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GNU Taler news: GNU Taler launched at BFH

Tuesday 15th of September 2020 10:00:00 PM
2020-09: GNU Taler operational at Bern University of Applied Sciences

The GNU Taler payment system was launched at the BFH in the presence of a representative of the Swiss National Bank. Students, staff, faculty and visitors can visit the cafeteria at Höheweg 80 to withdraw the electronic equivalent of Swiss Franks (CHF) onto Taler Wallet App running on their mobile phones and pay at a Taler-enabled snack machine. The system is expected to expand to allow payments at other places in the future. Various faculty members and students are involved various aspects of the project. Students interested in working on projects or theses related to the subject should contact Prof. Grothoff.

FSF Blogs: Hello world from Eostre Emily Danne, intern with the FSF tech team

Monday 14th of September 2020 08:57:23 PM

Greetings!

I'm Eostre (they/she), one of the new interns here at the FSF. I'm primarily here to update systems, rebuild servers, configure Apache, and really anything else that involves coercing GNU/Linux until it does what I want. Prior to this, I've done GNU/Linux almost exclusively as a hobby; now I'm trying to turn my hobby into a career. At home, I run a bunch of weird little hobby distros/BSDs. Interning at the FSF, where we primarily use Trisquel, is giving me a healthy appreciation for Ubuntu-based systems too.

In my hobby work, I've worked on making OS installs highly reproducible - my / is a read-only squashfs image that gets periodically rebuilt, my /etc is a git repo, and I keep my /home distributed across a few machines via Syncthing. At the FSF, I'm applying that experience by reimplementing some infrastructure as neat little scripted installs. Without revealing too much about our infrastructure, we have some systems that were created using forgotten knowledge by previous generations of sysadmins; it's my job to turn the arcane shell invocations in their ~/.bash_history files into something we can eventually manage with Ansible, though for now I'll just be writing shell scripts that do the same thing.

This also comes as Trisquel is about to release version 9.0, so I'll probably end up testing that too.

There are also some aspects of myself that don't involve computers or GNU/Linux in some way:

  • I play Dungeons and Dragons, whenever the stars align and our group is able to meet.

  • I do a bit of modding for the free software video game Endless Sky. (I lied, this one involves computers!)

  • I house sixteen highly evolved dinosaurs! We have four ducks and twelve chickens; they're all between four and six months old, so they haven't started laying eggs yet, but they have gotten big enough to cause trouble.

  • I also have two cats, two mice, a snake, and some fish.

  • I am willing to share pictures of my animals :)

  • I'm trans, nonbinary, pan, and poly. On top of that, I'm autistic too. I like who I am, and who I've become.

Christopher Allan Webber: Spritely Goblins v0.7 released!

Sunday 13th of September 2020 09:53:55 PM

I'm delighted to say that Spritely Goblins v0.7 has been released! This is the first release featuring CapTP support (ie, "capability-secure distributed/networked programming support"), which is a huge milestone for the project!

Okay, caveat... there are still some things missing from the CapTP stuff so far; you can only set up a bidirectional connection between two machines, and can't "introduce" capabilities to other machines on the network. Also setting up connections is an extremely manual process. Both of those should be improved in the next release.

But still! Goblins can now be used to easily write distributed programs! And Goblins' CapTP code even includes such wild features as distributed garbage collection!

As an example (also mentioned in a recent blogpost), I recently wrote a short chat program demo. Both the client and server "protocol" code were less than 250 lines of code, despite having such features as authenticating users during subscription to the chatroom and verifying that messages claimed by the chatroom came from the users it said it did. (The GUI code, by contrast, was a little less than 300 lines.) I wrote this up without writing any network code at all and then tested hooking together two clients over Tor Onion Services using Goblins' CapTP support, and it Just Worked (TM):

What's interesting here is that not a single line of code was added to the backend or GUI to accomodate networking; the host and guest modules merely imported the backend and GUI files completely unchanged and did the network wiring there. Yes, that's what it sounds like: in Goblins you can write distributed asynchronous programs

This is the really significant part of Goblins that's starting to become apparent, and it's all thanks to the brilliant design of CapTP. Goblins continues to stand on the shoulders of giants; thank you to everyone in the ocap community, but especially in this case Michael FIG, Mark S. Miller, Kevin Reid, and Baldur Jóhannsson, all of whom answered an enormous amount of questions (some of them very silly) about CapTP.

There are more people to thank too (too many to list here), and you can see some of them in this monster thread on the captp mailing list which started on May 18th (!!!) as I went through my journey of trying to understand and eventually implement CapTP. I actually started preparing a few weeks before which really means that this journey took me about four and a half months to understand and implement. As it turns out, CapTP is a surprisingly simple protocol protocol in its coneptualization once you understand what it's doing (though implementing it is a bit more complex). I do hope to try to build a guide for others to understand and implement on their own systems... but that will probably wait until Goblins is ported to another language (due to the realative simplicity of the task due to the language similarities, the current plan is to port to Guile next).

Anyway. This is a big deal, a truly exciting moment for goblinkind. If you're excited yourself, maybe join the #spritely channel on irc.freenode.net.

OH! And also, I can't believe I nearly forgot to say this, but if you want to hear more about Spritely in general (not just Goblins), we just released a Spritely-centric episode of FOSS and Crafts. Maybe take a listen!

FSF Blogs: Assine esta petição pela liberdade na sala de aula

Friday 11th of September 2020 06:50:23 PM

Leia, assine e compartilhe a petição: https://my.fsf.org/give-students-userfreedom

Use este código de incorporação para adicionar esta imagem a seu site ou blog para referenciar a petição: <a href="https://my.fsf.org/give-students-userfreedom?pk_campaign=frspring2020&pk_source=bagde"><img src="https://static.fsf.org/nosvn/appeal2020/spring/petition_rect.png" alt="Lute pela liberdade dos estudantes (#UserFreedom). Assine a petição hoje!"></a>

Conforme escrevemos recentemente, o aprendizado remoto não precisa (e não deveria) significar a renúncia das liberdades básicas. Novos desenvolvimentos na área da educação remota apenas contribuíram para a preocupante tendência de tratar a escola como uma área de testes para a vigilância ubíqua e outras práticas distópicas. Isto é especialmente perigoso para as crianças nativas do mundo digital, que podem não saber que existem alternativas, muito menos que a "alternativa" percebida é, na verdade, a única opção ética.

Como a discussão entre ativistas do software livre na nossa lista de e-mails libreplanet-discuss mostrou nas semanas recentes, a educação digital pode triunfar quando fazemos da liberdade uma prioridade. Nenhum estudante deveria trocar sua liberdade por uma educação. A Free Software Foundation (FSF) já trabalhou junto com um professor do MIT para libertar as aulas dele e seguimos compartilhando nosso conhecimento com o sistema de escolas públicas de Boston. Hoje estamos dando o próximo passo nesse comprometimento.

Iniciando hoje, trabalharemos para mudar o cenário da educação remota com uma nova petição contra o dano severo que o software privativo representa aos estudantes e, ao mesmo tempo, enfatizando a ideia de que há uma solução ética. Seja quando o Microsoft Teams é usado para conectar estudantes, o Google Classroom é adotado para escrever todos os documentos ou o Zoom é empregado para a sessão da sala de aula, queremos transmitir a mensagem de que a única resposta aceitável no tocante à quantidade de software privativo que deveria ser permitida nas escolas é nenhum. Fazer estudantes dependerem de software não livre para aprender é não apenas danoso a eles a curto prazo, mas também uma oportunidade desperdiçada de passar os valores de livre acesso, estudo, compartilhamento e colaboração.

Na FSF, estamos trabalhando duro para fazer do software livre uma questão de reunião de família: uma que seja falada e levada a sério por todas as pessoas e não apenas uma causa abraçada por uma comunidade pequena mas motivada. Entendemos que fazer-se ouvir sobre estes problemas pode ser difícil, motivo pelo qual estamos oferecendo colocar nossa voz atrás da sua como a organização responsável pelo movimento. Ao assinar a petição, você tem a opção de nos informar se é um estudante, pai/mãe, professor ou administrador de uma escola que requeira o uso de software privativo. Contataremos a administração deles para lhe representar e evidenciar a eles que uma comunidade global de ativistas e pessoas normais assinaram um posicionamento apoiando o software livre na educação.

Esta iniciativa e petição foram motivadas pela perda de direitos dos estudantes causada pela pandemia, mas não planejamos parar quando o novo coronavírus estiver finalmente sob controle. Visualizamos para este posicionamento um espaço permanente em https://fsf.org e estamos comprometidos em contatar quantas escolas conseguirmos como parte de nossos esforços para encorajar a adoção do software livre.

Seu posicionamento junto a nós neste problema significa muito para nós. O sucesso de qualquer petição é tão forte quanto sua comunicação e as pessoas que se manifestam por trás dela, e por isso apreciamos que você se disponibilize a assinar. O ato de firmar este posicionamento de princípios é uma forma que lhe oferecemos para colocar a "liberdade em ação" durante o nosso apelo de verão e ser uma voz para a liberdade do usuário no mundo todo #UserFreedom.

Por trinta e cinco anos, a FSF realiza campanhas pela completa liberdade do software. Por todo esse tempo, e apesar de parecer conveniente e popular fazê-lo, nunca sacrificamos nossos princípios. Ser o "último farol" da liberdade do usuário significa manter-se vigilante sobre a ajuda ou dano causados pelo uso dos programas de computador contra quem deles depende. Por favor, reserve um tempo para assinar a petição pelos direitos dos estudantes em todo o mundo, sejam estes os seus direitos, dos seus filhos ou simplesmente de algum conhecido. Juntos, podemos cortar a conexão que a educação tem com o software privativo e, em seu lugar, fomentar a liberdade.

Read this article in English at https://www.fsf.org/blogs/community/sign-this-petition-for-freedom-in-the-classroom

gnuastro @ Savannah: Gnuastro 0.13 released

Monday 7th of September 2020 03:21:28 AM

The 13th release of Gnuastro is now available. See the the full announcement for more.

GNUnet News: GNUnet 0.13.3

Saturday 5th of September 2020 10:00:00 PM
GNUnet 0.13.3 released

Continuing to "release early / release often", we present GNUnet 0.13.3. This is a bugfix release for gnunet 0.13.2.
It fixes some build issues and contains major changes to the re:claimID API.

Download links

The GPG key used to sign is: 3D11063C10F98D14BD24D1470B0998EF86F59B6A

Note that due to mirror synchronization, not all links might be functional early after the release. For direct access try http://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/gnunet/

Noteworthy changes in 0.13.3 (since 0.13.2)
  • REST:
    • re:claimID attestation API change reflected in endpoint naming.
    • Fix regression in NAMESTORE REST API endpoint processing.
  • RECLAIM: "Attestations" renamed to "Credentials". Credentials are now converted to "Presentations" when a ticket is issued in preparation for DID-style VCs and Privacy-ABCs.
  • UTIL: Fix gnunet-qr device parameter.
  • SET: Separated into set intersection (SETI) and set union subsystems (SETU).
  • BUILD:
    • Fix build on OpenBSD.
    • Correctly check for required libsodium version. #6506
Thanks

This release was the work of many people. The following people contributed code and were thus easily identified: Christian Grothoff, Jonathan Buchanan, Johannes Späth and Martin Schanzenbach.

freeipmi @ Savannah: FreeIPMI 1.6.6 Released

Friday 4th of September 2020 05:18:43 PM

https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/freeipmi/freeipmi-1.6.6.tar.gz

o In libfreeipmi, fix segfault in SPMI parsing leading to immediate failures on some hardware across all tools.

dico @ Savannah: Version 2.10

Friday 4th of September 2020 05:45:05 AM

Version 2.10 is available for download.  This is a bugfix release, that fixes compilation with gcc 10 and restores the po files, which were absent in the two previous releases due to the packaging error.

FSF Blogs: Free Software Awards: Recognize those who advance our freedom by October 28th

Thursday 3rd of September 2020 07:25:00 PM

The work of dedicated contributors is at the center of free software's ability to empower users. Whether they're developers, documentation writers, community organizers, or inspiring new volunteers, everyone plays their own role in building the movement. Together, the work of these community members contributes to the technical excellence of free software, but more importantly, it makes it possible for everyday people to live a full digital life without compromising their freedom.

Each year, the Free Software Foundation (FSF) formally expresses our appreciation to these individuals and organizations through the Free Software Awards. These awards are given each year at LibrePlanet, our conference for free software community activists, domain experts, and people seeking their own solutions to problems like user-abusive antifeatures and bulk government surveillance. The Free Software Awards let these people and projects know that their work is deeply appreciated, and that they play a vital role in bringing this global movement toward its goals.

You might know of a contributor or organization who has done significant and user-empowering work on free software. We invite you to take a moment to show them (and tell us) that you care, by nominating them for an award in one of three categories: the Award for the Advancement of Free Software, the Award for Projects of Social Benefit, or the Award for Outstanding New Free Software Contributor. Don't assume that someone else will nominate them -- too often, everyone assuming someone else will express the appreciation means that it never happens. As taking initiative and speaking up for the community are important parts of free software, why not take the time yourself to make sure your voice is heard?

The deadline to submit your nominations is October 28th, 2020, at 15:00 UTC.

Award for the Advancement of Free Software

The FSF Award for the Advancement of Free Software is presented annually to a single individual who has made a great contribution to the progress and advancement of free software, through activities that are in accord with the spirit of the community. Last year's award was accepted by Jim Meyering, whose work on GNU Coreutils and numerous other utilities was foundational in the early development of the GNU operating system, and helps to keep it robust. Previous winners include Deborah Nicholson, Karen Sandler, Alexandre Oliva, and Matthew Garrett.

Submit your nomination for this individual award here!

Award for Projects of Social Benefit

The FSF Award for Projects of Social Benefit is presented to an organization or team responsible for applying the principles of the free software movement to a project that intentionally and significantly benefits society in other aspects of life. Last year's award was accepted by Let's Encrypt, an HTTPS certificate authority that has made great strides in democratizing security on the Web. Previous winners of this award include OpenStreetMap, Public Lab, SecureDrop, GNU Health, Tor, and the Internet Archive.

Submit your nomination for this project/team award here!

Award for Outstanding New Free Software Contributor

The Award for Outstanding New Free Software Contributor is presented annually to an individual newcomer to the community who has demonstrated an outstanding dedication to software freedom. The award recipient must have made their first significant free software-related contributions in 2020, and show a pattern of ongoing activity. Their contributions may have included things like: empowering the community by organizing local meetups, software development, becoming involved in the strategic or logistical planning of a project, working on documentation, or helping to make improvements in the environment to attract and keep contributors. Last year's award was accepted by Clarissa Lima Borges, who upon beginning an internship through Outreachy, immediately hit the ground running on improving usability tests for GNOME desktop applications.

Submit your nomination for this individual award here!

In the face of threats to user freedom coming from every different angle -- including the ongoing pandemic -- let's press forward by showing the hardworking members of our movement that we deeply appreciate their dedication.

Parabola GNU/Linux-libre: manual intervention required for some non-systemd users

Monday 31st of August 2020 06:43:28 AM

a change was made this week to 'nonsystemd/base', in order to reduce dependency conflicts, when installing a nonsystemd system, and when migrating to or from nonsystemd<->systemd - this has exposed several dependency conflicts which were not obvious before, and made them explicit

manual intervention will be required, if pacman has a conflict such as:

your-initfreedom and systemd-_ANYTHING_ are in conflict

if you get that error, see this redmine issue for the solution:

https://labs.parabola.nu/issues/2884

there is a separate, but related issue, where we are collecting examples of conflicts which were exposed by this change to 'nonsystemd/base' - these are evident by the following pacman error message:

systemd and openrc are in conflict (systemd-tools)

if you get that error, please add your specific details to this redmine issue:

https://labs.parabola.nu/issues/2886

Christopher Allan Webber: If you can't tell people anything, can you show them?

Saturday 29th of August 2020 05:05:00 PM

The other day I made a sadpost on the fediverse that said: "simultaneously regularly feel like people don't take the directions I'm trying to push seriously enough and that I'm not worth taking seriously". (Similarly, I've also joked that "imposter syndrome and a Cassandra complex are a hell of a combo" before.) I got a number of replies from people, both publicly and privately, and the general summary of most of them are, "We do care! The stuff you're working on seems really cool and valuable! I'll admit that I don't really know what it is you're talking about but it sounds important!" (Okay, and I just re-read, and it was only a portion of it that even said the latter part, but of course, what do I emphasize in my brain?) That was nice to hear that people care and are enthusiastic, and I did feel much better, but it did also kind of feel like confirmation that I'm not getting through to people completely either.

But then jfred made an interesting reply:

Yeah, that feels familiar. Impostor syndrome hits hard. You're definitely worth taking seriously though, and the projects you're working on are the most exciting ones I've been following.

As for people not taking the directions you're pushing seriously... I've felt the same at work, and I think part of it is that there's only so much one person can do. But also part of it is: http://habitatchronicles.com/2004/04/you-cant-tell-people-anything/

...it's hard to get ideas across to someone until they can interact with it themselves

So first of all, what a nice post! Second of all, it's kind of funny that jfred replied with this because out of everyone, jfred is one of the people who's picked up and understood what's happening in Spritely Goblins in particular the most, often running or creating demos of things on top of it using things I haven't even documented yet (so definitely not a person I would say isn't taking me seriously or getting what the work is doing).

But third, that link to Habitat Chronicles is right on point for a few reasons: first of all, Spritely is hugely influenced by the various generations of Habitat, from the original first-ever-graphical-virtual-worlds Habitat (premiering on the Commodore 64 in the mid 1980s, of all things!) to Electric Communities Habitat, especially because that's where the E programming language came from, which I think it's safe to say has had a bigger influence on Spritely Goblins than anything (except maybe this paper by Jonathan Rees, which is the first time I realized that "oh, object capability security is just normal programming flow"). But also, that blogpost in particular was so perfect about this subject: You can't tell people anything...!

In summary, the blogpost isn't saying that people aren't foolishly incapable of understanding things, but that people in general don't understand well by "being explained to". What helps people understand is experiences:

Eventually people can be educated, but what you have to do is find a way give them the experience, to put them in the situation. Sometimes this can only happen by making real the thing you are describing, but sometimes by dint of clever artifice you can simulate it.

This really congealed for me and helped me feel justified in an approach I've been taking in the Spritely project. In general, up until now I've spent most of my time between two states: coding the backend super-engineering stuff, and coding demos on top of it. You might in the meanwhile see me post technobabble onto my fediverse or birdsite accounts, but I'm not in general trying too hard to write about the structurally interesting things going on until it comes time to write documentation (whether it be for Goblins, or the immutable storage and mutable storage writeups). But in general, the way that I'm convinced people will get it is not by talk but by first, demonstration, and second, use.

Aside from the few people that have picked up and played with Goblins yet, I don't think I've hit a sufficient amount of "use" yet in Spritely. That's ok, I'm not at that stage yet, and when I am, it'll be fairly clear. (ETA: one year from now.) So let's talk about demonstration.

The first demo I wrote was the Golem demo, that showed roughly that distributed but encrypted storage could be applied to the fediverse. Cute and cool, and that turned the heads of a few fediverse implementers.

But let's face it, the best demo I've done yet was the Terminal Phase time travel demo. And it didn't hurt that it had a cool looking animated GIF to go with it:

Prior to this demo, people would ask me, "What's this Goblins thing?" And I'd try to say a number of things to them... "oh, its a distributed, transactional, quasi-functional distributed programming system safe to run in mutually suspicious networks that follows object capability security and the classic actor model in the style of the E programming language but written in Scheme!" And I'd watch as their eyes glaze over because why wouldn't their eyes glaze over after a statement like that, and then I'd try to explain the individual pieces but I could tell that the person would be losing interest by then and why wouldn't they lose interest but even realizing that I'd kind of feel despair settling in...

But when you show them a pew pew space lasers game and oh wow why is there time travel, how did you add time travel, is it using functional reactive programming or something? (Usually FRP systems are the only other ones where people have seen these kinds of time travel demos.) And I'd say nope! It doesn't require that. Mostly it looks like writing just straightahead code but you get this kind of thing for free. And the person would say, wow! Sounds really cool! How much work does it take to add the time travel into the game? And I just say: no extra work at all. I wrote the whole game without testing anything about time travel or even thinking about it, then later I just threw a few extra lines to write the UI to expose the time travel part and it just worked. And that's when I see peoples' heads explode with wonder and the connections start to be made about what Goblins might be able to do.

But of course, that's only a partial connection for two reasons. One is that the time travel demo above only shows off a small, minute part of the features of Goblins. And actually, the least interesting of them! It doesn't show off the distributed programming or asynchronous programming parts, it doesn't show off the cool object capability security that's safe to run in mutually suspicious networks. But still: it gave a taste that something cool is happening here. Maybe Chris hasn't just been blowing a bunch of time since finishing the ActivityPub standardization process about two and a half years ago. (Yikes, two and a half years ago!?!)

To complete the rest of that demonstration of the other things in the system requires a different kind of demo. Terminal Phase was a demo to show off the synchronous half of Goblins, but where Goblins really shines is in the asynchronous, distributed programming stuff. That's not ready to show off yet, but I'll give you the first taste of what's in progress:

(Actually a bit more has progressed since I've recorded that GIF, multiple chatrooms and etc, but not really worth bothering to show off quite yet.)

Hmm, that's not really all that thrilling. A chatroom that looks about the same level of featureful, maybe less, than IRC? Well, it could be more exciting if you hear that the full chat protocol implementation is only about 250 lines of code, including authenticating users and posts by users. That's smaller even than its corresponding GUI code, which is less than 300 lines of code. So the exciting thing there is how much heavy lifting Goblins takes care of for you.

But that's hardly razzle-dazzle exciting. In order for me to hint at the rest of what's happening here, we need to put out an asynchronous programming demo that's as or more interesting than the time travel demo. And I expect to do that. I hope soon enough to show off stuff that will make people go, "Oh, what's going on here?"

But even that doesn't complete the connection for people, because showing is one thing but to complete the loop, we need people to use things. We need to get this stuff in the hands of users to play with and experiment themselves. I have plans to do that... and not only that, make this stuff not intimidating for newcomers. When Spritely guides everyday people towards extending Spritely from inside of Spritely as it runs, that's when it'll really click.

And once it clicks sufficiently, it'll no longer become exciting, because people will just come to expect it. A good example of that comes from the aforementioned You can't tell people anything article:

Years ago, before Lucasfilm, I worked for Project Xanadu (the original hypertext project, way before this newfangled World Wide Web thing). One of the things I did was travel around the country trying to evangelize the idea of hypertext. People loved it, but nobody got it. Nobody. We provided lots of explanation. We had pictures. We had scenarios, little stories that told what it would be like. People would ask astonishing questions, like “who’s going to pay to make all those links?” or “why would anyone want to put documents online?” Alas, many things really must be experienced to be understood. We didn’t have much of an experience to deliver to them though — after all, the whole point of all this evangelizing was to get people to give us money to pay for developing the software in the first place! But someone who’s spent even 10 minutes using the Web would never think to ask some of the questions we got asked.

Eventually, if we succeed, the ideas in Spritely will no longer seem exciting... because people will have internalized and come to expect them. Just like hyperlinks on the web today.

But to get there, in the meanwhile, we have to get people interested. To become so successful as to be mundane, we have to first be razzle-dazzle exciting. And to that end, that's why I take the demo approach to Spritely. Because it's hard to tell someone something... but showing them, that's another matter.

PS: It's also not true that people don't get what I'm doing, and that's even been reflected materially. I've been lucky to be supported over the last few years from a combination of a grant from Samsung's Stack Zero and one from NLNet, not to mention quite a few donors on Patreon. I do recognize and appreciate that people are supporting me. In some ways receiving this support makes me feel more seriously about the need to demonstrate and prove that what I'm doing is real. I hope I am doing and will continue to do a sufficient job, and hope that the upcoming demos contribute to that more materially!

PPS: If, in the meanwhile, you're already excited, check out the Goblins documentation. The most exciting stuff is coming in the next major release (which will be out soon), which is when the distributed programming tools will be made available to users of the system for the first time. But if you want to get a head start, the code you'll be writing will mostly work the same between the distributed and non-distributed (as in, distributed across computers/processes) asynchronous stuff, so if you start reading the docs today, most of your code will already just work on the new stuff once released. And if you do start playing around, maybe drop by the #spritely channel on freenode and say hello!

FSF Blogs: August GNU Spotlight with Mike Gerwitz: 14 new releases!

Friday 28th of August 2020 04:25:15 PM

For announcements of most new GNU releases, subscribe to the info-gnu mailing list: https://lists.gnu.org/mailman/listinfo/info-gnu.

To download: nearly all GNU software is available from https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/, or preferably one of its mirrors from https://www.gnu.org/prep/ftp.html. You can use the url https://ftpmirror.gnu.org/ to be automatically redirected to a (hopefully) nearby and up-to-date mirror.

This month, we welcome Rayner Lucas, Tristan Miller, and Jason Evans as maintainers of GNU STUMP and WebSTUMP.

A number of GNU packages, as well as the GNU operating system as a whole, are looking for maintainers and other assistance: please see https://www.gnu.org/server/takeaction.html#unmaint if you'd like to help. The general page on how to help GNU is at https://www.gnu.org/help/help.html.

If you have a working or partly working program that you'd like to offer to the GNU project as a GNU package, see https://www.gnu.org/help/evaluation.html.

nano @ Savannah: GNU nano 5.2 was released

Tuesday 25th of August 2020 06:50:50 AM

Version 5.0 brought: direct access to the "Execute Command" prompt, the ability to place and jump to anchors, the --indicator option for showing a kind of scrollbar, nine new color names plus the "italic" attribute, and several major internal changes.  Versions 5.1 and 5.2 then fixed the bugs that these changes had caused along the way.

parallel @ Savannah: GNU Parallel 20200822 ('Beirut')

Saturday 22nd of August 2020 11:29:53 PM

GNU Parallel 20200822 ('Beirut') has been released. It is available for download at: http://ftpmirror.gnu.org/parallel/

Quote of the month:

  Gnu parallel is also awesome, fwiw.
    -- Rogan Dawes @RoganDawes@twitter

New in this release:

  • Max command line length is changed for MacOS - making this version

  beta quality for MacOS.

  • Bug fixes and man page updates.

Get the book: GNU Parallel 2018 http://www.lulu.com/shop/ole-tange/gnu-parallel-2018/paperback/product-23558902.html

GNU Parallel - For people who live life in the parallel lane.

About GNU Parallel

GNU Parallel is a shell tool for executing jobs in parallel using one or more computers. A job can be a single command or a small script that has to be run for each of the lines in the input. The typical input is a list of files, a list of hosts, a list of users, a list of URLs, or a list of tables. A job can also be a command that reads from a pipe. GNU Parallel can then split the input and pipe it into commands in parallel.

If you use xargs and tee today you will find GNU Parallel very easy to use as GNU Parallel is written to have the same options as xargs. If you write loops in shell, you will find GNU Parallel may be able to replace most of the loops and make them run faster by running several jobs in parallel. GNU Parallel can even replace nested loops.

GNU Parallel makes sure output from the commands is the same output as you would get had you run the commands sequentially. This makes it possible to use output from GNU Parallel as input for other programs.

For example you can run this to convert all jpeg files into png and gif files and have a progress bar:

  parallel --bar convert {1} {1.}.{2} ::: *.jpg ::: png gif

Or you can generate big, medium, and small thumbnails of all jpeg files in sub dirs:

  find . -name '*.jpg' |
    parallel convert -geometry {2} {1} {1//}/thumb{2}_{1/} :::: - ::: 50 100 200

You can find more about GNU Parallel at: http://www.gnu.org/s/parallel/

You can install GNU Parallel in just 10 seconds with:

    $ (wget -O - pi.dk/3 || lynx -source pi.dk/3 || curl pi.dk/3/ || \
       fetch -o - http://pi.dk/3 ) > install.sh
    $ sha1sum install.sh | grep 3374ec53bacb199b245af2dda86df6c9
    12345678 3374ec53 bacb199b 245af2dd a86df6c9
    $ md5sum install.sh | grep 029a9ac06e8b5bc6052eac57b2c3c9ca
    029a9ac0 6e8b5bc6 052eac57 b2c3c9ca
    $ sha512sum install.sh | grep f517006d9897747bed8a4694b1acba1b
    40f53af6 9e20dae5 713ba06c f517006d 9897747b ed8a4694 b1acba1b 1464beb4
    60055629 3f2356f3 3e9c4e3c 76e3f3af a9db4b32 bd33322b 975696fc e6b23cfb
    $ bash install.sh

Watch the intro video on http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL284C9FF2488BC6D1

Walk through the tutorial (man parallel_tutorial). Your command line will love you for it.

When using programs that use GNU Parallel to process data for publication please cite:

O. Tange (2018): GNU Parallel 2018, March 2018, https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1146014.

If you like GNU Parallel:

  • Give a demo at your local user group/team/colleagues
  • Post the intro videos on Reddit/Diaspora*/forums/blogs/ Identi.ca/Google+/Twitter/Facebook/Linkedin/mailing lists
  • Get the merchandise https://gnuparallel.threadless.com/designs/gnu-parallel
  • Request or write a review for your favourite blog or magazine
  • Request or build a package for your favourite distribution (if it is not already there)
  • Invite me for your next conference

If you use programs that use GNU Parallel for research:

  • Please cite GNU Parallel in you publications (use --citation)

If GNU Parallel saves you money:

About GNU SQL

GNU sql aims to give a simple, unified interface for accessing databases through all the different databases' command line clients. So far the focus has been on giving a common way to specify login information (protocol, username, password, hostname, and port number), size (database and table size), and running queries.

The database is addressed using a DBURL. If commands are left out you will get that database's interactive shell.

When using GNU SQL for a publication please cite:

O. Tange (2011): GNU SQL - A Command Line Tool for Accessing Different Databases Using DBURLs, ;login: The USENIX Magazine, April 2011:29-32.

About GNU Niceload

GNU niceload slows down a program when the computer load average (or other system activity) is above a certain limit. When the limit is reached the program will be suspended for some time. If the limit is a soft limit the program will be allowed to run for short amounts of time before being suspended again. If the limit is a hard limit the program will only be allowed to run when the system is below the limit.

www-zh-cn @ Savannah: Submit your session for LibrePlanet 2021 before Oct. 28

Saturday 22nd of August 2020 03:45:09 AM

Dear Translators:

From FSF

The thirteenth edition of the Free Software Foundation's (FSF) conference on technology and social justice will be held in spring 2021. The Call for Sessions is now open, and will close on October 28th. Potential talks should examine free software through the lens of this year's theme: Empowering Users.
Call for Sessions LP image

Submissions to the Call for Sessions are being accepted through Wednesday, October 28 at 12:00 Eastern Daylight Time (16:00 UTC). General registration, award nominations, exhibitor registration and sponsoring packages will open soon.

We invite activists, hackers, law professionals, artists, students, developers, young people, policymakers, tinkerers, newcomers to free software, and anyone looking for technology that aligns with their ideals, to submit a proposal for a session at LibrePlanet 2021. To access the submission form, use your my.fsf.org username wxie. Session proposals can focus on software development, copyleft, community, or other related issues to this year's theme.

health @ Savannah: GNU Health HMIS patchset 3.6.5 released

Friday 21st of August 2020 02:28:53 PM

Dear community

GNU Health 3.6.5 patchset has been released !

Priority: High

Table of Contents
  • About GNU Health Patchsets
  • Updating your system with the GNU Health control Center
  • Summary of this patchset
  • Installation notes
  • List of other issues related to this patchset
About GNU Health Patchsets

We provide "patchsets" to stable releases. Patchsets allow applying bug
fixes and updates on production systems. Always try to keep your
production system up-to-date with the latest patches.

Patches and Patchsets maximize uptime for production systems, and keep
your system updated, without the need to do a whole installation.

NOTE: Patchsets are applied on previously installed systems only. For
new, fresh installations, download and install the whole tarball (ie,
gnuhealth-3.6.5.tar.gz)

Updating your system with the GNU Health control Center

Starting GNU Health 3.x series, you can do automatic updates on the GNU
Health HMIS kernel and modules using the GNU Health control center
program.

Please refer to the administration manual section (
https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/GNU_Health/Control_Center )

The GNU Health control center works on standard installations (those
done following the installation manual on wikibooks). Don't use it if
you use an alternative method or if your distribution does not follow
the GNU Health packaging guidelines.

Summary of this patchset

GNU Health 3.6.5 includes:

  • ICD-10 package:

  The World Health Organization International Classification of Diseases, 10th revision, h  has been extensively revised and updated to the 2020 edition.
  The translation templates have been also updated, specially the German and Chinese.
  Special thanks to Dr. Edgar Hagenbichler for his excellent work on this package!

Installation Notes

You must apply previous patchsets before installing this patchset. If
your patchset level is 3.6.5, then just follow the general
instructions. You can find the patchsets at GNU Health main download
site at GNU.org (https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/health/)

In most cases, GNU Health Control center (gnuhealth-control) takes care
of applying the patches for you. 

Pre-requisites for upgrade to 3.6.5: None

Now follow the general instructions at

 

After applying the patches, make a full update of your GNU Health
database as explained in the documentation.

When running "gnuhealth-control" for the first time, you will see the following message: "Please restart now the update with the new control center" Please do so. Restart the process and the update will continue.

  • Restart the GNU Health server
List of other issues and tasks related to this patchset

For detailed information about each issue, you can visit
 https://savannah.gnu.org/bugs/?group=health For detailed information about each task, you can visit
 https://savannah.gnu.org/task/?group=health

 For detailed information you can read about Patches and Patchsets

Happy and healthy hacking !

Dr. Luis Falcon, MD, MSc
President, GNU Solidario
GNU Health: Freedom and Equity in Healthcare
http://www.gnuhealth.org
GPG Fingerprint :ACBF C80F C891 631C 68AA  8DC8 C015 E1AE 0098 9199

FSF Blogs: Submit your session for LibrePlanet 2021 before Oct. 28

Thursday 20th of August 2020 11:45:00 PM

LibrePlanet 2021: Empowering Users site

Submit your session!

Submissions are being accepted through Wednesday, October 28th at 12:00 Eastern Daylight Time (16:00 UTC). General registration, award nominations, exhibitor registration and sponsoring packages will open soon.

We invite activists, hackers, law professionals, artists, students, developers, young people, policymakers, tinkerers, newcomers to free software, and anyone looking for technology that aligns with their ideals, to submit a proposal for a session at LibrePlanet. Session proposals can focus on software development, copyleft, community, or other related issues.

Theme: Empowering Users

The theme for 2021 is Empowering Users. Over our thirty-five years of campaigning for freedom, the Free Software Foundation has seen countless people start to adopt free "as in freedom" software as a tool to affect meaningful change in their communities. When users have the freedom to study, change, share, and contribute to the software that they depend on, they are empowered to take charge of their own digital lives.

Right now, we are seeing people all over the world band together to show how technology can make us safer and keep us connected without compromising our freedoms. In education, we've reported on people hosting their own videoconferencing services to facilitate free remote learning, and have seen examples of educators teaching university classes with exclusively free software. From Italy to the US, parents, health care professionals, hackers, and tinkerers are getting together to facilitate access to much needed medical equipment to help combat the novel coronavirus. As discontent and distrust with technology conglomerates grows, we see calls for users to navigate away from Facebook's WhatsApp messaging service, and spikes in users on decentralized microblogging services.

LibrePlanet 2021: Empowering Users will be a celebration of such stories. Our work has been motivated by seeing people help others move away from proprietary tools that embrace corporate control and government bulk surveillance. Movements like this help build a future that empowers users and their communities rather than the harmful business models of monopolistic proprietary software companies.

What kind of sessions are we looking for?
  • Examine free software through this year's theme, Empowering Users, through broader spheres of education, licensing, medicine, government, business, art, or social movements;

  • Share an update on your free software project;

  • Present strategies for strengthening the free software community;

  • Explore current topics in free software licensing and copyleft, or give a great licensing tutorial;

  • Host a workshop on how to use a free software tool, free software program, or free hardware project;

  • Explore a free software concept or share your technical knowledge in an interactive session; or

  • Lead a project "sprint" (a group work session).

All sessions will be reviewed by a community council representing a wide range of expertise. It's important to us to provide sessions that are friendly to newcomers, as well as those that help experienced hackers improve their technical skills. Whatever your experience level or the experience level of your audience, we want to include your session! If you're new to the community, or if you're looking for inspiration, check out this past year's conference site and session videos.

Will this be an in-person event?

This year has been an exceptional year for everyone, and the future is uncertain for in-person events. The FSF will continue to monitor public health notifications, and will follow the guidelines of the City of Boston, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Whether we can safely hold the event in the Boston area and enjoy all the pleasures of meeting the community in person is not yet known. While the goal is to hold LibrePlanet 2021: Empowering Users in person in the Boston area, our conference planning will incorporate the possibility of an online conference. We know many of our attendees and speakers need to plan any travel well in advance; we will do our best to announce the decision on libreplanet.org/2021 and by email as soon as we responsibly can.

We will take the lessons we learned from our online experience this year with us and organize an event that is inclusive and allows people from all over the (libre)planet to participate. With this in mind, we ask everyone submitting a session to tell us if they can be physically present in Boston. Remote sessions will be reviewed with the intent of integrating quality sessions into the schedule. As always, if you will need help traveling to the event, the FSF is offering a limited amount of speaker scholarships, for which you can apply in the session proposal form. You can also donate to help others attend.

Office hours on IRC

We will be holding office hours on Internet Relay Chat (IRC). Those will be designated times where the LibrePlanet team, including experienced community volunteers, will be available to help potential speakers prepare their session proposals for the conference. Office hours are on Tuesdays, and start August 25 on the #libreplanet IRC channel on the Freenode network. They will continue every Tuesday until the Call for Sessions closes on October 28.

Times will be every Tuesday, starting August 25 until October 27, from 13:00 - 14:00 Eastern Daylight time (17:00 UTC).

You can always email us at campaigns@fsf.org with any questions as well.

Share the Call for Sessions with others

Help LibrePlanet grow far and wide by sharing this sample message on your favorite microblog. Feel free to adapt the text and use it with the #LibrePlanet hashtag and the included image.

@fsf announced LibrePlanet's 2021 theme is "Empowering Users." Do you have something to say about this subject, user freedom, free software, digital ethics, or technology? Share it at LibrePlanet 2021 by submitting your session proposal before October 28. https://my.fsf.org/lp-call-for-sessions

We're looking forward to seeing all of the engaging sessions come through. Please join us, and have your voice heard during vital conversations on free software's role in empowering users at LibrePlanet 2021.

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