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Obits

We mourn the loss of John McDonough

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Obits

We learned this week of the passing of John McDonough (jjmcd). John was a long-time contributor to the Fedora Project, and we are sad to hear of his passing. John contributed heavily to the Documentation team, sharing his knowledge with a global user community. John didn’t just write documentation, he also mentored new contributors. He was a patient and caring mentor, and our community is worse for his loss.

When I first became a Fedora contributor 11 years ago, John was one of the people who welcomed me into the Docs team. His guidance helped me become a better contributor. Although he stepped back from contributing a few years ago, his impact continues.

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Mozilla: RIP Youghourta Benali and WebGPU Update

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Moz/FF
Web
Obits
  • Mozilla Localization (L10N): L10n Report: April 2020 Edition

    Before we get into the report, we must share that Youghourta Benali, one of the Arabic l10n community’s managers, has passed away due to prior health issues. He was a passionate activist for the open Web and Arabic’s presence on the Web, localizing Mozilla projects for over 7 years. We’ll all miss him and wish his family and friends peace at this time. The surviving Arabic managers are currently writing a guest post that we’ll post here when ready.

  • WebGPU Support Begins Coming Together In Firefox Nightly Builds

    The latest Firefox Nightly builds have the experimental WebGPU support working in early form. WebGPU is the W3C-backed web standard for modern graphics and compute that is based upon concepts from the likes of Vulkan and Direct3D 12.

  • A Taste of WebGPU in Firefox

    The group has mostly resolved the major architecture issues of the API. Recently we agreed on the WebGPU Shading Language direction based on the Tint prototype. We still need to solve a lot of design riddles before we make it available to end users to write shaders in.

    One of the unresolved issues is the API for data transfers between CPU and GPU. Working with memory directly is where the web platform differs greatly from native platforms. We’ve discussed a dozen different proposals but have not yet found a design solution that fulfills our principles.

    Overall, the spec is still heavily a work in progress. It’s available for early hackers but not recommended for any use in production yet. We are hoping to get a minimum-viable-product version of the spec and implementations by the end of 2020. The current state of implementations can be checked on webgpu.io.

Farewell to Oier Echaniz Beneitez

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Development
Obits

We received the very sad news today, that Oier Echaniz Beneitez has passed away, after a long-term illness (not as a result of COVID-19).

Oier was one of the initiators for bringing EuroPython to Bilbao in 2015 and co-chaired the conference in both 2015 and 2016, together with Fabio...

He was one of the most enthusiastic and engaged organizers of the conference, served on the EuroPython Society board from 2015 - 2017 and founded and chaired the local Python organization in San Sebastian (PySS, pronounced “peace”). Oier also started the pyjok.es project, together with Alexandre Savio and Ben Nuttall, inaugurating the first Python Jokes-as-a-Service of its kind.

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Octavio Mendez Passed Away 29

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Obits

It is with great sadness that I must report we lost a great community member today. Octavio Mendez, a long-time cornerstone of the Mexican Blender and open source community, has passed away after fighting the Corona virus.

Claudio Malefico Andaur contacted me about this, and shared the following...

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Also: For real...

Sad news about Scott Rifenbark

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Obits

I'm sorry to have to pass on the sad news that Scott Rifenbark, our
tech writer for the project passed away on Wednesday after a battle
with cancer.

I remember interviewing Scott over 10 years ago when forming a team at
Intel to work on what became the Yocto Project, he was with it from the
start. He warned me he wasn't an entirely traditional tech writer but I
warned we weren't aiming to be a traditional project either. It was a
great match. He stayed with the project ever since in one way or
another, he enjoyed working on the project and we enjoyed working with
him.

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Lars Kurth RIP

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Obits
  • Lars Kurth RIP

    Ian Jackson posted a note to the xen-announce mailing list with the sad news that Xen community manager and project advisory board member Lars Kurth has died.

  • Lars Kurth
    I'm very sad to inform you that Lars Kurth passed away earlier this
    week.  Many of us regarded Lars as a personal friend, and his loss is a
    great loss to the Xen Project.
    
    We plan to have a tribute to Lars on the XenProject blog in the near
    future.  Those who are attending FOSDEM may wish to attend the short
    tribute we plan for Sunday morning:
      https://fosdem.org/2020/schedule/event/vai_memory_of_lars_kurth/
    
    For the moment, Lars's mail aliases @xenproject.org, and the
    community.manager@xenproject alias, will be forwarded to myself
    and/or George Dunlap.
    
    Ian Jackson.
    

Remembering Brad Childs

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Red Hat
Obits

Earlier this year, the Kubernetes family lost one of its own. Brad Childs was a SIG Storage chair and long time contributor to the project. Brad worked on a number of features in storage and was known as much for his friendliness and sense of humor as for his technical contributions and leadership.

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PCLinuxOS Screenshot Showcase, Member Spotlight and Obituary for Sproggy

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PCLOS
Obits
  • [PCLinuxOS] Screenshot Showcase
  • PCLinuxOS Family Member Spotlight: rgradle

    PCLinuxOS (KDE) is currently running on my desktop machine (ASUS m/b with AMD A10 processor), and on an HP laptop computer (AMD Phenom II/Mate). Performance on the desktop machine is great, but a bit slow on the laptop. I do some video editing for my church on the desktop machine using Kdenlive, a native Linux application that is very powerful. I also do some graphics development for the church using GIMP. Very powerful, but long learning curve with GIMP. Now I wish I had paid more attention to the GIMP articles that appeared in the PCLinuxOS magazine some time ago. I have a Windows 10 virtual machine on my desktop computer for a few applications that will not run under Linux. My wife, a Windows user from way back, was right at home on her KDE desktop in no time at all. When people try to tell me how complicated Linux is to use, I always bring up my my wife's experience as an example of how easy Linux, and especially PCLinuxOS, is to use.

    One of the things I always appreciate about PCLinuxOS is that the software is well thought out, meaning that the updates generally work well and without problem. This is really a nod to those to maintain the software in the repository. Thank you, thank you. Also, I always appreciate the help available on the forum. Even when I have made newbie errors, someone is always willing to provide direction to get me on the path forward. Just outstanding.

  • R.I.P, Sproggy! You Will Be Missed!

    On December 23, 2019, our beloved PCLinuxOS family member, Sproggy, lost his battle with cancer.

    [...]

    When I first joined the PCLinuxOS forum, Sproggy was a moderator. We both hit it off pretty early on. My interactions with him increased a lot when I took over the editor's role for the magazine. We would chat frequently -- usually daily -- in the magazine's IRC channel on FreeNode, then called #pclinuxos.mag (it's now #pclosmag).

    We would chat about everything and anything. We'd talk about family, politics (particularly anytime there was a General Election coming up in the U.K.), world events, personal trials and tribulations, work, what's for dinner, and sometimes just nonsense. There was hardly a topic we didn't touch on. At that time, the magazine's IRC channel was a hopping place. Joble, Hootiegibbon, CSolis, grnich, ms_meme, AndrezjL, Meemaw, myself and many others frequently hung out there. Sproggy would join in on the conversations with just about everyone.

RIP, Chuck Peddle

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Obits

I never got the pleasure to have met him in person, but virtually any desktop computer owes a debt to him. Not only the computers using the the 6502 microprocessor he designed, but because the 6502 was so inexpensive (especially compared against the Intel and Motorola chips it competed with) that it made the possibility of a computer in everybody's home actually feasible. Here just in the very room I'm typing this, there is a Commodore 128D, several Commodore SX-64s (with the 8502 and 6510 respectively, variants of the 6502 with on-chip I/O ports), a Commodore KIM-1, a blue-label PET 2001, an Apple IIgs (technically with a 65816, the later WDC 16-bit variant), an Atari 2600 (6507, with a reduced address bus), an Atari Lynx (with the CMOS WDC WD65SC02), and an NEC TurboExpress (Hudson HuC6280, another modified WDC 65C02, with a primitive MMU). The 6502 appeared in fact in the Nintendo Famicom/NES (Ricoh 2A03 variant) and Super Nintendo (65816) and the vast majority of Commodore home computers before the Amiga, plus the Atari 8-bit and Apple II lines. For that matter, the Commodore 1541s and 1571s separate and built-into the 128D and SX-64s have 6502 CPUs too. Most impactful was probably its appearance in the BBC Micro series which was one of the influences on the now-ubiquitous ARM architecture.

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A Tragic Loss

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Obits

This past month, we here at CodeWeavers and the wider Wine community suffered a devastating loss. Our friend and colleague, Józef Kucia, died at the age of 28.

Józef first contributed to Wine in March of 2012, showing remarkable skill with Wine’s D3D technology. He became a key contributor to Wine, submitting over 2,500 patches. He also contributed to other open source projects including Mesa and Debian. Józef founded and led the vkd3d project and provided insight and guidance to the Vulkan working group.

Józef joined CodeWeavers in 2015, and quickly became one of our most valued employees.

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Games Leftovers

  • Panzer General - A supreme classic revisited

    Roughly 25 years ago, I remember playing Panzer General for the first time. The game's hexagonal-map, turn-based, inventory-and-strategy style grabbed me instantly, and became one of the enduring classics on my proverbial digital shelf of good ole antiquities. A few days ago, I fired up DOSBox and had another go at Panzer General. Not sure what prompted me to play it again, perhaps inspiration following a recent bout of reading military history books on Stalingrad and Berlin, or perhaps a big-boy-toy warehouse management OCD itch that lurks in every grown man. Or just the fact it's a darn good game, and it's time to play it, enjoy it, review it. It may sound unusual talking about a 1994 game title - but hey, classics be classics. I did mention it in one of my DOSBox compilations on old game revival, but now I want to give it a proper, in-depth review, even if most of you won't be able to play it, or even find it. Besides, it's a trip down the memory lane. I don't remember the full journey, but I did preserve the game and its save files carefully over the years, from floppy (maybe) to CD to DVD to a folder on a disk, which could be mounted and summoned at will. My original game saves are there, most of them, the earliest dating back to 2000, and the newest to 2007. So not only do I get to have fresh fun, I also have a glimpse of my own military cunning two decades removed. Well, let's blitz.

  • Chrome OS preparing Steam gaming support, starting with 10th Gen Intel Chromebooks

    Earlier this year, it was reported that Google was working to bring Steam to Chrome OS. We’ve now discovered how Chrome OS will run Steam and which Chromebooks will support it to start. For over a year now, Chrome OS has had support for running Linux apps, a project also known as “Crostini.” Under the hood, Crostini runs an entire Linux distribution in a virtual machine, vaguely similar to a developer running an Android emulator on their desktop. (You can think of a Linux distribution as a complete operating system package, usually with its own unique flair.) Over the past few weeks, we’ve been tracking a new project within the Chromium open-source code under the codename “Borealis.” Based on some of the related code changes, Borealis seems to also be related to virtual machines for Chrome OS. Through a fair bit of digging, we were able to obtain a copy of Borealis, which turned out to be another full Linux distribution. Unlike Crostini, which is based on Debian, Borealis is based on Ubuntu, another popular variety of Linux. Just like the existing Linux apps support, we believe Borealis will integrate itself with Chrome OS rather than being a full desktop experience. However, we found one key difference between Borealis and a normal installation of Ubuntu, as Borealis includes a pre-installed copy of Steam. This lines up with what we learned at CES 2020, when Kan Liu, Google’s director of product management for Chrome OS, shared that the upcoming Steam gaming support would be based on Linux.

  • The Dark Mod 2.08 Released As One Of The Few Games Powered By Open-Source id Tech 4

    There is finally a new release out of The Dark Mod, the original total conversion mod for Doom 3 that transformed into its own standalone game powered by the open-source id Tech 4 engine. This remains the lone flagship example of the open-source id Tech 4 game engine in action by the community (besides the DHEWM3 / RBDOOM-3-BFG engine work) with ioDoom3 having never taken off like ioquake3. The Dark Mod 2.08 is shipping with fixes for its multi-threading support, uncapped FPS, and better x86 64-bit support.There is also improved coding standards, replacing legacy OpenGL usage with more modern OpenGL usage, better visuals thanks to SSAO and other rendering improvements, AI improvements, gameplay enhancements, better mapping toolkit support, and all around performance improvements. The multi-core support in particular is no longer considered experimental.

  • How to install Steam on Linux Mint 20

The first step towards Mageia 8 – Alpha 1 is available for testing

We are happy to announce the release of the test images of Mageia 8. These are available to early testers to help with the development towards a stable final release of Mageia 8. There have been large scale updates of all packages as well as new features implemented to improve what Mageia already offered. Read more Also: Mageia 8 Enters Development with Linux Kernel 5.7, Improved ARM Support

Android Leftovers

The Linux-friendly Ghost Canyon Intel NUC 9 Extreme is finally available for purchase

Intel's diminutive NUC bare-bones computers are quite a bit of fun. Not only are they cute and tiny, but once you add RAM and storage, they can run both Windows 10 and Linux brilliantly. Hell, I am currently running macOS on one as a "Hackintosh" (Shh! Don't tell Apple). The only knock on the NUC is that you can't really upgrade the GPU. Unless your NUC has Thunderbolt 3 and you add a pricey eGPU, you are essentially stuck with Intel's ho-hum onboard graphics. With the unveiling of the "Ghost Canyon" Intel NUC 9, however, this changed. While obviously bigger than earlier NUC models, this unit can accommodate a proper gaming card from AMD or NVIDIA (if you choose to add one). You can even eventually upgrade the CPU with what Intel calls replaceable "compute elements." And now, if you have some money to spare, you can finally buy the top model of Ghost Canyon -- the drool-worthy Intel NUC 9 Extreme is available today! Read more