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June 2019

Standards/Consortia: USB, HTML and DisplayPort

Filed under
Misc
  • USB inventor explains why it would have been too expensive to make it reversible

    Ajay Bhatt, who worked on Intel's implementation of the USB standard recently spoke to US public radio (NPR) about the invention of USB, and why the flip it wasn't reversible in the first place.

  • HTML is the Web

    It’s all about what gets consumed by the consumer. It’s the UI and UX. It’s the whole package. In descending order of importance it's the HTML, the CSS, and the behaviour (which might be provided by the Javascript - might not be).

    My big concern is at the bottom of that technology pyramid. The lowest common denominator of the Web. The foundation. The rhythm section. The ladyfingers in the Web trifle. It’s the HTML. And it is becoming increasingly clear to me that there’s a whole swathe of Frontend Engineers who don’t know or understand the frontend-est of frontend technologies.

  • The cost of JavaScript in 2019

    On mobile, you’ll want to ship a lot less script because of network, memory consumption and execution time for slower CPUs. Balance latency with cacheability to maximize the amount of parsing and compilation work that can happen off the main thread.

  • DisplayPort 2.0 launches, promising 8K video support by late 2020

    In late 2020, the first products incorporating the new DP 2.0 standard are expected to be made available, according to the Video Electronics Standards Association, or VESA. DP 2.0 can use the existing DP connector that appears on many high-end desktop PCs, or be carried over cabling that uses the standard USB-C connector—though you’ll still need a PC with DP 2.0 silicon to support it.

Slimbook’s Latest Linux Laptop is Faster (and Cheaper) than a MacBook Air

Filed under
GNU
Linux

The Slimbook Pro X bills itself as the ‘best Linux Laptop in the world’ — a bold claim, but does it hold up?

Well, on paper at least, it looks like it might.

The latest Linux portable from Spanish computer company Slimbook certainly sports enough muscle to give many well-known laptop a run for their money.

In fact, overall, the Slimbook Pro X looks better spec’d and costs less than the latest MacBook Air, seen by many as the ultimate on-the-go laptop.

So what makes the Pro X seemingly exceptional? Let’s take a look…

Read more

Mozilla: Firefox UX, GeckoView and Firefox for Android

Filed under
Moz/FF
  • Firefox UX: The 11 Secrets of Iterative and Incremental Product Development – A lightining talk

    Something I really like about the Firefox UX team is how we are all open to learning from each other.
    So, when one of my colleagues shared this specific image in our Slack channel, I knew it was OK to raise the question of why this picture is incorrect.

  • GeckoView in 2019

    Last September we wrote about using GeckoView to bring Firefox’s rendering engine to Android as a reusable library. By decoupling the Gecko engine from the Firefox application, we’ve created a newer, faster, and more maintainable way to create Android applications. This approach leverages Gecko’s excellent performance, privacy, and support for cutting-edge web standards.

    With today’s release of our GeckoView-powered Firefox Preview, we’d like to share an update on what we’ve accomplished and where GeckoView is going in 2019.

  • Mozilla Future Releases Blog: Reinventing Firefox for Android: a Preview

    At Firefox, we’re passionate about providing solutions for people who care about safety, privacy and independence. For several months, we’ve been working on a new strategy for our Android products to serve you even better. Today we’re very happy to announce a pilot of our new browser for Android devices that is available to early adopters for testing as of now. We’ll have a feature-rich, polished version of this flagship application available for this fall.

    [...]

    With Firefox Preview, we’re combining the best of what our lightweight Focus application and our current mobile browsers have to offer to create a best in class mobile experience. The new application is powered by Firefox’s own mobile browser engine — GeckoView — the same high-performance, feature enabling motor that fuels our Focus app.

    You might remember how we revamped the engine behind the Firefox desktop browser in 2017 enabling us to significantly improve the desktop user experience. As a result, today’s Firefox Quantum is much faster, more efficient, equipped with a modern user interface and clearly the next-gen Firefox. Quite similarly, implementing GeckoView paves the way for a complete makeover of the mobile Firefox experience. While all other major Android browsers today are based on Blink and therefore reflective of Google’s decisions about mobile, Firefox’s GeckoView engine ensures us and our users independence. Building Firefox for Android on GeckoView also results in greater flexibility in terms of the types of privacy and security features we can offer our mobile users. With GeckoView we have the ability to develop faster, more secure and more user friendly browsers that deliver unprecedented performance.

Slax 9.9.1 released

Filed under
GNU
Linux

I am happy to let you know that new Slax version has been released.

Read more

Canonical/Ubuntu: Snaps, Valve and Lubuntu

Filed under
Ubuntu
  • Development tips and tricks – snap try and snapcraft pack

    Over the past several months, we have shared with you several articles and tutorials showing how to accelerate application development so that a typically demanding, time-consuming process becomes an easier, faster and more fun one. Today, we’d like to introduce some additional tips and tricks. Namely, we want to talk about elegant ways you can streamline the final steps of a snap build.

    [...]

    Side by side with snap try, you can use the snapcraft pack command. It lets you create a snap from a directory holding a valid snap (the layout of the target directory must contain a meta/snap.yaml file). Going back to our previous example, you would alter the contents of your project directory, add assets (like libraries), and then pack those into a squashfs file.

  • Valve to continue Steam gaming on Ubuntu Linux

    When Canonical announced that, beginning with October's Ubuntu 19.10 release, 32-bit -computer support would be dropped, it didn't expect there would be much blowback. It was wrong. Developers and users, especially of Steam games, threw fits. So, Canonical, makers of Ubuntu Linux, reversed course and asserted it wouldn't drop 32-bit software support in Ubuntu 19.10 and 20.04 LTS after all. 

    So, everything's back to normal, yes? No.

    True, Valve will continue to support Ubuntu. But Ubuntu will no longer be called out as "as the best-supported path for desktop users." Instead, Valve is re-thinking how it wants to approach distribution support going forward. There are several distributions on the market today that offer a great gaming desktop experience such as Arch Linux, Manjaro, Pop!_OS, Fedora, and many others.

  • Donate to Lubuntu!

    Lubuntu is a community-developed project that relies on support from the community to continue development. There are specific costs we would like to address to take the burden off of specific contributors, their employers, and the Ubuntu project as a whole. Specifically, Altispeed Technologies has graciously provided hosting support for our Phabricator instance, forum, and other pieces of critical Lubuntu infrastructure. We would like to eventually move off of Altispeed’s infrastructure, or be able to pay for the infrastructure ourselves.

    Additionally, Lubuntu Developers attend several major Linux conferences each year, specifically LinuxFest NorthWest, the Seattle GNU/Linux Conference, SouthEast LinuxFest, and others. Lubuntu would like to be able to support some of these conferences and trips to these conferences without relying so much on e.g. the Ubuntu Community Donations Funding.

System76: Latest News, Coreboot Support, and Working Upstream

Filed under
GNU
Linux
  • Announcing our Summer Flock Party Event, and more news from June!

    Summer is here, so we’re having a Flock Party! Now until July 9th, join us on our website for discounts on laptops and desktops, and even more discounts with upgrades!
    To make our Flock Party even more colorful, we’ve enlisted the help of 17 parrots to hide out around our site. If you’re one of the first 10 to find them all and unscramble the code, we’ll have something special for you!
    Along with our parrot mania, we have info for you on hardware, Pop!_OS, firmware, and Thelio manufacturing. Read on to see what’s new in June!

  • System76 Continues Advancing Coreboot Support, Adding UI For Firmware Updates

    We've known that Linux PC vendor System76 has been investing engineering resources into Coreboot support and while not yet ready for end-users, they are making progress. For once it's ready for their customers, they have also begun crafting a graphical user-interface for these firmware upgrades to Coreboot.

    In System76's monthly news letter, they commented that their "open firmware" has entered testing on their Gazelle notebooks but remains in the early stages. As well, a UI element for managing firmware updates is being worked on and will be available through GNOME Settings. No word yet if System76 has decided to make use of Fwupd+LVFS, but in the past they've expressed various reasons for not doing so.

  • System76 / Pop! OS team should learn to work with their upstreams

    System76 / Pop! OS team, while you should be proud of the work you do for you users I think you are going the wrong way there. Working on fixes and including them early in your product is one thing, not upstreaming those fixes and using that for marketing you as better than your upstreams is a risky game. You might be overlooking that now, but divergence has a cost, as does not having good relationship with your upstreams.

Two new Howchip dev kits feature Nexell Cortex-A7 and -A9 SoCs

Filed under
Android
GNU
Hardware

Howchip, which last year launched a Nano-ITX form factor ExSOM-8895 DVK featuring Samsung’s octa-core Exynos 8895, has now unveiled a pair of similarly sandwich-style development kits based on compute modules running on 28nm Nexell processors. The NXP3220-based Scorpion3 DVK runs Linux 4.14 and the NXP4330Q-based Scorpion5 SDK runs Android 7.1. Both boards offer optional 8- and 10.1-inch capacitive touchscreens, and the Scorpion3 also has a 10.4-inch resistive touchscreen option.

Read more

Intel Xeon Cascade Lake Compiler Performance - GCC 9/10 vs. LLVM Clang 8/9

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks

At least for the newest Intel Xeon "Cascade Lake" processors, the LLVM Clang compiler is running incredibly well compared to the long-standing GNU Compiler Collection (GCC). Overall, LLVM clang is now nearly at performance parity to GCC 9 and the in-development GCC 10 compilers. Here are some Linux compiler benchmarks using the dual Intel Xeon Platinum 8280 server built around the Gigabyte S3461-3R0.

Read more

Also: Intel-based box computer has expansion unit with PCIe slots

More in Tux Machines

Top 20 Best Openbox Themes for Linux System in 2019

Have you ever heard about the stacking window manager, Openbox? It is broadly used in Unix-like systems. Most probably, it’s among the most customizable parts out there. You can easily modify and beautify this with a little bit of effort. The question may arise- with what and how can you do this? Well! We are going to disclose it now. It’s by Openbox themes, which lets you have a minimalist and fantastic visual interface for your desktop manager. Read more

Fedora IoT Review

With the rise in IoT use, we are witnessing a demand for ready-made operating systems to support smart device development. Currently, the race is between proprietary versions such as IoT Plug and Play by Microsoft and open source operating systems. One such emerging open source player is Fedora which has a workstation that supports virtualization and containers. Fedora is also slated to release an Internet of Things edition called “Fedora IoT” in future. Here is a review of the open source product’s support capabilities for IoT and relevant installation details. Read more

5 Practical Examples of the Read Command in Linux

With read command, you can make your bash script interactive by accepting user inputs. Learn to use the read command in Linux with these practical examples. Read more

Programming: C++, C and Python

  • Extend C++ capabilities with LLVM STLExtras.h

    The LLVM compiler project provides a header file called STLExtras.h that extends the capabilities of C++ without any dependency on the rest of LLVM. In this article, we take a quick look at its basic functionality.

  • Rewriting Old Solaris C Code In Python Yielded A 17x Performance Improvement

    While we normally hear of rewriting code from Python and other scripting languages into C/C++ when its a matter of performance, in the case of Oracle Solaris it was taking old C code and modernizing it in Python 3 to yield a ~17x performance improvement. Shared today on Oracle's official Solaris blog was an interesting anecdote about their listusers command being rewritten in Python 3 from C. Oracle's Darren Moffat noted the C code was largely untouched since around 1988 and given its design at a time when systems were less dense than today with hundreds or even thousands of users per system.

  • Python Projects for Beginners: The Best Way to Learn

    Learning Python can be difficult. You can spend time reading a textbook or watching videos, but then struggle to actually put what you've learned into practice. Or you might spend a ton of time learning syntax and get bored or lose motivation. How can you increase your chances of success? By building Python projects. That way you're learning by actually doing what you want to do! When I was learning Python, building projects helped me bring together everything I was learning. Once I started building projects, I immediately felt like I was making more progress.

  • PyCon 2019: The People of PyCon

    I can’t tell you how amazing it was to meet the individuals I read, listen to, or who make the tools I use. I was so happy to meet the authors that helped me to grow over the last few years, especially Dan Bader, Peter Baumgartner, Matt Harrison, Reuven Lerner, Harry Percival , and Lacey Williams Henschel. I love podcasts, so it was wonderful to meet Michael Kennedy and Brian Okken in person. And I was happy to meet Paul Ganssle, Russell Keith-Magee, Barry Warsaw, and other maintainers and contributors. It was a delight to meet Bob Belderbos and Julian Sequeira from PyBites.

  • Find the first non-consecutive number with Python

    Your task is to find the first element of an array that is not consecutive. E.g. If we have an array [1,2,3,4,6,7,8] then 1 then 2 then 3 then 4 are all consecutive but 6 is not, so that’s the first non-consecutive number. If the whole array is consecutive then return None.

  • Perceiving Python programming paradigms

    Early each year, TIOBE announces its Programming Language of The Year. When its latest annual TIOBE index report came out, I was not at all surprised to see Python again winning the title, which was based on capturing the most search engine ranking points (especially on Google, Bing, Yahoo, Wikipedia, Amazon, YouTube, and Baidu) in 2018.