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Interviews

Getting to know elementary: An interview with elementary OS UX Architect

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Interviews

Sometimes the best way to get to know a platform is by "sitting down" with a developer and letting them do the talking about what they are passionate about. When I sent a selection of questions to the elementary OS development team, I had no idea that I'd get back such deep, and thoughtful answers. That's exactly what UX Architect, Cassidy James Blaede brought to the table. And with the release of the next iteration of elementary OS (called Loki) due to hit September 9, 2016, I couldn't think of a better time to have this chat.

Let's jump right in and see what Blaede had to say about elementary, developing, open source, UX, and more.

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Official: Loki 0.4 Stable Release!

Keeping DOS alive and kicking with open source

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Interviews
OSS

No, I don't run FreeDOS as my primary system. That would really be impressive!

I run Linux at home. My laptop is a Lenovo X1 Carbon (first gen) running Fedora 24 with GNOME 3.

The tools I use every day include: Google Chrome, Firefox, and GNOMEWeb to browse the web; Gedit to edit text or simple code (such as Bash); GNU Emacs to edit program code (I prefer C); GNOME Terminal to SSH to my personal server and to the FreeDOS website; RhythmBox to listen to music.

I run FreeDOS in a virtual machine. I use DOSEmu if I'm writingFreeDOS code, so I can use GNU Emacs on Linux to write code and immediately compile it in FreeDOS via DOSEmu. That's really convenient because DOSEmu maps a folder in your home directory as the C: drive.

If I need to run FreeDOS as though it's running on hardware, such as testing the upcoming FreeDOS 1.2 release, I use qemu.

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2016 LiFT Scholarship Winner Luis Camacho Caballero: Preserving Amazon Languages with Linux

Filed under
Linux
Interviews

Luis Camacho Caballero is working on a project to preserve endangered South American languages by porting them to computational systems through automatic speech recognition using Linux-based systems. He was one of 14 aspiring IT professionals to receive a 2016 Linux Foundation Training (LiFT) scholarship, announced last month.

Luis, who is from Peru, has been using Linux since 1998, and appreciates that it is built and maintained by a large number of individuals working together to increase knowledge. Through his language preservation project, he hopes to have the first language, Quechua, the language of his grandparents, completed by the end of 2017, and then plans to expand to other Amazonian languages.

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Julita Inca Chiroque: How Do You Fedora?

Filed under
Red Hat
Interviews

In 2012 Julita traveled to the Czech Republic for a hackfest. She participated with the GNOME Documentation team. She became aware of the relationship between Red Hat, CentOS and Fedora because the event was held in the Red Hat building. Chiroque was inspired to organize Fedora events after meeting Jiří Eischmann. Julita said, “I knew Jiří Eischmann from Fedora Czech Republic and I saw his work as organizer and I wanted to do the same in Peru.” She began working with Fedora LATAM to organize events, with Luis Bazan as her Fedora LATAM Mentor. Chiroque’s current focus is on young students interested in open source and Fedora.

Julita organized the Fedora 17 release party, a five hour event, as her first in Peru. Activities included installation of Fedora and configuration of applications. The event also included a discussion on how to contribute to Fedora.

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The Big Android Dev Interview: Paul Lammertsma

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Android
Interviews

That's a really interesting question. I started in 2010, I think it was. I was actually in a molecular biology startup, and we were doing software for scientists, virologists, to basically plan experiments about cloning and genetic research and stuff like that. And a colleague of mine, he came into the office one day and he had bought an HTC Desire. He was really excited about it, and said "hey, over the weekend I made this app."

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How IBM’s LinuxONE Has Evolved For the New Open Source Cloud

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Interviews
OSS

LinuxONE is IBM’s Linux Server. The LinuxONE server runs the major distributions of Linux; SUSE, Red Hat and Canonical’s Ubuntu. The server also runs open source databases like Mongo DB , PostgreSQL and MariaDB allowing for both horizontal growth and vertical scale, as demonstrated by running a 2TB Mongo database without sharding. Several of the features built into this system support the constant innovation inherent in the open source movement while maintaining the performance and reliability required by Enterprise clients; for example, Logical Partitions (LPARs) allow clients to host a development environment on the same system as production with zero risk.

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The Big Android Dev Interview: Maarten Edgar

Filed under
Android
Interviews

Good question! Well, I like [that] it's open source, I like that [in mobile development in particular] you make something and it's "one there." Specifically or Android, I like that it runs on a lot of different things. I've done some commercial Google Glass development — and, you know, it has a skin, but it is Android.

I like that you can do really useful stuff [with Android], it keeps on evolving and getting more interesting, so I like that.

What I don't like is... implementations of Android that are not truly Android — Samsung had this problem where, for example, you'd ask something in the system, you'd do a system call [asking] what kind of resolution it was and it would lie to you! It would say "oh no, I'm HDPI" when really it was an MDPI thing. And that just pisses me off. Incorrect documentation. And what's difficult is all the different device sizes. That is a challenge. Not necessarily something that I hate but it is challenging.

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The Big Android Dev Interview: Jolanda Verhoef

Filed under
Android
Interviews

My name is Jolanda Verhoef and I've been developing for Android for six years, focusing mainly on architecture. [At the Big Android BBQ] I gave a talk on architecture together with RxJava. So, how can RxJava help you create a nice clean architecture. I work at a company called Blendle, which is a startup in the Netherlands, and before that I worked at companies like Philips, Dutch railway stations, Enexis, stuff like that. And I built my own app for geocaching as well.

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2016 LiFT Scholarship Winner Ahmed Alkabary: A Recent Graduate and Aspiring SysAdmin

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Interviews

For me, I don’t just appreciate the Linux operating system but I also feel like it has become my life. Whenever I’m on a Linux based computer I feel like I’m at home. You can say it is a passion that has taken many years of cultivating to become integrated in my life the way it is today.

In 2011 I was eager to purchase a brand new computer, but to my dismay the shop had only one computer that met my requirements. Although unbeknownst to me the computer had a specific operating system that I was unfamiliar with. The operating system was pre-installed with Linux, specifically openSuse. I was so hesitant to purchase the computer but proceeded anyway. I hoped to change the operating system once I got home, but I was unsure of what came over me to keep Linux. But to this day I feel I have yet to make a decision that would have a greater impact on my life then the day I decided to keep Linux.

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Be Cautious With Containers Says FutureAdvisor’s DevOps Director

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Interviews

Docker is a fantastic technology, but it’s not one that’s well understood. If we take a look at the lessons of the past, there was more hype than understanding around cloud as well — and before that, around virtualization. I’m seeing the same patterns repeat themselves here, and in some circles this is a far from popular viewpoint.

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today's howtos

Graphics: VC4 and AMDVLK Driver

  • VC4 display, VC5 kernel submitted
    For VC5, I renamed the kernel driver to “v3d” and submitted it to the kernel. Daniel Vetter came back right away with a bunch of useful feedback, and next week I’m resolving that feedback and continuing to work on the GMP support. On the vc4 front, I did the investigation of the HDL to determine that the OLED matrix applies before the gamma tables, so we can expose it in the DRM for Android’s color correction. Stefan was also interested in reworking his fencing patches to use syncobjs, so hopefully we can merge those and get DRM HWC support in mainline soon. I also pushed Gustavo’s patch for using the new core DRM infrastructure for async cursor updates. This doesn’t simplify our code much yet, but Boris has a series he’s working on that gets rid of a lot of custom vc4 display code by switching more code over to the new async support.
  • V3D DRM Driver Revised As It Works To Get Into The Mainline Kernel
    Eric Anholt of Broadcom has sent out his revised patches for the "V3D" DRM driver, which up until last week was known as the VC5 DRM driver. As explained last week, the VC5 driver components are being renamed to V3D since it ends up supporting more than just VC5 with Broadcom VC6 hardware already being supported too. Eric is making preparations to get this VideoCore driver into the mainline Linux kernel and he will then also rename the VC5 Gallium3D driver to V3D Gallium3D.
  • AMDVLK Driver Gets Fixed For Rise of the Tomb Raider Using Application Profiles
    With last week's release of Rise of the Tomb Raider on Linux ported by Feral Interactive, when it came to Radeon GPU support for this Vulkan-only Linux game port the Mesa RADV driver was supported while the official AMDVLK driver would lead to GPU hangs. That's now been fixed. With the latest AMDVLK/XGL source code as of today, the GPU hang issue for Rise of the Tomb Raider should now be resolved.

AMD Ryzen 7 2700X Linux Performance Boosted By Updated BIOS/AGESA

With last week's initial launch-day Linux benchmarks of the Ryzen 5 2600X / Ryzen 7 2700X some found the Linux performance to be lower than Windows. While the root cause is undetermined, a BIOS/AGESA update does appear to help the Linux performance significantly at least with the motherboard where I've been doing most of my tests with the Ryzen 7 2700X. Here are the latest benchmark numbers. Read more

GNU: The GNU C Library 2.28 and Guix on Android

  • Glibc 2.28 Upstream Will Build/Run Cleanly On GNU Hurd
    While Linux distributions are still migrating to Glibc 2.27, in the two months since the release changes have continued building up for what will eventually become the GNU C Library 2.28. The Glibc 2.28 work queued thus far isn't nearly as exciting as all the performance optimizations and more introduced with Glibc 2.27, but it's a start. Most notable at this point for Glibc 2.28 is that it will now build and run cleanly on GNU/Hurd without requiring any out-of-tree patches. There has been a ton of Hurd-related commits to Glibc over the past month.
  • Guix on Android!
    Last year I thought to myself: since my phone is just a computer running an operating system called Android (or Replicant!), and that Android is based on a Linux kernel, it's just another foreign distribution I could install GNU Guix on, right? It turned out it was absolutely the case. Today I was reminded on IRC of my attempt last year at installing GNU Guix on my phone. Hence this blog post. I'll try to give you all the knowledge and commands required to install it on your own Android device.
  • GNU Guix Wrangled To Run On Android
    The GNU Guix transactional package manager can be made to run on Android smartphones/tablets, but not without lots of hoops to jump through first.