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SQLite 3.28.0 and Gnuastro 0.9 Released

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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.

GNU GPLv3 At The Center Of The Black Hole Image

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GNU
OSS
Sci/Tech

Scientists have finally seen what could not have been seen – a black hole. As fascinating is the fact that we can now ‘see’ a black hole, the story behind this achievement is even more fascinating.

It’s a story of victory of science in the political era of science denials. It’s a victory of diversity in the era of homophobia and sexism. It’s a victory of free software in the era of…well, we live in the era of free software.

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KDE Cantor - Sing me some math

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KDE
Software
Sci/Tech

It's a song, but it needs refinement. Cantor seems like a clever piece of software, but it lacks refinement and sophistication to match its own goals. I did only test Octave, but I think my findings are pretty indicative. After all, if there were issues with one backend, whatever they are, they need to be fixed. And these weren't trivial issues, either. Slow performance, memory and CPU noise, frozen interface, bad-looking figures.

The configuration also needs to be improved. All in all, it's very difficult doing what Cantor tries, so the idea is really cool. But it seems to be a complex task, and at the moment, it brings more woes than benefits. I'd like to see a smoother integration, and a clever wizard that lets you add backends. Maybe a smart clipboard to share code with other programs. I'd expect a fully HW-accelerated graphics module, so everything responds fast and looks peachy. Finally, Cantor mustn't work any worse than the native engines it represents, because it invalidates its own purpose by doing that (or rather not doing that, hi hi). At the moment, it's a raw product, and it needs a lot of fixes. But me likey, so I will be testing in the future. Unique software, here I go.

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Stellarium v0.19.0 has been released!

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Software
Sci/Tech

The major changes of this version:

5 new sky cultures
Refactoring the code: many improvements and fixes
Added many DSO textures
Many improvements for Scripting Engine
Thank you very much to community for bug reports, feature requests and contributions!

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Also: Free Software Planetarium Stellarium 0.19.0 Released (How to Install)

The Raspberry Pi Cluster from Outer Space

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Hardware
Sci/Tech

We see a lot of weird and esoteric stuff here at Hackaday, but even by our standards, Bell Lab’s Plan 9 operating system is an oddball. Named after the science fiction film Plan 9 from Outer Space, it was designed to extend the UNIX “everything is a file” mentality to the network. It envisioned a future where utilizing the resources of another computer would be as easy as copying a file. But as desktop computers got more powerful the idea seemed less appealing, and ultimately traditional operating systems won out. Of course, that doesn’t mean you still can’t play around with it.

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Astronomy Software by Any Other Name

Filed under
Software
Sci/Tech

In this article, I introduce another option available for the astronomers out there—specifically, Cartes du Ciel, also known as SkyChart. Similar to other larger astronomy programs, you can use SkyChart from the desktop to the observatory.

SkyChart probably won't be available in your distribution's package management system, so you'll need to go to the main website to download it. DEB, RPM and TAR files are available, so you should be able to use it for just about any distribution. Downloads also are available for other operating systems and for other hardware. You even can download a version to run on a Raspberry Pi.

When you first start Cartes du Ciel, you'll be asked where on the globe your observatory is located.

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GNU Octave 5.1.0 Release

Filed under
GNU
Sci/Tech

GNU Octave version 5.1.0 has been released and is now available for download. An official Windows binary installer is available. For macOS see the installation instructions in the wiki.

This major release improves compatibility with Matlab and contains many new and improved functions. A list of important user-visible changes is available by selecting the Release Notes item in the News menu of the GUI or by typing news at the Octave command prompt.

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Also: GNU Octave 5.1 Released With HiDPI Support, Drops OSMesa Usage

Unix turns 40: The past, present and future of a revolutionary OS

Filed under
OS
Server
Sci/Tech

Forty years ago this summer, a programmer sat down and knocked out in one month what would become one of the most important pieces of software ever created.

In August 1969, Ken Thompson, a programmer at AT&T subsidiary Bell Laboratories, saw the month-long departure of his wife and young son as an opportunity to put his ideas for a new operating system into practice. He wrote the first version of Unix in assembly language for a wimpy Digital Equipment Corp. (DEC) PDP-7 minicomputer, spending one week each on the operating system, a shell, an editor and an assembler.

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KStars v3.1.0 is released!

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KDE
Sci/Tech

I'm glad to announce KStars first release of 2019: v3.1.0 for MacOS, Linux, and Windows. This release focuses on improvements to stability & performance of KStars. In 3.0.0, we introduced quite a few features which resulted in a few regressions that we worked hard to iron out in this release.

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UNIX: Building The Most Important OS in the World

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OS
Sci/Tech

If you’ve ever used a smartphone, lost track of time browsing through website after website, or played a video game on a Next-Gen console, you have used the Unix operating system or one of its derivatives.

Linux is the spiritual successor to the original Unix system and Mac OSX is built off of Unix. Unix-based or derived systems are used in gigantic server farms, processing nearly all of the world’s Internet traffic. The Internet of Things and other embedded systems use Unix or its successors and Unix-based Linux has even been used in the International Space Station to run essential equipment.

All of this is possible because Kenneth Thompson, Dennis Ritchie, and their colleagues couldn’t watch a beloved project fall victim to corporate cost-cutting.

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More in Tux Machines

Graphics: AMDGPU and X.Org Elections

  • amdgpu drm-next-5.2
  • AMDGPU Has Another Round Of Updates Ahead Of Linux 5.2
    Feature work on DRM-Next for the Linux 5.2 kernel cycle is winding down while today AMD has sent in what could be their last round of AMDGPU feature updates for this next kernel release. Building off their earlier Linux 5.2 feature work are more updates. That earlier round brought new SMU11 enablement code for Vega 20, various other Vega 20 features, HMM preparations, and other code changes.
  • 2019 Election Round 2 voting OPEN
    To all X.Org Foundation Members: The round 2 of X.Org Foundation's annual election is now open and will remain open until 23:59 UTC on 2 May 2019. Four of the eight director seats are open during this election, with the four nominees receiving the highest vote totals serving as directors for two year terms. There were six candidates nominated. For a complete list of the candidates and their personal statements, please visit the 2019 X.Org Elections page at https://www.x.org/wiki/BoardOfDirectors/Elections/2019/ The new bylaw changes were approved in the first round of voting. Here are some instructions on how to cast your vote: Login to the membership system at: https://members.x.org/ If you do not remember your password, you can click on the "lost password" button and enter your user name. An e-mail will be sent to you with your password. If you have problems with the membership system, please e-mail membership at x.org. When you login you will see an "Active Ballots" section with the "X.Org 2019 Elections Round 2" ballot. When you click on that you will be presented with a page describing the ballot. At the bottom you will find a number of dropdowns that let you rank your candidates by order of preference. For the election: There is a pull-down selection box for 1st choice, 2nd, choice, and so on. Pick your candidates top to bottom in order of preference, avoiding duplicates. After you have completed your ballot, click the "Cast vote" button. Note that once you click this button, your votes will be cast and you will not be able to make further changes, so please make sure you are satisfied with your votes before clicking the "Cast vote" button. After you click the "Vote" button, the system will verify that you have completed a valid ballot. If your ballot is invalid (e.g., you duplicated a selection or did not answer the By-laws approval question), it will return you to the previous voting page. If your ballot is valid, your votes will be recorded and the system will show you a notice that your votes were cast. Note that the election will close at 23:59 UTC on 2 May 2019. At that time, the election committee will count the votes and present the results to the current board for validation. After the current board validates the results, the election committee will present the results to the Members. Harry, on behalf of the X.Org elections committee
  • It's Time To Re-Vote Following The Botched 2019 X.Org Elections
    While there were the recent X.Org Foundation board elections, a do-over was needed as their new custom-written voting software wasn't properly recording votes... So here's now your reminder to re-vote in these X.Org elections. At least with the initial round of voting they reached a super majority and the ballot question of whether the X.Org Foundation should formally fold FreeDesktop.org into its umbrella worked and that X.Org + FreeDesktop.org hook-up passed so all is well on that front. But for the Board of Directors elections, that's where re-voting is needed with the voting software that now correctly records the votes.

today's howtos

Games: Lutris and More

  • Epic Games Store Now On Linux Thanks To Lutris
    While the Epic Games Store itself is not officially supported by the open source Linux operating system, a third-party gaming client has now made sure that you can access the store and launcher on your own distro. The Epic Games Store is now accessible on Linux via the Lutris Gaming client. The client is available to all Linux users, who in the past has provided the same users a way to play PC games without the need to have Windows installed in their machines. Although Linux is not necessarily the go-to platform when it comes to PC gaming, there is a very niche audience dedicated to making the platform work in favor of open-source and to counteract what could be perceived as a heavily Windows-biased PC gaming community. Linux gaming is somewhat tedious to the relatively casual or normal user, although there are some within the Linux community that advertise and try to foster its growth in terms of gaming, as there are some games that can run better on the operating system. That is to say, if you have a lot of patience to try and make it work.
  • You Died but a Necromancer revived you is good fun in a small package
    Sometimes, simplicity is what makes a game and in the case of You Died BaNRY that's very true. The game has little depth to it but makes up for that in just how frantic and fun it can be. The entire gameplay is just you (or you and friends) attempting to cross a small level filled with platforms, spikes and all sorts of crazy traps. It's ridiculously easy to get into as well, since the controls are so basic all you need to worry about is your movement.
  • Forager is a weirdly addictive casual grinding game that has mined into my heart
    I'm not usually one for games that have you endlessly wander around, collect resources, build a little and repeat but Forager is so ridiculously charming it's lovely.
  • DragonRuby Game Toolkit, a cross-platform way to make games with Ruby
    Now for something a little different! Ryan "Icculus" Gordon, a name known for many Linux ports and SDL2 teamed up with indie developer Amir Rajan to create a new cross-platform toolkit. Why was it created? Well, in a nutshell they both "hate the complexity of today's engines" and this toolkit was actually made to help ship A Dark Room for the Nintendo Switch, which shows how versatile it is.

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

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. Read more