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Links 18/7/2020: Monado Work, Wine 5.13 Release, and Social Events at GUADEC 2020

Posted in News Roundup at 9:24 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Michael Larabel: I’ve Been Running The AMD Ryzen 7 4700U + Ubuntu 20.04 As My Main System

        For about one and a half months now I have been using the AMD Ryzen 7 4700U as my main laptop paired with Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. It’s been working out very well for not even being the top-of-the-line AMD Renoir SKU. Here is some additional commentary for those thinking about one of the new AMD laptops with Linux use.

        Back in May I picked up a Lenovo IdeaPad 5 in order to deliver AMD Ryzen 7 4700U Linux benchmarks. This laptop for just over $800 USD came with a Ryzen 7 4700U, 16GB of RAM, 1080p display, 512GB NVMe storage. The performance of the Ryzen 7 4700U as an 8-core part with 2.0GHz base clock and 4.1GHz boost has been quite good and better than the Intel Whiskeylake Core i7 Dell XPS laptop I had been using as my daily driver. The Renoir graphics are also quite good for desktop use-cases.


        So all in over one month after moving to a Lenovo IdeaPad with Ryzen 7 4700U running Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, I am quite happy with the laptop itself, the performance out of the Ryzen 7 4700U, and Ubuntu 20.04 for that matter as my daily OS these days. This IdeaPad has even been probably the cheapest laptop I’ve used as my daily system at least in many years if not ever yet the performance with the Ryzen 7 4700U has been great, the build quality of the laptop is good enough when being predominantly in the office attached to a keyboard and 4K display, and the Linux support is there if using a new enough kernel. This is also the first time in more than one decade my main laptop has been AMD powered. As for using Ubuntu again as the OS on my main production system, I am very happy with how Ubuntu 20.04 LTS turned out.

      • Star Lite Mk III Laptop is Now Available with 6 Linux Distributions

        UK-based laptop company Star Labs announced the pre-order of its new Linux laptop named Star Lite Mk III.

    • Server

      • Understanding open source governance models

        Open source projects usually operate according to rules, customs, and processes that determine which contributors have the authority to perform certain tasks. Understanding those rules can increase your chances of contributing successfully and positively to a project.

        In open source software projects, the rules and customs that define who gets to do what (and how they are supposed to do it) is called a project’s “governance model.” Understanding a project’s governance model can help you make a successful, positive contribution to a project.


        The founder-leader governance model is most common among new projects or those with a small number of contributors. In these projects, the individual or group who started the project also administers the project, establishes its vision, and controls permissions to merge code into it.

        Some projects refer to their founder-leaders as “Benevolent Dictators for Life” or “BDFL” for short. In projects following the founder-leader model, lines of power and authority are typically clear; they radiate from founder-leaders, who are the final decision-makers for project matters.

        This model’s limitations become apparent as a project grows to a certain size. Founder-leaders can become bottlenecks for project decision-making work—and in extreme cases, the model can give rise to a kind of “caste” system in a project, as non-founders begin feeling like they’re unable to affect changes that aren’t in line with a founder’s vision.

      • Oracle Linux 8 support with Oracle Enterprise Manager 13c release 13.4

        We are excited to announce support for Oracle Linux 8 within the Oracle Enterprise Manager 13c Oracle Linux Home portal and as a host target. This support is achieved with Release Update (RU) 4 of Oracle Enterprise Manager 13c release 13.4; for further details on RU4 please refer here.


        All previous monitoring, administration and configuration features are available for Oracle Linux 8.

      • How a Linux VPS Can Help Thrive Your Business?

        VPS or Virtual Private Server has become increasingly popular over the past few years. Since the introduction of the internet over two decades ago, more and more people have taken to the online world to market and sell all kinds of products. The Internet has successfully brought the world within the palms and fingertips of an individual. This has brought all kinds of markets from the offline world of TV promotional, billboards, and newspapers to the online world. Lots of well-established businesses are as easily taking to the internet as an entrepreneur or a student.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Open Printing Microconference Accepted into 2020 Linux Plumbers Conference

        We are pleased to announce that the Open Printing Microconference has been accepted into the 2020 Linux Plumbers Conference!

        Building on the work already done in driverless printing since last year’s microconference session; driverless scanning has emerged as an active new topic since last year’s Plumbers. We’re seeing many new printer application projects emerge that will benefit 3D printing as well. With Driverless scanning and printing making good progress and improvements, now is the time to talk about driverless/IPP fax as well.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Lighthouse positional tracking in Monado with libsurvive

          Many consumer VR headsets have been sufficiently reverse engineered to develop open source drivers. But the crucial feature of positional tracking (“6DOF” tracking) remains a problem for many. For Monado we began developing an extensible positional tracking framework with the comparably simple task of tracking the glowing sphere of a Playstation Move Controllers using a stereo camera like the Playstation 4 camera. The result of this work can be tried out by following the setup guide. As a next step we are expanding this tracking to the PSVR HMD, and have completed a prototype implementation.

          We also wanted to provide a means for users with HTC Vive (Pro) or Valve Index hardware to experiment with positional tracking. For this purpose we implemented a driver using the libsurvive library developed by Charles Lohr, David Berger and many contributors.

          The video below shows Monado with Libsurvive in action on the godot engine, running on a fully open source stack.

        • FOSS OpenXR runtime ‘Monado’ gets Lighthouse positional tracking with libsurvive

          Collabora, the team of seriously clever open source developers that work with various companies (including the likes of Valve Software) have written up a new blog post about the work going into Monado and as usual it’s impressive. Monado can now work with the HTC Vive (Pro) or Valve Index hardware to provide positional tracking, thanks to the libsurvive project. Confused? Lighthouse positional tracking is the tech used by Valve for their VR kits. It uses positional sensors known as a ‘Base Station’ to track you while you’re playing with your fancy VR headset and controllers.


          Nice to see the open source Godot Engine being used even more for stuff like this too, being free and open source means anyone can jump in with it. This is using the godot_openxr GDNative driver for OpenXR and a fork of the Godot OpenXR FPS.

        • Monado Working On Positional Tracking Support Via Libsurvive To Further Open-Source AR/VR

          The Monado open-source OpenXR runtime for AR/VR headsets is making progress on integrating open-source positional tracking capabilities.

          This open-source OpenXR implementation has integrated a driver using the libsurvive library in order to provide open-source positional tracking for the Lighthouse tracking system with the HTC Vive / Vive Pro and Valve Index.

          The libsurvive library is working well to provide an open-source Lighthouse tracking system. Monado can now be built with libsurvive and in turn when running with the likes of the Godot Game Engine’s OpenXR support can lead to quite an open-source/libre VR experience.

        • Melissa Wen: Increasing test coverage in VKMS – max square cursor size

          To develop my GSoC project proposal, I inspected the coverage of kms_cursor_crc on VKMS.


          As a first step, I decided to examine and solve issues that affected the test results in a general way. the instability. Solving the instability first (or at least identify what was going on) would make the work more consistent and fluid, since I would no longer need to double-check each subtest result and, in one running of the entire kms_cursor_crc test I could check the absent features or errors. However, in this investigation, some problems were more linked to IGT and others to VKMS. Identifying who is the “guilty” was not simple, and some false charges happened.

        • DC Display Support Continues To Be Worked On For Radeon GCN 1.0 With AMDGPU Driver

          On top of the recent UVD video decode for AMD Radeon “GCN 1.0″ GPUs with the AMDGPU kernel driver to complement the existing Radeon kernel driver support, these aging “Southern Islands” graphics cards also continue to see patchwork on enabling “Display Core” (DC) display support with the AMDGPU driver option.

          A new round of patches were sent out today for enabling AMDGPU DC support for GCN 1.0 GPUs in this modern driver alternative to the classic “Radeon” DRM driver. DC is the display code used by modern Radeon GPUs and is shared with their Windows driver. GCN 1.0 supporting DC would allow usage of this unified code path and potentially supporting some new features or at the very least using this more properly tested code path. DC was formerly known as DAL prior to being upstreamed in the kernel and going through a major rework.

        • Cage Wayland Compositor For Kiosk Use-Cases Updated With Direct Scan-Out, New Protocols

          Joining Sway 1.5 for an exciting week in the Wayland space is an update to Cage, the Wayland compositor designed for kiosk-like experiences.

          Cage is the Wayland effort for kiosk and full-screen, one-application usage environments. Cage is built off WLROOTS and has seen a lot of work over the past year into making it suitable for various kiosk setups.

    • Benchmarks

      • The Linux Performance For AMD Rome vs. Intel Cascade Lake One Year After Launch

        The Xeon Platinum 8280 2P and EPYC 7742 2P servers were first re-tested using Ubuntu 19.04 as the software state around the time of the Cascade Lake launch and also what the software experience was like for the AMD Rome launch as the newest Ubuntu version at the time.

        Following that was then testing using an Ubuntu 20.10 development snapshot for the very latest Ubuntu software packages. Additionally, the Linux 5.8 Git kernel was pulled in for the very latest Linux kernel code as of right now. Additionally, the GCC 10.1 code compiler was also used for the newest C/C++ compiler as of this year.

        On both Ubuntu 19.04 and the “Ubuntu 2020″ software stack, the CFLAGS/CXXFLAGS were set to “-O3 -march=native” but otherwise was a rather stock software setup except where otherwise noted. Both servers were similarly equipped with 32GB DIMMs populating all memory channels and at their respective optimal memory frequencies. A Micron 9300 4TB NVMe solid-state drive was used on both servers.

    • Applications

      • NoiseTorch is another tool to remove background noise while recording on Linux

        NoiseTorch is another recent discovery that can help you remove background noise in real-time while recording with a microphone on Linux.

        Much like Cadmus which we covered recently and were very impressed with, it makes use of the Real-time Noise Suppression Plugin for PulseAudio based on Xiph’s RNNoise (a noise suppression library based on a recurrent neural network).

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine Announcement
        The Wine development release 5.13 is now available.
        What's new in this release (see below for details):
          - Re-mapping of INI files to the registry.
          - System call thunks in NTDLL.
          - Reimplementation of floating point numbers printing.
          - Beginnings of a restructuration of the console support.
          - Various bug fixes.
        The source is available from the following locations:
        Binary packages for various distributions will be available from:
        You will find documentation on https://www.winehq.org/documentation
        You can also get the current source directly from the git
        repository. Check https://www.winehq.org/git for details.
        Wine is available thanks to the work of many people. See the file
        AUTHORS in the distribution for the complete list.
      • Wine 5.13 Released – Fixes 15 Year Old Bug To Support Windows NT INI Files To Registry Re-Mapping

        The INI file re-mapping to the registry is a bit interesting and rather late… This stems from the advent of the Windows Registry back with Windows NT in place of relying on INI files. Windows 9x era applications use INI files with a set of functions that since Windows NT were converted to make use of the registry rather than INI files. Wine 5.13 in 2020 now supports re-mapping of INI files to the registry, thereby closing this bug report from 2005.

        The Windows-style syscall thunks in NTDLL, changing around the floating point numbers printing, and starting on a restructuring of the console support all make for Wine 5.13 quite exciting on a low-level.

    • Games

      • Simply Puzzles: Junctions is a fresh logic puzzle game to test your brain

        Out now with Linux support, Simply Puzzles: Junctions is another streamlined and easy to learn logic puzzle game. This is the second Simply Puzzles release on Steam following on from Codewords in June.

        The aim their games they said are to be ‘easy to understand, uncluttered and relaxing’, as they think there’s not enough high-quality simple puzzle titles like it. Simply Puzzles: Junctions features 100 hand-tested puzzles, each presented with the same relaxing, uncluttered presentation as Simply Puzzles: Codewords.

      • The pretty looking Idaho DLC and 1.38 update for American Truck Simulator are out

        A big free patch and an expansive new DLC are now available for American Truck Simulator. Prepare to travel through Idaho and take in the sights.

        Firstly, the free 1.38 update for ATS is out that brings with it Screen Space Ambient Occlusion (SSAO), a redesigned route advisor, navigation ETA to the next waypoint in route advisor and in world map, a major revamp to the city of Las Vegas with new road networks and more detailed scenery, improved Truckstops and quite a bit more. The patch is so big that they gave it a dedicated video.

      • Have a chat and work on your relationship in We should talk. out now

        Spin the conversation wheel of fortune in the short-form narrative game We should talk. that’s out now with Linux support. Released after a successful Kickstarter campaign, it’s nice to see more experimental games that try to push the boundaries in different ways like this.

        We should talk. is certainly a game that’s quite intriguing, with a pretty unique speech feature that has you construct your answers in conversations with multiple parts you can switch around. Quite clever actually, I’ve not really seen such a feature used often at all. You’re only usually given specific whole things to say but this is designed to get you to slow down, think things through and practice some social skills all while listening to some rather chilling tunes in a bar with friends.

      • Dead Age 2 brings party-based tactical zombie survival to a more open world

        Now available in Early Access, Dead Age 2 is the sequel to the 2016 hit and brings with it a much expanded game.

        Developed by Silent Dreams with Headup helping out as publisher, Dead Age 2 follows a group of determined survivors who have fled to Freedom City in search of a cure for the plague that triggered the zombie apocalypse ten years ago. You will be completing quests, scavenging for resources and building up a base to survive.

        In between all that, you also have the tight and fast-paced tactical turn-based combat against Zombies, gangs of looters and more. While death for characters is permenaent, it offers some outside progression in the form of persistent upgrades to go with in another run.

      • Robo Instructus: 1 Year Later

        I’m a game developer. I made robot engineering puzzle game Robo Instructus. For my previous posts look here.

        One year ago today Robo Instructus was released on Steam & itch.io. It’s received regular updates since then, the latest version 1.28 landing in late May. But how did it do?

      • Developer of Robo Instructus gives out sales info after a year

        Now that the programming-puzzle game Robo Instructus has been out for just a year, the developer has written up a blog post talking about sales and how it went.

        What is it? Robo Instructus is a puzzle game in which players manoeuvre a robot by issuing instructions via a simple programming language. As players progress through the game they unlock new functions to overcome new puzzles, each of which can be solved in multiple ways. The more you master the robot, the more elegant and powerful your solutions will be. This is not a game of moving logic blocks around, it needs actual programming.

        So now you know what it is, how did it do after a whole year? Not well in terms of sales or even player progression. Going by achievements, only 5% managed to complete 2 of the 4 acts. As for sales: in total it sold 2,571 copies which is just over 200 a month. Split across stores that was 2,544 sold on Steam and a mere 27 came from itch.io. Across different operating systems on Steam, keeping in mind this was developed on Linux and launched with Windows/Linux support and macOS came ~2 months later:

        Windows – 89.7%
        Linux – 7.6%
        Mac – 2.7%

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Krita, OpenGL and Qt

          Adrian Page first coded an OpenGL-based canvas implementation for Krita in 2005. That was back in the Qt3 days. OpenGL was fairly simple back then, but we had to duplicate all our canvas handling code, once implemented in OpenGL, once implemented with QPainter.

          Krita’s canvas code executes in three phases. There’s the image projection, that is, the result of combining all the layers, which is drawn first. Then we draw the canvas decorations: that’s the selection outline, the guides, the assistants, the reference images and so on. Then we draw the tool decorations: that’s the outline cursor, the line for the straight line or ruler tool and so on.

          Obviously, implementing all of that twice, once in OpenGL, once with QPainter isn’t ideal.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Molly de Blanc: Social Events at GUADEC 2020

          Wednesday (22 July) at 21:10 UTC you can join Melissa Wu for drinks. She’ll be teaching us some fun cocktail and mocktail recipes. Thank you Woodlyn Travel for making this happen! (See Notes below.)

          Sriram Ramkrishna, every GNOMEie’s fun uncle, is also quite the cook. Join him Thursday (23 July) at 21:00 UTC to learn some of his kitchen secrets. I recommend getting the ingredients ahead of time so you can cook along and then we can all snack together. (See Notes below.)

          You might know Sumana Harihareswara from her work with Python, GNOME, Zulip, Mailman, MediaWiki, or many other places in the free software world. She’s also hilarious. If you like to laugh, check out Sumana on Friday (24 July) at 21:00 UTC to hear Sumana’s stand-up comedy.

          There might not be a Museum BoF this year, but Ayanna Dozier will be bringing the museum experience to us on Monday (27 July) at 21:00 UTC. Ayanna Dozier is a scholar, filmmaker, and performance artist, and the Joan Tisch Teaching Fellow at the Whitney Museum and an Adjunct Professor at Fordham University. She’ll be introducing us to modern art (1930 – 1965) through key artists and important historical events.

    • Distributions

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • openSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the week 2020/29

          The week started a bit bumpy for Tumbleweed, as openQA was having some technical difficulties over the weekend. But nothing that our skilled epxerts could not solve within a few hours. Once every thing was back in shape, Tumbleweed started rolling full steam ahead and we managed to release 5 new snapshots (0710, 0713, 0714, 0715 and 0716)

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Fedora program update: 2020-29

          Here’s your report of what has happened in Fedora this week. The Nest With Fedora Call for Participation is now open.

        • Call for Code Daily: Remote learning, water sustainability, and answered calls

          The power of Call for Code® is in the global community that we have built around this major #TechforGood initiative. Whether it is the deployments that are underway across pivotal projects, developers using the starter kits in the cloud, or ecosystem partners joining the fight, everyone has a story to tell. Call for Code Daily highlights all of the amazing #TechforGood stories taking place around the world. Every day, you can count on us to share these stories with you.


          These are unprecedented and difficult times, which makes it all the more inspiring to see people stepping up and using their ingenuity to take positive action. On June 12, in Seoul, South Korea, over 215 people on 50 different teams put their innovative ideas to the test in the 2020 Call for Code Korea Hackathon.

        • IBM Research works with industry to architect and prototype trusted container platforms

          When it comes to highly regulated industries, it is critical to maintain high assurances and compliance around computation. Enterprises must ensure that there is governance of data and processes.

          Virtualization and containerization has brought about many benefits to efficiency, adaptability, and scalability of workloads. However, it brings with it challenges in security and compliance.

          For example, workloads might be hosted in an environment that shares a pool of physical platforms in a data center or in multi-tenant cloud. Enterprises have security concerns on whether workloads are being run on platforms that are trustworthy, in terms of the integrity of the platform, its locality and metadata, and its ability to establish itself in a root of trust.

        • My first look at Red Hat Insights: Advisor

          In my Introduction to Red Hat Insights, I briefly outlined what this SaaS application does and how to set up your Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) systems to use the service. This article is dedicated to the “Advisor” in the Insights dashboard.

          The Insights dashboard itself is available here.

          Author’s note: I’m testing the service as part of my job at the Bielefeld IT Service Center (BITS) at Bielefeld University. This article reflects my personal view of Red Hat Insights. Furthermore, I would like to clarify that I am a member of the Red Hat Accelerators community.

        • Flexible single sign-on authentication and more in Open Liberty

          Open Liberty lets you disable the default of returning Lightweight Third-Party Authentication (LTPA) cookies for authentication when using Trust Association Interceptor (TAI) or Simple and Protected GSS-API Negotiation Mechanism (SPNEGO) authentication. You can also disable JSON Web Token (JWT) cookies when using JWT’s single sign-on (SSO) feature.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu Studio 19.10 Support Ends Tomorrow!

          Ubuntu Studio 19.10 (Eoan Ermine) was released October 17, 2019 and will reach End of Life on Friday, July 17, 2020. This means that after that date there will be no further security updates or bugfixes released. We highly recommend that you update to 20.04 LTS immediately if you are still running 19.10.

          After July 17th, the only supported release of Ubuntu Studio will be 20.04 LTS. All other releases of Ubuntu Studio will be considered unsupported, and will no longer receive any further updates from the Ubuntu Studio team.

        • Kubuntu General News: Kubuntu 19.10 Eoan Ermine reaches end of life

          Kubuntu 19.10 Eoan Ermine was released on October 17th, 2019 with 9 months support.

          As of July 17th, 2020, 19.10 reaches ‘end of life’.

          No more package updates will be accepted to 19.10, and it will be archived to old-releases.ubuntu.com in the coming weeks.

          The official end of life announcement for Ubuntu as a whole can be found here [1].

          Kubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa continues to be supported.

        • Ubuntu 19.10 (Eoan Ermine) End of Life reached on July 17 2020

          This is a follow-up to the End of Life warning sent earlier this month to confirm that as of today (July 17, 2020), Ubuntu 19.10 is no longer supported. No more package updates will be accepted to 19.10, and it will be archived to old-releases.ubuntu.com in the coming weeks.

          The original End of Life warning follows, with upgrade instructions:

          Ubuntu announced its 19.10 (Eoan Ermine) release almost 9 months ago, on October 17, 2019, and its support period is now nearing its end. Ubuntu 19.10 will reach end of life on Friday, July 17 2020.

        • Canonical partners with global systems integrators

          Canonical, publisher of the Ubuntu Linux distribution, is pursuing the 12 largest global systems integrators as it positions itself as an alternative to VMware and Red Hat.

          The London-based company this week launched a global integrator program, which spans Canonical’s open source offerings for data centers, multi-cloud environments, edge computing and IoT. The Canonical partner program provides pricing discounts through deal registration, as well as aggregated volume discounts across partners’ combined customer bases. Other features include an updated portal and dedicated account management, sales, engineering and marketing support resources.

          Regis Paquette, vice president of alliances at Canonical, estimates a dozen companies based in the U.S., Europe and India represent two-thirds of the global SI market. Canonical has “selected those 12 as the starting line” for its integrator initiative. “We are really taking a targeted approach,” he said.

          Canonical in recent years has focused its partner efforts on building closer relations with hardware vendors such as Dell, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and IBM, while also revamping its value-added-reseller strategy. Integrators, however, began to approach Canonical as their customers sought open source alternatives to VMware, Paquette explained. In addition, two large integrators have tapped Canonical’s open source technology to build digital transformation platforms.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Thunderbird 78 Released with OpenPGP Support, Integrated Lightning Calendar

            A major new version of Thunderbird, the open source email client, is now available to download.

            Thunderbird 78 carries a host of major changes, new features, and usability improvements — though not all are enabled by default.

            Add-on users should note that this version of Thunderbird only supports MailExtensions. Older XUL-based add-ons are not supported.

            On the topic of extensions the Lightning calendar and tasks add-on for Thunderbird is now part of the app itself, no additional downloads required.

            The client’s reworked compose window is said to be ‘faster and more straightforward’ to use, while improvements to the account setup wizard make it easy to get the app up and running with an existing email address.

          • Firefox Nightly: These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 76
          • Mozilla Reps at the VirtuAllHands 2020

            This year ‘s Virtual All Hands (aka VirtuAllHands) was different from any other.

            Some things were also familiar: plenaries, plenty of interesting conversations, new things to learn, and yes, even a bit of exhaustion. It was even possible to meet and chat with other people, even if using your avatar using MozillaHubs! All in all, as we were assured by a Mozilla Rep veteran of numerous All-Hands, that although virtual, “it really feels like a real All Hands”.

            During the VirtuAllHands, the Mozilla Reps program organized four meetings each led by a Reps Council member. These meetings focused on a review of history, and future challenges for three central issues: communication, ‘activities & campaigns’, and mentorship. The meetings uncovered many challenges, but also successes and progresses.


            The last meeting was led by Faisal and focused on mentorship within the reps program. Faisal presented a brief history of the mentorship program, and led a discussion over its issues. Again the need for clarity emerged, as the reps discussed how mentors role and activities should be better defined and, in some areas, re-defined.

            Thanks to you all for taking the time to participate, lead and organize these meetings. All the feedback collected during these discussions will be of crucial importance to focus our work going forward!

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice 7.0 RC2 is available for testing

          The LibreOffice Quality Assurance ( QA ) Team is happy to announce LibreOffice 7.0 RC2 is available for testing!

          LibreOffice 7.0 will be released as final at the beginning of August, 2020 ( Check the Release Plan for more information ) being LibreOffice 7.0 RC2 the fifth pre-release since the development of version 7.0 started in the beginning of June, 2019. Since the previous release, LibreOffice 7.0 RC1, 73 commits have been submitted to the code repository and 57 bugs have been fixed. Check the release notes to find the new features included in LibreOffice 7.0.

        • Annual Report 2019: Marketing community activities

          Marketing at The Document Foundation and LibreOffice is a large team effort, with contractors paid for their activity – thanks to the money made available by our generous donors – and several volunteers, carrying out actions both at global and local levels to increase visibility and brand awareness.

          One of the main ongoing projects has been the improvement of the donation page, with several test of page design and wording and of suggested donation amounts. In addition, statistics have been monitored on a daily basis, to trigger a quick reaction to negative fluctuations. As a result, the unexpected low number of donations in February 2019 was counterbalanced by the positive numbers of the following months.

          Another ongoing project has been the Community Member Monday Series, with a weekly interview to one or more community members about their contributions to the project, especially within their native language community. Looking at the interviews, it’s rather easy to realize how diverse and geographically spread are the contributors to the LibreOffice project.

      • CMS

        • Drupal drops first big upgrade in five years and looks forward by looking backwards

          Open-source CMS software Drupal has unveiled its first major update in five years by launching a new version 9.0.

          The biggest update is backwards-compatibility from version 8.0: the project’s developers have styled the upgrade as not much more complex than adopting a point release.

          “If you’ve kept your Drupal 8 site up to date, and have experience with updating your site to the latest minor version (e.g: 8.9.0) then you know everything you need in order to successfully upgrade to Drupal 9,” says the release FAQ.

          Upgrades are more complex for those using Drupal 7, the other currently-supported version of the CMS. Users are advised the 7-to-9 move “… can be thought of as a migration or re-platforming, although not as severe as moving to a complete different platform.”

          “Though there are major differences under the hood, the fundamental approach to managing structured data is quite similar. Significant work was also put into the Migration APIs over the course of the Drupal 8 life cycle, so the upgrade to Drupal 9 is easier than upgrading to 8 was a few years ago.”

        • A brief history of the Content Management System

          CMS have gone from static page to JAMstack, and its history is at the heart of open source and the evolution of the web.

          Content management system (CMS) is a prolific software category that covers all types of applications for the creation and modification of digital content. So it should come as no huge surprise that the history of the CMS traces back to the first website in history, by Tim Berners-Lee in 1990, which was modeled on an internet-based hypertext system HTML, which represented just text and links.


          The emergence of the open source CMS was consistent with infrastructure built on the LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP/Perl/Python) stack. This new structure represented the start of monolithic web development that enabled the creation of dynamic websites that use database queries to deliver unique content for different end users. At this point, the previous model of static sites sitting on a server—where individual files (HTML, CSS, JavaScript) consisting of text and links are delivered the same way to all end users—really started to disappear.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • GNU Guix: Running a Ganeti cluster on Guix

            The latest addition to Guix’s ever-growing list of services is a little-known virtualization toolkit called Ganeti. Ganeti is designed to keep virtual machines running on a cluster of servers even in the event of hardware failures, and to make maintenance and recovery tasks easy.

            It is comparable to tools such as Proxmox or oVirt, but has some distinctive features. One is that there is no GUI: third party ones exist, but are not currently packaged in Guix, so you are left with a rich command-line client and a fully featured remote API.

            Another interesting feature is that installing Ganeti on its own leaves you no way to actually deploy any virtual machines. That probably sounds crazy, but stems from the fact that Ganeti is designed to be API-driven and automated, thus it comes with a OS API and users need to install one or more OS providers in addition to Ganeti. OS providers offer a declarative way to deploy virtual machine variants and should feel natural to Guix users. At the time of writing, the providers available in Guix are debootstrap for provisioning Debian- and Ubuntu-based VMs, and of course a Guix provider.

            Finally Ganeti comes with a sophisticated instance allocation framework that efficiently packs virtual machines across a cluster while maintaining N+1 redundancy in case of a failover scenario. It can also make informed scheduling decisions based on various cluster tags, such as ensuring primary and secondary nodes are on different power distribution lines.

          • It Needs A Restart: GLIBC Drops Support For Restartable Sequences

            Well this is a huge Friday morning bummer: the GNU C Library (glibc) is dropping support for the very interesting Restartable Sequences (RSEQ) as some design changes need to be made, thus restarting work on restartable sequences.

            Restartable Sequences were introduced into the kernel back in Linux 4.18 for allowing various performance benefits with this system call allowing for faster user-space operations on per-CPU data by avoiding expensive atomic operations. For work like querying the current CPU number, incrementing per-CPU counters, writing/reading to the per-CPU ring buffers, and other work can all be made faster by RSEQ. The performance improvements are looking very good with RSEQ in the kernel when taken advantage of.

      • Programming/Development

        • RcppArmadillo 0.9.900.2.0

          Armadillo is a powerful and expressive C++ template library for linear algebra aiming towards a good balance between speed and ease of use with a syntax deliberately close to a Matlab. RcppArmadillo integrates this library with the R environment and language–and is widely used by (currently) 757 other packages on CRAN.

          Conrad just released a new minor upstream version 9.900.2 of Armadillo which we packaged and tested as usual first as a ‘release candidate’ build and then as the release. As usual, logs from reverse-depends runs are in the rcpp-logs repo.

        • Python

          • A Hundred Days of Code, Day 010 – Python Functions, Basics Done!
          • Episode 18: Ten Years of Flask: Conversation With Creator Armin Ronacher

            This week on the show we have Armin Ronacher to talk about the first 10 years of Flask. Armin talks about the origins of Flask and the components that make up the framework. He talks about what goes into documenting a framework or API. He also talks about the community working on the ongoing development of Flask.

            He also shares his thoughts about Python, and how it contrasts with Rust and TypeScript. Armin talks about what he would do differently if he were to start development of a project like Flask now.

          • Python String Constants

            A constant is used to define a fixed value in a variable that cannot be modified anywhere in the code following declaration. The Python string module contains some built-in string constants that can be used for various purposes. You can also define a custom string constant in Python. Custom string constant declaration is different in Python than in other standard programming languages, such as c++, Java, etc. This article covers some uses of built-in string constants of the Python string module.

          • Polymorphism in Python

            Polymorphism means “many forms.” Polymorphism an important feature of Object-Oriented Programming (OOP). When the same method is declared multiple times, for multiple purposes, and in different classes, then it is called polymorphism. Another feature of OOP is inheritance, through which the child class can be created by inheriting the features of the parent class. Sometimes, it requires the programmer to declare a method of the same name in both the parent and child classes for various purposes. This type of task can also be implemented by using polymorphism. This article explains how polymorphism can be defined in object-oriented programming (OOP).

  • Leftovers

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Haitian mental health needs rise yet again with COVID-19 trauma

        For Delva Fleurjest, the coronavirus has made it even harder for his brother to receive the mental healthcare he needs. Haiti’s two psychiatric hospitals have stopped accepting patients since the pandemic, and Fleurjest makes less money now to pay for doctors or medication.

        When he isn’t working as a motorcycle taxi driver, Fleurjest cares for his younger brother, feeding and bathing the 36-year-old, who began hearing voices shortly after the 2010 earthquake that killed between 100,000 and 300,000 people.

        “I’m trying to hustle together some money to pay for a consultation with a doctor,” said Fleurjest, who has yet to receive a diagnosis for his brother. “But it’s really expensive.”

        Haiti’s investment in health has dropped from 16.6 percent in 2004 to 4.4 percent in 2017, and although the Ministry of Health created a mental health unit in 2011, it receives little funding, its coordinator, René Domersant, told The New Humanitarian. For a country of nearly 11 million, Haiti also only has 23 psychiatrists and 124 psychologists, Domersant said.

    • Integrity/Availability

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • [Older] Fawlty Towers: The Germans episode to be reinstated by UKTV

        A classic episode of the comedy Fawlty Towers will be reinstated to streaming service UKTV with a warning about “offensive content and language”.

        A 1975 episode titled The Germans was taken off the BBC Studios-owned platform because of “racial slurs”.

        In it, the Major character uses highly offensive language, and John Cleese’s hotel owner Basil Fawlty declares “don’t mention the war”.

        UKTV had temporarily removed the episode while it carried out a review.

        The move had been criticised by Cleese who wrote on Twitter: “I would have hoped that someone at the BBC would understand that there are two ways of making fun of human behaviour.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Apocalypse Again

        For many people, the world has ended again and again.


        Rastignac, in Balzac’s nineteenth-century novel Père Goriot, plays a philosophical game with his friend Bianchon, asking the latter what he would choose if all he needed to do, in order to become instantly rich, was simply wish the death of “a mandarin in China.” Bianchon, a capitalist entrepreneur a little ahead of the times, replies that he is already on his thirty-third mandarin. With similar globalized indifference, we watched as the virus intersected with the Chinese New Year. Then, we watched, with a little more familiarity, as it spread to Italy, where Thomas Mann’s hero Aschenbach, in the early-twentieth-century novella Death in Venice, observes how the authorities go about covering up evidence of plague that has arrived from the East (although the Orient in Mann’s text is represented by the Indian subcontinent rather than China).

        We still watched—I watched—as the virus came to cruise ships moored off the state of Washington, on the distant West Coast of the United States. Until suddenly, it was here, in New York, announcing its presence through wailing ambulances and the 7 p.m. cheer when the city’s residents lean out of their windows to clang bells and plates and celebrate our heroes. Now, after months of lockdown in New York, what is striking about the early outbreak in China is that the state felt it had any role at all beyond policing, and that even an authoritarian state like China’s felt responsible for providing groceries and healthcare.

        The Western media and governmental accounts of the early outbreak naturally missed the point out of their devotion to neoliberal capitalism and Western supremacy. And as the tragedy unfolded, I felt a mounting sense of bewilderment at the numbers in New York. The United States is still the wealthiest country in the world, militarily the most powerful, but apparently without the capacity or will to provide surgical masks to its health workers, healthcare to its people, or much of any kind of needed support at all.

        But it remains easier, as Fredric Jameson remarked, to imagine the end of the world than to imagine the end of capitalism. As the virus spreads through the United States, the enrichment of mammoth corporations and fossil fuel behemoths continues, and Donald Trump stokes the violence of white nationalism while asking us to drink bleach. A military hospital ship arrives with fanfare to New York, achieves little, and departs quietly. Hospital tents are set up in Central Park, run by an evangelical organization devoted to discrimination against LGBTQ people. Months into the crisis, we do not know when we can get tested, or which of the many tests released by private corporations are reliable.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Cross Armory loses its Mandamus Appeal against AR Maglock

          Evolution Concept’s U.S. Patent No. 8,756,845 covers an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle converted to have a small fixed-magazine. (Sold as the AR Maglock). The patent explains that the motivation for the change is to avoid the proposed “Assault Weapons Ban of 2013” in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting. That Bill (never passed) would have banned certain semi-automatic weapons with a detachable magazine. However, California’s assault weapon ban created a market for the modification. My understanding is that the proposed modification here is easy to undo as well in case someone wanted to go-back to having removable magazines.


          Right to Appeal: The court began its brief analysis with discussion of Cross’s waiver of its right to appeal. The court explained “That agreement would seem on its face to waive further review of these decisions, or at least suggest that we should not exercise our discretion to review them.”

          On the merits: The court went on to look a bit into the merits of the case — holding that “Cross has not shown a clear and indisputable right to its requested relief” and thus is not deserving of a mandamus order.

          Cross’s basic argument was that its “kits” were not supposed to be included in the term ‘accused products.’ On appeal, the Federal Circuit noted that the original courthouse settlement agreement did not define the term. However, Cross “consented” to having the Magistrate Judge decide all disputes regarding the settlement. Further, there is no presentation of “any judicial usurpation of power or clear abuse of discretion” that might require action by a superior court.

      • Trademarks

        • Linux Modular Concept Can Travel by Water, on Land, on Snow and in the Air [Ed: Misuse of the Linux trademark, I think]

          Unveiled earlier this year, Lazzarini’s Linux concept eyes a possible 2021 launch date, with the designer asking people from other industries to chip in. The idea is simple: Lazzarini Design, with partner ArchItaly, can deliver a module (the Linux) that can be adapted to suit a variety of purposes.

        • SkyKick Episode IV: a new hope

          Quite recently, in a courtroom not far away, SkyKick returned. In an unexpected twist in the context of a long-running saga, judgment #4 ([2020] EWHC (Ch) 1735), from Lord Justice Arnold, directly followed judgment #3 [how confusing].


          SkyKick argued that the court should not grant an injunction, for two reasons. First, to reflect Sky’s partial bad faith in applying for the infringed trade marks and therefore to dissuade others from making similarly overbroad filings in future. Second, that it would be disproportionate to grant an injunction. SkyKick’s best-case scenario was that the court would simply refuse to grant an injunction, but it offered undertakings in terms more limited than the standard form of an injunction, or damages in lieu, as back-up options. To address these points, the judge considered the TRIPS Agreement, the EUTMR and Directive, the IP Enforcement Directive, the Charter of Fundamental Rights, and the usual English law principles on injunctive relief [and the analysis is well worth a read in full if you have time].

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  3. The Developing World Abandons Microsoft Windows, GNU/Linux at All-Time Highs on Desktops/Laptops

    Microsoft, with 80 billion dollars in longterm debt and endless layoffs, is losing the monopolies; the media doesn’t mention this, but some publicly-accessible data helps demonstrate that

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  12. Links 02/06/2023: NixOS 23.05 and Rust 1.70.0

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  13. Gemini Links 02/06/2023: Flying High With Gemini and Gogios Released

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    Tux Machines recently joined millions of others who had already quit Twitter, including passive posting (fully or partly automated)

  19. Links 31/05/2023: Inkscape’s 1.3 Plans and New ARM Cortex-A55-Based Linux Chip

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