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Why schools of the future are open

Tuesday 4th of September 2018 07:02:00 AM

Someone recently asked me what education will look like in the modern era. My response: Much like it has for the last 100 years. How's that for a pessimistic view of our education system?

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8 Linux commands for effective process management

Tuesday 4th of September 2018 07:01:00 AM

Generally, an application process' lifecycle has three main states: start, run, and stop. Each state can and should be managed carefully if we want to be competent administrators. These eight commands can be used to manage processes through their lifecycles.

Starting a process

The easiest way to start a process is to type its name at the command line and press Enter. If you want to start an Nginx web server, type nginx. Perhaps you just want to check the version.

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Why I love Xonsh

Tuesday 4th of September 2018 07:00:00 AM

Shell languages are useful for interactive use. But this optimization often comes with trade-offs against using them as programming languages, which is sometimes felt when writing shell scripts.

What if your shell also understood a more scalable programming language? Say, Python?

Enter Xonsh.

Installing Xonsh is as simple as creating a virtual environment, running pip install xonsh[ptk,linux], and then running xonsh.

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Turn your vim editor into a productivity powerhouse

Monday 3rd of September 2018 07:02:00 AM

Editor's note: The headline and article originally referred to the "vi editor." It has been updated to the correct name of the editor: "vim."

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How to use KA Lite to serve up educational content

Monday 3rd of September 2018 07:01:00 AM

In a "flipped classroom," students are introduced to content at home and then go to school ready to interact with teachers. Khan Academy video content is a popular resource for many flipped classrooms, and the concept behind it has revolutionized education for many students. As stated on its website, you can learn anything at Khan Academy—as long as you can access the video content it shares online.

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Hollywood formalizes support for open source in filmmaking

Monday 3rd of September 2018 07:00:00 AM

It's an interesting world that we live in. On August 10, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences—the same organization responsible for the Academy Awards (also known as the Oscars), not exactly an industry that's renowned for its openness—teamed up with the Linux Foundation to form the Academy Software Foundation (ASWF).

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Annual computer graphics conference encourages use of open source

Saturday 1st of September 2018 07:02:00 AM

It's been a few years since I last attended the annual SIGGRAPH Conference. If you're not familiar with SIGGRAPH, it's a special interest group within the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) that focuses on computer graphics. It holds a North American conference every year, usually on the western side of the continent. This year it was in Vancouver, Canada.

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Redis Labs changes license, Valve releases new Steam Play beta version, and more news

Saturday 1st of September 2018 07:00:00 AM

In this edition of our open source news roundup, we take a look at Redis Labs' licensing woes, open source profiting from the cloud, making Windows games easier to run on Linux, and more.

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6 open source tools for making your own VPN

Friday 31st of August 2018 07:02:00 AM

If you want to try your hand at building your own VPN but aren’t sure where to start, you’ve come to the right place. I’ll compare six of the best free and open source tools to set up and use a VPN on your own server. These VPNs work whether you want to set up a site-to-site VPN for your business or just create a remote access proxy to unblock websites and hide your internet traffic from ISPs.

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Publishing Markdown to HTML with MDwiki

Friday 31st of August 2018 07:01:00 AM

There are plenty of reasons to like Markdown, a simple language with an easy-to-learn syntax that can be used with any text editor. Using tools like Pandoc, you can convert Markdown text to a variety of popular formats, including HTML. You can also automate that conversion process in a web server.

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3 innovative open source projects for the new school year

Friday 31st of August 2018 07:00:00 AM

I first wrote about open source learning software for educators in the fall of 2013. Fast-forward five years—today, open source software and principles have moved from outsiders in the education industry to the popular crowd.

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Which Linux terminal command do you use the most?

Thursday 30th of August 2018 07:03:00 AM

A few weeks back I stumbled across this Reddit thread with a short Bash snippet telling me how to get a list of my most-used terminal commands.

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6 places to host your git repository

Thursday 30th of August 2018 07:02:00 AM

Perhaps you're one of the few people who didn't notice, but a few months back, Microsoft bought GitHub. Nothing against either company. Microsoft has become a vocal supporter of open source in recent years, and GitHub has been the de facto code repository for a heaping large number of open source projects almost since its inception.

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How to scale your website across all mobile devices

Thursday 30th of August 2018 07:01:00 AM

Most of us surf the internet, make online purchases, and even pay bills using our mobile devices because they are handy and easily accessible. According to a Forrester study, The Digital Business Imperative, 43% of banking customers in the US used mobile phones to complete banking transactions in a three-month period.

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A quick guide to DNF for yum users

Thursday 30th of August 2018 07:00:00 AM

Dandified yum, better known as DNF, is a software package manager for RPM-based Linux distributions that installs, updates, and removes packages. It was first introduced in Fedora 18 in a testable state (i.e., tech preview), but it's been Fedora's default package manager since Fedora 22.

Since it is the next-generation version of the traditional yum package manager, it has more advanced and robust features than you'll find in yum. Some of the features that distinguish DNF from yum are:

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Getting started with the i3 window manager on Linux

Wednesday 29th of August 2018 07:03:00 AM

In my article 5 reasons the i3 window manager makes Linux better, I shared the top five reasons I use and recommend the i3 window manager as an alternative Linux desktop experience.

In this post, I will walk through the installation and basic configuration of i3 on Fedora 28 Linux.

1. Installation

Log into a Fedora workstation and open up a terminal. Use dnf to install the required package, like this:

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Add GUIs to your programs and scripts easily with PySimpleGUI

Wednesday 29th of August 2018 07:02:00 AM

Few people run Python programs by double-clicking the .py file as if it were a .exe file. When a typical user (non-programmer types) double-clicks an .exe file, they expect it to pop open with a window they can interact with. While GUIs, using tkinter, are possible using standard Python installations, it's unlikely many programs do this.

What if it were so easy to open a Python program into a GUI that complete beginners could do it? Would anyone care? Would anyone use it? It's difficult to answer because to date it's not been easy to build a custom GUI.

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4 open source monitoring tools

Wednesday 29th of August 2018 07:01:00 AM

Isn’t monitoring just monitoring? Doesn’t it include logging, visualization, and time-series data?

The terminology around monitoring has caused a lot of confusion over the years and has led to some poor tools that tout the ability to do everything in one format. Observability proponents recognize there are many levels for observing a system. Metrics aggregation is primarily time-series data, and that’s what we’ll discuss in this article.

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Containers in Perl 6

Wednesday 29th of August 2018 07:00:00 AM

In the first article in this series comparing Perl 5 to Perl 6, we looked into some of the issues you might encounter when migrating code into Perl 6. In the second article, we examined how garbage collection works in Perl 6. Here, in the third article, we'll focus on Perl 5's references and how they're handled in Perl 6, and introduce the concepts of binding and containers.

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More in Tux Machines

Mozilla: Privacy, R.I.P., and Consent Management at Mozfest 2018

  • Firefox collects data on you through hidden add-ons

    Mozilla, the organisation that produces the Firefox browser and makes a loud noise about its open source credentials, is quietly collecting telemetry data on its users by the use of hidden add-ons, even though publicly visible telemetry controls are not selected.

  • R.I.P., Charles W. Moore, a fine man who liked fine Macs
    A farewell and au revoir to a great gentleman in making the most of your old Mac, Charles W. Moore, who passed away at his home in rural Canada on September 16 after a long illness. Mr Moore was an early fan of TenFourFox, even back in the old bad Firefox 4 beta days, and he really made his famous Pismo PowerBook G3 systems work hard for it.
  • Consent management at Mozfest 2018
    Good news. It looks like we're having a consent management mini-conference as part of Mozfest next month. (I'm one of the organizers for the Global Consent Manager session, and plan to attend the others.)

Android Leftovers

LibreOffice: A history of document freedom

My reminiscing led me to reach out to the Document Foundation, which governs LibreOffice, to learn more about the history of this open source productivity software. The Document Foundation's team told me that "StarWriter, the ancestor of the LibreOffice suite, was developed as proprietary software by Marco Börries, a German student, to write his high school final thesis." He formed a company called Star Division to develop the software. In 1999, Sun Microsystems bought Star Division for $73.5 million, changed the software's name to, and released the code as open source. Anyone could download the office suite at no charge for personal use. The Document Foundation told me, "For almost 10 years, the software was developed under Sun stewardship, from version 1.0 to version 3.2. It started with a dual license—LGPL and the proprietary SISSL (Sun Industry Standard Software License)—but it evolved to pure LGPL from version 2.0." Read more

Learn the 37 most frequently used shortcuts in GIMP

GIMP is a fantastic artist's tool for editing digital images, especially with the bevy of impressive features in the recent release of version 2.10. Of course, like all creative applications, you can get working more quickly if you can make yourself familiar with the various keyboard shortcuts and hotkeys available. GIMP, of course, gives you the ability to customize these shortcuts to match what you're personally comfortable with. However, the default shortcuts that GIMP ships with are impressive and generally easy to get used to. This cheat sheet is not an exhaustive list of all of the defaults GIMP has available. Instead, it covers the most frequently used shortcuts so you can get to work as fast as possible. Plus, there should be a few in here that make you aware of a few features that maybe you weren't aware of. Read more