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Debian

Debian and Ubuntu, Lies and Marketing

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Debian
Ubuntu
Misc
  • Jonathan Carter: Running for DPL

    I am running for Debian Project Leader, my official platform is published on the Debian website (currently looks a bit weird, but a fix is pending publication), with a more readable version available on my website as well as a plain-text version.

    Shortly after I finished writing the first version of my platform page, I discovered an old talk from Ian Murdock at Microsoft Research where he said something that resonated well with me, and I think also my platform.

  • Stephen Michael Kellat: Middle of March Meandering

    Eventually I intend to try Ubuntu Server installations to the three idle Raspberry Pi 3B+ boards. The ultimate goal there is for being able to offload video transcoding.

  • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 570
  • Two-thirds of Android antivirus apps are worthless or worse

    Yes, you may as well change your wallpaper to say "no viruses allowed:" it'd be just as effective as the 170 antivirus products that detected fewer than 30 per cent of the 2000 malicious apps installed for testing purposes.

  • Why foldable smartphones are more fad than forever devices

    I've been a part of many industries and, without fail, each industry eventually resorts to gimmicks to sell a product. In some instances, the gimmick convinces consumers that the new product and is the must-have of the industry.

    [...]

    The smartphone industry is no stranger to such snake-oil salesmanship. We've seen pop-up selfie cameras, Samsung Air View, built-in projectors, the HTC kickstand, the Amazon Fire Phone, the Ubuntu Phone, LG Modules, smart scroll, Alcatel disco lights, Blackberry Storm, Samsung edge display, KnockOn Password, HTC U11, and Pixel squeezable sides.

    The point being, the smartphone industry is keen on bringing to light a plethora of gimmicks to try and woo users away from their current devices.

Debian: Laura Arjona Reina and Daniel Pocock on Meetups, Debian-based Whonix VirtualBox 14.0.1.4.4 Released

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Debian
  • Laura Arjona Reina: A weekend for the Debian website and friends

    Last weekend (15-17 March 2019) some members of the Debian web team have met at my place in Madrid to advance work together in what we call a Debian Sprint. A report will be published in the following days, but I want to say thank you to everybody that made possible this meeting happen.

    We have shared 2-3 very nice days, we have agreed in many topics and started to design an new homepage focused in newcomers (since a Debianite usually just go to the subpage they need) and showing that Debian the operating system is made by a community of people. We are committed to simplify the content of and the structure of www.debian.org, we have fixed some bugs already, and talked about many other aspects. We shared some time to know each other, and I think all of us became motivated to continue working on the website (because there is still a lot of work to do!) and make easy for new contributors to get involved too.

  • Daniel Pocock: Happy St Patrick's Day, IFSO AGM and meeting sock puppets

    Now Debian has similar problems to FSFE: undemocratic behaviour by the leaders, censorship and then, for fear of retribution, it looks like some people stop using their real names when posting on the debian-project mailing list and other people may erroneously be accused of not using real names. With over five thousand people subscribed to the list, I don't feel that two people with similar names is a compelling example of sock-puppeteering and some of the accusations are uncomfortable for multiple people. Even fewer people dare to open their mouth next.

    This brings us to another of the benefits of setting up local associations like IFSO: people can meet face to face more often, maybe monthly and then nobody is wondering if they are corresponding with a sock puppet. FSFE's 27 members (what they call the "General Assembly", or other people regard as a cabal) only officially meets once per year. It has become too big to function like a board or have regular meetings but too small to have the credibility that would come from acknowledging all volunteers/fellows as equal members.

  • Whonix VirtualBox 14.0.1.4.4 - Unified OVA Downloads - Point Release

    This release introduces unified ova downloads. Rather than a separate Whonix-Gateway ova and Whonix-Workstation ova download, from now, there is only a single Whonix ova which includes both Whonix virtual machines (VMs), Whonix-Gateway and Whonix-Workstation.

    This will reduce the steps users are required to apply (one download less / only one instead of two downloads), improve usability, make Whonix downloads more standardized compared to other software downloads, and simplify our infrastructure maintenance work. The Whonix split VM design (separate Whonix-Gateway and Whonix-Workstation) is remains unmodified. Only the process of setting up Whonix was simplified.

    Instructions for import and verification of Whonix VMs are not yet updated but remain very, very similar.

deepin, the prettiest Linux distribution, switches to Debian stable in 15.9.2 beta

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Debian

There are many Linux distributions in the wild nowadays, but none are more beautiful than deepin. Even though I don't use the operating system regularly (I prefer Fedora and GNOME), I recognize deepin's beauty as second to none. Some people refuse to use the distro because its developers are in China, but in reality, it should be fine to use. Just like concerns about Huawei hardware, it is largely due to xenophobia.

While deepin has always seemed rock solid to me, its base of Debian unstable apparently made it less reliable than the developers liked. As a result, beginning with the new 15.9.2 beta, deepin is switching to Debian stable. In other words, the developers are not only focused on the superficial.

Read more

Five in running for leader of Debian GNU/Linux project

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Debian

When it rains, it tends to pour. This seems true in the case of the Debian GNU/Linux project elections, with five developers putting their hands up to contest for the post of leader, after nobody was in the running three days out from the initial date for the closing of nominations.
On Friday, as iTWire reported, just one developer, Joerg Jaspert, had said he would be contesting the post.

Another four developers have now joined the ranks: Jonathan Carter, Sam Hartman, Martin Michlmayr and Simon Richter.

Michlmayr has been leader twice before, in 2003 and 2004. A quiet, introspective type, he is the most experienced of the five candidates.

Read more

Also: How Debian Almost Failed to Elect a Project Leader

Debian: KNOPPIX 8.5.0 Linux Magazin Release, New Maintainer (Romain Perier) and New DPL Candidates (Joerg Jaspert, Jonathan Carter, and Sam Hartman)

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Debian
  • KNOPPIX 8.5.0 released

    Remember the KNOPPIX distribution? KNOPPIX 8.5.0 has been released. It includes a 4.20 kernel, several desktop environments, the ADRIANE audio desktop, UEFI secure boot support, and more.

  • KNOPPIX 8.5.0 Linux Magazin Release
  • Romain Perier: Hello planet !

    My name is Romain, I have been nominated to the status of  Debian Maintainer recently. I am part of the debian-kernel team (still a padawan) since few months, and, as a DM, I will co-maintain the package raspi3-firmware with Gunnar Wolf.

    [...]

    I will try my best to get an excellent support for all Raspberry PI in Debian (with unofficial images at the beginning). Including kernel support, kernel bugs fixes or improvements, debos and/or vmdb2 recipes for generating buster images easily, and even graphical stack hacks Smile . I will continue my work in the kernel-team, because there are a tons of things to do, and of courses as co-maintainer, maintain raspi3-firmware (that will be probably renamed to something more generic, *spoil*).

  • Debian project leader candidates emerge

    When Leaderless Debian was written, it seemed entirely plausible that there would still be no candidates for the project leader office even after the extended nomination deadline passed. It is now clear that there will be no need to extend the deadline further, since three candidates (Joerg Jaspert, Jonathan Carter, and Sam Hartman) have stepped forward. It seems likely that the wider discussion on the role of the Debian project leader will continue but, in the meantime, the office will not sit empty.

Deepin 15.9.2 Beta - The Repository Migrates to Debian Stable

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Debian

deepin is an open source GNU/Linux operating system, based on Linux kernel and mainly on desktop applications, supporting laptops, desktops and all-in-ones. It preinstalls Deepin Desktop Environment (DDE) and nearly 30 deepin native applications, as well as several applications from the open source community to meet users' daily learning and work needs. In addition, about a thousand of applications are offered in Deepin Store to meet users’ various needs.

deepin 15.9.2 Beta is rebuilt and released based on the stable repository instead of previous Debian unstable. Several deepin applications have been migrated there too. By migration, deepin software repository will be more stable and reliability.

What is the difference between deepin 15.9.2 Beta ISO and deepin 15.9 ISO?

The main difference is that deepin software repository migrates from Debian unstable to Debian stable. Compared with 15.9 ISO, deepin 15.9.2 Beta ISO integrates the latest deepin 15.9.2 and has been adjusted and optimized accordingly.

Why migrate to Debian stable from unstable?

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Programming: C, JDK, LLVM and Debian

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Development
Debian
  • Linux C Programming Tutorial Part 12 - Assignment Operators and Conditional Expressions

    In this ongoing C programming tutorial series, we have already discussed some of the basic stuff like arithmetic, logical, and relational operators as well as conditional loops like 'if' and 'while'. Adding upon that, this tutorial will focus on assignment operators (other than =) and conditional expressions.

  • Set up JDK Mission Control with Red Hat Build of OpenJDK

    JDK Mission Control is now the newest member of the Red Hat Software Collections (RHSCL). JDK Mission Control is a powerful profiler for HotSpot Java virtual machines (JVMs) and has an advanced set of tools that enable efficient and detailed analysis of the extensive data collected by JDK Flight Recorder. The toolchain enables developers and administrators to collect and analyze data from Java applications running locally or deployed in production environments.

    In this article, I will go through a primary example of setting up JDK Mission Control. For Linux, JDK Mission Control is part of the RHSCL and, for Windows, it is available as part of the OpenJDK zip distribution on the Red Hat Customer Portal. For Linux, these instructions assume that Red Hat Build of OpenJDK 11 is already installed. I will show how to set up the system to install software from RHSCL, which provides the latest development technologies for Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Then, I will install the JDK Mission Control and run a simple sample application. The whole tutorial should take fewer than 10 minutes to complete.

  • A Big Patch Could Yield Big Performance Benefits For GPU Offloading With LLVM

    The researchers at Saarland University in Germany continue doing interesting things with LLVM and a new patch for at least some benchmarks can yield big performance benefits for GPU offloading.

    Johannes Doerfert of Saarland University published code this week on the OpenMP GPU code "SPMD-zation". The code builds upon their earlier proposal from months ago to allow for more code targeting the GPU to be executed in SPMD (Single Program, Multiple Data) mode and lightweight "guarded" modes where appropriate in order to overcome some bottlenecks in LLVM's existing OpenMP GPU offloading code.

  • Ben Hutchings: Debian LTS work, February 2019

    I was assigned 19.5 hours of work by Freexian's Debian LTS initiative and carried over 1 hour from January. I worked only 4 hours and so will carry over 16.5 hours.

  • Hideki Yamane: pbuilder hack with new debootstrap option

    Suddenly I noticed that maybe I can use --cache-dir option that I've added to debootstrap some time ago for pbuilder, too. Then hacked it.

Finally, one dev puts hand up for Debian leader post

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Debian

The Debian GNU/Linux project has extended the last date for nominations for the post of leader to be received, a couple of days before the last date for nominations. One nomination has come in, with developer Joerg Jaspert, who is part of the Debian Account Managers team, putting his hand up.
Nominations were initially slated to close on 16 March, after opening on the 3rd. The project, which puts out what is arguably the best GNU/Linux distribution, caters to a large number of architectures as well. It is the base for many other distributions, including Ubuntu.

Jaspert sponsors those who are not yet developers so they can maintain their own packages, according to his own website. He also helps people who are maintainers to transition to developer.

The campaigning period for the Debian election is from 17 March to 6 April, though that may now be pushed out by a week as well. Voting was originally scheduled to take place from 7 April to 20 April.

Read more

Daniel Pocock: The risks of secret punishments in online communities

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OSS
Debian

While the controversy over the integrity of elections in free software communities is significant, a far more serious issue for all communities right now is the spectre of secret punishments and other practices that involve shaming people. Debian has recently experimented with these practices and it would be wise to ensure they are not repeated or replicated in any other community.

Secret punishments exploit shame to maintain secrecy and avoid controversy. For example, many pedophiles know they can keep offending because shame will keep their victims from talking.

This reveals an interesting feature of shame: people feel shame whether they did something wrong or not. An innocent 13-year-old victim of a pedophile feels shame. A rogue trader who knows he is guilty feels shame too. It is much the same emotion.

Not everybody responds the same way however. Consider the recent prosecution of Cardinal Pell in my home town, Melbourne, Australia. I went to Catholic schools and a number of relatives worked in Catholic education, in the administration down the road from St Patrick's Cathedral, where Pell would wander in from time to time for meetings. I used to row past St Kevin's almost every day. I met many people from St Kevin's during university too. It is unusual for me to see Cardinal Pell in this situation and I can't help contemplating people on both sides of the case. Consider one key fact from the trial: of the two boys who were allegedly abused, one has died from a drug overdose and there was no evidence that he ever told anybody about Pell's offenses at any point in his life. Shame prevented him from talking. Yet some victims of this abuse do choose to come forward.

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No candidates three days before nominations for Debian leader end

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Debian

The Debian GNU/Linux project may soon have to come up with a solution to the lack of any candidates for the post of project leader, with nobody having thrown their hat into the ring as yet after nominations opened on 3 March.
Nominations close on 16 March, after which there is the usual campaigning period and finally the vote itself which takes place between 7 and 20 April.

The incumbent leader, Chris Lamb, has held the post for two years.

Australian Daniel Pocock, who is not a developer but who wished to contest for the post, told iTWire that he had been blocked from doing so.

Read more

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GNOME: Theming, Mutter and Sprint 1

  • App Devs Ask Linux Distros to “Stop Theming Our Apps”
    A group of independent Linux app developers have written an open letter to ask wider GNOME community to ask: “stop theming our apps”. The letter is addressed to the maintainers of Linux distributions who elect to ship custom GTK and icons themes by default in lieu of upstream defaults. By publicising the issues they feel stem from the practice of “theming” it’s hoped that distros and developers might work together to create a “healthier GNOME third party app ecosystem”.
  • A Group of Independent Linux App Developers Has Asked Wider GNOME Community To 'Stop Theming' Its Apps
  • GNOME's Mutter Makes Another Step Towards X11-Less, Starting XWayland On-Demand
    GNOME 3.34 feature development continues at full-speed with a lot of interesting activity this cycle particularly on the Mutter front. On top of the performance/lag/stuttering improvements, today Mutter saw the merging of the "X11 excision" preparation patches. The Mutter patches by longtime GNOME developer Carlos Garnacho around preparing for X11 excision were merged minutes ago.
  • Georges Basile Stavracas Neto: New Background panel, Calendar search engine, GTK4 shortcut engine (Sprint 1)
    GNOME To Do is full GTK4 these days. Which means it’s both a testbed for new GTK4 features, and also a way to give feedback as an app developer for the GTK team. Unfortunately, it also means To Do is blocked on various areas where GTK4 is lacking. One of these areas is keyboard shortcut. Last year, Benjamin wrote a major revamp for keyboard shortcuts. As part of this cycle, I decided to rebase and finish it; and also make To Do use the new API. Unfortunately, I failed to achieve what I set myself to. Turns out, adding a shortcuts engine to GTK4 is more involving and requires way more context than I had when trying to get it up to speed. I failed to predict that one week would have not been enough to finish it all. However, that does not mean all the efforts were wasted! The rebasing of the shortcuts engine was a non-trivial task successfully completed (see gtk!842), and I also fixed a few bugs while working on it. I also got a working prototype of GNOME To Do with the new APIs, and confirmed that it’s well suited — at least for a simpler application such as To Do. In retrospect, I believe I should have been more realistic (and perhaps slightly pessimistic) about the length and requirements of this task.

Programming: SVE2, Graphical Interface, Guile, Python and More

  • Arm SVE2 Support Aligning For GCC 10, LLVM Clang 9.0
    Given the significant performance benefits to Arm's Scalable Vector Extension 2 (SVE2), they are working on ensuring the open-source Linux compiler toolchains support these new CPU instructions ahead of SoCs shipping that support this big addition. Arm announced Scalable Vector Extension 2 (SVE2) recently as their latest advancement around SIMD programming and increasing data-level parallelism in programs. SVE2 is designed to ultimately deliver better SIMD performance than their long-available Neon extensions and to scale the performance with vector length increases as well as enabling auto-vectorization techniques. More details in this post on SVE2.
  • Intake: Discovering and Exploring Data in a Graphical Interface
    Do you have data that you’d like people to be able to explore on their own? Are you always passing around snippets of code to load specific data files? These are problems that people encounter all the time when working in groups and using the same datasources or when trying to distribute data to the public. Some users are comfortable interacting with data entirely programatically, but often it is helpful to use a GUI (Graphical User Interface) instead. With that in mind we have reimplemented the Intake GUI so that in addition to working in a jupyter notebook, it can be served as a web application next to your data, or at any endpoint.
  • lightening run-time code generation
    The upcoming Guile 3 release will have just-in-time native code generation. Finally, amirite? There's lots that I'd like to share about that and I need to start somewhere, so this article is about one piece of it: Lightening, a library to generate machine code.
  • Python Language Creator: “Male Attitude” Is Hurting The Programming Space
    Guido van Rossum is a famous name in the programming world. He is the creator of the Python programming language which was developed back in 1989. It is only since the last few years when this general-purpose programming language started gaining popularity. The number of Python users has increased significantly and it was not only named as the best programming language by IEEE but also the most asked-about language on Stack Overflow, overthrowing JavaScript — the all-time winner for decades.
  • Avant-IDLE: an experiment

Dear Ubuntu: Please Stop Packaging Epiphany If You Won’t Do It Properly

When users try Epiphany on Ubuntu, they receive a sub-par, broken browser. If you’re not willing to do this right, please just remove Epiphany from your repositories. We’d all be happier this way. You are the most popular distributor of Epiphany by far, and your poor packaging is making the browser look bad. Read more