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Talks and Events: Linux Vendor Firmware Service at OSFC, GNOME.Asia Summit 2019 and Laura Czajkowski on Booths

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OSS
  • Richard Hughes: OSFC 2019 – Introducing the Linux Vendor Firmware Service

    A few months ago I gave a talk at OSFC.io titled Introducing the Linux Vendor Firmware Service.

  • GNOME.Asia Summit 2019

    Back from Gresik more than one month, here is my late report for GNOME.Asia Summit 2019.

    This year, GNOME.Asia Summit 2019 was held in Universitas Muhammadiyah Gresik. It’s my seventh GNOME.Asia Summit that I attend.

  • Laura Czajkowski: The Do’s and Don’ts of Booth Duty

    Allow enough time: We are all busy but we must allow enough time to do each event properly. For example, arrive the evening before rather than the morning of the conference. Things often go wrong; let’s give ourselves enough time to fix a delayed flight or lost bag of cables.

    Be punctual!Show up way before the attendees. Remember, you’re on duty as a representative of your organisation, so you should be on the show floor 30 mins before it opens for a final briefing and to find out where everything is.

    Demos: The demo Gods can be cruel. Check your display each morning to make sure it (still) works.

    Dress code: We live in the world of Insta we are professionals., Figure out if your organisation has a preferred way dress code for an event, e.g. if there is a specific t-shirt that needs to be worn for a launch. Trust me when I say this, wear comfortable shoes, I’d go as far as to say bring alternative shoes for different days. Standing is difficult, make it easier on your little twinkle toes!

    Be prepared: If you are in charge of a demo, make sure the laptop is set up and ready the day before, turning up to the event to get it setup or installed is not a good use of your time. Make sure the laptop is charged the night before. Bring your charger with you, not everyone has the same connector and an adaptor if you’re travelling in a different country to be on the safe side!

MX Linux MX-19 petito feo - The longest mile

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Linux
OSS

Well, well, well. MX linux MX-19 petito feo is a nice distro. It has a lot of great elements. But ... it also has a lot of annoyances as well as problems that weren't there in the previous edition. Overall, you get very decent connectivity and media out of the box, and the live session data save is a big plus. That said, Samba sharing ease is not there anymore, and the Firefox profile wasn't ported. Customization was quite annoying, and there were actual application errors.

I do like MX Linux, and it is improving in many aspects. It feels cleaner, more consistent, the MX Tools package is becoming more useful and powerful, and the application selection is respectable. But these are offset with problems that didn't exist in the past, and they make me feel that the development team might have found themselves trapped, plateauing. I hope this is a one-time glitch. All in all, 7.75-8/10, definitely worth testing, but for now, I believe Continuum was better put together, by ever so slight margin. Let's hope this ain't the end of a long, beautiful run. To be continued.

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Openwashing and Entrapment (Microsoft GitHub)

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Microsoft
OSS
  • Vendors move away from open source database software licensing

    Database vendors have started to use their own open source style licenses in a bid to stave off cannibalization by large cloud players such as Amazon Web Services.

    The promise of open source database software is that users can freely use the code as they choose. Open source isn't just a marketing hook, but rather a well-defined set of licenses that have been approved as open source by the Open Source Initiative (OSI) and are compliant with the Open Source Definition.

    Many database vendors have long used an open core model, in which the foundational model is an open source licensed code base, with added enterprise-grade features for reporting, scalability and management available under a proprietary license.

  • OmniOS Community Edition r151032e, r151030ae

    OmniOS Community Edition weekly releases for w/c 2nd of December 2019 are now available.

  • OmniOS Updated With Latest Intel Microcode, Better LX Zones Support For Newer Distros

    OmniOS r151032e ships with the newest Intel CPU microcode in order to address the JCC Erratum issue, there is a fix for supporting USB hard drives greater than 2TB, OpenJDK has been updated, better support for recent Linux distribution releases within LX Zones, ZFS fixes, fixes to the SMB support, and various other fixes. LX Zones is a SmartOS/OmniOS feature for running Linux software in a lighterweight-than-a-VM environment. 

  • A picture is worth a thousand base pairs

    Prospective users of these tools can find plentiful educational resources online, including video tutorials. The UCSC Genome Browser has two archived and searchable listservs, or electronic mailing lists: one for website and data questions, the other for queries on setting up and maintaining Genome Browser mirrors. JBrowse users can ask questions on Github or on the software’s open instant-messaging channel, but Holmes suggests contacting the developers directly. “We have some developers who really like getting feedback from users,” he says.

Kubernetes: Helm and Gardener Projects

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Server
OSS
  • Helm Package Manager for Kubernetes Moves Forward

    The official release of version 3.0 of the Helm package manager for Kubernetes is designed to make it easier for IT organizations to discover and securely deploy software on Kubernetes clusters more easily.

    Taylor Thomas, a core contributor to Helm who is also a software developer for Nike, says for the last year the committee that oversees the development of Helm under the auspices of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) has been structuring the package manager to rely more on the application programming interfaces (APIs) that Kubernetes exposes to store records of installation. Helm Charts, which are collections of YAML files describing a related set of Kubernetes resources, now can be rendered on the client, eliminating the need for the Tiller resource management tool resident in the previous release of Helm that ran on the Kubernetes cluster.

    In addition to providing a more secure way to render Helm Charts, Thomas says this approach provides a more streamlined mechanism for packaging software using Helm. Helm 3.0 also updates Helm Charts and associated libraries.
    Additionally, a revamped Helm Go software development kit (SDK) is designed to make Helm more accessible, with the aim of sharing and reusing code the Helm community has open-sourced with the broader Go community, says Thomas.

  • Gardener Project Update

    Last year, we introduced Gardener in the Kubernetes Community Meeting and in a post on the Kubernetes Blog. At SAP, we have been running Gardener for more than two years, and are successfully managing thousands of conformant clusters in various versions on all major hyperscalers as well as in numerous infrastructures and private clouds that typically join an enterprise via acquisitions.

    We are often asked why a handful of dynamically scalable clusters would not suffice. We also started our journey into Kubernetes with a similar mindset. But we realized that applying the architecture and principles of Kubernetes to productive scenarios, our internal and external customers very quickly required the rational separation of concerns and ownership, which in most circumstances led to the use of multiple clusters. Therefore, a scalable and managed Kubernetes as a service solution is often also the basis for adoption. Particularly, when a larger organization runs multiple products on different providers and in different regions, the number of clusters will quickly rise to the hundreds or even thousands.

    Today, we want to give an update on what we have implemented in the past year regarding extensibility and customizability, and what we plan to work on for our next milestone.

OSI Transparency Reports

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OSS
Legal
  • October 2019 License-Discuss Summary

    We would like to introduce (and thank!) Amol Meshram, who has joined us here at the OSI to provide monthly summaries of both the License-Discuss and License-Review mailing lists. We hope these reports provide you with a helpful snapshot of the monthly activities on the lists, keeping you up to date with the latest topics, while also providing a reference point for further discussion. Of course all suggestions are welcome as we continue to enhance our reporting. We will try our best to include the feedback from OSI community members to make the summaries as accurate as possible and the discussions lively and fruitful.

  • October 2019 License-Review Summary

    Carlo Piana is not in favour of The Vaccine License and feels it is a trolling exercise. Filli Liberandum suggested to Carlo Paina to read the mailing list code of conduct. In furtherance to it, Filli Liberandum explained why there is a necessity of acknowledging The Vaccine License by OSI board and its members.
    Anand Chowdhary based on his experience of adding privacy compliance under twente open source license pointed out that there are better ways to protect privacy of individuals like local/national/international regulation instead of protecting it through open source license. He is of the opinion that there are better ways to advocate for vaccination and open source license is not the better way to advocate for it.
    Filli Liberandum countered to Anand Chowdhary by citing example of Cryptography Autonomy License of Mr. Lindstrom which ask for some release of data as a condition and head of OSI has publicly accepted this condition. Pamela Chestek brought into notice of Filli Liberandum that OSI did not endorse the view of Simon Phipps (referred head of OSI by Filli) on Cryptography Autonomy License data condition clause. Simon Phipps is member of the board along with others. Simon Phipps views on CAL are personal.
    Filli Liberandum raised a concern with respect to archives as it is stuck in a plaintext mode.
    Simon Phipps suggested to Filli Liberandum to familiarize with License-review process and change the tone of message and requested to leave moderating to the moderators to which Filli agreed and responded that here onwards Filli will directly reach out to concerned members.
    Gil Yehuda responded to Fil that Licenses usually do ask for things in return and appreciated the efforts of Fil in writing The Vaccine License, while considering the OSD. Gil raised an important point of enforceability of The Vaccine License in the real life scenario. Gil is of the opinion that one can right a blog and promote the importance of the idea instead of restricting it with copyright license. To buttress claim, Gil cited article written by Selam G which convinced Gil to support Free Software Movement. The reason behind citing this article is to explore other platforms instead of publishing work under copyright license.

    Carlo Piana responded to Fil that The Vaccine License is discriminatory and non-enforceable in nature. Carlo thinks that vaccination can be achieved through local authorities instead of enforcing it through copyright license. Carlo believes one should provoke reactions rather than genuine attempt of having a license approved.
    Josh Berkus agrees with Carlo on provoking reactions from members on license instead of attempting for approving the license. Josh suggested to take this submission as a use case and put it on opensource.org for future reference.
    Carlo Piana is of the same view that opensource.org should take this submission as a use case for future submissions to avoid duplication of work.
    Bruce Perens is also of the opinion that a direct law on vaccination will be more effective than a license. Similarly, Bruce also wrote two blog posts on the issue of “ethical” licenses wherein Bruce referred the proposed The Vaccine License.
    Grahame Grieve replied to Bruce’s blog post and appreciated the efforts of writing blog post on ethical license and also the basic arguments put forwards by Bruce. But Grahame bothered by the lack of ethics in the Vaccine License, judging vaccine license solely based on enforceability clause. Similarly, Grahame wanted to know whether the lawyers, courts and violators laugh at license and is there any precedent on when someone gives something of value away, on the condition that it not used in a particular way? Bruce Perens replied to all the queries of Graham Grieve. Firstly, Bruce Perens claims blog post argument is based on law instead of license terms. Secondly, Bruce has experience in handling litigation for various reasons and Bruce wants other should not get into litigation for same cause of action. Lastly, Bruce said Lawyers, courts and violators laugh at license and this whole exercise will be term as a ‘‘copyright misuse’’.
    Kevin P. Fleming replied to Graham and pointed that The Vaccine License does not talk about goals instead it focusses on action to be performed which is not in sync with the use of the software. Similarly, Kevin is of the opinion that The Vaccine License violates the OSD 5. To this Grahame Grieve countered by saying if The Vaccine license is applied to health software then in such scenario would Kevin change his opinion.
    Van Lindberg appreciated various aspect of the Vaccine License and efforts put forward by Fil in creating the vaccine license. But Van feels the Vaccine License does not qualify for OSS because it imposes conditions which are logically separate from and wholly unrelated to scope intellectual property rights that are licensed. Similarly, Van attempted to answer the question on what scope of action can be required of a license? Van observed if restrictions are closely related to the exercise of the intellectual property rights granted under license then such restrictions make sense and compatible with OSD.
    Filli Liberandum replied to analysis of Van and requested to reverse engineer the rules from the approved licenses which Fil believe will lead us to conclusion that the Vaccine License attempt is not an accidental in nature.
    Josh Berkus feels that The Vaccine License is very good example for ‘’unrelated conditions’’ license which can be referred in future as a textbook example to differentiate between what kind of licenses OSS supports and what can’t be supported by OSS license.

Tobias Bernard: LAS 2019

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OSS

A few weeks ago I attended the Linux App Summit in Barcelona. I arrived very late on Monday night by bus, after almost not making it to Spain that day (my train from Paris stopped in Montpellier due to the rails being destroyed by a storm and the highway was blocked by a protest). Adrien, Julian and I had a shared accommodation, which conveniently was just down the street from the venue.

On Tuesday and Wednesday I attended some talks, but was mostly focused on preparing the talk Jordan and I had on Wednesday afternoon. Talks with multiple presenters are always tough, especially if there’s not much time for practicing, but I think it went okay given the circumstances. There’s a recording on Youtube in the day 2 live stream video.

Over the course of the conference I had lots of good conversations about the state of free software with people from GNOME and other projects. In some areas it’s exciting how far we’ve come (e.g. Flatpak), but in others it’s frustrating how little has changed over the past decades (e.g. fragmentation).

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Also: Tech Day by Init

Holiday gift guide: Linux and open source tech gadgets

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Linux
OSS

Everything on Opensource.com's annual selection of tech gadgets would make an excellent holiday gift for your friends and family—or even something to add to your own holiday wishlist. Each of these gadgets encourages learning, exploring, and tinkering, qualities that reflect the values and interests of open source enthusiasts.

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App Highlight: Caligator is a Beautiful Calculator & Converter

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OSS

You will find lots of useful applications for Linux, however, not all of them focus primarily on the user experience.

Sure, the user interface may end up being something nice and simple but not necessarily pleasing to look at.

For the very same reason, I wanted to have a calculator and converter app on Linux similar to Numi (which is available only for macOS). I know we already have a superb calculator app like Qalculate but I am not a fan of its simple looking (read boring) interface.

Recently, I came across something very similar – ‘Caligator‘ made by Team XenoX.

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Getting a big scientific prize for open-source software

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Development
OSS

It is a great honor, because the selection was made by the members of the Académie des Sciences, very accomplished scientists with impressive contributions to science. The “Académie” is the hallmark of fundamental academic science in France. To me, this prize is also symbolic because it recognizes an open view of academic research and transfer, a view that sometimes felt as not playing according to the incentives. We started scikit-learn as a crazy endeavor, a bit of a hippy science thing. People didn’t really take us seriously. We were working on software, and not publications. We were doing open source, while industrial transfer is made by creating startups or filing patents. We were doing Python, while academic machine learning was then done in Matlab, and industrial transfer in C++. We were not pursuing the latest publications, while these are thought to be research’s best assets. We were interested in reaching out to non experts, while partners considered as interesting have qualified staff.

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Open Hardware: Arduino and RISC-V

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Hardware
OSS
  • OpenGradeSIM is an open source incline simulator for indoor bike trainers

    Although he would probably rather be outdoors, after an injury Matt Ockendon had a lot more time to ride his Tacx Neo indoor trainer and tinker. He decided he wanted his rig to be able to simulate the grade of hills, but as commercially available units with this capability are quite expensive, he instead devised his own solution dubbed “OpenGradeSIM.”

    [...]

    With this data in hand, the Nano controls a linear actuator using an L298N-based driver board to raise or lower the bike’s front end. The derived bike angle is sensed via the Nano’s built-in IMU, providing an elegant closed-loop system. Additionally, the incline is shown on a 1.3″ I2C OLED display that serves as a mini dashboard while Ockendon cycles.

  • [Reposted] U.S.-Based Chip-Tech Group Moving to Switzerland Over Trade Curb Fears
  • RISC-V moves to neutral Switzerland over trade disruption

    The nonprofit RISC-V Foundation is relocating to Switzerland over concerns about the impact of U.S. trade policies.

    Foundation CEO Calista Redmond told Reuters that its members are “concerned about possible geopolitical disruption.” The foundation’s board approved the move unanimously after hearing members around the globe say that they would be “a lot more comfortable… if the incorporation were not in the U.S.,” she added.

    RISC-V is a young organization, founded in 2015 and located in Delaware, to set standards for chip architectures that are allowed to use the RISC-V trademark on its products. RISC-V is a reduced instruction set architecture that is open source technology that anyone can use to design, make or sell RISC-V chips and software for electronics.

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Haiku almost-monthly activity report - October and November 2019

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