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October 2019

[libre-riscv-dev] power pc

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Hardware
OSS

So as you know, the RISCV Foundation is seriously impeding progress. There
is huge momentum around RISCV itself, however as far as open *innovation*
is concerned, the sheer arrogance of the Foundation in failing to respect
the combination of Libre goals and business objectives has us completely
isolated from key critical resources such as the closed secret lists and
wiki.

We cannot even get access to documentation explaining how to propose new
extensions.

I have been considering for some time to reach out to MIPS and PowerPC.
Yesterday I wrote to the OpenPower Foundation and was really surprised and
delighted to hear back from Hugh Blemings, whom I worked with over 20 years
ago.

I outlined some conditions (no NDAs, open mailing lists, use of
Certification Marks and Compliance Suites) and he replied back that this
was pretty much along the lines of what they were planning.

I will have a chat with him some time, in the meantime I found the spec:

https://openpowerfoundation.org/?resource_lib=power-isa-version-3-0

It is eeenooormous, however Hugh reassures me that they want to break it
into sections.

Why would we even consider this?

The lesson from RISCV is really clear: if the ISA is set up as a cartel,
Libre innovation is not welcome.

If we had a goal to just *implement* a *pre existing* Extension, there
would be no problem.

It is the fact that we wish to implement entirely new extensions, for CPU
and GPU *and* VPU purposes, but not as a separate processor (which would be
classified as "custom") that is the "problem".

So starting at page 1146, we need to work out how to shoe horn a ton of
stuff into the ISA, as well as fit 16 bit compressed in as well.

L.

Read more

Also: Libre RISC-V Open-Source Effort Now Looking At POWER Instead Of RISC-V

Calamares grabs onto things

Filed under
KDE
Software

I’ve been working on Calamares, the Universal Linux Installer, for a little over two years – following up in the role Teo started. It’s used by Neon (for the dev version, not the user version) and Manjaro and lots of other Linux distributions. I’ve typically called it an installer for boutique distro’s, as opposed to the Big Five.

Well, Debian 11 has plans. And lubuntu uses it as well (and has for over six months).

Those seem pretty big.

Read more

Programming: Automation, Python, Rust and More

Filed under
Development
  • Introducing your friends to automation (and overcoming their fear)

    Another fear that I face often from friends is that they don’t know any programming languages, and believing that if they don’t know how to code, then they can’t do automation. While I think we can all agree that knowing Bash, Python, Perl, or even PowerShell is useful when defining these processes to reduce human interaction, it is not always needed.

    Today we have the tools at our disposal to implement such processes without the absolute need to know a traditional programming language. For example, tools like Red Hat Ansible Tower and Azure DevOps let us take advantage of already created playbooks or plugins. Rarely do we see where one tool fits all, but just getting started with one tool is sometimes enough to get a feel for automation. In turn, that beginning is enough to gain confidence and see the true benefits of automating, which encourages us just enough to try learning something new.

  • Python 2.7.17 released

    Python 2.7.17 is now available for download. Note Python 2.7.17 is the penultimate release in the Python 2.7 series.

  • Python 2.7.17

    Python 2.7.17 is a bug fix release in the Python 2.7.x series. It is expected to be the penultimate release for Python 2.7.

  • Python 3.7.4 : Usinge pytesseract for text recognition.
  • Started a newsletter

    I started a newsletter, focusing on different stories I read about privacy, security, programming in general. Following the advice from Martijn Grooten, I am storing all the interesting links I read (for many months). I used to share these only over Twitter, but, as I retweet many things, it was not easy to share a selected few.

  • Indent datastructure for trees

    It is a preorder traversal of the conceptual tree, aggregating (depth, name) tuples into a list to form what I am calling the indent tree datastructure as it captures all the information of the tree but in a different datastructure than normal, and can be extended to allow data at each node and might be a useful alternative for DB storage of trees.

  • Daniel Silverstone: A quarter in review - Nearly there, 2020 in sight

    I have worked very hard on my Rustup work, and I have also started to review documentation and help updates for the Rust compiler itself. I've become involved in the Sequoia project, at least peripherally, and have attended a developer retreat with them which was both relaxing and productive.

    I feel like the effort I'm putting into Rust is being recognised in ways I did not expect nor hope for, but that's very positive and has meant I've engaged even more with the community and feel like I'm making a valuable contribution.

    I still hang around on the #wg-rustup Discord channel and other channels on that server, helping where I can, and I've been trying to teach my colleagues about Rust so that they might also contribute to the community.

    So initially an 'A', I dropped to an 'A-' last time, but I feel like I've put enough effort in to give myself 'A+' this time.

  • Dirk Eddelbuettel: RcppGSL 0.3.7: Fixes and updates

    A new release 0.3.7 of RcppGSL is now on CRAN. The RcppGSL package provides an interface from R to the GNU GSL using the Rcpp package.

    Stephen Wade noticed that we were not actually freeing memory from the GSL vectors and matrices as we set out to do. And he is quite right: a dormant bug, present since the 0.3.0 release, has now been squashed. I had one boolean wrong, and this has now been corrected. I also took the opportunity to switch the vignette to prebuilt mode: Now a pre-made pdf is just included in a Sweave document, which makes the build more robust to tooling changes around the vignette processing. Lastly, the package was converted to the excellent tinytest unit test framework.

  • Styled output in Poke programs

    I just committed support for styling in printf. Basically, it uses the libtextstyle approach of having styling classes that the user can customize in a .css file.

Audiocasts/Shows/Screencasts: Destination Linux, Open Source Security Podcast, Linux Action News, Test and Code, Pop_!OS 19.10 Run Through

Filed under
GNU
Linux

Polishing of KDE and Adding Git Support to Kate

Filed under
KDE
  • This week in KDE: fixing all the things

    Plasma 5.17 was released this week to glowing reviews! As with most new releases, our loyal users wasted no time in finding all the bugs we missed! So you know what that means, right? We all burned the midnight oil fixing the problems you found, and Plasma 5.17.1 will be released in just a few days with everything we’ve knocked out so far (detailed below) so never fear!

  • KDE Continues Seeing A Lot Of Bug Fixes, Continued Tweaks Around System Settings

    KDE developers remain busy this autumn on addressing bugs in the recent KDE Plasma 5.17 release and tackling early feature work for Plasma 5.18. Plus work on KDE Frameworks 5 and KDE Applications is as busy as ever.

  • Working around the Wrong Cursor bug

    This is a long-known bug with countless Reddit/Forum/… posts with often the correct answer how to fix it.

  • RFC - Git Client Integration

    At this year’s KDE conference Akademy we discussed how to evolve Kate over the next years. One of the areas we want to improve is better git integration out of the box. Currently, Kate ships the Projects plugin, which automatically detects and loads your file structure from your git repository. If a project is loaded, then the Search & Replace plugin allows to search&replace in all project files. In addition, the Quick Open feature also supports opening files from the currently active project - all explained here.

    However, the Projects plugin does not provide any real git integration: You can neither pull nor push, commit, diff, etc. If at all, additional git functionality is available only via external tools like gitk or git-cola (e.g. available in the context menu).

    This is something we would like to change by having really nice git integration.

Games: Humble and Five-or-More Modernisation in GNOME

Filed under
GNOME
Gaming
  • Humble Monthly will be changing to Humble Choice later this year

    If you're interested in getting a bunch of games each month, the Humble Monthly has at times been quite generous with the selection. Things are about to change, with it being renamed to Humble Choice with new options.

    Currently, you pay a set fee of $12 a month (or less for more months) and get at least one game to play early. Then at the end of each month, they give you a bunch more games ranging between 7-11. That's changing sometime later this year with Humble Choice. As the name suggests, it does seem to actually give you a little more control. Games are revealed upfront instead of being a mystery and you pick the ones you want from a larger list.

  • Imperator: Rome is getting a free Punic Wars content pack in addition to the big Livy update

    One piece of PDXCON news missed from yesterday: Imperator: Rome is getting a free Punic Wars Content Pack along with the upcoming Livy Update.

    Paradox Development Studio sure are busy. Not only are they working on multiple Stellaris expansions, Crusader Kings III and Hearts of Iron IV: La Résistance they're also trying to turn around the rough launch of Imperator: Rome. Another big free patch is coming out named Livy which will include: a new character experience system, a rework of the family system, a procedurally generated mission system, a map with greater details including showing war on the map with burning cities and more not yet announced. It's going to be big!

  • Five-or-More Modernisation: It's a Wrap

    As probably most of you already know, or recently found out, at the beginning of this week the GSoC coding period officially ended, and it is time for us, GSoC students, to submit our final evaluations and the results we achieved thus far. This blog post, as you can probably tell from the title, will be a summary of all of the work I put into modernising Five or More throughout the summer months.

    My main task was rewriting Five or More in Vala since this simple and fun game did not find its way to the list of those included in the Games Modernisation Initiative. This fun, strategy game consists of aligning, as often as possible, five or more objects of the same shape and color, to make them disappear and score points.

    Besides the Vala rewrite, there were also some other tasks included, such as migrating to Meson and dropping autotools, as well as keeping the view and logic separated and updating the UI to make this game more relatable for the public and more fresh-looking. However, after thoroughly discussing the details with my mentor, Robert Roth (IRC: evfool), more emphasis was placed upon rewriting the code to Vala, since the GSoC program is specifically designed for software development. However, slight UI modifications were integrated as to match the visual layout guidelines.

  • Five-or-More Modernisation: Now You Can Properly Play It

    As Google Summer of Code is officially drawing to an end, all of my attention was focused towards making the Five or More Vala version feature-complete. As you probably already know from my previous blog post, the game was somehow playable at that time, but it was missing some of the key features included in the old version.

    So what’s new this time? First and foremost, you can surely notice the game board now sports a grid, which wasn’t there until now. On the same note, there are also animations used for clicking a piece on the board, for an improved gaming experience. For further accessibility, some header bar hints are available at different stages in the game: at the start of any new game, at the end of each game, as well as whenever there is no clear path between the initial position and the cell indicated by the user for the current move.

Linux 5.4-rc4

Filed under
Linux

This release cycle remains pretty normal. In fact, the rc's have been a bit on the smaller side of the average of the last few releases, and rc4 continues this, if only barely. The stats all look fairly normal too. About half is drivers, with networking being the bulk of it, but there's stuff all over the place: drm, input, block, md, gpio, irqchip... The networking backlog shows up outside of drivers too, with core networking changes being about a third of the non-driver part of the patches. But there's the usual arch updates (arm64, x86, xtensa), and a noticeable chunk of mm fixes from Andrew. And the rest is miscellaneous all over - Documentation, core kernel, filesystems, gdb scripting, tools. But none of it is really all that big or looks all that scary or unusual. Shortlog appended so that you can scroll through it and get a feeling for the details. I'm traveling this week before Open Source Summit Europe, but if things stay this calm it shouldn't even be noticeable. Linus

Read more

Also: Linux 5.4-rc4 Arrives As Another Normal Release Candidate

More in Tux Machines

Audiocasts/Shows/Screencasts: Destination Linux, Open Source Security Podcast, Linux Action News, Test and Code, Pop_!OS 19.10 Run Through

Polishing of KDE and Adding Git Support to Kate

  • This week in KDE: fixing all the things

    Plasma 5.17 was released this week to glowing reviews! As with most new releases, our loyal users wasted no time in finding all the bugs we missed! So you know what that means, right? We all burned the midnight oil fixing the problems you found, and Plasma 5.17.1 will be released in just a few days with everything we’ve knocked out so far (detailed below) so never fear!

  • KDE Continues Seeing A Lot Of Bug Fixes, Continued Tweaks Around System Settings

    KDE developers remain busy this autumn on addressing bugs in the recent KDE Plasma 5.17 release and tackling early feature work for Plasma 5.18. Plus work on KDE Frameworks 5 and KDE Applications is as busy as ever.

  • Working around the Wrong Cursor bug

    This is a long-known bug with countless Reddit/Forum/… posts with often the correct answer how to fix it.

  • RFC - Git Client Integration

    At this year’s KDE conference Akademy we discussed how to evolve Kate over the next years. One of the areas we want to improve is better git integration out of the box. Currently, Kate ships the Projects plugin, which automatically detects and loads your file structure from your git repository. If a project is loaded, then the Search & Replace plugin allows to search&replace in all project files. In addition, the Quick Open feature also supports opening files from the currently active project - all explained here. However, the Projects plugin does not provide any real git integration: You can neither pull nor push, commit, diff, etc. If at all, additional git functionality is available only via external tools like gitk or git-cola (e.g. available in the context menu). This is something we would like to change by having really nice git integration.

today's howtos

Games: Humble and Five-or-More Modernisation in GNOME

  • Humble Monthly will be changing to Humble Choice later this year

    If you're interested in getting a bunch of games each month, the Humble Monthly has at times been quite generous with the selection. Things are about to change, with it being renamed to Humble Choice with new options. Currently, you pay a set fee of $12 a month (or less for more months) and get at least one game to play early. Then at the end of each month, they give you a bunch more games ranging between 7-11. That's changing sometime later this year with Humble Choice. As the name suggests, it does seem to actually give you a little more control. Games are revealed upfront instead of being a mystery and you pick the ones you want from a larger list.

  • Imperator: Rome is getting a free Punic Wars content pack in addition to the big Livy update

    One piece of PDXCON news missed from yesterday: Imperator: Rome is getting a free Punic Wars Content Pack along with the upcoming Livy Update. Paradox Development Studio sure are busy. Not only are they working on multiple Stellaris expansions, Crusader Kings III and Hearts of Iron IV: La Résistance they're also trying to turn around the rough launch of Imperator: Rome. Another big free patch is coming out named Livy which will include: a new character experience system, a rework of the family system, a procedurally generated mission system, a map with greater details including showing war on the map with burning cities and more not yet announced. It's going to be big!

  • Five-or-More Modernisation: It's a Wrap

    As probably most of you already know, or recently found out, at the beginning of this week the GSoC coding period officially ended, and it is time for us, GSoC students, to submit our final evaluations and the results we achieved thus far. This blog post, as you can probably tell from the title, will be a summary of all of the work I put into modernising Five or More throughout the summer months. My main task was rewriting Five or More in Vala since this simple and fun game did not find its way to the list of those included in the Games Modernisation Initiative. This fun, strategy game consists of aligning, as often as possible, five or more objects of the same shape and color, to make them disappear and score points. Besides the Vala rewrite, there were also some other tasks included, such as migrating to Meson and dropping autotools, as well as keeping the view and logic separated and updating the UI to make this game more relatable for the public and more fresh-looking. However, after thoroughly discussing the details with my mentor, Robert Roth (IRC: evfool), more emphasis was placed upon rewriting the code to Vala, since the GSoC program is specifically designed for software development. However, slight UI modifications were integrated as to match the visual layout guidelines.

  • Five-or-More Modernisation: Now You Can Properly Play It

    As Google Summer of Code is officially drawing to an end, all of my attention was focused towards making the Five or More Vala version feature-complete. As you probably already know from my previous blog post, the game was somehow playable at that time, but it was missing some of the key features included in the old version. So what’s new this time? First and foremost, you can surely notice the game board now sports a grid, which wasn’t there until now. On the same note, there are also animations used for clicking a piece on the board, for an improved gaming experience. For further accessibility, some header bar hints are available at different stages in the game: at the start of any new game, at the end of each game, as well as whenever there is no clear path between the initial position and the cell indicated by the user for the current move.