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Debian: Rust, Outreachy and More

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Debian
  • Debian, Rust, and librsvg

    Debian supports many architectures and, even for those it does not officially support, there are Debian ports that try to fill in the gap. For most user applications, it is mostly a matter of getting GCC up and running for the architecture in question, then building all of the different packages that Debian provides. But for packages that need to be built with LLVM—applications or libraries that use Rust, for example—that simple recipe becomes more complicated. How much the lack of Rust support for an unofficial architecture should hold back the rest of the distribution was the subject of a somewhat acrimonious discussion recently.

    The issue came up on the debian-devel mailing list when John Paul Adrian Glaubitz complained about the upload of a new version of librsvg to unstable. Librsvg is used to render Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) images; the project has recently been switching some of its code from C to Rust, presumably for the memory safety offered by Rust. Glaubitz said that the new "Rust-ified" library had been uploaded with no warning when the package maintainer "knows very well that this particular package has a huge number of reverse dependencies and would cause a lot of problems with non-Rust targets now". The reverse dependencies are the packages that rely on librsvg in this case.

  • Debian welcomes its new Outreachy intern

    Debian continues participating in Outreachy, and we'd like to welcome our new Outreachy intern for this round, lasting from December 2018 to March 2019.

    Anastasia Tsikoza will work on Improving the integration of Debian derivatives with the Debian infrastructure and the community, mentored by Paul Wise and Raju Devidas.

    Congratulations, Anastasia, and welcome!

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Variscite unveils two i.MX8 QuadMax modules

Variscite announced Linux-powered “VAR-SOM-MX8” and “SPEAR-MX8” modules with an up to an i.MX8 QuadMax SoC plus up to 8GB LPDDR4 and 64GB eMMC. It also previewed a VAR-SOM-6UL COM. At Embedded World next week in Nuremberg, Germany, Variscite will showcase its Linux and Android driven i.MX8-family computer-on-modules, including new VAR-SOM-MX8 and SPEAR-MX8 modules that feature NXP’s highest-end i.MX8 SoC up to a QuadMax model (see farther below). We have already covered most of the other showcased products, including the 14nm fabricated, quad -A53 i.MX8M Mini based DART-MX8M-Mini. When we covered the DART-MX8M-Mini in September, Variscite didn’t have an image or product page, but both are now available here Read more

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Programming: Developer Happiness, Rblpapi 0.3.8 and Python

  • Developer happiness: What you need to know
    A person needs the right tools for the job. There's nothing as frustrating as getting halfway through a car repair, for instance, only to discover you don't have the specialized tool you need to complete the job. The same concept applies to developers: you need the tools to do what you are best at, without disrupting your workflow with compliance and security needs, so you can produce code faster. Over half—51%, to be specific—of developers spend only one to four hours each day programming, according to ActiveState's recent Developer Survey 2018: Open Source Runtime Pains. In other words, the majority of developers spend less than half of their time coding. According to the survey, 50% of developers say security is one of their biggest concerns, but 67% of developers choose not to add a new language when coding because of the difficulties related to corporate policies.
  • Rblpapi 0.3.8: Keeping CRAN happy
    A minimal maintenance release of Rblpapi, now at version 0.3.9, arrived on CRAN earlier today. Rblpapi provides a direct interface between R and the Bloomberg Terminal via the C++ API provided by Bloomberg (but note that a valid Bloomberg license and installation is required). This is the ninth release since the package first appeared on CRAN in 2016. It accomodates a request by CRAN / R Core to cope with staged installs which will be a new feature of R 3.6.0. No other changes were made (besides updating a now-stale URL at Bloomberg in a few spots and other miniscule maintenance). However, a few other changes have been piling up at the GitHub repo so feel free to try that version too.
  • Episode #200: Escaping Excel Hell with Python and Pandas
  • Testing native ES modules using Mocha and esm.

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