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Obits

Sad News - Martin Schwidefsky

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Obits

We are devastated by the tragic death of Martin Schwidefsky who died
in an accident last Saturday.

Martin was the most significant contributor to the initial s390 port
of the Linux Kernel and later the maintainer of the s390 architecture
backend. His technical expertise as well as his mentoring skills were
outstanding. Martin was well known for his positive mindset and his
willingness to help.

He will be greatly missed.

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Goodbye Joe

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Development
Obits

Joe Armstrong is mainly known as the father of Erlang, and the Erlang family has always been relatively small and closely knit. Anyone whose first Erlang conference (usually Erlang Factory, Erlang User Conference, or CodeBEAM) had Joe in the attendance would have a similar reaction. There was a feeling of awe about how accessible the community was. Here you were, and big names like Joe and Robert—who everyone knew by their first names—were right around the same room, friendly, and willing to talk to anybody. You'd feel like you were welcome no matter who you were.

Today, we've learned of Joe's passing away. I wasn't a super close friend of Joe, but I have known him and talked with him at various conferences over the last ten years or so. He's unsurprisingly been a huge influence in my career, and so I thought I should write this little post about him and his impact. My words can't give justice to the man he was, but I felt I needed to write this up.

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The Debian Project mourns the loss of Innocent de Marchi

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Debian
Obits

The Debian Project recently learned that it has lost a member of its community. Innocent de Marchi passed a few months ago.

Innocent was a math teacher and a free software developer. One of his passions was tangram puzzles, which led him to write a tangram-like game that he later packaged and maintained in Debian. Soon his contributions expanded to other areas, and he also worked as a tireless translator into Catalan.

The Debian Project honors his good work and strong dedication to Debian and Free Software. Innocent's contributions will not be forgotten, and the high standards of his work will continue to serve as an inspiration to others.

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openSUSE Board Alumni Peter T. Linnell died on March 18th

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SUSE
Obits

Peter was widely known as founder of Scribus, the Libre Graphics Meeting and enthusiastic contributor to countless other Free Software projects. For openSUSE he took over responsibility as an active member of our package review team and has served as openSUSE Board member twice, from 2011-2012 and 2014-2016. Peter passed away a week ago after lengthy battle with cancer, he is survived by his wife Pauline and his daughter Stella. His obituary mentions ways to honor his life.

We will always remember Peter as fellow tinkerer, with an boundless passion to understand the inner workings and meanings of software and people. Farewell Peter, you’ll be missed by the openSUSE Community.

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Obituary: Peter T. Linnell

R.I.P. mrdocs (1963–2019)

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Obits

The Scribus Team is deeply saddened to announce the loss of our friend and colleague Peter Linnell who in the end lost his long battle against cancer.

It is no understatement to say that without Peter Scribus wouldn’t be what it is today. It was Peter who spotted the potential of Franz Schmid’s initially humble Python program and, as a pre-press consultant at the time, contacted Franz to make him aware of the necessities of PostScript and PDF support, among other things. Peter also wrote the first version of the Scribus online documentation, which resulted in his nickname “mrdocs” in IRC and elsewhere. Until recently, and despite his detoriating health, Peter continued to be involved in building and releasing new Scribus versions.

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The Debian Project mourns the loss of Lucy Wayland

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Debian
Obits

The Debian Project sadly announces that it has lost a member of its community. Lucy Wayland passed recently.

Lucy was a contributor within the Cambridge (UK) Debian community, helping to organise the Cambridge Mini-DebConf since several years.

She was a strong fighter for diversity and inclusion, and participated in the creation of the Debian Diversity Team, working on increasing the visibility of under-represented groups and providing support with respect to diversity issues within the community.

The Debian Project honours her good work and strong dedication to Debian and Free Software. Lucy's contributions will not be forgotten, and the high standards of her work will continue to serve as an inspiration to others.

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Mourning Shaohua Li

Filed under
Linux
Obits

I've got some very sad news to share with you - over Christmas, Shaohua
Li passed away after battling cancer for most of last year.

As you know, Shaohua acted as the maintainer for md. He remained
dedicated to that through the difficult times. With his passing, we
obviously have a void that needs to be filled.

For now, I'll act as interim maintainer for md until we can find a good
permanent solution. I'll queue up reviewed patches in a separate branch,
in the block tree, and help review fixes. I'm subscribed to linux-raid,
but please do CC me as well.

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Farewell, Glenn Rander-Pehrson

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Obits

Dear PNG users, developers and contributors,

I am deeply saddened to inform you that Glenn Randers-Pehrson, our
long-time group lead, passed away last weekend, following a long and
painful illness.

Glenn is one of the original designers of the PNG format, and a
co-founder of the PNG Development Group, back in the mid-90's. He took
good care of the PNG Specification, as a contributing author for PNG
version 1.0, and as the main editor for all of the subsequent editions
through PNG 1.1 and 1.2, until the current W3C/ISO/IEC standard PNG
Specification, Second Edition. In addition, all of the related
Specifications, i.e., the registered PNG extensions, and the companion
MNG Specification version 1.0 and JNG Specification version 1.0, had
Glenn at the front as the main editor and moderator-in-chief.

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In memory of James M. Rufer

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Obits

Purism has lost an important voice. We are deeply saddened to learn that our colleague James M. Rufer has passed away on September 27th, 2018, at the age of 39. He is survived by his loving wife Mary; sons Xander and Paxton; mother-in-law Sylvia; and friends he made outside and inside Purism.

James has been with Purism since its early days, being the very first team member to join and has remained a dedicated, honest, hardworking chap who brought enjoyment to our lives daily.

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Vladimir Butenko 1962-2018

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Obits

Unfortunately, Butenko was not in with the open source. He used to post to Usenet, lampooning and dismissing Linux. I suspect once you can code your own Linux any time you want, your perspective changes a bit. This was a part of the way we drifted apart later on. I was plugging on my little corner of Linux, while Butenko was somewhere out in the larger world, revolutionizing computer-intermediated communications.

He died suddenly, from a heart failure. Way too early, I think.

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Elementary OS is the latest group to ditch Medium for their own blog

Elementary OS – a Linux distribution (distro) built on top of the large, company-backed giant Ubuntu – is a mom-and-pop store by comparison. But it's also one that's managed to capture the attention of even some seasoned Linux users thanks to its focus on user interface (UI) and even user experience (UX) – something often lacking from the more spartan distros. With their focus on icon and UI themes sometimes suspiciously reminiscent of Apple's interfaces – the Elementary OS team have also earned themselves something of a label of “hipsters” in the community. Hence, their decision some years ago to communicate news about the project by hosting their blog on another largely “hipster” online venue – Medium – was little surprise. What's somewhat surprising is the about-face that the project is now making in leaving Medium for the sake of building their own blog hosted on GitHub Pages – using the static generator Jekyll. Read more

Linux Foundation and Intel: Confidential Computing Consortium, OpenGL 4.6 Support For Mesa 19.2 and More

  • New Cross-Industry Effort to Advance Computational Trust and Security for Next-Generation Cloud and Edge Computing

    The Linux Foundation today announced the intent to form the Confidential Computing Consortium, a community dedicated to defining and accelerating the adoption of confidential computing. Companies committed to this work include Alibaba, Arm, Baidu, Google Cloud, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Red Hat, Swisscom and Tencent. Across industries computing is moving to span multiple environments, from on premises to public cloud to edge. As companies move these workloads to different environments, they need protection controls for sensitive IP and workload data and are increasingly seeking greater assurances and more transparency of these controls. Current approaches in cloud computing address data at rest and in transit but encrypting data in use is considered the third and possibly most challenging step to providing a fully encrypted lifecycle for sensitive data. Confidential computing will enable encrypted data to be processed in memory without exposing it to the rest of the system and reduce exposure for sensitive data and provide greater control and transparency for users.

  • The Linux Foundation, Intel & Co Form The Confidential Computing Consortium

    In kicking off the Open Source Summit that has returned to San Diego, the Linux Foundation has announced the formation of the Confidential Computing Consortium in collaboration with Intel and other companies. The initial batch of companies forming the Confidential Computing Consortium include Alibaba, Arm, Baidu, Google Cloud, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Red Hat, Swisscom, and Tencent. This consortium will focus on providing greater transparency and control over user data, reduce exposure to sensitive data, and other protections by means of open-source tooling and hardware advancements around trusted execution environments.

  • Intel's OpenGL Linux Driver Now Has OpenGL 4.6 Support For Mesa 19.2

    Two years after the OpenGL 4.6 specification was announced, Intel's open-source OpenGL Linux driver is now officially advertising the support after today landing the remaining SPIR-V enablement work. For the better part of the past two years the Intel OpenGL Linux drivers were held up from having GL 4.6 due to the ARB_gl_spirv / ARB_spirv_extensions extensions for better interoperability with Vulkan. But today those extensions are now crossed off the list and OpenGL 4.6 is finally in Mesa core with Intel's i965/Iris drivers being the first.

  • Intel Launches 10th Gen "Comet Lake" Laptop CPUs For Laptops & 2-in-1s

    Earlier this month Intel announced 11 Icelake CPUs for laptops and 2-in1s under their 10th Gen CPU line-up. Today the company announced the 10th Gen Comet Lake CPUs also for 2-in-1s and laptops.

Debian and Ubuntu Leftovers

  • Joey Hess: releasing two haskell libraries in one day: libmodbus and git-lfs

    The first library is a libmodbus binding in haskell. There are a couple of other haskell modbus libraries, but none that support serial communication out of the box. I've been using a python library to talk to my solar charge controller, but it is not great at dealing with the slightly flakey interface. The libmodbus C library has features that make it more robust, and it also supports fast batched reads. So a haskell interface to it seemed worth starting while I was doing laundry, and then for some reason it seemed worth writing a whole bunch more FFIs that I may never use, so it covers libmodbus fairly extensively. 660 lines of code all told. Writing a good binding to a C library has art to it. I've seen ones that are so close you feel you're writing C and not haskell. On the other hand, some are so far removed from the underlying library that its documentation does not carry over at all. I tried to strike a balance. Same function names so the extensive libmodbus documentation is easy to refer to while using it, but plenty of haskell data types so you won't mix up the parity with the stop bits.

  • Misc Developer News (#49)
    The news are collected on https://wiki.debian.org/DeveloperNews
    Please contribute short news about your work/plans/subproject.
    
    In this issue:
     + Self-service buildd givebacks
     + Removal of the mips architecture
     + Superficial package testing
     + Debian Developers Reference now maintained as ReStructuredText
     + Scope of debian-mentors broadened to help with infrastructure questions
     + Hiding package tracker action items
    
    Self-service buildd givebacks
    -----------------------------
    
     Philipp Kern has created[1] an *experimental* service that allows Debian
     members to perform self-service retries of failed package builds (aka
     give-backs). This service aims to reduce the time it takes for give-back
     requests to be processed, which was done manually by the wanna-build
     admins until now. The service is authenticated using the Debian Single
     Signon[2] service. Debian members are still expected to act responsibly
     when looking at build failures; do your due diligence and try reproducing
     the issue on a porterbox first. Access to this service is logged and logs
     will be audited by the admins.
    
  • Debian Guts Support For Old MIPS CPUs

    Debian developers have decided to remove the 32-bit MIPS big-endian architecture. Debian will continue to maintain MIPSEL and MIPS64EL but the older 32-bit big-endian variant of MIPS will be no more. Debian developers decided to drop the older 32-bit BE support due to it being limited to 2GB of virtual address space and it being one of the remaining holdouts of big endian architectures for Debian. Not to mention, there hasn't been much interest in the older MIPS 32-bit BE target in a while either.

  • Alpha: Self-service buildd givebacks

    Builds on Debian's build farm sometimes fail transiently. Sometimes those failures are legitimate flakes, for instance when an in-progress build happens to exhaust its resources because of other builds on the same machine. Until now, you always needed to mail the buildd, wanna-build admins or the Release Team directly in order to get the builds re-queued. As an alpha trial I implemented self-service givebacks as a web script. As SSO for Debian developers is now a thing, it is trivial to add authentication in a way that a role account can use to act on your behalf. While at work this would all be an RPC service, I figured that a little CGI script would do the job just as well.

  • Linux Mint 19.2 Cinnamon Edition – Ships With Cinnamon 4.2 and Uses Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Package Base

    Linux Mint 19.2 has been released and announced by Linux Mint Project, now available to download which ship with the Cinnamon, Mate and Xfce editions both for both 32-bit and 64-bit architectures. It’s powered by the Linux 4.15 kernel and uses the Ubuntu 18.04 LTS package base, which will be supported for five years until 2023. Linux Mint 19.2 Cinnamon edition features latest version of Cinnamon desktop 4.2 with new features and updates. Although the amount of RAM consumed by Cinnamon largely depends on the video driver, Cinnamon uses significantly less RAM than before. The application menu is faster and it now identifies and distinguishes duplicates. If two applications have the same name, the menu will show more information about them. Scrollbars are now configurable and Nemo file manager support pin file and folder .

  • Jupyter looks to distro-agnostic packaging for the democratisation of installation

    When users of your application range from high school students to expert data scientists, it’s often wise to avoid any assumptions about their system configurations. The Jupyter Notebook is popular with a diverse user base, enabling the creation and sharing of documents containing live code, visualisations, and narrative text. The app uses processes (kernels) to run interactive code in different programming languages and send output back to the user. Filipe Fernandes has a key responsibility for Jupyter packaging and ease of installation. At the 2019 Snapcraft Summit in Montreal, he gave us his impressions of snaps as a tool to improve the experience for all concerned. “I’m a packager and a hacker, and I’m also a Jupyter user. I find Jupyter to be great as a teaching tool. Others use it for data cleaning and analysis, numerical simulation and modelling, or machine learning, for example. One of the strengths of Jupyter is that it is effectively language agnostic. I wanted Jupyter packaging to be similar, distro-agnostic, if you like.” Filipe had heard about snaps a while back, but only really discovered their potential after he received an invitation to the Snapcraft Summit and noticed that Microsoft Visual Studio Code had recently become available as a snap. The ease of use of snaps was a big factor for him. “I like things that just work. I often get hauled in to sort out installation problems for other users – including members of my own family! It’s great to be able to tell them just to use the snap version of an application. It’s like, I snap my fingers and the install problems disappear!”