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today's leftovers

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  • Peter Hutterer: xisxwayland checks for Xwayland ... or not

    One of the more common issues we encounter debugging things is that users don't always know whether they're running on a Wayland or X11 session. Which I guess is a good advertisement for how far some of the compositors have come. The question "are you running on Xorg or Wayland" thus comes up a lot and suggestions previously included things like "run xeyes", "grep xinput list", "check xrandr" and so on and so forth. None of those are particularly scriptable, so there's a new tool around now: xisxwayland.

  • NVIDIA Engineer Revives Work On Linux Proactive Memory Compaction

    One of the interesting patch series initially published back in 2019 by NVIDIA engineer Nitin Gupta was on proactive memory compaction for the Linux kernel while so far in 2020 it hasn't yet been merged but a fifth revision to the work was published today.

    The proactive memory compaction was brought on to address latency issues currently experienced with the kernel's on-demand memory compaction behavior that can happen as a result of requesting a lot of hugepages.

  • What is SeExpr about?

    YES! Once I get a prototype up and running, and a build is made, I’ll need lots of testers for the UX bits.

    But most importantly: I need examples! Up to now, SeExpr is used mostly with proprietary software: Pixar’s Renderman (wiki here), and Autodesk’s Maya. The only open-source software that supports SeExpr is INRIA’s compositing software, Natron. Fully free, open source examples that we can bundle with Krita, would go a long way towards showcasing this project.

    That’s all from me! Next time, I’ll dissect the insides of the SeExpr library. Please chime in with any comments, amyspark @ #krita in the Freenode network.

  • Complex text shaping fixed in Konsole 20.08

    Konsole was one of the few terminal emulators with proper complex text shaping support. Unfortunately, complex text (including Malayalam) shaping was broken around KDE Applications release 18.08 (see upstream bug 401094 for details).

  • Sparky 2020.05~dev

    Call for testers.

    It is a development release of Sparky which is based on Debian testing “Bullseye”.

    The Sparky Advanced Installer received (experimental) improvements by darekem73, such as:
    • autopartitioning
    • partition encrypting
    • logical volume support
    The Yad based GUI is disabled, so text mode only.

    Other changes:
    • sparky tools uses ‘spterm’ (Sparky Terminal) now
    • ‘debi-tool’ replaced by ‘gdebi’ back
    • ‘otter-browser’ replaced by ‘epiphany-browser’ (thanks to lami07)
    • added Openbox Noir to the desktop list

  • AOMedia AV1 2.0 Codec Library Released With Many Improvements

    Version 2.0 of the libaom AOMedia AV1 video encoder / video codec SDK library is now available as the first major update in nearly two years.

    Libaom 2.0 is the first release since the original 1.0 release back in mid-2018 after the AOMedia codec working group approved the 1.0 release. The developers view this AOMedia AV1 2.0 release as now being their "first official release" for production.

  • Firebird 4.0 Beta 2 release is available for testing

    Firebird Project announces the second (and last) Beta release of Firebird 4.0, the next major version of the Firebird relational database, which is now available for testing on Windows and Linux platforms.

    This Beta release arrives with features and improvements already implemented by the Firebird development team, as well as with countless bugfixes. Our users are appreciated giving it a try and providing feedback to the development mailing list. Apparent bugs can be reported directly to the bugtracker.

  • Payment portals leak the passport numbers of the tens of thousands of Muscovites ticketed for quarantine violations

    Over the past two months, Moscow has issued tens of thousands of fines to local residents for violating the city’s coronavirus self-isolation restrictions. Thanks to weak cryptographic security, the personal data of those ticketed is now available online.

  • Slackware is now PAM'ified

    After three months of testing (initially it was planned to be few days only), PAM is finally merged into the main tree of Slackware-Current per 18 May 2020. Many people have expected this to happen, they just wait for the trigger and finally Pat pushed the changes today.

    Some people have started to panic about the integration of PAM, but really, there is nothing to worry about. Slackware will still keep to it's root and traditions. The integration of PAM is something inevitable as more and more upstream projects requires PAM as one of the authentication mechanism (including my Cinnamon SlackBuilds project) and the myth about PAM being insecure is no longer valid. Other distributions have been using PAM for many years and they do work well, so it should work well with Slackware as well.

    Kudos to Patrick and the rest of the crew and some contributors, the integration of PAM is very smooth and there's no breakage at all. Everything works normally before and after the upgrade process as long as you follow the instructions carefully (install those three important packages: pam, libpwquality, cracklib). I have upgraded all my machines (except for my laptop but soon) to the PAM'ified version of Slackware and everything works fine here.

More in Tux Machines

Switching from MacBook to Chromebook: Is Chrome OS good enough?

Chrome OS often gets maligned as a platform that you can't do "real work" on, and in some cases, that's true. But sometimes, you don't need a computer that does absolutely everything, and that's why I decided to give switching to Chrome OS on my laptop a try. While I've retained my iMac as a proper workstation, my aging MacBook Air was due for an upgrade, and the opportunity to switch platforms presented itself. Could a simpler, cheaper Chromebook replace my MacBook for working on the go? While I found that the answer was decidedly "no" in some situations—and that simply adapting to Chrome OS and its limitations was a huge adjustment—I do think Chrome now has a place in my workflow, albeit one that is rather hit or miss. Chrome is also definitely still a problematic platform, and those limitations tend to define it in a lot of ways, which I'll explore more in this post. For some added context, here are the devices I'm throwing into the mix: I use a 27-inch iMac with 40GB of RAM and a 9th-gen 3.7GHz 6-core Intel Core i5 at home while my MacBook is running on 4GB of RAM and an aging 4th-gen dual-core Core i5. My new laptop/convertible is a 14-inch HP Chromebook x360 with 8GB of RAM and an 8th-gen dual-core Intel Core i3 (Taylor reviewed a similarly equipped variant here at Android Police). Read more

Programming Leftovers

  • Dirk Eddelbuettel: #3 T^4: Customizing The Shell

    The third video (following the announcement, the shell colors) one as well as last week’s shell prompt one, is up in the stil new T^4 series of video lightning talks with tips, tricks, tools, and toys. Today we cover customizing the shell some more.

  • Why slowing new feature development can be the best way to maintain an open source project

    John Byrd is credited with a great statement: "Good programmers write good code. Great programmers write no code. Zen programmers delete code." It's perhaps an overstatement, but the idea behind it is spot on: As a code base accumulates cruft over time, great engineers will invest the time necessary to strip the code of technical debt. As DJ Walker-Morgan once put it, "Deleted lines [of code] are the final burn down of the ground where tech debt built." [...] We've seen this same principle applied in other projects. Apache Cassandra is a good, recent example. In talking with Cassandra insiders, there was a point when stability took precedence in the Cassandra community, with Apple, Netflix, and other big users of Cassandra joining forces on this goal as users got stuck on version 3.11. As cool as it sounds to issue yet another release, Cassandra users were tiring of revalidating their databases every two months when a new release hit. The Cassandra 4.0 effort has been a broad-based, community effort to get the Cassandra house in order.

  • The End is Near for Zend Server Basic PHP

    Zend Server Basic, the free PHP runtime used by thousands of IBM i shops, will cease being offered starting in July 2021. That’s the word from Perforce, the company that now owns Zend and its lineup of PHP tools and technologies. The replacement, of course, is the new community edition of PHP that became available via RPM in late 2019. Starting in 2006, Zend Technology began to develop a special version of its PHP runtime for IBM i, which was then called i5/OS. This offering, dubbed Zend Core for i5/OS, provided a familiar way for users of the iSeries server (as it was known back then) to partake of the digital bounty that was (and is) the PHP language and the estimated 10,000 software applications that ran on it at the time. While nobody knows for sure how many IBM i (System i, iSeries, AS/400, etc.) shops adopted Zend Core for i5/OS and its follow-ons and continued to use it to power their PHP applications on the box over the years, the number is almost certainly currently measured in the thousands. Back in 2006, IT Jungle reported that, according to Zend, there had been thousands of downloads of the beta of Zend Core for i5/OS just four months after it was released in March 2006.

  • PestPHP Released as Open-Source

    Console legend Nuno Maduro has open-sourced Pest, an elegant PHP testing framework that focuses on simplicity.

  • Seungha Yang: Unfortunately GStreamer 1.17

    Unfortunately GStreamer 1.17 is a development version and any binary/installer is not officially released. But you can build it using Cerbero which is a project for packaging GStreamer framework, or simpler way is that you might be able to try gst-build, that’s a meta-project to build GStreamer mostly used for development purpose.

  • How the End of Life for Open Source Python 2 Affects Enterprises
  • Test and Code: 114: The Python Software Foundation (PSF) Board Elections - Ewa Jodlowska / Christopher Neugebauer

    "The mission of the Python Software Foundation is to promote, protect, and advance the Python programming language, and to support and facilitate the growth of a diverse and international community of Python programmers." That's a lot of responsibility, and to that end, the PSF Board Directors help out quite a bit. If you want to be a part of the board, you can. There's an election coming up right around the corner and you gotta get your nomination in by May 31. You can also join the PSF if you want to vote for who gets to be part of the board.

  • Consistent Hashing

    Consistent hashing is a hashing technique that performs really well when operated in a dynamic environment where the distributed system scales up and scales down frequently. The core concept of Consistent Hashing was introduced in the paper Consistent Hashing and RandomTrees: Distributed Caching Protocols for Relieving Hot Spots on the World Wide Web but it gained popularity after the famous paper introducing DynamoDB - Dynamo: Amazon’s Highly Available Key-value Store. Since then the consistent hashing gained traction and found a ton of use cases in designing and scaling distributed systems efficiently. The two famous examples that exhaustively use this technique are Bit Torrent, for their peer-to-peer networks and Akamai, for their web caches. In this article we dive deep into the need of Consistent Hashing, the internals of it, and more importantly along the way implement it using arrays and Binary Search.

  • Hazelcast CTO: 25 years of Java, welcome to the data-driven 3rd act

    It’s easy to forget how important Java – celebrating its 25th birthday – has been. Before Java, computing was a place of siloed and proprietary clients and servers. Java was more than just a programming language – it was essentially a platform for building a wide range of applications. Java delivered a consistent and efficient programming experience for developers combined with write-once-run-anywhere portability. Today, we see that in containerisation and cloud. Java is poised to begin its third act – supporting cloud-native, data-intensive applications in analytics and Artificial Intelligence and IoT on 5G. That’s because Java’s foundations have continued to develop along with those first principles of developer productivity – simpler to build, more efficient code – with platform scale and performance. Not, that Java’s data destiny was manifest – Java’s had wobbles.

CMS-Centric FOSS Funding

  • London-based New Vector nabs €4.1 million for ‘Matrix’, its decentralised comms ecosystem

    Today New Vector, who is behind new collaboration solutions used by European governments and organisations alike, has announced raising approximately €4.1 million from Automattic Inc. This new investor brings both the financial backing and experience of being the parent company of web publishing and e-commerce platforms WordPress.com, WooCommerce, Jetpack, and enterprise WordPress VIP. New Vector, founded in 2017, is on a mission to enable governments, businesses and individuals to run their own secure communication infrastructure, while interconnecting via the global Matrix network. So far the startup has developed Riot, the flagship Matrix-based messaging app, and Modular, the leading Matrix-based hosting platform. New Vector, formed by the team who created Matrix, also provides significant development to the Matrix open source project (an open network for secure, decentralised communication which lets organisations and individuals run their own collaboration apps).

  • Automattic pumps $4.6M into New Vector to help grow Matrix, an open, decentralized comms ecosystem
  • Headless CMS company Strapi raises another $10 million
  • Open-Source 'Headless' CMS Company Strapi Raises $10 Million

    Strapi — the open-source “headless” content management system (CMS) — announced it raised $10 million in Series A funding led by Index Ventures. Including this round of funding, the company has raised a total of $14 million. Previously, Strapi raised $4 million in seed funding in October 2019 with Accel and Stride.VC. And the company also hired former Docker head of community Victor Coisne as VP of marketing and the company also announced plans to open its first U.S. office in San Francisco.

TeleIRC 2.0.0 Released

  • TeleIRC v2.0.0 is officially here!

    After almost eight months of work, the TeleIRC Team is happy to announce General Availability of TeleIRC v2.0.0 today. Thanks to the hard work of our volunteer community, we are celebrating an on-time release of a major undertaking to make a more sustainable future for TeleIRC.

  • What’s new in TeleIRC v2.0.0

    TeleIRC v2.0.0 is the latest major release of our open source Telegram <=> IRC bridge. Download the latest release and read the release announcement for the full story. There are several new and noteworthy changes in TeleIRC v2.0.0. This post walks you through the major changes and differences for TeleIRC v2.0.0. Read on for the highlight reel of this release.