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Plasma Mobile updates make the user interface more customizable (and a bit more Android-like)

There are several different user interfaces available for Linux smartphones, but the one that will probably feel the most familiar to Android users is KDE’s Plasma Mobile. Like Android, it has a home screen, an app drawer, navigation buttons on the bottom, status notifications at the top, and a quick settings panel that appears when you swipe down from the top of the screen. Soon, it may work even more like Android – developers plan to add support for multiple home screens that you can scroll through horizontally, giving you more space for app icons and widgets. Support for custom app launchers may also be on the way. Read more

today's leftovers

  • 15 ways to leave your cloud provider

    Avoid concentration While it’s tempting to keep things simple by using the same cloud for everything, the danger is that one cloud becomes a big point of failure. Microsoft, for instance, bought GitHub and this should give Azure users a reason to start thinking about storing their code in other repositories. Or at the very least, make sure it is pushed regularly to backups. The same goes for the other clouds. Use open source Proprietary code has many wonderful aspects. Sometimes the business model delivers some amazing software. There are many times in life when you get what you pay for and that can be true in the software world too. But only open source software offers you the freedom to move the code easily and quickly without begging, “Mother, may I?” Richard Stallman always said that he was after “free as in speech, not free as in beer.” Avoid proprietary tools The cloud providers usually offer two types of products: open source clones and proprietary tools. While the closed source products may offer plenty of tempting options and attractive innovations, the threat of losing service is too great to risk using them. If you choose the MySQL service at AWS, you can move to MySQL on your own box. If you choose a proprietary tool, you can’t.

  • Jan-Erik Rediger: Three-year Moziversary

    Has it really been 3 years? I guess it has. I joined Mozilla as a Firefox Telemetry Engineer in March 2018, I blogged twice already: 2019, 2020. And now it's 2021. 2020 was nothing like I thought it would and still been a lot like I said last year at this point. It's been Glean all over the year, but instead of working from the office and occasionally meeting my team in person, it's been working from home for 12 months now. In September of last year I officially became the Glean SDK tech lead and thus I'm now responsible for the technical direction and organisation of the whole project, but really this is a team effort. Throughout the year we made Project FOG happen. At least the code is there and we can start migrating now. It's far from finished of course.

  • Firefox 86 TOTALLY FIXES the cookie problem.

    Firefox 86 is the latest release of Firefox and it's got two killer features. One of them is how Firefox handles cross-origin requests and cookies: by silo-ing each web page. Now, when you visit a new site for the first time, any assets loaded from other websites (read: Google Analytics) don't have your login information from your Google Account. This is CRITICAL!

  • Community Member Monday: Rafael Lima

    I am a university professor in Brazil, and I teach and research optimization applied to management sciences. In my work I often need to write papers and prepare spreadsheets to analyze data, and for that I’ve been using LibreOffice for over a year now. I have been working with supply chain optimization problems such as vehicle routing, network design and facility location. I have always been an enthusiast of Open Source, since my undergraduate days in 2001. At the time I started using Linux and most of my current research work is done using FOSS tools. The dynamics of how open source software is developed is a topic that has always caught my attention. Outside of work, I like to spend my free time practicing sports (mostly playing tennis) and whenever I have the opportunity I like to travel to new places. And obviously, like many tech enthusiasts, I like gaming too!

  • Learning the Poke language in Y minutes

    Mohammad-Reza Nabipoor has written a nice short tutorial called "Learn the Poke Language in Y minutes". The tutorial has the form of a Poke program itself, and I think it really highlights the most uncommon (and useful!) features of our domain-specific language. The tutorial is also available as part the poke source distribution in `doc/' so you can play with it. Find the plain source file here. Mohammad will be improving and updating it as the language grows. Thanks Mohammad, and happy poking!

  • Swiss National Bank releases paper regarding CBDC and GNU Talers

    The Swiss National Bank has released a paper on the advantages of GNU Talers over blockchain and account-based digital money transactions for Central Bank Digital Currency. A possible technical implementation was presented in a paper by the Swiss National Bank (SNB), discussing the merits of token-based digital cash called GNU Talers. The Swiss Bank has been developing the concept of ‘Taxable Anonymous Libre Electronic Reserves’, or Taler for short. Interested parties have been able to try out the cryptographically secured digital ‘coins’ for some time.

Programming Leftovers

  • The RedMonk Programming Language Rankings: January 2021 [Ed: Microsoft-sponsored Stephen O'Grady/Redmonk uses Microsoft data to rank programming languages as if a proprietary software repository occupied by a monopolies says what the trends are in industry at large
  • IAR Systems adds Functional Safety certification for build tools for Linux

    IAR Systems®, the future-proof supplier of software tools and services for embedded development, announces that its build tools supporting deployment in Linux-based frameworks has been certified by TÜV SÜD for functional safety development.

  • Clazy Framework Employed To Help Port Qt 5 Code To Qt 6 - Phoronix

    The Qt Company is now offering some checks for the Clazy framework to help in porting Qt 5 code to Qt 6 compatibility. Clazy is KDE's Qt-focused static code analyzer built atop LLVM's Clang. Clazy has been very useful for years in helping KDE/Qt developers discover bugs in their code and also help in some areas with automatic refactoring.

  • Porting from Qt 5 to Qt 6 using Clazy checks [Ed: Moving to proprietary software releases of Qt, which is no longer suitable for freedom-respecting developers]

    If you are looking for some help to port from Qt 5 to Qt 6, look no further. Within the Clazy framework, we've implemented some checks and fixits dedicated to help porting your Qt-based project. Those checks can be run using Clazy as a compiler plugin, using clazy-standalone on a .json file or from within Qt Creator. [..] First, you need to get Clazy or make sure your version is up to date. Version 1.10 will contain a corrected check for the deprecated API fixes, in the mean time please use the master branch.

  • Using Increment (++) and Decrement (–) Operators in Bash

    Similar to other programming language bash also supports increment and decrement operators. The increment operator ++ increases the value of a variable by one. Similarly, the decrement operator -- decreases the value of a variable by one.

  • Rakudo Weekly News: 2021.09 Best of Raku?

    Daniel Sockwell has started a discussion on what to do with the contents provided by the CCR Project with an idea to publish a “Best Of Raku” book. Modelled after books such as Coders at Work and Introduction to Best Software Writing, it would ask the Raku community to select 15-30 blog posts that do a good job of telling the story of the Raku Programming Language, thereby providing a good overview of what Raku is all about. Further suggestions, and other ideas, are very much welcome! And on a related note, 328 blog posts have been remastered so far!

  • Henri Sivonen: Rust Target Names Aren’t Passed to LLVM

    TL;DR: Rust’s i686-unknown-linux-gnu target requires SSE2 and, therefore, does not mean the same as GCC’s -march=i686. It is the responsibility of Linux distributions to use a target configuration that matches what they intend to support. From time to time, claims that Rust is “not portable” flare up. “Not portable” is generally means “LLVM does not support my retrocomputing hobby target.” This is mostly about dead ISAs like DEC Alpha. There is a side track about x86, though: the complaint that Rust’s default 32-bit x86 (glibc) Linux target does not support all x86 CPUs that are still supported by a given Linux distribution. Upstream Rust ships with two preconfigured 32-bit x86 glibc Linux targets: The primary one has the kind of floating-point math that other ISAs have and requires SSE2. “Primary” here means that the Rust project considers this “guaranteed to work”. The secondary does not require SSE2 and, therefore, works on even older CPUs but has floating-point math that differs from other ISAs. “Secondary” here means that the Rust project considers this only “guaranteed to build”. Conceptually, this is simple: x86 with SSE2 and x86 without SSE2. Pick the former if you can and the latter if you must.

Debian Development Reports and More

  • Utkarsh Gupta: FOSS Activites in February 2021

    This was my 26th month of active contributing to Debian. I became a DM in late March 2019 and a DD on Christmas ‘19! \o/ This month was a nice mix of amusement, excitement, nervousness, and craziness. More on it below. Anyway, whilst I was super-insanely busy this month, I still did some Debian stuff here and there. Here are the following things I worked on:

  • Ben Hutchings: Debian LTS work, January/February 2021

    In January was assigned 7 hours of work by Freexian's Debian LTS initiative and carried over 8.5 hours from earlier months. However, I only used 0.25 hours of these to write December's report. In Feburary I was assigned another 16 hours to work, and have worked 19 hours. I will carry over the remaining hours to March.

  • Paul Wise: FLOSS Activities February 2021

    This month I didn't have any particular focus. I just worked on issues in my info bubble.

  • Open sourcing my blog [Ed: Ouch. Outsourcing to Microsoft proprietary software as "open sourcing" (in Planet Debian)]

    I have received a lot of positives feedback for my blog lately, and I do really appreciate it and try to integrate the suggestions to update my posts and make things better. With the aim of continous improvement of this blog, I have decided (a bit late?) to open source it. The source code is now available on Github!