06.08.21

Links 8/6/2021: Firefox 89 on POWER and KDE/Plasma 5.22 on Debian

Posted in News Roundup at 11:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Lenovo’s new ThinkPad has one major Linux upgrade

        Lenovo has updated its popular business-class ThinkPad X1 Carbon laptop series, which now comes pre-installed with either Fedora Linux or Ubuntu, besides Windows 10.

        Now in its 9th generation, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon is one of Lenovo’s longest-running line of business laptops. The latest series sports Intel’s 11th Gen Core Series “Tiger Lake” processors and a host of other improvements thanks to the line being Intel Evo certified.

        The latest series retains the X1 Carbon’s characteristic hybrid carbon fiber weave and thanks to the magnesium alloy body weighs in at 2.49 pounds (1.13 Kg). New in this generation is the unified one-bar hinge design, a wider touchpad, and an improved Dolby Atmos enabled speaker system.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Kali Linux 2021.2 overview | By Offensive Security

        In this video, I am going to show an overview of Kali Linux 2021.2 and some of the applications pre-installed.

      • Late Night Linux – Episode 128 – Late Night Linux

        The new Firefox design annoys Féilim, more Audacity drama, Fuchsia launches with a whimper, Ardour faces an age-old problem, KDE Korner, and more.

        Listen to 2.5 Admins episode 40 for a detailed breakdown of the Freenode drama.

        FOSS Talk Live is happening this Saturday, starting at 7pm UK time on YouTube.

    • Kernel Space

      • The best webcam for Linux
      • The best webcam for Linux

        For those who prefer total customization for their PCs and laptops, using Linux as an operating system is often the next logical step. Unlike Windows and MacOS, Linux provides its users with a completely free-to-use, open-source software with numerous iterations to create whatever setup you desire.
        That being said, connecting a high-quality webcam to your Linux rig might take a little shopping around and a few extra steps, but if you wanted things the easy way, you wouldn’t have gone with a third-party solution in the first place. Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 is a great choice for its ease of use and quality HD recording.

      • Bootlin welcomes Clément Léger in its team – Bootlin’s blog

        Since June 1st, we’re happy to have an additional engineer in our team, Clément Léger!

        After graduating from ENSIMAG in 2012, Clément spent 9 years working for Kalray, a silicon vendor company based in France, designing and producing an innovative and advanced new multi-core CPU architecture. At Kalray, Clément was in charge of porting a bootloader and the Linux kernel to this new CPU architecture, working on all aspects needed to support the CPU in the arch/ of Linux (syscalls, interrupts, exceptions, MMU, etc.) as well as developing a number of core kernel drivers such as pinctrl, irqchip, remoteproc and spimem.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Informative guide to useful Linux Keyboard shortcuts

        Using Linux means using command line interface aka CLI aka terminal on regular basis. Being good at using CLI is what separates a casual Linux user & an expert.

        In this tutorial, we will learn about some useful Linux keyboard shortcuts that can increase your efficiency as well as your productivity.

      • How FreeDOS boots | Opensource.com

        When you turn on the power to your computer, the system performs several self-checks, such as verifying the memory and other components. This is called the Power On Self Test or “POST.” After the POST, the computer uses a hard-coded instruction that tells it where to find its instructions to load the operating system. This is the “boot loader,” and usually it will try to locate a Master Boot Record or (MBR) on the hard drive. The MBR then loads the primary operating system; in this case, that’s FreeDOS.

        This process of locating one piece of information so the computer can load the next part of the operating system is called “bootstrapping,” from the old expression of “picking yourself up by your bootstraps.” It is from this usage that we adopted the term “boot” to mean starting up your computer.

      • Tune your MySQL queries like a pro | Opensource.com

        Many people consider tuning database queries to be some mysterious “dark art” out of a Harry Potter novel; with the wrong incantation, your data turns from a valuable resource into a pile of mush.

        In reality, tuning queries for a relational database system is simple engineering and follows easy-to-understand rules or heuristics. The query optimizer translates the query you send to a MySQL instance, and then it determines the best way to get the requested data using those heuristics combined with what it knows about your data. Reread the last part of that: “what it knows about your data.” The less the query optimizer has to guess about where your data is located, the better it can create a plan to deliver your data.

        To give the optimizer better insight about the data, you can use indexes and histograms. Used properly, they can greatly increase the speed of a database query. If you follow the recipe, you will get something you will like. But if you add your own ingredients to that recipe, you may not get what you want.

      • Find The List Of Installed Repositories From Commandline In Linux

        This brief tutorial explains how to find the list of installed repositories in Linux from command line. Listing the installed repositories from CLI mode is not only easier, but also faster compared to GUI mode. Here, I have given methods to list installed repositories in various Linux distributions.

      • How to Install and Setup Apache Spark on Ubuntu 21.04 – Unixcop

        Apache Spark is an open-sourcedistributed computational framework that is_created to provide faster computational results.

        It is an in-memory computational engine, meaning the data will be processed in memory.

        Spark supports various APIs for streaming, graph processing, SQL, MLLib. It also supports Java, Python, Scala, and R as the preferred languages. Spark mostly installed in Hadoop clusters but you can also install and configure spark in standalone mode.

        In this article, we will be seeing how to install Apache Spark in Debian and Ubuntu-based distributions.

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Collabora continue enhancing Wine for Wayland, now with Vulkan and multi-monitor support

        Currently in the experimental stages, Collabora continue hacking away at the code for Wine to enable full Wayland support and they’ve reached some big new milestones with Vulkan and multiple monitor support.

        Their work will eventually mean you won’t need XWayland for much of it, as this Wayland driver for Wine allows Windows applications to run on Linux directly with Wayland compositors. It’s both highly interesting and vitally important for the future of Linux when more and more distributions are moving fully to Wayland.

      • Wine 6.0.1 Pops Open Support For The Apple M1, Dozens Of Fixes – Phoronix

        While Wine’s bi-weekly development releases are normally in good shape and suitable for Linux gamers and other enthusiasts wanting to run Windows games and applications on Linux or macOS, Wine 6.0.1 is out this week for those sticking to the yearly stable releases with follow-on point releases.

        Since the Wine 6.0 release in January there have been dozens of fixes collected for this first point release. Wine 6.0.1 carries 63 known bug fixes affecting a mix of different games and applications. Among the software benefiting from Wine 6.0.1 are fixes for Adobe products, Skyrim SE, Deer Hunter, The Witcher 3, World of Tanks, and Far Manager, among many other games/apps.

    • Games

      • Play Doom on Kubernetes | Opensource.com

        Do you ever feel nostalgic for Doom and other blocky video games, the ones that didn’t require much more than a mouse and the hope that you could survive on a LAN with your friends? You know what I’m talking about; the days when your weekends were consumed with figuring out how you could travel with your desktop and how many Mountain Dews you could fit in your cargo pants pockets? If this memory puts a warm feeling in your heart, well, this article is for you.

        Get ready to play Doom again, only this time you’ll be playing for a legitimate work reason: doing chaos engineering. I’ll be using my fork of Kube DOOM (with a new Helm chart because that’s how I sometimes spend my weekends). I also have a pull request with the original Kube DOOM creator that I’m waiting to hear about.

      • Proton 6.10 GE is out as a recommended upgrade for users of this community-built version | GamingOnLinux

        Proton GE, the community-built version of Proton has a fresh major upgrade with Proton-6.10-GE-1 out now. This is also a recommended upgrade by the developer. As a reminder, if you didn’t see it, as of a recent version of Proton GE you may need to remove current game prefixes setup by it to allow the games to work properly. More on that in the previous article with instructions on how to do so.

        If you’re not clear on what Proton and Steam Play are, be sure to check out our constantly updated dedicated page. It’s a special compatibility layer for running Windows games and apps from Steam on Linux.

      • Nvidia and Valve are bringing DLSS to Linux gaming… sort of

        Linux gamers, rejoice—we’re getting Nvidia’s Deep Learning Super Sampling on our favorite platform! But don’t rejoice too hard; the new support only comes on a few games, and it’s only on Windows versions of those games played via Proton.

        At Computex 2021, Nvidia announced a collaboration with Valve to bring DLSS support to Windows games played on Linux systems. This is good news, since DLSS can radically improve frame rates without perceptibly altering graphics quality. Unfortunately, as of this month, fewer than 60 games support DLSS in the first place; of those, roughly half work reasonably well in Proton, with or without DLSS.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Plasma 5.22 Released. This is What’s New

          Keeping up with the schedule, the KDE Team brings another great and stable KDE Plasma 5.22 release. This version promises more stability, performance tweaks rather than visual changes. Here’s what’s new. Also, we wrap up with and the top features of the KDE Plasma 5.22 desktop.

        • KDE Plasma 5.22 is out now with a focus on ‘stability and usability’ and more Wayland

          Stability and usability are the keys to the new KDE Plasma 5.22 release that’s officially available today.

          I am always in awe of what Plasma can do. It’s probably one of the most versatile Linux desktop environments available. It has options for everything, options within options and it manages to somehow look good while doing everything you could possibly want it to.

          Plasma 5.22 works even better with Wayland as of this release, which is becoming increasingly important. KDE say it now works with variable refresh rate/FreeSync, marking off another big piece from the list, especially with different refresh rates possible across different screens.

        • KDE Plasma 5.22 Arrives with Miscellany of Usability Improvements

          KDE Plasma 5.22 has been released, following a successful bout of beta testing last month.

          This uplift of the free, open source desktop environment improves ‘stability and usability across the board’, according to KDE devs.

          And that’s not an understatement.

          Refactored code and copious bug fixes converge to offer better performance, better responsiveness, and an overall better experience. Add in generous helpings of user interface tweaks (like the flashy adaptive panel transparency) and a reel of excellent end-user refinements (like the new System Settings speed dial page showing the most commonly-accessed settings) and Plasma 5.22 really shines bright.

        • KDE Plasma 5.22 Released With Much Better Wayland Support, Usability Enhancements

          KDE’s big Plasma 5.22 desktop release is now available with maturing its Wayland support continuing to be one of the big ongoing focuses for the project.

          KDE Plasma 5.22 brings much better Wayland support — “hugely improved” is how the 5.22 beta release phrased it. There is now support for variable rate refresh (VRR) / Adaptive-Sync on Wayland, vertical/horizontal maximization now working with KWin Wayland, global menu applet support under Wayland, support for activities, and a lot of other general improvements and fixes so the overall Wayland support is much more polished and nearly at par to the X.Org Server support.

        • Plasma 5.22

          Plasma 5.22 is here, and it is more reliable and stable than ever. By cleaning up and refactoring code in the background, the Plasma desktop gives you greater responsiveness and performance, helping you become even more productive without hiccups or surprises. Enjoy a smoother experience with KDE’s Plasma 5.22 desktop.

          Plasma 5.22 has become more pleasurable to use through improvements to the design and greater smoothness and consistency in transparencies, blurs, icons, and animations. Moving things to accessible locations, offering hints and visual cues, and creating new settings allows you to customize your work environment to make it fit perfectly to your needs. Following the true KDE spirit, the push for a more stable and attractive desktop does not mean you have to renounce control over how you want it to look or behave. Plasma 5.22, as always, packs all the flexibility and tools for customization you have come to expect and love, and some more to boot.

    • Distributions

      • Top 10 Popular Linux Desktop Distributions in 2021 – TecAdmin

        As half of the year has passed, it is the right time to discuss the best Linux distributions in 2021. Linux is an open-source operating system based on a Linux Kernel, GNU shell utilities, desktop environment, applications, package management system, and X server. It is far most famous among other operating systems because of its features and user-friendly attributes in terms of flexibility, security, ease of use, and diversity.

        Linux operating systems have different versions to cover all types of users according to their requirements and work. These versions are known as distributions. These are open source distributions meaning they are accessible without any cost.

        This article will discuss the top 10 popular Linux distributions among 600 plus different distributions based on their purpose, pros and cons, features, and system and user requirements.

      • MX Linux: A Great Linux Distro Designed with User in Mind

        MX Linux is an impressive Linux distro with Xfce desktop environment as the default. It is lightning fast, stable and yet still offers modern versions of the software you might expect from other Linux distros.

        MX Linux is gaining a lot of traction. The number of people using it has grown significantly in the last couple of years. So what’s leading to this kind of growth?

        One of the biggest reasons that MX Linux is doing so well is because they have a very close-knit community. In addition, this distro provides great documentation. It’s very easy for people to contribute and get involved.

        MX Linux provides amazing choice to the end user about what they want to do and how they want to do it. Certainly, most Linux users know exactly what they want out of their system. They are using Linux because they can change things. Unfortunately, there seems to be a trend in desktop Linux where most of the choices seem to be removed. However MX Linux users definitely enjoy choice.

        To put in short, this distro gives sensible tools and fantastic options to their users to let them use what they want to use.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • New Rebuilds Look to Advance New Hardware

          Developers of the openSUSE community are making advances toward even broader hardware support through the FrontRunner project.

          FrontRunner is a rebuild of SUSE Linux Enterprise from sources in the Open Build Service (OBS) that provides community collaboration through openSUSE’s Step effort. FrontRunner rebuilds all sources in one project that include and stage changes to advance architecture enablement for future Leap releases.

          “I am excited how FrontRunner opens up a new approach for openSUSE and SUSE to jointly enable new hardware architectures for openSUSE Leap,” said Dr. Gerald Pfeifer, chair of the openSUSE Board and Chief Technical Officer at SUSE.

          openSUSE Leap inherits its base from SUSE Linux Enterprise.

          “FrontRunner provides a staging area to feed back into SUSE Linux Enterprise, allowing for new levels of collaboration,” Pfeifer said.

          Step, which was started in February, is designed to expand more architecture availability for future openSUSE Leap and SLE releases. FrontRunner rebuilds were established within the Step effort under the openSUSE:Step:Frontrunner namespace in OBS.

        • openSUSE FrontRunner Aims To Advance The Distro’s Hardware Architecture Support

          More information on openSUSE’s FrontRunner initiative are now being shared as a rebuild of SUSE Linux Enterprise in the Open Build Service and allowing for staging changes to advance architecture enablment for future Leap releases.

          The FrontRunner initiative is supported both by SUSE and openSUSE with a focus on new hardware architecture support moving forward and a staging area that will ultimately feed back into SUSE Linux Enterprise. FrontRunner is part of the overall openSUSE Step project.

        • Smart SUSE Linux Enterprise Server shifts compatibility goalposts | ITWeb

          In its most recent release of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server – SLES 15 SP3 – SUSE has embedded full binary compatibility between SLES and its community Linux distro, openSUSE Leap. This smart shift essentially allows for those already using openSUSE Leap to easily migrate to SLES 15 SP3 for corporate Linux desktop or server requirements. The move is designed to provide users and organisations with increased compatibility, while allowing for them to leverage the synergies that sit between both the enterprise and community versions of the technology.

          The overall move is not geared towards replacing the community version, but rather to empower it – the two versions are not identical. The two SUSE open source code streams have been brought into alignment, offering pre-made binaries that enhance results, but the architecture won’t support all of the same platforms. Only openSUSE Leap will support RISC-V and ARMv7, but both will support s390x, aaargh64, x86-64 and ppc64le.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Hybrid work model: 4 best practices for fairness | The Enterprisers Project

          As vaccinations bring us closer than ever to a post-COVID world, many business leaders are contemplating the future of their offices – when, where, and how to fill the workspaces that have sat dormant for the last 13 months.

          But according to Pew Research, more than half of workers whose jobs can be done from home want to continue working remotely after the pandemic ends. And employers seem to be embracing a hybrid work model for the post-COVID world, with many planning for local employees to come into the office only a few days per week and allowing some individuals to stay entirely remote.

        • Fedora Community Blog: Heroes of Fedora (HoF) – F34 Beta

          Hello everyone, welcome to the Fedora Linux 34 Beta installation of Heroes of Fedora! In this post, we’ll look at the stats concerning the testing of Fedora Linux 34 Beta. The purpose of Heroes of Fedora is to provide a summation of testing activity on each milestone release of Fedora. Without community support, Fedora would not exist, so thank you to all who contributed to this release! Without further ado, let’s get started!

        • CentOS Looks To Deal With Deprecated Device Support, Out-Of-Tree Kernel Modules – Phoronix

          Being proposed within the CentOS project is a new special interest group for providing kernel modules not otherwise available within CentOS Stream. This would also include changes around where CentOS / Red Hat disable some kernel modules or artificially limit the scope of supported hardware.

          The CentOS “kmods” SIG is being considered for dealing with kernel modules not available in CentOS Stream but could be beneficial to it. The proposed SIG would focus on restoring support for deprecated devices where it just means build time changes or other kernel alterations compared to the Stream / RHEL kernel configuration, offering in-tree kernel modules not enabled for CentOS, and out-of-tree kernel modules too.

        • Create and manage Red Hat Data Grid services in the hybrid cloud | Red Hat Developer

          In a recent article, we described how we used Red Hat Data Grid, built from the Infinispan community project, to deliver a global leaderboard that tracked real-time scores for an online game.

          In this article, we’re back to demonstrate how we used the Red Hat Data Grid Operator on Red Hat OpenShift to create and manage services running on AWS (Amazon Web Services), GCP (Google Cloud Platform), and Microsoft Azure. In this case, we used the Data Grid Operator to create a global Data Grid cluster across multiple cloud platforms that appeared as a single Data Grid service to external consumers.

          Note: The global leaderboard was featured during Burr Sutter’s Red Hat Summit keynote in April 2021. Get a program schedule for the second half of this year’s virtual summit, coming June 15 to 16, 2021.

        • Achieving polyglot persistence with application stream databases in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.4

          Today’s applications need a modern data infrastructure—one that can provide developer agility, yet offer a solid foundation. A database, backed by a solid operating system, is at the heart of building such foundations. Across both commercial and open source database offerings, the choices are virtually unlimited. In recent years, the popularity of open source databases has drastically increased, and this gap is quickly narrowing (see Figure 1).

        • Know before you watch: Partners’ guide to Red Hat Summit Part 2

          As Red Hat Summit continues, so does the Partner Experience. Building on the content, keynotes and sessions during Red Hat Summit in April, we’re offering even more breakout sessions, celebrity appearances and Ask the Expert sessions on June 15-16. If you’re a partner looking to learn more about Red Hat products and engage in conversation, there is plenty for you to explore during our extended Summit event. Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of Red Hat Summit in June.

        • Introduction to RHEL System Roles

          In today’s IT environments, organizations are having to manage an ever-growing quantity of systems. These systems need to scale within and outside of the traditional datacenter. This requires organizations to depend ever more on automation to perform tasks. Deploying and managing an operating system like Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) can be time-consuming without automation, with administration and maintenance tasks taking significantly longer to complete.

          RHEL System Roles are a collection of Ansible roles and modules that can help automate the management and configuration of RHEL Systems. RHEL System Roles can help provide consistent and repeatable configuration, reduce technical burdens, and streamline administration. In this post, we’ll show you how to use the know-how of Red Hat with RHEL System Roles, so you can spend more time doing work that’s more valuable to the business and less time reinventing the wheel.

        • Identity and access in the DevSecOps life cycle

          May is Identity and Access month in the Red Hat’s monthly Security series! Beginning in March 2021, the Red Hat Security Ecosystem team has provided an introduction to a DevOps Security topic in a regular fashion to help you learn how Red Hat weaves together DevOps and security to help master the force called DevSecOps. We explain how to assemble Red Hat products and our security ecosystem partners to aid in your journey to deploying a comprehensive DevSecOps solution.

      • Debian Family

        • Bits from Debian: Registration for DebConf21 Online is Open

          The DebConf team is glad to announce that registration for DebConf21 Online is now open.

          The 21st Debian Conference is being held Online, due to COVID-19, from August 22 to August 29, 2021. It will also sport a DebCamp from August 15 to August 21, 2021 (preceeding the DebConf).

          To register for DebConf21, please visit the DebConf website at https://debconf21.debconf.org/register

          Reminder: Creating an account on the site does not register you for the conference, there’s a conference registration form to complete after signing in.

        • Norbert Preining: KDE/Plasma 5.22 for Debian

          As usual, I am providing packages via my OBS builds. If you have used my packages till now, then you only need to change the plasma521 line to read plasma522. Just for your convenience, if you want the full set of stuff, here are the apt-source entries…

          [...]

          Currently, the frameworks and most of the KDE Gear (Apps) 21.04 are in Debian/experimental. I will upload Plasma 5.22 to experimental as soon as NEW processing of two packages is finished (which might take another few months).

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Canonical’s Mir 2.4 Brings Numerous X11 + Wayland Enhancements – Phoronix

          Mir continues to be developed by Ubuntu-maker Canonical as a set of libraries and Wayland compositor for building Wayland-based shells with integrated window management and other features to ease the bring-up and catering to business use-cases around IoT and digital signage, among other uses. Out today is version 2.4 of Mir with more features and fixes.

          Mir 2.4 adds a new driver-quirks option for its GBM-KMS back-end, –enable-key-repeat is now respected with Mir’s Wayland code, timestamps are now handled under Wayland for frame done events, and the Mir X11 platform has also seen a number of improvements too. On the X11 front, Mir 2.4 now adds the hostname to the window title when remoting via X-forwarding, the X11 platform code has finally been ported from Xlib to XCB, support for resizing Mir-on-X11 windows, and also a number of X11 platform fixes.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Aetina DeviceEdge Mini Edge AI computers support NVIDIA Jetson SO-DIMM modules – CNX Software

        NVIDIA Jetson modules offer a wide range of AI performance starting from the entry-level 492 GFLOPS Jetson Nano module up to the 32 TOPS Jetson AGX Xavier platform.

        That’s probably Aetina decided to offer its DeviceEdge Mini AI edge solution with either Jetson Xavier NX, Jetson Nano, or Jetson TX2 NX pin-compatible SO-DIMM modules designed for applications in smart transportation, factories, retail, healthcare, AIoT, robotics, etc…

      • What is RISC-V?

        Almost all new IoT/edge devices that can run Linux use either the x86 architecture (mostly Intel, some AMD) or Arm, which is licensed by vendors like Qualcomm, Nvidia, NXP, Huawei, and Samsung. Arm is ubiquitous in smartphones and dominant among open-spec, community-backed SBCs such as the Raspberry Pi (see What is an SBC?). When referring to such boards, I prefer to use the term open-spec. Even if a project is scrupulous in meeting open source requirements, there is always at least one component that is proprietary: the processor.

      • NXP’s Ultra-Wideband (UWB) evaluation kits work with Apple U1 chip – CNX Software

        NXP offers RTOS and Linux software solutions for IoT integration using the SR150 chip. The board can be used to develop asset trackers, indoor navigation applications, POS Terminals, smart locks, and all sorts of inventory and supply chain management solutions.

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • You Can Still Use the Old Firefox Interface (but not for long)

            Firefox 89 is finally available to download with a major redesign. While some like what they are trying to do, as a competitive alternative to Google Chrome in terms of user experience, many do not seem to like the modern design.

            Of course, the design choices will always have distinct perspective for all kinds of users. But is there a way to go back to the old Firefox design?

            Well, for now, it seems like a yes. But you may not be able to revert the design after the next Firefox update.

          • Firefox 89 on POWER

            Firefox 89 was released last week with much fanfare over its new interface, though being the curmudgeon I am I’m less enamoured of it. I like the improvements to menus and doorhangers but I’m a big user of compact tabs, which were deprecated, and even with compact mode surreptitously enabled the tab bar is still about a third or so bigger than Firefox 88 (see screenshot). There do seem to be some other performance improvements, though, plus the usual more lower-level changes and WebRender is now on by default for all Linux configurations, including for you fools out there trying to run Nvidia GPUs.

            The chief problem is that Fx89 may not compile correctly with certain versions of gcc 11 (see bugs 1710235 and 1713968). For Fedora users if you aren’t on 11.1.1-3 (the current version as of this writing) you won’t be able to compile the browser at all, and you may not be able to compile it fully even then without putting a # pragma GCC diagnostic ignored “-Wnonnull” at the top of js/src/builtin/streams/PipeToState.cpp (I still can’t; see bug 1713968). gcc 10 is unaffected. I used the same .mozconfigs and PGO-LTO optimization patches as we used for Firefox 88. With those changes the browser runs well.

      • Programming/Development

        • Jonathan Dowland: LaTeX draft documents

          I’m writing up a PhD deliverable (which will show up here eventually) using LaTeX, which is my preferred tool for such things, since I also use it for papers, and will eventually be using it for my thesis itself. For this last document, I experimented with a few packages and techniques for organising the document which I found useful, so I thought I’d share them.

        • Mock syscalls with C++

          I wrote and maintain some C++ code to stream high quantities of data as fast as possible, and I try to use splice and sendfile when available.

          The availability of those system calls varies at runtime according to a number of factors, and the code needs to be written to fall back to read/write loops depending on what the splice and sendfile syscalls say.

          The tricky issue is unit testing: since the code path chosen depends on the kernel, the test suite will test one path or the other depending on the machine and filesystems where the tests are run.

          It would be nice to be able to mock the syscalls, and replace them during tests, and it looks like I managed.

        • Qt 6.1.1 Released With 150+ Bug Fixes

          Following last month’s release of Qt 6.1, the first point release of this latest Qt6 stable series is now available.

          Qt 6.1.1 was issued on Monday with more than 150 bug fixes. This is just the first of at least two more planned point releases until Qt 6.2 LTS is ready for introduction. Qt 6.2 just entered its feature freeze and going through the release dance for planned release at the end of September.

        • Excellent Free Tutorials to Learn Imba

          Imba is a friendly full-stack programming language for the web that compiles to performant JavaScript.

          It has language level support for defining, extending, subclassing, instantiating and rendering DOM nodes.

          In Imba DOM elements and CSS are treated as first-class citizens. DOM elements are compiled to a memoized DOM, which is an order of magnitude faster than today’s virtual DOM implementations.

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  13. Virtual Injustice -- Part 14: How Mandatory ViCo Became the “New Normal”

    How mandatory ViCo hearings gradually became the "New Normal" at the EPO



  14. Links 21/6/2021: Rocky Linux 8.4, IPFire 2.25 - Core Update 157, and SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 SP3

    Links for the day



  15. There Are Bigger Scandals Than Revisionism and Brand Dilution at the Linux Foundation

    There are some misconceptions that need tackling; back in February (more than 4 months ago) the so-called 'Linux' Foundation decided to associate with yet another controversial drive that has nothing to do with Linux; some people think it's a new thing and leap to conclusions



  16. Techrights Video Gallery Without JavaScript

    Some of the improvements made this morning to the gallery of recent videos



  17. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, June 20, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, June 20, 2021



  18. Links 21/6/2021: Linux 5.13 RC7, IRC.com by Freenode

    Links for the day



  19. Virtual Injustice -- Part 13: Let the Games Continue…

    "It would be nice to think that the events of 28 May have given the Enlarged Board pause for thought."



  20. Links 20/6/2021: Akademy 2021 Underway and Linux Foundation Blasted

    Links for the day



  21. EPO: Fake Patents, Fake (Paid-for) Patent Coverage, and Fake Awards for Public Relations Purposes

    The media has been thoroughly corrupted, patent legitimacy has been severely damaged (far too many European Patents aren't in compliance with the EPC anymore), and Team UPC is trying to undermine the EPC and turn Europe into another Texas



  22. Changes in IRC and New Features Over Gemini Protocol or the World Wide Web

    We examine more closely some of the latest changes in the site and the capsule (Web and Gemini, respectively); we show that it’s possible to keep abreast of IRC using nothing but a text editor, a Gemini client… or even the command line alone



  23. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, June 19, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, June 19, 2021



  24. We Need and Deserve a Saner Patent System in Europe

    The laughing stock that the patent system, the patent law firms, and patent media became (over the past few years) must be replaced; at the moment we have a cabal connected to a bunch of criminals running the entire show and the public understandably grows impatient (at least people who are sufficiently informed; the criminals have already intimidated and bribed a lot of the media and they're still bribing more of it, as we shall demonstrate later today)



  25. [Meme] IRC Wars in a Nutshell

    In terms of large IRC networks, we’re in trouble (unless we self-host) because they seem to be dividing themselves along political lines rather than anything technical or something of an on-topic/relevant substance. Using networks for Free software projects/organisations to push one’s political agenda is not acceptable because it’s starting to seem like in IRC space, FN has become the Front Nationale (French) and LC is Liberal Coalition. Both FreeNode and Libera Chat have managed to turn from technical platforms into political parties, in effect using technical networks (intended for technical projects) to push someone's political agenda and thus misusing them for personal gain. There’s no free lunch. As it turns out, FreeNode’s new owner (Andrew Lee) has just outed himself as a huge Donald Trump supporter who speaks of “these fuckers who stole that shit” (he meant the election, which he insists Trump actually won in 2020).



  26. IBM Handles More Removals of Signatures From Its Hate Letter Against Richard Stallman

    Less than a day ago IBM processed a request for removal (from its hate letter); as someone put it in a letter to us, also less than a day ago: “When all of this started in 2019, the Red Hat GNU developers showed off their colours. The best way to attack an organisation is from the inside. Using GNU developers was a dead giveaway. Google and Microsoft are very much on the team with IBM. I believe they’ve made headway into the Free/Libre software community and have persuaded senior Debianties to go along with them.” That same message, from an anonymous GNU maintainer, said: “The strategy to target major distributions is clear and present danger. I’m not sure what arguments of persuasion are being used, but I’m pretty sure their main tool is currency. RMS needs a lot of strategic support from experts who will rally to the Free Software cause. He needs great lawyers, some corporate minds, and intelligence specialists.” Sometimes it seems or feels like by simply buying Red Hat (the staff) IBM infiltrated the GNU Project and now it is vainly making claims like 'GNU is IBM' and thus IBM et al can command/tell the FSF who should run FSF, not only GNU. Such entryism isn’t hard to see; “An open letter in support of Richard Matthew Stallman being reinstated by the Free Software Foundation” has meanwhile garnered 6,758 signatures. The opposite letter is only decreasing in support (signatures lost).



  27. Links 20/6/2021: Debian GNU/Linux 10.10 “Buster” Released and LF Revisionism Resumes

    Links for the day



  28. The EPO's Enlarged Board of Appeal Has Already Lost the Case in the Court of Public Opinion

    Personal views on the sordid state of the Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBoA), which by extension bodes poorly for the perception of independence in every Board of Appeal (BoA); the patent tribunals have been captured by patent maximalists who either stack the panels or intimidate judges into ruling in a particular way



  29. Virtual Injustice -- Part 12: Carl Josefsson – Down But Not Out!

    António Campinos still controls Josefsson, who controls all the judges, so in effect all the legal cases (including some about European software patents) are manipulated by the Office the judges are supposed to judge



  30. Links 19/6/2021: Wine 6.11 and Proton 6.3-5 RC

    Links for the day


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