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Debian

Why has Debian been gripped by vendettas?

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Debian

Debian Community News and the Uncensored Debian Planet site (follow the RSS feed if you want all sides of the story) have cast a new light on uncomfortable truths about the way free software is produced.

As people dig deeper, they are surprised to find that evidence of cult phenomena is indisputable while accusations against victims lack any evidence whatsoever.

Nonetheless, running an elaborate cult surely takes time and effort. Why would anybody bother to do this?

Credibility of Debian's name

Debian, thanks to the the Debian Social Contract, long history and technical reliability, has built up a reputation for technical competence.

When somebody associated with Debian points out that Google's privacy policy is no more than a modern-day re-write of The Emperor's New Clothes, their concerns are often amplified and widely noticed.

Companies like Google resent this, so they exert influence in various ways to discredit those individuals who speak the truth.

We see exactly the same phenomena in the United States right now where President Trump has been trying to undermine his country's leading expert on pandemics, Dr Anthony Fauci.

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Debian: Former DPL Chris Lamb, Current DPL Jonathan Carter and Steve Kemp

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Debian

           

  • Chris Lamb: Pop culture matters

    Many people labour under the assumption that pop culture is trivial and useless while only 'high' art can grant us genuine and eternal knowledge about the world. Given that we have a finite time on this planet, we are all permitted to enjoy pop culture up to a certain point, but we should always minimise our interaction with it, and consume more moral and intellectual instruction wherever possible.

    Or so the theory goes. What these people do not realise is that pop culture can often provide more information about the world, humanity in general and — what is even more important — ourselves.

    This is not quite the debate around whether high art is artistically better, simply that pop culture can be equally informative. Jeremy Bentham argued in the 1820s that "prejudice apart, the game of push-pin is of equal value with the arts and sciences of music and poetry", that it didn't matter where our pleasures come from. (John Stuart Mill, Bentham's intellectual rival, disagreed.) This fundamental question of philosophical utilitarianism will not be resolved here.

    [...]

    In summary, we can simultaneously say that pop culture is not worthy of our time relative to other pursuits while consuming however much of it we want, but deliberately dismissing pop culture doesn't mean that a lot of other people are not interacting with it and is therefore undeserving of any inquiry. And if that doesn't convince you, just like the once-unavoidable millennial pink, simply sticking our collective heads in the sand will not mean that wider societal-level ugliness is going to disappear anytime soon.

  • Jonathan Carter: Free Software Activities for 2020-06

    Hmm, this is the latest I’ve posted my monthly updates yet (nearly by a month!). June was both crazy on the incoming side, and at the same time I just wasn’t that productive (at least since then I caught up a lot). In theory, lockdown means that I spend less time in traffic, in shops or with friends and have more time to do stuff, in practice I go to bed later and later and waste more time watching tv shows and playing mobile games. A cycle that I have at least broken free from since June.

  • Steve Kemp: I'm a bit of a git (hacker?)

    Sometimes I enjoy reading the source code to projects I like, use, or am about to install for the first time. This was something I used to do on a very regular basis, looking for security issues to report. Nowadays I don't have so much free time, but I still like to inspect the source code to new applications I install, and every now and again I'll find the time to look at the source to random projects.

    Reading code is good. Reading code is educational.

    One application I've looked at multiple times is redis, which is a great example of clean and well-written code. That said when reading the redis codebase I couldn't help noticing that there were a reasonably large number of typos/spelling mistakes in the comments...

Tails 4.9, the Amnesic Incognito Live System, Released with Linux Kernel 5.7

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Security
Debian

Tails 4.9 is a monthly update that’s here to replace last month’s Tails 4.8 release for those who want to install the popular amnesic incognito live system on new computers.

Therefore, Tails 4.9 is just an updated installation media containing various up-to-date components. The most important updated component in this release being the Linux kernel, which has been updated to version 5.7.6.

Tails 4.8 was using Linux kernel 5.6, which is no longer supported, so the inclusion of the latest Linux 5.7 kernel series in Tails is great news for those who want to run the Debian-based distribution on newer hardware.

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Craig Small: 25 Years of Free Software

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GNU
Debian

So you have written something you think others might like, what software license will you use to distribute it? In 1995 it wasn’t that clear. This was the era of strange boutique licenses including ones where it was ok to run the program as a hamradio operator but not a CB radio operator (or at least they tried to work it that way).

A friend of mine and the author of the Linux HAM HOWTO amongst other documents, Terry Dawson, suggested I use GPL or another Free Software license. He explained what this Free Software thing was and said that if you want your program to be the most useful then something like GPL will do it. So I released axdigi under the GPL license and most of my programs since then have used the same license. Something like MIT or BSD licenses would have been fine too, I was just not going to use something closed or hand-crafted.

That was a while ago, I’ve written or maintained many programs since then. I also became a Debian maintainer (23 years so far) and adopted both procps and psmisc which I still maintain as both the Debian developer and upstream to this day.

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Events: DebianDay, GUADEC 2020 and OpenSUSE + LibreOffice

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GNOME
Debian
SUSE
  • Let's celebrate DebianDay 2020 around the world

    We encourage our community to celebrate around the world the 27th Debian anniversary with organized [DebianDay][1] events. This year due to the COVID-19 pandemic we cannot organize in-person events, so we ask instead that contributors, developers, teams, groups, maintainers, and users promote The Debian Project and Debian activities online on August 16th (and/or 15th).

    Communities can organize a full schedule of online activities throughout the day. These activities can include talks, workshops, active participation with contributions such as translations assistance or editing, debates, BoFs, and all of this in your local language using tools such as [Jitsi][2] for capturing audio and video from presenters for later streaming to YouTube.

    If you are not aware of any local community organizing a full event or you don't want to join one, you can solo design your own activity using [OBS][3] and stream it to YouTube. You can watch an OBS tutorial [here][4].

    Don't forget to record your activity as it will be a nice idea to upload it to [Peertube][5] later.

  • GUADEC 2020 Kicks Off Today as GNOME’s First Virtual Conference

    The GUADEC 2020 (GNOME Users And Developers European Conference) event kicks off today until July 28th as GNOME’s first online conference in the coronavirus era.

    The time has come for the summer Linux conferences to open their doors to virtual visitors, and GUDEC 2020 is the first major Linux conference to switch to an online format. The event was supposed to take place in Zacatecas, Mexico, but as you can imagine, everyone is adapting every day to respond to the needs created by the COVID-19 crisis, which affects us all.

    GUADEC 2020 is the place where GNOME users and developers from all over the world gather together to share knowledge and discuss upcoming features of the next major release of the GNOME desktop environment, which is used by numerous Linux-based operating systems, including Ubuntu, Debian, openSUSE, Fedora, and many others.

  • openSUSE + LibreOffice Virtual Conference Extends Call for Papers

    Organizers of the openSUSE + LibreOffice Virtual Conference are extending the Call for Papers to August 4.

    Participants can submit talks for the live conference past the original deadline of July 21 for the next two weeks.

    The conference is scheduled to take place online from Oct. 15. - 17.

    The length of the talks that can be submitted are either a 15-minute short talk, a 30-minute normal talk and/or a 60-minute work group session. Organizers believe shortening the talks will keep attendees engaged for the duration of the online conference.

Debian: Unusual Bug, Sparky and Many New Developers

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Debian
  • Screen ghosts

    This is happening on two different laptops, an HP EliteBook x360 G1, and a Lenovo ThinkPad X240, one that I've been using since 3 years, one that I've been using since a week, and whose only thing in common is a 1920x1080 IPS screen and an Intel GPU.

    I have no idea where to start debugging this. Please reach out to me at enrico@debian.org if any of this makes sense to you.

  • Lite Editor

    There is a new application available for Sparkers: Lite Editor

    What is Lite Editor?

    Lite is a lightweight text editor written mostly in Lua — it aims to provide something practical, pretty, small and fast, implemented as simply as possible; easy to modify and extend, or to use without doing either.

  • New Debian Developers and Maintainers (May and June 2020)

    The following contributors got their Debian Developer accounts in the last two months:

    Richard Laager (rlaager)
    Thiago Andrade Marques (andrade)
    Vincent Prat (vivi)
    Michael Robin Crusoe (crusoe)
    Jordan Justen (jljusten)
    Anuradha Weeraman (anuradha)
    Bernelle Verster (indiebio)
    Gabriel F. T. Gomes (gabriel)
    Kurt Kremitzki (kkremitzki)
    Nicolas Mora (babelouest)
    Birger Schacht (birger)
    Sudip Mukherjee (sudip)
    The following contributors were added as Debian

    Maintainers in the last two months:

    Marco Trevisan
    Dennis Braun
    Stephane Neveu
    Seunghun Han
    Alexander Johan Georg Kjäll
    Friedrich Beckmann
    Diego M. Rodriguez
    Nilesh Patra
    Hiroshi Yokota

    Congratulations!

Updated Debian 9: 9.13 released

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Debian

The Debian project is pleased to announce the thirteenth (and final) update of its oldstable distribution Debian 9 (codename "stretch"). This point release mainly adds corrections for security issues, along with a few adjustments for serious problems. Security advisories have already been published separately and are referenced where available.

After this point release, Debian's Security and Release Teams will no longer be producing updates for Debian 9. Users wishing to continue to receive security support should upgrade to Debian 10, or see https://wiki.debian.org/LTS for details about the subset of architectures and packages covered by the Long Term Support project.

Please note that the point release does not constitute a new version of Debian 9 but only updates some of the packages included. There is no need to throw away old "stretch" media. After installation, packages can be upgraded to the current versions using an up-to-date Debian mirror.

Those who frequently install updates from security.debian.org won't have to update many packages, and most such updates are included in the point release.

New installation images will be available soon at the regular locations.

Upgrading an existing installation to this revision can be achieved by pointing the package management system at one of Debian's many HTTP mirrors. A comprehensive list of mirrors is available at...

Read more

Also: Debian Stretch 9.13 release - blog post 2 - testing of basic .iso images ongoing as at 202007181655

Debian GNU/Linux 9.13 Released as the Last in the “Stretch” Series

Debian "Stretch" 9.13 release preparations ongoing

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Debian

Just checking in. Debian "Jessie" == oldoldstable == Debian 8 was the previous Debian Long Term Support release. Debian LTS seeks to provide support for Debian releases for five years. LTS support for Jessie ended on 30th June 2020.

A limited subset of Jessie will now move to ELTS - Extended Long Term Support and another two years projected support.

Neither LTS nor ELTS are supported any longer by the main Debian folks: instead, they are supported on a commercial basis by a group of Debian volunteers and companies, coordinated by a company led by Raphael Hertzog.

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Leftovers: OpenSUSE, Debian, Ubuntu and Command Line Heroes (Red Hat)

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GNU
Linux
Red Hat
Debian
SUSE
Ubuntu

  • Release Team Asks for Feedback on openSUSE Leap "15.2"

    The openSUSE release team is would like feedback from users, developers and stakeholders about the release of the of community-developed openSUSE Leap 15.2 through a survey.

    The survey is available at https://survey.opensuse.org.

    openSUSE Leap 15.2 was released on July 2. Two weeks of people installing the release and using it is a good timeframe to capture fresh ideas and thoughts about how people felt about the release. The survey centers on these two questions: what went well and what didn’t go well?

    That is the question the release team is asking of those who installed and used openSUSE Leap 15.2.

    The team hopes the feedback will provide enough information to help improve the release processes and other elements people found important.

    The survey will close on August 4.

  • DebConf Videoteam Sprint Report -- DebConf20@Home

    DebConf20 starts in about 5 weeks, and as always, the DebConf Videoteam is working hard to make sure it'll be a success. As such, we held a sprint from July 9th to 13th to work on our new infrastructure.

    [...]

    For DebConf20, we strongly encourage presenters to record their talks in advance and send us the resulting video. We understand this is more work, but we think it'll make for a more agreeable conference for everyone. Video conferencing is still pretty wonky and there is nothing worse than a talk ruined by a flaky internet connection or hardware failures.

    As such, if you are giving a talk at DebConf this year, we are asking you to read and follow our guide on how to record your presentation.

    Fear not: we are not getting rid of the Q&A period at the end of talks. Attendees will ask their questions — either on IRC or on a collaborative pad — and the Talkmeister will relay them to the speaker once the pre-recorded video has finished playing.

  • Abhijith PA: Workstation setup

    Recently I’ve seen lot of people sharing about their home office setup. I thought why don’t I do something similar. Not to beat FOMO, but in future when I revisit this blog, it will be lovely to understand that I had some cool stuffs.

    There are people who went deep down in the ocean to lay cables for me to have a remote job and I am thankful to them.

    Being remote my home is my office. On my work table I have a Samsung R439 laptop. I’ve blogged about it earlier. New addition is that it have another 4GB RAM, a total of 6GB and 120GB SSD. I run Debian testing on it. Laptop is placed on a stand. Dell MS116 as external mouse always connected to it. I also use an external keyboard from fingers. The keys are very stiff so I don’t recommend this to anyone. The only reason I took this keyboard that it is in my budget and have a backlit, which I needed most.

  • Best practices for an effective remote team in the world of cloud delivery

    Effective communication between customers, engineers, and project managers is the most critical element of successful cloud delivery. This has always been the case, but it is doubly important in the absence of regular, face-to-face contact.

    For remote teams, instant messaging is an invaluable tool. Internally, we use instant messaging both to keep in touch with one another and to coordinate on projects. However, it’s important to keep these two purposes separate. Maintaining one social channel and one business-focused channel prevents casual conversation from disrupting work.

    For communication with customers, the use of email is the standard tool. Indeed, official design decisions should not be made lightly and need to be documented. In order to avoid delays and have everyone stick to action points, we make sure to chase up through phone or message, but always need to communicate through email. This helps ensure that both parties stay up-to-date on a project’s status and that we have written confirmations.

  • Canonical Lets Global SIs Resell, Integrate Entire Portfolio

    An enhanced partner program from Canonical, publisher of the Ubuntu open-source operating system, will enable global systems integrators to resell and integrate the company’s entire portfolio of products and services for data centers, multicloud environments, the edge, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

  • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S13E17 – Knitting outside

    This week we’ve been filling in forms and doing kitchen renovations. We discuss popularity contest being removed from Ubuntu, 19.10 going EOL, KDEs cross-platform storefront and Linux adopting inclusive language. We also round up our picks from the wider tech news and share an event; remember those!

    It’s Season 13 Episode 17 of the Ubuntu Podcast! Alan Pope, Mark Johnson and Martin Wimpress are connected and speaking to your brain.

  • Command Line Heroes - Season 5, episode 1: Becoming a coder

    Saron Yitbarek and Clive Thompson start the season by exploring some ways coders start their tech careers—some common, many unexpected. You might be surprised who answers the call to code, where they come from, and how much they’ve already accomplished.

Debian Developers' Blogs on Technical Work

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Debian
  • Markus Koschany: My Free Software Activities in June 2020

    Welcome to gambaru.de. Here is my monthly report (+ the first week in July) that covers what I have been doing for Debian. If you’re interested in Java, Games and LTS topics, this might be interesting for you.

  • MessagePack vs CBOR (RFC7049)

    I recently wanted to choose a binary encoding. This was for a project using Rust serde, so I looked at the list of formats there. I ended up reading about CBOR and MessagePack.

    Both of these are binary formats for a JSON-like data model. Both of them are "schemaless", meaning you can decode them without knowing the structure. (This also provides some forwards compatibility.) They are, in fact, quite similar (although they are totally incompatible). This is no accident: CBOR is, effectively, a fork of MessagePack.

    Both formats continue to exist and both are being used in new programs. I needed to make a choice but lacked enough information. I thought I would try to examine the reasons and nature of the split, and to make some kind of judgement about the situation. So I did a lot of reading [11]. Here are my conclusions.

  • Debian PPC64EL Emulation

    In my post on Debian S390X Emulation [1] I mentioned having problems booting a Debian PPC64EL kernel under QEMU. Giovanni commented that they had PPC64EL working and gave a link to their site with Debian QEMU images for various architectures [2]. I tried their image which worked then tried mine again which also worked – it seemed that a recent update in Debian/Unstable fixed the bug that made QEMU not work with the PPC64EL kernel.

    Here are the instructions on how to do it.

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