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Kernel: Linux Foundation, 4.14 RC1 and Graphics

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Linux
  • Linux Foundation head proclaims year of Linux desktop – from a Mac

    In what could well take the award for the most hypocritical tech statement of the year, Linux Foundation executive director Jim Zemlin last week announced that 2017 was the year of the Linux desktop – while using a macOS machine for his presentation.

    Zemlin's statement was made during his keynote at the Open Source Summit 2017 that took place in Los Angeles from 11 to 14 September.

  • Kernel prepatch 4.14-rc1
  • The Exciting New Features Of The Linux 4.14 Kernel: Zstd, Vega Hugepages, AMD SME, New Drivers
  • The Graphics Talks Of The 2017 Open-Source Summit NA

    This week the Linux Foundation hosted their annual Open-Source Summit 2017 North America. There were two graphics talks this year led by Collabora developers.

    The slides for many of the talks from the 2017 Open-Source Summit NA can be found via the schedule page if hovering over a track.

    I've already covered some of the interesting ones like the Clear Linux GCC/GLIBC optimization approach while there were also just two Linux graphics talks of interest this year.

  • Experimental Nouveau Reclocking Patches Updated, Including For Maxwell GPUs

    Karol Herbst has sent out 29 updated patches on Friday for a major rework to the Nouveau clock related code for re-clocking and related functionality. This includes a "hacky workaround" for getting re-clocking to function on GeForce GTX 900 "Maxwell 2" GPUs.

    The 29 patches by this independent Nouveau contributor work on restoring clocks after a system suspend, fixed reclocking when entering suspend, initial support for thermal throttling and to trigger reclocking on temperature changes, the "hacky workaround" for Maxwell2 reclocking, a new debugfs file for changing the boost mode, and other related work.

  • [Old] The beginning of the end of the RadeonHD driver

    Soon it will be a decade since we started the RadeonHD driver, where we pushed ATI to a point of no return, got a proper C coded graphics driver and freely accessible documentation out. We all know just what happened to this in the end, and i will make a rather complete write-up spanning multiple blog entries over the following months. But while i was digging out backed up home directories for information, i came across this...

Python Growth and Possible Danger

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Development
  • Python explosion blamed on pandas

    Not content to bait developers by declaring that Python is the fastest-growing major programming language, coding community site Stack Overflow has revealed the reason for its metastasis.

    Coming a day after Programmer Day, which falls on the 256th day of the year – except January 7: – the explanatory post by data scientist David Robinson could be flagged as an off-by-one error.

    But his case for the rise and rise of Python is no less plausible for its tardiness. Programmers love pandas.

    Not the black-and-white bamboo eaters, but the Python data science library. "Pandas is by a large margin the tag most visited by Python developers, which isn't surprising after we saw its earlier growth," Robinson explained.

  • Devs unknowingly use “malicious” modules snuck into official Python repository

    The official repository for the widely used Python programming language has been tainted with modified code packages, a computer security authority in Slovakia warned. The authority also said the packages have been downloaded by unwitting developers who incorporated them into software over the past three months.

    Multiple code packages were uploaded to the Python Package Index, often abbreviated as PyPI, and were subsequently incorporated into software multiple times from June through this month, Slovakia's National Security Authority said in an advisory published Thursday. The unidentified people who made available the code packages gave them names that closely resembled those used for packages found in the standard Python library. The packages contained the exact same code as the upstream libraries except for an installation script, which was changed to include a "malicious (but relatively benign) code."

Programming: PyCon, Python, NativeScript and NVIDIA 381.26.17

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Development
  • [Older] Two days remaining for PyCon Pune 2018 CFP

    The CFP for PyCon Pune 2018 will close at the end of 15th September AOE. If you are thinking about submitting a talk, this is a good time to do that. The conference will happen from 8-11th February in Pune, India. The first 2 days are the main conference, a single track event where will have around 650 people. The last two days will be devsprints.

  • Python security transparency

    As Steve Dower noted in his lightning talk at the 2017 Python Language Summit, Python itself can be considered a security vulnerability—because of its power, its presence on a target system is a boon to attackers. Now, Dower is trying to address parts of that problem with a Python Enhancement Proposal (PEP) that would enable system administrators and others to detect when Python is being used for a nefarious purpose by increasing the "security transparency" of the language. It is not a solution that truly thwarts an attacker's ability to use Python in an unauthorized way, but will make it easier for administrators to detect, and eventually disable, those kinds of attacks.

  • Open Source NativeScript Mobile Framework Tackles Augmented Reality

    With augmented reality the new hotness in the mobile development space, companies right and left are jumping on the AR bandwagon, including Progress, which just announced upcoming support in its open source, cross-platform NativeScript framework.

    AR, popularized last year by the runaway success of Pokémon GO, lets developers enhance real-world imagery with computer-generated sensory input, such as graphics and sound.

  • NVIDIA 381.26.17 Adds Vulkan 1.0.61 Support

    For those wanting the bleeding-edge NVIDIA Vulkan driver support, a new beta was pushed out today providing same-day support for the Vulkan 1.0.61 update.

Debian Development and News: Google Blobs, RcppMsgPack 0.2.0, RcppRedis 0.1.8 and devscripts needs YOU!

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Development
Debian
  • Google Hangouts in Debian testing (Buster)

    Google offers a lot of software components packaged specifically for Debian and Debian-like Linux distributions. Examples are: Chrome, Earth and the Hangouts plugin. Also, there are many other Internet services doing the same: Spotify, Dropbox, etc. I’m really grateful for them, since this make our life easier.

    Problem is that our ecosystem is rather complex, with many distributions and many versions out there. I guess is not an easy task for them to keep such a big variety of support variations.

  • RcppMsgPack 0.2.0
  • RcppRedis 0.1.8
  • devscripts needs YOU!

    Over the past 10 years, I've been a member of a dwindling team of people maintaining the devscripts package in Debian.

  • My Free Software Activities in August 2017

    Here is my monthly report that covers what I have been doing for Debian.

Programming: Machine Learning, Women in Tech, Sublime Text 3.0, GitHub, Oracle Java and Compilers

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Development
  • Machine Learning Lends a Hand for Automated Software Testing

    Automated testing is increasingly important in development, especially for finding security issues, but fuzz testing requires a high level of expertise — and the sheer volume of code developers are working with, from third-party components to open source frameworks and projects, makes it hard to test every line of code. Now, a set of artificial intelligence-powered options like Microsoft’s Security Risk Detection service and Diffblue’s security scanner and test generation tools aim to make these techniques easier, faster and accessible to more developers.

    “If you ask developers what the most hated aspect of their job is, it’s testing and debugging,” Diffblue CEO and University of Oxford Professor of Computer Science Daniel Kroening told the New Stack.

  • Are Women in Tech Facing Extinction?

    We hear a lot about how few women work in tech. The numbers range from 3 percent in open source to 25 percent industry-wide. But frankly, those aren’t the numbers that scare me most. The numbers that scare the hell out me are the ones that underscore how many women are choosing to leave tech.

    The latest NCWIT data shows that women leave tech at twice the rate of men, and that number has been increasing since 1991. A Harvard Business Review study found that as many as 50 percent of women working in science, engineering and technology will, over time, leave because of hostile work environments.

  • Sublime Text 3.0 is released for download on MacOS, Windows and Linux
  • Open Source Atom Code Editor Gets IDE Features

    GitHub is morphing its open source code editor, Atom, into more of a full-fledged IDE with a new project appropriately called Atom-IDE.

    Just announced this week, Atom-IDE integrates programming language support in order to offer IDE-like features.

  • Migrating GitHub's Web and API to Kubernetes Running on Bare Metal

    Over the last year GitHub has evolved their internal infrastructure that runs the Ruby on Rails application responsible for github.com and api.github.com to run on Kubernetes. The migration began with web and API applications running on Unicorn processes that were deployed onto Puppet-managed bare metal ("metal cloud") servers, and ended with all web and API requests being served by containers running in Kubernetes clusters deployed onto the metal cloud.

    According to the GitHub engineering blog, the basic approach to deploying and running GitHub did not significantly change over the initial eight years of operation. However, GitHub itself changed dramatically, with new features, larger software communities, more GitHubbers on staff, and many more requests per second. As the organisation grew, the existing operational approach began to exhibit new problems: many teams wanted to extract the functionality into smaller services that could run and be deployed independently; and as the number of services increased, the SRE team found they were increasingly performing maintenance, which meant there was little time for enhancing the underlying platform. GitHub engineers needed a self-service platform they could use to experiment, deploy, and scale new services.

  • Oracle turns Java EE over to an open source foundation
  • The Basics of Going Serverless with Node.js

    Linda Nichols, of Cloudreach, will discuss the basics of serverless and why it works so well with Node.js at Node.js Interactive, Oct. 4-6, 2017 in Vancouver, BC Canada.
    The Linux Foundation

    Developers are continuing to look for more efficient and effective ways to build out applications, and one of the new approaches to this involves serverless applications, which are the future of lightweight, scalable, and performant applications development.

    The space of “serverless” is still fairly new and many developers and companies are wanting to go “serverless,” but don’t know how to orchestrate decisions like how to choose the right cloud provider, how to avoid vendor lock in. And, if you do change your mind about the cloud platform, does that mean you have to rewrite your application code?

  • Clear Linux & Their Love For FMV + dl_platform/dl_hwcap In The Name Of Performance

    For those mesmerized by the numbers whenever posting a cross-distribution comparison like the recent Core i9 7900X vs. Threadripper 1950X On Ubuntu 17.10, Antergos, Clear Linux with showing Intel's performance optimizations done on Clear Linux, Intel engineer Victor Rodriguez presented this week at the 2017 Open-Source Summit North America about some of their Linux performance boosting work.

    While Clear Linux ships with aggressive compiler flags and other optimizations, contrary to the belief of some, their distribution does work on Intel hardware going back to ~2011 and just not the most recent generations of CPUs. But for remaining optimized for both new and old hardware, they do utilize Function Multi-Versioning (FMV) as offered by GCC. They also rely upon optimized binaries for particular hardware platforms via GLIBC with the dl_platform/dl_hwcap features for shipping optimized libraries that are then selected at run-time based on the CPU. This is one of the approaches to how Clear Linux is already shipping with AVX-512 optimized libraries.

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  • GCC Finishing Up C++17 Adjustments, Preparing For C++2A

    While C++17 was just formally approved days ago and is now waiting for ISO publication, GCC (and Clang) developers have largely finished up their C++17 (formerly known as "C++1z") support for some time. There are just a few lingering patches for GCC and already are beginning to lay the ground work for C++2a.

    There's the longstanding GCC C++ status page where it does show all the major features of C++17/C++1z are complete in GCC 7. Red Hat's Jakub Jelinek sent out a patch this week with the final adjustments and now that C++1z is indeed going to be called C++17 officially.

Oracle: Liberating Java EE and Joining the Cloud Native Computing Foundation

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Development
Server
  • Red Hat Gives Thumbs Up to Java EE's Move to Eclipse

    So Java Enterprise Edition has a new home.

    Yesterday Oracle announced it's turning control of the platform over to the nonprofit Eclipse Foundation. On the surface, this makes a lot of sense, as the foundation's namesake project is the most widely used Java IDE. The announcement came just a month after Oracle said it was considering moving control of the platform to an open source foundation.

    All of the details have yet to be ironed-out, but in a blog Oracle's David Delabassee said that Oracle-led Java EE and related GlassFish technologies, including RIs, TCKs, and associated project documentation, will be re-licensed to the foundation, presumably under the Eclipse Public License. In addition, the project will be rebranded with a not yet determined new name.

  • Java EE to Eclipse: A Welcome Move

    In a blog post on the venerable Aquarium blog (started by the Glassfish team at Sun a decade or so ago) Oracle has announced that it has selected the Eclipse Foundation as the new home for Java EE. They will relicense and rename it and invent a new standards process. It looks like the MicroProfile rebellion was successful as this has all been negotiated with Red Hat and IBM as well.

    I don’t see this move as “dumping” Java EE. Moving a project to an open source Foundation is complex and expensive and Oracle should be congratulated on finally committing to this move. Java EE has already been uploaded to GitHub, but that’s not sufficient as the default Github Governance is isolation mediated via pull requests.

    Eclipse is an extremely good choice of host. It has evolved excellent governance that recognises both the primacy of technical contribution and the inevitability of corporate politics and keeps both in balance. It’s ideally suited to the complexities and politics of Java EE, having hosted multiple large projects and survived de-investment by its founder IBM. Under the smart and firm leadership of Mike Milinkovich, Eclipse is the perfect home for Java EE (or whatever Oracle will want us to call it).

  • Oracle opens up enterprise Java and moves it to the Eclipse Foundation
  • Java EE Is Moving to the Eclipse Foundation
  • Tech’s old guard continues to embrace Kubernetes, as Oracle joins the Cloud Native Computing Foundation

    Oracle has always been a little more pragmatic about the role of open-source software in the tech industry than a company like Microsoft, which fought the very concept tooth and nail for years. Still, now that both companies have joined the foundation at the heart of one of the most important open-source projects in enterprise tech at the moment, it’s another sign the center of gravity has shifted.

  • ​Oracle joins the Kubernetes movement

    Oracle joined the Cloud Native Computing Foundation and released Kubernetes on Oracle Linux and its own Kubernetes cloud installer.

Java EE Moves to the Eclipse Foundation, Functional Programming in JavaScript, and What Motivates Today's Developers

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Development
  • Opening Up Java EE - An Update

    In a previous post, we announced that Oracle was beginning to explore moving Java EE technologies to an open source foundation in order to make the process of evolving these standards more agile, flexible and open. Since mid-August, we’ve had many discussions with other vendors, community members and open source foundations in order to move the process forward. Here’s an update on the progress we have made so far.

  • Java EE Moves to the Eclipse Foundation

    Oracle announced today that they, along with IBM and Red Hat, will be moving Java EE to the Eclipse Foundation. I would like to welcome everyone involved to our community. We look forward to working with all of the participants in the Java EE ecosystem as it moves to a more open and collaborative development model.

  • Functional Programming in JavaScript? Yes Please.

    One of the hot topics right now in the web development world is functional programming in the language of the web, JavaScript.

    Functional programming encompasses a whole host of mathematical properties and phenomena that is beyond this post, but what I am going to address here is how to write a a few functions with nominal functional programming.

  • What Motivates Today's Developers?

    That's one of many takeaways from a new survey, aptly titled The 2017 State of the Modern Developer, that was conducted by research firm Coleman Parkes for the software analysis and measurement company CAST. In all, 500 developers in four countries -- USA, UK, France and Germany -- were surveyed. According to CAST, the research was conducted "to learn more about the motivators and behavior of modern developers, in addition to their attitude towards code quality."

GNOME/GTK: OpenGL, WebKitGTK+ 2.18.0, GTK4's Vulkan Support and Icon Size

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Development
GNOME
  • Flickerless Gtk3 OpenGL Transitions

    While I got OpenGL transitions working under Gtk3 at the end of last year basically matching the Gtk2/Generic OpenGL quality the transition into and out of the OpenGL sequence wasn't very satisfying. And with access to HiDPI it was clearly even worse with an unscaled image momentarily appearing before the correct one.

  • LibreOffice Gets Flicker-Free OpenGL Transitions

    Last year McNamara got GTK3 OpenGL transitions working, but it was less than perfect. But now he's managed to provide flicker-less GTK3 OpenGL transitions after landing some improvements into LibreOffice Git.

  • WebKitGTK+ 2.18.0 released!
  • WebKitGTK+ 2.18.0 Brings WebDriver Support, Remote Inspector & Kinetic Scrolling

    The WebDriver support is interesting and allows easily automating/scripting interactions with the browser. WebDriver is just geared for WebKit-based browsers. Details on the WebDriver WebKitGTK+ support via this blog post. When time magically allows I would like to investigate the feasibility of using it for some automated browser benchmarks.

    On the developer front the WebCrypto API is now enabled by default. Additionally, there are APIs to allow overriding the popup menu of select elements and to create a WebKitContextMenuItem from a GAction.

  • GTK4's Vulkan Support Continues Maturing

    One of the questions that came up following our GNOME 3.26 feature overview was how GTK4's Vulkan renderer is coming along.

    It's coming along as is GTK4, albeit not ready for production use quite yet.

  • You need an application icon of at least 64×64 in size

    At the moment the appstream-builder in Fedora requires a 48x48px application icon to be included in the AppStream metadata. I’m sure it’s no surprise that 48×48 padded to 64×64 and then interpolated up to 128×128 (for HiDPI screens) looks pretty bad. For Fedora 28 and higher I’m going to raise the minimum icon size to 64×64 which I hope people realize is actually a really low bar.

Programming: Build Systems, Phoronix Test Suite 7.4, Requests for Comments (RFCs) and Node.js

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Development
  • Meson+Ninja Showing Speedy Build Results For Shotwell
  • Phoronix Test Suite 7.4 M4 Released As "Tynset" Nears Final

    The last planned test/development release of Phoronix Test Suite 7.4-Tynset is now available ahead of the planned stable release in the days to come.

  • 6 lessons on using technical RFCs as a management tool

    As an engineering leader, I value trust and believe that individual contributors should be involved in architectural and high-level technical decision making. I consider every line of code to be a decision made on behalf of someone else (including your future self), and having a fast-growing distributed team makes technical decision making particularly difficult to manage.

    In the early days of building ride-sharing app Ride, we went from three to more than 25 members, across product, design, and engineering, in the first six months. We were tasked with the challenge of taking an early prototype for a carpooling platform and bringing it to life on the web, iOS, and Android. To make things more fun, we were also distributed across the United States, Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, and Ireland.

    [...]

    We weren't the first people to encounter this problem, so we looked at how open source software projects dealt with these situations, and came to the conclusion that adopting the Request for Comments (RFC) process would help us make better decisions together.

  • Modern Modules

    Re-thinking the Node.js ecosystem for modern JavaScript.

    A few months back I sat down to write some code.

    Node.js 8 had been out a while and I decided to take advantage of some of the new language features like async/await in my new code.

  • Using Node.js Packages Manager (NPM)
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More in Tux Machines

Android Leftovers

Latest KDE and Kubuntu

  • KDE Frameworks 5.41.0 Released with More Than 120 Improvements and Bugfixes
    The KDE Project released today a new version of its open-source KDE Frameworks software stack, a collection of over 70 add-on libraries to the Qt application framework, for GNU/Linux distributions. Each month, KDE releases a new KDE Frameworks build, and version 5.41.0 is now available for December 2017, bringing a month's worth of improvements, bug and security fixes, as well as updated translations.
  • KDE Frameworks 5.41 Released Ahead Of KDE Applications 17.12
    KDE Frameworks 5.41 is now available as the latest monthly update to this collection of add-on libraries complementing Qt5. KDE Frameworks 5.41 has a number of fixes including some crash fixes, updated translations, improvements to Kirigami, support for the idle inhibit manager protocol in KWayland, many Plasma Framework changes, and other updates.
  • Release of KDE Frameworks 5.41.0
    December 10, 2017. KDE today announces the release of KDE Frameworks 5.41.0. KDE Frameworks are 70 addon libraries to Qt which provide a wide variety of commonly needed functionality in mature, peer reviewed and well tested libraries with friendly licensing terms. For an introduction see the Frameworks 5.0 release announcement.
  • [Kubuntu] Testing a switch to default Breeze-Dark Plasma theme in Bionic daily isos and default settings
    Today’s daily ISO for Bionic Beaver 18.04 sees an experimental switch to the Breeze-Dark Plasma theme by default. Users running 18.04 development version who have not deliberately opted to use Breeze/Breeze-Light in their systemsettings will also see the change after upgrading packages. Users can easily revert back to the Breeze/Breeze-Light Plasma themes by changing this in systemsettings.

Games: Kim, ASTROKILL, Hearthlands and More

The Best Linux Laptop: A Buyer’s Guide with Picks from an RHCE

If you don’t posses the right knowledge & the experience, then finding the best Linux laptop can be a daunting task. And thus you can easily end-up with something that looks great, features great performance, but struggles to cope with ‘Linux’, shame! So, as a RedHat Certified Engineer, the author & the webmaster of this blog, and as a ‘Linux’ user with 14+ years of experience, I used all my knowledge to recommend to you a couple of laptops that I personally guarantee will let you run ‘Linux’ with ease. After 20+ hours of research (carefully looking through the hardware details & reading user feedback) I chose Dell XP S9360-3591-SLV, at the top of the line. If you want a laptop that’s equipped with modern features & excellent performance that ‘just works’ with Linux, then this is your best pick. It’s well built (aluminium chassis), lightweight (2.7 lb), features powerful hardware, long battery life, includes an excellent 13.3 inch Gorilla Glass touchscreen with 3200×1800 QHD resolution which should give you excellently sharp images without making anything too small & difficult to read, a good & roomy track-pad (earlier versions had a few issues with it, but now they seem to be gone) with rubber-like palm rest area and a good keyboard (the key travel is not deep, but it’s a very think laptop so…) with Backlit, two USB 3.0 ports. Most importantly, two of the most common elements of a laptop that can give ‘Linux’ user a headache, the wireless adapter & the GPU (yes the Intel HD Graphics 620 can play 4K videos at 60fps), they are both super compatible with ‘Linux’ on this Dell. Read more