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Mozilla: Rust, WebRender, AV1

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  • Splash 2018 Mid-Week Report

    I really enjoyed this talk by Felienne Hermans entitled “Explicit Direct Instruction in Programming Education”. The basic gist of the talk was that, when we teach programming, we often phrase it in terms of “exploration” and “self-expression”, but that this winds up leaving a lot of folks in the cold and may be at least partly responsible for the lack of diversity in computer science today. She argued that this is like telling kids that they should just be able to play a guitar and create awesome songs without first practicing their chords1 – it kind of sets them up to fail.

    The thing that really got me excited about this was that it seemed very connected to mentoring and open source. If you watched the Rust Conf keynote this year, you’ll remember Aaron talking about “OSS by Serendipity” – this idea that we should just expect people to come and produce PRs. This is in contrast to the “OSS by Design” that we’ve been trying to practice and preach, where there are explicit in-roads for people to get involved in the project through mentoring, as well as explicit priorities and goals (created, of course, through open processes like the roadmap and so forth). It seems to me that the things like working groups, intro bugs, quest issues, etc, are all ways for people to “practice the basics” of a project before they dive into creating major new features.

  • WebRender newsletter #29

    To introduce this week’s newsletter I’ll write about culling. Culling refers to discarding invisible content and is performed at several stages of the rendering pipeline. During frame building on the CPU we go through all primitives and discard the ones that are off-screen by computing simple rectangle intersections. As a result we avoid transferring a lot of data to the GPU and we can skip processing them as well.

    Unfortunately this isn’t enough. Web page are typically built upon layers and layers of elements stacked on top of one another. The traditional way to render web pages is to draw each element in back-to-front order, which means that for a given pixel on the screen we may have rendered many primitives. This is frustrating because there are a lot of opaque primitives that completely cover the work we did on that pixel for element beneath it, so there is a lot of shading work and memory bandwidth that goes to waste, and memory bandwidth is a very common bottleneck, even on high end hardware.

    Drawing on the same pixels multiple times is called overdraw, and overdraw is not our friend, so a lot effort goes into reducing it.
    In its early days, to mitigate overdraw WebRender divided the screen in tiles and all primitives were assigned to the tiles they covered (primitives that overlap several tiles would be split into a primitive for each tile), and when an opaque primitive covered an entire tile we could simply discard everything that was below it. This tiling approach was good at reducing overdraw with large occluders and also made the batching blended primitives easier (I’ll talk about batching in another episode). It worked quite well for axis-aligned rectangles which is the vast majority of what web pages are made of, but it was hard to split transformed primitives.

  • Into the Depths: The Technical Details Behind AV1

    Since AOMedia officially cemented the AV1 v1.0.0 specification earlier this year, we’ve seen increasing interest from the broadcasting industry. Starting with the NAB Show (National Association of Broadcasters) in Las Vegas earlier this year, and gaining momentum through IBC (International Broadcasting Convention) in Amsterdam, and more recently the NAB East Show in New York, AV1 keeps picking up steam. Each of these industry events attract over 100,000 media professionals. Mozilla attended these shows to demonstrate AV1 playback in Firefox, and showed that AV1 is well on its way to being broadly adopted in web browsers.

More in Tux Machines

Software: TenFourFox/Firefox, Linux Boot Loaders, Viber Alternatives, Switchconf, and HowTos

  • Clean out your fonts, people

    Thus, the number of fonts you have currently installed directly affects TenFourFox's performance, and TenFourFox is definitely not the only application that needs to know what fonts are installed. If you have a large (as in several hundred) number of font files and particularly if you are not using an SSD, you should strongly consider thinning them out or using some sort of font management system. Even simply disabling the fonts in Font Book will help, because under the hood this will move the font to a disabled location, and TenFourFox and other applications will then not have to track it further.

  • Some Of The Linux Boot Loaders
  • Best 4 Viber Alternatives Available to Download with Open-Source License

    We all know what Signal is. By using this app, you can easily talk to your friends without all the SMS fees. You can also create groups, share media and all kinds of attachments – it’s all private. The server never gets access to your messages. However, if you don’t like this app, we come with the best 5 alternatives for it.

  • New release of switchconf 0.0.16

    I have moved the development of switchconf from a private svn repo to a git repo in salsa: https://salsa.debian.org/debian/switchconf Created a virtual host called http://software.calhariz.com were I will publish the sources of the software that I take care. Updated the Makefile to the git repo and released version 0.0.16.

  • How To Install VirtualBox Guest Additions on Ubuntu 18.04
  • How To Install Proxmox VE Hypervisor

OSS Leftovers

  • How open source and AI can take us to the Moon, Mars, and beyond

    Research institutions and national labs across the globe are pouring hundreds of thousands of research hours into every conceivable aspect of space science. And, overwhelmingly, the high performance computing (HPC) systems used for all research are running open source software. In fact, 100% of the current TOP500 supercomputers run on some form of Linux. Therefore, it’s likely that the future of space exploration will be built on the open source philosophy of knowledge sharing and collaboration among researchers and developers. Success will depend on the adoption of open technologies to stimulate collaboration among nations, as well as advances in the field of AI and machine learning. Although these are ambitious objectives that could take several years to fully implement, we are already seeing great progress: open source software is already running in space, AI and machine learning is used in spacecraft communications and navigation, and the number of commercial companies interested in the space economy is growing.

  • ElectrifAi launches AI industry’s first open source machine learning platform

    With the new platform, ElectrifAi’s data scientists – as well as those of its customers – can code and access data in any programming language. According to ElectrifAi, the incorporation of Docker Containers and Kubernetes enables the firm to build and deploy hybrid cloud enterprise solutions at scale.

  • The development of the open source platform – An industry perspective

    There has been much dialog, but not much action with regard to the evolution of retail trading platforms in recent years. For many brokerages, relying on the status quo which represents an unholy alliance between third party vendor MetaQuotes, thereby disabling a broker from owning its own client base or infrastructure and becoming subservient to an affiliate marketing platform rather than empowered by a multi-faceted trading platform, remains. FinanceFeeds has attended numerous meetings with brokerage senior executives across the globe, all of whom understand the value and importance of going down the multi-asset product expansion route, and almost all of whom understand the clear virtues of having a bespoke user interface which engenders a loyal customer base, enables brokers to own the entire intellectual property base of its business – which let’s face it is why entrepreneurs start businesses in the first place – and offer differentiating services to specific audiences. A simple glance at the continuity and geographic location of client bases of companies such as Hargreaves Lansdown or CMC Markets, and the absolute lack of reliance on affiliate networks is testimony to that. This week, Richard Goers, CEO of Australian professional trading platform development company ManagedLeverage spoke out about a continuing issue which is something that has been prominent in the viewpoint of FinanceFeeds for some years, that being the development of open source platforms.

  • Break Up Your Innovation Program, If You Want It To Survive

    With open-source software, problems are solved faster than by any other means.

  • Don’t be fooled by the [Internet]: this week in tech, 20 years ago

    One thing I wanted to say is, don’t be fooled by the internet. It’s cool to get on the computer, but don’t let the computer get on you. It’s cool to use the computer, don’t let the computer use you. Y’all saw The Matrix. There’s a war going on. The battlefield’s in the mind. And the prize is the soul. So just be careful. Be very careful. Thank you.

  • How Suse is taking open source deeper into the enterprise

    The diversity in the open source software world can be a boon and a bane to wider adoption in the enterprise. After all, without the right knowhow, it can be hard to figure out how they are going to work together on existing infrastructure – and if the chosen projects will eventually survive. That’s where open source companies such as Suse step in. While smaller than US-based rival Red Hat, Suse has found its footing in identifying and supporting open source projects that help to run mission-critical enterprise workloads, improve developer productivity and solve business problems in industries such as retail.

  • SUSE joins iRODS Consortium

    iRODS is open source storage data management software for data discovery, workflow automation, secure collaboration, and data virtualization. By creating a unified namespace and a metadata catalog of all the data and users within a storage environment, the iRODS rule engine allows users to automate data management. [...] Alan Clark, SUSE CTO Office lead focused on Industry Initiatives and Emerging Standards and chairman of the OpenStack Foundation board of directors, said, “SUSE is excited to join the iRODS Consortium, lending our open source technical expertise to help advance the iRODS data management software. The integration with SUSE Enterprise Storage helps customers lower total cost of ownership, leveraging commodity hardware to support their iRODS-managed storage environments. As a leading provider of open source software, SUSE helps our customers leverage the latest open source technologies for application delivery and software-defined infrastructure. SUSE tests and hardens our solutions, ensuring they are enterprise ready and backed by our superior support experience.”

  • Cortex Command Goes Open Source, Gets LAN Support

    To help facilitate future community development, Data Realms have released the game’s source code.

  • Why Open Source Matters For Chinese Tech Firms?

    As companies plow more and more investment into AI research, China has finally woken up to the realisation of open source and how it can shape the development of a field that’s becoming increasingly attractive. Over the last few years, open-source has become the foundation of innovation — and the major contributions come from tech giants like Facebook, Microsoft, Google, Uber and Amazon among others. In November 2015, Google made an unparalleled move by open-sourcing its software library — which now rivals Torch, Caffe and Theano. These are the open-source lessons that big Chinese companies seem to be learning fast. Traditionally, Chinese firms have trailed behind their US counterparts when it comes to the contributions from the US and Europe, but that’s changing now. Over a period of time, Chinese tech companies are trying to grow their influence in the open-source world by building a robust ecosystem. Not only that, they have learnt that open-sourcing tech can help attract great ML talent and increasingly it is also making good business sense. At a time when the AI tool stack is evolving, enterprises are rushing to grab a pie and provide a unified software and hardware technology stack. Internet and cloud Chinese tech giants have woken up to the promise of open source and AI-related datasets and models can serve the bigger business goals of the companies.

  • How Open Source Alluxio Is Democratizing Data Orchestration

    Alluxio is one of the many leading open-source projects/companies – including Spark and Mesosphere – that emerged from UC Berkeley Labs. Haoyuan (H.Y.) Li Founder, Chairman and CTO of Alluxio, sat down with Swapnil Bhartiya, Editor-in-Chief of TFIR to discuss how Alluxio is providing new ways for organizations to manage data at scale with its data orchestration platform. Alluxio’s data orchestration layer has increased efficiency by four times, so companies are finding that work that used to take one year now takes three months. For many enterprise companies, the path to the cloud starts with an intermediate step of a hybrid cloud approach, Li said. He also sees widespread enterprise adoption of a multi-cloud strategy.

  • Cloudera Moves To All-Open Source Model In Major Shift

    Amidst financial troubles and departure of chief executive Tom Reilly, company says it wants to emulate success of pure open source pioneer Red Hat.

  • Cloudera Follows Hortonworks' Open Source Lead

    Trying to survive the carnage AWS and the like are causing in the Big Data space, Cloudera is open sourcing its entire product line. [...] Less than six months after closing its merger with Hortonworks, the Big Data company Cloudera has announced it's going all open source.

Database News on YugaByte Going for Apache 2.0 Licence

  • YugaByte Becomes 100% Open Source Under Apache 2.0 License

    YugaByte, a provider of open source distributed SQL databases, announced that YugaByte DB is now 100% open source under the Apache 2.0 license, bringing previously commercial features into the open source core. The transition breaks the boundaries between YugaByte’s Community and Enterprise editions by bringing previously commercial-only, closed-source features such as Distributed Backups, Data Encryption, and Read Replicas into the open source core project distributed under the permissive Apache 2.0 license. Starting immediately, there is only one edition of YugaByte DB for developers to build their business-critical, cloud-native applications.

  • YugaByte's Apache 2.0 License Delivers 100% Open Source Distributed SQL Database

    YugaByte, the open source distributed SQL databases comapny, announced that YugaByte DB is now 100 percent open source under the Apache 2.0 license, bringing previously commercial features into the open source core. The move, in addition to other updates available now through YugaByte DB 1.3, allows users to more openly collaborate across what is now the world’s most powerful open source distributed SQL database.

  • SD Times Open-Source Project of the Week: YugaByte DB

    This week’s SD Times Open Source Project of the Week is the newly open-sourced YugaByte DB, which allows users to better collaborate on the distributed SQL database. The move to the open-source core project distributed under the Apache 2.0 license makes previously closed-sourced features such as distributed backups, data encryption and read replicas more accessible, according to the team. By doing this, YugaByte plans to break the boundaries between YugaByte’s Community and Enterprise editions. “YugaByte DB combines PostgreSQL’s language breadth with Oracle-like reliability, but on modern cloud infrastructure. With our licensing changes, we have removed every barrier that developers face in adopting a business-critical database and operations engineers face in running a fleet of database clusters, with extreme ease,” said Kannan Muthukkaruppan, co-founder and CEO of YugaByte.

Programming: Ruby, NativeScript, Python, Rust/C/C++ FUD From Microsoft