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Development

Getting started with the RStudio IDE

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For as long as I can remember, I've been toying with numbers. As an undergraduate student in the late 1970s, I began taking statistics courses, learning ways to examine and analyze data to uncover some meaning.

Back then, I had a scientific calculator that made statistical calculations much easier than ever before. In the early '90s, as a graduate student in educational psychology working on t-tests, correlations, and ANOVA, I started doing my calculations by meticulously writing text files that were fed into an IBM mainframe. The mainframe was an improvement over my handheld calculator, but one minor spacing error rendered the whole process null and void, and the process was still somewhat tedious.

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Coding: Python 3.0, Java EE, and Licence Compliance

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  • A Look Back At Python 3.0 After 10 Years

    This year marks one decade since the release of Python 3. Red Hat's Victor Stinner who is also a CPython core developer provided a retrospective on Python 3 at last week's FOSDEM conference.

    It's been 10 years since Python 3 came about with its language changes and in 2018, there are still programs being made compatible with Python 3. Python 2.7 continues to be maintained until 2020.

  • Due to Oracle being Oracle, Eclipse holds poll to rename Java EE (No, it won't be Java McJava Face)

    Unable to convince Oracle to allow the use of its trademarked term "Java" to refer to the open source version of Java Enterprise Edition (Java EE), the Eclipse Foundation is asking those who care about such things to vote on proposed names for the software project.

    Last summer, Oracle said it had begun working with the Eclipse Foundation and the Java EE community to transfer its Java EE code and governance responsibilities to the foundation.

    But Oracle is not giving up its intellectual property rights in the name "Java." And so for the past few months, the Java EE community has been puzzling over how to refer to the open source version of Java EE.

  • Open Source Audits in Merger and Acquisition Transactions: Get the Free Ebook

    Haddad also notes that open source audits can expose obligations. “Open source licenses usually impose certain obligations that must be fulfilled when code is distributed,” he notes. “One example is the GNU General Public License (GNU GPL), which requires derivatives or combinations to be made available under the same license as well. Other licenses require certain notices in documentation or have restrictions for how the product is promoted.”

Mozilla Development

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Development
Moz/FF
  • Feasibility of low-level GPU access on the Web

    As the talks within WebGPU community group progress, it becomes apparent that the disagreements lie in more domains than simply technical. It’s about what the Web is today, and what we want it to become tomorrow.

  • Alternatives to vertical tabs

    For the longest time I've used vertical tabs in Firefox and I still find it odd that people don't use it more. It's a simple fact that a horizontal tab strip doesn't scale too well when you get lots of tabs.

  • Asking Questions

    Will posted a great article a couple weeks ago, Giving and Receiving Help at Mozilla. I have been meaning to write a similar article for a while now. His post finally pushed me over the edge.

    Be sure to read Will's post first. The rest of this article is an addendum to his post.

Programming/Development: AmplitudeJS, Python, and Buzzword 'DevOps'

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Programming: Shell Scripting, Pair Programming, How Programmers Learn to Code, New RPMs of PHP

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  • Shell Scripting: Dungeons, Dragons and Dice

    In my last article, I talked about a really simple shell script for a game called Bunco, which is a dice game played in rounds where you roll three dice and compare your values to the round number. Match all three and match the round number, and you just got a bunco for 25 points. Otherwise, any die that match the round are worth one point each. It's simple—a game designed for people who are getting tipsy at the local pub, and it also is easy to program.

  • Pair programming with git

    Git is great. It took the crown of version control systems in just a few years. Baked into the git model is that each commit has a committer and one author. Ofen this is the same person. What if there is more than one author for a commit? This is the case with pair programming or with mob programming or with any other way of collaboration where code is produced by more than one person. I talked about this at the git-merge conference last year. There are some workarounds but there is no native support in git yet.

    It seems that the predominant convention to express multi-authorship in git commits is to add a Co-authored-by entry in the commit message as a so-called trailer. This adds more flexibility than trying to tweak the author and committer fields and is quite widely accepted, especially by the git community.

  • How programmers learn to code

    In terms of how programmers learnt to code, self-teaching is the norm for developers of all ages, stated the report.

    “Even though 67% of developers have computer science degrees, roughly 74% said they were at least partially self-taught.”

    On average, developers know four languages, but they want to learn four more.

  • PHP version 7.1.14 and 7.2.2

    RPM of PHP version 7.2.2 are available in the remi-php72 repository for Fedora 25-27 and Enterprise Linux ≥ 6 (RHEL, CentOS) and as Software Collection in the remi-safe repository.

    RPM of PHP version 7.1.14 are available in remi repository for Fedora 26-27 and in remi-php71 repository for Fedora 24-25 and Enterprise Linux (RHEL, CentOS).

Alleviating the Stress Induced by Maintaining a Popular Free and Open Source Software Project

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OSS

It started out as this fun, little hack, tickling your own fancies. You chipped away at it on weekends and in the evenings. Eventually, you sculpted it into a respectable shape. You were rightfully proud of it, so you did a kind deed and shared your creation with the world.

Now, your curiosity has taken you elsewhere, or you’re busy with other facets of your life. But concurrently, your Free / Open Source project has become popular. It’s a hit! The canonical solution to frondubling within the Marnostacean community. And users are filing issues. And sending pull requests that require your review. And building Serious Software that depends critically on your project.

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Also: The Git community mourns Shawn Pearce

Programming: ncurses, RLlib, and Languages

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  • Announcing ncurses 6.1

    The ncurses (new curses) library is a free software emulation of curses in System V Release 4.0 (SVr4), and more. It uses terminfo format, supports pads and color and multiple highlights and forms characters and function-key mapping, and has all the other SVr4-curses enhancements over BSD curses. SVr4 curses became the basis of X/Open Curses.

  • Ncurses 6.1 Released With A Variety Of Improvements & Other Changes

    Ncurses 6.1 retains compatibility support for Ncurses 5.0/6.0, but adds in a variety of new features and improvements. There is now extended numeric capabilities, various internal code changes to enhance Ncurses' performance, some new functions introduced, and a variety of corrections to existing features.

  • Introducing RLlib: A composable and scalable reinforcement learning library

    In a previous post, I outlined emerging applications of reinforcement learning (RL) in industry. I began by listing a few challenges facing anyone wanting to apply RL, including the need for large amounts of data, and the difficulty of reproducing research results and deriving the error estimates needed for mission-critical applications. Nevertheless, the success of RL in certain domains has been the subject of much media coverage. This has sparked interest, and companies are beginning to explore some of the use cases and applications I described in my earlier post. Many tasks and professions, including software development, are poised to incorporate some forms of AI-powered automation. In this post, I’ll describe how RISE Lab’s Ray platform continues to mature and evolve just as companies are examining use cases for RL.

  • Employers want JavaScript, but developers want Python

    When it comes to which programming languages are in demand by employers, JavaScript, Java, Python, C++, and C—in that order—came out on top in a recent developer survey. Developers, however, want to learn languages like Python, Go, and Kotlin.

    A survey of developers by technical recruiter HackerRank, conducted in October, found no gap between languages employers want and what developers actually know, with JavaScript barely edging out Java. But as far as which languages developers prefer, Python is the language developers most want to learn—and many already know it, HackerRank found.

Development: Languages and GNU

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Development
  • About "dnf repomanage" performance regression

    Warning: this article can be a troll, but php is faster than python.

  • SD Times news digest: Webpack 4 beta, Android Wear SDK 2.2.0, and GCC 7.3 released

    The GNU Project and GCC developers have announced the release of GCC 7.3. GCC is the GNU Compiler Collection. This is a bug fix release as it has important fixes for regressions and bugs in GCC 7.2. It has more than 99 bugs fixed since the previous release of GCC.

  • Linux distros: love, openwashing & the thousand yard stare

    The Linux operating system (OS) will turn 30 in the year 2021.

    We know that Linus Torvalds first penned (typed) his work plans for what turned out to be Linux on a Usenet posting as follows:

    “I’m doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won’t be big and professional like GNU) for 386(486) AT clones,” wrote Torvalds.

    No brief history of Linux is needed here, there are plenty of write ups detailing the origins of UNIX, MINIX, the birth of GNU and Richard Stallman’s creation of the GNU General Public License.

  • Glibc 2.27 Is Being Released Soon With Numerous Performance Optimizations

    Glibc 2.27 will be released as soon as next week as the latest half-year update to the GNU C Library.

    The Glibc 2.27 cycle has been very heavy on performance optimizations. As covered recently, there's been AVX2/FMA optimizations, other optimized functions, numerous FMA optimizations, and more. Long story short, if you're running a recent AMD/Intel x86_64 CPU, there are chances you could see good performance improvements out of Glibc 2.27.

GCC 7.3 Released

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Development
GNU
  • GCC 7.3 Released

    The GNU Compiler Collection version 7.3 has been released.

    GCC 7.3 is a bug-fix release from the GCC 7 branch containing important fixes for regressions and serious bugs in GCC 7.2 with more than 99 bugs fixed since the previous release.

    This release includes code generation options to mitigate Spectre Variant 2 (CVE 2017-5715) for the x86 and powerpc targets.

  • GCC 7.3 Released With Spectre V2 Mitigation Support

    GNU Compiler Collection 7.3 is now available as the latest GCC7 point release and the prominent changes being support for helping mitigate Spectre variant two using some new compiler switches.

    GCC 7.3 has backported Retpoline support after GCC 8.0 development code initially received the support earlier this month. This GCC support building out a patched kernel can lead to "full" retpoline protection for the system.

    The Retpoline support adds a few new compiler switches, namely -mindirect-branch= for dealing with indirect branches to avoid speculative execution.

Development: ActiveState, Python, Rust

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Development
  • ActiveState Announces Plans for SaaS Platform, Leads with Open Source Solution for DevSecOps

    ActiveState, a leader in providing commercial open source language distributions, announced today its plans for a SaaS Platform. The platform will fulfill enterprises’ unaddressed need for open source language solutions. The company leads the offering with the ability to verify open source Python applications at runtime; Python distros have security built into the language runtime. IT Security & DevSecOps teams benefit from automatic runtime verification.

  • Threading in Python

    The basic idea behind threading is a simple one: just as the computer can run more than one process at a time, so too can your process run more than one thread at a time. When you want your program to do something in the background, you can launch a new thread. The main thread continues to run in the foreground, allowing the program to do two (or more) things at once.

    What's the difference between launching a new process and a new thread? A new process is completely independent of your existing process, giving you more stability (in that the processes cannot affect or corrupt one another) but also less flexibility (in that data cannot easily flow from one thread to another). Because multiple threads within a process share data, they can work with one another more closely and easily.

  • This Week in Rust 218

    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.

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Mozilla: Code of Conduct, Kelly Davis, Celebrate Firefox Internet Champions

  • ow We’re Making Code of Conduct Enforcement Real — and Scaling it
    This is the first line of our Community Participation Guidelines — and an nudge to keep empathy at center when designing response processes. Who are you designing for? Who is impacted? What are their needs, expectations, dependencies, potential bias and limitations?
  • Role Models in AI: Kelly Davis
    Meet Kelly Davis, the Manager/Technical Lead of the machine learning group at Mozilla. His work at Mozilla includes developing an open speech recognition system with projects like Common Voice and Deep Speech (which you can help contribute to). Beyond his passion for physics and machine learning, read on to learn about how he envisions the future of AI, and advice he offers to young people looking to enter the field.
  • Celebrate Firefox Internet Champions
    While the world celebrates athletic excellence, we’re taking a moment to share some of the amazing Internet champions that help build, support and share Firefox.

Canonical Ubuntu 2017 milestones, a year in the rulebook

So has Canonical been breaking rules with Ubuntu is 2017, or has it in been writing its own rulebook? Back in April we saw an AWS-tuned kernel of Ubuntu launched, the move to cloud is unstoppable, clearly. We also saw Ubuntu version 17.04 released, with Unity 7 as the default desktop environment. This release included optimisations for environments with low powered graphics hardware. Read more Also: Ubuntu will let upgraders ‘opt-in’ to data collection in 18.04

The npm Bug

  • ​Show-stopping bug appears in npm Node.js package manager
    Are you a developer who uses npm as the package manager for your JavaScript or Node.js code? If so, do not -- I repeat do not -- upgrade to npm 5.7.0. Nothing good can come of it. As one user reported, "This destroyed 3 production servers after a single deploy!" So, what happened here? According to the npm GitHub bug report, "By running sudo npm under a non-root user (root users do not have the same effect), filesystem permissions are being heavily modified. For example, if I run sudo npm --help or sudo npm update -g, both commands cause my filesystem to change ownership of directories such as /etc, /usr, /boot, and other directories needed for running the system. It appears that the ownership is recursively changed to the user currently running npm."
  • Botched npm Update Crashes Linux Systems, Forces Users to Reinstall
    A bug in npm (Node Package Manager), the most widely used JavaScript package manager, will change ownership of crucial Linux system folders, such as /etc, /usr, /boot. Changing ownership of these files either crashes the system, various local apps, or prevents the system from booting, according to reports from users who installed npm v5.7.0. —the buggy npm update.

Windows 10 WSL vs. Linux Performance For Early 2018

Back in December was our most recent round of Windows Subsystem for Linux benchmarking with Windows 10 while since then both Linux and Windows have received new stable updates, most notably for mitigating the Spectre and Meltdown CPU vulnerabilities. For your viewing pleasure today are some fresh benchmarks looking at the Windows 10 WSL performance against Linux using the latest updates as of this week while also running some comparison tests too against Docker on Windows and Oracle VM VirtualBox. Read more