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Saturday, 17 Mar 18 - Tux Machines is a community-driven public service/news site which has been around for over a decade and primarily focuses on GNU/LinuxSubscribe now Syndicate content

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Quick Roundup

Type Title Author Replies Last Postsort icon
Story Microsoft is Still Evil and Dangerous Roy Schestowitz 15/03/2018 - 12:46am
Story Sound Open Firmware (SOF) and Nvidia-Docker Roy Schestowitz 14/03/2018 - 11:10pm
Story Software: AMP, GCompris, Terminus, PyCharm, Rcpp, Curl Roy Schestowitz 14/03/2018 - 11:09pm
Story Linux Foundation: Ads, Events, and Memberships Roy Schestowitz 14/03/2018 - 11:08pm
Story Red Hat and Fedora Leftovers Roy Schestowitz 14/03/2018 - 11:05pm
Story Debian and Ubuntu Leftovers Roy Schestowitz 14/03/2018 - 11:04pm
Story Devices: New Raspberry Pi 3 Model, Arduino, RISC-V and Android Roy Schestowitz 14/03/2018 - 10:54pm
Story OSS Leftovers Roy Schestowitz 14/03/2018 - 10:52pm
Story today's howtos Roy Schestowitz 14/03/2018 - 10:40pm
Story Linux Mint 18.3 KDE Edition Review – For The Record Roy Schestowitz 14/03/2018 - 10:23pm

OSS Leftovers

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Programming/Development: GSoC 2018, LLVM, GitLab and More

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  • Student Applications For GSoC 2018 Now Open

    If you are a university student and would like to pursue a career in Linux/open-source software development, a great way to get a jump-start on that is through Google's annual Summer of Code program. Student applications for GSoC 2018 are now being accepted.

  • What’s new in LLVM

    The LLVM compiler framework has gone from being a technological curiosity to a vital piece of the modern software landscape. It is the engine behind the Clang compiler, as well as the compilers for the Rust and Swift languages, and provides a powerful toolkit for creating new languages.

    It is also a fairly fast-moving project, with major point revisions announced every six months or so. Version 6.0, released earlier this month, continues LLVM’s ongoing mission to deepen and broaden support for a variety of compilation targets. The update also adds many timely fixes to guard against recently discovered processor-level system attacks.

  • GitLab: 2018 is the year for open source and DevOps

    DevOps and open source aren’t slowing down anytime soon, a newly released report revealed. GitLab released its 2018 Global Developer Survey on developers’ perception of their workplace, workflow, and tooling within IT organizations.

    The demand for DevOps continues to grow, even though there are still challenges created by outdated tools and company resistance to change. According to the report, only 23 percent identify DevOps as their development methodology. However, IT management has named DevOps as one of the top three areas of investment in 2018, indicating that the number of DevOps adopters is sure to grow this year.

  • 11 considerations for picking the right technology

    There are myriad open source projects available for just about every component of a modern software stack—the array of choices can be dizzying, especially when starting from scratch or making many choices at once. With the above criteria in mind, however, you should be better equipped to think rationally about your needs and how each of your options might or might not suit them. Happy hunting!

Mozilla: Rust's 2018 Roadmap, This Week In Servo 107, TenFourFox FPR6 available

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  • Rust Gets A 2018 Roadmap, Big "Productivity" Edition Planned This Year

    The developers behind the Rust programming language have put out a road-map for the year as well as details on the forthcoming "Rust 2018" Edition that succeeds the 1.x release series.

  • Rust's 2018 roadmap

    Each year the Rust community comes together to set out a roadmap. This year, in addition to the survey, we put out a call for blog posts in December, which resulted in 100 blog posts written over the span of a few weeks. The end result is the recently-merged 2018 roadmap RFC.

  • This Week In Servo 107

    In the last week, we merged 85 PRs in the Servo organization’s repositories.

    Congratulations to waywardmonkeys for their new mandate to review and maintain the low-level harfbuzz bindings, and their work to create safe higher-level bindings!

  • Cameron Kaiser: TenFourFox FPR6 available

    TenFourFox Feature Parity Release 6 is now available for testing (downloads, hashes, release notes). Other than finishing the security patches and adding a couple more entries to the basic adblock, there are no other changes in this release. Assuming no issues, it will become live Monday evening Pacific time as usual.

    The backend for the main download page at Floodgap has been altered such that the Downloader is now only offered to browsers that do not support TLS 1.2 (this is detected by checking for a particular JavaScript math function Math.hypot, the presence of which I discovered roughly correlates with TLS 1.2 support in Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Safari and Firefox/TenFourFox). This is to save bandwidth on our main server since those browsers are perfectly capable of downloading directly from SourceForge and don't need the Downloader to help them. This is also true of Leopard WebKit, assuming the Security framework update is also installed.

Eric S Raymond's UPS Rant and Solution

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  • [Older] UPSes suck and need to be disrupted


    I use a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) to protect the Great Beast of Malvern from power outages and lightning strikes. Every once in a while I have to buy a replacement UPS and am reminded of how horribly this entire product category sucks. Consumer-grade UPSes suck, SOHO UPSs suck, and I am reliably informed by my friends who run datacenters that no, you cannot ascend into a blissful upland of winnitude by shelling out for expensive “enterprise-grade” UPSes – they all suck too.

  • Eric S Raymond Taking To Working On An Open Hardware / Open-Source UPS

    ESR is very unhappy with the state of UPS power supplies and he is hoping for an open-source, easily buildable design could change the landscape. At the moment the focus is on just pushing out the PCB schematics and design for such a unit with users left to build the UPS yourself, but he has said he wouldn't mind if some startup or other company ends up making use of these open-source plans to bring a better UPS to market.

  • Eric Raymond's New UPS Project, Ubuntu's Bionic Beaver 18.04 Beta Released, Kernel Prepatch 4.16-rc5 and More

    The Upside project is hosted on GitLab and "is currently defining requirements and developing a specification for a 'high quality UPS that can be built from off-the-shelf parts in any reasonably well-equipped makerspace or home electronics shop'."

Servers/Containers: Kubernetes, Former Docker CEO, and Linux Foundation Boosting Microsoft

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Lego-based hacker kit offers choice of Arduino or Raspberry Pi

A “Leguino” educational hacker kit launching on Kickstarter lets you extend Lego projects with Lego form-factor gears, motors, displays, sensors, and breadboards, controlled by a “Visuino” GUI dev environment running on an Arduino or RPi Zero W.

A Belfast based startup called Leguino has launched a Kickstarter project for a Leguino robotics and hacking kit designed to integrate with existing Lego parts. The kit provides a variety of add-on sensors, motors, and other gizmos as Lego-style bricks for easy integration with Lego designs. Most of the lower cost designs are sold in kits with Arduino Uno or Nano bricks, but one higher-end kit is powered by a Raspberry Pi Zero W. Both the Arduino and RPi-based kits can be programmed with a visual, drag-and-drop development kit called Visuino, which is based on the Rockbotic coding education software.

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NVIDIA 390.42 Linux Driver Released

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NVIDIA has just published the 390.42 Linux graphics driver as their latest maintenance update in this long-lived driver series.

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Graphics: OpenChrome, FP64, Wine/Vulkan, QC1

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  • OpenChrome KMS Can Now Do Runtime Resolution Changes, Hopes To Go Mainline In 2018

    The OpenChrome KMS/DRM driver can finally handle run-time resolution changes without crashing. The developer now hopes to be able to mainline this driver into the Linux kernel in 2018.

    OpenChrome KMS previously has been unable to handle run-time resolution changes without crashing the X.Org Server, but now this kernel mode-setting driver can do so. After previously battling a standby resume problem for OpenChrome KMS and now tackling this screen resolution change crash, developer Kevin Brace is now able to get by without regular crashes to his computer. This now puts the OpenChrome KMS support about on-par with the DDX driver's user-space mode-setting support.

  • OpenChrome DRM Driver To Work On New GEM/TTM Code, Regression Fixes

    Now that the OpenChrome DRM driver is hoping to go mainline in 2018 now that it can handle run-time resolution changes without crashing the X.Org Server, the project's lone developer Kevin Brace has published a TODO list of other code changes he has planned prior to getting this open-source VIA x86 graphics driver into the mainline Linux kernel.

  • David Airlie Moves Toward Upstreaming Soft FP64 Support In Mesa

    There's been work going on for years of "soft" FP64 support to allow emulated support for the double-precision floating-point data types for GPUs not otherwise inherently supporting this capability. The soft support would allow for some older GPUs to then advertise OpenGL 4.0+ support now that ARB_gpu_shader_fp64 support could be enabled. That day looks like it's finally coming for mainline Mesa.

  • Vulkan WSI Support Is The Latest Being Worked On For Wine

    Following more Wine Vulkan code being merged and the first milestone being achieved of vulkaninfo working, Roderick Colenbrander has submitted his latest patches in the bring-up of Vulkan support under Wine.

  • This Cryptocoin Miner Uses GPU Heat To Warm Up Your Room

    Now, a French startup Qarnot has added way new name to the list: a crypto heater. Yes, you heard that right. The heater, called QC1, can warm up your room while its mines crypto coins. To do so, it houses two Sapphire Nitro + Radeon GPU RX 580 GPUs with 8GB VRAM each.

Games Leftovers

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Plasma Mobile - A grain of hope in a sandstorm of despair

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I am really happy that Plasma Mobile exists. It's a natural continuation of an excellent desktop environment. But the technicals have never been a problem. Not so with Ubuntu or any other operating system. That's never the issue. The app ecosystem is all that matters. And that will take monumental effort and investment to achieve, if ever.

The early tech demonstrator is an interesting project, but it's not dazzling enough yet to create sufficient interest in Plasma as a mobile platform. Matching the rivals is a zero-sum game. People already have Android and iOS. Those needs are met. But perhaps, Plasma Mobile can do more? After all, a tiny hobbyist kernel created in early 90s became the powerhouse of the modern Internet and cloud infrastructure. It's difficult to predict how well will Plasma Mobile do. Let's hope it will be more than a checkbox on an enthusiasm sheet of dashed hopes. Full power on, engage.

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Also: KEXI 3.1 Brings Database Application Building to Windows

FSF/FSFE/GNU: GNU Automake 1.16, Geniatech v McHard, The Noble Volunteer

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  • GNU Automake 1.16 released

    We are pleased to announce the GNU Automake 1.16 minor release.

    This release follows 1.15.1 which was made 8 months ago.

    See below for the detailed list of changes since the previous version, as summarized by the NEWS file.

  • My Affidavit in the Geniatech vs. McHardy Case

    As many people know, last week there was a court hearing in the Geniatech vs. McHardy case. This was a case brought claiming a license violation of the Linux kernel in Geniatech devices in the German court of OLG Cologne.

    Harald Welte has written up a wonderful summary of the hearing, I strongly recommend that everyone go read that first.

    In Harald’s summary, he refers to an affidavit that I provided to the court. Because the case was withdrawn by McHardy, my affidavit was not entered into the public record. I had always assumed that my affidavit would be made public, and since I have had a number of people ask me about what it contained, I figured it was good to just publish it for everyone to be able to see it.

  • GNU developer abandons action against Geniatech

    Former Linux developer Patrick McHardy dropped his Gnu General Public License version 2 (GPLv2) violation case against Geniatech in a German court this week.

    Some are seeing the case as a victory for those who want to convince companies to mend their ways and honour their GPLv2 legal requirements.

    Normally if a developer is hacked off with an outfit ignoring the GPU legal arrangements he or she asks the Free Software Foundation, Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC), and the Software Freedom Law Center to approach violators. But these groups tend to lean on companies to get their act together rather than suing them for lots of cash.

    McHardy, however, after talking with SFC, dropped out from this diplomatic approach and went his own way. In fact, McHardy was accused of seeking financial gain by approaching numerous companies in German courts.

  • The Noble Volunteer (Again)

    I have written about how the Python Software Foundation raises and spends money before. For the most part, nothing has changed since then: the PSF appears to raise and then spend hundreds of thousands of dollars every year (apparently down from over $300000 in 2016 to under $250000 in 2017, though), directing this money mostly towards events and promotion. In fact, the largest contribution to core-related Python software development in 2017 was actually from the Mozilla Open Source Support programme, with a $170000 grant to fix up the Python Package Index infrastructure. So the PSF is clearly comfortable leaving it to others to fund the P in PSF.

    Lots of people depend on the Python Package Index, but like with Free Software in general, the people making good money while leaning on these common, volunteer-run resources never seem to pitch in significantly themselves. It is true that the maintainer of this resource was allowed to work on it as his day job, but then got “downsized”, and now works in a role where he can work on it again but only as part of his day job. But I imagine that the people at Mozilla, some of whom have connections to the world of Python packaging, quite possibly relying on the package infrastructure to get their own stuff done, were getting fed up with “volunteers” as being the usual excuse for nothing getting done.

SparkyLinux 5.3 Rolling Linux OS Debuts Based on Debian GNU/Linux 10 "Buster"

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SparkyLinux currently comes in two flavors, Stable and Rolling, and while the former is based on the most recent stable release of the Debian GNU/Linux operating system, the latter is usually using the software repositories of Debian Testing. In this case, SparkyLinux 5.3 is based on the upcoming Debian GNU/Linux 10 "Buster" OS.

The SparkyLinux 5 Rolling series hasn't been updated since last December, and the new release brings a recent kernel from the Linux 4.15 series, namely version 4.15.4, the latest stable Calamares 3.1.12 graphical installer, support for the Btrfs and XFS filesystems, and all the latest updates from the Debian Buster repos as of March 7, 2018.

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Debian-Based Netrunner Linux OS Gets New Stable Release with KDE Plasma 5.12 LTS

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Netrunner currently offers to branches, Stable and Rolling, the latter being based on Arch Linux and allowing users to install once and receive updates forever, which means that's designed more for bleeding-edge users than those who prefer to use a very stable and reliable operating system on their personal computers.

Dubbed "Idolon," Netrunner 18.03 comes as an upgrade to last year's Netrunner 17.10 "Voyager" release and brings up-to-date components, including the latest Linux 4.14 LTS kernel, KDE Plasma 5.12 LTS desktop environment, LibreOffice 6.0.2 office suite, Firefox 58.0.1 "Quantum" web browser, and Thunderbird 52.6.0 email client

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New Ubuntu Installs Could Be Speed Up by 10% with the Zstd Compression Algorithm

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Developed by Yann Collet at Facebook, zstd is an open-source lossless data compression algorithm designed to offer fast real-time compression and decompression speeds, even faster than xz or gzip. Zstd supports up to 19 compression levels, offering a 2.877 compression ratio with up to 430 MB/s compression and 1110 MB/s decompression speeds.

Julian Andres Klode and Balint Reczey report that they managed to increase the speed of a standard Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) 64-bit installation by about 10 percent with a zstd configuration set at max level 19. Even better, the install speed was increased by about 40 percent when the "eatmydata" library designed to disable fsync and related packages was involved.

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Security: Mac Malware, Spectre and Meltdown, Open Source Security Podcast, Kodi FUD and Sofacy

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  • Steep rise in malware threats to Mac: report

    Malware targeting Mac operating systems more than doubled from 2016 to 2017, according to a new report which reveals that in 2017 alone, Mac threats increased more than 270%.

  • Are Spectre and Meltdown just hype? [Ed: No!]

    Often, it’s the dramatic things that get our attention and what we see as a risk. We’re more scared of flying than of driving, and terrified of snakes and spiders when we’re more at risk from the common cold. So, do our fears lie in the right place?

    There has been much hype around the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities that emerged in January, a huge impact in the world of software vulnerabilities. While some of this is justified by the fact that those vulnerabilities affected a majority of all processors in the market, the reality is that this was just another vulnerability on top of all the others in the market, which security professionals need to assess and manage every day.

  • Open Source Security Podcast: Episode 87 - Chat with Let's Encrypt co-founder Josh Aas
  • McAfee Security Experts Weigh-in Weirdly With “Fresh Kodi Warning”

    Something is not right in Tabloid Land. An article published this week in the The Express cites experts from McAfee talking about a "fresh Kodi warning" that "might stop you streaming illegally FOREVER." Not only is no new threat even touched upon in the piece, but one of the McAfee experts thinks that Kodi "is a streaming site".

  • Security firm says Sofacy is starting to target organizations in Middle East, Central Asia

    Kaspersky Lab researchers say that a hacking group widely believed to be linked to the Russian government has been executing cyberattacks against a new set of targets in the Far East, including military, defense and diplomatic organizations, according to a new report.

  • Masha and these Bears

    Sofacy, also known as APT28, Fancy Bear, and Tsar Team, is a prolific, well resourced, and persistent adversary. They are sometimes portrayed as wild and reckless, but as seen under our visibility, the group can be pragmatic, measured, and agile. Our previous post on their 2017 activity stepped away from the previously covered headline buzz presenting their association with previously known political hacks and interest in Europe and the US, and examines their under-reported ongoing activity in middle east, central asia, and now a shift in targeting further east, including China, along with an overlap surprise. There is much understated activity that can be clustered within this set and overlap in APT activity. Here, we examine current deployment, code, cryptography, and targeting.

Make a digital camera from a 1950s Kodak Brownie with a Raspberry Pi

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The inexpensive Kodak Brownie was the first camera to bring photography to the masses. The simplicity of its design meant anyone could figure out how to use it with little difficulty. Because it has essentially no controls to learn—there's just a shutter button, viewfinder, and film winder—it's even easy to use in comparison to today's cameras.

Millions of Kodak Brownies were made over the course of its 60-year lifespan beginning in 1900, and its build quality means many of them survive in good working order. A Kodak Brownie is also a good option for custom modifications—it's easily available on eBay or at tag sales, it's simple to hack, and it's cheap enough that it doesn't matter if things go wrong.

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4 Linux-forward schools

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It's well known that there's a shortage of qualified candidates to fill IT jobs. Employers are urgently looking for people to fill DevOps, development, sysadmin, and other IT roles—especially employees with experience in the cloud, web technologies, and Linux—to manage the infrastructure powering their businesses.

According to the Linux Foundation, more than 1 million courses in Linux and open source software have been taken by aspiring IT pros through its partnership with EdX. But to meet the IT workforce's demands for skilled employees now and in the future, we need to start preparing people a lot earlier in life—in pre-K through 12th grade (PK-12) schools

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Also: Chromebooks Get Better Support for External Displays, Floating Virtual Keyboard

Rant launches Eric Raymond's next project: open-source the UPS

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In February, Eric S Raymond ranted that the Uninterruptible Power Supply market was overdue for open source disruption, and touch so many nerves around the world that the rant has become a project.

Last week, ESR opened up the work-in-progress on GitLab: the Upside project is currently defining requirements and developing a specification for a “high quality UPS that can be built from off-the-shelf arts in any reasonably well-equipped makerspace or home electronics shop”.

ESR's original post, “UPSes suck and need to be disrupted”, set down his own complaints about what's sold to consumer/SOHO users: batteries with “so little deep-cycle endurance” that they can't last beyond a few years, and whose dwell-time is oversold by vendors.

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OSS Leftovers

  • What Is Fuchsia, Google’s New Operating System?
    Fuchsia first popped up on the tech world’s radar in mid-2016, when an unannounced open source project from Google appeared on the GitHub repository. According to initial inspection by the technology press, it was designed to be a “universal” operating system, capable of running on everything from low-power smartwatches to powerful desktops. That potentially includes phones, tablets, laptops, car electronics, connected appliances, smarthome hardware, and more.
  • Google created an AI-based, open source music synthesizer
    Move over musicians, AI is here. Google's 'NSynth' neural network is designed to take existing sounds and combine them using a complex, machine learning algorithm. The result? Thousands of new musical sounds, and an instrument you can play them on.
  • March Add(on)ness: uBlock (1) vs Kimetrack (4)
  • TenFourFox FPR6 SPR1 coming
    Stand by for FPR6 Security Parity Release 1 due to the usual turmoil following Pwn2Own, in which the mighty typically fall and this year Firefox did. We track these advisories and always plan to have a patched build of TenFourFox ready and parallel with Mozilla's official chemspill release; I have already backported the patch and tested it internally.
  • GCC 8 Compiler Offering More Helpful Debug Messages, Usability Improvements
    Red Hat's David Malcom has outlined some of the usability improvements coming with the imminent release of GCC 8.
  • Friday Free Software Directory IRC meetup time changed: March 16th starting at 12:00 p.m. EDT/16:00 UTC
  • Your guide to LibrePlanet 2018, wherever you are, March 24-25
    The free software community encompasses the globe, and we strive to make the LibrePlanet conference reflect that. That's why we livestream the proceedings of the conference, and encourage you to participate remotely by both watching and participating in the discussion via IRC.
  • Open Source Advocate Dr. Joshua Pearce Publishes Paper on Inexpensive GMAW Metal 3D Printing
    One of the most outspoken advocates of open source philosophy in the 3D printing industry is Dr. Joshua M. Pearce, Associate Professor, Materials Science & Engineering and Electrical & Computer Engineering for Michigan Technological University (Michigan Tech).
  • ONF Launches Stratum Open-Source SDN Project
    The growing adoption of software-defined networking over the past several years has given a boost to makers of networking white boxes. The separation of the network operating system, control plane and network tasks from the underlying proprietary hardware meant that organizations could run that software on white-box switches and servers that are less expensive than those systems from the likes of Cisco Systems, Juniper Networks, Dell EMC and Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Network virtualization technologies such as software-defined networking (SDN) and network-functions virtualization (NFV) have proven to be a particular boon for hyperscale cloud providers like Google and Facebook and telecommunications companies like AT&T and Verizon, which are pushing increasingly massive amounts of traffic through their growing infrastructures. Being able to use less expensive and easily manageable white boxes from original design manufacturers (ODMs) has helped these organizations keep costs down even as demand rises.

KDE: Discover, Qt Creator, LibAlkimia

  • This week in Discover, part 10
    This week saw many positive changes for Discover, and I feel that it’s really coming into its own. Discover rumbles inexorably along toward the finish line of becoming the most-loved Linux app store!
  • Qt Creator 4.6 RC & Qt 5.11 Beta 2 Released
    The Qt Company has some new software development releases available in time for weekend testing. First up is the Qt Creator 4.6 Release Candidate. Qt Creator 4.6 has been working on better C++17 feature support, Clang-Tidy and Clazy warnings are now integrated into the diagnostic messages for the C++ editor, new filters, and improvements to the model editor.
  • LibAlkimia 7.0.1 with support for MPIR released
    LibAlkimia is a base library that contains support for financial applications based on the Qt C++ framework. One of its main features is the encapsulation of The GNU Multiple Precision Arithmetic Library (GMP) and so providing a simple object to be used representing monetary values in the form of rational numbers. All the mathematical details are hidden inside the AlkValue object.
  • Last Weeks Activity in Elisa and Release Schedule
    Elisa is a music player developed by the KDE community that strives to be simple and nice to use. We also recognize that we need a flexible product to account for the different workflows and use-cases of our users. We focus on a very good integration with the Plasma desktop of the KDE community without compromising the support for other platforms (other Linux desktop environments, Windows and Android). We are creating a reliable product that is a joy to use and respects our users privacy. As such, we will prefer to support online services where users are in control of their data.

SwagArch 18.02 - U Got Swag?

SwagArch sounds like an interesting concept. The aesthetic side of things is reasonable, although brown as a color and a dark theme make for a tricky choice. The fonts are pretty good overall. But the visual element is the least of the distro's problems. SwagArch 18.02 didn't deliver the basics, and that's what made Dedoimedo sad. Network support plus the clock issue, horrible package management and broken programs, those are things that must work perfectly. Without them, the system has no value. So you do get multimedia support and a few unique apps, however that cannot balance out all the woes and problems that I encountered. All in all, Swag needs a lot more work. Also, it will have a tough time competing with Manjaro and Antergos, which are already established and fairly robust Arch spins. Lastly, it needs to narrow down its focus. The overall integration of elements is pretty weak. Eclectic, jumbled, not really tested. 2/10 for now. Let's see how it evolves. Read more

How Open Source Approach is Impacting Science

Dive into the exciting world of Innovative Science to explore and find out about how the Linux-based Operating System and Open Source are playing a significant role in the major scientific breakthroughs that are taking place in our daily lives. Read more