One of the most interesting trends in the computer world during the past few years has been the rapid growth of NoSQL databases. The term may be accurate, in that NoSQL databases don't use SQL in order to store and retrieve data, but that's about where the commonalities end. NoSQL databases range from key-value stores to columnar databases to document databases to graph databases.
Linus Torvalds announced the release of Linux kernel version 3.18 in time for the holidays. In his mail, Linus noted that the previous RC, release candidate 7, had been “tiny” (in terms of changes and bugfixes), so it was time to get the final release out. The latest kernel includes support for storing AMD Radeon GPU buffers in regular application memory (building upon similar work done by Intel for kernel 3.16), and overlayfs (which we have covered previously), amongst a number of other less interesting new features. A full summary is provided at Kernel Newbies.
Daniel Vetter of Intel's Open-Source Technology Center sent in yet another Intel drm-next pull request to David Airlie for accepting into the 3.20 DRM-Next Git tree before he closes off the tree for accepting new feature code (Airlie's change for the past few kernels has been to stop accepting new code a few weeks before the N-1 release). With this latest Git pull request, the changes aren't too exciting:
When biicode began, almost two years ago, many risks were taken by both the founders and investors. Our funders invested a lot of money with just a simple prototype in their hands. Our founders quit their safe and well-paying job positions at prestigious universities. The opportunity was huge though, because there are approximately 4 million C/C++ developers, and both languages represent up to almost 20% of the world's code. Moreover, these tools easily become standardized. Once the most popular and reused libraries of a specific programming language are handled with ease and effectiveness by a given dependency manager, this tool naturally becomes the standard.
Open source has helped shape the team at PushAgency.io into the programmers and developers we are today. We’ve used it throughout our educations and careers, and now incorporate it into the products and services we deliver.
We look up to people like Linus Torvalds and companies like 37Signals for their contributions to the open source movement, and it's a goal of ours to give back to the community in some way. Now that our business has reached a level of maturity, we feel we’ve made it to the point where we can devote some development time to open sourcing small parts of our product, SimplyBuilt. This is how our first open source project materialized.
Google has had enough of its long-running legal battle with Oracle over whether application programming interfaces (API)s can be copyrighted. The search giant has asked the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) to bypass further battles in lower courts and address the API copyright issue once and for all. SCOTUS, in return, is soliciting the Obama administration for its view of the case before moving forward.
The litigation surrounding Android continued this year, with significant developments in the patent litigation between Apple Computer, Inc. (Apple) and Samsung Electronics, Inc. (Samsung) and the copyright litigation over the Java APIs between Oracle Corporation (Oracle) and Google, Inc. (Google). Apple and Samsung have agreed to end patent disputes in nine countries, but they will continue the litigation in the US. As I stated last year, the Rockstar Consortium was a wild card in this dispute. However, the Rockstar Consortium settled its litigation with Google this year and sold off its patents, so it will no longer be a risk to the Android ecosystem.
The copyright litigation regarding the copyrightability of the Java APIs was brought back to life by the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) decision which overturned the District Court decision. The District Court had found that Google was not liable for copyright infringement for its admitted copying of the Java APIs: the court found that the Java APIs were either not copyrightable or their use by Google was protected by various defenses to copyright. The CAFC overturned both the decision and the analysis and remanded the case to the District Court for a review of the fair use defense raised by Google. Subsequently, Google filed an appeal to the Supreme Court. The impact of a finding that Google was liable for copyright infringement in this case would have a dramatic effect on Android and, depending on the reasoning, would have a ripple effect across the interpretation of the scope of the “copyleft” terms of the GPL family of licenses which use APIs.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency debuted a new website dedicated to sharing open-source data and publications today, calling it the DARPA Open Catalog.
There are a number of different aims for the Open Catalog. By sharing open-source code freely, DARPA says it hopes to create a community of developers who are experts in software for government use. Program manager Chris White said that the collaborative nature of open-source was another incentive for the project.
Former Red Hat employee Dave Jones has provided some closure to that Linux 3.18 kernel bug that was initially viewed as a "worrisome regression" and turned out to be very difficult to track with no official fix within the mainline Linux kernel.
The bug wasn't fixed for Linux 3.18 final but various other bugs / potentially bad code was cleaned-up in the process of tracking down and isolating this lock-up issue that Dave Jones first reported on one of his systems. The bug went unresolved and at the end of December is when Dave Jones left Red Hat and had to return his hardware -- including the affected system.
Ubuntu Make, formerly known as Ubuntu Developer Tools Center, has been updated to version 0.4, bringing Go support as well as a new game category.
For those not familiar with Ubuntu Make, this is a command line tool created by Canonical, which allows developers to install various development tools / IDEs. Initially, the tool targeted Android developers, making it easy to install Android Studio in Ubuntu. Later, Ubuntu Make also got support for Pycharm, Eclipse and intellij IDEA.