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12 Firefox Add-ons for Developers & Designers

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Just recently, we released a post on the 12 Google Chrome Extensions for Developers & Designers and while some of those extensions are available on Firefox, I wouldn’t repeat any here.

In the same way, some of the extensions listed below are available on Chrome so consider such apps as bonuses for the respective browsers.

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Also: Daniel Lange: Firefox asking to be made the default browser again and again

Is openSUSE the Developers’ Linux Distro Holy Grail?

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With changes to SUSE over its history, the official chameleon logo seems pretty appropriate. In 2015, the openSUSE project restructured, creating two versions: Leap and Tumbleweed. Tumbleweed is a rolling release, so users always have access to the newest Linux packages, and Leap is openSUSE’s regular-release, with guaranteed stability.

In his “My Move to SUSE” presentation at the 2017 openSUSE Conference, SaltStack CEO Thomas Hatch says, “I lived in a two distro world. I needed a different distro for my laptop than for the servers in the data center.” With Leap and Tumbleweed, however, Hatch says he has a rolling release as well as a free OS that’s more than sufficiently stable to run the vast majority of his server needs.

Hatch also believes SUSE has the best release policies and release cycles among all Linux distros. “The world of open source is a rolling world. Not having a rolling release that is stabilized means that your users must always be behind the curve. And Tumbleweed solves it in a way which is infinitely more elegant than any other rolling release.”

He adds, “Having an open source release which is stable enough to run in a server environment is an extremely important aspect of a Linux distribution. And deploying that piece of software in such a way that enables users to get to know SUSE and get to know what an enterprise and an extremely stable SUSE environment feels like is a smart business model.”

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Spinning the Developers' Survey of DigitalOcean

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  • 20 years into the movement, more than half of developers involved in open source [Ed: Author does not know that FOSS began AT LEAST 35 years ago with GNU]

    More than half of Canadian developers are actively participating in open source projects but there’s a disconnect when it comes to companies and their expectations surrounding open source versus their actual commitment to it.

  • One way street called Open Source

    Businesses generally do not walk the talk when it comes to open source software.

    That's one of the key findings of a survey of over 4 300 respondents from around the world, the majority of whom were developers or system administrators.

    The survey was conducted by cloud provider DigitalOcean which published the results in its seasonal report on developer cloud trends. This edition was focused exclusively on open source, to coincide with the open source movement's 20th anniversary.

  • Drop in the (Digital) Ocean: where open source is getting it wrong

    It’s easy to knock open source; there are frailties in fragilities in all code and open source libraries have been variously castigated by a litany of security software vendors attempting to ply their wares.

    But open source is having a harder time penetrating big-scale enterprise — this we know to be true.

    IBM Red Hat acquisitions notwithstanding, the road to open source penetration in enterprise through tangible software application development interaction is not as high as it could be.

    Developer cloud provider company Digital Ocean says it has spoken to over 4,300 developers around the world to compile an open source barometer report.

Programming: 'Hacking', Python and RcppTOML

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  • How to become a hacker for beginners

    Hacking is a community known to many but understood by few. A hacker is a person that keenly studies computer and networks systems and their security mechanisms. Accessing computers without a permit has been a popular culture in the modern age which has been embraced by many people. How do hackers learn to hack, is a common question in the mind of many people who ponder on the intelligence portrayed by most pirates and aim to become overnight pro hackers. This article provides tips on how to become a hacker and what it takes to succeed in the hacking arena.

  • Picking a governance model for Python

    The Python language project has been officially "leaderless" since the mid-July announcement that Guido van Rossum was stepping down. He is, of course, the founder of the language and had served for more than two decades as its Benevolent Dictator for Life (BDFL). But he did not appoint a successor and left it up to the project's core developers to come up with a new governance structure. In the three months since, a great deal of work has gone into that effort, which has to bootstrap itself since there was not even any mechanism to choose how to select a new governance model.

    As with nearly any sizable change for Python, the governance question was broken up into a series of Python Enhancement Proposals (PEPs). In this case, PEP 8000 is an overview (or index) of the different PEPs that are being considered. The starting point, though, is to determine how those competing proposals (there are six currently, though there is a fair amount of overlap between them in various ways) will be chosen. That is the role of PEP 8001 ("Python Governance Voting Process").

  • RcppTOML 0.1.5: Small extensions

    Coming on the heels of last week’s RcppTOML 0.1.4 release bringing support for TOML v0.5.0, we have a new release 0.1.5 on CRAN with better encoding support as well as support for the time type.

    RcppTOML brings TOML to R. TOML is a file format that is most suitable for configurations, as it is meant to be edited by humans but read by computers. It emphasizes strong readability for humans while at the same time supporting strong typing as well as immediate and clear error reports. On small typos you get parse errors, rather than silently corrupted garbage. Much preferable to any and all of XML, JSON or YAML – though sadly these may be too ubiquitous now. TOML has been making inroads with projects such as the Hugo static blog compiler, or the Cargo system of Crates (aka “packages”) for the Rust language.

Reports on ActiveState Developer Survey/DigitalOcean’s 'CURRENTS A Seasonal Report on Developer Trends in the Cloud: Open Source Edition'

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  • ActiveState Developer Survey Examines Open Source Challenges
  • Report: Developers are not clear on how to get involved in the open-source community

    After 20 years, the open-source community is stronger than ever. However, a recent report found developers while they had more time and know-how to contribute to open-source projects. According the report, respondents don’t quite know where to begin and start to question their skills and time.

    Additionally, developers say they are either too intimidated to contribute, lack the resources, or do not get enough time to contribute from their company.

    DigitalOcean’s CURRENTS A Seasonal Report on Developer Trends in the Cloud: Open Source Edition is based off of more than 4,300 international developers, and focuses specifically on how companies are using open source and why they support the community.

  • Developers: Want fulfilling work? Here are the 10 most satisfying coding languages

    Developers choose a programming language for a project based on a number of factors, including what components that project needs, and what languages they are most comfortable with. However, developers are much more satisfied working in some languages than others, according to a Tuesday report from ActiveState.

    Adding a new programming language to the workplace was ranked as the largest challenge for developers, with 56% ranking this difficult or very difficult, the report found. This was followed by dependencies (24%), environmental configuration (20%), and reproducible builds (18%).

  • The 10 most popular platforms developers use to code projects

    On a typical day, the largest portion of developers (37%) spend only 2-4 hours programming, according to a Tuesday report from ActiveState. Of the 1,400 developers and IT professionals surveyed, 14% said they spend one hour per day programming, 31% spend 5-7 hours, and 19% spend 8+ hours doing coding work daily.

    When starting new software projects, 26% of developers surveyed said they start a new project quarterly, the report found. Another 23% start new projects monthly, while 17% said rarely. Fewer in the field said they begin a new software project twice a year (14%), weekly (12%), annually (7%), or daily (1%), according to the report.

Programming: Rust 2018, Textile, Samsung, Apache Subversion 1.11.0 and More

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  • SDL 2.0.9 Released As The Latest Version For This Cross-Platform Game Library

    SDL 2.0.9 is now available as the latest feature update to this cross-platform, widely-used library to help with abstracting operating system specific bits across operating systems and hardware from mobile devices to gaming PCs. SDL2 continues to be critically important for most Linux games.

  • AMD Publishes Zen 2 Compiler Patch "znver2" Exposing Some New Instructions

    With GCC 9 feature development ending in November, AMD today sent out their first patch enabling Zen 2 support in the GNU Compiler Collection via the new "znver2" target.

  • Help test Rust 2018

    Back in July, we talked about “Rust 2018”. In short, we are launching a cycle of long-term milestones called “Editions”. Editions are a way to capture the progress delivered incrementally by our ordinary six-week release cycle – and focus Rust libraries, tooling, and documentation cohesively around it. Editions will be selected roughly every three years: Rust 1.0 was “Rust 2015” and Rust 1.31 will be “Rust 2018”. Each edition has a theme; Rust 2015’s was “stability”, and Rust 2018’s is “productivity.”

    We’ve been testing Rust 2018 for a while already, and things are looking pretty good! We have just under six weeks until Rust 1.31 ships, and so we’d appreciate it if you could give the beta a try.

  • Textile – simple lightweight markup language

    Textile is a lightweight and simple markup language that makes it easy to structure content for articles, blogs, wikis, and documentation. It’s origin traces back to the blogging software Textpattern.

    Textile converts its marked-up text input to valid, well-formed XHTML and also inserts character entity references for apostrophes, opening and closing single and double quotation marks, ellipses and em dashes. This lets users create documents, blogs and web pages without needing to write HTML.

  • 39 No Frills Keyboard Shortcuts every Developer Should Follow

    What used to be 27 is now 39 - Due to all the great comments, I've amended the list to add a few more suggestions, thanks to all that contributed.

    Shortcuts are the most productive thing that a developer can add to their repertoire that will aid them through their entire career. Learning how to use your system and tools will improve your productivity and in general make traversing all your windows and apps a breeze. The mouse is a great, tool, but if you can do it quicker, more effectively without your hands leaving your keyboard then you should!

  • What a Coding Dojo taught me about agile

    Of course, we often associate “agile” with specific practices. Let’s take the example of two agile practices that were used together during a Coding Dojo event. A Coding Dojo is a great way of uncovering better ways of developing… I’ll stop there; you know the rest of the sentence by now. A Coding Dojo is a great way to get better at something by practicing with others in a safe and controlled environment.

  • Samsung Comments On Open-Source Restructuring

    Over the weekend we reported on the Samsung Open-Source Group reportedly shutting down with many of the former OSG staffers in the US no longer employed by Samsung. We've now received comments both from Samsung in the US and Korea on the matter.

  • Apache Subversion 1.11.0 released

    Version 1.11.0 of the Subversion source-code management system is out. Changes include improvements to the shelving feature, better resolution of merge conflicts, an experimental checkpointing feature, and more; see the release notes for details.

Compilers News: GCC and LLVM

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  • The D Language Front-End Finally Merged Into GCC 9

    The GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) has a new language front-end! The D language support has finally been merged.

    The D language support for GCC has long been sought after with over the past two years going through several revisions. Back in June of 2017 is when the GCC Steering Committee approved of adding the D front-end but it's taken more than a year to get the code in adequate shape for merging.

    Last month there was a renewed push for D in GCC 9 while on Sunday evening that front-end and related code was finally merged to mainline GCC.

  • Six Years After Launch, AMD Piledriver CPU Tuning Gets Reworked In LLVM Clang

    Six years after AMD introduced "Piledriver" as the successor to the original Bulldozer CPUs, the LLVM Clang compiler is seeing a revised scheduling model for these processors that can yield faster performance of generated code targeting this older class of AMD CPUs.

    Piledriver cores ended up a range of CPUs from the FX-8300 series through the FX-9590, many APUs including the A10-6800K, more than a dozen mobile parts, and also some Opteron CPUs. Piledriver as a reminder was based on a 32nm SOI process, offered better IPC over the original Bulldozer microarchitecture, bumped the clock speeds, and other incremental improvements.

Programming Surveys and Ranks

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  • The 10 programming languages developers use most in open source projects

    Twenty years after the open source movement began, developers are increasingly contributing to these projects, but employers are expecting even more participation, according to a Friday report from DigitalOcean.

    Just over half (55%) of the 4,300 developers surveyed for the report said they are contributing to open source projects. However, 71% said their companies expect them to use open source software as part of their day-to-day development work, the report found.


    55% of developers said they are contributing to open source projects. — DigitalOcean, 2018

    The most popular coding languages for open source projects are JavaScript, Python, and PHP. — DigitalOcean, 2018

  • DigitalOcean Survey Results Reveal the State of Open Source

    Cloud provider DigitalOcean runs this developer survey quarterly, and focused this edition entirely on the state of open source. Over 4,300 individual responded, with 60% coming from companies with 100 or fewer employees. Of the 55% of respondents contributing to open source, 60% of those contribute to existing open source projects. 16% maintain their own projects, and 14% file issues against projects. Why are developers participating in open source? According to the survey, they're motivated to improve their coding skills, join a community, and learn new technology. These developers primary use JavaScript (62%) when engaging with open source, with Python a close second at 52%. Go and C# are rarely used, by 16% and 10%, respectively.

  • What's the next programming language you want to learn?

Announcing Rust 1.30

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The Rust team is happy to announce a new version of Rust, 1.30.0. Rust is a systems programming language focused on safety, speed, and concurrency.

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Qt Design Studio 1.0 Released

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Qt Design Studio is a UI design and development environment that enables designers and developers to rapidly prototype and develop complex and scalable UIs.

Qt Design Studio is a tool used by both designers and developers and that makes collaboration between the two a lot simpler and more streamlined: Designers can look the graphical view, while developers can look at the QML code. With this workflow, designers can have their Photoshop designs running on real devices in minutes! As an aside, I say Photoshop designs, but we are planning to support other graphic design tools in the future.

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Also: Qt Design Studio 1.0 Released As New Design/Development Environment

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Games: Metropolisim, Monster Prom, Kingdom Two Crowns and Lots More

  • Metropolisim aims to be the deepest city-building simulation experience ever, will have Linux support
    Metropolisim from developer Halfway Decent Games is releasing next year, with a pretty bold aim to be the deepest city-building simulation experience ever.
  • Monster Prom, the dating sim that won me over is now available on GOG
    Visual novels and dating sims aren't something I'm usually into, however Monster Prom is actually funny and worth playing and it's now available on GOG. I know we have a number of GOG fans here, so hopefully this will be interesting for you. As always, we try to treat all stores equally with release info.
  • Kingdom Two Crowns will be coming to Linux after all with the Quality of Life update
    Kingdom Two Crowns, the third in the Kingdom series released recently for Windows and Mac. It looked like we weren't getting it, but it's now confirmed to be coming. In their new roadmap post on Reddit and Steam, under the "QoL #01 Update" (Quality of Life Update) they noted that they will add "Add SteamOS (Linux) Support". This update is due out sometime early next year. This is really nice news, it's good to know they didn't give up on supporting Linux after all.
  • Steam Link for the Raspberry Pi is now officially available
    After a rather short beta period, the Steam Link application for the Raspberry Pi is now officially out.
  • Valve in it for the 'long haul' with Artifact, first update out and a progression system due soon
    Artifact, the big new card game from Valve isn't doing so well but Valve won't be giving up any time soon. The first major update is out, with a progression system due soon. At release, it had around sixty thousand people playing and that very quickly dropped down hard. Harder than I expected, a lot worse than Valve probably thought it would too.
  • Bearded Giant Games open their own store with a 'Linux First Initiative'
    Bearded Giant Games, developer of Ebony Spire Heresy have announced their new online store along with a 'Linux First Initiative'. I know what you're thinking already "not another store", but fear not. For now, it's mainly going to be a place for them to sell their games directly. Speaking about it in a blog post, they mentioned how they hate having to check over multiple forums, channels, emails and so on to stay up to date and they wish "to spend more time giving love to my projects instead of updating 4 different distribution channels, translating pages, writing different press releases and making separate builds"—can't argue against that.
  • The Forgotten Sanctum, the final DLC for Pillars of Eternity II is out along with a patch
    Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire expansions come to a close with the release of The Forgotten Sanctum along with a major update now out.
  • Pre-order Meeple Station for instant beta access, what the developers say is like Rimworld in space
    Meeple Station, the space station building sim that the developers say is like Rimworld in space can now be pre-ordered with instant beta access. While we don't like the idea of pre-orders, getting access to the beta right away is a decent way to do it. Sadly, their Kickstarter campaign actually failed which I didn't notice. Making sure that wasn't the end of it, the developer Vox Games decided to go the Early Access route. They weren't left out in the cold of space though, as they also recently announced that Indie DB will be publishing their game. Under the label of Modularity, this will be the first title published by Indie DB.
  • Heroes of Newerth drops support for Linux and Mac
    Heroes of Newerth, the MOBA originally from S2 Games which is now handled by Frostburn Studios has dropped Linux and Mac support. [...] I'll be honest here, I couldn't care less about it personally. The last time i tried it, it was the single most toxic experience I've ever had in an online game. I've played a lot of online games and even so it was still at a level I had not seen before. I tried to go back to it a few times, never with a happy ending. Still, sad for any remaining Linux (and Mac) fans of the game. Looking over some statistics, it's not popular with viewers either. Around 180 on Twitch compared with nearly 100K for League of Legends and over 50K for Dota 2.
  • Unity 2018.3 With HDR Render Pipeline Preview, Updated PhysX & More
    Unity Tech is ending out the year with their Unity 2018.3 game engine update that brings a number of new features and improvements to its many supported platforms.

Wine 4.0 Release Candidate 2

  • Wine Announcement
    The Wine development release 4.0-rc2 is now available. What's new in this release (see below for details): - Bug fixes only, we are in code freeze.
  • Just when you think you can stop drinking, Wine 4.0 has another release candidate available
    Just before the weekend hits you in the face like a bad hangover when you realise it's Monday already, there's another bottle of Wine ready for you. Of course, we're not talking about the tasty liquid! Put down the glass, it's the other kind of Wine. The one used to run your fancy Windows programs and games on Linux. Doing their usual thing, developer Alexandre Julliard announced that the Wine 4.0 Release Candidate 2 is officially out the door today. While this release is nothing spectacular it is an important one, the more bugs they're able to tick off the list the better the 4.0 release will be for more people to use it.

Android Leftovers

A Look At The Clear Linux Performance Over The Course Of 2018

With the end of the year quickly approaching, it's time for our annual look at how the Linux performance has evolved over the past year from graphics drivers to distributions. This year was a particularly volatile year for Linux performance due to Spectre and Meltdown mitigations, some of which have at least partially recovered thanks to continued optimizations landing in subsequent kernel releases. But on the plus side, new releases of Python, PHP, GCC 8, and other new software releases have helped out the performance. For kicking off our year-end benchmark comparisons, first up is a look at how Intel's performance-optimized Clear Linux distribution evolved this year. For getting a look at the performance, on four different systems (two Xeon boxes, a Core i5, and Core i7 systems), the performance was compared from Clear Linux at the end of 2017 to the current rolling-release state as of this week. Read more