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Ubuntu

Ubuntu 21.04 Is The "Hirsute Hippo", Releasing On 22 April

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Ubuntu

Following last week's Ubuntu 20.10 "Groovy Gorilla" release, Ubuntu 21.04 development is now getting underway as the Hirsute Hippo.

Succeeding the "GG" series is Ubuntu 21.04 the Hirsute (Hairy) Hippo in following their usual naming convention. This is now the third time of Ubuntu seeing a "HH" release following the Ubuntu 5.04 Hoary Hedgehog and Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron releases.

The release schedule for Ubuntu 21.04 puts the official release on 22 April, the beta on 1 April, and the feature freeze on 25 February as the prominent dates of the cycle.

The Ubuntu 21.04 toolchain upload is beginning tomorrow and expect more Debian changes to begin flowing into the Ubuntu Hirsute archive shortly. Hirsute uploads can be monitored via Launchpad.

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Also: Ubuntu 21.04 gets the codename ‘Hirsute Hippo'

The Ubuntu 21.04 Codename Revealed — It’s Hairy ‘n Huge!

And We’re Off: Ubuntu 21.04 Development Begins

Snap speed improvements with new compression algorithm!

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Ubuntu

Security and performance are often mutually exclusive concepts. A great user experience is one that manages to blend the two in a way that does not compromise on robust, solid foundations of security on one hand, and a fast, responsive software interaction on the other.

Snaps are self-contained applications, with layered security, and as a result, sometimes, they may have reduced perceived performance compared to those same applications offered via traditional Linux packaging mechanisms. We are well aware of this phenomenon, and we have invested significant effort and time in resolving any speed gaps, while keeping security in mind. Last year, we talked about improved snap startup times following fontconfig cache optimization. Now, we want to tell you about another major milestone – the use of a new compression algorithm for snaps offers 2-3x improvement in application startup times!

LZO and XZ algorithms

By default, snaps are packaged as a compressed, read-only squashfs filesystem using the XZ algorithm. This results in a high level of compression but consequently requires more processing power to uncompress and expand the filesystem for use. On the desktops, users may perceive this as a “slowness” – the time it takes for the application to launch. This is also far more noticeable on first launch only, before the application data is cached in memory. Subsequent launches are fast and typically, there’s little to no difference compared to traditionally packaged applications.

To improve startup times, we decided to test a different algorithm – LZO – which offers lesser compression, but needs less processing power to complete the action.

As a test case, we chose the Chromium browser (stable build, 85.X). We believe this is a highly representative case, for several reasons. One, the browser is a ubiquitous (and popular) application, with frequent usage, so any potential slowness is likely to be noticeable. Two, Chromium is a relatively large and complex application. Three, it is not part of any specific Linux desktop environment, which makes the testing independent and accurate.

For comparison, the XZ-compressed snap weighs ~150 MB, whereas the one using the LZO compression is ~250 MB in size.

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today's leftovers

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OSS
Ubuntu
  • Ubuntu Fridge | Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 654

    Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 654 for the week of October 18 – 24, 2020. The full version of this issue is available here.

  • Apache HTTP Server

    The Apache HTTP server (or simply Apache) was launched in 1995 as an outgrowth of a public domain httpd project from the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA). According to the Apache website, development of that project stalled, so a group of webmasters got together to coordinate their own changes, extensions, and bug fixes in the form of patches. These developers, including Brian Behlendorf, Cliff Skolnick, and others, formed the basis of the original Apache Group, which in turn became The Apache Software Foundation.

    After launch, Apache quickly became the most popular web server on the Internet. The project is now developed and maintained, along with hundreds of other projects, by The Apache Software Foundation and is released under the terms of Apache License 2.0.

  • 8 Great Free Photo And Video Editing Software To Use For Beginners

    Blender

    On Linux, Ios, and PCs, Blender is another one of the most outstanding free video editing applications on the marketplace today. Blender is a fully free-to-use open-source platform. Blender was developed as a 3D animation kit, but it comes with a very convenient video editor.

    The video editor for Blender is an appropriate one for much of your video needs. This editor requires simple acts such as video cutting and sequencing to be done. It also helps you to do more difficult tasks, such as camera masking. This software makes it a compelling video editing that caters to beginners as well as experienced users.

    Shotcut

    Shotcut is completely an open-source software, like Blender. This platform suggests that you get linked to all the software without paying the update after installing it. This film editor provides a wide variety of file formats, and there is an excellent selection of instructional videos.

    Although this video editing app has excellent functionality, the interface can seem a little funky to some people. Initially, the platform Linux designed this application, and it sure reflects that. But, it is still a value video editor underneath the covers.

    [...]

    Openshot

    Openshot is a fully open-source, which renders it one of the most available tools for video editing. It’s simple to use drag and drop design and remind some Mac users a little more of iMovie.

    Openshot, though, contains more functionality, including infinite textures and audio mixing, than iMovie. This free editor achieves a good compromise among sophisticated functionality and a primary interface. When you build switches between scenes, it also enables real-time displays.

    GIMP

    GIMP is a popular picture editing app, shortened for GNU Image Processing Program, which features highly advanced and efficient tools. It is not for the faint-hearted or for those who do not understand much about pictures’ processing.

    Due to its software and functionality, it has been widely touted as a better Photoshop substitute. It contains the same resources for editing, blending, paints, text, and more. You can use presets and plugins in an instant, as well, but there is no cataloging feature.

  • Making the Business Case for Contributing to Open Source
  • Sending logs from syslog-ng to Grafana Loki - Blog - syslog-ng Community - syslog-ng Community

    Loki is one of the latest applications that lets you aggregate and query log messages, and of course to visualize logs using Grafana. It does not index the contents of log messages, only the labels associated with logs. This way, processing and storing log messages requires less resources, making Loki more cost-effective. Promtail, the log collector component of Loki, can collect log messages using the new, RFC5424 syslog protocol. This is where syslog-ng can send its log messages.

    From this blog, you can learn a minimal Loki & Promtail setup. We will send logs from syslog-ng, and as a first step, will check them with logcli, a command line utility for Loki. Once it works, we will also install Grafana in a container and query Loki from there.

Ubuntu 21.04 Is Slated for Release on April 22, 2021

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Ubuntu

Following the Ubuntu 20.10 (Groovy Gorilla) release, there will be Ubuntu 21.04, whose codename will start with the word “Hirsute” followed by an animal name, which will probably be voted by the community soon. If you want to give the Ubuntu developers some suggestions on the H animal, check out this Ubuntu Discourse topic.

Until the codename is decided, development on Ubuntu 21.04 will kick off later this week on October 29th with the toolchain upload, based, of course, on the current release, Ubuntu 20.10. And, as its version number suggests, the final release will be expected in April (04) 2021.

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Announcing the new Ubuntu Community Council

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Ubuntu

Thanks to all the Ubuntu Members that voted in the election, I am proud to announce our new Ubuntu Community Council!

The full results of the election can be seen here but our winners are:

Walter Lapchynski
Lina Elizabeth Porras Santana
Thomas Ward
José Antonio Rey
Nathan Haines
Torsten Franz
Erich Eichmeyer

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Does the Snap Store Use Too Much Memory?

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Ubuntu

This week I noticed that the Snap Store app on my Ubuntu 20.10 laptop uses a tonne of memory, even when it’s not running — we’re talking more memory than the main GNOME Shell process uses, and that is always running!

Naturally I assumed something in my config was to blame. I do make heavy use of Snap apps — don’t worry I use plenty of Flatpak and PPAs too. I’m pretty polyamorous when it comes to packaging formats and I did install using an Ubuntu 20.10 daily build.

Therein lay bugs. I know the caveats. All good. Don’t mind. Whatever.

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Ubuntu 20.10 Based Flavors Now Available, Download Now

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Ubuntu

The seven official flavors of Ubuntu 20.10 are now available with the latest builds and .iso images and ready for you - Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Xubuntu, Ubuntu Budgie, Ubuntu Kylin, Ubuntu MATE, and Ubuntu Studio - 20.10.
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How to Upgrade Ubuntu 20.04 to 20.10 (Focal Fossa to Groovy Gorilla)

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Ubuntu

Ubuntu 20.10 is available to download now. Here are the steps on how to upgrade your current Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa to Ubuntu 20.10 Groovy Gorilla.
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Ubuntu: OpenStack in Ubuntu, AfricaCom and Full Disk Encryption

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Ubuntu
  • OpenStack Victoria for Ubuntu 20.10 and Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

    The Ubuntu OpenStack team at Canonical is pleased to announce the general availability of OpenStack Victoria on Ubuntu 20.10 (Groovy Gorilla) and Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa) via the Ubuntu Cloud Archive.

  • Canonical & Ubuntu Join AfricaCom Virtual 2020

    This year, AfricaCom becomes a virtual event as part of the new Virtual Africa Tech Festival – the largest and most influential tech and telecoms event on the continent. Canonical and Ubuntu will be joining as a Lead Stream Sponsor, introducing the Digital Infrastructure Investment stream of sessions and exhibits with a speaker session by Mark Shuttleworth – Canonical’s founder and CEO.

  • Full Disk Encryption, without LVM, by default - Call for comments

    Historically Desktop / Server, only configured LUKS full disk encryption with an LVM layer. Thus ones root ext4 filesystem was an LVM volume, on an VG group, on LUKS, on a GPT partition.

    The upcoming Ubuntu Core 20 has full disk encryption with TPM support. In that configuration ext4 filesystem is created directly on the LUKS volume which is directly on a GPT partitition.

    For the upcoming HH 21.04 release, I want to change Desktop/Server, to also install in a similar fashion. Specifically such that by default, we simply use ext4+LUKS without LVM.

    It seems to me that despite having LVM layer, it’s not actually used or appreciated much.

    Would you be ok with having full-disk encryption without LVM by default?

  • Ubuntu 21.04 Installer Might Allow EXT4 Encryption Without LVM - Phoronix

    An early proposal by Ubuntu/Canonical developer Dimitri John Ledkov is proposing full disk encryption by default without LVM. With Ubuntu Core 20 there is going to be support for TPM-backed full disk encryption created directly on the LUKS volume and in turn directly on a GPT partition without LVM. For Ubuntu 21.04, the developers are looking at changing the Ubuntu desktop/server installers to potentially allow similar EXT4 encryption directly atop LUKS without LVM.

Ubuntu Touch: What It Is and Why It Is Awesome

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Ubuntu

Ubuntu, a popular open-source operating system (OS), has garnered a huge community around it. The OS has been around for quite some time and has gone through numerous changes and updates. Since Ubuntu has a Linux kernel at its core, it adheres to the same philosophy as Linux. For example, everything needs to be free, with open-source availability. Thus, it is extremely secure and reliable. Furthermore, it is well-known for its stability, and it is improved with each update.

Ubuntu combines the fantastic .deb Debian package with an exceptionally stable desktop environment to produce a system that works fantastically well. In addition, because it has one of the largest communities, developers usually produce Linux-based software for Ubuntu first to cater to the large community.

[...]

Since Ubuntu Touch is built upon Ubuntu, it uses the same color scheme as and a similar layout to Ubuntu Desktop. Unlike Android and iOS, Ubuntu Touch does not make much use of buttons; the only two buttons it uses are the power button and the volume button. Furthermore, Ubuntu Touch does not have a centralized home location to return to after clicking the home button and instead uses an applications launcher, which stores all the installed application

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Kernel: XFS and WiMAX in Linux

  • Prepare To Re-Format If You Are Using An Older XFS Filesystem - LinuxReviews

    Linux 5.10 brings several new features to the XFS filesystem. It solves the year 2038 problem, it supports metadata checksumming and it has better metadata verification. There's also a new configuration option: CONFIG_XFS_SUPPORT_V4. Older XFS filesystems using the v4 layout are now deprecated and there is no upgrade path beyond "backup and re-format". The Linux kernel will support older XFS v4 filesystems by default until 2025 and optional support will remain available until 2030. A new CONFIG_XFS_SUPPORT_V4 option in Linux 5.10. In case you want to.. still be able to mount existing XFS filesystems if/when you upgrade to Linux 5.10. We previously reported that XFS patches for Linux 5.10 delay the 2038 problem to 2486. That's not the only new feature Linux 5.10 brings to the XFS filesystem when it is released early December: It supports metadata checksumming, it has better built-in metadata verification and there is a new CONFIG_XFS_SUPPORT_V4 configuration option. Make sure you don't accidentally say N to that one if you have an older XFS filesystem you'd like to keep using if/when you upgrade your kernel.

  • The Linux Kernel Looks To Eventually Drop Support For WiMAX

    With the WiMAX 802.16 standard not being widely used outside of the Aeronautical Mobile Airport Communication System (AeroMACS) and usage in some developing nations, the Linux kernel may end up dropping its support for WiMAX but first there is a proposal to demote it to staging while seeing if any users remain. Longtime kernel developer Arnd Bergmann is proposing that the WiMAX Linux kernel infrastructure and the lone Intel 2400m driver be demoted from the networking subsystem to staging. In a future kernel release, the WiMAX support would be removed entirely if no active users are expressed. The Linux kernel WiMAX infrastructure is just used by the Intel 2400m driver for hardware with Sandy Bridge and prior, thus of limited relevance these days. That Intel WiMAX implementation doesn't support the frequencies that AeroMACS operates at and there are no other large known WiMAX deployments around the world making use of the frequencies supported by the 2400m implementation or users otherwise of this Linux kernel code.

  • Linux Is Dropping WiMAX Support - LinuxReviews

    It's no loss. There is a reason why you have probably never seen a WiMAX device or heard of it, WiMAX was a wireless last-mile Internet solution mostly used in a few rural areas in a limited number of countries between 2005 and 2010. There is very little use for it today so it is almost natural that Linux is phasing out support for WiMAX and the one WiMAX device it supports. WiMAX is a wireless protocol, much like IP by Avian Carriers except that it has less bandwidth and significantly lower latency. WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) is a set of wireless standards that were used to provide last-mile Internet connectivity where DSL and other solutions were unavailable. WiMAX can work over long distances (up to 50 km), something WiFi can't. The initial design could provide around 25 megabit/s downstream, which was competitive when WiMAX base-stations and modems become widely available around 2005. That changed around 2010 when 4G/LTE become widely available. The WiMAX Forum, who maintains the WiMAX standard, tried staying relevant with a updated standard called WiMAX 2 in 2011. Some equipment for it was made, but it never became a thing. WiMAX was pretty much dead by the time WiMAX 2 arrived. The standard NetworkManager utility GNU/Linux distributions come with supported WiMAX until 2015. The Linux kernel still supports it and exactly one WiMAX device from Intel as of Linux 5.9, but that's about to change.

Fedora Elections and IBM/Red Hat Leftovers

  • Fedora 33 elections nominations now open

    Candidates may self-nominate. If you nominate someone else, please check with them to ensure that they are willing to be nominated before submitting their name. The steering bodies are currently selecting interview questions for the candidates. Nominees submit their questionnaire answers via a private Pagure issue. The Election Wrangler or their backup will publish the interviews to the Community Blog before the start of the voting period. Fedora Podcast episodes will be recorded and published as well. Please note that the interview is mandatory for all nominees. Nominees not having their interview ready by end of the Interview period (2020-11-19) will be disqualified and removed from the election.

  • 12 Tips for a migration and modernization project

    Sometimes migration/modernization projects are hard to execute because there are many technical challenges, like the structure of legacy code, customer environment, customer bureaucracy, network issues, and the most feared of all, production bugs. In this post I'm going to explain the 12-step migration / modernization procedure I follow as a consultant using a tip-based approach. I have some experience with this kind of situation because I’ve already passed by different kinds of projects with several kinds of problems. Over time you start to recognize patterns and get used to solving the hard problems. So, I thought: Wouldn't it be cool to create a procedure based on my experience, so that I can organize my daily work and give the transparency that the customers and managers want? To test this out, I did this for one customer in my hometown. They were facing a Red Hat JBoss EAP migration/modernization project. The results of the project were outstanding. The customer said they were even more satisfied with the transparency. The project manager seemed really comfortable knowing all about the details through the project and pleased with reducing the risk of unexpected news.

  • Awards roll call: June 2020 to October 2020

    We are nearly at the end of 2020 and while the pace continues to increase, we want to take a moment to acknowledge and celebrate some of the successes of Red Hat's people and their work. In the last four months, several Red Hatters and Red Hat products are being recognized by leading industry publications and organizations for efforts in driving innovation.

  • How developers can build the next generation of AI advertising technology – IBM Developer

    As we look across the most rapidly transforming industries like financial services, healthcare, retail – and now advertising, developers are putting open source technologies to work to deliver next-generation features. Our enterprise clients are looking for AI solutions that will scale with trust and transparency to solve business problems. At IBM®, I have the pleasure of focusing on equipping you, the developers, with the capabilities you need to meet the heightened expectations you face at work each day. We’re empowering open source developers to drive the critical transformation to AI in advertising. For instance, at the IBM Center for Open source Data and AI Technologies (CODAIT), enterprise developers can find open source starting points to tackle some of your thorniest challenges. We’re making it easy for developers to use and create open source AI models that can ultimately help brand marketers go deeper with AI to reach consumers more effectively.

Programming: Qt, PHP, JS and Bash

  • Qt 6 To Ship With Package Manager For Extra Libraries - Phoronix

    Adding to the list of changes coming with the Qt 6 toolkit, The Qt Company has now outlined their initial implementation of a package manager to provide additional Qt6 modules.

  • Qt for MCUs 1.5 released

    A new release of Qt for MCUs is now available in the Qt Installer. If you are new to Qt for MCUs, you can try it out here. Version 1.5 introduces new platform APIs for easy integration of Qt for MCUs on any microcontroller, along with an in-depth porting guide to get you going. Additionally, it includes a set of C++ APIs to load new images at runtime into your QML GUI. As with every release, 1.5 also includes API improvements and bug fixes, enhancing usability and stability.

  • KDDockWidgets v1.1 has been released! - KDAB - KDAB on Qt

    KDDockWidgets v1.1 is now available! Although I just wrote about v1.0 last month, the 1.1 release still managed to get a few big features.

  • KDAB TV celebrates its first year - KDAB

    A year ago KDAB started a YouTube channel dedicated to software development with Qt, C++ and 3D technologies like OpenGL. We talked to Sabine Faure, who is in charge of the program, about how it worked out so far and what we can expect in the future.

  • How to build a responsive contact form with PHP – Linux Hint

    Contact forms are commonly used in web applications because they allow the visitors of the website to communicate with the owner of the website. For most websites, responsive contact forms can be easily accessed from various types of devices such as desktops, laptops, tablets, and mobile phones. In this tutorial, a responsive contact form is implemented, and the submitted data is sent as an email using PHP.

  • Applying JavaScript’s setTimeout Method

    With the evolution of the internet, JavaScript has grown in popularity as a programming language due to its many useful methods. For example, many websites use JavaScript’s built-in setTimeout method to delay tasks. The setTimeout method has many use cases, and it can be used for animations, notifications, and functional execution delays.Because JavaScript is a single-threaded, translative language, we can perform only one task at a time. However, by using call stacks, we can delay the execution of code using the setTimeout method. In this article, we are going to introduce the setTimeout method and discuss how we can use it to improve our code.

  • Removing Characters from String in Bash – Linux Hint

    At times, you may need to remove characters from a string. Whatever the reason is, Linux provides you with various built-in, handy tools that allow you to remove characters from a string in Bash. This article shows you how to use those tools to remove characters from a string. [...] Sed is a powerful and handy utility used for editing streams of text. It is a non-interactive text editor that allows you to perform basic text manipulations on input streams. You can also use sed to remove unwanted characters from strings. For demonstration purposes, we will use a sample string and then pipe it to the sed command.

Python Programming

  • Dissecting a Web stack - The Digital Cat

    Having recently worked with young web developers who were exposed for the first time to proper production infrastructure, I received many questions about the various components that one can find in the architecture of a "Web service". These questions clearly expressed the confusion (and sometimes the frustration) of developers who understand how to create endpoints in a high-level language such as Node.js or Python, but were never introduced to the complexity of what happens between the user's browser and their framework of choice. Most of the times they don't know why the framework itself is there in the first place. The challenge is clear if we just list (in random order), some of the words we use when we discuss (Python) Web development: HTTP, cookies, web server, Websockets, FTP, multi-threaded, reverse proxy, Django, nginx, static files, POST, certificates, framework, Flask, SSL, GET, WSGI, session management, TLS, load balancing, Apache. In this post, I want to review all the words mentioned above (and a couple more) trying to build a production-ready web service from the ground up. I hope this might help young developers to get the whole picture and to make sense of these "obscure" names that senior developers like me tend to drop in everyday conversations (sometimes arguably out of turn). As the focus of the post is the global architecture and the reasons behind the presence of specific components, the example service I will use will be a basic HTML web page. The reference language will be Python but the overall discussion applies to any language or framework. My approach will be that of first stating the rationale and then implementing a possible solution. After this, I will point out missing pieces or unresolved issues and move on with the next layer. At the end of the process, the reader should have a clear picture of why each component has been added to the system.

  • Introducing AutoScraper: A Smart, Fast and Lightweight Web Scraper For Python | Codementor

    In the last few years, web scraping has been one of my day to day and frequently needed tasks. I was wondering if I can make it smart and automatic to save lots of time. So I made AutoScraper!

  • django-render-block 0.8 (and 0.8.1) released!

    A couple of weeks ago I released version 0.8 of django-render-block, this was followed up with a 0.8.1 to fix a regression. django-render-block is a small library that allows you render a specific block from a Django (or Jinja) template, this is frequently used for emails when you want multiple pieces of an email together in a single template (e.g. the subject, HTML body, and text body), but they need to be rendered separately before sending.

  • Pyston v2: 20% faster Python | The Pyston Blog

    We’re very excited to release Pyston v2, a faster and highly compatible implementation of the Python programming language. Version 2 is 20% faster than stock Python 3.8 on our macrobenchmarks. More importantly, it is likely to be faster on your code. Pyston v2 can reduce server costs, reduce user latencies, and improve developer productivity. Pyston v2 is easy to deploy, so if you’re looking for better Python performance, we encourage you to take five minutes and try Pyston. Doing so is one of the easiest ways to speed up your project.

  • Pyston v2 Released As ~20% Faster Than Python 3.8 - Phoronix

    Version 2.0 of Pyston is now available, the Python implementation originally started by Dropbox that builds on LLVM JIT for offering faster Python performance. Pyston developers believe their new release is about 20% faster than the standard Python 3.8 and should be faster for most Python code-bases.

  • Python int to string – Linux Hint

    Python is one of the universal languages that support various types of data types like integer, decimal point number, string, and complex number. We can convert one type of data type to another data type in Python. This data type conversion process is called typecasting. In Python, an integer value can easily be converted into a string by using the str() function. The str() function takes the integer value as a parameter and converts it into the string. The conversion of int to string is not only limited to the str() function. There are various other means of int to string conversion. This article explains the int to string conversion with various methods.

  • Python isinstance() Function – Linux Hint

    Python is one of the best and efficient high-level programming languages. It has a very straightforward and simple syntax. It has very built-in modules and functions that help us to perform the basic tasks efficiently. The Python isinstance() function evaluates either the given object is an instance of the specified class or not.