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Interviews

LibreOffice Community Member Monday: Steve Fanning

Filed under
LibO
Interviews

LibreOffice has extensive documentation in many languages, thanks to the great work of our worldwide docs community. Today we’re talking to Steve Fanning, who has been working on the updated LibreOffice Calc Guide…

Hi Steve! Tell us a bit about yourself…

I live near Bolton in the North West of England with my wife and, sometimes, our adult son (he has recently been working in Australia for a year). I studied applied mathematics and theoretical physics at university and subsequently enjoyed a career mostly spent implementing and designing complex real-time software systems.

Passionate about improving the documentation for the company’s systems, I moved into specialist technical writer roles during the last few years of my employment. I retired around two years ago and now enjoy indulging in my main hobbies, which are bridge, computing, reading and coarse fishing. I guess that some readers might wonder about coarse fishing – it is angling for freshwater fish for pleasure and relaxation rather than food (all fish caught are returned to the water alive).

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20 years FSFE: Interview with Georg Greve, founder president

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GNU
Interviews

In 2021 the Free Software Foundation Europe turns 20. A moment that we like to use to celebrate our community and who has accompanied us in the past or still does with a series of publications. In our first publication we look back where everything got started and conducted an interview with the FSFE's first president Georg C. F. Greve.

It was Georg Greve who in April 2001 handed all necessary documents to the notary in Hamburg, Germany, to officially register the association "Free Software Foundation Europe". Which was only the last official step after many weeks of preparation and strategy meetings beforehand. Neatly with the official registration, Georg Greve became the first President of the newly founded FSFE and led the organisation in a full-time capacity until June 2009. On 18 December 2009 Georg Greve was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit on ribbon by the Federal Republic of Germany for these years and his achievements in Free Software and Open Standards.

20 years later we interview Greve about the creation of FSFE, his first days in office and how it evolved from there.

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Can Open Source Hardware Emulate Linux?

Filed under
Linux
Hardware
Interviews

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Linux kernel’s release. Serving as the basis of the open source software movement, the open source code spawned hundreds of projects using free, public Linux distributions. The result has been a lengthy list of robust, stable and flexible products.

Given its success, can the same approach be applied to enabling the adoption of open source hardware? Can an instruction set architecture (ISA) like RISC-V create the basis for the proliferation of open source hardware in the same way that the Linux kernel served as the foundation for open source software?

The answer is both yes and no.

[...]

Rick O’Connor, president and CEO of the OpenHW Group, equates RISC-V with the Linux kernel “The RISC-V ISA is really what the kernel was for Linux at the beginning, and other open source software projects and initiatives sprung up as a result,” O’Connor told EE Times. “Certainly, the kernel was the seed on the software side 20 years ago, and the ISA is that same seed, I think, on the hardware side.”

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The Linux Setup – Leah Neukirchen, Void Linux

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GNU
Linux
Interviews

I found Leah through a fascinating tweet where she charted out her IRC activity over the past 10 years. Leah’s setup is just as interesting, mostly in that there’s no desktop environment. Leah also helps maintain Void Linux, which is a rolling release built from scratch. It’s a little too hardcore for me, but it seems pretty beloved on Reddit. So this setup is technical and intense, but also a lot of fun.

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Getting to know Kyeong Sang Kim, Red Hat general manager for Korea

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Red Hat
Interviews

We’re delighted to welcome Kyeong Sang Kim to Red Hat as a general manager for Korea. In the new role, he will be responsible for Red Hat’s business operations in the country.

Kyeong Sang is an expert in the field of IT consulting, supporting numerous business innovation projects for more than 25 years. Prior to joining Red Hat, Kyeong Sang served as the CEO of SICC (Ssangyong Information & Communications Corp), where he successfully led the company’s digital transformation to the cloud. He has also held several other leadership roles at global companies, including Accenture.

We caught up with Kyeong Sang to find out more about his interest in open source and Red Hat, and his insights on leadership.

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My Linux Story: How an influential security developer got started in open source

Filed under
Linux
Interviews
OSS

Open source is a way to express creativity in software while solving a problem. With the right license, it allows almost anyone to use the software, typically for free. That is also important, as not everyone has the luxury to pay for software or related services. The Dutch are known to be humble, outspoken, and in love with things being "gratis." This word is the same in Latin and means "for thanks" or "for nothing." While the F in FOSS does not refer to this type of free, I believe it is a powerful driver to bring the software into more people's hands. That is valuable in itself, as it can open the gates to more feedback, ideas, or even code improvements.

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Insights on the reproducibility and future of free software with Chris Lamb

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GNU
Interviews

The Reproducible Builds project seeks to integrate a set of development practices into software which emphasize build reproducibility, or the ability to ensure that a given build process will lead to verifiably integrous binaries which correspond to their source code. Reproducibility is especially important in software that is used for sensitive applications or even by users living in repressive regimes under mortal danger – repressive governments, for example, may choose to introduce vulnerabilities into software used by dissidents to connect to the Internet by targeting pre-compiled binaries and build processes rather than source code. The project is working towards making many widely used pieces of free software reproducible, from its aims towards making (at the very least the packages of) several widely used distributions of GNU/Linux reproducible to achieving reproducibility for individual pieces of critical software like Tor and Tails.

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Interview with A. Cord-Landwehr about REUSE adoption in the KDE community

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KDE
Interviews

In 2017, the FSFE launched its REUSE campaign and it not only has received many important updates since then but also an overwhelming international attention. Since the release of version 3.0 last year, we have been focusing on supporting Free Software projects in adopting the underlying best practices. And 2020 marks another successful year of this initiative.

On one hand this is thanks to the FSFE's role as a consortium member of the Next Generation Internet Zero (NGI0). In this position, the FSFE's legal team assists all participating software projects with any Free Software copyright and licensing issues that they may run into. And we are encouraging and assisting the projects in becoming REUSE compliant. More than 150 projects that we are reviewing in the scope of our NGI0 involvement are in process of adopting the REUSE specifications and many of them are already REUSE compliant.

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Ben Cotton: How Do You Fedora?

Filed under
Red Hat
Interviews

If you follow the Fedora’ Community Blog, there’s a good chance you already know who Ben is.

Ben’s Linux journey started around late 2002. Frustrated with some issues on using Windows XP, and starting a new application administrator role at his university where some services were being run on FreeBSD. A friend introduced him to Red Hat Linux, when Ben decided it made sense to get more practice with Unix-like operating systems. He switched to Fedora full-time in 2006, after he landed a job as a Linux system administrator.

Since then, his career has included system administration, people management, support engineering, development, and marketing. Several years ago, he even earned a Master’s degree in IT Project Management. The variety of experience has helped Ben learn how to work with different groups of people. “A lot of what I’ve learned has come from making mistakes. When you mess up communication, you hopefully do a better job the next time.”

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An Interview with LearnLinux.TV’s Jay LaCroix

Filed under
Linux
Interviews

For me, Linux is an amazing thing. I’m obsessed, it’s like my hobby and it just happens to pay. What are the odds that something you love to do can generate a paycheck? There’s nothing as great as that.
In addition to the YouTube channel, I write books, so my newest book is going to be coming out at the end of the year. The book is Mastering Ubuntu Server — Third Edition. It’s just an update to the 2nd Edition, but it became a lot more than just an update. Surprisingly the amount of work I’ve had to do on it is about the same as writing a brand new book from scratch, because it’s taken at least six months now to finish. The 2nd one has been a very big success, and this one I think is going to be even better. The important thing to note is this book is written entirely on System76 hardware and entirely on LibreOffice.

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More in Tux Machines

LWN on Kernel: 5.12 Merge, Lockless Algorithms, and opy_file_range()

  • 5.12 Merge window, part 1 [LWN.net]

    The beginning of the 5.12 merge window was delayed as the result of severe weather in the US Pacific Northwest. Once Linus Torvalds got going, though, he wasted little time; as of this writing, just over 8,600 non-merge changesets have been pulled into the mainline repository for the 5.12 release — over a period of about two days. As one might imagine, that work contains a long list of significant changes.

  • An introduction to lockless algorithms [LWN.net]

    Low-level knowledge of the memory model is universally recognized as advanced material that can scare even the most seasoned kernel hackers; our editor wrote (in the July article) that "it takes a special kind of mind to really understand the memory model". It's been said that the Linux kernel memory model (and in particular Documentation/memory-barriers.txt) can be used to frighten small children, and the same is probably true of just the words "acquire" and "release". At the same time, mechanisms like RCU and seqlocks are in such widespread use in the kernel that almost every developer will sooner or later encounter fundamentally lockless programming interfaces. For this reason, it is a good idea to equip yourself with at least a basic understanding of lockless primitives. Throughout this series I will describe what acquire and release semantics are really about, and present five relatively simple patterns that alone can cover most uses of the primitives.

  • How useful should copy_file_range() be? [LWN.net]

    Its job is to copy len bytes of data from the file represented by fd_in to fd_out, observing the requested offsets at both ends. The flags argument must be zero. This call first appeared in the 4.5 release. Over time it turned out to have a number of unpleasant bugs, leading to a long series of fixes and some significant grumbling along the way. In 2019 Amir Goldstein fixed more issues and, in the process, removed a significant limitation: until then, copy_file_range() refused to copy between files that were not located on the same filesystem. After this patch was merged (for 5.3), it could copy between any two files, falling back on splice() for the cross-filesystem case. It appeared that copy_file_range() was finally settling into a solid and useful system call. Indeed, it seemed useful enough that the Go developers decided to use it for the io.Copy() function in their standard library. Then they ran into a problem: copy_file_range() will, when given a kernel-generated file as input, copy zero bytes of data and claim success. These files, which include files in /proc, tracefs, and a large range of other virtual filesystems, generally indicate a length of zero when queried with a system call like stat(). copy_file_range(), seeing that zero length, concludes that there is no data to copy and the job is already done; it then returns success. But there is actually data to be read from this kind of file, it just doesn't show in the advertised length of the file; the real length often cannot be known before the file is actually read. Before 5.3, the prohibition on cross-filesystem copies would have caused most such attempts to return an error code; afterward, they fail but appear to work. The kernel is happy, but some users can be surprisingly stubborn about actually wanting to copy the data they asked to be copied; they were rather less happy.

Banana Pi BPI-M2 Pro is a compact Amlogic S905X3 SBC

Banana Pi has already designed an Amlogic S905X3 SBC with Banana Pi BPI-M5 that closely follows Raspberry Pi 3 Model B form factor, but they’ve now unveiled a more compact model with Banana Pi BPI-M2 Pro that follow the design of the company’ earlier BPI-MP2+ SBC powered by the good old Allwinner H3 processor. BPI-M2 Pro comes with 2GB RAM, 16GB eMMC storage, HDMI video output, Gigabit Ethernet, Wifi & Bluetooth connectivity, as well as two USB 3.0 ports. Read more

Chrome 89 vs. Firefox 86 Performance Benchmarks On AMD Ryzen + Ubuntu Linux

Given this week's launch of Chrome 89 and the recent Firefox 86 debut, here are some quick benchmarks for those curious about the current performance when using Ubuntu Linux with a AMD Ryzen 9 5900X and Radeon graphics. Curious about the latest standing of the newest Firefox and Chrome releases on Linux, here are some quick benchmarks carried out on one of the systems locally. A larger comparison will come soon while this is just a quick one-page article for those eager to see some new browser numbers for AMD on Linux. The Ryzen 9 5900X was at stock speeds - the reported CPU frequency is due to a kernel bug working its way to 5.11/5.10 stable still. Read more

today's howtos

  • How to install Budgie desktop on Manjaro

    Budgie is an elegant and simplified desktop environment that integrates very well with Manjaro. Budgie is developed and maintained by the Solus team. This article will delve into the details of everything you need to know while installing the Budgie Desktop on Manjaro.

  • How To Update Fedora Linux using terminal to apply updates - nixCraft

    I recently switched from Windows server to Fedora 32/33 server running in the cloud. How do I apply software updates and patches on Fedora 32/33 server using the terminal application? Fedora Linux uses dnf command. It is the next upcoming major version of yum command. Yum is a package manager for RPM-based Linux distributions such as CentOS/RHEL 7.x and older version of Fedora Linux. You need to use the dnf command to update Fedora Linux using terminal for latest software patches. This page explains how to update a Fedora Linux using the terminal.

  • How to Turn Off Automatic Brightness on Ubuntu Linux

    Some new laptops come with built-in integrated light sensor. Operating systems use this sensor to measure the ambient light conditions and change the screen brightness automatically. This helps in reducing eye strain. You can see that this is a useful feature. But not everyone might like it all the time. For example, while watching Netflix on Linux at night, it reduces the screen brightness at the lowest for me. This makes the movie scene quite dull. This is one of the many cases when you probably would not want automatic brightness. Turning off automatic brightness on Ubuntu is quite simple. I’ll show that to you in this quick article. This tutorial is valid for GNOME desktop environment. The command line method should work for MATE desktop as well. If you are not certain, check which desktop environment you are using.

  • MultiCD - A Shell Script to Combine Multiple Bootable ISO's into One CD

    If you’ve ever used a multiboot CD that contains different utilities or bootable ISOs then creating one for yourself would be amazing. In this article, we shall take a look at MultiCD.sh, a shell script that is designed to help you build a multiboot CD image that can contain different, small Linux distros and/or utilities. There are many advantages of using this script and they include among others; no need for different CDs for small Linux distributions or utilities, you can simply use ISO images that you already have without downloading them again and in case of new versions, simply download them and run the script again and build a new multiboot image.

  • Linux Sponge - Soak Up Standard Input and Write to a File - Putorius

    The sponge command is part of the moreutils package. It is a utility that provides a function that is so simple it’s genius. It’s basic use is to soak up (get it? sponge..) standard input and write it to a file. The terminology “soak up” is more important than just creating a fun play on words. In this short tutorial we show you the sponge commands basic usage and why the term “soak up” is important.