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Software

Richard Hughes: fwupd 1.5.2

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Software

If you’re running 1.5.0 or 1.5.1 you probably want to update to this release now as it fixes a hard-to-debug hang we introduced in 1.5.0. If you’re running 1.4.x you might want to let the libcurl changes settle, although we’ve been using it without issue for more than a week on a ton of hardware here. Expect 1.5.3 in a few weeks time, assuming we’re all still alive by then.

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Wine 6.0 Release Preparations Begin In Two Weeks

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With Wine on an annual stable release cadence for shipping new stable feature releases generally at the beginning of each calendar year after a year's worth of bi-weekly development snapshots, Wine 6.0 is due for release around January.

Following Friday's Wine 5.22 release, Wine project founder and leader Alexandre Julliard sent out word this morning that the processes will soon begin rolling for that Wine 6.0 release.

Two weeks from now for the next development release will also mark the start of the code freeze for Wine 6.0. Following that, the Wine 6.0 release candidates will continue until the official Wine 6.0.0 release is ready to ship.

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Kodi 19.x "Matrix" - Beta 1

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Software

Lights! Camera! Action!

... nearly. It's Beta time for Kodi 19.x "Matrix", so let's take another step towards the Great Unveiling.

As we now move into Beta, this release is much more about fixes than features: while there will be the odd new functionality, we're concentrating very much more on getting everything working properly from this point.

To recap, then, one of the main objectives of 19.x "Matrix" is to release a production version of Kodi with Python 3 addons as early in 2021 as we can. That can only happen with enthusiastic community support, lots of good humour and willingness to see the best in others - well, that and coffee/beer (delete as applicable), of course!

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Also: Kodi 19 Now In Beta With Python 3 Addons, AV1 Software Decoding

ympd – MPD Web based GUI

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Software

Linux offers a mouthwatering array of open source music players. And many of them are high quality. I’ve reviewed the vast majority for LinuxLinks, but I’m endeavoring to explore every free music player in case there’s an undiscovered gem.

MPD is a powerful server-side application for playing music. In a home environment, you can connect an MPD server to a Hi-Fi system, and control the server using a notebook or smartphone. You can, of course, play audio files on remote clients. MPD can be started system-wide or on a per-user basis.

I’ve covered a fair few MPD clients over the past year or so including Cantata, Ymuse, ncmpy, and ncmpc. My favorite of them is Cantata although Ymuse is a simple alternative. There’s lots of differences between these front-ends. For example, Cantata uses the Qt widget set, whereas Ymuse offers a GTK front-end. And ncmpy and ncmpc are terminal-based clients.

ympd takes a different route. It’s a web-based client. This software lets you use your web browser to interact with MPD. ympd runs without a dedicated web server or interpreters like PHP, NodeJS or Ruby. It’s tuned for minimal resource usage and has minimal dependencies. The software uses Websockets and Bootstrap/JavaScript.

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App Highlight of the Week: Compare Files and Folders Graphically in Linux With Meld

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The good old diff command may not be everyone’s cup of tea. On desktop Linux, you can use Meld GUI tool to compare files and folders for differences.
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Software: GNU Parallel, MPV Player, Musical Midi Accompaniment, Flatpak/Flathub

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  • GNU Parallel 20201122 ('Biden') released [stable]

    GNU Parallel 20201122 ('Biden') [stable] has been released. It is available for download at: http://ftpmirror.gnu.org/parallel/
    No new functionality was introduced so this is a good candidate for a stable release.
    Please help spreading GNU Parallel by making a testimonial video like Juan Sierra Pons: http://www.elsotanillo.net/wp-content/uploads/GnuParallel_JuanSierraPons.mp4
    It does not have to be as detailed as Juan's. It is perfectly fine if you just say your name, and what field you are using GNU Parallel for.

  • MPV Player 0.33 Brings Nearly A Year's Worth Of Improvements

    MPV as the open-source, cross-platform media player based long ago off the MPlayer/MPlayer2 code-base is out with a new feature release ahead of the holiday season.

    MPV 0.33 is the first release since MPV 0.32 that happened back in January, thus there are a lot of changes in store.

  • Musical Midi Accompaniment: Understanding the Format | Adam Young’s Web Log

    Saxophone is a solo instrument. Unless you are into the sounds of Saxophone multiphonics, harmony requires playing with some other instrument. For Jazz, this tends to be a rhythms section of Piano, Bass, and Drums. As a kid, my practicing (without a live Rhythm section) required playing along with pre-recordings of tunes. I had my share of Jamie Aebersold records.

    Nowadays, the tool of choice for most Jazz muscians, myself included is iReal Pro. A lovely little app for the phone. All of the Real Book tunes have their chord progressions been posted and generated. The format is simple enough.

    But it is a proprietary app. While I continue to support and use it, I am also looking for alternatives that let me get more involved. One such tool is Musical MIDI Accompaniment. I’m just getting started with it, and I want to keep my notes here.

    First is just getting it to play. Whether you get the tarball or checkout from Git, there is a trick that you need to do in order to even play examples: regenerate the libraries.

  • Flatpak's New Repo Format For Greater Flathub Scalability, More Architectures To Come

    Flatpak and the Flathub "app store" and build service are rolling out a new repository format in order to scale better now that there are around one thousand applications on Flathub.

    Flathub continues seeing new Flatpak packages added to the service and thus better scalability is on the mind of developers, especially in wanting to support additional CPU architectures.

Ardour 6.4 Free Digital Audio Workstation Released with Support for VST3 Plugins

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The biggest new feature in Ardour 6.4 is support for plugins in Steinberg’s VST3 plugin format. Yes, that’s right, you can now use VST3 plugins in Ardour, and they work on all platforms, including GNU/Linux, macOS, and Windows.

To use them, go to Preferences > Plugins and click the “Scan Now” button, which will automatically discover all the VST3 plugins you might have installed in your system. If you don’t have them installed in the standard location, you can specify the folder where they’re installed.

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Software: KOpeningHours, PTS, RSS Guard, Grafana

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  • Introducing KOpeningHours

    While working on the train station maps for KDE Itinerary I came across OSM’s opening_hours tags on restaurants/shops/amenities/etc. Those contain a description for which time intervals a given thing is available/open, in a machine-readable format. Being able to evaluate this would be nice, as KDE Itinerary knows the time you are going to be at a train station, so we can make the map more useful by focusing on elements that are actually available while you are there.

    OSM’s format is extensively documented, and also used by other systems that we use already (such as OpenTripPlanner) or that might become relevant for us in the future (such as ParkAPI). Another place where we encounter a similar (but simpler) format is schema.org annotations in websites that Plasma Browser Integration evaluates.

    So, obviously we need this in a library we can use in all those cases.

  • Phoronix Test Suite 10.2 M1 Brings Improvements For Apple Silicon M1, Altra + More - Phoronix

    Out this weekend is Phoronix Test Suite 10.2-Harstad Milestone 1 as the first development snapshot of this next quarterly feature update to our cross-platform, open-source benchmarking software. 

    Over this quarter's Phoronix Test Suite 10.0 release there is a lot of work on the Phoronix Device Interface "Phodevi" as the software/hardware abstraction layer, various system logging improvements, improved user experience on the OpenBenchmarking.org auto comparison functionality, and other low-level changes. 

  • RSS Guard 3.8.2 - Neowin

    RSS Guard is a simple (yet powerful) feed reader. It is able to fetch the most known feed formats, including RSS/RDF and ATOM. It's free, it's open-source. RSS Guard currently supports Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian. RSS Guard will never depend on other services - this includes online news aggregators like Feedly, The Old Reader and others.

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  • How to Setup Prometheus, Grafana and Loki on NixOS

                     

                       

    When setting up services on your home network, sometimes you have questions along the lines of "how do I know that things are working?". In this blogpost we will go over a few tools that you can use to monitor and visualize your machine state so you can answer that. Specifically we are going to use the following tools to do this:

                       

    Grafana for creating pretty graphs and managing alerts
    Prometheus for storing metrics and as a common metrics format
    Prometheus node_exporter for deriving metrics from system state
    Loki as a central log storage point
    promtail to push logs to Loki

                       

    Let's get going!

16 Best Free and Open Source Image Viewers

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One of our favorite adages is “A picture is worth a thousand words”. It refers to the notion that a still image can convey a complex idea. Images can portray a lot of information quickly and more efficiently than text. They capture memories, and never let you forget something you want to remember, and refresh it in your memory.

Images are part of every day internet usage, and are particularly important for social media engagement. A good image viewer is an essential part of any operating system.

Linux offers a vast collection of open source small utilities that perform functions ranging from the obvious to the bizarre. It is the quality and selection of these tools that help Linux stand out as a productive environment. This is particularly true when it comes to image viewers. There are so many image viewers that are available for Linux that it can make selection difficult.

From our detailed investigations, we strongly recommend feh if you’re looking for a command-line based viewer. If you insist on a graphical user interface, plump for gThumb, Regards, and/or QuickViewer. There’s other good free and open source image viewers which we’ve also compared.

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Ymuse – GTK front-end (client) for Music Player Daemon

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GNU
Linux
Software

My favorite pastime is to see an eclectic range of bands, solo artists, and orchestras live. It’s such a life-changing and exhilarating experience to be present. It’s one thing to be sitting at home listening to a CD or watching music videos on TV or on YouTube, but being with an audience, packed out in a stadium or music hall, takes it to another level. But it’s an expensive pastime, and still on hold given the current coronavirus pandemic. I’m therefore listening to music from my CD collection which I’ve encoded to FLAC, a lossless audio format, and stored locally.

Linux offers a huge array of open source music players. And many of them are high quality. I’ve reviewed the vast majority for LinuxLinks, but I’m endeavoring to explore every free music player in case there’s an undiscovered gem.

Ymuse is billed as an easy, functional, and snappy GTK front-end (client) for Music Player Daemon. It’s written in Go.

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Also:Gmusicbrowser 1.1.16 Released! How to Install it in Ubuntu 20.04 | UbuntuHandbook

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