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OSS

5 free and open music-making tools

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OSS

As a music teacher, I promote free/libre/open software (and music and educational material too!) to my students. In some cases (such as a full switch to GNU/Linux), this can be difficult given all the inconsistent quality and quirks. I personally still miss some aspects of my old OS X tools. Thankfully, some free/libre/open programs standout as both powerful and truly accessible to total beginners. Many are also cross-platform, allowing me to promote them to students who still use Windows or OS X. This article highlights several of my favorite go-to free/libre/open music apps.

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OpenStack and Storage

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Server
OSS

Linux and FOSS Events

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OSS
  • WiTNY 2016: Event Report

    January has been a rather busy month. The Women in Technology New York (WiTNY) conference was my first big conference of the new year. It is also one that falls squarely in line with one of CommOps’ big priorities for this year to increase the involvement of women and underrepresented groups within our project.

  • HFOSS: Double bugfix

    This article is a further addition to the series of blog posts for my Humanitarian Free and Open Source Software Development course at RIT. For this week’s homework, we are tasked with finding an open source project, looking at known bugs or finding new ones, and submitting a bugfix. I focused on two projects to begin with: møte and FOSSProfiles.

  • Secret Lab: It's OK to abandon your project

    Hackathons have become a fashionable way to generate a lot of code. (Code that, in many cases, nobody ever looks at again.) Companies like to run them as an inexpensive method of R&D (research and design). Entire consultancies are built around running them for this purpose.

Free software groups protest France school software deal

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OSS

A group of three French associations free software advocacy groups wants to cancel software licence agreement signed between the French Ministry of Education and Microsoft France.

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RSS Puppy: a lightweight, open source RSS reader

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OSS

At the BuzzFeed Open Lab, we've been thinking a lot about automated journalism. In particular, we'd like to build open source tools that can be used by newsrooms big and small to empower journalists instead of replace them. As a first small step in this direction, we've built a tool for monitoring RSS feeds in bulk that we're using internally to make the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)'s EDGAR system more accessible.

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Scribus 1.5.1 Free DTP Software Release Paves the Way for a Rock-Solid 1.6 Build

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OSS

The development team behind the powerful, cross-platform, free, and open-source Scribus desktop publishing software has been pleased to announce the release and immediate availability for download of Scribus 1.5.1.

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Tech experts guide workshop on open source software

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OSS

GNUnify, a two-day workshop on the importance and use of OSS, was held in the city on Friday, Saturday. The focus is on the student community, which has often taken the lead in developing applications and OSS codes over the years. The workshop was guided by professionals mainly involved with development of such software.

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Leftovers: OSS

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OSS
  • Expect A 20% Rise In Your RAM Usage As Multi-process Feature Is Coming To Firefox

    Stepping up its game in the war of browsers, Mozilla is moving ahead to bring multi-process architecture in Firefox this April. While users are having reservations about the resultant RAM increase, a Mozilla engineer has performed benchmarking tests and claimed that users will notice a memory hike between 10% to 20%.

  • Our 2016 Fundraising Campaign

    The OpenBSD Foundation needs your help to achieve our fundraising goal of $250,000 for 2016.

    Reaching this goal will ensure the continued health of the projects we support, will enable us to help them do more, and will avoid the distraction of financial emergencies that could spell the end of the projects.

    2015 was a good year for the foundation financially, with funding coming almost equally from corporate and community donations. While the total was down significantly after 2014's blockbuster year, we again exceeded our goal.

    [...]

    If a penny was donated for every pf or OpenSSH installed with a mainstream operating system or phone in the last year we would be at our goal.

  • Write code that is easy to delete, not easy to extend.

    Every line of code written comes at a price: maintenance. To avoid paying for a lot of code, we build reusable software. The problem with code re-use is that it gets in the way of changing your mind later on.

    The more consumers of an API you have, the more code you must rewrite to introduce changes. Similarly, the more you rely on an third-party api, the more you suffer when it changes. Managing how the code fits together, or which parts depend on others, is a significant problem in large scale systems, and it gets harder as your project grows older.

Tech experts guide workshop on open source software

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GNU
Linux
OSS

"The potential of open-source software is huge. For instance, a lot of people in our country cannot afford to purchase MS Office because they are very expensive. OSS can be a boon to people in software development and even in the field of education in general," said Lalit Kathpalia, director of Symbiosis Institute of Computer Science and Research (SICSR), which organised the seminar along with the Pune Linux Users Group.

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More in Tux Machines

GNOME: GNOME Shell, Bug Tracking, GXml

  • How to Install GNOME Shell Extensions GUI / CLI
    GNOME Shell extensions are small and lightweight pieces of codes that enhance GNOME desktop’s functionality and improves the user experience. They are the equivalent of add-ons in your browser. For instance, you can have add-ons that download videos like IDM downloader or block annoying ads such as Adblocker. Similarly, GNOME extensions perform certain tasks e.g. Display weather and geolocation. One of the tools used to install and customize GNOME Shell extensions is the GNOME tweak tool. It comes pre-installed in the latest Linux distributions. This article we cover how to install GNOME Shell extensions from GUI and from the command line on various Linux distros.
  • Musings on bug trackers
    I love bugzilla, I really do. I’ve used it nearly my entire career in free software. I know it well, I like the command line tool integration. But I’ve never had a day in bugzilla where I managed to resolve/triage/close nearly 100 issues. I managed to do that today with our gitlab instance and I didn’t even mean to.
  • ABI stability for GXml
    I’m taking a deep travel across Vala code; trying to figure out how things work. With my resent work on abstract methods for compact classes, may I have an idea on how to provide ABI stability to GXml. GXml have lot of interfaces for DOM4, implemented in classes, like Gom* series. But they are a lot, so go for each and add annotations, like Gee did, to improve ABI, is a hard work.

More on Barcelona Moving to Free Software

  • Barcelona Aims To Oust Microsoft In Open Source Drive
    The city of Barcelona has embarked on an ambitious open source effort aimed at reducing its dependence on large proprietary software vendors such as Microsoft, including the replacement of both applications and operating systems.
  • Barcelona to ditch Microsoft software for open source software
    Barcelona, one of the most popular cities in the Europe is now switching to open-source software by replacing Microsoft Windows, Office and Exchange with Linux, Libre Office and Open Xchange respectively. The city council is already piloting the use of Ubuntu Linux desktops along with Mozilla Firefox as the default browser. With this move, Barcelona city is planning to save money over the years by reducing software/service licensing fees. They are also planning to hire new developers to write open-source software. The open-source product will also be made available to other Spanish municipalities and public bodies further afield allowing them the opportunity to save money on software licences.
  • Barcelona to ditch Microsoft in favour of open source Linux software
    Catalan capital Barcelona is planning to ditch proprietary software products from Microsoft in favour of free, open source alternatives such as Open-Xchange email. That’s according to a report by Spain's national paper El Pais, which reports that Barcelona plans to invest 70% of its annual software budget in open source this year.

OSS Leftovers

  • Open Source turns 20
    While open source software is ubiquitous, recognized across industries as a fundamental infrastructure component as well as a critical factor for driving innovation, the "open source" label was coined only 20 years ago. The concept of open source software - as opposed to free software or freeware - is credited to Netscape which, in January 1998, announced plans to release the source code of its proprietary browser, Navigator, under a license that would freely permit modification and redistribution. This code is today the basis for Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird. The Open Source Initiative (OSI) regards that event as the point at which "software freedom extended its reach beyond the enthusiast community and began its ascent into the mainstream".
  • Coreboot 4.7 Released With 47 More Motherboards Supported, AMD Stoney Ridge
    Coreboot 4.7 is now available as the latest release of this free and open-source BIOS/UEFI replacement. Coreboot 4.7 is the latest tagged release for this project developed via Git. This release has initial support for AMD Stoney Ridge platforms, Intel ICH10 Southbridge support, Intel Denverton/Denverton-NS platform support, and initial work on supporting next-gen Intel Cannonlake platforms.
  • Thank you CUSEC!
    Last week, I spoke at CUSEC (Canadian Undergraduate Software Engineering Conference) in Montreal.   I really enjoy speaking with students and learning what they are working on.  They are the future of our industry!  I was so impressed by the level of organization and the kindness and thoughtfulness of the CUSEC organizing committee who were all students from various universities across Canada. I hope that you all are enjoying some much needed rest after your tremendous work in the months approaching the conference and last week.
  • Percona Announces Sneak Peek of Conference Breakout Sessions for Seventh Annual Percona Live Open Source Database Conference
  • The Universal Donor
    A few people reacted negatively to my article on why Public Domain software is broadly unsuitable for inclusion in a community open source project. Most argued that because public domain gave them the rights they need where they live (mostly the USA), I should not say it was wrong to use it. That demonstrates either parochialism or a misunderstanding of what public domain really means. It should not be used for the same reason code known to be subject to software patents should not be used — namely that only code that, to the best efforts possible, can be used by anyone, anywhere without the need to ask permission (e.g. by buying a patent license) or check it it’s needed (e.g. is that PD code PD here?) can be used in an open source project. Public domain fails the test for multiple reasons: global differences in copyright term, copyright as an unalienable moral rather than as a property right, and more. Yes, public domain may give you the rights you need. But in an open source project, it’s not enough for you to determine you personally have the rights you need. In order to function, every user and contributor of the project needs prior confidence they can use, improve and share the code, regardless of their location or the use to which they put it. That confidence also has to extend to their colleagues, customers and community as well.

Ubuntu: Ubuntu Core, Ubuntu Free Culture Showcase for 18.04, Lubuntu 17.04 EoL

  • Ubuntu Core: A secure open source OS for IoT
    Canonical's Ubuntu Core, a tiny, transactional version of the Ubuntu Linux OS for IoT devices, runs highly secure Linux application packages, known as "snaps," that can be upgraded remotely.
  • Introducing the Ubuntu Free Culture Showcase for 18.04
    Ubuntu’s changed a lot in the last year, and everything is leading up to a really exciting event: the release of 18.04 LTS! This next version of Ubuntu will once again offer a stable foundation for countless humans who use computers for work, play, art, relaxation, and creation. Among the various visual refreshes of Ubuntu, it’s also time to go to the community and ask for the best wallpapers. And it’s also time to look for a new video and music file that will be waiting for Ubuntu users on the install media’s Examples folder, to reassure them that their video and sound drivers are quite operational. Long-term support releases like Ubuntu 18.04 LTS are very important, because they are downloaded and installed ten times more often than every single interim release combined. That means that the wallpapers, video, and music that are shipped will be seen ten times more than in other releases. So artists, select your best works. Ubuntu enthusiasts, spread the word about the contest as far and wide as you can. Everyone can help make this next LTS version of Ubuntu an amazing success.
  • Lubuntu 17.04 has reached End of Life
    The Lubuntu Team announces that as a non-LTS release, 17.04 has a 9-month support cycle and, as such, reached end of life on Saturday, January 13, 2018. Lubuntu will no longer provide bug fixes or security updates for 17.04, and we strongly recommend that you update to 17.10, which continues to be actively supported with security updates and select high-impact bug fixes.