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today's leftovers

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Misc
  • HP Chromebook X2 Looks to Be First Detachable Chromebook to Support Linux Apps

    Support for running Linux apps is becoming a thing among Chromebook fans, and it looks like each day new Chrome OS devices are getting Linux app support.

    During the Google I/O annual developer conference last month, Google announced it is working to bring support for Linux apps in future versions of its Linux-based Chrome OS operating system for Chromebooks, and the first Chromebook to receive support for running Linux applications is, of course, Google's Pixelbook.

  • Windows 10 alternatives: best free, open source operating systems

     

    Switching to an open source OS could involve a learning curve, but the community, customisation and lack of cost should be enough to make up for it.  

  • Laptops with 128GB of RAM are here

     

    Brace yourself for laptops with 128GB of RAM because they’re coming. Today, Lenovo announced its ThinkPad P52, which, along with that massive amount of memory, also features up to 6TB of storage, up to a 4K, 15.6-inch display, an eighth-gen Intel hexacore processor, and an Nvidia Quadro P3200 graphics card.

  • The Schedule for Open Source Summit North America Is Now Live

    Join us August 29-31, in Vancouver, BC, for 250+ sessions covering a wide array of topics including Linux Systems, Cloud Native Applications, Blockchain, AI, Networking, Cloud Infrastructure, Open Source Leadership, Program Office Management and more. Arrive early for new bonus content on August 28 including co-located events, tutorials, labs, workshops, and lightning talks.

  • IMAP Spam Begone (ISBG) version 2.1.0 is out!

    When I first started at the non-profit where I work, one of the problems people had was rampant spam on their email boxes. The email addresses we use are pretty old (+10 years) and over time they have been added to all the possible spam lists there are.

    That would not be a real problem if our email hosting company did not have very bad spam filters. They are a worker's coop and charge us next to nothing for hosting our emails, but sadly they lack the resources to run a real bayesian-based spam filtering solution like SpamAssassin. "Luckily" for us, it seems that a lot of ISPs and email hosting enterprises also tend to have pretty bad spam filtering on the email boxes they provide and there were a few programs out there to fix this.

  • Be a redshirt this GUADEC

    If you’re planning to volunteer at GUADEC this year and be part of the selfless redshirt team (we’ve got 100% survival rate so far!), please register before the end of this week so that we have a better idea of which t-shirt sizes to order. If you can’t register soon, you can still volunteer even if you register on site!

  • GStreamer CI support for embedded devices

    GStreamer is a popular open-source pipeline-based multimedia framework that has been in development since 2001. That’s 17 years of constant development, triaging, bug fixes, feature additions, packaging, and testing. Adopting a Jenkins-based Continuous Integration (CI) setup in August 2013, GStreamer and its dependencies are now built multiple times a day with each commit. Prior to that, the multimedia project used a build bot hosted by Collabora and Fluendo. At the time of this writing, GStreamer is built for the Linux (Fedora & Debian), macOS, Windows, Android, and iOS platforms. A very popular deployment target for GStreamer are embedded devices, but they are not targeted in the current CI setup.This meant additional manpower, effort, and testing outside of the automated tests for every release of GStreamer to validate on embedded boards. To rectify this, a goal was devised to integrate embedded devices into the CI.

  • openSUSE Releases Leap 15 Images for Raspberry Pi, Armv7 Devices

    Makers can leverage openSUSE Leap 15 images for aarch64 and Armv7 on Internet of Things (IoT) and embedded devices. Since openSUSE Leap 15 shares a common core SUSE Linux Enterprise (SLE) 15 sources, makers who find success with a project or device can more comfortably transition to an enterprise product in the future should certifications become a requirement. Currently, the only IoT platform supported by SLE is the Raspberry Pi 3. However, there is no current supported migration from Leap 15 to SLE 15 with the Raspberry Pi. The barrier to entry in the IoT/embedded markets are lowered when a developer starts a project with Leap 15. Plus, the many supported arm boards can help developers circumnavigate future obstacles that might hinder project’s growth in a developing market.

  • SBo DMCA Takedown

    About 14h ago, 10:32 PM GMT+7 (Western Indonesian Time), me (and several other people who forked SBo's repository at GitHub) received a DMCA Takedown notice due to a company (Steinberg) filed a complaint to more than 200 open source repositories in GitHub that uses several of their header files (namely aeffect.h and aeffectx.h). We used that files in one of our scripts (jack-tools) which was changed over a year ago by the maintainer. At that time, it was OK to use their header files (although it has been unmaintained since 2013), but some time ago, Steinberg has made an announcement about dropping their support for VST 2 and focusing on VST 3 only. This drives the DMCA takedown action which affects SBo repositories in GitHub.

    The admins have discussed this matter last night and we came to a solution of fixing this issue permanently by removing the related commit and all the history for this script in master and 14.2 branch. This is not a trivial action as the commits involved were 11867 since 2017-02-04. Ponce did the initial testing and David did the final touch, including pushing an unexpected public update including with the mass re-base on master and 14.2 branch (Thanks David).

  • Mesa 18.1.1 is Now Available to Install on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

    The latest Mesa 18.1.1 graphics stack is now available to install on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS.

    Mesa 18.1.1 is the first point release update in the Mesa 18.1.x series, which debuted back in May with Mesa 18.1.0.

    The Mesa 18.1.x series touts plenty of improvements, including better Vulkan and OpenGL performance, updated Tegra, Nouveau, and Intel drivers, as well as support for the OpenGL 4.5 API.

  • Active Searching [Ed: This good Ubuntu man could use a job. Consider hiring?]

    I generally am not trying to shoot for terse blog posts. That being said, my position at work is getting increasingly untenable since we're in a position of being physically unable to accomplish our mission goals prior to funding running out at 11:59:59 PM Eastern Time on September 30th. Conflicting imperatives were set and frankly we're starting to hit the point that neither are getting accomplished regardless of how many warm bodies we're throwing at the problem. It isn't good either when my co-workers who have any military experience are sounding out KBR, Academi, and Perspecta.

  • Astounding t-shirt art, created by marker-wielding open source hardware plotters

    Evil Mad Scientist Labs sell a bunch of cool open source hardware kits for making plotters -- basically, a very precise robot arm that draws with whatever pen or marker you screw into its grip. There's the Eggbot (for drawing on curved surfaces like eggs, balloons and balls), but there's also the Axidraw, which works on flat surfaces.

    Axidraw owners have been decorating tees with Axidraws and colored markers, creating some really smashing designs.

  • Don’t trust the tech giants? You likely rely on them anyway
  • Imagine a world without DRM

    For 12 years, we've celebrated IDAD -- making, organizing, protesting, and taking action to support the demolition of Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) -- and 2018 is no different! This year we will continue the fight against DRM and celebrate the work of activists, artists, and technologists who create DRM-free media and technology. You can read more about past IDADs online.

  • DeUHD Beats ‘New’ AACS 2.1 UHD Blu-ray Disc Protection

    Russian company Arusoft has released a new version of its DeUHD ripping tool which bypasses AACS 2.1. The new encryption version appeared last month on the UHD Blu-ray discs of Fury and The Patriot and couldn't be bypassed with existing tools. The new version makes it possible for pirates to rip the discs in question, which happened soon after.

today's leftovers

Filed under
Misc
  • Acer Chromebook 13 and Chromebook Spin 13 Will Support Linux Apps on Day One

    Acer's recently announced Chromebook 13 and Chromebook Spin 13 appear to be the first Chromebooks to ship with support for Linux apps out-of-the-box at launch.

    Google already announced that it worked on implementing support for Linux apps on Chrome OS during the Google I/O conference last month, and the first Chromebook to run Linux apps is Google's Pixelbook, as expected, and the functionality was later discovered to be available on the Samsung Chromebook Plus as well.

  • Why Open Source Needs Marketing (Even Though Developers Hate It)
  • ASIFA-Hollywood Continues Commitment To Open Source Animation Technology

    “The last few years, there have been incredible advancements in the quality of open source software solutions for artists,” says Danny Young, ASIFA-Hollywood board member. “Open Source software development is more than ever serving as a counterweight to put fantastic free technology in the hands of anyone who is curious enough to explore it. By supporting ASIFA-Hollywood, you make projects like this possible. So, thank you, ASIFA membership!”

  • Collabora Office 6.0

    Today we release Collabora Office 6.0 – the Migrator’s Choice with great features to smooth our customers’ migration to an Open Source office suite as well as a hugely improved set of features and enhancements.

  • BrowserStack Announces Enhanced Open-Source Program, EU's Web Censorship Plan, Qt for Python Now Available and More

    BrowserStack this morning announced its enhanced open source program, which offers free testing of open source software on the BrowserStack Real Device Cloud. The press release states that "BrowserStack is doubling down on its support for open source projects with full and unlimited access to the BrowserStack platform and its capabilities. The goal is to empower open source developers with the tools and infrastructure necessary to test with speed, accuracy and scale." See the BrowserStack blog post "Supporting Open Source to Drive Community Innovation" for more on BrowserStack's commitment to open source.

  • Locks in the classroom – 2018

    For the sixth year now, our grade nine students have been doing 3D modeling using Blender. We ran late this year, but the final locks were finished a couple of weeks ago, and they’re finally ready for publishing.

  • CVE-2018-3665: Lazy State Save/Restore As The Latest CPU Speculative Execution Issue

    The latest speculative execution vulnerability affecting modern CPUs has now been made public: Lazy State Save/Restore, a.k.a. CVE-2018-3665.

    This vulnerability concerns saving/restore state when switching between applications. The newly-disclosed vulnerability exploits lazy-state restores for floating-point state when context switching, which is done as a performance optimization, to obtain information about the activity of other applications on the system.

  • AI Is Coming to Edge Computing Devices

    Very few non-server systems run software that could be called machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI). Yet, server-class “AI on the Edge” applications are coming to embedded devices, and Arm intends to fight with Intel and AMD over every last one of them.

  • Cortex-A76, Mali-G76, and ML chip designs pump up AI

    Arm’s Cortex-A76 design offers speed/efficiency improvements including a 4x boost in AI performance, and is paired with a new Mali-G76 GPU that is also said to aid AI. Meanwhile, Arm revealed more details on its upcoming ML co-processors.

today's leftovers

Filed under
Misc
  • On the Importance of On-Screen Keyboards

    The role of keyboards cannot be overstated. They originated long before computers, and survive in the smartphone era. Millions of people text their friend by tapping away on their shiny pocket computers using the venerable QWERTY layout dating back to 1873.

    It is hard to imagine a phone without a way to enter text. Some of us are dreaming about Minority Report-style gesturing, but the Librem 5 continues the keyboard tradition.

    [...]

    The task took me on an interesting and educating journey. The Wayland train took me via input methods to Asia, through protocols, to FLOSS communities. I will try to describe my story for you.

  • How Does Project Aiur, An Open Source AI-Engine Substantiate Scientific Knowledge

    As research in science progresses by leaps and bounds, there are a lot of readily available information in the online space, making knowledge sharing in areas like science easier.

    However, there is so much research information available that it is sometimes confusing as to what is right and what is wrong. Given the vast amount of resources, it is essential to carry out in-depth analysis of the resources. This has been made possible with AI and ML innovations.

  • OpenBSD at BSDCan 2018
  • Summer of Code: Evaluation and Key Lengths

    I spent some time testing my OpenPGP library PGPainless and during testing I noticed, that messages encrypted and signed using keys from the family of elliptic curve cryptography were substantially smaller than messages encrypted with common RSA keys. I knew already, that one benefit of elliptic curve cryptography is, that the keys can be much smaller while providing the same security as RSA keys. But what was new to me is, that this also applies to the length of the resulting message. I did some testing and came to interesting results:

  • Major speedup for big DWG's

    Thanks to David Bender and James Michael DuPont for convincing me that we need a hash table for really big DWGs. I got a DWG example with 42MB, which needed 2m to process and then 3m to free the dwg struct. I also had to fix a couple of internal problems.

    We couldn't use David Bender's hashmap which he took from Android (Apache 2 licensed), and I didn't like it too much neither. So today I sat down and wrote a good int hashmap from scratch, with several performance adjustments, because we never get a key 0 and we won't need to delete keys.
    So it's extremely small and simple, using cache-friendly open addressing, and I got it right at the second attempt.

    Performance with this hash table now got down to 7 seconds.
    Then I also removed the unneeded dwg_free calls from some cmdline apps, because the kernel does it much better then libc malloc/free. 3 minutes for free() is longer than the slowest garbage collector I've ever seen.
    So now processing this 42MB dwg needs 7s.

  • California Can Lead the Way in Open Access
  • Better API testing with the OpenAPI Specification

    If you search the internet for "unexpected API behavior," you'll soon discover that no one likes when an API doesn't work as anticipated. When you consider the increasing number of APIs, continuous development, and delivery of the services built on top of them, it's no surprise that APIs can diverge from their expected behavior. This is why API test coverage is critical for success. For years, we have created unit and functional tests for our APIs, but where do we go from there?

today's leftovers

Filed under
Misc

today's leftovers

Filed under
Misc

today's leftovers

Filed under
Misc
  • Get 13 Linux & Programming Stickers in $1 from Unixstickers (Includes Free Shipping World Wide)

    If you’ve been collecting stickers/goodies on UNIX & other programming languages that you love, Unixstickers should not require an introduction. Italy based e-commerce, Unixstickers has been the one-stop shop for getting Linux and programming stickers, magnets, mugs and other merchandises. Unixstickers has been the official merchandise vendor for a number of open source projects and it donated part of the profit to a number of open source projects.

  • Our Immodest Ambitions

    We should be for Linux what Make is for the maker movement.

  • Kubernetes at 4 Years Old Continues to Improve Cloud Native Technology

    On June 6, 2014, Joe Beda published the first code commit for the open-source Kubernetes container orchestration project. Four years later, Kubernetes has become a core enabler for cloud native technology and benefits from the support of all the major public cloud providers and many major enterprise IT vendors as well.

    When Beda made the first code commit, he was an engineer at Google. In 2018, Beda is now the co-founder and CTO of Heptio, which provides commercial support and services for Kubernetes. In a video interview with eWEEK, Beda discusses the scope of Kubernetes, what it is and what it isn't as well as providing some insight into what's coming next.

  • Tracking Mesa's VirGL OpenGL Features

    It's now much easier tracking the state of VirGL that allows for OpenGL acceleration within guest virtual machines by passing on the rendering calls to the system's host OpenGL driver via Mesa and the virglrenderer library.

    VirGL has come along a lot since its debut three years ago, but even with a host OpenGL driver having OpenGL 4.5, the VirGL code and renderer library aren't yet ready for those latest OpenGL 4.x capabilities.

  • Comparing files and directories with the diff and comm Linux commands
  • [Slackware] Security updates for Java and Flash
  • Thorsten Alteholz: My Debian Activities in May 2018
  • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S11E14 – The Fourteenth Goldfish - Ubuntu Podcast

    This week we review the KDE Slimbook II, experiment with Linux on the Hades Canyon NUC and play some Track Mania Nations Forever. We also bring you some command line love and go over your feedback.

  •  

  • Google freezes Android P: Get your shoes on, tire-kicking devs

    With Google freezing the Android P APIs yesterday, both major mobile platforms have shown their hand for 2018. The freeze comes as Google released "Beta 2", which is really the third Developer Preview release of Android P issued so far.

    The API freeze means developers can now compile and submit apps compatible with Android P to the Google Play Store.

    This is the first year in which Google has really invited a range of enthusiasts to come in and kick the tires. Previous Android previews only ran on Google devices, but this year a number of other devices - from Nokia, Sony, Xiaomi, OnePlus, Essential and Vivo - can also get a glimpse of code before it is baked into manufacturers' ROMs. These images will be pushed out shortly.

  • BlackBerry Key2 Launches with Touch-Enabled QWERTY Keyboard, Dual Cameras

    BlackBerry unveiled on Thursday the BlackBerry Key2 smartphone during a live event hosted in New York City, the United States, which is currently live streamed on YouTube.

    Equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor and 6GB of RAM, the BlackBerry Key2 smartphone is powered by Google's Android 8.1 Oreo mobile operating system, has a long-lasting 3,500 mAh Li-Ion battery with Quick Charge 3.0 support, and comes with either 64GB or 128GB internal storage that can be expanded to up to 256GB with a microSD memory card.

today's leftovers

Filed under
Misc
  • Samsung Chromebook Plus Adds Linux App Support

    Sooner than I honestly expected, it seems that the Crostini Project has made its way to the Developer channel on the Samsung Chromebook Plus.

    As Robby reported in early May, the Crostini Reddit revealed a user who was already up and running with Crostini(sort of) on the ARM-powered Chromebook. Additionally, a number of commits in the Chromium repository gave us some pretty solid evidence that developers had shifted their efforts to making the container tech work outside of the Pixelbook.

    Thanks to a recent update to the Developer channel, we are now seeing reports that ‘Kevin‘ a.k.a the Samsung Chromebook Plus can now run the Linux terminal app just like the Pixelbook does.

  • Samsung Chromebook Plus Now Supports Linux apps

    The Chrome OS ecosystem is finally changing. This comes after Chromebooks, and the Chrome OS, in general, are now supporting Linux apps. This means that Chromebooks could now actually run more applications. By doing so, tech-savvy users claim that Chromebooks would become eventually a major competitor to both Mac and Windows laptops.

  • Call for distros: Patch cups for better internationalization

    If you're reading this and use cups to print (almost certainly you do if you're on Linux), you may want to contact your distribution and ask them to add this patch.

    It adds translation support for a few keyword found in some printers PPD files. The CUPS upstream project has rejected with not much reason other than "PPD is old", without really taking into account it's really the only way you can get access to some advanced printer features (see comments in the same thread)

  • Linux Lite 4.0 – New Features and Step by Step Installation Guide

    Linux lite is one of the top and one of the most downloaded Linux distros and recently it has released its latest version in Linux Lite 4.0. In this article, we are going to look into the new features and enhancements that is made available in Linux Lite 4.0 along with a step by step guide to install Linux Lite 4.0 in your system.

today's leftovers

Filed under
Misc

today's leftovers

Filed under
Misc
  • Linux 4.17 Arrives with New Kernel Memory Consistency Module

    Linus Torvalds officially released the Linux 4.17 kernel on June 3, after seven release candidates. Linux 4.17 is the third major Linux kernel release of 2018 and follows the Linux 4.16 release, which was announced on April 1.

    Among the major new features that have landed in Linux 4.17 is the new Linux Kernel Memory Consistency Module (LKMM).

  • What’s New in macOS

    Apps built using OpenGL and OpenCL will continue to run in macOS 10.14, but these legacy technologies are deprecated in macOS 10.14. Games and graphics-intensive apps that use OpenGL should now adopt Metal. Similarly, apps that use OpenCL for computational tasks should now adopt Metal and Metal Performance Shaders.

  • Phoronix Test Suite 8.0 Debuts With Official Windows Support, Easier Benchmark Creation

    Phoronix Test Suite 8.0 has premiered today as the latest quarterly update to our open-source, cross-platform automated benchmarking software. This also happens to be our largest release ever and also commemorates ten years since the release of Phoronix Test Suite 1.0 and fourteen-years since the start of Phoronix. Here is a look at some of the many enhancements to find in this open-source benchmarking software.

  • [Richard W.M. Jones on] Half-baked ideas: Server remote management with an RPi Zero

    I guess like most people who work a lot with computers, I have a large number of computers in a “server room” (my loft). I’m too cheap to buy actual servers though, so most of these computers lack any sort of remote management / IPMI / BMC etc. I also just bought 6 Intel NUCs and these are also ideal as development servers, but unless you buy very specific (and unobtainium) versions they don’t come with remote management either.

today's leftovers

Filed under
Misc
  • 6 Best CCleaner Alternatives for Ubuntu

    A common category of software you will find on many Windows PCs are system optimizers and cleaners. One such application is CCleaner, a powerful and popular Windows PC cleaner which scans for and deletes unwanted files, private information such as browsing cache and history, freeing up space and guarding your privacy and more.

    Unfortunately, there is no CCleaner release for Linux systems, so if you were using it on Windows and made a switch to Ubuntu Linux (one of the recommended distros for Linux beginners), you are probably wondering which software to use for the same purpose on your new platform.

    Whether you have just made the switch or you have been using Ubuntu before, if you are looking for an alternative to CCleaner, you have landed in the right place. In this article, we will share 6 best CCleaner alternatives for Ubuntu Linux.

  • Mageia Weekly Roundup 2018 – Week 22

    It’s been a busy week, as usual! 378 packages came into Cauldron, 15 into Mga6 testing. Work is still going on to get the Mga5 -> Mga6 upgrade happening and then the Mga6.1 ISOs ready. There are some bugs, and here (already fixed), and here connected with the tray update in the pipeline, if you’re interested…

    Heaps of updates are coming in to the wiki, and there will soon be a look-and-feel update. Keep your eyes on the wiki, it will be worth it!

  • Linux Kernel 4.17, "Merciless Moray," Offers Improved Performance and Security

    Linus Torvalds released version 4.17 of the Linux Kernel on Sunday, nine weeks after the prior version. Although Linus says he is running out "of fingers and toes to keep track of minor releases," he has decided not to call this release "5.0" because he is saving that for 4.20.

    As with the 4.16 cycle, 4.17 has been a relatively smooth, save a few hiccups due to those pesky chip issues. It turns out the shadow of the Spectre vulnerability is still long, and the last two weeks before the release were a busy ones, with patches designed to counteract the effects of Spectre v4 making up a significant portion of all the code submitted. That said, and even though Linus does not like large amounts of changes so late in the release cycle, he skipped an rc8 and released the final version of 4.17 anyway.

  • Upstream Linux support for new NXP i.MX 8
  • Some webdev knowledge gained

    Easlier this year I had to split a Koa/SPA app into two separate apps. As part of that I switched from webpack to Neutrino.

    Through this work I learned a lot about full stack development (frontend, backend and deployments for both). I could write a blog post per item, however, listing it all in here is better than never getting to write a post for any of them.

    Note, I’m pointing to commits that I believe have enough information to understand what I learned.

  • [Podcast] PodCTL #38 – A Beginner’s Guide to Kubernetes

    Kubernetes community now has 10 releases (2.5yrs) of software and experience. We just finished KubeCon Copenhagen, OpenShift Commons Gathering and Red Hat Summit and we heard lots of companies talk about their deployments and journeys. But many of them took a while (12-18) months to get to where they are today. This feels like the “early adopters” and we’re beginning to get to the “crossing the chasm” part of the market. So thought we’d discuss some of the basics, lessons learned and other things people could use to “fast-track” what they need to be successful with Kubernetes.

  • How Alibaba Cloud plans to disrupt AWS, Microsoft and Google in EMEA

     

    Alibaba Cloud has seven availability zones in China alone, seven more across Asia Pacific and Hong Kong, two in the US, one in Dubai, and one in Frankfurt for Europe. It also now has local teams in four EMEA locations: the UK, Germany, France and Dubai.

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OSS Leftovers

  • Deutsche Telekom and Aricent Create Open Source Edge Software Framework
    Deutsche Telekom and Aricent today announced the creation of an Open Source, Low Latency Edge Compute Platform available to operators, to enable them to develop and launch 5G mobile applications and services faster. The cost-effective Edge platform is built for software-defined data centers (SDDC) and is decentralized, to accelerate the deployment of ultra-low latency applications. The joint solution will include a software framework with key capabilities for developers, delivered as a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and will incorporate cloud-native Multi-access edge computing (MEC) technologies.
  • A Deeper Look at Sigma Prime's Lighthouse: An Open-Source Ethereum 2.0 Client
  • Notable moments in Firefox for Android UA string history
  • Dweb: Creating Decentralized Organizations with Aragon
    With Aragon, developers can create new apps, such as voting mechanisms, that use smart contracts to leverage decentralized governance and allow peers to control resources like funds, membership, and code repos. Aragon is built on Ethereum, which is a blockchain for smart contracts. Smart contracts are software that is executed in a trust-less and transparent way, without having to rely on a third-party server or any single point of failure. Aragon is at the intersection of social, app platform, and blockchain.
  • LLVM 7.0.0 released
  • Parabola GNU/Linux-libre: Boot problems with Linux-libre 4.18 on older CPUs
    Due to a known bug in upstream Linux 4.18, users with older multi-core x86 CPUs (Core 2 Duo and earlier?) may not correctly boot up with linux-libre 4.18 when using the default clocksource.
  • Visual Schematic Diffs in KiCAD Help Find Changes
    In the high(er)-end world of EDA tools like OrCAD and Altium there is a tight integration between the version control system and the design tools, with the VCS is sold as a product to improve the design workflow. But KiCAD doesn’t try to force a version control system on the user so it doesn’t really make sense to bake VCS related tools in directly. You can manage changes in KiCAD projects with git but as [jean-noël] notes reading Git’s textual description of changed X/Y coordinates and paths to library files is much more useful for a computer than for a human. It basically sucks to use. What you really need is a diff tool that can show the user what changed between two versions instead of describe it. And that’s what plotgitsch provides.

LWN's Latest (Today Outside Paywall) Articles About the Kernel, Linux

  • Toward better handling of hardware vulnerabilities
    From the kernel development community's point of view, hardware vulnerabilities are not much different from the software variety: either way, there is a bug that must be fixed in software. But hardware vendors tend to take a different view of things. This divergence has been reflected in the response to vulnerabilities like Meltdown and Spectre which was seen by many as being severely mismanaged. A recent discussion on the Kernel Summit discussion list has shed some more light on how things went wrong, and what the development community would like to see happen when the next hardware vulnerability comes around. The definitive story of the response to Meltdown and Spectre has not yet been written, but a fair amount of information has shown up in bits and pieces. Intel was first notified of the problem in July 2017, but didn't get around to telling anybody in the the Linux community about it until the end of October. When that disclosure happened, Intel did not allow the community to work together to fix it; instead each distributor (or other vendor) was mostly left on its own and not allowed to talk to the others. Only at the end of December, right before the disclosure (and the year-end holidays), were members of the community allowed to talk to each other. The results of this approach were many, and few were good. The developers charged with responding to these problems were isolated and under heavy stress for two months; they still have not been adequately thanked for the effort they put in. Many important stakeholders, including distributions like Debian and the "tier-two" cloud providers, were not informed at all prior to the general disclosure and found themselves scrambling. Different distributors shipped different fixes, many of which had to be massively revised before entry into the mainline kernel. When the dust settled, there was a lot of anger left simmering in its wake.
  • Writing network flow dissectors in BPF
    Network packet headers contain a great deal of information, but the kernel often only needs a subset of that information to be able to perform filtering or associate any given packet with a flow. The piece of code that follows the different layers of packet encapsulation to find the important data is called a flow dissector. In current Linux kernels, the flow dissector is written in C. A patch set has been proposed recently to implement it in BPF with the clear goal of improving security, flexibility, and maybe even performance.
  • Coscheduling: simultaneous scheduling in control groups
    The kernel's CPU scheduler must, as its primary task, determine which process should be executing in each of a system's processors at any given time. Making an optimal decision involves juggling a number of factors, including the priority (and scheduling classes) of the runnable processes, NUMA locality, cache locality, latency minimization, control-group policies, power management, overall fairness, and more. One might think that throwing another variable into the mix — and a complex one at that — would not be something anybody would want to attempt. The recent coscheduling patch set from Jan Schönherr does exactly that, though, by introducing the concept of processes that should be run simultaneously. The core idea behind coscheduling is the marking of one or more control groups as containing processes that should be run together. If one process in a coscheduled group is running on a specific set of CPUs (more on that below), only processes from that group will be allowed to run on those CPUs. This rule holds even to the point of forcing some of the CPUs to go idle if the given control group lacks runnable processes, regardless of whether processes outside the group are runnable. Why might one want to do such a thing? Schönherr lists four motivations for this work, the first of which is virtualization. That may indeed be the primary motivation, given that Schönherr is posting from an Amazon address, and Amazon is rumored to be running a virtualized workload or two. A virtual machine usually contains multiple processes that interact with each other; these machines will run more efficiently (and with lower latencies) if those processes can run simultaneously. Coscheduling would ensure that all of a virtual machine's processes are run together, maximizing locality and minimizing the latencies of the interactions between them.
  • Machine learning and stable kernels
    There are ways to get fixes into the stable kernel trees, but they require humans to identify which patches should go there. Sasha Levin and Julia Lawall have taken a different approach: use machine learning to distinguish patches that fix bugs from others. That way, all bug-fix patches could potentially make their way into the stable kernels. Levin and Lawall gave a talk describing their work at the 2018 Open Source Summit North America in Vancouver, Canada. Levin began with a quick introduction to the stable tree and how patches get into it. When a developer fixes a bug in a patch they can add a "stable tag" to the commit or send a mail to the stable mailing list; Greg Kroah-Hartman will then pick up the fix, evaluate it, and add it to the stable tree. But that means that the stable tree is only getting the fixes that are pointed out to the stable maintainers. No one has time to check all of the commits to the kernel for bug fixes but, in an ideal world, all of the bug fixes would go into the stable kernels. Missing out on some fixes means that the stable trees will have more security vulnerabilities because the fixes often close those holes—even if the fixer doesn't realize it.
  • Trying to get STACKLEAK into the kernel
    The STACKLEAK kernel security feature has been in the works for quite some time now, but has not, as yet, made its way into the mainline. That is not for lack of trying, as Alexander Popov has posted 15 separate versions of the patch set since May 2017. He described STACKLEAK and its tortuous path toward the mainline in a talk [YouTube video] at the 2018 Linux Security Summit. STACKLEAK is "an awesome security feature" that was originally developed by The PaX Team as part of the PaX/grsecurity patches. The last public version of the patch set was released in April 2017 for the 4.9 kernel. Popov set himself on the goal of getting STACKLEAK into the kernel shortly after that; he thanked both his employer (Positive Technologies) and his family for giving him working and free time to push STACKLEAK. The first step was to extract STACKLEAK from the more than 200K lines of code in the grsecurity/PaX patch set. He then "carefully learned" about the patch and what it does "bit by bit". He followed the usual path: post the patch, get feedback, update the patch based on the feedback, and then post it again. He has posted 15 versions and "it is still in progress", he said.

PostgreSQL 11: something for everyone

PostgreSQL 11 had its third beta release on August 9; a fourth beta (or possibly a release candidate) is scheduled for mid-September. While the final release of the relational database-management system (currently slated for late September) will have something new for many users, its development cycle was notable for being a period when the community hit its stride in two strategic areas: partitioning and parallelism. Partitioning and parallelism are touchstones for major relational database systems. Proprietary database vendors manage to extract a premium from a minority of users by upselling features in these areas. While PostgreSQL has had some of these "high-tier" items for many years (e.g., CREATE INDEX CONCURRENTLY, advanced replication functionality), the upcoming release expands the number considerably. I may be biased as a PostgreSQL major contributor and committer, but it seems to me that the belief that community-run database system projects are not competitive with their proprietary cousins when it comes to scaling enterprise workloads has become just about untenable. Read more