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OSS

6 open source tools for writing a book

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OSS

I first used and contributed to free and open source software in 1993, and since then I've been an open source software developer and evangelist. I've written or contributed to dozens of open source software projects, although the one that I'll be remembered for is the FreeDOS Project, an open source implementation of the DOS operating system.

I recently wrote a book about FreeDOS. Using FreeDOS is my celebration of the 24th anniversary of FreeDOS. It is a collection of how-to's about installing and using FreeDOS, essays about my favorite DOS applications, and quick-reference guides to the DOS command line and DOS batch programming. I've been working on this book for the last few months, with the help of a great professional editor.

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Open Source Summit and 2018 Linux Plumbers Conference

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Linux
OSS
  • Open Source Summit: Innovation, Allies, and Open Development

    August was an exciting month for Linux and open source, with the release of Linux kernel 4.18, a new ebook offering practical advice for enterprise open source, and the formation of the Academy Software Foundation. And, to cap it off, we ended the month with a successful Open Source Summit event highlighting open source innovation at every level and featuring keynote presentations from Linus Torvalds, Van Jones, Jim Zemlin, Jennifer Cloer, and many others.

    In his welcoming address in Vancouver, The Linux Foundation’s Executive Director, Jim Zemlin, explained that The Foundation’s job is to create engines of innovation and enable the gears of those engines to spin faster.

  • LSS/OSS NA 2018 [Ed: Microsoft bought a keynote from the Linux Foundation. Yesterday the Foundation linked to 3 Microsoft promotional things. One was a month old, the other 3 months old. Makes one wonder if some Microsoft people now have editorial control at there too.]

    There was a talk on security in Zephyr and Fuchsia. While the focus of the conference is Linux, there's a growing interest in running Linux in conjunction with processors running other operating systems. Zephyr is an open source RTOS targeted at processors with a smaller footprint than Linux. Most of the security improvements have been adding features to take advantage of the MMU/MPU. One of those features was userspace support, which is always a bit of a surprise to hear as a new feature. Fuchsia is Google's new microkernel operating system. There's some argument that microkernels offer more security than Linux since more parts can run in userspace. Much of the talk was about the resource and namespace model. There's been a good deal of work put into this but it was noted much of this is still likely to be reworked.

    [...]

    Someone from Microsoft talked about Azure Sphere. Azure Sphere is Microsoft's attempt at an IoT based microprocessor that runs Linux. The real challenge is that the device has 4MB. The talk focused on what kinds of optimizations they had to do to get it to run in that space. There's been similar attempts before but 4MB is still incredibly impressive. I'll be keeping an eye out when the patches go upstream (and maybe buy a device).

  • Devicetree Microconference Accepted into 2018 Linux Plumbers Conference

    We are pleased to announce the the Devicetree Microconference has been accepted into the 2018 Linux Plumbers Conference!

    [...]

    Additional possible issues to be discussed may include potential changes to the Flattened Device Tree (FDT) format, reducing the Devicetree memory and storage size in the Linux kernel, creating new architecture to provide solutions to current problems, updating the Devicetree Specification, and using devicetrees in constrained contexts.

OSS Leftovers

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  • 10 ways to learn more about open source software and trends

    When Forrester released its 2016 report “Open Source Powers Enterprise Digital Transformation,” some people in the open source community were surprised by the results. They weren’t surprised that 41 percent of enterprise decision makers called open source a high priority and planned to increase use of open source in their organizations. They were concerned that the other 59 percent didn’t seem to understand the role open source would play in the future of the enterprise.

    Paul Miller, one of the analysts behind the report, wrote, “The myth that open source software is exclusively written by and for lonely – rather odd – individual geeks remains remarkably prevalent. And yet it’s a myth that is almost entirely wrong. Again and again, we encounter executives who do not grasp how much their organization already depends on open source. More importantly, they do not see the key role that open source technologies and thinking will play in enabling their efforts to transform into a customer-obsessed business that really can win, serve, and retain customers.”

  • Open Source News: dotCMS 5.0 Launches, Nuxeo & Enonic Release Updates and More

    dotCMS 5.0 was launched in August 2018, with the official press release stating that it gives, “marketing and business teams more autonomy to create digital experiences”.

  • DragonFlyBSD Finally Defaulting To GCC 8 Compiler, Replacing The Old GCC 5

    With the last of the major GCC 8 build issues of the DragonFlyBSD code-base resolved, this BSD operating system has switched to using this latest stable release of the GNU Compiler Collection by default.

    This is a big default change for DragonFlyBSD as up to now its default compiler was using the several year old GCC 5. With the default move to GCC 8 comes many optimizations, particularly for newer Intel and AMD CPU microarchitectures. This is especially good news for AMD Zen "znver1" CPU users. There is also support for newer C/C++ language features and many other enhancements as we've covered over the past few years.

  • Leading Biomedical Funders Call For Open Peer Review Of Academic Research

    Techdirt has written many posts about open access -- the movement to make digital versions of academic research freely available to everyone. Open access is about how research is disseminated once it has been selected for publication. So far, there has been less emphasis on changing how academic work is selected in the first place, which is based on the time-honored approach of peer review. That is, papers submitted to journals are sent out to experts in the same or similar field, who are invited to comment on ways of improving the work, and on whether the research should be published. Traditionally, the process is shrouded in secrecy. The reviewers are generally anonymous, and the reports they make on the submissions are not made public. Now, however, the idea of making peer review more transparent as part of the general process of becoming more open is gaining increasing impetus.

    [...]
         

    Despite these and other concerns mentioned in the Nature commentary, an open letter published on the ASAPbio site lists dozens of major titles that have already instituted open reports, or promise to do so next year. As well as that indication that open reports are passing from concept to reality, it's worth bearing in mind that the UK Wellcome Trust and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute are major funders of biomedical research. It would be a relatively straightforward step for them to make the adoption of open reports a condition of receiving their grants -- something that would doubtless encourage uptake of the idea. 

Openwashing: Latest Examples

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OSS
  • Intel Launches Open-Source Podcast Show [Ed: Corrupt Intel with its defective, back-doored (ME) chips is now (once again) openwashing itself]

    Intel's Open-Source Technology Center is launching a new initiative... a podcast. Through their new show Open-Source Voices they will be focusing upon their many open-source software projects and other efforts they are engaged in through the OTC. On their premiere episode happens to be Kelly Hammond (Software Engineering Director) and your's truly talking about the work Intel's been doing on Linux distribution development via Clear Linux.

    Besides talking about their own open-source software work, they will be "[exploring] the broader implications of open source development, and highlights individuals behind the code."

  • Eggplant Launches Open Source Communities Initiative
  • Windows 10 Enterprise customers will now get Linux-like support [Ed: "Windows 10 Enterprise customers will now get Linux-like support," writes Microsoft's Ad Bot today, Ed Bott. Anything to googlebomb "Linux" and actually push malware that can boot, Vista 10.]
  • What's Driving Companies to Launch Open-Source Programs [Ed: Openwashing in many cases. They want to carry on doing their proprietary stuff while the public thinks they're "open" (just enough)]
  • For eBay's 3-year modernization, attention turns to developing, using open source infrastructure

    When C.H. Robinson shifted to open source technologies, more autonomy was given to development teams, changing traditional team structures. As a result, the speed of deployments rocketed 162% per week, at times moving the organization too quickly. With time and adjustment though, disruption was mitigated, bringing the company from the status quo to a digital culture and system that better fit its future needs.

Two open source alternatives to Flash Player

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In July 2017, Adobe sounded the death knell for its Flash Media Player, announcing it would end support for the once-ubiquitous online video player in 2020. In truth, however, Flash has been on the decline for the past eight years following a rash of zero-day attacks that damaged its reputation. Its future dimmed after Apple announced in 2010 it would not support the technology, and its demise accelerated in 2016 after Google stopped enabling Flash by default (in favor of HTML5) in the Chrome browser.

Even so, Adobe is still issuing monthly updates for the software, which has slipped from being used on 28.5% of all websites in 2011 to only 4.4.% as of August 2018. More evidence of Flash’s decline: Google director of engineering Parisa Tabriz said the number of Chrome users who access Flash content via the browser has declined from 80% in 2014 to under eight percent in 2018.

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3 top open source JavaScript chart libraries

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Charts and graphs are important for visualizing data and making websites appealing. Visual presentations make it easier to analyze big chunks of data and convey information. JavaScript chart libraries enable you to visualize data in a stunning, easy to comprehend, and interactive manner and improve your website's design.

In this article, learn about three top open source JavaScript chart libraries.

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Open Source EHR Association to Launch International VistA System

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  • Open Source EHR Association to Launch International VistA System

    September 05, 2018 - The Open Source EHR Association (OSEHRA) is creating a new version of its Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA) EHR system designed for international implementation.

    VA established OSEHRA in 2010. VistA comprises more than 100 integrated applications and currently supports patient care delivery at 152 VA care sites and 928 ambulatory care and community-based outpatient clinics around the world.

    In 2017, VA announced its decision to replace VistA with a commercial Cerner EHR system similar to the Department of Defense’s (DoD’s) MHS GENESIS system.

  • VA leadership woes: Readers nearly deadlocked on EHR project path

    What’s interesting is that despite those close responses, the majority (63 percent) said they were concerned with the project’s current trajectory. And a glimpse at the poll responses provided one clear result: No one can agree on what to do, what’s right for the VA or whether Cerner was the right choice.

    Those in favor of the project highlighted the need for the VA to work with Cerner, the Department of Defense and industry leaders to get the project right.

    “There is a culture of using VistA that will need to change. It would be helpful to have the same DoD transition team work directly with VA to assist in the switch over to Cerner,” said one respondent. “The VA needs to get their act together.”

Public Money, Public Code pushes for governments to switch to open-source software

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In recent years, local governments have increasingly turned to open-source software as a way of reducing costs and increasing transparency. The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE), a nonprofit behind the Public Money, Public Code project, advocates for making all publicly-financed software open source. The Public Money, Public Code open letter has gathered over 18,000 signatures from around the world. We spoke to the group's program manager Max Mehl about what a transition to open source would entail and what the implications would be for cities.

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The Hidden Benefit of Giving Back to Open Source Software

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Companies that contribute to open source software and use it in their own IT systems and applications can gain a competitive advantage—even though they may be helping their competitors in the short run.

Open source software is software whose code can be adopted, adapted and modified by anyone. As part of the open source ethos, it is expected that people or companies who use open source code will “give back” to the community in the form of code improvements and enhancements.

And that presents an interesting dilemma for firms that rely heavily on open source. Should they allow employees on company time to make updates and edits to the software for community use that could be used by competitors? New research by Assistant Professor Frank Nagle, a member of the Strategy Unit at Harvard Business School, shows that paying employees to contribute to such software boosts the company’s productivity from using the software by as much as 100 percent, when compared with free-riding competitors.

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Also: A Major Push To Use Blockchain To Link Autonomous Vehicle Development On Open-Source Network

​Hollywood goes open source

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Out of 200 of the most popular movies of all time, the top 137 were either visual-effects driven or animated. What did many of these blockbusters have in common? They were made with open-source software.

That was the message David Morin, chairman of the Joint Technology Committee on Virtual Production, brought to The Linux Foundation's Open Source Summit in Vancouver, Canada. To help movie makers bring rhyme and reason to open-source film-making, The Linux Foundation had joined forces with The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to form the Academy Software Foundation.

The academy is meant to be a neutral forum for open-source developers both in the motion picture and broader media industries to share resources and collaborate on technologies for image creation, visual effects, animation, and sound. The founding members include Blue Sky Studios, Cisco, DreamWorks Animation, Epic Games, Google Cloud, Intel, Walt Disney Studios, and Weta Digital. It's a true marriage of technology and media-driven businesses.

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More in Tux Machines

Andrew Crouthamel: How I Got Involved in KDE

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Security: Debian LTS, Linux Potential Local Privilege Escalation Bug, Australia Wants to Mandate Back Doors, Equifax Breach the Fault of Equifax

Graphics: NVIDIA and Gallium3D

  • NVIDIA Vulkan Beta Adds New KHR_driver_properties & KHR_shader_atomic_int64
    Not to be confused with the new NVIDIA Linux/Windows drivers that should be out today for RTX 2070/2080 "Turing" support and also initial RTX ray-tracing support, there is also out a new Vulkan beta driver this morning. The NVIDIA 396.54.06 driver is this new Vulkan beta and as implied by the version number is still on the current stable branch and not in the Turing era. But this driver release is quite exciting as it does bring support for two new extensions... These extensions are very fresh and not yet in the official Vulkan specification: VK_KHR_driver_properties and VK_KHR_shader_atomic_int64.
  • GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Linux Benchmarks Coming Today, NVIDIA Driver Bringing Vulkan RTX
    NVIDIA's review/performance embargo has now lifted on the GeForce RTX 2080 series ahead of the cards shipping tomorrow. I should have out initial Linux benchmarks later today, assuming Linux driver availability. As wrote about yesterday, just yesterday I ended up receiving the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti for Linux benchmarking. But, unfortunately, no Linux driver yet... But I am told it will be posted publicly soon with the Windows driver. Assuming that happens within the hours ahead, I'll still have initial RTX 2080 Ti benchmarks on Ubuntu Linux out by today's end -- thanks to the Phoronix Test Suite and recently wrapping up other NVIDIA/AMD GPU comparison tests on the current drivers.
  • Intel's New Iris Gallium3D Driver Picks Up Experimental Icelake Bits, GL Features
    One of the talks we are most interested in at XDC2018 is on the Intel "Iris" Gallium3D driver we discovered last month was in development. We stumbled across the Iris Gallium3D driver that's been in development for months as a potential replacement to their "i965" classic Mesa driver. But they haven't really detailed their intentions in full, but we should learn more next week. This is particularly exciting the prospects of an official Intel Gallium3D driver as the company is also expected to introduce their discrete GPUs beginning in 2020 and this new driver could be part of that plan.

Survey: Console Based Linux File Managers

The term ‘file management functions’ refers to the functions used to manage files, such as creating, deleting, opening, closing, reading from, and writing to files. In the field of system administration, Linux has bags of graphical file managers. However, some users prefer managing files from the shell, finding it the quickest way to navigate the file system and perform file operations. This is, in part, because console based file managers are more keyboard friendly, enabling users to perform file operations without using a mouse, and make it quicker to navigate the filesystem and issue commands in the console at the same time. A console application is computer software which can be used with a text-only computer interface, the command line interface, or a text-based interface included within a graphical user interface operating system, such as a terminal emulator. Whereas a graphical user interface application generally involves using the mouse and keyboard (or touch control), with a console application the primary (and often only) input method is the keyboard. Many console applications are command line tools, but there is a wealth of software that has a text-based user interface making use of ncurses, a library which allow programmers to write text-based user interfaces. Read more