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What's the next programming language you want to learn?

Friday 26th of October 2018 07:03:00 AM

In July, IEEE Spectrum released their fifth annual interactive ranking of the top programming languages. They have a pretty cool and complex process for ranking 47 chosen programming languages because it's complicated to say really which is the most popular. As they put it: "Different programmers have different needs and domains of interest."

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How to run AWX on Minishift

Friday 26th of October 2018 07:02:00 AM

The upstream version of Red Hat's Ansible Tower product is AWX. It's a containerized solution, which means you need a container orchestrator to run and look after it.

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Directing traffic: Demystifying internet-scale load balancing

Friday 26th of October 2018 07:01:00 AM

Large, multi-site, internet-facing systems, including content-delivery networks (CDNs) and cloud providers, have several options for balancing traffic coming onto their networks. In this article, we'll describe common traffic-balancing designs, including techniques and trade-offs.

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How phasers work in Perl 6

Friday 26th of October 2018 07:00:00 AM

This is the sixth in a series of articles about migrating code from Perl 5 to Perl 6. This article looks at the special blocks in Perl 5, such as BEGIN and END, and the possibly subtle change in semantics with so-called phasers in Perl 6.

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Min web browser, Microsoft Access alternatives, Ansible, Kubernetes, JavaScript, piwheels, and more

Thursday 25th of October 2018 07:46:00 PM

Earlier this week the editorial team had the pleasure of spending time with our community moderators at our annual meeting prior to All Things Open in Raleigh, North Carolina. 

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How to write your favorite R functions in Python

Thursday 25th of October 2018 07:03:00 AM

One of the great modern battles of data science and machine learning is "Python vs. R." There is no doubt that both have gained enormous ground in recent years to become top programming languages for data science, predictive analytics, and machine learning. In fact, according to a recent IEEE article, Python overtook C++ as the top programming language and R firmly secured its spot in the top 10.

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What breaks our systems: A taxonomy of black swans

Thursday 25th of October 2018 07:02:00 AM

Black swans are a metaphor for outlier events that are severe in impact (like the 2008 financial crash). In production systems, these are the incidents that trigger problems that you didn't know you had, cause major visible impact, and can't be fixed quickly and easily by a rollback or some other standard response from your on-call playbook. They are the events you tell new engineers about years after the fact.

Black swans, by definition, can't be predicted, but sometimes there are patterns we can find and use to create defenses against categories of related problems.

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Lutris: Linux game management made easy

Thursday 25th of October 2018 07:01:00 AM

If you use Linux and enjoy playing video games, life has been pretty good lately. Valve, Unity, Unreal Engine, and other big-name forces have pulled the video game industry into Linux compatibility so thoroughly that if you use Steam, you likely own more Linux-compatible games than you have time to play (and with Proton and Steam Play, that number's about to increase).

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Monitoring database health and behavior: Which metrics matter?

Thursday 25th of October 2018 07:00:00 AM

We don’t talk about our databases enough. In this age of instrumentation, we monitor our applications, our infrastructure, and even our users, but we sometimes forget that our database deserves monitoring, too. That’s largely because most databases do their job so well that we simply trust them to do it. Trust is great, but confirmation of our assumptions is even better.

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Get organized at the Linux command line with Calcurse

Wednesday 24th of October 2018 07:02:00 AM

Do you need complex, feature-packed graphical or web applications to get and stay organized? I don't think so. The right command line tool can do the job and do it well.

Of course, uttering the words command and line together can strike fear into the hearts of some Linux users. The command line, to them, is terra incognita.

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Why it matters that Microsoft released old versions of MS-DOS as open source

Wednesday 24th of October 2018 07:01:00 AM

One open source software project I work on is the FreeDOS Project. It's a complete, free, DOS-compatible operating system that you can use to play classic DOS games, run legacy business software, or develop embedded systems. Any program that works on MS-DOS should also run on FreeDOS.

So I took notice when Microsoft recently released the source code to MS-DOS 1.25 and 2.0 via a GitHub repository. This is a huge step for Microsoft, and I’d like to briefly explain why it is significant.

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5 tips for facilitators of agile meetings

Wednesday 24th of October 2018 07:00:00 AM

As Agile practitioner, I often hear that the best way to have business meetings is to avoid more meetings, or to cancel them altogether.

Do your meetings fail to keep attendees engaged or run longer than they should? Perhaps you have mixed feelings about participating in meetings—but don't want to be excluded?

If all this sounds familiar, read on.

How do we fix meetings?

To succeed in this role, you must understand that agile is not something that you do, but something that you can become.
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Getting started with functional programming in Python using the toolz library

Tuesday 23rd of October 2018 07:03:00 AM

In the second of a two-part series, we continue to explore how we can import ideas from functional programming methodology into Python to have the best of both worlds.

In the previous post, we covered immutable data structures. Those allow us to write "pure" functions, or functions that have no side effects, merely accepting some arguments and returning a result while maintaining decent performance.

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Living on the command line: Why mistakes are a good thing

Tuesday 23rd of October 2018 07:02:00 AM

Failure = Freedom. Is that really true?

For many organizations, it is. These groups of developers... or marketers or educators... are applying the belief that "failing faster" is how we get better. That digging into disasters is how things get better. 

This is all a subculture of the agile way of working, by the way.

So, how can you do this too?

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What MMORPGs can teach us about leveling up a heroic developer team

Tuesday 23rd of October 2018 07:01:00 AM

For the better part of a decade, I have been leading guilds in massively multiplayer role-playing games (MMORPGs). Currently, I lead a guild in Guild Wars 2, and before that, I led progression raid teams in World of Warcraft, while also maintaining a career as a software engineer. As I made the transition into software development, it became clear that the skills I gained in building successful raid groups translated well to building successful tech teams.

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Creativity is risky (and other truths open leaders need to hear)

Tuesday 23rd of October 2018 07:00:00 AM

Leaders are all too aware of the importance of invention and innovation. Today, the health and wealth of their businesses have become increasingly dependent on the creation of new products and processes. In the digital age especially, competition is more fierce than ever as global markets open and expand. Just keeping pace with change requires a focus on constant improvement and consistent learning. And that says nothing about building for tomorrow.

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6 JavaScript books you should know

Monday 22nd of October 2018 07:03:00 AM

If there was ever the potential for a giant book list it's one based on our favorite Javascript books. But, this list is short and easy to digest. Maybe it will help you get started, gently. Plus, check out three of our top Javascript articles with even more books, resources, and tips.

6 JavaScript books you should know 3D Game Programming for Kids

by Chris Strom

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How to set up WordPress on a Raspberry Pi

Monday 22nd of October 2018 07:02:00 AM

WordPress is a popular open source blogging platform and content management system (CMS). It's easy to set up and has a thriving community of developers building websites and creating themes and plugins for others to use.

Although getting hosting packages with a "one-click WordPress setup" is easy, it's also simple to set up your own on a Linux server with only command-line access, and the Raspberry Pi is a perfect way to try it out and learn something along the way.

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5 tips for choosing the right open source database

Monday 22nd of October 2018 07:01:00 AM

So, your company has a directive to adopt more open source database technologies, and they've recruited you to select the right direction. Whether you are an open source technology veteran or a newcomer, this is a daunting and overwhelming task.

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How Instagram is scaling its infrastructure across the ocean

Monday 22nd of October 2018 07:00:00 AM

In 2014, two years after Instagram joined Facebook, Instagram's engineering team moved the company's infrastructure from Amazon Web Services (AWS) servers to Facebook's data centers. Facebook has multiple data centers across the United States and Europe but, until recently, Instagram used only U.S. data centers.

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More in Tux Machines

Ubuntu Mir's EGMDE Desktop Getting Experimental XWayland

Ubuntu's little known EGMDE example Mir desktop that is mostly a proving grounds for Mir development is now receiving support for XWayland for being able to run X11 applications within this example environment. Lead Mir developer Alan Griffiths posted about initial XWayland support for EGMDE but that it is "highly experimental, and can crash the desktop." This support is available via the "edge" EGMDE Snap. Read more

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 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.