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Happy 60th birthday, Fortran

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Development

The Fortran compiler, introduced in April 1957, was the first optimizing compiler, and it paved the way for many technical computing applications over the years. What Cobol did for business computing, Fortran did for scientific computing.

Fortran may be approaching retirement age, but that doesn't mean it's about to stop working. This year marks the 60th anniversary of the first Fortran (then styled "FORTRAN," for "FORmula TRANslation") release.

Even if you can't write a single line of it, you use Fortran every day: Operational weather forecast models are still largely written in Fortran, for example. Its focus on mathematical performance makes Fortran a common language in many high-performance computing applications, including computational fluid dynamics and computational chemistry. Although Fortran may not have the same popular appeal as newer languages, those languages owe much to the pioneering work of the Fortran development team.

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Collabora's Role in Linux Development

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Development
Linux
  • Nine Collabora Developers Have Contributed 46 Patches to the Linux 4.14 Kernel

    Collabora's Mark Filion informs Softpedia today on the contributions made by the Collabora developers to the recently released Linux 4.14 kernel series.

    Linux kernel 4.14 is the newest long-term supported (LTS) kernel series, bringing exciting new features like support for AMD Secure Memory Encryption, bigger memory limits, Heterogeneous Memory Management to support upcoming GPUs, faster TBL flushing, asynchronous non-blocking buffered reads, and much more.

  • Collabora & Linux Kernel 4.14

    Linus Torvalds has released Linux 4.14, so it's time to take a look at the Collaborans' contributions to this release. On total, we had 9 developers who authored 46 patches all around the kernel. In addition, 7 Collaborans contributed their time to review and test 40 patches. Finally, over a hundred patches found their way to Linus tree via our team, who provided over 108 non-author sign-offs during this development cycle.

    Taking a deeper look at the contributions, Sebastian Reichel continued on his role as the Power Supply maintainer. Aside from several improvements for the da9052 PMIC driver, he added a driver for PWM controllable vibrators, which will be used by the Motorola Droid 4. Romain Perier, who recently left Collabora, touched several users of the PCI DMA Pool wrappers, which is currently deprecated, and updated them to use the DMA Pool API directly, making it one step closer to complete his proposal to remove the pci_poll_*() macros.

Programming: Practical Functional Programming,Goodbye to C

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Development
  • Practical Functional Programming

    40 years ago, on October 17th, 1977, the Turing Award was presented to John Backus for his contribution to the design of high-level programming systems, most notably the Fortran programming language. All Turing Award winners are given the opportunity to present a lecture on a topic of their choice during the year in which they receive the award. As the creator of the Fortran programming language, one may have expected Backus to lecture on the benefits of Fortran and future developments in the language. Instead, he gave a lecture entitled Can programming be liberated from the Von Neumann style? in which he criticized some of the mainstream languages of the day, including Fortran, for their shortcomings. He also proposed an alternative: a functional style of programming.

  • The long goodbye to C

    I was thinking a couple of days ago about the new wave of systems languages now challenging C for its place at the top of the systems-programming heap – Go and Rust, in particular. I reached a startling realization – I have 35 years of experience in C. I write C code pretty much every week, but I can no longer remember when I last started a new project in C!

  • Ten interesting features from various modern languages
  • 7 Open-Source Test Automation Frameworks

    As we enter the last quarter of 2017, TestProject’s team decided to round up the best open-source test automation frameworks out there, to help you choose the right one for you!

    Here are the pros and cons of 7 different open-source test automation frameworks.

Programming and Hardware: Atom 1.22, BSD, GCC, RISC-V, ROCm

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Development
  • Atom 1.22

    Users who work with large projects will be happy to see we resolved a long-standing performance issue related to spawning Git processes to fetch Git status. This manifested in periodic pauses of Atom’s UI and we’ve seen a noticeably smoother experience.

    The autocomplete-plus default provider now computes suggestions natively and on a separate thread. This means no memory overhead and no threat to Atom’s responsiveness. Read more in our in-depth blog post on Atom’s new concurrency-friendly buffer implementation.

  • Atom 1.22 Hackable Text Editor Introduces Performance and Usability Improvements

    GitHub updated their open-source and cross-platform Atom hackable text editor to version 1.22, a monthly bugfix release that promises to add an extra layer of performance and usability improvements.

    Atom 1.22 is here to address a long-standing performance issue for those who work with large projects. The issue was related to the spawning of Git processes that fetch the Git status, and it would apparently occur at times.

  • The first AF3e preorders

    This morning, Google alerted me to a reputable site mentioning “Absolute FreeBSD, 3rd Edition.”

  • Paul Irofti (pirofti@) on hotplugd(8), math ports, xhci(4) and  other kernel advancements
  • Cannonlake Onboarding Posted For GCC Compiler

    An Intel developer is looking to merge the -march=cannonlake support for the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC).

  • Codasip and Avery Partner to Improve Regression Test Methodology of RISC-V Processors

    Codasip, the leading supplier of RISC-V® embedded CPU cores, today announced its partnership with Avery Design Systems, the provider of cutting-edge verification intellectual property (VIP) solutions for SoC and IP companies.

  • Exploring AMD’s Ambitious ROCm Initiative

    The ROCm developers wanted a platform that supports a number of different programming languages and is flexible enough to interface with different GPU-based hardware environments (Figure 1). As you will learn later in this article, ROCm provides direct support for OpenCL, Python, and several common C++ variants. One of the most innovative features of the platform is the Heterogeneous-Compute Interface for Portability (HIP) tool, which offers a vendor-neutral dialect of C++ that is ready to compile for either the AMD or CUDA/NVIDIA GPU environment.

  • RQuantLib 0.4.4: Several smaller updates

Giving Open-Source Projects Life After a Developer's Death

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Development
OSS

You've probably never heard of the late Jim Weirich or his software. But you've almost certainly used apps built on his work.

Weirich helped create several key tools for Ruby, the popular programming language used to write the code for sites like Hulu, Kickstarter, Twitter, and countless others. His code was open source, meaning that anyone could use it and modify it. "He was a seminal member of the western world's Ruby community," says Justin Searls, a Ruby developer and co-founder of the software company Test Double.

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Programming: GCC and LLVM Updates, new tint

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Development
GNU
BSD
  • New Qualcomm Saphira Server CPU Added To GCC

    Details are very scarce on the new Qualcomm "Saphira" processor, but initial support for it was added this week to the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC).

    Qualcomm Saphira isn't turning up much in search engines besides some trademark applications and the likes, but this new CPU is seeing quick support in GCC, perhaps due to GCC 8 feature development ending soon.

  • 5.0.1-rc1 has been tagged

    5.0.1-rc1 has been tagged, testers can begin testing and uploading binaries. If you run into any issues, please file bugs at bugs.llvm.org. There are still 2 weeks left until the 5.0.1 merge deadline, so there is still time to get fixes in.

  • LLVM 5.0.1 Is Coming In The Next Few Weeks

    Tom Stellard of Red Hat will once again be taking up duties as point release manager for LLVM.

    Tom has now tagged a 5.0.1-rc1 release for testers to begin trying out this first bug-fix update to LLVM 5.0, which itself was released in early September.

  • tint 0.0.4: Small enhancements

    A maintenance release of the tint package arrived on CRAN earlier today. Its name expands from tint is not tufte as the package offers a fresher take on the Tufte-style for html and pdf presentations.

Go Up, Many Programming Languages Go Down

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Development
  • Why Go is skyrocketing in popularity

    The Go programming language, sometimes referred to as Google's golang, is making strong gains in popularity. While languages such as Java and C continue to dominate programming, new models have emerged that are better suited to modern computing, particularly in the cloud. Go's increasing use is due, in part, to the fact that it is a lightweight, open source language suited for today's microservices architectures. Container darling Docker and Google's container orchestration product Kubernetes are built using Go. Go is also gaining ground in data science, with strengths that data scientists are looking for in overall performance and the ability to go from "the analyst's laptop to full production."

    As an engineered language (rather than something that evolved over time), Go benefits developers in multiple ways, including garbage collection, native concurrency, and many other native capabilities that reduce the need for developers to write code to handle memory leaks or networked apps. Go also provides many other features that fit well with microservices architectures and data science.

  • 15 Most Disliked Programming Languages That Developers Don’t Want To Work With

    It’s a well-known fact that your choice of a programming language decides the growth of your career as a developer. For example, if you’re an Android developer, you must start learning Kotlin programming and join the army of developers who are ready to walk with the changing trend. The same could be said for iOS developers who are learning Swift.

    But, what if you are a programming novice and looking for a new language? In this scenario, it’s advisable to start with easy-to-learn programming languages like Python or JavaScript. To help you out in this decision and give you a good idea of the languages which are disliked by the programmers, Stack Overflow has published a blog post.

GitLab Changes its Contributor Licensing to Better Serve Open-Source Projects

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Development
Legal
  • GitLab Changes its Contributor Licensing to Better Serve Open-Source Projects

    Self-hosted Git repository management tool GitLab today announced that it is abandoning its Contributor Licensing Agreement (CLA) and adopting a Developer Certificate of Origin (DCO) and license.

    According to the company, which claims 67% market share in the self-hosted Git market, "the DCO gives developers greater flexibility and portability for their contributions."

  • GitLab Transitions Contributor Licensing to Developer Certificate of Origin to Better Support Open Source Projects; Empower Contributors

    GitLab, a software product used by 2/3 of all enterprises, today announced it was abandoning the industry-standard Contributor License Agreement (CLA) in favor of a Developer Certificate of Origin (DCO) and license. The DCO gives developers greater flexibility and portability for their contributions. The move has already attracted the attention of large open source projects who recognize the benefits. Debian and GNOME both plan to migrate their communities and open source projects to GitLab.

    GitLab's move away from a CLA is meant to modernize its code hosting and collaborative development infrastructure for all open source projects. Additionally, requiring a CLA became problematic for developers who didn't want to enter into legal terms; they weren't reviewing the CLA contract and they effectively gave up their rights to own and contribute to open source code.

Programming: Node.js 8 and Open Source Sparse Tensors

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Development
  • NEWS: Node.js 8 Moves into Long-Term Support and Node.js 9 Becomes the New Current Release Line

    We are super excited to announce that later today Node.js 8 will be ready for production as it transfers into the de facto Long-Term Support release line opening it up to a larger user base that demands stability and security (Node.js 8.9.0 is the first official Node.js 8 release to hit LTS status). Node.js 8 is one of the biggest release lines from the Node.js community to date with features and add-ons like Async / Await and V8 JavaScript Engine 6.1. It is up to 20 percent faster than its predecessor Node.js 6 (source nearForm) in typical web applications. An early tester found that Node.js 8 cut its web response by 70 percent:

  • Open Source Sparse Tensor Computation Is Fast

    Tensors are data tables in n dimensions and when they occur they are often sparse, i.e. most of the entries are zero. In the past we have hand-crafted code to work efficiently with sparse tensors, but now we have Taco, an open source compiler that can automatically generate code that can run up to 100 times faster.

Programming: pinp, GNSS, JavaScript, Security Updates

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Development
  • pinp 0.0.3: More docs, more features

    Our pinp package for snazzier one or two column vignette received it second update. Now at version 0.0.3, it arrived on CRAN on Saturday with minimal fuzz as an 'CRAN-pretest-publish' transition.

  • Google lets Android devs see nanosecond-level GNSS data

    Created for phone designers, The Chocolate Factory has decided the raw GNSS data is also valuable to researchers, writing that the data “allows you to see the behavior of the GNSS receiver in great detail, including receiver clock offset and drift to the order of 1 nanosecond and 1 ppb [part per billion – El Reg] and measurement errors on a satellite-by-satellite basis.

  • ES8, the Javascript standard of 2017

    Surely you will know that since 2015 it was agreed to update the Javascript standard every year in order to keep JS up to date in a smooth way. The changes of last year were very decaffeinated, but this year we have some juicier news.

  • Security updates for Tuesday
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