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March 2019

LLVM Clang 9.0 Adds "-ftime-trace" To Produce Useful Time Trace Profiling Data

Filed under
Development
BSD

LLVM has merged a very useful feature for the Clang 9.0 release this autumn: the -ftime-trace feature allows producing time trace profiling data in a friendly format that is useful for developers to better understand where the compiler is spending most of its time and other areas for improvement.

Clang has already supported -ftime-report for printing time summaries for each stage of the compilation process while -ftime-trace yields much more useful data. The output of -ftime-trace is JSON-based profiling outputs that can be loaded into Chrome's chrome://tracing visualizer. This data shows how much time LLVM/Clang is spending on compiling each file, down to the function granularity.

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SDDM v0.18.1

Filed under
KDE

We are happy to release a new SDDM version.

SDDM is a Qt based graphical login manager developed in a collaborative fashion by people from Liri, KDE and LXQt.

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Linux Lite 4.4 is ready to replace Microsoft Windows on your aging PC

Filed under
Linux

One of the best things about operating systems based on the Linux kernel is they can sometimes be very lightweight. Why is this important? Well, when an OS uses very few resources, it can breathe new life into an aging PC. In other words, just because Windows 7 or Windows 10 run like molasses on your old computer, that doesn't mean you have to buy a new one. The right Linux distribution can make your older PC feel fast and new.

One of the most popular lightweight Linux-based operating systems is Linux Lite. Heck, the name of the distribution tells you that it is designed to use few resources! Version 4.4 is now available, and as per usual, it is based on the latest Ubuntu LTS -- 18.04. The Xfce desktop environment will feel familiar to those switching from Windows. Those new to Linux will also appreciate the easy access to many popular programs, such as Skype, Steam, and Spotify. Even the excellent Microsoft Office alternative, LibreOffice, is included.

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Openness, Open Data and Open Hardware

Filed under
OSS
  • Open-source seeds: protecting new crops from privitisation

    From the green grass of England to the tropical forests of the Amazon basin and the semi-arid plains of North Africa, when it comes to food, no one crop can suit every soil type, or withstand the challenges of climate change. It is therefore vitally important that humans seek to preserve and increase the biological diversity of crops.

    In pursuit of this goal, Dr Johannes Kotschi from the Association for AgriCulture and Ecology, along with researchers from the University of Göttingen, has developed an open-source seed (OSS) licence that can be applied to new crop varieties. The OSS licence prevents seeds and their derivatives from being privatised, patented or otherwise protected in a way that would limit their sale or further modification. In doing so, it ensures that new varieties are available to everyone. Alongside the licence, the organisation OpenSourceSeeds supports breeders and seed producers who use it.

  • Aptiv Releases Comprehensive Open-Source Automated Vehicle Data Set

    Aptiv has released a comprehensive set of automated driving training data including camera, radar and lidar signals that has been fully annotated and labeled.

  • Aptiv Releases Comprehensive Open-Source Dataset for Autonomous Driving

    Global auto parts supplier Aptiv, formally known as Delphi Automotive, announced today the full release of nuScenes, an open-source autonomous vehicle (AV) dataset. The dataset will help developers improve the safety of autonomous vehicles.

  • MIPS R6 Architecture Now Available for Open Use

    Asked if any other MIPS cores – beyond R6 – will be available in the future, Swift said additional announcements are in the offing, indicating that Thursday’s offering is only the first set of MIPS Open’s release.  

    “Remember, this is a journey, not a destination,” Swift reminded.

    Other pending announcements include MIPS Open’s certification partners and MIPS Open Advisory Board. Names of individuals or companies for those initiatives are not yet public.

  • Wave Computing launches MIPS Open, provides royalty-free access to chip design data

    A few months after announcing plans to “open source its MIPS instruction set architecture,” the folks at Wave Computing are following through. Mostly.

    The company has launched the MIPS Open program and released the first components, offering developers royalty and license fee-free access to the latest versions of its 32-bit and 64-bit MIPS architecture.

    But it’s questionable whether this is truly an “open source” initiative, so much as an “open use” project designed encourage developers to work with the company’s chips.

DragonFlyBSD Receives Initial FUSE Port For File-Systems In User-Space

Filed under
BSD

Tomohiro Kusumi has contributed an initial FUSE implementation to DragonFlyBSD for implementing file-systems in user-space support.

The design is based roughly on FreeBSD code but is a cleanly written implementation for allowing user-space file-systems to work on this BSD. This initial FUSE support isn't designed to be API/ABI compatible with the FreeBSD code due to different sysctls and other factors.

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Nate Graham's KDE Usability & Productivity Weekly Report

Filed under
KDE
  • KDE Usability & Productivity: Week 64

    Week 64 in KDE’s Usability & Productivity initiative has arrived, and I think you’ll see why this week needed two posts.

  • KDE's Konsole Now Supports Splitting, Plasma Vault Integration In Dolphin

    KDE contributor Nate Graham has continued his weekly blog posts outlining some of the notable improvements made in the world of KDE. One of the notable changes this week is the Konsole terminal emulator allowing arbitrary grid-like splits of a single window. That honors a ten year old bug report about wanting to restore support for "Quadkonsole" for allowing several consoles to render within a single window. That support is finally in place for the KDE Applications 19.08 release due out this summer.

Software: Python IDEs, Kodi, Best alternatives to Skype

Filed under
Software
  • 9 Best Free Python Integrated Development Environments (Updated 2019)

    Python is a widely used general-purpose, high level programming language. It’s easy to read and learn. It’s frequently used for science, data analysis, and engineering. With a burgeoning scientific community and ecosystem, Python is an excellent environment for students, scientists and organizations that develop technology software.

    One of the essential tools for a budding Python developer is a good Integrated Development Environment (IDE). An IDE is a software application that provides comprehensive facilities to programmers for software development.

    Many coders learn to code using a text editor. And many professional Python developers prefer to stay with their favourite text editor, in part because a lot of text editors can be used as a development environment by making use of plugins. But many Python developers migrate to an IDE as this type of software application offers, above all else, practicality. They make coding easier, can offer significant time savings with features like autocompletion, and built-in refactoring code, and also reduces context switching. For example, IDEs have semantic knowledge of the programming language which highlights coding problems while typing. Compiling is ‘on the fly’ and debugging is integrated.

  • Are free VPNs any good for Kodi?

    Before we get to the VPNs, let's start with Kodi, which is a free and open source media player.

  • What Is Kodi and How Does It Work?

    What is Kodi? Imagine your own version of Netflix or Amazon Prime Video, but one that is completely free? Sounds too good to be true, right?

  • Best alternatives to Skype 2019: paid and free

    If you're looking for the best Skype alternatives, then you've come to the right place. For many years, Skype has been one of the most popular VoIP (Voice over IP) services, with home and business users alike using it to video and voice call friends and family over the world.

    However, in 2011 Microsoft acquired Skype, and since then it has been tweaking the interface and adding (and removing features) which has not been too popular.

    So, if you're looking to move from Skype to another VoIP service, then this guide to the best Skype alternatives will help you make the leap. We look at both free alternatives to Skype, as well as packages you need to pay for, which is good for large companies with employees around the world.

Linux laptops alive in South Africa

Filed under
Linux

While it may serve a small niche in South Africa, Dell has been offering laptops that run Ubuntu Linux for years.

This is according to Chris Buchanan, client solutions director at Dell EMC in South Africa.

Dell and Canonical recently announced the new version of the Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition laptop, offering up to 16GB RAM and a 1TB SSB. Since then, a 2TB version has become available.

Like other Developer Edition variants of the Dell XPS 13, the 2018 model comes with Ubuntu Linux rather than Windows. At the time, the latest long-term support release: Ubuntu 18.04 “Bionic Beaver”.

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More in Tux Machines

Mozilla: Rust, MDN and More

  • This Week In Rust: This Week in Rust 361
  • MDN Web Docs: Editorial strategy and community participation - Mozilla Hacks - the Web developer blog

    Our updated editorial strategy has two main parts: the creation of content pillars and an editorial calendar. The MDN writers’ team has always been responsible for keeping the MDN web platform reference documentation up-to-date, including key areas such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Web APIs. We are breaking these key areas up into “content pillars”, which we will work on in turn to make sure that the significant new web platform updates are documented each month.

  • L10n Report: October 2020 Edition | Mozilla L10N

    New content and projects What’s new or coming up in Firefox desktop

  • Modern Web Standards Are Leaving Niche Web Browsers Behind - LinuxReviews

    There's plenty of web browsers to choose from on desktop computers but there's not much of a choice if you look beneath the surface. There's a ton of web browsers based on Google's Chromium code-base, a few mostly iOS and macOS browsers based on Apple's Webkit engine and then there's Firefox with it's own Quantum rendering engine. There also Pale Moon with it's own Goanna rendering engine. It is increasingly falling behind the bigger browsers and more and more websites are broken in it as web developers deploy web standards other browsers, but not Pale Moon, support. [...] The developer of the Pale Moon web browser announced that Pale Moon's source code is being migrated off Microsoft GitHub yesterday. The reason? Moonchild doesn't like that GitHub is increasingly relying on web standards the Pale Moon web browser doesn't support.

  • US Department Of Justice Lawsuit Against Google Could Kill Firefox - LinuxReviews

    A US Department of Justice lawsuit against Google on the grounds that they are a "monopolist" could result in the death of the one realistic free software web browser alternative that's not based on the Google-controlled Chromium code-base and it's Blink rendering engine. Mozilla will need to find some other partner willing to pay them $400 million a year if they are forced to cancel their sweet "royalty" contract with Google.

Kernel: Linux 5.10, Linux 5.9 and Hardware Support

      
  • Linux 5.10 ARM64 Has A "8~20x" Performance Optimization Forgotten About For Two Years - Phoronix

    Last week was the main set of ARM 64-bit architecture updates for Linux 5.10 while today a second batch of changes were sent in for this kernel. That first round had the Memory Tagging Extension (MTE) and Pointer Authentication support among other improvements while this secondary pull has two notable performance optimizations.  First up is a performance optimization that the Arm developers acknowledge was seemingly forgotten about for some two years. Back in 2018 was a memory management speed-up by around 20x for the mremap system call on large memory regions. That work was merged but the feature never enabled for the ARM64 Linux kernel builds until now. 

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  • Kernel 5.9: Onwards and upwards

    With version 5.9 of the Linux Kernel now released, it is time to, once again, review Collabora's contributions to this release which contains many improvements, primarily in hardware support, multimedia, graphics, testing and continuous contributions to other subsystems. The importance of software maintenance has been highlighted in the last week with the discovery of a high-severity Bluetooth flaw. Whilst some reports have suggested that 5.9 contains the required fixes, many articles have been updated to reflect the fact that this is not the case. The required changes should be available as part of the 5.10 kernel when it is released and the kernel stable branches have picked them up. Many distributions are also now providing security releases covering this issue, we advise that you look out for (and apply) security fixes from your distribution of choice.

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  • It’s in the Air: The Corsair HS70 Wireless Headset & Linux

    Looking more widely at headset support in Linux, what can we expect? Unfortunately there’s a dearth of information, especially once you get away from the most popular models. Analog headsets will of course be fine (the joys of analog!), and Bluetooth should also work well, as long as you have that working. Though note that some Bluetooth audio devices prefer mobile, like some Jabra wireless earbuds that have spotty records of connecting to computers in general. Otherwise, though, there lacks any central database or way to find out what the support is like for a device you are interested in. You’ll have to rely on your search skills, maybe GitHub, and probably sorting out random forum or Reddit posts to figure out any issues. The Arch Wiki tends to be a great hardware reference, but here there’s just a page for Bluetooth headsets. These days it seems quite likely that your random USB audio device, even wireless, has a decent chance of working. But maybe not, and if you rely on any features that may require software or special drivers (controlling the device beyond volume, sound virtualization, etc.) it is still is a bit of a guessing game. At least HeadsetControl provides an indirect way of knowing if something will work, as they list many models of headsets which I assume means all the standard audio works already. When in doubt, make sure you check that return policy!

Security: Patches, FUD, and Incidents

  • Making the Grade with Linux and Cybersecurity at the Intelligent Edge

    As intelligent edge deployments accelerate, we have reached a crossroads where many are being forced to choose between the accessibility, ease of use, flexibility, and leading-edge capabilities of open source software and the safety and security of systems in the field. How we proceed has the potential to lead massive transformation in the embedded industry. “Using open source early in the proof-of-concept cycle means taking advantage of the rapid pace of open source innovation,” says Matt Jones, Chief Architect at Wind River. “Taking your solution to market comes with additional measures meant to protect your device throughout its lifecycle.”

  • Security updates for Thursday [LWN.net]

    Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (freetype2), Debian (bluez, firefox-esr, and freetype), Fedora (firefox), openSUSE (chromium), Oracle (kernel), Red Hat (java-11-openjdk), Slackware (kernel), SUSE (freetype2, gnutls, kernel, php7, and tomcat), and Ubuntu (flightgear, italc, libapache2-mod-auth-mellon, libetpan, and php-imagick).

  • Snyk to automatically check Docker Official Images for security problems [Ed: ZDNet pushing FUD vendors again, ones connected to Microsoft]
  • OpenDev’s Gerrit deployment back online after suspected admin account compromise

    OpenDev.org’s Gerrit deployment has been restored after being taken offline following the detection of malicious activity on its repositories. The repositories were disabled two hours after project maintainers were alerted to a suspected security breach on Tuesday morning (October 20). “We believe an admin account in Gerrit was compromised allowing an attacker to escalate privileges within Gerrit,” said Clark Boylan in a service announcement issued later that day. “Around 02:00 UTC October 20 suspicious review activity was noticed, and we were made aware of it shortly afterwards. “The involved account was disabled and removed from privileged Gerrit groups. After further investigation we decided that we needed to stop the service, this happened at about 04:00 UTC.”

Turing Pi 2 clusters four Raspberry Pi CM4 modules

Turing Machines unveiled a “Turin Pi 2” Mini-ITX board that clusters 4x Raspberry Pi CM4 modules with a Layer-2 managed switch along with 2x GbE, 4x USB, 2x mini-PCIe, and 2x SATA 3.0. Turing Machines Inc., which earlier this month announced a final 1K run of its Turing Pi cluster board, announced a second-gen Turing Pi 2. Due to ship in 2021, the board offers 4x nodes to cluster Raspberry Pi Compute Modules, compared to 7x for the original Turing Pi. The Gen2 design supports the new Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 and is equipped with additional interfaces, including 2x mini-PCIe and 2x SATA 3.0. Read more