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PHP 7.4.0 Released!

Filed under
Development
Web

The PHP development team announces the immediate availability of PHP 7.4.0. This release marks the fourth feature update to the PHP 7 series.

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Also: PHP 7.4 Released With FFI, Typed Properties, Arrow Functions, Better Performance

Chromium and Mozilla: ARM, TenFourFox and Firefox Engineers

Filed under
Google
Moz/FF
Web
  • Arm Has Been Working To Boost The Chrome/Chromium Browser Performance

    Arm engineers have been working to speed-up the open-source Chromium web browser on 64-bit ARM (AArch64) and ultimately to flow back into Google's Chrome releases. Their focus has been around Windows-on-Arm with the growing number of Windows Arm laptops coming to market, but the Chromium optimizations also benefit the browser on Linux too.

    Arm has been focusing on Chromium optimizations not only for the Chromium/Chrome browsers itself but also for software leveraging the likes of CEF and Electron that rely upon Chromium code for rendering.

  • TenFourFox FPR17b1 available

    TenFourFox Feature Parity Release 17 beta 1 is now available (downloads, hashes, release notes). SourceForge seems to have fixed whatever was making TenFourFox barf on its end which now might actually be an issue over key exchange. For a variety of reasons, but most importantly backwards compatibility, my preference has been to patch up the NSS security library in TenFourFox to support new crypto and ciphers rather than just drop in a later version. We will see if the issue recurs.

    This release fixes the "infinite loop" issue on Github with a trivial "hack" mitigation. This mitigation makes JavaScript slightly faster as a side-effect but it's because it relaxes some syntax constraints in the runtime, so I don't consider this a win really. It also gets rid of some debug-specific functions that are web-observable and clashed on a few pages, an error Firefox corrected some time ago but missed my notice. Additionally, since 68ESR newly adds the ability to generate and click on links without embedding them in the DOM, I backported that patch so that we can do that now too (a 4-year-old bug only recently addressed in Firefox 70). Apparently this functionality is required for certain sites' download features and evidently this was important enough to merit putting in an extended support release, so we will follow suit.

    I also did an update to cookie security, with more to come, and cleared my backlog of some old performance patches I had been meaning to backport. The most important of these substantially reduces the amount of junk strings JavaScript has hanging around, which in turn reduces memory pressure (important on our 32-bit systems) and garbage collection frequency. Another enables a fast path for layout frames with no properties so we don't have to check the hash tables as frequently.

  • Week notes - 2019 w47 - worklog

    Week Notes. I'm not sure I will be able to commit to this. But they have a bit of revival around my blogging reading echo chamber. Per revival, I mean I see them again.

    The Open Data Institute just started one with a round about them. I subscribed again to the feed of Brian Suda and his own week notes. Alice Bartlett has also a very cool personal, down to earth and simple summary of her week. I love that she calls them weaknotes She's on week 63 by now.

  • Marco Zehe: My extended advent calendar

    This year, I have a special treat for my readers. On Monday, November 25, at 12 PM UTC, I will start a 30 day series about everything and anything. Could be an accessibility tip, an how-to about using a feature in an app I use frequently, some personal opinion on something, a link to something great I came across on the web… I am totally not certain yet. I have ideas about some things I want to blog about, but by far not 30 of them yet.

Acquia/Drupal After the Vista Equity Partners Takeover

Filed under
OSS
Drupal
Web
  • Acquia, Drupal founder Dries Buytaert on open source, Vista, CDPs

    Dries Buytaert: No. We were profitable, we really didn't need more investment. But at the same time, we have an ambitious roadmap and our competitors are well-funded. We were starting to receive a lot of inbound requests from different firms, including Vista. When they come to you, you've got to look at it. It made sense.

  • New Acquia Drupal tools show open source loyalty post-Vista deal

    Web content management vendor Acquia Inc. delivered new marketing automation and content personalization platforms for the open-source Drupal faithful and for commercial customers.

    In late September, venture capital firm Vista Equity Partners acquired a majority stake in Acquia, but commitment to Acquia Drupal open source content management applications remain steady, according to Acquia CMO Lynne Capozzi.

Mozilla Firefox News and Opera Release

Filed under
Moz/FF
Web
  • 2019 Add-ons Community Meetup in London

    At the end of October, the Firefox add-ons team hosted a day-long meetup with a group of privacy extension developers as part of the Mozilla Festival in London, UK. With 2019 drawing to a close, this meetup provided an excellent opportunity to hear feedback from developers involved in the Recommended Extensions program and to get input about some of our plans for 2020.

    [...]

    We recently announced that Firefox Preview, Mozilla’s next generation browser for Android built on GeckoView, will support extensions through the WebExtensions API. Members of the Android engineering team will build select APIs needed to initially support a small set of Recommended Extensions.

    The group discussed a wishlist of features for extensions on Android, including support for page actions and browser actions, history search, and the ability to manipulate context menus. These suggestions will be considered as work on Firefox Preview moves forward.

  • Here’s why pop culture and passwords don’t mix

    Were they on a break or not?! For nearly a decade, Ross and Rachel’s on-screen relationship was a point of contention for millions of viewers around the world. It’s no surprise to learn that years after the series finale, they are not only TV’s most beloved characters, but their names are popular account passwords, too. That’s right. More than thousands of internet users love Rachel, Monica, Joey, Chandler, Ross and Phoebe enough to use their names as passwords.

    Wondering about trends, we turned to haveibeenpwned (HIBP) — the website that aggregates data from known breaches — for pop culture favorites. (Firefox Monitor draws from HIBP to help people learn if they’ve been caught up in a data breach and take steps to protect themselves.)

    We couldn’t access any data files, browse lists of passwords or link passwords to logins — that info is inaccessible and kept secure — but we could look up random bad passwords manually on HIBP. It turns out, quite a lot of sitcom and sports fans are using pop culture passwords for their accounts. These bad passwords are not only weak, they have also been breached. Here’s what we spotted.

  • Adding CodeQL and clang to our Bug Bounty Program

    One of the ways we’re supporting this initiative at Mozilla is through renewed investment in automation and static analysis. We think the broader Mozilla community can participate, and we want to encourage it. Today, we’re announcing a new area of our bug bounty program to encourage the community to use the CodeQL tools.  We are exploring the use of CodeQL tools and will award a bounty – above and beyond our existing bounties – for static analysis work that identifies present or historical flaws in Firefox.

  • Opera Browser 65 Released with Redesigned Address Bar

    Opera web browser 65 was released a day ago with redesigned address bar, improved tracker blocker, and new bookmarks panel.

  • Opera 65 Launches with Much-Improved Tracker Blocker, Redesigned Address Bar

    Opera Software announced today the general availability of the Opera 65 web browser for desktop platforms, including GNU/Linux, macOS, and Windows, a release that brings a bunch of enhancements and new features.
    Based on Chromium 78, the Opera 65 web browser is here and it's better than ever, brining a much-improved tracker blocker that finally lets you see which trackers are tracking your digital footprint while you're surfing the Internet.

    Based on the EasyPrivacy Tracking Protection list, Opera's tracker blocker feature will now show you all the trackers following you and let you take action against them if you believe some aren't good for you.

    By default, the tracker blocker will automatically block known tracker scripts to speed up the loading of pages and keep your online activity private. In Opera 65, the built-in tracker blocker can be toggled on and off per site too.

Browse Faster With Brave! The First Stable Release is Here

Filed under
OSS
Web

Brave browser is an interesting take as a privacy-focused browser. Even though we already have plenty of options to consider for Linux (Chromium/Firefox, etc.), the Brave browser stands out for things like strictly blocking ads and trackers.

It was in the beta phase before the announcement. So, if you already had it installed, you may not find a significant change with this release.

If you are learning about this browser for the first time, I shall mention a few key highlights associated with this release.

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Also: Brave Launches Next-Generation Browser that Puts Users in Charge of Their Internet Experience with Unmatched Privacy and Rewards

Raspberry Pi 4: Chronicling the Desktop Experience – Web Browsing – Week 4

Filed under
Linux
Web

This is a weekly blog about the Raspberry Pi 4 (“RPI4”), the latest product in the popular Raspberry Pi range of computers.

This week’s blog focuses on an absolutely essential desktop activity. Surfing the web. A web browser is the quintessential desktop application. Everyone needs one, and there is not a desktop Linux distribution around that does not make a web browser available.

For Linux, there’s a web browser for every need. There’s heavyweight browsers jammed with a large feature set with addons and extensions. Then there’s leaner web browsers which still offer an attractive graphical interface. And there’s lightweight browsers including console based web browsers too.

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Here's why Indians are joining open-source social network Mastodon in large numbers

Filed under
OSS
Web

Mastodon is a "free and open-source project" that is Indian cyberspace's latest obsession. The network, named after an extinct elephant-like mammal (reflected in its logo), was launched almost two years ago.

[...]

Mastodon is clean and clutter-free, and the social network has gained immense popularity in the country over the past 24-36 hours. Local search interest has spiked significantly November 6 onward, according to Google Trends.

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No Disney+ on Linux

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Web

With the new version 4.10.1582.1 of the Widevine DRM plugin package for Chromium that I uploaded today (chromium-widevine-plugin) I really hoped that this would fix the playback error on Linux of the new Disney+ streaming service.

As you may know, Disney is preparing for the official launch of its movie streaming service this week tuesday, 12 November. But we in the Netherlands could enjoy a free test period of two months before the go-live and so I watched several episodes of the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. series and the Captain Marvel movie, casting from my phone at first but now via an official app on my smart TV. The bad performance of the app and frequent freezes of the video streams have largely been taken care of and fixed during the test period. If you are a fan of the Disney and Fox movie portfolio or enjoy the Marvel and Star Wars movies, then I guess this new platform is for you. It’s still rather limited in scope of course.

Worse in my opinion is the fact that Disney did the Linux community a disservice. The streaming of video does not work – on any browser. The web site works fine, you can browse and explore, but video playback is not possible and an annoying “Error 83” appears instead.

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It is official: the Linux Journal website is no more

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Web

A promise was made to keep the website up and a promise was broken. As of yesterday evening, the website officially went down and with it 25 years of hard work from wonderful authors.

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6 Best Linux Network Monitoring Tools

Filed under
Software
Web

Knowing what is happening on the network they manage is essential to most network administrators. This is why network monitoring tools were created. They let managers keep a watchful eye on the network while also providing much-needed assistance when troubleshooting issues. And with the ever-growing popularity of Linux in the data center, we thought we’d have a look a some of the very best Linux network monitoring tools.

As we often do, we’ll begin by defining network monitoring. We’ll explain what it is and what benefits it can bring. We’ll follow-up by introducing the Simple Network Management Protocol. After all, it is the underlying technology used by most network monitoring tools. We’ll also explain in some detail how SNMP is used to calculate network bandwidth usage while keeping our explanation as non-technical as possible. Next, we’ll briefly talk about Linux and talk about the advantages of using it as a network monitoring platform. This will bring us to the core of our discussion the actual Linux network monitoring tools. We’ll review a handful of the best tools we could find that will run on Linux.

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