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GNU, Licensing and Programming, GCC Included

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Development
GNU
Legal
  • David Rheinsberg: Goodbye Gnu-EFI!

    The recommended way to link UEFI applications on linux was until now through GNU-EFI, a toolchain provided by the GNU Project that bridges from the ELF world into COFF/PE32+. But why don’t we compile directly to native UEFI? A short dive into the past of GNU Toolchains, its remnants, and a surprisingly simple way out.

    The Linux World (and many UNIX Derivatives for that matter) is modeled around ELF. With statically linked languages becoming more prevalent, the impact of the ABI diminishes, but it still defines properties far beyond just how to call functions. The ABI your system uses also effects how compiler and linker interact, how binaries export information (especially symbols), and what features application developers can make use of. We have become used to ELF, and require its properties in places we didn’t expect.

  • GNUnet 0.11.0 released

    We are pleased to announce the release of GNUnet 0.11.0.

    This is a major release after about five years of development. In terms of usability, users should be aware that there are still a large number of known open issues in particular with respect to ease of use, but also some critical privacy issues especially for mobile users. Also, the nascent network is tiny (about 200 peers) and thus unlikely to provide good anonymity or extensive amounts of interesting information. As a result, the 0.11.0 release is still only suitable for early adopters with some reasonable pain tolerance.

  • Open source database company MongoDB is giving up on an important battle in its fight against the major cloud computing providers

    After a months-long fight to get a stamp of approval from the Open Source Initiative, MongoDB is withdrawing from the process of having its controversial new software license approved to be called open source.

  • Considering Fresh C Extensions

    Matthew Wilcox recently realized there might be a value in depending on C extensions provided by the Plan 9 variant of the C programming language. All it would require is using the -fplan9-extensions command-line argument when compiling the kernel. As Matthew pointed out, Plan 9 extensions have been supported in GCC as of version 4.6, which is the minimum version supported by the kernel. So theoretically, there would be no conflict.

    Nick Desaulniers felt that any addition of -f compiler flags to any project always would need careful consideration. Depending on what the extensions are needed for, they could be either helpful or downright dangerous.

    In the current case, Matthew wanted to use the Plan 9 extensions to shave precious bytes off of a cyclic memory allocation that needed to store a reference to the "next" value. Using the extensions, Matthew said, he could embed the "next" value without breaking various existing function calls.

    Nick also suggested making any such extension dependencies optional, so that other compilers would continue to be able to compile the kernel.

  • Return the probability of drawing a blue marble

    It seems like I have not decide yet which project am I going to create next so why not just work on another python solution on CodeWars in this chapter. I think I will work on a few more python questions in the next few chapters before starting a brand new python project.

  • GCC 9 will come with improved diagnostics, simpler C++ errors and much more

    The team added a left-hand margin that shows line numbers. GCC9 now has a new look for the diagnostics. The diagnostics can label regions of the source code in order to show relevant information. The diagnostics come with left-hand and right-hand sides of the “+” operator, so GCC highlights them inline. The team has added a JSON output format such that GCC 9 now has a machine-readable output format for diagnostics.

GPL Compliance: VMWare’s GPL Woes Continue, Xiaomi Releases Linux Code

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Linux
Legal
  • VMWare’s GPL woes continue

    For the last decade, VMware has been accused of illegally using Linux code in its VMware ESX bare-metal virtual machine hypervisor.

    While a German court has dismissed the case, the struggle may not be over.

    VMware was accused of illegally using Linux code in its flagship VMware ESX bare-metal virtual machine (VM) hypervisor.

    In 2011, the Software Freedom Conservancy, a non-profit organisation that promotes open-source software, discovered that VMware had failed to properly license any Linux or BusyBox, a popular embedded Linux toolkit, source code.

  • Xiaomi Mi 9 SE and Mi 8 SE Android Pie kernel source code now available

    If you’re looking to install third-party modifications, or play with TWRP custom recovery, and use AOSP ROM on these devices, then your wait is over as Xiaomi has released Kernel Source code based on Android Pie for both Mi 9 SE and Mi 8 SE. The kernel source would allow developers to create custom ROMs, recoveries and other MODs. Under GPL license, it’s mandatory for companies to publish kernel source of every change they make to Android Linux’s Kernel.

Licensing: Amazon's Exploitation and GPL Compliance Perils

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OSS
Legal
  • MariaDB CEO on the open source enterprise – we can bridge the gap between bare metal and microservices

    MariaDB CEO Michael Howard prides himself on his database geek chops, but he’s not too shabby at grabbing headlines either.

    He certainly pulled off that off at this year’s MariaDB OpenWorks keynote, as in: MariaDB CEO accuses large cloud vendors of strip-mining open source, by Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols.

    Behind the open source fisticuffs is an argument worth having. I won’t get into all of it here, as Vaughan-Nichols already got that job done. But: a MariaDB benchmark on AWS during the keynote stirred the pot.

    Howard told me something I didn’t expect. He said Amazon’s fear of MariaDB’s traction is in play here. Yep, it’s art-of-war time folks. I wanted to know: what type of MariaDB traction are we referring to? No, Howard isn’t talking about classic open source metrics like number of downloads.

  • Cloud vendors 'strip mining' open source: MariaDB's CEO

    While open source made what appeared to be an indelible mark on Wall Street in 2018 with deals involving acquisitions and listings valued at around $107 billion, it has not all been plain sailing.

    According to Michael Howard, CEO of MariaDB - the organisation behind the popular open source relational database management system - the community driven project still faces significant challenges from a variety of quarters, including large cloud vendors, who, he said, were 'strip mining' open source technology.

    Delivering the keynote address at the third annual MariaDB OpenWorks user and developer conference in New York last week (26 February), he did not name the culprits - "you know who they are" - but maintained that they "really abuse the licence and the privilege (of open source), not giving back to the community (and) forcing some (open source) companies to have awkward and weak responses."

  • Amazon Releases Corretto 8 GA: A Downstream Distribution of OpenJDK

    Corretto was introduced as a preview release last November at Devoxx Belgium by Arun Gupta, principal open source technologist at Amazon Web Services, and Yishai Galatzer, senior engineering manager at Amazon Web Services. Also at Devoxx was a surprise appearance by James Gosling, father of Java and distinguished engineer at Amazon Web Services, who delivered a special keynote address introducing Corretto. The timeline, shown below, for the GA releases of Corretto 8 and Corretto 11 was presented at Devoxx Belgium.

  • SAP builds its own Java distribution [Ed: IDG keeps posting this in more domains it has. SAP and other proprietary software companies now rebrand Java for themselves, sort of.]
  • Azul Systems Announces Extended Java Support Offerings and New Capabilities for Open Source Zulu Enterprise
  • VMware Touts Dismissal of Linux GPL Lawsuit

    Karen Sandler, attorney and the Conservancy's executive director, told ZDNet that "We strongly believe that litigation is necessary against willful GPL violators, particularly in cases like VMware where this is strong community consensus that their behavior is wrong. Litigation moves slowly. We will continue to discuss this with Christoph and his lawyers and hope to say more about it in the coming weeks -- after the courts provide their rationale for their decision to the parties (which has not yet occurred)."

    Meanwhile, VMware stated that it "continues to be a strong supporter of open source software development," adding that it's been "actively" working on removing vmklinux from vSphere in an upcoming release as part of a multi-year project -- "for reasons unrelated to the litigation."

  • VMware Essential PKS: Use upstream Kubernetes to build a flexible, cost-effective cloud-native platform [Ed: Openwashing below; it's a GPL violator whose parent company works for the NSA (so assume more uncovered back doors)]

    VMware contributes to multiple SIGs and open-source projects that strengthen key technologies and fill up the gaps in the Kubernetes ecosystem.

  • Kernel source code available for Nokia 1 Plus

    HMD Global published the kernel source code for the newly announced Nokia 1 Plus. Under the GPL, LGPL or any other type of license for the open source code HMD is using, the company is obligated to provide the changes they made to the public. For that purpose, Nokia Mobile has a dedicated site Nokia.com/phones/opensource, where all the source codes should be posted.

Licensing: Redis Breaking Up With FOSS, Perfectly Imperfect Marriage in Blockchain and Open Source, Copyright Trolls Leverage GPL Compliance

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OSS
Legal

MongoDB and Amazon Licence Battles

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OSS
Legal
  • Red Hat drops MongoDB out of Satellite

    Red Hat is prising MongoDB out of its Satellite infrastructure management platform in favour of PostgreSQL.

    The open source vendor made the announcement in a blog post yesterday saying it would “standardize on a PostgreSQL backend” and that it wanted to ensure users “were not caught by surprise as this is a change to the underlying databases of Satellite”.

    “No specific timing or release is being communicated at this time. At this point we’re simply hoping to raise awareness of the change that is coming to help users of Satellite prepare for the removal of MongoDB,” it added.

  • Google Cloud's new CEO used his first public talk to throw shade at Amazon over its feud with open source startups

    Amazon has a habit of taking free software created by other companies and selling it on its cloud. But Google Cloud isn't like that, new CEO Thomas Kurian says.

    At his inaugural appearance as the new CEO of Google Cloud on Tuesday, Kurian spoke about how Google Cloud allows customers to use a variety of open source tools to build applications on its cloud.

    Many of these tools are developed by other startups and made available as open source, meaning that they are free for anyone to use, download, modify — and even sell, something that Amazon Web Services frequently does.

Free Software Foundation Europe Calls for Open Source 5G License

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OSS
Legal

The Free Software Foundation Europe has said the recent controversy surrounding Huawei shows governments and consumers don’t trust tech giants. However, FSFE believes one potential fix would be for companies to publish code through the Free and Open Source Software license.

Huawei has been a long-time target of regulators around the world. The company is believed to be using its technology to backdoor spy for the Chinese government. There is an ongoing debate around Huawei’s 5G networks and concerns over privacy.

Canada could block Huawei 5G and the Chinese government has responded. It seems China suspects Huawei will be blocked, and the country’s ambassador said Ottawa will face repercussions if a bad is imposed.

Read more

FOSS Licensing/Legal Disputes

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OSS
Legal

Linux Kernel: Btrfs/Zstd and Licensing Questions

Filed under
Linux
Legal
  • Configurable Zstd Compression Level Support Is Revived For Btrfs

    Since the Linux 4.14 kernel Btrfs has supported Zstd for transparent file-system compression while a revived patch-set would allow that Zstd compression level to become configurable by the end-user.

    Facebook, which is behind Zstandard and also the employer for several key Btrfs developers, started off on the Zstd compression level support for Btrfs previously. This would allow users to use a higher compression level to achieve greater compression but at the cost of increased memory usage and obviously more resource intensive or opt for lower compression.

  • VMware GPL case is back in court—will we finally get some clarity on the meaning of "derivative work"?

    One of the most active Linux kernel developers, Christoph Hellwig, backed by the Software Freedom Conservancy, (unsurprisingly perhaps) has struck again against a virtualisation giant—VMware. for breaching the GNU General Public Licence (GPL). More than two years after the Hamburg District Court’s dismissal, an appeal has been filed in the German Court of Appeal. This case has attracted a worldwide attention because the claims raised call for court’s interpretation of the scope of the GPL applicability and, in particular, the reach of its copyleft effect.

    [...]

    The notion of a derivative work in a GPL context has been a big unknown for nearly two decades. Such uncertainty and potential risk of having to open-source proprietary code has led many commercial entities and open source projects to refrain from including a GPL’ed software in their codebase. 

    Hellwig v VMware might become a gamechanger, if it provides for the first time much-anticipated judicial clarity as to what implications software architecture has for licence interpretation and how copyright law fits in. That said, given the wide diversity of the structure of software is built and how it is distributed any decision in this case will not likely be the last word.

  • Google v. Oracle – Supreme Court Petition

    After reading the Federal Circuit decision, I wrote that the case is “likely heading to the Supreme Court.”  Although I believe that the case has a very good shot – one difficulty is that it involves a decision by the Federal Circuit applying Ninth Circuit law — it effectively holds no weight and can be simply rejected by the next Ninth Circuit panel addressing the same issues.

‘It's Frankly Great for Us’: MongoDB CEO Welcomes Amazon Rivalry

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OSS
Legal

Amazon’s move follows competition from Microsoft and further validates MongoDB’s approach to the database market, which is centered on documents rather than tables, according to Ittycheria. Furthermore, he sees Amazon’s service as antiquated with about a third of the features that MongoDB has.

Read more

MongoDB and Server Side Public License (SSPL) Controversy in the News This Past Week

Filed under
Red Hat
OSS
Legal
  • Red Hat Drops MongoDB Over License

    MongoDB's attempts to make some money from its NoSQL database have hit another snag as Red Hat has now dropped it from its Enterprise Linux distribution.

    This is the latest in a sequence of moves and countermoves that started when MongoDB changed its license terms to use a Server Side Public License (SSPL) that explicitly says that if a company wanted to reuse and rebadge its database, explicitly to offer MongoDB as a service, then that company either needs to buy a commercial license or to open source the service.

  • Why more may be the wrong measure of open source contributions
  • Battle Of The Document Databases

    Cloud providers can be like sharks in that they have to keep moving forward – in their case, growing the number of services they can offer enterprises – or be overtaken by competitors.

    That need to continually grow the service portfolio isn’t going to go away any time soon. Cloud adoption is accelerating, moving past the early adopter stage and into what Paul Teich, principal analyst with Liftr Cloud Insights and a contributor here at The Next Platform, calls the “early majority” phase, and enterprises are moving forward with strategies that involve leveraging more than one public cloud provider.

    At the same time, the pile of data being generated by organizations is growing rapidly – and the cloud is becoming the place to collect, store, process, and analyze much of that data – but only a portion of enterprise workloads – about 20 percent – are being run in the cloud. That means that four out of five are still run in on-premises environments, so there is still a lot of applications that need to make their way from behind the firewall and into the cloud.

  • What Does Open Source Mean in the Era of Cloud APIs?

    One of the most interesting and unsurprising characteristics of conversations with organizations that have adopted one of the emerging hybrid or “non-compete” style of licenses is that they are universally insistent on being differentiated from one another. Which is understandable on the one hand, given that there are major structural differences between the Commons Clause and the SSPL, to pick two recent examples. Whether it’s reasonable to expect a market which by and large has little appetite for the nuances of different licensing approaches to care is, of course, a separate question.

    What is perhaps more interesting, however, is a central, foundational assumption that every member of this category of licenses shares. On the surface, examples like the Business Source License, the Cockroach Community License, the Commons Clause, the Confluent Community License, the Fair Source License, the TimeScale license or the SSPL would seem to have little in common. Some have ambitions to be considered open source, some do not but invoke open source-like terminology, and some are unambiguously and unapologetically proprietary. Some merely require contributions back copyleft-style, some prohibit usage within prescribed business models (read: cloud) and others restrict business usage without distinction. And so on; while typically rolled up and discussed as a category, they are no more unified in their intent and purpose than open source licenses broadly.

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More in Tux Machines

Programming: CI/CD and 'DevRel'

  • CloudBees and Google Cloud Partner to Accelerate Application Development on Anthos

    Respective leaders in DevOps and cloud computing are partnering to provide end-to-end application development automation from source to production...

  • Codefresh’s More Robust, Open Source Marketplace Makes Coding Easier, Faster, More Secure

    First deployed in December 2018, the Codefresh Marketplace makes it easier for code developers to find commands without having to learn a proprietary API – every step, browsable in the pipeline builder, is a simple Docker image. The Marketplace contains a more robust set of pipeline steps provided both by Codefresh and partners, such as Blue-Green and Canary deployment steps for Kubernetes, Aqua security scanning, and Helm package and deployment. All plugins are open source and users can contribute to the collection by creating a new plugin.

  • Codefresh freshens produce at the Kubernetes code marketplace

    Codefresh is the first Kubernetes-native CI/CD technology, with CI denoting Continuous Integration and CD denoting Continuous Delivery, obviously. The organisation has this month worked to improve its open source marketplace with features that focus on faster code deployment. First deployed in December 2018, the Codefresh Marketplace [kind of like an app store] allows developers to find commands without having to learn a proprietary API — this is because every step, which is browsable in the pipeline builder, is a simple Docker image.

  • DevOps World | Jenkins World: CircleCI orbs, DevOps Institute’s Ambassador Program, and Codefresh Marketplace

    DevOps and Jenkins is on full display this week at CloudBees’ DevOps World | Jenkins World taking place in San Francisco. In addition to the DevOps thought leaders and community members coming together to learn, explore and help shape the next generation of Jenkins and DevOps, a number of organizations took the opportunity to reveal new products. [...] SmartBear revealed TestEngine, a new solution designed to automate test execution in CI/CD environments. In addition, the company announced ReadyAPI 2.8 to accelerate functional, security and load testing of RESTful, SOAP, GraphQL and other web services. The new tools are aimed at accelerating API delivery. Users can now execute ReadyAPI, SoapUI Pro and SoapUI Open Source tests simultaneously on a central source that’s integrated into their development processes. This tackles the challenges that Agile and DevOps teams have such as complex deployments, large regression suites, and global development teams, according to SmartBear in a post.

  • What Is Developer Relations?

    Matthew Broberg, Advocate and Editor at opensource.com says that in practice the implementation of DevRel has been far from consistent. "DevRel, in theory, is the intersection of three disciplines: engineering, marketing, and community management," he says. "In practice, DevRel applies to a wildly popular set of job titles with wildly different expectations across different organizations." [...] Rebecca Fitzhugh, Principal Technologist at Rubrik agrees. "While there is certainly a marketing component when representing the company to the customer and community, it's equally about representing the customer to the company," she says. "Our DevRel team brings feedback from our customers to the product and engineering team in order to drive a better developer experience against our product's APIs."

Network transparency with Wayland: Final report.

The goal of this 2019 Google Summer of Code project is to develop a tool with which to transparently proxy applications that use the Wayland protocol to be displayed by compositors. Unlike the original X protocol, only part of the data needed to display an application is transferred over the application's connection to the compositor; instead, large information transfers are made by sharing file descriptors over the (Unix socket) connection, and updating the resources associated with the file descriptors. Converting this side channel information to something that can be sent over a single data stream is the core of this work. The proxy program I have developed for the project is called Waypipe. It can currently be found at gitlab.freedesktop.org/mstoeckl/waypipe. (I am currently looking for a better stable path at which to place the project; the preceding URL will be updated once this is done.) A few distributions have already packaged the program; see here; alternatively, to build and run the project, follow the instructions in the README and the man page. My work is clearly identified by the commit logs, and amounts to roughly ten thousand lines of C code, and a few hundred of Python. Read more Also: Vulkan 1.1.120 Released As The Newest Maintenance Release

The ClockworkPi GameShell is a super fun DIY spin on portable gaming

Portable consoles are hardly new, and thanks to the Switch, they’re basically the most popular gaming devices in the world. But ClockworkPi’s GameShell is something totally unique, and entirely refreshing when it comes to gaming on the go. This clever DIY console kit provides everything you need to assemble your own pocket gaming machine at home, running Linux-based open-source software and using an open-source hardware design that welcomes future customization. The GameShell is the result of a successful Kickstarter campaign, which began shipping to its backers last year and is now available to buy either direct from the company or from Amazon. The $159.99 ( on sale for $139.99 as of this writing) includes everything you need to build the console, like the ClockworkPi quad-core Cortex A7 motherboard with integrated Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and 1GB of DDR3 RAM — but it comes unassembled. Read more

KNOPPIX 8.6.0 Public Release

Version 8.6 basiert auf → Debian/stable (buster), mit einzelnen Paketen aus Debian/testing und unstable (sid) (v.a. Grafiktreiber und aktuelle Productivity-Software) und verwendet → Linux Kernel 5.2.5 sowie Xorg 7.7 (core 1.20.4) zur Unterstützung aktueller Computer-Hardware. Read more English: Knoppix 8.6 new public version is finally out !