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OSS

How open source will affect the future of our energy use

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OSS

Humanity depends upon the energy furnished by our environment. Without powerful energy sources, we would not be able to digitally communicate with people from anywhere and feel as if we're in the same room.

According to the 2019 edition of the BP Statistical Review of World Energy, we are still heavily relying on non-renewable energy sources such as coal, gas, and oil (by a share of 85%) to maintain our lifestyle. The slight 8% share renewable resources represent is obviously not sufficient to match today's queries. With that knowledge, at what price are we leading this lifestyle? We're meeting the needs of the present, but are we compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs?

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KeePassXC 2.6 Open-Source Password Manager Released with Exciting New Features

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Linux
OSS

More than a year in the works, KeePassXC 2.6 is finally here with lots of goodies for those who like to keep their passwords in a safe place. The first thing you’ll notice when installing the new version is the totally revamped user interface.

KeePassXC’s user interface now supports both light and dark themes, monochrome tray icons, a compact mode, and a new View Menu that lets you more easily switch between themes, compact mode, as well as to toggle various UI elements.

Linux users also get browser-like tab experience using the Ctrl+[Num] or Alt+[Num] keyboard shortcuts. Also, the built-in browser now lets Linux users define a custom browser location.

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The Current State of Open-Source Testing Tools

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OSS

Tricentis and three survey project collaborators recently published findings that provide new insights on global trends in open-source testing.

The study focused on the open-source tool testing industry, not how or if companies and software developers test their code. This is an issue that confronts both open-source and commercial or proprietary software.

The results revealed that a lack of technical skills is the major roadblock to open-source tool adoption, with 30 percent of organizations surveyed saying they lacked the skills to adopt open-source tools, according to Kevin Dunne, senior vice president for strategic initiatives at Tricentis.

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Design an Open-Source SoC with Google SkyWater PDK, Get It Manufactured for Free

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OSS

With open ISAs like RISC-V, it’s become easier – provided you have the skills – to develop or customize your own SoC using RTL files, compile it with EDA tools, and run the resulting bitstream on an FPGA. But if you ever wanted to get an actual chip that would become more complex, as you’d need to request a process design kit (PDK) from a foundry, and pay for the manufacturing cost, which amounts to at least several thousand dollars for older process nodes.

But the FOSSi (Free and Open Source Silicon) Foundation has good news with Tim Ansell of Google announcing the SkyWater PDK, the first manufacturable, open-source process design kit. There are other open-source PDKs, but they aren’t manufacturable and/or only support older 0.35/0.5 micron nodes. The SkyWater PDK allows you to produce chips with the SkyWater foundry in the 130nm node.

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Arcade shooter with a massive skill tree 'BYTEPATH' goes open source

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OSS
Gaming

A few years after release, adnzzzzZ has released the source code for their crazy skill-tree arcade shooter BYTEPATH.

"Expect BYTEPATH to be a mix of Bit Blaster XL and Path of Exile, created with the intention of expanding Bit Blaster XL's relaxing and addictive gameplay with Path of Exile's build depth, build diversity and RPG elements."

Now available under the MIT license, it's another good look into how indie games get made and a good starting point for those looking to see a properly finished game. Not only that, it can now live on with community fixes and continue working far into the future.

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Free/Libre/Open Source Software Leftovers

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GNU
OSS
  • Copyright enforcement with Dr. Miriam Ballhausen

    We invited Dr. Miriam Ballhausen to talk with us about copyright enforcement. She is a German lawyer with the focus on software, data protection, copyright law and specifically Free Software copyright. This is the sixth regular episode of the Software Freedom Podcast for which we invite experts from our community.

    In this sixth episode of the Software Freedom Podcast we talk about Free Software copyright enforcement with our guest Dr. Miriam Ballhausen. Dr. Miriam Ballhausen is a German laywer and is specialised in Free Software copyright questions. Together we cover the basics about Free Software licensing and discuss, how Free Software copyright can be enforced, what are the steps to enforce it and why it is often enforced in Germany. We also explore how the REUSE project could help with being in compliance with Free Software licenses.

  • IBM Has Open Sourced Its Edge Device Platform and Wishes AWS and Microsoft Got On Board

    IBM's Open Horizon is meant to make it easier to manage thousands of IoT devices as edge computing nodes.

  • Open-source contact tracing, part 1

    The main goal of COVID-19 tracing applications is to notify users if they have been recently in contact with an infected person, so that they can isolate themselves or seek out testing. The creation of the applications is usually supported by governments, with the development performed by health authorities and research institutions. The Wikipedia page for COVID-19 apps lists (as of early June 2020) at least 38 countries with such applications in use or under development, and at least eight framework initiatives.

    The applications trace the people that the user has had contact with for a significant period (for example, 15 minutes) with close physical proximity (a distance around one meter). The complete tracing system usually consists of an application for mobile phones and the server software.

    For the distance measurement and detecting the presence of other users, GPS and Bluetooth are the technical solutions used in practice. GPS only appears in a small number of projects because it does not have enough precision, especially inside buildings. It also does not work in enclosed spaces like underground parking and subways.

    Most countries have chosen to develop a distance measurement using Bluetooth, generally the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) variant, which uses less energy than the classical version. This is important as the distance measurement is done by mobile phones, and so Bluetooth will need to be active most of the time.

    The Bluetooth protocol was not designed for these kinds of tasks, though, so research has been done on ways to measure distance accurately. A report [PDF] from the Pan-European Privacy-Preserving Proximity Tracing project shows that it is possible to measure distance using BLE signal strength, specifically received signal strength indication (RSSI). In a contact-tracing system using Bluetooth, the distance measurement is made by the two phones communicating using a specific message format. Since the formats differ between applications, communication is only guaranteed to work if both phones are using the same application.

  • More alternatives to Google Analytics

    Last week, we introduced the privacy concerns with using Google Analytics (GA) and presented two lightweight open-source options: GoatCounter and Plausible. Those tools are useful for site owners who need relatively basic metrics. In this second article, we present several heavier-weight GA replacements for those who need more detailed analytics. We also look at some tools that produce analytics data based on web-server-access logs, GoAccess, in particular.

  • GNU Taler news: Exchange independent security audit report published

    We received a grant from NLnet foundation to pay for an external security audit of the GNU Taler exchange cryptography, code and documentation. CodeBlau now concluded their audit. You can find the final report here. We have compiled a preliminary response detailing what changes we have already made and which changes we are still planning to make in the future. We thank CodeBlau for their work, and NLnet and the European Commission's Horizion 2020 NGI initiative for funding this work.

Linux Foundation and Standards/Consortia

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OSS
  • Linux Foundation To Boost Open Software Standards With Community Specification
  • New Community Specification Process Facilitates Open Standards

    The Linux Foundation has announced Community Specification, which aims to facilitate and accelerate the creation of open standards.

    “Open Standards are best defined as specifications made available to the public, developed, and maintained via an inclusive, collaborative, transparent, and consensus-driven process. Open standards facilitate interoperability and data exchange among different products or services and are intended for widespread adoption,” according to a recent post on the Linux Foundation website.

  • Driving Compatibility with Code and Specifications through Conformance Trademark Programs

    A key goal of some open collaboration efforts — whether source code or specification oriented — is to prevent technical ‘drift’ away from a core set of functions or interfaces. Projects seek a means to communicate — and know — that if a downstream product or open source project is held out as compatible with the project’s deliverable, that product or component is, in fact, compatible. Such compatibility strengthens the ecosystem by providing end-users with confidence that data and solutions from one environment can work in another conformant environment with minimal friction. It also provides product and solution providers a stable set of known interfaces they can depend on for their commercially supported offerings.

    A trademark conformance program, which is one supporting program that the LF offers its projects, can be used to encourage conformance with the project’s code base or interfaces. Anyone can use the open source project code however they want — subject to the applicable open source license — but if a downstream solution wants to describe itself as conformant using the project’s conformance trademark, it must meet the project’s definition of “conformant.” Some communities choose to use words other than “conformant” including “certified”, “ready”, or “powered by” in association with commercial uses of the open source codebase. This is the approach that some Linux Foundation projects take to maintain compatibility and reduce fragmentation of code and interfaces.

    Through this approach, we enable our projects to create flexible, custom-tailored conformance programs to meet the needs of their respective communities. In fact, our conformance programs can operate as open source projects themselves (see, for example, https://cncf.io/ck ). They incorporate a balance of interests from vendors, end-users, and contributors to the project and enable the community to define how the commercial ecosystem participants can leverage the use of the community’s mark.

  • Google's AMP, the Canonical Web, and the Importance of Web Standards

    Have you ever clicked on a link after googling something, only to find that Google didn’t take you to the actual webpage but to some weird Google-fied version of it? Instead of the web address being the source of the article, it still says “google” in the address bar on your phone? That’s what’s known as Google Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), and now Google has announced that AMP has graduated from the OpenJS Foundation Incubation Program. The OpenJS Foundation is a merged effort between major projects in the JavaScript ecosystem, such as NodeJS and jQuery, whose stated mission is “to support the healthy growth of the JavaScript and web ecosystem”. But instead of a standard starting with the web community, a giant company is coming to the community after they’ve already built a large part of the mobile web and are asking for a rubber stamp. Web community discussion should be the first step of making web standards, and not just a last-minute hurdle for Google to clear.

    This Google-backed, stripped down HTML framework was created with the promises of creating faster web pages for a better user experience. Cutting out slower loading content, like those developed with JavaScript. At a high level, AMP works by fast loading stripped down versions of full web pages for mobile viewing.

  • Open Standards Everywhere: How the Kolkata Chapter Got a Perfect Score

    In early May 2020, the Open Standards Everywhere (OSE) project held a series of virtual training sessions for Internet Society Chapters. Over 70 Chapter representatives from around the world learned, in English, French, or Spanish, how to improve the overall security and availability of their Chapter’s websites and web servers by enabling IPv6, HTTP/2, TLS, and DNSSEC.

Spotlighting the Top Open Source Crafting Tools

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OSS

Handicraft is a term that describes many different types of work where practical and decorative objects are made by hand or by using only simple tools. Depending on your location, the phrase ‘arts and crafts’ may be more commonly used.

Collective terms for handicrafts include artisanry, handicrafting, crafting, and handicraftsmanship. This article focuses on crafting using your hands.

This article highlights versatile open source software that aids cross-stitching and knot design. The software featured here helps individuals create their own charts from scratch or generate charts from imported pictures. Good quality open source software in this field is very sparse, fortunately there are still a few real gems. Here’s our recommendations.

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Raspberry Pi SBC Now Supports OpenVX 1.3 Computer Vision API

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Linux
OSS
Ubuntu

OpenVX is an open, royalty-free API standard for cross-platform acceleration of computer vision applications developed by The Khronos Group that also manages the popular OpenGL ES, Vulkan, and OpenCL standards.

After OpenGL ES 3.1 conformance for Raspberry Pi 4, and good progress on the Vulkan implementation, the Raspberry Pi Foundation has now announced that both Raspberry Pi 3 and 4 Model B SBC’s had achieved OpenVX 1.3 conformance (somehow dated 2020-07-23).

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Linux Foundation Latest News

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OSS
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More in Tux Machines

NanoPi NEO3 Headless SBC Launched for $20 and up

Last month, we found out FriendlyELEC was working on NanoPi NEO3, a tiny SBC powered by Rockchip RK3328 processor and made for headless applications and networked storage thanks to Gigabit Ethernet and USB 3.0 ports, as well as a 26-pin GPIO header. At the time, the board was still been finalized, but the company has now started to take orders for $20 and up depending on options which include a cute white enclosure... [...] The Wiki has been updated as well, and the company provides both Ubuntu Core 18.04 based FriendlyCore, and OpenWrt based FriendlyWrt operating systems for the board with both relying on Linux 5.4.12 kernel. I’d also expect Armbian to eventually provide Ubuntu 20.04 and Debian 10 images. Read more

Moving (parts of) the Cling REPL in Clang

Motivation
===

Over the last decade we have developed an interactive, interpretative 
C++ (aka REPL) as part of the high-energy physics (HEP) data analysis 
project -- ROOT [1-2]. We invested a significant  effort to replace the 
CINT C++ interpreter with a newly implemented REPL based on llvm -- 
cling [3]. The cling infrastructure is a core component of the data 
analysis framework of ROOT and runs in production for approximately 5 
years.

Cling is also  a standalone tool, which has a growing community outside 
of our field. Cling’s user community includes users in finance, biology 
and in a few companies with proprietary software. For example, there is 
a xeus-cling jupyter kernel [4]. One of the major challenges we face to 
foster that community is  our cling-related patches in llvm and clang 
forks. The benefits of using the LLVM community standards for code 
reviews, release cycles and integration has been mentioned a number of 
times by our "external" users.

Last year we were awarded an NSF grant to improve cling's sustainability 
and make it a standalone tool. We thank the LLVM Foundation Board for 
supporting us with a non-binding letter of collaboration which was 
essential for getting this grant.


Background
===

Cling is a C++ interpreter built on top of clang and llvm. In a 
nutshell, it uses clang's incremental compilation facilities to process 
code chunk-by-chunk by assuming an ever-growing translation unit [5]. 
Then code is lowered into llvm IR and run by the llvm jit. Cling has 
implemented some language "extensions" such as execution statements on 
the global scope and error recovery. Cling is in the core of HEP -- it 
is heavily used during data analysis of exabytes of particle physics 
data coming from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and other particle 
physics experiments.


Plans
===

The project foresees three main directions -- move parts of cling 
upstream along with the clang and llvm features that enable them; extend 
and generalize the language interoperability layer around cling; and 
extend and generalize the OpenCL/CUDA support in cling. We are at the 
early stages of the project and this email intends to be an RFC for the 
first part -- upstreaming parts of cling. Please do share your thoughts 
on the rest, too.


Moving Parts of Cling Upstream
---

Over the years we have slowly moved some patches upstream. However we 
still have around 100 patches in the clang fork. Most of them are in the 
context of extending the incremental compilation support for clang. The 
incremental compilation poses some challenges in the clang 
infrastructure. For example, we need to tune CodeGen to work with 
multiple llvm::Module instances, and finalize per each 
end-of-translation unit (we have multiple of them). Other changes 
include small adjustments in the FileManager's caching mechanism, and 
bug fixes in the SourceManager (code which can be reached mostly from 
within our setup). One conclusion we can draw from our research is that 
the clang infrastructure fits amazingly well to something which was not 
its main use case. The grand total of our diffs against clang-9 is: `62 
files changed, 1294 insertions(+), 231 deletions(-)`. Cling is currently 
being upgraded from llvm-5 to llvm-9.

A major weakness of cling's infrastructure is that it does not work with 
the clang Action infrastructure due to the lack of an 
IncrementalAction.  A possible way forward would be to implement a 
clang::IncrementalAction as a starting point. This way we should be able 
to reduce the amount of setup necessary to use the incremental 
infrastructure in clang. However, this will be a bit of a testing 
challenge -- cling lives downstream and some of the new code may be 
impossible to pick straight away and use. Building a mainline example 
tool such as clang-repl which gives us a way to test that incremental 
case or repurpose the already existing clang-interpreter may  be able to 
address the issue. The major risk of the task is avoiding code in the 
clang mainline which is untested by its HEP production environment.
There are several other types of patches to the ROOT fork of Clang, 
including ones  in the context of performance,towards  C++ modules 
support (D41416), and storage (does not have a patch yet but has an open 
projects entry and somebody working on it). These patches can be 
considered in parallel independently on the rest.

Extend and Generalize the Language Interoperability Layer Around Cling
---

HEP has extensive experience with on-demand python interoperability 
using cppyy[6], which is built around the type information provided by 
cling. Unlike tools with custom parsers such as swig and sip and tools 
built on top of C-APIs such as boost.python and pybind11, cling can 
provide information about memory management patterns (eg refcounting) 
and instantiate templates on the fly.We feel that functionality may not 
be of general interest to the llvm community but we will prepare another 
RFC and send it here later on to gather feedback.


Extend and Generalize the OpenCL/CUDA Support in Cling
---

Cling can incrementally compile CUDA code [7-8] allowing easier set up 
and enabling some interesting use cases. There are a number of planned 
improvements including talking to HIP [9] and SYCL to support more 
hardware architectures.



The primary focus of our work is to upstreaming functionality required 
to build an incremental compiler and rework cling build against vanilla 
clang and llvm. The last two points are to give the scope of the work 
which we will be doing the next 2-3 years. We will send here RFCs for 
both of them to trigger technical discussion if there is interest in 
pursuing this direction.


Collaboration
===

Open source development nowadays relies on reviewers. LLVM is no 
different and we will probably disturb a good number of people in the 
community ;)We would like to invite anybody interested in joining our 
incremental C++ activities to our open every second week calls. 
Announcements will be done via google group: compiler-research-announce 
(https://groups.google.com/g/compiler-research-announce).



Many thanks!


David & Vassil

Read more Also: Cling C++ Interpreter Looking To Upstream More Code Into LLVM

This week in KDE: New features galore!

Tons and tons of awesome new features and UI polish landed this week, alongside an equally weighty ton of important bugfixes. Read more

Elive 3.8.14 beta released

The Elive Team is proud to announce the release of the beta version 3.8.14 This new version includes: Kernel updated to 5.6.14 retrowave special theme themes, designs, icons improvements and more customizations included bootup with a much more friendly graphical menu, it now remembers your last selected OS, all the options are in the same menu instead of submenus, disabled useless recovery options, improved resolution, fixed wallpaper issue on encrypted installations SWAP space is much more performant now, feedbacks welcome Read more