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GNOME: GNOME 3.28, FOSDEM 2018 and More

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GNOME
  • Entering the “home stretch” for GNOME 3.28

    Earlier this week I´ve released GNOME Maps 3.27.90 (even though I just read an e-mail about the deadline for the release tarballs had been postponed for one week just after uploading the tarball).

    This weekend I (like some 8000 others) participated in an exciting FOSDEM with lots of interesting talks and the week before that I gave presentation of GNOME Maps, and in particular the public transit functionality for TrafikLab (the sort of “developer community” driven by the Swedish organization Samtrafiken AB, who coordinates and aggregates data from all public transit operators, both commercial/private and regional/public ones.

  • Bastian Ilsø Hougaard: Behind the GNOME Booth, FOSDEM 2018

    Saturday was spent selling lots and lots of socks. I choose this year not to go to any talks and instead hangout with fellow GNOMEies in the booth and have a chat with bypassing users. I’m accumulating many advertising arguments for buying socks including that it allows you to have feet on your feet and that you have an excuse to say “GNOME Socks!” as much as you want, once you own a pair. Wink Kat brought the awesome hoodies and then we had a big load of leftover t-shirts from GUADEC 2017 which we more or less sold (I think there’s still some 20 left in small). In the end we sold a 160 pairs of socks which is almost half the enormous stock of socks I purchased. When the evening came by and the booth had to close, we went to the GNOME Beer Event in La Bécasse, where I had my annual taste of Lambic Blanc, which is one of the few beers I really enjoy drinking.

  • Speaking at FOSDEM 2018 in Brussels, Belgium

    I think that we in the GNOME community can use data to make more informed decisions. For example, right now we’re fading out our Bugzilla instance and we don’t really have any way to measure how successful we are. In fact, we don’t even know what it would mean to be successful. But by looking at data we might get a better feeling of what we are interested in and what metric we need to refine to express better what we want to know. Then we can evaluate measures by looking at the development of the metrics over time. Spontaneously, I can think of these relatively simple questions: How much review do our patches get? How many stale wiki links do we have? How soon are security issues being dealt with? Do people contribute to the wiki, documentation, or translations before creating code? Where do people contribute when coding stalls?

  • Gnome without chrome-gnome-shell

    New laptop, has a touchscreen, can be folded into a tablet, I heard gnome-shell would be a good choice of desktop environment, and I managed to tweak it enough that I can reuse existing habits.

    I have a big problem, however, with how it encourages one to download random extensions off the internet and run them as part of the whole desktop environment. I have an even bigger problem with gnome-core having a hard dependency on chrome-gnome-shell, a plugin which cannot be disabled without root editing files in /etc, which exposes parts of my destktop environment to websites.

More in Tux Machines

Fedora: Flatpak, PHP Builds, Ansible and NeuroFedora

  • Flatpak – a solution to the Linux desktop packaging problem
    In hindsight I must say the situation was not as bad as I thought on the server level: Linux in the data center grew and grew. Packaging simply did not matter that much because admins were used to problems deploying applications on servers anyway and they had the proper knowledge (and time) to tackle challenges. Additionally, the recent rise of container technologies like Docker had a massive impact: it made deploying of apps much easier and added other benefits like sandboxing, detailed access permissions, clearer responsibilities especially with dev and ops teams involved, and less dependency hell problems. Together with Kubernetes it seems as there is an actual standard evolving of how software is deployed on Linux servers. To summarize, in the server ecosystem things never were as bad, and are quite good these days. Given that Azure serves more Linux servers than Windows servers there are reasons to believe that Linux is these days the dominant server platform and that Windows is more and more becoming a niche platform.
  • PHP on RHEL-8
  • How to authenticate Ansible with Azure
  • NeuroFedora update: week 46

LLVM/AOCC, GCC at AMD

  • Radeon GCC Back-End Updated For Running Single-Threaded C & Fortran On AMD GPUs
    Back in September Code Sourcery / Mentor Graphics posted the Radeon GCC back-end they have been developing with the cooperation of AMD. This is for allowing the GCC compiler to eventually offload nicely to Radeon GPUs with its different programming languages and supported parallel programming models, particularly with OpenMP and OpenACC in mind. But for now this patch series just works with single-threaded C and Fortran programs. The second version of this port was posted for review. Hitting the GCC mailing list on Friday was the updated version of this AMD GCN port targeting Tonga/Fiji through Vega graphics hardware. Code Sourcery will post the OpenACC/OpenMP support bits at a later date while for now the code works with single-threaded C/Fortran programs with C++ not yet supported, among other initial shortcomings. For now the AMDGPU LLVM back-end is far more mature in comparison, which is what's currently used by the open-source AMD Linux driver compute and graphics stacks.
  • AMD Optimizing C/C++ Compiler 1.3 Brings More Zen Tuning
    Earlier this month AMD quietly released a new version of their Optimizing C/C++ compiler in the form of AOCC 1.3. This new compiler release has more Zen tuning to try to squeeze even more performance out of Ryzen/EPYC systems when using their LLVM-based compiler. The AMD Optimizing C/C++ Compiler remains AMD's high performance compiler for Zen compared to the earlier AMD Open64 Compiler up through the Bulldozer days. AOCC is based on LLVM Clang with various patches added in. Fortunately, with time at least a lot of the AOCC patches do appear to work their way into upstream LLVM Clang. AOCC also has experimental Fortran language support using the "Flang" front-end that isn't as nearly mature as Clang.

Security: Japan's Top Cybersecurity Official, SuperCooKey, Information Breach on HealthCare.gov

  • Security News This Week: Japan's Top Cybersecurity Official Has Never Used a Computer
  • SuperCooKey – A SuperCookie Built Into TLS 1.2 and 1.3

    TLS 1.3 has a heavily touted feature called 0-RTT that has been paraded by CloudFlare as a huge speed benefit to users because it allows sessions to be resumed quickly from previous visits. This immediately raised an eyebrow for me because this means that full negotiation is not taking place.

    After more research, I’ve discovered that 0-RTT does skip renegotiation steps that involve generating new keys.

    This means that every time 0-RTT is used, the server knows that you’ve been to the site before, and it knows all associated IPs and sign-in credentials attached to that particular key.

  • Information Breach on HealthCare.gov

    In October 2018, a breach occurred within the Marketplace system used by agents and brokers. This breach allowed inappropriate access to the personal information of approximately 75,000 people who are listed on Marketplace applications.

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