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10+ Open Source Software Writing Tools That Every Writer Should Know

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OSS

Being a professional writer requires two key things to help ensure success: commitment and support. The former comes from the writer, and the latter comes from the tools he (or she) uses to get the job done. Below is a list of 11 great and lesser-known writing tools or apps, many of which are free and open-source, that can help improve the quality of your writing and make you a more productive and successful writer.

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OSS Leftovers

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OSS
  • 8 Best Kodi Sports Addons For Streaming Live Sports In 2019

    Kodi media player is a boon for cord cutters. In an era where subscription-based streaming services are popping left and right, Kodi presents an easy method to watch movies free online. By installing some of the best Kodi addons and top Kodi repositories, you can access hundreds of millions of movies and TV shows.

  • NVMe Driver Now Available

    Due to the awesome work by long-time developer waddlesplash, nightly images after hrev53079 have read/write NVMe support built-in.

    What is NVMe? For those not keeping up with the latest advances in tech, NVMe is a M.2 form-factor flash-based storage device which attaches directly to the system’s PCI Express bus. These flash devices are present in modern desktops and laptops and offer transfer speeds of several GiB/s.

    These devices now show up in /dev/disk/nvme/ and are fully useable by Haiku.

  • Haiku OS Picks Up An NVMe Storage Driver

    Back during the BeOS days of the 90's, NVM Express solid-state storage obviously wasn't a thing but the open-source Haiku OS inspired by it now has an NVMe driver.

    Haiku that aims to be an open-source OS based off BeOS now has support for NVMe SSDs. This driver didn't make last September's Haiku R1 beta but now being found within the latest development code is for NVMe SSD hardware.

  • Join Us In New York City

    OSI Board Directors have broad backgrounds and experience, working in a variety of roles—Chief Open Source Officer, Chief Information Office, Chief Technology Officer, Open Source Program Manager, Community Manager, Developer, Architect, Engineer, Attorney—for both corporations and communities—Clojure Community, Cloud Native Computing Foundation, Debian Project, Free Software Foundation, Github, Google, Kubernetes Community, Microsoft, One Laptop Per Child, Open edX, Oracle, Python Software Foundation, Red Hat, Salesforce, Sun Microsystems , The Document Foundation, Wikimedia, Zalando... and many, many, more.

  • Mozilla Localization (L10N): L10n report: April edition

    The deadline to ship localization updates in Firefox 67 is quickly approaching (April 30). Firefox 68 is going to be an ESR version, so it’s particularly important to ship the best localization possible. The deadline for that will be June 25.

  • Why Companies Open Source Their Software?

    When a company releases its code as open source and contribute it to foundations like CNCF, it literally loses control over the project. What benefit is there in doing so? Why would you want to lose control over the very project you created? Dan Lahl of SAP has an answer: that’s the beauty of Open Source.

  • Avalanche Noise Generator Notes

    I’ll probably go through another iteration of tweaking before final integration, but afaik this is the smallest, lowest power open-source avalanche noise generator to date (slightly smaller than this one).

SQLite 3.28.0 and Gnuastro 0.9 Released

Filed under
GNU
OSS
Sci/Tech
  • SQLite Release 3.28.0
  • SQLite 3.28 Released With More Feature Additions, Performance Enhancements

    SQLite 3.28 is now the latest version of this widely-used, embed-friendly cross-platform database library.

    As is the case for most SQLite releases, new features and performance enhancements are the principle changes. SQLite 3.28 presents enhanced window functions, enhancements to its TCL interface, various CLI improvements, new API additions, security improvements to its tokenizer, more robust handling against corrupt database files, and various fixes.

  • Gnuastro 0.9 released

    I am happy to announce the 9th stable release of GNU Astronomy
    Utilities (Gnuastro).

    Gnuastro is an official GNU package consisting of various command-line
    programs and library functions for the manipulation and analysis of
    (astronomical) data. All the programs share the same basic
    command-line user interface (modeled on GNU Coreutils). For the full
    list of Gnuastro's library, programs, and a comprehensive general
    tutorial (recommended place to start using Gnuastro), please see the
    links below respectively:

    https://www.gnu.org/s/gnuastro/manual/html_node/Gnuastro-library.html
    https://www.gnu.org/s/gnuastro/manual/html_node/Gnuastro-programs-list.html
    https://www.gnu.org/s/gnuastro/manual/html_node/General-program-usage-tutorial.html

    Many features have been added and Gnuastro has become much more stable
    with the many bugs that were found and fixed (see [1], below). The most
    interesting new feature may be that Gnuastro now also installs scripts
    (with this naming convention: `astscript-*'). Since Gnuastro's
    programs are designed to be highly modular, they are relatively
    low-level. With this new feature, it is now very easy to include
    common higher-level operations within Gnuastro also, for example to
    call multiple programs together, or use a single program's outputs in
    a special way. With version 0.9, only one script is installed (as
    described in [1]), but because of their high-level nature, we expect
    many more to be added soon. If you commonly run several Gnuastro
    programs together for a certain operation, please share it with us so
    we add it as a script for everyone to use.

OSS Leftovers

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OSS
  • Zstd 1.4 Brings Even Better Compression / Decompression Performance

    The engineers at Facebook maintaining Zstandard "Zstd" as a speedy real-time compression algorithm debuted version 1.4.0 on Tuesday with some notable improvements. 

    Zstd 1.4 stabilizes its advanced API, which allows finer tuning of compression/decompression parameters for advanced use-cases. Exciting us the most out of the new Zstandard is continuing to evolve the compression and decompression performance.

  • VLC media player may be returning to Huawei handsets

     

    Now, it appears that the Huawei P30 range has access to download VLC from the Play Store, which either suggests that VideoLAN is working towards reinstating the app, or that it just hasn't got round to updating the Play Store block to cover the new phone yet. It's still blocked on older models.

  • 5 Tasks You Didn't Know Could be Done from the Developer Console

     

    For those of you new to the console, it is a debugging tool built into various browsers' development tools. Here’s a crash course: [...]

  • 10 Crucial Lessons We Learned Analyzing The Best Blog Templates
  • Is Open Source Part of Your Search Stack?

    We are now seeing a new trend in the industry: product vendors integrating with selected open source projects to deliver specific capabilities, along with a licensed proprietary commercial platform that delivers the user experience. This lets software developers utilize the best open source technology under the hood for specific functions, along with smaller set of code that delivers the user experience and capabilities.

  • Electronics designed in 5 different countries with open hardware

    The Open Source Hardware Association's Hardware Registry lists hardware from 29 different countries on five continents, demonstrating the broad, international footprint of certified open source hardware.

Kubernetes: Deploying Services in Kubernetes, Future of Cloud Providers in Kubernetes, Pod Priority and Preemption in Kubernetes

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Server
OSS
  • Deploying Services in Kubernetes

    In my opinion, services are the most potent resource provided in Kubernetes. A service is essentially a front-end for your application that automatically re-routes traffic to available pods in an evenly distributed way. This automation is a relief for administrators because you no longer have to specify exact IP addresses or hostnames of the server in the client’s configuration files. Having to maintain this while containers are being moved, shifted and deleted would be a nightmare.

  • The Future of Cloud Providers in Kubernetes

    Approximately 9 months ago, the Kubernetes community agreed to form the Cloud Provider Special Interest Group (SIG). The justification was to have a single governing SIG to own and shape the integration points between Kubernetes and the many cloud providers it supported. A lot has been in motion since then and we’re here to share with you what has been accomplished so far and what we hope to see in the future.

  • Pod Priority and Preemption in Kubernetes

    Kubernetes is well-known for running scalable workloads. It scales your workloads based on their resource usage. When a workload is scaled up, more instances of the application get created. When the application is critical for your product, you want to make sure that these new instances are scheduled even when your cluster is under resource pressure. One obvious solution to this problem is to over-provision your cluster resources to have some amount of slack resources available for scale-up situations. This approach often works, but costs more as you would have to pay for the resources that are idle most of the time.

    Pod priority and preemption is a scheduler feature made generally available in Kubernetes 1.14 that allows you to achieve high levels of scheduling confidence for your critical workloads without overprovisioning your clusters. It also provides a way to improve resource utilization in your clusters without sacrificing the reliability of your essential workloads.

  • A Gardener To Manage Kubernetes At Scale

Do We Have More Kubernetes Distributions Than We Need?

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Server
OSS

Kubernetes itself—meaning the source code you can download from kubernetes.io—is not very useful on its own. Setting up a Kubernetes cluster using the source code would require you to compile the code and set up a server environment (or, in most cases, a cluster of servers) to host it, install it, configure it, set up tools to manage it and update it all on your own.

That’s a lot of work, and it’s not a realistic way for most people to use Kubernetes. That’s why a number of companies have created Kubernetes distributions. The distributions provide not just a preconfigured version of Kubernetes itself, but also other important tools for installing and working with Kubernetes. Many distributions also include host operating systems. Some even give you hosting infrastructure in the form of IaaS in a public cloud.

Kubernetes is not unique in spawning an ecosystem of distributions. The Linux kernel has done the same thing. So have other complex software platforms, inlcuding Spark, Hadoop and OpenStack.

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The Ecuadorean Authorities Have No Reason to Detain Free Software Developer Ola Bini

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Development
OSS
Security

Hours after the ejection of Julian Assange from the London Ecuadorean embassy last week, police officers in Ecuador detained the Swedish citizen and open source developer Ola Bini. They seized him as he prepared to travel from his home in Quito to Japan, claiming that he was attempting to flee the country in the wake of Assange’s arrest. Bini had, in fact, booked the vacation long ago, and had publicly mentioned it on his twitter account before Assange was arrested.

Ola’s detention was full of irregularities, as documented by his lawyers. His warrant was for a “Russian hacker” (Bini is neither); he was not read his rights, allowed to contact his lawyer nor offered a translator.

The charges against him, when they were finally made public, are tenuous. Ecuador’s general prosecutor has stated that Bini was accused of “alleged participation in the crime of assault on the integrity of computer systems” and attempts to destabilize the country. The “evidence” seized from Ola’s home that Ecuadorean police showed journalists to demonstrate his guilt was nothing more than a pile of USB drives, hard drives, two-factor authentication keys, and technical manuals: all familiar property for anyone working in his field.

Ola is a free software developer, who worked to improve the security and privacy of the Internet for all its users. He has worked on several key open source projects, including JRuby, several Ruby libraries, as well as multiple implementations of the secure and open communication protocol OTR. Ola’s team at ThoughtWorks contributed to Certbot, the EFF-managed tool that has provided strong encryption for millions of websites around the world.

Like many people working on the many distributed projects defending the Internet, Ola has no need to work from a particular location. He traveled the world, but chose to settle in Ecuador because of his love of that country and of South America in general. At the time of his arrest, he was putting down roots in his new home, including co-founding Centro de Autonomia Digital, a non-profit devoted to creating user-friendly security tools, based out of Ecuador’s capital, Quito.

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New Red Hat FOSS Survey ("The State of Enterprise Open Source")

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Red Hat
OSS
  • Survey says: Enterprise open source is inventing the future of software

    We don’t need to ask if enterprises are using open source. They are, and we know because we’re helping many of them with their open source journeys. But how do they think about open source, why do they choose it, and what do they intend to do next? Well, those are questions we wanted to pose to IT leaders—so we did. Today we’re excited to share our findings in a first-ever report conducted by Illuminas and sponsored by Red Hat, "The State of Enterprise Open Source."

  • Red Hat survey finds we're living in an open-source world [Ed: But Red Hat sold itself to a proprietary software company and had considered Microsoft also]

    Some people still insist open source and Linux are fighting a war against the evils of proprietary software. Actually, we won that war years ago. The latest Red Hat State of Enterprise Open Source report, based on 950 interviews with worldwide enterprise IT leaders, makes that crystal clear. Only a mere 1% of enterprises dismiss the importance of open-source software.

    [...]

    Historically, businesses turn to open source software because it's cheaper: 33% of enterprise users count it's lower total cost of ownership (TCO) as open-source's chief benefit (but "enterprise open source is increasingly used not because it's cheaper -- though it often is -- but because it's genuinely better software." And 29% turn to open source because it gives them access to the latest innovations. For example, big data, artificial intelligence, and machine learning are all built almost entirely on open-source software.

    Right behind those, when asked what open source's top benefits were, respondents pointed to better security, higher quality software, access to support, and the power to customize software.

    Yet another reason to embrace open source, according to a New York-based IT leader, was: "For us, this is our way to become more agile. That's our biggest push. We don't want dependency upon these proprietary companies. We want those shackles to be broken." Simultaneously, "We still want support because we're not ready to take off the guardrails."

    On the other hand, security remains a concern: 38% of those surveyed identified security as the top barrier. That's because, unless you keep on top of open-source code, you may miss security patches and fixes. The most well known such case was when Equifax exposed 143 million Americans' credit data, thanks to not updating Apache Struts.

OSS Openwashing and Licensing

Filed under
Microsoft
OSS
  • OSI updates licence categories

    The European Union Public Licence (EUPL) is now listed among “International licenses”, with CeCILL (a licence created in France by the three main public IT research organisations, INRIA, CEA and CNRS) and LiLiQ (a licence created by the State of Quebec – Canada)

  • Open Source vs. Open Core: What's the Difference? [iophk: "Microsoft contaminating and disrupting whole projects"]

    "Open source is everywhere," said Holger Mueller, vice president and principal analyst at Constellation Research. A quick look at the proprietary software vendors of yesteryear drives his point home. Open Source code is not only leveraged by most of them, but they are also large contributors to open source projects. Consider that Cisco, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Pivotal, SAP, SUSE and many others back the Cloud Foundry Foundation. And even though Red Hat is the company everyone points to when they think open source, Microsoft has twice as many employees — 4,550 — who contribute code to open source projects. Amazon, IBM and SAP also land in the top 10.

  • Pengwin: A Linux specifically for Windows Subsystem for Linux [Ed: This isn't "Linux", that's just Windows and Microsoft is hijacking the brand.]

Events: t2k19 Hackathon, Red Hat Summit, Open Development Cambodia and Hackergram (India)

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OSS
  • t2k19 Hackathon Report: On rsync, ssh, and ports cruft
  • Two Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 labs at Red Hat Summit 2019: Definitive RHEL Beta, Applications Streams

    We’ve had wonderful participation in the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 Beta, and if you participated in it, we hope you found the numerous related articles helpful. But whether or not you’ve tried Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 Beta, if you’re attending Red Hat Summit 2019 next month, here are two hands-on labs you’ll want to participate in.

    The Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 Beta lab (with three time slots) will be applicable for nearly everyone and cover topics from AppStreams to yum. The Application Streams lab will be more for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 application development including container development with Podman and Buildah. If you’re not familiar with Application Streams, read Langdon White’s Introducing Application Streams in RHEL 8—he not only wrote the article but is also one of the lab instructors.

  • Sirko Kemter: An Awesome Week

    The best day was by far the wednesday, first I got confirmed that Open Development Cambodia will host the next Translation Sprint and even more they would host us month for month. After a short consultation with the most active translators, we will do starting May bi-monthly Translation Sprints. I had 3 weeks ago a meeting at Open Development Cambodia and they just wanted me to note down what Fedora is and what we doing, just for their sponsors. The meeting took me the whole day, not the meeting itself but getting there was one hour for me without bike and of course one hour back. But now after 6 months searching and dozens of unsuccessful meetings I finished it and the next sprint can happen. I already made all the necessary tickets and after Khmer New Year we will announce it.

  • Hackergram Journey Part 2 – The Conclusion

    As my bags were mostly packed, they just had to be fetched. While Karan did the hotel checkout thing, Sanjay helped me with the luggage and putting it in his car. The journey which lasted about 30-45 minutes was beautiful. Sanjay had Acousic blues which added to the beauty of the place and the ride. While Karan had questions for me as he wanted to know about Javascript, my mind was still unfolding hence decided to stick to the very basics . While I don’t remember if I told him about js-team in Debian, their work on Salsa . For those who don’t know what Salsa is, it is a gitlab instance which Debian uses and also contributes to. I possibly might not have shared the JS-Tutorial although that is more aimed at packaging javascript nodejs modules for Debian. I think Karan was more into upstream development hence told him about some of the web frameworks but obviously not all as still was in recovery mode and then again it is very much a personal choice what tool you choose to express yourself. For e.g. I find wordpress easier to use while there are many people who rave about medium while there are others who use their own very basic static sites using one of the tools mentioned in the list. So it probably is a good idea to just let them be and let them figure out what works for them. I did share that Pune has around 100 or so co-working places and there are some big names like TRIOS and others who are making quite some noise. There has also been quite some noises made about co-living . For Sanjay I did tell him that either Pune or most metros have more or less many places which have open mic nights. Although, the newest-oldest trend has been to open your place. for singers or performers. I had been to places such as these for more than a decade or more but now it’s a bit more formalised rather than something between friends. I shared about balconytv which Sanjay knew about. We also had discussions about Indian blues, melody etc. and time went by. Before we knew it, we were in/near Kathgodam Railway Station.

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