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More in Tux Machines

Jussi Pakkanen: What is best in open source projects?

Open source project maintainers have a reputation of being grumpy and somewhat rude at times. This is a not unexpected as managing an open source project can be a tiring experience. This can lead to exhaustion and thus to sometimes being a bit too blunt. But let's not talk about that now. Instead, let's talk about the best of times, the positive outcomes, the things that really make you happy to be running an open source project. Patches, both bug fixes and new features are like this. So is learning about all the places people are using your project. Even better if they are using it ways you could not even imagine when you started. All of these things are great, but they are not the best. The greatest thing is when people you have never met or even heard of before come to your project and then on their own initiative take on leadership in some subsection in the project. Read more Also: How an open project's governance model evolves

Devices: Coral mPCIe, Zynq, and ESPHome

  • Using Google Coral mPCIe Card into a Compact Marvell Octeon TX Linux SBC

    Google launched Coral mPCIe and M.2 cards at the very beginning of the year. The cards integrate the company’s 4 TOPS Edge TPU used for low power edge AI applications to bring the solutions to boards with mPCIe or M.2 sockets. Those are just hardware sockets that are optionally connected to USB, PCIe, I2C, etc… so you have to make sure the socket on your board exposes PCIe Gen2 x1. If you worry about compatibility, it’s good to get a board that’s known to work, and one of those is Gateworks Newport GW6903 SBC that offers two mPCIe sockets and features Marvell Octeon TX dual or quad-core Armv8 processor coupled with up to 4GB RAM.

  • Zynq UltraScale+ Arm FPGA FZ3 Deep Learning Accelerator Card Supports Baidu Brain AI Tools

    FZ3 card runs PetaLinux, and supports Baidu PaddlePaddle deep learning AI framework, as well as Baidu Brain AI tools such as EasyDL, AI Studio, and EasyEdge. Those enable the development of deep learning applications such as smart cameras, AI Edge embedded PCs, AI robots, smart cars, intelligent electronic scale, autonomous UAV, and more.

  • Simple IoT Devices using ESPHome

    ESPHome is a build and deployment system that takes all of the manual coding work out of integrating custom Internet of Things (IoT) devices with Home Assistant. It advertises support for not only the ESP8266, but also its big-brother the ESP32 and even various ESP8266-based off-the-shelf consumer devices from Sonoff. ESPHome achieves a code-free integration by implementing the auto-discovery protocols necessary for Home Assistant to pull the features of the device into the hub with just a few clicks. Wiring up an ESP8266 to the desired hardware, and defining that hardware properly in the configuration, is all that is needed to enable it in the hub. For hardware wired to an ESP8266 to be used with ESPHome, it must first be supported by an ESPHome component. The ESPHome project's website lists the various hardware it understands how to work with, from sensors to displays. While the collection of IoT device components is not as comprehensive as one could imagine, ESPHome does offer many of the common ones used in smart homes. The project's last release, v1.14.0 in November 2019, included 24 new components. [...] The ESPHome project has a healthy community supporting it with 132 contributors and 67 releases to date, including the latest v1.14.0 release. The project itself operates under a dual licensing model where the C++ code is released under GPLv3 and the Python code is released under an MIT license. Those interested in contributing (both documentation or code) can review the contributor guidelines for how best to get involved. There doesn't appear to be a mailing list for the project, but there is a Discord channel available.

Games: Top Titles, MergeGames, Best Racing Games for Android

  • Our quick-picks of the best Linux games of 2020 so far

    We're halfway through the year already? Madness. Even with all the craziness of 2020 going on, lots of games still managed to get out of the door. I know, I can't believe 2020 isn't over yet either. Thankfully there's plenty of games to take our minds off everything from murder hornets to COVID19 and more. Now we're at the halfway point, let's think about some of the top Linux releases of 2020 so far. This list is extremely subjective of course, this is just my personal pick on the top 15. Think of it as a starting point for good games to look at if you're stuck for something. In no particular order, going up to June 30 and I'm cheating just a little bit by including some Early Access titles too.

  • Action-adventure 'Sparklite' adds Linux support in a big update

    MergeGames, together with developers Red Blue Games have now released their action-adventure Sparklite on Linux along with a fresh content update. Originally released towards the end of 2019, Sparklite is an action-adventure set in the whimsical and ever-changing land of Geodia. With gorgeous pixel art and a top-down perspective, you battle foes using an arsenal of gadgets, guns, and gear. If you played and enjoyed Moonlighter, you would probably feel right at home with Sparklite too.

  • Best Racing Games for Android

    When it comes to video gaming, racing is the most popular genre, whether it is mobile gaming, pc gaming, or on any other gaming console. Racing games on Android have so much competition between them and the genre is crowded with tons of racing games. Every racing game has its own unique features and every gamer has his or her own preferences. In this genre, there is a large number of excellent free-to-play and paid games available for mobile users. This article covers the best racing games, in a variety of settings and with many different features for each unique user’s needs.

Programming Leftovers

  • GnuCOBOL 3.1rc-1 on

    While this version is a release-randidate (with an expected full release within 3 months) it is the most stable and complete free COBOL compiler ever available.

  • 6 best practices for managing Git repos

    This is arguably Rule Zero for a secure Git repository. As a project maintainer, whether you started it yourself or you’ve adopted it from someone else, it’s your job to know the contents of your own repository. You might not have a memorized list of every file in your codebase, but you need to know the basic components of what you’re managing. Should a stray file appear after a few dozen merges, you’ll be able to spot it easily because you won’t know what it’s for, and you’ll need to inspect it to refresh your memory. When that happens, review the file and make sure you understand exactly why it’s necessary. [...] Third-party libraries are no exception to this rule. While it’s one of the many benefits of open source that you can freely re-use and re-distribute code you didn’t write, there are many good reasons not to house a third-party library in your own repository. First of all, you can’t exactly vouch for a third party, unless you’ve reviewed all of its code (and future merges) yourself. Secondly, when you copy third party libraries into your Git repo, it splinters focus away from the true upstream source. Someone confident in the library is technically only confident in the master copy of the library, not in a copy lying around in a random repo. If you need to lock into a specific version of a library, either provide developers with a reasonable URL the release your project needs or else use Git Submodule.

  • Scala contributor: Open source and diversity key to tackling dev skills shortage

    Diversity and open source can help fix the software developer skills gap, argued Scala contributor and Carnegie Mellon Assistant Professor Heather Miller in a keynote talk at the virtual Open Source Summit North America. Miller examined the IT and computer-related skills shortage from a US perspective. "The Department of Labor statistics show that in 2017 there were over 500,000 computing-related jobs open in the US that were not filled. They project that this number is going to get a lot higher. If this trend continues, it's obvious that there's no way these posts can be filled by computer science graduates." There are, however, many new people coming into the profession, not necessarily computer science graduates, and a notable point of recent StackOverflow research is the large number of respondents who consider themselves professional and have been coding for less than five years – 39.6 per cent in the latest survey. "The years of experience of professional software engineers, that is going down," said Miller.

  • Evgeni Golov: Automatically renaming the default git branch to "devel"

    It seems GitHub is planning to rename the default brach for newly created repositories from "master" to "main". It's incredible how much positive PR you can get with a one line configuration change, while still working together with the ICE. However, this post is not about bashing GitHub. Changing the default branch for newly created repositories is good. And you also should do that for the ones you create with git init locally. But what about all the repositories out there? GitHub surely won't force-rename those branches, but we can! Ian will do this as he touches the individual repositories, but I tend to forget things unless I do them immediately…

  • Web-augmented graphics overlay broadcasting with WPE and GStreamer

    To address the first point, WPE founding engineer, Žan Doberšek enabled software rasterizing support in WPE and its FDO backend. This is great because it allows WPE to run on machines without GPU (like continuous integration builders, test bots) but also “in the cloud” where machines with GPU are less affordable than bare metal! Following up, I enabled this feature in GstWPE. The source element caps template now has video/x-raw, in addition to video/x-raw(memory:GLMemory). To force swrast, you need to set the LIBGL_ALWAYS_SOFTWARE=true environment variable. The downside of swrast is that you need a good CPU. Of course it depends on the video resolution and framerate you want to target. On the latency front, I decided to switch from RTMP to WebRTC! This W3C spec isn’t only about video chat! With WebRTC, sub-second live one-to-many broadcasting can be achieved, without much efforts, given you have a good SFU. For this demo I chose Janus, because its APIs are well documented, and it’s a cool project! I’m not sure it would scale very well in large deployments, but for my modest use-case, it fits very well. Janus has a plugin called video-room which allows multiple participants to chat. But then imagine a participant only publishing its video stream and multiple “clients” connecting to that room, without sharing any video or audio stream, one-to-many broadcasting. As it turns out, GStreamer applications can already connect to this video-room plugin using GstWebRTC! A demo was developed by tobiasfriden and saket424 in Python, it recently moved to the gst-examples repository. As I kind of prefer to use Rust nowadays (whenever I can anyway) I ported this demo to Rust, it was upstreamed in gst-examples as well. This specific demo streams the video test pattern to a Janus instance. Adapting this Janus demo was then quite trivial. By relying on a similar video mixer approach I used for the first GstWPE demo, I had a GstWPE-powered WebView streaming to Janus.

  • PHP releases and support

    PHP is used extensively on the web. How new features, security fixes, and bug fixes make their way into a release is important to understand. Likewise, understanding what can be expected in community support for previous releases is even more important. Since PHP-based sites are typically exposed to the Internet, keeping up-to-date is not something a security-minded administrator can afford to ignore. PHP has not always had a formal release process and corresponding time frame for support; the official policy the project has now wasn't adopted until 2011. Before then, the decisions of when to make releases and how long to support them were both made less formally by key members of the community. Let's start with PHP versioning, where the project is more or less dependable. The versioning of PHP releases aims to follow Semantic Versioning. Major releases such as 3.0 and 4.0 always come with backward-compatibility breaks. Minor versions, such as 4.1 and 4.2, fix bugs and add new features that are backward-compatible in relation to the major release. Patch releases, such as 4.1.1, tend to be strictly for important bug fixes and should never break backward compatibility.

  • Intel AMX Support Begins Landing In LLVM

    Following Intel publishing the initial Advanced Matrix Extensions (AMX) documentation at the end of June, the open-source/Linux bring-up has continued for these new CPU instruction set extensions set to premiere with Sapphire Rapids next year.

  • Intel oneDNN 2.0 Deep Neural Network Library Working On More Performance Tuning

    Intel's open-source oneDNN library, which was formerly known as MKL-DNN and DNNL for this deep neural network library now living under the oneAPI umbrella, continues working on some big performance advancements for its 2.0 release. Intel on Thursday released oneDNN 2.0 Beta 7 and with it comes more Intel CPU performance optimizations around convolutional neural networks, binary primitive performance for the broadcast case, BFloat16 and FP32 weights gradient convolutions, INT8 convolutions with 1x1 kernel and spatial strides, and a variety of other specific areas within this deep learning library seeing optimizations.