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Open-source advocates see big opportunity for federal software acquisition reform in 2016

Filed under
OSS

With open-source software, the code would already be in the public domain, and agencies would instead be procuring value-added services to mold those open-source applications to their needs.

This saves money for agencies because it eliminates the licensing fees that come with traditional software products as well as the nonrecurring engineering costs — the one-off costs to research and develop the software, or “reinvent the wheel” as Gary Shiffman, CEO of Arlington-based Giant Oak Inc., described it to me.

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More in Tux Machines

Cosmo Communicator’s Linux OS gains new cover screen features

The Cosmo Communicator is what you’d get if you crossed a smartphone with a pocket-sized laptop computer. Unfolded it looks like a tiny laptop with a keyboard inspired by the design of the classic Psion Revo PDA. Fold it and you’ve got a smaller cover screen that you can use for phone calls, notifications, or other simple tasks. Aside from the clamshell design, the phone has another unusual feature: it typically ships with Android, but can also support alternate operating systems including Debian Linux and Sailfish OS. Developed by Planet Computers, the Cosmo Communicator went up for pre-order through a crowdfunding campaign in late 2018 and began shipping to backers in mid-2019. Now Planet Computers has announced an update for the Debian Linux software that runs on its phone, bringing support for a bunch of new cover screen features. Read more

Snap speed improvements with new compression algorithm!

Security and performance are often mutually exclusive concepts. A great user experience is one that manages to blend the two in a way that does not compromise on robust, solid foundations of security on one hand, and a fast, responsive software interaction on the other. Snaps are self-contained applications, with layered security, and as a result, sometimes, they may have reduced perceived performance compared to those same applications offered via traditional Linux packaging mechanisms. We are well aware of this phenomenon, and we have invested significant effort and time in resolving any speed gaps, while keeping security in mind. Last year, we talked about improved snap startup times following fontconfig cache optimization. Now, we want to tell you about another major milestone – the use of a new compression algorithm for snaps offers 2-3x improvement in application startup times! LZO and XZ algorithms By default, snaps are packaged as a compressed, read-only squashfs filesystem using the XZ algorithm. This results in a high level of compression but consequently requires more processing power to uncompress and expand the filesystem for use. On the desktops, users may perceive this as a “slowness” – the time it takes for the application to launch. This is also far more noticeable on first launch only, before the application data is cached in memory. Subsequent launches are fast and typically, there’s little to no difference compared to traditionally packaged applications. To improve startup times, we decided to test a different algorithm – LZO – which offers lesser compression, but needs less processing power to complete the action. As a test case, we chose the Chromium browser (stable build, 85.X). We believe this is a highly representative case, for several reasons. One, the browser is a ubiquitous (and popular) application, with frequent usage, so any potential slowness is likely to be noticeable. Two, Chromium is a relatively large and complex application. Three, it is not part of any specific Linux desktop environment, which makes the testing independent and accurate. For comparison, the XZ-compressed snap weighs ~150 MB, whereas the one using the LZO compression is ~250 MB in size. Read more

today's leftovers

  • Ubuntu Fridge | Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 654

    Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 654 for the week of October 18 – 24, 2020. The full version of this issue is available here.

  • Apache HTTP Server

    The Apache HTTP server (or simply Apache) was launched in 1995 as an outgrowth of a public domain httpd project from the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA). According to the Apache website, development of that project stalled, so a group of webmasters got together to coordinate their own changes, extensions, and bug fixes in the form of patches. These developers, including Brian Behlendorf, Cliff Skolnick, and others, formed the basis of the original Apache Group, which in turn became The Apache Software Foundation. After launch, Apache quickly became the most popular web server on the Internet. The project is now developed and maintained, along with hundreds of other projects, by The Apache Software Foundation and is released under the terms of Apache License 2.0.

  • 8 Great Free Photo And Video Editing Software To Use For Beginners

    Blender On Linux, Ios, and PCs, Blender is another one of the most outstanding free video editing applications on the marketplace today. Blender is a fully free-to-use open-source platform. Blender was developed as a 3D animation kit, but it comes with a very convenient video editor. The video editor for Blender is an appropriate one for much of your video needs. This editor requires simple acts such as video cutting and sequencing to be done. It also helps you to do more difficult tasks, such as camera masking. This software makes it a compelling video editing that caters to beginners as well as experienced users. Shotcut Shotcut is completely an open-source software, like Blender. This platform suggests that you get linked to all the software without paying the update after installing it. This film editor provides a wide variety of file formats, and there is an excellent selection of instructional videos. Although this video editing app has excellent functionality, the interface can seem a little funky to some people. Initially, the platform Linux designed this application, and it sure reflects that. But, it is still a value video editor underneath the covers. [...] Openshot Openshot is a fully open-source, which renders it one of the most available tools for video editing. It’s simple to use drag and drop design and remind some Mac users a little more of iMovie. Openshot, though, contains more functionality, including infinite textures and audio mixing, than iMovie. This free editor achieves a good compromise among sophisticated functionality and a primary interface. When you build switches between scenes, it also enables real-time displays. GIMP GIMP is a popular picture editing app, shortened for GNU Image Processing Program, which features highly advanced and efficient tools. It is not for the faint-hearted or for those who do not understand much about pictures’ processing. Due to its software and functionality, it has been widely touted as a better Photoshop substitute. It contains the same resources for editing, blending, paints, text, and more. You can use presets and plugins in an instant, as well, but there is no cataloging feature.

  • Making the Business Case for Contributing to Open Source
  • Sending logs from syslog-ng to Grafana Loki - Blog - syslog-ng Community - syslog-ng Community

    Loki is one of the latest applications that lets you aggregate and query log messages, and of course to visualize logs using Grafana. It does not index the contents of log messages, only the labels associated with logs. This way, processing and storing log messages requires less resources, making Loki more cost-effective. Promtail, the log collector component of Loki, can collect log messages using the new, RFC5424 syslog protocol. This is where syslog-ng can send its log messages. From this blog, you can learn a minimal Loki & Promtail setup. We will send logs from syslog-ng, and as a first step, will check them with logcli, a command line utility for Loki. Once it works, we will also install Grafana in a container and query Loki from there.

Android Leftovers