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Interviews

A conversation about open source design and ethical funding

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Interviews
OSS

Penpot does exist because at some point—six or seven years ago—Kaleidos was a very developer-centric company and didn't have UX or UI in-house. We saw the potential for multi-functional teams where you would have design—UX/UI design, in general—and code working together, but we needed to use open source because that's our ethos. Kaleidos would use open source as an end in itself but also as a means to an end.

We started by creating Taiga, which is a project management platform. We're all about processes and how to do stuff, not just what, but how we achieve things and team management and all that. We were happy to have that agile mindset built in a tool for teams like ourselves. But as you can imagine, at some point, designers at Kaleidos, being open source proponents, said: Look, we are not first-class citizens in open source. We are happy with Inkscape, GIMP, and some tools, but you developers have everything to choose from. You can choose the best of the best. You live in this paradise world where you don't know how privileged you are. We agree with you. We are all about open source, absolutely, but you have to understand that we are frustrated with the professional quality of some tools. We want to achieve parity with you developers.

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Stuart D Gathman: How do you Fedora?

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Red Hat
Interviews

For 35 years, Stuart worked as a System programmer for a small company where his projects included database servers, device drivers, protocol stacks, expert systems, accounting systems, aged AR/AP reports, and EDI. Currently, he is doing hourly consulting work for small businesses.

Stuart’s childhood heroes were his Dad and George Müller. His favorite movies are “The Gods must be crazy” and “The mission”. He grew up in a pacifist denomination, so feels “The mission” movie is very relevant to him. He loves over roasted vegetables.

Composing and performing music, Mesh networking, and refurbishing discarded computers to run Fedora Linux are some of his spare time interests as well as history, especially ancient Western and 19th century English/American.

“Love/charity, Hope, Faith, Virtue, and knowledge” are the five qualities someone should possess, according to Stuart.

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Also: Fedora Community Blog: Contribute at Fedora Linux 35 GNOME 41 Test Day

Steam Deck: “The start of a golden age for Linux Gaming”

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Interviews
Gaming

After the release of the podcast released with James Ramey from Codeweavers a few days ago where we talked at length about the Steam Deck, here is full transcript as promised! Have a good read, you will learn quite a few things.

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Zorin OS 16 Pro

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GNU
Linux
Interviews
  • Zorin OS 16 Pro arrives complete with optional 'Windows 11' desktop

    Zorin Pro 16 will be released next week, along with a free Lite edition, complete with an optional "Windows 11" desktop theme.

    Zorin OS is one of a few commercial Linux distributions which aim to be user-friendly alternatives to Windows and Mac. The OS is open source and pricing is based on a freemium model, with free Core, Lite and Education editions, and a paid for Pro edition (formerly called Ultimate).

    The Pro edition adds "premium desktop layouts," based on macOS, Gnome and Ubuntu, whereas the other editions are Windows-like. The Pro edition also includes additional business and media applications, games, and perhaps more significantly, Zorin installation support.

    Aware that users can install what they like even on the free editions, Zorin has a "why pay" article that pitches the payment as a means of supporting the project. The new Pro edition will cost the same as Ultimate, £39 plus VAT, and will be available from 17 August.

  • Zorin OS 16 Pro brings Microsoft's Windows 11 interface to Linux

    Windows 11 looks quite beautiful, but let's be honest... it is pretty much just Windows 10 with a fresh coat of paint. Sadly, Microsoft is requiring some pretty strict hardware requirements for the upcoming operating system, meaning many people could find themselves unable to upgrade. Even worse, the company has provided confusing communications regarding TPM requirements.

    Thankfully, even if Microsoft thinks your perfectly fine computer is obsolete, the Linux community doesn't think that. In other words, if your computer is incompatible with Windows 11 due to a lack of a TPM chip or other hardware issue, it can still run a modern Linux distro just fine. In fact, thanks to the upcoming Zorin OS 16 Pro, you can experience the all-new Windows 11 interface on Linux! Wow!

A conversation with Petteri Kivimäki on X-Road

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Interviews

X-Road is a decentralised data-exchange layer that provides a secure and unified way to exchange data between organisations. X-Road is published as open source under the MIT licence, so it is free for any individual or organisation. Originally, X-Road was developed in Estonia twenty years ago, in December this year it will be its 20th birthday. Since then, X-Road has spread all over the world. In Europe, Estonia, Finland and Iceland are using X-Road, whereas outside of Europe we have 20 additional countries using it. Currently, X-Road has been deployed in South America (e.g. Brazil, Mexico, Argentina) as well as in Asia (e.g. Vietnam, Japan, Cambodia). During the last 20 years X-Road has really grown from an Estonian solution to a truly international open source solution and open source community.

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lfs – list your filesystems

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Software
Interviews

The Command Line Interface (CLI) is a way of interacting with your computer. To harness all the power of Linux, it’s highly recommended mastering the interface. It’s true the CLI is often perceived as a barrier for users migrating to Linux, particularly if they’re grown up using GUI software exclusively. While Linux rarely forces anyone to use the CLI, some tasks are better suited to this method of interaction, offering inducements like superior scripting opportunities, remote access, and being far more frugal with a computer’s resources.

The part of the operating system responsible for managing files and directories is called the file system. It organizes our data into files, which hold information, and directories (also called ‘folders’), which hold files or other directories. We cover the basics of the file system in Linux for Starters – Part 12.

lfs is billed as a better df, a standard Unix command used to display the amount of available disk space for file systems on which the invoking user has appropriate read access.

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Community Member Monday: Jackson Cavalcanti Junior

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LibO
Interviews

I am Brazilian, from the city of Olinda, Pernambuco. I am 62 years old, and work as a public servant in the municipality of Olinda. I am one of the creators of the Municipal Public Archive of Olinda. I am also a human rights activist, especially for LGBT people. I am a proofreader and I also write for my blog.

In my work, in the city of Olinda, since 2001 I have been working with free office software, having started with OpenOffice.org, then with BrOffice and LibreOffice Writer, with which I created several models of documents to be used by the agencies that are part of the administrative structure of the Municipality of Olinda. These models remained on the City Hall’s intranet until 2016, when in that year’s elections another political party was elected, and that project was discontinued.

As a citizen, I am an activist in the LGBT movement, in which I have worked since 1980, when I helped found the Homosexual Action Group (GATHO), which was the first group in Pernambuco to fight in defense of citizenship for homosexual people. This group no longer exists, but I am a member of the LGBT Forum of Pernambuco, where I work as an independent activist, to which I was invited by my history as an activist for the LGBT cause in the state where I reside.

I also advertise LibreOffice among my friends, in the institutions where I work, and also in the WhatsApp and Telegram groups.

I like to photograph my city, my animals and nature.

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Community Member Monday: Tim Brennan Jr.

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LibO
Interviews

I am a son and grandson of American missionaries who moved to Brazil in 1952. Since my mother was born here (my father was a seven month old baby), I was born automatically a Brazilian citizen – even though I was born in the USA. Being brought up in Brazil, I learned both American English in the home, and learned Brazilian Portuguese in parallel. I am fluent in both languages. Computers came into my life as my dad saw the importance and value of them in the eighties. Watching him hack an Apple IIe and a daisy wheel printer to get the tilde accent over the letter “y” was an adventure in and of itself.

Since I was homeschooled, the value and importance of open source software became very clear to me as soon as I heard about it around 1999. As soon as I heard of Linux, I got hooked. Then, I heard of StarOffice which later became OpenOffice, which forked into LibreOffice and saw the birth of The Document Foundation.

I have been on a learning journey for most of my life. Everything I have learned is self-taught, including LibreOffice. My main activity in life is teaching in general. Teaching software to newbies such as the elderly, the underprivileged and young people is a passion I have. LibreOffice is an excellent starting point as it has virtually all the basic areas: text, images, markup languages, programming logic on a very simple scale with macros, databases etc., and much, much, more.

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How a college student founded a free and open source operating system

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Interviews
OSS

I think even a beginner can get started writing an operating system like FreeDOS, although it would take a more advanced programmer to write the kernel.

I am a self-taught programmer. I learned about programming from an early age by tinkering on our Apple II computer at home. Much later, I learned C programming—my brother was a computer science student when I was a physics student, and he introduced me to C. I picked up the rest by reading books and writing my own programs.

I wrote a lot of small utilities that enhanced my command line on MS-DOS or even replaced certain DOS commands. And you can write a lot of those programs even with a basic level of programming experience. You can write file utilities like FIND, FC, CHOICE, TYPE, MORE, or COPY—or user commands like ECHO or CLS—with only an introduction to C programming. With a bit of practice, you can write system-level programs like ATTRIB, or the COMMAND shell.

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Dedoimedo interviews: KDE's pointiest stick, Nate Graham

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KDE
Interviews

Today, I have something new and fresh for you. Back in 2016-2017, I conducted a number of interviews with interesting people in the tech world (Linux and the Internets), shedding light on their endeavors, projects and passions. Then, there's been a quiet period, interviews wise, and now, it is time to do so again. Today's voluntary scapegoat is Nate Graham.

If you're a Linux person, and you happen to be using KDE, then you must have come across Nate, most likely on his personal blog, Pointiest Stick, where he shares big weekly updates on all the good, cool, new, fun, and adventurous stuff going on in the KDE world. I have had brief online encounters with Nate here and there, and I have always liked his cheerful yet punctual approach to software. So I thought, why not interview Nate, and have him share his views, ideas and some of that sweet insider knowledge from behind the Plasma curtain. You should find this article doubly interesting, as I've already had an interview session with KDE's Seb and Bhushan five years back. Perhaps Nate can give us a perspective of what happening in the past few years, and what's coming. Commence to start.

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Programming Leftovers

  • Announcement : An AArch64 (Arm64) Darwin port is planned for GCC12

    As many of you know, Apple has now released an AArch64-based version of macOS and desktop/laptop platforms using the ‘M1’ chip to support it. This is in addition to the existing iOS mobile platforms (but shares some of their constraints). There is considerable interest in the user-base for a GCC port (starting with https://gcc.gnu.org/bugzilla/show_bug.cgi?id=96168) - and, of great kudos to the gfortran team, one of the main drivers is folks using Fortran. Fortunately, I was able to obtain access to one of the DTKs, courtesy of the OSS folks, and using that managed to draft an initial attempt at the port last year (however, nowhere near ready for presentation in GCC11). Nevertheless (as an aside) despite being a prototype, the port is in use with many via hombrew, macports or self-builds - which has shaken out some of the fixable bugs. The work done in the prototype identified three issues that could not be coded around without work on generic parts of the compiler. I am very happy to say that two of our colleagues, Andrew Burgess and Maxim Blinov (both from embecosm) have joined me in drafting a postable version of the port and we are seeking sponsorship to finish this in the GCC12 timeframe. Maxim has a lightning talk on the GNU tools track at LPC (right after the steering committee session) that will focus on the two generic issues that we’re tackling (1 and 2 below). Here is a short summary of the issues and proposed solutions (detailed discussion of any of the parts below would better be in new threads).

  • Apple Silicon / M1 Port Planned For GCC 12 - Phoronix

    Developers are hoping for next year's GCC 12 release they will have Apple AArch64 support on Darwin in place for being able to support Apple Silicon -- initially the M1 SoC -- on macOS with GCC. LLVM/Clang has long been supporting AArch64 on macOS given that Apple leverages LLVM/Clang as part of their official Xcode toolchain as the basis for their compiler across macOS to iOS and other products. While the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) supports AArch64 and macOS/Darwin, it hasn't supported the two of them together but there is a port in progress to change it.

  • Dirk Eddelbuettel: tidyCpp 0.0.5 on CRAN: More Protect’ion

    Another small release of the tidyCpp package arrived on CRAN overnight. The packages offers a clean C++ layer (as well as one small C++ helper class) on top of the C API for R which aims to make use of this robust (if awkward) C API a little easier and more consistent. See the vignette for motivating examples. The Protect class now uses the default methods for copy and move constructors and assignment allowing for wide use of the class. The small NumVec class now uses it for its data member.

  • QML Modules in Qt 6.2

    With Qt 6.2 there is, for the first time, a comprehensive build system API that allows you to specify a QML module as a complete, encapsulated unit. This is a significant improvement, but as the concept of QML modules was rather under-developed in Qt 5, even seasoned QML developers might now ask "What exactly is a QML module". In our previous post we have scratched the surface by introducing the CMake API used to define them. We'll take a closer look in this post.

  • Santiago Zarate: So you want to recover and old git branch because it has been overwritten?
  • Start using YAML now | Opensource.com

    YAML (YAML Ain't Markup Language) is a human-readable data serialization language. Its syntax is simple and human-readable. It does not contain quotation marks, opening and closing tags, or braces. It does not contain anything which might make it harder for humans to parse nesting rules. You can scan your YAML document and immediately know what's going on. [...] At this point, you know enough YAML to get started. You can play around with the online YAML parser to test yourself. If you work with YAML daily, then this handy cheatsheet will be helpful.

  • 40 C programming examples

    C programming language is one of the popular programming languages for novice programmers. It is a structured programming language that was mainly developed for UNIX operating system. It supports different types of operating systems, and it is very easy to learn. 40 useful C programming examples have been shown in this tutorial for the users who want to learn C programming from the beginning.

Devices/Embedded: Asus Tinker Board 2 and More

  • Asus Tinker Board 2 single-board computer now available for $94 and up - Liliputing

    The Asus Tinker Board 2 is a Raspberry Pi-shaped single-board computer powered by a Rockchip RK3399 hexa-core processor and featuring 2GB to 4GB of RAM. First announced almost a year ago, the Tinker Board 2 is finally available for $99 and up. Asus also offers a Tinker Board 2S model that’s pretty similar except that it has 16GB of eMMC storage. Prices for that model start at about $120.

  • Raspberry Pi Weekly Issue #371 - Sir Clive Sinclair, 1940 – 2021

    This week ended with the incredibly sad news of the passing of Sir Clive Sinclair. He was one of the founding fathers of home computing and got many of us at Raspberry Pi hooked on programming as kids. Join us in sharing your Sinclair computing memories with us on Twitter and our blog, and we’ll see you next week.

  • cuplTag battery-powered NFC tag logs temperature and humidity (Crowdfunding) - CNX Software

    Temperature and humidity sensors would normally connect to a gateway sending data to the cloud, the coin-cell battery-powered cuplTag NFC tag instead sends data to your smartphone after a tap. CulpTag is controlled by an MSP430 16-bit microcontroller from Texas Instruments which reads and stores sensor data regularly into an EEPROM, and the data can then be read over NFC with the tag returning an URL with the data from the sensor and battery, then display everything on the phone’s web browser (no app needed).

  • A first look at Microchip PolarFire SoC FPGA Icicle RISC-V development board - CNX Software

    Formally launched on Crowd Supply a little over a year ago, Microchip PolarFire SoC FPGA Icicle (codenamed MPFS-ICICLE-KIT-ES) was one of the first Linux & FreeBSD capable RISC-V development boards. The system is equipped with PolarFire SoC FPGA comprised a RISC-V CPU subsystem with four 64-bit RISC-V (RV64GC) application cores, one 64-bit RISC-V real-time core (RV64IMAC), as well as FPGA fabric. Backers of the board have been able to play with it for several months ago, but Microchip is now sending the board to more people for evaluation/review, and I got one of my own to experiment with. That’s good to have a higher-end development board instead of the usual hobbyist-grade board. Today, I’ll just have a look at the kit content and main components on the board before playing with Linux and FPGA development tools in an upcoming or two posts.

  • What is IoT device management?

    Smart devices are everywhere around us. We carry one in our pocket, watch movies on another while a third cooks us dinner. Every day there are thousands of new devices connecting to the Internet. Research shows that by 2025, more than 150,000 IoT devices will come online every minute. With such vast numbers it is impossible to keep everything in working order just on your own. This brings the need for IoT device management. But what is IoT device management? To answer this question we first need to understand what the Internet of Things (IoT) is.

  • Beelink U59 mini PC with Intel Celeron N5095 Jasper Lake coming soon - Liliputing

    Beelink says the system ships with Windows 10, but it should also supports Linux.

  • Beelink U59 Celeron N5095 Jasper Lake mini PC to ship with 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD - CNX Software

    Beelink U59 is an upcoming Jasper Lake mini PC based on the Intel Celeron N5095 15W quad-core processor that will ship with up to 16GB RAM, and 512 GB M.2 SSD storage. The mini PC will also offer two 4K HDMI 2.0 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, WiFi 5, as well as four USB 3.0 ports, and support for 2.5-inch SATA drives up to 7mm thick.

Graphics: Mesa, KWinFT, and RADV

  • Experimenting Is Underway For Rust Code Within Mesa - Phoronix

    Longtime Mesa developer Karol Herbst who has worked extensively on the open-source NVIDIA "Nouveau" driver as well as the OpenCL/compute stack while being employed by Red Hat is now toying with the idea of Rust code inside Mesa.  Karol Herbst has begun investigating how Rust code, which is known for its memory safety and concurrency benefits, could be used within Mesa. Ultimately he's evaluating how Rust could be used inside Mesa as an API implementation as well as for leveraging existing Mesa code by Rust. 

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  • KWinFT Continues Working On WLROOTS Render, Library Split

    KWinFT as a fork of KDE's KWin X11/Wayland compositor code continues making progress on driving fundamental display improvements and ironing out the Wayland support.  KWinFT has been transitioning to use WLROOTS for its Wayland heavy-lifting and that process remains ongoing. KWinFT has also been working on splitting up its library code to make it more manageable and robust.  Among the features still desired by KWinFT and to be worked on include input methods, graphical tablet support, and PipeWire video stream integration. Currently there are two full-time developers working on the project but they hope to scale up to four to five full-time developers. 

  • Raytracing Starting to Come Together – Bas Nieuwenhuizen – Open Source GPU Drivers

    I am back with another status update on raytracing in RADV. And the good news is that things are finally starting to come together. After ~9 months of on and off work we’re now having games working with raytracing.

  • Multiple Games Are Now Working With RADV's Ray-Tracing Code - Phoronix

    Not only is Intel progressing with its open-source ray-tracing driver support but the Mesa Radeon Vulkan driver "RADV" has been rounding out its RT code too and now has multiple games correctly rendering. Bas Nieuwenhuizen has been spearheading the RADV work on Vulkan ray-tracing support and after more than a half-year tackling it things are starting to fall into place nicely.Games such as Quake II RTX with native Vulkan ray-tracing are working along with the game control via VKD3D-Proton for going from Direct3D 12 DXR to Vulkan RT. Metro Exodus is also working while Ghostrunner and Doom Eternal are two games tested that are not yet working.

Audiocasts/Shows: Full Circle Weekly News, Juno Computers, Kali Linux 2021.3