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Development

Events: GUADEC and IBM's 'Call for Code'

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Development
GNOME
  • GUADEC 2018 Day 1

    At 8.30 i took off Thursday morning to start my journey to Almería. I took the plane to Madrid and had 1 hour to get hold of a taxi and reach a train taking me to Almería. There I was fortunate to meet Julian and Tobias who were hacking on Fractal and making mockups.

  • GUADEC 2018 Kicks Off In Almería, Spain

    GUADEC 2018, the annual GNOME developers' conference, has kicked off this morning in Almería, Spain.

    As usual, GUADEC 2018 features a range of interesting technical talks. This year's event runs from today (6 July) through Sunday followed by three days worth of hacking and birds-of-a-feather sessions.

  • The field guide to aiding in natural disasters and deploying life-saving code

    As an open-source and mobile developer, I’ve had the opportunity to work on some unique projects in places where both man-made and natural disasters have severely affected people and communities. During my time in Haiti working with organizations helping those impacted by the devastating 2010 earthquake, for example, I learned how to take on challenges to assist those in need and simultaneously cope with more adversity than the average development project would require.

  • Join Forces Against Natural Disasters with the Call for Code

    The Call for Code initiative aims to harness the collective power of the global open source developer community against the growing threat of natural disasters. According to IBM, “the goal is to develop technology solutions that significantly improve disaster preparedness, provide relief from devastation caused by fires, floods, hurricanes, tsunamis and earthquakes, and benefit Call for Code’s charitable partners — the United Nations Human Rights Office and the American Red Cross.”

What Is the Best Way to Contribute to The Linux Kernel?

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Development
Linux

A person who isn’t much of a computer literate wouldn’t know that the kernel is a fundamental part of any OS. It is so far removed from the surface apps that the closest you could get to it from a typical app on your machine is configuring network protocols and/or installing driver software. As a matter of fact, only programmers typically deal with kernels directly.

To paint a perfect picture, the kernel is to a computer what an engine is to a car. You as what the best way to contribute to the Linux kernel is? I don’t know. I’m not an authority on kernels, but I sure do have some suggestions you may find useful.

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PHP 7.3.0 Alpha 3 Released

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Development
Web
  • PHP 7.3.0 alpha 3 Released

    The PHP team is glad to announce the release of the third PHP 7.3.0 version, PHP 7.3.0 Alpha 3. The rough outline of the PHP 7.3 release cycle is specified in the PHP Wiki.

    For source downloads of PHP 7.3.0 Alpha 3 please visit the download page. Windows sources and binaries can be found on windows.php.net/qa/.

    Please carefully test this version and report any issues found in the bug reporting system.

  • PHP 7.3 Alpha 3 Released

    The third alpha of this year's PHP7 update, PHP 7.3, is now available for evaluation.

    PHP 7.3 has been crafting improved PHP garbage collection, WebP support within the image create from string function, and a variety of other features and improvements. PHP 7.3 is looking very good in early benchmarks.

    PHP 7.3 Alpha 3 introduces a lot of bug fixes from core PHP to various extensions, min_proto_version/max_proto_version options added to OpenSSL for maximum/minimum TLS version protocol values, and various other code improvements.

Python 3 at Facebook and Teaching Python to Kids

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Development
  • Python 3 at Facebook

    Python 3 adoption has clearly picked up over the last few years, though there is still a long way to go. Big Python-using companies tend to have a whole lot of Python 2.7 code running on their infrastructure and Facebook is no exception. But Jason Fried came to PyCon 2018 to describe what has happened at the company over the last four years or so—it has gone from using almost no Python 3 to it becoming the dominant version of Python in the company. He was instrumental in helping to make that happen and his talk [YouTube video] may provide other organizations with some ideas on how to tackle their migration.

    Fried started working at Facebook in 2011 and he quickly found that he needed to teach himself Python because it was much easier to get code reviewed if it was in Python. At some point later, he found that he was the driving force behind Python 3 adoption at Facebook. He never had a plan to do that, it just came about as he worked with Python more and more.

  • Teaching Python to kids

    The combination of an "unsuspecting library employee" and a bunch of bored children has created a popular program using the Raspberry Pi and other tools to teach coding to kids. Qumisha Goss is a librarian at the Parkman branch of the Detroit Public Library; she started the "Parkman Coders" program and came to PyCon 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio to tell the assembled Pythonistas all about it. She also had some thoughts on ways to make the Python community a more diverse place, along with some concerns for her students that are much bigger than the diversity topic.

Programming: Anytime, PHP and Broken Code

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Development
  • anytime 0.3.1

    A new minor release of the anytime package is now on CRAN. This is the twelveth release, and the first in a little over a year as the package has stabilized.

    anytime is a very focused package aiming to do just one thing really well: to convert anything in integer, numeric, character, factor, ordered, … format to either POSIXct or Date objects – and to do so without requiring a format string. See the anytime page, or the GitHub README.md for a few examples.

  • [Older] Is php dead? Chill, PHP Is Not Going Anywhere
  • How I stopped merging broken code

    I love pull requests to merge code. I review them, I send them, I merge them. The fact that you can plug them into a continuous integration system is great and makes sure that you don't merge code that will break your software. I usually have Travis-CI setup and running my unit tests and code style check.

Hacker Boards

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Development
Linux
Hardware
  • Renegade Elite Mini PC Board Counters Raspberry Pi 3 With 4K Streaming And Hexa-Core CPU

    A new device called the Renegade Elite (ROC-RK3399-PC) has surfaced as a competitor to the Raspberry Pi 3 that is packing in much higher specifications and can stream 4K video. The Renegade Elite is made by Libre Computer and will soon surface for pre-order on Indiegogo.

  • Raspberry Pi's 'app store' lands with new Raspbian OS update

    The latest version of Raspbian, the Raspberry Pi's official OS, introduces a new set-up wizard to help beginners easily get over the first few hurdles after buying one of the $35 developer boards.

    The new version of Raspbian also introduces an equivalent of the App Store that recommends software that users can choose to install, alongside apps already bundled with Raspbian.

Programming: Go, CRAN, PHP

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Development
  • Another golang port, this time a toy virtual machine.

    I don't understand why my toy virtual machine has as much interest as it does. It is a simple project that compiles "assembly language" into a series of bytecodes, and then allows them to be executed.

    Since I recently started messing around with interpreters more generally I figured I should revisit it. Initially I rewrote the part that interprets the bytecodes in golang, which was simple, but now I've rewritten the compiler too.

    Much like the previous work with interpreters this uses a lexer and an evaluator to handle things properly - in the original implementation the compiler used a series of regular expressions to parse the input files. Oops.

  • nanotime 0.2.1

    A new minor version of the nanotime package for working with nanosecond timestamps just arrived on CRAN.

  • PHP extensions status with upcoming PHP 7.3

Deep Learning with Open Source Python Software

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Development

Let’s clear up one potential source of confusion at the outset. What’s the difference between Machine Learning and Deep Learning? The two terms mean different things.

In essence, Machine Learning is the practice of using algorithms to parse data, learn insights from that data, and then make a determination or prediction. The machine is ‘trained’ using huge amounts of data.

Deep Learning is a subset of Machine Learning that uses multi-layers artificial neural networks to deliver state-of-the-art accuracy in tasks such as object detection, speech recognition, language translation and others. Think of Machine Learning as cutting-edge, and Deep Learning as the cutting-edge of the cutting-edge.

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Programming: LLVM, GCC, RcppArmadillo

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Development
  • LLVM Gets ARMv8.4 Enablement, GCC Gets Cortex-A76 Support

    It's been another busy week in compiler land for ARM.

    First up, the GCC compiler now officially supports the Cortex-A76. The A76 is the new Cortex processor announced back in May for yielding much better performance and efficiency, especially for AI and machine learning.

  • Compiler fuzzing, part 1

    Much has been written about fuzzing compilers already, but there is not a lot that I could find about fuzzing compilers using more modern fuzzing techniques where coverage information is fed back into the fuzzer to find more bugs.

  • GCC Picks Up Meaningful Bash Completion Support To Help With Compiler Options

    One of the advantages of the LLVM Clang compiler has been better integration with Bash completion support, but now the GCC compiler supports a --completion argument for feeding into the Bash completion script with better matching of supported options/values when typing into a supported terminal.

  • RcppArmadillo 0.8.600.0.0

    A new RcppArmadillo release 0.8.600.0.0, based on the new Armadillo release 8.600.0 from this week, just arrived on CRAN.

    It follows our (and Conrad’s) bi-monthly release schedule. We have made interim and release candidate versions available via the GitHub repo (and as usual thoroughly tested them) but this is the real release cycle. A matching Debian release will be prepared in due course.

Development: Debian, GalecinoCar, Stack vs Heap, Development at Mastodon

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Development
  • Debian and free software personal misc news
  • My free software activities, June 2018
  • GalecinoCar: A Java-based self-driving vehicle

    We are your typical geeks… always looking for a new hobby project to keep our skills sharp, pass time, and hopefully one day create a project that will make us rich. OK, the last part hasn't happened yet, but someday… The rest of it has been just having fun working on some interesting projects together. Usually at night after our kids are in bed, we meet in one of our garages and just code.

    A while ago, we heard about Donkey Car, a self-driving robotic car and thought, "Wow. That's cool. Wonder if we can do that?" We were even more fired up when we discovered that the Donkey Car project is Python-based, and we are over on the Java side. So, enter GalecinoCar, our Java and Groovy port of the Python-based Donkey Car project. (Mad props to the Donkey Car community, BTW!)

  • Stack vs Heap. What’s the difference and why should I care?

    I’m four months into the curriculum at Holberton School and we’ve solved multiple problems using the malloc, realloc, calloc and free functions in the C programming language. What better way to build a solid foundation of how memory gets allocated then to write a technical post on the stack versus the heap?

    [...]

    The stack is a segment of memory where data like your local variables and function calls get added and/or removed in a last-in-first-out (LIFO) manner. When you compile a program, the compiler enters through the main function and a stack frame is created on the stack. A frame, also known as an activation record is the collection of all data on the stack associated with one subprogram call. The main function and all the local variables are stored in an initial frame.

  • Tooting

    As I’m just getting started, I’m exploring this whole space a bit. I picked the instance to join (mastodon.technology) based on the fact that KDE lives there. As mastodon is federated, I can still interact with users of other instances.

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More in Tux Machines

GNOME: NVMe Firmware and GSConnect

  • Richard Hughes: NVMe Firmware: I Need Your Data
    In a recent Google Plus post I asked what kind of hardware was most interesting to be focusing on next. UEFI updating is now working well with a large number of vendors, and the LVFS “onboarding” process is well established now. On that topic we’ll hopefully have some more announcements soon. Anyway, back to the topic in hand: The overwhelming result from the poll was that people wanted NVMe hardware supported, so that you can trivially update the firmware of your SSD. Firmware updates for SSDs are important, as most either address data consistency issues or provide nice performance fixes.
  • Gnome Shell Android Integration Extension GSConnect V12 Released
    GSConnect v12 was released yesterday with changes like more resilient sshfs connections (which should make browsing your Android device from the desktop more reliable), fixed extension icon alignment, along with other improvements. GSConnect is a Gnome Shell extension that integrates your Android device(s) with the desktop. The tool makes use of the KDE Connect protocol but without using any KDE dependencies, keeping your desktop clean of unwanted packages.
  • Linux Release Roundup: Communitheme, Cantata & VS Code
    GSconnect is a magical GNOME extension that lets your Android phone integrate with your Linux desktop. So good, in fact, that Ubuntu devs want to ship it as part of the upcoming Ubuntu 18.10 release (though last I heard it probably just end up in the repos instead). Anyway, a new version of GSconnect popped out this week. GSconnect v12 adds a nifty new features or two, as well as a few fixes here, and a few UI tweaks there.

Red Hat Leftovers

  • Red Hat Advances Container Storage
    Red Hat has moved to make storage a standard element of a container platform with the release of version 3.1 of Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage (OCS), previously known as Red Hat Container Native Storage. Irshad Raihan, senior manager for product marketing for Red Hat Storage, says Red Hat decided to rebrand its container storage offering to better reflect its tight integration with the Red Hat OpenShift platform. In addition, the term “container native” continues to lose relevance given all the different flavors of container storage that now exist, adds Raihan. The latest version of the container storage software from Red Hat adds arbiter volume support to enable high availability with efficient storage utilization and better performance, enhanced storage monitoring and configuration via the Red Hat implementation of the Prometheus container monitoring framework, and block-backed persistent volumes (PVs) that can be applied to both general application workloads and Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform (OCP) infrastructure workloads. Support for PVs is especially critical because to in the case of Red Hat OCS organizations can deploy more than 1,000 PVs per cluster, which helps to reduce cluster sprawl within the IT environment, says Raihan.
  • Is Red Hat Inc’s (NYSE:RHT) ROE Of 20.72% Sustainable?
  • FPgM report: 2018-33

OSS Leftovers

  • Infineon enables open source TSS ESAPI layer
    This is the first open source TPM middleware that complies with the Software Stack (TSS) Enhanced System API (ESAPI) specification of the Trusted Computing Group . “The ease of integration on Linux and other embedded platforms that comes with the release of the TPM 2.0 ESAPI stack speeds up the adoption of TPM 2.0 in embedded systems such as network equipment and industrial systems,” says Gordon Muehl, Global CTO Security at Huawei.
  • Open source RDBMS uses spurred by lower costs, cloud options
    As the volumes of data generated by organizations get larger and larger, data professionals face a dilemma: Must database bills get bigger in the process? And, increasingly, IT shops with an eye on costs are looking to open source RDBMS platforms as a potential alternative to proprietary relational database technologies.
  • Progress open sources ABL code in Spark Toolkit
    New England headquartered application development company Progress is flexing its programmer credentials this month. The Massachusetts-HQ’d firm has now come forward with its Progress Spark Toolkit… but what is it? The Progress Spark Toolkit is a set of open source ABL code combined with some recommended best-practices.
  • Mixing software development roles produces great results
    Most open source communities don’t have a lot of formal roles. There are certainly people who help with sysadmin tasks, testing, writing documentation, and translating or developing code. But people in open source communities typically move among different roles, often fulfilling several at once. In contrast, team members at most traditional companies have defined roles, working on documentation, support, QA, and in other areas. Why do open source communities take a shared-role approach, and more importantly, how does this way of collaborating affect products and customers? Nextcloud has adopted this community-style practice of mixing roles, and we see large benefits for our customers and our users.
  • FOSS Project Spotlight: SIT (Serverless Information Tracker)
    In the past decade or so, we've learned to equate the ability to collaborate with the need to be online. The advent of SaaS clearly marked the departure from a decentralized collaboration model to a heavily centralized one. While on the surface this is a very convenient delivery model, it simply doesn't fit a number of scenarios well. As somebody once said, "you can't FTP to Mars", but we don't need to go as far. There are plenty of use cases here on Earth that are less than perfectly suited for this "online world". Lower power chips and sensors, vessel/offshore collaboration, disaster recovery, remote areas, sporadically reshaping groups—all these make use of central online services a challenge. Another challenge with centralization is somewhat less thought of—building software that can handle a lot of concurrent users and that stores and processes a lot of information and never goes down is challenging and expensive, and we, as consumers, pay dearly for that effort. And not least important, software in the cloud removes our ability to adapt it perfectly for use cases beyond its owner's vision, scope and profitability considerations. Convenience isn't free, and this goes way beyond the price tag.
  • ProtonMail's open source encryption library, OpenPGPjs, passes independent audit
    ProtonMail, the secure email provider, has just had its credentials re-affirmed after its encryption library, OpenPGPjs, passed an independent security audit. The audit was carried out by the respected security firm, Cure53, after the developer community commissioned a review following the release of OpenPGPjs 3.0 back in March.
  • Uber Announces Open Source Fusion.js Framework
    Uber Announces Fusion.js, an open source "Plugin-based Universal Web Framework." In the announcement, Uber senior software engineer Leo Horie explains that Uber builds hundreds of web-based applications, and with web technologies changing quickly and best practices continually evolving, it is a challenge to have hundreds of web engineers leverage modern language features while staying current with the dynamic nature of the web platform. Fusion.js is Uber's solution to this problem.
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  • ASAN And LSAN Work In rr
    AddressSanitizer has worked in rr for a while. I just found that LeakSanitizer wasn't working and landed a fix for that. This means you can record an ASAN build and if there's an ASAN error, or LSAN finds a leak, you can replay it in rr knowing the exact addresses of the data that leaked — along with the usual rr goodness of reverse execution, watchpoints, etc. Well, hopefully. Report an issue if you find more problems.
  • Oracle Open-Sources GraphPipe to Support ML Development
    Oracle on Wednesday announced that it has open-sourced GraphPipe to enhance machine learning applications. The project's goal is to improve deployment results for machine learning models, noted Project Leader Vish Abrams. That process includes creating an open standard. The company has a questionable relationship with open source developers, so its decision to open-source GraphPipe might not receive a flood of interest. Oracle hopes developers will rally behind the project to simplify and standardize the deployment of machine learning models. GraphPipe consists of a set of libraries and tools for following a deployment standard.
  • OERu makes a college education affordable
    Open, higher education courses are a boon to adults who don’t have the time, money, or confidence to enroll in traditional college courses but want to further their education for work or personal satisfaction. OERu is a great option for these learners. It allows people to take courses assembled by accredited colleges and universities for free, using open textbooks, and pay for assessment only when (and if) they want to apply for formal academic credit. I spoke with Dave Lane, open source technologist at the Open Education Resource Foundation, which is OERu’s parent organization, to learn more about the program. The OER Foundation is a nonprofit organization hosted by Otago Polytechnic in Dunedin, New Zealand. It partners with organizations around the globe to provide leadership, networking, and support to help advance open education principles.
  • Tomu Is A Tiny, Open Source Computer That Easily Fits In Your USB Port
    There are a number of USB stick computers available in the market at varying prices. One of them that really stands out is Tomu — a teeny weeny ARM processor that can entirely fit inside your computer’s USB port. Tomu is based on Silicon Labs Happy Gecko EFM32HG309 Arm Cortex-M0+ microcontroller that runs at 25 MHz. It sports 8 kb of RAM and 60 kb of flash onboard. In spite of the small size, it supports two LEDs and two capacitance touch buttons.
  • RcppArmadillo 0.9.100.5.0
    A new RcppArmadillo release 0.9.100.5.0, based on the new Armadillo release 9.100.5 from earlier today, is now on CRAN and in Debian. It once again follows our (and Conrad's) bi-monthly release schedule. Conrad started with a new 9.100.* series a few days ago. I ran reverse-depends checks and found an issue which he promptly addressed; CRAN found another which he also very promptly addressed. It remains a true pleasure to work with such experienced professionals as Conrad (with whom I finally had a beer around the recent useR! in his home town) and of course the CRAN team whose superb package repository truly is the bedrock of the R community.
  • PHP version 7.1.21 and 7.2.9
    RPM of PHP version 7.2.9 are available in remi repository for Fedora 28 and in remi-php72 repository for Fedora 25-27 and Enterprise Linux ≥ 6 (RHEL, CentOS). RPM of PHP version 7.1.21 are available in remi repository for Fedora 26-27 and in remi-php71 repository for Fedora 25 and Enterprise Linux (RHEL, CentOS).

GNU/Linux on Laptops and Desktops

  • Endless OS and Asus, Update on L1TF Exploit, Free Red Hat DevConf.US in Boston, Linux 4.19 Kernel Update
    Some of us may recall a time when ASUS used to ship a stripped down version of Xandros Linux with their line of Eee PC netbooks. Last week, the same company announced that Endless OS will be supporting non-OS offerings of their product. However it comes with a big disclaimer stating that ASUS will not officially support the operating system's compatibility issues.
  • The Chromebook Grows Up
    What started out as a project to provide a cheap, functional, secure and fast laptop experience has become so much more. Chromebooks in general have suffered from a lack of street-cred acceptance. Yes, they did a great job of doing the everyday basics—web browsing and...well, that was about it. Today, with the integration of Android apps, all new and recently built Chrome OS devices do much more offline—nearly as much as a conventional laptop or desktop, be it video editing, photo editing or a way to switch to a Linux desktop for developers or those who just like to do that sort of thing.
  • Windows 10 Linux Distribution Overload? We have just the thing [Ed: Microsoft is still striving to control and master GNU/Linux through malware, Vista 10]
  • What Dropbox dropping Linux support says
    You've probably already heard by now that Dropbox is nixing support for all Linux file systems but unencrypted ext4. When this was announced, much of the open source crowd was up in arms—and rightfully so. Dropbox has supported Linux for a long time, so this move came as a massive surprise.
  • Winds Beautifully Combines Feed Reader and Podcast Player in One Single App
    Billboard top 50 playlist is great for commuting. But I’m a nerd so I mostly prefer podcasts. Day after day, listening to podcasts on my phone has turned into a habit for the better and now, I crave my favorite podcasts even when I’m home, sitting in front of my computer. Thus began, my hunt for the perfect podcast app for Linux. Desktop Linux doesn’t have a huge selection of dedicated podcast applications. Of course, you can use Rhythmbox music player or VLC Media player to download podcasts (is there anything VLC can’t do?). There are even some great command line tools to download podcasts if you want to go down that road.
  • VirtualBox 5.2.18 Maintenance Update fixed VM process termination on RDP client disconnect
    Virtualbox developers released a maintenance update for virtualization solution on the 14th of August, 2018. The latest update raised the version of VirtualBox to 5.2.18. The improvements and additions have been welcomed by several users as it makes the virtualization product even more convenient to use.