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Programming/Development: HHVM 3.24, 'DevOps', RcppMsgPack

  • HHVM 3.24
    HHVM 3.24 is released! This release contains new features, bug fixes, performance improvements, and supporting work for future improvements. Packages have been published in the usual places.
  • HHVM 3.24 Released, The Final Supporting PHP5
    The Facebook crew responsible for the HHVM project as a speedy Hack/PHP language implementation is out with its 3.24 release. HHVM 3.24 is important as it's the project's last release focusing on PHP5 compatibility. Moving forward, PHP5 compatibility will no longer be a focus and components of it will likely be dropped. As well, Facebook will be focusing on their Hack language rather than PHP7. Now that PHP7 is much faster than PHP5 and all around in a much better state, Facebook developers are focusing on their Hack language rather than just being an alternative PHP implementation.
  • How to get into DevOps
    I've observed a sharp uptick of developers and systems administrators interested in "getting into DevOps" within the past year or so. This pattern makes sense: In an age in which a single developer can spin up a globally distributed infrastructure for an application with a few dollars and a few API calls, the gap between development and systems administration is closer than ever. Although I've seen plenty of blog posts and articles about cool DevOps tools and thoughts to think about, I've seen fewer content on pointers and suggestions for people looking to get into this work.
  • RcppMsgPack 0.2.1
    Am update of RcppMsgPack got onto CRAN today. It contains a number of enhancements Travers had been working on, as well as one thing CRAN asked us to do in making a suggested package optional. MessagePack itself is an efficient binary serialization format. It lets you exchange data among multiple languages like JSON. But it is faster and smaller. Small integers are encoded into a single byte, and typical short strings require only one extra byte in addition to the strings themselves. RcppMsgPack brings both the C++ headers of MessagePack as well as clever code (in both R and C++) Travers wrote to access MsgPack-encoded objects directly from R.

Software: Clay, Inkscape, VirtualBox, Thunderbird

  • New York magazine is making its CMS available open-source
    There’s a short history of publishers fancying themselves as technology companies and building a business selling their tech to other publishers. Publishers realized that building a whole new side business around licensing their tech is a headache and that they needed to focus on what they’re good at, and leave the tech to others. New York magazine is trying out a different approach. It built its own content management system (publishers like to give their homegrown CMSes cute names; this one is called Clay, for the magazine’s founder Clay Felker) in 2015 and then licensed the software to the online magazine Slate. Slate started using Clay a year ago and was set to fully migrate its site to Clay this week. But instead of New York charging Slate a licensing fee, Slate is paying New York in the form of code. The CMS is open-source, and developers from both titles contribute to it.
  • An introduction to Inkscape for absolute beginners
    Inkscape is a powerful, open source desktop application for creating two-dimensional scalable vector graphics. Although it's primarily an illustration tool, Inkscape is used for a wide range of computer graphic tasks. The variety of what can be done with Inkscape is vast and sometimes surprising. It is used to make diagrams, logos, programmatic marketing materials, web graphics, and even for paper scrapbooking. People also draw game sprites, produce banners, posters, and brochures. Others use Inkscape to draft web design mockups, detail layouts for printed circuit boards, or produce outline files to send to laser cutting equipment.
  • Linux Support in VirtualBox is about to get a LOT Better
    VirtualBox makes it easy to try Linux distros without replacing your current operating system or engaging in a game of reboot leap frog. But things are about to get even easier. Soon you won’t need to install the VirtualBox Guest Additions package to get a fully integrated Linux experience with your host OS.
  • Have You Taken the Thunderbird Redesign Survey?
    Monterail and Thunderbird are now working on the same team. Yes, that Monterail, the Poland-based development company whose stunning Thunderbird mock-up went viral last year, before becoming a real, working Thunderbird theme. “We got in touch with […] the Thunderbird core team to discuss possibilities. We wanted to establish how to enhance user retention and make Thunderbird more user-friendly for potential and current users. We also learned how Thunderbird is built which helped with planning iterations,” Monterail’s Krystian Polański explains in a new blog post on the company’s website.

No More Ubuntu! Debian is the New Choice For Google’s In-house Linux Distribution

For years Google used Goobuntu, an in-house, Ubuntu-based operating system. Goobuntu is now being replaced by gLinux, which is based on Debian Testing. Read more

Games: InnerSpace, BATTLETECH, Civilization VI, SteamOS, Unreal Engine

  • InnerSpace from PolyKnight Games & Aspyr Media launches with day-1 Linux support, some thoughts
    InnerSpace [Steam], an exploration flying game set in the Inverse, a world of inside-out planets without horizons is now available for Linux. Disclosure: Key provided by Aspyr Media. In InnerSpace, you are an autonomous drone named Cartographer, which was created by the Archaeologist from information left over by the Ancients. The Archaeologist requires your help to reach areas of the Inverse where they cannot go and so your journey begins. I will start off by recommending a gamepad for InnerSpace. While it does work with Keyboard, it doesn’t feel good at all, you will have a much better experience with a gamepad in your hands.
  • BATTLETECH will only be coming to Linux post-launch, along with other features
    The turn-based mech strategy game developed by Harebrained Schemes won’t be on Linux at launch later this year. Other features have also been cut or altered and will be making into the game post-release.
  • Civilization VI: Rise and Fall shows off overview of new features
    The upcoming expansion for Civilization VI [Official Site] will be introducing quite a few interesting changes to the game. You can see how exactly you’ll be spending just one more turn in this overview video.
  • SteamOS Beta Switches To Linux 4.14.13 For KPTI To Mitigate Meltdown
    Valve has pushed out a new SteamOS Beta build for the Debian Jessie-based "Brewmaster" series. SteamOS Beta 2.145 is out with its main focus on transitioning to the Linux 4.14 (v4.14.13) stable kernel.
  • Unreal Engine 4.19 Preview Rolls Out With Renderer Enhancements
    Epic Games has rolled out their public preview build of the upcoming Unreal Engine 4.19 game engine update. Unreal Engine 4.19 features renderer improvements, new animation and physics capabilities, VR improvements, initial support for the HTC Vive Pro, Steam Audio Beta 10 integration, Live Link plug-in improvements, and a plethora of other work.
  • Unreal Engine 4.19 Preview 1 Now Available
    Unreal Engine 4.19 will be available soon and it'll include many new exciting features and fixes. The first Preview build is now available on the Epic Games launcher for you to download. You can explore a number of new animation and physics updates, including improvements to the Live Link plugin and Sequencer performance, and signficant changes to VR resolution settings. There are also a number of quality-of-life improvements.