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Python Programming and Politics, Events

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  • Python Programming Language Ditches 'Master-Slave' Terms, Pissing Off Some

    A quiet debate has been brewing in the coding community for years that’s forced programmers to ask if using the terms “master” and “slave” are insensitive. Now, Python, one of the most popular high-level programming languages in the world, has ditched the terminology—and not everyone is happy about it.

    Master/Slave is generally used in hardware, architecture, and coding to refer to one device, database, or process controlling another. For more than a decade, there’s been some concern that the terms are offensive because of their relationship to the institution of slavery. Last week, a developer named Victo Stinner published four pull requests asking the Python community to consider changing the Master/Slave terms to something like Parent/Worker. “For diversity reasons, it would be nice to try to avoid ‘master’ and ‘slave’ terminology which can be associated to slavery,” he wrote to explain his thinking.

  • EuroPython 2018

    In July I took the train up to beautiful Edinburgh to attend the EuroPython 2018 conference. Despite using Python professionally for almost 8 years, this was my first experience of a Python conference. The schedule was packed, and it was challenging deciding what talks to attend, but I had a great time and enjoyed the strong community feeling of the event. We even went for a group run around Holyrood Park and Arthur’s Seat, which I hope is included in the schedule for future years.

    Now that the videos of the talks have all been published, I wanted to share my personal highlights, and list the talks I saw during and since the conference. I still haven’t caught up on everything I wanted to see, so I’ve also included my watch list.

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Audiocasts: Going Linux and Full Circle Magazine

i.MX8M Mini based handheld dev kit has dual Linux BSPs

Solectrix is prepping an “SX Mobile Device Kit” for developing handhelds with Debian and Yocto Linux BSPs, an i.MX8M Mini SoC, an optional 5-inch touchscreen, WiFi, BT, GNSS, and mini-PCIe, and features for prototyping CSI-2 camera sensors. These days we rarely cover mobile computers, most of which are rugged field-service handhelds that run Android, such as Two Technologies’ N5Print. Yet, Solectrix’s SX Mobile Device Kit (MDK) seemed of particular interest since it’s a development kit with Linux BSPs and NXP’s new i.MX8M Mini SoC. In addition, a Solectrix GmbH rep informed us that optional features like GbE and USB Type-A host and GbE ports enable the MDK to be used as a general-purpose embedded development board. Purchase options range from buying the 125 x 78mm PCB by itself all the way up to a fully equipped handheld with a 5-inch screen. Yocto Project and Debian Linux BSPs are available, and the board also supports Android 9 Pie. Read more Also: i.MX8M and Snapdragon 820E SBCs run Linux and Android

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Software Code’s “Wayback Machine” Gets a Boost

Call it the Wayback Machine of code: a searchable open archive of software source code across iterations; from buggy beta versions, to sophisticated contemporary release. Software Heritage is a non-profit initiative developed and hosted by the French Institute for Research in Computer Science and Automation. Officially created in 2015, the project has been growing over the years. It now spans 5.6 billion source files from more than 88 million projects. Software Heritage is itself built on open-source code. It gathers source files by trawling through repositories that developers uses to create and share code, such as Github, Gitlab, GoogleCode, Debian, GNU and the Python Package Index, with users able to trace detailed revision history of all the codebase versions that it stores. Read more