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OSS Leftovers

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  • Open source connecting people and technology

    Candice Herotodou, formerly Mesk, will speak about agile. A collaborator by nature and involved in all things agile and DevOps, Herotodou will relay the story of her journey in a presentation titled DevOps Culture: Are you ready?

  • Fractal Hackfest 2018

    The last couple of days I was in Strasbourg for the Fractal Hackfest. We made some fundamental decisions for the future of Fractal, our Matrix client.  We also decided on some basic architectural changes we want to make.

    You probably already read about the split of Fractal into two separate apps, to cover two different use cases: Barbecue and Banquet. Barbecue will mostly cover “one to one” chats and Banquet high-traffic group chats and IRC-like rooms. We are certain that the split is the right direction for Fractal, but we didn’t define the exact split between the apps.

  • Fracturing Fractal  Fracturing Fractal

    Last week my employer Purism allowed me to attend the Fractal hackfest in Strasbourg. There we chatted about the future of Fractal and of the messaging applications Purism needs for the Librem 5.

  • The Ultimate Postgres vs MySQL Blog Post

    I should probably say up front that I love working with Postgres and could die happy without ever seeing a mysql> prompt again. This is not an unbiased comparison -- but those are no fun anyway.

  • Prisma raises $4.5M seed round led by Kleiner Perkins

    Silicon Valley’s Kleiner Perkins led the round, with participation from a number of angel investors, many of whom have deep roots in the developer and/or open source space, including Nick Schrock, one of the creators of GraphQL itself.

  • The fatal flaw of libertarianism, exemplified by BSD vs GPL

    I'll get right to the point: libertarianism's fatal flaw is that it commits a fallacy, the name of which I do not know, in assuming that the fewest up-front restrictions on personal freedoms necessarily and inevitably translates into the most freedom for the most people into the indefinite future.

    The BSD vs GPL licensing example is perhaps the single best illustration of this I've seen in the tech world to date. Debate, and I use the term charitably, rages on still about the merits of each license, with the BSD partisans making almost verbatim the exact same argument just laid out above: that the BSD license is morally, ethically, and pragmatically superior because it places fewer restrictions on who may do what with the code.

    By contrast, they say, the GPL is infectious, inserting itself like a retrovirus into the replication machinery of any code licensed with it and forcing certain behaviors (redistribution of source) the BSD types disagree with. As I understand it, the reason they give explicitly for disliking this is that it means fewer people will use the GPL compared to the BSD license, which theoretically therefore translates into BSD-licensed code both proliferating and persisting more than its GPL'd siblings.

    What this *actually* means, on the psychological and perhaps subconscious level, is "fuck you, I won't do what you tell me." Sorry guys, but it's the truth: dress it up however you like, but the underlying principle here is "I don't wanna share."

    It also betrays an almost stunning naivete about human nature, the very same one that small-L-libertarianism itself seems predicated on. There is a sort of ceteris paribus assumption at work here, one which assumes that the wide world of coding is meritocratic (it is not), equal-access (it is not), and measures worth solely on quality, correctness, usefulness, etc., of code (it does not). It is the Just World Fallacy writ small and in C, you might say.

    It *completely* fails to take into account human nature, and such wholly non-technical yet pervasive and powerful human engines of corruption as the corporation. Witness Theo de Raadt's anger, entirely justified morally but also entirely his own fault, over the lack of gratitude from corporations who took OpenSSH and OpenBSD itself for their own use and contributed back, perhaps, a single laptop, which took over a year to arrive.

    From the outside, this makes perfect sense. I mean, if you leave a plate of cookies out with a sign that says "free cookies," you don't have a right to complain when someone comes by and takes the entire plate for him/herself. But somehow this simple and obvious line of thought seems to elude the BSD-license partisans, or maybe they quash it for ideological reasons, such as faith (and it *is* a faith position...) in the idea that their code will conquer by virtue of spreading far and wide and continuing to evolve.

  • Friday Free Software Directory IRC meetup time: May 18th starting at 12:00 p.m. EDT/16:00 UTC
  • Generating Third-Party Attribution Documents

    In this post, I’ll show you how to use the qtattributionsscanner tool and Python to generate an attribution document for third-party code in Qt.

  • Edge computing and the importance of open infrastructure

    Open infrastructure is not as much about packaging and deployment as it is about creating a consistent paradigm and environment for running workloads in the form best used to address those applications. Many edge workloads today run on Linux or in VM's, they may evolve for simplified lifecycle management, or they may be superseded by a next generation of applications.

  • Metsä Wood Launches a Groundbreaking Platform for Open Source Wood
  • How citizen science and open-source tech can create change

    As a teenager, Jason Gomez never was the biggest fan of science, and among his peers, environmental work brought to mind planting trees. But he lived in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, where asthma and heart disease affected the lives and health of many residents. Uprose, a local environmental justice organization, recruits youth volunteers like Gomez to understand that these are not side effects of living in a working-class neighborhood that one should just accept–they are the result of planning and design decisions that de-prioritize the health and well-being of the residents of those neighborhoods. Specifically, in Sunset Park, they are the result of the Gowanus Expressway, a large elevated highway that runs directly through the neighborhood.

    [...]

    And with open-source software, their findings are becoming easier to verify and share. Red Hat, a leading open-source tech company, created a documentary called The Science of Collective Discovery featuring citizen scientists like Cooper and the Uprose team to highlight the practice for its annual Summit in San Francisco this week.

More in Tux Machines

Games: Zombie Panic! Source, Dicey Dungeon, NVIDIA RTX, Steam Play, Battle Motion, Ravva and the Cyclops Curse, Feudal Alloy

  • The Beta of Zombie Panic! Source was updated recently, should work better on Linux
    Zombie Panic! Source is currently going through an overhaul, as part of this it's coming to Linux with a version now in beta and the latest update should make it a better experience. [...] I personally haven't been able to make any of the events yet, so I have no real thoughts on the game. Once it's out of beta and all servers are updated, I will be taking a proper look as it looks fun. No idea when this version will leave beta, might be a while yet.
  • Dicey Dungeons, the new unique roguelike from Terry Cavanagh and co introduces quests
    We have a lot of roguelikes available on Linux (seriously, we do) yet Dicey Dungeons from Terry Cavanagh, Marlowe Dobbe, and Chipzel still remains fresh due to the rather unique game mechanics. I still can't get over how fun the dice mechanic is, as you slot dice into cards to perform actions. It's different, clever and works really well.
  • Quake 2 now has real-time path tracing with Vulkan
    If you have one of the more recent NVIDIA RTX graphics cards, here's an interesting project for you to try. Q2VKPT from developer Christoph Schied implements some really quite advanced techniques.
  • Steam Play versus Linux Version, a little performance comparison and more thoughts
    Now that Steam has the ability officially to override a Linux game and run it through Steam Play instead, let's take a quick look at some differences in performance. Before I begin, let's make something clear. I absolutely value the effort developers put into Linux games, I do think cross-platform development is incredibly important so we don't end up with more lock-in. However, let's be realistic for a moment. Technology moves on and it's not financially worth it to keep updating old games, they just don't sell as well as newer games (with exceptions of course). As the years go on, there will be more ways to run older games better and better, of that I've no doubt.
  • Battle Motion, a really silly massive fantasy battle game will have Linux support
    Sometimes when looking around for new games I come across something that really catches my eye, Battle Motion is one such game as it looks completely silly.
  • Ravva and the Cyclops Curse looks like a rather nice NES-inspired platformer
    Another lovely looking retro-inspired platformer! Ravva and the Cyclops Curse from developer Galope just released this week with Linux support.
  • Become a fish inside a robot in Feudal Alloy, out now with Linux support
    We've seen plenty of robots and we've seen a fair amount of fish, but have you seen a fish controlling a robot with a sword? Say hello to Feudal Alloy.

Addressing Icons Themes (Again)

I wrote some time ago on how platforms have a responsibility to respect the identity of applications, but now there’s some rumblings that Ubuntu’s community-built Yaru icon set (which is a derivative of the Suru icon set I maintain) intends to ignore this and infringe upon applications’ brands by modifying their icons... [...] For instance, the entire point of the GNOME icon refresh initiative is to address visual mismatches between third-party app icons and GNOME icons and we been have reaching out to developers to see about updating their icons to new design—this is the appropriate approach for a platform visual overhaul, by the way—which could always use more help on. Now I don’t see this ever happening, but I have hopes that someday Ubuntu will fully embrace GNOME and promote it as its desktop solution—especially given the desktop is out of the scope of the Ubuntu business these days. Read more

Wine 4.0 RC7

  • Wine Announcement
    The Wine development release 4.0-rc7 is now available.The Wine development release 4.0-rc7 is now available.
  • Juicy like the good stuff, Wine 4.0 RC7 is out with a delightful aroma
    No need to worry about a sour aftertaste here, we're of course talking about the wonderful software and not the tasty liquid. As usual, they're in bug-fix mode while they attempt to make the best version of Wine they can and so no super huge features made it in.
  • Wine 4.0-RC7 Released With Fixes For Video Player Crashes, Game Performance Issues
    Wine 4.0 should be officially out soon, but this weekend the latest test release of it is Release Candidate 7 that brings more than one dozen fixes. Wine 4.0 remains in a feature freeze until its release, which will likely be within the next two weeks or so. Since last Friday's Wine 4.0-RC6, the RC7 release has 13 known bug fixes. Catching our interest are some game performance regressions being resolved, including for Hot Pursuit, Project CARS, Gas Guzzlers, and others. There are also video player crash fixes when opening audio or video files.

Wikipedia cofounder: How and why I transitioned to Linux—how you can, too

My first introduction to the command line was in the 80s when I first started learning about computers and, like many geeky kids of the time, wrote my first BASIC computer programs. But it wasn’t until my job starting Nupedia (and then Wikipedia) that I spent much time on the Bash command line. (Let me explain. “Bash” means “Bourne-again shell,” a rewrite of the class Unix shell “sh.” A “shell” is a program for interacting with the computer by processing terse commands to do basic stuff like find and manipulate files; a terminal, or terminal emulator, is a program that runs a shell. The terminal is what shows you that command line, where you type your commands like “move this file there” and “download that file from this web address” and “inject this virus into that database”. The default terminal used by Linux Ubuntu, for example, is called Gnome Terminal–which runs Bash, the standard Linux shell.) Even then (and in the following years when I got into programming again), I didn’t learn much beyond things like cd (switch directory) and ls (list directory contents). It was then, around 2002, that I first decided to install Linux. Back then, maybe the biggest “distro” (flavor of Linux) was Red Hat Linux, so that’s what I installed. I remember making a partition (dividing the hard disk into parts, basically) and dual-booting (installing and making it possible to use both) Linux and Windows. It was OK, but it was also rather clunky and much rougher and much less user-friendly than the Windows of the day. So I didn’t use it much. Read more