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Epiphany GSoC Milestone

Filed under
GNOME
Web

During the past month I have been hacking on Epiphany’s Preferences dialog. The first piece of submitted work was splitting the dialog source code files into smaller ones. The split didn’t reflect any visual changes on Epiphany’s user interface so I decided to postpone writing this blog post.

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Unblock Websites Restricted By ISPs In Some Countries With GreenTunnel

Filed under
Software
Web

So how does this unblock websites? GreenTunnel runs as a localhost HTTP proxy server that does the following.

For HTTP, GreenTunnel sends requests in 2 parts, for example GET / HTTP/1.0 \n Host: www.you as the first part, and tube.com \n ... as the second part. This way the Internet Service Provider (ISP) doesn't match the blocked word "youtube" in the packets, and as a result the data is not throttled or blocked.

In the case of HTTPS, the application splits the first CLIENT_HELLO packet into small chunks so the ISP can't parse the packet and find the SNI (Server Name Indication, an extension of TLS that indicates the actual destination hostname a client is attempting to access over HTTPS) field.

As for DNS (Domain Name System), GreenTunnel makes use of DNS over HTTPS and DNS over TLS to get the real IP address and prevent DNS hijacks.

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OSS, Consortia and Programming Leftovers

Filed under
Development
OSS
Web
  • Apache Advances Multiple Open Source Cloud Efforts

    The Apache Software Foundation updates a number of its open source cloud projects, including Apache Libcloud, Traffic Control and CloudStack, with new functionalities

  • Excellent Free Tutorials to Learn D

    D is a general-purpose systems programming language with a C-like syntax that compiles to native code.

    It is statically typed and supports both automatic (garbage collected) and manual memory management.

    D programs are structured as modules that can be compiled separately and linked with external libraries to create native libraries or executables.

  • Worrying about the npm ecosystem

    The npm ecosystem seems unwell. If you are concerned with security, reliability, or long-term maintenance, it is almost impossible to pick a suitable package to use — both because there are 1.3 million packages available, and even if you find one that is well documented and maintained, it might depend on hundreds of other packages, with dependency trees stretching ten or more levels deep — as one developer, it’s impossible to validate them all.

    I spend some time measuring the extent of the problem.

    I suggest that this is a social problem, more than a technical one, and propose a semi-social solution: a human-maintained subset of the total registry, based on shared criteria by which a “healthy” package can receive a seal of approval. One criterion would be to only depend on other approved packages.

  • Be a better Scrabble player with a Raspberry Pi High Quality Camera
  • Learning openshift: a good moment to revisit awk too

    I can’t believe I spent all these years using only grep.

  • 2020.26 Cloud Gone

    The Conference in the Cloud is over. All that’s left is a number of videos (and some slides):

  • Handling Perl character codes is very easy even for beginners.

    I feel that Perl users are losing confidence because of negative feedback from other communities.

    The opinions of people who intend to harm Perl are 99% useless in my experience.

    Handling character codes is actually simple.

    Because all you have to do is remember the following three things.

    1. use utf8 and save file as UTF-8

    2. if you print text, encode text to platform charset(Linux is UTF-8, Windows is cp932)

    3. if you get text from outside, decode text from platform charset(Linux is UTF-8, Windows is cp932)

    If "use v7;" enabled "use utf8", it would be less memorable and less mistake.

  • OASIS Open Joins Open Source Initiative

    “OASIS Open and OSI have been informal collaborators on licensing and other topics from the early days of the OpenDocument Format to our recent Open Projects Program,” noted Guy Martin, Executive Director of OASIS Open. “We are delighted to formalize our relationship as a sign of our mutual commitment to expanding the role of open source in the standards definition process and look forward to an exciting future for this combined open ecosystem.”

    Founded in 1993, the OASIS Open community is committed to advancing work that lowers cost, improves efficiency, stimulates innovation, grows global markets, and promotes interoperability. Each project operates independently under OASIS’s industry-leading process and clear Intellectual Property Rights.

    Begun in 2019, the OASIS Open Projects program provides open source communities with foundation-level support—for governance, intellectual property (IP) management, collaboration tools, outreach and events—with an optional path to standardization and de jure approval for reference in international policy and procurement. Open Projects lets communities choose from seven currently-supported, OSI-approved licenses.

  • Gopherspace in the Year 2020

    Today the Gopher protocol has been supplanted almost completely by the HTTP protocol upon which the World Wide Web is based. Though the Internet has changed considerably, Gopher servers are still around. Text is still mostly what users see in gopherspace, and it can still be navigated with gopher-capable Internet browsers. Sadly, only one Veronica search engine appears to operate today. Now, When a user navigates through gopherspace with the Veronica search engine, by following links, or by entering URL's into his browser, he has an experience in many ways similar to surfing the modern Internet.

    Though about two dozen Internet browsers can still access gopherspace, either natively or with plugins, I will only talk about one. I'll focus on the Lynx browser, because it is readily available, easy to use, and powerful. The Lynx browser also runs on all the major operating systems. I'll show readers how to use the Lynx browser to get into gopherspace and have a look around.

10 ReactJS tools to boost your web development skills

Filed under
Development
Web

Did you know most résumés submitted for jobs get rejected with just a single glance? That's a daunting fact if you are trying to get started in web development, but there are ways to improve what you have to offer prospective employers and clients. For application developers, now is a great time to increase your skills, and open source is the best avenue for professional development. You don't need to attend university to learn new open source skills; all you need is a sense of direction and self-discipline.

ReactJS is one of many skills you would be wise to learn on your way to becoming a successful web developer. If you're already comfortable with JavaScript and HTML, it is a natural next technology to learn. If you're not familiar with them yet, then you'll find ReactJS a great place to start as a programmer.

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Chromium-based browsers pros and cons

Filed under
Google
Web

How much do you think about your internet browser? Not much, right? If it gets you to your target web destination, that’s all that matters. For most, it’s a choice between Chrome or Firefox, with Edge and Safari coming not far behind.

While most internet users opt for Chrome, many people don’t realize that many of the other leading browsers in the world are not so different from it. They use the Chromium source code.

While Chrome and Chromium are separate projects, one is Google’s proprietary web tool, and the other is open source. But there are a lot of similarities between the two.

Developers love Chromium. It’s easy to work with, has tons of extensions and API kits, and more. You can even swap out Chrome and use Chromium directly instead as your browser.

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Mozilla: Extensions in Firefox 78, uBlock Origin and What UX Writers Can Learn From Poetry

Filed under
Moz/FF
Web
  • Extensions in Firefox 78

    In Firefox 78, we’ve done a lot of the changes under the hood. This includes preparation for changes coming up in Firefox 79, improvements to our tests, and improvements to make our code more resilient.

  • UBlock Origin - a powerful Internet purification tool

    Every now and then, I receive an email from a reader asking me why I'm not using uBlock Origin. Or rather, why Adblock Plus and not uBlock Origin? Alas, the question is based on a wrong assumption. I do use it, I use them both (not at the same time), and it's on several of my recommended software lists. But I've never given it a proper review. Time to rectify that.

    The modern Internet is a cesspit. A filthy place with tiny, isolated pockets of goodness. Adblocking isn't there to kill revenue streams for indie websites, it's there to stop nonsense from becoming the dominant force of any and every Web experience. Helping turn the tide are a few brave champions. I've already reviewed uMatrix, and you know my all-time-favorite Noscript. Now, let's have a look at uBlock Origin.

    [...]

    UBlock Origin will only block ads and trackers by default. But you can do more. You can disable Javascript, media files, fonts, as well as popups. Then, you can also pick elements from a loaded page and manually remove (zap) them, if you like. This can be helpful if you encounter annoyances that aren't picked up by your filters, or perhaps you want to get rid of something you consider harmful or silly, but it doesn't fall under any existing category.

    [...]

    All in all, uBlock Origin is a fantastic tool. It's powerful, versatile, robust - and it doesn't cause any browser slowdown. Some extensions can be heavy, but in this case, the impact is minimal. Very refreshing and useful. Then, the simple/advanced mode offers the best of both worlds - ordinary users and nerds alike will find the level of control they need and feel comfortable with. Being able to turn Javascript off is another valuable asset.

    I don't have anything bad to say really - some extra rigor is needed now and then, just to make sure you don't end up with legitimate content being blocked. But from what I've seen - we're talking long testing on multiple systems, over a couple of years, the false positives, when they do occur, are far and few in between and usually related to fonts. Ublock Origin does a great job, and its biggest challenge is making a difficult, complex task even easier to present. Should one deliberately seek drawbacks, the abundance of options stored in a small UI could be its Achilles' Heel. It's not easy creating visual minimalism without sacrificing actual functionality, but at the moment, uBlock Origin might be somewhat daunting to those less tech-savvy. Highly recommended, and I hope this finally answers the myriad emails on this topic. May your Internet be pure.

  • The Poetics of Product Copy: What UX Writers Can Learn From Poetry

    Word nerds make their way into user experience (UX) writing from a variety of professional backgrounds. Some of the more common inroads are journalism and copywriting. Another, perhaps less expected path is poetry.

    I’m a UX content strategist, but I spent many of my academic years studying and writing poetry. As it turns out, those years weren’t just enjoyable — they were useful preparation for designing product copy.

    Poetry and product copy wrestle with similar constraints and considerations. They are each often limited to a small amount of space and thus require an especially thoughtful handling of language that results in a particular kind of grace.

Privacy-oriented alternatives to Google Analytics

Filed under
Google
OSS
Web

Google Analytics is perhaps the analytics platform of our time. But should it be? It’s many features and the free plan is what made it popular, but its invasion of user privacy should not be overlooked. Here are some good alternatives for 2020.

First, I want to mention privacy-oriented self-hosted solutions. Their Open Source nature provides you an option to host them yourself instead of sending the data to someone else. Second, we look at some of the viable closed-source alternatives.

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An open source browser extension to zoom in on images

Filed under
OSS
Web

Have you ever visited a website and wanted to see the images displayed larger? That happens to me all the time, and it isn't always easy to make that happen.

On occasion, I sift through the source code, use Ctrl + F to search for the image, copy the image source address and paste it into a new window in order to see the image at its full-size glory. Or, the other option is to right-click, copy the image address, and paste into a new tab.

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Top 6 Free and Open Source Video Conferencing Solutions for Education

Filed under
Web

Video conferencing plays a vital role to ease the educational process for learners. Although Video conferencing tools were used on large scale for many years ago, their usage increased in the last few months because of COVID-19 and curfew in most of the countries. These tools minimize the distance, time and cost of the meetings. Many universities and educational centers activate the use of Video conferencing tools to provide the students and learners with the benefit of learning process even if they are staying at home especially in remote places. We are going to discuss many free video conferencing tools that will ease your learning process:

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Vivaldi 3.1 Arrives with Full-Page Notes Manager, Configurable Menus, and Faster Startup

Filed under
Web

Based on the latest Chromium 83 open-source web browser, Vivaldi 3.1 is here to introduce a brand-new version of its built-in Notes feature called Notes Manager, which offers a full-page notes editor with visual editing via a text formatting toolbar.

Vivaldi’s note-taking capabilities are getting to a new level, becoming more like word processing capabilities, something no other web browser currently offers, at least not by default.

Accessible from the Start Page, the new Notes Manager features a WYSIWYG editor, text formatting, word count, the ability to add new notes via Quick Commands or from a web page selection via the right-click context menu, the ability to search text in notes and search through notes, as well as to attach images.

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Also: The Vivaldi Browser Now Has a, Er, Word Processor?

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Plasma Browser Integration 1.8

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10 of the Best Linux Debuggers for Software Engineers

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Snapcraft GNOME Extension Update

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