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Programming: Rust 1.30.1, Solid, Schools and GSoC

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Development
  • 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

Graphics: Mesa 19.2's Feature Freeze and Display Stream Compression (DSC) for AMD Navi

  • Mesa 19.2's Feature Freeze / Release Candidate Process Beginning Tomorrow

    Mesa 19.2 was supposed to be branched marking its feature freeze two weeks ago on 6 August along with the issuing of the first release candidate. That milestone has yet to be crossed but should happen tomorrow. Mesa 19.2 development dragged on for the extra two weeks to allow some extra features to land. Those extra features were metrics/counters support for Intel Iris Gallium3D, CCS_E modifier support, and slice/sub-slice hashing optimizations for Intel -- a big performance win. Now that those blockers have landed, the release process is expected to get underway on Tuesday.

  • Display Stream Compression (DSC) for AMD Navi
    This patchset enables Display Stream Compression (DSC) on DP 
    connectors on Navi ASICs, both SST and DSC.
    
    8k60 and 4k144 support requires ODM combine, an AMD internal
    feature that may be a bit buggy right now.
    
    Patches 1 through 5 enable DSC for SST. Most of the work was
    already done in the Navi promotion patches; this just hooks
    it up to the atomic interface. The first two reverts are of temporary
    changes to block off DSC. The third is of a commit that was
    accidentally promoted twice. The fourth and last revert fixes a 
    potential issue with ODM combine.
    
    Patches 6 and 7 are fixes for bugs that would be exposed by 
    MST DSC. One fix is with the MST code and the other in the DSC code.
    
    Patches 8, 9, and 10 are small DRM changes required for DSC MST:
    FEC, a new bit in the standard; some export definitions; and
    a previously uninitialized variable.
    
    Patches 11 through 14 are the DSC MST policy itself. This includes
    the code for detecting and validating DSC capabilities, enabling
    DSC over a link, computing the fair DSC configurations for
    multiple DSC displays, and adding to atomic state crtcs that might 
    need reprogramming due to DSC.
    
  • AMD Posts Navi Display Stream Compression Support For Linux

    One of the kernel-side features not yet in place for AMD's newest Navi graphics processors on Linux has been Display Stream Compression support but that is being squared away with a new patch series. Fourteen patches posted today adding more than six hundred lines of code to the AMDGPU Linux kernel driver enable Display Stream Compression support for DisplayPort connectors on Navi GPUs. VESA's Display Stream Compression is for low-latency lossless compression performance for power-savings and higher resolution/refresh-rates based on bandwidth and enabling the likes of DisplayPort Multi-Stream Transport (MST) technology.

Audiocasts/Shows: Jupiter (Linux Academy) and TLLTS

Android Leftovers

KMyMoney 5.0.6 released

The KMyMoney development team today announces the immediate availability of version 5.0.6 of its open source Personal Finance Manager. Another maintenance release is ready: KMyMoney 5.0.6 comes with some important bugfixes. As usual, problems have been reported by our users and the development team fixed some of them in the meantime. The result of this effort is the brand new KMyMoney 5.0.6 release. Despite even more testing we understand that some bugs may have slipped past our best efforts. If you find one of them, please forgive us, and be sure to report it, either to the mailing list or on bugs.kde.org. Read more