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Internet: Remote Work, Daniel Stenberg on Curl and QUIC/HTTP/3

Filed under
Software
Web
  • Our Essential List of Free Software for Remote Work

    Team chat has already become an essential tool for teams looking to be more collaborative and less reliant on email. At Purism we use Matrix for team chat, 1 to 1 calls, video conferencing via Jitsi (open source video conferencing), adhoc file sharing and all our community chat channels. Matrix is a distributed (federated) network, similar to email, which means you can communicate across Matrix servers and compatible services.

    You can self host Matrix or use a public instance like our own free Librem Chat service part of Librem One. All the goodness of Matrix conveniently hosted for you and accessible with one account that also gives you access to Librem Social, our hosted Mastodon instance, and our premium services: end-to-end encrypted email and VPN.

    [...]

    Most office-based teams already have email and things like a company newsletter but we thought we’d share how we manage ours. Our company email and Librem Mail are powered by Dovecot and we use GNU Mailman for our newsletter and mailing lists.

  • Daniel Stenberg: A curl dashboard

    When I wrote up my looong blog post for the curl’s 22nd anniversary, I vacuumed my home directories for all the leftover scripts and partial hacks I’d used in the past to produce graphs over all sorts of things in the curl project. Being slightly obsessed with graphs, that means I got a whole bunch of them.

    I made graphs with libreoffice

    I dusted them off and made sure they all created a decent CSV output that I could use. I imported that data into libreoffice’s calc spreadsheet program and created the graphs that way. That was fun and I was happy with the results – and I could also manually annotate them with additional info. I then created a new git repository for the purpose of hosting the statistics scripts and related tools and pushed my scripts to it. Well, at least all the ones that seemed to work and were the most fun.

    Having done the hard work once, it felt a little sad to just have that single moment snapshot of the project at the exact time I created the graphs, just before curl’s twenty-second birthday. Surely it would be cooler to have them updated automatically?

  • A QUIC look at HTTP/3

    Each HTTP session requires a TCP connection which, in turn, requires a three-way handshake to set up. Once that is done, "we can send data in a reliable data stream", Stenberg explained. TCP transmits data in the clear, so everyone can read what is transferred; the same thus holds true for the non-encrypted HTTP protocol. However, 80% of requests today are using the encrypted version, called Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS), according to statistics of Mozilla (Firefox users) and Google (Chrome users). "The web is getting more and more encrypted", Stenberg explained. HTTPS uses Transport Layer Security (TLS); it adds security on the top of the stack of protocols, which are (in order): IP, TCP, TLS, and HTTP. The cost of TLS is another handshake that increases the latency. In return, we get privacy, security, and "you know you're talking to the right server".

    HTTP/1 required clients to establish one new TCP connection per object, meaning that for each request, the browser needed to create a connection, send the request, read the response, then close it. "TCP is very inefficient in the beginning", Stenberg explained; connections transmit data slowly just after being established, then increase the speed until they discover what the link can support. With only one object to fetch before closing the connection, TCP was never getting up to speed. In addition, a typical web page includes many elements, including JavaScript files, images, stylesheets, and so on. Fetching one object at a time is slow, so browser developers responded by creating multiple connections in parallel.

    That created too many connections to be handled by the servers, so typically the number of connections for each client was limited. The browser had to choose which of its few allowed connections to use for the next object; that led to the so-called "head-of-line blocking" problem. Think of a supermarket checkout line; you might choose the one that looks shortest, only to be stuck behind a customer with some sort of complicated problem. A big TCP efficiency improvement was added for HTTP/1.1 in 1997: open TCP connections can be reused for other requests. That improved the slow-start problem, but not the head-of-line blocking issue, which can be made even worse.

Nextcloud: The Swiss Army Knife of Remote Working Tools

Filed under
Software
OSS
Web

Remote working culture has been booming for past few years in coding, graphics and other IT related fields. But the recent Coronavirus pandemic has made it mandatory for the companies to work from home if it’s possible for them.

While there are tons of tools to help you and your organization in working from home, let me share one open source software that has the features of several such tools combined into one.

Read more

Comprehensive List of Web Browsers for Ubuntu

Filed under
Web
Ubuntu

In today’s modern age, there are a lot of web browsers to choose from, each offering something unique. To enjoy a great browsing experience, you must choose the right browser according to your needs. The following is a comprehensive list of web browsers for Ubuntu.

Firefox is and has always been the default web browser of Ubuntu. Founded in September of 2002, Firefox is a robust web browser. It is the main competitor of Chrome. In terms of privacy, it knocks Google out of the park. Firefox was declining, but it redeemed itself after it’s quantum update offering users a new beautiful UI and a lot of solid features. It also offers a lot of plugins.

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6 Best Web Photo Gallery Solutions

Filed under
Software
Web

There are many web services that allow users to upload pictures to a hosting site. The image host stores the images on its servers, and shows the individual different types of code to allow others to view that image. Popular examples include Flickr, Instagram, Imgur, Photobucket, SmugMug and Snapfish.

Most of these solutions provide free storage space, with more features available if you are willing to pay for a premium account. However, there are problems with these solutions. Leaving aside privacy and ownership issues, these services typically do not provide good integration with other platforms. There is a simple alternative which gives you more control and flexibility – self-hosted open source gallery software.

Anyone with a large photo collection will know that cataloging and finding a specific picture can be very time consuming. The purpose of this article is to identify Linux software that helps to host, organize, describe and share your collection by using a number of different techniques including tagging and albums. Good software makes the task of deciding which photos to keep and which to delete less time consuming.

To provide an insight into the quality of software that is available, we have compiled a list of 6 of the most useful open source web photo gallery software. Hopefully, there will be something of interest here for anyone who wants to host and share their photos. We give our strongest recommendation to Piwigo, Coppermine and Zenphoto but each of the solutions has something to offer.

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My top 6 open source frameworks for web development

Filed under
OSS
Web

There are a lot of backend frameworks that are open source and easily available, but not all of them offer great features. Backend frameworks are an essential part of website development, as they work as the nuts and bolts of a website. Basically, they handle everything behind the scenes of a website.

Backend frameworks have extensive libraries, APIs, web servers, and a lot more. They are responsible for the database, ensuring it makes proper communication with the front end and generates backend functionality.

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Moving Away From WordPress and Third RC of WordPress 5.4

Filed under
OSS
Web
  • UnixTutorial.RU is Now Using Jekyll

    I have started WordPress to Jekyll migration for the Russian version of Unix Tutorial website – meaning UnixTutorial.RU has been running on Jekyll since last Sunday.

  • WordPress 5.4 RC3

    The third release candidate for WordPress 5.4 is now available!

    WordPress 5.4 is currently scheduled to be released on March 31 2020, and we need your help to get there—if you haven’t tried 5.4 yet, now is the time!

Moodle Based Business (LMS) Sold

Filed under
OSS
Web
  • Learning Technologies to acquire Moodle specialist, Open LMS

    Learning Technologies Group PLC (LON:LTG) is to acquire Open LMS, a big name in the world of Moodle, an open-source learning management system (LMS).

    Learning Technologies (LTG) is to pay US$31.7mln in cash to acquire Open LMS from Blackboard Inc. The acquisition will be funded from the group’s existing cash and bank facilities.

  • Blackboard Shifts Away From the Open Source Business By Selling Its Moodle Based Business

    Blackboard Inc. announced this week the sale of its Open LMS, a Moodle-based platform formerly known as Moodlerooms.

    The buyer is a London-based corporate education company Learning Technologies Group (LTG) for $31.7 million. The deal is expected to close during the second quarter.

    “The transaction enables Blackboard to further simplify its business and accelerate momentum in helping clients move to its Software as a Service (SaaS) deployment of Learn and Ultra,” said Bill Ballhaus, CEO at Blackboard.

  • Blackboard to Sell Open LMS Product (Formerly Moodlerooms) for $31.7 Million

    Blackboard, a Reston, Va.-based provider of learning management software for K-12, higher ed, government and businesses, has agreed to sell its Open LMS business to Learning Technologies Group, or LTG, a London-based conglomerate of workplace learning software services.

    LTG will pay $31.7 million for all intellectual property and assets related to the Open LMS, formerly called Moodlerooms and currently considered the largest commercial Moodle provider worldwide, according to a statement Tuesday. The deal is expected to close during the second quarter.

  • Blackboard to sell open-source LMS platform for $32M

    Open LMS is a software-as-a-service platform based on Moodle, an open-source LMS. By offloading the unit, Blackboard is shifting away from the open-source LMS market it once sought to serve.

    Meanwhile, for LTG, the acquisition is "a significant step" toward growing its position in the Moodle marketplace, the company said in a statement.

Chrome 80 Against Firefox 74/75 Performance On Linux

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Google
Moz/FF
Web

Complementing the Firefox 73 vs. 74 vs. 75 Beta benchmarks on Ubuntu Linux from AMD Ryzen this week, here are those numbers side-by-side with the Google Chrome 80 web-browser for putting the performance into more perspective.

On the same Ryzen 9 3950X system with Ubuntu are the numbers for Firefox 73/74/75 both out-of-the-box and with WebRender force-enabled compared to Chrome 80 stable.

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Tor Browser 9.5a7 Released Today! More Speed & Bugs Fixed

Filed under
Security
Web

Tor Browser 9.5a7 Released: Tor is one of the best and most secured browser which allows you to browse the internet by hiding your personal information and data. With Tor browser, you will be able to surf to the website which are not available on the surface web. Yes, you can access the dark & deep websites using Tor browser. You can find more information about Tor browser from their official website.

The developer teams of the Tor browser announced that the Tor Browser 9.5a7 has been released. You can download the latest version of the tor browser 9.5a7 from their official website!

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WWW: Chrome OS 82, WebAssembly, JavaScript and Mozilla, Thunderbird and Instantbird Bits

Filed under
Google
Moz/FF
Web
  • The Linux terminal is getting a major overhaul and new features in Chrome OS 82

    It has been a busy morning here at the Chrome Unboxed office. Robby made the move over to the Dev channel yesterday and discovered a plethora of new and updated features. Some we’ve been expecting but others are appearing for the first time and a massive update to the Linux terminal is one of the biggest when we’re talking about the latter. For those taking advantage of Linux apps on Chrome OS, you’re familiar with the “terminal” app that looks pretty much like any Command Line Interface on any Linux distro. (Windows and Mac, for that matter.)

  • Google Bringing WebAssembly Extensions To Network Proxies

    In addition to WebAssembly's growing presence outside of the web browser thanks to various desktop run-times and interesting use-cases, WebAssembly is also popping up in other areas. Google has been working on WebAssembly support for extensions within network proxies typically reserved for C/C++ or the likes of Lua scripts.

    WebAssembly support has been pulled into their Istio service mesh v1.5 release with WASM extensions in the Envoy service proxy, popular choices for Cloud Native deployments. The Istio 1.5 release notes mention, "Wasm will give developers the ability to safely distribute and execute code in the Envoy proxy – to integrate with telemetry systems, policy systems, control routing and even transform the body of a message. It will be more flexible and more efficient, eliminating the need for running a Mixer component separately (which also simplifies deployments)."

  • JavaScript: The First 20 Years

    Our HOPL paper is done and submitted to the ACM for June 2020 publication in the PACMPL (Proceedings of the ACM on Programming Languages) and presentation at the HOPL 4 conference whenever it actually occurs. PACMPL is an open access journal so there won’t be a paywall preventing people from reading our paper. Regardless, starting right now you can access the preprint at https://zenodo.org/record/3707008. But before you run off and start reading this 190 page “paper” I want to talk a bit about HOPL.

  • Mozilla Addons Blog: Friend of Add-ons: Zhengping

    Please meet our newest Friend of Add-ons, Zhengping! A little more than two years ago, Zhengping decided to switch careers and become a software developer. After teaching himself the basics of web development, he started looking for real-world projects where he could hone his skills. After fixing a few frontend bugs on addons.mozilla.org (AMO), Zhengping began contributing code the add-ons code manager, a new tool to help keep add-on users safe.

    In the following months, he tackled increasingly harder issues, like using TypeScript with React to create complex UI with precision and efficiency. His contributions helped the add-ons team complete the first iteration of the code manager, and he continued to provide important patches based on feedback from add-on reviewers.

  • Patrick Cloke: Matrix Live Interview

    I was interviewed for Matrix Live as part of last week’s This Week in Matrix. I talked a bit about my background and my experiences contributing to Mozilla (as part of Instantbird and Thunderbird projects) as well as what I will be working on for Synapse, the reference implementation for Matrix servers.

  • Distributed Teams: Not Just Working From Home

    Technology companies taking curve-flattening exercises of late has resulted in me digging up my old 2017 talk about working as and working with remote employees. Though all of the advice in it holds up even these three years later, surprisingly little of it seemed all that relevant to the newly-working-from-home (WFH) multitudes.

    Thinking about it, I reasoned that it’s because the talk (slides are here if you want ’em) is actually more about working on a distributed team than working from home. Though it contained the usual WFH gems of “have a commute”, “connect with people”, “overcommunicate”, etc etc (things that others have explained much better than I ever will); it also spent a significant amount of its time talking about things that are only relevant if your team isn’t working in the same place.

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Most GPU drivers found in Arm processors are known to be closed-source making it difficult and time-consuming to fix some of the bugs since everybody needs to rely on the silicon vendor to fix those for them, and they may even decide a particular bug is not important to them, so you’d be out of luck. So the developer community has long tried to reverse-engineer GPU drivers with projects like Freedreno (Qualcomm Adreno), Etnaviv (Vivante), as well as Lima and Panfrost for Arm Mali GPUs. Several years ago, Arm management was not interested at all collaborating with open-source GPU driver development for Mali GPUs, but as noted by Phoronix, Alyssa Rosenzweig, a graphics software engineer employed by Collabora, explained Panfrost development was now done in partnership with Arm during a talk at the annual X.Org Developers’ Conference (XDC 2020). Read more

Open Up: Open Source Hardware — A Chat with Carl

From a broader lens, to produce “open source hardware” means that we have developed and shared the recipe to create a high-end commercial product that can be learned from, adapted, and used by anyone else. In the same way we’ve stood on the shoulders of the Linux and open source software giants who came before us, we now get to be pioneers in developing open source hardware for those who come next. If you want to learn more how a computer is designed or how something is made, our schematics are the instructions for how to do it. It describes every step of the process, from each piece of the machine and its dimensions, to the type of aluminum used and how to bend it. It’s similar to open source software in that you can learn from the product, adapt it to your needs, and distribute it. The difference is that it requires outside equipment to produce your own version. Open hardware has become more accessible with 3-D printing, but as we found when we were making acrylic prototypes of Thelio, you reach a point where it’s time to work with metal, which presents its own challenges. You have to cut it, bend it, and paint it, all of which requires specific equipment. Read more

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