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Updated: 55 min 14 sec ago

7 reasons I love open source

Friday 9th of November 2018 08:02:00 AM

Here's why I spend so much of my time—including evenings and weekends—on GitHub, as an active member of the open source community.

I’ve worked on everything from solo projects to small collaborative group efforts to projects with hundreds of contributors. With each project, I’ve learned something new.


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Developers are the new kingdom builders

Friday 9th of November 2018 08:01:00 AM

Stephen O'Grady's The New Kingmakers is a great book that explains why developers are a business' most important assets. O'Grady says developers are shaping products in new ways, and organizations that understand and embrace the value of this shift will be the most successful in the coming years. He shows how developers today are making the decisions, not the traditional IT decision-makers of prior years. Developers have the power to make or break a business, whether by their experience, their talent, or their passion.


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Import your files from closed or obsolete applications

Friday 9th of November 2018 08:01:00 AM

One of the biggest risks with using proprietary applications is losing access to your digital content if the software disappears or ends support for old file formats. Moving your content to an open format is the best way to protect yourself from being locked out due to vendor lock-in and for that, the Document Liberation Project (DLP) has your back.


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Should a programming course be mandatory for high school students?

Thursday 8th of November 2018 08:03:00 AM

Should kids be technically literate? Of course! Is the best way to teach them this skill by turning them into programmers? Well, that's a tougher question.

First, to be blunt, in much of the world, even in affluent areas, schools are not equipped to handle this task. Aside from lacking the physical technology, many also are lacking in adequate staffing resources in order to teach programming courses.


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6 reasons for making the open source argument

Thursday 8th of November 2018 08:00:00 AM

If your organization is struggling to take advantage of the open source software (OSS) market, here are some proven ways it can help you achieve truly transformative success particularly if you are implementing DevOps.

1. New opportunities

Commercial software and OSS both provide common capabilities as a commodity to all competitors in a market. However, OSS is distinguished in at least two important ways:


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Choosing a printer for Linux

Thursday 8th of November 2018 08:00:00 AM

We've made significant strides toward the long-rumored paperless society, but we still need to print hard copies of documents from time to time. If you're a Linux user and have a printer without a Linux installation disk or you're in the market for a new device, you're in luck. That's because most Linux distributions (as well as MacOS) use the Common Unix Printing System (CUPS), which contains drivers for most printers available today. This means Linux offers much wider support than Windows for printers.


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How to make Perl more classy

Thursday 8th of November 2018 08:00:00 AM

This is the seventh in a series of articles about migrating code from Perl 5 to Perl 6. This article looks at how to create classes (objects) in Perl 6 and how it differs from Perl 5.


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Top 10 October must-reads: Microsoft Access alternatives, iptables tricks, Min, functional programming in Python, and more

Wednesday 7th of November 2018 09:10:00 PM

Opensource.com set a couple of big new records in October, with 1,025,814 unique visitors (our first time with more than a million visitors) and 1,574,964 page views. We published 94 articles last month, and welcomed 25 new writers. More than 63% of our content was contributed by members of the open source community, and our community moderators contributed 22 articles.


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Gitbase: Exploring Git repos with SQL

Wednesday 7th of November 2018 08:03:00 AM

Git has become the de-facto standard for code versioning, but its popularity didn't remove the complexity of performing deep analyses of the history and contents of source code repositories.

SQL, on the other hand, is a battle-tested language to query large codebases as its adoption by projects like Spark and BigQuery shows.

So it is just logical that at source{d} we chose these two technologies to create gitbase: the code-as-data solution for large-scale analysis of git repositories with SQL.


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Meet Franz, an open source messaging aggregator

Wednesday 7th of November 2018 08:02:00 AM

If you are like me, you use several different chat and messaging services during the day. Some are for work and some are for personal use, and I find myself toggling through a number of them as I move from apps to browser tabs—here, there, and everywhere.


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5 signs you are doing continuous testing wrong

Wednesday 7th of November 2018 08:01:00 AM

In the last few years, many companies have made large investments to automate every step of deploying features in production. Test automation has been recognized as a key enabler:

“We found that Test Automation is the biggest contributor to continuous delivery.” – 2017 State of DevOps report


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How open source in education creates new developers

Wednesday 7th of November 2018 08:00:00 AM

Like many programmers, I got my start solving problems with code. When I was a young programmer, I was content to code anything I could imagine—mostly games—and do it all myself. I didn't need help; I just needed less sleep. It's a common pitfall, and one that I'm happy to have climbed out of with the help of two important realizations:


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How to partition and format a drive on Linux

Tuesday 6th of November 2018 08:03:00 AM

On most computer systems, Linux or otherwise, when you plug a USB thumb drive in, you're alerted that the drive exists. If the drive is already partitioned and formatted to your liking, you just need your computer to list the drive somewhere in your file manager window or on your desktop. It's a simple requirement and one that the computer generally fulfills.

Sometimes, however, a drive isn't set up the way you want. For those times, you need to know how to find and prepare a storage device connected to your machine.


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A study aid using Python and PyQt

Tuesday 6th of November 2018 08:02:00 AM

About a year ago, I took a course in Arabic. In addition to being a right-to-left written language, Arabic has its own alphabet. Since this was an introductory class, I spent most of my time working my way through the Arabic alphabet.

So I decided to create a study aid: It would present an Arabic letter, I would formulate a guess, and it would tell me whether or not I had answered correctly. Some brief experimentation, however, showed that this approach would not work—the letters appeared so small that I couldn’t be sure what I was seeing on the command line.


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10 avoidable career mistakes (and how to conquer them)

Tuesday 6th of November 2018 08:00:00 AM

I don't claim to be a career expert, but I have noticed some important career mistakes many people make (some I've made myself!). These mistakes span how we approach our career growth, balance our careers with the rest of our lives, and the make the choices we do on a day to day basis.

In the latest episode of my Open Organization video series, I delve into 10 of the most important career mistakes people tend to make:


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Does your team need to learn how to break things?

Tuesday 6th of November 2018 08:00:00 AM

I don't think I need to start off by telling you that security and reliability are important in our code. We've heard it over and over and over again.

Big—scale big—problems happen when we don't bake security in at the beginning, and then, make adjustments as we go.

So, let's cut to the chase. How do we integrate security into DevOps?

1. Embrace automation: Use and/or build the tools.


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Machine learning Python hacks, creepy Linux commands, Thelio, Podman, and more

Monday 5th of November 2018 07:00:00 PM

I'm filling in again for this week's top 10 while Rikki Endsley is recovering from LISA18 held last week in Nashville, Tennessee. We're starting to gather articles for our 4th annual Open Source Yearbook, get your proposals in soon. Enjoy this week's top 10.


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How to manage storage on Linux with LVM

Monday 5th of November 2018 08:02:00 AM

Logical Volume Manager (LVM) is a software-based RAID-like system that lets you create "pools" of storage and add hard drive space to those pools as needed. There are lots of reasons to use it, especially in a data center or any place where storage requirements change over time. Many Linux distributions use it by default for desktop installations, though, because users find the flexibility convenient and there are some built-in encryption features that the LVM structure simplifies.


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Introducing pydbgen: A random dataframe/database table generator

Monday 5th of November 2018 08:01:00 AM

When you start learning data science, often your biggest worry is not the algorithms or techniques but getting access to raw data. While there are many high-quality, real-life datasets available on the web for trying out cool machine learning techniques, I've found that the same is not true when it comes to learning SQL.


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Revisiting the Unix philosophy in 2018

Monday 5th of November 2018 08:00:00 AM

In 1984, Rob Pike and Brian W. Kernighan published an article called "Program Design in the Unix Environment" in the AT&T Bell Laboratories Technical Journal, in which they argued the Unix philosophy, using the example of BSD's cat -v implementation. In a nutshell that philosophy is: Build small, focused programs—in whatever language—that do only one thing but do this thing well, communicate via stdin/stdout, and are connected through pipes.

Sound familiar?


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More in Tux Machines

Devices: Coreboot, Toradex and Digi, Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+

  • Another Micro-ATX Haswell Era Motherboard Working With Coreboot But Needs Tiny Blob
    There are many Sandy Bridge era motherboards that have been freed by Coreboot while if you are looking for more options on something (slightly) newer, a micro-ATX Haswell-era motherboard from ASRock now works under this open-source BIOS implementation. The ASRock H81M-HDS is the latest motherboard port now mainline in Coreboot. The ASRock H81M-HDS supports Haswell Core and Xeon CPUs, supports two DDR3/DDR3L DIMMs, one PCI Express x16 slot, onboard display outputs, four SATA ports, and multiple USB3/USB2 ports. This motherboard can be found refurbished still from some Internet shops for about $70 USD.
  • Toradex and Digi launch i.MX8X-based Colibri and ConnectCore COMs
    Toradex and Digi have released Linux-friendly i.MX8X-based modules via early access programs. The Colibri iMX8X and Digi ConnectCore 8X each provide WiFi-ac and Bluetooth 4.2. NXP’s i.MX8X SoC has made quite a splash this week. Eight months after Phytec announced an i.MX8X-based phyCORE-i.MX 8X module, Variscite unveiled a VAR-SOM-MX8X module and then Congatec followed up with the Qseven form-factor Conga-QMX8X and SMARC 2.0 Conga-SMX8X. Now Toradex and Digi are beginning shipments of i.MX8X based modules for early access customers.
  • New Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+ launched for only $25

Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome: Net Neutrality Stance, Mozilla, a VR Work, Firefox Monitor and 5 Best Chrome Extensions For Productivity

  • Mozilla Fights On For Net Neutrality
    Mozilla took the next step today in the fight to defend the web and consumers from the FCC’s attack on an open internet. Together with other petitioners, Mozilla filed our reply brief in our case challenging the FCC’s elimination of critical net neutrality protections that require internet providers to treat all online traffic equally. The fight for net neutrality, while not a new one, is an important one. We filed this case because we believe that the internet works best when people control for themselves what they see and do online. The FCC’s removal of net neutrality rules is not only bad for consumers, it is also unlawful. The protections in place were the product of years of deliberation and careful fact-finding that proved the need to protect consumers, who often have little or no choice of internet provider. The FCC is simply not permitted to arbitrarily change its mind about those protections based on little or no evidence. It is also not permitted to ignore its duty to promote competition and protect the public interest. And yet, the FCC’s dismantling of the net neutrality rules unlawfully removes long standing rules that have ensured the internet provides a voice for everyone. Meanwhile, the FCC’s defenses of its actions and the supporting arguments of large cable and telco company ISPs, who have come to the FCC’s aid, are misguided at best. They mischaracterize the internet’s technical structure as well as the FCC’s mandate to advance internet access, and they ignore clear evidence that there is little competition among ISPs. They repeatedly contradict themselves and have even introduced new justifications not outlined in the FCC’s original decision to repeal net neutrality protections.
  • Virtual meeting rooms don’t have to be boring. We challenge you to design better ones!
    Mozilla’s mission is to make the Internet a global public resource, open and accessible to all, including innovators, content creators, and builders on the web. VR is changing the very future of web interaction, so advancing it is crucial to Mozilla’s mission. That was the initial idea behind Hubs by Mozilla, a VR interaction platform launched in April 2018 that lets you meet and talk to your friends, colleagues, partners, and customers in a shared 360-environment using just a browser, on any device from head-mounted displays like HTC Vive to 2D devices like laptops and mobile phones. Since then, the Mozilla VR team has kept integrating new and exciting features to the Hubs experience: the ability bring videos, images, documents, and even 3D models into Hubs by simply pasting a link. In early October, two more useful features were added: drawing and photo uploads.
  • New Raspbian Update, Qt Creator 4.8 Beta2 Released, Firefox Monitor Now Available in More Than 26 Languages, Chrome OS Linux Soon Will Have Access to Downloads Folder and Canonical Extends Ubuntu 18.04 Long-Term Support
    Firefox Monitor, the free services that tells you whether your email has been part of a security breach, is now available in more than 26 languages: "Albanian, Traditional and Simplified Chinese, Czech, Dutch, English (Canadian), French, Frisian, German, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Malay, Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese (Portugal), Russian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish (Argentina, Mexico, and Spain), Swedish, Turkish, Ukranian and Welsh." Along with this, Mozilla also announced that it has added "a notification to our Firefox Quantum browser that alerts desktop users when they visit a site that has had a recently reported data breach". See the Mozilla blog for details.
  • 5 Best Chrome Extensions For Productivity That You Should Use In 2019
    Google is the most popular browser around and supports a vast number of extensions as well. Since there are a lot of Chrome addons available in the Chrome Web Store, picking the best Google Chrome extension can be quite a task. Also, it is quite easy to get distracted on the web and lose track of time. Thankfully, several good extensions for productivity are available that can help you focus on your tasks, save time by prioritizing them and skillfully manage your to-do list. So here is a list of excellent Google Chrome extensions for productivity for the year 2019 that will assist you in your work in.

Graphics: Open-Source AMD Linux Driver Stack, Mesa 18.3.0 RC, ROCm 1.9.2 and Firefox on Wayland

  • The Open-Source AMD Linux Driver Stack Hitting Problems With The Radeon RX 590
    While the Radeon RX 590 that launched this week is just yet another Polaris refresh, it turns out the open-source AMD Linux graphics driver stack isn't yet playing well with retail RX 590 graphics cards. This is quite a surprise considering the PCI ID was picked up months ago and the mature Polaris Linux driver support for quite a while now, but could be like the rough Raven Ridge Linux experience where the production cards with the shipping vBIOS isn't what the developers encountered during their pre-production driver enablement. [...] Long story short, it looks like at least one initialization issue is blocking the Radeon RX 590 Linux support. Hopefully the workaround ends up being trivial enough that it can be quickly back-ported to existing stable Linux kernel series. Once the Radeon RX 590 is running well on Linux, I'll be through with a ton of benchmarks that I have already been working on this week with other graphics cards using the newest Linux driver stacks. This situation is sadly reminiscent of the Raven Ridge launch earlier this year where the open-source driver team was working on support for months in advance, but the production hardware/BIOS ended up varying a lot from their hardware bring-up that is was very shaky support at launch. The Raven Ridge support improved a lot on Linux since launch, but even to this day some hardware still seems to be problematic both of hardware in my labs as well as reports by users. Hopefully it won't take nearly as long for the RX 590 support to be in shape.
  • mesa 18.3.0-rc3
    The third release candidate for Mesa 18.3.0 is now available.
  • Mesa 18.3-RC3 Released With RADV Fixes, Drops Zen L3 Thread Pinning
    Mesa release manager Emil Velikov has announced the latest weekly release candidate of the upcoming Mesa 18.3. Mesa 18.3 has a number of Meson build system updates, several RADV driver corrections, a few NIR updates, fixes video API support for Raven 2 APUs, and back-ports the change to drop the AMD Zen L3 thread pinning functionality.
  • Radeon ROCm 1.9.2 Released - Brings SDMA/RDMA Support For Vega 20, HIP/HCC Improvements
    While we know ROCm 2.0 is coming out before year's end and that will have many improvements like complete OpenCL 2.0 support, ROCm 1.9.2 is out today as the latest stable release for this Radeon Open Compute stack. ROCm 1.9.2 brings some notable changes for just being a point release ahead of the big ROCm 2.0 milestone. Vega 20 remains one of the big areas for AMD's driver/software developers for what will begin shipping next year as the Radeon Instinct MI50 / MI60 accelerators.
  • Mozilla Now Ships Firefox Nightly Builds With Wayland Enabled
    After what feels like an eternity in waiting years for Mozilla to ship their Firefox web-browser with native Wayland support enabled, their latest Firefox Nightly builds have achieved this milestone. There have been Wayland patches for Firefox going back years but the Wayland support hasn't been enabled in the official Firefox binaries up until now. Starting yesterday, the Mozilla.org Firefox Nightly packages have Wayland support built-in and when launching Firefox if GDK_BACKEND=wayland is set, should now work with native Wayland rather than XWayland.

OSS: Delver, Lock-in, Dries Buytaert, Openstack and Mycroft

  • Delver devs release their tech publicly under open source license
    As an added bonus, it's always nice when developers open source their tech to share with others. The source release doesn't contain or cover the game data from Delver, and the game data remains subject to original copyright and applicable law. It's also worth mentioning that the source code release is licensed under the GNU General Public License v2.0, meaning the software can continue to be shared, edited, and distributed for free, and can be used for commercial use as well.
  • How open source makes lock-in worse (and better) [Ed: Troll Mac Asay at it again]
    For open source companies desperate to figure out a business model that scales with the adoption of their ostensibly free software, Amazon's recent troubles getting off Oracle's database could be instructive. One way to look at Amazon's struggles is through the lens of "proprietary software creates lock-in," but this isn't actually helpful. Why? Because open source creates similar lock-in, and that's something open source entrepreneurs might want to consider.
  • At Acquia Engage, CTO talks of open source WCM, Red Hat buy
    Dries Buytaert: No, [because] 18 to 19 years ago, mobile didn't exist. Google was a private company. I remember AT&T launching text messaging a month or so before. Social media didn't exist. I think less than 10% of the world had internet. I started Drupal; it was very much an experimental platform for me, just to have some fun. I was fascinated with the web, and I didn't have any grand plans. Obviously, that changed over time. I made it open source, [and] it started growing, slowly. Drupal started to grow, so I started my plans for Drupal and [followed] my conviction of us being onto something. We made a bet-the-farm bet on cloud [in about 2008], and that turned out to be the right bet, because we pioneered a new business model for open source, delivering [it] in the cloud. And a lot of companies are doing that now -- Elastic Path, MongoDB -- and I'm very proud of that.
  • Openstack moves one step closer to the edge
    The second Openstack Summit of the year drew to a close in Berlin yesterday, and it will be the last of its name as it rebrands as the Open Infrastructure Summit in 2019, a move that seems largely in line with the evolution of the open source cloud platform as it shifts further into edge and builds out a series of related pilot projects with Openstack as the core proposition. Many of the keynotes this time around showed the progress that the community had made in building out the pilot projects announced at the Vancouver Summit earlier this year. One in particular, the first release of StarlingX, might well help cement the open infrastructure platform in edge. StarlingX is branded as an open source edge platform, with telecom and IoT use cases in mind. According to the Foundation it "leverages components of Ceph, Openstack and Kubernetes and complements them with new services including configuration and fault management", in particular to address technology challenges around high availability and ultra-low latency compute.
  • SD Times Open-Source Project of the Week: Mycroft
    Companies are looking to provide better experiences with their customers, which has given rise to the popularity of chatbots. Yet assistants that use voice tend to be only associated with tech giants like Apple, Amazon, and Google. Mycroft is an open-source voice assistant that is aiming to make voice assistants more attainable for everyone. “We believe the future of AI should be open, not a cryptic black box only few understand and have control over. Building this new technology together, collaborating, sharing ideas and building on top of each other – that’s how we see it,” Mycroft’s website states.