LWN featured content
[$] Pencil, Pencil, and Pencil
[Development] Posted Jun 18, 2013 19:30 UTC (Tue) by n8willis
An unfortunate drawback to the scratch-your-own-itch development
model on which many free software projects depend is that
creators can lose interest. Without a maintainer, code gets stale and
users are either stranded or simply jump ship to a competing project.
If the community is lucky, new developers pick up where the old ones
left off, and a project may be revived or even driven to entirely new
levels of success. On the other hand, it is also possible for
multiple people to start their own forks of the code base, which can
muddy the waters in a hurry—as appears to be happening at the
moment with the 2D animation tool Pencil. Plenty of people want to
see it survive, which has resulted in a slew of individual forks.
Full Story (comments: 4)
[$] Dividing the Linux desktop
[Distributions] Posted Jun 17, 2013 17:20 UTC (Mon) by corbet
The Ubuntu desktop has been committed to the Unity shell for some time;
more recently, Canonical also announced
that Ubuntu will be moving over to
the new, in-house Mir display server. That decision raised a number of
eyebrows at the time, given that most of the desktop Linux community had
long since settled on Wayland as its way forward. As time passes, though,
the degree to which Canonical is breaking from the rest of the community is
becoming increasingly clear. The Linux desktop could never be described as
being "unified," but the split caused by projects like Mir and
SurfaceFlinger may prove to be more profound
than the desktop wars of the past.
Full Story (comments: 108)
[$] A report from pgCon 2013
[Front] Posted Jun 10, 2013 21:15 UTC (Mon) by jake
This year's pgCon, which concluded May 25th,
included an unusually high number of changes to the PostgreSQL community,
codebase, and development. Contributors introduced multiple new major
projects which will substantially change how people use PostgreSQL,
including parallel query, a new binary document store type, and pluggable
storage. In addition, Tom Lane switched jobs, four new committers were
had the highest attendance ever at 256 registrations, and held its first unconference after the
regular conference. Subscribers can click below for the report by guest
author Josh Berkus.
Full Story (comments: 6)
[$] Little things that matter in language design
[Front] Posted Jun 8, 2013 0:46 UTC (Sat) by jake
The designers of a new programming language are probably most interested in
the big features — the things that just couldn't be done with whichever
language they are trying to escape from. So they are probably
thinking of the type system, the data model, the concurrency support,
the approach to polymorphism, or whatever it is that they feel will
affect the expressiveness of the language in the way they want. But there
are lots of little things to consider too, and guest author Neil Brown
looks at some of them in an article from next week's edition.
Full Story (comments: 147)
Power-aware scheduling meets a line in the sand
[Kernel] Posted Jun 5, 2013 18:19 UTC (Wed) by corbet
As mobile and embedded processors get more complex — and more numerous —
the interest in improving the power efficiency of the scheduler has
increased. While a number of power-related
scheduler patches exist, none seem all that close to merging into the
mainline. Getting something upstream always looked like a daunting task;
scheduler changes are hard to make in general, these changes come from a
constituency that the scheduler maintainers are not used to serving, and
the existence of competing patches muddies the water somewhat. But now it
seems that the complexity of the situation has increased again, to the
point that the merging of any power-efficiency patches may have gotten even
Full Story (comments: 26)
[Front] Posted Jun 4, 2013 19:49 UTC (Tue) by jake
When one is trying to determine if there are compliance problems in a body
source code—either code from a device maker or from someone in the supply chain
for a device—the sheer number of files to consider can be a difficult
hurdle. A simple technique can reduce the search space
significantly, though it does require a bit of a "leap of faith", according
to Armijn Hemel. He presented his technique, along with a
case study and a war story or two at LinuxCon
Full Story (comments: 6)
The Linus and Dirk show
[Kernel] Posted May 30, 2013 21:27 UTC (Thu) by jake
Linus Torvalds and Dirk Hohndel sat down at LinuxCon Japan
2013 for a "fireside chat" (sans fire), ostensibly to discuss where
Linux is going. While they touched on that subject, the conversation was
wide-ranging over both Linux and non-Linux topics, from privacy to
diversity and from educational systems to how operating systems will look in
20-30 years. Subscribers can click below for the full story from this
Full Story (comments: 100)
Atomic I/O operations
[Kernel] Posted May 30, 2013 2:48 UTC (Thu) by corbet
According to Btrfs developer Chris Mason, tuning Linux filesystems to work
well on solid-state storage devices is a lot like working on an old,
clunky car. Lots of work goes into just trying to make the thing run with
decent performance. Old cars may have mainly hardware-related problems,
but, with Linux,
the bottleneck is almost always to be found in the software. It is, he
said, hard to give a customer a high-performance device and expect them to
actually see that performance in their application. Fixing this problem
will require work in a lot of areas. One of those areas, supporting and
using atomic I/O operations, shows particular potential.
Click below (subscribers only) for the full report from LinuxCon Japan.
Full Story (comments: 19)
Pondering the X client vulnerabilities
[Security] Posted May 27, 2013 22:05 UTC (Mon) by corbet
Certain projects are known for disclosing a large number of vulnerabilities
at once; such behavior is especially common in company-owned projects where
fixes are released in batches. Even those projects, though, rarely turn up with 30
new CVE numbers in a single day. But, on May 23, the X.org project
did exactly that when it disclosed a large
number of security vulnerabilities in various X client libraries — some of
which could be more than two decades old.
Click below (subscribers only) for the full article.
Full Story (comments: 64)
An "enum" for Python 3
[Development] Posted May 22, 2013 18:18 UTC (Wed) by jake
Designing an enumeration type (i.e. "enum") for a language may seem like a
straightforward exercise, but the recently "completed" discussions over
Python's PEP 435
show that it has a few wrinkles. The discussion spanned several long
threads in two mailing lists
(python-ideas, python-devel) going back to January in this particular
iteration, but the
idea is far older than that. Subscribers can click below for the full
article from this week's edition.
Full Story (comments: 23)
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MySQL man pages silently relicensed away from GPL (MariaDB blog)
[Announcements] Posted Jun 18, 2013 23:25 UTC (Tue) by jake
In what might be seen as a harbinger of license changes to come for MySQL, the MariaDB blog is reporting that the man pages for MySQL 5.5.31 have changed licenses. Formerly covered by the GPLv2, the man pages are now under a more restrictive license, the crux of which seems to be: "You may create a printed copy of this documentation solely for your own personal use. Conversion to other formats is allowed as long as the actual content is not altered or edited in any way. You shall not publish or distribute this documentation in any form or on any media, except if you distribute the documentation in a manner similar to how Oracle disseminates it (that is, electronically for download on a Web site with the software) or on a CD-ROM or similar medium, provided however that the documentation is disseminated together with the software on the same medium. Any other use, such as any dissemination of printed copies or use of this documentation, in whole or in part, in another publication, requires the prior written consent from an authorized representative of Oracle."
Comments (12 posted)
Security updates for Tuesday
[Security] Posted Jun 18, 2013 16:45 UTC (Tue) by ris
Debian has updated wireshark
Fedora has updated perl-Module-Signature (F18; F17: code
execution) and rrdtool (F18: denial of
Mageia has updated qemu
(unauthorized file access), telepathy-gabble (man-in-the-middle attack),
owncloud (cross-site scripting), php (code execution), and dbus (denial of service).
openSUSE has updated X client
vulnerabilities in the following packages: libxres, libxrandr, libdmx, libXxf86dga, libxcursor, libxtst, libxi, and libFS.
SUSE has updated kernel (SLE 11 SP2; SLE-RT 11 SP2: multiple
Ubuntu has updated libraw (code
execution) and libkdcraw (code execution).
Comments (none posted)
LLVM 3.3 released
[Development] Posted Jun 18, 2013 14:22 UTC (Tue) by corbet
Version 3.3 of the LLVM compiler suite is out. It adds support for a
number of new architectures, features a number of performance improvements,
and more. "3.3 is also a major milestone for the Clang frontend: it
is now fully C++'11 feature complete. At this point, Clang is the only
compiler to support the full C++'11 standard, including important C++'11
library features like std::regex. Clang now supports Unicode characters in
identifiers, the Clang Static Analyzer supports several new checkers and
can perform interprocedural analysis across C++ constructor/destructor
boundaries, and Clang even has a nice 'C++'11 Migrator' tool to help
upgrade code to use C++'11 features and a 'Clang Format' tool that plugs
into vim and emacs (among others) to auto-format your code."
release notes for details.
Full Story (comments: 10)
Subversion 1.8.0 released
[Development] Posted Jun 18, 2013 13:40 UTC (Tue) by corbet
The Apache Software Foundation has announced
a new release of "the most popular and widely-used Open Source
version control system" — Subversion 1.8.0. "Since their
introduction in prior releases, Subversion’s merge tracking and tree
conflict detection features have been critical to its ability to serve
projects where branching and merging happens often. The 1.8.0 version
improves these features, further automating the client-side merge
functionality and improving both tree conflict detection during merge
operations and tree conflict resolution during update
operations. Additionally, the Subversion client now tracks moves of working
copy items as first-class operations, which brings immediate benefit to
users today and is a key step toward more thorough system-wide support for
moved and renamed objects in a future release."
Comments (23 posted)
Security advisories for Monday
[Security] Posted Jun 17, 2013 16:17 UTC (Mon) by ris
Debian has updated fail2ban (denial
Fedora has updated kdeplasma-addons
(F17: weak passwords generated by PasteMacroExpander) triggering a long
list of KDE updates. See last Wednesday's
security updates to see a similar list of packages.
Mandriva has updated owncloud
openSUSE has updated libxvmc
(multiple vulnerabilities) and libxinerama
SUSE has updated kernel (multiple
Comments (none posted)
SCO v. IBM reopened
[Announcements] Posted Jun 16, 2013 13:38 UTC (Sun) by corbet
that the SCO lawsuit against IBM has officially been reopened. "The
thing that makes predictions a bit murky is that there are some other
motions, aside from the summary judgment motions, that were also not
officially decided before SCO filed for bankruptcy that could, in SCO's
perfect world, reopen certain matters. I believe they would have been
denied, if the prior judge had had time to rule on them. Now? I don't
know. There was a SCO motion for reconsideration pending and one objection
to an earlier ruling, and a motion to supplement its list of allegedly
misused materials. How any of this survives the Novell victory is unknown
to me, but SCO are a clever, clever bunch."
Comments (48 posted)
Kernel prepatch 3.10-rc6
[Kernel] Posted Jun 15, 2013 22:22 UTC (Sat) by corbet
Linus has announced the 3.10-rc6 kernel
prepatch, noting that the patch rate (226 changes since -rc5) seems to be
slowing a little bit. "But even if you're a luddite, and haven't yet
learnt the guilty pleasures of a git workflow, you do want to run the
latest kernel, I'm sure. So go out and test that you can't find any
regressions. Because we have fixes all over..."
Comments (none posted)
Ardour 3.2 adds video support (The H)
[Development] Posted Jun 14, 2013 22:11 UTC (Fri) by n8willis
The H looks at the recent 3.2 release of the Ardour digital audio workstation, highlighting the addition of video support. Specifically, Ardour does not edit video, but allows users to import it for synchronizing with audio content. "The new video feature can display imported video tracks with frame-by-frame granularity in a timeline and allows users to lock audio tracks to individual video frames. After the editing work is done, users can then export the mixed audio track into a new video file."
Comments (none posted)
Friday's security updates
[Security] Posted Jun 14, 2013 16:11 UTC (Fri) by n8willis
Fedora has updated gallery3 (F17, F18; insecure URL handling) and xen (multiple vulnerabilities).
Mandriva has updated apache
(multiple vulnerabilities) and subversion
(denial of service).
openSUSE has updated libxcb
(integer overflow), libXext (multiple
vulnerabilities), libXfixes (integer
overflow), libXt (multiple
vulnerabilities), libXrender (integer
overflow), libXv (multiple
vulnerabilities), nfs-utils (12.2, 12.3; information disclosure), nginx (information disclosure), subversion (multiple vulnerabilities) and telepathy-gabble (TLS bypass).
Oracle has updated kernel (OL5, OL6;
Scientific Linux has updated krb5 (denial of service).
Ubuntu has updated kernel (10.04, 10.04
EC2, 12.04, 12.04 OMAP4, 12.04 HWE, 12.10, 12.10
OMAP4, 13.04 OMAP4; multiple
vulnerabilities), keystone (insecure authentication), and libdbus
(denial of service).
Comments (none posted)
Meeks: LibreOffice's under-the-hood progress in 4.1.0 (beta)
[Development] Posted Jun 13, 2013 23:39 UTC (Thu) by jake
On his blog, Michael Meeks has a look at some of the less visible (to the user) changes to LibreOffice for 4.1. He describes changes like the completion of the switch to GNU make, code cleanup (including more German comment translation), eliminating bugs that result in crashes, refactoring the Calc spreadsheet core, and more. "One of the tasks that most irritates and has distracted new developers from doing interesting feature work on the code-base over many years has been our build system. At the start of LibreOffice, there was an incomplete transition to using GNU make, which required us to use both the horrible old dmake tool as well as gnumake, with configure using a Perl script to generate a shell script configuring a set of environment variables that had to be sourced into your shell in order to compile (making it impossible to re-configure from that shell), with a Perl build script that batched compilation with two layers of parallelism, forcing you to over- or undercommit on any modern builder."
Comments (94 posted)
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