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Updated: 13 min 11 sec ago

A Comparison of Three Linux 'App Stores'

Fri, 2018-03-09 16:32

I remember, long, long ago, when installing apps in Linux required downloading and compiling source packages. If you were really lucky, some developer might have packaged the source code into a form that was more easily installable. Without those developers, installing packages could become a dependency nightmare.

But then, package managers like rpm and dpkg began to rise in popularity, followed quickly by the likes of yum and apt. This was an absolute boon to anyone looking to make Linux their operating system of choice. Although dependencies could still be an issue, they weren’t nearly as bad as they once were. In fact, many of these package managers made short shrift of picking up all the dependencies required for installation.

And the Linux world rejoiced! Hooray!

But, with those package managers came a continued requirement of the command line. That, of course, is all fine and good for old hat Linux users. However, there’s a new breed of Linux users who don’t necessarily want to work with the command line. For that user-base, the Linux “app store” was created.

Also: Foxit Launches PDF Compressor for Linux

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Open standards in processor innovation with RISC-V

Fri, 2018-03-09 10:37

Big data applications that analyze very large and disparate datasets using computations and algorithms are spawning. These applications reveal trends, patterns, and associations. These valuable insights connect and drive more precise predictions and enable better decisions to achieve better outcomes. Because big data analysis is based on information captured from the past, today's applications also require immediate analysis of information as it happens.

As a result, there's a parallel track accompanying big data: fast data, where the immediacy of data is critical. Fast data has a different set of characteristics. Fast data applications process or transform data as it is captured, leveraging the algorithms derived from big data to provide real-time decisions and results. Whereas big data provides insights derived from "what happened" to forecast "what will likely happen" (predictive analysis), fast data delivers insights that drive real-time actions. This is particularly beneficial to "smart" machines, environmental monitors, security and surveillance systems, securities trading systems, and applications that require analysis, answers, and actions in real time.

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Women in Technology, FOSS Influencers, and Making Your First Open Source Contribution

Fri, 2018-03-09 10:02
  • Raising More than Capital: Successful Women in Technology

    One of my employees chooses a word at the beginning of each year to guide her personal and professional development efforts. Last year the word she selected was “Rise.” She told me it inspired her to elevate not only her skills, but the quality of her relationships, her attitude toward life and her self-confidence. As a female entrepreneur and the CEO of a growing global software company, our conversation led me to reflect on how successful women in technology rise above our challenges.

  • 9 tech influencers you should know

    In 2017, I published a list of ten fantastic people who inspired me. In this post, I'd like to recognize some of the people who have influenced and helped me in my open source and DevOps journey during the past year. This list is 100% personal; there is no particular rhyme or reason to the order. There are also a lot of terrific people I have not included.

  • A quick and easy way to make your first open source contribution

    The best way to level up your programming skills is to code more. The second best way is to read others’ code. What better way to do these things than collaborating in open source projects?

    First Contributions is a project to help you get started with contributing to open source projects. Excited to start your open source journey? Follow the instructions in Readme of the First Contributions project on GitHub.

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CLA vs. DCO: What's the difference?

Fri, 2018-03-09 09:59

In your open source adventures, you may have heard the acronyms CLA and DCO, and you may have said "LOL WTF BBQ?!?" These letters stand for Contributor License Agreement and Developer Certificate of Origin, respectively. Both have a similar intent: To say that the contributor is allowed to make the contribution and that the project has the right to distribute it under its license. With some significant projects moving from CLAs to DCOs (like Chef in late 2016 and GitLab in late 2017), the matter has received more attention lately.

So what are they? The Contributor License Agreement is the older of the two mechanisms and is often used by projects with large institutional backing (either corporate or nonprofit). Unlike software licenses, CLAs are not standardized. CLAs can vary from project to project. In some cases, they simply assert that you're submitting work that you're authorized to submit, and you permit the project to use it. Other CLAs (for example the Apache Software Foundation's) may grant copyright and/or patent licenses.

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Events: "I love Free Software Day", Linux Journal at SCaLE 16x, LF's China SDN/NFV Conference

Fri, 2018-03-09 09:48
  • #ilovefs Report 2018

    On Wednesday 14th of February, our community celebrated the annual "I love Free Software Day". A day to declare love to the communities most important to you as well as saying "Thank You" to the Free Software projects surrounding us every single day. The Free Software Foundation Europe also wants to thank everyone who cheered and contributed to make this day as special as it could be.

    We counted hundreds of Tweets, Toots and Posts both on Twitter and the Fediverse as well as tens of blog posts, photos and artworks all showing love to the countless of people out there contributing to Free Software every day, be it in the form of code, translations, documentation, community work, designing or managing. Thank you very much to all of you amazing people!

  • Looking for New Writers and Meet Us at SCaLE 16x
  • China SDN/NFV Conference

    China SDN/NFV Conference is the official annual gathering of the China SDN/NFV Industry Alliance. It is co-organized by China Institute of Communications (CIC) and China Communications Standards Association (CCSA). In addition, the Conference is further supported by China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom, and the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology, Ministry of Industry & Information Technology. This influential group represents the guiding light and driving force for accelerating the research and development, commercialization and enduser adoption of software defined networking and network function virtualization.

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prove you are not an Evil corporate person

Fri, 2018-03-09 07:27

Google is known to be deathly allergic to the AGPL license. Not only on servers; they don't even allow employees to use AGPL software on workstations. If you write free software, and you'd prefer that Google not use it, a good way to ensure that is to license it under the AGPL.

I normally try to respect the privacy of users of my software, and of personal conversations. But at this point, I feel that Google's behavior has mostly obviated those moral obligations. So...

Now seems like a good time to mention that I have been contacted by multiple people at Google about several of my AGPL licensed projects (git-annex and either keysafe or debug-me I can't remember which) trying to get me to switch them to the GPL, and had long conversations with them about it.

Google has some legal advice that the AGPL source provision triggers much more often than it's commonly understood to. I encouraged them to make that legal reasoning public, so the community could address/debunk it, but I don't think they have. I won't go into details about it here, other than it seemed pretty bonkers.

Mixing in some AGPL code with an otherwise GPL codebase also seems sufficient to trigger Google's allergy. In the case of git-annex, it's possible to build all releases (until next month's) with a flag that prevents linking with any AGPL code, which should mean the resulting binary is GPL licensed, but Google still didn't feel able to use it, since the git-annex source tree includes AGPL files.

I don't know if Google's allergy to the AGPL extends to software used for drone murder applications, but in any case I look forward to preventing Google from using more of my software in the future.

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Android P/Android 9

Fri, 2018-03-09 06:45

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Fedora Atomic Workstation: Trying things out the easy way

Fri, 2018-03-09 06:43

If you’ve followed my posts about my first steps with Fedora Atomic Workstation, you may have seen that I’ve had to figure out how to make codecs work in the firefox that is included in the OS image. And then I had to work around some issues with the layered packages that I used for that when I rebased to a newer OS.

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Mozilla Posts/News

Fri, 2018-03-09 06:17
  • Celebrating 24 incredible women on International Women’s Day
  • Mozilla experiment aims to reduce bias in code reviews

    Mozilla is kicking off a new experiment for International Women’s Day, looking at ways to make open source software projects friendlier to women and racial minorities. Its first target? The code review process.

    The experiment has two parts: there’s an effort to build an extension for Firefox that gives programmers a way to anonymize pull requests, so reviewers will see the code itself, but not necessarily the identity of the person who wrote it. The second part is gathering data about how sites like Bugzilla and GitHub work, to see how “blind reviews” might fit into established workflows.

  • Changing your primary email in Firefox Accounts

    Our team kept putting this feature off because of the complexity and all the components involved. While the final verdict on how well this retains users is not out, I am happy that we were able to push through these and give a long requested feature to our user base. Below is a usage graph that shows that users are already changing their address and keeping their account updated.

  • Setting the stage for our next chapter

    Building on this momentum, we are making two important changes to our leadership team to ensure we’re positioned for even greater impact in the years to come. I’m pleased to announce that Denelle Dixon has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer and Mark Mayo has been promoted to Chief Product Officer.

  • Theme API Update
  • HackRice 7.5: How "uFilter" was born

    uFilter is a smart web extension made to help people browse the web without seeing content they don't like to see. Bringing the power to choose what to see back to users. The user has a list of buttons as filters they can choose. Either individual or more than one at a go. The process is simple and subtle: check off the type of content you want to avoid and let us handle the rest! Questionable content is blurred out, if you wish to see it nonetheless you can click to reveal the text.

  • MDN Changelog for February 2018
  • L10n Report: March Edition

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Anarchy Linux: Arch Linux Made Easy

Fri, 2018-03-09 06:15

Anarchy Linux isn’t so much its own distribution as it is a wrapper around Arch Linux. If you’re familiar with Linux Mint’s relationship with Ubuntu, you should have a good idea of what Anarchy is.

The main feature of Anarchy Linux is its installer. Arch Linux itself doesn’t have a proper installer. Anarchy fixed that. It provides a simple, yet powerful, terminal-based installer that walks you through the entire install process just as easily as a mainstream distribution like Ubuntu.

Anarchy does something else to set itself apart, too. It doesn’t install the “conventional” defaults. Instead, Anarchy sets up your system the way most people customize theirs. Anarchy gives you ZSH by default. Your browser is Chromium. The out-of-the-box text editor is Vim. Anarchy also doesn’t waste your time with nonsense apps that you won’t use. It gives you what you need, and that’s about it.

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Graphics: DXVK, AMD, Nouveau and More

Fri, 2018-03-09 05:54
  • DXVK 0.31 Released With Tessellation Work, NVIDIA Fixes

    The DXVK project that has been making significant progress the past several months in getting Direct3D accelerated via Vulkan for Wine gamers now has a new release available.

  • AMD's Vulkan Memory Allocator Nears Version 2.0

    Last year AMD's GPUOpen group posted the Vulkan Memory Allocator while coming soon is version 2.0 of this code-base.

    The GPUOpen Vulkan Memory Allocator is an easy-to-use memory allocation library that tries to rid your Vulkan code-base of the necessary boilerplate code for memory setup and other routine tasks under Vulkan while making the memory easier to manage across drivers, handle out-of-memory conditions, and is cross-platform. Version 1.0 was out last year but v2.0 appears to be quickly approaching with their current Git activity referencing 2.0 alpha versions.

  • Compute Support Is Moving Along For Nouveau

    Longtime Nouveau contributor Karol Herbst who joined Red Hat at the end of 2017 continues working on Nouveau compute support along with fellow hat-wearing open-source graphics driver developer Rob Clark.

    Karol was initially working on NIR support for Nouveau as part of this effort for getting OpenCL compute going atop this reverse-engineered, open-source NVIDIA driver by taking advantage of existing SPIR-V to NIR support. That NIR intermediate representation support has been getting into shape while a separate effort is also working on SPIR-V support for Clover.

  • AMDGPU Has More WattMan Improvements & Power Profiling For Linux 4.17

    More new material has been submitted to DRM-Next for AMDGPU feature improvements in Linux 4.17.

    At the end of February was the first batch of AMDGPU updates for Linux 4.17 that included initial WattMan support, gamma / color management work for DC, various other AMDGPU DC display improvements, and other alterations.

  • With Vulkan 1.1 It's Technically Possible To Write A Pure Wayland Compositor

    With Vulkan 1.1 it should be technically possible to write a driver/vendor-agnostic Wayland compositor using Vulkan thanks to the new core extensions.

    Going back two years has been feature request #294 about Wayland compositor-side extensions for Vulkan for basically trying to write a Vulkan compositor back-end. That feature request was closed today as with Vulkan 1.1 it's technically possible, but we have yet to see anyone attempt this feat.

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Debian: Nageru, Free Software Activities, Bug Squashing and Diversity

Fri, 2018-03-09 04:37
  • Nageru 1.7.0 released

    I've just released version 1.7.0 of Nageru, my free software video mixer. The poster child feature for this release is the direct integration of CEF, yielding high-performance HTML5 graphics directly into Nageru. This obsoletes the earlier CasparCG integration through playing a video from a socket (although video support is of course still very much present!), which were significantly slower and more flimsy. (Also, when CEF gets around to integrating with clients on the GPU level, you'll see even higher performance, and also stuff like WebGL, which I've turned off the for time being.)

    Unfortunately, Debian doesn't carry CEF, and I haven't received any answers to my probes of whether it would be possible to do so—it would certainly involve some coordination with the Chromium maintainers. Thus, it is an optional dependency, and the packages that are coming into unstable are built without CEF support.

  • My Free Software Activities in February 2018

    Welcome to gambaru.de. Here is my monthly report that covers what I have been doing for Debian. If you’re interested in Java, Games and LTS topics, this might be interesting for you.

  • Alexandre Viau: testeduploads - looking for GSOC mentor

    I have been contributing to Debian for a couple of years now and I have been a Debian Developper since 2015. For now, I have mostly been conttibuting to packaging new software and fixing packaging-related bugs.

  • Bug Squashing and Diversity

    Every time I go there, female developers (this is a hotspot of diversity) ask me if they can host the next Mini DebConf for Women. There have already been two of these very successful events, in Barcelona and Bucharest. It is not my decision to make though: anybody can host a MiniDebConf of any kind, anywhere, at any time. I've encouraged the women in Tirana to reach out to some of the previous speakers personally to scope potential dates and contact the DPL directly about funding for necessary expenses like travel.

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BLOCKS unveils Project OpenWatch: open source, Android-based smartwatch framework

Fri, 2018-03-09 04:16

There are three big names in the smartwatch operating system space at the moment: Apple’s WatchOS, Google’s Android Wear, and Samsung’s Tizen. But the makers of the upcoming BLOCKS modular smartwatch couldn’t use any of those because they wouldn’t support the plug-and-play modules BLOCKS wanted to support. So the company developed its own Android-based software.

Now BLOCKS is kicking off an initiative that could help make it easier for other developers to build a smartwatch OS.

Project OpenWatch is open source project that provides a Linux kernel and an Android Oreo Board Support Package for watches that use the same MediaTek MTK6580M chipset used in the BLOCKS smartwatch.

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Applications: Notepadqq, Best Editor, Museeks

Fri, 2018-03-09 04:13
  • Notepadqq, a Notepad++-Like Editor for Linux, Now Available as a Snap on Ubuntu

    More and more apps are getting ported as Snaps for Ubuntu and any other Snap-powered GNU/Linux distribution, and Notepadqq is one of the most recent examples.

    If you never heard of Notepadqq, it's an open-source and free Notepad++-like general purpose editor for Linux systems, designed by developers for developers. It's written by Daniele Di Sarli in Qt and features syntax highlighting for over 100 different languages, code folding, multiple selection, file monitoring, color schemes, and much more.

  • Best Editor

    Readers' Choice winner Vim is an extremely powerful editor with a user interface based on Bill Joy's 40-plus-year-old vi, but with many improved-upon features including extensive customization with key mappings and plugins. Linux Journal reader David Harrison points out another great thing about Vim "is that it's basically everywhere. It's available on every major platform."

    The very features that make Vim so versatile also have been known to intimidate beginners. Perhaps that's why Linux Journal has featured nearly 100 articles on Vim so far. Readers generally agree though, any learning curve is worth the effort, and again this year, they award Vim the Best Editor title.

  • Museeks, the open source music player, has a new release out

    But like the sophomore follow-up to a platinum best-seller (Museeks has been downloaded over 20,000 times), the app is back, hoping to impress.

    If you’ve not head of Museeks before then you’re in for a treat. The app is open source, it’s classy and well design, it’s cross-platform, and …Oh, okay. I’ll stop stalling: it’s built with Electron.

    For some, Museek’s use of Electron will be a deal breaker. Others (myself among them) care less about the codebase and more about whether the app is any good at what is does.

    And, I’m pleased to say, Museeks is very good at what it does (which is playing music, incase that bit passed you by).

    Did the world “need” another music player? No, just as I didn’t really “need” another pair of Vans shoes. And yet here I am, writing a post about yet-another-music-player while rocking some comfy size 7s

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​Linux beats legal threat from one of its own developers

Fri, 2018-03-09 04:12

In a German court earlier this week, former Linux developer Patrick McHardy gave up on his Gnu General Public License version 2 (GPLv2) violation case against Geniatech Europe GmbH. Now, you may ask, "How can a Linux programmer dropping a case against a company that violates the GPL count as a win?"

It's complicated.

First, anyone who knows the least thing about Linux's legal infrastructure knows its licensed under the GPLv2. Many don't know that anyone who has copyrighted code in the Linux kernel can take action against companies that violate the GPLv2. Usually, that's a non-issue.

People who find violations typically turn to organizations such as the Free Software Foundation, Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC), and the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) to approach violators. These organizations then try to convince violating companies to mend their ways and honor their GPLv2 legal requirements. Only as a last resort do they take companies to court to force them into compliance with the GPLv2.

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Red Hat Leftovers

Fri, 2018-03-09 04:05

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Devices: Purism Phones, Taicenn for Cars, Linux for Devices, and Samsung TVs

Fri, 2018-03-09 04:03
  • Purism to Bring Hardware Encryption to Its Librem 5 Privacy-Focused Linux Phone

    Purism announced today that it partnered with leading cryptography pioneer Werner Koch to integrate hardware encryption into its upcoming Librem 5 Linux phone and future laptops products.

    Purism is a computer manufacturer known for its security-focused and privacy-oriented laptops powered by the PureOS Open Source Linux-based operating system based on Debian GNU/Linux. The company recently announced that it now has the most secure Linux laptops thanks to the implementation of Heads integrated TPM (Trusted Platform Module) chips in the coreboot firmware in its Librem 13 and Librem 15 laptops.

    Now, the company says that it wants to push the industry forward and set unparalleled protection for end-user devices by planning to include hardware cryptography by default in its forthcoming Librem 5 Linux smartphone and all future revisions of the Librem 13 and Librem 15 laptops, as well as the yet-to-be-announced Librem 11 model. Purism will be able to achieve this goal by manufacturing hardware with its own software and services.

  • In-vehicle panel PC has up to 10.4-inch touchscreen

    Taicenn's Linux-ready, IP65 protected “TPC-DCXXXC1E” in-vehicle panel PC runs on a Bay Trail Celeron J1900, and has an 8- to 10.4-inch capacitive touchscreen, 2x GbE ports, SATA, mSATA, and wide-range power.

  • The Shift to Linux Operating Systems for IoT

    As IoT devices become more full-featured, the Operating System that drives them is shifting from Real Time Operating Systems (RTOS) to Linux.


    By this time (circa 2005), Linux was widely used in certain computing environments such as servers and was enjoying a steadily increasing footprint for some embedded environments such as TVs. It was quickly seen as a good building block for smartphones, as it brought out of the box a modern full-featured Operating System with very good device driver support, and that was considered both scalable for the new generation of devices and had the added benefit of being royalty free.

  • Samsung announces its 2018 Tizen TV lineup

    Samsung is hitting us with its best shot as the tech company unveils its 2018 Smart TV lineup. The line up which was unveiled at an event in New York has Samsung offering us details of its new QLED model which includes the Q9F, Q8F, Q7C and Q6F. The new QLED line with enhanced picture quality, design element and also integrated with Bixby. Samsung also gave details of its expanded lineup of Ultra HD certified, Premium UHD and Super Big Screen TVs.

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Games: SteamVR, GOG, Tannenberg & Verdun, Hearts of Iron, Cities: Skylines, Northgard, EARTHLOCK

Fri, 2018-03-09 03:29

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