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OSS

LibreOffice Community Member Monday: Emmanuel Semutenga

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LibO
OSS

Uganda currently has the highest youth population between 17 to 24 years – that makes 80 percent of the population, and most of these young people lack the practical skills to enable them to get employed. Hence the intervention of Kampabits.

Kampabits is a youth-based organization founded in 2010 that uses ICT multimedia creatively to improve the lives of less privileged youth from the non-formal settlements. We also create safe spaces for persons with disabilities to freely express themselves while learning these in-demand skills.

We have helped 350 young people since our inception, with skills in computer literacy, graphic design and coding skills (front-end, back-end and full-stack developers) during our six month trainings. Kampabits later places these young people in a three month internship with their partner companies.

Kampabits also runs a “Women in Tech” project that trains 15 women in advanced coding skills, to make them employable, in a period of six months. This project focuses on women who have prior knowledge of computer basics. They are later placed in outsourcing jobs in companies like Tunga.

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DAV1D Experimenting With Vulkan & OpenGL ES GPU Offloading

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Movies
OSS

There isn't any AV1 video decode/encode built into the video engines of today's GPUs, but the DAV1D project CPU-based AV1 decoder is experimenting with offloading some aspects of the process to current generation hardware with OpenGL ES and Vulkan.

There are experimental branches of the dav1d decoder that exploit OpenGL ES and Vulkan for offloading some elements of the decode process to the graphics hardware. At the moment Self-Guided Restoration (SGR) and Constrained Directional. Enhancement Filter (CDEF) is among the functionality implemented for OpenGL ES / Vulkan.

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Godot Engine Vulkan 3D Rendering Support

Filed under
Development
Graphics/Benchmarks
OSS
Gaming
  • Godot Vulkan Progress Report #3

    Work on 3D rendering has begun. This month was mostly spent on refactoring and modifying the core rendering architecture.

    One of the main goals for Godot 4.0 is to make it possible to replace the core rendering class with as less rewriting as possible. The default 3D renderer will be as good as possible, but if some game requires a completely different one (because of very specific requirements), the idea is that just re-implementing some functions should be enough to achieve this.

    Added to this, a lot of hacks were removed from the 3D engine viewports (no more need to flip, set a viewport to keep linear color to embed on 3D, etc), and the strategy of allocating buffers on demand continues (so by default users don't need to configure the game features to tweak memory usage manually, engine will automatically allocate whatever is needed on the fly).

  • Godot Begins Working On Its Vulkan 3D Rendering Support

    The increasingly used Godot open-source game engine has been working on porting to Vulkan as part of Godot 4.0. With much of the lower-level and 2D bits in good standing, work on their 3D rendering support with Vulkan has begun.

    Godot lead developer Juan Linietsky has posted his third progress report on the Vulkan undertaking. He has begun working on refactoring and improving the core rendering architecture to allow for a Vulkan-geared 3D renderer. While focused on adding Vulkan support, Juan has made various improvements to the 3D engine in the process.

  • Godot Engine continues advancing the Vulkan rendering system, 3D work has begun

    Godot Engine developer Juan Linietsky has another progress report up on the status of moving over to Vulkan and it's sounding great.

    Now that the work on the 2D side of Godot Engine with Vulkan is mostly ready, Linietsky has moved over to the 3D engine and work "continues at a steady pace".

Open Source Feminism: The Unfinished Revolution

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OSS

2009-2015 was the age of open source feminism. For six years, women talked about their lack of representation in free software, and organized for change. Then, suddenly, the movement fell almost silent, leaving far less than advocates had hoped.

Women in open source had been an issue in open source since the founding of LinuxChix by Deb Richardson in 1999. However, the motivation for greater organization was the FLOSSPOL study of open source in 2006, which is no longer available online although a few references remain. The study found that while women were 28% of those working on proprietary software, only 1.5% of those working on open source were women.

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OSS Leftovers

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OSS
  • AviDemux 2.7.5 (64-bit)

    Avidemux is a free video editor designed for simple cutting, filtering and encoding tasks. It supports many file types, including AVI, DVD compatible MPEG files, MP4 and ASF, using a variety of codecs. Tasks can be automated using projects, job queue and powerful scripting capabilities. Avidemux is available for Linux, BSD, Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows under the GNU GPL license.

  • PeaZip 6.9.2

    Cross-platform, full-featured but user-friendly alternative to WinRar, WinZip and similar general purpose archive manager applications...

  • Thank The NSA For Their Ghidra Software Now Helping Firmware Reverse Engineering

    Ghidra is the open-source reverse engineering tool published by the US National Security Agency as an alternative to existing decompilers/disassemblers and other reverse engineering utilities. As noted earlier this summer, a Google Summer of Code project has been creating Ghidra plug-ins for helping with firmware reverse engineering.

    It's been some time since last hearing anything about that effort to boost firmware reverse engineering, but in their final GSoC report, it was a success. With this new Ghidra plug-in there is support for loading into Ghidra of PCI option ROMs, the Intel firmware descriptor, reading the flash map, Coreboot File-System, UEFI Firmware Volumes, and the UEFI Terse Executable format. There is also a helper script for analyzing UEFI binaries.

  • Scylla’s real-time NoSQL database tapped by 'super app'

    Ships who sailed too close to her (she was thought to have been created from a beautiful nymph) rocks would risk having sailors killed by the razor-sharp shards of Scylla’s darting heads.

    Scylla and ScyllaDB on the other hand are neither mythological, sea-based or dangerous to your health… but this open source-centric real-time big data database does have shards.

    Scylla uses a sharded design on each node, meaning each CPU core handles a different subset of data. It is fully compatible with Apache Cassandra and embraces a shared-nothing approach that increases throughput and storage capacity as much as 10X that of Cassandra.

  • 8 Best Open-Source CMS for Starting a Website

    But it doesn’t have to break the bank, and open-source web content management software can be the first step to an affordable website.

    I know what you’re thinking: Why shouldn’t I just use WordPress?

    WordPress is a very solid, popular web content management (WCM) option, but it isn’t without faults. Before you jump on board the WordPress train, check out some of the other open-source choices and decide if they potentially fit your use case more effectively.

    [...]

    The language a WCM is written in impacts how it handles content, and some systems might be better at creating certain types of websites than others. Businesses might also require in-house developers with proficiency in the language a given CMS is written in to create functions for a website.

  • Talend to Share Its Open Source Data Expertise at ApacheCon Las Vegas

    Talend (NASDAQ: TLND), a global leader in cloud data integration and data integrity, today announced that four open source engineers from its research and development team will be speaking at ApacheCon in Las Vegas, taking place at the Flamingo Hotel, September 9-12, 2019.

  • Here’s a look at entrepreneurs’ projects aiming to boost local governments

    Use of digital map and wayfinding platforms like Google Maps have become commonplace. While these digital tools make it easy to get from here to there by car, public transit or walking, there is no equivalent tool for wheelchair accessibility. NC Clear Path holds “mapathons” to build the data sets to support handicap accessibility.

  • College students find cost of textbooks a barrier

    New car buyers know the feeling of sticker shock, when their interest in a car hits the reality of its price.

  • President underlines need to launch open source knowledge in Pakistani universities

    President Dr. Arif Alvi has underlined the need to launch open source knowledge in Pakistani universities like their international counterparts.

    He was talking to a delegation of University of Health Sciences led by its Vice Chancellor Professor Javed Akram that called on him in Islamabad today.

    The President while pointing out the need for improvement in data education also called for offering free online courses for the benefit of general public.

Linux Foundation: Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) and Hyperledger

Filed under
Linux
OSS
  • CNCF Project Journey Proves Kubernetes Is Everywhere

    Yes, Kubernetes is everywhere. And a new Project Journey report from the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) includes some big numbers showing just how everywhere Kubernetes is in the market.

    The report, which is the first of its kind from CNCF on Kubernetes, found that the container orchestration platform has 315 companies contributing to the project today with “several thousand having committed over the life of the project.” That is a significant increase from the 15 that were contributing prior to CNCF adopting the project in early 2016.

    Including individual contributors, Kubernetes has counted about 24,000 total contributors since being adopted by CNCF, seen 148,000 code commits, 83,000 pull requests, and 1.1 million total contributions.

    “It is the second- or third-highest velocity open source project depending on how you count it — up there with Linux and React,” explained CNCF Executive Director Dan Kohn in an interview.

  • Hyperledger accepts open source Ethereum client ‘Pantheon’ as first public blockchain project

    The Hyperledger blockchain consortium has officially accepted ConsenSys’ Pantheon as its first public blockchain project, CoinDesk reported.

    Pantheon, an open source Ethereum Client developed by PegaSys – a protocol engineering team at ConsenSys, has been now renamed to Hyperledger Besu.

    The addition of Pantheon has been approved by the Hyperledger technical steering committee and it joins other existing blockchain codebases such as Hyperledger Fabric, which is backed by IBM, and Hyperledger Sawtooth, backed by Intel.

  • Hyperledger Unanimously Approves First Ethereum Codebase For Enterprises

    Among the most important differences between Pantheon and Hyperledger Besu is that since being approved by the Hyperledger Technical Steering Committee, the rebranded ethereum client will receive support training new users, certification of developers working with high-stakes enterprises, and will be more easily integrated with existing codebases, perhaps easing the path to adoption by ensuring that companies on potentially competing networks can work together.

OSS Leftovers

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OSS
  • A Guide to Free and Open Source ERP Tools

    For many organizations, enterprise resource planning (ERP) software has become an indispensable tool. It helps them integrate their resource distribution processes from every operational silo, including purchasing, inventory, manufacturing, distribution, accounting, and human capital management.

    As a result, ERP software has become an expansive market comprising several paid, proprietary tools. Each product’s capabilities vary, with each standing out in one area. Many of these are used across industries and are backed by strong after-sales support.

    But, in some cases, your needs may not be complex or numerous enough to justify paying for a proprietary ERP tool. Or, your business might need an ERP tool with a level of customization that’s hard to apply on a proprietary product.

  • MongoDB code guru: what even is a ‘good’ developer?

    On the subject of code, you’d be surprised to learn that good and bad code can often look amazingly similar. So it [i.e. code] alone cannot always be easily analysed. This static analysis rarely uncovers the kinds of live problems that really destroy a system’s utility.

    So if we don’t know what’s good, how do we define better?

    Instead of defining good systems, we should try and define good programmers in some abstract way. What mould do they fit into? Do they work well with people? What’s their past experience? This somewhat intangible (dubious even) list goes on.

  • Quality Of Code Doesn’t Matter Much In Open Source Contributions: Study [Ed: This research may be deeply flawed because all the project were picked exclusivity from Microsoft's own platform.]

    One can imagine that contributions to open source projects would be evaluated on the quality of code above anything else. However, researchers have found quite the opposite!

    In a paper titled, “Does Code Quality Affect Pull Request Acceptance?, submitted to “Information and Software Technology” journal; researchers tried to determine whether code quality issues such as — duplicated code, long methods, large class, code style violation, etc. — affect the chances of a pull request getting accepted by a project maintainer.

  • In praise of developers who delete code

    Blessed are the code committers to open source projects. But more blessed are they who delete, for theirs is the kingdom of clean, efficient code.

    No set of scripture contains this wisdom, but that doesn't make it any less wise. As developer Dj Walker-Morgan has posited, "For me, deleted lines are the final burn down of the ground where tech debt built." To delete lines of code requires deep familiarity with the code base and, as such, reflects some of the best (un)engineering possible for a project. Similarly, as Charity Majors has stated, "The best senior engineers I've worked with are the ones who worked the hardest not to have to write new code."

    Is there any way to properly celebrate those who delete or who write less in order to deliver more?

    [...]

    I really like Sarah Mei's description of technical debt as "clutter" (like a messy house). For those that think such clutter/debt is whisked away by moving to a microservices architecture, it doesn't. Not really. Mei wrote: "[Y]ou end up with an overstuffed smaller house and a bunch of disorganized storage units, and you STILL can't find anything." Following Fowler's advice, perhaps the ideal way to tackle the debt/clutter is to work on those areas that see the most contributions.

  • F-Droid: A security-conscious repository for Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) applications for Android

    F-Droid is an app store and repository for verified Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) applications for Android (F-Droid Docs page). I first heard about F-Droid from a CNET article in early August. According to CNET, “… 200 Android apps were found infected with malware [on Google Play] in March, followed by July’s discovery of 1,000-plus Android apps harvesting data even after you deny permissions …”. So, in the interest of security and privacy, perhaps places like F-Droid are a nice alternative to Google Play.

    F-Droid is a non-profit volunteer open-source project (it is developed and run by the community) and was started by Ciaran Gultnieks in 2010 (F-Droid About page). Since the apps on F-Droid are open-source, it allows anyone to comb through an app’s code to see if there is any questionable activity going on. There are only about 2600 apps available through F-Droid according to CNET, so this may not have much of what you’re looking for. However, if you are curious about F-Droid and want to check out its security, you can peruse their Security Model and view their latest Security Audit Results.

  • Mastodon™ Invites Singles to Join an Ad-Free & Open-Source Social Network of Over 2.2 Million People

    The internet started out as a wide open frontier where adventurous souls could wander freely and anonymously until they settled upon a place where they felt at home. Newly minted websites offered a utopia based on free collaboration, and the digital age launched with great promise.

    However, as time went by, large companies built tracks, fences, and billboards to pen people in and create a monopoly on communication. Some major websites began convincing people to trade their personal data for online services, and such transactions have eroded the spirit of online communities.

  • Release Notes: Improved mail handling and refactoring GovLens

    Last week, we pushed out some small improvements in processing mail that we hope to deploy more widely soon. We also started refactoring GovLens, our open source government site monitoring tool. Finally, we’d love your feedback on a few features and tweaks we have in the works.

  • This Company Created An Open Source AI To Identify Mold

    Michael Golubev, CEO of Mold Busters said that they have compiled the most common 50 genera of mold during inspections, testing and remediation services and are training their AI to recognized those first and focus on mold types that present the biggest threat to human health.

    InstaLab scans an image of a mold spore and browses a database for a match based on various criteria like color and cell structure.

    "We’ve identified the Stachybotrys genus (i.e., black mold) and are training our machine learning algorithms on other mold genera such as Alternaria, Aspergillus, and Cladosporium," added Golubev.

    InstaLab is currently in phase one of its development, but the company hopes the public will contribute to the data collection process.

  • Life Epigenetics Releases Open Source Software to Advance Epigenetics Research

    Life Epigenetics, LLC a subsidiary of GWG Holdings, Inc. today announced the release of two Python open source software packages to epigenetics researchers worldwide. This software will facilitate scientific breakthroughs by accelerating and simplifying the processing of complex epigenetic data that researchers use to advance their understanding of this rapidly evolving science.

Open Hardware/Modding: Glia Is Making Open Medical Devices and SparkFun Achieves FCC/IC/CE Mark Approval

Filed under
Hardware
OSS
  • Glia Is Making Open Medical Devices, And You Can Help

    The Glia project aims to create a suite of free and open-source medical equipment that can be assembled cheaply and easily when and where it’s needed.

    [...]

    Glia member [Tarek Loubani] has recently written a blog post discussing the team’s latest release: an otoscope that can be built for as little as $5. Even if you don’t recognize the name, you’ve almost certainly seen one of them in use. The otoscope is used to look inside the ear and can be invaluable in diagnosing illnesses, especially in children. Unfortunately, while this iconic piece of equipment is quite simple on a technical level, professional-quality versions can cost hundreds of dollars.

    Now to be fair, you’ll need quite a bit more than just the 3D printed parts to assemble the device. The final product requires some electrical components such as a battery holder, rocker switch, and LED. It also requires a custom lens, though the Glia team has thought ahead here and provided the files for printable jigs that will allow you to cut a larger lens down to the size required by their otoscope. In a situation where you might have to improvise with what you have, that’s a very clever design element.

  • SparkFun® Achieves FCC/IC/CE Mark Approval on First Open-Source, US-Manufactured BLE Module
  • SparkFun® Achieves FCC/IC/CE Mark Approval on First Open-Source, US-Manufactured BLE Module

    SparkFun’s Artemis module has earned Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Industry Canada (IC), and Conformité Européenne (CE) mark approval making it the first open-source, US-manufactured, FCC/IC/CE-certified BLE module on the market. With this certification, the Artemis module enables product designers to use the same module from prototype to production, and significantly increases accessibility of low-power machine learning for any design.

Audacious is an open source music player for Windows and Linux that supports Winamp skins

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OSS

Once upon a time, the world of Windows music players was ruled by Winamp. It was resurrected a few months ago and works quite well even though it has not received much love in years.

If you want the look-and-feel of good ol' Winamp, with better features, Audacious may be the music player you're looking for.

I tested the program on Windows and Linux. And since they are quite similar, we'll be discussing the Windows version here. The Winamp interface uses a context-menu for most features, so we will focus on the default GTK interface to explore the options.

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Coreboot/LinuxBIOS Rising

Filed under
Linux
Hardware
OSS
  • SD Times Open-Source Project of the Week: Coreboot

    This week’s open source project of the week is coreboot (previously LinuxBIOS), an extended firmware platform that is aimed at replacing proprietary firmware (BIOS or UEFI) found in many computers.

  • AMD Is Hiring For Coreboot Development, Sponsoring Open-Source Firmware Conference

    That's exciting itself and certainly noteworthy, but also notable is AMD is now sponsoring next week's Open-Source Firmware Conference. AMD has joined the likes of Amazon AWS, Arm, System76, TrustedFirmware.org, and other companies in sponsoring this conference about Coreboot, LinuxBoot, and related open-source firmware projects.

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More in Tux Machines

Purism: A Privacy Based Computer Company

It all started when Todd Weaver, Founder and CEO of Purism, realized Big Tech could not be trusted as moral guardians of his and his children’s data. The current paradigm of corporations data hoarding is, as Todd describes it, built on “a tech-stack of exploitation”–and not by accident, but by design. Companies such as Google and Microsoft–and especially Facebook–intentionally collect, store and share user data to whomever they see fit. In recent events, the California Consumer Privacy Act, which becomes effective on January 1, 2020, will make residents of California able to know what personal data is being collected about them, know whether their personal data is sold or disclosed and to whom, say no to the sale of personal data, access their personal data, request a business delete any personal data information about a consumer collected from that consumer and not be discriminated against for exercising their privacy rights. This sounds good, and it is, but not according to Big Tech. Big Tech such as Facebook hired a firm to run ads that said things like “Your next click could cost you $5! Say no to the California Consumer Privacy Act”. Big Tech does not care about privacy, they care about their bottom line. This is where Purism comes in. Purism is a privacy focused company. Their devices, the Librem5, Librem13 and Librem15 run PureOS–a GNU/Linux distribution that puts privacy, security and freedom first, by design. It includes popular privacy-respecting software such as PureBrowser. The OS helps you “Surf the web safely without being tracked by advertisers or marketers” and allows you to easily encrypt your entire OS and data with your own encryption keys. This is huge, especially if you understand how much of your “private” data is actually being shared. Read more

Benchmarks: Linux Boot Times, 16-Core HoneyComb LX2K ARM Workstation and New PTS Release

  • A Look At The Speedy Clear Linux Boot Time Versus Ubuntu 19.10

    Given the interest last week in how Clear Linux dropped their kernel boot time from 3 seconds to 300 ms, here are some fresh boot time benchmarks of Clear Linux compared to Ubuntu 19.10 on both Intel and AMD hardware. The systemd-reported boot time was compared between the latest Clear Linux and Ubuntu 19.10 daily images. Ubuntu 19.10 was used for offering the bleeding-edge packages and being more in line to what is offered by the rolling-release Clear Linux. As well, Canonical has been working on some boot time improvements for Ubuntu 19.10.

  • 16-Core HoneyComb LX2K ARM Workstation Looks To Offer A Decent Performance Oomph

    When it comes to ARM-powered workstation boards there hasn't been a whole lot to get excited about with the likes of the Socionext 96Boards Developerbox being quite expensive and not yielding good performance or featureful boards compared to alternative Intel/AMD/POWER workstation/enthusiast boards. One of the more promising ARM workstation boards we have been following is the HoneyComb LX2K (formerly the "ClearFog" board) and it's looking like it could end up being a decent offering in this space. The HoneyComb LX2K / ClearFog is the 16-core mini-ITX workstation board we have been following since earlier this year. They have been aiming for this 16-core ARM workstation board for $500~750 USD and it looks like they will actually strike on the lower-end of that price-range.

  • Phoronix Test Suite 9.0 Released With New Result Viewer, Offline/Enterprise Benchmarking Enhancements

    Phoronix Test Suite 9.0 is now available as the latest quarterly feature release to our cross-platform, open-source automated benchmarking framework. With Phoronix Test Suite 9.0 comes a rewritten result viewer to offer more result viewing functionality previously only exposed locally via the command-line or through a Phoromatic Server (or OpenBenchmarking.org when results are uploaded), new offline/enterprise usage improvements, various hardware/software detection enhancements on different platforms, and a variety of other additions.

SDR dev kit builds on Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoC

Avnet has launched an “RFSoC Development Kit” that extends Xilinx’s eval kit for its Linux-powered, Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoC. The kit adds a Qorvo 2×2 Small Cell RF front-end for SDR prototyping and integrates MATLAB and Simulink. Xilinx launched its 5G-focused Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoC variant of its Arm/FPGA hybrid Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoc last year and then announced a Gen3 update in early February. Avnet has now launched an extended version of the Linux-driven Xilinx Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoC ZCU111 Evaluation Kit that adds a Qorvo 2×2 Small Cell RF Front-end 1.8GHz Card and MATLAB support for software-defined radio (SDR) prototyping, Read more Also: SMARC 2.0 module runs Linux on i.MX8M Mini

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