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October 2018

today's leftovers

Filed under
Misc
  • The AMD Threadripper ECC DDR4-2666 Testing That Wasn't

    Recently in our forums there has been a lot of interest in Threadripper 2 builds using ECC DDR4 memory and the impact on performance, especially now with the Threadripper 2 family being rounded out by the 2920X and 2970WX. So I set out to do some DDR4-2666 ECC UDIMM testing with Threadripper 2, but that hasn't turned out well.

  • Representing KDE at XDC 2018

    Last month the X.Org Developer?s Conference (XDC) was held in A Coru�a, Spain. I took part as a Plasma/KWin developer. My main goal was to simply get into contact with developers from other projects and companies working on open source technology in order to show them that the KDE community aims at being a reliable partner to them now and in the future.

    Instead of recounting chronologically what went down at the conference let us look at three key groups of attendees, who are relevant to KWin and Plasma: the graphics drivers and kernel developers, upstream userland and colleagues working on other compositor projects.

  • Chris Lamb: Free software activities in October 2018

    We intend to maintain changes to these modules under their original open source licenses and applying only free and open fixes and updates. You can find out more at goodformcode.com.

OSS: Openwashing, FUD, Open Hardware, Open Source as a Model for Global Education and More

Filed under
OSS
  • It's not okay to pretend your software is open source

    One of my largest complaints with the Commons Clause is that it hijacks language used by open source projects to proliferate nonfree software, and encourages software using it to do the same. Instead of being a new software license, it tries to stick itself onto other respected licences - often the Apache 2.0 license. The name, “Commons Clause”, is also disingenuous, hijacking language used by respected entities like Creative Commons. In truth, the Commons Clause serves to remove software from the commons1. Combining these problems gives you language like “Apache+Commons Clause”, which is easily confused with Apache Commons.

  • No Free Lunches In Software: Understanding Open Source Code Use In Your Business [Ed: We're back to the 1990s? Far too much FUD like this from Forbes about FOSS, now without the paywall/spywall.]
  • Nybble open source robotic kitten

    Those of you looking to learn a little more about robotics and electronics in general may be interested in a new open source robotic kit called Nybble. Which allows you to build the “world’s cutest open source robotic kitten”. Watch the demonstration video below to learn more about the robotic kit which can be easily programmed and is now available to back via Indiegogo with early bird pledges available from $200.

  • Open Source as a Model for Global Education

    While education leaders may be appalled by the closed-border policies coming out of Washington, they often indulge in similar protectionist rhetoric, as highlighted by a recent Wilson Center report.
    The language of “national competitiveness” is common in higher education, especially in discussions of China and the U.S. You hear it in contradictory concerns about too many international students (they will take scarce places at elite institutions! They will steal intellectual property!) and too few (our institutions won't keep up if they stop sending students! We need their tuition to stay afloat!).
    What these worries have in common is the false premise that education is a race and if we don't hurry others will beat us.
    Whereas education competition borrows from the language of economics, an earlier model of educational transfer drew on culture and politics. Transfer was based on importing and exporting from one education system to another. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, American missionaries established colleges across the Middle East and Asia. Philanthropists established international academic exchanges like the Rhodes Scholarship.

  • Chrome OS 70 Brings Better Tablet Mode to Chromebooks, Here’s What’s New

    2-in-1 Chromebooks have existed for a few years now, and have become more and more popular as Chromebooks gained support for touch-based Android apps. But, using a convertible Chromebook just wasn’t as smooth as using a tablet. Part of this was the fact that you’re still holding a laptop, but the bigger part was the user interface.

    Now, both of those problems are effectively solved. Chrome tablets and detachables are available and with Chrome OS 70, there’s a much more touch-friendly user interface.

  • 8x8 buys Jitsi open source video conferencing from Atlassian

    8x8 has acquired the open source video conferencing company Jitsi from Atlassian in the cloud telephony vendor's latest move to expand its business communications portfolio.

    Jitsi hosts an open source video conferencing server that developers can use to build WebRTC-based video products. It also runs a free platform for online meetings that developers can embed into their websites or mobile apps using Jitsi's APIs and SDKs.

Reports on ActiveState Developer Survey/DigitalOcean’s 'CURRENTS A Seasonal Report on Developer Trends in the Cloud: Open Source Edition'

Filed under
Development
  • ActiveState Developer Survey Examines Open Source Challenges
  • Report: Developers are not clear on how to get involved in the open-source community

    After 20 years, the open-source community is stronger than ever. However, a recent report found developers while they had more time and know-how to contribute to open-source projects. According the report, respondents don’t quite know where to begin and start to question their skills and time.

    Additionally, developers say they are either too intimidated to contribute, lack the resources, or do not get enough time to contribute from their company.

    DigitalOcean’s CURRENTS A Seasonal Report on Developer Trends in the Cloud: Open Source Edition is based off of more than 4,300 international developers, and focuses specifically on how companies are using open source and why they support the community.

  • Developers: Want fulfilling work? Here are the 10 most satisfying coding languages

    Developers choose a programming language for a project based on a number of factors, including what components that project needs, and what languages they are most comfortable with. However, developers are much more satisfied working in some languages than others, according to a Tuesday report from ActiveState.

    Adding a new programming language to the workplace was ranked as the largest challenge for developers, with 56% ranking this difficult or very difficult, the report found. This was followed by dependencies (24%), environmental configuration (20%), and reproducible builds (18%).

  • The 10 most popular platforms developers use to code projects

    On a typical day, the largest portion of developers (37%) spend only 2-4 hours programming, according to a Tuesday report from ActiveState. Of the 1,400 developers and IT professionals surveyed, 14% said they spend one hour per day programming, 31% spend 5-7 hours, and 19% spend 8+ hours doing coding work daily.

    When starting new software projects, 26% of developers surveyed said they start a new project quarterly, the report found. Another 23% start new projects monthly, while 17% said rarely. Fewer in the field said they begin a new software project twice a year (14%), weekly (12%), annually (7%), or daily (1%), according to the report.

BSD: Review of 'Absolute FreeBSD', Introducing the OpenBSD Virtualization FAQ

Filed under
BSD
  • Book Review: Absolute FreeBSD (3rd Edition)

    FreeBSD is a free and open source operating system for many different kinds of computers. FreeBSD's based upon BSD, the version of UNIX developed at the University of California, Berkeley. FreeBSD is an alternative to Linux or Windows-based system. You can run almost all apps written in Perl, Python, PHP and other programming languages. FreeBSD heavily used by Netflix, EMC, IBM, Juniper, NetApp, Apple, Sony, and others. Absolute FreeBSD (3rd ed) book aims to be the complete guide to FreeBSD. Let us see why Michael W. Lucas' FreeBSD system administration books so favorite among Unix lovers.

  • Introducing the OpenBSD Virtualization FAQ

    Now getting started with OpenBSD virtualization has become even easier: The OpenBSD FAQ has a new Virtualization section, written mainly by Solene Rapenne (solene@) and added to the site in this commit, that offers an introduction to the concepts as well as instructions on how to get started with vmm(4).

GNU: New RMS Interview by Rob Lucas, RMS Biography, GNU Spotlight and GNU Bash

Filed under
GNU
  • "Every non-free program is an injustice": Richard Stallman on the Free Software Movement

    In the September–October 2018 issue of the New Left Review, Rob Lucas interviews software engineer and free-software advocate Richard Stallman, who is best known for spearheading the development of the GNU/Linux operating system in the 1980s. Stallman began his career at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab in the 1970s, which at the time was animated by a spirit of open collaboration and creative exploration. But when the lab began to develop proprietary software and partner with telecommunications companies, Stallman saw the “injustice” of non-free software and struck out on his own.

  • RICHARD STALLMAN TALKING TO THE MAILMAN: Interview by Rob Lucas

    I grew up in Manhattan, born in 1953. I was a behavioural problem—I couldn’t go to a public school without getting in trouble—and started working with computers at an early age. In 1969, during my last year of high school, an IBM lab let me come and use their computers. In 1970 I had a summer job there. They gave me a project to do, implementing a certain algorithm to see how well it would work. I finished that in a few weeks, so they let me spend the rest of the summer being paid to write whatever I felt like. I went to Harvard to study physics, and carried on programming there. Towards the end of my first year I started visiting computer labs to look at their manuals, to see how the computers differed. When I visited the Artificial Intelligence Lab at MIT, they didn’t have much by way of a manual, because they had developed their own time-sharing system. The administrator there decided to hire me more or less straight away. So although I graduated from Harvard in 1974, I had actually been an employee at MIT for three years. Harvard’s computer was a lot better to play with than IBM’s, but it didn’t have a lot of memory, whereas MIT’s computer at the AI Lab had plenty. Not only that, they let me change the time-sharing system; in fact, that was my job—they hired me to work on that system. I added lots of features to lots of different programs—whatever I thought of, or people suggested to me, that seemed like a good idea, I would implement and then people would use it. And this was absolutely delightful—and gratifying to make things that people used and appreciated—so I kept working there. From that point on, I did programming using the machine at MIT.

  • Innovative biography of RMS returns to GNU Press Shop

    In 2002, Sam Williams wrote Free as in Freedom, a biography of Richard M. Stallman. In its epilogue, Williams expressed hope that choosing to distribute his book under the GNU Free Documentation License would enable and encourage others to share corrections and their own perspectives through modifications to his work.

    Free as in Freedom (2.0) is Stallman's revision of the original biography. While preserving Williams's viewpoint, it includes factual corrections and extensive new commentary by Stallman, as well as new prefaces by both authors written for the occasion. It is a rare kind of biography, where the reader has the benefit of both the biographer's original words and the subject's response.

  • GNU Spotlight with Mike Gerwitz: 8 new GNU releases!

    gama-2.01
    gcc-6.5.0
    gvpe-3.1
    help2man-1.47.8
    mes-0.18
    mtools-4.0.19
    parallel-20181022
    units-2.18

    For announcements of most new GNU releases, subscribe to the info-gnu mailing list: https://lists.gnu.org/mailman/listinfo/info-gnu.

    To download: nearly all GNU software is available from https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/, or preferably one of its mirrors from https://www.gnu.org/prep/ftp.html. You can use the URL https://ftpmirror.gnu.org/ to be automatically redirected to a (hopefully) nearby and up-to-date mirror.

  • Normalizing Filenames and Data with [GNU] Bash

    Yeah, that many years. Almost 13 years of writing about shell scripts and lightweight programming within the Linux environment. I've covered a lot of ground, but I want to go back to something that's fairly basic and talk about filenames and the web.

    It used to be that if you had filenames that had spaces in them, bad things would happen: "my mom's cookies.html" was a recipe for disaster, not good cookies—um, and not those sorts of web cookies either!

    As the web evolved, however, encoding of special characters became the norm, and every Web browser had to be able to manage it, for better or worse. So spaces became either "+" or %20 sequences, and everything else that wasn't a regular alphanumeric character was replaced by its hex ASCII equivalent.

Kernel: Cedrus, EXT4, Linux in Android

Filed under
Linux
  • Cedrus VPU Decoder Driver Being Mainlined With New Linux Media Request API

    The Cedrus VPU driver developed by Bootlin for supporting the Allwinner VPU open-source support via crowdfunding is set to hit the mainline kernel for Linux 4.20~5.0.

    The Cedrus VPU driver is what was developed over six months this year at Bootlin via a crowd-funded internship that raised over thirty-six thousand dollars (USD) for the effort.

  • EXT4 Getting Fixes For A Number Of Ancient Bugs -- Back To The Linux 2.6 Days With EXT3

    While investigating EXT4 resize troubles on RHEL6/RHEL7 boxes with OpenVZ kernels, Vasily Averin uncovered several bugs within the EXT4 code. The oldest of which bugs date back to the Linux 2.6.19 kernel in the EXT3 code that was imported when creating the EXT4 file-system.

  • Episode 5: Linux is Personal

    Doc Searls and Katherine Druckman talk to Corbin Champion about Userland, an easy way to run Linux on your Android device, and other new projects.

Security: Podman, Microsoft and Updates

Filed under
Security

Braiins OS Is The First Fully Open Source, Linux-based Bitcoin Mining System

Filed under
OS
GNU
Linux

Braiins Systems, the company behind the Slush Pool, has announced Braiins OS. The creators of this bitcoin mining software have claimed that it’s the world’s first fully open source system for cryptocurrency embedded devices.

The initial release of the operating system is based on OpenWrt, which is basically a Linux operating system for embedded devices. You can find its code here.

Those who know about OpenWrt must be aware of the fact that it’s very versatile. As a result, Braiins OS can also be extended in different applications in future.

In a Medium post, Braiins Systems has said that different weird cases of non-standard behavior of mining devices cause tons of issues. With this new mining software, the company wishes to make things easier for mining pool operators and miners.

Read more

Also: Linux Lite 4.2 Final Released

Linux Mint 19.1 Will Feature a ‘Modern’ Desktop Layout

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Ubuntu

We’re expecting the release of Linux Mint 19.1 to arrive just before the Christmas holidays and, like your nearest and dearest, it’ll be bringing a few surprises with it.

The Linux 19.1 release will include the Cinnamon 4.0 desktop environment by default and this, Mint’s devs say, will “look more modern” than it does not.

How? By using a new panel layout.

Read more

Programming: Rust 2018, Textile, Samsung, Apache Subversion 1.11.0 and More

Filed under
Development
  • SDL 2.0.9 Released As The Latest Version For This Cross-Platform Game Library

    SDL 2.0.9 is now available as the latest feature update to this cross-platform, widely-used library to help with abstracting operating system specific bits across operating systems and hardware from mobile devices to gaming PCs. SDL2 continues to be critically important for most Linux games.

  • AMD Publishes Zen 2 Compiler Patch "znver2" Exposing Some New Instructions

    With GCC 9 feature development ending in November, AMD today sent out their first patch enabling Zen 2 support in the GNU Compiler Collection via the new "znver2" target.

  • Help test Rust 2018

    Back in July, we talked about “Rust 2018”. In short, we are launching a cycle of long-term milestones called “Editions”. Editions are a way to capture the progress delivered incrementally by our ordinary six-week release cycle – and focus Rust libraries, tooling, and documentation cohesively around it. Editions will be selected roughly every three years: Rust 1.0 was “Rust 2015” and Rust 1.31 will be “Rust 2018”. Each edition has a theme; Rust 2015’s was “stability”, and Rust 2018’s is “productivity.”

    We’ve been testing Rust 2018 for a while already, and things are looking pretty good! We have just under six weeks until Rust 1.31 ships, and so we’d appreciate it if you could give the beta a try.

  • Textile – simple lightweight markup language

    Textile is a lightweight and simple markup language that makes it easy to structure content for articles, blogs, wikis, and documentation. It’s origin traces back to the blogging software Textpattern.

    Textile converts its marked-up text input to valid, well-formed XHTML and also inserts character entity references for apostrophes, opening and closing single and double quotation marks, ellipses and em dashes. This lets users create documents, blogs and web pages without needing to write HTML.

  • 39 No Frills Keyboard Shortcuts every Developer Should Follow

    What used to be 27 is now 39 - Due to all the great comments, I've amended the list to add a few more suggestions, thanks to all that contributed.

    Shortcuts are the most productive thing that a developer can add to their repertoire that will aid them through their entire career. Learning how to use your system and tools will improve your productivity and in general make traversing all your windows and apps a breeze. The mouse is a great, tool, but if you can do it quicker, more effectively without your hands leaving your keyboard then you should!

  • What a Coding Dojo taught me about agile

    Of course, we often associate “agile” with specific practices. Let’s take the example of two agile practices that were used together during a Coding Dojo event. A Coding Dojo is a great way of uncovering better ways of developing… I’ll stop there; you know the rest of the sentence by now. A Coding Dojo is a great way to get better at something by practicing with others in a safe and controlled environment.

  • Samsung Comments On Open-Source Restructuring

    Over the weekend we reported on the Samsung Open-Source Group reportedly shutting down with many of the former OSG staffers in the US no longer employed by Samsung. We've now received comments both from Samsung in the US and Korea on the matter.

  • Apache Subversion 1.11.0 released

    Version 1.11.0 of the Subversion source-code management system is out. Changes include improvements to the shelving feature, better resolution of merge conflicts, an experimental checkpointing feature, and more; see the release notes for details.

More in Tux Machines

Android Leftovers

Some Difficulty That Are Often Experienced By New Linux Users

On a Linux Users forum, I asked about the difficulties experienced by users. Apparently, I got many interesting and varied answers. Here are some of the difficulty that Linux users feel based on the opinions of people in the forum. Read more

OSI: Powering Potential and Open Source Hong Kong (OSHK)

  • You're Invited: Celebrating Powering Potential.
    OSI Affiliate Member Powering Potential Inc. (PPI) is currently preparing for their annual fundraising event scheduled for Wednesday, June 5, 2019, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at NoMad Studio, located at 29 W. 39th Street, 10th Floor, in New York City. This year PPI celebrates their 10 Year Partnership with the Segal Family Foundation. The close, long-time relationship has been a key factor in the amazing progress PPI has made in bringing their “Educating through Technology” programs to the rural students in Tanzania. Proceeds from this year’s event will go towards the Sazira Secondary School SPARC+ Lab Upgrade impacting 800+ students in rural Tanzania: an ambitious project needing $23,500. While this is significant, The Collegiate Churches of New York recently awarded Powering Potential a generous grant of $13,000 towards this goal. PPI has an incredible event planned for their guests. Back by popular demand, Tanzanian dancers performing traditional dance led by Justa Lujwangana, CEO and founder of Curious on Tanzania will provide entertainment for the evening. A buffet will also feature authentic Tanzanian dishes based on menus from Taste of Tanzania by Miriam Malaquais. The author has donated twenty of her books for sale at the event with proceeds going to PPI.
  • Open Source Hong Kong Becomes an OSI Affiliate Member
    The Open Source Initiative (OSI), the founding organization of the open source software movement, is excited to announce the Affiliate Membership of the Open Source Hong Kong (OSHK). For ten years OSHK has worked across Asia to support open source communities, foster open source development, and increase the use of open source software, their recent OSI Membership highlights both organizations' desires to collaborate across communities. “OSHK mission is promoting Open Source Software projects in Hong Kong and foster its development by connecting to the global open source community. In joining OSI as an Affiliate Member, OSHK connects with OSI, and other open source organizations, to support the promotion of open source,' said Sammy Fung, President of OSHK. "Open Source Software is not just about viewing the source code, it also guarantees the right to use the software, and modify it for our own use. By working together, I believe both organizations will be able to extend our reach and missions." “We are excited to welcome OSHK as an OSI Affiliate Member,” said Molly de Blanc, OSI President. “The open source community truly is global, and their dedication to that idea is what inspires us as an organization. Our work for the future of open source is driven by that global community, and having the voices of OSHK in our affiliate membership helps us meet our goal in promoting and protecting open source and communities. We look forward to supporting their efforts and collaborating to help spread the message of open source even further.”

Games: GOG, Zork and Epic Games

  • GOG are revamping GOG Galaxy, to help you manage multiple launchers and still no Linux support
    It's like a much fancier version of Steam's own ability to add games installed from other sources, as Galaxy 2.0 will also support cross-launcher friends lists and chat making it sound pretty darn handy. They do also state you can "Connect more platforms and add new features with open-source integrations.". Those hoping that is some kind of olive branch being extended for Linux will likely be disappointed though, going by their FAQ on the newer dedicated Galaxy site it sounds more like it's simply for adding other services into the client itself for those GOG haven't yet done. This would have been the perfect time to finally announce the ridiculously long-overdue Linux support for GOG Galaxy (especially with the Epic Store also not supporting Linux), sadly GOG are continuing to leave Linux out. In response to a user question on Twitter about Linux, the GOG team simply said "GOG GALAXY 2.0 will be available for Windows and Mac.". While an honest answer, it's also pretty blunt. No mention of it coming, just a whole lot of nothing.
  • Zork And The Z-Machine: Bringing The Mainframe To 8-bit Home Computers
    Computer games have been around about as long as computers have. And though it may be hard to believe, Zork, a text-based adventure game, was the Fortnite of its time. But Zork is more than that. For portability and size reasons, Zork itself is written in Zork Implementation Language (ZIL), makes heavy use of the brand-new concept of object-oriented programming, and runs on a virtual machine. All this back in 1979. They used every trick in the book to pack as much of the Underground Empire into computers that had only 32 kB of RAM. But more even more than a technological tour de force, Zork is an unmissable milestone in the history of computer gaming. But it didn’t spring up out of nowhere. [...] While home computers were still scarce, the concept of selling software to regular consumers was also new. This was the time when the Atari 2600 had just gone on sale, starting the second generation game consoles that were expandable to play more that one game through the use of plug-in cartridges. It was a new market, with many questions among MIT, Stanford and other students regarding the open hacker culture versus the world of commercial software. Some, like Richard Stallman, not changing their stance on this much since their student days at MIT. As the Zork developers were graduating, they realized that with the success of Zork on their hands, they had this one chance to commercialize it, taking their lives and careers into an entirely different direction from their original goals. With little standing in their way, Infocom was founded on June 22nd, 1979.
  • Gaming Platform War Update: Epic Games Store Suspends Accounts...For Buying Too Many Games
    As we've talked about before, it seems an era of gaming platform wars is upon us. While Valve's Steam platform mostly only had to contend with less-used storefronts like GOG and Origin, a recent front was opened up by the Epic Games Store, which has promised better cuts to publishers to get exclusive games and has attempted to wage a PR battle to make people mad at Steam. It's all quite involved, with opinions varying across the internet as to who the good and bad guys in this story are.