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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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