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More in Tux Machines

Project Trident 20.02

Project Trident made a lot of progress very quickly between the time the Alpha snapshot of its new Void base was launched and when the stable release came out. The issues with the desktop not loading were fixed, I got sound working under Trident where it did not under Void, and the ZFS implementation was smooth. I think Lumina, as a desktop, has progressed nicely in the past year or so since I last used it. The distribution's performance is strong and its resource footprint relatively small. For someone who is interested in either ZFS on Linux or rolling release distributions, Trident is a promising option. However, there are several rough edges. The installer is not particularly friendly yet and forces the user to dedicate an entire disk to Trident. While the ZFS implementation is good, it appears to lack boot environments which would be an excellent feature to incorporate, especially with Void's rolling upgrade approach. I also think Trident's goal of being a friendly layer on top of Void would be helped a lot by adding a graphical package manager as XBPS's syntax is a little unusual at times. At this point Trident's Void-based distribution is in its early stages. It is a good first attempt, though there are still a few pieces that can be improved and polished. I'm hopeful that, in six months or a year, Trident will have progressed to a point where I feel comfortable recommending and using it in the long-term. For now I think it is an interesting distribution to try, as it showcases several unusual technologies, but I'm not sure it is ready to be used as a day-to-day operating system, unless the user is comfortable working a lot with the command line and working around a few issues. Read more

today's leftovers

  • Here's why experts say that open source software companies survive and thrive during downturns — and how the Great Recession may have been a good thing for the industry
  • Yes, you can build your business in the public cloud: Tune in live online next month to find out exactly how

    As with most key topics of IT intrigue, we have a webcast just for this: on April 30, 2020, El Reg’s Tim Phillips will be joined by Carla Arend, IDC's lead analyst for cloud in EMEA, and Yasser Eissa, VP of IBM Public Cloud for Europe. As well as tackling all the basic factors of a public cloud move, they’ll be going a little deeper into the practicalities, talking about how existing cloud investments can help contribute to a wider flexibility in doing more with public cloud; how open-source software can help ramp up security and enterprise-grade infrastructure in the public cloud; and how public cloud can help you avoid vendor lock-in when planning any further changes to the way you work.

  • An Open Source Shipboard Computer System

    We’re not sure how many of you out there own a boat large enough to get its own integrated computer network, but it doesn’t really matter. Even if you can’t use this project personally, it’s impossible not to be impressed with the work [mgrouch] has put into the “Bareboat Necessities” project. From the construction of the hardware to the phenomenal documentation, there’s plenty that even landlubbers can learn from this project. In its fully realized form, the onboard computer system includes several components that work together to provide a wealth of valuable information to the operator.

  • Karl Dubost: Week notes - 2020 w13 - worklog - everything is broken

    Coronavirus had no impact on my working life for now. The same as usual. Mozilla is working well in a distributed team. [...] We had an issue with the new form design. We switched to 100% of our users on March 16, 2020. but indeed all the bugs received didn't get the label that they were actually reporting with the new form design. Probably only a third got the new form. So that was the state when I fell asleep on Monday night. Mike pushed the bits a bit more during my night and opened.

  • Open-source Bitcoin development funded mainly by Blockstream and Lightning Labs

    Bitcoin has today become synonymous with cryptocurrencies and decentralization. What started off as project popular only among a certain group of tech enthusiasts and cryptographers has now become one of the most radical innovations in the world of finance and technology.

  • SoftIron Raises $34M in Series B Funding for Global Expansion of Purpose-Built Enterprise Data Center Appliance Business
  • SoftIron, the Ceph storage startup, raises $34m
  • SoftIron scores $34 million to help fund global expansion
  • Elizabeth Warren for President open-sources its 2020 campaign tech
  • Open Source Tools From the Warren for President Tech Team

    In our work, we leaned heavily on open source technology — and want to contribute back to that community. So today we’re taking the important step of open-sourcing some of the most important projects of the Elizabeth Warren campaign for anyone to use.

  • Open Source Fonts Are Love Letters to the Design Community

    Font families can sell for hundreds of dollars. Gotham, a popular typeface used by President Barack Obama’s campaign and many others, costs nearly $1,000 to license a complete set of 66 different styles. But The League of Moveable Type, gives all of its fonts away for free. What's more, it makes them open source, so that other people can modify the fonts and make their own versions of them.

    And people have. Raleway, designed by Matt McInerney and released in 2010, was expanded from a single weight into a family with nine weights, from “thin” to bold to “black,” each with matching italics, in 2012 by Pablo Impallari, Rodrigo Fuenzalida, and Igino Marini. It's now one of the most popular font families on Google Fonts, a collection of free fonts hosted by the search giant.

  • AidData: Powerful lessons in global development

    As a research lab of the university’s Global Research Institute, AidData facilitates innovative research projects that bring students and faculty together to solve global problems.

  • Divio Technologies publ : supports fight against COVID-19 through new open-source information-sharing tool

    Divio Technologies AB (publ) today announced the availability of CoReport - an open-source information-sharing tool designed to help local governments manage their resources in addressing COVID-19. CoReport was developed and launched on the Divio platform, in response to a request from a local government region of Switzerland.

  • Using a 40‐year Old Markup Language on the Web

    Historically, troff has been a widely used typesetting language that looks back at a long history.[0] Today’s arguably biggest use of troff are man pages. Man pages come actually in two flavors: ‐man and ‐mdoc macros. The ‐man macros are the ones originally used to typeset the first volume of the UNIX manuals back in the 1970s.[1] In the 80s, the ‐mdoc macros were developed on BSD. The major difference between the two is how much semantic input they allow. ‐man is purely presentational. ‐mdoc is highly semantic; for example, .Pa is a macro to indicate a path. GNU and the entire Linux ecosystem seem strangely attached to the ‐man macros. Furthermore, most "anything to man page" converters output ‐man because they cannot possibly infer the ‐mdoc macros from presentational markup; this is e.g. the case with Mark‐ down. Meanwhile, every BSD, illumos and macOS have moved to ‐mdoc. For more details, see: Kristaps Dzonsons, “Fixing on a Standard Language for UNIX Manuals,” ;login: 34(5), pp. 19‐23, USENIX, Berkeley, CA (October 2009).

Security and FUD

  • Surviving the Frequency of Open Source Vulnerabilities

    One hurdle in any roll-your-own Linux platform development project is getting the necessary tools to build system software, application software, and the Linux kernel for your target embedded device. Many developers use a set of tools based on the GNU Compiler Collection, which requires two other software packages: a C library used by the compiler; and a set of tools required to create executable programs and associated libraries for your target device. The end result is a toolchain. [...] In preference to working on features or product differentiation, developers often spend valuable time supporting, maintaining, and updating a cross-compilation environment, Linux kernel, and root file system. All of which, requires a significant investment of personnel and wide range of expertise.

  • Netgate® Extends Free pfSense® Support and Lowers pfSense Support Subscription Pricing to Aid in COVID-19 Relief

    Free zero-to-ping support, free VPN configuration and connection support, free direct assistance for first responder | front line healthcare agencies, and reduced pfSense TAC support subscription prices all introduced

  • How the hackers are using Open Source Libraries to their advantage [Ed: Conflating hackers with crackers]

    Ben Porter, Chief Product Officer at Instaclustr, writes about how the potential of Open Source Libraries must be balanced with the growing risk of library jacking by hackers.

  • Three Cases Where the Open Source Model Didn't Work [Ed: Lots of anti-GPL FUD and not taking any account of Microsoft crimes, monopoly abuse, bribes and blackmail]

    So, why didn’t the open source model work in these three cases? The main reason is that in all of these cases, data structure specs and the description of algorithms are not the most important piece of the picture. The root of the problem is in the variety of real-life situations where bugs and failures may occur and lead to a data-loss situations, which is a total no-go in the real world.  The open source community is successful, though it has been in create open source programs and platforms, is still no guarantee of industrial-grade software development(3). The core to success in developing a highly reliable solution is a carefully nurtured auto-test environment. This assures a careful track record and in-depth analysis for every failure, as well as effective work-flow, making sure any given bug or failure never repeats. It’s obvious that building such an environment can take years, if not decades, and the main thing here is not to know how something should work according to specs, but to know how and where exactly it fails. In other words, the main problem is not the resources needed to develop the code, the main problem is time needed to build up a reliable test-coverage that will provide a sufficient barrier for data-loss bugs. Another problem with open source is that it is usually accompanied by a GPL license. This limits the contribution to such projects almost solely to the open source community itself. One of the major requirements of the GPL license is to disclose changes to source code in case of further distribution, making it pointless for commercial players to participate.

today's howtos