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March 2019

LLVM Clang 9.0 Adds "-ftime-trace" To Produce Useful Time Trace Profiling Data

Filed under
Development
BSD

LLVM has merged a very useful feature for the Clang 9.0 release this autumn: the -ftime-trace feature allows producing time trace profiling data in a friendly format that is useful for developers to better understand where the compiler is spending most of its time and other areas for improvement.

Clang has already supported -ftime-report for printing time summaries for each stage of the compilation process while -ftime-trace yields much more useful data. The output of -ftime-trace is JSON-based profiling outputs that can be loaded into Chrome's chrome://tracing visualizer. This data shows how much time LLVM/Clang is spending on compiling each file, down to the function granularity.

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SDDM v0.18.1

Filed under
KDE

We are happy to release a new SDDM version.

SDDM is a Qt based graphical login manager developed in a collaborative fashion by people from Liri, KDE and LXQt.

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Linux Lite 4.4 is ready to replace Microsoft Windows on your aging PC

Filed under
Linux

One of the best things about operating systems based on the Linux kernel is they can sometimes be very lightweight. Why is this important? Well, when an OS uses very few resources, it can breathe new life into an aging PC. In other words, just because Windows 7 or Windows 10 run like molasses on your old computer, that doesn't mean you have to buy a new one. The right Linux distribution can make your older PC feel fast and new.

One of the most popular lightweight Linux-based operating systems is Linux Lite. Heck, the name of the distribution tells you that it is designed to use few resources! Version 4.4 is now available, and as per usual, it is based on the latest Ubuntu LTS -- 18.04. The Xfce desktop environment will feel familiar to those switching from Windows. Those new to Linux will also appreciate the easy access to many popular programs, such as Skype, Steam, and Spotify. Even the excellent Microsoft Office alternative, LibreOffice, is included.

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Openness, Open Data and Open Hardware

Filed under
OSS
  • Open-source seeds: protecting new crops from privitisation

    From the green grass of England to the tropical forests of the Amazon basin and the semi-arid plains of North Africa, when it comes to food, no one crop can suit every soil type, or withstand the challenges of climate change. It is therefore vitally important that humans seek to preserve and increase the biological diversity of crops.

    In pursuit of this goal, Dr Johannes Kotschi from the Association for AgriCulture and Ecology, along with researchers from the University of Göttingen, has developed an open-source seed (OSS) licence that can be applied to new crop varieties. The OSS licence prevents seeds and their derivatives from being privatised, patented or otherwise protected in a way that would limit their sale or further modification. In doing so, it ensures that new varieties are available to everyone. Alongside the licence, the organisation OpenSourceSeeds supports breeders and seed producers who use it.

  • Aptiv Releases Comprehensive Open-Source Automated Vehicle Data Set

    Aptiv has released a comprehensive set of automated driving training data including camera, radar and lidar signals that has been fully annotated and labeled.

  • Aptiv Releases Comprehensive Open-Source Dataset for Autonomous Driving

    Global auto parts supplier Aptiv, formally known as Delphi Automotive, announced today the full release of nuScenes, an open-source autonomous vehicle (AV) dataset. The dataset will help developers improve the safety of autonomous vehicles.

  • MIPS R6 Architecture Now Available for Open Use

    Asked if any other MIPS cores – beyond R6 – will be available in the future, Swift said additional announcements are in the offing, indicating that Thursday’s offering is only the first set of MIPS Open’s release.  

    “Remember, this is a journey, not a destination,” Swift reminded.

    Other pending announcements include MIPS Open’s certification partners and MIPS Open Advisory Board. Names of individuals or companies for those initiatives are not yet public.

  • Wave Computing launches MIPS Open, provides royalty-free access to chip design data

    A few months after announcing plans to “open source its MIPS instruction set architecture,” the folks at Wave Computing are following through. Mostly.

    The company has launched the MIPS Open program and released the first components, offering developers royalty and license fee-free access to the latest versions of its 32-bit and 64-bit MIPS architecture.

    But it’s questionable whether this is truly an “open source” initiative, so much as an “open use” project designed encourage developers to work with the company’s chips.

DragonFlyBSD Receives Initial FUSE Port For File-Systems In User-Space

Filed under
BSD

Tomohiro Kusumi has contributed an initial FUSE implementation to DragonFlyBSD for implementing file-systems in user-space support.

The design is based roughly on FreeBSD code but is a cleanly written implementation for allowing user-space file-systems to work on this BSD. This initial FUSE support isn't designed to be API/ABI compatible with the FreeBSD code due to different sysctls and other factors.

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Nate Graham's KDE Usability & Productivity Weekly Report

Filed under
KDE
  • KDE Usability & Productivity: Week 64

    Week 64 in KDE’s Usability & Productivity initiative has arrived, and I think you’ll see why this week needed two posts.

  • KDE's Konsole Now Supports Splitting, Plasma Vault Integration In Dolphin

    KDE contributor Nate Graham has continued his weekly blog posts outlining some of the notable improvements made in the world of KDE. One of the notable changes this week is the Konsole terminal emulator allowing arbitrary grid-like splits of a single window. That honors a ten year old bug report about wanting to restore support for "Quadkonsole" for allowing several consoles to render within a single window. That support is finally in place for the KDE Applications 19.08 release due out this summer.

Software: Python IDEs, Kodi, Best alternatives to Skype

Filed under
Software
  • 9 Best Free Python Integrated Development Environments (Updated 2019)

    Python is a widely used general-purpose, high level programming language. It’s easy to read and learn. It’s frequently used for science, data analysis, and engineering. With a burgeoning scientific community and ecosystem, Python is an excellent environment for students, scientists and organizations that develop technology software.

    One of the essential tools for a budding Python developer is a good Integrated Development Environment (IDE). An IDE is a software application that provides comprehensive facilities to programmers for software development.

    Many coders learn to code using a text editor. And many professional Python developers prefer to stay with their favourite text editor, in part because a lot of text editors can be used as a development environment by making use of plugins. But many Python developers migrate to an IDE as this type of software application offers, above all else, practicality. They make coding easier, can offer significant time savings with features like autocompletion, and built-in refactoring code, and also reduces context switching. For example, IDEs have semantic knowledge of the programming language which highlights coding problems while typing. Compiling is ‘on the fly’ and debugging is integrated.

  • Are free VPNs any good for Kodi?

    Before we get to the VPNs, let's start with Kodi, which is a free and open source media player.

  • What Is Kodi and How Does It Work?

    What is Kodi? Imagine your own version of Netflix or Amazon Prime Video, but one that is completely free? Sounds too good to be true, right?

  • Best alternatives to Skype 2019: paid and free

    If you're looking for the best Skype alternatives, then you've come to the right place. For many years, Skype has been one of the most popular VoIP (Voice over IP) services, with home and business users alike using it to video and voice call friends and family over the world.

    However, in 2011 Microsoft acquired Skype, and since then it has been tweaking the interface and adding (and removing features) which has not been too popular.

    So, if you're looking to move from Skype to another VoIP service, then this guide to the best Skype alternatives will help you make the leap. We look at both free alternatives to Skype, as well as packages you need to pay for, which is good for large companies with employees around the world.

Linux laptops alive in South Africa

Filed under
Linux

While it may serve a small niche in South Africa, Dell has been offering laptops that run Ubuntu Linux for years.

This is according to Chris Buchanan, client solutions director at Dell EMC in South Africa.

Dell and Canonical recently announced the new version of the Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition laptop, offering up to 16GB RAM and a 1TB SSB. Since then, a 2TB version has become available.

Like other Developer Edition variants of the Dell XPS 13, the 2018 model comes with Ubuntu Linux rather than Windows. At the time, the latest long-term support release: Ubuntu 18.04 “Bionic Beaver”.

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More in Tux Machines

OSS and Openwashing Leftovers

  • Why retail marketers must get CX right the first time and how open source plays a key role

    One of the great things about technology is that it has raised all of our expectations. Once upon a time, people worried that controlling their television with a remote would make them lazy. Now, we don't even have to find the remote. We just talk to the TV — literally. We access hundreds of goods and services easily, without leaving the comfort of our chairs: we download games, order the supermarket shop, watch films and read books online. It really is a brave new world. But with new worlds come new challenges, and the challenge of the new, tech-driven, marketplace is to make your business stand out in a global crowd. Of all the businesses in all the world, why should your customers choose (and stick with) you? Lots of people will tell you that the key to gaining market share lies in improving the customer experience. And they'll be right. A combination of the need to impress and increased customer expectations have combined to make CX fundamental to gaining and retaining custom.

  • The Future of Great Customer Experience Relies on Open Source

    A majority of U.S. consumers feel that brands don't meet their expectations. The bar for customer experience has been set high -- and its on marketers to reach it. [...] In the early 2000s, enterprise IT was dominated by proprietary software companies. Now, with the rise of public cloud computing, more and more developers are adopting open source tools within their organizations due to lower overall costs and access to the latest innovations. The adoption is spreading from IT into other sectors of the business as well, notably marketing. In total, marketing and experience cloud vendors invested over $8 billion to acquire open source companies in 2018, according to PitchBook.

  • ReactOS 0.4.12 Pulls In Wine-Staging 4.0 DLLs, Many Kernel Improvements

    ReactOS, the open-source operating system still striving for binary compatibility with Microsoft Windows as a drop-in replacement, has version 0.4.12 now available as its first big alpha update in six months. ReactOS 0.4.12 features a lot of work on its open-source kernel including some driver compatibility enhancements, rewritten write-protecting system images, Blue Screen of Death fixes, and a lot of other low-level work.

  • Tencent Offers Open-Source System for IoT Innovation

    Chinese internet giants are quickly cottoning onto the benefits of offering open-source technologies to global developers. Tencent is the latest to throw its hat into the ring. The company announced Wednesday that it is allowing developers to use an open-source operating system to create an internet-of-things (IoT) projects that will allow Tencent to improve the performance of its IoT solutions and strengthen its foothold in the sector. Called “TencentOS tiny,” the operating system is lighter, requires fewer resources, and uses less energy compared with other major systems, according to a Tencent release. The company also said it hopes TencentOS tiny will encourage developers to create IoT projects for smart cities, intelligent connected vehicles, and digital wearables — sectors that Tencent is aggressively targeting.

  • WordPress Parent Automattic Raises $300M from Salesforce Ventures

    Automattic, the company behind the open source WordPress content management (CMS) announced on Sept. 19 that it has raised $300 million in a new Series D round of funding. Of note, the entire round was contributed by Salesforce Ventures, bringing total funding to data for Automattic up to $617 million. The Series D marks the first new raise for Automattic since 2014 "This puts us at a post-round valuation of $3 billion, three times what it was after our last fundraising round in 2014," Matt Mullenweg, founder of Automattic wrote. "It’s a tremendous vote of confidence for Automattic and for the open web."

  • Open-source companies gather to gripe: Cloud giants sell our code as a service – and we get the square root of nothing [Ed: So openwashing gets its own summit to sell proprietary software under the false guise of "open"]
  • Software Freedom Day

    As part of its social purpose charter, all software released by Purism is free software. That means our software includes a lot of free software created by others–thank you! We make this commitment with a “free software license” that formally grants these freedoms. This means you don’t need to ask us permission to use our software–you already have it. If you are a programmer, you are free to tweak or even overhaul an application. If you are a consultant, you are free to provide supporting services. If you are an everyday user, you are free to choose whoever you like to provide programming and other services, or even learn how to do it yourself.

  • How spicy should a jalapeno be?

    Everyone has opinions and preferences, especially when it comes to food. To establish a criterion when answering "How spicy should a jalapeño be?." the Scoville Heat Scale was developed as a standard to measure spiciness. This scale allows people to communicate and share information about how spicy we like our peppers. Similarly, open source technology standards, such as USB, I2C, MQTT, and others, were developed to enable global compatibility. Furthermore, open source hardware platforms have enabled communities to “speak the same language” without reinventing the wheel. For example, Raspberry Pi makes it easy for people to use their hardware as a baseline and then add onto it. This has created a revolution in many industries by enabling individuals, startups, and large corporations to apply hardware and software to complex problems without having to design them from the ground up.

Linux 5.4 Adds Support For The FlySky FS-iA6B - A Receiver Popular With DIY Drones

The input driver updates for the Linux 5.4 kernel include the addition of an interesting, budget-friendly RC receiver that can be used for home-built drones and other use-cases while now the driver allows the receiver when paired with a supported RC controller to serve as a traditional Linux joystick input. The input updates were sent in earlier this week and among the changes are allowing drivers to support more precise timestamps for better velocity tracking, improvements to the BU21013 touchpad driver, and other changes as outlined in the pull request. Read more

Android Leftovers

GNOME: Wayland With MATE, NetworkManager and Sébastien Wilmet

  • Ubuntu/Mir Developer Issues Porting Guide To Help Port MATE To Wayland

    Canonical's Mir developers since re-shifting focus to serving as a Wayland compositor have been working with the likes of the GNOME2-forked MATE desktop environment to implement Wayland support using Mir. For helping those interested in porting MATE applications from X11 to Wayland, one of the Mir developers has now issued a porting guide.

  • NetworkManager Will Now Roam For WiFi Signals More Aggressively

    NetworkManager has shifted its threshold for a weak WiFi signal for when to begin searching for other WLAN networks. Up to now NetworkManager used a -80dBm threshold for when to roam for other network signals while now that has changed to find hopefully stronger network signals sooner. 

  • Sébastien Wilmet: Back to University

    And to avoid stress/burnout, I try to no longer work the evenings and weekends, so it drastically limits my time that I’ll devote to GNOME.