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How to program with Bash: Logical operators and shell expansions

Tuesday 22nd of October 2019 07:03:00 AM

Bash is a powerful programming language, one perfectly designed for use on the command line and in shell scripts. This three-part series (which is based on my three-volume Linux self-study course) explores using Bash as a programming language on the command-line interface (CLI).


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Initializing arrays in Java

Tuesday 22nd of October 2019 07:02:00 AM

People who have experience programming in languages like C or FORTRAN are familiar with the concept of arrays. They’re basically a contiguous block of memory where each location is a certain type: integers, floating-point numbers, or what-have-you.

The situation in Java is similar, but with a few extra wrinkles.

An example array

Let’s make an array of 10 integers in Java:


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NGT: A library for high-speed approximate nearest neighbor search

Tuesday 22nd of October 2019 07:01:00 AM

Approximate nearest neighbor (ANN) search is used in deep learning to make a best guess at the point in a given set that is most similar to another point. This article explains the differences between ANN search and traditional search methods and introduces NGT, a top-performing open source ANN library developed by Yahoo! Japan Research.


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How collaboration fueled a development breakthrough at Greenpeace

Tuesday 22nd of October 2019 07:00:00 AM

Activists really don't like feeling stuck.

We thrive on forward momentum and the energy it creates. When that movement grinds to a halt, even for a moment, our ability to catalyze passion in others stalls too.

And my colleagues and I at Greenpeace International were feeling stuck.


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Kubernetes networking, OpenStack Train, and more industry trends

Monday 21st of October 2019 02:30:00 PM

As part of my role as a senior product marketing manager at an enterprise software company with an open source development model, I publish a regular update about open source community, market, and industry trends for product marketers, managers, and other influencers. Here are five of my and their favorite articles from that update.


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How to program with Bash: Syntax and tools

Monday 21st of October 2019 07:03:00 AM

A shell is the command interpreter for the operating system. Bash is my favorite shell, but every Linux shell interprets the commands typed by the user or sysadmin into a form the operating system can use. When the results are returned to the shell program, it sends them to STDOUT which, by default, displays them in the terminal. All of the shells I am familiar with are also programming languages.


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How to build a Flatpak

Monday 21st of October 2019 07:03:00 AM

A long time ago, a Linux distribution shipped an operating system along with all the software available for it. There was no concept of “third party” software because everything was a part of the distribution. Applications weren’t so much installed as they were enabled from a great big software repository that you got on one of the many floppy disks or, later, CDs you purchased or downloaded.


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Pylint: Making your Python code consistent

Monday 21st of October 2019 07:00:00 AM

Pylint is a higher-level Python style enforcer. While flake8 and black will take care of "local" style: where the newlines occur, how comments are formatted, or find issues like commented out code or bad practices in log formatting.


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To space and beyond with open source

Saturday 19th of October 2019 07:00:00 AM

Carl Sagan once said, "The universe is a pretty big place. If it's just us, seems like an awful waste of space." In that vast desert of seeming nothingness hides some of the most mysterious and beautiful creations humankind ever has—or ever will—witness.


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Perceiving Python programming paradigms

Friday 18th of October 2019 07:02:00 AM

Early each year, TIOBE announces its Programming Language of The Year. When its latest annual TIOBE index report came out, I was not at all surprised to see Python again winning the title, which was based on capturing the most search engine ranking points (especially on Google, Bing, Yahoo, Wikipedia, Amazon, YouTube, and Baidu) in 2018.


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How to use Protobuf for data interchange

Friday 18th of October 2019 07:01:00 AM

Protocol buffers (Protobufs), like XML and JSON, allow applications, which may be written in different languages and running on different platforms, to exchange data. For example, a sending application written in Go could encode a Go-specific sales order in Protobuf, which a receiver written in Java then could decode to get a Java-specific representation of the received order. Here is a sketch of the architecture over a network connection:


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How I built and maintain Cantata, an open source music player

Friday 18th of October 2019 07:00:00 AM

This is the third in a series of conversations with developers who build and maintain open source music players. Craig Drummond is the developer and maintainer of Cantata, an open source music player that acts as a frontend (client) to the Music Player Daemon (MPD) music server. I have two small headless computers at home configured as music servers—one connected to our stereo in our living room, one in my upstairs office.


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Intro to the Linux useradd command

Thursday 17th of October 2019 07:02:00 AM

Adding a user is one of the most fundamental exercises on any computer system; this article focuses on how to do it on a Linux system.

Before getting started, I want to mention three fundamentals to keep in mind. First, like with most operating systems, Linux users need an account to be able to log in. This article specifically covers local accounts, not network accounts such as LDAP. Second, accounts have both a name (called a username) and a number (called a user ID). Third, users are typically placed into a group. Groups also have a name and group ID.


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How to type emoji on Linux

Thursday 17th of October 2019 07:01:00 AM

Emoji are those fanciful pictograms that snuck into the Unicode character space. They're all the rage online, and people use them for all kinds of surprising things, from signifying reactions on social media to serving as visual labels for important file names. There are many ways to enter Unicode characters on Linux, but the GNOME desktop makes it easy to find and type an emoji.


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Measuring the business value of open source communities

Thursday 17th of October 2019 07:00:00 AM

In Measuring the health of open source communities, I covered some of the key questions and metrics that we’ve explored as part of the CHAOSS project as they relate to project founders, maintainers, and contributors. In this article, we focus on open source corporate constituents (such as open source program offices, business risk and legal teams, human resources, and others) and end users.


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Open source interior design with Sweet Home 3D

Wednesday 16th of October 2019 07:02:00 AM

There are three schools of thought on how to go about decorating a room:


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Predicting NFL play outcomes with Python and data science

Wednesday 16th of October 2019 07:01:00 AM

If you made through part 1, congrats! You have the patience it takes to format data. In that article, I cleaned up my National Football League data set using a few Python libraries and some basic football knowledge. Picking up where I left off, it's time to take a closer look at my data set.


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Drupal shows leadership on diversity and inclusion

Wednesday 16th of October 2019 07:00:00 AM

I didn't expect DrupalCon Seattle's opening keynote to address the barriers that hold people back from making open source contributions. So imagine my surprise when Dries Buytaert, Drupal's project lead and co-founder and CTO of Acquia, which created Drupal, used his time onstage to share an apology.


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Why I use rxvt as my terminal

Tuesday 15th of October 2019 07:02:00 AM

I'm a fan of Konsole and GNOME Terminal, and I use them both regularly. They're great projects, and they represent modern terminals that meet the needs of users who spend their day in a shell, as well as users who only dip into a Unix shell every now and again. They integrate nicely into a desktop environment, bridging the gap between common GUI tasks and common shell tasks. I use GNOME Terminal at work and Konsole at home, and I enjoy them both.


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Formatting NFL data for doing data science with Python

Tuesday 15th of October 2019 07:01:00 AM

No matter what medium of content you consume these days (podcasts, articles, tweets, etc.), you'll probably come across some reference to data. Whether it's to back up a talking point or put a meta-view on how data is everywhere, data and its analysis are in high demand.

As a programmer, I've found data science to be more comparable to wizardry than an exact science. I've coveted the ability to get ahold of raw data and glean something useful and concrete from it. What a useful talent!


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