Firefox 82.0 and ESR 78.4.0
19 hours ago, lwn

Firefox 82.0 has been released, with improvements "that make watching videos more delightful" and improved performance. Firefox ESR 78.4.0 is also available with various stability, functionality, and security fixes. See the release notes (82.0, 78.4.0) for details....

[$] The accelerating adoption of Julia
21 hours ago, lwn

The Julia programming language has seen a major increase in its use and popularity over the last few years. We last looked at it two years ago, around the time of the Julia 1.0 release. Here, we will look at some of the changes since that release, none of which are major, as well as some newer resources for learning the language, but the main focus of this article is a case study that is meant to help show why the language has been taking off. A follow-up article will introduce a new computati...

Combating abuse in Matrix - without backdoors (Matrix blog)
22 hours ago, lwn

This Matrix blog entry describes a planned reputation-management system that, it is claimed, accomplishes some of the same goals as government backdoors without the need to compromise end-to-end encryption. "Just like the Web, Email or the Internet as a whole, there is literally no way to unilaterally censor or block content in Matrix. But what we can do is provide first-class infrastructure to let users (and room/community moderators and server admins) make up their own mind about who to trust,...

Git v2.29.0 released
1 day ago, lwn

Version 2.29.0 of the Git source-code management system is out. This release includes a long list of smallish improvements; click below for the details. Also present is the code enabling Git to switch to the SHA-256 hash algorithm; this feature is still deemed experimental, though, and interoperability with SHA-1 repositories is not yet available....

[$] Resource management in KDE
1 day ago, lwn

Applications that run on the Linux desktop have changed significantly under the hood in recent years; for example, they use more processes than before. Desktop environments need to adapt to this change. During Akademy 2020, KDE developers David Edmundson and Henri Chain delivered a talk (YouTube video) about how KDE, working with other desktop environments, is starting to use advanced kernel features to give users more control over their systems. This talk complements a presentation by GNOME de...

[$] 5.10 Merge window, part 1
4 days ago, lwn

As of this writing, 7,153 non-merge changesets have been pulled into the mainline Git repository for the 5.10 release — over a period of four days. This development cycle is clearly off to a strong start. Read on for an overview of the significant changes merged thus far for the 5.10 kernel release....

linux.conf.au 2021 call for sessions and miniconfs
5 days ago, lwn

The 2021 edition of linux.conf.au will be held online on January 23-25, 2021; the call for proposals has gone out with a relatively tight deadline of November 6. "Our theme is 'So what's next?'. We all know we're living through unprecedented change and uncertain times. How can open source play a role in creating, helping and adapting to this ongoing change? What new developments in software and coding can we look forward to in 2021 and beyond?" Since there is no travel involved, this is a ...

[$] The Arm64 memory tagging extension in Linux
5 days ago, lwn

One of the first features merged for the 5.10 kernel development cycle was support for the Arm v8.5 memory tagging extension [PDF]. By adding a "key" value to pointers, this mechanism enables the automated detection of a wide range of memory-safety issues. The result should be safer and more secure code — once support for the feature shows up in actual hardware....

[$] LWN.net Weekly Edition for October 15, 2020
6 days ago, lwn

The LWN.net Weekly Edition for October 15, 2020 is available....

[$] Further analysis of PyPI typosquatting
6 days ago, lwn

We have looked at the problem of confusingly named packages in repositories such as the Python Package Index (PyPI) before. In general, malicious actors create these packages with names that can be mistaken for those of legitimate packages in the repository in a form of "typosquatting". Since our 2016 article, the problem has not gone away—no surprise—but there has been some recent analysis of it, as well as some efforts to combat it....

[$] A PHP syntax for discardable assignments
6 days ago, lwn

Recently, John Bafford revived a years-long conversation on expanding the syntax of the PHP foreach statement to include iterating solely over keys. Bafford, who wrote a patch and request for comments (RFC) on the matter back in 2016, hopes to update his work and convince the community to adopt the abbreviated syntax in PHP 8.1. The community took Bafford's general idea and expanded it into other areas of the language....

BleedingTooth: critical kernel Bluetooth vulnerability
6 days ago, lwn

Several flaws in the BlueZ kernel Bluetooth stack prior to Linux 5.9 are being reported by Intel and by Google (GHSA-h637-c88j-47wq, GHSA-7mh3-gq28-gfrq, and GHSA-ccx2-w2r4-x649). They are collectively being called "BleedingTooth", and more information will be forthcoming, though there is already a YouTube video demonstrating remote code execution using BleedingTooth....

Krita 4.4.0 released
6 days ago, lwn

Version 4.4.0 of the Krita painting application has been released. "With a whole slew of new fill layer types, including the really versatile SeExpr based scriptable fill layer type, exciting new options for Krita’s brushes like the gradient map mode for brushes, lightness and gradient modes for brush textures, support for dynamic use of colors in gradients, webm export for animations, new scripting features — and of course, hundreds of bug fixes that make this version of Krita better than ever...

[$] Some 5.9 kernel development statistics
1 week ago, lwn

The 5.9 kernel was released on October 11, at the end of a ten-week development cycle — the first release to take more than nine weeks since 5.4 at the end of 2019. While this cycle was not as busy as 5.8, which broke some records, it was still one of the busier ones we have seen in some time, featuring 14,858 non-merge changesets contributed by 1,914 developers. Read on for our traditional look at what those developers were up to while creating the 5.9 release....

[$] Python and the infinite
1 week ago, lwn

A recent proposal on the python-ideas mailing list would add a new way to represent floating-point infinity in the language. Cade Brown suggested the change; he cited a few different reasons for it, including fixing an inconsistency in the way the string representation of infinity is handled in the language. The discussion that followed branched in a few directions, including adding a constant for "not a number" (NaN) and a more general discussion of the inconsistent way that Python...

An open letter to Apache OpenOffice
1 week ago, lwn

On the 20th anniversary of the open-sourcing of the OpenOffice.org suite, the LibreOffice has sent an open letter to the Apache OpenOffice project suggesting that it is time for the latter to recognize that the game is over. "If Apache OpenOffice wants to still maintain its old 4.1 branch from 2014, sure, that’s important for legacy users. But the most responsible thing to do in 2020 is: help new users. Make them aware that there’s a much more modern, up-to-date, professionally supported suite,...

Plausible relicenses to AGPL
1 week ago, lwn

Plausible, a web-analytics package that was reviewed here in June, has announced a move from the MIT license to the Affero GPL, version 3. "This change makes no difference to any of you who subscribe to Plausible Cloud or who self-host Plausible, but it may upset a few corporations who tried to use our software to directly compete with us without contributing back."...

The Open Invention Network's expanded Linux System Definition
1 week ago, lwn

The Open Invention Network, which offers patent protection for a wide range of open-source software, has expanded its Linux System Definition — the set of software covered by the OIN patent non-aggression agreement. In particular, the new definition includes the exFAT filesystem (once the subject of a lot of patent worries), the KDE Frameworks, the Robot Operating System, and version 10 of the Android Open Source Project....

Plasma 5.20 released
1 week ago, lwn

Version 5.20 of the Plasma KDE desktop is out. "A massive release, containing improvements to dozens of components, widgets, and the desktop behavior in general. Everyday utilities and tools, such as the Panels, Task Manager, Notifications and System Settings, have all been overhauled to make them more usable, efficient, and friendlier." There are also significant improvements in Plasma's Wayland support....

LLVM 11.0.0 released
1 week ago, lwn

Version 11.0.0 of the LLVM compiler suite is out. Significant change include the addition of a Fortran frontend and a lot more; see the collection of release-note sets in the announcement for details....

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