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Obits

Announcement of the passing of Jari Fredriksson

Filed under
Security
Obits

Some know that Jari's mirror broke a few weeks ago and we've been trying
to reach him. I am sorry to announce that Jari Fredriksson was a great
supporter of the project running an sa-update mirror, helping with our
masscheck program, testing releases, and just generally being a great
member of our community.

On behalf of the entire project, I'd like to extend our condolences to
him and his family.  He will be missed.

If anyone wishes to send a note of condolences it can be done through
Jouni, his employer. http://www.jounivirtanenconsulting.com/contact/

Sincerely,

Kevin A. McGrail

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We are very sad to announce that José Jorge, who used the login zezinho, passed away on September the 11th

Filed under
MDV
Obits

José was 46 years old, father to 3 children. He, and his 16 year old son, who was accompanying him on a bicycle ride, died September the 11th after being struck by a car.

José was a major contributor to the world of Free Software, in particular Mageia, his favorite distribution, which he had adopted after Mandrake/Mandriva and in which he had been actively participating for some 20 years. Among his many contributions were the inclusion of hundreds of packages such as Audacity, Chromium, fuse2, gcompris, other very important packages such as various WiFi drivers, as well as many games (bzflag, alienarena, crack-attack, flightgear). He was a tester
for Mageia Cauldron and a mentor for new packagers.

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Remembering Thomas Gilliard (satellit)

Filed under
Red Hat
Obits

I’m sad to report that Thomas Gilliard (satellit), who was a valued member of the QA team for many years, passed away last week. His wife contacted me with the news. Thomas was a regular and reassuring presence at QA and blocker review meetings and ran many thousands of tests since he first joined the team in 2009. He was particularly dedicated to testing our Sugar builds. We’ll miss him.

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Also: Implementation of varlink support for libnmstate – GSoC’20 nmstate project

We mourn the loss of John McDonough

Filed under
Obits

We learned this week of the passing of John McDonough (jjmcd). John was a long-time contributor to the Fedora Project, and we are sad to hear of his passing. John contributed heavily to the Documentation team, sharing his knowledge with a global user community. John didn’t just write documentation, he also mentored new contributors. He was a patient and caring mentor, and our community is worse for his loss.

When I first became a Fedora contributor 11 years ago, John was one of the people who welcomed me into the Docs team. His guidance helped me become a better contributor. Although he stepped back from contributing a few years ago, his impact continues.

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Mozilla: RIP Youghourta Benali and WebGPU Update

Filed under
Moz/FF
Web
Obits
  • Mozilla Localization (L10N): L10n Report: April 2020 Edition

    Before we get into the report, we must share that Youghourta Benali, one of the Arabic l10n community’s managers, has passed away due to prior health issues. He was a passionate activist for the open Web and Arabic’s presence on the Web, localizing Mozilla projects for over 7 years. We’ll all miss him and wish his family and friends peace at this time. The surviving Arabic managers are currently writing a guest post that we’ll post here when ready.

  • WebGPU Support Begins Coming Together In Firefox Nightly Builds

    The latest Firefox Nightly builds have the experimental WebGPU support working in early form. WebGPU is the W3C-backed web standard for modern graphics and compute that is based upon concepts from the likes of Vulkan and Direct3D 12.

  • A Taste of WebGPU in Firefox

    The group has mostly resolved the major architecture issues of the API. Recently we agreed on the WebGPU Shading Language direction based on the Tint prototype. We still need to solve a lot of design riddles before we make it available to end users to write shaders in.

    One of the unresolved issues is the API for data transfers between CPU and GPU. Working with memory directly is where the web platform differs greatly from native platforms. We’ve discussed a dozen different proposals but have not yet found a design solution that fulfills our principles.

    Overall, the spec is still heavily a work in progress. It’s available for early hackers but not recommended for any use in production yet. We are hoping to get a minimum-viable-product version of the spec and implementations by the end of 2020. The current state of implementations can be checked on webgpu.io.

Farewell to Oier Echaniz Beneitez

Filed under
Development
Obits

We received the very sad news today, that Oier Echaniz Beneitez has passed away, after a long-term illness (not as a result of COVID-19).

Oier was one of the initiators for bringing EuroPython to Bilbao in 2015 and co-chaired the conference in both 2015 and 2016, together with Fabio...

He was one of the most enthusiastic and engaged organizers of the conference, served on the EuroPython Society board from 2015 - 2017 and founded and chaired the local Python organization in San Sebastian (PySS, pronounced “peace”). Oier also started the pyjok.es project, together with Alexandre Savio and Ben Nuttall, inaugurating the first Python Jokes-as-a-Service of its kind.

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Octavio Mendez Passed Away 29

Filed under
Obits

It is with great sadness that I must report we lost a great community member today. Octavio Mendez, a long-time cornerstone of the Mexican Blender and open source community, has passed away after fighting the Corona virus.

Claudio Malefico Andaur contacted me about this, and shared the following...

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Also: For real...

Sad news about Scott Rifenbark

Filed under
Obits

I'm sorry to have to pass on the sad news that Scott Rifenbark, our
tech writer for the project passed away on Wednesday after a battle
with cancer.

I remember interviewing Scott over 10 years ago when forming a team at
Intel to work on what became the Yocto Project, he was with it from the
start. He warned me he wasn't an entirely traditional tech writer but I
warned we weren't aiming to be a traditional project either. It was a
great match. He stayed with the project ever since in one way or
another, he enjoyed working on the project and we enjoyed working with
him.

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Lars Kurth RIP

Filed under
Obits
  • Lars Kurth RIP

    Ian Jackson posted a note to the xen-announce mailing list with the sad news that Xen community manager and project advisory board member Lars Kurth has died.

  • Lars Kurth
    I'm very sad to inform you that Lars Kurth passed away earlier this
    week.  Many of us regarded Lars as a personal friend, and his loss is a
    great loss to the Xen Project.
    
    We plan to have a tribute to Lars on the XenProject blog in the near
    future.  Those who are attending FOSDEM may wish to attend the short
    tribute we plan for Sunday morning:
      https://fosdem.org/2020/schedule/event/vai_memory_of_lars_kurth/
    
    For the moment, Lars's mail aliases @xenproject.org, and the
    community.manager@xenproject alias, will be forwarded to myself
    and/or George Dunlap.
    
    Ian Jackson.
    

Remembering Brad Childs

Filed under
Red Hat
Obits

Earlier this year, the Kubernetes family lost one of its own. Brad Childs was a SIG Storage chair and long time contributor to the project. Brad worked on a number of features in storage and was known as much for his friendliness and sense of humor as for his technical contributions and leadership.

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LWN on Linux and Linux Foundation Bits

  • Modernizing the tasklet API

    Tasklets offer a deferred-execution method in the Linux kernel; they have been available since the 2.3 development series. They allow interrupt handlers to schedule further work to be executed as soon as possible after the handler itself. The tasklet API has its shortcomings, but it has stayed in place while other deferred-execution methods, including workqueues, have been introduced. Recently, Kees Cook posted a security-inspired patch set (also including work from Romain Perier) to improve the tasklet API. This change is uncontroversial, but it provoked a discussion that might lead to the removal of the tasklet API in the (not so distant) future. The need for tasklets and other deferred execution mechanisms comes from the way the kernel handles interrupts. An interrupt is (usually) caused by some hardware event; when it happens, the execution of the current task is suspended and the interrupt handler takes the CPU. Before the introduction of threaded interrupts, the interrupt handler had to perform the minimum necessary operations (like accessing the hardware registers to silence the interrupt) and then call an appropriate deferred-work mechanism to take care of just about everything else that needed to be done. Threaded interrupts, yet another import from the realtime preemption work, move the handler to a kernel thread that is scheduled in the usual way; this feature was merged for the 2.6.30 kernel, by which time tasklets were well established. An interrupt handler will schedule a tasklet when there is some work to be done at a later time. The kernel then runs the tasklet when possible, typically when the interrupt handler finishes, or the task returns to the user space. The tasklet callback runs in atomic context, inside a software interrupt, meaning that it cannot sleep or access user-space data, so not all work can be done in a tasklet handler. Also, the kernel only allows one instance of any given tasklet to be running at any given time; multiple different tasklet callbacks can run in parallel. Those limitations of tasklets are not present in more recent deferred work mechanisms like workqueues. But still, the current kernel contains more than a hundred users of tasklets. Cook's patch set changes the parameter type for the tasklet's callback. In current kernels, they take an unsigned long value that is specified when the tasklet is initialized. This is different from other kernel mechanisms with callbacks; the preferred way in current kernels is to use a pointer to a type-specific structure. The change Cook proposes goes in that direction by passing the tasklet context (struct tasklet_struct) to the callback. The goal behind this work is to avoid a number of problems, including a need to cast from the unsigned int to a different type (without proper type checking) in the callback. The change allows the removal of the (now) redundant data field from the tasklet structure. Finally, this change mitigates the possible buffer overflow attacks that could overwrite the callback pointer and the data field. This is likely one of the primary objectives, as the work was first posted (in 2019) on the kernel-hardening mailing list.

  • Android kernel notes from LPC 2020

    Todd Kjos started things off by introducing the Android Generic Kernel Image (GKI) effort, which is aimed at reducing Android's kernel-fragmentation problem in general. It is the next step for the Android Common Kernel, which is based on the mainline long-term support (LTS) releases with a number of patches added on top. These patches vary from Android-specific, out-of-tree features to fixes cherry-picked from mainline releases. The end result is that the Android Common Kernel diverges somewhat from the LTS releases on which it is based. From there, things get worse. Vendors pick up this kernel and apply their own changes — often significant, core-kernel changes — to create a vendor kernel. The original-equipment manufacturers begin with that kernel when creating a device based on the vendor's chips, but then add changes of their own to create the OEM kernel that is shipped with a device to the consumer. The end result of all this patching is that every device has its own kernel, meaning that there are thousands of different "Android" kernels in use. There are a lot of costs to this arrangement, Kjos said. Fragmentation makes it harder to ensure that all devices are running current kernels — or even that they get security updates. New platform releases require a new kernel, which raises the cost of upgrading an existing device to a new Android version. Fixes applied by vendors and OEMs often do not make it back into the mainline, making things worse for everybody. The Android developers would like to fix this fragmentation problem; the path toward that goal involves providing a single generic kernel in binary form (the GKI) that all devices would use. Any vendor-specific or device-specific code that is not in the mainline kernel will need to be shipped in the form of kernel modules to be loaded into the GKI. That means that Android is explicitly encouraging vendor modules, Kjos said; the result is a cleaner kernel without the sorts of core-kernel modifications that ship on many devices now. This policy has already resulted in more vendors actively working to upstream their code. That code often does not take the form that mainline developers would like to see; some of it is just patches exporting symbols. That has created some tension in the development community, he said.

  • Vibrant Networking, Edge Open Source Development On Full Display at Open Networking & Edge Summit

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  • Vibrant Networking, Edge Open Source Development On Full Display at Open Networking & Edge Summit

    The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today marked significant progress in the open networking and edge spaces. In advance of the Open Networking and Edge Summit happening September 28-30, Linux Foundation umbrella projects LF Edge and LF Networking demonstrate recent achievements highlighting trends that set the stage for next-generation technology. [...] “We are thrilled to announce a number of milestones across our networking and edge projects, which will be on virtual display at ONES next week,” said Arpit Joshipura, general manager, Networking, Edge and IOT, at the Linux Foundation. “Indicative of what’s coming next, our communities are laying the groundwork for markets like cloud native, 5G, and edge to explode in terms of open deployments.”