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OSS Leftovers

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OSS
  • Ardour Digital Audio Workstation Finally Adds Native MP3 Importing Support

    While lossy compression audio formats like MP3 are not recommended for use within professional audio tasks, for those using the open-source Ardour digital audio workstation (DAW) software as of today there is finally native MP3 import support.

    Obviously it's better working with lossless audio formats as source material for Ardour and other digital audio workstation software suites, but given how common MP3 content is, there certainly is relevance to being able to import MP3s into DAWs. But historically due to licensing/patent issues, MP3 support within Ardour hasn't been possible -- thus leading to common complaints/questions by users over the years.

  • Certbot Leaves Beta with the Release of 1.0

    Earlier this week EFF released Certbot 1.0, the latest version of our free, open source tool that helps websites encrypt their traffic. The release of 1.0 is a significant milestone for the project and is the culmination of the work done over the past few years by EFF and hundreds of open source contributors from around the world.

    Certbot was first released in 2015 to automate the process of configuring and maintaining HTTPS encryption for site administrators by obtaining and deploying certificates from Let's Encrypt. Since its initial launch, many features have been added, including beta support for Windows, automatic nginx configuration, and support for over a dozen DNS providers for domain validation.

  • Open Repos provides code metrics on open source projects

    GitClear is offering Open Repos as a free product, though it is not open source. GitClear’s paid product offers many of the same insights and more. Long-term plans include allowing projects to embed an Open Repos view of a project in their site, and “improving data quality before adding features.”

  • Improvements in LibreOffice’s PowerPoint presentation support

    LibreOffice’s native file format is OpenDocument, a fully open and standardised format that’s great for sharing documents and long-term data storage. Of course, LibreOffice does its best to open files made by other office software as well, even if they’re stored in pseudo-“standards” with cryptic and obfuscated contents. Compatibility with PowerPoint PPT(X) presentations is therefore a challenge, but developers are working hard on improvements…

    A few months ago, we announced an initiative to improve the support of PPT and PPTX files in LibreOffice. Lots of great work happened since then and the results are collected below!

  • People of WordPress: Jill Binder

    Jill Binder never meant to become an activist. She insists it was an accident.

    Despite that, Jill has led the Diversity Outreach Speaker Training working group in the WordPress Community team since 2017. This group is dedicated to increasing the number of women and other underrepresented groups who are stepping up to become speakers at WordPress Meetups, WordCamps, and events.

    [...]

    The following year her internship advisor, who had become a client, was creating the first ever BuddyCamp for BuddyPress. He asked Jill to be on his organizing team. At that event she also moderated a panel with Matt Mullenweg. Then, Jill was invited to be on the core organizing team for WordCamp Vancouver.

    Part of this role meant reviewing and selecting speakers. From 40 speaker applications the team had to pick only 14 to speak.

  • Mint: Late-Stage Adversarial Interoperability Demonstrates What We Had (And What We Lost)

    In 2006, Aaron Patzer founded Mint. Patzer had grown up in the city of Evansville, Indiana—a place he described as "small, without much economic opportunity"—but had created a successful business building websites. He kept up the business through college and grad school and invested his profits in stocks and other assets, leading to a minor obsession with personal finance that saw him devoting hours every Saturday morning to manually tracking every penny he'd spent that week, transcribing his receipts into Microsoft Money and Quicken.

    Patzer was frustrated with the amount of manual work it took to track his finances with these tools, which at the time weren't smart enough to automatically categorize "Chevron" under fuel or "Safeway" under groceries. So he conceived on an ingenious hack: he wrote a program that would automatically look up every business name he entered into the online version of the Yellow Pages—constraining the search using the area code in the business's phone number so it would only consider local merchants—and use the Yellow Pages' own categories to populate the "category" field in his financial tracking tools.

More in Tux Machines

You Don't Need To Ask

Ubuntu - the Linux distribution - has been around for 17 years. Over that time many projects and initiatives have been started, some successful, others less so. Not everything we try can work out, but as a group, we should feel empowered to try. The Ubuntu community isn’t quite the same as it was back in 2004-2010, and nobody I know argues that it is. People who were keen and active contributors may have had circumstantial changes which meant they moved on. Some took on new responsibilities, work, or started family. Some, sadly, have passed away. Over time though, new people discover Linux in general, and Ubuntu specifically. There’s a lot of institutional knowledge in the heads of those of us who’ve been around a long time. There are also plenty of documents squirrelled away on the Ubuntu Wiki, the website and in mailing list archives and forums & discourse pages. New people can feel overwhelmed by the entrenched knowledge and processes. We should improve that onboarding process. Over the last couple of years some fresh new faces have joined the Ubuntu community. Some have collaborated with existing developers, started new projects and built new Ubuntu Remixes. Whether I personally use them and whether they’re successfull (however you measure that) or not doesn’t matter. What matters is they played with the technology enough to build something on the shoulders of previous developers. I love this facet of Ubuntu. Read more

Best Secure Linux Distros for Enhanced Privacy & Security

As we transition to an increasingly digital society, privacy and security have become areas of central concern – not a day goes by that we aren’t bombarded with security news headlines about hacks, breaches and the increasingly common and worrisome practice of storing and monitoring sensitive personal information, often without users’ consent. Luckily for us Linux users, the general consensus among experts is that Linux is a highly secure OS - arguably the most secure OS. While all Linux “distros” - or distributed versions of Linux software - are secure by design, certain distros go above and beyond when it comes to protecting users’ privacy and security. We’ve put together a list of our favorite specialized secure Linux distros and spoken with some of their lead developers to find out first-hand what makes these distros so great. This article aims to help you evaluate your options and select the distro that best meets your individual needs. Read more

today's leftovers

  • Call for Papers Open for openSUSE Conference

    The call for papers is open until May 4. This leaves a little more than 60 days to submit a proposal. The dates of the conference are scheduled for June 18 - 20. Registration for the conference has also begun.

  • [Arch] FOSS Activities in February 2021

    The start of this month was marked with FOSDEM! I held a talk about secure boot and the tooling stuff I have written, sbctl. It’s a tool to help you manage secure boot keys and signing files. With help from sbsigntools it also does live enrollment of keys. The talk went great (I think) and it was fun to see how FOSDEM pulled off the conference with matrix and jitsi. I gave me some inspiration for Arch Conf 2021 that I should try kick off some planning on.

  • Linux Championed Work From Home Before Everyone Else: Greg Kroah-Hartman [Ed: This is a revisionist load. GNU predates this. Linux and LF trying to delete GNU from history…]

    Linux kernel is the world’s largest collaborative technology. It’s created by thousands of people from around the world, working together from the comfort of their homes, just via email. In this episode of TFiR Insights, we hosted none other than Greg Kroah-Hartman, the leading Linux kernel developer and maintainer of the stable branch. We discussed a wide range of topics including work from home and the progress Linux has made over the years.

Apache Monthly Report and OSI Approves Proprietary Software as 'Open' (Openwashing)

  • Apache Month in Review: February 2021
  • Approved: Four New Open Source Licenses

    As the steward of the Open Source Defintion, the Open Source Initiative has been designating licenses as "open source" for over 20 years. These licenses are the foundation of the open source software ecosystem, ensuring that everyone can use, improve, and share software. When a license is approved, it is because the OSI believes that the license fosters collaboration and sharing for the benefit of everyone who participates in the ecosystem. The world has changed over the past 20 years, with software now used in new and even unimaginable ways. The OSI has seen that the familiar open source licenses are not always well-suited for these new situations. But license stewards have stepped up, submitting several new licenses for more expansive uses. The OSI was challenged to evaluate whether these new concepts in licensing would continue to advance sharing and collaboration and merit being referred to as "open source" licenses, ultimately approving some new special purpose licenses.

  • Cryptographic Autonomy License Approved by OSI

    The controversy over the scope of copyleft these days remains brisk. Regarding CAL, it was so heated that OSI founder Bruce Perens resigned in protest, as the license approached approval. There is a also a larger controversy over whether copyleft licenses written by single companies, and not part of the community drafting process, should be approved, regardless of content.

  • Singapore reveals open-source blockchain COVID-test result tracker, eyes uses as vaccine passport app [Ed: Openwashing surveillance and Orwellian stuff, as has become common]

    Singapore has proposed a blockchain-based document verification system developed by its GovTech agency to provide proof of recent negative COVID-19 tests, and hopes it becomes used to offer proof of vaccination status around the world. Named "HealthCerts", the system is based on open-source framework known as OpenAttestation that uses blockchain to issue cryptographically trustworthy documents. The technology is already applied by some local universities to issue and authenticate diplomas. [...] From that date travelers planning to leave Singapore will book in for a COVID PCR test before they fly. Results will be uploaded to a government website and aspiring tourists will then go online to request the results be notarised by the Ministry of Health. If approved, the QR code linking to the notarised digital certificate will appear in SingPass Mobile, the nation's app for consuming digital government services.