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LWN.net is a comprehensive source of news and opinions from and about the Linux community. This is the main LWN.net feed, listing all articles which are posted to the site front page.
Updated: 1 hour 40 min ago

[$] LWN.net Weekly Edition for August 13, 2020

5 hours 8 min ago
The LWN.net Weekly Edition for August 13, 2020 is available.

[$] Building a Flutter application (part 1)

12 hours 39 min ago
In this two-part series, we will be implementing a simple RSS reader for LWN using the UI toolkit Flutter. The project recently announced version 1.20 of the toolkit on August 5. Flutter is a BSD-licensed UI development platform written in Dart that is backed by Canonical as a new way to develop desktop applications targeting Linux. Part one will cover some of the basics of the project and Flutter, with part two building on that work to focus on building a full interactive UI for the application.

Security updates for Wednesday

13 hours 12 min ago
Security updates have been issued by Debian (dovecot and roundcube), Fedora (python36), Gentoo (chromium), openSUSE (ark, firefox, go1.13, java-11-openjdk, libX11, wireshark, and xen), Red Hat (bind and kernel), SUSE (libreoffice and python36), and Ubuntu (dovecot and software-properties).

[$] Local locks in the kernel

Tuesday 11th of August 2020 09:10:50 PM
The Linux kernel has never lacked for synchronization primitives and locking mechanisms, so one might justifiably wonder why there might be a need to add another one. The addition of local locks to 5.8 provides an answer to that question. These locks, which have their origin in the realtime (PREEMPT_RT) tree, were created to solve some realtime-specific problems, but they also bring some much-needed structure to a common locking pattern used in non-realtime kernels as well.

Baker: Changing World, Changing Mozilla

Tuesday 11th of August 2020 06:54:51 PM
Mitchell Baker writes about changes at Mozilla, headlined by the laying-off of 250 people. "Recognizing that the old model where everything was free has consequences, means we must explore a range of different business opportunities and alternate value exchanges. How can we lead towards business models that honor and protect people while creating opportunities for our business to thrive? How can we, or others who want a better internet, or those who feel like a different balance should exist between social and public benefit and private profit offer an alternative?"

Security updates for Tuesday

Tuesday 11th of August 2020 05:43:41 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (firmware-nonfree, golang-github-seccomp-libseccomp-golang, and ruby-kramdown), Fedora (kernel, libmetalink, and nodejs), openSUSE (go1.13, perl-XML-Twig, and thunderbird), Oracle (kernel, libvncserver, and thunderbird), Red Hat (kernel-rt and python-paunch and openstack-tripleo-heat-templates), SUSE (dpdk, google-compute-engine, libX11, webkit2gtk3, xen, and xorg-x11-libX11), and Ubuntu (nss and samba).

Stable kernels 5.8.1, 5.7.15, 5.4.58, and 4.19.139

Tuesday 11th of August 2020 05:35:46 PM
Greg Kroah-Hartman has released the 5.8.1, 5.7.15, 5.4.58, and 4.19.139 stable kernels. As usual, these contain lots of important fixes throughout the tree; users should upgrade.

Emacs 27.1 released

Tuesday 11th of August 2020 03:29:39 PM
Version 27.1 of the Emacs editor is out. New features include support for arbitrary-sized integers, HarfBuzz support, improved drawing with Cairo, and the obligatory new JSON parser.

[$] End-to-end network programmability

Monday 10th of August 2020 10:20:51 PM
Nick McKeown kicked off the virtual Netdev 0x14 conference with a talk on extending the programmability of networking equipment well beyond where it is today. His vision is of an end-to-end system with programmable pieces at every level. Getting there will require collaboration between the developers of the networking stacks on endpoint operating systems as well as those of switches, routers, and other backbone equipment. The keynote was held on July 28, a little over two weeks before the seven days of talks, workshops, and tutorials for Netdev, which begins on August 13.

Security updates for Monday

Monday 10th of August 2020 04:12:41 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (pillow, ruby-kramdown, wpa, and xrdp), Fedora (ark and rpki-client), Gentoo (apache, ark, global, gthumb, and iproute2), openSUSE (chromium, grub2, java-11-openjdk, libX11, and opera), Red Hat (bind, chromium-browser, java-1.7.1-ibm, java-1.8.0-ibm, and libvncserver), SUSE (LibVNCServer, perl-XML-Twig, thunderbird, and xen), and Ubuntu (samba).

On Perl 7 and the Perl Steering Committee

Saturday 8th of August 2020 04:53:53 PM
For those who are wondering about the state of the proposed Perl 7 fork and the role of the newly formed Perl Steering Committee, Ricardo Signes has put together a detailed explanation that is worth a read. "You should not expect to see a stream of unjustified dictates issuing forth from some secret body on high. You should expect to see perl5-porters operating as it generally did: with proposals coming to the list, getting discussion, and then being thumbed up or down by the project manager. This is what has been happening for years, already. Some proposals were already discussed by the project manager and some were not. If you eliminated any named mailing list for doing this, it would still happen. The PSC is a means to say that there is a default group for such discussions. If you were wondering, its initial membership was formed from 'the people who came to or were invited to the Perl Core Summit' over the last few years."

[$] 5.9 Merge window, part 1

Friday 7th of August 2020 08:21:44 PM
As of this writing, just over 3,900 non-merge changesets have been pulled into the mainline repository for the 5.9 kernel development cycle. While this merge window has just begun, there is already a significant set of new features to point out.

Knauth elected Free Software Foundation president; Bénassy joins board

Friday 7th of August 2020 06:17:48 PM
The Free Software Foundation (FSF) has announced that Geoffrey Knauth has been elected president, and free software activist and developer Odile Bénassy has been appointed to the board of directors. Knauth is replacing Richard Stallman who resigned last year. In Knauth's statement, he said: "The FSF board chose me at this moment as a servant leader to help the community focus on our shared dedication to protect and grow software that respects our freedoms. It is also important to protect and grow the diverse membership of the community."

Security updates for Friday

Friday 7th of August 2020 04:14:50 PM
Security updates have been issued by CentOS (firefox, java-1.8.0-openjdk, java-11-openjdk, libvncserver, postgresql-jdbc, and thunderbird), Debian (firejail and gupnp), Fedora (cutter-re, postgresql-jdbc, radare2, and webkit2gtk3), openSUSE (chromium, firefox, kernel, and python-rtslib-fb), Oracle (container-tools:ol8, kernel, and nss and nspr), Scientific Linux (thunderbird), and SUSE (firefox, kernel, postgresql10 and postgresql12, python-ipaddress, and xen).

Stable kernels 5.7.14, 5.4.57, 4.19.138, and 4.14.193

Friday 7th of August 2020 03:38:24 PM
Greg Kroah-Hartman has released the 5.7.14, 5.4.57, 4.19.138, and 4.14.193 stable kernels. As usual, these contain lots of important fixes throughout the tree; users should upgrade.

[$] PHP struggles with attributes syntax

Thursday 6th of August 2020 11:31:21 PM
PHP 8.0 is on the horizon, and the project has imposed a feature freeze for the release. There's one exception to the feature freeze, though: the new attributes syntax. An attribute is syntactical metadata for PHP code, identical to what is called an "annotation" in other languages. Even though attributes have been voted on multiple times by the community, major contributor and creator of XDebug Derick Rethans threw a wrench into the works days before the feature freeze by challenging the current syntax. The ensuing discussion lead to the fourth attributes proposal for the year, with a special feature freeze exception being made by release manager Sara Golemon. This exception gives Rethans one more opportunity to convince the community to change how attributes work up to the Beta 3 release, scheduled for September 3.

The GNU C Library version 2.32 is now available

Thursday 6th of August 2020 04:26:28 PM
Version 2.32 of the GNU C Library (glibc) has been released. It contains support for Unicode 13.0.0, a new Kurdish/Sorani locale (ckb_IQ), support for audit modules listed in ELF sections of the executable, support for Synopsys ARC HS cores, new signal abbreviation and descriptive text functions (sigabbrev_np() and sigdescr_np()), similar functions for errno values (strerrorname_np() and strerrordesc_np()), branch protection security hardening for arm64, and more. There are also lots of bug fixes, deprecations, and removals, as well as four security fixes. More information can be found in the release notes.

Security updates for Thursday

Thursday 6th of August 2020 04:11:09 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (clamav and json-c), Fedora (python2, python36, and python37), Red Hat (thunderbird), Scientific Linux (thunderbird), SUSE (java-11-openjdk, kernel, rubygem-actionview-4_2, wireshark, xen, and xrdp), and Ubuntu (openjdk-8 and ppp).

[$] LWN.net Weekly Edition for August 6, 2020

Thursday 6th of August 2020 12:43:53 AM
The LWN.net Weekly Edition for August 6, 2020 is available.

[$] Checking out FreeCAD

Wednesday 5th of August 2020 07:56:53 PM
Our look at running a CNC milling machine using open-source software led me to another tool worth looking at: FreeCAD. I wasn't previously familiar with the program, so I decided to check it out. In this article I will walk through my experiences with using FreeCAD for the first time to do a variety of CNC-related tasks I normally would have used a commercial product for. I had varying degrees of success in my endeavors, but in the end came away with a positive opinion.

More in Tux Machines

Linspire 9.0 Released

Today our development team is excited to announce the release of Linspire 9.0; packed with a TON of improvements and security updates, this is a major update that we’ve been working hard to get out to our faithful users. The global pandemic has delayed its release, but the development team has worked diligently and meticulously behind-the-scenes over the past few months, fine-tuning every detail of what is widely considered to be the premier Linux desktop on the market today. The Linspire 9.0 series will be the last one featuring the 18.04 LTS codebase; upcoming Linspire X will be based on the 20.04 LTS code and kernel. Read more Also: Linspire 9.0 Officially Released, Based on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS and Linux 5.4 LTS

today's leftovers

  • Fast Bare Metal provisioning and infrastructure automation with MAAS
  • [Updated] Michael Stapelberg: Optional dependencies don’t work

    In the i3 projects, we have always tried hard to avoid optional dependencies. There are a number of reasons behind it, and as I have recently encountered some of the downsides of optional dependencies firsthand, I summarized my thoughts in this article.

  • Benchmarking NetBSD, second evaluation report

    This report was written by Apurva Nandan as part of Google Summer of Code 2020. This blog post is in continuation of GSoC Reports: Benchmarking NetBSD, first evaluation report blog and describes my progress in the second phase of GSoC 2020 under The NetBSD Foundation. In this phase, I worked on the automation of the regression suite made using Phoronix Test Suite (PTS) and its integration with Anita. The automation framework consists of two components Phoromatic server, provided by Phoronix Test Suite in pkgsrc, and Anita, a Python tool for automating NetBSD installation.

  • Interest in Kodi Declines After a Turmultuous Few Years of Piracy Headlines

    After many years of being mentioned in the same breath as movie and TV show piracy, interest in the Kodi media player appears to have peaked and is now on the decline. That's according to Google Trends data which suggests that after reaching a high in early 2017, interest via search is now on a continuous downward trend.

Programming Leftovers

  • RcppSimdJson 0.1.1: More Features

    A first update following for the exciting RcppSimdJson 0.1.0 release last month is now on CRAN. Version 0.1.1 brings further enhancements such direct parsing of raw chars, working with compressed files as well as much expanded querying ability all thanks to Brendan, some improvements to our demos thanks to Daniel as well as a small fix via a one-liner borrowed from upstream for a reported UBSAN issue. RcppSimdJson wraps the fantastic and genuinely impressive simdjson library by Daniel Lemire and collaborators. Via very clever algorithmic engineering to obtain largely branch-free code, coupled with modern C++ and newer compiler instructions, it results in parsing gigabytes of JSON parsed per second which is quite mindboggling. The best-case performance is ‘faster than CPU speed’ as use of parallel SIMD instructions and careful branch avoidance can lead to less than one cpu cycle use per byte parsed; see the video of the talk by Daniel Lemire at QCon (also voted best talk).

  • Jonathan Dowland: Generic Haskell

    When I did the work described earlier in template haskell, I also explored generic programming in Haskell to solve a particular problem. StrIoT is a program generator: it outputs source code, which may depend upon other modules, which need to be imported via declarations at the top of the source code files. The data structure that StrIoT manipulates contains information about what modules are loaded to resolve the names that have been used in the input code, so we can walk that structure to automatically derive an import list. The generic programming tools I used for this are from Structure Your Boilerplate (SYB), a module written to complement a paper of the same name.

  • 9 reasons I upgraded from AngularJS to Angular

    In 2010, Google released AngularJS, an open source, JavaScript-based frontend structure for developing single-page applications (SPAs) for the internet. With its move to version 2.0 in 2016, the framework's name was shortened to Angular. AngularJS is still being developed and used, but Angular's advantages mean it's a smart idea to migrate to the newer version.

  • [Old/Odd] 5 news feautures of PHP-7.2

    Before PHP 7.2 the object keyword was used to convert one data type to another (boxing and unboxing), for example, an array to an object of the sdtClass class and/or vice versa, as of PHP 7.2 the object data type can be used as parameter type or as function return type.

  • This Week In Rust: This Week in Rust 351

Proprietary Software and Linux Foundation

  • [PCLinuxOS] Opera Browser updated to 70.0.3728.106

    Opera is a Chromium-based browser using the Blink layout engine. It differentiates itself because of a distinct user interface and other features.

  • Vivaldi Explains Why They Make "Proprietary Garbage"

    It is unfair to say that Vivaldi is not open source at all as someone like Distrotube has done, the way the company behind Vivaldi has decided to handle this application is by using a dual licensing system where the open source portion of the application is licensed under an open source BSD license but that's not the point of today, the point is to explain why they have decided to license their software in such a way.

  • Scientists Forced To Change Names Of Human Genes Because Of Microsoft's Failure To Patch Excel

    Six years ago, Techdirt wrote about a curious issue with Microsoft's Excel. A default date conversion feature was altering the names of genes, because they looked like dates. For example, the tumor suppressor gene DEC1 (Deleted in Esophageal Cancer 1) was being converted to "1-DEC". Hardly a widespread problem, you might think. Not so: research in 2016 found that nearly 20% of 3500 papers taken from leading genomic journals contained gene lists that had been corrupted by Excel's re-interpretation of names as dates. Although there don't seem to be any instances where this led to serious errors, there is a natural concern that it could distort research results. The good news is this problem has now been fixed. The rather surprising news is that it wasn't Microsoft that fixed it, even though Excel was at fault. As an article in The Verge reports:

  • The Linux Foundation Wants Open-Source Tech to Address Future Pandemics

    The Linux Foundation, which supports open-source innovation in blockchain tech, launched the Linux Foundation Public Health Initiative (LFPHI) at the end of July. The LFPHI’s goal is to promote the use of open source by public health authorities, which can be scrutinized by anyone, to fight not just COVID-19 but future pandemics as well.

  • LF Edge’s Akraino Project Release 3 Now Available, Unifying Open Source Blueprints Across MEC, AI, Cloud and Telecom Edge

    LF Edge, an umbrella organization within the Linux Foundation that aims to establish an open, interoperable framework for edge computing independent of hardware, silicon, cloud, or operating system, today announced the availability of Akraino Release 3 (“Akraino R3”). Akraino’s third and most mature release to date delivers fully functional edge solutions– implemented across global organizations– to enable a diversity of edge deployments across the globe. New blueprints include a focus on MEC, AI/ML, and Cloud edge. In addition, the community authored the first iteration of a new white paper to bring common open edge API standards to align the industry.

  • Linux Foundation Launches Jenkins X Training Course

    Linux Foundation has launched a new training course, LFS268 – CI/CD with Jenkins X. Developed in conjunction with the Continuous Delivery Foundation, the course will introduce the fundamentals of Jenkins X.