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Interviews

On a quest for a new logo and open design at Mozilla

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Interviews
Moz/FF

Sean Martell understands this. As Art Director for Mozilla, he’s one part of a team behind Mozilla’s visual design. Lately, he’s been involved in redesigning Mozilla’s iconic logos. Instead of working behind closed doors, Martell and his colleagues have opened up the design process to get the help of the wider Mozilla community.

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INTERVIEW: THOMAS VOSS OF MI

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Interviews
Ubuntu

Not since the days of 2004, when X.org split from XFree86, have we seen such exciting developments in the normally prosaic realms of display servers. These are the bits that run behind your desktop, making sure Gnome, KDE, Xfce and the rest can talk to your graphics hardware, your screen and even your keyboard and mouse. They have a profound effect on your system’s performance and capabilities. And where we once had one, we now have two more – Wayland and Mir, and both are competing to win your affections in the battle for an X replacement.

We spoke to Wayland’s Daniel Stone in issue 6 of Linux Voice, so we thought it was only fair to give equal coverage to Mir, Canonical’s own in-house X replacement, and a project that has so far courted controversy with some of its decisions. Which is why we headed to Frankfurt and asked its Technical Architect, Thomas Voß, for some background context…

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A cultural shift towards dynamic cloud environments

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Interviews
OSS

Where I see open source failing is when the goal is only for companies to maximize profits and minimize costs without taking a broader view of their product. I am not naïve, companies exist to make a profit but they need to figure out how to maximize their leverage by participating in open source which involves creating a healthy project that extends farther than their own self interest. I often say those that miss the point are taking the Tom Sawyer, “Paint my fence” approach to opens source. The ones that benefit the most are those that take the Beautiful Mind/John
Nash (referring to his theories in game theory) where contributors act in both their own best self interest as well as the best interest of the community.

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Government Evangelist at GitHub on US open technologies

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Interviews
OSS

He's a Government Evangelist at GitHub, where he leads the efforts to encourage adoption of open source philosophies, making all levels of government better, one repository at a time.

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The Linux Setup - Eric Hameleers, Slackware Linux

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GNU
Linux
Interviews
Slack

When you’re interviewing a Slackware developer, you have certain expectations about what they’ll say in terms of controlling your own system and Eric delivers. In fact, he makes the case that Slackware, known as a more challenging system to setup and maintain, is valuable because it requires so much thought. Which is true—I’ve always seen Slackware as one part distro and one part teaching tool. The rest of Eric’s interview is great as he’s a very smart guy who’s spent a lot of time thinking about what makes a distro work, not just in terms of specific software, but also in terms of what’s ultimately best for the user in the long-term.

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Front and back-end developers should make friends

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Interviews
OSS

I definitely think that open source technologies are what made my self-education of development possible. I think that being able to experiment with open source projects and libraries as a young student was crucial for me in becoming who I am today. Without that exposure, or that access to the development world, I probably would have given up out of frustration thinking the barrier-to-entry was too high or over my head! I'm grateful that I was able to discover the open source world.

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Open source interest at Pinterest

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Interviews
OSS

As I looked around the 2014 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing career fair (PDF) floor, I stopped by the Pinterest booth and learned that open source software plays a big role at the company. And even better, Pinterest now plays a big role in the world of open source software, too.

After the career fair, I followed up with the technical lead on the Pinterest Growth engineering team, Ludo Antonov. Ludo says that the Growth team builds the features, core products, and systems that directly help sustainably grow Pinterest to billions of users worldwide. In this interview, he explains the roles open source software plays at the company.

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Advice for front-end developers from Adrian Pomilio of Teradata

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Interviews
OSS

Prior to the All Things Open conference in Raleigh this year, I asked Adrian Pomilio, UI developer at Teradata, a few questions about the session he'll deliver, his favorite open source tools, and recent trends in UI/UX technology relevant to open source world.

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Coding is fun! Europe Code Week is back

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Interviews
OSS

The first ever Europe Code Week took place last year and was largely an experiment to test things out. Opensource.com covered it in an interview with Julie Cullen, the Irish Ambassador, asking her what activities were planned in her home country. This year, Europe Code Week has even more activities planned, over 1000 and counting! To get more insight on the event, I interviewed Alja Isakovic, one of the Young Advisors and organizers for the Europe Code Week program. In this interview, she shares some of last year's successes and tells us what people can look forward to this year.

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Behind the scenes with CTO Michael DeHaan of Ansible

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Interviews
OSS

He gives an idea of what the Ansible open source community is all about, including the rewards and challenges of working with users who also happen to be talented developers. He answers this and more, like what he'd work on if he could just add one more hour to the day.

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More in Tux Machines

Tryton and Python Deprecation Warnings

  • Trying Tryton
    The quest to find a free-software replacement for the QuickBooks accounting tool continues. In this episode, your editor does his best to put Tryton through its paces. Running Tryton proved to be a trying experience, though; this would not appear to be the accounting tool we are searching for. Tryton is a Python 3 application distributed under the GPLv3 license. Its home page mentions that it is based on PostgreSQL, but there is support for MySQL and SQLite as well. Tryton, it is said, is "a three-tier high-level general purpose application platform" that is "the core base of a complete business solution providing modularity, scalability and security". The "core base" part of that claim is relevant: Tryton may well be a solid base for the creation of a small-business accounting system, but it is not, out of the box, such a system itself.
  • Who should see Python deprecation warnings?
    As all Python developers discover sooner or later, Python is a rapidly evolving language whose community occasionally makes changes that can break existing programs. The switch to Python 3 is the most prominent example, but minor releases can include significant changes as well. The CPython interpreter can emit warnings for upcoming incompatible changes, giving developers time to prepare their code, but those warnings are suppressed and invisible by default. Work is afoot to make them visible, but doing so is not as straightforward as it might seem. In early November, one sub-thread of a big discussion on preparing for the Python 3.7 release focused on the await and async identifiers. They will become keywords in 3.7, meaning that any code using those names for any other purpose will break. Nick Coghlan observed that Python 3.6 does not warn about the use of those names, calling it "a fairly major oversight/bug". In truth, though, Python 3.6 does emit warnings in that case — but users rarely see them.

Red Hat News

Linux Kernel Space: eBPF and More (LWN Paywall Expired)

  • A thorough introduction to eBPF
    In his linux.conf.au 2017 talk [YouTube] on the eBPF in-kernel virtual machine, Brendan Gregg proclaimed that "super powers have finally come to Linux". Getting eBPF to that point has been a long road of evolution and design. While eBPF was originally used for network packet filtering, it turns out that running user-space code inside a sanity-checking virtual machine is a powerful tool for kernel developers and production engineers. Over time, new eBPF users have appeared to take advantage of its performance and convenience. This article explains how eBPF evolved how it works, and how it is used in the kernel.
  • Restricting automatic kernel-module loading
    The kernel's module mechanism allows the building of a kernel with a wide range of hardware and software support without requiring that all of that code actually be loaded into any given running system. The availability of all of those modules in a typical distributor kernel means that a lot of features are available — but also, potentially, a lot of exploitable bugs. There have been numerous cases where the kernel's automatic module loader has been used to bring buggy code into a running system. An attempt to reduce the kernel's exposure to buggy modules shows how difficult some kinds of hardening work can be.
  • Container IDs for the audit subsystem
    Linux containers are something of an amorphous beast, at least with respect to the kernel. There are lots of facilities that the kernel provides (namespaces, control groups, seccomp, and so on) that can be composed by user-space tools into containers of various shapes and colors; the kernel is blissfully unaware of how user space views that composition. But there is interest in having the kernel be more aware of containers and for it to be able to distinguish what user space considers to be a single container. One particular use case for the kernel managing container identifiers is the audit subsystem, which needs unforgeable IDs for containers that can be associated with audit trails. Back in early October, Richard Guy Briggs posted the second version of his RFC for kernel container IDs that can be used by the audit subsystem. The first version was posted in mid-September, but is not the only proposal out there. David Howells proposed turning containers into full-fledged kernel objects back in May, but seemingly ran aground on objections that the proposal "muddies the waters and makes things more brittle", in the words of namespaces maintainer Eric W. Biederman.

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