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Quick Roundup

Software: MenuLibre, Speech Recognition, "Just TODO It", Slack

Filed under
Software
  • MenuLibre 2.1.4 Released

    The wait is over. MenuLibre 2.1.4 is now available for public testing and translations! With well over 100 commits, numerous bug fixes, and a lot of polish, the best menu editing solution for Linux is ready for primetime.

  • Speech Recognition For Linux Gets A Little Closer

    t has become commonplace to yell out commands to a little box and have it answer you. However, voice input for the desktop has never really gone mainstream. This is particularly slow for Linux users whose options are shockingly limited, although decent speech support is baked into recent versions of Windows and OS X Yosemite and beyond.

    There are four well-known open speech recognition engines: CMU Sphinx, Julius, Kaldi, and the recent release of Mozilla’s DeepSpeech (part of their Common Voice initiative). The trick for Linux users is successfully setting them up and using them in applications. [Michael Sheldon] aims to fix that — at least for DeepSpeech. He’s created an IBus plugin that lets DeepSpeech work with nearly any X application. He’s also provided PPAs that should make it easy to install for Ubuntu or related distributions.

  • Announcing "Just TODO It"

    Recently, I wished to use a trivially-simple TODO-list application whilst working on a project. I had a look through what was available to me in the "GNOME Software" application and was surprised to find nothing suitable. In particular I just wanted to capture a list of actions that I could tick off; I didn't want anything more sophisticated than that (and indeed, more sophistication would mean a learning curve I couldn't afford at the time). I then remembered that I'd written one myself, twelve years ago. So I found the old code, dusted it off, made some small adjustments so it would work on modern systems and published it.

  • Linux users can now get Slack as a snap package

    Canonical has announced the general availability of the collaboration platform Slack, as a snap package. The move will allow Linux users to get setup with the platform and begin collaborating on their work more easily. Any Linux distribution with snap support can head over to the snapcraft website, download the package, and begin using it.

Security: Back Doors, Bugs in Chips, Botnets, and Windows in Hospitals

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Security

Microsoft Against GNU/Linux in the Public Sector

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Microsoft
  • NHS: Thanks for all the free work, Linux nerds, now face our trademark cops [Ed: NHS has long been a Microsoft stronghold]

    Dev team quits, suggests NHS used them to get better deal with Microsoft

    [...]

    The small team behind an ambitious NHoS Linux project are calling it a day, citing receipt of a trademark infringement warning from the Department of Health's (DoH) "brand police" as the "final straw".

    The initial raison d’être of NHoS was to identify a way to roll out NHSbuntu, a strand of open-source Linux distro Ubuntu designed for the NHS, on three-quarters of a million smartcards. The smartcards are used to verify the healthcare pros that access 80 per cent of applications on millions of NHS PCs.

    The volunteer force behind NHoS wanted NHSbuntu to replace the current smartcard verification system that was running on Windows, and ultimately, have the operating system replace Windows on the desktop as well. Smart card recognition was seen as a mile-high hurdle in this grand plan.

    [...]

    Baw alleged the pair "(unbeknown to us) were also duplicitously negotiating with Microsoft about a new NHS Enterprise Wide Agreement".

  • Barcelona Council abandons Microsoft for open-source software [iophk: "again, disinfo about the reason for Munich's change"

    The Spanish city of Barcelona has announced it will phase out its use of Microsoft software in favour of open-source alternatives. Over the next few years, the city will transition away from Microsoft's services to guarantee its "technical sovereignty."

How to create outlines in Linux with TreeLine

Filed under
Linux
HowTos

As someone who's been known to string a few words together, I know that a well-crafted outline can be a key part of any writing project. Why? A good outline helps you organize your work. It provides a structure for what you're writing as well as a roadmap from beginning to end.

Outlines aren't just for writing, either. They can be a great tool for organizing just about any kind of project.

Read more

Debian and Ubuntu: gLinux, arm64, GNOME and Ubucon Europe

Filed under
Debian
Ubuntu
  • Google Developing New Debian-Based Linux For Internal Use

    Web giant Google announced at the DebConf17 Linux conference that it will be changing over to a Debian-based distribution of GNU/Linux internally, known as gLinux. One of the key developers involved with Google’s internal specialized Linux distribution efforts took the stage to make the announcement. It’s worth noting that this team member formerly worked for Canonical, the team behind the popular Ubuntu distribution. That is because Google is dumping Ubuntu as its base and moving to Debian, the distribution that Ubuntu is forked from. The move will be gradual; some of Google’s most mission-critical computers, including desktops, laptops, and servers, currently run on Goobuntu, and it will take time to develop gLinux and deploy it across Google’s internal Linux fleet.

  • Google Replaces Its Ubuntu-Based Goobuntu Linux OS with Debian-Based gLinux

    After more than five years of using its in-house built Ubuntu-based Goobuntu Linux distribution internally for various things, Google has decided to replace it with a gLinux, based on Debian Testing.

    It's no secret that Google users Linux a lot. It's Android and Chrome OS operating systems are powered by Linux, so they need to use a GNU/Linux distro to work on its other OSes for laptops and mobile phones. Until now, the company used Goobuntu Linux, which was based on Canonical's very popular Ubuntu Linux operating system.

  • First steps with arm64

    As it was Christmas time recently, I wanted to allow oneself something special. So I ordered a Macchiatobin from SolidRun. Unfortunately they don’t exaggerate with their delivery times and I had to wait about two months for my device. I couldn’t celebrate Christmas time with it, but fortunately New Year.

    Anyway, first I tried to use the included U-Boot to start the Debian installer on an USB stick. Oh boy, that was a bad idea and in retrospect just a waste of time. But there is debian-arm@l.d.o and Steve McIntyre was so kind to help me out of my vale of tears.

  • Why Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Will Use an Older Version of Nautilus

    Ubuntu devs have decided to release Ubuntu 18.04 LTS with Nautilus 3.26 installed so that users are able to put icons on the desktop.

    GNOME removed the option to put icons on the desktop earlier this month. The next release of the file manager, the app which has hitherto handled the job of drawing and managing the ‘desktop’ space, will no longer support this feature.

  • Ubucon Europe: 100 Days to go!

Red Hat News

Filed under
Red Hat

More on Librem 5 Phone Update

Filed under
GNU
Linux
  • Purism Post First Librem 5 Phone Update

    Purism has delivered its first progress report on development of the Librem 5 Phone, which it successfully crowdfunded last year.

  • Purism Says Its Privacy-Focused Linux Phone Will Use Wayland and i.MX8 ARM CPU

    Two and a half months after it successfully crowdfunded its Librem 5 privacy-focused, end-to-end encrypted Linux smartphone, Purism released today the first update on the development progress.

    Librem 5's crowdfunding campaign ended with more than $2 million funds raised from thousands of backers. Then, Purism promised to put all that money to good use in the manufacturing process of the Linux-powered smartphone, which should have started as soon as they find a company willing to build it.

Fedora: Updated F27 Live ISOs, Synergy 2.0, Bodhi 3.2.0, Announcing Flapjack

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Red Hat
  • F27-20180112 Updated Live Isos Released

    The Fedora Respins SIG is pleased to announce the latest release of Updated 27 Live ISOs, carrying the 4.14.13-300 kernel.

  • synergy-2.0.0 is in Fedora updates-testing

    I have packed the latest stable version, 2.0.0, for Fedora 27, 26 and EPEL 7. No EPEL 6 update this time as it requires CXX14, which EL6 does not provide.

  • Bodhi 3.2.0 released
  • Announcing Flapjack

    Here’s a post about a tool that I’ve developed at work. You might find it useful if you contribute to any desktop platform libraries that are packaged as a Flatpak runtime, such as GNOME or KDE.

    Flatpak is a system for delivering desktop applications that was pioneered by the GNOME community. At Endless, we have jumped aboard the Flatpak train. Our product Endless OS is a Linux distribution, but not a traditional one in the sense of being a collection of packages that you install with a package manager; it’s an immmutable OS image, with atomic updates delivered through OSTree. Applications are sandboxed-only and Flatpak-only.

  • Flapjack Helps Developers Work On Components Inside Flatpak

Security Leftovers

Filed under
Security
  • Security updates for Wednesday
  • Latvia's e-health system hit by cyberattack from abroad

    Latvia said its new e-health system was on Tuesday hit by a large-scale cyberattack that saw thousands of requests for medical prescriptions pour in per second from more than 20 countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the European Union.

    No data was compromised, according to health officials, who immediately took down the site, which was launched earlier this month to streamline the writing of prescriptions in the Baltic state.

    "It is clear that it was a planned attack, a widespread attack—we might say a specialised one—as it emanated from computers located in various different countries, both inside the European Union and outside Europe," state secretary Aivars Lapins told reporters.

    "We received thousands of requests in a very short space of time. That's not the normal way the system works," he said, adding that an investigation is under way.

  • Linux Lite Developer Creates Automated Spectre/Meltdown Checker for Linux OSes

    The developer of the Ubuntu-based Linux Lite distribution has created a script that makes it easier for Linux users to check if their systems are vulnerable to the Meltdown and Spectre security flaws.

    As we reported last week, developer Stéphane Lesimple created an excellent script that would check if your Linux distribution's kernel is patched against the Meltdown and Spectre security vulnerabilities that have been publicly disclosed earlier this month and put billions of devices at risk of attacks.

  • Purism Releases Meltdown and Spectre Patches for Its Librem Linux Laptops

    Purism, the computer technology company behind the privacy-focused, Linux-based Librem laptops and the upcoming smartphone, released patches for the Meltdown and Spectre security vulnerabilities.

    The company was one of the first Linux OEMs and OS vendor to announce that it's working on addressing both the Meltdown and Spectre security exploits on his Linux laptops. Meltdown and Spectre have been unearthed in early January and they are two severe hardware bugs that put billions of devices at risk of attacks.

  • Facebook Awards Security Researchers $880,000 in 2017 Bug Bounties

    Facebook is hardly a small organization, with large teams of engineers and security professionals on staff. Yet even Facebook has found that it can profit from expertise outside of the company, which is why the social networking giant has continued to benefit from its bug bounty program.

    In 2017, Facebook paid out $880,000 to security researchers as part of its bug bounty program. The average reward payout in 2017 was $1,900, up from $1,675 in 2016.

  • Multicloud Deployments Create Security Challenges, F5 Report Finds

Arch Linux vs. Antergos vs. Clear Linux vs. Ubuntu Benchmarks

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks

Last week when sharing the results of tweaking Ubuntu 17.10 to try to make it run as fast as Clear Linux, it didn't take long for Phoronix readers to share their opinions on Arch Linux and the request for some optimized Arch Linux benchmarks against Clear Linux. Here are some results of that testing so far in carrying out a clean Arch Linux build with some basic optimizations compared to using Antergos Minimal out-of-the-box, Ubuntu Server, and Clear Linux.

Tests this time around were done on the Intel Core i9 7980XE system with ASUS PRIME X299-A motherboard, 4 x 4GB DDR4-3200 Corsair memory, GeForce GTX 750, and Corsair Force MP500 120GB NVMe solid-state drive. The system with 18 cores / 36 threads does make for quick and easy compiling of many Linux packages.

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Mozilla Leftovers

Filed under
Moz/FF
  • Making WebAssembly even faster: Firefox’s new streaming and tiering compiler

    People call WebAssembly a game changer because it makes it possible to run code on the web faster. Some of these speedups are already present, and some are yet to come.

    One of these speedups is streaming compilation, where the browser compiles the code while the code is still being downloaded. Up until now, this was just a potential future speedup. But with the release of Firefox 58 next week, it becomes a reality.

    Firefox 58 also includes a new 2-tiered compiler. The new baseline compiler compiles code 10–15 times faster than the optimizing compiler.

  • Firefox Telemetry Use Counters: Over-estimating usage, now fixed

    Firefox Telemetry records the usage of certain web features via a mechanism called Use Counters. Essentially, for every document that Firefox loads, we record a “false” if the document didn’t use a counted feature, and a “true” if the document did use that counted feature.

  • Firefox 58 new contributors
  • Giving and receiving help at Mozilla

    This is going to sound corny, but helping people really is one of my favorite things at Mozilla, even with projects I have mostly moved on from. As someone who primarily works on internal tools, I love hearing about bugs in the software I maintain or questions on how to use it best.

    Given this, you might think that getting in touch with me via irc or slack is the fastest and best way to get your issue addressed. We certainly have a culture of using these instant-messaging applications at Mozilla for everything and anything. Unfortunately, I have found that being “always on” to respond to everything hasn’t been positive for either my productivity or mental health. My personal situation aside, getting pinged on irc while I’m out of the office often results in stuff getting lost — the person who asked me the question is often gone by the time I return and am able to answer.

  • Friend of Add-ons: Trishul Goe

    Our newest Friend of Add-ons is Trishul Goel! Trishul first became involved with Mozilla five years when he was introduced to the Firefox OS smartphone. As a JavaScript developer with an interest in Mozilla’s mission, he looked for opportunities to get involved and began contributing to SUMO, L10n, and the Firefox OS Marketplace, where he contributed code and developed and reviewed apps.

    After Firefox OS was discontinued as a commercial product, Trishul became interested in contributing to Mozilla’s add-ons projects. After landing his first code contributions to addons.mozilla.org (AMO), he set about learning how to develop extensions for Firefox using WebExtensions APIs. Soon, he began sharing his knowledge by leading and mentoring workshops for extension developers as part of Mozilla’s “Build Your Own Extension” Activate campaign.

24-Way NVIDIA/AMD GPU Benchmarks With X-Plane 11

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks

With the next update to X-Plane 11 introducing VR support, I have renewed interest in this realistic, cross-platform flight simulator. It's been a few years since we last delivered any benchmarks with X-Plane, but for your viewing please today is an assortment of 24 graphics cards both old and new, low-end to high-end from NVIDIA and AMD in looking at how this flight simulator is running on Ubuntu Linux.

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Librem 5 Privacy-Focused Linux Phone Crowdfunding Campaign Ends with $2 Million

Filed under
Linux

Librem 5 was successfully crowdfunded about two weeks ago when it surpassed its goal of $1.5 million, but the campaign continued to run, and now it appears to have gathered half million dollars more, ending with $2 million, which we believe is more than enough to build world's first truly free mobile device.

Powered by PureOS, Purism's own GNU/Linux distribution based on the popular Debian GNU/Linux operating system, but focused on offering users a privacy-focused and more secure desktop solution, Librem 5 will be using KDE's Plasma Mobile and GNOME's GNOME Shell user interfaces, along with powerful open source software.

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Linux Foundation LFCS and LFCE: Alberto Bullo

Filed under
Linux
Interviews

I started using Linux few years ago out of curiosity when my old computer started to get slow and wanted to try something lighter. At the time, I had a disk of Fedora lying around from a conference and managed to get it installed and working. Since then, I started using it for everyday tasks to get more familiar with the alternative software. I really liked the fact that I could select any distro I wanted and have full control of the operating system. I also used Linux for university projects and started to better understand how to use the utilities and services. Open source projects caught my attention when I started using them on my first job as they gave me the ability to adjust the features and code to my needs but also to contribute back to the community. I then started visiting open source conferences to get more involved and became a big fan of the initiative.

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RF-enabled Raspberry Pi add-on brings Google Assistant to gizmos, speakers, and robots

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Linux

JOY-iT and Elector have launched a $42 “Talking Pi” RPi add-on that enables Google Home/AIY compatible voice activation of home automation devices linked to the Pi’s GPIO, and includes a mic board, PWM servo controls, and support for a 433MHz SRD radio.

Elektor has begun selling a $42, open source voice control add-on board that is programmable via the Google Assistant SDK. Built by Germany based JOY-iT, and marketed by Conrad Business Supplies, the RF-enabled Talking Pi enables voice control of home automation equipment such as smart lights, power sockets, and other gizmos via addressable extensions to the Raspberry Pi’s GPIO.

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How To Install Windows 10 In Virtualbox On Linux

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Linux

​You might be a developer and just want to try out your application in a Windows environment, or just want the thrill of doing something in Windows 10. Well, the solution might be as easy as using Virtualbox to install windows 10 unlike installing it on your machine, which may bring may problems to your Linux installation such as grub being overwritten.

Read<br />
more

OSS Leftovers and Security

Filed under
OSS
Security
  • How to get all the benefits of open source software

    Open source software continues its meteoric rise, as more and more large enterprises weave open source code into various areas of their operations, increasingly shunning the big-name, proprietary software vendors.

    In fact, according to open source software development company, Sonatype, represented locally by 9TH BIT Consulting, 7,000 new open source software projects kick-off around the world every week, while 70,000 new open source components are released. Accessing this massive ‘hivemind’ of software development expertise is a highly attractive prospect for CIOs and business managers in all industries.

  • What is open source?

    What is open source software and how do vendors make their money? We answer your questions

    Open source is the foundation of modern technology. Even if you don't know what it is, chances are you've already used it at least once today. Open source technology helped build Android, Firefox, and even the Apache HTTP server, and without it, the internet as we know it would simply not exist.

    The central idea behind open source is a simple one: many hands make light work. In short, the more people you have working on something, the quicker and easier it is to do. As it applies to software development, this means opening projects up to the public to let people freely access, read and modify the source code.

  • Open Source Initiative Announces New Partnership With Adblock Plus

    Adblock Plus, the most popular Internet ad blocker today, joins The Open Source Initiative® (OSI) as corporate sponsors. Since its very first version, Adblock Plus has been an open source project that has developed into a successful business with over 100 million users worldwide. As such, the German company behind it, eyeo GmbH, has decided it is time to give back to the open source community.

    Founded in 1998, the OSI protects and promotes open source software, development and communities, championing software freedom in society through education, collaboration, and infrastructure. Adblock Plus is an open source project that aims to rid the Internet of annoying and intrusive online advertising. Its free web browser extensions (add-ons) put users in control by letting them block or filter which ads they want to see.

  • What if Open-Source Software Can Replace Dozens of Multi-Billion Dollar Companies? That is Exactly What Origin Protocol Wants to do Using Blockchain
  • Bonitasoft gets cute on AWS for low-code BPM

    There has been an undeniable popularisation of so-called ‘low-code’ programming platforms.

    This is a strain of technology designed to provide automated blocks of functionality that can be brought together by non-technical staff to perform specific compute and analysis tasks to serve their own business objectives.

  • Red Hat Certification: for developers too!

    Red Hat’s certification program provides validation of IT professionals’ skills and knowledge using our subscription products. Red Hat’s certifications carry credibility in the market because they are all earned by taking one or more hands-on, practical exams that last multiple hours. Like most programs offered by technology vendors, our most familiar certifications are those for system administrators.

  • LXD Weekly Status #30

    The main highlight for this week was the inclusion of the new proxy device in LXD, thanks to the hard work of some University of Texas students!

    The rest of the time was spent fixing a number of bugs, working on various bits of kernel work, getting the upcoming clustering work to go through our CI process and preparing for a number of planning meetings that are going on this week.

  • GitHub Alternative SourceForge Vies for Comeback with Redesigned Site

    SourceForge wants to be more than just another GitHub alternative, but an additional repository for developers to utilize to help gain users.

  • The Clock Is Ticking for Chip Flaw Fixes to Start Working

    Cures for the pervasive Meltdown and Spectre chip flaws aren’t working, and hacks may soon be incoming.

  • Intel: No Financial Meltdown

    Yves here. It is telling that the very measured Bruegel website is pretty bothered that Intel looks likely to get away with relatively little in the way of financial consequences as a result of its Spectre and Meltdown security disasters. This is a marked contrast with Volkswagen, where the company paid huge fines and executives went to jail.

    However, it was the US that went after a foreign national champion. The US-dominated tech press is still frustratingly given the Intel train wrecks paltry coverage relative to their importance.

  • CIP related work during the second half of 2017

    As you probably know by now, I have been involved in the Civil Infrastructure Project (CIP), a Linux Foundation Initiative formed in 2016, representing Codethink, a founder Member and coordinating the engineering work in two areas within the project:

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More in Tux Machines

Software: MapSCII, Notelab, Pageclip, Wine

  • MapSCII – The World Map In Your Terminal
    I just stumbled upon an interesting utility. The World map in the Terminal! Yes, It is so cool. Say hello to MapSCII, a Braille and ASCII world map renderer for your xterm-compatible terminals. It supports GNU/Linux, Mac OS, and Windows. I thought it is a just another project hosted on GitHub. But I was wrong! It is really impressive what they did there. We can use our mouse pointer to drag and zoom in and out a location anywhere in the world map.
  • Notelab – A Digital Note Taking App for Linux
    This post is on an app that brings the power of digital note-taking to PC users across the platform spectrum. If note-taking with a stylus then you would like this one, and in fact, I couldn’t have given Notelab (an open source Java-based application,) a better introduction. The team of creatives has done a good job already.
  • Pageclip – A Server for Your HTML Forms
    Data collection is important to statisticians who need to analyze the data and deduce useful information; developers who need to get feedback from users on how enjoyable their products are to use; teachers who need to carry out census of students and whatever complaints they have, etc. The list goes on. Seeing how convenient it can be to use services that are cloud-based wouldn’t it be nice if you could collect form data in the cloud as easily as creating a new HTML document? Well, Pageclip has come to the rescue.
  • Wine 3.0 Release Lets You Run Windows Applications on Linux More Effectively
    The Wine team has announced the release of Wine 3.0. This comes after one year of development and comes with 6000 individual changes with a number of improvements and new features. ‘This release represents a year of development effort and over 6,000 individual changes. It contains a large number of improvements’. The free and open source compatibility layer, Wine lets you run Windows applications on Linux and macOS. The Wine 3.0 release has as major highlights Direct3D 10 and 11 changes, Direct3D command stream, graphics driver for Android and improved support for DirectWrite and Direct2D.

today's howtos

GNOME: Themes, GTK and More

  • 5 of the Best Linux Dark Themes that Are Easy on the Eyes
    There are several reasons people opt for dark themes on their computers. Some find them easy on the eye while others prefer them because of their medical condition. Programmers, especially, like dark themes because they reduce glare on the eyes. If you are a Linux user and a dark theme lover, you are in luck. Here are five of the best dark themes for Linux. Check them out!
  • GNOME Rolls Out The GTK Text Input Protocol For Wayland
    GNOME developers have been working on a new Wayland protocol, the "gtk_text_input" protocol, which now is implemented in their Mutter compositor. Separate from the zwp_text_input protocol, the gtk_text_input protocol is designed for representing text input and input methods associated with a seat and enter/leave events. This GNOME-catered protocol for Mutter is outlined via this commit with their protocol specification living in-tree to Mutter given its GNOME focus.
  • Wine, Mozilla, GNOME and DragonFly BSD
    While GNOME is moving to remove desktop icon support in version 3.28, Ubuntu 18.04 LTS will continue to ship with an older version of Nautilus (3.26) in an effort to keep this age-old practice alive, at least for its upcoming LTS release. In more GNOME-related news, version 3.28 of the Photos application will include a number of enhancements to its photo-editing arsenal, such as shadows and highlight editing, the ability to alter crop orientation, added support for zoom gestures and more. For a complete list, visit the project's roadmap.

Red Hat and Fedora

  • Red Hat Satellite: Patch Management Overview and Analysis
    We review Red Hat Satellite, a patch management solution for enterprise Linux systems.
  • Analysts Expect Red Hat Inc (RHT) Will Announce Quarterly Sales of $761.96 Million
  • Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE:RHT) Shares Move -0.17%
  • A Modularity rethink for Fedora
    We have covered the Fedora Modularity initiative a time or two over the years but, just as the modular "product" started rolling out, Fedora went back to the drawing board. There were a number of fundamental problems with Modularity as it was to be delivered in the Fedora 27 server edition, so a classic version of the distribution was released instead. But Modularity is far from dead; there is a new plan afoot to deliver it for Fedora 28, which is due in May. The problem that Modularity seeks to solve is that different users of the distribution have differing needs for stability versus tracking the bleeding edge. The pain is most often felt in the fast-moving web development world, where frameworks and applications move far more quickly than Fedora as a whole can—even if it could, moving that quickly would be problematic for other types of users. So Modularity was meant to be a way for Fedora users to pick and choose which "modules" (a cohesive set of packages supporting a particular version of, say, Node.js, Django, a web server, or a database management system) are included in their tailored instance of Fedora. The Tumbleweed snapshots feature of the openSUSE rolling distribution is targeted at solving much the same problem. Modularity would also facilitate installing multiple different versions of modules so that different applications could each use the versions of the web framework, database, and web server that the application supports. It is, in some ways, an attempt to give users the best of both worlds: the stability of a Fedora release with the availability of modules of older and newer packages, some of which would be supported beyond the typical 13-month lifecycle of a Fedora release. The trick is in how to get there.