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Obits

Remembering Thomas Wood

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Obits

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our friend, Thomas Wood. Commonly known as ‘thos’ on irc, Thomas was a long time contributor to the GNOME Art project, where he curated GTK+ Themes, backgrounds, login screens, and icons. In later years, he also worked on the control center and maintained the GNOME Backgrounds module. Outside of GNOME, he worked on the Moblin platform, which enabled various technologies key to GNOME 3, like GNOME Shell and Clutter.

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RIP Ian Murdock

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Debian
Obits
  • Ian Murdock has died
  • In Memoriam: Ian Murdock

    It is with great sadness that we inform you that Ian Murdock passed away on Monday night. This is a tragic loss for his family, for the Docker community, and the broader open source world; we all mourn his passing. To Ian’s children, family and loved ones, we offer our full support and deepest sympathies.

  • Debian founder and Docker employee Ian Murdock has died at 42

    Docker today announced that Ian Murdock, a member of the startup’s technical staff and a former Sun and Salesforce employee known for founding the Debian Linux operating system, has passed away. He was 42.

    A cause of death was not provided in the blog post announcing the news. Docker declined to comment. The San Francisco Police Department did not immediately have information on Murdock’s cause of death.

    Murdock’s Twitter account posted several tweets (PDF) on Monday that suggested he had been involved in an incident involving police, and one tweet said that he would commit suicide that night. Some people speculated that his account had been hacked. It has since been deleted.

  • APT 1.1.8 to 1.1.10 – going “faster”

    APT 1.1.10 also switches the cache’s hash function to the DJB hash function and increases the default hash table sizes to the smallest prime larger than 15000, namely 15013. This reduces the average bucket size from 6.5 to 4.5. We might increase this further in the future.

In Memory of Telsa Gwynne

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Obits

I can’t say that she was a close friend, but we knew each other since way back in time. She was a constant companion in search of good food and during several free software conferences, she and I took the lead of a group of hackers, finding them nourishment for the night and day ahead. So I was saddened today to learn that Telsa Gwynne has passed away.

My first exchange with Telsa was around Christmas of 1998. We were talking about Christmas gifts, and whether Alan Cox, her husband, wouldn’t like to get a nice printout of RFC-1149, the “Standard for the Transmission of IP Datagrams on Avian Carriers”. Little did we know at the time that Alan would later support a group of Norwegian hackers in actually implementing that very specification!

Telsa never had an easy time in the free software community. From the very early days when we started talking, she was frequently and repeatedly abused by people trying to use her to get to her husband. Over the years, she withstood harassment and abuse of almost any sort from people in the free software community. She got to witness first hand the darkest corners of our community and the worst kind of people anyone can ever imagine.

Some of Telsa’s contribution to the free software community before that included a lot of work on explaining GNOME to people. She served on the GNOME Foundation’s Board of Directors, contributed translations and wrote comprehensive FAQs about both GNOME and the GNOME Foundation.

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Remembering Nóirín Plunkett

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Obits

Our thoughts are with everyone who loved Nóirín, everyone who worked with them, everyone who went to their talks or learned from their writing, everyone who met them at a conference, everyone for whom they made the open source and technical communities a better place.

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Goodbye Marco

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GNOME
Obits

The GNOME project is sad to have learnt that Marco Pesenti Gritti recently passed away after a long fight with cancer. Marco made major contributions to GNOME, having been the original author of both the Epiphany (also known as “Web”) browser and Evince, the GNOME PDF reader. Besides his significant contributions and technical ability, Marco was known as a good friend who served as an inspiration to many within the community.

Members of the GNOME community have expressed their sadness at Marco’s death. Xan López, the current Epiphany maintainer, wrote: “I remember fondly working with Marco on Epiphany many years ago. His patience and good character were instrumental in getting me involved with GNOME and Free Software”. Another contributor, Tomeu Vizoso, said: “He reviewed my first patches ever to a free software project and his contagious enthusiasm was what put into motion my career in open source.”

GNOME wasn’t the only community that Marco was a part of: he also played an important role in the development of Sugar, a platform which focused on education and the developing world.

Our thoughts are with Marco’s family and friends at this difficult time.

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Mourning Marco Pesenti Gritti

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Obits

I unfortunately have some terrible news, Marco Pesenti Gritti passed away
last Saturday in London, after a long fight against cancer. He was with his
family and in good medical hands. He leaves behind his girlfriend Daniela
and 4 year old daughter Daniela. I had the chance to say goodbye last week,
and convey thoughts and support for his coworkers, current and passed.

I was lucky to have worked with Marco for many years at litl, on a very
broad range of projects, and had the chance to count him as a good friend.
He was the most passionate and dedicated hacker I knew, and I know he was
extremely respected in the GNOME community, for his work on Epiphany,
Evince and Sugar among many others, just like he was at litl. Those who
knew him personally know he was also an awesome human being.

We will try to help his family as much as we can. He will be sorely missed.

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Two hackers who committed suicide and no one still knows the real reason why

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Development
Legal
Obits

Two of world’s most wanted hackers had committed suicide and no one still knows why. Aaron Swartz and Jonathan James, both hackers by profession and most wanted by the FBI have committed suicide in face of the federal investigation against their hacking crimes.

Interested thing is both hackers were not connected to each other in any way but were being tried for hacking by the same department and the case was being overseen by the same Assistant United States Attorney Stephen Heymann. Could this have any hand in their suicides.

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Mourning Chris Yeoh

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Obits

It is my sad duty to inform the community that Chris Yeoh passed away this
morning. Chris leaves behind a daughter Alyssa, aged 6, who I hope will
remember Chris as the clever and caring person that I will remember him as.
I haven’t had a chance to confirm with the family if they want flowers or a
donation to a charity. As soon as I know those details I will reply to this
email.

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Debian Project mourns the loss of Peter Miller

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Debian
Obits

The Debian Project recently learned that it has lost a member of its
community. Peter Miller died on July 27th after a long battle with
leukemia.

Peter was a relative newcomer to the Debian project, but his
contributions to Free and Open Source Software goes back the the late
1980s. Peter was significant contributor to GNU gettext as well as being
the main upstream author and maintainer of other projects that ship as
part of Debian, including, but not limited to srecord, aegis and cook.
Peter was also the author of the paper "Recursive Make Considered
Harmful".

The Debian Project honours his good work and strong dedication to Debian
and Free Software. The contributions of Peter will not be forgotten, and
the high standards of his work will continue to serve as an inspiration
to others.

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Thank you, Seth Vidal

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Linux
Obits

redhat.com: Collaboration and community are truly at the heart of everything Red Hat does. Seth Vidal, a longtime member of the Fedora Project and Red Hat’s Fedora team, espoused these values and represented the best of open source. He was a lead developer of the yum project, the software package manager used by Fedora, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and other RPM-based distributions.

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More in Tux Machines

Canonical Is At Around 437 Employees, Pulled In $99M While Still Operating At A Loss

Canonical's financial numbers for the period through the end of 2018 are now available, which is a shortened nine month period after changing around their fiscal year to coincide with the end of the calendar year rather than 31 March. Read more

today's howtos

Programming: C++, Python, LLVM and More

  • Theory: average bus factor = 1

    Two articles recently made me realize that all my free software projects basically have a bus factor of one. I am the sole maintainer of every piece of software I have ever written that I still maintain. There are projects that I have been the maintainer of which have other maintainers now (most notably AlternC, Aegir and Linkchecker), but I am not the original author of any of those projects. Now that I have a full time job, I feel the pain. Projects like Gameclock, Monkeysign, Stressant, and (to a lesser extent) Wallabako all need urgent work: the first three need to be ported to Python 3, the first two to GTK 3, and the latter will probably die because I am getting a new e-reader. (For the record, more recent projects like undertime and feed2exec are doing okay, mostly because they were written in Python 3 from the start, and the latter has extensive unit tests. But they do suffer from the occasional bitrot (the latter in particular) and need constant upkeep.) Now that I barely have time to keep up with just the upkeep, I can't help but think all of my projects will just die if I stop working on them. I have the same feeling about the packages I maintain in Debian.

  • What Can AI Teach Us about Bias and Fairness?

    As researchers, journalists, and many others have discovered, machine learning algorithms can deliver biased results. One notorious example is ProPublica’s discovery of bias in a software called COMPAS used by the U.S. court systems to predict an offender’s likelihood of re-offending. ProPublica’s investigators discovered the software’s algorithm was telling the court system that first-time Black offenders had a higher likelihood of being repeat offenders than white offenders who had committed multiple crimes. They also found only 20% of the individuals predicted to commit a violent crime did so. Discoveries like these are why ethical AI is top-of-mind in Silicon Valley and for companies around the world focused on AI solutions.

  • KDAB at C++ Russia, Saint Petersburg

    C++ Russia is the premier C++ conference in East Europe which alternates between Moscow and Saint Petersburg. The conference lasts for two days starting October 31st. It will be held in the Park Inn by Radisson Pulkovskaya Hotel in the heart of Saint Petersburg.

  • How to Add Time Delays to Your Code

    Have you ever needed to make your Python program wait for something? Most of the time, you’d want your code to execute as quickly as possible. But there are times when letting your code sleep for a while is actually in your best interest. For example, you might use a Python sleep() call to simulate a delay in your program. Perhaps you need to wait for a file to upload or download, or for a graphic to load or be drawn to the screen. You might even need to pause between calls to a web API, or between queries to a database. Adding Python sleep() calls to your program can help in each of these cases, and many more!

  • Python 3.7.4 : Test the DHCP handshakes.
  • LLVM Clang RISC-V Now Supports LTO

    With the recent release of LLVM 9.0 the RISC-V back-end was promoted from an experimental CPU back-end to being made "official" for this royalty-free CPU ISA. Work though isn't over on the LLVM RISC-V support with new features continuing to land, like link-time optimizations (LTO) most recently being enabled within the Clang 10 code. Within the latest Clang code this week, LTO (link-time optimizations) are now enabled for Clang targeting RISC-V. LTO, of course, is important for performance with being able to exploit more performance optimizations by the compiler at link-time.

  • PyCon 2019: Open Spaces

    And, yeah, I realize it was nearly six months ago. But there have been some things that have been lingering in my thoughts that I need to share.

  • Sharing Your Labor of Love: PyPI Quick and Dirty

    This is another huge update after its initial release in 2013 and catches up with the latest developments (a lot happened!) since the last big update in 2017. Additionally, I have removed the parts on keyring because I stopped using it myself: it’s sort of nice to double-check before uploading anything. If you want to automate the retrieval of your PyPI credentials, check out glyph’s blog post Careful With That PyPI.

Mozilla: web-ext, Facebook-like business model and Rust at Microsoft GitHub

  • Developing cross-browser extensions with web-ext 3.2.0

    The web-ext tool was created at Mozilla to help you build browser extensions faster and more easily. Although our first launch focused on support for desktop Firefox, followed by Firefox for Android, our vision was always to support cross-platform development once we shipped Firefox support.

  • Get recommended reading from Pocket every time you open a new tab in Firefox

    Thousands of articles are published each day, all fighting for our attention. But how many are actually worth reading? The tiniest fraction, and they’re tough to find. That’s where Pocket comes in.

  • This Week in Rust 308

    Hello and welcome to another issue of This Week in Rust! Rust is a systems language pursuing the trifecta: safety, concurrency, and speed. This is a weekly summary of its progress and community. Want something mentioned? Tweet us at @ThisWeekInRust or send us a pull request. Want to get involved? We love contributions.