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Interviews

Torvalds says no need to name successor as that will take care of itself

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Linux
Interviews

Linux creator Linus Torvalds says it won't be necessary for him to name a successor to take over from him as head of the Linux kernel project because "it will be fairly clear who it is".

"Not because this is some democracy and people would vote on it and there's a clear winner, but because these things really happen on their own: a 'successor' isn't somebody who gets anointed as such, they end up just doing the work and making themselves one that way," Torvalds told iTWire during an interview this week.

As usual, he offered views on a wide range of topics, among them the way he has coped with life during the pandemic and also about his life in a country which is split along partisan lines.

He was interviewed by email. His answers are, as usual, given in full.

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'This was bigger than GNOME and bigger than just this case.' GNOME Foundation exec director talks patent trolls and much, much more

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Interviews
GNOME
Legal

Patent assertion entities: do not pick a fight with open source. It won't end well for you. This is the message from GNOME Foundation executive director Neil McGovern, who will speak on the subject at the Open Source Summit Europe next week.

McGovern talked to The Register ahead of the event on patents, Microsoft, and more.

The open-source outfit develops the default desktop environment on major Linux distributions including Ubuntu and Red Hat. In late August 2019, Rothschild Patent Imaging filed a lawsuit against the GNOME foundation claiming that GNOME Shotwell, a photo manager, infringed one of its patents.

“We didn't receive a letter before the court documents were filed or any sort of warning, it was just filed and then within a week there was a settlement request for $75,000,” McGovern told us.

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Fosshost Interview: Open Source Hosting Provider for FOSS Projects

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Interviews

Introduced here at 9to5Linux about four months ago, Fosshost is a not-for-profit hosting provider for FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) projects. They offer hosting services like virtualized infrastructure, mirrors, storage, collaboration, and domain name to open-source projects who meet their eligibility criteria.

Among the big names that Fosshost offers its services, there’s Debian GNU/Linux, GNOME, Xfce, The Tor Project, IPFire, Xubuntu, Armbian, Linux Lite, Manjaro Linux, Deepin Linux, FreeCAD, F-Droid, Qubes OS, Serpent OS, Ubuntu Unity, and many more.

I wanted to learn a bit more about this awesome initiative and their future endeavors, so I spoke with Thomas, the Founder of Fosshost.

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Emilia Torino shares what goes into keeping Ubuntu secure

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Interviews
Ubuntu

I’m from Argentina, and I did my undergrad in software engineering here. I worked for Intel in Argentina for six years – first as an intern and then as a fully-fledged software engineer. Then I received a Fulbright scholarship to do my master’s degree at Carnegie Mellon University in the United States. After finishing my Masters, I went back to Intel and then McAfee for a few more years, and then joined Canonical in 2019 as a Security Generalist.

I was looking for a new challenge. Even though I had more than ten years of industry experience and had been involved in security activities, the prospect of working for the team that makes Ubuntu secure was more than exciting! What’s more, I hadn’t previously been that deeply involved in open source projects. I knew that joining Canonical would offer different learning and career opportunities.

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20 Years of The FreeBSD Foundation: Interview With Deb Goodkin, Executive Director

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Interviews
BSD

Besides Linux distributions, FreeBSD is one such Unix-like operating system, which is free and open source. It is one of the oldest and most popular operating systems descended from the Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD).

It is still actively maintained and used on desktops, servers, and embedded devices. As the FreeBSD Foundation recently celebrated its 20th anniversary, we spoke with Deb Goodkin, executive director of the FreeBSD Foundation, about the FreeBSD project.

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Richard Stallman: You can get arrested without a reason

Filed under
GNU
Interviews

The last few months have put data protection back in the spotlight. During a crisis of this kind, do we have to choose between safety and privacy? We talked about this with Richard Stallman, digital privacy activist and the founder of the Free Software Movement.

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Android 11—The Ars Technica Review

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Android
Interviews

Android 11 has finally arrived after a lengthy beta process that started approximately three years ago in February 2020. This is the 30th release of Android, if we're counting by API levels, and in a year when it seems nearly everything has been delayed or canceled, Google has managed to turn in one of the smaller Android releases.

Last year, Android 10 was a massive release, adding gesture navigation, a dark mode, Project Mainline, a dual-boot system, scoped storage, foldable smartphone support, and a million other things. In comparison, Android 11 is more limited. This being the annual Ars Technica review, however, there are of course still plenty of things to talk about—like yet another notification panel revamp, a new media player, chat bubbles, smart home controls, and more.

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The Android 11 interview: Googlers answer our burning questions

Filed under
Android
Google
Interviews

We've established a bit of a tradition here at Ars. Every year at Google I/O, we have a sit-down talk to learn more about Android directly from the people that make it. Of course, this year, just about every major event was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, nothing is really normal, and Google I/O never happened.

We can still do interviews over the Internet though! So while it happened later in the year than normal, we were still able to hold our annual chat with some of the most important Googlers at Android HQ: Dave Burke, Android's VP of Engineering, and Iliyan Malchev, Principal Engineer at Android and the lead of Project Treble.

We came prepped with questions about the more mysterious corners of Android 11, which actually led to a lot of interesting talk about the future. You'll learn about a coming re-write of the Bluetooth stack, and there's lots of talk about modularity and easy updating (like plans will hopefully, someday, allow you to update the Linux kernel and developer APIs as easily as you download an app update).

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Open Up: Open Source Hardware — A Chat with Carl

Filed under
Hardware
Interviews
OSS

From a broader lens, to produce “open source hardware” means that we have developed and shared the recipe to create a high-end commercial product that can be learned from, adapted, and used by anyone else. In the same way we’ve stood on the shoulders of the Linux and open source software giants who came before us, we now get to be pioneers in developing open source hardware for those who come next. If you want to learn more how a computer is designed or how something is made, our schematics are the instructions for how to do it. It describes every step of the process, from each piece of the machine and its dimensions, to the type of aluminum used and how to bend it.
It’s similar to open source software in that you can learn from the product, adapt it to your needs, and distribute it. The difference is that it requires outside equipment to produce your own version. Open hardware has become more accessible with 3-D printing, but as we found when we were making acrylic prototypes of Thelio, you reach a point where it’s time to work with metal, which presents its own challenges. You have to cut it, bend it, and paint it, all of which requires specific equipment.

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Ankur Sinha: How do you Fedora?

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Red Hat
Interviews

Ankur is a Computational Neuroscientist and has just started his first post-doctoral fellowship at University College London and a FLOSS enthusiast trying to spread the message of FOSS and evidence based science. Ankur started using Linux a decade ago, when he was introduced to Linux in a LUG doing an install fest during his undergraduate degree.

Ankur found about Fedora after a distro hopping phase in 2008, and since then he has been a fedora user. His first memory of the Fedora community is an IRC workshop on packaging fonts that the Fedora India community had organised back in 2008. Talking to and meeting other community members has been one of the most exciting parts of the Fedora community for him. “I found this great bunch of people to hang out and geek out with! It was so much fun, and extremely educational both in terms of technical knowledge and the social/philosophical side of FOSS and life in general.”

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More in Tux Machines

Kernel: XFS and WiMAX in Linux

  • Prepare To Re-Format If You Are Using An Older XFS Filesystem - LinuxReviews

    Linux 5.10 brings several new features to the XFS filesystem. It solves the year 2038 problem, it supports metadata checksumming and it has better metadata verification. There's also a new configuration option: CONFIG_XFS_SUPPORT_V4. Older XFS filesystems using the v4 layout are now deprecated and there is no upgrade path beyond "backup and re-format". The Linux kernel will support older XFS v4 filesystems by default until 2025 and optional support will remain available until 2030. A new CONFIG_XFS_SUPPORT_V4 option in Linux 5.10. In case you want to.. still be able to mount existing XFS filesystems if/when you upgrade to Linux 5.10. We previously reported that XFS patches for Linux 5.10 delay the 2038 problem to 2486. That's not the only new feature Linux 5.10 brings to the XFS filesystem when it is released early December: It supports metadata checksumming, it has better built-in metadata verification and there is a new CONFIG_XFS_SUPPORT_V4 configuration option. Make sure you don't accidentally say N to that one if you have an older XFS filesystem you'd like to keep using if/when you upgrade your kernel.

  • The Linux Kernel Looks To Eventually Drop Support For WiMAX

    With the WiMAX 802.16 standard not being widely used outside of the Aeronautical Mobile Airport Communication System (AeroMACS) and usage in some developing nations, the Linux kernel may end up dropping its support for WiMAX but first there is a proposal to demote it to staging while seeing if any users remain. Longtime kernel developer Arnd Bergmann is proposing that the WiMAX Linux kernel infrastructure and the lone Intel 2400m driver be demoted from the networking subsystem to staging. In a future kernel release, the WiMAX support would be removed entirely if no active users are expressed. The Linux kernel WiMAX infrastructure is just used by the Intel 2400m driver for hardware with Sandy Bridge and prior, thus of limited relevance these days. That Intel WiMAX implementation doesn't support the frequencies that AeroMACS operates at and there are no other large known WiMAX deployments around the world making use of the frequencies supported by the 2400m implementation or users otherwise of this Linux kernel code.

  • Linux Is Dropping WiMAX Support - LinuxReviews

    It's no loss. There is a reason why you have probably never seen a WiMAX device or heard of it, WiMAX was a wireless last-mile Internet solution mostly used in a few rural areas in a limited number of countries between 2005 and 2010. There is very little use for it today so it is almost natural that Linux is phasing out support for WiMAX and the one WiMAX device it supports. WiMAX is a wireless protocol, much like IP by Avian Carriers except that it has less bandwidth and significantly lower latency. WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) is a set of wireless standards that were used to provide last-mile Internet connectivity where DSL and other solutions were unavailable. WiMAX can work over long distances (up to 50 km), something WiFi can't. The initial design could provide around 25 megabit/s downstream, which was competitive when WiMAX base-stations and modems become widely available around 2005. That changed around 2010 when 4G/LTE become widely available. The WiMAX Forum, who maintains the WiMAX standard, tried staying relevant with a updated standard called WiMAX 2 in 2011. Some equipment for it was made, but it never became a thing. WiMAX was pretty much dead by the time WiMAX 2 arrived. The standard NetworkManager utility GNU/Linux distributions come with supported WiMAX until 2015. The Linux kernel still supports it and exactly one WiMAX device from Intel as of Linux 5.9, but that's about to change.

Fedora Elections and IBM/Red Hat Leftovers

  • Fedora 33 elections nominations now open

    Candidates may self-nominate. If you nominate someone else, please check with them to ensure that they are willing to be nominated before submitting their name. The steering bodies are currently selecting interview questions for the candidates. Nominees submit their questionnaire answers via a private Pagure issue. The Election Wrangler or their backup will publish the interviews to the Community Blog before the start of the voting period. Fedora Podcast episodes will be recorded and published as well. Please note that the interview is mandatory for all nominees. Nominees not having their interview ready by end of the Interview period (2020-11-19) will be disqualified and removed from the election.

  • 12 Tips for a migration and modernization project

    Sometimes migration/modernization projects are hard to execute because there are many technical challenges, like the structure of legacy code, customer environment, customer bureaucracy, network issues, and the most feared of all, production bugs. In this post I'm going to explain the 12-step migration / modernization procedure I follow as a consultant using a tip-based approach. I have some experience with this kind of situation because I’ve already passed by different kinds of projects with several kinds of problems. Over time you start to recognize patterns and get used to solving the hard problems. So, I thought: Wouldn't it be cool to create a procedure based on my experience, so that I can organize my daily work and give the transparency that the customers and managers want? To test this out, I did this for one customer in my hometown. They were facing a Red Hat JBoss EAP migration/modernization project. The results of the project were outstanding. The customer said they were even more satisfied with the transparency. The project manager seemed really comfortable knowing all about the details through the project and pleased with reducing the risk of unexpected news.

  • Awards roll call: June 2020 to October 2020

    We are nearly at the end of 2020 and while the pace continues to increase, we want to take a moment to acknowledge and celebrate some of the successes of Red Hat's people and their work. In the last four months, several Red Hatters and Red Hat products are being recognized by leading industry publications and organizations for efforts in driving innovation.

  • How developers can build the next generation of AI advertising technology – IBM Developer

    As we look across the most rapidly transforming industries like financial services, healthcare, retail – and now advertising, developers are putting open source technologies to work to deliver next-generation features. Our enterprise clients are looking for AI solutions that will scale with trust and transparency to solve business problems. At IBM®, I have the pleasure of focusing on equipping you, the developers, with the capabilities you need to meet the heightened expectations you face at work each day. We’re empowering open source developers to drive the critical transformation to AI in advertising. For instance, at the IBM Center for Open source Data and AI Technologies (CODAIT), enterprise developers can find open source starting points to tackle some of your thorniest challenges. We’re making it easy for developers to use and create open source AI models that can ultimately help brand marketers go deeper with AI to reach consumers more effectively.

Programming: Qt, PHP, JS and Bash

  • Qt 6 To Ship With Package Manager For Extra Libraries - Phoronix

    Adding to the list of changes coming with the Qt 6 toolkit, The Qt Company has now outlined their initial implementation of a package manager to provide additional Qt6 modules.

  • Qt for MCUs 1.5 released

    A new release of Qt for MCUs is now available in the Qt Installer. If you are new to Qt for MCUs, you can try it out here. Version 1.5 introduces new platform APIs for easy integration of Qt for MCUs on any microcontroller, along with an in-depth porting guide to get you going. Additionally, it includes a set of C++ APIs to load new images at runtime into your QML GUI. As with every release, 1.5 also includes API improvements and bug fixes, enhancing usability and stability.

  • KDDockWidgets v1.1 has been released! - KDAB - KDAB on Qt

    KDDockWidgets v1.1 is now available! Although I just wrote about v1.0 last month, the 1.1 release still managed to get a few big features.

  • KDAB TV celebrates its first year - KDAB

    A year ago KDAB started a YouTube channel dedicated to software development with Qt, C++ and 3D technologies like OpenGL. We talked to Sabine Faure, who is in charge of the program, about how it worked out so far and what we can expect in the future.

  • How to build a responsive contact form with PHP – Linux Hint

    Contact forms are commonly used in web applications because they allow the visitors of the website to communicate with the owner of the website. For most websites, responsive contact forms can be easily accessed from various types of devices such as desktops, laptops, tablets, and mobile phones. In this tutorial, a responsive contact form is implemented, and the submitted data is sent as an email using PHP.

  • Applying JavaScript’s setTimeout Method

    With the evolution of the internet, JavaScript has grown in popularity as a programming language due to its many useful methods. For example, many websites use JavaScript’s built-in setTimeout method to delay tasks. The setTimeout method has many use cases, and it can be used for animations, notifications, and functional execution delays.Because JavaScript is a single-threaded, translative language, we can perform only one task at a time. However, by using call stacks, we can delay the execution of code using the setTimeout method. In this article, we are going to introduce the setTimeout method and discuss how we can use it to improve our code.

  • Removing Characters from String in Bash – Linux Hint

    At times, you may need to remove characters from a string. Whatever the reason is, Linux provides you with various built-in, handy tools that allow you to remove characters from a string in Bash. This article shows you how to use those tools to remove characters from a string. [...] Sed is a powerful and handy utility used for editing streams of text. It is a non-interactive text editor that allows you to perform basic text manipulations on input streams. You can also use sed to remove unwanted characters from strings. For demonstration purposes, we will use a sample string and then pipe it to the sed command.

Python Programming

  • Dissecting a Web stack - The Digital Cat

    Having recently worked with young web developers who were exposed for the first time to proper production infrastructure, I received many questions about the various components that one can find in the architecture of a "Web service". These questions clearly expressed the confusion (and sometimes the frustration) of developers who understand how to create endpoints in a high-level language such as Node.js or Python, but were never introduced to the complexity of what happens between the user's browser and their framework of choice. Most of the times they don't know why the framework itself is there in the first place. The challenge is clear if we just list (in random order), some of the words we use when we discuss (Python) Web development: HTTP, cookies, web server, Websockets, FTP, multi-threaded, reverse proxy, Django, nginx, static files, POST, certificates, framework, Flask, SSL, GET, WSGI, session management, TLS, load balancing, Apache. In this post, I want to review all the words mentioned above (and a couple more) trying to build a production-ready web service from the ground up. I hope this might help young developers to get the whole picture and to make sense of these "obscure" names that senior developers like me tend to drop in everyday conversations (sometimes arguably out of turn). As the focus of the post is the global architecture and the reasons behind the presence of specific components, the example service I will use will be a basic HTML web page. The reference language will be Python but the overall discussion applies to any language or framework. My approach will be that of first stating the rationale and then implementing a possible solution. After this, I will point out missing pieces or unresolved issues and move on with the next layer. At the end of the process, the reader should have a clear picture of why each component has been added to the system.

  • Introducing AutoScraper: A Smart, Fast and Lightweight Web Scraper For Python | Codementor

    In the last few years, web scraping has been one of my day to day and frequently needed tasks. I was wondering if I can make it smart and automatic to save lots of time. So I made AutoScraper!

  • django-render-block 0.8 (and 0.8.1) released!

    A couple of weeks ago I released version 0.8 of django-render-block, this was followed up with a 0.8.1 to fix a regression. django-render-block is a small library that allows you render a specific block from a Django (or Jinja) template, this is frequently used for emails when you want multiple pieces of an email together in a single template (e.g. the subject, HTML body, and text body), but they need to be rendered separately before sending.

  • Pyston v2: 20% faster Python | The Pyston Blog

    We’re very excited to release Pyston v2, a faster and highly compatible implementation of the Python programming language. Version 2 is 20% faster than stock Python 3.8 on our macrobenchmarks. More importantly, it is likely to be faster on your code. Pyston v2 can reduce server costs, reduce user latencies, and improve developer productivity. Pyston v2 is easy to deploy, so if you’re looking for better Python performance, we encourage you to take five minutes and try Pyston. Doing so is one of the easiest ways to speed up your project.

  • Pyston v2 Released As ~20% Faster Than Python 3.8 - Phoronix

    Version 2.0 of Pyston is now available, the Python implementation originally started by Dropbox that builds on LLVM JIT for offering faster Python performance. Pyston developers believe their new release is about 20% faster than the standard Python 3.8 and should be faster for most Python code-bases.

  • Python int to string – Linux Hint

    Python is one of the universal languages that support various types of data types like integer, decimal point number, string, and complex number. We can convert one type of data type to another data type in Python. This data type conversion process is called typecasting. In Python, an integer value can easily be converted into a string by using the str() function. The str() function takes the integer value as a parameter and converts it into the string. The conversion of int to string is not only limited to the str() function. There are various other means of int to string conversion. This article explains the int to string conversion with various methods.

  • Python isinstance() Function – Linux Hint

    Python is one of the best and efficient high-level programming languages. It has a very straightforward and simple syntax. It has very built-in modules and functions that help us to perform the basic tasks efficiently. The Python isinstance() function evaluates either the given object is an instance of the specified class or not.