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Programming: The RedMonk Programming Language Rankings, GitHub Licensing Help, Time Writing Open Source Software Code

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  • The RedMonk Programming Language Rankings: January 2018

    Given that we’re into March, it seems like a reasonable time to publish our Q1 Programming Language Rankings. As always, these are a continuation of the work originally performed by Drew Conway and John Myles White late in 2010. While the means of collection has changed, the basic process remains the same: we extract language rankings from GitHub and Stack Overflow, and combine them for a ranking that attempts to reflect both code (GitHub) and discussion (Stack Overflow) traction. The idea is not to offer a statistically valid representation of current usage, but rather to correlate language discussion and usage in an effort to extract insights into potential future adoption trends.

  • GitHub gives businesses a helping hand to open source project licensing

    GitHub has introduced a new way for companies to license their open source projects, with an open source program.

    The company has open sourced ‘Licensed’, which is an internal tool used to automate various open source projects licensing processes that GitHub runs. The program aims to help programmers reduce the time it takes to track down licenses for open source projects, putting their efforts elsewhere.

    Licensed will enable developers to effectively use their code’s open source licensing by spotting potential problems with a program’s dependency license early in its development cycle. By spotting these problems early can help prevent larger issues happening.

  • Why Your Engineers Should Spend More Time Writing Open Source Software Code

Programming: Top 10 Programming Languages, Computing History Special Interest Group, Coding at Work

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  • The top 10 programming languages and skills you need to work in open source

    On Tuesday, job search site Indeed announced that it has joined the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), an open source software foundation dedicated to making cloud-native computing universal and sustainable.

    The CNCF is part of the The Linux Foundation, and is a vendor-neutral home for fast-growing projects. Indeed relies on open source technologies such as Python, Apache, Mesos, and OpenTracing to build and deliver its products, according to a blog post making the announcement.

  • Software for a service like

    Can anyone recommend software for running a web service similar to

    We are looking for something similar to manage digital assets within the Computing History Special Interest Group.

  • Only code at work? That doesn’t make you a worse programmer

    At the end of the day you’re done with work, you go home—and you don’t spend any of your free time coding. And that’s fine, you have other things going on in your life. But your coworker does spend another 20 hours a week coding, and all that practice means they’ll end up better programmers than you, and so they’ll get promoted faster, and they’ll get paid more. And that’s not fine.

    It’s also not true.

Oracle's Brand War (Java) and LibreOffice

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  • Java EE renamed 'Jakarta EE' after Big Red brand spat

    The open source version of Java Enterprise Edition (Java EE) has been renamed Jakarta EE to satisfy Oracle's desire to control the "Java" brand.

    The renaming became necessary after Oracle moved Java EE to the Eclipse Foundation, a shift it hoped would see developers become more engaged with the project.

  • Good-bye JEE, hello Jakarta EE

    Remember when Oracle bought Sun? The one thing that seemed to make sense about this deal was Oracle's acquisition of Java. Almost 10 years later, Oracle gave up on Java Enterprise Edition (JEE), aka J2EE, and started spinning Java's still-popular enterprise middleware platform to the Eclipse Foundation. Now, under the aegis of the Eclipse Foundation, JEE has been renamed to Jakarta EE.

    Why? Because Oracle was never successful in monetizing Java. In large part, this was because of Sun and then Oracle's failed attempts to steer the Java Community.

    As Oracle's server-side Java evangelist, David Delabassee, admitted in August 2017: "We believe that moving Java EE technologies including reference implementations and test compatibility kit to an open source foundation may be the right next step, in order to adopt more agile processes, implement more flexible licensing, and change the governance process." 


    If Jakarta sounds familiar, it's because it is not the first time that name has been applied to a JEE server. From 1999 to 2011, the Apache Software Foundation ran Apache Jakarta, which covered all of Apache's open-source Java efforts.

  • LibreOffice Will (Finally) Use Native GTK Dialogs on Linux

    The next major release of LibreOffice will use native GTK3 dialogs on Linux desktops. 

    “Wait —LibreOffice doesn’t already use GTK dialogs?!” you might be asking. It was certainly my own first reaction when I opened an e-mail about the news in our tip inbox this morning (btw – thanks Dee!)

    Admittedly I do not use LibreOffice properly. Like, at all. Nothing against the suite itself — it’s rather marvellous — it’s just that the only writing I tend to do takes place inside a WordPress editor.

Clang is now used to build Chrome for Windows

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  • Clang is now used to build Chrome for Windows

    As of Chrome 64, Chrome for Windows is compiled with Clang. We now use Clang to build Chrome for all platforms it runs on: macOS, iOS, Linux, Chrome OS, Android, and Windows. Windows is the platform with the second most Chrome users after Android according to statcounter, which made this switch particularly exciting.

  • Google Finds Clang On Windows To Be Production-Ready For Building Chrome

    While Google has already been using LLVM's Clang C/C++ compiler to build the release builds of the Chrome web-browser for Linux rather than GCC and has also switched to using Clang on other platforms, this open-source C/C++ compiler has now been able to replace Microsoft's Visual C/C++ compiler for building Chrome on Windows.

  • Chrome on Windows ditches Microsoft’s compiler, now uses Clang

    Google's Chrome browser is now built using the Clang compiler on Windows. Previously built using the Microsoft C++ compiler, Google is now using the same compiler for Windows, macOS, Linux, and Android, and the switch makes Chrome arguably the first major software project to use Clang on Windows.

    Chrome on macOS and Linux has long been built using the Clang compiler and the LLVM toolchain. The open-source compiler is the compiler of choice on macOS, making it the natural option there, and it's also a first-class choice for Linux; though the venerable GCC is still the primary compiler choice on Linux, by using Clang instead, Google ensured that it has only one set of compiler quirks and oddities to work with rather than two.

Programming: Python, R, and Female Programmers

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  • Getting started with Python for data science

    Whether you're a budding data science enthusiast with a math or computer science background or an expert in an unrelated field, the possibilities data science offers are within your reach. And you don't need expensive, highly specialized enterprise software—the open source tools discussed in this article are all you need to get started.

    Python, its machine-learning and data science libraries (pandas, Keras, TensorFlow, scikit-learn, SciPy, NumPy, etc.), and its extensive list of visualization libraries (Matplotlib, pyplot, Plotly, etc.) are excellent FOSS tools for beginners and experts alike. Easy to learn, popular enough to offer community support, and armed with the latest emerging techniques and algorithms developed for data science, these comprise one of the best toolsets you can acquire when starting out.

  • A glimpse into R counterculture

    After many readers expressed their indignation, Milley wrote a follow-up blog post on the SAS website, which took on a considerably more diplomatic tone. She defended SAS as software that can be valued for its "support, reliability, and validation." Recent history, however, has made it much more difficult to conflate proprietary software with reliability or functionality.

    R certainly presents a powerful case study in how an open source language has rendered long-dominant proprietary software, such as SAS, largely irrelevant. Although it is difficult to quantify the size of R's user base, one interesting metric of popularity is its use in academic journal articles. In that court, R surpassed SAS in 2015. Additionally, although it is merely anecdotal, it is amusing to note a thread from 2017 on the Statistics subreddit, in which the original poster wonders why SAS is still around in substantial numbers. To paraphrase the prevailing response, companies still buy SAS because it's what they have always used in the past and change is hard! Or as Woodrow Wilson put it, "If you want to make enemies, try to change something."

    In contrast, there are developers and data science professionals who don't want to make any concessions to functionality. They want the optimal tools for their analyses, even if it means having to dig through Stack Overflow every now and then. For them, there is R. It started as a statistical computing environment, but it's had so many additions that it can now be classified as a general-purpose language.

  • 15 Most Popular Programming Languages Among Female Programmers

    It’s a known fact that there is a lack of gender diversity in the tech industry. While the companies and independent organizations are working to promote an open and inclusive environment, a lot of work needs to be done. However, a recent report from HackerRank suggests that things are slowly changing and the gender gap is slowly shrinking.

    Named Women in Tech 2018, this report is based on the response from more than 14,000 professional developers. Out of them, about 2,000 were female. Before digging up and finding the most popular programming languages among female programmers, let me tell you some encouraging facts about the ongoing change.

Programming/Development: Qt 3D Studio 1.1, The Journey Back to C, RcppArmadillo 0.8.400.0.0

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  • Qt 3D Studio 1.1 Released

    We are happy to announce that Qt 3D Studio 1.1 has now been released. This release introduces many improvements to the user interface and introduces an improved way to define data driven UI content.

  • Qt 3D Studio 1.1 Brings UI Improvements

    Qt 3D Studio 2.0 is coming this summer, but today marks the Qt 3D Studio 1.1 release as an incremental upgrade for those using this 3D user-interface authoring system that originated out of NVIDIA's open-source code.

  • The journey back to C
  • RcppArmadillo 0.8.400.0.0

    RcppArmadillo release 0.8.400.0.0, originally prepared and uploaded on February 19, finally hit CRAN today (after having been available via the RcppCore drat repo for a number of days). A corresponding Debian release was prepared and uploaded as well. This RcppArmadillo release contains Armadillo release 8.400.0 with a number of nice changes (see below for details), and continues our normal bi-monthly CRAN release cycle (slight delayes in CRAN processing notwithstanding).

Programming: 'DevOps', Eclipse Open J9, Jakarta EE

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  • How to hire the right DevOps talent

    DevOps culture is quickly gaining ground, and demand for top-notch DevOps talent is greater than ever at companies all over the world. With the annual base salary for a junior DevOps engineer now topping $100,000, IT professionals are hurrying to make the transition into DevOps.

  • Eclipse Open J9 – an Open Source Java Virtual Machine Based on the Eclipse OMR Project

    IBM has been working hard on their own flavor of the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) -- J9 JVM -- since 1997. J9 was built as a closed source (proprietary) independent implementation of the JVM whose class libraries were based on the licensed Sun (now OpenJDK) implementation. J9 has many enhancements and flag-bearing optimizations including: tiered compilation; shared classes; escape analysis; hardware specific optimizations, such as selecting the correct large page size; soft real-time garbage collector; API optimizations via Apache Harmony, dynamic ahead-of-time (AOT) compilation; several object locking specific optimizations; and more.

  • J2EE and JavaEE are Gone. Enterprise Java is Now Called Jakarta EE

    The popular enterprise application framework now has a new name - and a new direction.

    In the world of enterprise applications, few (if any) frameworks have ever been as widely adopted and deployed as Java and specifically enterprise flavors of Java.

    The first big incarnation of enterprise Java was known as J2EE. In 2006, Sun rebranded J2EE as JavaEE. Now in 2018, enterprise Java is being re-branded again, though this time it's losing the Java name.

  • On well executed releases and remote teams

    After some blood, sweat and tears, we finally brought Stacksmith into the world, yay!

    It’s been a lengthy and intense process that started with putting together a team to be able to build the product in the first place, and taking Bitnami’s experience and some existing tooling to make the cloud more accessible to everyone. It’s been a good week.

    However, I learnt something I didn’t quite grasp before: if you find really good people, focus on the right things, scope projects to an achievable goal and execute well, releases lack a certain explosion of emotions that are associated with big milestones. Compounded with the fact that the team that built the product are all working remotely, launch day was pretty much uneventful.

Programming: Python, Perl, and the unoptimalities of language specific build systems

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  • Why Python devs should use Pipenv
  • #17: Dependencies.

    As R users, we are spoiled. Early in the history of R, Kurt Hornik and Friedrich Leisch built support for packages right into R, and started the Comprehensive R Archive Network (CRAN). And R and CRAN had a fantastic run with. Roughly twenty years later, we are looking at over 12,000 packages which can (generally) be installed with absolute ease and no suprises. No other (relevant) open source language has anything of comparable rigour and quality. This is a big deal.

  • On the unoptimalities of language specific build systems

    A fairly big recent trend has been the emergence of new programming languages that are meant to be compiled into machine code. The silent (and sometimes not so silent) goal of these languages has been to replace C and C++ as the dominant systems programming language.

    All of these languages come with their own build system and dependency management optimised for that particular language. This makes sense as having a good developer experience is important and not having 20-30 years of legacy to carry with you means you can design and develop slick systems relatively easily. But, as always, there is a downside. Perhaps the main issue comes up pretty quickly when trying to combine said code with projects in other languages.

    A common approach is for the programming language in question to bundle up all its dependencies as source in a big clump. Then the advocates will say that "it's simple, just call our build system from yours and it gets built". This seems simple but it uses the weasieliest of all weasel words: just. Whenever someone tells you to "just" do something, what they almost always do is trying to trivialise away the hardest part of the entire operation. So it is here as well.

Programming: Qt Automotive Suite 2.0, Conan for C/C++, Ethical Oath for Programmers, Windows Kernel Bug

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  • Introducing Qt Automotive Suite 2.0

    We are excited to announce the Qt Automotive Suite 2.0, a great leap forward towards a unified HMI toolchain and framework for digital cockpit, available end of February 2018.

  • Qt Automotive Suite 2.0 Released

    Two years after unveiling Qt Automotive Suite 1.0 for designing digital cockpits for the ever increasing number of screens within cars, The Qt Company has today announced Qt Automotive Suite 2.0.

  • Conan package manager brings C and C++ to devops

    Conan, a distributed, open source package and dependency manager, promises to bring C and C++ into devops.

    The multiplatform package manager builds and shares native binaries. Conan’s ability to quickly create builds, port packages, and run them on different operating systems (Windows, Linux, MacOS, and FreeBSD) helps make C and C++ suitable for devops, said Harry Manley, a senior solutions engineer at JFrog, which sponsors the Conan project.

  • An ethical oath for programmers


    Nick Johnstone's "Programmer's Oath" is billed as "An oath for programmers, comparable to the Hippocratic Oath." Naturally, it's on Github and you can create a pull request if you think that Johnstone got something wrong.  

  • Compiler bug? Linker bug? Windows Kernel bug.

    Flaky failures are the worst. In this particular investigation, which spanned twenty months, we suspected hardware failure, compiler bugs, linker bugs, and other possibilities. Jumping too quickly to blaming hardware or build tools is a classic mistake, but in this case the mistake was that we weren’t thinking big enough. Yes, there was a linker bug, but we were also lucky enough to have hit a Windows kernel bug which is triggered by linkers!

    In September of 2016 we started noticing random failures when building Chrome – 3 out of 200 builds of Chrome failed when protoc.exe, one of the executables that is part of the build, crashed with an access violation. That is, we would build protoc.exe, and then run it to generate header files for the next build stage, but it would crash instead.

The npm Bug

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  • ​Show-stopping bug appears in npm Node.js package manager

    Are you a developer who uses npm as the package manager for your JavaScript or Node.js code? If so, do not -- I repeat do not -- upgrade to npm 5.7.0. Nothing good can come of it. As one user reported, "This destroyed 3 production servers after a single deploy!"

    So, what happened here? According to the npm GitHub bug report, "By running sudo npm under a non-root user (root users do not have the same effect), filesystem permissions are being heavily modified. For example, if I run sudo npm --help or sudo npm update -g, both commands cause my filesystem to change ownership of directories such as /etc, /usr, /boot, and other directories needed for running the system. It appears that the ownership is recursively changed to the user currently running npm."

  • Botched npm Update Crashes Linux Systems, Forces Users to Reinstall

    A bug in npm (Node Package Manager), the most widely used JavaScript package manager, will change ownership of crucial Linux system folders, such as /etc, /usr, /boot.

    Changing ownership of these files either crashes the system, various local apps, or prevents the system from booting, according to reports from users who installed npm v5.7.0. —the buggy npm update.

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Ubuntu: Logic Supply and Linux 4.15/Linux 4.16

  • Tiny Apollo Lake based mini-PCs run Ubuntu
    Logic Supply unveiled two 116 x 83 x 34mm mini-PCs built around a Celeron N3350: a CL200 with 3x USB ports and a CL210 that doubles memory to 2GB LPDDR4 and 32GB eMMC, and adds a second mini-DP and GbE port. Logic Supply announced its smallest mini-PCs to date with CL200 and CL210 models that measure just 116 x 83 x 34mm. The CL200 ships with Ubuntu 16.04 while the more advanced CL210 also offers Windows 10 IoT. Both of these “IoT Edge Device” mini-PCs tap Intel’s dual-core, 1.1GHz Celeron N3350 with 6W TDP from the Apollo Lake generation, and support digital media, data acquisition, automation, and network gateway applications.
  • Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Continues Prepping With The Linux 4.15 Kernel
    There were various calls by independent end-users voicing their two cents that Ubuntu 18.04 "Bionic Beaver" should ship with Linux 4.16 instead of Linux 4.15, but that isn't going to happen. In several different places the past few weeks I've seen various remarks made of how "Ubuntu 18.04 should ship with Linux 4.16" on the basis of either better Spectre/Meltdown support, Linux 4.16 will be out in time and neither 4.15 or 4.16 are even LTS releases, better hardware support, or users simply wanting all the goodies in Linux 4.16. But that's simply foolish given Ubuntu 18.04 is being a Long Term Support release and how close the timing ends up being as is.
  • Kernel Team summary: March 21, 2018
    On the road to 18.04 we have a 4.15 based kernel in the Bionic repository.

Graphics: mesa 17.3.7, mesa 18.0.0-rc5, VGA_Switcheroo and More

  • mesa 17.3.7
    Mesa 17.3.7 is now available.
  • Mesa 17.3.7 Released With A Bunch Of Fixes
    While Mesa 18.0 should finally be out on Friday as the major quarterly update to the Mesa 3D drivers, Mesa 17.3.7 is out today and it's a rather big update for being just another point release to last month's 17.3 series. Last week marked the release candidate of Mesa 17.3.7 with 50+ changes and then on Monday came a second release candidate given all the extra patches.
  • mesa 18.0.0-rc5
    The fifth and final release candidate for Mesa 18.0.0 is now available.
  • Mesa 18.0-RC5 Released, Mesa 18.0 Should Finally Be Out On Friday
    Nearly one and a half months since Mesa 18.0-RC4 and nearly one month since last seeing any Git activity on the "18.0" Mesa Git branch, it's finally been updated today with the availability of Mesa 18.0-RC5. Mesa release manager Emil Velikov announced this long-awaited release candidate today. He says this is the fifth and final release candidate. Given the month plus since the last RC, there are many fixes/changes in this release: In fact, more than 80 changes in total for Mesa 18.0-RC5.
  • Improved VGA_Switcheroo Going Into Linux 4.17
    Google's Sean Paul has sent in the final drm-misc-next pull request to DRM-Next of new feature material for the upcoming Linux 4.17 kernel cycle. Most notable with this final drm-misc-next update is the recent VGA_Switcheroo improvements by Lukas Wunner. This is the device link
  • AMD Posts Open-Source Driver Patches For Vega 12
    It's been a while since last hearing anything about the rumored "Vega 12" GPU but coming out this morning are a set of 42 patches providing support for this unreleased GPU within the mainline Linux kernel. Alex Deucher of AMD's Linux driver team sent out the 42 patches this morning providing initial support for Vega 12 within the AMDGPU DRM kernel driver.
  • DXVK Now Has An On-Disk Shader Cache
    DXVK, the exciting project implementing the Direct3D 11 API over Vulkan for Wine gamers, now has an on-disk shader cache.
  • Freedreno's MSM DRM Driver Continues Prepping For Adreno 600 Series Support
    Rob Clark has submitted the MSM DRM driver changes to DRM-Next for the Linux 4.17 kernel for benefiting Qualcomm SoC owners. Changes this cycle for the open-source MSM DRM driver include DSI updates, fixing some race conditions, DebugFS enhancements, MDP5 fixes, and refactoring/prep work for the Adreno 600 series support.
  • NVIDIA's Jetson TK1 Is Being EOL'ed Next Month
    Easily one of our favorite ARM single-board computers ever, the Jetson TK1 from NVIDIA, will be facing retirement next month. A Phoronix reader has tipped us off that NVIDIA has sent out their EOL notice that shipments of the Jetson TK1 developer kits will be ending by the end of April. Following that, it will just live on until distributors run out of their inventory.

Slax Linux Distribution Begins Planning For Its First 2018 Release

Arriving last Christmas was a rejuvenated release of Slax, the long-running, lightweight Linux distribution with its development restarting last year and having shifted from being a Slackware derivative to Debian and moving from KDE to Fluxbox+Compton. Those involved are working on a new Slax release for 2018. Slax lead developer Tomas Matejicek has announced work is underway on the next version of this modern Slax OS with Debian+Fluxbox. Read more Original: Work in progress on next version

Games: The Pillars of the Earth, Steam, Mighty Fight Federation, Civilization VI: Rise and Fall