Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

OSS

Our favorite open source writing tools

Filed under
OSS

Writing is one of the primary ways we communicate, and it's endlessly fascinating to see the different ways writers work. I can hardly imagine writing before computers and their ability to instantly edit and rearrange the words I've typed onto a screen. Likewise, I wonder whether people who started out writing on a typewriter process their thoughts differently, even on a modern word processor, or whether their workflow has changed and adapted because of these new tools.

We asked some of our correspondents how they get their thoughts into comprehensible words and what open source tools they prefer while doing so. As you might expect, we got different answers from everyone who answered.

Read more

Proprietary Software and Linux Foundation

Filed under
Linux
OSS
  • [PCLinuxOS] Opera Browser updated to 70.0.3728.106

    Opera is a Chromium-based browser using the Blink layout engine. It differentiates itself because of a distinct user interface and other features.

  • Vivaldi Explains Why They Make "Proprietary Garbage"

    It is unfair to say that Vivaldi is not open source at all as someone like Distrotube has done, the way the company behind Vivaldi has decided to handle this application is by using a dual licensing system where the open source portion of the application is licensed under an open source BSD license but that's not the point of today, the point is to explain why they have decided to license their software in such a way.

  • Scientists Forced To Change Names Of Human Genes Because Of Microsoft's Failure To Patch Excel

    Six years ago, Techdirt wrote about a curious issue with Microsoft's Excel. A default date conversion feature was altering the names of genes, because they looked like dates. For example, the tumor suppressor gene DEC1 (Deleted in Esophageal Cancer 1) was being converted to "1-DEC". Hardly a widespread problem, you might think. Not so: research in 2016 found that nearly 20% of 3500 papers taken from leading genomic journals contained gene lists that had been corrupted by Excel's re-interpretation of names as dates. Although there don't seem to be any instances where this led to serious errors, there is a natural concern that it could distort research results. The good news is this problem has now been fixed. The rather surprising news is that it wasn't Microsoft that fixed it, even though Excel was at fault. As an article in The Verge reports:

  • The Linux Foundation Wants Open-Source Tech to Address Future Pandemics

    The Linux Foundation, which supports open-source innovation in blockchain tech, launched the Linux Foundation Public Health Initiative (LFPHI) at the end of July. The LFPHI’s goal is to promote the use of open source by public health authorities, which can be scrutinized by anyone, to fight not just COVID-19 but future pandemics as well.

  • LF Edge’s Akraino Project Release 3 Now Available, Unifying Open Source Blueprints Across MEC, AI, Cloud and Telecom Edge

    LF Edge, an umbrella organization within the Linux Foundation that aims to establish an open, interoperable framework for edge computing independent of hardware, silicon, cloud, or operating system, today announced the availability of Akraino Release 3 (“Akraino R3”). Akraino’s third and most mature release to date delivers fully functional edge solutions– implemented across global organizations– to enable a diversity of edge deployments across the globe. New blueprints include a focus on MEC, AI/ML, and Cloud edge. In addition, the community authored the first iteration of a new white paper to bring common open edge API standards to align the industry.

  • Linux Foundation Launches Jenkins X Training Course

    Linux Foundation has launched a new training course, LFS268 – CI/CD with Jenkins X. Developed in conjunction with the Continuous Delivery Foundation, the course will introduce the fundamentals of Jenkins X.

OSS Leftovers

Filed under
OSS
  • Richard Stallman Discusses Privateness Dangers of Bitcoin, Suggests 'One thing A lot Higher'
  • The many meanings of 'Open': Open Data, Open Source, and Open Standards

    It is important to note that open source software is not always “free” software. The difference is in the licensing and the level of effort required to customize the code for your use case. According to GNU progenitor and software freedom advocate Richard Stallman, free does not mean non-proprietary but rather suggests that “users have the freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software” for any purpose. (“This is a matter of freedom, not price, so think of ‘free speech,’ not ‘free beer,’” Stallman says.). One also has the freedom to sell the software after modifying it. Implementing open source software inside a business enterprise frequently requires customization for your organization’s workflow. Whether this customization is done using internal resources or with the help of external consultants, it typically is not free, nor is the subsequent maintenance of the software.

    Successful open source software is designed and built using a collaborative community software development process that releases frequent updates to improve functionality and reliability. The key is in the “community” adoption and development.

  • How an open community rebrands

    As an open community evolves, so does the way it expresses its identity to others. And having open conversations about how you'd like your community to be recognized is an important component of community engagement.

    Simply put, your community's brand is what people (especially potential contributors) see first when they encounter you. So you want to make sure your brand reflects your community—its values, its principles, and its spirit.

    [...]

    Together, then, we were able to augment Jim's experience at Red Hat (though we always welcomed his perspectives along the way). Over the past half-decade, the Open Organization community has grown from a small group of passionate people debating nascent ideas about the "cultural side" of open source to a bustling bunch of thought leaders who have literally written the definition of what it means to be an open organization. To put it in open source terms: Our entire upstream project continues to evolve from that founding gesture.

  • LibreOffice 7.0 arrives, improves performance and compatibility

    AMD sponsored the developers' implementing the Skia graphics engine in LibreOffice. In Windows this open source 2D graphics library provides upgraded performance. Additionally the engine is accelerated by the Vulkan graphics and compute API.

  • TinyFloat, Troll Arithmetic, GIMP Palettes

    I've been working on a 64 bit extension to the 6502 processor architecture. This is for the purpose of implementing a secure computer which also has a hope of working after post industrial collapse.

    Along the way, I have found a use for a practical use for 8 bit floating point numbers. Floating point representations were historically used for scientific calculations. The two components of a floating point number - the exponent and mantissa - work in a manner similar to logarithms, slide rules and the scientific representation of numbers. For example, 1.32×104 = 13,200. Why not just write the latter? Scientific notation works over a *very* large scale and is therefore useful for cosmology, biology and nanofabrication. For computing, floating point may use binary in preference to decimal. Also, it is not typical to store both the exponent and mantissa within 8 bits.

  • Open Source Contributions on the Rise in FinTech, Healthcare and Government [Ed: "The Linux Foundation sponsored this post." So the Foundation is now busy distorting the media instead of actually supporting developers who develop Free software on shoestring budget.]

    Enterprise use of open source remains stable, and a new generation of companies are increasing their engagement with open source communities. Led by financial services, healthcare and government, more organizations across most industry verticals are regularly (frequently or sometimes) contributing to upstream projects, going from 42% to 46% over the last three years.

  • TODO Group Survey Shows Stable Enterprise Open Source Use

    The “Open Source Programs in the Enterprise” survey, from The Linux Foundation’s TODO Group and The New Stack says “enterprise use of open source remains stable.”

    An article by Lawrence Hecht reports that more organizations across industry verticals are regularly contributing to upstream projects, increasing from 42% to 46% over the past three years. “The multi-year effort provides a solid baseline for measuring change, growth and effectiveness of efforts to guide corporate open source policies and community participation,” Hecht said.

Darktable 3.2 Open-Source RAW Image Editor Released with Major New Features

Filed under
OSS

Darktable 3.2.1 is now available and it’s the first major update to the application since the introduction of the 3.0 series. If you’re asking, there wasn’t a 3.2.0 release, nor a 3.1 release. The development team jumped straight to the 3.2.1 version number from version 3.0.2, which you’re probably using right now on your GNU/Linux distribution, because of a last minute bug in the 3.2.0 release.

But don’t let the version number fool you, because Darktable 3.2.1 is a massive update with lots of goodies for amateur and professional photographers alike. Highlights include support for up to 8K screen resolutions thanks to the complete rewrite of the Lighttable View and the revamped Filmstrip.

Read more

Beaker Browser – A P2P Browser for Web Hackers.

Filed under
OSS
Web

Beaker is a free and open-source web browser built to enable users to publish websites and web apps themselves directly from the browser without having to set up a separate web server or hosting their content with a 3rd party.

To quote one of the project devs, it has been built to “to give users more control over the Web”. We’ve covered several projects based on similar technology (e.g. PeerTube) but this one has a little more icing on the cake.

[...]

The Dat protocol is favoured over HTTP for Beaker for 5 main reasons. It can sync archives from multiple sources; the URLs remain the same even when the archives can change hosts. All updates have checksums; changes are written to an append-only version log, and any archive can be hosted on any device. Although it uses Dat by default, Beaker supports connecting to traditional servers with HTTP so you can equally visit typical websites.

Read more

Photoflare: An Open Source Image Editor for Simple Editing Needs

Filed under
OSS

When it comes to image editing on Linux, GIMP is the first and obvious choice. But GIMP could be overwhelming if you don’t need advanced editing feature. This is where applications like Photoflare step in.

Photoflare is an editor that provides basic image editing features with a simple-to-use interface.

It is inspired by the popular Windows application PhotoFiltre. The application is not a clone though and it has been written in C++ from scratch and uses Qt framework for the interface.

The features include cropping, flipping/rotating, resizing image. You can also tools like paint brush, paint bucket, spray can, blur tool and eraser. The magic wand tool lets you select a specific area of the image.

Read more

Pocket P.C. design files released as open source (handheld Linux computer)

Filed under
Linux
OSS

The Popcorn Computers Pocket P.C. is designed to be a handheld Linux computer with a 4.95 inch full HD display, a built-in keyboard, and a ARM Cortex-A53 quad-core processor.

First unveiled in November 2019, the Pocket P.C. hasn’t shipped yet. It’s still up for pre-order for $199 and up.

But the developers have already open sourced the hardware by releasing the latest design files. You can find the at the project’s GitHub page.

Read more

Open source is more than code: Developing Red Hat Satellite documentation upstream

Filed under
Red Hat
OSS

The code base for Satellite begins upstream and moves downstream. Until recently, the Satellite documentation did not follow the same journey. In this post, I will outline what has been happening with Satellite documentation over the last year and how this benefits both the Foreman community and Red Hat Satellite users.

The Foreman and Katello projects are the upstreams of Red Hat Satellite. The discussions and contributions that take place in the vibrant upstream community help shape the Red Hat Satellite code base. Red Hat’s open source and community strategy has made Red Hat Satellite a robust and flexible product that can manage complex management workflows.

Read more

Meeting for the first time after 26 years of open source collaboration

Filed under
OSS

Collaborating on an open source software project is inherently an online experience. For me, almost all of my interaction has been via email. I'll send someone a patch, and they'll review it and reply to me. Or a user will file a bug, and I'll respond to it via the bug tracker. More commonly, developers in the open source community will discuss ideas via the email list.

Over the years, I've only interacted on projects electronically, and have only met a few people in person, usually in settings unrelated to the project. Sometimes it's at conferences—we'll recognize each other's names, and realize we're working on the same open source project. I really enjoy those connections, but they're rare.

Read more

You don't need a computer science degree to work with open source software

Filed under
OSS

I am mostly a self-taught programmer. When I was growing up in the late 1970s, our elementary school had a small resource room with an Apple II computer. My brother and I fell into a group of friends that liked computers, and we all helped each other learn the system.

We showed such promise that our parents bought us an Apple II+ clone called the Franklin ACE 1000. My brother and I taught ourselves how to program in AppleSoft BASIC. Our parents bought us books, and we devoured them. I learned every corner of BASIC by reading about something in the book, then writing a practice program. My favorite pastime was writing simulations and games.

I stayed with BASIC for a long time. Our next computer was an IBM PC clone with a version of BASIC on it. Much later, MS-DOS 5 introduced QBasic, which was a modern version of BASIC that finally eliminated line numbers.

Read more

Syndicate content

More in Tux Machines

Devices With Linux, Mostly Raspberry Pi

  • Terminal Zero: Building the Ultimate Raspberry Pi Zero Computer

    The new edition has no keyboard in favor of a touchscreen interface. The case is custom designed and no only has a huge selection of ports to access but also additional buttons. The unit is completely wireless, using a LiPo battery for power. There's a small speaker inside but you can also use headphones via a 3.5mm jack.

  • Will This Speed up Your Raspberry Pi Browsing by up to 1200%?

    Puffin manages these incredible speeds because the content is rendered remotely on their encrypted cloud servers. A JavaScript engine is used to pre-process and compress web pages before they arrive at your screen. This can be interpreted as a proxy server by some sites, and may affect the content that is available to you.

  • Odroid H2 as ventilator cooling ventilation airmachine

    finally summer and climate change have both reached Europe and had several weeks of 30 C straight… without ventilation, anything above 30 is just “too much to think” (so maybe the brain CPU also would need active cooling?) of course the user could buy a fan online… or try to use CPU fans to do the job

  • Track your punches with Raspberry Pi
  • Garage Minder

    A Raspberry Pi Zero W is used to open and close the garage door. I did not have a convenient outlet to plug in a power supply for the Pi. So my Pi gets its power from the existing garage opener control wiring for the wall button. Typically, there is 24 volt AC available here, though it may be a lower voltage in older openers. A Buck converter down-regulates this voltage to 5 v DC. A battery allows the Pi to continue when the wall button is momentarily pressed, and the power is shorted out. We need two diodes so that the forward drop (1.4v) stops the 6v battery from continuously discharging into the 5v power supply. The battery is barely used, so it should last for a long time. If an outlet is conveniently available, then a regular 5v micro USB charger can be used.

Programming Leftovers

  • Go filesystems and file embedding

    The Go team has recently published several draft designs that propose changes to the language, standard library, and tooling: we covered the one on generics back in June. Last week, the Go team published two draft designs related to files: one for a new read-only filesystem interface, which specifies a minimal interface for filesystems, and a second design that proposes a standard way to embed files into Go binaries (by building on the filesystem interface). Embedding files into Go binaries is intended to simplify deployments by including all of a program's resources in a single binary; the filesystem interface design was drafted primarily as a building block for that. There has been a lot of discussion on the draft designs, which has been generally positive, but there are some significant concerns. Russ Cox, technical lead of the Go team, and Rob Pike, one of the creators of Go, are the authors of the design for the filesystem interface. Cox is also an author of the design for file embedding along with longtime Go contributor Brad Fitzpatrick. Additionally, Cox created YouTube video presentations of each design for those who prefer that format (the filesystem interface video and the file-embedding video).

  • a Piece of Note on Unicode Encoding for CJK characters (with my simple Caesar encoding script)
  • Plasmoid with C++

    So the goal is pretty simple, and all I have to do is to find a way to share information from KClock to the plasmoid. However the solution isn’t that trivia. As it turned out, DBus is perferred for IPC(Inter-process communication). Before start working on plasmoid, I need to expose some of the class of KClock to DBus first. Since KClock is built upon Qt, I choose to using Q-DBus as it will save a lot of effort than using low level interface. Now the problem is - I don’t know how to use Q-DBus. As usual, I went to the Qt documentation and to my surprise, it spent most content to describe the concept of DBus and compared to Qt’s signal/slot machinism. Although useful as it is, lack of examples meaning I still didn’t know how I can use it in my code. Thankfully, KDE has its own tutorial about DBus and it provides multiple examples. You can find it here.

  • How to use printf to format output

    When I started learning Unix, I was introduced to the echo command pretty early in the process. Likewise, my initial Python lesson involved the print function. Picking up C++ and Java introduced me to cout and systemout. It seemed every language proudly had a convenient one-line method of producing output and advertised it like it was going out of style.

  • Ceph – the practical storage solution for companies of all sizes

    Ceph was conceived by Sage A. Weil, who developed it while writing his dissertation and published it in 2006. He then led the project with his company Intank Storage. In 2014, the company was acquired by RedHat, with Weil staying on as the chief architect, in charge of the software’s development.

    Ceph only works on Linux systems, for example CentOS, Debian, Fedora, RedHat/RHEL, OpenSUSE, and Ubuntu. Accessing the software through Windows systems cannot be done directly, but is possible through the use of iSCSI (Internet Small Computer System Interface). As such, Ceph is particularly suitable for use in data centers that make their storage space available over servers, and for cloud solutions of any kind that use software to provide storage.

    We have complied a list of the most important features of Ceph: [...]

  • "Structural pattern matching" for Python, part 1

    We last looked at the idea of a Python "match" or "switch" statement back in 2016, but it is something that has been circulating in the Python community both before and since that coverage. In June it was raised again, with a Python Enhancement Proposal (PEP) supporting it: PEP 622 ("Structural Pattern Matching"). As that title would imply, the match statement proposed in the PEP is actually a pattern-matching construct with many uses. While it may superficially resemble the C switch statement, a Python match would do far more than simply choose a chunk of code to execute based on the value of an expression.

  • Federico Mena-Quintero: "Rust does not have a stable ABI"

    These are extremely valid concerns to be addressed by people like myself who propose that chunks of infrastructural libraries should be done in Rust. So, let's begin. The first part of this article is a super-quick introduction to shared libraries and how Linux distributions use them. If you already know those things, feel free to skip to the "Rust does not have a stable ABI" section.

Software: FreeCAD, Text Editors, Man-Pages and Kiwi TCMS

  • Checking out FreeCAD

    Our look at running a CNC milling machine using open-source software led me to another tool worth looking at: FreeCAD. I wasn't previously familiar with the program, so I decided to check it out. In this article I will walk through my experiences with using FreeCAD for the first time to do a variety of CNC-related tasks I normally would have used a commercial product for. I had varying degrees of success in my endeavors, but in the end came away with a positive opinion. FreeCAD is an LGPL v2+ licensed CAD and CAM program written in Python and C++. The first release of the project was in 2002, and its last stable version 0.18.4 was released in October 2019. The project's GitHub page indicates that it has 271 contributors with new commits happening often (generally more than 50 a week). Beyond code contributions, FreeCAD has a welcoming community with active forums to answer any questions users might have along the way. FreeCAD is designed to be cross-platform, supporting Linux, macOS, and Windows, with binary releases provided by the OS-independent package and environment management system Conda. I decided to take on a relatively simple CNC project: milling a new street-address sign for my home. The plan called for a 700mm x 150mm sign, and I decided to mill it out of a plank of maple wood. The design I have in mind is pretty straightforward, so it should be a great way to put FreeCAD through a test on a real project. I also looked at using FreeCAD for taking existing models that are available online with an open license and importing them for milling (in this case, a wooden spoon). It is worth noting that before this effort I had never used FreeCAD before. My personal goal is to become fluent enough with FreeCAD that I can replace my dependence on the commercial CAD software I presently use in my design work. The goal of this article, however, is to share what my experience with FreeCAD was, and provide a glimpse of FreeCAD from the perspective of an inexperienced user.

  •         
  • 9 Best Emacs-Like Text Editors

    Over the years, one of the most emotive areas in the world of Linux is the choice of text editor. Some people are strong advocates of Vim, others prefer Emacs. And there’s tons of other text editors available with strong backing. Having robust opinions is the way the land lies in Linux. Emacs has a long and revered history. The original program was written in 1976 as a set of macros for an existing text editor called TECO. Emacs originally was an acronym for Editor MACroS, unifying the many TECO command sets and key bindings. TECO is both a character-oriented text editor and an interpreted programming language for text manipulation. Emacs has come a long way since 1976. It offers a robust Lisp interpreter that is hugely extensible and hackable. It brought to light lots of novel concepts such as an infinite clipboard, tree-based exploration of history, a reverse variable search, structural editing of code, and recursive editing that let you stop what you are doing, perform other edits, and then revert back to the original task. Emacs is an incremental programming environment, a mutable environment that provides functionality without applications.

  •        
  • Michael Kerrisk (manpages): man-pages-5.08 is released

    I've released man-pages-5.08. The release tarball is available on kernel.org. The browsable online pages can be found on man7.org. The Git repository for man-pages is available on kernel.org. This release resulted from patches, bug reports, reviews, and comments from more than 30 contributors. The release includes more than 190 commits that change around 340 pages.

  • QGIS has chosen Kiwi TCMS

    We are happy to announce that QGIS has chosen Kiwi TCMS for the basis of their Quality Assurance methodology and infrastructure improvement program! Kiwi TCMS will play a central role in storing test case definitions, organizing test cycles, and assigning and tracking test executions by testers from the QGIS community.

Linux Kernel: GPU Blobs, 5.8, 5.9 and ARM32 in Action

  • Netgpu and the hazards of proprietary kernel modules

    On its face, the netgpu patch set appears to add a useful feature: the ability to copy network data directly between a network adapter and a GPU without moving it through the host CPU. This patch set has quickly become an example of how not to get work into the kernel, though; it has no chance of being merged in anything like its current form and has created a backlash designed to keep modules like it from ever working in mainline kernels. It all comes down to one fundamental mistake: basing kernel work on a proprietary kernel module. The use case for netgpu appears to be machine-learning applications that consume large amounts of data. The processing of this data is offloaded to a GPU for performance reasons. That GPU must be fed a stream of data, though, that comes from elsewhere on the network; this data follows the usual path of first being read into main memory, then written out to the GPU. The extra copy hurts, as does the memory-bus traffic and the CPU time needed to manage this data movement. This overhead could be significantly reduced if the network adapter were to write the data directly into the GPU's memory, which is accessible via the PCI bus. A suitably capable network adapter could place packet data in GPU memory while writing packet headers to normal host memory; that allows the kernel's network stack to do the protocol processing as usual. The netgpu patch exists to support this mode of operation, seemingly yielding improved performance at the cost of losing some functionality; anything that requires looking at the packet payload is going to be hard to support if that data is routed directly to GPU memory.

  • Some statistics from the 5.8 kernel cycle

    Linus Torvalds released the 5.8 kernel on August 2, concluding another nine-week development cycle. By the time the work was done, 16,306 non-merge changesets had been pulled into the mainline repository for this release. That happens to be a record, beating the previous record holder (4.9, released in December 2016) by 92 changesets. It was, in other words, a busy development cycle. It's time for our traditional look into where that work came from to see what might be learned. A total of 1,991 developers contributed to 5.8, which is another record; 304 of those developers appeared for the first time in this cycle. The community added over 924,000 lines of code and removed around 371,000 for a net growth of over 553,000 lines of code.

  • FUSE Read/Write Passthrough Updated For Much Better File-System Performance

    Of various criticisms around FUSE for implementing file-systems in user-space, one of the most prolific issues is around the performance generally being much lower than a proper file-system kernel driver. But with the FUSE passthrough functionality that continue to be worked on, there is the potential for much better FUSE file-system performance. The ongoing FUSE passthrough work is about allowing the passthrough read/write of files in avoiding at times unnecessary overhead of the user-space FUSE daemon. When operating in FUSE_PASSTHROUGH mode, the daemon can allow on a per-file basis opening in passthrough mode where all read and write operations are forwarded by the kernel directly to the lower file-system rather than to the FUSE daemon running in user-space.

  • Navi 2 Fixes, Other Graphics/Display Fixes Sent In For Linux 5.9

    Following all of the feature updates to the open-source GPU/DRM drivers for Linux 5.9 that included a lot of new material, the first batch of fixes have now been sent in for mainline in addressing early fallout from these many changes. Ahead of the Linux 5.9-rc1 release this weekend, an initial batch of Direct Rendering Manager fixes were sent out on Thursday.

  • How the ARM32 Linux kernel decompresses

    This is intended as a comprehensive rundown of how the Linux kernel self-decompresses on ARM 32-bit legacy systems. All machines under arch/arm/* uses this method if they are booted using a compressed kernel, and most of them are using compressed kernels.

  • Walleij: How the ARM32 Linux kernel decompresses

    For those who are into the details: here is a step-by-step guide through the process of decompressing an Arm kernel and getting ready to boot from Linus Walleij.