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Divisive Politics are destroying Open Source

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Divisive Politics are destroying Open Source. Many Open and Free Software projects have been ripped apart, just in the last year, by politics that seem to serve no purpose other than to divide us as people. I take a look at three recent, and noteworthy, examples: FreeBSD, Node.js (part of the Linux Foundation), and Mozilla. Three organizations that have a massive impact on our lives (even if we don’t know it) — that have had divisive politics cause significant turmoil and damage to not only themselves… but the entire Open Source and technology world.

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Exploring free and open web fonts

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There is no question that the face of the web has been transformed in recent years by open source fonts. Prior to 2010, the only typefaces you were likely to see in a web browser were the generic "web safe" core fonts from Microsoft. But that year saw the start of several revolutions: the introduction of the Web Open Font Format (WOFF), which offered an open standard for efficiently delivering font files over HTTP, and the launch of web-font services like Google Fonts and the Open Font Library—both of which offered web publishers access to a large collection of fonts, for free, available under open licenses.

It is hard to overstate the positive impact of these events on web typography. But it can be all too easy to equate the successes of open web fonts with open source typography as a whole and conclude that the challenges are behind us, the puzzles solved. That is not the case, so if you care about type, the good news is there are a lot of opportunities to get involved in improvement.

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OSS and Openwashing

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  • Open Source: A revolution in technology, business and society

    Free and open source software is far more than just another way to develop code. In fact, the rise of the open source revolution represents a fundamental change in the way we use information to create a better world.

    Traditionally, individuals and organisations would tightly guard their intellectual property, hoarding it and protecting it from outsiders.

    Though it may have initially sprouted from the software development community, open source is now a movement, a philosophy. In this new way of thinking, we emphasise collaboration between brilliant minds, traversing different domains of knowledge, different countries and cultures – to ultimately tackle some of society’s most pressing challenges.

  • Open Source Strategy Forum Announces 2018 Event in London and Opens Call for Papers
  • The Best Open Source Content Management Systems

    One of the most important elements new website owners fail to give enough consideration to is in selecting the right open source content management system (CMS) for their website. Obviously some websites are put together without the inclusion of a full CMS. Yet those websites used in enterprise environments are almost always employing some kind of CMS for easy content handling. Continue reading for my recommended best CMS options.

  • John Carmack Goes On Coding Retreat With OpenBSD

    While id Software founder John Carmack has been known for his open-source and Linux interests over the years and even working on Utah GLX back in the day, he just wrapped up a self-driven "programming retreat" where he was using OpenBSD.

    These days Carmack is mostly accustomed to using Windows and Visual Studio, but decided to take a week long holiday where he was experimenting with C++ neural network implementations and doing all of his work strictly from a base OpenBSD operating system.

  • License Scanning and Compliance for FOSS Projects: A Free Publication


    According to Winslow, “any project that implements license scanning and compliance should aim to make it sustainable” and should set realistic goals to avoid being overwhelmed by the number of options and issues that may arise.

    Winslow also explains how using tools, such as FOSSology for license scanning and Software Package Data Exchange (SPDX) to help package scan results into meaningful reports, can help projects succeed in compliance efforts.

  • Open Source Code Flaws [Ed: Sonatype 'study' (FUD). Does proprietary software have flaws? Can they be fixed? Does it have back doors? Can they be closed?
    Oh, wait, it's just a marketing stunt from Sonatype, isn't it?]
  • SAS is on the brink of generation change

    As for open source, as mentioned above, SAS interoperates with it, mostly through Viya. However, dealing the lack of perception about SAS and ML, SAS should start contributing to open source.

Open source XenServer project is go after crushing crowdcash call

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XCP-ng, the effort to revive an open source version of XenServer, will go ahead after crushing its crowdfunding campaign.

The project's Kickstarter sought €6,000 but ended up with €38,531 from crowdfunding contributors. Project founder Olivier Lambert wrote to backers with news that their donations, plus more money from as-yet-un-named sponsors, brought the total fundraising effort to "around 50k€+".

The folk behind the project said that's enough to help them create a first release by March 31st, then figure out "how to update XCP-ng (should be straightforward) but also how to upgrade it." Also on the team's to-do list is making it possible to upgrade a XenServer machine to XCP-ng.

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OSI Celebration at Campus Party Brazil, Debian's Kaplan Running for OSI Board

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  • OSI Celebration at Campus Party Brazil

    The Open Source Initiative (OSI) celebrated its 20th Anniversary at Campus Party Brazil 2018 during the first week of February. Campus Party Brazil is among the largest and most diverse tech events in the world. The eleventh edition of the event received a total of 120,000 attendees, of which 8000 were "campers" (participants who actually camp in tents inside this week long event). Approximately 40% of attendees were women, which is a very high mark for a tech event.

    The OSI was well represented at Campus Party. Patrick Masson, the general manager of the OSI, flew in from New York to meet staff member Nick Vidal and two former OSI Board members who live in Brazil: Bruno Souza, founder of SouJava (the world's largest Java user group), and Fabio Kon, professor at USP university (the top higher education institution in Latin America).

  • Running for OSI board

    After serving in the board of a few technological Israeli associations, I decided to run as an individual candidate in the OSI board elections which starts today. Hoping to add representation outside of North America and Europe. While my main interest is the licensing work, another goal I wish to achieve is to make OSI more relevant for Open Source people on a daily basis, making it more central for communities.

The Best Open Source Content Management Systems

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One of the most important elements new website owners fail to give enough consideration to is in selecting the right open source content management system (CMS) for their website. Obviously some websites are put together without the inclusion of a full CMS. Yet those websites used in enterprise environments are almost always employing some kind of CMS for easy content handling. Continue reading for my recommended best CMS options.

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What’s fuelling open source adoption in organisations?

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What is behind the recent surge in innovative organisations using open source platforms? DevOps and Linux expert Karel Striegel explains.

Not long ago, open source software (OSS) was dismissed as a cheap alternative to proprietary software. Today, open source is acknowledged as the future of software for innovative organisations, allowing IT departments to accelerate the process of bringing their ideas to market.

Even Fortune 500 companies allow open source to drive their organisations by encouraging developers to use OSS to improve software packages constantly while reducing costs.

Open source is cost-effective because companies save money and lessen technical debt by debugging and improving existing OSS.

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PostgreSQL 10: a Great New Version for a Great Database

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PostgreSQL has long claimed to be the most advanced open-source relational database. For those of us who have been using it for a significant amount of time, there's no doubt that this is true; PostgreSQL has consistently demonstrated its ability to handle high loads and complex queries while providing a rich set of features and rock-solid stability.

But for all of the amazing functionality that PostgreSQL offers, there have long been gaps and holes. I've been in meetings with consulting clients who currently use Oracle or Microsoft SQL Server and are thinking about using PostgreSQL, who ask me about topics like partitioning or query parallelization. And for years, I've been forced to say to them, "Um, that's true. PostgreSQL's functionality in that area is still fairly weak."

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OSS Leftovers

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  • FundRequest and Indorse partner to certify and reward open source developers on the Blockchain

    FundRequest, a decentralised marketplace built for open source collaboration, has announced a partnership with Indorse, a reward-based decentralised professional social network where users can control their data, to match talented and certified open source developers with available projects, bounties and jobs.

  • 2017 Open Source Yearbook arrives, a new tool for creating VR content, and more news
  • 4 meetup ideas: Make your data open

    Open Data Day (ODD) is an annual, worldwide celebration of open data and an opportunity to show the importance of open data in improving our communities.

  • Why Do We Do It?

    I studied Electronic Engineering (EE) in school, learning the very basics of what makes good hardware design. I put together resistors, capacitors, transistors, operational amplifiers, microprocessors and more onto breadboards and, in turn, observed the miracle of my creations. It didn't stop there—next came the programming of such devices, writing microcode and eventually "operating systems" in their simplest of forms (using a lot of assembly language) to extend the functionality of my creations. The hardware gave these "creatures" life, but the software gave them brains. The excitement. The thrill. The adrenaline of never knowing what to expect. Was there a flaw in my design? And if so, how will I address it? Will I need an oscilloscope or a JTAG debugger? This new sense of responsibility gave me purpose. It gave me the motivation to persist and move on to bigger and greater challenges.

  • Taskcluster migration update, the sequel

    Well, we successfully shipped 56.0 with builds produced in Taskcluster. Our big Firefox Quantum release (57.0), was also shipped with builds produced by Taskcluster.

  • Brave Browser Shields Users From Trackers, Rewards Publishers
  • Haiku OS Working On Better Address Space Protection

    Adding to the list of operating systems working on memory protection improvements in wake of recent CPU vulnerabilities is Haiku OS.

    One of the Haiku OS developers, Jérôme Duval, has been working on address space protection improvements the past 2+ months. In particular on better protecting the kernel memory by using the user_memcpy() user memory copy function when appropriate. Over February he converted more USB, PCI, SCSI, and ACPI kernel code to using user_memcpy and related functions where appropriate.

  • How to patch Meltdown vulnerability on OpenBSD Unix

    I read that OpenBSD is the first BSD family of the operating system to release updates for its stable releases to mitigate the Meltdown vulnerability. How do I patch Meltdown on OpenBSD Unix operating system?

  • TrueOS Rules of Conduct


    • Treat each other with respect and professionalism.

    • Leave personal and TrueOS unrelated conversations to other channels.


    In other words, it’s all about the code.  

Oracle Forks and Name Changes

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  • Java EE Becomes Jakarta EE As Oracle Wouldn't Let Eclipse Keep The Name

    You may recall from last year that Oracle was looking to offload Java EE to someone else. They ended up putting the code on GitHub for Java Enterprise Edition and offering Java EE to the Eclipse Foundation, but that didn't include the name.

  • Confessions of an ex-Oracle customer: "The costs were phenomenal"

    Speaking at M18 - the customer conference for the open source database MariaDB - William Wood, director of database architecture at Financial Network said: "We looked into extending our Oracle footprint but the cost meant we wouldn't be able to provide a competitive cost base using Oracle, so we started looking at other solutions."

  • LibreOffice 6.1 Getting GTK3 Native Message Dialogs

    For the past few years McNamara has been working on the GTK3 bits for LibreOffice as well as Wayland and other fun features like OpenGL flicker-free transitions. While the GTK3 support for LibreOffice is largely in good shape, one of the notable areas where it wasn't quite well integrated is with message dialogs.

  • native GTK3 message dialogs

    In LibreOffice 6.1, when the GTK3 backend is in use, the message dialogs are now native GTK3 message dialogs rather than vcl message dialogs using GTK theming.

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More in Tux Machines

today's leftovers

  • Linux More Popular than Windows in Stack Overflow's 2018 Developer Survey
    Stack Overflow, the largest and most trusted online community for developers, published the results of their annual developer survey, held throughout January 2018. More than 100,000 developers participated in this year's Annual Developer Survey, which included several new topics ranging from ethics in coding to artificial intelligence (AI). The results are finally here and reveal the fact that some technologies and operating systems have become more popular than others in the past year.
  • History of containers
    I’ve researched these dates several times now over the years, in preparation for several talks. So I’m posting it here for my own future reference.
  • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S11E03 – The Three Musketeers - Ubuntu Podcast
  • Best Desktop Environment
    Thanks to its stability, performance, feature set and a loyal following, the K Desktop Environment (KDE) won Best Desktop Environment in this year's Linux Journal Readers' Choice Awards.
  • Renata D'Avila: Pushing a commit to a different repo
    My Outreachy internship with Debian is over. I'm still going to write an article about it, to let everyone know what I worked on towards the ending, but I simply didn't have the time yet to sit down and compile all the information.

Software: GTK-VNC, GNOME Shell and More

Devices: Mintbox Mini, NanoNote (Part 3), MV3

  • Mintbox Mini 2: Compact Linux desktop with Apollo Lake quad-core CPU
    The Mintbox Mini 2 is a fanless computer that measures 4.4″ x 3.3″ x 1.3″ and weighs about 12 ounces. It’s powered by a 10W Intel Celeron J3455 quad-core processor.
  • Linux Mint ditches AMD for Intel with new Mintbox Mini 2
    While replacing Windows 10 with a Linux-based operating system is a fairly easy exercise, it shouldn’t be necessary. Look, if you want a computer running Linux, you should be able to buy that. Thankfully you can, as companies like System76 and Dell sell laptops and desktops with Ubuntu or Ubuntu-based operating systems. Another option? Buy a Mintbox! This is a diminutive desktop running Linux Mint — an Ubuntu-based OS. Today, the newest such variant — The Mintbox Mini 2 — makes an appearance. While the new model has several new aspects, the most significant is that the Linux Mint Team has switched from AMD to Intel (the original Mini used an A4-Micro 6400T).
  • Porting L4Re and Fiasco.OC to the Ben NanoNote (Part 3)
    So, we find ourselves in a situation where the compiler is doing the right thing for the code it is generating, but it also notices when the programmer has chosen to do what is now the wrong thing. We must therefore track down these instructions and offer a supported alternative. Previously, we introduced a special configuration setting that might be used to indicate to the compiler when to choose these alternative sequences of instructions: CPU_MIPS32_R1. This gets expanded to CONFIG_CPU_MIPS32_R1 by the build system and it is this identifier that gets used in the program code.
  • Linux Software Enables Advanced Functions on Controllers
    At NPE2018, SISE presents its new generation of multi-zone controllers (MV3). Soon, these controllers will be able to control as many as 336 zones. They are available in five sizes (XS, S, M, L and XL) with three available power cards (2.5 A, 15 A and 30 A). They are adaptable to the packaging, automotive, cosmetics, medical and technical-parts markets.

Linux Foundation: Microsoft Openwashing,, OCP, Kernel Commits Statistics

  • More Tips for Managing a Fast-Growing Open Source Project [Ed: Microsoft has infiltrated the Linux Foundation so deeply and severely that the Foundation now regularly issues openwashing pieces for the company that attacks Linux]
  • improves Kubernetes networking in sixth software release, one of Linux Foundation’s open source projects, has introduced its 18.01 software release with a focus on improving Kubernetes Networking, Istio and cloud native NFV.
  • Bolsters Kubernetes, NFV, and Istio Support With Latest Release
    The Fast Data Project ( released its sixth update since its inception within the Linux Foundation two years ago. While the update list is extensive, most are focused on Kubernetes networking, cloud native network functions virtualization (NFV), and Istio.
  • Linux Foundation, OCP collaborate on open sourcing hardware and software
    The virtualization of network functions has resulted in a disaggregation of hardware and software, increasing interest in open source projects for both layers in return. To feed this interest, the Linux Foundation and Open Compute Project (OCP) recently announced a joint initiative to advance the development of software and hardware-based open source networking. Both organizations have something to offer the other through the collaboration. The Linux Foundation’s OPNFV project integrates OCP as well as other open source software projects into relevant network functions virtualization (NFV) reference architectures. At the same time, OCP offers an open source option for the hardware layer.
  • Kernel Commits with "Fixes" tag
    Over the past 5 years there has been a steady increase in the number of kernel bug fix commits that use the "Fixes" tag.  Kernel developers use this annotation on a commit to reference an older commit that originally introduced the bug, which is obviously very useful for bug tracking purposes. What is interesting is that there has been a steady take-up of developers using this annotation: