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OSS Leftovers

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OSS
  • Molly de Blanc: Free software activities, October 2019

    In October, work was quite busy, though a lot of it was behind-the-scenes stuff I cannot yet update you on. It was also very busy with a very exciting trip I took that had absolutely nothing to do with free software. If you’re ever going to Kyoto or Tokyo and looking for some recommendations for coffee, cocktail bars, restaurants, or general things to do, hmu.

  • Corteza Service Cloud Released

    Corteza Service Cloud features: Case Management, Account & Contact Management, including entitlements, Product management, including entitlement templates for products, Knowledge Base, Process Automation, Advanced role-based permissions, Notifications, Advanced reporting, Record importing and exporting, Mobile ready (responsive design), and Enterprise messaging (via Corteza Messaging).

    [...]

    I have regular meetings with Patrick Masson, the general manager of the OSI. We made most of them in October.
    I did some writing for the OSI. Not all of it is published at this point.
    I worked on crafting drafts of organizational policies for the OSI, including staffing, travel, and a whistle blower policy. I hope to be able to arrange for an HR specialist or employment lawyer to review these.
    The OSI has two new board members! In order to make this happen, I contacted all of the nominees for whom I had contact information. I spoke with them about the OSI, the Board and it’s activities, and how they saw their potential involvement. Basically I interviewed a bunch of ~fancy~ people. It was so much fun talking with every one of them and I learned so much during the process.
    The Debian Community Team had some meetings, wrote some emails, and discussed The Future together and with the greater Debian community.

  • Corteza Service Cloud, the open-source Salesforce Service Cloud alternative, has been released

    Corteza today announced the release of Corteza Service Cloud, the free, open-source and self-hosted Salesforce Service Cloud alternative. Corteza Service Cloud is a customer service desk, built on the Corteza Low-Code platform. It enables businesses to deliver faster and more personalised service to their clients, across multiple channels. 

  • My System Administration Ethics book has been published

                     

                       

    Dear readers, I am truly happy to announce the publication of my latest technical book. It comes with a lengthy but important title - System Administration Ethics: Ten Commandments for Security and Compliance in a Modern Cyber World. A colleague and I have been writing this book over the past year and a bit, and we've jotted down what we believe are the most critical dos and don'ts of information technology.

                       

    Ethics has never been more important - just look around, and you'll see the Wild Wild West of the digital world, breach here, breach there, data this, data that. Amidst this chaos, you will find techies, afloat, lost, confused, angry, and wondering how their work and passion has become the spearpoint of social dissent and mistrust. I hope this book can provide the right pointers.

  • Karl Dubost: Best viewed with… Mozilla Dev Roadshow Asia 2019

    I was invited by Sandra Persing to participate to the Mozilla Developer Roadshow 2019 in Asia. The event is going through 5 cities: Tokyo, Seoul, Taipei, Singapore, Bangkok. I committed to participate to Tokyo and Seoul. The other speakers are still on the road. As I'm writing this, they are speaking in Taipei, when I'm back home.

    Let's go through the talk and then some random notes about the audience, people and cities.

  • With Vitess 4.0, database vendor matures cloud-native platform

    As a software engineer at YouTube in 2010, Sugu Sougoumarane realized that scaling the MySQL database for the cloud was a tough challenge. His realization helped lead to the creation of the open source Vitess project, which hit a major milestone with the release of Vitess 4.0.

    The Vitess project joined the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), which is home to the Kubernetes container orchestration project, in February 2018. At the same time, Sougoumarane co-founded PlanetScale, a commercial service supporting Vitess and its deployment.

    Just over a year and a half later, on Nov. 5, 2019, the Vitess project graduated from the CNCF, marking a major milestone for the project. CNCF graduation is the highest level of project status within the CNCF and is an indicator of the maturity of the project code and processes. With graduation, Vitess 4.0 became generally available, providing users with new features.

  • Helm Reaches Version 3

    The Cloud Native Computing Foundation® (CNCF®), which builds sustainable ecosystems for cloud native software, today announced that Helm, the package manager for Kubernetes, has released its third major update with Helm 3.

    Helm 3 builds on the core features of Helm 2, with improvements to chart repositories, release management, security, and library charts. With this release, the Helm maintainers incorporated feedback and requests from the community to better address the needs of Kubernetes users and the broad cloud native ecosystem.

  • Botond Ballo: Trip Report: C++ Standards Meeting in Belfast, November 2019

    Last week I attended a meeting of the ISO C++ Standards Committee (also known as WG21) in Belfast, Northern Ireland. This was the third and last committee meeting in 2019; you can find my reports on preceding meetings here (July 2019, Cologne) and here (February 2019, Kona), and previous ones linked from those. These reports, particularly the Cologne one, provide useful context for this post.

    At the last meeting, the committee approved and published the C++20 Committee Draft (CD), a feature-complete draft of the C++20 standard which includes wording for all of the new features we plan to ship in C++20. The CD was then sent out to national standards bodies for a formal ISO ballot, where they have the opportunity to file technical comments on it, called “NB (national body) comments”.

    We have 10-15 national standards bodies actively participating in C++ standardization, and together they have filed several hundred comments on the CD. This meeting in Belfast was the first of two ballot resolution meetings, where the committee processes the NB comments and approves any changes to the C++20 working draft needed to address them. At the end of the next meeting, a revised draft will be published as a Draft International Standard (DIS), which will likely be the final draft of C++20.

    NB comments typically ask for bug and consistency fixes related to new features added to C++20. Some of them ask for fixes to longer-standing bugs and consistency issues, and some for editorial changes such as fixes to illustrative examples. Importantly, they cannot ask for new features to be added (or at least, such comments are summarily rejected, though the boundary between bug fix and feature can sometimes be blurry).

    Occasionally, NB comments ask for a newly added feature to be pulled from the working draft due to it not being ready. In this case, there were comments requesting that Modules and Coroutines (among other things) be postponed to C++23 so they can be better-baked. I’m pleased to report that no major features were pulled from C++20 at this meeting. In cases where there were specific technical issues with a feature, we worked hard to address them. In cases of general “this is not baked yet” comments, we did discuss each one (at length in some cases), but ultimately decided that waiting another 3 years was unlikely to be a net win for the community.

    Altogether, over half of the NB comments have been addressed at this meeting, putting us on track to finish addressing all of them by the end of the next meeting, as per our standardization schedule.

    While C++20 NB comments were prioritized above all else, some subgroups did have time to process C++23 proposals as well. No proposals were merged into the C++23 working draft at this time (in fact, a “C++23 working draft” doesn’t exist yet; it will be forked from C++20 after the C++20 DIS is published at the end of the next meeting).

PyRadio: An open source alternative for internet radio

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PyRadio is a convenient, open source, command-line application for playing any radio station that has a streaming link. And in 2019, almost every radio station (certainly, every one that has a web presence) has a way to listen online. Using the free PyRadio program, you can add, edit, play and switch between your own selected list of streaming radio stations. It is a command-line tool for Linux that can run on many computers, including Macintosh and tiny computers like Raspberry Pi. To some, a command-line client for playing music might sound needlessly complicated, but it's actually a simple alternative and one that serves as an instant text-based dashboard to easily select music to listen to.

A little background about myself: I spend a lot of time browsing for and listening to new music on Bandcamp, on various blogs, and even Spotify. I don't spend time casually listening to app *radio* stations, which are really algorithmically-generated continuous streams of similarly tagged music. Rather, I prefer listening to non-profit, college and locally-produced independent radio stations that are run by a community and don't rely on advertisements to sustain themselves.

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Open Hardware: Zigbee and Arduino

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Hardware
OSS
  • Philips Hue Bridge v2.1

    I recently bought a Hue Bridge to experiment a bit with Zigbee and 802.15.4. Following two posts for the hardware version 2.0 and some comments about the differences to version 2.1 I was able to get shell access on my 2.1 hardware.

    As there is up to now no complete guide I describe here, what I did:

    Opening the case is straigth forward. Just remove the two lower nubsis at the bottom and unscrew the two torx screws; then carefully unclip the bottom.

  • $10 HelTec CubeCell LoRa Board Features Cypress PSoC 4 MCU

    The board can be controlled with AT command, but it also supports Arduino programming in Windows, Mac OS, and Linux. You’ll find documentation and code samples on Github, as well as on Heltec’s own website.

    The company provides an example of battery life considering a connection with the LoRa gateway every 15 minutes. In this case, an 80mAh/3.7V battery would last for 3 months, but they did not mention in which mode they performed the calculation.

Browse Faster With Brave! The First Stable Release is Here

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OSS
Web

Brave browser is an interesting take as a privacy-focused browser. Even though we already have plenty of options to consider for Linux (Chromium/Firefox, etc.), the Brave browser stands out for things like strictly blocking ads and trackers.

It was in the beta phase before the announcement. So, if you already had it installed, you may not find a significant change with this release.

If you are learning about this browser for the first time, I shall mention a few key highlights associated with this release.

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Also: Brave Launches Next-Generation Browser that Puts Users in Charge of Their Internet Experience with Unmatched Privacy and Rewards

Open Letter to the Linux Foundation

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Linux
OSS

It seems to me that Code of Conduct complaints made in public must be immediately rejected and viewed as Code of Conduct violations in and of themselves. Code of Conduct complaints should be submitted in private and remain private and confidential in order to prevent their use as a means of harassment. It also seems to me that while the process of accepting, reviewing, and adjudicating such complaints should be public, the proceedings and decision of each individual case should remain private and confidential in order to protect the parties from harm. Making them a public showcase is, simply, horrible.

Was the Code of Conduct actually violated by Mr. Wood? I have watched the videos in question and read the tweets and I can find no instance where Mr Wood violated the LF Code of Conduct. I understand that LF can make any decision they like about what constitutes a Code of Conduct violation. However, when both the complaint and the response are so blatantly public, it seems to me that LF owes it to the observing community to explain their decision and describe the due process that was used to make it – including the decision to make the public response that undoubtedly caused harm to Mr. Wood. To date no such explanation has been forthcoming, despite repeated requests.

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Mirantis acquires Docker Enterprise

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Server
OSS

Docker, the technology, is famous. It kick-started the container revolution. Docker, the company, is famous for failing to profit on its technology. Now, in a move indicating that Docker CEO Rob Bearden wasn't able to obtain badly needed capital, Mirantis, a prominent OpenStack and Kubernetes cloud company, has acquired Docker Enterprise product line, developers, and business.

The deal is effective immediately. Mirantis CEO and co-founder Adrian Ionel, said in an e-mail interview, "We are not disclosing the terms of the deal. The deal closes Wednesday [Nov. 12, 2019] morning."

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GNS3 is an open source graphical network simulator for Windows, Linux and macOS

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GNS3 is a graphical network simulator which lets you to create a virtual network. You don't need any hardware like routers, switches, or even endpoints (workstation computers).

This open source tool can be useful for setting up a local network in an office or other environments, and also for troubleshooting purposes.

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What you need to know about burnout in open source communities

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OSS

Earlier this year, I was burned out. Coincidentally, at the time, I was also researching the subject of burnout. It's taken some time for me to take what I researched and experienced and put it into words.

Recently, the International Classification of Diseases classified burnout as an occupational phenomenon. It defines burnout as a "syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed."

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WordPress 5.3 “Kirk”

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Server
OSS

5.3 expands and refines the block editor with more intuitive interactions and improved accessibility. New features in the editor increase design freedoms, provide additional layout options and style variations to allow designers more control over the look of a site.

This release also introduces the Twenty Twenty theme giving the user more design flexibility and integration with the block editor. Creating beautiful web pages and advanced layouts has never been easier.

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Openwashing and Linux Foundation Openwash

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OSS
  • Huobi’s ‘Regulator-Friendly’ Blockchain Goes Open Source

    Huobi Chain, the regulator-facing public blockchain of exchange Huobi Group, is now open source and publicly available to all developers on GitHub, the firm said Tuesday.

    Nervos, a blockchain development startup, is providing part of the technical infrastructure for the project.

    The firms are developing pluggable components for the network that could enable regulators to supervise contract deployments, asset holdings and transfers, as well as the enforcement of anti money laundering regulations, Bo Wang, a Nervos researcher, told CoinDesk.

    The components will also allow financial institutions, such as banks and regulatory agencies, to freeze assets and accounts in case of emergencies via sidechains, according to Wang.

  • Is Open Source Broken?

    The movement to develop software applications and all manner of IT services through the open source model is fundamentally rooted in the notion of community contribution, but things have shifted.

  • Managing all your enterprise's APIs with new management gateways for review
  • See you at KubeCon!

    It’s that time of year again! We’re getting ready to head on out to San Diego for KubeCon + CloudNativeCon NA. For me, KubeCon always makes for an exciting and jam-packed week. 

  • Amazon Web Services, Genesys, Salesforce Form New Open Data Model

    To accelerate digital transformation, organizations in every industry are modernizing their on-premises technologies by adopting cloud-native applications. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), global spend on cloud computing will grow from $147 billion in 2019 to $418 billion by 2024. Almost half of that investment will be tied to technologies that help companies deliver personalized customer experiences.

    One major challenge of this shift to cloud computing is that applications are typically created with their own data models, forcing developers to build, test, and manage custom code that’s necessary to map and translate data across different systems. The process is inefficient, delays innovation, and ultimately can result in a broken customer experience.

  • The Linux Kernel Mentorship program was a life changing experience

    Operating systems, computer architectures and compilers have always fascinated me. I like to go in depth to understand the important software components we depend on! My life changed when engineers from IBM LTC (Linux Technology Center) came to my college to teach us the Linux Kernel internals. When I heard about the Linux Kernel Mentorship program, I immediately knew that I wanted to be a part of it to further fuel my passion for Linux.

    One of the project in the lists of projects available to work during the Linux Kernel Mentorship program was on “Predictive Memory Reclamation”. I really wanted the opportunity to work on the core kernel, and I began working with my mentor Khalid Aziz immediately during the application period where he gave me a task regarding the identification of anonymous memory regions for a process. I learned a lot in the application period by reading various blogs, textbooks and commit logs.

    During my mentorship period, I worked to develop a predictive memory reclamation algorithm in the Linux Kernel. The aim of the project was to reduce the amount of time the Linux kernel spends in reclaiming memory to satisfy processes requests for memory when there is memory pressure, i.e not enough to satisfy the memory allocation of a process. We implemented a predictive algorithm that can forecast memory pressure and proactively reclaim memory to ensure there is enough available for processes.

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More in Tux Machines

today's leftovers

  • Arm Server CPUs: You Can Now Buy Ampere's eMAG in a Workstation

    Avantek offers the system with three optional graphics cards: AMD FirePro W2100, a Radeon Pro WX 5100, and the NVIDIA Quadro GV100. OS options are variants of Linux: Ubuntu, CentOS, SUSE SLES, and openSUSE.

  • A General Notification Queue Was Pushed Back From Linux 5.5 Introduction

    Red Hat has been working on a "general notification queue" that is built off the Linux kernel's pipe code and will notify the user-space of events like key/keyring changes, block layer events like disk errors, USB attach/remove events, and other notifications without user-space having to continually poll kernel interfaces. This general notification queue was proposed for Linux 5.5 but has been pushed back to at least 5.6. This Linux kernel general notification queue builds off a standard pipe and allows user-space applications to efficiently become aware of changes to block devices (disks), keys, USB subsystem happenings, and other possible events. The proposed documentation spells out more of the planned functionality and behavior.

  • openSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the weeks 2019/48 & 49

    Once again I’m spanning two weeks; besides the normal work on getting you openSUSE Tumbleweed updated and timely delivered, the release team has been working together with the build service team to implement/stabilize the OBS-internal staging workflow. There is (should) not be any real noticeable difference for the contributors – except the new used URLs. The Factory Staging dashboard can now be found at https://build.opensuse.org/staging_workflows/1 During the last two weeks, we have pushed out 10 Tumbleweed Snapshots (1121, 1122, 1123, 1124, 1126, 1127, 1128, 1202, 1203 and 1204) containing those changes...

  • Rugged Coffee Lake PCs offer up to two PCIe slots and two HDD bays

    Nexcom’s fanless, Linux-ready “NISE 3900 Series” features an 8th Gen Coffee Lake CPU with triple display support plus M.2, mini-PCIe, 3x GbE, 10x USB, and 2x serial ports. Six different models have various combinations of PCIe, PCI, and SATA. Nexcom announced a new series in its NISE family of industrial computers that follows recent models such as the Apollo Lake based NISE 51. The rugged NISE-3900 Series systems run Linux Kernel 4.9 or Windows 10 on Intel’s 8th Gen Coffee Lake CPUs, including the quad-core Core i3-8100T and the hexa-core, 2.1GHz i5-8500T and 2.4GHz i7-8700T.

  • More new books from The MagPi and HackSpace magazines

    If our recent release of Retro Gaming with Raspberry Pi, Getting Started with Arduino, and Coding the Classics isn’t enough for you, today sees the release of TWO MORE publications from Raspberry Pi Press!

OSS Leftovers

  • Ardour Digital Audio Workstation Finally Adds Native MP3 Importing Support

    While lossy compression audio formats like MP3 are not recommended for use within professional audio tasks, for those using the open-source Ardour digital audio workstation (DAW) software as of today there is finally native MP3 import support. Obviously it's better working with lossless audio formats as source material for Ardour and other digital audio workstation software suites, but given how common MP3 content is, there certainly is relevance to being able to import MP3s into DAWs. But historically due to licensing/patent issues, MP3 support within Ardour hasn't been possible -- thus leading to common complaints/questions by users over the years.

  • Certbot Leaves Beta with the Release of 1.0

    Earlier this week EFF released Certbot 1.0, the latest version of our free, open source tool that helps websites encrypt their traffic. The release of 1.0 is a significant milestone for the project and is the culmination of the work done over the past few years by EFF and hundreds of open source contributors from around the world.

    Certbot was first released in 2015 to automate the process of configuring and maintaining HTTPS encryption for site administrators by obtaining and deploying certificates from Let's Encrypt. Since its initial launch, many features have been added, including beta support for Windows, automatic nginx configuration, and support for over a dozen DNS providers for domain validation.

  • Open Repos provides code metrics on open source projects

    GitClear is offering Open Repos as a free product, though it is not open source. GitClear’s paid product offers many of the same insights and more. Long-term plans include allowing projects to embed an Open Repos view of a project in their site, and “improving data quality before adding features.”

  • Improvements in LibreOffice’s PowerPoint presentation support

    LibreOffice’s native file format is OpenDocument, a fully open and standardised format that’s great for sharing documents and long-term data storage. Of course, LibreOffice does its best to open files made by other office software as well, even if they’re stored in pseudo-“standards” with cryptic and obfuscated contents. Compatibility with PowerPoint PPT(X) presentations is therefore a challenge, but developers are working hard on improvements… A few months ago, we announced an initiative to improve the support of PPT and PPTX files in LibreOffice. Lots of great work happened since then and the results are collected below!

  • People of WordPress: Jill Binder

    Jill Binder never meant to become an activist. She insists it was an accident. Despite that, Jill has led the Diversity Outreach Speaker Training working group in the WordPress Community team since 2017. This group is dedicated to increasing the number of women and other underrepresented groups who are stepping up to become speakers at WordPress Meetups, WordCamps, and events. [...] The following year her internship advisor, who had become a client, was creating the first ever BuddyCamp for BuddyPress. He asked Jill to be on his organizing team. At that event she also moderated a panel with Matt Mullenweg. Then, Jill was invited to be on the core organizing team for WordCamp Vancouver. Part of this role meant reviewing and selecting speakers. From 40 speaker applications the team had to pick only 14 to speak.

  • Mint: Late-Stage Adversarial Interoperability Demonstrates What We Had (And What We Lost)

    In 2006, Aaron Patzer founded Mint. Patzer had grown up in the city of Evansville, Indiana—a place he described as "small, without much economic opportunity"—but had created a successful business building websites. He kept up the business through college and grad school and invested his profits in stocks and other assets, leading to a minor obsession with personal finance that saw him devoting hours every Saturday morning to manually tracking every penny he'd spent that week, transcribing his receipts into Microsoft Money and Quicken.

    Patzer was frustrated with the amount of manual work it took to track his finances with these tools, which at the time weren't smart enough to automatically categorize "Chevron" under fuel or "Safeway" under groceries. So he conceived on an ingenious hack: he wrote a program that would automatically look up every business name he entered into the online version of the Yellow Pages—constraining the search using the area code in the business's phone number so it would only consider local merchants—and use the Yellow Pages' own categories to populate the "category" field in his financial tracking tools.

today's howtos

Programming: Kotlin, Python and More

  • Android’s commitment to Kotlin

    When we announced Kotlin as a supported language for Android, there was a tremendous amount of excitement among developers. Since then, there has been a steady increase in the number of developers using Kotlin. Today, we’re proud to say nearly 60% of the top 1,000 Android apps contain Kotlin code, with more and more Android developers introducing safer and more concise code using Kotlin. During this year’s I/O, we announced that Android development will be Kotlin-first, and we’ve stood by that commitment. This is one of the reasons why Android is the gold partner for this year’s KotlinConf.

  • Google Reaffirms Commitment To Kotlin Programming Language For Android

    Google is continuing to embrace Kotlin programming for Android, making more Android APIs accessible by Kotlin, Jetpack Compose as a UI toolkit catered to Kotlin, and Kotlin extensions for more Google libraries. Google is also working to offer more Kotlin + Android learning material, working with JetBrains on improving the Kotlin code compiler, speeding up the build time of Kotlin code, and other improvements.

  • Comparing equivalent Python statements

    While teaching one of my Python classes yesterday I noticed a conditional expression which can be written in several ways. All of these are equivalent in their behavior...

  • Serving Files with Python's SimpleHTTPServer Module

    Servers are computer software or hardware that processes requests and deliver data to a client over a network. Various types of servers exist, with the most common ones being web servers, database servers, application servers, and transaction servers. Widely used web servers such as Apache, Monkey, and Jigsaw are quite time-consuming to set up when testing out simple projects and a developer's focus is shifted from producing application logic to setting up a server. Python's SimpleHTTPServer module is a useful and straightforward tool that developers can use for a number of use-cases, with the main one being that it is a quick way to serve files from a directory. It eliminates the laborious process associated with installing and implementing the available cross-platform web servers. Note: While SimpleHTTPServer is a great way to easily serve files from a directory, it shouldn't be used in a production environment. According to the official Python docs, it "only implements basic security checks."