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website LWN.net
LWN.net is a comprehensive source of news and opinions from and about the Linux community. This is the main LWN.net feed, listing all articles which are posted to the site front page.
feed text LLVM 7.0.0 released
2018-09-19T12:56:26+00:00
Version 7.0.0 of the LLVM compiler suite is out. "It is the result of the community's work over the past six months, including: function multiversioning in Clang with the 'target' attribute for ELF-based x86/x86_64 targets, improved PCH support in clang-cl, preliminary DWARF v5 support, basic support for OpenMP 4.5 offloading to NVPTX, OpenCL C++ support, MSan, X-Ray and libFuzzer support for FreeBSD, early UBSan, X-Ray and libFuzzer support for OpenBSD, UBSan checks for implicit conversions, many long-tail compatibility issues fixed in lld which is now production ready for ELF, COFF and MinGW, new tools llvm-exegesis, llvm-mca and diagtool". The list of new features is long; see the overall release notes, the Clang release notes, the Clang tools release notes, and the LLD linker release notes for more information.
text [$] Code, conflict, and conduct
2018-09-18T21:15:45+00:00
A couple of surprising things happened in the kernel community on September 16: Linus Torvalds announced that he was taking a break from kernel development to focus on improving his own behavior, and the longstanding "code of conflict" was replaced with a code of conduct based on the Contributor Covenant. Those two things did not quite come packaged as a set, but they are clearly not unrelated. It is a time of change for the kernel project; there will be challenges to overcome but, in the end, less may change than many expect or fear.
text Security updates for Tuesday
2018-09-18T15:09:27+00:00
Security updates have been issued by Fedora (ghostscript, icu, nspr, nss, nss-softokn, nss-util, and okular), Red Hat (java-1.7.1-ibm, java-1.8.0-ibm, OpenStack Platform, openstack-neutron, and openstack-nova), and Ubuntu (clamav and php5, php7.0, php7.2).
text PostgreSQL adopts a code of conduct
2018-09-18T14:04:55+00:00
The PostgreSQL community has, after an extended discussion, announced the adoption of a code of conduct "which is intended to ensure that PostgreSQL remains an open and enjoyable project for anyone to join and participate in".
Versity Software has announced that it has released ScoutFS under GPLv2. "ScoutFS is the first GPL archiving file system ever released, creating an inherently safer and more user friendly option for storing archival data where accessibility over very large time scales, and the removal of vendor specific risk is a key consideration."
text Security updates for Monday
2018-09-17T14:46:07+00:00
Security updates have been issued by Debian (discount, ghostscript, intel-microcode, mbedtls, thunderbird, and zutils), Fedora (ghostscript, java-1.8.0-openjdk-aarch32, kernel-headers, kernel-tools, libzypp, matrix-synapse, nspr, nss, nss-softokn, nss-util, zsh, and zypper), Mageia (kernel, kernel-linus, and kernel-tmb), openSUSE (chromium, curl, ffmpeg-4, GraphicsMagick, kernel, libzypp, zypper, okular, python3, spice-gtk, tomcat, and zsh), Oracle (kernel), Slackware (php), SUSE (curl, libzypp, zypper, and openssh-openssl1), and Ubuntu (curl and firefox).
text Apache SpamAssassin 3.4.2 released
2018-09-17T13:30:23+00:00
SpamAssassin 3.4.2 is out, the first release from this spam-filtering project since 3.4.1 came out in April 2015. It fixes some remotely exploitable security issues, so SpamAssassin users probably want to update in the near future. "The exploit has been seen in the wild but not believe to have been purposefully part of a Denial of Service attempt.  We are concerned that there may be attempts to abuse the vulnerability in the future.  Therefore, we strongly recommend all users of these versions upgrade to Apache SpamAssassin 3.4.2 as soon as possible."
Behavioral changes can make desktop users grumpy; that is doubly true for changes that arrive without notice and possibly risk data loss. Such a situation recently arose in the Fedora 29 development branch in the form of a new "suspend-then-hibernate" feature. This feature will almost certainly be turned off before Fedora 29 reaches an official release, but the discussion and finger-pointing it inspired reveal some significant differences of opinion about how this kind of change should be managed.
Linus has released 4.19-rc4 and made a set of announcements that should really be read in their entirety. "I actually think that 4.19 is looking fairly good, things have gotten to the 'calm' period of the release cycle, and I've talked to Greg to ask him if he'd mind finishing up 4.19 for me, so that I can take a break, and try to at least fix my own behavior."
text Weekend stable kernel updates
2018-09-16T11:38:50+00:00
The 4.18.8, 4.14.70, 4.9.127, and 4.4.156 stable kernels have been released. Each contains a relatively large set of important fixes and updates.
Linux Journal covers the new Academy Software Foundation (ASWF), which is a project aimed at open-source collaboration in movie-making software that was started by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) and the Linux Foundation. "Still at the early stages, the ASWF has yet to develop any of its own projects, but there is interest in having them host a number of very popular projects, such as Industrial Light & Magic’s OpenEXR HDR image file format, color management solution OpenColorIO, and OPenVDB, which is used for working with those hard-to-handle objects like clouds and fluids. Along with promoting cooperation on the development of a more robust set of tools for the industry, one of the goals of the organization moving forward is to put out a shared licensing template that they hope will help smooth the tensions over licensing. It follows that with the growth of projects, navigating the politics over usage rights is bound to be a tricky task."
text Security updates for Friday
2018-09-14T14:01:36+00:00
Security updates have been issued by CentOS (firefox), Fedora (firefox, openssh, pango, and zziplib), Mageia (flash-player-plugin and ntp), Oracle (kernel), Red Hat (flash-plugin), Slackware (ghostscript), SUSE (podman and spice-gtk), and Ubuntu (firefox).
Over at Opensource.com, Red Hat's Michael Tiemann looks at open source from the perspective of the economic theories of Ronald Coase, who won the 1991 Nobel Prize for Economics. Those theories help explain why companies like Red Hat (and Cygnus Solutions, which Tiemann founded) have prospered even in the face of economic arguments about why they should not. "Successful open source software companies 'discover' markets where transaction costs far outweigh all other costs, outcompete the proprietary alternatives for all the good reasons that even the economic nay-sayers already concede (e.g., open source is simply a better development model to create and maintain higher-quality, more rapidly innovative software than the finite limits of proprietary software), and then—and this is the important bit—help clients achieve strategic objectives using open source as a platform for their own innovation. With open source, better/faster/cheaper by itself is available for the low, low price of zero dollars. As an open source company, we don't cry about that. Instead, we look at how open source might create a new inflection point that fundamentally changes the economics of existing markets or how it might create entirely new and more valuable markets."
text The first /e/ beta is available
2018-09-13T20:07:47+00:00
/e/ is Gaël Duval's project to build a privacy-oriented smartphone distribution; the first beta is now available with support for a number of devices. "At our current point of development, we have an '/e/' ROM in Beta stage: forked from LineageOS 14.1, it can be installed on several devices (read the list). The number of supported devices will grow over time, depending on more build servers and more contributors who can maintain or port to specific devices (contributors welcome). The ROM includes microG configured by default with Mozilla NLP so users can have geolocation functionality even when GPS signal is not available."
Linux kernel developers tend to take a dim view of the C++ language; it is seen, rightly or wrongly, as a sort of combination of the worst (from a system-programming point of view) features of higher-level languages and the worst aspects of C. So it takes a relatively brave person to dare to discuss that language on the kernel mailing lists. David Howells must certainly be one of those; he not only brought up the subject, but is working to make the kernel's user-space API (UAPI) header files compatible with C++.