes were mainstream, many software professionals in the industry today were not even born yet. Mainframe computers have an extensive history, which makes it tempting to call them old, but today’s mainframes are extremely mature, fast, reliable and powerful. In fact, they are critical to the modern economy: Top airlines, banks, insurance companies and health care corporations rely on mainframe computing.

One of the organizations keeping this technology with the times is IBM, with its IBM Z family of mainframe computers. Some of these mainframes—like the 31-bit s390 and, later, the 64-bit s390x architecture—were originally designed and built in the 1960s, and they have continued to evolve and modernize.

“IBM still sells a lot of these even today,” said Elizabeth K. Joseph, a seasoned open source advocate who recently joined IBM as the developer advocate for its Z architectures. These machines run operating systems including z/OS, z/VM, z/VSE and z/TPF, as well as Linux-based distributions like Red Hat Enterprise Linux and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.

With Linux, mainframes can run modern languages, toolings and CI/CD pipelines. If it runs on Linux, it can run on Z.

Joseph gave one of her favorite examples of running Linux on Z. If someone is using encryption, they don’t have to install any binary blob from IBM to leverage the hardware encryption. It’s just a config file that can be added to openSSL. There are crypto processors on each processor, which give users access to these powerful encryption technologies.

However, mainframes still have an identity crisis. Most people think they don’t belong to the modern world dominated by x86 architectures, virtualizations and containers.

That’s the perception that Joseph is trying to change. One of her goals is to evangelize Z to modern Linux developers.

Why would Linux developers ditch the cloud or the omnipresent x86 platform and embrace Z? Joseph herself is an ideal example of a Linux and open source developer. She got attracted to Z for many different reasons, some technical and some rational.

First and foremost, she says that contrary to popular belief, the AWS cloud can become extremely expensive very quickly. “You can incur monthly bills in hundreds of thousands of dollars,” Joseph said. People have started to look at on-premises architectures as an alternative to AWS. However, they think that x86 is their only choice, which is far from true.

“You can use ARM if you need power efficiency, and you can use Z if you want uncompromised experience. X86 isn’t the only option people have,” she said.

Google made x86 popular; it used to be viewed as a cheap platform that was nonetheless unreliable and inefficient. Joseph recalls a discussion with one of her associates who said that “the world couldn’t survive the growth of these x86 farms.” When she asked whether he meant it was too expensive or bad for the planet, he said, “Both.”

It’s true that this mainframe is not x86. Developers have to port their applications to Z, the same way they port their applications to other architectures like ARM.

However, if you look at processing power, you have these separate, individual machines consuming massive amounts of resources. It’s much more economical and efficient to power and cool one mainframe as compared to thousands of x86 servers.

The same goes for software. Managing software on one mainframe is much more efficient and economical than managing it on thousands of x86 servers to get the same computation power.

The unending Spectre and Meltdown saga has rubbed salt in the wound. These exploits are not going away; it’s a design flaw in modern processors that allows programs to steal the data being processed on the computer. Mitigating these vulnerabilities results in heavy performance penalties.

“There can be exploits for any platform, but a user should not have to suffer heavily,” Joseph said.

She also said that she doesn’t believe in one particular option always being used over another; she thinks people should embrace diversification of architecture.

“If one platform goes down, you should be able to switch to something else without having to suffer any losses,” she said

On top of that, mainframes offer unmatched redundancy, something that’s critical in on-premises setups. “You can pull out the power, and there’s another power. If the CPU dies, there’s another CPU there. You get a storage array of hundreds of drives,” Joseph said. “In fact ‘Z’ stands for ‘zero downtime.’ These machines essentially never go down.”

Together, Z and Linux create a formidable force. They combine the best of the hardware and software worlds, creating an ideal platform to run modern workloads.

As part of her evangelism for Z, Joseph is offering Linux developers with virtual machines a mainframe that they can use for free for four months. “Just ssh into the mainframe and start using it,” she said.

As a developer herself, Joseph believes that a developer should target multiple architectures.

“It makes you a better programmer, as you don’t get so insulated into one platform.”

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Zephyr RTOS 2.0 Release Highlights

Thursday 10th of October 2019 09:31:29 AM

Written by Ioannis Glaropoulos, Software System Architect at Nordic Semiconductor and active member of the Zephyr Technical Steering Committee

Last month, the Zephyr Project announced the release of Zephyr RTOS 2.0 and we are excited to share the details with you! Zephyr 2.0 is the first release of Zephyr RTOS after the 1.14 release with Long-Term support in April 2019. It is also a huge step up from the 1.14 release, bringing a wide list of new features, significant enhancements in existing features, as well as a large list of new HW platforms and development boards.

On the Kernel side, we enhanced the compatibility with 64-bit architectures, and significantly improved the precision of timeouts, by boosting the default tick rate for tickless kernels.

Additionally, we are excited to welcome ARM Cortex-R into the list of architectures supported in Zephyr RTOS.

A major achievement in this release is the stabilization of the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) split controller, which is now the default BLE controller in the Zephyr RTOS. The new BLE controller enables support for multi-vendor Bluetooth v5.0 radio hardware with a single controller code-base, thanks to a layered modular architecture, where most of the controller code is hardware agnostic. The new controller also features improved scheduling of continuous scanning and directed advertising, and increased radio time utilization. The latter significantly improves the achievable communication bandwidth – among other use-cases – in BLE Mesh networking.

In the networking area, we introduced support for SOCKS5 proxy, an Internet protocol that exchanges network packets between a client and server through a proxy server. In addition, we added support for 6LoCAN, a 6Lo adaption layer for Controller Area Networks, and for Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP), which is used to establish a direct connection between two nodes. We, finally, added support for UpdateHub, an end-to-end solution for large scale over-the-air device updates.

A most sincere thank you to the more than 215 developers who contributed to this release. Not only did you add a wealth of new features during the merge window, you also rallied together as a community during the stabilization period across time zones, companies, architectures, and even weekends, to find and fix bugs, to make Zephyr 2.0 yet another great release! This release would not have been possible without your hard work!

To learn more about Zephyr Project please see our Getting Started Guide, join the mailing list or follow #zephyrproject on IRC.

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Zephyr Gets New Memebers, New Release

Thursday 10th of October 2019 09:27:30 AM

The Zephyr Project, an open source project at the Linux Foundation that aims to build a secure and flexible real-time operating system (RTOS) for the Internet of Things (IoT) announces its growing ecosystem with the addition of Eclipse IoT and the move up for long-time member Oticon to Platinum member. Additionally, the project announces the release of Zephyr 2.0.0 and that several popular developer boards are now shipping with Zephyr including Nordic Semiconductor’s Nordic Thingy91 and Adafruit’s Actinius Icarus. (Source: Zephyr Announcement, Zephyr blog)

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Puppet’s New Cloud Native Continuous Delivery Tool Builds on the CDF’s Tekton

Wednesday 9th of October 2019 08:22:24 PM

Puppet has released into public beta its Project Nebula, a cloud native tool that connects a DevOps team’s existing toolset into an end-to-end, continuous delivery platform. The company aims to simplify deployment of microservices and serverless-based applications by connecting popular tools for infrastructure provisioning, application deployment, and notifications into a single, automated workflow. (The New Stack)

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Trend Micro Partners With Snyk to Advance DevSecOps

Wednesday 9th of October 2019 08:20:14 PM

Trend Micro today announced an alliance with Snyk through which alerts about vulnerabilities in open source code will be passed on to the tools Trend Micro makes available to apply virtual patches to both monolithic and microservices-based applications. Snyk provides a tool that identifies and fixes vulnerabilities and license violations in open source dependencies and container images. Trend Micro COO Kevin Simzer said his company leverages the alerts generated by Snyk to inform developers and cybersecurity professionals where virtual patches need to be applied. (DevOps)

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Eclipse Foundation Looks to Create Cloud-Based IDE Standards

Wednesday 9th of October 2019 08:17:38 PM

The Eclipse Foundation today announced the formation of a working group to create standards for cloud-based integrated development environments (IDEs) led by Broadcom, EclipseSource, Ericsson, IBM, Intel, Red Hat, SAP, Software AG and Typefox. Mike Milinkovich, executive director of the Eclipse Foundation, said the Eclipse Cloud Development Tools Working Group (ECD WG) will work to replicate the success the Eclipse Foundation had in establishing standards for desktop IDEs based on an Eclipse standard among a new generation of cloud-based IDEs. (DevOps)

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SUSE drops OpenStack Cloud

Wednesday 9th of October 2019 08:14:42 PM

For years, SUSE, the European Linux and open-source company, was one of the OpenStack Infrastructure-as-a-Service cloud program’s champions. No longer. SUSE has decided to cease the production of new versions and to discontinue sales of SUSE OpenStack Cloud. (ZDNet)

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EdgeX Foundry Organizes Its First Hackathon

Wednesday 9th of October 2019 07:10:22 PM

EdgeX Foundry is a Linux Foundation project that is ‘defragmenting’ the IoT space with open source technologies. The project organized its first hackathon in Chicago to see how the retail industry leverages EdgeX Foundry to solve some of its pressing problems. (TFiR)

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GNU Project developers object to Richard M Stallman’s continued leadership

Wednesday 9th of October 2019 02:56:04 PM

Richard M Stallman (RMS) recently put his foot in his mouth by defending a sexual abuser and was pressured into resigning from the Free Software Foundation (FSF). So, was that his end as a free software leader and public figure? Nope. He’s still head of the GNU Project and appears to have no intention of leaving. But some GNU developers would like to see him stand down. While they haven’t explicitly asked Stallman to resign, 18 GNU programmers have said: “We believe that Richard Stallman cannot represent all of GNU. We think it is now time for GNU maintainers to collectively decide about the organization of the project.” (ZDNet)

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Making the IoT More Open: A Common Framework for IoT Edge Computing with EdgeX Foundry

Tuesday 8th of October 2019 02:58:28 PM

The internet of things (IoT) is a diverse space, but it’s also fragmented by design, whether it’s consumer IoT or industrial IoT. In 2015, Dell started working on a project called Project Fuse to weave together the diverse and fragmented world of IoT. The idea was to build the right architecture for IoT and edge computing.

The team working on the project quickly realized that they needed to extend the cloud-native principles — things like microservice-based architectures and platform independence — as close as possible to the device edge so that there would be more flexibility in how solutions are devised. In order to succeed, the project needed to be vendor-neutral, interoperable and open.

That’s when they decided to contribute it to the Linux Foundation, and a new project — EdgeX Foundry — came to life.

EdgeX Foundry was designed with the notion of platform independence, polyglot and loosely coupled microservices that allow developers and operators to write different codebases, all bound together through an API set.

When EdgeX Foundry came to the Linux Foundation, it was a well-architected Java code. Over time, the code got a total revamp: Golang replaced Java, reducing the footprint from 2.5 GB of memory to 50 MB. It also made components swappable, so developers could use their preferred database, plugins, analytics and more.

EdgeX Foundry became all about how a developer can take any device and any number of protocols from the operations world — which could be IP-based, wireless mesh, serial-based technologies or proprietary technologies — and be able to write device inputs in a common format, using whatever protocol and format they want on top of it, and in whatever fashion. It’s like a universal translator in the middle, working with whatever other technologies users want to use with it.

“The principal premise is that if we can get enough folks on a common middle bus, we don’t need to have one standard to rule the world for protocol because that will never happen,” said Jason Shepherd, the Dell Technologies IoT and Edge Computing CTO. “A framework like EdgeX Foundry works like a bridge to weave it all together.”

Evolving with the Technology
EdgeX Foundry becomes even more significant as emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning and blockchain are maturating and being embraced.

“That’s why you need these loosely coupled frameworks so that even if the technologies we use change, the right framework will allow you to bring it together in any combination. It allows you to evolve as the technologies around you evolve,” Shepherd said.

Cloud-native technologies are more about the principles of delivering software and less about where it’s run. Traditionally, professionals from the operational technology (OT) world don’t want to update anything. If processes have been running for the last 20 years, they don’t want to touch those processes — ever.

On the contrary, the modern world is all about the continuous delivery of software.

“Your pace of innovation is your competitive advantage,” Shepherd said.

As the continuous delivery principles move closer to the physical world of edge computing devices, they start to show business value. There is no business incentive in having to manage a hundred platforms; the value is in building and leveraging domain knowledge applied in specialty applications.

The bottom line is that even folks from the OT world need to embrace cloud-native principles.

“Even if you’re not planning to do continuous delivery right now, even if the idea of continuous delivery freaks you out, you need to prepare now, because in the future you’re going to have to do it, either way, to keep up with your competitors,” Shepherd said. “It’s better to architect it now, even if you are working on your traditional models.”

Developers should start using open APIs, instead of reinventing everything.

“You can be part of a broader ecosystem so you can just focus on the pace of innovation that differentiates you from others and focus on the value that you bring to your customers,” Shepherd said.

Embracing New Business Models

The traditional IoT has been about monetizing from the hardware sale. In the modern world, it’s moving toward being service-oriented. Everything is a service, and the new mindset is about the value as service offers throughout its lifetime, not just the day it was shipped.

At the same time, the IoT is going across verticals, from home automation to enterprise, retail, energy, insurance, health care, and the automotive industry. Everything has to be interconnected. As new markets are emerging, IoT players should embrace not just new technologies, but also this new mindset of openness.

That’s where EdgeX Foundry becomes the foundational platform to application interoperability at the application layer. Under the Linux Foundation’s LF Edge umbrella, EdgeX Foundry is working with other projects like Acrn, Auto Edge and Home Edge, Eve and Fledge, which each solves a particular problem in the edge computing and IoT space.

Today, everyone wants to lock their users into their own ecosystem so they can keep you hooked and sell your data. Shepherd said he thinks that’s not the right way.

“The reality is you have to set the data free the moment it’s created and use technology to bring checks back from strangers,” he said. “This is how it’ll work.”

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Facebook open-sources data set for code search AI benchmark

Tuesday 8th of October 2019 02:23:59 AM

Facebook AI researchers created code search data sets that utilize information from GitHub and Stack Overflow. The release contains an evaluation data set of 287 Stack Overflow question-and-answer pairs including code snippets, as well as a search corpus of code snippets from nearly 25,000 Android repositories on GitHub. (VentureBeat)

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Linus Torvalds isn’t worried about Microsoft taking over Linux

Tuesday 8th of October 2019 01:42:48 AM

In his recent meeting with Torvalds, Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols talked to Linus Torvalds and several other of the Linux kernel’s top programmers. They universally agreed Microsoft wants to control Linux, but they’re not worried about it. That’s because Linux, by its very nature and its GPL2 open-source licensing, can’t be controlled by any single third-party. Torvalds said: “The whole anti-Microsoft thing was sometimes funny as a joke, but not really. Today, they’re actually much friendlier. I talk to Microsoft engineers at various conferences, and I feel like, yes, they have changed, and the engineers are happy. And they’re like really happy working on Linux. So I completely dismissed all the anti-Microsoft stuff.”(ZDNet)

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Flatpak 1.5 Linux App Sandboxing Rolls Out with New Features

Friday 4th of October 2019 11:46:30 PM

The Flatpak Linux application sandboxing and distribution framework has been updated today to version 1.5, a major release that introduces many improvements and new features. Highlights of the Flatpak 1.5 release include new “–or-update” option for the “flatpak install” command to perform an update operation if the application is already installed, as well as a new “flatpak mask” command that allows pinning of app versions and avoids automatic downloads. (SoftPedia)

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