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Interviews

Librem 5 Updates and Interviews

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Interviews
Gadgets
  • Librem 5 December 2019 Software Update

    Although we’re well into 2020, the changelog-style software progress reports for the turn of the year have yet to be published. Let’s fix that by giving a brief update of what happened in December.

    Some of the activities below were already mentioned in their own articles in Purism’s news archive; others will be covered in more depth in future articles. This is just a taste of all the work that goes into making the Librem 5 software stack. You can follow development more closely at source.puri.sm.

  • An Interview with fphemeral: Community Member & Librem 5 Early Adopter

    I recently had the pleasure of chatting with fphemeral, a longtime Purism community member, Librem 13 user and Librem 5 early-adopter. What stood out about fphemeral’s story was how big of role community and the the flexibility of our products played on his journey to improved privacy. Like many of our passionate community members, fphemeral is also developing a range of useful apps for his Librem 5 and sharing them with the community. Here’s the full conversation we recently had on Librem Chat.

Discussing Past, Present and Future of FreeBSD Project

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Interviews
BSD

FreeBSD is one of the most popular BSD distributions. It is used on desktop, servers and embedded devices for more than two decades.

We talked to Deb Goodkin, executive director, FreeBSD Foundation and discussed the past, present and future of FreeBSD project.

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Supporting an open source operating system: a Q&A with the FreeBSD Foundation

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Interviews
OSS

When discussing alternative operating systems to Microsoft’s Windows or Apple’s macOS, Linux often comes to mind. However, while Linux is a recreation of UNIX, FreeBSD is more of a continuation. The free and open source operating system was initially developed by students at the University of California at Berkeley which is why the BSD in its name stands for Berkeley Software Distribution.

FreeBSD runs on its own kernel and all of the operating system’s key components have been developed to be part of a single whole. This is where it differs the most from Linux because Linux is just the kernel and the other components are supplied by third parties.

To learn more about FreeBSD and its ongoing development, TechRadar Pro spoke to the executive director of the FreeBSD Foundation, Deb Goodkin.

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The Background Story of AppImage [Interview]

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Software
Interviews

As a Linux user, you might have come across AppImages. This is a portable packaging format that allows you to run an application on any Linux distribution.

Using AppImage is really simple. You just need to give it execute permission and double click to run it, like the .exe files in Windows. This solves a major problem in Linux as different kind of distributions have different kind of packaging formats. You cannot install .deb files (of Debian/Ubuntu) on Fedora and vice versa.

We talked to Simon, the developer of AppImage, about how and why he created this project. Read some of the interesting background story and insights Simon shares about AppImage.

Linux is our love language

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Linux
Interviews

2019 was a year of learning in the Cherry household. I am a senior software engineer who set out to learn new skills and, along the way, I taught my husband, Chris. By teaching him some of the things I learned and asking him to work through my technology walkthrough articles, I helped Chris learn new skills that enabled him to pivot his career deeper into the technology field. And I learned new ways to make my walkthroughs and training materials more accessible for readers to digest.

In this article, we talk about what we learned individually and from each other, then we explore what it means for their future.

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SUSE/OpenSUSE Interviews and How SLE is Built

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Interviews
SUSE
  • People of openSUSE: An Interview with Ish Sookun

    I joined the “Ambassador” program in 2009, which later was renamed to openSUSE Advocate, and finally the program was dropped. In 2013, I joined the openSUSE Local Coordinators to help coordinating activities in the region. It was my way of contributing back. During those years, I would also test openSUSE RCs and report bugs, organize local meetups about Linux in general (some times openSUSE in particular) and blog about those activities. Then, in 2018 after an inspiring conversation with Richard Brown, while he was the openSUSE Chairman, I stepped up and joined the openSUSE Elections Committee, to volunteer in election tasks. It was a nice and enriching learning experience along with my fellow election officials back then, Gerry Makaro and Edwin Zakaria. I attended my first openSUSE Conference in May 2019 in Nuremberg. I did a presentation on how we’re using Podman in production in my workplace. I was extremely nervous to give this first talk in front of the openSUSE community but I met folks who cheered me up. I can’t forget the encouragement from Richard, Gertjan, Harris, Doug, Marina and the countless friends I made at the conference. Later during the conference, I was back on the stage, during the Lightning Talks, and I spoke while holding the openSUSE beer in one hand and the microphone in the other. Nervousness was all gone thanks to the magic of the community.

    Edwin and Ary told me about their activities in Indonesia, particularly about the openSUSE Asia Summit. When the CfP for oSAS 2019 was opened, I did not hesitate to submit a talk, which was accepted, and months later I stood among some awesome openSUSE contributors in Bali, Indonesia. It was a great Summit where I discovered more of the openSUSE community. I met Gerald Pfeifer, the new chairman of openSUSE, and we talked about yoga, surrounded by all of the geeko fun, talks and workshops happening.

  • SUSE Hack Week Spotlight: Xabier Arbulu

    My name is Xabier Arbulu and I’m from Spain (Basque country), even though I live in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria enjoying a better weather. I have been working as a Software engineer around 6 years now, and I joined SUSE a bit more than a year ago. One of the major motivations was that I wanted to feel and explore how is to work in an organization where Open Source is more than just business. I really think that collaboration and transparency are the way to go. I work in the SLES4SAP and HA team where we provide solutions to the customers with critical mission applications.

    One of my hobbies is to enjoy the nature (and the sports around this like hiking, surfing…), so it’s totally aligned with the path that SUSE started against the climate change and our planet conservation.

  • SUSE Hack Week Spotlight: William Brown

    My name is William Brown, I’m a senior software engineer at SUSE. I’m from Brisbane Australia, and have been a software engineer for 5 years. Previously I was a system administrator at a major Australian university for 7 years. I am a photographer and also participate in judo and pole dance in my free time.

  • How SUSE builds its Enterprise Linux distribution – PART 3

    As for the “Minor Versions” of SLE, we decided (more than 14 years ago) to use a “Service Pack” Model for our SLE releases. The goal is to offer a predictable release cadence allowing our users to plan accordingly for their updates, but also to schedule our release with collections of maintenance updates and new features alike for a given major version. Back in the old days we promised to release a Service Pack every 12 to 18 months, but since SLE 12 GA (more than 5 years ago) we have decided to simplify and increase the regularity of our cadence by settling on a 12-month release cycle and supports previous service packs for 6 months after the release of the new service pack.

    Why? Well, this decision was made based on our customers’ and partners’ feedback and also because of the general increase in the cadence of open source development. For example, just to name a few other open source projects, did you know that there is a upstream Linux Kernel minor version every two months, Mozilla is releasing a new Firefox version every 6 weeks, and GNOME creates a full stable release every 6 months?

    Having two major SLE versions available with an annual release cadence for every “Minor Version”, which would normally be called a “Service Pack”, is part of our solution to solving the challenge of keeping up with the pace of open source projects, while at the same time offering choice and clarity to all our enterprise users.
    We will discuss the SLE Release Schedule in a dedicated blog post, but before getting too technical, we would like to give you a deeper insight into our Release Management Team, i.e. the people and team behind these release processes.

Music composition with Python and Linux

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Linux
Interviews

I met Brendan Becker working in a computer store in 1999. We both enjoyed building custom computers and installing Linux on them. Brendan was always involved in several technology projects at once, ranging from game coding to music composition. Fast-forwarding a few years from the days of computer stores, he went on to write pyDance, an open source implementation of multiple dancing games, and then became the CEO of music and gaming event MAGFest. Sometimes referred to as "Mr. MAGFest" because he was at the helm of the event, Brendan now uses the music pseudonym "Inverse Phase" as a composer of chiptunes—music predominantly made on 8-bit computers and game consoles.

I thought it would be interesting to interview him and ask some specifics about how he has benefited from Linux and open source software throughout his career.

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The Linux Setup – Steve Best, The Art Directed Journal

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GNU
Linux
Interviews

Why do you use Linux?

I have used Linux in varying capacities since 2004. I use Linux for all the stereotypical reasons. It’s fast, secure, and free. I’m not against Microsoft or Apple, but I like to use what works. Right now desktop Linux is what works for me. I have found that with my current hardware set up, Windows is just a bit too much in terms of system requirements to be anything other than frustrating. This is an older piece I wrote, which explains my “why” for Linux more in-depth.

What distribution do you run on your main desktop/laptop?

I am currently using elementary OS (5.1).

What desktop environment do you use and why do you use it?

I use Pantheon, which comes default on elementary. It is actually one of the main reasons I use elementary. It is fast, fluid, and it makes my old hardware run like new.

What one piece of Linux software do you depend upon? Why is it so important?

I have come to rely greatly on Code, which is the default code editor on elementary. It is very lightweight, but yet extremely feature-filled. It is another of the main reasons I use elementary. Anything else I can do on my iPhone.

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Mark Shuttleworth Talks, Ubuntu's Zsys Developed on Microsoft Servers

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Interviews
Ubuntu
  • Mark Shuttleworth 2020 Prediction

    Here are the predictions by Canonical founder.

  • Ubuntu's Zsys Tool For Enhancing The ZFS On Linux Experience Now Supports Snapshots

    One of the work items we have been keen to monitor during the Ubuntu 20.04 LTS development cycle is tracking the happenings around Zsys, the Ubuntu/Canonical led utility for helping to administer ZFS On Linux systems. In ending out January, Zsys now has more functionality in tow.

    The latest with Zsys as of this week for the Golang-written daemon and user-space utility is zsysctl save for saving the current user state (snapshot) by default but also options for saving the complete system state and all users and another option for saving the state of specified users.

Interview with Spihon

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Interviews

That’s an easy one, Which ties in with digital… money. About 2018 I was busy looking for a free art program that I could animate with, since I’m struggling with trying to find a job, so I thought I could do try my hand at making videos for YouTube. And speaking of YouTube, that’s where I found it, from this guy’s video on how to animate, and I was sold so I downloaded it and I’m not going back on it.

Actually, the anniversary of when I found it is next month, February 18th, so I’ll have been using it for two years.

Truthfully a bit intimidating at first, until I got the hang of it and it became my go to art program for everything I do, from simple paintings to comics. Heck, David Revoy even got me inspired to do it… Sure, I could have added him to the “who inspires me” section but come on! He needs a special place as my Krita Rockstar…

Anyhoo, I draw more these days than I play video games.

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More in Tux Machines

7 open source Q&A platforms

Where do you go when you have a question? Since humans began walking the earth, we've asked the people around us—our family, friends, neighbors, classmates, co-workers, or other people we know well. Much later came libraries and bookstores offering knowledge and resources, as well as access for anyone to come in and search for the answers. When the home computer became common, these knowledge bases extended to electronic encyclopedias shipped on floppy disks or CD-ROMs. Then, when the internet age arrived, these knowledge bases migrated online to the likes of Wikipedia, and search engines like Google were born with the purpose of making it easy for people to search for answers to their questions. Now, sites like StackOverflow are there to answer our software questions and Quora for our general queries. The lesson is clear, though. We all have questions, and we all want answers for them. And some of us want to help others find answers to their questions, and this is where self-hosted Q&A sites come in. Read more

The City of Dortmund continues its transition to open source software

Five years after the creation of its Open Source Working Group, the City of Dortmund published several reports on the “Investigation of the potential of Free Software and Open Standards”. The reports share the city of Dortmund’s open source policy goals as well as its ambition to create an alliance of municipalities in favour of open source software. Read more

CERN adopts Mattermost, an open source messaging app

The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) has decided to discontinue the use of the Facebook collaboration app Workplace, instead opting to replace it with Mattermost, an open source messaging app. CERN switched to open source software after changes to Facebook’s solution subscription prices and possible changes in the data security settings. Read more

Programming/Development: PHP 8.0, WASMtime 0.12, Perl, Python, and java

  • Looking At The PHP 8.0 Performance So Far In Early 2020

    With it being a while now since the PHP 7.4 release and the PHP developers continuing to be busy at work on PHP 8.0 as the next major installment of the popular web programming language, here is a fresh look at the performance of PHP 8.0 in its current state -- including when its JIT compiler is enabled -- compared to releases going back to PHP 5.6. Most exciting with PHP 8.0 is the JIT compiler that has the ability to provide better performance on top of all the gains already scored during PHP 7.x releases. PHP 8.0 is also bringing support for static return types, weak maps, union types, improved errors and warnings, and more is surely to come -- stay tuned to the PHP RFC page. The latest indications are PHP 8.0 isn't expected for release until the very end of 2020 or early 2021.

  • WASMtime 0.12 Released For The JIT-Style WebAssembly Runtime

    Announced last November was the Bytecode Alliance with a goal of running WebAssembly everywhere. This effort by Intel, Red Hat, Mozilla, and others has resulted in a new release today of wasmtime, their JIT-style runtime for WebAssembly on the desktop. The Bytecode Alliance developers from the different organizations continue working heavily on their Wasmtime JIT runtime, Cranelift low-level code generator, the WAMR micro-runtime, and Lucet sandboxing WebAssembly compiler. Wasmtime v0.12 is the new release out today for their optimizing run-time offering for WebAssembly and WASI (WebAssembly System Interface) on desktops and other non-browser use-cases.

  • The Weekly Challenge #049

    This is my second blog for The Weekly Challenge. I am only able to participate, thanks to Ryan Thompson for helping me with the Perl and Raku reviews. I am going for Perl solutions first then will try to translate it into Raku next. I believe in coding to learn the language. With so many Raku experts around, I am not shy throwing questions up. I am now going to share my experience doing “The Weekly Challenge - 049”.

  • EuroPython 2020: Call for Proposals opens on March 9th

    We’re looking for proposals on every aspect of Python: all levels of programming from novice to advanced, applications, frameworks, data science, Python projects, internals or topics which you’re excited about, your experiences with Python and its ecosystem, creative or artistic things you’ve done with Python, to name a few. EuroPython is a community conference and we are eager to hear about your use of Python. Since feedback shows that our audience is very interested in advanced topics, we’d appreciate more entries in this category for EuroPython 2020. Please help spread word about Call for Proposals to anyone who might be interested. Thanks.

  • Using Anaconda Environments with Wing Python IDE

    Wing version 7.2 has been released, and we've been looking at the new features in this version. So far we've covered reformatting with Black and YAPF, Wing 7.2's expanded support for virtualenv, and using python -m with Wing. This time we'll take a look at what Wing 7.2 provides for people that are using Anaconda environments created with conda create as an alternative to virtualenv.

  • Easy Provisioning Of Cloud Instances On Oracle Cloud Infrastructure With The OCI CLI

    The OCI CLI requires python version 3.5 or later, running on Mac, Windows, or Linux. Installation instructions are provided on the OCI CLI Quickstart page.

  • Python Range

    The Python range type generates a sequence of integers by defining a start and the end point of the range. It is generally used with the for loop to iterate over a sequence of numbers. range() works differently in Python 2 and 3. In Python 2, there are two functions that allow you to generate a sequence of integers, range and xrange. These functions are very similar, with the main difference being that range returns a list, and xrange returns an xrange object.

  • Code Borrowing and Licence Violations [Ed: This study may be deeply flawed because they bothered assessing no projects other than those that Microsoft controls (what about projects that don't use Git and Microsoft's proprietary trap?)]

    The researchers used the Public Git Archive (PGA), a large dataset that was composed in the early 2018. It consists of all GitHub projects with 50 or more stars which can be filtered by language. They extract all projects with at least one line written in Java which resulted in 24,810 projects overall and a final dataset of 23,378 Java repositories.

  • Painless Java with BlueJ

    Whenever you're learning a new programming language, it's easy to criticize all the boilerplate text you need to memorize. Before you can get comfortable starting a project, you have to remember the preambles that, in theory, ought to be easy to remember since they're usually relatively short and repetitive. In practice, though, boilerplate text is too obscure in meaning to become an easy habit, but it's essential for a program to run.