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August 2020

Graphics Stack: Melissa Wen, Mike Blumenkrantz and Peter Hutterer Explain Their Work

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
  • Melissa Wen: GSoC Final Report

    I haven’t said Hi for a while when starting a post. I think the rush and the whirlwind of things happening during the GSoC made me a little agitated. This year, my project was the only one accepted for X.Org Foundation, and I felt a great responsibility.

    Well, this is the last week of the project, and I’m slowing down and breathing Smile

  • Mike Blumenkrantz: Geometry Overview

    I’ve mentioned GS on a few occasions in the past without going too deeply into the topic. The truth is that I’m probably not ever going to get that deep into the topic.

    There’s just not that much to talk about.

  • Peter Hutterer: User-specific XKB configuration - part 3

    Let's talk about everyone's favourite [1] keyboard configuration system again: XKB. If you recall the goal is to make it simple for users to configure their own custom layouts. Now, as described earlier, XKB-the-implementation doesn't actually have a concept of a "layout" as such, it has "components" and something converts your layout desires into the combination of components. RMLVO (rules, model, layout, variant, options) is what you specify and gets converted to KcCGST (keycodes, compat, geometry, symbols, types). This is a one-way conversion, the resulting keymaps no longer has references to the RMLVO arguments. Today's post is about that conversion, and we're only talking about libxkbcommon as XKB parser because anything else is no longer maintained.

  • Facebook Still Pursuing "NetGPU" - Working On AMD GPU Support In Addition To NVIDIA

    It was the recent Facebook patches for implementing NetGPU that with one of the NVIDIA-focused patches led to the recent controversy around "GPL condoms" in the kernel and ultimately leading to new protections with Linux 5.9. That NetGPU code is still being worked on by Facebook with upstream hopes but now in addition to the NVIDIA driver support they are also working on AMD GPU support with the open-source driver.

Kernel: File-Systems, CPU Architecture Landscape For 2030, Raspberry Pi 4

Filed under
Linux
Hardware
  • Linux Receiving Generic Casefolding Implementation For File-Systems

    In making for easier code re-use among file-systems and allowing a unified implementation to focus on a single code-base for optimizations moving forward, a generic case-folding implementation for Linux file-systems is being prepared for mainline.

    EXT4 and F2FS have both supported optional UTF-8 based case-folding support for file/folder names on a per-folder basis going back a year. To date the file-systems have relied upon similar albeit copied implementations of the code while now it's being spun into a generic implementation that can be easily shared between file-systems. Besides avoiding code duplication for UTF8 case-folding, this standardization makes it more easy to optimize it moving forward without having to port any optimizations to the different file-system implementations. The code in its current form should be functionally equivalent to the existing per-filesystem code.

  • A Kernel Maintainer's Prediction On The CPU Architecture Landscape For 2030

    In addition to talking about code/hardware obsolescence from the Linux kernel, prominent upstream Linux kernel developer Arnd Bermann also presented at last week's Linux Plumbers Conference on the current SoC landscape and sharing his predictions for ten years down the road.

    Bergmann gave a talk in addition to the obsolescence one on the "SoC support lifecycle in the kernel" when talking about changes in SoC/CPU architectures and how that has evolved over time and the Linux kernel embracing the changes while also identifying code that has reached the end of its useful life.

  • Linux Patch Proposed To Double Raspberry Pi 4 Transfer Speed To eMMC/SD Storage

    Manjaro Linux developer Tobias Schramm brought to light that only single data rate mode is currently being used for micro SD cards and eMMC storage with Raspberry Pi 4 Model B SBCs. But with a two line kernel patch, the double data rate mode can be enabled.

    Tobias sent out on the kernel mailing list that both micro SD and eMMC with the Raspberry Pi 4 is running in single data rate mode only. However, the controller and the board circuitry appear to support the double data rate (DDR) mode just fine. He added that he even checked on the signal integrity on the data lines for the micro SD card slot and didn't find any issues.

Python Programming

Filed under
Development
  • PyDev of the Week: Connor Ferster

    This week we welcome Connor Ferster as our PyDev of the Week! Connor is the author of handcalcs which was recently featured on the PythonBytes Podcast.

  • Remove Element from an Array in Python

    This tutorial will go through some common ways for removing elements from Python arrays. Here's

  • "CodersLegacy": PySide vs PyQt | Understanding the difference

    Once people get to know about both PySide and PyQt, due to their similarities, people have a hard time picking one over the other. Here in this “PySide vs PyQt” article we’ll examine both libraries from multiple angles and attempt to come to a conclusion.

    The reason why we are comparing these two libraries is because both of them are Python bindings of the same GUI framework Qt. We’re here to compare both these bindings.

    We’ll start off with PyQt first as it’s the more poplar library and was released (officially) before PySide.

  • How to Deploy Your Open Source Package to PyPI

    I built a small PyBitesTips class to consume our Python tips from the command line. The code (project) is here

    Speaking of tips, here are some cool things I learned / re-used: - Make a class callable using the __call__ dunder (magic) method. - Use namedtuples and instantiate them with ** keyword args: [Tip(**tip) for tip in resp.json()] - Use paging of results with pydoc.pager. - Break down output creation and printing in different methods (and helpers) which made testing the code easier.

  • Automated Browser Testing with Opera and Selenium in Python

    When it comes to cross browser testing, we tend to focus on executing test cases for bigwigs like Google Chrome, Firefox, or Safari. What about the other browsers? What about Opera? Opera may not be your default browser, but it still is a popular web browser in the market and is especially loved in areas that don’t have high-speed Internet. This is because Opera performs quite well even at slow internet speeds. Owing to this, Opera has a market share of around 2.17% globally from July 2019 – July 2020 as per GS StatCounter. 2.17% may look like a small fraction, but we are referring to global statistics, meaning 2.17% of all the internet users. This could turn up to be a considerable number of leads for your business.

  • Python 3 Installation & Setup Guide

    Installing or updating Python on your computer is the first step to becoming a Python programmer. There are a multitude of installation methods: you can download official Python distributions from Python.org, install from a package manager, and even install specialized distributions for scientific computing, Internet of Things, and embedded systems.

  • No Module Named Numpy
  • New course: Testing your Python programs with pytest

    My first job was at a company that wrote software for hospitals. As you can imagine, our work needed to be really reliable — so we had an entire team dedicated to quality assurance (QA). Their job was to run our software for months at a time, given many different inputs, and to make sure that it didn’t cause trouble. I can tell you that the head of QA was the most feared person in my department. And yet, we all knew that his job was of utmost importance. If it weren’t for him, buggy software could go out the door, with catastrophic effects for people being treated in hospitals around the world.

    More than 25 years have passed since I had that job. And while not every program directly affects people’s lives, there’s no doubt that software is hugely influential. Buggy programs can not only hurt people, but lose money, destroy documents, give incorrect projections, and use up valuable resources.

  • Python Monthly August 2020

    Being a Python developer is a fantastic career option. Python is now the most popular language with lots of growing job demand (especially in the fields of Web, Data Science and Machine Learning). You have many job opportunities, you can work around the world, and you get to solve hard problems. One thing that is hard, however, is staying up to date with the constantly evolving ecosystem. You want to be a top-performing python developer, coder, programmer, software developer, but you don’t have time to select from hundreds of articles, videos and podcasts each day.

  • Montreal Python User Group: Quadratic Judo Code Sprint

    For the whole month of September, we code together on free and open source software in Python. Our effort will be centered on two projects: * French translation of the official Python documentation; * Voluntaria, a Django portal to help non-profits synchronize the effort of their volunteers.

    We have a wide range of tasks for both projects, ranging from easy to very advanced. We promise you a detailed overview of the tasks as well as an introduction to the mentors on the sprint opening night on Monday August 31st at 5:30pm. After the initial meeting, we stay in touch on the Montréal-Python Slack and with one sync-up meeting every Monday evening. The results of the sprint are going to be during Montréal-Python #80 (Pedal Kayak) on September 28, 2020.

  • How to Transcribe Speech Recordings into Text with Python

    When you have a recording where one or more people are talking, it's useful to have a highly accurate and automated way to extract the spoken words into text. Once you have the text, you can use it for further analysis or as an accessibility feature.

    In this tutorial, we'll use a high accuracy speech-to-text web application programming interface called AssemblyAI to extract text from an MP3 recording (many other formats are supported as well).

  • Catalin George Festila: Python 3.8.5 : Testing with openpyxl - parts 002 .
  • PSF GSoC students blogs: GSoC Weekly Blog #7
  • PSF GSoC students blogs: From console.log to GSoC 2020
  • PSF GSoC students blogs: Weekly Check-in #13
  • PSF GSoC students blogs: Outro
  • PSF GSoC students blogs: Final Work Report - Last Weekly Check-in
  • PSF GSoC students blogs: All Done!
  • PSF GSoC students blogs: Final Week Check-in
  • PSF GSoC students blogs: Final Blog Post
  • PSF GSoC students blogs: GSoC: Week #14

Securedrop Worktstation and how can you help

Filed under
Server
Security
Debian

The second half of the event was a live demo of the new SecureDrop Workstation project.

SecureDrop is an open source whistleblower submission system that media organizations and NGOs can install to securely accept documents from anonymous sources. It was originally created by the late Aaron Swartz and is now managed by Freedom of the Press Foundation. SecureDrop is available in 20 languages.

The current SecureDrop is dependent heavily on air-gapped Tails systems. This means increased security but also means a lot of time in accessing the submissions by the journalists. SecureDrop Workstation is the next generation system coming up to help in reducing this and also provide much smoother user experience without giving up the security.

Read more

Misc. Software/Games Updates in PCLinuxOS

Filed under
PCLOS
  • Teamviewer updated to 15.9.4

    TeamViewer provides easy, fast and secure remote access and meeting solutions to Linux, Windows PCs, Apple PCs and various other platforms, including Android and iPhone.

  • Shortwave updated to 1.1.1

    Shortwave is a free radio streaming software with more than 20,000 radio stations from around the world.

  • Click-radio updated to 3.6

    A lightweight and simple gui interface media app

  • Thunderbird updated to 78.2.1

    Mozilla Thunderbird is a free and open-source cross-platform email client, news client, RSS, and chat client developed by the Mozilla Foundation. The project strategy was modeled after that of the Mozilla Firefox web browser.

  • Supertuxkart updated to 1.2

    SuperTuxKart is a free 3D kart racing game. The aim is to make the game fun more than to make it realistic. You can play with up to 4 friends on one PC, racing against each other or just try to beat the computer

IBM/Red Hat Leftovers

Filed under
Red Hat
  • Why upstream Ansible stopped shipping rpms

    The upstream Ansible Project used to ship rpms and tarballs on their server, releases.ansible.com. For Ansible-2.10+, they’ve (I’m part of the project although not the originator of this decision) decided not to ship rpms anymore and to push people to use pypi.python.org as the official source of the tarballs. This came up in a recent thread on twitter with a question of whether this meant that Ansible was forgetting who it was meant to serve (sysadmins) as sysadmins want to get their software in their platforms’ native packaging format rather than the language packaging format.

    [...]

    Getting back to the fear that removing rpms from releases.ansible.com was an indication that ansible is forgetting that it is a tool for sysadmins and needs to be shipped in ways that sysadmins will find palatable…. I don’t think that the removal of rpms and traballs is an indication as the above rationale seems like it will make things better for sysadmins in the end. However, ansible-2.10 is a big realignment of how ansible is developed and shipped and I think those changes are going to have costs for sysadmins [2]_, [3]_. nirik (Kevin Fenzi, the Fedora/EPEL ansible package maintainer) and I have been talking on and off about how the Fedora/EPEL ansible rpm should be adapted to minimize those costs but it is a large change and changes are often both hard in the transition and, after the transition is over, may be better in many areas but worse in some others. Ideas about how we can smooth out the things that are worse while taking advantage of the things that are better is appreciated!

  • Join us at IBM Z Day 2020!

    On September 15, we’ll be hosting our second annual IBM Z Day, a free virtual event that will bring together mainframe experts from all over the world to share their stories. This year, we’re digging deep into the IBM Z organization to feature all of the latest breakthrough innovations.

    This past year has been filled with exciting announcements in the realm of IBM Z and IBM LinuxONE — starting with the launch of the IBM z15 and LinuxONE III in September 2019, and continuing with announcements around IBM Data Privacy Passports, IBM Secure Execution for Linux, Red Hat OpenShift for IBM Z and LinuxONE, Red Hat Ansible Certified Content for IBM Z, and more. In April, we put out a call for COBOL expertise, accelerating plans to release new COBOL training materials, discussion forums, and more in collaboration with the Open Mainframe Project. And just a couple of weeks ago, we announced the New to Z Community, where developers who are new to the mainframe can start building their careers.

    Bringing all of these accomplishments together, IBM Z Day will shine a light on these topics and more, with keynotes from IBM’s Ross Mauri, Willie Tejada, Marius Ciortea, and Meredith Stowell, along with John Mertic, Director of Program Management at the Linux Foundation.

  • Red Hat Has Been Working On "stalld" As A Thread Stall Detector + Booster

    Red Hat engineers in recent weeks began working on a new project called "starved" though recently renamed to "stalld". The stalld service is for serving as a Linux thread stall detector.

    The stalld daemon monitors Linux threads and detects when threads are stalled as a result of CPU starvation. The stalled thread is in turn boosted by stalld by setting the SCHED_DEADLINE policy and then the original policy restored following the boost.

  • Madeline Peck: Onto Part Time at Red Hat

    I hope everyone is having a great week. At the beginning of the summer, I thought today would be my last blog post since this is the end of the summer internship. What an experience! However of course, I’ll still be here next week, just working way less a week haha.

    On Thursday last week Mo asked me to help with the Fedora 33 wallpaper draft package that was supposed to go out on Friday or Monday at the latest.

  • Custom Grafana dashboards for Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform 4

    OpenShift administrators often face the same challenges as other system administrators: "I need a tool that will monitor the health of my system." Yet, traditional monitoring tools often fall short in their visibility of an OpenShift cluster. Thus, a typical OpenShift monitoring stack includes Prometheus for monitoring both systems and services, and Grafana for analyzing and visualizing metrics.

    Administrators are often looking to write custom queries and create custom dashboards in Grafana. However, Grafana instances provided with the monitoring stack (and its dashboards) are read-only. To solve this problem, we can use the community-powered Grafana operator provided by OperatorHub.

  • Can You Run Linux on a Power Server?
  • IBM's Possible Designs For Power10 Systems

    In the past two weeks, we have been telling you about the future Power10 processor that will eventually be able to support the IBM i platform as well as AIX, Big Blue’s flavor of Unix, and Linux, the open source operating system that is commercially exemplified by IBM’s Red Hat Enterprise Linux distribution. The leap in performance with Power10 is akin to those we saw between the generations spanning from Power6 through Power9.

    This week, we want to contemplate the systems that will be using the Power10 chip and how they will be similar to and different from past and current Power Systems machines. Then we are going to take deeper dive into performance, clustering systems through their memories rather than their I/O – perhaps the most exciting new thing in the Power architecture – and then also do a side foray into machine learning inference performance, which is going to be important for future commercial application workloads.

Mozilla: VPN, Firefox 81 Plans and Add-ons

Filed under
Moz/FF
  • No judgment digital definitions: What is the difference between a VPN and a web proxy?

    Virtual private networks (VPNs) and secure web proxies are solutions for better privacy and security online, but it can be confusing to figure out which one is right for you. Here’s a look at how these services protect you and how to choose the best option for when you’re online.

    [...]

    A secure web proxy works for tasks that you might do only in your browser. This can amount to a lot of activity like shopping, paying bills, logging into social media and reading emails. A secure web proxy serves as an intermediary between your browser and the internet. Your web browsing data will pass through a secure tunnel to the internet directly from your browser, masking your IP address, so the web server you are contacting doesn’t know exactly where you are in the world. And that makes you harder to track and target.

    A proxy is useful when you’re browsing the web on a public WiFi. When a proxy is enabled, it will stop eavesdroppers on the same network from spying on your browsing activity or reading your transactions on unencrypted sites. It sounds harmless, but public WiFi networks can be like a backdoor for hackers.

  • These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 78

    The tab modal print UI work is still in full swing, and is aiming for Firefox 81.

  • Wladimir Palant: A grim outlook on the future of browser add-ons

    A few days ago Mozilla announced the release of their new Android browser. This release, dubbed “Firefox Daylight,” is supposed to achieve nothing less than to “revolutionize mobile browsing.”

    [...]

    What this text carefully avoids stating directly: that’s the only nine (as in: single-digit 9) add-ons which you will be able to install on Firefox for Android now. After being able to use thousands of add-ons before, this feels like a significant downgrade. Particularly given that there appears to be no technical reason why none of the other add-ons are allowed any more, it being merely a policy decision. I already verified that my add-ons can still run on Firefox for Android but aren’t allowed to, same should be true for the majority of other add-ons.

    [...]

    Before this release, Firefox was the only mobile browser to allow arbitrary add-ons. Chrome experimented with add-ons on mobile but never actually released this functionality. Safari implemented a halfhearted ad blocking interface, received much applause for it, but never made this feature truly useful or flexible. So it would seem that Firefox had a significant competitive advantage here. Why throw it away?

    Unfortunately, supporting add-ons comes at a considerable cost. It isn’t merely the cost of developing and maintaining the necessary functionality, there is also the performance and security impact of browser extensions. Mozilla has been struggling with this for a while. The initial solution was reviewing all extensions before publication. It was a costly process which also introduced delays, so by now all add-ons are published immediately but are still supposed to be reviewed manually eventually.

    Mozilla is currently facing challenges both in terms of market share and financially, the latter being linked to the former. This once again became obvious when Mozilla laid off a quarter of its workforce a few weeks ago. In the past, add-ons have done little to help Mozilla achieve a breakthrough on mobile, so costs being cut here isn’t much of a surprise. And properly reviewing nine extensions is certainly cheaper than keeping tabs on a thousand.

today's howtos

Filed under
HowTos

Debian Report From Current and Past DPL, Sparky Developers

Filed under
Debian

  • Chris Lamb: Free software activities in August 2020
  • Jonathan Carter: Free Software Activities for 2020-08
  •        

  • The metamorphosis of Loopy Loop

    Between 28 and 31 May this year, we set out to create our first ever online MiniDebConf for Debian. Many people have been meaning to do something similar for a long time, but it just didn’t work out yet. With many of us being in lock down due to COVID-19, and with the strong possibility looming that DebConf20 might have had to become an online event, we rushed towards organising the first ever Online MiniDebConf and put together some form of usable video stack for it.

    I could go into all kinds of details on the above, but this post is about a bug that lead to a pretty nifty feature for DebConf20. The tool that we use to capture Jitsi calls is called Jibri (Jitsi Broadcasting Infrustructure). It had a bug (well, bug for us, but it’s an upstream feature) where Jibri would hang up after 30s of complete silence, because it would assume that the call has ended and that the worker can be freed up again. This would result in the stream being ended at the end of every talk, so before the next talk, someone would have to remember to press play again in their media player or on the video player on the stream page. Hrmph.

  • Sparky news 2020/08

    The 8th monthly report of 2020 of the Sparky project:

    • Sparky 2020.08 of the rolling line released
    • Sparky 2020.08 Special Editions released
    • Linux kernel updated up to version 5.8.5 & 5.9-rc2
    • added to repos: Warpinator, Gmail Desktop, Joplin, Gis Weather

    There is an issue in the Advanced Installed which generates broken fstab in the latest rolling iso images, so all of them have to be updated. No problem if you installed Sparky using Calamares.

Puddletag Audio Tagger 2.0.1 Released with Python 3 Port

Filed under
Software

Puddletag audio tag editor 2.0.1 was released 2 days ago with official Python 3 and PyQt5 support.

Since Ubuntu 20.04 dropped Qt4 and old Python 2 libraries, Puddletag 1.2 as well was removed from Ubuntu universe repository.

The Python 3 & PyQt5 branch was started a few months ago by sandrotosi. Now it’s finally merged into Puddletag 2.0.1.

Read more

More in Tux Machines

Android Leftovers

Arm Officially Supports Panfrost Open-Source Mali GPU Driver Development

Most GPU drivers found in Arm processors are known to be closed-source making it difficult and time-consuming to fix some of the bugs since everybody needs to rely on the silicon vendor to fix those for them, and they may even decide a particular bug is not important to them, so you’d be out of luck. So the developer community has long tried to reverse-engineer GPU drivers with projects like Freedreno (Qualcomm Adreno), Etnaviv (Vivante), as well as Lima and Panfrost for Arm Mali GPUs. Several years ago, Arm management was not interested at all collaborating with open-source GPU driver development for Mali GPUs, but as noted by Phoronix, Alyssa Rosenzweig, a graphics software engineer employed by Collabora, explained Panfrost development was now done in partnership with Arm during a talk at the annual X.Org Developers’ Conference (XDC 2020). Read more

Open Up: Open Source Hardware — A Chat with Carl

From a broader lens, to produce “open source hardware” means that we have developed and shared the recipe to create a high-end commercial product that can be learned from, adapted, and used by anyone else. In the same way we’ve stood on the shoulders of the Linux and open source software giants who came before us, we now get to be pioneers in developing open source hardware for those who come next. If you want to learn more how a computer is designed or how something is made, our schematics are the instructions for how to do it. It describes every step of the process, from each piece of the machine and its dimensions, to the type of aluminum used and how to bend it. It’s similar to open source software in that you can learn from the product, adapt it to your needs, and distribute it. The difference is that it requires outside equipment to produce your own version. Open hardware has become more accessible with 3-D printing, but as we found when we were making acrylic prototypes of Thelio, you reach a point where it’s time to work with metal, which presents its own challenges. You have to cut it, bend it, and paint it, all of which requires specific equipment. Read more

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