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GCC 9 Drops Support For Older ARM Microarchitecture Versions

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Next year's GCC 9 compiler release will be eliminating support for older ARM versions.

Fortunately, ARMv7 and newer is still in great shape given they are still common and even ARMv6 support is also still supported by the GNU Compiler Collection. But as of Friday they dropped support for ARMv3 and older followed by dropping ARMv5 and ARMv5E.

The dropping of ARMv3 and older even includes finally eliminating the support for ARM2. The ARM2 target in GCC is finally no more.

This doesn't come as too much of a surprise though with pre-ARMv4T support being deprecated since GCC 6 and the ARMv5 support being deprecated since GCC 7 last year.

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Also: Announcing git-cinnabar 0.5.0 beta 3

Embracing and Extending Git, Push Notifications Harmful

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  • Git Has A New Wire Protocol Yielding Much Greater Performance

    The Git Protocol Version 2 was announced today by Google as a major update to the distributed revision control system's wire protocol. Git protocol version 2 is much more efficient and yields significant performance benefits.

    The new Git wire protocol offers server-side filtering for references, easy extensibility for new features, and simplified client handling of the HTTP transport.

  • Introducing Git protocol version 2

    Today we announce Git protocol version 2, a major update of Git's wire protocol (how clones, fetches and pushes are communicated between clients and servers). This update removes one of the most inefficient parts of the Git protocol and fixes an extensibility bottleneck, unblocking the path to more wire protocol improvements in the future.

    The protocol version 2 spec can be found here.


    We recently rolled out support for protocol version 2 at Google and have seen a performance improvement of 3x for no-op fetches of a single branch on repositories containing 500k references. Protocol v2 has also enabled a reduction of 8x of the overhead bytes (non-packfile) sent from servers. A majority of this improvement is due to filtering references advertised by the server to the refs the client has expressed interest in.

  • Push Notifications Considered Harmful

Qt 3D Studio 2.0 Beta Available

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  • Qt 3D Studio 2.0 Beta Available

    We are getting close to releasing the Qt 3D Studio 2.0 and the first Beta is released today. First beta packages are now available through the Qt online installer & Qt download. Let’s have a quick summary of the changes & new features we are introducing. For detailed information about the Qt 3D Studio please visit our web pages at:

  • Qt 3D Studio 2.0 Reaches Beta

    Qt 3D Studio, the 3D focused user-interface IDE born out of NVIDIA's big code contribution to Qt, is now in beta for its version 2.0 update.

    The big focus for Qt 3D Studio 2.0 has been on developing a new runtime based upon Qt 3D. That is happening and Qt 3D Studio is still on track for releasing around June while the Qt 3D Studio 2.1 release is expected in September and Qt 3D Studio 2.2 in December, per earlier communication.

Kali Linux vs Ubuntu – Which Distro is Better for Hacking?

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Kali Linux is the most popular penetration testing and hacking Linux distroibution and Ubuntu is the most popular Linux distribution. Since it is kind of common knowledge that Linux is a more convenient OS to use for hacking than Windows, the next question is a no-brainer; which Linux distro is the best to use for hacking?

But what is hacking anyway? And why does it matter which distribution is being used? Let’s get to it.

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PacVim and 5 Emacs modes for writers

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  • PacVim – A CLI Game To Learn Vim Commands

    Howdy, Vim users! Today, I stumbled upon a cool utility to sharpen your Vim usage skills. Vim is a great editor to write and edit code. However, some of you (including me) are still struggling with the steep learning curve. Not anymore! Meet PacVim, a CLI game that helps you to learn Vim commands. PacVim is inspired by the classic game PacMan and it gives you plenty of practice with Vim commands in a fun and interesting way. Simply put, PacVim is a fun, free way to learn about the vim commands in-depth. Please do not confuse PacMan with pacman (the arch Linux package manager). PacMan is a classic, popular arcade game released in the 1980s.

  • 5 Emacs modes for writers

    Not all writers work within the confines of a word processor. More than a few of us tap out words in a humble (and sometimes not so humble) text editor.

    When you find a text editor that works for you, and works the way you want it to, you tend to hold onto it like that beaten up leather jacket, like that dog-eared book, or like that collection of old vinyl records.

    For some, that editor is vi or Vim. For others, it's Nano or Atom. For me, that editor is Emacs. Why? Mainly because of its variety of modes, including some crafted especially for writers.

    Here's a look at five Emacs modes that writers will find useful.

Programming: Python and MapTool

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  • Plotting the Jet Stream, or Other Winds, with ECMWF Data

    I've been trying to learn more about weather from a friend who used to work in the field -- in particular, New Mexico's notoriously windy spring. One of the reasons behind our spring winds relates to the location of the jet stream. But I couldn't find many good references showing how the jet stream moves throughout the year. So I decided to try to plot it myself -- if I could find the data. Getting weather data can surprisingly hard.

    In my search, I stumbled across Geert Barentsen's excellent Annual variations in the jet stream (video). It wasn't quite what I wanted -- it shows the position of the jet stream in December in successive years -- but the important thing is that he provides a Python script on GitHub that shows how he produced his beautiful animation.

  • An introduction to the Pyramid web framework for Python

    In the first article in this four-part series comparing different Python web frameworks, I explained how to create a To-Do List web application in the Flask web framework. In this second article, I'll do the same task with the Pyramid web framework. Future articles will look at Tornado and Django; as I go along, I'll explore more of the differences among them.

  • MapTool: A robust, flexible virtual tabletop for RPGs

    When I was looking for a virtual tabletop for role-playing games (RPGs), either for local play or for playing on a network with family and friends around the world, I had several criteria. First, I wanted a platform I could use offline while I prepped a campaign. Second, I didn't want something that came with the burden of being a social network. I wanted the equivalent of a Sword Coast campaign-setting boxed set that I could put on my digital "shelf" and use when I wanted, how I wanted.

GNU: LibreJS 7.14, Hiring, and GNU Guix

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  • LibreJS 7.14 released

    GNU LibreJS aims to address the JavaScript problem described in Richard Stallman's article The JavaScript Trap. LibreJS is a free add-on for GNU IceCat and other Mozilla-based browsers. It blocks nonfree nontrivial JavaScript while allowing JavaScript that is free and/or trivial.

  • Contract opportunity: JavaScript Developer for GNU LibreJS

    The Free Software Foundation (FSF), a Massachusetts 501(c)(3) charity with a worldwide mission to protect computer user freedom, seeks a contract JavaScript Developer to work on GNU LibreJS, a free browser add-on that addresses the problem of nonfree JavaScript described in Richard Stallman's article The JavaScript Trap. This is a temporary, paid contract opportunity, with specific deliverables, hours, term, and payment to be determined with the selected candidate. We anticipate the contract being approximately 80 hours of full-time work, with the possibility of extension depending on results and project status.

  • Paper on reproducible bioinformatics pipelines with Guix

    I’m happy to announce that the bioinformatics group at the Max Delbrück Center that I’m working with has released a preprint of a paper on reproducibility with the title Reproducible genomics analysis pipelines with GNU Guix.

    We built a collection of bioinformatics pipelines called "PiGx" ("Pipelines in Genomix") and packaged them as first-class packages with GNU Guix. Then we looked at the degree to which the software achieves bit-reproducibility, analysed sources of non-determinism (e.g. time stamps), discussed experimental reproducibility at runtime (e.g. random number generators, the interface provided by the kernel and the GNU C library, etc) and commented on the practice of using “containers” (or application bundles) instead.

Changing the world, one line of code at a time

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It's hard to beat the business case for open source: teams of motivated individuals working with intent to solve problems with software. But how do organisations attract and retain open source talent?

Increasingly, these engineers are turning up for the gig, and a good salary is no longer their only consideration.

They're also building their CVs on GitHub, which is more meaningful than their formal work experience, said Werner Knoblich, Red Hat's senior vice president and general manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa, at the company's summit in San Francisco this week.

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You have GNU sense of humor! Glibc abortion 'joke' diff tiff leaves Richard Stallman miffed

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Late last month, open-source contributor Raymond Nicholson proposed a change to the manual for glibc, the GNU implementation of the C programming language's standard library, to remove "the abortion joke," which accompanied the explanation of libc's abort() function.

Nicholson said: "The joke does not provide any useful information about the abort() function so removing it will not hinder use of glibc."

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Programming: HHVM 3.26 and Qt 5.11

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  • HHVM 3.26 - Introducing HackC

    HHVM 3.26 is released! Highlights include a new frontend, relicensing of the typechecker and related tools and libraries to MIT, and support for Ubuntu 18.04. Packages have been published in the usual places.

  • HHVM 3.26 Released With New HackC Compiler Front-End

    The Facebook developers working on the HHVM interpreter for PHP/Hack have announced the major v3.26 update.

    HHVM 3.26 is a major release in that it now uses the HackC compiler front-end by default. HackC offers a full-fidelity parser and bytecode emitter for both Hack and PHP languages. HHVM developers are planning to drop their legacy front-end to HHVM in their next release (v3.27).

  • Compressed Textures in Qt 5.11

    As modern user interfaces become ever more graphics intensive, the demands on graphics memory to hold the textures increase. This is particularly relevant for embedded systems, where resources come at a higher premium, and can be a challenge for system performance. One of the key remedies for this is to reduce the memory requirements of the graphics assets.

  • Qt 5.11 Adding Khronos KTX Texture Support To Qt Quick

    Of the many features coming in the soon-to-be-released Qt 5.11 is better support for compressed textures with Qt Quick.

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Krita 4.1.1 Released

When it is updated, you can also use the Krita Lime PPA to install Krita 4.1.1 on Ubuntu and derivatives. We are working on an updated snap. Read more

Qt Creator 4.7.0

  • Qt Creator 4.7.0 released
    We are happy to announce the release of Qt Creator 4.7.0!
  • Qt Creator 4.7 Released With Clang Code Model Turned On By Default
    The Qt Company has officially released Qt Creator 4.7 as the newest feature release to this open-source, cross-platform Qt/C++ focused integrated development environment. Today's Qt Creator 4.7 IDE release is quite significant in that it finally turns on the Clang code model by default. The Clang code model provides significantly better C++ support over what was offered by their in-house code model and will stay better up-to-date with newer C/C++ standards, etc. The Clang code model in Qt Creator 4.7 is based on LLVM/Clang 6.0.

Linux Security

  • Security updates for Wednesday
  • PTI Support To Address Meltdown Nearing The Finish Line For x86 32-bit Linux
    While Page Table Isolation (PTI/KPTI) has been available since the Meltdown CPU vulnerability was disclosed at the start of the year, that's been for x86_64 Linux while the x86 32-bit support has remained a work-in-progress and only relatively recently has come together. Joerg Roedel sent out the eighth version of the x86-32 PTI patches today, which address feedback following a good round of review. This latest page table isolation work for x86 32-bit address more developer feedback and tidies up some of the code.
  • Linux To Better Protect Entropy Sent In From User-Space
    Fedora has begun utilizing a user-space jitter entropy daemon for feeding entropy to the kernel at boot time in case not enough is available for the kernel's random needs. But with that approach not being from a true hardware random number generator, a patch worked out by veteran Linux kernel developer Ted Ts'o will mix in RdRand entropy. Fedora has resorted to a user-space jitter entropy daemon to workaround slow boot times on a sub-set of systems/VMs when using recent kernels. A change was made to the kernel earlier this year for addressing CVE-2018-1108, which is about a weakness in the kernel's random seed data whereby early processes in the boot sequence could not have random enough data. But the fix dramatically slows down systems booting by waiting until sufficient entropy is available. This is problematic particularly for VMs where virtio-rng is not present. For some users, they can't get the system(s) booted on affected kernels unless tapping on keyboard keys enough times for generating sufficient entropy.
  • Linux 4.17.8
    I'm announcing the release of the 4.17.8 kernel. This is to fix the i386 issue that was in the 4.17.7 release.  All should be fine now.
  • SPECTRE Variant 1 scanning tool
  • When your software is used way after you EOL it.
    One of my first jobs was working on a satellite project called ALEXIS at Los Alamos National Laboratory and had been part of a Congressional plan to explore making space missions faster and cheaper. This meant the project was a mix-mash of whatever computer systems were available at the time. Satellite tracking was planned on I think a Macintosh SE, the main uploads and capture were a combination of off the shelf hardware and a Sparc 10. Other analysis was done on spare Digital and SGI Irix systems. It was here I really learned a lot about system administration as each of those systems had their own 'quirks' and ways of doing things. I worked on this for about a year as a Graduate Research Assistant, and learned a lot about how many projects in science and industrial controls get 'frozen' in place way longer than anyone writing the software expects. This is because at a certain point the device becomes cheaper to keep running than replace or even updating. So when I was watching this USGS video this morning,

Raspberry Pi On Linux 4.19 Will Be Able To Report Under-Voltage Issues

The Linux 4.19 kernel will be introducing a new "raspberrypi-hwmon" driver capable of reporting under-voltage conditions for Raspberry Pi boards. This Raspberry Pi Hwmon driver makes it easy to find out if your ARM SBC is suffering from any under-voltage condition: the driver reports the under-voltage sensor state via a mailbox interface with the VC4 firmware. Undervoltage conditions are then written to the kernel log. Read more