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Bug Hunting Inlined Code

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Development
GNU
Linux

Changbin Du from Intel recently posted some code to increase the range of the function tracer by increasing the number of function calls that were actually compiled into the kernel. Not all function calls are ever actually compiled—some are "inlined", a C feature that allows the function code to be copied to the location that calls it, thus letting it run faster. The downside is that the compiled binary grows by the number of copies of that function it has to store.

But, not all inlined functions are specifically intended by the developers. The GNU C Compiler (GCC) also will use its own algorithms to decide to inline a wide array of functions. Whenever it does this in the Linux kernel, the function tracer has nothing to trace.

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Firefox Extensions and Google Code-in 2018

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Development
Google
Moz/FF
Web
  • Extensions in Firefox 63

    Firefox 63 is rolling into Beta and it’s absolutely loaded with new features for extensions. There are some important new API, some major enhancements to existing API, and a large collection of miscellaneous improvements and bug fixes. All told, this is the biggest upgrade to the WebExtensions API since the release of Firefox Quantum.

    An upgrade this large would not have been possible in a single release without the hard work of our Mozilla community. Volunteer contributors landed over 25% of all the features and bug fixes for WebExtensions in Firefox 63, a truly remarkable effort. We are humbled and grateful for your support of Firefox and the open web. Thank you.

    Note: due to the large volume of changes in this release, the MDN documentation is still catching up. I’ve tried to link to MDN where possible, and more information will appear in the weeks leading up to the public release of Firefox 63.

  • Mozilla Addons Blog: September’s featured extensions
  • Announcing Google Code-in 2018: nine is just fine!

    We are excited to announce the 9th consecutive year of the Google Code-in (GCI) contest! Students ages 13 through 17 from around the world can learn about open source development by working on real open source projects, with mentorship from active developers. GCI begins on Tuesday, October 23, 2018 and runs for seven weeks, ending Wednesday, December 12, 2018.

    Google Code-in is unique because, not only do the students choose what they want to work on from the 2,500+ tasks created by open source organizations, but they have mentors available to help answer their questions as they work on each of their tasks.

  • A small HTTP debug server in Go

    Lately, I found myself to work on an application that was communicating via SOAP with a server. My goal was to understand how this application worked with the SOAP server to emulate its behavior. Even if I had access to the source code of the application, I thought it would have been easier, faster and more fun to do the work without actually reading the code. It’s important to note that actually, the application is fairly small and self-contained. Otherwise, I would have probably taken a different approach.

    Since I was not very interested in the application itself, but more to the SOAP API, I decided to handle the whole situation as a reverse-engineering effort. One nice thing about this application, like many others, is that it’s possible to set the server URL with a command line configuration.

Programming: Python Natural Language Processing Tools and PHP Packages for Fedora/RHEL/CentOS

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Development
  • Python Natural Language Processing Tools

    Natural language processing (NLP) is an exciting field of computer science, artificial intelligence, and computational linguistics concerned with the interactions between computers and human (natural) languages. It includes word and sentence tokenization, text classification and sentiment analysis, spelling correction, information extraction, parsing, meaning extraction, and question answering.

    In our formative years, we master the basics of spoken and written language. However, the vast majority of us do not progress past some basic processing rules when we learn how to handle text in our applications. Yet unstructured software comprises the majority of the data we see. NLP is the technology for dealing with our all-pervasive product: human language, as it appears in social media, emails, web pages, tweets, product descriptions, newspaper stories, and scientific articles, in thousands of languages and variants.

    Many challenges in NLP involve natural language understanding. In other words, computers learn how to determine meaning from human or natural language input, and others involve natural language generation.

  • PHP version 7.1.22RC1 and 7.2.10RC1

    Release Candidate versions are available in remi-test repository for Fedora and Enterprise Linux (RHEL / CentOS) to allow more people to test them. They are available as Software Collections, for a parallel installation, perfect solution for such tests (for x86_64 only), and also as base packages.

    RPM of PHP version 7.2.10RC1 are available as SCL in remi-test repository and as base packages in the remi-test repository for Fedora 28-29 or remi-php72-test repository for Fedora 26-27 and Enterprise Linux.

    RPM of PHP version 7.1.22RC1 are available as SCL in remi-test repository and as base packages in the remi-test repository for Fedora 26-27 or remi-php71-test repository for Enterprise Linux.

Roundup: Best Free Open Source BASIC Tools

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Development
Software

BASIC (an acronym for Beginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) is a family of general-purpose, high-level programming languages whose design philosophy emphasizes ease of use.

The original BASIC was designed in 1964 by John G. Kemeny and Thomas E. Kurtz of Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. BASIC was first successfully used to run programs on the school’s General Electric computer system. They wanted to enable students in fields other than science and mathematics to use computers.

In the 1970s and early 1980s, when home computers were in their heyday, BASIC did as much as anything else to make them useful.

According to the TIOBE index, Visual Basic .NET is ranked as the 5th most popular programming language. BBC BASIC is ranked outside the top 50.

There is a good range of open source software available to write and compile BASIC programs. The table below shows our 11 recommended free BASIC software. Click the links to learn about the software.

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Programming/Development: Julia 1.0, Rust-based library, and cmocka

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Development
  • MIT Releases A Free and Open Source Computer Programming Language to the Public

    The MIT-developed programming language, Julia 1.0 has been officially released to the public. Julia has been in development by MIT for almost a decade and made its official public debut during JuliaCon, an annual conference of Julia users.

    Julia 1.0 is a free open source programming language available worldwide. “Julia has been revolutionizing scientific and technical computing since 2009,” says MIT Professor Alan Edelman.

  • rlife : a cellular automata library written in Rust

    So rlife is a life library written in Rust. It aims at allowing to do manipulations on cellular automata, like computing the next generation of a CA, loading/saving a CA from/to a file, do various analysis on it (like locating the coordinates of a pattern, counting the number of living cells) and other manipulations. The main object of this library is the Gridthat represents the grid of the CA and it also stores all its properties (the file format used, the rulesets, the current size of the grid, etc…). This library could allow some developers to use CAs with a high level of abstraction and have the possibility to do many (in the future…) operations on it.

  • cmocka version 1.1.2 released

    I’m happy to announce version 1.1.2 of cmocka, a unit testing framework for C with mocking support.

HHVM 3.28.0

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Development

Copyrights on APIs (Java) Update

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Development
Legal
  • No do-overs! Appeals court won’t hear $8.8bn Oracle v Google rehash

    Over eight years of feuding between Oracle and Google over the use of Java code in Android may be nearing its end following a Tuesday court ruling.

    The US Federal Circuit Court of Appeals has declined [PDF] to re-hear the case in which it found Google to be in violation of Oracle’s copyright on Android API code. The Chocolate Factory faces a demand from Oracle for $8.8bn in damages.

    Tuesday’s ruling means that the only remaining hope for Google to avoid a massive payout to Oracle is a hearing and decision from the US Supreme Court, something Google said it will pursue after today's verdict.

    "We are disappointed that the Federal Circuit overturned the jury finding that Java is open and free for everyone," Google told The Register.

  • Federal Circuit denies Oracle v Google en banc rehearing

    Google has already said it will appeal to the Supreme Court in the latest development in the dispute over unauthorised use of 37 packages of Oracle’s Java application programming interface

Programming: Coding Challenge.and C Programming language, Bad Development of Devices Blamed on "Open Source" (as Usual)

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Development
  • Stop! Don't blindly take that coding challenge.

    If we can collectively reject awful hiring practices, we all win. Employers already have most of the power in this relationship, so we need to band together and consider how each of our individual actions affect the community as a whole.

     

    Don't ever do a code test before speaking with an engineer on the team. You have the power to stop employers from lazily looking at your "hacker rank" or some other arbitrarily defined score. If you want to be treated like a human being, just stop doing things that put you in a box and force you to be seen as a number.

     

    You have the power. You can do this.

  • Is “C Programming language” Still Worth Learning in 2018?

    C has been an evergreen language and played a prominent role for most of the system developments that took place in the last few decades. C programming was originally developed by Dennis Ritchie between 1969 and 1973 at Bell Labs and was made for general-purpose, imperative computer programming, that supported structured programming, lexical variable, scope, and recursion etc.

    Today, we have lots of programming languages to choose and learn but as a beginner, everybody has a question “Which programming language should I learn first?” and most of the answers that we get on the internet or through suggestions are “C”. In this article, we’ll try to find out if C Programming is still worth learning in 2018. If yes then why?

  • Latest Mirai variant leverages open source project for cross platform infections [Ed: Actually, it leverages bad devices where the passwords and usernames are both uniform, the same, among other issues]

Programming: Go 1.11 is Out, Project Template for Bison and Flex, Littler 0.3.4 Released

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Development
  • Go 1.11 is released

    Who says releasing on Friday is a bad idea?

    Today the Go team is happy to announce the release of Go 1.11. You can get it from the download page.

    There are many changes and improvements to the toolchain, runtime, and libraries, but two features stand out as being especially exciting: modules and WebAssembly support.

    This release adds preliminary support for a new concept called “modules,” an alternative to GOPATH with integrated support for versioning and package distribution. Module support is considered experimental, and there are still a few rough edges to smooth out, so please make liberal use of the issue tracker.

  • Go 1.11 Released With WebAssembly Port, Assembler Accepting AVX-512 Instructions

    Version 1.11 of the Go programming language is out this Friday as the newest feature update.

  • Project Template for Bison and Flex
  • littler 0.3.4: More updated examples

    The fifth release of littler as a CRAN package is now available, following in the now more than ten-year history as a package started by Jeff in 2006, and joined by me a few weeks later.

    littler is the first command-line interface for R and predates Rscript. And it is (in my very biased eyes) better as it allows for piping as well shebang scripting via #!, uses command-line arguments more consistently and still starts faster. It also always loaded the methods package which Rscript converted to rather recently.

    littler lives on Linux and Unix, has its difficulties on macOS due to yet-another-braindeadedness there (who ever thought case-insensitive filesystems as a default where a good idea?) and simply does not exist on Windows (yet -- the build system could be extended -- see RInside for an existence proof, and volunteers are welcome!).

Programming: Graphics, Interview and Security Patches

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Development
  • Patches Prep The Merging Of AMDKFD + AMDGPU Linux Drivers

    The plans talked about in early July for merging the AMDKFD driver into the AMDGPU DRM driver are moving ahead and out today are the initial patches working towards this merger.

    AMDKFD is the graphics vendor's "Kernel Fusion Driver" with the name originating from the Fusion days and is the kernel bits needed for HSA/compute on Radeon graphics hardware.

  • Codeplay Outs SYCL-Based ComputeCpp 1.0, Running Parallel C++ Code On Multiple Platforms

    Codeplay, the company behind tools like clspv for running OpenCL C code on Vulkan, today released ComputeCpp 1.0.

    ComputeCpp 1.0 is built upon the Khronos Group's SYCL 1.2.1 standard and is designed to write standard C++ code for heterogeneous systems that in turn can run across processors and accelerators from a variety of vendors -- in effect, everywhere.

  • New podcast interview

     

    Apparently August 2018 is Shamelessly Shill Yourself Month. I appeared on the IT in the D podcast last week. A fun time was had by all–well, at least by me. And that’s the important thing, right? We talked about my books, decades of IT, SSH, ed, and general nerdery.

  • Security updates for Friday
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Red Hat: OpenShift and Awards

  • OpenShift Commons Briefing: OpenShift 3.11 Release Update with Scott McCarty (Red Hat)
    In this briefing, Red Hat’s Scott McCarty and numerous other members of the OpenShift Product Management team gave an in-depth look at Red Hat’s OpenShift’s latest release 3.11 and some insights in to the road ahead.
  • Awards roll call: Red Hat awards, June to October 2018
    Depending on the weather in your region, it’s safe to say that the seasons are changing so it’s a good time to look back at what was a busy few months for Red Hat, especially when it came to industry awards for our technical and product leadership. In recent months, Red Hat products and technologies took home twenty awards, highlighting the breadth and depth of our product portfolio as well as the expertise that we provide to our customers. In addition, Red Hat as a company won five awards recognizing its growth and culture as a leader in the industry.
  • More advice from a judge - what it takes to win a Red Hat Innovation Award
    Last year I penned the below post to provide insight into what the judges of the Red Hat Innovation Awards are looking for when reviewing submissions. Looking back, I would give almost the identical advice again this year...maybe with a few tweaks. With all the stellar nominations that we receive, the question I often get is, “how can we make our entry standout?” There’s no magic formula for winning the Red Hat Innovation Awards, but there are things that the other judges and I look for in the entries. Overall, we’re looking for the project that tells a compelling story. It’s not just about sharing what Red Hat products and services you used, we want to hear the full narrative. What challenges did you face; how you implemented the project; and ultimately, what was the true business impact and transformation that took place? Submissions that are able to showcase how open source culture and values were key to success, or how the project is making a difference in the lives of others, are the entries that most often rise to the top.

today's howtos

OSS Leftovers

  • How to be an effective and professional member of the Samba user and development Community
    For many years we have run these lists dedicated to developing and promoting Samba, without any set of clear guidelines for people to know what to expect when participating.  What do we require? What kind of behavior is encouraged?
  • Blockcerts Updates Open Source Blockchain Architecture
    Learning Machine is making changes to its Blockcerts Credential Issuer, Verifier and Wallet to enable native support for records issuance and verification using any blockchain. Blockcerts was launched by Learning Machine and MIT Media Lab in 2016 as new way to allow students to receive digital diplomas through an app, complementing a traditional paper degree. Blockcerts was originally designed to be blockchain-agnostic, which means that open standards can be used to anchor records in any blockchain. The Blockcerts Universal Identifier recognizes which blockchain is being used and verifies accordingly. Currently, the open source project has added support for bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains, but anyone can add support through the project's GitHub page.
  • First full featured open-source Ethereum block explorer BlockScout launched by POA Network
  • Amsterdam-based ING Bank Introduces Open-Source Zero Knowledge Technology
  • ING Bank Launches Open Source Privacy Improvement Add-On for Blockchains
  • Imec tool accelerates DNA sequencing 10x
    As a result, in a typical run, elPrep is up to ten times faster than other software tools using the same resources. It is designed as a seamless replacement that delivers the exact same results as GATK4.0 developed by the Broad Institute. elPrep has been written in the Go programming language and is available through the open-source GNU Affero General Public License v3 (AGPL-3.0).
  • On the low adoption of automated testing in FOSS
    A few times in the recent past I've been in the unfortunate position of using a prominent Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) program or library, and running into issues of such fundamental nature that made me wonder how those issues even made it into a release. In all cases, the answer came quickly when I realized that, invariably, the project involved either didn't have a test suite, or, if it did have one, it was not adequately comprehensive. I am using the term comprehensive in a very practical, non extreme way. I understand that it's often not feasible to test every possible scenario and interaction, but, at the very least, a decent test suite should ensure that under typical circumstances the code delivers all the functionality it promises to. [...] Most FOSS projects, at least those not supported by some commercial entity, don't come with any warranty; it's even stated in the various licenses! The lack of any formal obligations makes it relatively inexpensive, both in terms of time and money, to have the occasional bug in the codebase. This means that there are fewer incentives for the developer to spend extra resources to try to safeguard against bugs. When bugs come up, the developers can decide at their own leisure if and when to fix them and when to release the fixed version. Easy! At first sight, this may seem like a reasonably pragmatic attitude to have. After all, if fixing bugs is so cheap, is it worth spending extra resources trying to prevent them?
  •  
  • Chrome for Linux, Mac, and Windows Now Features Picture-in-Picture by Default
    Chromium evanghelist at Google François Beaufort announced today that Picture-in-Picture (PiP) support is now enabled by defualt in the Google Chrome web browser for Linux, Mac, and Windows platforms. Google's engineers have been working for months to add Picture-in-Picture (PiP) support to the Google Chrome web browser, but the long-anticipated feature is finally here, enabled by default in the latest version for Linux, Mac, and Windows operating systems. The feature lets you detach a video in a floating window so you can watch it while doing something else on your computer.
  • Teaching With an Index Card: the Benefits of Free, Open-Source Tools
  • Decentralized Authentication for Self-Sovereign Identities using Name Systems
    The GNU Name System (GNS) is a fully decentralized public key infrastructure and name system with private information retrieval semantics. It serves a holistic approach to interact seamlessly with IoT ecosystems and enables people and their smart objects to prove their identity, membership and privileges - compatible with existing technologies. In this report we demonstrate how a wide range of private authentication and identity management scenarios are addressed by GNS in a cost-efficient, usable and secure manner. This simple, secure and privacy-friendly authentication method is a significant breakthrough when cyber peace, privacy and liability are the priorities for the benefit of a wide range of the population. After an introduction to GNS itself, we show how GNS can be used to authenticate servers, replacing the Domain Name System (DNS) and X.509 certificate authorities (CAs) with a more privacy-friendly but equally usable protocol which is trustworthy, human-centric and includes group authentication. We also built a demonstrator to highlight how GNS can be used in medical computing to simplify privacy-sensitive data processing in the Swiss health-care system. Combining GNS with attribute-based encryption, we created ReclaimID, a robust and reliable OpenID Connect-compatible authorization system. It includes simple, secure and privacy-friendly single sign-on to seamlessly share selected attributes with Web services, cloud ecosystems. Further, we demonstrate how ReclaimID can be used to solve the problem of addressing, authentication and data sharing for IoT devices. These applications are just the beginning for GNS; the versatility and extensibility of the protocol will lend itself to an even broader range of use-cases. GNS is an open standard with a complete free software reference implementation created by the GNU project. It can therefore be easily audited, adapted, enhanced, tailored, developed and/or integrated, as anyone is allowed to use the core protocols and implementations free of charge, and to adopt them to their needs under the terms of the GNU Affero General Public License, a free software license approved by the Free Software Foundation.
  • Make: an open source hardware, Arduino-powered, 3D-printed wire-bending machine
    How To Mechatronics has pulled together detailed instructions and a great video explaining how to make an Arduino-powered, 3D-printed wire-bending machine whose gears can create arbitrary vector images out of precision-bent continuous lengths of wire.
  • RApiDatetime 0.0.4: Updates and Extensions
    The first update in a little while brings us release 0.0.4 of RApiDatetime which got onto CRAN this morning via the lovely automated sequence of submission, pretest-recheck and pretest-publish. RApiDatetime provides seven entry points for C-level functions of the R API for Date and Datetime calculations. The functions asPOSIXlt and asPOSIXct convert between long and compact datetime representation, formatPOSIXlt and Rstrptime convert to and from character strings, and POSIXlt2D and D2POSIXlt convert between Date and POSIXlt datetime. This releases brings asDatePOSIXct as a seventh courtesy of Josh Ulrich. All these functions are all fairly useful, but not one of them was previously exported by R for C-level use by other packages. Which is silly as this is generally extremely carefully written and tested code.
  • 6 JavaScript books you should know
    If there was ever the potential for a giant book list it's one based on our favorite Javascript books. But, this list is short and easy to digest. Maybe it will help you get started, gently. Plus, check out three of our top Javascript articles with even more books, resources, and tips.

Security: Telstra, Google+ and Facebook Incidents, and Latest Updates