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Programming/Development: Java, GitLab, C++ and Python

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Development
  • Hazelcast joins Eclipse Foundation to collaborate on open source enterprise Java

    Hazelcast, the open source In-Memory Data Grid (IMDG) with tens of thousands of installed clusters and over 39 million server starts per month, announced it had joined the Eclipse Foundation, bringing extensive Java-driven community experience to a host of open source projects.

    Working collaboratively with other members of the Eclipse community, Hazelcast’s primary focus will be on JCache, the Eclipse MicroProfile and EE4J.

    In particular, Hazelcast will be collaborating with members to popularise JCache, a Java Specification Request (JSR-107) which specifies API and semantics for temporary, in-memory caching of Java objects, including object creation, shared access, spooling, invalidation, and consistency across JVM’s. These operations help scale out applications and manage their high-speed access to frequently used data. In the Java Community Process (JCP), Hazelcast’s CEO, Greg Luck, has been the co spec lead and then maintenance lead on “JCache – Java Temporary Caching API” since 2007.

  • GitLab update: Moving to the next step

    I have good news, after few meetings and discussions with GitLab we reached an agreement on a way to bring the features we need and to fix our most important blockers in a reasonable time and in a way that are synced with us. Their team will fix our blockers in the next 1-2 months, most of them will be fix in the release of 22th of December and the rest if everything goes well in the release of 22th of January. The one left that out of those 2 months is a richer UI experience for duplicates, which is going to be an ongoing effort.

    Apologies for the blockage for those that regularly asked to migrate their project, I wanted to make sure we are doing things in the right steps. I also wanted to make sure that I get feedback and comments about the initiative all around in my effort to make a representation of the community for taking these decisions. Now it’s the point where I’m confident, the feedback and comments both inside and outside of our core community has been largely that we should start our path to fully migrate to GitLab.

  • Khronos Releases SYCL 1.2.1 With TensorFlow Acceleration, C++17 Alignment

    SYCL as a reminder is Khronos' higher-level OpenCL programming model based on C++. It's been a while since the last update, but a new point release is now available.

    SYCL 1.2.1 is based on OpenCL 1.2 and improves support for machine learning tasks, supports TensorFlow acceleration, and aligns with the latest C++17 standard. SYCL 1.2 had previously been based on C++11/C++14. The C++17 standard was just firmed up this month.

  • Python data classes

    The reminder that the feature freeze for Python 3.7 is coming up fairly soon (January 29) was met with a flurry of activity on the python-dev mailing list. Numerous Python enhancement proposals (PEPs) were updated or newly proposed; other features or changes have been discussed as well. One of the updated PEPs is proposing a new type of class, a "data class", to be added to the standard library. Data classes would serve much the same purpose as structures or records in other languages and would use the relatively new type annotations feature to support static type checking of the use of the classes.

    PEP 557 ("Data Classes") came out of a discussion on the python-ideas mailing list back in May, but its roots go back much further than that. The attrs module, which is aimed at reducing the boilerplate code needed for Python classes, is a major influence on the design of data classes, though it goes much further than the PEP. attrs is not part of the standard library, but is available from the Python Package Index (PyPI); it has been around for a few years and is quite popular with many Python developers. The idea behind both attrs and data classes is to automatically generate many of the "dunder" methods (e.g. __init__(), __repr__()) needed, especially for a class that is largely meant to hold various typed data items.

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Mozilla Adware

  • Mozilla Angers Firefox Users After Force-Installing Mr. Robot Promo Add-On
    Mozilla took a bit of heat this week after the organization force-installed a Mr. Robot promotional add-on in some Firefox browsers. The add-on, called Looking Glass, was intended to promote the season 3 finale of Mr. Robot that aired on Wednesday, December 13, but the whole media stunt failed miserably.
  • Firefox is on a slippery slope
    This extension was sideloaded into browsers via the “experiments” feature. Not only are these experiments enabled by default, but updates have been known to re-enable it if you turn it off. The advertisement addon shows up like this on your addon page, and was added to Firefox stable. If I saw this before I knew what was going on, I would think my browser was compromised! Apparently it was a mistake that this showed up on the addon page, though - it was supposed to be silently sideloaded into your browser! There’s a ticket on Bugzilla (Firefox’s bug tracker) for discussing this experiment, but it’s locked down and no one outside of Mozilla can see it. There’s another ticket, filed by concerned users, which has since been disabled and had many comments removed, particularly the angry (but respectful) ones.

Review: Daphile 17.09

Daphile is a minimal Linux distribution which is designed to be run on a computer dedicated to playing music. Daphile can be run on headless machines and its media controls are managed through a web-based interface. Basically, Daphile is intended to be run on a computer we can stick in the corner of a room and use it as a media centre without worrying about managing software, tweaking settings or navigating desktop environments. Daphile can be run from a CD or USB thumb drive for maximum portability and does not need to be installed directly on a hard drive to work. Daphile reportedly has the ability to rip audio CDs, play audio files from a local drive or stream music across network shares (Samba, NFS, FTP and OpenSSH services are supported). This gives us a pretty good range of media sources for our music collection. Under the hood, Daphile has its roots in Gentoo, though the operating system is somewhat stripped down and we cannot use Gentoo's package management utilities. Daphile runs the Busybox userland tools and a light web server, and very little else. In fact, Daphile does not provide a login interface to allow us to tinker with the operating system. The operating system is dedicated entirely to the task of playing music and our sole access to the media controls are through its web interface. The distribution is available in 32-bit and 64-bit builds and the ISO file we download for Daphile is 195MB in size. While Daphile is capable of running entirely without a screen, when we do boot from Daphile's media the distribution displays the distribution's IP address, which it obtains over DHCP. We can connect to the IP address using any modern web browser which automatically gives us access to Daphile's media controls, there is no user authentication built into the web interface. Read more

Android Leftovers