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Programming: Rust 1.30.1, Solid, Schools and GSoC

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  • Announcing Rust 1.30.1

    The Rust team is happy to announce a new version of Rust, 1.30.1. Rust is a systems programming language focused on safety, speed, and concurrency.

  • What is developer efficiency and velocity?

    As I previously mentioned I am currently in the information gathering phase for improvements to desktop Firefox developer efficiency and velocity. While many view developer efficiency and velocity as the same thing–and indeed they are often correlated–it is useful to discuss how they are different.

    I like to think of developer velocity as the rate at which a unit of work is completed. Developer efficiency is the amount of effort required to complete a unit of work.

    If one were to think of the total development output as revenue, improvements to velocity would improve the top-line and improvements to efficiency would improve the bottom-line.

  • Solid: a new way to handle data on the web

    The development of the web was a huge "sea change" in the history of the internet. The web is what brought the masses to this huge worldwide network—for good or ill. It is unlikely that Tim Berners-Lee foresaw all of that when he came up with HTTP and HTML as part of his work at CERN, but he has been in a prime spot to watch the web unfold since 1989. His latest project, Solid, is meant to allow users to claim authority over the personal data that they provide to various internet giants.

    Berners-Lee announced Solid in a post on Medium in late September. In it, he noted that despite "all the good we've achieved, the web has evolved into an engine of inequity and division; swayed by powerful forces who use it for their own agendas". Part of what he is decrying is enabled by the position of power held by companies that essentially use the data they gather in ways that run directly counter to the interests of those they gather it from. "Solid is how we evolve the web in order to restore balance — by giving every one of us complete control over data, personal or not, in a revolutionary way."

    Users' data will be stored in a Solid "pod" (sometimes "personal online data store" or POD) that can reside anywhere on the internet. Since Solid deliberately sets out to build on the existing web, it should not be a surprise that URLs, along with Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs), are used to identify pods and specific objects within them. Pods also provide one place for businesses, including Inrupt, which was co-founded by Berners-Lee, to provide services for Solid. As he noted in his post, people are willing to pay companies like Dropbox for storage; hosting Solid pods would be a similar opportunity for Inrupt and others.

  • Should a programming course be mandatory for high school students?

    But further, understanding at least the basics of programming is important to being able to fully reap the benefits of open source. Having the code available to review, edit, and share under an open license is important, but can you really make use of the full power of an open license if you're locked in by your own inability to make the changes you wish to make?

  • A Summer Of Code Question

    This is a lightly edited response to a question we got on IRC about how to best apply to participate in Google’s “Summer Of Code” program. this isn’t company policy, but I’ve been the one turning the crank on our GSOC application process for the last while, so maybe it counts as helpful guidance.

    We’re going to apply as an organization to participate in GSOC 2019, but that process hasn’t started yet. This year it kicked off in the first week of January, and I expect about the same in 2019.

    You’re welcome to apply to multiple positions, but I strongly recommend that each application be a focused effort; if you send the same generic application to all of them it’s likely they’ll all be disregarded. I recognize that this seems unfair, but we get a tidal wave of redundant applications for any position we open, so we have to filter them aggressively.

    Successful GSOC applicants generally come in two varieties – people who put forward a strong application to work on projects that we’ve proposed, and people that have put together their own GSOC proposal in collaboration with one or more of our engineers.

More in Tux Machines

Today in Techrights

today's leftovers

  • Compact Bay Trail SBC has option for third GbE port
    Axiomtek’s “CAPA84E” is a 3.5-inch Bay Trail SBC with an optional third GbE port, dual M.2 slots, plus VGA, DisplayPort, USB 3.0, SATA, and -20 to 70°C support. Axiomtek’s motto may well be: “If first you succeed, iterate until you don’t.” The king of the spinoffs has released yet another iteration of one of the first Intel Bay Trail SBCs, the CAPA841, which in 2015 was followed by the slightly scaled down CAPA840. The new CAPA84R similarly supports Bay Trail and conforms to the 3.5-inch form factor, but with a different mix of features.
  • Letting people work where they want shows how much you value them
    Open organizations are inclusive. They aren't inclusive solely because it's the right way to be but because it produces better outcomes. Inclusivitiy enables a more diverse set of viewpoints.
  • Cities agree on minimal interoperability mechanisms

    Over a hundred European cities have agreed on ‘Minimal Interoperability Mechanisms’ defining the communication between software programmes and building blocks to allow co-creation and sharing of services. The MIMs, advocated by the Open & Agile Smart Cities (OASC) initiative, are “simple steps towards using new technology”, OACS chairman Martin Brynskov said on Thursday.

  • Containers On The Edge
    There are two major families for the choice of operating system and ecosystem: RTOS-based and Linux-based families. Smaller, cost-constrained devices tend to benefit from the simplicity of RTOS-based, while more full-featured and complex devices benefit from the richness of Linux (see The Shift to Linux Operating Systems for IoT for more background on the reasons for these approaches in IoT). Linux has been used in embedded devices for almost as long as it has existed (see here for an excellent timeline of early embedded Linux usage by Chris Simmons). The focus here is on Linux based products, as they have the needed functions such as access controls and memory segregation that allows for upgrading portions in a controlled fashion.
  • YouTuber Fits A Fully Functional Computer Into A Mouse
    While the YouTuber’s original plan was to squeeze a Raspberry Pi inside of a regular computer mouse but was unable to do so due to size constraints. Hence, he 3D printed a computer mouse to fit the components of the computer inside the mouse. Dubbed as “The Computer Mouse”, the device consists of a Raspberry Pi Zero W computer, a 1.5-inch color OLED LCD display with a resolution of 128 x 128 pixels, a 3D-printed mouse, a rechargeable 500 mAh battery, and a tiny Bluetooth retractable keyboard for text inputs and more complicated commands. It also has a power button at the edge to start the tiny computer. Further, it runs GNU/Linux-based operating systems such as Raspbian.
  • Microsoft Wallet for Windows Phone to be retired in February
    Support is set to end for all Windows 10 Mobile devices by the end of this year, and Microsoft is already beginning to retire apps in anticipation. In an update to the , Microsoft has noted that the app will be "officially retired" on February 28, 2019. Microsoft Wallet is the official tap-to-pay method for Windows Phones, similar to Apple Pay and Google Pay on iPhones and Android devices. The app also allows users to load up their loyalty and membership cards, allowing them all to be stored in one place.
  • mintCast 300.5 interview 5 Joe Ressington

Phoronix Test Suite Improvements

  • Making It Even Easier To Gauge Your System's Performance
    For those trying to understand their system's performance on a macro level will enjoy a new feature being introduced with Phoronix Test Suite 8.6-Spydeberg for seeing how your CPU/system/GPU/storage/network performance compares at scale to the massive data sets amassed by OpenBenchmarking.org and the Phoronix Test Suite over the past decade.
  • Phoronix Test Suite 8.6 Milestone 2 Released For Open-Source Benchmarking
    Two weeks since the initial Phoronix Test Suite 8.6 development release, the second milestone release is now available for your open-source, cross-platform benchmarking evaluation.

GNOME and KDE: GTK, KEXI, KookBook and Krita

  • Theme changes, revisited
    We’ve made a 3.24.4 release, to fix up a few oversights in 3.24.3. This release does not include the new theme yet, we will push that to the next release. We’ve also made another NewAdwaita tarball, which includes refinements based on some of the suggestions we received since last week.
  • KEXI 3.2 Beta
    Yesterday KEXI 3.2 Beta shipped, effect of improvements from entire 2018. Full info in the wiki. That's best KEXI to date! Pun intended because among other things one is especially worth mentioning, entirely new and final date/time grammar for user's SQL.
  • KookBook 0.2.1 – now actually kind of useful
    There was a snag in the KookBook 0.2.0 release, and 0.2.1 is available.
  • Krita Interview with Edgar Tadeo
    Comparing to Photoshop, I think Krita can make good digital painting that looks like it was made with a real brush. However,  PS is not a paint program, Krita’s advantage is its brushes.