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Links 28/3/2021: IPFire 2.25 Core Update 155 and GNU Emacs 27.2

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Noodlings 26 | Redemption

        This is just a Nate-echo-chamber of ideas but if you are interested in more thoughts and opinions in discussion with other Linux and open source enthusiasts, subscribe to DLN Xtend, a podcast with the Destination Linux Network where I have a chat with my co-hosts Matt and Wendy on a gambit of subjects.

      • PQIV: The Simple Mans Image Viewer

        I typically run sxiv as my image viewer and it's an amazing application but it's not the only minimal image viewer out there, another one worth a bit of attention is pqiv which is going to be the topic of today's video

    • Kernel Space

      • The Linux Kernel Might Finally See Proper Support For The Apple Magic Mouse 2

        Standard mouse functionality of Apple's Magic Mouse 2 works currently under Linux but the "hid-magicmouse" mainline driver might finally be extended to fully support the Magic Mouse 2.

        The Magic Mouse 2 was introduced a half-decade ago already and basic mouse functionality works currently under Linux with the generic HID input code. There has also been out-of-tree / third-party support efforts for the Magic Mouse 2 but lacking mainline support. What's new this weekend are patches sent out for review to improve upon the hid-magicmouse mainline driver to cover the Magic Mouse 2.

      • Intel's Cloud-Hypervisor 0.14 Brings Improvements For MSHV, AArch64

        Released on Friday was Cloud-Hypervisor 0.14, the Intel-led open-source effort creating a Rust-based and cloud-focused multi-platform hypervisor.

        This open-source VMM continues to leverage KVM on Linux but with its growing support also is seeing improvements for Microsoft Hyper-V (MSHV) support too. Cloud-Hypervisor continues making use of the Rust-VMM crates while maintaining guiding principles of high performance and security/cloud minded.

      • Loongson 2K1000 Support Queued Ahead Of Linux 5.13

        Earlier this month I mentioned Loongson 2K1000 Linux patches were published with an effort now to upstream them some four years after these 40nm dual-core MIPS-based hardware launched. That Loongson-2K1000 support is now queued in MIPS-next ahead of the Linux 5.13 cycle.

        The Loongson 2K1000 was the last of the Loongson line-up released in 2017 and succeeded by the Loongson 3 series. The 2K1000 hardware isn't too interesting from the hardware perspective these days with the Loongson 3 being more capable albeit still not too par with the likes of current Intel or AMD processors nor even POWER and AArch64 modern offerings. But Loongson remains popular within China for a domestic CPU offering as well as those around the world wanting a fully libre system.

      • Graphics Stack

        • X.Org Reins In Their Cloud Costs, Switches Public Clouds

          Last year we wrote how the X.Org/ cloud hosting costs were getting out of control so much so that they would either need to start finding sponsors and/or cut the continuous integration (CI) services offered to the hosted open-source projects, among other measures, as the costs were ballooning greatly. Thanks to a number of improvements to their hosting configuration, that is becoming a more manageable amount.

          Last year after they came to the realization how their cloud costs were getting out of control, they did make a number of improvements to tune their configuration in order to reduce costs. With that initial round of optimizations they went last year from spending around $6k USD on monthly cloud costs to around $3k and then continued their optimizations and other ways to spend less on the cloud.

        • QEMU Support For Rendering Vulkan Software On The Hosts GPU In Virtual Machines Using Virgil 3D Is Underway - LinuxReviews

          It is currently possible to run OpenGL applications in virtual Linux machines in QEMU and have the rendering done on the host machines GPU. It works, and it is faster than software rendering within the virtual machine, but it is not blazing fast. It will eventually be possible to render Vulkan software the exact same way.

        • Zink: Running OpenGL on top of Vulkan - Interview with Mike Blumenkrantz - Boiling Steam

          This time we have the pleasure to discuss Zink with one of his key contributors, Michael Blumenkrantz. What is Zink, you may wonder? Zink is a project somewhat similar to DXVK in concept, where you take calls from one API language and you translate them to Vulkan instructions. For DXVK, it’s DirectX 9,10 and 11. For Zink, we are talking about OpenGL.

          Now, why support OpenGL through Vulkan? After all, OpenGL drivers are typically available on Linux, and most hardware should properly support it. Well this is your lucky day, as Mike will provide a full perspective about the Zink project and what it can be used for.

          Since this interview was conducted in mid January 2021, a few things have changed since them, the most relevant one being that GL 4.6 and GLES 3.1 support was already merged into Zink in the meantime.

        • GOverlay 0.5 Is Released With Support For MangoHud Graphs

          GOverlay is a user-friendly heads-up display and effects manager for tools like MangoHud and vkBasalt that have no graphical interface of their own. The latest version adds support for configuring graphs on the MangoHud heads-up display and a on/off button for MangoHuds FPS counter.

        • Mesa Considers Raising CPU Support Baseline

          Mesa developers are currently discussing the raising of the default compiler baseline for Mesa drivers moving forward, which would raise the base CPU requirements for these open-source Mesa drivers unless overriding the compiler flags. However, all but the very oldest systems would be negatively impacted.

          Similar to other open-source projects discussing the possibility of raising the CPU base requirements to allow more optimal compiler defaults to be used that benefit recent CPUs or even doing so at the distribution level, Mesa is also considering a shift to their defaults.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • GoAccess – A Real Time Apache & Nginx Log Analyzer

        GoAccess is a real-time log analyzer for web server on Unix/Linux systems. It alos allows to access logs via the web browser. The main purposes is to allow users to provide a quick way to analyze and view web server statistics in real time without needing a web browser.

        It supports most of the web log formats (Apache, Nginx, Amazon S3, Elastic Load Balancing, CloudFront, Caddy, etc). You just need to set the log format and use. GoAccess also generates a complete, self-contained real-time HTML report, which is helpful for analytics, monitoring and data visualization. It also support JSON and CSV reports.

        This tutorial describes you to how to install and use GoAccess on your Linux systems.

      • How to install the Neo-to GTK theme on Linux

        Neo-to is a fancy, neon-like GTK theme for the Linux desktop. It’s charming to look at and is sure to spruce up your bland Linux desktop! Here’s how to install it on your Linux computer!

      • How to Back Up a Crostini Linux Installation on Your Chromebook

        Backing up Linux on a Chromebook is simple. In the Settings menu, just go to:

        Developers > Linux development environment (beta) > Backup and Restore

        Click on the Backup button and you'll be prompted for a location to save your backup. The generated filename will include the date, as it's a good idea to keep multiple backups.

        You can store your backup on your local storage, but it's better to use another drive because the SSDs on Chromebooks are so small and it's good to keep backups away from your computer. You can use an SD card, USB stick, or cloud storage.

      • LFCA: Learn User Account Management – Part 5

        As a Linux system administrator, you will be tasked with ensuring the smooth flow of all IT operations in your organization. Given that some IT operations are intertwined, a systems administrator usually wears many hats including being a database or network administrator.

        This article is Part 5 of the LFCA series, here in this part, you will acquaint yourself with the general system administration commands to create and manage users in a Linux system.

      • LFCA: Learn to Manage Time and Date in Linux – Part 6

        This article is Part 6 of the LFCA series, here in this part, you will acquaint yourself with the general system administration commands to manage time and date settings in the Linux system.

        Time is crucial in any Linux system. Multiple services such as crontab, anacron, backup and restore services depend on accurate time to carry out their tasks as expected.

      • Percental CPU scaled load average
      • Share or Receive Files, chat or HOST A WEBSITE anonymously with OnionShare

        OnionShare is an open source tool that lets you securely and anonymously share files, host websites, and chat with friends using the Tor network.

      • Get movie info from terminal with IMDbPY and Raspberry PI - peppe8o

        Many modern media centres can get automatically film and movie info from internet. If you need to get them in your terminal console (for your programs or just for funny), the IMDbPY package make this task simple and fast, even from Raspberry PI

      • How To Install Kdenlive on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS - idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Kdenlive on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Kdenlive is one of the most popular open-source video editors. Kdenlive is known for its ability to support multiple video formats, such as 3Gp, MKV, MP4, etc., in addition to providing loads of powerful features to its users. Some of the most prominent features include multi-tracks for audio and video editing, a variety of effects and transitions, and customizability.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of the Kdenlive Video Editor on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint.

      • Linux Factor Command Tutorial – Linux Hint

        In Linux, there is a command-line utility called a very useful factor for those users who work with a prime number.

        The product of any prime number generates the original number referred to as Factor.

        Factor command in Linux supports us to print prime Factor. For this, we need to enter the number as a parameter with the factor command. If you don’t give any argument, it will read through standard input.

      • How to install the LightningBug GTK theme on Linux

        LightningBug is a beautiful, Yellowish GTK theme for Linux. It comes in two variants: dark and light. The design is reminiscent of Mac OS but with a unique yellow tinge. Here’s how to install it on Linux!

      • How to Deploy a Node.js App to Production

        Developers often use their local system (Windows or Linux) to install and create a Node.js application. However, when it comes to moving a Node.js application in the production environment then it will be very difficult for any developer who doesn’t know about hosting.

        In order to host a Node.js application in the production, you will need to perform several things including, Purchase a VPS hosting, Domain name, Bind a domain name to VPS, Install and Create Node.js to VPS, Create a service to manage the Node.js application, Configure Nginx to host a Node.js application, Install SSL on your Domain, etc. In this post, I will try my best to explain step by step procedure to host a Node.js application in the production environment.

    • Games

      • OpenSpades: Basically Minecraft With Guns
      • Top 10 Razor Blade Linux Laptops

        If we look at today’s market, there are plenty of laptops available from different companies. The laptops differ in various ways, such as specifications, models, functionality, and many more. The common thing about all the laptop regardless of the type and functionality is that they all have operating systems that power the laptops. There are a variety of operating systems, the common ones being Windows, Linux, and macOS.

        Linux operating system is taking over slowly. Its improvised speed and functionality have attracted several users. The Razer company is a term that is known by many gamers. This means that the laptops have been created to accommodate games. Most of you know that a gaming laptop requires excellent specs to enhance the games’ smooth flow. A combination of a Razer laptop and a Linux operating system will give you the best visual and performance experience. The laptops completely gel with the Linux distribution offering fast and high performance.

        When it comes to its execution and graphical comparison, the Razer machine gives the Linux system a lovely blend and dispatch. This remarkable company was founded by a graduate know as Min-Lian Tan, who originates from Singapore’s capital. Min-Lian Tan was ranked among the topmost prestigious tech guys, having had an extraordinary improvement to the Razer company.

      • We Have Upgraded Our Newsletter for 2021. Try it out!

        Did you know that Boiling Steam offers a newsletter? Well now you do! And it’s a good time to talk about it since we have recently renewed how it is structured and what you can get through it. Let’s have a look at it together.

        So, first, the newsletter is distributed on every Sunday – once a week. When the other news sites are enjoying their weekends, well at least you will get something to read from us!

        The first section consists of the recent articles we have published – so that you can check if you missed out on anything interesting recently or not.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Introduces "Quick Settings" Page, Lands More Wayland Fixes
          KDE developers are finishing the month of March strong with a number of new features and bug fixes for their open-source desktop stack.

          Over the past week some of the KDE work has included:

          - Kate and KWrite can now enjoy basic touchscreen scrolling support. These text editors will also warn you now if trying to run them with sudo/kdesu.

          - The KDE Plasma Applets configuration windows have received an overhaul.

          - A new "Quick Settings" page for KDE System Settings page that is the initial screen when launching the settings and contains some of the most-used settings within easy reach.

    • Distributions

      • MX Linux vs. Manjaro

        The list of Linux operating systems is not short as there is a huge number of Linux distros available online for satisfying the requirements of different users. There are Linux distros for high-end, mid-end, and low-end hardware so everyone can do their work without any trouble in their way. Mx Linux and Manjaro are both Linux distros that are compatible with mid-end hardware and offer excellent software compatibility. However, it becomes confusing for many people while choosing the one between MX Linux and Manjaro. If you are also some of those people and want to learn which one is best, then read the article below that provides complete details on MX Linux vs. Manjaro with complete comparisons.

        MX Linux

        MX Linux is based on Debian, and it is an impressive Linux distro having Xfce as a default desktop environment. It is a midweight Linux distro that uses core antiX components with all of the MX community’s additional tools. MX Linux works well and stables on the minimal hardware system, so it looks a little dull. However, KDE comes into the picture to rescue MX Linux’s looks as KDE plasma decreases a lot of weight and utilizes lesser resources without compromising the modern looks.

      • Debian Family

        • Updated Debian 10: 10.9 released

          The Debian project is pleased to announce the ninth update of its stable distribution Debian 10 (codename buster). This point release mainly adds corrections for security issues, along with a few adjustments for serious problems. Security advisories have already been published separately and are referenced where available.

          Please note that the point release does not constitute a new version of Debian 10 but only updates some of the packages included. There is no need to throw away old buster media. After installation, packages can be upgraded to the current versions using an up-to-date Debian mirror.

          Those who frequently install updates from won't have to update many packages, and most such updates are included in the point release.

          New installation images will be available soon at the regular locations.

        • Debian Buster 10.9 Is Released

          Minor versions don't really mean anything on Debian, it is just its developers way of reminding people that they should open a terminal and type sudo apt -y update && sudo apt -y upgrade once in a while. They do list some security-updates for the ancient packages Debian Buster carries in their announcement.


          Running sudo apt -y upgrade afterwards will get you all the shiny "new" (well, changed) packages in the Debian 10.9 "release". The list of those packages can be found in the 10.9 release announcement at It is just a list of very small changes and security updates such as fixes for out-of-bounds reads, format string vulnerabilities and things like that.

          You can check what Debian Buster version you are using after you have upgraded by taking a look at /etc/debian_version.

          The core packages and the desktop environments in Debian Buster are still at the same version numbers they were when it was released two years ago. As we already mentioned, Debian is a very conservative distribution when it comes to updates. The developers aren't going to provide new packages just because Xfce 4.16 or GNOME 40 are released, you still get Xfce 4.12.2 from half a decade ago if you choose to use the Xfce desktop environment on Debian. Some prefer it that way, and if you do then Debian Buster 10.9 is probably something you will like and enjoy using.

        • Debian 10.9 release - well underway 202103271600 UTC
        • Debian 10.9 Released With FWUPD SBAT Support, Bug Fixes
        • Andrew Cater: Debian 10.9 release - 202103271900UTC - pushing through live image testing

          So we're a fair way through the release, then. Testing of almost all the standard images has finished. Pretty much all of the disk images are now complete and in place.

          People are working their way through the tests of the debian-live images in the various desktop flavours. These have to be done on real hardware - so it does take time. A new tester - peylight - has dropped in to help for the first time. Sqrt{not} has also joined us from the other end of the timezone scale - we have somebody at UTC-0700 and somebody at UTC+0430 today. All of the help from all the testers is very welcome, as ever.

        • Debian Linux 10.9 released and here is how to upgrade it

          The Debian GNU/Linux project has released an updated version of its stable Linux distribution Debian 10 (“buster”). You must upgrade to get corrections for security problem as this version made a few adjustments for the severe issue found in Debian version 10.8. Debian is a Unix-like (Linux distro) operating system and a distribution of Free Software. It is mainly maintained and updated through the work of many users who volunteer their time and effort. The Debian Project was first announced in 1993 by Ian Murdock.

        • Debian 10.9 Released With Added FWUPD SBAT Support

          The Debian project announces the 9th update of its stable distribution Debian 10 “Buster”. The release mainly adds corrections for security issues.

          Debian doesn’t follow a fixed release schedule, and that makes it somewhat hard to know exactly when a new release will be available. Debian 10, codename Buster, was released on July 6, 2019.

          At any given time, there is one stable release of Debian, which has the support of the Debian security team. The new stable point release 10.9 mainly adds corrections for security issues, along with a few adjustments for serious problems.

        • Top 10 reasons to use Debian as your Linux distro

          You love Linux distros, but you are confused about which is the best distro for you? Do you know that many Linux distros are Debian-based? Why wonder then start your journey with Debian now. Debian is an open-source software meaning it is 100% free. What are you waiting for? No extra costs are incurred to use Debian. It is stable and offers a range of devices such as servers, desktops, and laptops.

          Its stability is what has drawn most users to it since its inception in 1993. You have no valid reason to worry about Debian configuration since it provides complete configuration for all its packages. This makes it much manageable and easy to use. Security stability is another factor that cannot be forgotten when talking about Debian. They offer security updates for all their packages. Are you eager to learn more about Debian as a server? Then stay with us since this tutorial will cover the top ten reasons you should use Debian as a server.

        • Andrew Cater: Debian 10.9 release - 202103272140UTC - almost there - final stage

          We're almost there: last lots of AMD64 testing on the debian-live images - a couple of willing helpers are also testing some i386 images though these can be more problematic on low memory. Steve has just started the final stage to start the final scripts. If all goes well, they should be done within 3/4 of an hour - which should put the images in the final locations on the main mirror by about 2230 UTC. It's been something of the order of twelve hours from start to finish which is still slightly quicker than most of the releases we've done - as ever, thanks to all. And that's it for another however long until we get to sort out 10.10 in a while.

        • Antonio Terceiro: Migrating from Chefâ„¢ to itamae

          The Debian CI platform is comprised of 30+ (virtual) machines. Maintaining this many machines, and being able to add new ones with some degree of reliability requires one to use some sort of configuration management.

          Until about a week ago, we were using Chef for our configuration management. I was, for several years, the main maintainer of Chef in Debian, so using it was natural to me, as I had used it before for personal and work projects. But last year I decided to request the removal of Chef from Debian, so that it won't be shipped with Debian 11 (bullseye).

          After evaluating a few options, I believed that the path of least resistance was to migrate to itamae. itamae was inspired by chef, and uses a DSL that is very similar to the Chef one. Even though the itamae team claim it's not compatible with Chef, the changes that I needed to do were relatively limited. The necessary code changes might look like a lot, but a large part of them could be automated or done in bulk, like doing simple search and replace operations, and moving entire directories around.

          In the rest of this post, I will describe the migration process, starting with the infrastructure changes, the types of changes I needed to make to the configuration management code, and my conclusions about the process.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Call for testing: Kubernetes 1.21 release candidate

          Today, Kubernetes upstream made the 1.21 release candidate available for download and experimentation ahead of general availability, which will come later in April. Woohoo! We would love to get your feedback ahead of the general release and hear about any bugs or issues you find. Or, if you just want to give the bleeding edge of K8s features a try, get up and running with MicroK8s.


          MicroK8s runs on Ubuntu and all major Linux distributions, and even natively on Windows and macOS. It is compatible with x86 and ARM architectures, so you can test it on your RaspberryPi if you want. In fact, if you do do this, PLEASE let us know how it goes because that sounds awesome.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Events

        • Arduino World Gathering 2021: the official community conference you can’t miss

          We’re proud to announce the Arduino World Gathering, taking place everywhere in October 2021. Multiple days packed with workshops, lightning talks and project demos; a virtual event for everyone to enjoy.


          We’ll talk about hardware, software, open source, creative technology, interactive art, smart products, professional applications, education, home automation, Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and more. All things Arduino!

      • CMS

        • [Older] WordPress Passes 40% Market Share of Alexa Top 10 Million Websites

          WordPress has passed 40% market share of all websites, up from 35.4% in January 2020, as measured by W3Techs. These numbers are derived from the Alexa top 10 million websites, along with the Tranco top 1 million list. By W3Techs’ estimates, every two minutes, another top 10m site starts using WordPress. Among the top 1,000 sites, WordPress’ market share is even higher at 51.8%, and captures a staggering 66.2% for new sites. In tracking the growth rate over the past 10 years, W3Techs shows WordPress sloping steadily upwards.

      • FSF

        • Why RMS is a Great Mascot (and spokesperson) for Free Software
        • Red Hat Withdraws Free Software Foundation Funding

          Red Hat has announced that it has withdrawn its support for the Free Software Foundation (FSF), following a decision by the non-profit to reinstate its founder, Richard Stallman, to its board of directors.

          In case you somehow missed the news, free software pioneer Richard Stallman announced this week that he was returning to the Free Software Foundation board of directors after having resigned in 2019 over some controversial remarks regarding age of consent, rape, and Jeffrey Epstein.

        • Organizations Oppose Stallman & FSF but Individual Supports Keep on Pouring in

          You know the story. Richard Stallman (RMS) who was forced out in 2019 from FSF made a surprise announcement of his return to the FSF board of directors.

          This was bound to create a controversy, and it did.

          GNOME Foundation director led the charge against RMS by creating an open letter that calls for the removal of Stallman as well as the entire board of the Free Software Foundation.


          There is not even a single organization that has come in support of RMS but it seems that RMS has quite some fan following in Russia and other ex-USSR/East European countries (pardon my lack of geographical/historical knowledge). The open source developers from these countries are not scared to show their support for RMS.

          The stats are bound to change in coming days. It’s time someone makes a real time counter comparing the signature/votes on both letters so that it is easier to follow the stats.

        • GNU Projects

          • GNU Emacs 27.2 Released! How to Install it in Ubuntu

            GNU Emacs text editor 27.2 was released as a new maintenance release.

            Emacs 27.2 is a bug-fix release with no new features. According to the changelog, it changed the behavior of the user option ‘resize-mini-frames‘. If set to a non-nil value which isn’t a function, resize the mini frame using the new function ‘fit-mini-frame-to-buffer’ which won’t skip leading or trailing empty lines of the buffer.

            Emacs now ignores modifier keys when IME input is used. By default, pressing Ctrl, Shift, and Alt keys while using IME input will no longer apply the modifiers to the produced characters, as there are IMEs which use keys with modifiers to input some characters. Customize the variable ‘w32-ignore-modifiers-on-IME-input’ to nil to get back the old behavior.

          • Arm Neoverse V1 Tuning Lands In GCC 11 Compiler

            In addition to AMD Zen 3 "znver3" seeing a lot of last minute tuning/optimization work ahead of the GCC 11 compiler being released as stable in the weeks ahead, Arm has also been getting some last minute work into this open-source compiler as it pertains to the Neoverse V1 support.

      • Programming/Development

        • Russ Allbery: faq2html 1.36

          faq2html is the program I use to turn various text files into web pages.

        • CMake Script Mode

          There’s a Dutch phrase, voortschrijdend inzicht, which can be used to describe new insights and continuous improvement in something. In social media terms, perhaps TIL comes close. Let’s talk about an under-illuminated, yet useful CMake feature. Script mode!


          It turns out project() isn’t a CMake command that you can use in script mode. But you can set variables, so I introduced a CALAMARES_VERSION variable, set to the current release. Years ago I already had such a variable, but then moved the version-setting to project when CMake 3.0 became a requirement. So voortschrijdend inzicht can also go in a circle!

          When CMake runs in script mode, the variable CMAKE_SCRIPT_MODE_FILE is set; outside of script mode, it isn’t (unless you’re messing with the cache or command-line arguments, in which case you should be ashamed of yourself).

          In script mode, CMAKE_SOURCE_DIR is set to the current directory, not the directory with the top-level CMakeLists.txt file (naturally: there’s no generation or build going on, so there need not be such a file!). I wrestled Teo Mrnjavac’s original date-and-git-stamping CMake code (written for Calamares in 2015, for CMake 2.8) into a function and stuffed it into a separate file. It takes a version string and extends it, placing the output value into a variable.

        • Perl/Raku

          • In defence of OOP

            During the last years it became fashionable to rag on object oriented programming and a decade ago I would join the choir. Hack, when I started with Perl I despised the bloat and inefficiency of many corporate smelling *coughjava* systems and preached the light weight and foreward thinking way that real hackers travel. In this miniseries I want to write why I changed my tune [part one], the best way (IMO) to use OOP [part two] and why inheritance (incl. roles and templates) and delegation or not helpful features (in contrast to polymorphism) [part three]. Maybe there will be more about rating Perl OO features and modules.

            Objects are a tool to create abstraction layer - to do anything. It's easy to get overwhelmed by possibilities or run with preconceived ideas. And the larger the system, the harder it is to make wise choices. I think this is one reason why a lot of OO code sucks. The second is bad coding styles it's not getting taught enough how to find the right abstractions and how to ease the use by proper naming. The third reason is the introduction and teaching of contra-productive features like inheritance and even worse, multiple inheritance.


            Once you get a lot of subs, you prevent name collisions with name spaces (packages), that also give you order so that each sub is in the right place in the hierarchy. But when the namespaces get nested and names becoming longer you start to which for classes, so you can call the method directly on the object - but were not there yet. Also, attribute data is sanitized once, when coming via a setter into the object and can be used over and over without any second check. So you can pass the object into a sub and data can be used without check. This advantage would vanish if you could reach into object internals - but still this is not my main two points.

            With the ability to capsule data you can guarantee to oblige to contracts. (I already touched on that.). Most importantly strict abstraction layer walls will tell you if your abstraction layers are appropriate. You will notice it if there is a need to violate them or if your classes or methods get to big. This are clear signs that code has to be refactored. And if you have to many classes, it is a sign you don't have enough high order classes. OOP can be used in a very functional manner which is often less painful (in larger projects) than being strictly functional and fighting with monads all the time. But how exactly do that will be content of the next part ....

  • Leftovers

    • Three months of Inbox Zero

      Email: A source of stress Email has been a significant source of stress for me. Canonical, Red Hat, Debian and free software projects all are a firehose of announcements, discussions, bug reports, review requests, questions, and work tasks every day.

      I am fairly good and efficient at quickly deleting the 90% irrelevant email, but the type of “10 seconds for the sender to write, half a day of work for me to act upon” emails pile up, break my motivation, and cause annoyance and refusal. This also leads to me having an unacceptably high lag in responding to my coworkers about important, but not very time-consuming questions, as they just fall through the cracks. It also led to me basically not participating at all in group discussions.

      Email processing used to be a “filler action” in between two compiles, test runs, and similarly short forced pauses. That is enough to delete the next batch of noise, and quick actions, but not enough for thorough discussions or “please review this design document”. I used to take some longer time stretches for the non-trivial mails, but not systematically.

      I had wanted to practice “Inbox Zero” for years, but in reality I only managed to clean up all my mail boxes before summer vacation and end-of-year holidays, and even then usually not all of it. Over time, more and more old stuff piled up and stared at me every day. Thus emotionally, email was not a helpful tool, but a major annoyance – both to me, but of course also to people trying to contact me and having to wait for an answer sometimes for weeks.

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • IPFire 2.25 - Core Update 155 released [SECURITY ADVISORY]

            Today, we are releasing IPFire 2.25- Core Update 155 which comes with various security fixes to mitigate NAT Slipstreaming attacks and important fixes in the OpenSSL library which allowed that attackers could have crashed services that use TLS on the firewall.

            Before we talk about what is new, I would like to as you for your support for our project. IPFire is a small team of people from a range of backgrounds sharing one goal: make the Internet a safer place for everyone. Like many of our open source friends, we’ve taken a hit this year and would like to ask for your continued support. Please follow the link below where your donation can help fund our continued development:

    • Defence/Aggression

      • The Louse That Halted an Army in Russia

        Years ago, researchers led by Dr. Didier Raoult unearthed 2 kg of material containing bone fragments, clothing remnants, and segments of body lice from soldiers buried in a mass grave in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania. Analysis of the material proves that almost one-third of those buried there were affected by louse-born infections such as typhus and trench fever.

        Raoult and his colleagues from the University of the Mediterranean, Marseille, France, studied segments of body lice as well as the dental pulp from soldiers’ teeth. The dental pulp revealed DNA from Bartonella quintana and Rickettsia prowazekii, the agents that cause trench fever and epidemic typhus, respectively. When the DNA of such pathogens is present in teeth, the team concluded, it is very likely that the organism was the cause of death.

      • Opinion | Does the US Have a Culture of Violence? Not the United States of Women

        The white, male, militarist culture of violence isn’t inevitable. It’s a societal choice. Let's switch.

      • Anti-Asian Bias is Pervasive Across America

        I cannot speak for Asians, nor do I wish to. But as a white woman who majored in East Asian studies and learned Chinese in college two decades ago, I learned a lot about biases others may not see.

        It started with my parents. My mom loves “culture” and “languages” — but it turned out that her affection didn’t extend to Chinese. “I’m sorry,” she would say to me on the phone. “I just don’t find China interesting.”

      • 'Shameful': Florida House Passes GOP's Anti-Protest Bill

        "It is now up to the Senate to heed the voices of Floridians, uphold their duty to the Constitution, and stop this bill from ever becoming law."

      • Tension in the Taiwan Strait: the US Carrier on China's Front Door

        The century of humiliation up to 1949, as every Chinese school child learns, emerged from the sea. Infamously, in the final years of the Qing Dynasty, the Empress Dowager diverted funds earmarked for naval modernization to construct a new Summer Palace. This reallocation was blamed for China’s defeat in the 1894-95 war with Japan. The British had already arrived by sea as had the French and Germans. China had learnt one invaluable lesson; the sea is treacherous.

        Securing the sea, secures China and, today, the ruling party. Maritime freedom of navigation? To China, it’s cover for a front door that has been kicked in too many times. Militarizing the South China Sea plays well domestically, and is not seriously challenged internationally. It does not make it right. It does make it realpolitik. A large piece of the planet’s maritime real estate has been taken over by China. There is no mistaking the fact that it is a blow to the West. Beijing understood it can act and deal with the relatively insubstantial consequences.

      • Will Drones Really Protect Us? Drugs, Surveillance and the War on Terror

        A few months ago, Nigel Farage, a far-right politician, arrived in my town to film himself on our tourist beaches; aiming to drum up hate and hostility toward migrants and refugees arriving in the UK on precarious inflatables, having just traversed the channel of water between England and France. Farage complains that the new arrivals are taking up hotel spaces. He triggers the public by saying it’s all coming out of the public purse, we can’t afford to look after our own citizens let alone refugees, and these people will one day take their homes and jobs. The Home Office considers proposals to use water cannons on the migrant sea crossers, while Home Secretary, Priti Patel suggests the transportation of migrants and refugees to Ascension Island in the South Pacific, harking back to the 18th century, when Britain deported convicts to the penal colony of Australia.

        The British Army Watchkeeper drone has been commissioned to help with surveillance of people crossing the Channel. The Watchkeeper was initially developed when the British military requested €£1 billion to develop a military drone, and then awarded an Israeli arms company, Elbit Systems the contract to design and develop the drone. When completed in 2014, it was transported to Afghanistan for ‘field testing’.

      • Faith Groups Part of Human Rights Coalition Urging Biden to Ease Sanctions Amid Pandemic

        "For too long, the United States has reflexively relied on suffocating, broad-based sanctions with absolutely no regard for their impact on everyday people."

    • Environment

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • 'A Good Step': NYC Council Approves Measure to Curb Qualified Immunity

        "The mayor's plan is a far cry from the transformative change New Yorkers demanded in the streets and at the polls."

      • Census stupidity, 2021 edition

        Next time you sit down to design the UK census question flow, please ensure it does not go like this:

        1. What is the date of birth for G [our young daughter]? Answer: late 2020

        2. This date of birth makes G four months old. Is this correct? Answer: yes

        3. With which of the following nationalities does G identify – English, British or [list of others]?

        Answer: I have no idea, but I’m happy to send you the recording of her response when I asked her, and you can see if you can make more sense of it than I did. I am reassured to see that you did skip questions about her employment status (always busy, never paid) and education (intensive), so perhaps there is some hope yet.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Fixing the Stream, Shaking Up Spotify

        But first, in terms of the present context, the reason Soundcloud’s new platform especially matters is because it’s one more reason Spotify might potentially decide to change their payout structure.€  The music industry today is largely about music streaming platforms, and Spotify is the dominant music streaming platform globally.

        More about the present in a bit.€  First, background.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Europe analysis – continental shifts [Ed: IAM, a megaphone of corrupt EPO management, omits any mention of EPO crimes and the collapse of patent quality (as one might expect)]

          The grants counted are those that were issued by the EPO and that claim priority in an EPO member state. The table also includes grants that were issued by the IP offices of individual European countries, including those that are not members of the EPO. Where the same patent has been issued in multiple countries, it has been counted once, classing it for these purposes as a European patent family.

          German conglomerate Robert Bosch leads the top 100 players in terms of active number of granted patents. With the likes of Siemens, Volkswagen and Schaeffler Group also featuring in the top 10, it is clear that companies from Europe’s largest economy are key drivers of the continent’s innovation engine.

          But that is only part of the story. Further analysis of the key players, industries and technology trends shows that in many cases, US and Asian players are dominating the European patent landscape.

        • ‘Guidance would be incredibly helpful’: a view on UK AI [Ed: Using the whole "hey hi" nonsense to cushion patent maximalists and litigation profiteers who disregard science and never contribute to it]

          As the UK government considers legislative changes to safeguard AI inventions, HGF partner and AI expert Susan Keston shares insights on the issues facing AI in the UK.

          A UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) consultation on AI and IP has drawn consensus around some issues and divergence in others. The UK government published its response on March 23, following a request for submissions on the vexing issue carried out between September and November 2020. HGF partner and AI expert Susan Keston offered her take on the summary of responses—and what the UK may do next. You can read the consultation outcome here.

        • UK files fewer patent applications in Europe [Ed: The collapse of patent quality at the EPO may mean lots of invalid patents; when people realise those are worthless, less applications will come]

          In recent years the number of applications originating in the UK has grown with an increase of 6.4 per cent in 2018/19 and 8.3 per cent in 2017/18.

          Unilever was the top UK company; filing 528 patent applications at the EPO in 2020. Rolls Royce was in second place, filing 299 patent applications. Other top UK filers included Advanced New Technologies (282 filings), Linde (182 filings) and BAE Systems (159 filings).

          Commenting on the findings, Karl Barnfather, chairman of European intellectual property firm, Withers & Rogers, said: “It is good to see the UK in the top ten list of filing nations again this year, which is an indication of the focus placed on innovation activity. However, there is always room for improvement and some businesses are still not taking full commercial advantage of IP protection.

          “The government’s recent decision to increase Corporation Tax could help to persuade more businesses to invest in patent protection in the future, in order to take advantage of Patent Box tax relief, which applies to profits generated from the sale of patented inventions. The 10 per cent reduced rate of Corporation Tax that applies to these profits has now become all the more attractive.”

        • EPO mandatory video hearings to continue despite legality review [Ed: There's no legality review but a corrupt kangaroo court]

          Hearings before the European Patent Office (EPO) will continue to be held by video conference even without the consent of all affected parties while a review into the legality of this approach is pending.

          The EPO confirmed the decision of its president António Campinos in a notice released yesterday, March 24.

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