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Monday, 19 Aug 19 - Tux Machines is a community-driven public service/news site which has been around for over a decade and primarily focuses on GNU/LinuxSubscribe now Syndicate content

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Quick Roundup

Type Title Author Repliessort icon Last Post
Story Linux Kernel Security is Lacking? srlinuxx 10/04/2005 - 11:42pm
Story Did SCO end up helping Linux? srlinuxx 10/04/2005 - 11:42pm
Story Night that the Lights went Out in TN srlinuxx 11/04/2005 - 12:46am
Story More Summit Notes srlinuxx 10/04/2005 - 11:43pm
Story New Slack is Out srlinuxx 11/04/2005 - 5:01pm
Story New O'Reilly Security Book Released srlinuxx 10/04/2005 - 11:53pm
Story 97 bugs found in MySQL srlinuxx 10/04/2005 - 11:54pm
Story Intel Has Been Busy Busy Busy srlinuxx 10/04/2005 - 11:54pm
Story On the Redmond Front srlinuxx 10/04/2005 - 11:55pm
Story M$ Continues its Attack srlinuxx 10/04/2005 - 11:56pm

POWER9 & ARM Performance Against Intel Xeon Cascadelake + AMD EPYC Rome

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks

For those wondering how ARM and IBM POWER hardware stack up against AMD's new EPYC "Rome" processors and that of Intel's existing Xeon "Cascade Lake" processors, here is a round of tests from the POWER9 Talos II, Ampere eMAG, and Cavium ThunderX in looking at the cross-architecture Linux CPU performance currently in the server space.

Our AMD EPYC Rome benchmarks this month have been focused on the performance compared to earlier AMD EPYC and Intel Xeon processors, but given the broader architecture support on Linux and there also being significant interest in the likes of IBM POWER / OpenPOWER thanks to more open-source designs when paired with motherboards from Raptor Computing Systems, here are some initial numbers for ARM and POWER9 performance against the new x86_64 server CPUs.

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Ubuntu MATE 18.04.3 LTS Released for GPD Pocket, Ubuntu MATE 19.04 for GPD WIN 2

Filed under
Ubuntu

Released earlier this month, Ubuntu MATE 18.04.3 LTS is the third instalment in the long-term supported Ubuntu MATE 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) operating system series, shipping with updated kernel and graphics stacks from the more recent Ubuntu MATE 19.04 (Disco Dingo) operating system, including Linux 5.0.

While until now users were able to download Ubuntu MATE 18.04.3 LTS for 64-bit and 32-bit computers, starting today the operating system is also available to download for SOFTWIN's GPD Pocket and GPD Pocket 2 gaming computers, as well as for the Topjoy Falcon mini laptop.

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Tails 4.0 Anonymous Linux OS Enters Beta Based on Debian GNU/Linux 10 "Buster"

Filed under
Security
Debian

Tails 4.0 recently entered beta testing and it's the first release to be based on the just released Debian GNU/Linux 10 "Buster" operating system series, which means that all the pre-installed packages have been updated to newer versions to support the latest hardware components, especially recent Nvidia and ATI/AMD graphics cards, as well as Mac computers.

Tails 4.0 also promises support for Thunderbolt 3 devices, which is now integrated into the latest GNOME 3 desktop environment, with which the upcoming major Tails release will ship by default. Users who own a Thunderbolt device are urged to test the implementation by navigating to Choose Devices > Thunderbolt from the GNOME Settings utility.

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Kdenlive 19.08 released

Filed under
KDE

After a well deserved summer break, the Kdenlive community is happy to announce the first major release after the code refactoring. This version comes with a big amount of fixes and nifty new features which will lay the groundwork for the 3 point editing system planned for this cycle. The Project Bin received improvements to the icon view mode and new features were added like the ability to seek while hovering over clips with the mouse cursor and now it is possible to add a whole folder hierarchy. On the usability front the a menu option was added to reset the Kdenlive config file and now you can search for effects from all tabs instead of only the selected tab. Head to our download page for AppImage and Windows packages.

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NetBSD Sees Its First Wayland Application Running

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
BSD

Wayland support is inching ahead on NetBSD for this secure, modern next-generation successor to running an X.Org Server.

NetBSD has seen a lot of interesting developments this year on the desktop front from DRM graphics driver improvements to better Wine support and now the first Wayland bits are proving successful on this BSD operating system.

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today's howtos and programming

Filed under
Development
HowTos

Games: Blood: Fresh Supply, Spacebase Startopia, wsPublish, Devader, Planetary Annihilation: TITANS, Warfork, Project 5: Sightseer and GOG

Filed under
Gaming
  • The situation with Blood: Fresh Supply getting a Linux version is looking a little unclear

    Blood: Fresh Supply is the revamp of the classic 90's first-person shooter Blood, released by Nightdive Studios in May this year.

    In the most recent update on Steam, the team mentioned "For future issues, we will have to recommend contacting Atari about them.". Their wording is interesting, which seems to indicate that Nightdive will not be making any further additions to Blood: Fresh Supply. Presumably then, this would mean the Linux version they previously confirmed back in May will not be happening either.

  • Spacebase Startopia is the next title from Realmforge and Kalypso Media, coming to Linux

    Set Phasers to fun sci-fi fans, as Realmforge (Dungeons 3) and Kalypso Media just announced Spacebase Startopia and it's confirmed to be supporting Linux.

    From the press release sent over by Kalypso Media, they confirmed it's "an all-new take on the 2001 cult classic" Startopia from Mucky Foot Productions.

  • wsPublish, an open source Steam Workshop Interop Library released

    How about a little open source news to get your Monday flowing? Game porter Ethan Lee recently announced the release of wsPublish, an open source Steam Workshop Interop Library with a little history.

  • Incredibly stylish twin-stick shooter Devader is launching next month

    With some really wild enemy designs and action that just don't stop, Devader is a damn fun game and it's releasing officially next month.

  • Planetary Annihilation: TITANS still seeing updates, Mesa issues on Linux being looked into

    Celebrating one year since Planetary Annihilation Inc took over development of Planetary Annihilation: TITANS from Uber Entertainment, the team have given an update.

    The post goes over what they've been able to achieve and it is quite impressive. Before Planetary Annihilation Inc appeared, it did seem like the game was left on life support so they've given it a big boost. A fair amount of Planetary Annihilation: TITANS was getting old, so their first point of action was to upgrade the underlying tech to be more modern. Along with that they also upgraded the AI, put a fair amount of effort into their servers to improve performance, gave it more multi-threading and so on.

  • Based on the classic FPS Warsow, the new Warfork is now live in Early Access

    Fast-paced arena shooter Warsow has been forked, updated under the name of Warfork and it's now in Early Access on Steam.

    If you're curious why they forked it and put it on Steam, according to the team behind Warfork the owner of Warsow is apparently opposed to a Steam release (see the additional notes below on that). Not just that, but until recently Warsow saw very little in the way of updates and seemed a bit dead overall. In addition, the developers of Warfork are planning lots of work to make Warfork more easily adjusted with mods.

  • Open-world vehicle-based survival game Project 5: Sightseer has been officially released

    Set on a huge procedurally generated world, Project 5: Sightseer from the developer of Windward is a sandbox open-world survival game where you pilot various vehicles.

    Instead of running around as person like in other survival sims, Project 5: Sightseer is more about technology. Starting you off in a rather crap land vehicle, you eventually build up an outpost and research much better transportation including those that enable you to fly vast distances easily.

  • GOG are celebrating their Community Wishlist feature with a big sale

    The DRM-free store GOG are currently doing a bit of patting themselves on the back with a sale celebrating their Community Wishlist feature.

    Allowing gamers to suggest, discuss and vote on games they want to see come to GOG it's a pretty fun feature for a curated store to have. GOG say they have completed "over 2 million wishes" and they have "no plans on slowing down" with it. They of course can't fulfil every wish, but it's a good way for them to see what classics people want revived.

today's leftovers

Filed under
Misc
  • Warfork Letting Warsow Live On Under Steam

    Going back a decade one of the interesting open-source FPS games of its time was Warsow. Development on Warsow has seemingly been tremulous over the past few years (edit: though the core developer has recently released a new beta) for this Qfusion (Quake 2 code base) engine powered game that started in 2005, but now there is Warfork as a fork of Warsow that is being developed and also available via Steam. 

    Hitting Steam this past week was the release of Warfork for Windows, macOS, and Linux. The game is free to play and with it going up on Steam will hopefully attract new gamers to this shooter title who may not be otherwise following the open-source scene. 

  • KDE sprints in summer heat

    It was great to see many new faces at the Plasma sprint. Most of these new contributors were working on the Plasma and KDE Apps Ui and Ux and we definitely need some new blood in these areas. KDE's Visual Design Group, the VDG, thinned out over the last two years because some leading figures left. But now seeing new talented and motivated people joining as designers and Ux experts I am optimistic that there will be a revival of the golden time of the VDG that brought us Breeze and Plasma 5.

    In regards to technical topics there is always a wide field of different challenges and technologies to combine at a Plasma sprint. From my side I wanted to discuss current topics in KWin but of course not everyone at the sprint is directly working on KWin and some topics require deeper technical knowledge about it. Still there were some fruitful discussions, of course in particular with David, who was the second KWin core contributor present besides me.

    As a direct product of the sprint my work on dma-buf support in KWin and KWayland can be counted. I started work on that at the sprint mostly because it was a feature requested already for quite a long time by Plasma Mobile developers who need it on some of their devices to get them to work. But this should in general improve in our Wayland session the performance and energy consumption on many devices. Like always such larger features need time so I was not able to finish them at the sprint. But last week I landed them.

  • My Free Software Activities in July 2019

    Welcome to gambaru.de. Here is my monthly report that covers what I have been doing for Debian. If you’re interested in Java, Games and LTS topics, this might be interesting for you.

Proprietary Traps and Failures

Filed under
Software
  • U.S. Customs System Back Online ... After Massive Failure

                       

                         

    It appears the entire computer system for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection has failed.  

  •                  

  • Arkansas School Safety Efforts Aided by Mobile App [iophk: fraud, waste, abuse]

                       

                         

    Geofencing is the use of GPS or radio-frequency identification technology to create a virtual geographic boundary, enabling software to trigger a response when a mobile device enters or leaves a particular area or, in the case of the Rave Panic Button app, to pinpoint a caller's exact location through a virtual map of the campus.
     

                         

    "When there is an incident on campus and (the authorized user) activates one of the five panic buttons," French said, "it immediately sends a text, email, and an in-app notification providing situational awareness to all the other staff members on campus. It then provides a direct dial into the 911 dispatch center."

  • Skype Snap Gets First Update in 6 Months, Plus a New Icon

    The popular VoIP sat unloved, with no stable updates, for six whole months.

    Fast forward a few weeks from calling them out and I’m pleased to report that whatever blockage was lodged in the build machine pipe-work has been well and truly flushed out.

    Not only is the Skype Snap app once again up to date on the Snapcraft store — hurrah! — but some freshly prepared ‘insider’ builds are available for the more adventurous to play with — double hurrah!

today's howtos and programming bits

Filed under
Development
HowTos

Security: Open Source Security Podcast, Screwed Drivers, and Voting Machines

Filed under
Security
  • Open Source Security Podcast: Episode 157 - Backdoors and snake oil in our cryptography

    Josh and Kurt talk about snakeoil cryptography at Black Hat and the new backdoored cryptography fight. Both of these problems will be with us for a very long time. These are fights worth fighting because it's the right thing to do.

  • Screwed Drivers – Signed, Sealed, Delivered

    Our analysis found that the problem of insecure drivers is widespread, affecting more than 40 drivers from at least 20 different vendors – including every major BIOS vendor, as well as hardware vendors like ASUS, Toshiba, NVIDIA, and Huawei. However, the widespread nature of these vulnerabilities highlights a more fundamental issue – all the vulnerable drivers we discovered have been certified by Microsoft. Since the presence of a vulnerable driver on a device can provide a user (or attacker) with improperly elevated privileges, we have engaged Microsoft to support solutions to better protect against this class of vulnerabilities, such as blacklisting known bad drivers.

  • Most states still aren’t set to audit paper ballots in 2020

    Despite some progress on voting security since 2016, most states in the US aren’t set to require an audit of paper ballots in the November 2020 election, according to a new report out this week from the Brennan Center for Justice.

    The report notes that experts and government officials have spent years recommending states adopt verifiable paper ballots for elections, but a handful still use electronic methods potentially vulnerable to cyberattacks. In 2016, 14 states used paperless machines, although the number today is 11, and the report estimates that no more than eight will use them in the 2020 election.

Linux Candy: WallGen – image generator tool

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Software

Who loves eye candy? Don’t be shy — you can raise both hands!!

Linux Candy is a new series of articles covering interesting eye candy software. We’re only going to feature open-source software in this series.

I’m not going to harp on about the tired proverb “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. But there’s a certain element of truth here. If you spend all day coding neural networks, mastering a new programming language, sit in meetings feeling bored witless, you’ll need some relief at the end of the day. And what better way by making your desktop environment a bit more memorable.

Let’s start our candy adventure with WallGen. It’s a small command-line utility that generates HQ poly wallpapers with only a few text arguments for inputs. Depending on these arguments, you can create shape-based patterns, randomly filled surfaces, and even image-based patterns.

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Richard Brown: Changing of the Guard

Filed under
SUSE

After six years on the openSUSE Board and five as its Chairperson, I have decided to step down as Chair of the openSUSE Board effective today, August 19.

This has been a very difficult decision for me to make, with reasons that are diverse, interlinked, and personal. Some of the key factors that led me to make this step include the time required to do the job properly, and the length of time I’ve served. Five years is more than twice as long as any of my predecessors. The time required to do the role properly has increased and I now find it impossible to balance the demands of the role with the requirements of my primary role as a developer in SUSE, and with what I wish to achieve outside of work and community. As difficult as it is to step back from something I’ve enjoyed doing for so long, I am looking forward to achieving a better balance between work, community, and life in general.

Serving as member and chair of the openSUSE Board has been an absolute pleasure and highly rewarding. Meeting and communicating with members of the project as well as championing the cause of openSUSE has been a joyous part of my life that I know I will miss going forward.

openSUSE won’t get rid of me entirely. While I do intend to step back from any governance topics, I will still be working at SUSE in the Future Technology Team. Following SUSE’s Open Source policy, we do a lot in openSUSE. I am especially looking forward to being able to focus on Kubic & MicroOS much more than I have been lately.

As I’m sure it’s likely to be a question, I wish to make it crystal clear that my decision has nothing to do with the Board’s ongoing efforts to form an independent openSUSE Foundation.

The Board’s decision to form a Foundation had my complete backing as Chairperson, and will continue to have as a regular openSUSE contributor. I have absolute confidence in the openSUSE Board; Indeed, I don’t think I would be able to make this decision at this time if I wasn’t certain that I was leaving openSUSE in good hands.

On that note, SUSE has appointed Gerald Pfeifer as my replacement as Chair. Gerald is SUSE’s EMEA-based CTO, with a long history as a Tumbleweed user, an active openSUSE Member, and upstream contributor/maintainer in projects like GCC and Wine.

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An introduction to bpftrace for Linux

Filed under
Linux

Bpftrace is a new open source tracer for Linux for analyzing production performance problems and troubleshooting software. Its users and contributors include Netflix, Facebook, Red Hat, Shopify, and others, and it was created by Alastair Robertson, a talented UK-based developer who has won various coding competitions.

Linux already has many performance tools, but they are often counter-based and have limited visibility. For example, iostat(1) or a monitoring agent may tell you your average disk latency, but not the distribution of this latency. Distributions can reveal multiple modes or outliers, either of which may be the real cause of your performance problems. Bpftrace is suited for this kind of analysis: decomposing metrics into distributions or per-event logs and creating new metrics for visibility into blind spots.

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Fedora and Red Hat: New F30 Builds, Flock Report, Servers and Package Management Domain Model

Filed under
Red Hat
Server
  • Ben Williams: F30-20190818 updated isos released.

    The Fedora Respins SIG is pleased to announce the latest release of Updated F30-20190816 Live ISOs, carrying the 5.2.8-200 kernel.

    This set of updated isos will save considerable amounts of updates after install. ((for new installs.)(New installs of Workstation have 1.2GB of updates)).

    A huge thank you goes out to irc nicks dowdle, satellite,Southern-Gentlem for testing these iso.

  • Flock to Fedora 2019 Conference report

    Last week I attended “Flock to Fedora” conference in Budapest, Hungary. It was a Fedora contributors conference where I met some developers, project leaders, GSoC interns. Below is a brief report of my attendance.

  • What salary can a sysadmin expect to earn?

    The path to reliable salary data sometimes is sometimes paved with frustration. That’s because the honest answer to a reasonable question—what should I be paid for this job?—is usually: "It depends."

    Location, experience, skill set, industry, and other factors all impact someone’s actual compensation. For example, there’s rarely a single, agreed-upon salary for a particular job title or role.

    All of the above applies to system administrators. It’s a common, long-established IT job that spans many industries, company sizes, and other variables. While sysadmins may share some common fundamentals, it’s certainly not a one-size-fits-all position, and it’s all the truer as some sysadmin roles evolve to take on cloud, DevOps, and other responsibilities.

    What salary can you expect to earn as a sysadmin? Yeah, it depends. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t get a clear picture of what sysadmin compensation looks like, including specific numbers. This is information worth having handy if you’re a sysadmin on the job market or seeking a promotion.

    Let’s start with some good news from a compensation standpoint. Sysadmins—like other IT pros these days—are in demand.

    "In today’s business environment, companies are innovating and moving faster than ever before, and they need systems that can keep up with the pace of their projects and communications, as well as help everything run smoothly," says Robert Sutton, district president for the recruiting firm Robert Half Technology. "That’s why systems administrators are among the IT professionals who can expect to see a growing salary over the next year or so."

  • Run Mixed IT Efficiently, The Adient – SUSE Way.

    When you have multiple distributions, such as Red Hat and SUSE, you can reduce administration complexity and save administration time and resources with a common management tool. Adient had applications running on both SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Adient deployed SUSE Manager to manage their Mixed IT environment involving both distributions.

  • Package Management Domain Model

    When I wrote this model, we were trying to unify a few different sorts of packages. Coming from SpaceWalk, part of the team was used to wokring on RPMS with the RPM Database for storage, and Yum as the mechanism for fetching them. The other part of the team was coming from the JBoss side, working with JAR, WAR, EAR and associated files, and the Ivy or Maven building and fetching the files.

    We were working within the context of the Red Hat Network (as it was then called) for delivering content to subscribers. Thus, we had the concept of Errata, Channels, and Entitlements which are somewhat different from what other organizations call these things, but the concepts should be general enough to cover a range of systems.

    There are many gaps in this diagram. It does not discuss the building of packages, nor the relationship between source and binary packages. It also does not provide a way to distinguish between the package storage system and the package fetch mechanism.

    But the bones are solid. I’ve used this diagram for a few years, and it is useful.

Review: AcademiX GNU/Linux 2.2

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Reviews

What sets AcademiX apart from other distributions is the EDU software manager. This package manager provides curated lists of educational software, which are grouped by subject and by age range. This package manager makes finding educational software really easy. There is software for astronomy, biology, geography, foreign languages, and many other subjects. While there are gaps in the availability of applications covering various subjects, that is a gap in the broader open source application ecosystem, not something specific to AcademiX. While some of the rough edges I noted with the installation process and the desktop customization make me a hesitant to recommend AcademiX to new Linux users, Educational Technology professionals should perhaps try out AcademiX just to use the EDU package manager to explore various open source applications.

While installing and updating software was easy and basically the same experience as any other modern, Debian-based distribution, the fact that some of the packages come from servers in Romania means that some package downloads can be much slower than downloading from the world-wide network of Debian mirrors. For individual packages and small collections of packages this is not too noticeable, but it is still an issue. The frustrating part is the fact that the speeds are not consistent. Sometimes I was downloading at only 40kbps, but other times it was much faster. I experienced the same issue when trying to download the ISO. One download took about 20 minutes for the 1.7GB image but some other attempts took 4 hours.

Final thoughts

AcademiX GNU/Linux is an interesting distribution, but it has some rough edges that need to be cleaned up. Honestly, I really, really wanted to like this distribution (good distributions aimed at the educational market are always needed), but found it to be merely okay. AcademiX has a lot of potential, but it is just not there yet. DebianEdu/Skolelinux is far more polished while serving almost the exact same niche. However, if the AcademiX team cleans up some of the issues I noted above, especially the installer issues, I think future versions of AcademiX might turn out to be worthwhile. The EDU software installer is well organized and aids in discovering educational software, so that is one solid advantage AcademiX offers, but overall the distribution needs more work and polish before I could move it from "this distribution is okay" to "you should give this distribution a try".

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Security: ECB, Bluetooth and AppArmor Crash Course

Filed under
Security
  • ECB server hacked – Data disclosure of the European Central Bank – Bank hacks from Mexico to Bangladesh

    The Europeans probably do not even know about „what is going on“ and according to ex finance minister of Greece – finance ministers do not have a lot to say in the ECB – the IMF has – there are no recordings of the meetings of „The Eurogroup“ – so transparency over decision making processes is rather bad.

    After all just like the (more or less ideal) „big brother“ the FED it is not under direct democratic influence – does what it wants – every word the FED CEO says is analyzed and influences financial market decisions.

    „One of the sites of the European Central Bank (ECB) has been hacked. The attackers gained access to sensitive users ‚ information, however, the internal system of the Bank has not been compromised.

  • Specification vulnerability in devices that speak Bluetooth is addressed

    The discovery of a flaw in Bluetooth specification that could enable an attack to spy on your information made news this week; the attacker could be able to weaken the encryption of Bluetooth devices and snoop on communications or send falsified ones to take over a device, said The Verge.

  • FrOSCon 2019 - openSUSE booth & AppArmor Crash Course

    Last weekend, I was at FrOSCon - a great Open Source conference in Sankt Augustin, Germany. We (Sarah, Marcel and Sleepy ran the openSUSE booth, answered lots of questions about openSUSE and gave the visitors some goodies - serious and funny (hi OBS team!) stickers, openSUSE hats, backpacks and magazines featuring openSUSE Leap. We also had a big plush geeko, but instead of doing a boring raffle, we played openSUSE Jeopardy where the candidates had to ask the right questions about Linux and openSUSE for the answers I provided.

Manjaro 18.0.4 Illyria Xfce review - Nice but somewhat crude

Filed under
Reviews

Overall, Manjaro 18.0.4 Illyria Xfce is a decent distro. It has lots of good and unique points. Network, media and phone support is good. You get a colorful repertoire of high-quality programs, the performance and battery life are excellent, and the desktop is fairly pretty. The system was also quite robust and stable.

But then, there were issues - including inconsistent behavior compared to the Plasma crop. The installation can be a bit friendlier (as Plasma one does). The package management remains the Achilles' Heel of this distro. Having too many frontends is confusing, and none of them do a great job. The messages on dependencies, the need for AUR (if you want fancy stuff), and such all create unnecessary confusing. There were also tons of visual papercuts, and I struggled getting things in order. All in all, Manjaro is getting better all the time, but it is still too geeky for the common person, as it breaks the fourth wall of nerdiness too often. 7/10, and I hope it can sort itself out and continue to deliver the unique, fun stuff that gets sidelined by the rough edges.

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Android Leftovers

KMyMoney 5.0.6 released

The KMyMoney development team today announces the immediate availability of version 5.0.6 of its open source Personal Finance Manager. Another maintenance release is ready: KMyMoney 5.0.6 comes with some important bugfixes. As usual, problems have been reported by our users and the development team fixed some of them in the meantime. The result of this effort is the brand new KMyMoney 5.0.6 release. Despite even more testing we understand that some bugs may have slipped past our best efforts. If you find one of them, please forgive us, and be sure to report it, either to the mailing list or on bugs.kde.org. Read more

Games: Don't Starve Together, Cthulhu Saves the World, EVERSPACE 2 and Stadia

  • Don't Starve Together has a big free update adding in boats and a strange island

    Klei Entertainment have given the gift of new features to their co-op survival game Don't Starve Together, with the Turn of Tides update now available. Taking a little inspiration from the Shipwrecked DLC available for the single-player version Don't Starve, this new free update enables you to build a boat to carry you and other survivors across the sea. Turn of Tides is the first part of a larger update chain they're calling Return of Them, so I'm excited to see what else is going to come to DST.

  • Cthulhu Saves the World has an unofficial Linux port available

    In response to an announcement to a sequel to Cthulhu Saves the World, Ethan Lee AKA flibitijibibo has made a unofficial port for the original and a few other previously Windows-only games. As a quick reminder FNA is a reimplementation of the proprietary XNA API created by Micrsosoft and quite a few games were made with that technology. We’ve gotten several ports thanks to FNA over the years though Ethan himself has mostly moved on to other projects like working on FAudio and Steam Play.

  • EVERSPACE 2 announced, with more of a focus on exploration and it will release for Linux

    EVERSPACE is probably one of my absolute favourite space shooters from the last few years, so I'm extremely excited to see EVERSPACE 2 be announced and confirmed for Linux. For the Linux confirmation, I reached out on Twitter where the developer replied with "#Linux support scheduled for full release in 2021!".

  • Google reveal more games with the latest Stadia Connect, including Cyberpunk 2077

    Today, Google went back to YouTube to show off an impressive list of games coming to their Stadia game streaming service, which we already know is powered by Debian Linux and Vulkan. As a reminder, Google said not to see Stadia as if it was the "Netflix of games", as it's clearly not. Stadia Base requires you to buy all your games as normal, with Stadia Pro ($9.99 monthly) giving you a trickle of free games to access on top of 4K and surround sound support.

Programming: WebAssembly, Mozilla GFX, Qt and Python

  • WebAssembly for speed and code reuse

    Imagine translating a non-web application, written in a high-level language, into a binary module ready for the web. This translation could be done without any change whatsoever to the non-web application's source code. A browser can download the newly translated module efficiently and execute the module in the sandbox. The executing web module can interact seamlessly with other web technologies—with JavaScript (JS) in particular. Welcome to WebAssembly. As befits a language with assembly in the name, WebAssembly is low-level. But this low-level character encourages optimization: the just-in-time (JIT) compiler of the browser's virtual machine can translate portable WebAssembly code into fast, platform-specific machine code. A WebAssembly module thereby becomes an executable suited for compute-bound tasks such as number crunching. Which high-level languages compile into WebAssembly? The list is growing, but the original candidates were C, C++, and Rust. Let's call these three the systems languages, as they are meant for systems programming and high-performance applications programming. The systems languages share two features that suit them for compilation into WebAssembly. The next section gets into the details, which sets up full code examples (in C and TypeScript) together with samples from WebAssembly's own text format language.

  • Mozilla GFX: moz://gfx newsletter #47

    Hi there! Time for another mozilla graphics newsletter. In the comments section of the previous newsletter, Michael asked about the relation between WebRender and WebGL, I’ll try give a short answer here. Both WebRender and WebGL need access to the GPU to do their work. At the moment both of them use the OpenGL API, either directly or through ANGLE which emulates OpenGL on top of D3D11. They, however, each work with their own OpenGL context. Frames produced with WebGL are sent to WebRender as texture handles. WebRender, at the API level, has a single entry point for images, video frames, canvases, in short for every grid of pixels in some flavor of RGB format, be them CPU-side buffers or already in GPU memory as is normally the case for WebGL. In order to share textures between separate OpenGL contexts we rely on platform-specific APIs such as EGLImage and DXGI. Beyond that there isn’t any fancy interaction between WebGL and WebRender. The latter sees the former as a image producer just like 2D canvases, video decoders and plain static images.

  • The Titler Revamp: QML Producer in the making

    At the beginning of this month, I started testing out the new producer as I had a good, rough structure for the producer code, and was only facing a few minor problems. Initially, I was unclear about how exactly the producer is going to be used by the titler so I took a small step back and spent some time figuring out how kdenlivetitle worked, which is the producer in use. Initially, I faced integration problems (which are the ones you’d normally expect) when I tried to make use of the QmlRenderer library for rendering and loading QML templates – and most of them were resolved by a simple refactoring of the QmlRenderer library source code. To give an example, the producer traditionally stores the QML template in global variables which is taken as a character pointer argument (which is, again, traditional C) The QmlRenderer lib takes a QUrl as its parameters for loading the Qml file, so to solve this problem all I had to do was to overload the loadQml() method with one which could accommodate the producer’s needs – which worked perfectly fine. As a consequence, I also had to compartmentalise (further) the rendering process so now we have 3 methods which go sequentially when we want to render something using the library ( initialiseRenderParams( ) -> prepareRenderer( ) -> renderQml( ) ) [...] The problem was resolved (thank you JB) finally and it was not due to OpenGL but it was simply because I hadn’t created an QApplication for the producer (which is necessary for qt producers). The whole month’s been a steep curve, definitely not easy, but, I enjoyed it! Right now, I have a producer which is, now, almost complete and with a little more tweaking, will be put to use, hopefully. I’m still facing a few minor issues which I hope to resolve soon and get a working producer. Once we get that, I can start work on the Kdenlive side. Let’s hope for the best!

  • How to Make a Discord Bot in Python

    In a world where video games are so important to so many people, communication and community around games are vital. Discord offers both of those and more in one well-designed package. In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to make a Discord bot in Python so that you can make the most of this fantastic platform.

  • Qt Visual Studio Tools 2.4 RC Released

    The Visual Studio Project System is widely used as the build system of choice for C++ projects in VS. Under the hood, MSBuild provides the project file format and build framework. The Qt VS Tools make use of the extensibility of MSBuild to provide design-time and build-time integration of Qt in VS projects — toward the end of the post we have a closer look at how that integration works and what changed in the new release. Up to this point, the Qt VS Tools extension managed its own project settings in an isolated manner. This approach prevented the integration of Qt in Visual Studio to fully benefit from the features of VS projects and MSBuild. Significantly, it was not possible to have Qt settings vary according to the build configuration (e.g. having a different list of selected Qt modules for different configurations), including Qt itself: only one version/build of Qt could be selected and would apply to all configurations, a significant drawback in the case of multi-platform projects. Another important limitation that users of the Qt VS Tools have reported is the lack of support for importing Qt-related settings from shared property sheet files. This feature allows settings in VS projects to be shared within a team or organization, thus providing a single source for that information. Up to now, this was not possible to do with settings managed by the Qt VS Tools.