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Programming: Thoughts From Jussi Pakkanen, Releases From Debian Developers, GSoC Projects and Python Leftovers

  • Jussi Pakkanen: Open source does not have a reward mechanism for tedious

    Many software developers are creators and builders. They are drawn to problems of the first type. The fact that they are difficult is not a downside, it is a challenge to be overcome. It can even be a badge of merit which you can wave around your fellow developers. These projects include things like writing your own operating system or 3D game engine, writing device drivers that saturate the fastest of transfer links, lock free atomic parallelism, distributed file systems that store exabytes of data as well as embedded firmware that has less than 1 kilobyte of RAM. Working on these kinds of problems is rewarding on its own, even if the actual product never finishes or fails horribly when eventually launched. They are, in a single word, sexy. Most problems are not like that, but are instead the programming equivalent of ditch digging. They consist of a lot of hard work, which is not very exciting on its own but it still needs to be done. It is difficult to get volunteers to work on these kinds of problems and this is where the problem gets amplified in open source. Corporations have a very strong way to motivate people to work on tedious problems and it is called a paycheck. Volunteer driven open source development does not have a way to incentivise people in the same way. This is a shame, because the chances of success for any given software project (and startup) is directly proportional to the amount of tedious work people working on it are willing to do.

  • ledger2beancount 2.0 released

    I released version 2.0 of ledger2beancount, a ledger to beancount converter.

  • digest 0.6.25: Spookyhash bugfix

    digest creates hash digests of arbitrary R objects (using the md5, sha-1, sha-256, sha-512, crc32, xxhash32, xxhash64, murmur32, and spookyhash algorithms) permitting easy comparison of R language objects. It is a fairly widely-used package (currently listed at 889k monthly downloads with 255 direct reverse dependencies and 7340 indirect reverse dependencies) as many tasks may involve caching of objects for which it provides convenient general-purpose hash key generation. This release is a one issue fix. Aaron Lun noticed some issues when spookyhash is used in streaming mode. Kendon Bell, who also contributed spookyhash quickly found the issue which is a simple oversight. This was worth addressing in new release, so I pushed 0.6.25.

  • Google announces 200 open-source mentors for the 2020 GSoC event

    With this year's Google Summer of Code event right around the corner, the organizers considered this to be the perfect time to announce the mentoring organizations for the participants. In this year's edition of GSoC, there will be 200 mentoring organizations, including 30 new teams. Read on to find out more details of this open-source event.

  • Python 101 2nd Edition Sample Chapters

    I have put together some sample chapters for the 2nd edition of Python 101 which is coming out later this year. You can download the PDF version of these sample chapters here. Note that these chapters may have minor typos in them. Feel free to let me know if you find any bugs or errors.

  • Python 3.7.6 : The SELinux python package.

    The tutorial for today is about the SELinux python package.

  • Release 0.7.0 of GooCalendar
  • Python in Production

    I’m missing a key part from the public Python discourse and I would like to help to change that. The other day I was listening to a podcast about running Python services in production. While I disagreed with some of the choices they made, it acutely reminded me about what I’ve been missing in the past years from the public Python discourse.

  • Python Packaging Metadata

    Since this topic keeps coming up, I’d like to briefly share my thoughts on Python package metadata because it’s – as always – more complex than it seems. When I say metadata I mean mostly the version so I will talk about it interchangeably. But the description, the license, or the project URL are also part of the game.

  • Better Python tracebacks with Rich

    One of my goals in writing Rich was to render really nice Python tracebacks. And now that feature has landed. I've never found Python tracebacks to be a great debugging aid beyond telling me what the exception was, and where it occurred. In a recent update to Rich, I've tried to refresh the humble traceback to give enough context to diagnose errors before switching back to the editor.

DPL Sam Hartman proves blackmail is alive and well in Debian

Debian has gone as far as humiliating and shaming people on a number of occasions to force them to bend over and submit to the monoculture. That may work with one or two victims at a time, as revealed in the Debian Christmas lynchings but the number of people expressing concerns about Israel appears to be too large for plain vanilla blackmailing. Read more

today's howtos

Netrunner 20.01 – “Twenty” released

  • Netrunner 20.01 – “Twenty” released

    The Netrunner Team is happy to announce the immediate availability of Netrunner 20.01 “Twenty” – 64bit ISO. This version marks the twentieth release of Netrunner Desktop for Debian/Ubuntu (not counting the incremental updates), and its 10th year since Netrunner started back in 2010. It is based upon the current Debian Stable 10.3 (‘buster’), including all updates since the previous release.

  • Netrunner 20.01 Released For Offering Latest Debian 10 + KDE Plasma Experience

    Netrunner 20.01 is out today as the 20th release for this Debian + KDE focused project over its ten year history. Netrunner 20.01 is based on Debian 10.3 stable packages along with the latest KDE packages on the desktop, continued theme tweaks, and shipping with a range of GTK and Qt/KDE programs from the likes of GIMP to Krita to Kdenlive to the GMusicbrowser to also offering Skype and other software packages.

  • Netrunner 20.01 “Twenty” Arrives as Project’s 10th Anniversary Release

    Blue Systems released today Netrunner 20.01, a major version of the Debian-based distribution to celebrate the project’s 10th anniversary and also the 10th release of Netrunner Desktop. On March 18th, Netrunner will celebrate 10 years since the release of its first ever version, Netrunner 1 “Albedo,” and what better way to celebrate this major milestone than with a new release. Meet Netrunner 20.01 “Twenty.” As its codename suggests, Netrunner 20.01 “Twenty” is also the project’s twentieth release. It is based on Debian GNU/Linux 10.3 “Buster” and comes with a refreshed look and feel and updated packages.