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No Love for Microsoft in GitHub

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Ericsson proud of its open source history as Erlang turns 20

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There’s an incorrect presumption that the telecoms vendor and OEM community is divided between the legacy equipment companies and the open source community, with clear separation between the two. Not so; although there are obviously significant differences and business models in play. The so-called legacy vendors are keen to maintain their sizeable gross margins on networking products, whereas the open source-based newer entrants are competing on both innovation and lower costs.

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Programming: Escaping Microsoft, Rust, Node.js User’s Tech Stack, and Microsoft's FUD by Proxy

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  • Colour me untrusting

     ... but a leopard doesn't change its spots. My GitHub account - opened eight years ago and not used now deleted. should not be associated with me in any way shape or form from here on in.

  • Why Open Source Software is Moving to GitLab After Microsoft-GitHub Deal
  • Microsoft's GitHub Acquisition Provides a Stable Home for Developers

    Based on the open-source Git tool that Linux creator Linus Torvalds originally created to help developers be free from proprietary tools lock-in, some fear that GitHub is now doing the opposite of what Git was originally intended to do.

  • How to speed up the Rust compiler some more in 2018

    Since my last post, rustc-perf — the benchmark suite, harness and visualizer — has seen some improvements. First, some new benchmarks were added: cargo, ripgrep, sentry-cli, and webrender. Also, the parser benchmark has been removed because it was a toy program and thus not a good benchmark.

    Second, I added support for several new profilers: Callgrind, Massif, rustc’s own -Ztime-passes, and the use of ad hoc eprintln! statements added to rustc. (This latter case is more useful than it might sound; in combination with post-processing it can be very helpful, as we will see below.)

    Finally, the graphs shown on the website now have better y-axis scaling, which makes many of them easier to read. Also, there is a new dashboard view that shows performance across rustc releases.

  • This Week in Numbers: The Node.js User’s Tech Stack

    The Node.js Foundation published its third annual user survey based on 1,626 members of the Node community. In the future, we will look at the package managers and languages these developers are using. For now, readers will be interested to see the types of infrastructure that are most often used by with Node.js.

  • OSS security requires DIY scrutiny, not trusting 'many eyes' [Ed: Microsoft ‘proxy’ Black Buck continues attacking FOSS in the media.]
  • The open secret in open source: Security isn't built in [Ed: Microsoft ‘proxy’ Black Buck  would have us believe that with secret, proprietary code the security is 'automatic' and we should ignore all the intentional back doors, bugs etc.]

How to Delete Your GitHub Account to Tell GitHub What You Think About Their Decision to Sell Out

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IT IS now pretty much confirmed that GitHub has sold out to help Microsoft cause further damage to Free software (FOSS). In a nutshell, Microsoft's motivation is shallow enough to see:

  1. Microsoft wants to pretend FOSS was never the competition (this causes confusion which serves Microsoft's bottom line)
  2. Microsoft will lie to officials who sign contracts about being an "open source company" (all of Microsoft's core software remains proprietary with malicious features like surveillance and DRM)
  3. Buying out, controlling the competition
  4. Patent blackmail, bribery and other attacks on FOSS carry on while Microsoft pretends that all is well ("we come in peace")

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Someone Set us Up the Compiler Bomb

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Despite the general public’s hijacking of the word “hacker,” we don’t advocate doing disruptive things. However, studying code exploits can often be useful both as an academic exercise and to understand what kind of things your systems might experience in the wild. [Code Explainer] takes apart a compiler bomb in a recent blog post.

If you haven’t heard of a compiler bomb, perhaps you’ve heard of a zip bomb. This is a small zip file that “explodes” into a very large file. A compiler bomb is a small piece of C code that will blow up a compiler — in this case, specifically, gcc.

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GIMP now hosted by GNOME on GitLab

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Just yesterday, we shared that The GNOME Project moved to GitLab. This was a major score for GitLab, but also, an important move for GNOME as well -- it should greatly improve collaboration between its contributors. GNOME is not alone in its move to that Git-repository manager, however, as GIMP (plus the babl and GEGL libraries) also made the transition. Actually, believe it or not, GNOME is hosting GIMP there.

If you aren't familiar with GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program), please know that it is an open source image/graphics editor/manipulator. It is very similar to Adobe Photoshop, although GIMP is totally free. In fact, the open source Photoshop alternative is a cross-platform affair, available not just on Linux, but macOS, and Windows too. It is an extremely important program for the open source community -- right up there with LibreOffice.

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Programming With Animals: Mouse, Pony and Python

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  • Mouse: A time-saving object system for smaller projects

    There are several great object systems for Perl, and Moose is one of them. But Moose comes with a compile-time penalty that smaller applications may not be willing to pay, particularly for certain CGI or command-line scripts. Moose is incredibly feature-rich, and you may not need all of those features all the time.

    Mouse to the rescue! Mouse is a lightweight object system with a subset of Moose's features. The goal throughout its development has been to make it syntactically consistent with Moose so if you later need to switch to the heavier-duty Moose, you can just substitute 'Moose' for 'Mouse' everywhere in your codebase, and things should just work.

  • Introduction to the Pony programming language

    At Wallaroo Labs, where I'm the VP of engineering, we're are building a high-performance, distributed stream processor written in the Pony programming language. Most people haven't heard of Pony, but it has been an excellent choice for Wallaroo, and it might be an excellent choice for your next project, too.

  • 3 Python command-line tools

    Sometimes the right tool for the job is a command-line application. A command-line application is a program that you interact with and run from something like your shell or Terminal. Git and Curl are examples of command-line applications that you might already be familiar with.

    Command-line apps are useful when you have a bit of code you want to run several times in a row or on a regular basis. Django developers run commands like ./ runserver to start their web servers; Docker developers run docker-compose up to spin up their containers. The reasons you might want to write a command-line app are as varied as the reasons you might want to write code in the first place.

GNU and FSF News

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  • Red Hat Compiler Developer Working On Compiler-Assisted Performance Analysis For GCC

    Longtime GNU toolchain developer at Red Hat, David Malcolm, has announced the work he is pursuing on compiler-assisted performance analysis with GCC.

    David Malcom is hoping to make the GNU Compiler Collection produce more useful information about how the compiler optimizes code for GCC developers and advanced end-users. This would provide details about how an optimization could be improved or bugs fixed within GCC as well as for developers/end-users to understand what command-line flags are being used and how they could potentially rework their code for greater performance.

  • [parabola] Server outage

    One of our servers,, is currently offline for hardware reasons. It has been offline since 2018-05-30 00:15 UTC. Hang tight, it should be back online soon.

  • Friday Free Software Directory IRC meetup time: June 1st starting at 12:00 p.m. EDT/16:00 UTC

    Help improve the Free Software Directory by adding new entries and updating existing ones. Every Friday we meet on IRC in the #fsf channel on

    Tens of thousands of people visit each month to discover free software. Each entry in the Directory contains a wealth of useful information, from basic category and descriptions, to providing detailed info about version control, IRC channels, documentation, and licensing info that has been carefully checked by FSF staff and trained volunteers.

    When a user comes to the Directory, they know that everything in it is free software, has only free dependencies, and runs on a free OS. With over 16,000 entries, it is a massive repository of information about free software.

    While the Directory has been and continues to be a great resource to the world for many years now, it has the potential to be a resource of even greater value. But it needs your help! And since it's a MediaWiki instance, it's easy for anyone to edit and contribute to the Directory.

  • Free Software Directory meeting recap, May 2018

    Every week, free software activists from around the world come together in #fsf on to help improve the Free Software Directory. We had an exciting month working on the Directory with our wonderful stable of volunteers. These folks show up week in and week out to improve the Directory. It's also important to note the valiant efforts of those volunteers who can't make an appearance at the meeting proper, but still plug away at Directory entries during the week.

Mozilla Development News

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  • Happy BMO Push Day!
  • What to do when Firefox crashes under test automation with Selenium

    If you have the task to create automated tests for websites you will most likely make use of Selenium when it comes to testing UI interactions. To execute the tests for the various browsers out there each browser vendor offers a so called driver package which has to be used by Selenium to run each of the commands. In case of Firefox this will be geckodriver.

    Within the last months we got a couple of issues reported for geckodriver that Firefox sometimes crashes while the tests are running. This feedback is great, and we always appreciate because it helps us to make Firefox more stable and secure for our users. But to actually being able to fix the crash we would need some more data, which was a bit hard to retrieve in the past.

  • Neutrino: Deploying to Netlify

    Neutrino is my preferred tool to kickstart a React app and Netlify is my preferred SPA deployment service.

    Netlify makes it very easy to deploy your static sites, however, it needs some initial configuration.

    You won’t find Neutrino as one of the tools listed in their docs, thus, adding some docs in here. We’ll see if my instructions are right and maybe ask them to include them in their docs.

  • Firefox Performance Update #9

    Hello, Internet! Here we are with yet another Firefox Performance Update for your consumption. Hold onto your hats – we’re going in!

  • This Week in Rust 236
  • when an implementation monoculture might be the right thing

    It’s looking increasingly likely that Firefox will, in the not-too-distant future, build with a single C++ compiler across the four major platforms we support. I’m uneasy with this, but I think I’ve made my peace with it, partly as a result of writing the piece below.

    Firefox currently builds with three major C++ compilers across four platforms: Microsoft’s Visual C++ compiler (MSVC), GCC, and Clang. A fair amount of work has been done to deal with peculiar bugs in all three compilers: you can go search the source code and/or Bugzilla to find hacks that were needed for one reason or another. A fair amount of work has also been stalled or shelved because one or two compilers don’t quite measure up in some required area (e.g. standards support). As you might imagine, many a Firefox engineer has bemoaned the need for cross-compiler compatibility.

  • ARCEP report: “Device neutrality” and the open internet

    In February 2018, the French regulator, ARCEP, published a report on how device, browser, and OS level restrictions (under the broad label of “devices”) could be the ‘missing link’ towards achieving an open internet. In March 2018, the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) also published a report on how devices can impact user choice, where it noted the possible incentives for providers with sufficient market power to allow for a “less open use of the internet.”

    It should not be possible for device, OS, and app store providers to leverage their gatekeeping power to distort the level playing field for content, to unfairly favour their own content or demote that of competitors. This could be done in a variety of ways, and the report highlights some of these: restricting device and API functions, unfairly discouraging the use of alternative app stores, or non-transparency in app store rankings. In this blog, we put forth a principles-based response to these concerns, and potential policy solutions put forth by ARCEP.

Programming: Radia Perlman, NativeScript 4.0, Python, Pie Menus, Qt and Rust

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  • Spanning The Tree : Dr Radia Perlman & Untangling Networks

    As computer networks get bigger, it becomes increasingly hard to keep track of the flow of data over this network. How do you route data, making sure that the data is spread to all parts of the network? You use an algorithm called the spanning tree protocol — just one of the contributions to computer science of a remarkable engineer, Dr. Radia Perlman. But before she created this fundamental Internet protocol, she also worked on LOGO, the first programming language for children, creating a dialect for toddlers.

    Born in 1952, Perlman was a prodigy who excelled in math and science, and in her own words, “Every time there was a new subject or a quiz I would be very excited at the opportunity to solve all sorts of puzzles”. She graduated from MIT in 1973 and got her Masters degree in 1976.

  • Progress releases NativeScript 4.0

    Progress has announced the release of NativeScript 4.0, an open source framework for delivering cross-platform, native iOS and Android apps.

    NativeScript apps are built using JavaScript, or by using any language that ‘transpiles’ to JavaScript, such as TypeScript.

  • Shortening the Python release schedule

    The Python release cycle has an 18-month cadence; a new major release (e.g. Python 3.7) is made roughly on that schedule. But Łukasz Langa, who is the release manager for Python 3.8 and 3.9, would like to see things move more quickly—perhaps on a yearly cadence. In the first session after lunch at the 2018 Python Language Summit, Langa wanted to discuss that idea.

    Before he got started, though, he noticed his name in Larry Hastings's schedule-display application started with the dreaded ▯ rather than Ł. That, he said with a grin, is the story of his life. Hastings dryly suggested that the font he was using predates the addition of the Ł character to Unicode, which elicited a fair bit of laughter.

  • Using GitHub Issues for Python

    In a 2018 Python Language Summit talk that was initially billed as "Mariatta's Topic of Mystery", Mariatta Wijaya described her reasoning for advocating moving Python away from its current bug tracker to GitHub Issues. She wanted to surprise her co-attendees with the talk topic at least partly because it is somewhat controversial. But it would complete Python's journey to GitHub that started a ways back.

    Other Python projects are using GitHub Issues, she said, as are many popular open-source projects. Many people already have a GitHub account. When they run into a Python problem, they can immediately file a GitHub Issue, but might have to create a (b.p.o) account before filing one there.

  • Pie Menus


    Today (May 15, 2018) is the 30 year anniversary of CHI’88 (May 15–19, 1988), where Jack Callahan, Ben Shneiderman, Mark Weiser and I (Don Hopkins) presented our paper “An Empirical Comparison of Pie vs. Linear Menus”. We found pie menus to be about 15% faster and with a significantly lower error rate than linear menus!

  • Vulkan for Qt on macOS

    Sometimes, development efforts align such that new use cases can be enabled with modest extra effort. The QtBase dev branch (which will become Qt 5.12) now has experimental Vulkan support, courtesy of MoltenVK and prior work in Qt. Let’s take a look at what has happened.

  • Qt 5.12 To Support Vulkan On macOS Via MoltenVK

    The latest project making use of the recently open-sourced MoltenVK that maps Vulkan atop Apple's Metal graphics API for execution on macOS/iOS is now the Qt5 tool-kit.

  • Announcing Rust 1.26.1

    The Rust team is happy to announce a new version of Rust, 1.26.1. Rust is a systems programming language focused on safety, speed, and concurrency.

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More in Tux Machines

Android Leftovers

SparkyLinux 5.4 GameOver, Multimedia, and Rescue Special Editions Are Out Now

Released last week on June 11, 2018, the SparkyLinux 5.4 "Nibiru" rolling release operating system was available only as LXQt, MinimalGUI, and MinimalCLI editions. Today, the project launches three more editions, namely GameOver, Multimedia, and Rescue. "New live/install ISO images of special editions of SparkyLinux 5.4 "Nibiru": GameOver, Multimedia & Rescue are out. Sparky 5 follows the rolling release model and is based on Debian testing branch "Buster"," reads today's announcement. Read more

KDE Plasma 5.13 Desktop Environment Gets First Point Release, over 20 Bugs Fixed

The KDE Plasma 5.13 desktop environment launched a week ago as the best release of the acclaimed desktop designed for GNU/Linux distributions, introducing new lock and login screens, redesigned system settings, Plasma Browser Integration, Plasma Discover enhancements, and many other improvements and changes. Now, users can update their KDE Plasma 5.13 installations to the first point release, KDE Plasma 5.13.1, which brings more than 20 bug fixes across various components, such as Plasma Discover, Plasma Add-ons, Plasma Desktop, Plasma Networkmanager (plasma-nm), KWin, and KDE Hotkeys. Read more

Qt 5.11.1 Released

I am pleased to announce that Qt 5.11.1 is released today. As a patch release Qt 5.11.1 does not add any new functionality, but provides important bug fixes and other improvements. New Qt 5.11.1 is first patch release for Qt 5.11 series. There are fixes for over 150 bugs and it contains more than 700 changes compared to Qt 5.11.0. For details of the most important changes, please check the Change files of Qt 5.11.1. And don’t worry if some fix is missing from new Qt5.11.1 release; we are planning to release Qt 5.11.2 at the beginning of September. Read more Also: Qt 5.11.1 Released With 150+ Bug Fixes