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Development

Programming: "User", Choice of Language, SpiceyPy and Firefox Development

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Development
  • Never use the word “User” in your code

    To begin with, no software system actually has “users”. At first glance “user” is a fine description, but once you look a little closer you realize that your business logic actually has more complexity than that.

  • How many programming languages have you used?

    In the 1940s, Grace Hopper was in the Navy Reserves doing programming at the machine level, bit by bit. She realized how limiting it was for humans to use a language meant for machines and wanted to radically change the process by which we program. Without a change, she knew that computing would never reach its potential.

    "Once humans could learn to speak programming languages and once compilers began translating our intentions into machine language, it was like opening the floodgates," says the host of the Command Line Heroes podcast, Saren Yetbarek.

    Learn more about Grace Hopper and why there are so many programming languages, plus history on the first open source compiler, by listening to Episode 2 of Command Line Heroes Season 2.

  • Writing Solar System Simulations with NAIF SPICE and SpiceyPy

    Someone asked me about my Javascript Jupiter code, and whether it used PyEphem. It doesn't, of course, because it's Javascript, not Python (I wish there was something as easy as PyEphem for Javascript!); instead it uses code from the book Astronomical Formulae for Calculators by Jean Meeus. (His better known Astronomical Algorithms, intended for computers rather than calculators, is actually harder to use for programming because Astronomical Algorithms is written for BASIC and the algorithms are relatively hard to translate into other languages, whereas Astronomical Formulae for Calculators concentrates on explaining the algorithms clearly, so you can punch them into a calculator by hand, and this ends up making it fairly easy to implement them in a modern computer language as well.)

    Anyway, the person asking also mentioned JPL's page HORIZONS Ephemerides page, which I've certainly found useful at times. Years ago, I tried emailing the site maintainer asking if they might consider releasing the code as open source; it seemed like a reasonable request, given that it came from a government agency and didn't involve anything secret. But I never got an answer.

  • These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 45

Linux developers threaten to pull “kill switch”

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Development
Linux

Linux powers the internet, the Android in your pocket, and perhaps even some of your household appliances. A controversy over politics is now seeing some of its developers threatening to withdraw the license to all of their code, potentially destroying or making the whole Linux kernel unusable for a very long time.

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Happy 20th anniversary, KDevelop

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Development
KDE

20 years of getting feature by feature, sometimes first of its kind, being partially rewritten, getting ported from Qt1 to Qt2 to Qt3 to Qt4 to now Qt5, being made run on non-Linux platforms, seeing hand-overs of maintainers.
At its 20th anniversary KDevelop, now to be called an extensible cross-platform IDE for C, C++, Python, PHP and other languages, continues to provide developers a very reliable and powerful environment to get their code work done. While being inviting to enhance their tool, KDevelop, itself, being a FLOSS software and with no company agenda attached.

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A Time Namespace Has Been Proposed For The Linux Kernel

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Development
Linux

A set of experimental patches were sent out on Wednesday for implementing a time namespace within the kernel, part of an effort that's been going on for more than a decade around time virtualization.

These 20 patches under a "request for comments" flag allow for per-namespace offsets to the system clocks, including for monotonic and boot-time clocks.

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Reply to Rick Moen on DNG

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Development
Linux
OSS

Ah, deliciously vague language. Useful to, in time, get uncooperative maintainers thrown off the project to be replaced by more cooperative, on-message maintainers. Remember that technical merit or quality is not the goal of the author of the Contributor Covenant on which this CoC is directly based.

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Databases and Python Programming

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Development
  • NoSQL Books

    One of the most basic choices to make when developing an application is whether to use a SQL or NoSQL database to store the data. “NoSQL” simply means non-relational and not SQL. It’s sometimes referred to as unstructured storage.

    Like any type of database, NoSQL systems are used for storing and retrieving data. But NoSQL systems store and manage data in ways that allow for high operational speed and great flexibility which is extremely useful for big data databases and cloud databases.

  • Canonical Announces Extended Security Maintenance for Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, Mozilla to Discuss the Future of Advertising at ICDPPC, Newegg Attacked, MetaCase Launches MetaEdit+ 5.5 and MariaDB Acquires Clustrix

    MariaDB has acquired Clustrix, the "pioneer in distributed database technology". According to the press release, this acquisition gives "MariaDB's open source database the scalability and high-availability that rivals or exceeds Oracle and Amazon while foregoing the need for expensive computing platforms or high licensing fees."

  • Python 3.7 beginner's cheat sheet

    The Python programming language is known for its large community and diverse extension menu, but much is packed into the language itself. This cheat sheet rounds up a few built-in pieces to get new Python programmers started.

  • 8 Python packages that will simplify your life with Django

    Django developers, we're devoting this month's Python column to packages that will help you. These are our favorite Django libraries for saving time, cutting down on boilerplate code, and generally simplifying our lives. We've got six packages for Django apps and two for Django's REST Framework, and we're not kidding when we say these packages show up in almost every project we work on.

    But first, see our tips for making the Django Admin more secure and an article on 5 favorite open source Django packages.

The best editor for PHP developers who work in Linux OS

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Development
Software

Every programmer knows that coding is fun! Don't you agree with me? However, to be an absolutely professional PHP developer, we have to know a lot about all the specific details of coding.

Selecting the editor you are going to use to happily code is not an easy decision and must be taken unhurriedly.

If you are a beginner, you may try a great code editor with a rich functionality and very flexible customization which is known as Atom Editor, the editor of the XXI century. You may say that we have many pretty alternatives available. Read the explanation below, and the introduced information will knock you off!

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Moving Compiler Dependency Checks to Kconfig

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Development
Linux

One reason became clear recently when Linus Torvalds asked developers to add an entirely new system of dependency checks to the Kconfig language, specifically testing the capabilities of the GCC compiler.

It's actually an important issue. The Linux kernel wants to support as many versions of GCC as possible—so long as doing so would not require too much insanity in the kernel code itself—but different versions of GCC support different features. The GCC developers always are tweaking and adjusting, and GCC releases also sometimes have bugs that need to be worked around. Some Linux kernel features can only be built using one version of the compiler or another. And, some features build better or faster if they can take advantage of various GCC features that exist only in certain versions.

Up until this year, the kernel build system has had to check all those compiler features by hand, using many hacky methods. The art of probing a tool to find out if it supports a given feature dates back decades and is filled with insanity. Imagine giving a command that you know will fail, but giving it anyway because the specific manner of failure will tell you what you need to know for a future command to work. Now imagine hundreds of hacks like that in the Linux kernel build system.

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New CloudBees Suite Addresses DevOps Gaps in Software Delivery

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Development
OSS

CloudBees is bringing a set of products into a new CloudBees Suite that it said will help companies of all sizes streamline the software development process. The new software is set to be announced Sept. 18 at the company’s DevOps World / Jenkins World conference in San Francisco. Jenkins is the open-source version of CloudBees, which is a commercial offering.

A central piece of the CloudBees Suite is the CloudBees Core for unified governance of continuous delivery operations and processes used in DevOps. Software pipelines can also use Core to run software pipelines more efficiently in a self-managed way in the cloud or on-premises.

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Also: CloudBees Announces Availability of Support for Jenkins Open Source

Variety Wallpaper Changer And Downloader 0.7.0 Ported To Python 3, Adds Support For Settings GDM Background

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Development
Software

A new major version of Variety Wallpaper Changer is out. With the latest 0.7.0 release, Variety was ported to Python 3, while also receiving some improvements like support for setting the Gnome Screensaver / GDM background to match the desktop wallpaper.

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More in Tux Machines

CPod – A Simple, Beautiful And Cross-platform Podcast App

Podcasts have become very popular in the last few years. Podcasts are what’s called “infotainment”, they are generally light-hearted, but they generally give you valuable information. Podcasts have blown up in the last few years, and if you like something, chances are there is a podcast about it. There are a lot of podcast players out there for the Linux desktop, but if you want something that is visually beautiful, has slick animations, and works on every platform, there aren’t a lot of alternatives to CPod. CPod (formerly known as Cumulonimbus) is an open source and slickest podcast app that works on Linux, MacOS and Windows. CPod runs on something called Electron – a tool that allows developers to build cross-platform (E.g Windows, MacOs and Linux) desktop GUI applications. In this brief guide, we will be discussing – how to install and use CPod podcast app in Linux. Read more

today's howtos

Security: Updates, Anonymity, EFF and Open Source Security Podcast

  • Security updates for Monday
  • For Hackers, Anonymity Was Once Critical. That’s Changing.

    “This is a profession for a lot of people now,” she added. “And you can’t fill out a W-9 with your hacker handle.”

    [...]

    “The thing I worry about today,” he added, taking a more serious tone, “is that people don’t get do-overs.” Young people now have to contend with the real-name policy on Facebook, he said, along with the ever-hovering threats of facial-recognition software and aggregated data. “How are you going to learn to navigate in this world if you never get to make a mistake — and if every mistake you do make follows you forever?”

  • EFF Leader: Security Decisions Are Different When Women Are In The Room
    Women will have their technical credentials doubted throughout their career, said the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Eva Galperin, but being able to participate in important privacy and security decisions makes it worthwhile.
  • Open Source Security Podcast: Episode 115 - Discussion with Brian Hajost from SteelCloud
    Josh and Kurt talk to Brian Hajost from SteelCloud about public sector compliance. The world of public sector compliance can be confusing and strange, but it's not that bad when it's explained by someone with experience.

Android Leftovers