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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."

Former Oracle product manager says he was forced out for refusing to deceive customers. Now he's suing the biz

A former Oracle employee filed a lawsuit against the database giant on Tuesday claiming that he was forced out for refusing to lie about the functionality of the company's software. The civil complaint [PDF], filed on behalf of plaintiff Tayo Daramola in US District Court in San Francisco, contends that Oracle violated whistleblower protections under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the Dodd-Frank Act, the RICO Act, and the California Labor Code. According to the court filing, Daramola, a resident of Montreal, Canada, worked for Oracle's NetSuite division from November 30, 2016 through October 13, 2017. He served as a project manager for an Oracle cloud service known as the Cloud Campus BookStore initiative and dealt with US customers. Campus bookstores, along with ad agencies, and apparel companies are among the market segments targeted by Oracle and NetSuite. Daramola's clients are said to have included the University of Washington, the University of Oregon, the University of Texas at Austin, Brigham Young University and the University of Southern California. The problem, according to the complaint, is that Oracle was asking Daramola to sell vaporware – a charge the company denies. "Daramola gradually became aware that a large percentage of the major projects to which he was assigned were in 'escalation' status with customers because Oracle had sold his customers software products it could not deliver, and that were not functional," the complaint says. Read more