08.26.19

Links 26/8/2019: Linux 5.3 RC6

Posted in News Roundup at 3:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • TenFourFox FPR16b1 available

        FPR16 got delayed because I really tried very hard to make some progress on our two biggest JavaScript deficiencies, the infamous issues 521 (async and await) and 533 (this is undefined). Unfortunately, not only did I make little progress on either, but the speculative fix I tried for issue 533 turned out to be the patch that unsettled the optimized build and had to be backed out. There is some partial work on issue 521, though, including a fully working parser patch. The problem is plumbing this into the browser runtime which is ripe for all kinds of regressions and is not currently implemented (instead, for compatibility, async functions get turned into a bytecode of null throw null return, essentially making any call to an async function throw an exception because it wouldn’t have worked in the first place).

        This wouldn’t seem very useful except that effectively what the whole shebang does is convert a compile-time error into a runtime warning, such that other functions that previously might not have been able to load because of the error can now be parsed and hopefully run. With luck this should improve the functionality of sites using these functions even if everything still doesn’t fully work, as a down payment hopefully on a future implementation. It may not be technically possible but it’s a start.

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GNU Guile 2.9.4 (beta) released

      We are delighted to announce GNU Guile 2.9.4, the fourth beta release in preparation for the upcoming 3.0 stable series. See the release announcement for full details and a download link.

      This release enables inlining of references to top-level definitions within a compilation unit, speeding up some programs by impressive amounts. It also improves compilation of floating-point routines like sin, implements the Ghuloum/Dybvig “Fixing Letrec (reloaded)” algorithm, and allows mixed definitions and expressions within lexical contours, as is the case at the top level. Try it out, it’s good times!

      GNU Guile 2.9.4 is a beta release, and as such offers no API or ABI stability guarantees. Users needing a stable Guile are advised to stay on the stable 2.2 series.

      Experience reports with GNU Guile 2.9.4, good or bad, are very welcome; send them to guile-devel@gnu.org. If you know you found a bug, please do send a note to bug-guile@gnu.org. Happy hacking!

Leftovers

  • Security

    • VMware Is Exploring Reducing Meltdown/PTI Overhead With Deferred Flushes

      VMware engineer Nadav Amit who previously pursued “Optpolines” and other possible performance optimizations in light of Spectre / Meltdown vulnerabilities is now proposing patches for deferring PTI flushes to help with addressing the performance overhead caused by Meltdown.

      Kernel page table isolation (PTI) for mitigating Meltdown caused a sizable hit in affected workloads while now Nadav is hoping that improving the behavior around flushes could help in offsetting some of that slowdown.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Amazon wildfires: Full scale of rainforest devastation is impossible to tell

      It was only after the wrath of world leaders was unleashed on Friday that the Brazilian president responded with meaningful action.

      Initially, Jair Bolsonaro denied the very existence of the fires – and since then, Brazilians have listened to days of arguments about who had started them.

      Now President Jair Bolsonaro has authorised the mobilisation of 43,000 troops to try and put them out.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Best Email Services For Privacy Concerned People

      Email services like Gmail, Outlook, and a couple of other email service providers are quite popular. Well, they’re definitely secure in a way – but not necessarily private (i.e they do not respect your privacy with utmost care).

      Maybe, you want to share something confidential and you want it to be well-protected. Or, maybe, you just want to talk about Area 51? (shh, CIA wants to know your location!) Or you just don’t want to the service providers to read your emails to serve you ads.

      No matter what. If you are concerned about the privacy and security of your email conversation and want them to be as private as possible – this article shall help you find the best email services for the job.

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