Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Interviews

Interview with Jessica Tallon of PyPump

Filed under
GNU
Interviews

There are several interesting projects out there which use PyPump. With my day job as a GNU MediaGoblin developer, we're going to be using it as a way of communicating between servers as a part of our federation effort. A great use I've seen is PumpMigrate, which will migrate one pump.io account to another. Another little utility that I wrote over the course of a weekend is p, which was made to be an easy way of making a quick post, bulk uploading photos, or anything you can script with the shell.

Read more

The Companies That Support Linux: Altera

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Interviews

Contributing upstream to the Linux kernel is hugely important to Altera, says Findlay Shearer, a senior manager of product marketing at the Silicon Valley-based chip maker.

Altera's kernel code helps ensure Linux developers can work on their SoCFPGA architecture, which integrates FPGA (field programmable gate array) devices with ARM processors into a single SoC (system-on-chip). This enables innovation in the embedded industry, based on Altera's SoCFPGA chips.

Read more

Bob Young talks about the origins of Red Hat

Filed under
Red Hat
Interviews

Bob Young, who've I've known for 20 years, is not a technology guy. The "Linux" part of Red Hat Linux came from Marc Ewing. Still, if it hadn't been for Young, Red Hat (named after Ewing's grandfather's Cornell University lacrosse cap), might have just been another long forgotten Linux company.

Young's rise to success was an unlikely one. He admitted that "I became an entrepreneur because no one would hire me. So I went to Kinkos and printed business cards saying Bob Young, President. It made my mom proud."

Read more

Pi2D2 interview

Filed under
Linux
Interviews
Sci/Tech

It was a pretty long project. I didn’t work on it full time, obviously, but I probably worked on it over a period of six months, and most of the time was writing the software. A lot of the software was written in Python – like the controls for the webcam, the soundboard and everything – so most of the time was getting the software running and getting the kinks worked out. Like where if it loses a Wi-Fi connection it tries to rejoin and things like that. So, yeah, I definitely want to revisit it, and obviously the second time round you can do it a lot better than you did the first, so I’d like to go back.

Read more

How Red Hat is Transforming from a Server-Client to Cloud-Mobile Leader

Filed under
Red Hat
Interviews

Red Hat has become a role model for other companies by writing a success story based on open source software and Linux, without a single proprietary component in the soup.

The company continues to evolve and transform itself with the changing times to remain a leader, and not simply relevant, unlike many other software giants that are struggling in the market.

Read more

Jeffrey McGuire From Acquia Explains Drupal 8, the GPL, and Much More

Filed under
Interviews
Drupal

Jeffrey McGuire

Tux Machines has run using Drupal for nearly a decade (the site is older than a decade) and we recently had the pleasure of speaking with Jeffrey A. "jam" McGuire, Open Source Evangelist at Acquia, the key company behind Drupal (which the founder of Drupal is a part of). The questions and answers below are relevant to many whose Web sites depend on Drupal.

1) What is the expected delivery date for Drupal 8 (to developers) and what will be a good point for Drupal 6 and 7 sites to advance to it?

 

Drupal 8.0.0 beta 1 came out on October 1, 2014, during DrupalCon Amsterdam. It’s a little early for designers to port their themes, good documentation to be written, or translators to finalise the Drupal interface in their language – some things are still too fluid. For coders and site builders, however, it’s a great time to familiarise yourself with the new system and start porting your contributed modules. Read this post by Drupal Project Lead, Dries Buytaert; it more thoroughly describes who and what the beta releases are and aren’t good for: “Betas are good testing targets for developers and site builders who are comfortable reporting (and where possible, fixing) their own bugs, and who are prepared to rebuild their test sites from scratch when necessary. Beta releases are not recommended for non-technical users, nor for production websites.”

 

With a full Release Candidate or 8.0.0 release on the cards for some time in 2015, now is the perfect time to start planning and preparing your sites for the upgrade to Drupal 8. Prolific Drupal contributor Dave Reid gave an excellent session at DrupalCon Amsterdam, “Future-proof your Drupal 7 Site”, in which he outlines a number of well-established best practices in Drupal 7 that will help you have a smooth migration when it is time - as well as a number of deprecated modules and practices to avoid.

 

2) What is the importance of maintaining API and module compatibility in future versions of Drupal and how does Acquia balance that with innovation that may necessitate new/alternative hooks and functions?

 

The Drupal community, which is not maintained or directed by Acquia or any company, has always chosen innovation over backward compatibility. Modules and APIs of one version have never had to be compatible with other versions. The new point-release system that will be used from Drupal 8.0.0 onwards - along with new thinking among core contributors and the broader community - may change this in future. There has been discussion, for example, of having APIs valid over two releases, guaranteeing that a Drupal 8 module would still work in Drupal 9 and that a Drupal 9 module would work in Drupal 10. Another possibility is that this all may be obviated in the future as moves toward broad intercompatibility in PHP lead to the creation of PHP libraries with Drupal implementations rather than purely Drupal modules.

 

3) Which Free/libre software project do you consider to be the biggest competitor of Drupal?

 

The “big three” FOSS CMSs – Drupal, Wordpress, and Joomla! – seem to have settled into roughly defined niches. There is no hard and fast rule to this, but Wordpress runs many smaller blogs and simpler sites; Joomla! projects fall into the small to medium range; and Drupal projects are generally medium to large to huge and complex. Many tech people with vested interests in one camp or another may identify another project as “frenemies” and compete with these technologies when bidding for clients, but the overall climate between the various PHP and open source projects is friendly and open. Drupal is one of the largest free/libre projects out there and doesn’t compete with other major projects like Apache, Linux, Gnome, KDE, or MySQL. Drupal runs most commonly on the LAMP stack and couldn’t exist or work at all without these supporting free and open source technologies.

 

NB – I use the term “open source” as synonymous shorthand for “FOSS, Free and Open Source Software, and/or Free/libre software”.

 

4) Which program -- proprietary or Free/libre software -- is deemed the biggest growth opportunity for Drupal?

 

Frankly, all things PHP. Drupal’s biggest growth opportunity at present is its role as an innovator and “meta-project” in the current “PHP Renaissance”. While fragmented at times in the past, the broader PHP community is now rallying around common goals and standards that allow for extensive compatibility and interoperability between projects. For the upcoming Drupal 8 release, the project has adopted object-oriented coding, several components from the Symfony2 framework, a more up-to-date minimum version of PHP (5.4 as of October 2014), and an extensive selection of external libraries.

 

On the one hand, Drupal being at the heart of the action in PHP-Land allows it and its community of innovators to make a more direct impact and spread its influence. On the other hand, it is now also able to attract even more developers from a variety of backgrounds to use and further develop Drupal. A Symfony developer (who has had a client website running on Drupal 8 since summer 2014) told me that looking under the hood in Drupal 8, “felt very familiar, like looking at a dialect of Symfony code.”

 

NB – I use the term “open source” as synonymous shorthand for “FOSS, Free and Open Source Software, and/or Free/libre software”.

5) To what degree did Drupal succeed owing to the fact that Drupal and all contributed files are licensed under the GNU GPL (version 2 or 3)?

 

“Building on the shoulders of giants” is a common thread in free and open source software. The GPL licenses clearly promote a culture of mutual sharing. This certainly applies to Drupal, where I can count on huge advantages thanks to benefitting from more than twelve years of development, 100k+ active users, running something like 2% of the Web for thousands of businesses, and millions of hours of coding and best practices by tens of thousands of active developers. Our code being GPL-licensed and collected in a central repository on Drupal.org has allowed us to build upon the strengths of each other’s work in a Darwinian environment (”bad code dies or gets fixed” - Jeff Eaton) where the best code rises to the top and becomes even better thanks to the attention of thousands of site owners and developers. The same repository has contributed to a reputation economy where bad actors and dubious or dangerous code has little chance of survival.

 

The GPL 2 is business friendly in that the license specifically allows for commercial activity and has been court tested. As a result, there is very little legal ambiguity in adopting GPL-licensed code. It also makes clear cases for when code needs to be shared as open source and when it doesn't (allowing for sites to use Drupal but still have "proprietary" code). The so-called “Web Services Loophole” caused some controversy and discussion, but also opened the way to SaaS products being built on free/libre GPL code. Drupal Project Lead Dries Buytaert explained this back in 2006 (read the full post here):

 

“The General Public License 2 (GPL 2), mandates that all modifications also be distributed under the GPL. But when you are providing a service through the web using GPL'ed software like Drupal, you are not actually distributing the software. You are providing access to the software. Thus, a way to make money with Drupal is to sell access to a web service built on top of Drupal. This is commonly referred to as the web services loophole.”

 

Business models remain challenging in a GPL world; nothing is stopping me from selling you GPL code, but nothing is stopping you from passing it on to anyone else either. App stores, for example, are next to impossible to realise under these conditions. Most Drupal businesses are focused on value add services like site building, auditing and consulting of various kinds, hosting, and so on, with a few creating SaaS or PaaS offerings of one kind or another.

 

NB – I use the term “open source” as synonymous shorthand for “FOSS, Free and Open Source Software, and/or Free/libre software”.

 

6) What role do companies that build, maintain and support Drupal sites play in Acquia's growth and in Drupal's growth?

 

Acquia was the first company to offer SLA-based commercial support for Drupal (a Service Level Agreement essentially says, “In return for your subscription, Acquia promises to respond to your problems within a certain time and in a certain manner”). The specifics of response time and action vary according to the level of subscription, but these allowed a new category of customer to adopt Drupal: The Enterprise.

 

Enterprise adoption – think Whitehouse.gov, Warner Music, NBC Universal, Johnson & Johnson – of Drupal resulted in increased awareness and therefore even further increased adoption (and improvement) of the platform over time. Everyone who delivers a successful Drupal project for happy clients improves Drupal for everyone else involved. The more innovative projects there are, the more innovation flows back into our codebase. The more happy customers there are, the more likely their peers are to adopt Drupal, too. Finally, the open source advantage also comes into play: it behooves Drupal service providers to give the best possible service and deliver the highest-quality sites and results. If they don’t, there is no vendor lock-in and being open source at scale also means you can find another qualified Drupal business to work with if it becomes necessary. Acquia and the whole, large Drupal vendor ecosystem simultaneously compete, cooperatively grow the project (in code and happy customer advocates), and act as each other’s safety net and guarantors.

 

NB – I use the term “open source” as synonymous shorthand for “FOSS, Free and Open Source Software, and/or Free/libre software”.

 

7) How does Acquia manage and coordinate the disclosure of security vulnerabilities, such as the one disclosed on October 15th?

Acquia as an organisation is an active, contributing member of the Drupal community and it adheres strictly to the Drupal project’s security practices and guidelines, including the Drupal project’s strict procedure for reporting security issues. Many of Acquia’s technical employees are themselves active Drupal contributors; as of October 2014, ten expert Acquians also belong to the Drupal Security Team. Acquia also works closely with other service providers, whether competitors or partners, in the best interests of all of us who use and work with Drupal. This blog post, “Shields Up!”, by Moshe Weizman explains how Acquia, in cooperation with the Drupal Security Team and some other Drupal hosting companies, dealt with the recent “Drupalgeddon” security vulnerability.

Free software hacker on open source telemetry project for OpenStack

Filed under
Interviews
OSS

Julien Danjou is a free software hacker almost all of the time. At his day job, he hacks on OpenStack for eNovance. And, in his free time, he hacks on free software projects like Debian, Hy, and awesome. Julien has also written The Hacker's Guide to Python and given talks on OpenStack and the Ceilometer project, among other things.

Prior to his talk at OpenStack Summit 2014 in Paris this year, we interviewed him about his current work and got some great insight into the work going on for the Ceilometer project, the open source telemetry project for OpenStack.

Read more

Interview with Rose Morgan

Filed under
KDE
Interviews

Well, since I started using linux- about the start of this year. And I love them! I like how people work together and it has a sense of community rather than “here’s this stupidly overpriced piece of software and hahaha we don’t care about you or your opinions about it.”

Read more

Q&A: Jackie Yeaney at Red Hat Decodes Open Source

Filed under
Red Hat
Interviews

Advertising Age: Where did the name Red Hat come from?
Ms. Yeaney: Red Hat co-founder Marc Ewing, who developed a Linux operating system distribution product that eventually became Red Hat, attended Carnegie Mellon University. When he was on campus, he used to wear a red cap his grandfather gave him. When people had issues with computer software, they'd say, "Go find the guy with the red hat," and the name stuck. Except now it's a fedora.

Read more

The Companies That Support Linux: DataCentred

Filed under
Linux
Interviews

Companies are increasingly turning to cloud services to build and deliver their applications, but those that want to use an open source cloud may find it more difficult to set up and maintain. Service-providers such as UK-based DataCentred can more efficiently set up an enterprise cloud using open source software, at scale.

Read more

Syndicate content

More in Tux Machines

Fedora: Fedora Classroom, Fedora Media Writer

  • Fedora Classroom Sessions are here!
    The Fedora Join SIG is proud to announce Classroom sessions. The Fedora Classroom is a project to teach interested users how to better use, understand and manage their Fedora system, and to show how the community works. The idea is to reach interested people and, if they desire, bring them closer to the Fedora community. Almost all classes will be held on IRC in the #fedora-classroom channel on Freenode (irc.freenode.net). If you’re not familiar with IRC, check out the Beginner’s guide to IRC. Also we’ll use BlueJeans, a video conferencing platform that works from browsers, mobile devices and a desktop application. If you have trouble connecting to Blue Jeans, please refer to the support page.
  • Fedora Media Writer – A Necessary Tool for the Fedora User
    Suppose that you have decided that you want to give the new Fedora release a try. You download the ISO and then you have to pick a method of putting that ISO on a thumb drive. You could choose to use the dd command or you could pick from a series of applications. However, with Fedora, you have only one option: Fedora Media Writer.

OpenSUSE 42.3

  • openSUSE 42.3 Released, Here’s What’s New
    After 8 months of continues development. The openSUSE team has just announced openSUSE 42.3. Which is considered to be the latest release of the stable openSUSE branch (called Leap).
  • openSUSE Leap 42.3 Linux-based operating system is here -- download it now
    Variety is both a gift and curse for Linux on the desktop. On the one hand, it is nice that there are so many operating systems based on the kernel from which to choose. On the other, it can sometimes feel like the community is very fragmented. Not only is there tribalism between users of distributions, but desktop environments too. For instance, there is Ubuntu vs. Fedora and KDE vs. GNOME -- much like Coke vs. Pepsi and Chevy vs. Ford. This is just human nature, I suppose.

Software: mtPaint, Suricata, Gabedit, Mozilla, LibreOffice, and GNU Binutils

  • mtPaint – A Lightweight Paint Software for Digital Photos
    mtPaint is an open source paint application for both Linux and Windows developed for the purpose of creating and manipulating pixel images. It was developed from scratch by Mark Tyler and maintained by Dmitry Groshev. If you hadn’t heard about it prior to reading this article it is probably because before its latest update in June 2016, its last update was in 2011! Update frequency not withstanding, mtPaint has a focus on being memory friendly and its latest update came with a handful of both new and improved features.
  • Suricata 4.0 released!
    We are thrilled to announce Suricata 4.0. This is a major new release, improving detection capabilities, adding new output options and more protocols.
  • Suricata 4.0 released
  • Gabedit: the Portal to Chemistry
         Many chemistry software applications are available for doing scientific work on Linux. I've covered several here in previous issues of the magazine, and of them have their own peculiar specialties—areas where one may work better than another. So, depending on what your research entails, you may need to use multiple software packages to handle all of the work. This is where Gabedit will step in to help you out.
  • How Could You Use a Speech Interface?
    Last month in San Francisco, my colleagues at Mozilla took to the streets to collect samples of spoken English from passers-by. It was the kickoff of our Common Voice Project, an effort to build an open database of audio files that developers can use to train new speech-to-text (STT) applications. What’s the big deal about speech recognition? Speech is fast becoming a preferred way to interact with personal electronics like phones, computers, tablets and televisions. Anyone who’s ever had to type in a movie title using their TV’s remote control can attest to the convenience of a speech interface. According to one study, it’s three times faster to talk to your phone or computer than to type a search query into a screen interface. Plus, the number of speech-enabled devices is increasing daily, as Google Home, Amazon Echo and Apple HomePod gain traction in the market. Speech is also finding its way into multi-modal interfaces, in-car assistants, smart watches, lightbulbs, bicycles and thermostats. So speech interfaces are handy — and fast becoming ubiquitous.
  • LibreOffice 5.4 Released with ‘Significant New Features’
    LibreOffice 5.4 serves as the final major release in the LibreOffice 5.x series (meaning LibreOffice 6.x will be next). The update is said to add “significant new features in every module” and (as always) improved Microsoft Office file compatibility.
  • LibreOffice 5.4 released with new features for Writer, Calc and Impress
    The Document Foundation announces LibreOffice 5.4, the last major release of the LibreOffice 5.x family, immediately available for Windows, macOS and Linux, and for the cloud. LibreOffice 5.4 adds significant new features in every module, including the usual large number of incremental improvements to Microsoft Office file compatibility.
  • GNU Binutils 2.29 Released
    Binutils 2.29 is now available as well as a Binutils 2.28.1 point release. Binutils 2.29 brings a lot for MIPS and SPARC users. MIPS improvements for Binutils 2.29 include support for microMIPS eXtended Physical Addressing (PXA), microMIPS Release 5 ISA for assembly/disassembly, support for the Imagination interAptiv MR2 CPU, and support for the MIPS16e2 ASE assembly/disassembly.
  • AMD Ryzen 3 Rolls Out, Linux Benchmarks Coming

GNOME/GTK: Nautilus, Evince, GNOME Calendar, GNOME Photos, Libratbag

  • Nautilus Not Adding Tags, Might Add File Favoriting Instead
    Tags are a super handy way to organize, sort and find files without needing to worry about where you actually put ’em. So, naturally, I was super excited when GNOME developer Alexandru Pandelea began to share word of work he’d done to bring native file tags to Nautilus.
  • After 12 Years, GNOME's Evince Document Viewer Supports Adobe Illustrator Files
    GNOME developer Bastien Nocera reports today on some the improvements coming to the Evince document viewer app as part of the upcoming GNOME 3.26 desktop environment. The biggest change that'll be implemented in Evince 3.26 is the use of the libarchive library for decompressing various archive types, including the CBZ, CB7, and CBT formats that are usually used for comic books, and it also supports RAR files through the use of the unarr command-line utility.
  • GNOME Calendar is now capable of creating/editing recurring events
    I’m glad to announce that GNOME Calendar now supports creation of recurring events. Now you can easily create recurring events with the help of the modified edit-dialog.
  • Enhancing photos with GNOME Photos
    Photos can do more than edit. It also integrates with GNOME Online Accounts, and can be set up to share photos to various online photo services. Photos also lets you organize your photos into albums. It even detects screenshots and automatically sorts them into a Screenshots album for you!
  • Libratbag-Powered Piper Is Looking Good For Configuring Gaming Mice On Linux
    It's not quite ready for primetime yet by Linux gamers, but Piper as the GTK-powered user-interface for controlling gaming mice on Linux is getting into shape. Piper is the GTK interface for configuring mice on Linux via libratbag/ratbagd, the library offering a generic way to access various mice features and abstract away hardware/kernel differences.