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Tuesday, 23 Jan 18 - Tux Machines is a community-driven public service/news site which has been around for over a decade and primarily focuses on GNU/LinuxSubscribe now Syndicate content

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KDE/GNOME: Usability and Productivity, Krita Interview, GNOME Builder

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KDE
GNOME
  • This week in Usability and Productivity, part 2

    This is your weekly status update for the KDE community’s progress in the Usability and Productivity initiative. KDE contributors have been busy, and here’s a sampling of features, improvements, and bugfixes relevant to the initiative that KDE developers landed over the past week-and-a-half...

  • Interview with Baukje Jagersma

    How and when did you get to try digital painting for the first time?

    Probably when I first discovered Deviantart. I was already familiar with GIMP, which I used to create photo-manipulations with. But seeing all the amazingly talented artists on there made me want to try out digital painting for myself.

  • Builder happenings for January

    I’ve been very busy with Builder since returning from the holidays. As mentioned previously, we’ve moved to gitlab. I’m very happy about it. I can see how this is going to improve the engagement and communication between our existing community and help us keep new contributors.

    I made two releases of Builder so far this month. That included both a new stable build (which flatpak users are already using) and a new snapshot for those on developer operating systems like Fedora Rawhide.

Linux: PowerPC, GFS2, Userspace RCU

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Linux

Graphics: AMD, Libinput, Vulkan

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • AMDVLK Official Open-Source Radeon Vulkan Driver Updated

    It's been one month now since AMD open-sourced their official Vulkan driver code and the associated XGL code-base. There has been about weekly code drops of new AMDVLK/XGL code over the past month while the separate, community-driven Mesa-based RADV Vulkan driver continues being developed as well.

    Marking one month since the open-sourcing of this Radeon Vulkan driver that is shared with the Windows code-base is a new code drop. Today's code drop adds VK_AMD_buffer_marker and VK_EXT_debug_report support. There are also a number of internal Vulkan driver behavior changes and fixes to some conformance test suite bugs.

  • Deep Color Support For Radeon X.Org Driver Being Tackled

    Open-source contributor Mario Kleiner has continued his work on deep color support for the Radeon Linux driver.

  • [ANNOUNCE] libinput 1.9.901

    The first RC for libinput 1.10 is now available.

  • Libinput 1.10 Is On The Way To Remove Touchpad Hysteresis

    eter Hutterer of Red Hat has announced the first release candidate of libinput 1.10 today, which isn't a big feature release but rather incorporates a few new features with many bug fixes for this input handling library used by X.Org and Wayland systems.

    Peter notes the most notable change for libinput 1.10 is the removal of the touchpad hysteresis code. This code was previously used to prevent pointer wobbles while now the code has been worked to analyze the event sequence for pointer wobbles and if none exist the hysteresis won't be applied. This should lead to a more reactive pointer.

    Libinput 1.10 is also working on new button debouncing fixes, improvements for newer Wacom tablets, and a variety of fixes.

  • DXVK Is Making Significant Progress In Implementing Direct3D 11 Over Vulkan

    The DXVK project that started towards the end of 2017 for implementing Direct3D 11 over Vulkan with a focus on improving the D3D11 Wine support is already beginning to run some titles.

today's howtos

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HowTos

Devices: Debugging Tools, TP-Link, Raspberry Pi and Android

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Android
Linux
Hardware
  • Debugging Tools

    That’s three strands (red, white, black) from a USB-to-serial converter, soldered on to a 3-pole screw-tightened connector. Clamped into that are the serial lines (red, green and blue) which were originally crimped straight to the lines. After a few months of use, the crimping failed and the red cable (RX) broke off.

    So I had to fix it, and in the process decided to make it more sturdy, more ugly, but also easier to use.

  • TP-Link Smart Wi-Fi Plug with Energy Monitoring Review

    Opening up the box reveals both plugs sitting in a plastic tray. A quick start guide, tech support contact information, and a copy of the GNU General Public License were found on top of the plugs. Following the quick start guide proved to be very straightforward.

  • Reading Buttons from a Raspberry Pi

    When you attach hardware buttons to a Raspberry Pi's GPIO pin, reading the button's value at any given instant is easy with GPIO.input(). But what if you want to watch for button changes? And how do you do that from a GUI program where the main loop is buried in some library?

  •  

  • Rooting Android Just Isn’t Worth It Anymore

    Since Android is based on Linux and uses a Linux kernel, “rooting” effectively means allowing access to root permissions in Linux. It’s really that simple—these permissions aren’t granted to normal users and apps, so you have to do some special work to gain them.

  • What’s the Difference Between Android One and Android Go?

    In 2014, Google announced a lineup of low-cost, low-spec phones called Android One. In 2017, they announced Android Go, specifically designed for low-cost, low-spec phones. So…what’s the difference?

Security: Gmail, Windows, Allscripts, Android and Browsers

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Security

10 Best Text Editors For Linux And Programming (2018 Edition)

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Development
GNU
Linux
Software

The year 2018 is here. Just in case you’re looking for some powerful text editor for Linux to kickstart programming new year, you’re at the right place. While the debate of the best programming editors for Linux won’t end anytime soon, there are many editors that bring an impressive set of features. While Vim, Emacs, and Nano are older and dependable players in the game, Atom, Brackets, and Sublime Text are relatively newer text editors.

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Debian Development Picks

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Development
Debian
  • PrimeZ270-p, Intel i7400 review and Debian – 1

    Before diving into installation, I had been reading for quite a while Matthew Garett’s work. Thankfully most of his blog posts do get mirrored on planet.debian.org hence it is easy to get some idea as what needs to be done although have told him (I think even shared here) that he should somehow make his site more easily navigable. Trying to find posts on either ‘GPT’ and ‘UEFI’ and to have those posts in an ascending or descending way date-wise is not possible, at least I couldn’t find a way to do it as he doesn’t do it date-wise or something.

  • Rblpapi 0.3.8: Strictly maintenance

    Another Rblpapi release, now at version 0.3.8, arrived on CRAN yesterday. Rblpapi provides a direct interface between R and the Bloomberg Terminal via the C++ API provided by Bloomberg Labs (but note that a valid Bloomberg license and installation is required).

  • FAI.me build service now supports backports

    Currently, the FAIme service offers images build with Debian stable, stable with backports and Debian testing.

Mozilla: Firefox 58.0, Paying it forward, Firefox Nightly, Lantea Maps

Filed under
Moz/FF
  • Firefox 58.0 “Quantum” Arrives With Faster Page Load Speeds And Code Compilation

    In November 2017, Mozilla launched its Firefox 57 web browser that was also called Firefox Quantum. It was hailed as a strong competitor to powerful Chrome web browser and we conducted a comparison of both browsers to give you a better idea. But, the story doesn’t end here; Mozilla is continuing to improve its work to deliver better performance with each release.

  • Paying it forward at Global Diversity CFP Day

    A CFP is a “Call for Papers” or “Call for Proposals” – many technical and academic conferences discover and vet speakers and their talk topics through an open, deadline-driven, online proposal submission process. This CFP process provides a chance for anyone to pitch a talk and pitch themselves as the presenter. Submitting a CFP, and having your proposal accepted, is one great way to get a foot in the door if you’re just getting started as a new speaker. And, for some developers, public speaking can be the door to many types of opportunity.

  • Firefox Nightly

    Creating a Gnome Dock launcher and a terminal command for Firefox Nightly

    About 18 months ago, Wil Clouser wrote a blog post on the very blog titled Getting Firefox Nightly to stick to Ubuntu’s Unity Dock.

    Fast forward to 2018, Ubuntu announced last year that it is giving up on their Unity desktop and will use Gnome Shell instead. Indeed, the last Ubuntu 17.10 release uses Gnome Shell by default. That means that the article above is slightly outdated now as its .desktop file was targeting the Unity environment which had its own quirks.

  • Lantea Maps Updates to Track Saving and Drawing

    After my last post on Lantea Maps (my web app to record GPS tracks), I started working on some improvements to its code.

    First, I created a new backend for storing GPS tracks on my servers and integrated it into the web app. You need to log in via my own OAuth2 server, and then you can upload tracks fairly seamlessly and nicely.
    The UI for uploading is now also fully integrated into the track "drawer" which should make uploading tracks a smoother experience than previously. And as a helpful feature for people who use Lantea Maps on multiple devices, a device name can be configured via the settings "drawer".

Perl Advocacy

Filed under
Development
  • My DeLorean runs Perl

    My signature hobby project these days is a computerized instrument cluster for my car, which happens to be a DeLorean. But, whenever I show it to someone, I usually have to give them a while to marvel at the car before they even notice that there's a computer screen in the dashboard. There's a similar problem when I start describing the software; programmers immediately get hung up on "Why Perl???" when they learn that the real-time OpenGL rendering of instrument data is all coded in Perl. So, any discussion of my project usually starts with the history of the DeLorean or a discussion of the merits of Perl vs. other, more-likely tools.

  • An overview of the Perl 5 engine

    As I described in "My DeLorean runs Perl," switching to Perl has vastly improved my development speed and possibilities. Here I'll dive deeper into the design of Perl 5 to discuss aspects important to systems programming.

FOSS Linux App Development In Decline, Canonical Promotes Snap Using Proprietary Software

Filed under
Ubuntu
  • Is Native Linux App Development In Decline?

    A blog like mine thrives, in part, on there being a steady supply of good quality native Linux apps to write about.

    We do news too of course, and tutorials, how tos, lists, eye candy, and even the odd opinion piece (like this post). But I know you like reading about new and updated Linux apps, and, to be fair, I like writing about them.

    And yet… Where have all the Linux apps gone?

    Bear with me as what follows is more of a ramble than a coherent essay. For background, I’m writing this on day four of an enthusiasm drought.

  • Slack launches on Linux
  • Slack gets the Linux treatment: New snap available for Mint, Ubuntu, Debian, and more

    Slack is now available as a snap, which means Linux users can take advantage of the workplace collaboration platform, Canonical announced last week.

    Slack has recently debuted a number of features that make it more appealing to businesses, including Shared Channels and Private Shared Channels, which allow employees from different companies to work together on projects in private if they so choose. With more than 9 million weekly active users, Slack has gained a lot of traction in the enterprise, as noted by our sister site ZDNet.

    Back in October 2017, Linux overtook MacOS for the first time in terms of global operating system market share—which means the move opens up even more users to the Slack platform.

  • Canonical slaps Slack snap onto stack

    As the ‘company behind’ Ubuntu, Canonical has brought forward the first iteration of Slack as a snap on its software platform.

    Slack is a cloud-based set of proprietary team collaboration tools and services that go some way beyond core ‘messaging’ functionality into areas including project management.

Games: Two Point Hospital, PLAY WITH ME and More

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Gaming

OSS: HIT, SUSE, FSFE, Meaning of Open, Bell Canada

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OSS
  • How Open Source, Crowdsourcing Aids HIT Development

    HIT development is important for health IT infrastructure growth as organizations continue to go through their digital transformations. Entities are interested in the most innovative and advanced technology to assist with increased workflows and improve patient care.

    Open source and crowdsourcing to improve innovation are key to quickly building on technology being developed for healthcare. This is especially true when it comes to newer technology like artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain.

    Healthcare organizations and healthcare technology companies cannot simply wait around for advanced technology to develop around them.

  • Open source in the enterprise: Trends and opportunities in 2018

    Some big events are set to come in 2018 – the recently announced Royal Wedding, the football World Cup in Russia and the incoming general data protection regulation (GDPR) to name just a few. And 2018 is also set to be a significant year for business technology.

    Some of the key trends in enterprise IT will include the continued move to hybrid cloud, the emergence of the container infrastructure ecosystem and ongoing growth in software-defined infrastructure and storage.

    Most interestingly, we foresee a number of significant open source developments here. So what exactly should we expect to see? And how can IT teams make the most of these emerging opportunities?

  • Keeping an Irish home warm and free in winter

    This issue would also appear to fall under the scope of FSFE's Public Money Public Code campaign.

    Looking at the last set of heating controls in the house, they have been there for decades. Therefore, I can't help wondering, if I buy some proprietary black box today, will the company behind it still be around when it needs a software upgrade in future? How many of these black boxes have wireless transceivers inside them that will be compromised by security flaws within the next 5-10 years, making another replacement essential?

    With free and open technologies, anybody who is using it can potentially make improvements whenever they want. Every time a better algorithm is developed, if all the homes in the country start using it immediately, we will always be at the cutting edge of energy efficiency.

  • The Meaning of Open

    Open systems create gravity wells. Systems that are truly open tend to attract others to join them at an ever-accelerating pace. In ecosystems that are ruled by a despot no matter how successful other participants in the ecosystem are, they fundamentally just empower the despot to have more leverage over them, because they have more to lose and their success feeds the despot’s success. In open systems, on the contrary, participants see that they don’t have to fear their own success fueling their own increasing subservience to a despot. Each individual entity who can’t plausibly build their own similarly-sized proprietary ecosystem to compete — the overwhelming majority of entities — is incentivized to pitch in on the open ecosystem. Investment in an open ecosystem by any one entity helps the entire ecosystem as a whole. This fact, combined with the fact that ecosystems generally get exponentially more valuable the more participants there are, means that in many cases over sufficient time scales truly open ecosystems create gravity wells, sucking more and more into them until they are nearly universal.

  • Bell Canada brings open source automation ONAP into production

    Bell Canada has implemented it's first automation use case using the Linux Foundation's Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) as part of the telco's Network 3.0 transformation initiative.

    With an initial focus on its data center network infrastructure, Bell Canada is working with its network integration and back-office partner Amdocs to reduce costs and delivery capabilities.

  • Bell Canada Reaches Milestone in Network 3.0 Vision with Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) and Strategic Partnership with Amdocs

Linux Kernel 4.15 Delayed

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Linux
  • Linux Kernel 4.15 Delayed Until Next Week as Linus Torvalds Announces a Rare RC9

    While the Linux community was looking forwards to the final Linux 4.15 kernel release today, Linus Torvalds just delayed it for another week, announcing the ninth Release Candidate (RC) instead.

    It's not every day that you see a ninth Release Candidate in the development cycle of a new Linux kernel branch, but here we go, and we can only blame it on those pesky Meltdown and Spectre security vulnerabilities that affect us all, putting billions of devices at risk of attacks.

  • Linux 4.15 becomes slowest release since 2011

    Linus Torvalds has decided that Linux 4.15 needs a ninth release candidate, making it the first kernel release to need that much work since 2011.

    Torvalds flagged the possibility of an extra release candidate last week, with the caveat that “it obviously requires this upcoming week to not come with any huge surprises” after “all the Meltdown and Spectre hoopla” made his job rather more complicated in recent weeks.

    Fast-forward another week and Torvalds has announced “I really really wanted to just release 4.15 today, but things haven't calmed down enough for me to feel comfy about it”.

  • No 4.15 final release today

    As might have been expected from watching the commit stream, the 4.15 kernel is not ready for release, so we'll get 4.15-rc9 instead. Linus said: "I really really wanted to just release 4.15 today, but things haven't calmed down enough for me to feel comfy about it, and Davem tells me he still has some networking fixes pending. Laura Abbott found and fixed a very subtle boot bug introduced this development cycle only yesterday, and it just didn't feel right to say that we're done."

Linus Torvalds Calls Linux Patch for Intel CPUs "Complete and Utter Garbage"

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Linux

The patch submitted by David Woodhouse, ex-Intel kernel engineer that now works for Amazon described a so-called new feature for Intel processors to address Indirect Branch Restricted Speculation (IBRS) by creating macros that would restrict or unrestrict Indirect Branch Speculation based on if the Intel CPU will advertise "I am able to be not broken."

The "x86/enter: Create macros to restrict/unrestrict Indirect Branch Speculation" feature implies that the IBRS (Indirect Branch Restricted Speculation) bit needed to be set at boot time to "ask" the processor not to be broken. Linus Torvalds immediately reacted to the patch calling it "complete and utter garbage" despite the developer's efforts to explain why he implemented the nasty hack.

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Original: [RFC 09/10] x86/enter: Create macros to restrict/unrestrict Indirect Branch Speculation

Revisited: Linux Mint 18.3 "Sylvia" KDE

Filed under
KDE
Linux
Reviews

Long-time readers of the Linux distribution reviews on this blog know that I am a fan of Linux Mint, but I have had somewhat mixed experiences with KDE. When I've reviewed a new release of Linux Mint, I have occasionally reviewed its KDE edition in addition to its GNOME/MATE/Cinnamon and Xfce editions, generally finding that the KDE edition has too many minor bugs and not enough compelling features compared to the more mainstream editions. Apparently the Linux Mint developers feel similarly, as this is the last release of a KDE edition for Linux Mint; henceforth, they are only releasing MATE, Cinnamon, and Xfce editions for a tighter focus on GTK-based DEs and applications. With that in mind, I figured it was worth reviewing a KDE edition of Linux Mint one final time. I tested it on a live USB system made with the "dd" command. Follow the jump to see what it's like.

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darktable 2.4 Open-Source RAW Image Editor Gets First Point Release

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OSS

darktable 2.4 arrived last Christmas with numerous new features and improvements, and now users can update to darktable 2.4.1, a minor maintenance release adding support for new digital cameras, including the Panasonic DC-G9 (4:3), Paralenz Dive Camera, Pentax KP, and Sjcam SJ6 LEGEND.

It also adds a new filter rule to the Collect module to allow users to more easily find locally copied images, enables blending and masking in the Hot Pixels module, adds a speed boost to the Grain module, implements a debug print when compiling OpenCL kernels, and supports stdout handling on Windows systems.

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openSUSE Leap 42.2 Linux Distribution Reaches End of Life on January 26, 2018

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SUSE

Announced two years ago on November 16, OpenSuSE Leap 42.2 is a minor release of openSUSE Leap 42 operating system series, which brought the long-term supported Linux 4.4 kernel and KDE Plasma 5.8 desktop environment, as well as many other improvements and up-to-date components. openSUSE Leap 42.2 was based on SUSE Linux Enterprise 12 Service Pack 2, but it will reach end of life this week on January 26.

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