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GNU: guix, gnucash, and glibc

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GNU
  • Tarballs, the ultimate container image format

    The tarball format is plain and simple, it’s the one we know and love, and it’s been there “forever” as its name suggests. The tarball that guix pack produces can be readily extracted on another machine, one that doesn’t run Guix, and you’re done. The problem though, is that you’ll need to either unpack the tarball in the root file system or to play tricks with the unshare command, as we saw in the previous post. Why can’t we just extract such a tarball in our home directory and directly run ./opt/gnu/bin/guile for instance?

  • Using GnuCash as a Freelancer to Track Finances and Prepare Taxes

    I don't own a credit card (by choice), so keeping a close eye on my finances is really important, but I think whether or not you have a credit card, it’s a good idea to track all of your financial transactions.
    It’s really the only way you’ll know what’s coming in and what’s going out. This is a great habit to do even if you don’t have any problems keeping a positive balance – and I would say it's essential to do if you struggle with debt.
    Luckily I have no debt but I've seen a number of people turn around their whole financial situations just by starting to keep a ledger of all of their transactions.

  • Who controls glibc?

    The removal of an old joke from the GNU C Library manual might not seem like the sort of topic that would inspire a heated debate. At times, though, a small action can serve as an inadvertent proxy for a more significant question, one which is relevant to both the developers and the users of the project. In this case, that question would be: how is the project governed and who makes decisions about which patches are applied?

    Toward the end of April, Raymond Nicholson posted a patch to the glibc manual removing a joke that he didn't think was useful to readers. The joke played on the documentation for abort() to make a statement about US government policy on providing information about abortions. As Nicholson noted: "The joke does not provide any useful information about the abort() function so removing it will not hinder use of glibc". On April 30, Zack Weinberg applied the patch to the glibc repository.

    Richard Stallman, who added the joke sometime in the 1990s, asked that it not be removed. The resulting discussion touched on a number of issues. Carlos O'Donell, who has been trying hard to resolve the issue with some degree of consensus, suggested that the joke could hurt people who have had bad experiences associated with abortion. He proposed a couple of possible alternatives, including avoiding jokes entirely or discussing such issues in a different forum. Stallman, however, replied that "a GNU manual, like a course in history, is not meant to be a 'safe space'". He suggested the possibility of adding a trigger warning about functions that create child processes, since childbirth is "far more traumatic than having an abortion".

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today's leftovers

  • S11E12 – Twelve Years a Slave
    It’s Season 11 Episode 12 of the Ubuntu Podcast! Alan Pope, Mark Johnson and Martin Wimpress are connected and speaking to your brain.
  • Porting guide from Qt 1.0 to 5.11
    We do try to keep breakages to a minimum, even in the major releases, but the changes do add up. This raises the question: How hard would it be to port a Qt application from Qt 1.0 to 5.11?
  • Thunderbolt Networking on Linux
    Thunderbolt allows for peer-to-peer network connections by connecting two computers directly via a thunderbolt cable. Mika from Intel added support for this to the 4.15 kernel. Recently, Thomas Haller from NetworkManager and I worked together to figure out what needs to be done in userspace to make it work. As it turns out, it was not that hard and the pull-request was merged swiftly.
  • What’s new in openSUSE Leap 15 – part 1
    openSUSE Leap 15 will be released on the 25th of May 2018! A new openSUSE release is always an exciting event. This means that I get to play with all kinds of new and improved software packages. I am aware that I can simply install openSUSE Tumbleweed and have a new release 4 or 5 times a week. But when using openSUSE Tumbleweed some time ago, I noticed that I was installing Gigabytes of new software packages multiple times per week. The reason for that is that I have the complete opposite of a minimum install. I always install a lot of applications to play / experiment with (including a lot of open source games). I am using openSUSE since 2009 and it covers all of my needs and then some. I am already happy with the available software, so there is no real reason for me to move with the speed of a rolling release. Therefore I prefer to move with the slower pace of the Leap releases.
  • GNOME Terminal: a little something for Fedora 29
    Can you spot what that is?
  • UBports To Work On Unity 8 / Mir / Wayland After OTA-4
    The UBports team have put out their latest batch of answers to common questions around this project that's still working to maintain the Ubuntu Touch software stack. Among the project's recent work has included getting QtWebEngine working on Mir and before their Ubuntu 16.04 LTS based release they still need to figure out Chromium crashes and to resolve that as well as updating the browser. For their first release of UBports derived from Ubuntu 16.04 "Xenial" they are still going to rely upon Oxide while later on should migrate to a new browser.
  • 8 Best App Locks For Android To Secure Your Device In 2018
  • These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 39
  • What's Coming in OpenStack Rocky?
    The OpenStack Rocky release is currently scheduled to become generally available on August 30th, and it's expected to add a host of new and enhanced capabilities to the open-source cloud platform. At the OpenStack Summit here, Anne Bertucio, marketing manager at the OpenStack Foundation, and Pete Chadwick, director of product management at SUSE, outlined some of the features currently on the Rocky roadmap. Bertucio began the session by warning the audience that the roadmap is not prescriptive, but rather is intended to provide a general idea of the direction the next OpenStack release is taking.
  • PostgreSQL 11 Is Continuing With More Performance Improvements, JIT'ing
    PostgreSQL 11 is the next major feature release of this open-source database SQL server due out later in 2018. While it's not out yet, their release notes were recently updated for providing an overview of what's coming as part of this next major update. To little surprise, performance improvements remain a big focus for PostgreSQL 11 with various optimizations as well as continued parallelization work and also the recently introduced just-in-time (JIT) compilation support.
  • Tidelift Secures $15M in Series A Funding
    Tidelift, a Boston, MA-based open source software startup, secured $15m in Series A funding.
  • Tesla disclosed some of its autopilot source code after GPL violation
    Tesla, a technology company, and the independent automaker are well known for offering the safest, quickest electric cars. The company uses a lot of open source software to build its operating system and features, such as Linux Kernel, Buildroot, Busybox, QT, etc also they have always been taciturn about the finer details and tech of its popular artefacts, such as Model S, Model X, but now Elon Musk’s company has just released some of its automotive tech source code into the open source community.
  • Open Source Underwater Distributed Sensor Network
    One way to design an underwater monitoring device is to take inspiration from nature and emulate an underwater creature. [Michael Barton-Sweeney] is making devices in the shape of, and functioning somewhat like, clams for his open source underwater distributed sensor network.
  • Security Researchers Discover Two New Variants of the Spectre Vulnerability
  • Security updates for Thursday

today's howtos

Games and Wine: Hacknet - Deluxe, Full Metal Furies and More